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September 2010 - Celebrating Life & Another Year
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Traveling Opens Our Mind To The World Of Other People

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 08/16/14

Traveling has always been something I love to do.  As a little girl my paternal grandmother, aka, Mother Dear, planted the seed in me to see the world.  She started bringing the world to me through books and then she would include me from time to time on some of her trips.  Seeing the world with your own eyes brings a totally different perspective and understanding of people, cultures and geography.  One thing I have learned is people are more alike than different.  We share similar concerns and joys.  We care about our families and our communities and we hope to leave things better for the next generation then they were for us.

 

Several years ago I had a friend that used to travel back and forth to South Africa and each time he would return he would say, Wendy, you need to visit the Motherland.  To be perfectly honest, back then I cannot say South Africa was on my wish list.  The issues of Apartheid were strong and safety was in question.  However, my friend peaked my curiosity the more he talked about how the country had changed with the Presidency of Nelson Mandela and with the work Archbishop Desmond Tutu were doing around forgiveness and healing.  I began to read more about what was happening in this wonderful country and it not only made my list, but became part of my must dos, also known as my bucket list.

 

Those of you that follow me remember this past Spring my journey to South Africa happened.  I was able to travel with a group and our first stop was Johannesburg.  Mandela Square was captivating.   Next we ventured to Soweto where we saw the homes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  With my work centering on forgiveness, walking the streets where they both lived was very inspiring.  After we left Johannesburg, we went to Kruger National Park and took in a Safari.  We ended our trip by visiting Cape Town and Robben Island.   The beauty of the land, the kindness of the people, and the flavor of the food pulled me in.  A new day truly had arrived in this country.

 

Words cannot express the range of emotions I experienced from going to South Africa and visiting the Motherland.  There was so much to take in and I gained a new perspective to staying focused on sharing the power of forgiveness.  Sometimes when you look back you get stuck, on the other hand sometimes when we go back, it helps us to move forward. I am pressing on!

 

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

Ms. Brenda

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 08/09/14

This past week the community said farewell to an icon.  Words cannot express the impression she made over the years on a host of people from the honorable to the homeless.  Her home going service was elegant and fit for a lady.  The setting was in the historic First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles (FAME) and the room was lined with pink roses spelling out the name BRENDA. 

 

Dignitaries old and new packed the sanctuary to pay homage to a woman they all claimed played a role in some form or fashion to their careers.  Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Karen Bass, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, City Council President Herb Wesson, among others all shared their personal experience with the lady of honor.  Ms. Brenda’s daughters and grandsons gave their personal expressions of love that touched all of our hearts.  Singer Brandy Norwood did an impromptu song and then Assemblyman Isadore Hall left us with the charge, “I Won’t Complain.”

 

Reverend Jesse Jackson flew in the morning of the service to bring the eulogy and the message that rang strong in my ears was that Brenda had a mission and not just a job.  We learned that through the years she wore many hats, but they were all strung together with the central theme of her life’s purpose, to make a difference wherever she was planted.  She wore many hats whether it was with the Brotherhood Crusade, the Los Angeles Sentinel, Mothers In Action, or helping to implement the “Respect Me Campaign,” but they all focused around the core of impacting the lives of people in need.

 

As Reverend Jackson spoke I couldn’t help but reflect on my own life.  Times like these make most of us reflect on the impact we are making in the world we serve.  I am a strong believer in the philosophy that we need to learn our meaning so that we can develop our message and ultimately carry out our mission.  Ms. Brenda definitely lived that message.    

 

Brenda was called many things, a community leader, activist and renaissance woman. However we may know her, we will never forget the name of Brenda Joyce Marsh-Mitchell!

 

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

"Reason, Season or a Lifetime"

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 08/03/14

 I have often heard the saying, people come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime.  This past week gave new meaning to the phrase for me. Depending on when someone comes into your life you do not always know the influence they played until your journey is revealed.  A beautiful lady by the name of Cheryle entered my life when I was a pre-teen.  I used to baby sit her sons and help her with chores around her house.  I thought this was just a season.

 

One day Cheryle and my father met and little did I know they would eventually begin dating.  Their relationship was short lived, but during that time she showed me genuine love and kindness that would stay with me for the rest of my life.  She came into my life when I was young, vulnerable and very impressionable. My memories of her are many, but what I remember the most were her encouraging words and how she invested time into the things that mattered to me.  When I was trying to be a model and began the road of beauty pageants she took me shopping to make sure I had the right clothes.  I also remember the ritual of her making dinner for everyone and how we all sat together at the dinner table to eat.  This may seem insignificant to some, but when your life was filled with uncertainties a simple habit can leave an indelible impression.  This revealed a reason.

 

With the passing of time, close to three decades, Cheryle and I lost touch.  For both of us life took us on different paths, but with the power of social media she was able to recently find me on Facebook.  When she asked me to be her friend, I of course immediately said yes and our journey to reconnect began.  After communicating on line we exchanged numbers and set a time to talk when we could catch up.  We talked, we shared, and we even shed a tear here and there.  The good thing that developed was an understanding that we have a bond that will never break. We are now in a lifetime.

 

We have to be careful how we treat people because we never know when we will come full circle or cross over a bridge that takes us back to a place we once traveled.  It is also a blessing when you have the opportunity to let people know how they have touched your life and when something good was planted.  Leo Buscaglia said, too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. I am glad Cheryle came into my life for a reason, season and a lifetime!

 

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

Managing Expectations

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 07/27/14

I have shared in one of my previous articles about my journey of returning back to school.  I am currently enrolled in a certified and accredited Professional Coaching Program through the Center for Nonprofit Management and Antioch University.  We are currently in our fourth month and it has truly been eye opening to the soul.  As we learn about how to help others, we cannot ignore the work that needs to be done in our own lives to live true and authentic to our purpose.  It is usually much easier to look through a window into the life of someone else, than into a mirror reflecting back onto our own.

 

Over the months to come I plan to share pearls of wisdom I gather from the course that I feel may be a blessing.  What captivates me at this juncture is the study of managing expectations.  The dictionary defines the word expectations as a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.  Why do we hold others to a higher expectation then we do ourselves?  Much of the disappointment we experience comes from an expectation we have placed on someone else to make our life happier or better.  Why give someone else that much power over your life?

 

In coaching we learn that most of the time the answers people seek lie within them. What they need is for someone to ask the right questions to help them unlock the potential within themselves.  As I continue to work with clients and the things that concern them, I find this to be true.  When we expect others to give us the answer or if we blame others when something is not going the way we want, what we have actually done is cop out.  We are making excuses and we are blaming others when what we need to do is take responsibility for our own lives and learn to live with the outcome from the choices and decisions we make. 

 

Writer Paul Coelho,  said, Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.  Take the time to survey your own life and see what you like and what you do not like.  Work on the things you can, but limit your expectations on what you think others should or should not do for you.  If you need a little help, get it, but at the end of the day the answers are inside of you waiting for you to be ready to receive them.  After all Nelson Mandela reminded us when he quoted from the poem Invictus, I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.  #lifecoach

 

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

The Personal Touch

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 07/18/14

One of the things I enjoy is keeping in touch with people.  In the fast pace life we live filled with lists and agendas, I am just as guilty as the next person in dragging my feet.  When I was a little girl my grandmother taught me the art of sending personalized notes whether they are for a  birthday, anniversary or a kind note of thanks. I have also tried to teach my children to pick up a phone make a call and not rely on just a text as a form of communication.   I understand that pushing a few buttons here and there is easier and faster, but showing someone they matter enough to go the extra step touches the heart. 

 

Recently, I reached out to a friend by the name of Solombra Ingram, who runs a conference for women called, I Am Every Woman. I really wanted to attend, but when I looked at the dates I was only available the first night due to a prior commitment.  When I called her, I was going to extend well wishes and send her a donation to show support.  As we talked she informed me that she was actually still looking for a speaker for opening night and she asked if I was interested.  What started out as an opportunity for me to support her work, turned into a blessing in disguise for both of us.  This very act reminded me of the quote by Tracy Chapman, I have seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.

 

Going the extra mile, touching the lives of other people has a way of boomeranging and touching the giver as much as the receiver.  When I asked Solombra what she had chosen as the theme she replied, The Great Commission: Get Up and  Go:  Moving Beyond the Mundane and Maximizing Momentum.   I felt right in step and I graciously accepted.   I feel blessed to stand with wonderful women such as Adai Lamar from 102.3 KJLH Radio, Dr. Holly Carter from Releve Entertainment, Lady Myesha Chaney, Pastor Rekesha Pittman, and Actress Kym Whitley.  All of these women represent different stratospheres of life and will have something to give.

 

What I know for sure is when we make the decision to get up and move beyond the mundane, momentum will come and we can maximize all that life has to offer.  Have you ever thought the very person that could possibly help you is just a phone call or note away? 

 

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am.