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“Do You Know Anyone Possibly Suffering From A Mental Disorder?”

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 05/24/16

Every day there are people all around us who suffer from one form or another of a mental health disorder. These disorders can often be easily missed or even ignored because mental health is a topic that many of us are still afraid to discuss. They are silent killers and statistics show that approximately 1 out of 5 adults suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder each year.  What about the areas that seem to go undiagnosed? Depression, fatigue, moodiness, loneliness and eating disorders can all be symptoms or components associated with mental health disorders. Like all diseases, treatment is necessary and available as a cure for many of these symptoms. 


While some do seek help by reaching out to a psychologist or psychiatrist, many feel it is a badge of shame to admit they struggle with their own mental health. There are homeless people that suffer in silence with diagnosable mental disorders.  There are people in jail or prison that landed there due to a mental illness verses a serious crime.  Some women are known to suffer from postpartum depression after childbirth while other women suffer during menopause. We have to shed light on this issue and help those who suffer to get the help they need without shame. There are also those who struggle with dementia and Alzheimer’s, which affect the brain and memory loss; also diagnosed as mental illness.


May is set aside to help bring awareness to the issue of mental health disorders. The California Black Women’s Health Project believes there are 5 necessities to help achieve better mental health. They recommend hydration, eliminating sugary drinks, proper nutrition, less stress, deep relaxation and movement.  When we break all of these five areas down, much of it goes back to basics.  We need to make sure we are drinking plenty of water to flush our systems, be mindful of what we eat and consume in our bodies, avoid stress as much as possible and exercise to help release negative toxins while keeping our bodies in shape; and finally connecting with our faith or pausing to be still and meditate helps with not only our mental health, but also our overall lives. 


The five necessities discussed above are a great place to start and for some it may be all that is necessary to help them overcome their issues.  However, for others it might be necessary or important for them to seek professional help.  There are various outlets where people needing assistance can go to get help.  It is important to understand what type of help you may need to get the proper support.  If you just need someone to talk to that can help you sort out things, a counselor may be enough.  On the other hand, you may need the help of a trained psychologist or if you have a chemical imbalance or need medication you may need the help of a psychiatrist.  The key is to find the right source that can help you get the right care.


The main thing to understand in all of this is that there’s no shame if you have a mental disorder.  If you’re experiencing depression, fatigue, moodiness, loneliness, can’t sleep, eating too much (or not enough), or if you feel like something is wrong and you don’t know what to do or how to explain it, then start by talking to someone you trust and make an appointment with your physician to get an overall physical.  There can be light at the end of the tunnel.  Keep your head up and know you’re not alone.  Sometimes what we all need is just a friend that helps us find our way. 


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


Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy@wendyenterprises.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 4:30am. 

“Los Angeles Business Journal Women’s Summit Highlights Women Leaders”

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 05/18/16

In 2016 we still live in a time where women are not equal and on par with men in the workplace.  Statistics show that women earn approximately 83% of what their male counterparts earn doing the same job.  For women of color the statistics are even lower.  Also according to a national study less than 20 percent of leadership roles and jobs are held by women.  The process for women to become the President or CEO of a Fortune 500 Company or to become appointed to a for profit Board of Directors is still long and arduous.  However, what is interesting is the percentage of women entering into the workplace has risen and there’s been an increase in women owned businesses hiring thousands of employees each year. 


The month of May has many events celebrating the accomplishments of women across all sectors.  Various organizations have paid tribute to women breaking barriers in their field of interest.  The Los Angeles Business Journal (LABJ) is no exception.  For the past 23 years they have been holding the Women’s Summit bringing women together from all walks of life in order to learn, network and bond together to form new relationships and grow in their careers. It is important for women (and men) to come together to acknowledge the accomplishments women have made and to encourage them on their journey.    


The Los Angeles Business Journal will hold their Women’s Summit on May 23rd in downtown Los Angeles. They plan to have a day full of information that attendees can take away and use to help better their careers and life.  The morning will start with breakfast followed by a series of speakers.  When I saw the list of speakers that will be presenting I shared it with a few colleagues and they all noticed the same thing and commented there was truly a lack of diversity.  As we continue to try and close the gap on women growing in the workplace and in leadership it is important that we aim to be more inclusive.  Especially organizations that position themselves as neutral and welcoming to everyone. 


The LABJ Women’s Summit will close out the day with a luncheon where women have been nominated across the Southland from various categories such as Business Owner/CEO of the Year, Executive of the Year, Rising Star, Volunteer of the Year, Philanthropist of the Year and Corporate Advocate.  I am excited to see there seems to be more diversity of the women that have been nominated for the various categories than selected to be speakers, but we will have to wait until the Summit before we see who actually wins.   Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (www.mlkcommunityhospital.org)  and Eileen Aranda, Ph.D., President of Claremont Lincoln University (www.ClaremontLincoln.edu)  are just two of the nominees we believe are standing up and making a difference in the community and in the lives of not only women, but people everywhere. 


In closing, as a small woman owned business that has been in business for close to a quarter of a century, I understand the struggle of building a business while balancing a life and I want to acknowledge and congratulate all women that have worked hard to build businesses or become leaders in the community they serve.  I want to encourage women to show compassion and support towards our colleagues that are on this journey with us and whenever possible lift someone up who may be coming behind you on the path.  As the new saying goes forget trying to find just a mentor try to find a sponsor!  #WomenLeaders #CoachWendy


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


Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy@wendyenterprises.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 4:30am. 

Do You Have To Be A Wonder Woman To Be A Phenomenal Woman?

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 05/12/16

Women today wear so many hats and our lists are as long as Methuselah was said to be in age.  We not only have long lists, but we strive to do everything exceptionally well.  As a woman that wears many hats such as a wife, mother, entrepreneur, daughter, sister, and volunteer just to name a few, several years ago I decided to take off my cape of trying to be Wonder Woman and focus on being the best person God made me to be. What I realized was this new attitude took a lot of unnecessary pressure off of me and I could relax and not only enjoy life a little more, but also have a bigger impact in the areas I was serving.


Life has also taught me we don’t have to be wonder women to be phenomenal women.  The dictionary describes phenomenal as extraordinary and very remarkable.  Experience has shown me to be extraordinary or exceptional at something you have to put in the time and be committed at whatever you are doing.  Achieving this level of acknowledgement doesn’t come over night.  As a matter of fact it doesn’t happen unless you are dedicated. Dr. Maya Angelou wrote a poem called Phenomenal Woman that describes the character of a strong black woman that understood who she was and because she understood who she was she had no problem walking into a room with her head up with complete confidence.  I think when we understand our purpose and mission in life we all can embody that same confidence in what we do no matter what hat we may be wearing at a particular time in a particular space.


The YWCA of Greater Los Angeles under the leadership of Faye Washington understands the definition of what it means to be a Phenomenal Woman.  The YWCA has been dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for over 150 years.  They are committed to empowerment and civil rights, violence prevention and health care among other issues plaguing women and girls in society today.  Each year they pay special attention to women they consider phenomenal who are leading the charge and reign as examples for women and girls everywhere. 


Cynthia Heard, Vice President of Business Development & Communications for the YWCAGLA worked on this year’s Phenomenal Woman Awards at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The three main honorees were Nury Martinez, City of Los Angeles Councilwoman 6th District received the Phenomenal Legislative Champion Award; Lisa Paulsen, President & CEO Entertainment Industry Foundation received the Phenomenal Philanthropist Champion Award; and Delilah Lanoix Harris, President & CEO SMS Transportation Services, Inc., received the Phenomenal Corporate Champion Award, but there were many other women in the room that were also acknowledged. 


The YWCA understands to be powerful, inspired, brilliant, visionary and bold you must be phenomenal.  Among the other honorees was Dr. Eileen Aranda, President of Claremont Lincoln University. Claremont Lincoln University (CLU) is a graduate university that provides innovative educational offerings with a global imperative. CLU focuses in three areas of advanced inquiry and practice: ethical leadership, interfaith action, and social impact.  Their work and vision opens the doors to help women everywhere to become phenomenal in all they put their hands to accomplish. Thank you to all of the phenomenal women that are making a difference in making our communities a better place to live. #Leadership #Women #Community #CoachWendy


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


Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy@wendyenterprises.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 4:30am. 

Single Moms Planet

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 05/02/16

This coming weekend mothers everywhere will be celebrated and honored for their love and commitment to their children and families.  Along life’s journey there are women that come into our lives that fill in the gaps and sometimes holes as it relates to the nurturing, training and love that comes from the hands of a mother. They too will be heralded and lifted up in gratitude for the love they exhibit unconditionally.    Holidays can sometimes be challenging and Mother’s Day for single mothers can be lonely. Oftentimes single mothers carry a load that can be heavy financially, physically and emotionally. They should not feel alone. We can be our sisters keeper and help where and when we can. 


As a child growing up I guess you could say I was raised by a single mother, my grandmother.  My birth mother left me when I was just a little girl and so I fell into the hands of my father and paternal grandmother who we affectionately called “Mother Dear.”  My grandmother, who was up in years by the time I came along, worked very hard to keep a roof over our head and to give me the best life possible.  My grandfather passed away before I was born and therefore I never had the opportunity to meet him.  My grandmother graciously just picked up the pieces of our family and did what she needed to do to keep us all together. Her love extended to many even beyond her own biological family. 


Throughout my childhood besides the steady hand of my grandmother there were different women that came in and out of my life that I referred to or called mom.  Eventually my father remarried so I was blessed with a step-mother who played a role in my development for a period of time, then there were my aunts and eventually a teacher in high school that all weaved into the fabric of my life to help me become the woman I am today.  Growing up I had no idea how these women would play a significant role in my development.  As I grew into womanhood God brought other women into my life to continue to fill the gap where I still needed that motherly touch or prayers. I am eternally grateful.


When I was in college I got married and had two beautiful children.  Little did I know or could have anticipated that I would experience divorce and become a single mother after close to sixteen years of marriage.   I understand personally some of the trials single mothers experience and go through and how you can feel unappreciated and lonely.  Sometimes we land in these situations due to choices or circumstances we’ve made, but no matter what the cause we have to try and keep our heads up and raise our children to the best of our ability.


Neferteri Plessy understands what single mothers go through and she decided to start an organization called Single Moms Planet that can be a resource to help single mothers in need.  After she experienced divorce with two toddlers in tow, she dedicated her life to creating a stable home and nurturing environment for herself and her children.  Then she decided to step out on faith and help other women who were on a similar path who needed help.  On Friday, May 6th Single Moms Planet will honor women from all walks of life at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills as part of her crusade. 


Single Moms Planet (www.SingleMomsPlanet.com) stands in the gap for single mothers that need a little encouragement and possibly a little financial help in the process of raising their children.   All of us at one point or another needed a little help or encouragement along the way.  So this Mother’s Day as you thank your mother and give her flowers think of that single mother you can encourage through a kind word or deed. 


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


Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy@wendyenterprises.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 4:30am. 

My Body Baby!

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 04/26/16

Today more than ever many of us have an obsession regarding our weight and body image.  Everywhere we turn there is another picture of what our goal should be in terms of how we look.  Why do we obsess with our bodies so much?  Why is there so much pressure on what our figures should look like?  People spend over $20 billion on this industry.  Not only do we spend a lot of money on trying to fit into an image society says would be right for us, but we spend a lot of mental energy on what our value is depending on what we look like.   We are told our bodies are a temple and that we should take care of them.  I believe this to be true, but we should take care of our bodies not because of external pressure, but because of how we feel internally and because it is the right thing to do. Do better to feel better and the look will come. 


Recently there has been a push by several publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Ebony and even Sports Illustrated to reexamine the way we look at women’s bodies. They have recently graced their covers with women who would be considered full figure.  There are many women current and past such as such as Oprah, Meghan Trainor, Harriet Tubman, and my grandmother, just to name a few who were a bit curvy and full figure, but accomplished great things. Weight and size had nothing to do with their success.  If we are honest most of us struggle with how we look.  Our focus needs to be more about how we feel and less on how we look.  Do not get me wrong, I too struggle with my weight and the older I get the harder it seems to control, but what I am also learning is to put more emphasis on how I feel for my health verses my image.  When we get the inside right I believe the outside will follow.   


When I was growing up I was never considered skinny or thin, but I was not overweight.  My frame overall was pretty small, but I had what was known as black girl hips.  As my grandmother would say, just keep lying down and getting up and see how life has a way of making changes.  When I entered college, I put on those extra few pounds they say freshman gain (where did that come from).  Then after marriage and having children I continued to put on those few extra pounds.  I could easily adjust what I ate for a couple of weeks and like magic the pounds went away.  As I continued to get older I found it harder and harder to shed those few extra pounds and then a few pounds turned into many more.  When I entered into menopause it was as if I hit a wall. I have come to learn health has to be a lifestyle.    


Truth be told we are all a culmination of our habits and I have come to realize that I picked up a few bad habits along life’s journey as it relates to not only my weight, but also my health. Why we pick up bad habits is a story within itself.  I think we allow excuses for why we don’t take care of ourselves and we have to get to a place where we stop making excuses.  When you don’t know what to do just start with one thing.  Make one minor adjustment that can help you get healthier and to the body you desire.  We must also realize that we do not all look the same.  Our frames and structure are different and what may be the right size or figure for one person does not mean that is the standard for all.    


Oftentimes our external is a reflection of our internal and what is really going on inside.  We say we want the best for our lives, but we do not take the necessary steps? As I was working on this article, I got up from my desk and went for a walk, spent time stretching and doing a few sit ups.  I will also make sure today I say no to the donut for breakfast and eat fresh fruit and drink plenty of water.  I am tired of the merry go round and I am ready to get off and make healthier choices for my body baby!  


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


Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy@wendyenterprises.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 4:30am.