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  1. Hi Valorie, I am a big time procrastinator too. Even back in school I would always put off homework and projects until the last minute. Til this day I am still fighting to get things done the right way. Thanks for everything.

  2. I am procrastinating as I write 🙂 But, I’ve learned to reward myself with little things at different markers along the path of a big project. Otherwise, I wait until the last minute and add unecessary stress to my life. Like sometimes, I won’t let myself redo my nails ’til I reach a certain benchmark.

  3. lol, Alison … now, that’s a real incentive! Can’t go around with your nails all chipped up. 😉 Hey, whatever it takes to get unstuck! You gotta find what motivates you and use it. Now, enough procrastinating – time to get back to work!

  4. I do this ALL the time for the exact reasons you mentioned. Women better learn (in my momma’s voice) how to check out – so they can check into what needs their attention. Love this post, will share!

    AFH

  5. This was a wonderful reminder for so close into the New Year! I too am a recovering procrastinator…and I’ve learned that it’s the extreme moves that motivate you to complete those need tasks. Another thing that I have been doing is the “Reward System”. Just like we do with children if they misbehave or don’t complete a required task/or chore; I don’t reward myself if I fail to complete the necessary things of my life. When I realize that I am sacrificing my leisure time, fun and hanging out with friends and family because I wasn’t consistent with the things in my life…I’ve grown to get the picture quick! LOL ~~~Again, thanks for the reminder!

    1. You’re welcome, Jae! And I agree, having a project looming while you’re trying to enjoy leisure time is just awful – and every procrastinator knows that feeling…

  6. Oh, Valerie how this post is right on time for me. I have so many projects/products/services I want to create this year (2013) and I’m wondering if that’s why I have felt so uneasy since the new year began. My focus has been distracted to much already, and it’s just the 4th day of the year. Doing the hotel room thing has already been on my radar, however, finances seem to never coincide with the times I desire to do it, so for now I think Panera Bread will become my favorite hang out place for focus productivity.

    1. How funny, Panera’s my spot, too. Love the spinach and cheese quiche for breakfast! Do what you have to do, and definitely don’t let money be a hindrance to your dreams for the New Year. Pick one thing at a time to work on – then go to the next. This time next year, you’re going to marvel at what you’ve accomplished in 2013! 🙂

    1. Great but impractical advise for me! I have tried to make changes mentally [starts with the mind] thousands of times but I still revert back to procrastination and laziness. It’s very difficult somewhat insurmountable when you have NO support or family! I have friends but mostly it’s just me by my lonesome! I’ve set goals for 2013 but HOW DO I SET MY MIND AND KEEP IT SET?! [Col. 3:2]

      1. Kimberly, a suggestion:
        Determine what is important to YOU, that is not connected to anyone else. It can be big, or small. Think about why it is important to you, and finally, ask yourself how important it is to you.
        Start small.
        Give that “thing” to God, and give your thoughts about that “thing” to God. The Word says that we should “be renewed by the transforming of our mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Rom.12:2.
        If you determine that the goal is of God, and according His will, then, you can have the confidence that He will give you the things that you have asked for. 1 John 5:14-15.
        Be encouraged. God said that He is FOR you, and that He would never leave you or forsake you.
        That is a HUGE promise. And, He’s a great promise-keeper.

      2. I do the same thing, and I too do not have a lot of support. I find that if I write down my goals and and plans for the week that helps a little. Not sure what you have tried, but this does help me.I have a schedule of sorts and on Sunday I go through last weeks list and remake a new one for the new week coming up. Try it and see if it works for you

  7. Hi Valorie! I’m a long time subscriber of the newsletter and a fan of your work. It is so empowering. I’m elated you have added this blog. To answer your question, I just launched my own blog at the end of 2012 making 1 step closer to fulfilling more of my dream in the healthy and fit living lifestyle as my focus. It is still only part time. I am very happy with my profession as a Pharmacist, however…I get ignited helping people reach their fitness potential. Great post as always!

    1. Hi Valorie! I have been making enormous changes since we met on Dr. Oz. I left my husband and started back to school. I enrolled in a free program to help me get my finances under control. I’m still not sure where I’m going to live, how I’m going to earn money or what I’m supposed to be when I grow up but I am making progress every slow baby step of the way and I am no longer living under the cloud of my toxic marriage. I can’t tell you how often I think of what you said… “Fear is not a stop sign.” Every time I am afraid I visualize your kind face and your voice in my mind. Thank you so much for your encouragement and kindness you showed me in AZ. I will never forget it.. I wish you many blessings and much happiness in the New Year and always… Annie

      1. Annie!! Your message brought tears to my eyes (tears of joy, that is!). I’m so proud of you and I believe the best is yet to come for you. It was a blessing to meet you on Dr. Oz and a divine appointment to cross paths. You are a resilient woman! You are now unstuck, and with the foundation you’re building personally, financially, educationally and spiritually, you’re becoming unstoppable! Wishing you grace, peace and love, Valorie

    2. Joi, congrats on your new blog! Thanks for taking the time to let me know you love my work – means so much to me! 🙂 Keep me posted on your progress towards your goal.

  8. Hello Valorie,
    I’m a fairly recent subscriber to your newsletter but I truly enjoy receiving it each Sunday. Living my dream….not there yet, but really desire to. What I know for sure, is that I don’t want to be in the same place in 2012 that I was in 2013. What I mean by that is that in 2012, I thought about doing my dream job, but did very little to put it into practice. However, as I move forward, I want to and need to spend more time focusing on getting my event planning business back on track again. I must admit that I get so overwhelmed at times with other things that I don’t focus the time and attention I need to get there. Is that me being stuck? I do believe it is possible for the company to have the success that I imagine, but some times I truly feel stuck in what I’m doing now. Why do I keep staying there?

    1. Hi Donna, when you’re overwhelmed with too much to do, a common reaction is to become paralyzed and not do much of anything. So, the key is to break your goal into bite-sized steps. The big picture – your vision – is a guide that will show you what goals to set. I suggest you set a very small goal, let’s say, landing one event planning opportunity. Who can you talk to or reach out to? Is there someone you can subcontract for? Is there some “low-lying fruit” that’s ripe for picking – an opportunity that’s already been mentioned and all you need to do is follow up? We can only do one small thing at a time, but when those small things add up, we realize we’ve accomplished something quite great. 🙂

  9. Hi valerie,
    i enjoy taking weekend respites to work on projects. after reading your blog has given me permission to take today to find affordable hotel weekend respites to travel to. i have discovered when taking weekend respites allows me to become focus on working on my projects, allows me to feel relaxed, and a sense of inner peace when i return home to my family.

    thank you for your supportive blog. I also get great ideas as i read other blog writers great ideas.

    Peace and Blessings.
    Netanya

  10. Hi Valerie,

    Happy New Year to you!

    I can relate to this article as I have long held ambitions about changing career paths. The words that resonated with me are “start small”.

    I think I do need to take the first step in 2013.

    Thanks for this article and all the other great articles you have provided.

  11. Hi Valorie,
    Happy 2013! Although I love, really do love what I do,I have always wanted to step into my dream full time . In 2 years , I will be retiring from my first job and have already started my on business. I plan in 2013 to really devote more time to the business and stop overworking on the job I am retiring from. Kind of shifting my energy to where it really belongs. I had an amazing 2012 and am grateful for the experience with Dr.Oz and you (also Tony Redhouse). I still carry the lessons learned with me and plan to really step out in this New year! So happy to see this new blog. I will truly be visiting it as it updates.

    1. Hi Yolanda and Happy New Year! Sounds like the best is yet to come as you retire and move into a new season of life. 🙂

  12. Hello Mrs. Valorie, after reading your books early last year you’ve been such an inspiration to me and just wanted to say thank you. But right now I’m currently not doing a job I enjoy doing, its so hard to even get up to do it. I have a year left in school and I’m pursuing my Human Resources degree and with that I would like to start a consultation firm. Right now I’m looking for jobs everywhere in the field that I’m interested in and I have nothing but high hope and confidence that God will send the right job my way.

    1. Praying you get that right opportunity and that you can find some element of joy in your current job until that opportunity comes along!

  13. Hi Valorie. I have been a subscriber for two years, but I have been depressed and sad the majority of that time and did not really ever sit down and read the weekly emails. At the end of 2012 I decided to take my life back from the enemy and believe in the goodness of God and what His words say and mean in my life. I opened this email this morning and I said wow, God is so AWESOME because this is another positive effort for me to start getting myself together mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Thank you for the positive words and I look forward to a great 2013. I did forward your email to my daughter and niece so they too can be motivated and inspired to reach their highest potential.

    1. Hi Karen, thanks for passing the email along! Not sure if you’ve sought counseling or talked to your doctor, but if your sadness and depression has lasted for that long, professional help could give you some relief. It is an honor to know that my words give you a boost! I’m praying the coming year is filled with hope and joy for you.

  14. Hi Valorie:

    Happy New Year! Indeed, I am making small steps toward living my dream. For starters, after completing your Coaching Intensive Training, I felt more compelled to create my personal brand and marketing strategies. As a result, I sought the advice of coach and professional with expertise in the area of branding and marketing businesses. Like you, I vowed to pursue my passion more intentionally in 2013! My goal is to coach, train, write and speak full time. My target audience is narrowed, goals set aligned with my vision and company’s brand! Thank you for reigniting my passion to pursue my dreams and never give up!

    Marcia Collins
    Spring Graduate of the CaPP Inst.

    1. Your goal is clear, and with your energy and tenacity, I know you’ll reach it, Marcia! It is great to call you one of our graduates!

  15. THE FIRST THING I DECIDED TO DO IS FIND A PLACE TO WORSHIP, SINCE I DON’T HAVE A CHURCH HOME. HOPEFULLY I CAN FIND MY LIFE PURPOSE, BECAUSE I REALLY DON’T FEEL IM LIVING IT,

    1. Finding a faith community builds bonds, accountability, spiritual growth and a sense of belonging, which is so important for happiness.

  16. Hi Valorie

    You are so right when you said you don’t have to know exactly how to make it happen because when I started my business back in 2011 I didn’t know how I was going to do all of this but what I did know was that everytime I spoke to women about my life story it change their life in some kind of way and so I got started. The more I seek I found just like the bible say. I love what I do and can’t wait til the day come when I can say bye bye to my day job and do what I love full time. Great post Valorie and I love your book “Why Not Me”.

  17. Hi Valorie! Greetings from the Philippines! Thank you for this post. I was just beginning to feel the “Monday blues” earlier this evening. But God spoke to me through your blog. Just like the previous comment, I, too, finally began my own blog only last October 2012, and it’s one dream that I’ve been wanting to pursue. And like you, I have this passion to inspire women who may be going through similar situations as I am. Anywayz, thanks for being God’s mouthpiece! And I hope you can check my blog as well at http://citygircountryhomeph.blogspot.com God bless you!

    1. Mich! How wonderful to get your message from across the Pacific. 🙂 Congrats on your blog and thank you for sharing with me that God spoke to you through my blog post – wow! That is a beautiful, humbling thing.

  18. Greeting Valorie,
    Thanks so much for your comments and words of encouragement. I am 55 and just completed a degree in Public Administration (10/12) and in the top of my class. On 1/14/13, I will begin a master’s program which will culminate in 2015 with licensure as a Professional Counselor and a certification as a Life Coach. I am rejuvenated and charged to get this done. I have a job currently with a state agency and have been encouraged to apply for administrative roles within the agency but I enjoy the people and seeing first hand how my efforts change lives. There are soooo many things I can see myself doing effectively and even at this time of my life when my friends are firing down – I am fired up. God knows the plans he has for me and they are plans for my success – I look forward to finally moving within his plans and not my own.

    Thanks for your continued words of encouragement and your insight. WHY NOT ME?!? WHY NOT NOW?!?

    Happy New Year.

    1. Wow – you are such a wonderful example! You can reinvent your career and your life at any point. My dad, like you, earned his undergrad and graduate degrees in his 50s – age ain’t nothin’ but a number!

  19. Hello Valorie,

    Resonated with your article, and came to terms with myself as a procrastinator. In fact, I have a paper due tonight 12am est. However, this year I am taking strides to dig up the root of my procrastinator and aligned it with God’s truth about me. I am so grateful our paths crossed, and becoming a certified coach with CaPP was just the beginning. New Year, New Me…Unstuck and Unstoppable!

    Marcia

    1. Hey Marcia! I’m so glad you are one of our CaPP Institute graduates. 🙂 Have fun doing your paper! When I want to overcome my procrastination, I try to shift my attitude from thinking of the task as something I “have” to do to something I “get” to do. Works for me.

  20. Change is always good! I like what you bring to the table and also your new format. Thanks again for all the inspiring information.

  21. I am as defined by society…”homeless”…been in this season since 2009 living with family, living by their rules in their shadows. I still have hopes, desires, & dreams. GOD sees me as HIS, so ALL of my needs for this season are consistently & faithfully met. I am Blessed.
    I went into the Mardel Christian Bookstore to get a gift for someone whose life story moved me to add her to my prayer list & do my part in helping in her healing for forgiveness of past hurts. However, piltering through the shelves, your EYES pierced through me and I literally got chills as I grabbed; Successful Women Think Differently & Your 5-Minute Personal Coach books!
    I determined deep within the depths of my soul, that this year IS the year for ME to be fully prepared so I can be where GOD need me to be
    so HE can advance me to the next season of my life. So I decided to choose you to Coach me through this state of “homelessness”. I NEED to know what are the “right” questions & how to ask them. I look forward to this learning season and the growth & strength that will come forward as GOD directs me to the predestined plans HE has in store for me! Thanks for doing you as GOD has sent you into this world to empower the multitude! Continued Blessings to you in your daily walk.

    1. Felecia, I’m praying the right doors open up for you soon. What a blessing to have family! I’m believing with you that this year will be a turning point – maintain your determination, set some clear goals, and keep moving forward no matter what! Even baby steps get you to the finish line.

      1. Thanks! I hope I can attend the conference call…..I work until 8 p.m. (CST) in a call center and don’t have much free time.

        If the call is recorded, with a passcode
        provided to us; I will listen at a lter time.

        Blessings to you in your daily walk.

  22. I am looking for a buddy to do the New Year, New You Challenge. Any one out there willing to work with someone you never met to give the space of complete honesty and openness?

    1. I’ll be hosting a New Year’s Goalsetting Roundtable (conference call) this Wednesday, January 9th. Details will go out via eblast, Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday with dial-in instructions. Would love to have you on the call!

      1. Thank you, Valorie! I am so sorry I could not make the call. You inspire me in ways you don’t even know! All the best to you in 2013!!!!

  23. Dear Valori,
    Greetings from Bulgaria! I’ve been receiving your newsletter for the last 2 years. I like to check my e-mails on Sunday morning and read your messages. Sometimes they encourage me, another time they confirm my decisions and observations or make me think on some topic new to me.
    I am a cancer epidemiologists and work in the National Oncology Hospital. I like my work and I am full with ideas for new projects to start this year. It wasn’t like that several years ago, when I was trying to find the proper job for me. I learnt that you don’t have to give up, because some things that looked impossible before, are totaly possible today. Somehow, with your dreams you can touch this tomorrow that your desire, even if it looks too good to happen now.
    In anticipation of many interesting messages from you!

    1. Nadya (such a pretty name!), How wonderful to hear from you all the way in Bulgaria!! I’m so happy to know my words encourage you.

  24. Hi Valori,

    Praise God for the opportunity the Lord has given you. I do have a dream, and believe the Lord has called me to help parents and students with disabilities. I am a special education teacher, have been for years. I have seen needs of parents of disabled individuals that go unmet. I would like to be an advocate for these individuals to make sure the disabled persons and their family get their needs met with all the available technology and services they deserve. Yes, I have fear, how would I make money to take care of my family and where to get the money to start. I know the Lord will provide if this is His plan.

    1. You have a beautiful dream. Have you considered working within a non-profit, hospital or government setting where your talents and passion will be aligned with the organization’s mission?

  25. Hi Valorie,
    this sounds like a great idea, I am going to try it, I have a lot of work to get done this year , I can use all of the help i can get. I will be tuning in for more of your tips on staying focus.

  26. I have been inspired by you for many years. Your blog post today really hit home with me. For the past several months, God has been dealing with me about writing. I realized when I went to graduate school a couple of years of ago, that I really loved writing . I realize that is is very important to do what you love and do what God has gifted you and called you to do. You touched on these points in your article. I realize in order to be successful in any career, you have to have a passion and a love for what you do. I have finally found that passion.

  27. So inspiring. I just finished wrapping up a call about my plans to start slow with my own entrepreneurial venture while continuing to work and I decided to take a break and catch up on my emails. I “fell” upon this posting and am so grateful for the inspiration. It further confirms I’m on the right track! Thanks!

  28. Hi Valorie
    I am truly a fan of your work and your initiatives. I absolutely love the weekly emails that are sent to reenergize and invigorate the upcoming week. I have made it a priority to get unstuck and move forward with my life. 2012 hosted a myriad of challenges and stressors that are not carrying over into 2013. Thank you forou all that you do.

  29. Hi Valorie!

    I am in the process of making my dream a reality. Currently, I am preparing to launch my business on a part time basis while I work. I don’t know if you realize how much you bless others with this weekly inspiration! It’s a divine confirmation that I am moving in the right direction. Thank you so much for answering the call to coach!

    I believe that one day I will also be able to live my passion on a fulltime basis. Your words have given me even more hope!

    1. You WILL live your passion full-time. Plan your work and work your plan. Don’t ever let discouragement convince you to quit. Persevere, and if it’s your purpose, you WILL succeed. After all, you can’t fail at what you were put on this earth to do – unless you quit! Not possible.

  30. Yes, Valorie, I am living my passion! I wake up excited and ready to go each morning because I get to empower and equip women to have God’s absolute best in every aspect of their business and lives. I’m so passionate about helping people with great but unrealized potential get the results they want in their lives and it brings me joy every single day!

    Thanks so much for being my inspiration!

  31. Happy New year!! Thanks for your weekly devotionals they really make me think differently about things that go on in my life. I am not working on my dream job (nurse), because I can’t afford to pay for it. I have exhausted all of my loan money working toward a different degree. I wanted to go to school to do my dream job, but I would have to quit my job and go to school full time and at that time I was a divorced single mother of 5. They are all grown now, but the money is not there. I thank God that I have a job in these times we are having now; it is not the best job but i like what I do.

    1. Hi Cordra, I know it’s hard when you want to make a change, but the financial resources simply aren’t there. I understand. Don’t give up though. Perhaps you can make it your goal right now to research your options for scholarships, grants, low-tuition programs, and so forth. There is a way – it might not be in your timing, but if you know it’s your purpose and you stick with the process patiently, you can still bring that dream to life.

  32. Thank you Valorie! This is just what I needed this morning, so Thank God it’s Monday! LOL! You inspire me and I love reading your books and weekly devotions. My prayer for you this New Year is that God continues to lead and guide you in every area of your life. That he provides the strength you need to continue doing what you love! I am so glad that he choose you to have this passion to build people up. That’s what the world needs more of, people full of passion, ready to build up and not tear down. I pray that what ever your needs are that God meet those needs for you spritually, physically, personally, financially and professionally. May God continue to bless you, so that you can continue to be a blessing to others.

  33. Hello Valerie,

    WOW! This spoke to me as I prepared for work, and really the passion is JUST not there anymore. In the meantime, I am also working on doing what I was CREATED to do, and that is PUSH people to their destiny. I am thankful that you published this, for as I sit at my “DAY JOB”, I KNOW that there is More, and the MORE is what I am after.

    Continue to speak LIFE into others! It is a God given talent and gift that you have and it has inspired me to continue pursuing my passion.

    Best,
    Rhonda Winbush
    Administrative Professional for NOW..
    Future Director of Non-for-Profit Organization

    1. So glad this message spoke to you, Rhonda! My prayer for you is that you get your passion back – if it was once there, it can be rekindled. 🙂

  34. Hi Valorie
    What happens when you have lived only exsiting. I mean making sure you family needs are taking care of and now that the children are grown. now I have nothing for myself and I don’t know what my purpose or talents are. How do you come back from that and I want something better. I don’t have any support from my husband. He do not understand what I am going through.
    I wonder what I should do all the time.

    1. Sabrina, the good thing is you are asking the right questions! What should I do? How can I come back? Is something better possible? This is your starting point. It’s time to start dreaming again! You have the rest of your life ahead of you – What do you want it to be? If you are having trouble setting goals, you might start with my free Goal Gap assessment, adapted from my book What’s Really Holding You Back? It will help you see some goals you can start setting in the key areas of your life: https://valorieburton.com/assessments/goal-gap-assessment/. Or take my free New Year, New You Challenge to help you ponder some important coaching questions: https://valorieburton.com/freebies/new-year-new-you-challenge/.

      Next, consider yourself blessed. You’ve raised your children, and now you can focus on YOU. What do you want? Before you were a mom and life was more about you, what did you enjoy? What brings you joy? These are the kinds of questions that will get you moving in the right directions. For more great questions, try reading Your 5-Minute Personal Coach or Listen to Your Life.

  35. Valerie,
    I love your post! What a blessing to do what you love and we love what you do too! I’m making a transition and I’m confident I will echo your thoughts all too soon.

    1. Thanks! I hope you soon find yourself in the perfect place, loving what you do and making a positive impact, B. 🙂

  36. Valerie,
    Long time reader of your newsletters, and the book, ‘What’s really holding you book?’ is MY number 1 bestseller in my repertoire of coach books!
    You posed the question am I living my dream or am I hoping to get there? Well, where do I begin…

    I just finished my Master’s degree in Psychology with a specialization in Industrial -Organizational Psychology. I took a huge leap of faith after being laid off my city government job as an Administrative Assistant (after 16 years of service) and relocated to Atlanta Georgia to go after my desired career as a Training and Development Specialist.

    I’ve been here in Georgia since April of 2012, no job prospects, and have no income (save my annuities), sleeping on my sister’s couch, paying her $200.00 per month, plus purchasing food and essentials, paying a $450.00 car note, student loans looming over my head (remember I recently graduated with my Masters), car insurance, cell phone bill, still paying for U-Haul storage every month because my sisters apartment is way too small, not to mention got sick 2 months ago with an upper respiratory infection (oh, did I mention no insurance??), $971.00 for emergency hospital visit.

    Sorry for the long (violin playing in the background) drawn out horror story of MY LIFE, but well, I would like to live my purposed life as a Training and Development Specialist or simply a coach to the unmotivated employees of the world. However, how do I become that which I desire when I can’t get myself off the ground.

    I’ve become a professional networking-volunteer-to-keep-myself-halfway-motivated individual. To keep myself halfway motivated, I took some of my monies and joined a professional organization for Training and Development Professionals (ASTD), also in the process of writing a book (not sure how I’ll get it published, but I’m writing for therapies sake).

    My dream was to relocate, finished my degree while looking for gainful employment, landing my DREAM CAREER, and doing great exploits as I continued to brand myself as THE EMPLOYEE MOTIVATOR!!! I’ve got the website, the logo, and can even make up some business cards but….here I am, sitting in a library in Fulton county, wondering if this is it for me, maybe I made a huge mistake relocating and should have stayed put where I was.

    Sorry for the long comment, just trying to figure out where I went wrong in trusting the God I believe in beyond just saying I trust you Lord!

  37. Greetings Valerie,

    I’ve been getting your newsletters for many years and have shared a few with friends.
    2012 was a year of many transitions including the passing of my mother. I held my dreams close with the little space I mentally could carry. I’ve been pushing forward with my children’s writing career, since 2003. I’ve gone to local workshop. I took an online course which took me two years to complete. I am now a graduate of the course. I’ve finished my middle-grades manuscript.
    This year I will write my query letter and begin to submit to publishers.
    I’ve been talking to the universe a long- time. I’m hoping this 2013 I will be an award-winning children’s book author.

    Thank you for your positive newsletters that have reached me throughout the years!

    Continue being a blessing and I will see you at the top:)

    Colette Paul

    1. Colette, I’m sorry to hear about your mother.

      I’m happy to hear you are going after your dream! When your book is published, let me know so I can buy a copy!!

  38. Yes, ” Thank God for Monday”! A chance at new begginings and living the life you always wanted to live with renewed passion. Israel Houghton sings a powerful worship song, ” Moving Forward”, and that is what I want to do. Erasing all fear, because God did not give me a Spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind! So I embrace, ” Thank God for Monday and all the new things we have to look forward too this week and the rest of the year if Jesus tarries!

  39. Miss Rita! We just sang that song at church yesterday – and I listened to it all the time on my iPod. I love Israel Houghton’s music! Keep moving forward! Don’t stop! Don’t look back! Move forward! 🙂

  40. Valorie, Its really magical.. these 5 questions indeed will transform our identity to being passionate about yourself. Thanks Raakhee

  41. I appreciate the confession, Valorie. Although I get a lot done (eventually), I struggle with procrastination. I’m teaching 2 classes this next semester. Instead of working on the syllabi, I’m reading your blog…. LOL. Love your insights. Just got your latest book….

  42. Valorie, I am in the process of recovering from being a procrastinator….. I am a grad student and I have found that going to the library does wonders for my productivity. Although I love the comfort of my home, trying to work at home is too distracting and I end up doing everything except what I need to do. My semester starts next week and I have already decided to spend a few hours at the library at least twice a week.
    Thank you for sharing!!! I’m glad to know I’m not in this alone.

  43. Hi Valorie,
    You are such an inspiration ~ I want to become more spiritually balanced. I want to study and understand God’s Word. Sometimes we “throw” up prayers and hope they “land” where we want them. Spirituality is deeper than that.

  44. I think that’s a WONDERFUL idea! My friends never understood why I would go on vacation alone when I needed to get things done since I lived alone. They couldn’t figure out what I could get done in a hotel room by myself that I couldn’t get done at my house by myself. Glad to know I’m not too far off center. I’ve found that I can get a lot done at the car dealership when I take my car in for servicing (they have these wonderful offices available for the customers). I even stayed there an hour and a half after they finished with my car a couple of weeks ago since I was being so productive. Who stays at the car dealership longer than they have to? Procrastinators like us, I guess! Blessings to you in 2013!

  45. Big sigh! Where do I start, Valorie, you are such a huge inspiration to me! I was blessed with the opportunity to meet you at New Birth Charlotte years ago. You were selling and book signing your manuscript “Why Not You.” I absolutely love reading your aspiring words of advice. You are my Life Coach, second to the Lord of course.

    Achieving greatness in my life still awaits me. I like what I do, and years ago I thought that it was my purpose. I know I’ve made an impact on my student’s lives, but I don’t thank God for Monday’s in the same manner as you. That’s the feeling I await to feel. I know my next assignment I have to move towards it, He’s already told me “the time is now Kartika.” Your purpose is inspiring my purpose. Thanks Coach!

  46. Changing environments is a great idea. I seem to really be productive when I’m in hotel rooms, and I can’t do things around the house, or run errands from home.
    But, I’m not that easy.
    Even then, sometimes, I can spend a lot of time picking my nails, or reading a magazine. Terrible.
    I have decided to use the fire-survival mantra, “stop, drop, and roll!”
    Stop putting it off, drop what you’re doing (that isn’t what you need to be doing), and roll with something that you should be doing. NOW!
    Sometmes I have to (think) it loudly. :0)
    That has worked.

  47. Hi Valerie. I always enjoy reading your weekly newsletter as I seek to live my dream/calling. I”m been working on my dream for the last ten years and although I am not there yet full-time, I am still moving in the direction of eventually having my own full-time writing, speaking and teaching ministry. I soooo want to be there already, but thanks for the reminder to keep taking small steps toward my goal. You always inspire me each week and I want to thank you for being my virtual mentor and a great example that with hard work, I can achieve my dream.

    I look forward to receiving continued inspiration from you in 2013,

    Jeaninne

  48. Procrastination has been an issue for me. The feeling of having too much to do is no fun at all! The act of writing out what needs to be done, breaking tasks into parts, and keeping a visual reminder helps me a lot. I wanted to paint a bedroom, but the chore felt overwhelming. Last weekend, I trimmed the room. This weekend I rolled the walls. I will spend more time painting the trim, but I will get it done. Just starting the parts that I knew I could handle was the answer for me. I also saved a lot of money by doing it myself which was the reward!
    Thank you Valorie for your Godly inspiration!

  49. Valerie. I am a procrastinator also. I even had my cable cut off so it would help back in October 2012. I did manage to thoroughly rearrange my apartment and gave it a new look, and I do read more, and my apt stays so clean I find that I have nothing else to do. I live alone so it’s not like it will get messed up. I still don’t have a solution yet, but I am working on it. I love your emails and have been reading them for the past two years.

  50. Hello Valerie,

    LOVING your newsletter!! What works for me is going to my local library. It allows me to clear my head of any “home” distractions. LOVE being able to be quiet and really pay attention to items that just NEED to get done.

    Thank you for sharing!

  51. Hi Val,
    Love your newsletter. Some days i wonder what am doing, i feel like am in a transe. I think i have found my passion and then again i think i have not. I want to feel fulfilled whatever that means. I think i have all the tools and know hows, but the application is not there for me yet. I love reading what others are doing and sometimes wish my life was much more fulfilling. I cannot say i hate my life, only i wish it would feel differnt. Keep on the good work it gives me hope.
    Mary

  52. Valorie,
    I turned 40 seven years ago (almost 8…lol). You are correct, when you hit those landmark ages…30…40…50; you start to realize your mortality. We as a people start to realize that there are more than likely less sunrises or sunsets in the future than there has been in the past. Just imagine if we started to live our lives at 20 in the manner that is pleasing to God… “Living life more abundantly.” Traveling; getting to know new people; sharing the Word; helping the less fortunate…I do not regret any of the paths that God has lead me down over the 4 decades of my life; somethings a harder lesson than others; Teenage pregnancy; abusive relationship; a sick child; homelessness; being hurt by family and friends; but these things made me the person I am today. I actively seek His face. I pray without ceasing. I worship Him openly and freely; because if He brought me to it…He brought me through it! I celebrate my life everyday. Everyday I find a new scripture that helps me as I pass through this journey.
    “Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything.” 1 Cor. 6:12
    Learn & Live,
    Donna

  53. As for arriving at 40, I embraced it by believing that – the best is yet to be. I have had the most rewarding and productive years since then. I am now approaching 68, a breast cancer survivor since ’05. I am now trying to be as active at a new level which is exploring simplicity and clearing out as much clutter as I can. We must remember that we do not have the luxury of time for a negative thought. It also helps to have a wonderful loving family and a larger extended supportive community family. A long time ago I had an opportunity to hear Dr. Lane Longefellow (Lecture Theater) whose keynote speech was very moving and thought provoking and can probably still be researched – Where will we find success when ambition is no longer enough. Happy 40! It’s a new milestone.

  54. I turned 40 six months ago. Once thing I have noticed is I have more focus. Seems as if mentally and emotionally my priorities have changed for the better. Things that used to worry me and steal my concentration no longer matter. Those silly and petty things. I am grateful for maturity! Enjoy your special day!

  55. I am turning 42 this year and its still a bit surreal for me. The biggest thing I’ve learned is not to allow my time to be wasted in any way. I also have a list of places to visit and I’m proud to say I kicked off this decade with a trip to Hawaii! I have learned to speak the truth in love and remain true to my authentic self.
    Happy Birthday!!! Peace and blessings to you today and in the future!

  56. Happy 40th birthday Valorie!! I have found that it only gets better after 40. In spite of all the challenges, twists and turns, it was the best decade of my life!! I can remember when I was 15 years old actually looking forward to becoming 40. I believed by then I would be at a place in life where I would be more secure and comfortable in “my own skin”, embracing the beauty of who I was and not so concerned about what others thought of me. Boy, was I right!!….and I am now in my 5th decade and even the more free!! I celebrate you today and rejoice with you as you turn the corner to an even greater, more abundant life that God has planned for you. I pray that you will experience the desires of your heart at a level that exceeds your expectations!! (Ephesians 3:20)

    1. Thank you, Sheila, for that beautiful birthday blessing! I had no idea you are in your 50s! That is amazing that you looked forward to 40 while still a teen. I’ve decided to be proud of being older – it is an honor and I have always admired those with more years and wisdom. We need to do that more in our culture, don’t you think!?! 🙂

  57. Valorie! You are absolutely on track – look and feel fabulous, go places, do stuff, whatever that you have been doing and want to get done on your bucket list. In this day and age, nothing can stop you – definitely not a number! I turn 55 this month and inside me lives a 16 yo, a 25 yo and sometimes an 8 yo. O yeah! and that MAPP me. The other ages and year don’t feature. I look at some people and think they are ‘older’ even though they are younger. Why? because they dress and act their age. Have FUN! Live! Laugh! Love! and above all, Keep Dreaming <3 Happy 40th! How wonderful it is to make it thus far. Celebrate! Like they say, TODAY is the beginning of the rest of your Life. Love ya.

    1. Sulynn! Thank you so much – I love your spirit! And you are so right. I feel so happy and so blessed. Thank you for your wisdom, and Happy 55th birthday to you!!

  58. The day I turned 40 everything seemed different. The sun seemed brighter, The grass seemed greener. I looked at life with a new set of eyes. Turning 40 is just Fab 101! Embrace your 40’s live in the moment and exhale!!!! And I know that you are a praying women so pray that your knees never remind you of your age lol ! Continue to live life to the fullest. I love you to life Women of God! Enjoy your day with and on purpose

  59. Good morning Valorie and Happy 40th Birthday! Welcome to the club! I can remember when I was 38, I was eagerly awaiting turning 40. There were alot of women that really impressed me with their lives that were already 40. I wanted what they had! LOL. When my day finally arrived – seven years ago – I was so excited. I noticed immediately that my relationship with the Lord changed for the better. Things that concerned me about life when I was in my teens, 20s,and 30s did not matter anymore. I STOPPED RUSHING!! I also stopped trying to achieve what society told me I should have already accomplished in life by age 40. Society’s “to-do list” was never a good fit for me anyway because I am a child of the King! I live by God’s To-Do list that He specifically designed for me.

    In slowing down, I have learned to really enjoy each day that I am blessed with…ABUNDANTLY! Being in my forties has also taught me how to truly forgive – myself and others – and not allow any negativity into my space. Society has a tendency to treat women in their 40s like we have a terminal disease; always focusing on youth. I totally disagree. WE ARE FABULOUS!!

    I love the woman that I am today alot more than who I was 20 years ago and I am truly enjoying my journey now. Again, Valorie, welcome to the club! You are going to really love it here! Kelly

  60. You are right where you are suppose to be. Doing what God would have you to do. Living in your destiny. Can’t get any better than that at 40. You are truly blessed Valorie. Happy Birthday To You! You are an awesome inspiration to us all.

    Margo in OKC

  61. Valorie welcome to 40 it really is fabulous!…I am 46 and I have experienced more favor during this decade. Your best years are ahead of you and you have accomplished so much yet so much more is on your horizon. Valerie keep your bags packed make sure you post photos of all of your new adventures. This is your decade to put everything into existence… Do not hold anything back go for it!! Happy Birthday Valorie!!…Let’s get this party started…

  62. Birthdays excite me! Mygrandmother and mother always made a big deal of them. The only one I had a problem with was when I turned 25; my grandfather put things in perspective for me. He said, “start saying I’m gonna be (25) soon,” about six months prior. By then you will have adjusted to the age being attached to you and your present age. It sets up an anticipatory state rather than a mindset of having missed a deadline. I have to say, turning 40 was one of my very best birthdays. I had friends and family fly in to celebrate with me from all parts of the US. I just read a great reminder on line the other day, “Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special!” BTW ~ Happy Birthday!!!

    1. Yes, I’m making a big deal … a 12 days of celebrating, which started in Miami last Friday and will culminate in DC next Monday!

  63. First, I want to say happy birthday to my fellow January baby! My birthday is exactly one week from today and I will be turning 37 and I must say I have have been waiting for 40 since I was 35. The women that I know who are 40 & over are so sure about themselves, what they want out of life and as you said gleaning the lessons from their mistakes. In the next decade of my life I’m looking forward to praying more and worrying less, having more depth and breadth to all of my relationships be it with my children, family, friend or the significant other that I know God will send me. Lastly, by 40 I want to be in a place so that I can give more to others and also receive what others try to give me. As an African American woman a lot of times I have put others wants and needs before mine. I am declaring that by 40 this will change for all woman. We will be strong in our convictions and unapologetic about wanting what’s best for our physical, spiritual, mental and emotional health. HAPPY BIRTHDAY 40 LOOKS FABULOUS ON YOU!

  64. After sharing all your power with us, I think it’s great that you want to hear back from us. I’m 54 years old and I think with every birthday, especially those that put us in another age group, we find ourselves re-examining our life progress. In doing this we re-examine ourselves and build a better understanding of who we are and what we want. Some things may change and some things we grew more passion for. So look forward to building a more powerful understand of you! Happy Birthday!

  65. Happy Birthday, Valorie! Wow, Forty!! As you cross the threshold of this decade stand tall, shoulders back, chin up and place the crown of womanhood on your head. Through the Holy Spirit there is a profound inner transformation that begins to excel that will truly surprise you but at the same time invigorate you. I would say your early 40’s are a time to truly get as physically fit and strong as you can ..by late 40’s 47ish it gets a lot harder and your body doesn’t respond as quickly. If God puts it on your heart to travel..then make the time…you never know what blessing you missed or blessing you could have been..remember it is His plan not your plan. But mostly, live each day so there are no regrets…Forties are great but your Fifties rock! Welcome to the club!! Happy Birthday!!!

  66. Firstly, Happy Birthday to you. When I saw your weekly email on Sunday I had to smile because it was a reminder of what you had said when you were at Grace Cov early last year. You’ve inspired me to live and not to let setbacks get you down. Pick up the pieces and move on. I was determined to live andnot putting those places i want to on the back burner. As such my 40th birthday trip has already been booked for Greece. It`s going to be an amazing year and I’m truly blessed to be in the 40`s club with you. Have a fabulous day.

  67. Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday dear Valorie, Happy 40th Birthday to You.
    What a blessing to be Healthy, Happy and enjoying the journey our LORD has for you. The inspirations you give to us as we read your e-newsletter. It is with joy that we share the same birthday month. On the 30th I will turn 61 and I can personally tell you for me Standing On GOD’S Promises keeps me celebrating everyday, not just on birthdays or holidays. Keep Smiling. It’s time to Party:)))
    Hugs,
    Marjorie from VA

  68. Hey Valorie,

    From what I’ve read, you don’t need any advice. You seem to have a healthy attitude and perspective about aging. I turned 40 almost 8 years ago, and it has been wonderful. As a matter of fact, when I turned 47 I felt like I was finally READY to live. With the Lord on your side, you have nothing to worry about. Be blessed today and throughout the balance of your life.

  69. I join millions of your friends in wishing you happy birthday. May the joy your birthday brighten everyday of your life. Best regards, Uchenna

  70. Happy 40th Birthday,any day that God gives us is a good one, like my grandmother use to say ,somebody did’nt wake up this morning and you’re one of the lucky ones that did !!! God willing I’ll be 60 this year !!!!!

  71. Val, think of the 40’s as the new 20’s but with greater Heavenly wisdom based on life experiences, an overwhelming amount of self-confidence rooted in faith in God and the empowering perspective that you are on this earth on Divine Assignment & the clock is ticking on your deliverables. It is a grand time of celebrating, speaking your mind assuredly, knowing in whom to invest your love, parenting the children God places in your world (& sending them home LOL), and having powerful, meaningful, mutually nourishing relationships. Welcome to the best phase of life with greater blessings than you could ever imagine. Happy Birthday & thanks for sowing into my life & so many others. Your fruit is abounding on earth. It has been great to watch you flourish. We love you, Val B.!

    Roberta
    http://www.facebook.com/robertaInspires
    Host of Inspirradio — http://www.blogtalkradio.com/inspirradio
    Host & Producer of Thriving In Business Today — http://www.vimeo.com/thrivinginbusinesstoday

  72. Dear Valorie,
    Infinite gratitude to you for the work you do! After I committed to releasing all the habits/patterns/behaviors/inner dialogue that no longer serves my highest good, I realized that I have procrastinated mostly from being a perfectionist. Meaning, if I didn’t feel like I could do something “perfectly” I would put it off to the last minute, that way if the results of my efforts fell short of perfect I could blame it on “lack of time” to do a quality job. The other reason I used to procrastinate was just plain old self-indulgence. I would dance around the edges of a task and busy myself with other things, usually smaller/easier tasks. Perhaps built into that was a bit of an adrenaline-junky syndrome, where I got a kick from putting out fires at the last minute. I’m over all that. I want to live a life of ease, which requires planning and self-discipline. The closer I get to 40 the better life is getting! I appreciate you.

    With many thanks, Audrey Esquivel

  73. Hi Val,

    Turning 40 is wonderful! It’s another day that the Lord allowed you to see. Be happy and enjoy this day along with many others. Relax because…….it’s always about you. Especially today. I’m reading “Succuessful Women Think Differently” It’s great….can’t put it down. Currently on Chapter 7…..and loving it!

    God Bless,

    Renee

  74. Valorie,
    Consider when you turn 40 the marinating in life is completed and now it’s time for the finishing process to take place and move to the serving plateau….God bless you.

  75. Hi Valorie: 40 means so many things. Other people’s opinions are less urgent. And you learn that judging others is silly and everyone is human. You want your life – more than ever – to stand for something. And you realize that a lot of the good choices you made were hard work – but they have paid off. Most of all – you realize you are lucky. No matter what cards you have been dealt – you are lucky. You made it here in the first place….you are still here 40 years later…..and you’ve got so much more ahead to enjoy. Be smart, save up, get your check-ups, floss like a good adult should BUT but more than anything else – never forget to be a kid and seize your own pure joy every day. Lots of love to beautiful you! Carolyn + Stefano xxoo

  76. Happy Birthday Valorie! It’s still your birthday on the west coast. You are such an inspiration and an awesome role model!
    Last year I wrote my first e-book and this year I am looking forward to writing my first book! And for the rest of the next decade I can imagine hosting my very own conference and starting a family.
    BTW, I love your new site!

  77. Well, I am just reading your blog… Happy birthday! I think it is always important to have a vision of who you want to be at any age. So as long as you are taking care of yourself and being true to your “best self” you will be at peace no matter what age!

    Cheers

  78. Happy belated birthday, Valorie! Consider the last 39 years of your life as a foundation built for the next 40 + years of your life. God has blessed you with much success. You have built successful businesses, made numerous television appearances, smiled in the face of adversity, published numerous books & other communications that have inspired millions of people. You have used your God-given tools to benefit God’s people. You are a trailblazer! Many of us are trying to catch up to you. You are a benchmark for success. I’m sure that God will meet your personal desires at a time when you think not. Is there anything too hard for him?

  79. The best mood booster for me is hitting the trail on my horse. But when time doesn’t allow for that even a 5 minute walk to the barn to take him and apple and pet him for a few minutes. It’s a guarantees Ahhhh when I walk away. A second runner up is setting on my back porch watching them graze in the pasture. It’s the country equivalent of watching the waves at the beach. 😉

  80. Happy Birthday to you! I am turning 50 this year and looking forward to it. I often say that I wish that I knew back in high school what I know now. Where would I be today?! The best thing about turning 50 is that I feel like I am getting bolder as I get older. I have finally come to the place where I know that my worth and value doesn’t depend on what other people think of me. I am able to trust God alot easier. The more I experience His faithfulness, the more I am able to trust Him, and the more peaceful I become. I would never want to go back to my childhood or teen years. I look forward to what God is going to do in my life in the future. I look forward to the continued healing that will take place. My goal is to die empty. I want to “leave everything on the field” (as they say in the football world). Whatever God has put in me, I want it to come out of me. Every gift and talent has got to be used to glorify Him. I want to grow old gracefully and when I am 90 I still want to be going for it. As you said we must take care of our bodies and nourish our minds if we are to have the quality of life that we want in our golden years. So thank you for your comments. They really resonated with me. God bless you!
    Tracey L. Moore
    Author of the upcoming book, Oasis For My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth

  81. I appreciate your openess about you; Your book help move me forward in a unstoppable life by acheiving my Masters in Electrical; One day I was in a books store til I saw this title “Whats Really Holding you Back” I gave it some thought I said to myself getting my Master; Hmmmm I went forward with it that year an accomplish my task in doing so (Finish what you started); Powerful title and motivation; I am happy and sad with some of your outcome; One thing for sure you are a strong positive woman, I embrace all of you and your intemerate action and sayings, keep moving forward. You can have anything you want if you allow yourself to have them, we all have a choice to acheive anything; relationship is a battle sometimes we think we have that special person to settle with chaos set in a wall start to form and build distant develop; but men and women must tear down that wall to start fresh and survive a relationship, money do change the way we live and think especially having develop a comfort zone. “Imma stop right their” TMI…………………………..
    God Bless you

    move forward with laughter

  82. I must say that I am guilty of allow these. I can’t even single one out that is done the most, however, keeping blessings to myself is the least of these. Indulging in these types of behaviors make me feel less than sometimes, forgetting that I am a child of God and I don’t have to think, act or behave this way. I think something that I can do to modify these types of behaviors is to always try to think the best of every situation regardless of what the circumstances are, surround myself with positive, like-minded people and never compare myself to anyone else because there is no one else like me.

    1. Sisireia, you’ve got the right idea. The first step to change is awareness that we have a problem! Then it’s a matter of doing something different. Thanks for your comment!

  83. Valorie, these are excellent tips. I am guilty of options. I like options! Sometime when several good options are presented at the same time. I don’t have time to research or analyze each opportunity fairly. This can be a little difficult. But I try to maintain a simple life style, and do all things in moderation. When something is out of focus, I fix it as soon as possible.

  84. I truly believe that it started after the “Feminist Movement”. Women wanted equality and rights and what they ended up getting was dual roles. So yes I do agree women should have the same rights as men but as we recieved these rights and went to the work force we continued to have the primary role as care give to the home and children. So this in fact eased the men’s role as sole provider yet they didnt take over any of the roles women had. So it has become harder for women and hence they are unfullfilled because they are split and overworked and at times sacrifice many of their God given roles because society and the thought they there should be two incomes and living above the means and men are now accustomed to this. And I believe it brought about an independant spirit of rebellion in women and caused many undeveloped men..

    Just my 2 cents..

    1. I actually agree with Jennifer on this one! There is nothing wrong with being “independent” but in our fight for equality we got more than what we bargained for. I think women confused equally of work with equality role. We wanted the control and now that control has made us unhappy as a gender. Do I want to be treated equally? Yes. Do I want my opinion to matter? Yes. Do I want to alienate myself from men? No. I want to be married and have a family of my own, one day and I want to have these things with a man who doesn’t have a problem with being the man of the house and being able to take the lead in certain aspects of our relationship. My role as wife and mother is just as important as his role as husband and provider.

      1. Ashley, I love the last sentence of your blog about the equal importance of roles. RESPECT is a main ingredience in any happy, healthy relationship.

    2. Jennifer, your two cents is worth a WHOLE lot! lol. You make some really great points, many of which are exactly what I’ve been thinking, too.

    3. Hi Valerie-
      I love your daily emails. Thanks for sharing with the ladies who are inspired by your success. I am looking forward to taking more of your programs. I personally believe that happiness is tied to fulfullling God’s purpose for your life. It’s easy to get caught up in the purpose and not the purpose maker. As you said, women have more of everything but time with God. He invigorates and inspires us. Wen we make “quiet time” we give Him room to give us the wisdom and knowledge to bring our dreams to pass. Make Him the priority and keep Him #1 and “all these things will be “added” unto you.

  85. Valorie, a touching story. What does having it all mean to you? There should be a ceiling to having it all. You can get caught up in the mindset that no matter how much you accomplish, it is not enough. One key to having it all should be: I am blessed, happy, and grateful for my level of success. When I wake up in the mornings, I can say, I don’t having to get anything more.

  86. It’s because women are not following their true passions and give up on their true hopes and dreams for a boyfriend/husband. Also, low self esteem is the #1 reason women aren’t happy and so many of us are comparing ourselves with women who constantly use their looks and bodies to gain wealth vs. educated, hard working women (only 47% of women think they’re truly beautiful).

    1. Faye, good point about the making the comparisons. And it seems reality television is constantly providing us with unrealistic/misleading images of women. Even if you don’t watch the shows, the media bombards you with updates! There’s a constant stream of, “Look what so-and-so has.”

  87. You’ve listed so many of the reasons I’ve heard from other women too– especially moms. Guilt for wanting to pursue a career and be an at-home mom and I’ve heard from other women that they feel pressure. It’s probably a self-inflicted pressure too. In other words, they can let some things go and be happier, but because they want it all and simultaneously, they become unhappy that it’s not working.

    (Sitting on your leather couch now) I personally have battled with unhappiness and yet I knew I had so much to be thankful for; beautiful children, a loving husband and a great new career. But somehow all of that wasn’t giving me fulfillment. I later learned that I needed to seek true joy in my life, because happiness always seems so circumstantial.. and God knows our emotions and situations change like the wind.

    I’m excited to read your upcoming soon and will pray as you move forward toward its completion!!!

    Hugs,
    Kennisha

  88. The danger of any movement is the inability to recognize when the movement is over. As the 70s marked a time of women rising up and taking their place, we must remember how to get out of fight mode. Humans are not built to fight day in, day out. It will lead to depression. The depression happens when a person spends too much time absorbed and focused on self. Feelings of guilt, unhappiness and depression will always accompany too much self-focus. Men naturally have a desire to play and will remove themselves from their struggle at some point to play. Women will dig in both heels and not realize 10/20 years have passed since the last time they really stepped back from the task or struggle. We see President Obama stepping away during tough negotiations to vacation. Dr. King in 60s would pull away and shoot a game of pool. However we watched Hilary Clinton work until she was hospitalized and then all the stories about her harsh schedule of responsibilities. LADIES, remember to play no matter what your task at hand is. Resist the mind that tells you that it’s irresponsible to take a break. Regrouping, refreshing is as vital to your happiness and success as anything else that you do.

    1. Very interesting point there, Reg … you are right, we are not built to fight day in and day out, and PLAY is so important to happiness! Taking time to play actually makes you more productive when it’s time to work!

  89. This is not scientific but I think women’s unhapiness is a combination of some of the reasons others have already posted, including and adding, changing gender roles in society, taking on too many responsibilities, lack of self-exploration and development, trying to fit a square peg into a round hold (living your life from a model that’s not the right one for you). Lots of success with your new book.

  90. What is happiness? What is contentment? I asked my mother how she seemed to be ‘perfectly happy & content’ when we were growing up on the side of lower middle class and she said, ‘looking back-I guess I was oblivious to all the problems, because I focused on my own world and leaned on God through the tough times.’
    I’ve never had contentment in my life –and I’m 52. It’s my daily prayer. However, I have been looking at happiness since reading your book (Habits of successful women) and stopping the immediate response I used to have in ‘trying to change the past,’ ‘working to fix the future,’ and now purposefully ‘looking at my present’ and thanking God for each moment.
    There are so many factors that go into this (from childhood +) but I think we are an unhappy nation now– wanting & striving for more than what we need! (I also believe that while the economy has ‘knocked so many down’ we are better because we are back on a level playing field and noticing that ‘things’ do not make up our happiness!)

    1. Being oblivious can certainly make you less stressed, lol! Rebekah, please know I just said a prayer for you that you uncover the contentment, peace and joy that God has for you.

  91. I found that the pressures of motherhood, career, relationships, being a wife hits us hard during this time. Now that I’m 50+, it’s a lot easier! Whew!

  92. My low level of anxiety stems from there being so much information available on how to be successful that I feel I should be further along. I think, if others can do it why can’t I get it together? Self discipline and commitment. It’s a journey and everyday I’m better…and further.

    I don’t think we find any joy in the journey or understand that self realization is a part of that journey. There’s all the external stuff, kids (too early, too late, none), husband/no husband and then there’s the internal feelings judging everything. Men seem to expect that there will be a lot to learn through and keep going whereas we stew a little longer than we probably should. Congrats on recognizing the overwhelm and carving out the time, Valorie! Another timely post.

    1. That feeling of, “Everybody else has it together, why don’t I?”is so common, I think. The truth is just because it LOOKS like others have it together doesn’t mean they aren’t actually having the very same challenges and thoughts you are! Thanks for sharing your experience, Sabrina.

    2. sabrina I get what you’re saying. But I can tell you that most times when we see someone else’s (perfect life) we only see the -snapshot photo-. we may never know what trials, tribulations, etc. they had to endure to get that picture, or for that matter what happens after the snapshot. People use to think I had the perfect life, ( if they only knew).

  93. Wow! What a wonderful discussion of the real problems women are facing. From my travels to Europe this summer, I saw that others do not live like we do here. One of the reasons they refer to us as “those Americans” is because we are always in a hurry. We want “it” now! Our culture is beckoning us to do more, do it better, and do it at all costs. European women are beautiful, but I didn’t see as much visible pressure to be perfect. The European pace is very different at work. They take off for lunch and work fewer hours each day. I want to take some of the things I learned and redesign my own life experience to include less stress and a slower pace. With my American mentality, this will be a challenge.

    1. Hmm. Maybe I need to do some research in Europe for this book, Sandi. 🙂 This is certainly true. Most other cultures are not as hurried as ours. Europeans average six weeks of vacation per year. Americans? 13 days. That speaks volumes. Have fun redesigning your lifestyle … sounds like a very wise idea!

  94. This topic is so extremely dear to my heart!!! (Please forgive any typos). I am 35, a wife, mother of 2 boys (1 & 3), and a school counselor. For the past few years (since I became a mom), I have continued to feel overwhelmed & stressed. I realized a few months ago that this comes because I’m not doing what my heart desires. In my heart I believe I need to stop working full time, focus on my life coaching, and be able to have a flexible schedule for my family. Too often I come home from my “job” and I’m to tired to enjoy the demands of my family. I spend my day at work looking after someone else’s children, and I’m too tired to enjoy mine. I remember in the 80’s my grandmother was admitted into the hospital after having a nervous breakdown. My grandmother was an educator as well, and came home everyday to look after her family, cooking & cleaning daily. Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m headed in that same direction. I’m a Christian & lately I’ve been thinking about how God created me to be a “help-mate”. I’m all for equality, but am I less of a human if I choose not to work outside of my home? I’m wanting to get back to my “God-given” role and be a better wife & mom. Afterall, these were the things that I prayed for (great husband & children). I’m faced with the truth that we cannot afford for me not to bring in my current salary. Both me & my husband work in education & we are barely making ends meet. With this knowledge it would be foolish to not return next year. But this means I continue to sacrifice my family, my peace & happiness & I continue to feel like I’m on the verge of breaking down. I’m not feeling like we were fed a lie… “Woman can’t have it all without the etxra does of stress, resentment, & self-neglect). At 35 I want to be there whenever my children need me (not the child care provider), I want to have a clean house & home cooked meals, I want to be able to exercise daily, I want to be refreshed for my husband, & I want to have time to relax with my friends & family without feeling like I’m getting behind on work, I want to pursue my dream of becoming a Life Coach & work part-time w/ teenaged girls. That’s my new idea of “having it all”.

    1. Wow, Brandy, what a clear vision you just painted of what you want. Have you considered creating a vision board that represents that vision? You don’t have to know yet how it is all going to come together, just believe that it can! One of my favorite scriptures: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Praying with you and your husband that your vision will somehow and soon become your reality. Thank you for sharing your very real insights and feelings.

    2. Brandy,

      I can truly relate to how you feel. I have been there and I am still a work in progress. As Valorie says you must trust in the Lord. As I began to seek God for my peace and to fill the desires of my heart things begin to make a shift. He began to revel to me ways to increase my level of peace in my life changes that could be made so that I can be that wife, mother, and employee that He needs me to be. Especially, as I began to give my worries to Him and seek His guidance for every area of my life, including the small things. Like I said before I am still a work and progress, but I can feel that the stress and pressure of things is not what it use to be ( with less anxiety). I just wanted to keep you encouraged, because that time is comming when God will give you the desires of your heart.

      1. Wonderful encouragment, and I totally agree. There was a period of about four months God woke me from a sound sleep every morning at 4:00a.m. to speak to my spirit because I was so busy everyday it was the only time I would listen. (It worked). I have such a greater peace when He & I talk every morning about how my day will go. ( but it’s at a more reasonable time now, 6:30 a.m.) lol. Make time for Him, don’t force Him to take it.

    3. Okay Brandy, I had to read your name again to make sure someone didn’t get into my brain without me knowing and put my exact thoughts on this forum. LOL. I totally feel you. I was just sitting here praying and writing and asking God for clarity, and then I opened Val’s weekly email and ventured over to the blog. God always directs our paths when we ask him. Just hearing from all the other women, especially those who sound like a clone of me has just released some of the pressure I was feeling moments ago.
      The funny thing is I was just telling my husband the other day to take a one-day challenge and do what I do everyday. He declined (of course), but in telling him what the challenge would entail, I was able to visually see why I feel so unhappy. I am doing way too much right now. My prayer this morning was God, what is it that you want me to be focused on right now. There is so much I want to do, but thinking about all those things overwhelms me. Just reading others post on this forum and Val’s message above, has already given me some great insight. Thank you all for allowing God to use you by sharing your thoughts.

  95. I believe one factor that is causing women’s unhappiness is that we compare ourselves to one another. I share the dangers of comparing ourselves to one another in a women’s Bible study I teach called “No Fear Here”. It is loosely based on Beth Moore’s book “So Long Insecurity”. In my experience, comparing ourselves to one another does two things 1)makes us feel inferior or 2)makes us feel superior, depending on who were are comparing ourselves to. I always share II Corinthians 10:12 and Jeremiah 29:11 when discussing this topic. If no one knows the plans God has for us (including us!) how can we judge where were in comparison to His plans. That has been so liberating for me!

  96. When I read the first post (Jennifer’s) I said to myself , “oh my gosh, someone that feels the same way as I do”. I 100% agree with her. Generally speaking in society as a whole, we have put it in our minds we can “have it all”, not sure if this is really possible, but we like to think we can, we strive for this. In the mix of “having it all” woman’s roles as a whole have not changed much, so in addition to our maternal, and relational roles we have taken on more responsibility, it is work, raising children, managing a household (because we are working too), menu planning, grocery shopping, cooking, keeping house clean, maintaining and nurturing a small business, etc. these are and have been my responsibilities throughout my 52 years and some days, I don’t know whether I am coming or going I find if you have at least one good support network, coping is a lot easier, plus we must as women, take really good care of ourselves. If not, we get depressed, being overwhelmed with responsibility with no break can make us tired and downright depressed. For me, learning to accept that that is OK to take care of me has helped, I know it sounds so simple but I find if you love yourself first, it becomes easier. This indeed is work in progress for women, we are the steel magnolias.

  97. I know in my personal life I struggle with many things, initially the battle to silence the negative voices of my past (namely my mother’s voice) telling me that I’d never be anything. She died with me never hearing she was proud of me, so it’s difficult for me to be proud of myself. With my father being gone physically most of my life(due to incarceration) I have vague memories of us being a family, so the expectation of every being married is far-fetched to me. I’m a single mother of two beautiful teenagers & though I sometimes feel I’m failing them by not being able to keep their fathers in their lives, I’m blessed by the individuals they’re becoming and this encourages me to know that I’ve done something right as we defy the statistics placed on single-parent households & deplorable education goals. I feel guilty for not grabbing hold of the reigns and following some of my dreams more diligently because I’ve allowed fear to control too much of my life, I feel under-educated at times as I encourage and look forward to my son starting college this coming fall. I’m fighting to gain the strength to complete my higher education, to be better prepared to fulfill my dreams/goals so that I can actively work to silence or negate those negative voices. I know there are many areas I need to work on in my life, and once I’m able to maintain a level of consistency and actively show myself & my children that the “we can have it all” theory can happen, no matter how overwhelming it may seem. I may have gone off topic, but ultimately I know I’m responsible for my happiness and therefore am responsible for the level of unhappiness I suffer. Growing in my spirituality and focusing on God is the only thing that inspires me to believe that I will ever achieve a level of balance and maintain any true happiness in my life.

    1. Unique, I understand what you are saying. I have so been there. May I encourage you to keep your eyes on the face of God. Realize you may see him in many places and through many people. You will know because of the light, joy and happiness you feel while in that place. Be sure to take a deep breath of Joy everyday, actually every breath you take, let it be of Joy and Peace. And smile often! You are here for a reason. Fight for your right to be happy. I know the the hardest fight is usually with yourself (harder to fight yourself than others 🙂 ) So put on some happy music… I love Mandisa…. and get your happy dance on girl! Blessings to you!

  98. I have learned that true happiness comes from inside and is defined by you and your belief system.
    When we lisen to the world and its definition of happiness and success we fall short. Our perspectives should be eternal and not of this temporal world. I define happiness and success on my own terms to the standard of my God.

  99. Dear Ladies,
    I remember the “Women’s Lib” days (I am 61) clearly. Yes we were told we can “have it all”, and I do believe we can have it all – BUT NOT ALL AT THE SAME TIME! I think we have to choose our priorities for each stage of life very deliberately, focus on them, and be grateful that we live today with so many opportunities. Also, to be grateful for the simple things in life, instead of WANTING IT ALL – having grown up “poor”, I really relish the joy of just simple, often free, things and experiences.
    I love living today!

  100. I’m grateful for the sacrifices that were made so I could live a better life. My mom made sure I went to school and instilled in me a love for education and reading. I’m happy she wanted to be a successful woman — knowing that she didn’t have the opportuntiies I did. However, I did not have children or get married, but I try to share what I have with the children I meet and let them know you are living in a glorious time and should cherish these moments. My wake up call has been my exit from Corporate America. I found my true happiness serving the people who I may have previously looked down upon from my “Ivory Tower”. So my true happiness has come from getting to know the “Real Me” and connecting with “Spirit”. Truely, “you find your life when you lose your life” to the things that are not important, the material, the competition of trying to out do others, outdress, out impress or Out Lexus or Mercedes Benz them. True Happiness comes from connecting to your True Spirit Within, and that’s when “You Have It All”.

  101. I don’t really feel guilty. I try to prioritize when trying to “have it all”. I keep a balance. This is really negative but when people start offering their unsolicited comments about my marital status & lack of children (I’m 31), in my mind I giggle at their flaws. Some how, that makes me not care about their ramblings! We all have something to be proud of and areas we would like to be different. I have found that my genuine friends don’t harp on the negative but celebrate what is positive. I choose to surround myself with those kind of people. I’m always finding ways to enhance my happiness. In 2013, People that I can’t avoid, I’ve started to plan my response to them as you suggested previously. Wonderful advice! One thing I will say, I think we stay in relationships out of fear that we won’t find another mate when we get to a certain age and that leads to temporary fulfillment but ultimately an unhappy marriage if you ever make it to the alter.

  102. Valorie I am reading your book “Successful Women Think Differently” and in it you talk about being grateful for our blessings while believing more is possilbe. I love this and feel like this missing this simple gesture of recognizing our blessings may cause us not to be or feel “happy”. I noticed that the Amplified Version of the Bible translates the word blessed in many places as, “happy, favored, prosperous” and even “to be envied”. So I agree with you, for it has been my experience (one I hope to write about one day) that counting, recognizing, acknowledging, proclaiming and embracing our blessings makes one happy. It really makes all the diffence in the world. When the Bible says “count it all joy” and “think on these things…whatever is true, noble, just pure, lovely, things which are of a good report, if there is any virtue and if there is ANYTHING praise worthy…think on these!!! Ah, a breath of fresh air! I love this because even though these are words from the Bible, my thoughts don’t have to be deep and spiritual.. sometimes my “happy place” is a memory of a spot I often enjoyed in nature, the sound of the ocean, pictures of my children, that last funny conversation with my best friend. So to me happiness has declined because we tend to forget that we truly are blessed in some way every day. Blessings to you. Hope to see you in March!

  103. I feel that the images portrayed on television create unrealistic expectations for women in general . We somehow believe that we can master every area of our lives. This is not what God expects of us. If we listen to Him, we will find that inner joy and peace that we desire. As a wife and mother of a 3 year old, I often struggle with family and career goals. After much prayer and meditation, God has told me to focus on my family. They are truly important to my purpose in Christ.

  104. Hello Valorie:
    Thank you for bringing topic to the forefront. I am currently seeking God’s guidance and wisdom in this area. As a mother, wife, professional and aspiring writer, speaker and novice Life Coach and business owner, I have grappled with the idea of having the best of both worlds (being a good mother and good wife, while pursuing my dream, thus providing for my family. My take happiness may be on the decline, due to a lot of women wanting to have the best of both worlds (pursuing their dreams, and holding their family together) Seeking God’s wisdom and guidance diligently and then acting on it enables us to His will without guilt and a decline in happiness.

    Can’t wait to read the book! Valorie.

  105. I must admit I’m not really happy now because I feel I have not done enough. My job is fallen apart, i’m in debt, I’m not married, still struggling to further my education. I ‘m still struggling to overcome abuses in the past by my mum and brother and learning to love them dearly even though I have forgiven them. I have low self esteem and working on it. I can’t seem to celebrate even when I achieve a dream. All that comforts me is the hope I have in God. I always ask for the strength to overcome these challenges and I know one day the storm will be still.

  106. What is causing happiness to decline in women is the lies media, our culture and the world offers us is NOT realistic. We have lost our focus and bought into the our worldly culture. We do not look to The One who refreshes us, provides us balance and provides true happiness. When I become stressed and my joy is depleated, it is all when I am trying to keep with the worlds view and not my Lord’s view. My greatest example is the life of Jesus and the trustworthy truths in the Bible. He teaches me how to balance and remain joyful. Keeping my eyes on Him is key. I am Christ follower, wife, minister’s wife, mom, corporate employee, daughter, sister, sister-in-law, etc. – my life is anything but cushy.

  107. Having it all seems like have nothing but a bad headache sometimes. LOL. As I approach empty nesthood and reflect on my experience as a working mom and for me the key is having a good plan. I started off working as a single woman, then a married woman. When my first child was born my father asked me was I going to quit my job and stay home. My response was why? Even though I feel like I balanced my time well 20 years later I feel that I failed my children in some ways. I didn’t give my children the best of me, the best me was at work or at church. I thought showing my children a good work ethic was so important (along with other life lessons) and they have learned well but it left me tired. Now since they will be leaving home soon, I can be “happy” that I know I raised my children well to be productive members of society. I am looking forward to spending more time with myself (and my husband too) in the years to come.

  108. Val, I think for me for the decline is that women set these goals in life and these goals something like this…Goal 1: I’m going to go to college and get a degree; Goal 2: I’m going to get a great job; Goal 3: I’m going to get married and have a family, but then life and changes in life begins. Some are positive and negative changes. I personally got caught up in okay I need to get an advance degree to be more competitive in the career field. Then you and that college sweetheart you planned to married you grow apart. Now almost 19 years later, I’m still not married and no kids, and a career setback because of the economy. I am feel as though I should have it all and I don’t feel a shame because I am a good person that tries really hard. However, I know through my my faith I too will get the promises and blessings that God has promised me. Val, thank you for allowing us to share. Keep up the good work! God Bless!

  109. What exactly does having it all really mean? I feel that often we make the mistake of letting society define what it means to have it all. Instead of defining what it means to us as individuals to actually have it all. I may feel that having the powerful career, big house, kids, and husband shows that I have it all. Where as the next woman may feel that being a stay at home mom devoting all her time to her family is the way she sees having it all. I beleive that the Women’s movement had its place and I am grateful for that. Now we need the movement that we are encourageing women to be who God created them to be without making the feel that they are any less than the next woman and accpet that they choose the path of life God need them to follow. We have so many women that suffer from the comdemnation of others leading them to have nervous breaks downs and other medical issues. Already as society we define that living the good life is having all of these unecessary material possessions leading to people living way beyond their means. As a mother, wife, proffesional or whoever you may be you must seek God and become the person that he needs you to be not society. (Please forgive any typos)

  110. Valerie,

    I think women have busied themselves too much. Instead of taking the time to enjoy the simple things in life. I am 49 and1/2, married for 20 years, childless (not by choice ) but I am just beginning to enjoy my life . I struggled for years with the pressure of what society and my friends expected of me. However when I discovered who I really was and that I did not have to live up to anyone expectations of me I felt enpowered and happy. Now I live my life on my terms. This year I will take my dream vacation to Italy from where I live in the Bahamas with or without my husband. Don’t get me wrong I would love him to come also it would make it really special but at the same time this is MY dream and I will not be offended if he didn’t. I love to cook and I discoved this is really my passion and even though most of my “professional friends” think I must be out of my mind to want a vacation where you learn to cook instead of going to Vegas or some fancy European vacation. I am a Banker but cooking is what I love and I hope sometime in the not to distant future to make it my job.

  111. At times, women are our own worse enemy through the daunting spirit of “condemnation” which stema from ingrained thoughts from grandparents, aunts and others who strongly believe in a “woman’s role” is primarily wife, mother, and then “other.” We must recognize that spirit and not allow ourselves to be “drained” by it.

  112. Dearest Valorie and all of the ladies who are reading and writing here:
    Thank you so much for your words of insight, wisdom, love and compassion. I hope that every young girl in our world grows to be as kind and caring toward each other as these ladies are on this blog. And thank you for the opportunity to share my own thoughts here.
    I believe that a great deal of what women perceive as their struggle to experience happiness comes down to two things, spoken of by many here already. The first is our belief that we are not good enough just as we are. We are bombarded by negative messages about ourselves at every turn, mostly in the name of our economy’s efforts to sell more products and services…..We are absolutely beautiful in every way, yet our economy needs for us to think that we are not, so that we will spend more money trying to achieve that beauty. In my therapy practice, not a day goes by that I don’t see a woman look at me cross-eyed when I tell her that she is beatiful, inside and out, and she sees that I really mean that as I am saying it to her. We just don’t get that message often enough in our society, and it sometimes turns women into competitive, mean people, who cut others down, even if just in their own minds, as a way to try to feel better about themselves. When we are unkind, even in just our private thoughts, we then feel even more disappointed with ourselves. Yet, when we compliment another’s beauty, we feel better about ourselves, too. We need to celebrate our beauty with each other, as a way to tell the world that imperfection is indeed perfection.
    A second concept that I believe prevents many women from feeling very happy, for very long, is the belief that we should be happy ALL of the time. In a world that is full of natural light and dark, up and down, young and old, we often just want the ‘unhappy’ to go away. So when we naturally feel some of the unhappiness of strife, grief, disappointment, or regret, we are too quick to try to make it go away. Instead, when we embrace that those unhappy times must be present so that we may truly appreciate and rejoice in the happy times, we then see that things in our lives have a natural rhythm and we can feel happy about the ebb and flow, knowing that all things will come again, even as they are subsiding.
    Again, thank you so much for the opportunity to share my thoughts, and for the sharing and encouraging that you are all doing here. Today is the first time I have looked at Valorie’s blog, but I will be a regular visitor from now on.

  113. I think that women, especially women of color, are only now starting to be comfortable with the phrase, “I wish I were happier.” For my mother, grandmother, and older ancestors, there was no such thing as happiness for women. We worked, took care of our families, took care of our significant others, and went to sleep at night. The pattern repeated itself day after day. Not much time to take care of ourselves. Women of color now have the luxury of wanting our lives to be different–and better.

  114. Women arent celebrated like they should be in our society…I think that’s the problem, aside from Mother’s Day there’s nothing to really compliment or recognize women. Men are always celebrated, everything that they do it seems to be a parade for it. I’m sure many would have a valid argument to say that’s not true, but generally speaking women dont get the credit they deserve. They dont even pat themselves on the back which I just posted something on my facebook page not too long ago telling my friends to celebrate themselves. That’s the only person who’s going to assure that it gets done-you. Throw you’re own celebration instead of a pity party. I’m learning to give myself a break, that’s one thing I didnt see much from my parents…they worked tirelessly and didnt do much for themselves. Simple things count, walking, sitting in the park…our society now has placed a value on happiness, they show that having alot of money (which it seems to take now to have fun) means happiness. But we know rich doesnt mean happy alot of rich people historically have found to be very unhappy. Happiness to me means self-appreciation, and I intend to make sure I do alot of that through out the rest of my life. I rushed through my teens and 20s, never once stopping to say yea girl, you’re doing alright for yourself, keep up the good work, relax, take a walk enjoy this moment. Stopping and smelling the roses shouldnt just be a metaphor.

  115. I do believe that anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, loneliness, being over worked and under payed, poor living arrangements, poor eating habits, (mainly because of unemployment or under employment), fatherless children, and for some, elderly/ailing parents are some of the the real reasons that the happiness of women is on the decline. Women, (especially during these dark and dismal times) are under much more pressure than we once were.

  116. Valorie, I think the biggest issue defeating our happiness is the word “should”. We should get a good education; we should have a successful career; we should get married and maintain a happy home; we should have children; we should never forget what we should do. That word has been pursuing me and I have let it. The term “should” has stopped me from living in the moment so many times, I have “should” all over my life! I am sure many women live there lives this way……we follow a template(usually some else’s) and discover too late that the template was not meant for us. Happiness escapes so many of us because, many of us never stop to consider what will truly make us happy.

  117. Hi Valerie….
    As I read this article there were so many emotion flowing around. I thought about the word “Happiness” I believe this is every woman dream to be happy. I must say I have been married for twenty two years and on my 42nd birthday I left my husband. We have been married for 22 years and we have two boys. This was a major change for all of us.. The last four years of our marriage I was totally unhappy…well it was so many reason I fell out of love with my husband. I cant go into it on the internet…..but my husband and I have been separated for eight months. My question to myself and as I pray daily to God can I fall in love with him again. Or do I just go back to him to satisfy him and the boys and family member. I want to take my time and make sure but it’s like my husband wants me home now. I married him when I was nineteen and now here I am in a different state of mind. When I left it was like I could breath again ……..I felt weird but I knew in my heart I had not been happy in years. I continue to pray and ask God for guidance in this situation. Happiness is what we all want and need! However, I must sure this I married my husband while I was in college and I dropped out and I returned four years ago I will graduated May . That is something I have to be HAPPY about.

  118. Wow, there are so many good responses out there. It made me stop and think about exactly what I’ve been going through. I’ve felt so unfulfilled for the last 2-3 years. My husband was busy with work and yes he would come home and share his time with me and talk. It was nice, don’t get me wrong. As he would say, I get more than most women whose husbands come home and sit in front of the TV. Sorry, buddy, not good enough. He kept saying I was so patient with him, and I was. But patience has its limits and there are times when we as women, need what we need. Unfortunately, this all blew up into an emotional affair with a good friend of ours. It went on for 2 years, not even realizing it. In the aftermath, I realize I was unfulfilled, and yes I did need my husband’s time, but more importantly, I let myself down. I didn’t pursue things that would make me happy. I settled into married life, but I needed more and I was capable of getting it. Perhaps I lacked the self-esteem but I had the full support of my husband to do whatever I wanted to do. So, really I believe, the pressures are strong, we feel guilt, and all of the other things the above ladies were saying, but I believe we have the power to unleash our creative, business, or fun side if we so desire. The cost if we don’t, can be high. My marriage is fine, better in fact, but it would have been better to pursue even simple things that would have made ME happy. We need to step out of our comfort zone and create the life we deserve. It cannot be all work and no play. Balance is key in anything. We don’t want to think more of ourselves, but we shouldn’t think less of ourselves either.

  119. I’m 27, no kids (gladly), not married (tragedy), I work fulltime (busy), just started grad school (more busy) and go to church full time (even busier), needless to say I’m busy. I can’t say that I’m unhappy but I’m also not as happy as I could be, to me I balance all this well enough to be “somewhat” productive but where I fail is actually being myself or time for myself. I currently live with my family and they are pretty dependent on me right now, so I refuse to just leave them high and dry, even though I want my own place. I think mentally the pressure of wanting to someday get married and have my own space eludes me and I’m looking for an escape. Though if I were to get married, I definitely would love and cherish my husband but a part of me feels like they would just be a scapegoat to me branching out again on my own. I guess I feel the best way to leave my family is to have a great excuse to do so, too much people pleasing and not enough me pleasing (I want everyone to be ok and not come asking for help later). My ex’s tell me I stretch myself too thin (I say I’m counting my blessing, God gave to me what I need and more so I can give to others, my needs are met) though me time is oh so necessary and I just want to finish everything, so that I can have peace. This is an excuse to though because honestly they are my own goals and I can modify them anytime I want. Since I’m in a way I’m doing me but at the same… Decline for me would be pressure to meet goals, marriage, balancing stressor, family, and finding time for me…
    Main thing would be finding time for yourself because everything can be modified to fit if you want it to… the question do you want it to?

  120. I’ve gotta admit, I’m both saddened and hopeful. Saddened because so many women are experiencing deep levels of unhappiness. Hopeful and inspired, because I can sense the desire and determination to reach a place of peace from each of you. I couldn’t believe Jennifer’s Jan 30 post, because her thoughts are exactly what I shared with my oldest son earlier today regarding what I call the Feminist Backlash. He’s a freshman at Tuskegee U. and as a group project is studying the feminist movement. We got it all and then some … and it’s tough, actually impossible to keep up–which is exactly why we ladies must deliberately STOP! Also, just today, after experiencing chronic fatigue and spending the night in the ER because of pain in my left arm, I scheduled a week out of the office in April, when my younger children are out for Spring Break, and another 2 (consecutive) weeks (yes, I said 2 back to back) in June. This brought me immediate happiness. Of course, the first time I scheduled off two consecutive weeks, it felt weird. But, why? With our increased responsibilities as moms, employees, daughters, neighbors, etc., we must learn to break from the dizzying pace. Oh, and BTW, regarding the arm pain that sent me to the ER, turns out that my EKG, chest xray, blood pressure readings and blood work were all excellent. This led the doctor to believe the pain is possibly due to a pinched nerve, bone spur, or — yikes, STRESS! Take care of yourselves ladies. Thanks for this post, Valorie. Can’t wait to read the new book.

  121. When I saw this blog post last week, it hit me right in between the eyes because I am at that place. I’m in my mid-twenties and I’m fighting this feeling of discontentment. I’ve gotten my first degree, worked as a teacher, and am now pursuing a J.D., yet despite this I’m feeling unfulfilled, and I’ve wondered why. What so interesting about this is that in the face of realizing my discontentment I end up feeling even worse because I’m now guilty about not being satisfied…It all seems to be a vicious cycle.

    To answer your question though, I think, at least for me, what is causing me to feel discontent is a failure to determine what I need to be fulfilled. Because of the feminist movement and the constant battle of societal gender roles, women today are bombarded with so many images and ideas of what it means to be successful. And some of us make the mistake of latching to the one that seems to render the most approval rather than doing the hard work of charting our own courses. For me, I’ve found that in the midst of doing all these things for all these years, I haven’t figured out who I am. I just know what the world wants me to be. And what the world thinks it needs from me, may not be what I actually have to give to the world.

    I also find that in the midst of all of the running around, people as a whole, not just women, are failing to connect with each other on that level that brings fulfillment. For many of us women, the way we connect was often found in the relationships we had with our families. But now our families are different. There more isolated as a unit and more isolated individually. Thus, that God-given need to provide assistance and guidance is lost.

    Despite thinking about all this, I personally still find it difficult to break free from the world’s expectations because I feel like all I’ve known is what it tells me. When its time for me to face the mirror and decide who I am, I really don’t know how to answer…and that’s ultimately where my discontentment stems from.

    Valorie, keep allowing the Spirit of God to move through you. So many of your topics and posts are right on time and just profoundly divine!

  122. Hi Valorie,
    I heard a lady named Christine Caine from Hillsong Church in Australia say that you can have it all, it’s just a question of timing. Maybe not all at once, unless you have an income that allows you to get the help you need, but it is doable especially if you have a network of friends and family members who can help when needed. I grew up in Congo and I can remember that when one of my aunts had a baby, those of us who were the oldest cousins would go to help for a day or two with household chores. Since there were a lot of us, we had a rotation system that enabled everyone to help without being burned out, and after her maternity leave my aunt went back to work . I think here in the US, people are not necessarily living in the same city to have that kind of support from family members at least.
    As for single women, I must say that I am annoyed whenever a married woman or anyone else makes those kind of remarks, as if single women are not as valuable as people because the husband, the kids and the picket fence haven’t come in the picture yet. I even had people suggesting that I should get “busy” because time is ticking. Never mind that I was raised in a two married parents home, and that I would like to do the same.
    Back to the career-family dilemma, I don’t think that a woman should sacrifice her talents, dreams and aspirations just for family, God a gave purpose for each of us and I think that the best way to fulfill it is to ask Him the best way to go about it. As a previous poster said, the feminist movement was needed, but balance is needed to have a fulfilling life. Besides, I don’t have the source right now at the top of my head, but I remember reading in a study that a man’s input in raising kids is as vital as what a woman does. It takes two to have a child, makes sense to have two to raise him or her.
    Have a great week and thanks for this blog!
    Zola

  123. I think my greatest expression of love is spending time with the people I care about. I’m on this crazy mission to build a life I love before walking down the isle and the deeper I get into it, the more i realize that my time is my most precious resource.

    Over the past week, I’ve been conscious about talking with my siblings over the phone, spending time with my significant other, helping my parents whenever possible.

    It all eats away at the time i have left to pursue my dreams but giving time is the ultimate labor of love for me : )

  124. Kola, that’s so true. You’ll never regret the time you spend with the people you care about most. It is time truly well spent. 🙂

  125. I just have to thank you for sharing this Valerie. As I watch my father struggle with critical health issues and feeling regretful about how he showed love to me and my siblings, I feel compassion for him. We talked about how Black men showed love by providing and not by saying it. We truly need both actions and voice in love. Bless you!

  126. Greetings Valorie,

    I would like to share one of my published poems that contributes to this conversation:

    How I give love

    I give love freely like the ocean flowing continuously.
    I give love like ancient men thirsting for knowledge.
    My love echoes though centuries.
    My love is timeless, no concept of space or time,
    traveling through generations just to adore you.
    My only reason is to cherish you indefinitely.
    My love rises above war, hatred and fear,
    healing wounds and incurable diseases.
    My love is pure and strong.
    My love is five heartbeats pulsating stronger,
    giving you every ounce of me,
    loving you deeply and hard without thought, reason, or cause.

  127. Four years ago, we were 700 miles from home when my husband had a massive heart attack. We were at an event we attend once a year; where we see most of the people there just one time per year. They rallied around us like we were family. Each of these friends will hold a special place in my heart forever.

  128. My goodness Valorie, it never ceases to amaze me how you manage to speak to my heart (and head) right at the moment of my “stuck-ness”. I’ve been grappling with a piece I want to put on my new website/blog and my Facebook page. I wanted it to be perfect! Wanted to say the right thing; not confusing or unclear; and yes perhaps the fear was creeping in about looking foolish. Habit #4 is motivating me to post it this weekend. Take a risk and stop my procrastination. I will say though, that your Habit #3, which you have coached me through previously; helped me to take action in other ways. God bless you. Looking forward to the ProCoach course. Lonnetta

  129. I am going to magnify the positive, step forward depsite my fear, and give myself permission to be imperfect! Thanks so much, Valorie! I feel better already!!! The best part is that I know those around me will benefit from my new outlook!

  130. I didn’t realize I was stuck on #1. I will start to look for the positive and not freeze until I have it perfectly together. Thank you Valorie and i hope to see you again soon.

  131. All 4 habits have been keeping me stuck for the past 6 months. I felt like I was going in circles. I just finished the chapter in your book Successful Women Think Differently…”Don’t Be A Maximizer” and I didn’t have answers to these questions then, but I do now (this chapter opened a door to a serious better understanding of myself…thanks so much for breaking it down). Here’s how I plan to press ahead from these 4 habits:

    Perfectionism: I plan to be satisfied with the decisions I make the 1st time (or even the 2nd time for that matter). I find myself changing over and over and over again because I feel it could be better even after I’m complimented on the particular thing. In retrospect I’ve actually wasted a lot of time with constant changes when I could have been doing something else. Over-planning: My to-do-list will only consist of things that are moving me toward my goals I’ve set & I will set and focus and a few goals at a time. I will also carve out appropriate rest and social activities as not to overwhelm myself and just LIVE & enjoy life. I found myself filling my calendar with so much stuff because I felt like I was never doing enough to accomplish my goals when in actuality I accomplished more than I gave myself credit for. Obsession with your obstacles: I will work on focusing on solutions to issues that arise that may shift my plans instead of harping on the list of problem themselves. Dwelling on the issue doesn’t actually solve it. Sabotaging Self-Talk: I will speak more life & positivity into what I’m trying to accomplish as I actually know I can and have envisioned that I can, but fear of success and the responsibilities that come with it scare the hell out of me. I will fear no more. I have a tendency to encourage others more than myself and its time to be my own cheerleader. I’d rather do what I’m called to do and possibly succeed and deal with it later than regret, do nothing, and be stuck in the same space in time. “To whom much is given much is required”(Luke 12:48) and I absolutely know this.

    Thank you Valerie for all the knowledge and information that you share to help to us move forward from a place that we are neither content nor happy with.
    Lori

  132. Thank you for that article Valorie, we all know this is WISE ADVISE. I feel habit #4 best describes me. In everything i do, i want it to be perfect, if not, not do it at all. We’ll, i am going to change that, i will keep moving forward and understand that there will always be room for improvement. Could already feel and see the difference. Valorie, thank you again for sharing your knowledge. Take care, MAY GOD KEEP BLESSING YOU AND HAVE AN OUTSTANDING WK.

  133. gosh no fun is a huge one for me! i’d heard so much about how awesome yoga is so i tried it this past weekend. maybe i did something wrong but it wasn’t fun (for me). yoga seems to require mindfulness. when i’m working out, i don’t want to be mindful. i want to FORGET that i’m working out hahaha.

    i love working out but i need my loud music and other distractions to really make it fun. anyway, that one just really resonated with me : )

  134. This lesson hit me at home. I need to decide whether to renew my office lease next year for my business or sublease in another location to save money. So many pros and cons to each.

  135. Valorie, I enjoyed reading these points as they are so critical to making progress and avoiding unnecessary frustration. When coaching clients through this process, “Be still and know that I am God” (PS 46:10) comes to mind because only He knows what’s in store for each of us and He wants us to rely upon His voice.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Salandra Fleming

  136. The title of this post alone speaks volumes. “Why” is a small word but it has big impacts that keep us paralyzed. We must have a willing spirit to move forward, and not get so focused on the what, when and how in life. Thanks for constantly being a great reminder that our lives our in His hands and we must trust what he has for our lives.

  137. I’m not sure what I’m waiting on. My baby was involved in a tragic accident. After about 7 months, I was able to write out some of my thoughts and feelings. Those thoughts and feelings became a article that was published in a local magazine. I have received many responses from people of various age ranges who shared that they were inspired. I was encouraged to continue writing. I’ve written down thoughts and feelings but I’ve done very little to begin pulling the pieces togther to begin the process of writing a book. I’ve started but it’s a very small step. I haven’t even written two paragraphs. Acutally, though, the story is sitll unfolding.

    An aquaintance is trying to get me to join Toastmaster’s as one avenure to enhance communication skills of telling my story verbally as well as in written form. Hmmm…maybe I’m waiting on answer that says, ‘you seriously need to move forward with that book as well as seek opportunties to verbally communicate your story to encourage others.’

  138. Such a timely and inspiring message for me just now. The answer I’m waiting for at present is: the specific “how-tos” as I contemplate offering “writer’s workshops, classes, etc. to aspiring writer’s in my area.” The message I’m hearing is: “take a small step, then notice what happens.” Wow, as soon as I read that statement, I recognized the small step I’m to take. (“Recruit a friend and get feedback on the practical aspects; don’t do the planning alone.”) Then your next question: “What area do you need to focus on while you await your answer?” was also followed by the Lord’s immediate answer (“Get away and get the next book written.”) Thanks so much, Valorie! God has spoken clearly to me through your words this morning.

  139. God is awesome! This is my 3rd blog read, this afternoon, after avoiding all blogs for many weeks. (Just didn’t wanna have to process anything, spiritually!) Each one spoke to the theme of shifting seasons. One focused on the chicken and eagle story; and the other, on responding to “God-sized dreams.” I responded amen to a quote, which said, “Believe, then do more.” To me, it resonates with this message, as well—the “do more” can be to take the step that fear attempts to block; or to simply have the faith to wait. Either way, it’s only by seeking the Lord that we get clear direction! I’m in a shifted place, praise, God, in that I stepped out, in the face of fear, toward a promotion opportunity. That was my assignment, and I did so knowing that I might, or might not, get the answer I thought I should receive. The Lord directed my path, and because I leaned not into my own understanding this time, I have such a peace that surpasses all understanding, as I wait. I consider these journal opportunities to be divine ones that have allowed me to reflect, and to refresh. Thank you for the message…and Blessings to you!

  140. Love the reminder from James 4:8. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of confusing worry with prayer. I know I’ve been there before

  141. Dear Ms Burton,

    I love your books and your weekly emails, and really appreciate that your incorporate spirituality into the process of personal growth and change. Sometimes that piece is missing, and it is crucial, of course.

    I left a great career in 2008 to go back to school and become a family nurse practitioner which I have now been for just over a year. It was very hard, and very transformative, and very expensive. I am so glad I did it when I did, as I am now 51 and this transition is behind me. Truly, it’s never too late.

    My previous career entailed writing for advertising and television, and my current dream project is a series of three “how-to-live-well” books on Sex, Food, and Death from the holistic perspective of the nurse practitioner. I love writing and have always wanted to write for myself, rather than for “the client.” After finishing school and learning through patient care how people really live in modern America, I finally have something to say.

    My challenges are: Fitting an hour of nondistracted writing time into my day, and, maintaining a strong belief in my purpose and my vision.

    Thank you for this opportunity to share, and to cheer one another on!

  142. I need to respond to a bad review at the present time and I could certainly use some guidance so that I do not sound like I am making excuses or retaliating to some unfair comments inappropriately. Thanks, Roxie

  143. This article was perfect for me right now, I can completely relate. I have been dating my boyfriend for 8 years and for the last 4 years, after college, we have been long distance. He has been unable to get a job near me despite all his efforts. We both would love to start a life together, but that cannot even begin until we can find jobs within at least an hour of each other. It is hard because none of my friends can relate or understand. They actually make the situation worse by constantly questioning us wedding after wedding about when we will get married and what we are waiting on. I am trying to be content with the situation and grateful that I have found such a wonderful man, but I just don’t understand why everything hasn’t worked out yet. Thanks for article it made me relax about the situation… other people make me worry and stress out.

  144. I really enjoyed reading this as it is so true about showing love. But one thing I did not agree with and I fall into the same trap myself is expecting that certain ones will show their love. We put expectations on people which are natural but completely unfair. First of all, if they are close friends, perhaps they are more affected by the situation then we expect. Not everyone responds by acts of kindness. Some feel deeply and are not sure how to respond. Others can only pray. Just because you or I do not see an outpouring of kindness or love shown by some, does not mean we are not in their prayers or thoughts. It doesn’t mean we are either but to reevaluate a friendship because we did not receive what we expected shows a lack in us. Some don’t know how to give in a scary situation, but amazing at other times. None-the-less, appreciating the different types of friends we have for who they are, not what we expect out of them, is what counts. Meanwhile, work on ourselves as you suggested to show love where we can, even if it is uncomfortable. That in itself may help others to reach out.

  145. Thank you for these words of encouragement. I am going to be 56 years old in a couple of weeks and feel like I have failed miserably in every area of my life. I was married for 32 years and divorced due to my ex husband sleeping with my best fried. It has been seven years since he left. I remarried 3 1/2 years ago. I quite my job of 6 1/2 years and moved to Oklahoma City for another job to be closer to my kids and this place of employment and job is the worst job I have ever had in my life. There is nothing about this job I like except for what I do I love but they think I am doing a crappy job. I am going to look for another job once my year is up. I pray and read my scriptures 90% but pray every day without stoping within my heart. I feel stuck, alone, afraid to make another decision and it may go wrong. I keep telling myself that at least I am making a decion to do something but it is not helping. My stomach hurts all the time and I have headaches constantly. Why can I not stop this negative pattern. I have never been a negative person. I don’t have many friends at all and the ones I do have are sick of hearing my talk and be negative. I am in a cycle that I can’t seem to get out of. I am sorry to dump all of these things. But I have read your article over and over again. Thank you for writing it.

  146. there’s a popular quote that says where there is life, there is hope.

    i prefer to think that where there is hope, there is life

    great post, as always Valorie. this week, i’ll be sure to challenge myself to hope for big things and wait with expectancy

  147. I had almost lost hope that I could win in the financial arena. But now, I am believing God to increase my finances. I am believing God that I can make a living writing and designed courses online. I believe that it is God’s will for me to write. I believe that God will open doors for me. Thank you Valorie for the posting.

  148. I have been working on my weight loss goals since the end of 2012. Last week I was hit with some devastating family emergencies. I was just about to fall back to my old comfort habit of stuffing my face when I read your e-mail. I am glad that I read it because now I am not going to stuff my face. I am going to keep hoping for the weight to come off, for my finances to keep getting better, for my adult children to get their lives on track, and for love to come into my life. Thanks for the e-mail. It was just what I needed when I need it most.

  149. I thought my faith was starting to break last week, but I prayed anyway while I cried. I asked God to show me He could hear my prayers and could see the intentions of my heart and my desire to grow closer to Him. Over the last 8 months I have endured set-back after set-back financially, with family, with my career, and with continuing my education, but today, God showed me a miracle, and I call it that, because there is no way it was a coincidence. I feel so loved by God and know he truly does have the power, love, and the time to orchestrate the best plans for our lives if we just give our lives over to Him. I now have tons more hope for my success and triumph over all of the present challenges, be it my relationship with my mother, finishing my MBA program, finding love, and providing stability security and comfort for my 3 year old little boy. All things are possible through God. I am happy to say I have am confidently expecting positive changes and I can see God shifting all seemingly bad things for my good. Thank you for this encouraging post and last weeks as well.

    Have a blessed day everyone.

  150. I am beginning to give up on getting a new car, having much better finances and taking a vacation. I need to stop feeling so discouraged and start hoping again and putting my faith into action. Of course, faith alone will not cut it. Loads of action and positive energy must go into making my dream a reality. I SHALL CONTINUE TO PRESS FORWARD.

  151. It is amazing to me that we feel we can’t take a break during the times that we need one the most. Great post, Valorie!

  152. Thanks Valorie! I felt like this was written just for me! You motivated me to take a day off and finally get the break that I desperately needed. So often we get worn out by all of the activities we add to our lives. I’m having to learn to slow down, and even say no occasionally.
    Love you blog- keep it coming!

  153. Good afternoon Valorie, I enjoy reading all of your valuable material. I recently released my first book and I have to tell you I was extremely drained afterwards. It was definitely a birthing that took place. I had been picking it up and putting it down, over and over. It was a Friday when I self-published the book. Afterwards when I arrived home from work, all I wanted to do was sleep. Saturday came I wanted to sleep and then Sunday. I even missed palm sunday because I just wanted to rest. I said to my daughter that I know that I gave birth to the publishing of my book. I had hit my set-time. The appointed time to get the book published had arrived. It reminded me of when I gave birth to my children. It takes so much out of you. Then I read your newsletter that comes to my work email. You stated that when you have completed a big project or goal, that your energy is depleted and that it is necessary to listen to your body and get the necessary rest to be ready for the next project in the future. Yes, your message was so right on time. Thank you for sharing.

    Darlene

  154. My financial freedom will bring me one step closer to achieving my dream of having a family with the man I love

  155. I LOVE this post, Valorie and a nice swing sounds like something I need.

    My family helps keeps me grounded and always reminds me of what’s more important. You see, I have toddlers. My children are 5, 3 and 2 and I’m due any moment with baby #4. My children always help me enjoy the simple things and experiences. For example, my children love arts and crafts; painting and creating. And guess what? So do I!

    When I’m not having publishing consultants with authors, managing accounts and dealing with the stress of anxious authors, I’m usually either coloring the next available clean page in a coloring book, enjoying a family film, at the park or simply enjoying tea parties or Legos. Not only is engaging with my children important from a relationship stand-point, but it also helps me clear my mind and focus on what’s more important.

    The struggle: I don’t always get it right… If ever. It’s hard to manage this type of business and balance it with my family. Kids don’t understand when you have meetings and tasks to complete… They just want mommy! And, I have to be more intentional about stopping, not being so available to everyone else and less involved with my family.

    When you’re establishing a company, that can be a little challenging, but I’m hoping and praying as I continue on.

    A nice swing really does sound amazing! I’m happy for you and that moment! Thanks for sharing this post!

    Kennisha

    1. Congrats on baby #4, Kennisha! Sounds like s/he will be born into a vibrant family. We will never be perfect at ‘getting it right’, but as long as we are aware of what matters, we can keep doing our best to stay focused and present on it.

  156. Thanks for sharing. This piece speaks to me right where I am. Today, I vow to create more balance in my own life. Blessings, Carrie

  157. Now I must go and get another swing. After the Vegas windstorms swept my last one away several years ago I just gave up on the idea. This post gives me the confidence to revisit a favorite pastime of mine that I too used to enjoy with my grandmother.

    Peace and Many Blessings, Toni

    1. Love that, Toni! Enjoy. 🙂 And Yvette, thanks for the feedback. How funny that you have same cute name as my friend!

  158. Funny, I was looking at my front porch the other day and thinking about the front porch of my childhood….which included a swing…..fond memories. I’ll keep a swing in mind…….:)

  159. I think what is important changes throughout your life. I seem to periodically realize that my balance is off and have to reassess. I have found I get so busy trying to get the other parts of my life “right” (business, relationships, finances, etc) that I forget about making me “right”. I started to schedule time with a friend every week to fill that part of me that felt anemic… we already have a well-used and cherished porch swing. I greatly appreciate your perspective. You always give me something more to ponder! Thanks Valorie!

  160. I agree. There is so much to enjoy and to be thankful for, right under our noses.
    I wake up early in the morning sometimes, and just lie in my bed listening to the birds
    chirp outside. I consider that the bed I am lying in is of my choosing. The sheets, the comforter,
    and everything in the room reflects my personal taste. Then I consider the nice dwelling I live in, having all of the little trinkets and baubles that I picked, awaiting my enjoyment. I am so thankful for my house, and yes, for all of my stuff. My space. And then…. this is the BIG one….I thank God for
    PEACE!!!!!!
    There is sooooo much to be said for peace. I am at peace. In my own home.
    Many people are not.
    I am so very grateful for my time, my space, my stuff, and my PEACE.

  161. As I read this post I was reminded of the phrase “enjoy the journey.” I don’t always understand that, but this writing caught my attention. I’m in the midst of constant energy to get our household moved to a new city about 250 miles away. My favorite moment this past weekend was re-connecting with a girlfriend/college roommate who lives in this new city. I had soo much fun. As I’m back home and gearing for a busy day (being a squeaky wheel is more like it) I thought about the friends I’ll be saying good-bye too. This post helped reminded me to put “self” aside and focus on what I value – friends. My time with them is to be cherished and not seen as an interruption in “getting things done.” So in doing that I also put my trust (and planning) where it belongs – in God’s hands.

  162. This is so true. We must find time for what matters most and at the same time brings us happiness. As for me, i make sure i make time on a daily basis to be with my loved ones. Being a Motivational Speaker as well, a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Boxing and Kickboxing Instructor, Health and Fitness Consultant, Actor, Model, Director and Producer keeps me busy. I make sure i put God first in my Life, family second and career third and everything falls in place for happiness. My get away this weekend was to go out to the ranch hog hunting with my brother who lives 600 miles away and i only get to see every three months. Had tons of fun and enjoyed every moment of it. The way i see it is, if you are not Happy, somethings wrong and we need to fix it. That is what Life is all about, enjoying it, making the best of it and only one can make that happen.Thank you Valorie for all your great advise. You are AWESOME! HAVE AN OUTSTANDING WEEK. Take care and talk to you later.

  163. Hi Valorie,
    I tuned in to the TODAY show, and I loved seeing you. I’m currently taking your coach training with CaPP Institute this spring and it’s been wonderful so far. I’m inspired by it all, and a little nervous too, about building a business (at last) around a real passion of mine – listening and helping others. Thanks for your newsletters! Your articles are so meaningful. It’s a lovely way to be inspired and feel connected to you!
    Laurelle

  164. I love this post from Valorie today. I know that Success is right under my nose and I plan to reach my goals that I have set for myself! I had a really bad year in 2012, but 2013 is not going to be that way. I am determined to have the best 2013 ever! I am learning from what happened to me in 2012 and bringing those lessons over to 2013. I believe that all things happen for a reason, and Valorie’s weekly posts help me to see just how grateful I am to be in the land of the living. I am very blessed and very happy to know that I can speak good things into existence. God bless

  165. This post is very real to me. There are some goals that I want to actualize but I don’t speak them out loud. I learned today the importance of speaking them into existence and learning to be quite. I don’t spend enough time being quite, actually it’s not that easy. You will be surprised as to how many thoughts are swirling around in your head. Today I will pay close attention to my words and think before I speak!
    Thank you Valorie for this insight!

    1. Hey Latonja, you’re not alone in the challenge when it comes to quiet time! It seems just when I sit to meditate, everything I forgot suddenly comes to mind, lol. It takes practice and discipline to quiet the mind.

  166. Hello, Valorie!

    Thank for your post because it was right on time (as much as your other posts are too)! If we do listen and be quiet, the answer we need is right there. I actually didn’t read this until today, which confirmed a lot of things that I have been marinating on. Thanks again! Take care!

    Wynette from HCC

  167. I thank you Valorie, i’m just new to your newsletter i’m glade because my life is unsuck now. I am quiet but find it difficult to speak my dreams into existence which i don’t know cause of it but from your posting i have to challenge myself into it now. God bless you Valorie.

  168. This was for me today. I have been reluctant to make a change about a LOT of different things. What came to mind when I read this was selling my house. It has felt like the biggest blessing and biggest burden all in one. I’ve been hesitating about selling not sure about what it would mean for my future. Will I find another place to live that is comfortable? Will I be in a position to buy again at some point? How will this decision impact how much I pay in taxes? …and on and on and on. But my house has always felt like the blessing that keeps on taking. It’s time to let it go.

  169. I so very much needed this message…it truly is an answer to prayer for me. I am definitely in a season of “fear not”! Thank you, and blessings to you.

  170. A bold decision for me is in the form of reaching the goal of getting my degree in approx 4 months and stepping out on faith in pursing my career goal of a healthcare administrator. I am working on getting past my fears of being overly concerned of others opinion of me. I am very appreciative of this article, it has truly blessed me. Thanks again!!

  171. God is so AWESOME! I needed those words to encourge my soul, because God is dealing with me about this. Compromising with people who could care less about life itself. Thank you so much.

  172. I have over 23 titles to books that I am very aware that others need. Thanks for the push and confirmation.I guess this is what faith is. Trusting God completely regardless . The key is to listen and follow through with the directions that our teacher (Holy Spirit) gives us. I am definitely on my way.

  173. This message was right on time! I have to make a bold decision with a career opportunity. I’ve been looking for a “way out” of my current job. The new position would require more work but offers more rewards. I can choose to be comfortable and broke OR be uncomfortable for a time so I can be comfortable later. By the way.. when did I get comfortable being broke? #time2bebold

  174. hi Valerie thank you so much for your article on getting together with family and friends and making it a priority I just wanted to let you know that on Sunday I was on my way to church and decided to go and surprise my grandmother at her church for Mother’s Day it was really wonderful had great service and she was getting someone to take her to my great grandmothers grave site to put flowers down I got to take her there and spend time with my grandmother of 84 yrs and we spent time from 8 o’clock to 3 o clock it was such a joy and I just wanted to let you know thank u for the reminder.

  175. Well, this confirms my conversation with my sister, about her daughter & husband & 4 kids moving
    into my moms home, paying no rent at all, changing things around, useing my moms stuff, all
    without asking…..Just telling & talking about it. I was so upset, I told my sister, and they didn’t see
    nothing wrong that, for one, they did not even ask their Grandma, they just did it. Now how does
    that make it right. I had written my niece & told her what the right thing to do was, but her mom,
    my sister, is playing the pitty card, so there they sit.

  176. Valorie,
    I am so excited about the new book and about your take on Anticipation. I didn’t realize it until I read this today, that it really does make me happier when I am looking forward to something on my schedule. This week and this month I am looking forward to so many things. I am anticipating my next blog post and video tonight and next Tuesday. I am also looking forward to seeing my 11 year old son graduate from 5th grade next week.
    Thank you so much for all you do! You have had a positive impact on my life and for that I feel blessed.

  177. You put into words what I feel. I just had not been able to organize the thoughts, then try to help other women by expressing to them what you said so effectively and to the point. Thank you!

  178. I am so excited to read this book Valerie. I love the concept of noticing what’s in front of you. That’s so important. Can’t wait to see what other nuggets are in your book.

  179. Valorie,
    I can not wait for your new book. Your other books have been amazing and truly life changing. It is so true what you say about “anticipation” its all on our outlook that will determine our attitude which can determine the outcome.. I am anticipating the arrival of my 4th baby girl coming in October..( So i look forward to reading your book while on maternity leave). God Bless you and may you have much success in all you do.

  180. Valorie,

    I’m very thankful for your post from your manuscript. I recently had a graduate school meltdown. Read my article here: http://digibooklibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/library-pimpology-the-case-of-graduate-school-exhaustion/

    I think we may just be in the same mode of thinking right now. I believe that taking a moment to look at what I’ve accomplished thus far was very important this past week — to understand where I’m going in the future. After my Maymester (which I still have not had a REAL break from school), I just wanted to get under my covers and not get out of bed. However, I know this was and is not possible with regard to my life. So, I decided to just stop everything and adjust my calendar and my life structure. I feel so much better now too, and I find it gratifying that I’ve decided to have fun while in graduate school, working, and mentoring. Life does not stop just because we have stuff going on.

    I think what you said is very important: “The good news is this: You can intentionally create something to look forward to every single day.”

    I know that this to be truth and I aim to take on this attitude as well!

  181. Val,
    Your book “Successful Women Think Differently” changed my life and enhanced my thinking. To say I’m looking forward to this book is an understatement. It’s funny that you articulated my feelings of having a full schedule to the T and now I will make it a point to not only anticipate it, but to be joyous because of it. Besides..this is what I’m working so hard for anyway! I am anticipating changing more women’s lives through my styling business, book and new business startup idea that I am in the process of developing.

  182. I just love your books valorie!!! I look forward to your next published book every time I’m at the book store. I look forward to the unexpected surprises that await me. I’ve been a calendar person for a long time. I’ve noticed that I also celebrate happiness when I’m posting appointments or schedules. I draw happy faces on my calendar just to brighten up my day. I also write the word “church” on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s with a smiley face. I also circle every day of the month that I go to church. I include which services I went to. I was fighting depression for a long time, but now I’m on the right track with medication, a positive attitutude and a miracle from God in this area of my life. I was at a point of depression that I would not go to church, but when I wanted to come out of that dark valley and go back to church I had to know how I was doing in this area. That’s why I circled the days on the calendar when I went to church. It was inspiring to know that through all that depression God brought me out and I was happy to see all the circles that I spent with God in His house of worship.
    Hugs, DeAnna Sprague (Abilene,TX)

  183. I am looking forward to your new book. My weekly anticipation is Sat mornings. I am able to sleep a little later after a jammed packed week and I can actually have a cup of coffee/tea with time to savor the flavor in a quiet time of reflection before getting the day started.

  184. Valorie I use to be a “yes” woman, then I realized that if you allow people to handle your life they will. So back in the late 90’s I decided to take my life back, and since then I have no problem saying “no” especially if it’s something I really don’t want to do. We as women think we have to be all things to all people and most times we forget ourselves. You teach people how to treat you by first deciding what you allow to invade your space. Example: I had a friend invite me to a comedy club to see a very funny comedian who’s language is pretty foul, and at first I said “yes”, but later my spirit would not let me rest because I don’t indulge in foul language or the comedy club scene, so why would I attend this type of event. Initially, I thought that if I said “no” I would not be invited to any other future events by this friend. But I called her back and said “no” and explained my reasoning. I felt good because now she’s knows that in the future if it’s risky dont ask Brenda. Also I did not compromise my beliefs, and saying “no” is freedom from being controlled and put in situations that may become uncomfortable. Finally, when we say yes all the time, we most likely wind up doing the work,a nd others will stand back and let you and become dependant upon you; and that’s not fair either. So learn to say “No” to the outside world, while saying “Yes” to your inner world – believe me you will be happier.

  185. This article has perfect timing for me. Recently I found myself in the midst of a challenging time, however I noticed I still found joy. I just didn’t know why and here you’ve explained it. Now, knowing this, I can be more intentional in creating my happiness. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Valorie.

  186. This is awesome Valorie! I can’t wait to read your book and i try to make sure i have something to look forward to/ I know for me i look forward to juicing everyday because i know that i’m putting some great stuff into my body and I enjoy working out so that I can stay fit and lite. I get excited about learning new skills and tools that will allow me to build a brand and business that represents me. I can’t wait to hear what you say about anticipation.

  187. I really am excited about your new book and the fact that my happiness has become so important to me. I am most happy providing opportunities for my kids. As my daughter prepares to leave for college,I find myself sharing some of my life experiences and details. Those things I was once so disappointed about and afraid to share have made me who I am. With God’s grace and his forgiveness and protection I laugh and smile about them and use them as teaching tools for her own life and as a reminder of His love for me.

  188. Valorie –
    I never looked at anticipation from this perspective before, but it makes a lot of sense, and it’s very empowering. I will give this some thought and be much more mindful of how important anticipation is to increase positive emotion! Kris

  189. Valorie,
    Thank you for sharing with us. It is definitely a different perspective on anticipation. I can’t wait to read your new book. I hope you chose that bright and vibrant cover. It speaks “happiness”.

  190. This could not have come at a better time! I didn’t realize instead of dreading the things on my calendar that I should look forward to them. Also there is so much more things to look forward to instead of waiting for this one thing to happen while life is passing by. But October?! Oh my! lol In the meantime like Sharonda Williams said above, I will be more intentional in creating my happiness.

  191. Thank you for this post. Yes we need to be reminded the everything can be enjoyed when we look at it with the right perspective. I’m looking forward to spending time with my hubby while he’s on vacay. I’ll be sure to keep the thought of anticipation in mind when I’m in a rut and taking my regularly happy events for granted.

  192. From one Queen to another, I say Hello Valorie.
    It just amazes me that there are so many women of color making a staple in our society on a POSITIVE note. I am glad you as a phenomenal author exudes such a “strong black woman.” I must say that I am very intrigued by the idea of this new book that you have coming out. I do own all of your books and I “anticipate” your newest book, “Happy Women Live Better: 13 Ways to Trigger Your Happiness Everyday” to be yet another one of my favorites. Women have to know that they can have whatever that believe they can have. We are in charge of our own destiny. I truly believe that once people delve into this new book of yours, senses will be heightened and epiphanies will be revealed. For your first happiness trigger, “Anticipation,” I think of eagerness of something desired, expected, and something deserved. I think Anticipation is a great way to start off anything. When someone anticipates something, in a good way, it sort of mirrors FAITH! I think that if you are expecting, then you are believing you receive. I am a firm believer that I will continue to have greatness in my life even when it may look dismal at times. I know without a shadow of a doubt that when I anticipate, great things happen. Thank you, Valorie, for “prepping” me for your upcoming book. I “anticipate” that my life will gain a world of knowledge that will help me to continue on my journey to greatness. I also still believe that you are going to take the world by storm very soon and I “anticipate” you being on Oprah’s OWN network……..Stay Blessed.

    Ambi Jeffries

    1. Hello to you too Ambi and CONGRATULATIONS! You are our Happy Women Live Better winner for last week’s blog posting! My office will be in contact with you to get your information to send your gift card as well as the gift card to bless a special friend or family member. Who will you bless and share this gift with? Thank you for reading and I can’t wait for you to dive into my new book created for women just like you!

      1. Hello Valorie,
        YEAH!!!! I am so happy. Reading that I won the first week’s blog posting made me jump for joy. Actually, I had much “anticipation” that I would win…..or maybe it was my faith that kicked in.:-) I do have a great cousin/friend that would be greatful for a blessing. Her name is Nefreterie Jenkins and she is a woman that is on her grind daily. She works hard for her family and she is striving for greatness too. I wouldn’t think of anyone else to bless. BTW, I have “hipped” her to your wonderful collection of powerful readings. Thank you so much Valorie for making a difference in my life. As I sit here and type to you, your book, “Listen to your life” is by my side (I refer to it very often). Continue to stay blessed and I can’t wait until your new book hits bookstores nationwide.

  193. Anticipation is a form of gratitude. Looking forward to what you have been blessed with brings great joy to the soul. Thank you for sharing this snippet. Looking forward reading the book in its entirety.

  194. Dear Valorie,
    This blog was broadcasted at the right time. As a woman thhis day,I`m so confused as my family members are down with fever. I certainly realize that I`m so blessed and excited to read this manuscript of your new anticipated work “Women Live Better”. Every day activities starts with Anticipation and 90% what happens,action plan is based on our interest,hope, priorities and how you want each event to be productive and lively. Very interesting! Best wishes Valorie. Really happy for you.

    Regards, Raakhee

  195. Am so excited about the new book , we need more smiles from women and not worn-out facial expressions , you’ve hit it again Valorie

  196. Valorie,

    I am so excited for your new book. You have a way of approaching life and situations in such a practical way. I love the thought of anticipation & looking forward to what is to come. You are such an encouragement & I can’t wait to get this new book & read more.

  197. Most workdays I wake up with a spirit of anticipation – eager to be used for His good pleasure. I look for opportunities to exercise my gift of encouragement by asking co-workers questions about their life and what they would be doing if they had things their way.

    As for weekends (besides the weekend itself, of course :-)), I most anticipate the time I spend studying the Word and reading other great books. Reflecting (counting my many blessings), dreaming and envisioning are also things I look forward to and love doing during my downtime.

  198. For me, “having it all” is simply having all my needs met in order to live out a life that is much more significant than just getting what I want. And, truth be told, the more I embrace a sort of “no more me” motto, the happier I become.

  199. Valerie,
    Your message this week has just really spoken to me. I have a lot going on in my life and each
    day it just seems like something else is just not going right. Can’t seem to focus on my business venture because I’m so busy working long hours at I job I dislike. Living in a situation where its so noisy that I only get 4-5 hours of sleep every night for the past 2 years. But through it all, every night I cry myself to sleep and I say I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow(my one girlfriend always says why do you always say that). I say it cause I always believe the next day will be better and good. Thank you for reminding me that If I continue to think positively about the days ahead, they will be better! Sometimes you just have to encourage yourself.
    I appreciate you Valerie!

  200. Having it all to me is being at Peace with my life. I went back to school and that was something I wanted to do for quite sometime. I came up with every excuse in the book to not do it; my age, how will I pay for it after praying and stepping out on Faith I am getting it done. Having it all will mean something different to every person,but it is a choice that an individual makes. I have everything that I want right now and am looking forward to getting the rest that will come in the future the anticipation beings me great joy.

  201. Instead of feeling overwhelmed at the many things on my calendar, I will begin to thank God for the ability to be productive and anticipate how others will be blessed by my actions. Your snippet from your new book is helpful and an insightful piece of information. I will certainly think differently as I plan my calendar and will also up my spirit of anticipation. Thanks for the encouragement.

  202. This is a nugget I needed desperately. Like you I look at my calendar and feel overwhelmed. Learning to be grateful to be fruitful is what I need to do. Thank you for once again being that clear cut voice from God in my life…when needed the most.
    October is my birthday month and I will gift myself with your new book!

  203. Having it all for me, means finally having the courage to “quit my day job” and go after the artistic life that I always wanted. I am living artistically now but always wanted to do this full time. I would love to use my art to help people, I think that is what happiness means to me. I am, as I get older, noticing that my courage is building and have started putting some things in place to officially begin my new life of bliss! Thanks for writing this blog!

  204. Thanks for the “Happiness Trigger”! I was feel quite overwhelm this week and trying to juggle my calendar. I’ve been blessed with having some wonderful experiences in life. This is a reminder of the many blessings that God has provided to us. Don’t complain nor get stressed especially in my case when you asked God for the blessing. Anticipation is a shift of the mind. This shift keeps you focused on the blessings, new opportunities and importantly allows you to be a blessing to others. Thanks for identifying the trigger, so that we can make the proper shift.

    Be Blessed, Rhonda Briggins- Atlanta, GA

  205. This was a reminder I truly needed. I find myself feeling overwhelmed and struggle to not cancel meetings just to do NOTHING! Today I will begin to apply this to my life. Starting with today I look forward to spending time with my grandchildren. I’m a young grandmother and at times feel my children and I are competing for downtime away from them because they are energetic. I appreciate that all of them are healthy, talented, smart and happy children. Today I will not think its a chore, too much money or if they say Granny one more time I’m going to scream. Today I will be happy and anticipate the time we will spend together and look forward to pouring wisdom and the word of God into them and watch them become the leaders of tomorrow that I know they are! Happy to be Granny of 7 at 50 today!

  206. Hi Valerie,

    thank you so much for this post. This week, my first son graduated from Grade 12, with admission into the University to study Engineering
    My second son participated in the Provincial Track and Field Events, He came 4th place in long jump and 1st place in triple jump. He actually set a new record in the triple jump category. I am grateful to God for all of that.
    So last night, I was asking my first son that now that the grad ceremonies are over, what next? It kind of felt like there was nothing to look forward to.
    Just this morning I read your blog and was reminded that there is so so much to look forward to. It just depends on what I choose to focus on right? For starters I can start anticipating the excitement of getting my son ready for university.

  207. Sounds like I need to run to the book store and get your book “Successful Women Think Differently”. The work field I’m in is in high demand and all I can say is that I’m outnumbered when working with nothing with men.

    And as for Anticipation, I strongly agree with your views. The upcoming dreadful tasks is what I look forward to. Let’s get it over with, no matter how painful it can be, hahaha, because I’m ready to end my work day to rush home to my babies. Thanks for the reminder.

  208. I am guilty of the “having it all” complex and I didn’t even realize it. You described everything I have been doing and feeling lately and I haven’t been able to figure out what is wrong with me, why I feel so heavy… And there it is. I know deep down that what I want MOST is to be in perfect alignment with whatever God’s purpose is for me. I was told by a spiritual mentor recently, that I am working too hard. Although I got what he meant, I also felt like, of course, that’s what you are supposed to do. Reading about the Happiness Triggers started helping me put some things in perspective. I I have to learn to let myself off of the hook. What relief I feel! Now to learn to build that momentum. Thank you so much, for your much needed insight!

  209. Valerie, thank you for this tip. I have always savored the anticipation of larger events as I got twice the joy from them this way. It had never occurred to me to apply this to my everyday life. I am a single parent for 9 years now, a professional who easily puts in a full work week plus extra time to boot and I am currently taking classes at the local branch university. I have to admit I’ve lost my joy. I fully believe that if I incorporate your suggestion to look for and anticipate small events daily that I will be feeling happier again in no time. My thanks, and I plan on purchasing your new book as clearly it will be filled with more treasures.

  210. Once again Valorie your words are uplifting. I seem to find myself dreading work on a daily basis, because of the difference people are treated and in my mind I feel whatever project your are in charge of you should do the work and not leave it for someone else to do. Laziness is not an excuse.

  211. I think for me having it all means living the life that God intended, walking in purpose and having people you care to share it with. Some of the parts of my day is simply admiring nature and the peace and beauty of it all. Currently I can be honest enough to say that I am not happy. I don’t have much that I am anticipating in life. Like my sister above that wants to leave her job and pursue her art to help people, I too am caught in a marriage that bring me down emotionally with a man who I had dreamed sharing so much positivity with – now to we barely speak. I work doing not what I truly want but what I can do at the time. Most of my days are spent trying to figure out when did I lose the joy and happiness that I used to have. That’s when I take a moment to go out on the patio and stare at the flowers – it brings me moments of peace and happiness. If only for a minute, the presence of nature reminds me that God is still in control, he owns it all and the fact that I am still here is hope enough for another day.

  212. This week I look forward to starting my work week off more positive. Most times I begin my work week with such a feeling of dread and I have really been trying to work on this. But I am also praying and seeking out opportunities to make a career change so I am going to use this as my fuel at my current job.

  213. It’s never too late to be happy. All you have to do is make a change… change your number, change your e-mail, change you circle of friends, but most importantly, change your attitude. Peace comes from within…delete anything or anybody that does not enhance your happiness…why not start today? I don’t know where I got that from, maybe it was your website, but i keep it handy,because it is my GPS to happiness.
    Best,

  214. This was amazing because I had just been sharing with a friend about your articles that I read which really are an inspirations to me. We were talking about how we get busy on the weekends just running errands and by the time the week starts, we have not recovered from all the craziness from the previous week. But I did mention to her that maybe we are share a responsibility in it all for not finding pleasures and taking time to enjoy the things that we are already scheduled for. And then I sit here today and your articles summarized it all:). Thank you, it came just on time:)

  215. Great article this week, I am anticipating a 5k walk at my local park. This is just the push I need to begin a healthier lifestyle. Living with intent has become my new matra. SInce reading multiple self-help and motivational books this season, I am learning that things happen when they are intentionally pursued. Reading this week’s newsletter further confirmed what the Holy Spirit is leading me to do…Live fully, intentionally and purposefully. Thanks

  216. In defining happiness for ourselves, our first step is acknowledge the difference between joy and happiness. Joy is spiritual. Happiness is an emotion. Joy sustains us for a lifetime, through life’s setbacks and triumphs. Happiness shows up based on our emotions and daily experiences.

    We have to open ourselves to both joy and happiness. We have to maintain a delicate balance between happiness and other emotions. Would we recognize happiness without sadness? Would we recognize high points without low points?

    To me, having it all means finding the delicate balance between physical, mental, spiritual, social, and financial well being. That delicate balance is based on joy.

  217. I have come to declare and affirm that, “I Am Not That Girl Anymore”. The pressure and pain to working till near death all for the purpose of keeping appearance no longer is a formula for success. Life is too short we need to live our passion and not to please others. You are as always so on point.
    Thank you

  218. Having it all for me….today, at this moment is having peace and being able to help others discover it for themselves. I have endured a stressful season in my life and realized how important and critical it is to be stress for and having it all…sounds like stress when one is trying to obtain everything in life. I am thankful for your spirit and message, thank you!

  219. I’m looking for to studying for my certification exam this week. I have been putting off the exam for some time now because I felt as though I wasn’t completely prepared. I have made up a 6 week plan and I’m looking for to gaining the knowledge needed to pass the exam the 1st time.

  220. I believe “having it all” is personal to each and every one of us.
    I have “it all” and for me that means loving and accepting MYSELF. Having it all is allowing life experience’s to bless you, teach you hard lessons, reward you, and be gracious to God for EVERY SINGLE moment and experience.

  221. I am looking forward to spending time with my children when I get off work today, but until then. I am looking forward to my weekly 9 o clock meeting with my manager. We have some good things to discuss and progress to be made. I look forward to my down time during lunch so I can do some reading for my personal hobby that I hope to turn into a business someday soon. I look forward to going to the beach in the next few weeks.

  222. I love your weekly emails and really do look forward to them. So for that I thank you. I also love the concept of setting things each day that you are looking forward to, even if that thing is something small like going for a run or a phone call to family or friends. I start each day, while I am on my way to work, talking to God and thanking him for the day. I thank him for the opportunities that are presented to me and for all the blessings that He gives every day. This time for myself between me and the good Lord is something that I most certainly look forward to every day. I also have no doubt that it starts me off on the right foot everyday, just being thankful. It calms every anxiety I may have lingering and just gives me a sense of peace. This is my true happiness.

  223. I’m looking forward to making a difference with my team and others in our center. I kicked off a refocus on customer service and welcome the challenges associated with it. Along with this, I’m looking forward to “building others up” as was the topic at church yesterday.

  224. Sometimes the anticipation is more fun than the actual event! Looking forward to a vacation, a wedding, a meeting with old friends, a new project – the anticipation is definately part of the excitement!

  225. I am anticipating your upcomig book. Funny enough this morning I sent an email to a bunch of girlfriends for a wine tasting outing this Saturday. Just a day to relax enjoy each others company and not having to deal with the daily routine. We will return refreshed whether it is being a better student, mother, life or career driven women. I am so anticipating this outing. Have a blessed and productive week to one and all!!

  226. I love this. So often people tell me, “you’re always happy” and for the most part I am: after many hard times in my life I choose to be happy, I choose to love and I choose to forgive (others and myself). My children are adults, I have grandbabies and I love planning time to spend with them and spending time with them. My life is full, but where ever I am, what ever I’m doing I’m happy doing it because the choice is mine. Looking forward to reading your new book !!

  227. This is the post that I needed to read today! As I head into a very unpredictable future, I find peace in your thoughts. I will slow down and enjoy each tiny event on my calendar today, live in the moment and give thanks for everything God has given me.

  228. Thanks for opening our eyes again! The idea that anticipation is directly linked to our happiness is almost so simple it should be a no-brainer – but then why are we so unhappy?! I would love it if you gave us some practical ways that we could apply this – we move so quickly through life, this sounds like (and is) a GREAT piece of advice, but how will I remember to do it as I rush from task to task each day?

  229. This week in particular, I am looking forward to finalizing a stressful job (on a high note) and embarking on a new journey: moving to a new city and starting a brand new job! I have encountered a number of challenges on my current job (working in an environment of disarray, gossip, spiritual bankruptcy and negativity from the top on down) so the prospect of beginning a new chapter in my life is the highlight of the moment for me right now. Thank you so much Valerie for your encouraging words and for the gift of sharing your ministry of inspiration with other women including myself!

  230. Thank you for the reminder to appreciate where we are each day and to look forward to the moments we have in each day. I always look forward to seeing my granchildren each week. But today I look forward to studying my bible study lesson at lunch, to walking/running with my puppies after work and kayaking on our lake after dinner. It may not all happen, but I have it to look forward to again tomorrow if it doesn’t happen today.

  231. Valorie, I totally agree and am actively living your theory on anticipation. I am have things today, this week, in weeks and months to come that I am looking forward to. Sometimes, I have to contain my excitement and not miss the current moment in lieu of anticipating what is to come. The GOOD NEWS is that I know “the best is yet to come”; “greater is the ending of a thing, than it’s beginning”; and of course Jeremiah 29:11. So as I go through a period of decluttering and literally shredding documents that remind me of past struggles, I am excited because I can see where I have been delivered to today and ANTICIPATE what God has yet to reveal for my life. It’s on the way!

  232. Valerie,
    Thank you so much. Just this morning was I able to read your email. It made me look at my week a lot differently. Instead of dreading my corporate job because I would rather be working/doing my dream job full time. I now declare to wake up anticipating going to a corporate job that pays my bills and thankful that it is the type job that I can use to further my dream job.
    blessings

  233. I’ve often written you to you when you struck a chord with me and here I am…When you talk about having something to look forward to…Wow! It is so very important to me. I praise some one highly when they invite me to something and I enjoy myself, because it gave me something to look forward to…then it would be over. But now you come up with being able to have something to look forward to each and everyday. It’s truly how you perceive things to be!

    You are right when you mention how we are loaded down with so much stuff! I had just that thought last night about this week: I work a 40-hour week job. I’m going to school. I’m active in my church. I am blessed, because I’m on a job that can control as I like, that is what I do for the day in a company that growing. It’s not stressful for the most part. After so many years of bringing up my family, they have families of their own and I can finally go back to school. I find learning challenging and rewarding, but also like sailing in uncharted waters, yet lloking back I would not change a thing. I love the Loard and enjoy my little church, I head the Altar Guild and work with some awesome, faithful people. So, I had a class last night, had to run across town to deliver flyers for the Rummage Sale we are having this Saturday, and try to make it to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. Today’s been busy (job security, they say) and I’m trying to come up with clever scriptures to put among the Rummage Sale items and finish homework during breaks and lunch today. I have Bishop’s Committee Meeting (that’s the lay committee of the church, who meet with the priest discussing church issues) tonight at 7:30 and did I mention I’m Chairperson for the Outreach Committee? Working on the task of getting our church know in the community. Tomorrow is Bible Study, not only do we discuss and learn scriptures, but it’s very lively discussion. I try to have a night to sew and do what I like, but it seems that Thursday we will be pricing items for the Rummage Sale. Friday I have another class and also Saturday morning. Saturday is the Rummage Sale and I failed to mention, my very dear friend who I take out on Saturdays to keep her spirits up…she’s 95 years of age and still moving on her own power! I will have to pick her up after I leave school and go over to the Rummage Sale which will already been started at 8:00 that morning…let’s see did I leave anything out? Whew! Oh Shoot! My granddaughter’s birthday is Thursday, I’ve got to pick up a card…and so it goes on and on! But now…I have so much to look forward to! 🙂

  234. To me “having it all” means being able to be involved in my children’s lives while pursuing a career outside of the home.

    Thus far I have made several attempts that did not result in the balance I needed. Yet I trudge forward and continue on the journey even if it is difficult at times.

  235. wow!! This article gave me a new perspective on my day to day routine and how to trigger happiness. It all starts with a mindset change. Look for the positive in each matter of business I must take care of each day. I have a choice in how I see things and feel about them, so instead of dreading going to the gym, focus on how I am keeping my body healthy and I am keeping my “sexy”… LOL… and I will make a point to express to someone the things I am anticipating which will add to my anticipation and my happiness trigger.

  236. Great reminder that life takes a balance and not everything in life should be “busy work.” In other words many time we make our “play time” competative and a goal towards perfection. I learned years ago to see the perfection in the imperfect. I’m a perfectionist and it would drive me crazy. Even the hobbies I had like painting and sewing or working in the garden would stress me because they wouldn’t turnout how I expected. By seeing the perfection in what was to me imperfect made a world of difference. I enjoyed how things were, for being a surprise of just how they are. No fuss! … I needed this blog today. I have a crazy schedule sometimes or loose plain sight of taking time to have fun and enjoy life. I enjoy sailing now, but the team I’m with is very competative and so at times it’s not so much a fun thing as a learning experience. A goal for the summer with now also be: find something fun to do each day/ every other day. Thank you!

  237. Growing up on the island there is a game called Netball (it’s like basketball for girls) that all the high schools girls played. I remembered watching them and thinking I would love to do that even though I would suck at it. All I wanted to add to the game was the big ole’ smile on my face. You see ‘Netball’ was intense! It was a contact sport and ‘contact’ they did. Shoulder bumping, foot tripping, nail clawing kinda sport. I was too happy go lucky for that kinda intensity, but I loved the game. Actually, I think I may have loved the outfits like you said. I use envision myself just going in and playing and having lots of fun, not following the rules and scoring only if I got lucky! Today I have a netball hoop in my garage and whenever I feel like playing, I simply go and have all the fun I want. Playing is really therapeutic for me.~

    Be Bless!

    Always,
    Jay~

  238. I would do synchronized swimming. I like to watch it during the Olympics. It looks like so much fun yet challenging to stay in formation.

  239. I would like to play golf. Although I am not great at golf or never really played it is the idea of trying to achieve my target by aiming further than where I am at that current moment. I am able to go far as I want as I achieve and master levels.

  240. The sport that I would play, that I can’t play, is softball. To be apart of a team and have camaraderie of folks with the same goal is incredible. Just to hear the shouts and yells would be uplifting. Have you heard about adult “kickball’ leagues…Wow that would be third grade all over again, lol. Now I may need to personally look into that one.

    The reminder to play and to purposefully incorporate play and recreation into life is very important and will go along way toward stress relief. No complaints about playing from me 🙂

  241. I really loved this week’s email. I never knew that men’s happiness is increasing while women’s is decreasing! So sad, but it’s understandable. I can’t wait to read this new book of yours (if I will ever make the time to do it – I’m still trying to get through ‘How Did I Get So Busy?’!!) But I thought this was a great thing to strive for: Have or find something to look forward to every day, and get that bigger-picture look at the day-to-day tasks in our lives that can start to seem mundane. My favorite part about all of your content is that it has the overall context of putting God first. Thank you, Valerie!

  242. I recently volunteered to be one of the parent supervisors on my son’s field trip to the golf course. I agreed to go but said I was not going to PLAY golf- knowing how bad I am at it. Well, one of the teachers just happened to bring along an extra set of golf clubs- his wife’s and said, “you are going to play golf aren’t you?” I looked at my 11 year old son who said, “Come on Mom, I can teach you.” Needless to say I decided I would play that day. Being it was a field trip I was assigned to a group of 3 boys, my son included for a 9 hole round of golf. The rule for the day was that after each person in the group would tee off then whoever got the ball closest to the hole, everyone else would pick up our balls and do our next shot from there. My son was taught by his grandfather and is actually pretty good at golf. Not only that he is actually a very good teacher. He was very patient teaching me the proper stance and swing motion. Although I didn’t get a hole-in-one that day, I had a fantastic day, had lots of fun, and shared some laughter and joy with those patient little boys. If I didn’t decide to play that day, I would have missed out on experiencing the joy of seeing my son shine in an area of gifting (golf and teaching) and missed out on the happy memories we created that day. Now I would not hesitate to play golf again, even if I can’t do it perfectly.

  243. HI Valorie – I’m not sure how to answer this one. The short answer is “anything.” I am the oldest child of an oldest child who always had very high expectations of me. This and some other things resulted in me being a 50-something adult who struggles with more than my share of perfectionism. No matter what I play, I find myself criticizing every little misstep. I would love to learn how to let that go and just live life. Right now, I am working on a plan to lose weight (for my health) and my goal is to focus on getting it done and not think so much about how long it is taking or how many pounds I haven’t lost. Wish me luck! 🙂

  244. I would play the piano. I was always told as a teenager that I had beautiful hands and should try playing the piano. Yes, I tried it but it was not my focus at the time. Maybe I will try again and see what happens…you never know:)

  245. The sport I would choose would be tennis. I used to play in high school and also with my sister-in-law. No, I wasn’t very good, but we bonded with each other as we spent time together trying to get the ball over the net. Now that I am older, I would love to go back and play tennis but minitare gulf is more my speed. I love plants and flowers, so I spend my spare time tending to them, and making sure they are pretty. I taught my children about flowers including the boys, and my oldest son, who is in the military has told me, he is probably the only guy who knows so much about flowers.

  246. I would play the piano. I have always wanted to play but I guess I have always thought I was too old to learn. Funny thing I just closed my eyes and seen me playing hmmmm. If I can see it I can achieve it. Thank you for reminding of a past desire.

  247. I would certainly play basketball if I didn’t have to be good at it….I envy the ladies who can dribble, pass and dunk :)…

    My sport of great achievement though, was track n field….I had much fun in high school and went on to college on a T&F scholarship…

    But still I had eyes of envy then and even now for the game of basketball.

    After reading this blog though, I believe That I have renewed confidence to “just do it”.

    Thanks Valorie

  248. I have a very good friend that has made more money than her husband for the last eight years. I have seen this discrepancy in salary ruin their relationship. Instead of being happy about it, the man has felt threatened. They are over 45 and tied to an old-fashioned sense of marriage. I see younger couples who handle this situation much better. Personally, I have dated men who felt threatened by the fact that I might have more or want more than they could provide. In that case, I move on quickly. I want a confident man that will be happy with life. Great post Valorie!

  249. I would play hockey. I can barely skate, but I love the feeling and power I get from skating on the ice. I love the team spirit and how two feuding teams can shake hands and say good job to each other after a series. Hockey makes me happy.

  250. It’s amazing to me how separate some husbands and wives lead their lives from each other. The purpose of marriage spiritually and in everyday terms is for the two to come together. They should come together in terms of joint goals, finances, expectations, all aspects of their marriage. If the husband and wife would put their money together to accomplish their goals instead of looking at the money as this is what I make and this is what he makes, the money would go further and they would have less arguments or resentment about the money issue. The money issue is a problem because couples don’t truly see what they have as belonging to each other. I grew up with parents who put their money together to accomplish their goals. There were times in their marriage when my father made the most money, but my mother handled the money more wisely than he. Later in years when he retired, my mother was still working and they continued to put their finances together regardless of who made the most money. The key to making the money issue less of a problem is for couples to work together. It worked in marriages before today’s couples and it will work for couples now.

    1. i could not agree with Shiela more, seems her logic and understanding about marriage and finances was shown by loving parents.
      My mom and dad both, baby boomers each contributed financially equally. My father never seemed to mind being provider in most of my younger years. As i grew older, mom decided to go back to school and earn her Masters in Education. she began teaching and eventually made more than dad.
      Never seemed to bother him, as it turned out her smart mind built she and my dad a comfortable retirement. sadly, she is not here to enjoy the fruits of her labor, but to this day dad has benefitted greatly because of her educating herself.
      Together with mom’s brains and dad’s

      school to earn her Masters degree and eventually was

    2. i could not agree with Shiela more, seems her logic and understanding about marriage and finances was shown by loving parents.
      My mom and dad both, baby boomers each contributed financially equally. My father never seemed to mind being provider in most of my younger years. As i grew older, mom decided to go back to school and earn her Masters in Education. she began teaching and eventually made more than dad.
      Never seemed to bother him, as it turned out her smart mind built she and my dad a comfortable retirement. sadly, she is not here
      to enjoy the fruits of her labor, but to this day dad has benefitted greatly because of her educating herself.
      Together with mom’s brains and dad’s trade they worked together
      i do see the wage gap getting closer with women’s wages, still not there, we have a way to go. i still believe we have to work harder to get the same pay. i believe women are catching up in making more than husbands as far as main wage earner because the trades and industry jobs are just not there plus with computer age men are not getting into the trades like they used to(masons, electritions, plumbers, carpenters etc) thiae were the jobs men went to in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Those jobs paid well with good benefits where wife did not have to earn as much. Are men getting lazier? maybe, or just picky when it comes to what they think they deserve as far as earning power. Women willing to start at bottim and work hard and up. we are educating ourselves, and becoming more self confident. We are also relational and can see situations from all angles. making us better leaders. I see us /women getting closer to being main wage earner because we are pulling together more, supporting one another and that’s a wonderful thing. Husbands/Mates must be supportive, if not then its not worth her time investment, just wears her down…
      sorry for soapbox, but as a Women’s studies earner

      I do see

      school to earn her Masters degree and eventually was

      1. apologize for weird ending, my smart phone went bonkers.
        in continuation. As i learn and educate myself more on Women’s issues, it is clear our growing confidence is “paying” off.

  251. Valorie, thanks for today’s article on fun. I recently started riding my bike again, and it’s been so much fun! The wind in my hair, the feeling of total control, just the pure pleasure of being on a bike. It’s been a great way to add some fun back into my days.

  252. Coming off of serving as our Dad’s caregiver, whose journeying through Alzheimer’s (stage 6 now), and in the midst of rebuilding my life (I too am the eldest child), the mere idea of PLAY for PLAY sake is what my soul is calling for. I have many things I am responsible for as I am continuing to wrap up his affairs in the midst of rebuilding my life from the ground up, AND having always been the one others turn to for advice, support, etc…I have declared myself to be a recovering CARE-A-HOLIC. So, as I am celebrating myself for completing my holistic health coaching program in the midst of my journey as a caregiver (in my many manifestations of this role), my life’s mission has become clear – to first PLAY for PLAY sake as I build my ministry that will serve and support other recovering CARE-A-HOLICS. My PLAY for PLAY sake sports are volleyball, tennis, and bowling.

  253. I like table hockey, I’m not that good, my hubby always wins but I have fun doing it. I laugh and smile the whole time. Its a stress reliever. I just realized that this is my “Play” as you call it and I am so happy to know that some one else recognizes that you don’t have to be great at something to enjoy it.

  254. Hi Valorie. I would either play softball or volleyball. In school when we played softball I sucked, the only time I would get a hit is when I got mad because the other girls were talking about how terrible I was lol. I was so afraid of not hitting the ball until I barely tried. Volleyball I was scared I couldn’t serve. But guess what, before this year is over Lord willing I am going to do both. Think I may even go to a batting cage and hit some just for fun. thanks for showing me how to release and at least try and have fun while doing it!

  255. Hi Valorie!
    I’m actually learning to play golf (again). I played as a teenager and was even quite good at it. However, it’s been a few decades since my last swing of the club and now I’m excited to be back out there on the course. Like you, I don’t even care how good I am at the game at this stage in my life, I just want to have fun. You’re right, it does help to look really KEWT (cute) in your outfit. My golf shoes are really hot and my pink, yes, I said pink, clubs are sweet! I’m simply having fun and it’s nice having my 78-year old mother out there with me helping me keep my head down as I attempt to putt. Thank you for your article, it was refreshing to read someone else playing a sport just for the fun of it. I do plan on getting to the driving range, though, to practice before I try to seriously play my mother. I even have the nerve to be planning an amateur golf tournament for my team for the Lupus Walk. This should be interesting, LOL.

  256. I’ve always wanted to be a gymnast. The thought of running, jumping, and tumbling still gives me a thrill. I’m sure with regular practice, I’d improve, but I wouldn’t feel any pressure at all to be the best…I’m 41 years old!!! In fact, your post has inspired me to search out some adult gymnastics/tumbling classes in my city. 🙂

    Thanks!!!

  257. For a number of men, especially African American men, career and money are tied to their self-worth. Their innate need to be provider for their family is a crucial piece to their manhood. It directly effects their ego and self-esteem. I remember when my father was able to even the smallest thing for my Mom, ge was proud as a peacock! If a man believes he is not really needed, this creates a void and can negatively impact the martial relationship. Although he may enjoy the fringe benefits of his wife’s higher salary, he certainly does not want to seek her approval for a personal purchase because his paycheck can’t cover it or dine in a restaurant where he knows he cannot pick up the check! I have observed two couples at my church handle this well because of their strong faith in God, their trust and respect for one another. Its the John 13:34-35, the “one another” principal that makes the difference!

    P.S. Didn’t know you attended the Air Force academy! My son went to the summer institute last year. Best wishes on the new book. You are right, we need to play more. All work and no play, make Jane a very dull girl!

  258. I also love tennis, have played for years and would still be considered a “beginner”. I love watching and playing the sport. I have a blast everytime I play. I just want to get a good rally – which is just as rewarding as a win. Chess is another “sport” that I love to play just for the love of it, with no pressure to say “check mate”.

  259. Remember playing kickball in the streets? Using cars as bases? I’ve been talki f about this the past two weeks so imagine my surprise when I received. Living Social deal to play. Apparently there is an org that plays every Sunday starting June 30th. Guess who will be there???!!!

  260. Skiing!!! I absolutely love to ski but I’m not very good at it. Do I care? Nope. I just love wearing cute ski outfits and the sensation of breezing down the slope, wind in my face (and not falling) with a huge Kool-Aid grin on my face. But when it comes down to it…enjoying any sport requires a really cute outfit. Half the fun is looking cute!

  261. I’m so glad I saw this post this morning! I’m not sure what I would play – perhaps the piano if my children would listen without cringing. 🙂 But your post gave me a step back in a mother’s perspective. My lovely Natalie isn’t very good at sports. But she sees herself as a major player. She loves the thrill of soccer and enjoys going out there, kicking the ball (sometimes), and giving high fives to her friends. I’m sad to say that sometimes I think, “oh honey, don’t try to play, you’re not good enough to be on a team.” But reading your words – wow! I’m going to change my thinking and encourage her to play – for the sheer enjoyment of it. For the freedom without pressure to perform. I’m sure that winning smile I see on her face will be enough to remind me – that’s what it’s all about. Joy. Pure joy. Thanks for the coaching for not only myself, but my lovely Natalie.

  262. Hi Valorie

    I just love to read your blog posts. I actually have two sports I like to play without trying to compete just play and have a good time, basketball and tennis. I just enjoy playing for the excerise and the memories i will share with my daughter. she is growing up fast.

  263. I love playing in the water but can’t swim at all. (Lol) I look forward to the day I can have places to sing and Glorify the Lord. I look forward to having a conversation with my close friend of 40 + yrs.

  264. Ok Valorie –
    I am going to use a little leeway in defining ‘play’. The one thing that I would ‘play’ if I didn’t have to be good at it, would be my voice. You see, I love to sing. I am absolutely horrible at it too. I would be ever so grateful if I could sing like Jessye Norman, Nina Simone or Ella Fitzgerald…however it just ain’t (used for emphasis :)) gonna happen. When I was younger, I used to sing my favorite song under my breath when it was played on the radio when others were around. Now, (much to the chagrin of our five children) I sing along to my favorite tunes whenever they come on, even if I am the designated carpool driver for the night and their friends are in the car. I am trying to give them permission to be okay with being flawed and to be unapologetic about it.

    1. Hello April and CONGRATULATIONS! You are our Happy Women Live Better winner for last week’s blog posting! My office will be in contact with you to get your information to send your gift card as well as the gift card to bless a special friend or family member. Who will you bless and share this gift with? Thank you for reading and I can’t wait for you to dive into my new book created for women just like you!

  265. I’m with you, Valorie. It is tennis. I have potential but I am not interested in playing the game to win. I just like to hit the ball (when I can) back and forth over the net. It is more fun without the competition!

  266. Hi Valorie,

    I would love to play tennis also, I have never tried it but believe it would be interesting. Watch Venus and Serena play with such force give me excitement just watching. I never thought of doing something just to trigger my happiness. Which is sad now that I think of it. I really need to just enjoy life more instead of being serious all the time. Thanks for this blog Ms Valorie I’m going to find someone equally untalented with tennis as I am and start on playing tennis. Lol

  267. Bike Riding! I may not be super fast, but it is great exercise and nice to get out in the great outdoors!

  268. Thank you so much for your post today. I know I am guilty of putting too much pressure on myself…well…in everything. So much so, that I often times let it “get to me” too much. I am trying to ‘have fun’ and ‘play’ with my kids more often, too. (and forget about the pile of dishes in the sink or the dirty floors lol)
    What a great perspective to start my day!! OK, now I am off to wor- I mean PLAY!!!

  269. OH…and I got too introspective and didnt’ answer the question!!! HA!!! I think I would play basketball. I’m not tall, or athletic. But my hubby and son coach/play right now. So I could go out and shoot some hoops with them — just for fun!!

  270. I would play golf if I didn’t have to be “good at it”. Both my adult son and my husband play and it is enjoyable for me to ride along with them, but I think would be more fun to participate. Hasn’t happened because I find myself so self-conscious that I can’t enjoy the game or nature. 🙁

  271. I love this point about flow, I know for men I feel exhilarating when I am in flow and I feel untouchable. i know tha happiness is by my design and cannchange whatever I desire.

  272. The money is really immaterial. The heart of the matter is spiritual in terms of the roles in the relationship. If the woman is making more money but the man is still the leader of the home, it works. If the woman is making more and running the house… well then… need I say more?

    1. I would also like to add…

      Having said that, I also think the woman being the breadwinner should be the exception not the rule. I am old-fashioned and think [ducking to dodge the virtual objects being thrown at me] women today are trying to do too much in the relentless pursuit to “have it all,” which is why so many are unhappy and stressed to the max.

      Just this past Sunday I noticed how wonderful the pastor of a live streaming church service looks for his age but how old, tired and worn (absolute no disrespect to her) his wife looks. This seems to be true in general, that man age more gracefully then women. Why is this? Could it be that women are just trying to do too much? Be Susie homemaker while also living up to this 21st century modern-power-career-woman standard? I believe women should choose one or the other. Can they have both? Sure. With great balance, discipline, intention and learning over time (keywords “over time”). But can our health hold out while happiness lies in wait? Not to mention, with the almost frightening fast pace of today’s world (especially Western culture and lifestyle), time is definitely not on ones side.

  273. I love to play chess. I am not a champion at all but I talk a good game! LOL… I love chess so much I taught my eldest son to play and he took up chess when he was in junior high school and ended up winning a trophy for his efforts. Chess is a great game. It is much more then winning and losing. Its a strategy game. I often think about life decisions as I would a chess move. I try to think of the best outcome for my decisions and the counter moves others will be making when I make my decisions. I really love the game now that its electronic and can be played on a computer.

  274. Because I find myself so rarely in flow, when I am, I frequently begin ruminating on how to make it last – which really serves to take me out of flow altogether.

  275. I definitely flow when I’m in my classroom teaching conflict resolution skills and I flow when I’m mentoring women who are facing a cancer diagnosis for themselves or a loved-one. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience that leaves me feeling like I gave the best of myself to the people around me. There is a cute little video that I share with each of my classes at the beginning of the semester to encourage them, and myself for that matter, to tackle the tough stuff on our to-do lists. I hope you enjoy it!
    http://play.simpletruths.com/movie/eat-that-frog/

  276. I am currently in the process of getting to a career where I can “flow”. It is definitely a task for me being a wife, mother of two girls, a full-time worker, and member of different entities. I have my best life “flow” moments when I am blogging, drawing, or writing. It’s easy to get tangled into the “real world” by focusing on paying bills and taking care of the family by any (legal) means necessary. In that, we sacrifice so much. I can’t wait until I’m able to “flow” to my hearts desire. Great blog Mrs. Burton! I enjoyed it!

    1. Hello Tiffany and CONGRATULATIONS! You are our Happy Women Live Better winner for last week’s blog posting! My office will be in contact with you to get your information to send your gift card as well as the gift card to bless a special friend or family member. Who will you bless and share this gift with? Thank you for reading and I can’t wait for you to dive into my new book created for women just like you!

      1. Hello Mrs. Burton,

        I am super excited right now!! You have motivated me to keep pushing towards my career as a counselor. I recently graduated in December 2012 with an M.Ed in Counseling and I love motivating and inspiring people to be the best that they can be. That’s the flow that I am pursuing. I plan to bless my best friend with the extra gift card. I share a lot of your inspirational words with her when we have girl talk about our spiritual growth and just life in general. I know that this will be a blessing to her. May God continue to bless you & go before you in all that you pursue! Thank you for being a beacon of hope!

  277. When I am centered in my spiritual life, is when I am in “flow”. For me, it has a lot to do with prayer and finding my serenity. I have learned to find “little Sabbaths” where in the course of the busyness of a day I can go in my mind to those places that bring comfort and peace…whether it is to remember my son’s smile as I left for work, or letting go of some thoughts that are negative, or thinking of the “special place” I used to go as a child that was my own escape, it brings me to a different place. My passion is writing in my personal life so finding the serenity in the busyness, and then journaling and focusing on gratitude are all ways to get me in flow. Love your blog, your books, your spirit!

  278. Flow!!! I’m working on that. We talk about interruptions but I can say I’m getting to a place where my life is no longer interrupted. How can you tell if it’s a interruption vs. divine intervention?

  279. I would, and do, play pool. I am okay at the sport, but would not willingly sign up for any matches or tournaments. Pool has always been, and always will be, a fun sport for me. Last Friday evening my husband and I had the chance to go out for a couple of hours to play, while my mother offered to watch the children for us (mom is our day care provider Monday-Friday by the way; thank God for her). Just the idea that hubby and I were able to get out for what felt like a moment and have some fun is all that mattered. You can get so caught up with all the day to day routine that it is all too easy to forget about what really matters; which is to enjoy the life that God actually gives you to live. That time spent together sparked us to start our “Date Nights” again. Even if just one night a month, it makes all the difference. Of course my goal is to get more than just one night/day a month to unwind. However, I will take them as they come and enjoy them as if they were my last. Keep playing everyone and remember to have fun if nothing else comes out of it.

  280. Friends… I am ready to be a travel partner. (smiles) truly clean, sober, non smoking
    420 friendly
    Lets travel

  281. I absolutely love the email for this week!! You described the way I feel when I am knitting. I feel so relax and in tune with myself I loose all sense of time. I just wish I could do it more often.

  282. I love this blog!!! I believe I am the Wise Friend, Fun Friend, Career Comrade, & Accountability Partner. This blog makes me think on my circle of friends and who is in each of the categories. Thanks Val….

  283. Valorie,
    Loved you newsletter on “flow” today. What really resonated with me was your statement about working in overload,overdrive and overwhelm. Now I have a new question to ask myself when I a feeling stressed. Am I working out of overload,overdrive or overwhelm? Thanks Valorie! Blessings!

  284. I fall under the wise friend. I don’t believe in just telling your friends what they want to hear but instead what they need to hear in order to grow to the next level.

    I love your blog Valorie and the information that you share.

    Taquila

  285. One person fulfill all of these types. I have one friend and she does and we have much peace between us. It is when I have have several friends that I experienced no peace between my friends as many of them had too many insecurities(internally) and were incapable of genuinely nurturing a healthy friendship.

    I then realized the reason why, Proverbs 18:24,one friend is indeed enough. The one that sticks closer than a brother.

    Sharon D. Meadows

    1. Sharon, that is so true! I had one friend like that, miss her dearly…very difficult to replace, people like that don’t come along very often, we should learn to treasure the time we are given with them and strive to be that person for others. Give me one friend and I am good to go, who needs a bunch of folk around them just because?….the older I get, the more sense life makes.

    2. I also have a close friend who meets all of these categories. She is amazing and we’ve been friends for years! It is truly a blessing. Several other friends meet more than one category, though, and that too is a blessing. ALL of the relationships, though, have a strong sense of peace. I don’t think you can maintain a long-term friendship with someone with whom there is turmoil or drama. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  286. I think I’m a mix of almost all of these kinds of friends. Of course, it depends who I’m hangin’ with on any particular day, and who is calling me — whether for advice, for a road trip, or to share a laugh, but I think I’m kind of a blending of many of these types.

    Love your blog Valerie! and all your daily snippets of inspiration!

    Linda

  287. I love this post! I would say I’m a cross between the wise friend (I feel honored that my friends confide in me) and the fun friend (once they really get to know me, I come up with some STUFF!). Thank you Valerie!

  288. I enjoy reading your weekly newsletter. The one today on friendship has me feeling let down. I have always been there for others – friends, acquaintances, strangers. However, in friendship I have found that people do not take that relationship serious. I have found that some use the person (me) for their own agenda. I am the one that gets backstabbed while I am being the TRUE FRIEND.

  289. I have a group of friends that have been meeting once a month for about 8 years to talk about or goals (personal and business) and any issues needing feedback. We each take turns and keep it to an hour. We call ourselves the “Goal Sisters” which falls under your accountability partnership friends. It’s been a huge help! Valerie, love your tips!

  290. Val…this letter about friends was soo.ooo eye opening. I have been struggling with maintaining my female friendships because I expected them to have ALL the qualities I needed . I am relieved to know that my vision was NOT practical . What a relief.!!!!!! Thank YOU…so much .

  291. Where do happy people hang out? I’m in my 40s, and many of my peers are experiencing the deaths of their parents in this stage of life, so there are a lot of grieving people around me. I don’t want to dump anyone who needs a friend right now, but maybe I should find younger friends, who are happier than friends my own age?

  292. Happy people have positive attitudes about life. Romans 12:1 says ” And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
    People with positive attitudes remind us there is always hope regardless of the difficulties and challenges we are facing.

  293. Wow, I never thought about what each friend contributes from this perspective. A couple of friends have overlapping qualities. Thanks for sharing this, Valorie.

  294. Hi Valorie~I’m very deliberate about the “birds with whom I flock!” I purposefully surround myself with people who are rooted in peace & joy! There’s negativity all around us but thank God we can count it all joy even in the midst of trouble. My life is stress-less because I can choose my response to circumstances. I prescribe to – a merry heart doeth like medicine! It isn’t always easy, but it’s easier to laugh/smile than cry any day.

    1. Hello LaTanya and CONGRATULATIONS! You are our Happy Women Live Better winner for last week’s blog posting! Our office will be in contact with you to get your information to send your gift card as well as the gift card to bless a special friend or family member. Who will you bless and share this gift with? Thank you for reading and we can’t wait for you to dive into Valorie’s new book created for women just like you!

      1. OMG! Thanks so much! Winning is fun- smile! I’ll be blessing my sister Eugenia with the gift card. She’s been looking after our dad while his health has been challenged as of late. I know she’ll be happy/ecstatic to receive it! Thanks again!

  295. Sadly I haven’t put in the work to develop a sister circle, however this does give me tips on how to go about building those relationships! Thanks Valerie!

  296. “Flow” what a great word. My flow come from my commute home, to stopping at library, and don’t let me start talking about health store, my flow I can do these for hours out. None in close to my home. I lose time in doing them.

  297. Hi Valerie,
    I really enjoy reading your newsletters. It is so helpful in many aspects of my life. In response to week 28 “What Makes time fly for you”, I cannot get enough quiet moments. Because whenever it is over I always look back and say it was special.
    As for what type of friends do I have and what type are they, I realized that I have taken some of my past friends for granted. They were in my life to serve a purpose that I could not see at the time. I hope I can rekindle a better friendship in the very near future.

    Thank you very much!
    Patrick

  298. I agree totally with your assessment. However, I find myself being in unhappy environments especially work and home. But my refusal to submit to the doom & gloom and spread joy at least leaves the atmosphere lighter. Not all are blessed to be in happy networks, relationships and atmospheres; but, we can bless those things with positive & happy auroras. Hopefully what we put out will eventually be poured back into us.

  299. Yes, Valorie
    I get in the flow when engaging in D.I.Y.
    it is quite absorbing and enjoyable, and while enduring the Government’s austerity measures and continuing recession here in Ireland, its good to be able to save money by carrying out your own maintenance and seeing the results, knowing you have made or fixed something around the home.

  300. What makes time flow for me is reading, cooking, singing, music and serving others. Like you I have books every where. I cook most days out of the week and I have music blasting in my car and I sing at the top of my lungs on a regular bases. I always say that these things I would do for free all day if I know that my needs where meet. I think I’m most happy when I’m doing one of these things.

  301. I’ve enjoyed your recent articles. I get in the “flow” when I’m hiking in nature, taking pictures of nature and when I’m kayaking. I lose hours at a time at any of these.

  302. I love reading, doing online research, watching movies and discussing them with my husband. I also love finding natural remedies to use on my hair and skin.

  303. I love this story. I’ve been on the receiving end and it can be challenging to accept those gifts. Right now as I’m writing to you, there are 2 men from my church who have asked to help me with my lawn. They are spreading mulch and weeding it for me. I’m a single mom and struggle to ask for help. When I tried to pay them they said, “Jill, we will never sing in church. This is our chance to worship by serving Him in this way. Let us do this.”
    May I always be ready to serve – but also to allow myself to be served – knowing that I get the ridiculous joy of paying it forward whenever I can.

    1. Jill, that is so awesome. God blesses us through people – and how wonderful that He is using those two men from church to bless you! Have fun paying it forward. 🙂

  304. We have some river property that we purchased back in 1976. It is a slow moving river where we are and perfect for kids to take out the kayaks or peddle boat. We invite families down for the day or to spend the night in the cabin or bring their camper or tent. It is so peaceful there and relaxing and just soothes the soul of those who come. It has been used for prayer retreats, youth sleep overs and various other events. God has blessed us with this property and we in turn bless others who just need to get away for awhile. Currently my brother and his family are staying in the cabin for a few days since they couldn’t afford a vacation with hotels etc. At times I get frustrated with the upkeep but then remember the comments made by individuals of how just being there helped them.

  305. Thank you for sharing this story with us. I am blessed beyond measure and this story is what I needed to get me out of my “pity party rut.” Before logging on to my computer, I was praying for God to help me deal with difficult people at work. I read your blog. Now, I am catapulted into action. Love them and serve them. With love comes joy. I don’t have a car to give away, but I have love. Even the smallest acts of kindness will yield great results. I really appreciate your message. Keep writing….

    1. Hello Monica and CONGRATULATIONS! You are our Happy Women Live Better winner for last week’s blog posting! Our office will be in contact with you to get your information to send your gift card as well as the gift card to bless a special friend or family member. Who will you bless and share this gift with? Thank you for reading and we can’t wait for you to dive into Valorie’s new book created for women just like you!

  306. It may seem silly…I am actually excited to receive a package in the mail of the new underwear I ordered. Thanks, Valorie, for your insights about taking pleasure in the every day activities! I will now be grateful for the laundry I am about to do because it means I have enough money and resources to be able to do the laundry in my own home and am Blessed to have nice clothes. Thank you!

  307. The happiest people in my world are my children. I can always count on them for an unexpected laugh, a bear hug, or just a random “I love you!” Those actions increase my happiness to the highest level. I do spend time with unhappy people. They need some positive vibes and words of encouragement from time to time just as we all do. By being there for them, my happiness increases because I am doing for them what I would want someone to do for me when I’m feeling low.

  308. Family history is my flow. I recently spent time scanning my grandmother’s photos. I scanned for hours, oblivious to time. This week I scanned more photos and created a slideshow featuring my grandmother’s life. I had to tear myself away for food and restroom breaks because I was so engaged in the flow. It was fun and therapeutic too!

  309. I owned a suit business a few years back and still have some never-worn, beautiful, very ornate suits in various sizes that do not fit me or anyone close to me. Spirit has been whispering for me to give these gorgeous suits to my church and let church administration decide how to disburse them to women in the church who would love a beautfiul new suit. Thanks for this entry Valerie; it forced me to listen and be obedient to the Holy Spirit!

    1. What a wonderful idea, Carmin! Also, there is a terrific organization called Dressed for Success that gives suits to women in need who need appropriate clothes to wear for job interviews. If your church can’t find women for those suits, I bet your local chapter of Dressed for Success will! Check them out here: http://www.dressedforsuccess.org

  310. I come across a group of women on my job that have created a group of women to uplift each other and it is totally what I need at this very moment.. as I’m reading I see a link to this very site. I read this remarkable blog/ story about simply blessing someone else and I am overcome with tears because I have been blessed in so many ways I truly desire to be able to bless other people..While I am awaiting something big and magnificent to come along in my life to do that, I am absolutely certain that I have things and opportunities where I can bless others right now. This story really moved me and helped me to see that there are great women out there helping and reaching out to other people each and every day. I will be paying close attention to ways that I can do the same. thank you for your words they really encouraged me…

  311. “The most common thread amongst effective Leaders…. The capacity to love and be loved.” That is such a powerful statement.

    People always respond to love, regardless of the leadership style. I’ve been observing some of the leadership groups that I currently and have served with in the past. And in my review I’ve noticed that some of the leaders that lacked solid leadership skills the most had the most loyal followers. And why, because at the core of everything done, they serve in love.

    With love and kindness we are drawn to Christ and others are drawn to us.

    Well written, can’t wait to read the rest!

    1. Thanks, Jacquese! Yeah, I think that is so intriguing, but it makes sense. Servant leaders are loving leaders.

  312. But even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, Mark 10:45.
    God’s desire is that we serve people. When I serve others it allows me to take the focus off my problems and what I am going through. In serving others I realize that things can be worse. Little things that I take for granted every day can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Cleaning out my closet and giving my old clothes to a women and kids shelter can make such a dradtic

  313. Interestingly, I’ve been all of these types at one time or the other and my girlfriends (Clemmie, Anne, Stacey, Yvonne & Gail) have been all of these types for me at one time or the other. This is a wonderful article!

  314. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story. By the time I got through to the end I was already in tears. I am always moved by people that have a heart to serve, love and give to others. Indeed I agree being of service to others is an invaluable trait that shows greatness. When we give out love we radiate love and receive love back a hundred fold.

  315. I usually read your newsletter as soon as it comes but for some reason this one was filed away. Here I am reading it 2 months later and it struck a cord with me. At that time, I probably would have skipped it and moved on but now, I get it. I am definitely “super-spiritualizing” a decision, waiting for a “clear” sign. But I already know what I need to do. Thanks for this encouragement!

  316. Great post! I think most women, in my opinion, myself included. . .too often we care too much about what other people think. We look for validation from outside sources and unfortunately it shapes the thoughts we have about ourselves. However I think things are definitely changing. . .the natural hair “movement” is empowering women, having a more voluptuous body is also being celebrated and there are more women showing us that age, truly ain’t nothing but a number and that sometimes you get BETTER with age. (Oprah, Helen Mirren, Ernestine Shepherd, Lucille Singleton) It’s all about truly loving yourself, your flaws, your unique talents and understanding that you don’t get a do-over in life! So make what you have work for your otherwise it’s going to work against you!

    1. You are so right, Tracie! I actually think I look better now than I did ten years ago – go figure! When you are healthy and happy on the inside, it shines through on the outside.

  317. This was truly an interesting post. I think we as women do focus too much on what other women are doing and take too much of their time and energy worrying about it. I must admit that i have come to a place in my life where I’m taking better care of my health, I’ve released over 30 pounds and I now eat healthier and i’m starting to venture out and try new things, I recently just cut most of all my hair off trying something new because i’ve always had long hair. I stop comparing myself to other women because it use to only keep me focused of what i didn’t have, now i’m learning to embrace me totally and the stuff in the magazines is not an issue to me because i know most of it is airbrushed and that they are real people to; they use makeup to cover up stretch marks, veins or whathave yous. I always say look in the mirror and blow a kiss back at the woman starring at you because you can never get away from you. you are all you have. Work with what the lord gave you and be proud of who you are whether you are natural or relaxed.

    1. Absolutely, LaTersa! It is so important to appreciate what you have, honor it, and know that true beauty is about who you are as a person. I’m glad to know you are blowing those sweet kisses in the mirror. 🙂

  318. I love my look – natural hair, graying, slim build. The sad thing for me is my mother gives me the hardest time about my hair and my “look”. I went natural 6 years ago and my mother has been giving me hell for 6 years about it. I used to get it flat ironed to appease my parents and family members but one day I said to myself, “I’m a grown *** woman and if I choose to wear my hair in it’s natural state, I can do that!” So I deal with the comments from my mother as best I can… “When are you going to comb your hair?” “You need to dye your hair and cover that gray.” “You need to put some make up own and make yourself look more attractive.” and on and on and on.

    It makes my heart hurt to have my mother say the things she does but I would be a miserable soul if I tried to live my life to please my parents. So I embrace my natural hair and the gray that I choose NOT to cover. My focus is to live a holistic life and truly treat my body as my temple, taking care as to what I put in it and on it. Attending to the whole me – spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally.

    1. Leatha, you are so courageous and strong – honoring what you know is right for you above what others try to dictate. One thing I’ve realized is that when others cannot accept us for who they are, it is because they struggle with accepting themselves. It truly is not about you. It is about the fact that she struggles with accepting her own natural state – surely her natural hair looks about the same as yours, right? If God made you with curly hair and with time and experience let it turn gray, surely He believes His creation is beautiful! 🙂

  319. I love to laugh and sometimes just naturally say funny things..I live next to my brother who says funny things he says these things i think sometimes to keep from crying or to keep his mind off of things in life..so there are many reasons why we laugh..i laugh sometimes when im nerveous..its strange how we cope but generally Laughter is the coping skills we have learned as a child and I love it. Thanks for the wonderful blog this morning.

    1. You’re welcome, Suzanne! Laughter is a great coping skill, isn’t it? It puts life into perspective and gives us a boost, too.

  320. I was part of a writer’s group and we were going to meet in the evenings. One of the women wanted to know what time we’d get out because she had to be to work by a certain time.
    Being curious I asked her, “what do you do?”
    “I deliver foals,” was her reply.
    I thought about it for a bit and said, “that’s baby horses isn’t it?” and pictured in my mind her driving a horse van around delivering foals to farms. And now for the kicker–
    She said, “I’m an equine midwife.”
    I learned a lot that day and still laugh when I think about it. lol

  321. Hello to you from the “Amazingly Blessed Women’s Conference fro CTAB” Talking about LOL!!! Yes that is sooo true, I got a birthday card and I keep it on my desk. It starts out by asking how hold you are and there is a little girl jumping rope starting at 1 going to 10. The inside of the card is what keeps me laughing really out load. It says ” It don’t matter how old you are cuz somewhere little Suzy is still somewhere skipping”. So yes every day, I find something to give thanks for and start the day off with a smile and a good laugh. Start each day off with Good Morning Lord instead of Good Lord its Morning.

  322. This is a great article about obtaining self love and knowing your worth. Beauty illuminates from within. Looks are temporary and will fade, even with surgery because that outcome is not guarenteed. But inner beauty is timeless. There does seem to be an over abundance of emphasis on perfect looks, but I’ve noticed an increase of support for natual beauty as well. Honestly, I don’t know if it even matters if you look good on the outside, because if your inside does not present the same, you will still not attract the right type of energy. I think if we work on the inner us, building our confidence, self esteem and worth to make that beautiful, all else will follow.

    1. You are so on point, Jazzmon. And I’m glad you love your short, sassy, straight hair! It is all about wearing a style that makes YOU feel good. You know, some days I wear mine curly and sometimes straight – depends on my mood, and how much time I feel like spending on it, lol.

  323. Loving me! I too started wearing my hair natural in the late 90’s. No one liked it. Especially African American males. I got numerous negative comments that I will not repeat. I was hurt and upset by some of their comments. But I was most disappointed by African Americans male and female in general. I continued to wear my natural hair (Afro) until it no longer became a source of curiosity and negative comments. Those who knew me understood that I was going to be who I am. Relaxed or natural hair. You, do you! Still wearing my hair natural (locs). I am always fabulous. Wrinkles and all. 🙂

    1. It is sad, isn’t it? A person hating their own natural hair. When I first went natural in 2008, I received many more compliments from people who don’t look like me. They LOVED it. I think things are changing more, as natural because more the norm.

  324. Sure agree with you Val.
    Our Creator told us to laugh long before anyone else did! This being so, I fully enjoyed your article. I do laugh and it gives me peace and my friends and family find it contagious. Let’s spread the good tidings of laughter!

  325. Hi Valorie,

    Thank you in advance for all the insight you give me. When I picked up your book, Successful women think differently, it was because of the title and your hair. I thought it was very becoming and looked great on you. As I began reading your book, I began to realize that it doesnt matter how the world see you, its how i felt about me and how i look. That when i went natural in 2/2013 and it was the best thing i could do for myself. My daughter said to me “Mom i like it, it remind me of when you were young” That was enough comfirmation for me. I do miss the weave and the wigs because i was fabulously fab. Now I’m me! that’s important to me. I’m all natural 100%

  326. I try to find something to laugh about daily, and with the invention of internet, YouTube, just the sheer volume of things that can readily be found on either of these and Facebook and everyday life, there is no short supply.

    Some of my latest honorable mentions of what has made me laugh that others can access: GEICO’s hump day commercial, YouTube’s “Conversations with My Two-Year Old” skits.

  327. I’m so glad to read this. I recently started walking by the lake and I’m addicted! I go every chance I get and look forward to my time there. Last week it rained almost everyday and I found myself depressed and really struggling to be positive. I missed my walk! So hard for me to believe because I’ve spent so many years telling myself I couldn’t exercise consistently because I was too overweight, was dealing with knee and ankle injuries, failed gym memberships, etc. (BTW, my knees and ankles do better when I walk then when I don’t) Today I got to walk again and I’ve decided I need to have a Plan B for the next rainy day! 🙂

    1. Hi Marcey! I’m so glad to hear you are walking and actually enjoying it! How about dancing in the living room as your plan B? 🙂

  328. Thank you very much for introduce me to these steps Use your strengths to Compensate for you weaknesses. For my Master Degree graduation my best friend Wilner gave me one of your books Successful Women Think Differently. I have been reading that book ever since. I have learned how to use my strengths to overcome my weaknesses. For instance, during my BA degree I approached my manager and asked for a shadowing opportunity but it was denied. However, within a month a Hispanic employee was granted this opportunity. While I was reading your book something came in mind that I will prevent it from happening to others African Americans and my son. I filed a complaint with EEOC against the company. I have been using my strengths to overcome my weaknesses which leading me to file against the company even though I know that things will not be the same but, I have to let them know that it is unfair to treat employees differently . Once again thanks for all your encouragements.

  329. This has inspired me to start working out as well. I will consistently get out with my husband and our two daughters and go walking. I’ve tried doing it alone and I never stick with it. I think that starting this now will set great examples for them and I hope that by working out with my husband will encourage us both to stick with it. I want us all to live long & healthy lives.

    1. Combining exercise with a time to connect with your hubby and kids is a combo to boost your happiness. It’s a great way to connect, play, and get healthy all at the same time. Enjoy!

  330. You are dead on, we just need to begin to move, it will not only change out body, it will change our mood and our spirit. We must stop making excuses for why we can’t exercise and realize that our bodies are the Temple of God and must be handled with care.

  331. It is truly sad that we are still dealing with these issues about out looks. We spend so much time trying to be something that God did not design nor desire us to be as if he made a mistake. It is so important that we accept and respect ourselves and make others respect us just the same. We need to rid ourselves of the superficiality and grow in authenticity and gratitude because, all that matters is how we feel about ourselves. We must know that God did not create junk and we are worthy of all he has in store for us. You see by the world’s standard someone may be gorgeous on the outside and a hot mess on the inside, which would you prefer. i personally want to have a beautiful soul on the inside and yes i want to look good on the outside, but vanity is not my focus.

  332. Wow !! I thought I was the only one getting fully dressed to make it to the gym and then in up cleaning the house, running errands, and anything that has not one single things to do with exercise. However, sometimes when I do that just in the middle of no where I feel guilt and stop what I’m doing and get a few laps in at the park or the store parking lot (of course after shopping) and sometimes I even double back to the gym…….lol sometimes.

  333. I love walking around my neighborhood beause it’s a way to meet new people, especially the dog walkers. But we live at the bottom of the neighborhood and it’s a steep climb in any one of the four directions that lead out of my development. So sometimes I put on my walking shoes, get in the car and drive four or five minutes to another neighborhood and walk on more level streets.
    I keep my old walking shoes and a pair of socks in the trunk of my car so if I pass by a park or the college campus near my work and have extra time I can get in a walk in some new scenery. Last week with the rain and humidity being pretty unbearable I decided to use the mall which is “walker friendly” and both flat and COOL!
    I love walking because it’s free and you can do it anytime-alone or with a friend.

    1. Dee, I love that you keep your shoes and socks in the car, just in case you have a chance to walk! So practical. 🙂

  334. I have been reading your column for almost 2 years, and I love it. It is inspirational and makes me think about who I am and how I live. This particular article was great. I frequently put music on to clean the house, but now I may just dance to the music while cleaning. My apartment complex has a pool and I try to get to it twice a week at least. I hold two jobs so it’s a little hard, but I am trying. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  335. Thank you Valorie for the wonderful reminder. We or rather I become so busy that I neglect to take care of myself. The “I’m gonna” do this and “I’m gonna” do that, all words and no plan of action. So I decided, I will walk at least 30 minutes 3 times a week somewhere in my neighborhood. (I mark it on my calendar with a w) Similar to Marcey, I too live very near a lake that I was driving to until I realized it was so close that I could walk to it. So I look forward to the fresh air, and meeting other familiar faces who get up early to walk. Not to mention that at this particular moment in my life I am unemployed. So I have no excuse and besides it gives me time to think, see God’s work in nature and to ask myself some of those difficult questions that I don’t want to. I do remember the dancing in the living room…I’ll have to work on that one.

  336. I like the term ‘wog”. that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the last 8 months, yet didn’t have a name for it. lol!
    Thanks for your inspiration.

  337. Perfect timing! I was just saying this morning it was time for me to get my excerise routine back up again. Thanks for the words of inspirtation! It was much needed!!

  338. Perfect timing! I was just saying this morning it was time for me to get my excerise routine back up again. It seems like there’s always something or someone pulling my attention away from the very thing I need. Thanks for the words of inspirtation! It was much needed!!

  339. Hi Valorie
    You are an inspiraiton as always thanks for the new word “Wog” keep up the good work.
    working out is a spiritual start of the day for me.

  340. Staying focused on the instant gratification of feeling so much better after accomplishing a workout session as opposed of focusing on the long term results of weight lose and being healthier sounds like a great idea. Too often many of us are discouraged because we focus on the hard work involved in the long term results. But embracing the immediate “happy feeling” is worth “wogging” after!

  341. Hi Valorie, thanks for the talk……Affirmations are really powerful as I’ve used them in my past. You have reminded me that it still works. I will implement it today. Thanks for the info of putting positive words around you. I’m gonna do just that. I’m outside insurance sales so I will put one word, elaminated cards in my car and my sales book. Thanks for the continued support you provide me.

  342. Valorie,

    I have to be honest, I read How Did I Get So Busy six months ago, and I followed all of the 28 steps except for the ones focused on exercising. My thoughts read something like this, “Yeah, yeah, run, walk, blah. Get to the real stuff, like time management, and setting goals.” As a wife, mother, and professor-in-training, I dismissed exercise as something I didn’t have time for…until I started getting really tired and grumpy. I learned this lesson the hard way. I tried to manage a crazy family schedule, career demands, relationships–all at the expense of my health. I reached a “burn out” season that was rooted in my lack of self-care. After one really tough day, I put on my jogging pants and never looked back. I have even managed to convince my husband to run a 5K with me in a couple of months. Even though I didn’t respond immediately to the challenge of embracing an exercise routine, after reading your book the seed was planted, and the thought returned at just the right moment. Thank you for your wisdom!

  343. This post was so timely for me personally. While writing my dissertation I reached a snag. I started revising my first chapter and recognized that I could not effectively critique my work without dismissing myself as a scholar completely. There was an unhealthy way in which I internalized the rejection and criticism from the past to the point where I subconsciously viewed my scholarly work as irrelevant and mediocre. Because the act of revising requires me to intensely scrutinize my ideas and writing, I felt myself crumble under the pressure. Thinking about the function of affirmations has allowed me to remain focused on the larger picture, and the truth about who I am. Thank you for reminding us how important affirmations are!

    1. Wow, Tamika, what an awesome examples of using the happiness trigger of “winning words” to turn your frustration around! And congrats on getting to the point of working on your dissertation! You must be a very focused and determined woman. Looks like soon, it’ll be “Dr. Tamika.” Woo-hoo!

  344. This is just what I needed to hear today. Words are so powerful. We have to speak life. I have been going through so much this week, but just speaking these words have given me a new look on life. I am almost done with “successful women think differently”. The book has blessed me.
    Thank you

  345. Awesome post. Thanks! Just what I needed. I love the way you use scriptures. I will make them part of my language today.

  346. Thanks Valorie! I just started a new job as a recruiter (in an area of expertise I have little experience….but I know God opened this door of opportunity) and felt so inadequate as more seasoned and ‘extraverted” individuals expressed their thoughts during a workshop. I felt frozen and never would voice my opinion out of fear of saying the wrong thing or saying something completely ‘stupid’. Today, I will no longer allow fear to kill the passion and talents the Lord HAS placed in my spirit. I can and will plant a seed of hope in the lives of the young professionals I am endeavoring to recruit.

  347. Valorie, I literally stumbled across your book in Jan 2013. I was reluctant to read it as I thought it would be another”self help” book full of ridiculous ideas. LOL…. fast forward to today..I have not only held on to the book, have written on every page and used it as a frequent reminder. I also gave each of my girls and several friends your book. All of us agree you have a gift for encouragement and your talent to remind us to focus on what good God has wired us for. I am going through a divorce and instead of going to the path of bitterness and holding to the hurt and pain, I am working on my graduate degree, being intentional on moving forward to better things every day, renewing relationships with family and friends.I focus on how my daughters have overcome obstacles to achieve their high academic and personal achievements and use that as a catalyst to give me realistic hope. Thank you for taking time to let God use you to encourage others like me. I know you work hard and are often exhausted, I am grateful to your dedication and want to pass on that same determination in my own life to help others around me…positive ripple effect!!!

  348. I could not agree with you more, words are so powerful. When speaking to others and ourselves, the positive words always resonate much better. Kind words go far, positive ones are what i call action or “do” words. They give us the momentum to move and actively participate in benefiting ourselves and others.

  349. Thanks Valorie! I really needed to hear this. It seems I’ve fallen into a mental slump. Your words are true, on time and on point. I believe I can do this! Thanks…

  350. I hadn’t exercised in over 2 weeks. I begin to not sleep well and I didn’t feel like working on my business and do the things I know I must do to move forward. Spirit whispered to me, “You’ve got to exercise.” Even though I only spent 5 minutes on the elliptical machine and worked my torso with weight machines, when I left the gym, I felt like I could conquer the world and had energy I hadn’t felt in weeks. Exercise is a main ingredient of good mental health, weight loss, digestive health, etc. – the list is endless. Thanks for the reminder!

  351. Thanks for this inspiration today. Prior to reading you post, I just made a note to self to write a blog on the power of visualization in achieving your personal finance goals. Your affirmations are a perfect tie! I’ve been hungry to share my passion for personal finance and have experienced frustration primarily at the pace I’m progressing as I work full-time, train for a triathlon, and use my free time to read, research, and capture my journey. I will now be sure to add words of affirmation to my daily routine in order to achieve it all and more! Thanks Valorie!

  352. Hi Valorie,

    I love this read…I am at a point in my life were everything seems to be negative. I am 26 and I have a wonderful husband and a fun 7 month old son. I have a job that provides me the hours to spend time with my family and the financial stability that makes us feel ok and I have my health. But for some reason I began to feel unhappy about where I was in life and what I wasn’t doing with my 4 year college degree. I began to feel envious of some people who were either more success or just a bit more happiness than me. Then I read this blog you posted, and it made me realize why I have been feeling this roller-coaster of envy, sadness, and sometimes hatred for myself and sadly for others. It’s the people I allow to be around my friendship circle. I have a coworker that I slowly began to get to know. It started out as small chit chat at the office get together than we started going on lunches and walks. She reflects a lot of negativity about her relationship, her job (as we work in the same office), and other aspects of her life. For some reason I began to reflect those same negative feelings about my job, where I am in life, even about my marriage. I began to feel as if I was worth so little to myself and felt like no one cared about me. These feelings are what brought me to your website. I want to find a way out of this small depression that I am now going thru. I don’t want to feel this way anymore and I don’t want this to affect the positive people that are in my life. Now I know I need to slowly distance myself from those who are negative like my co-worker and start including people in my life that are positive.

    Thank you so much for posting this…you do not understand how much this has helped me!!

    -Fabiola

  353. Valorie,

    Thank for the inspiration. I agree with you, our words can build up or tear down. I chose to build myself up as well as those around me. The bible declares in Proverbs 14:1 “Every wise woman build etch her house but the foolish plucketch it down with her hands..” Personal affirmations is truly a sign of wisdom at work. Again thank you.

    I Call You Blessed,
    LaWander

  354. Hi Valorie, As usual you struck a nerve with Ingrid and i have to admit i need some help with my issues. I’m not happy in a lot of areas (work, my business, sexually, mental, physically) and my biggest problem is being willing to do the work in those areas to improve them. In your book you asked the question “What makes you happy?” it took me 12 hours to try to answer that question. But i still dont know if i didnt have things in this world, what makes me happy. Still searching and looking for a way to find out. Any suggestions? Can you recommend anyone in Baytown Texas that can help me. Thanks in advance

  355. I just spent a week in the Adirondacks with my sister. When I asked if she wanted me to help her launch her kayak, her reply was, “I am good and I can do this myself.” It became my mantra for the week and it worked for me too.

  356. Hi Valerie, and visitors!

    I have been living on the edge for many years, not facing realities and experiencing all the results of poor planning, not taking responsibility, and in general – not holding myself responsible for the result of my activities. At sixty-two years of age one would think I might be embarrassed or feel silly admitting this – but I am not. I have come to realize that we learn – in time….. We comprehend – in time…..and we implement change…..in time. Some of us move faster because it is right for them, and others move very slowly because they need to absorb the lessons deeply and permanently. The latter describes me. I am at a point in my life where I know that certain changes have to be made, or I will suffer for the lack of that. Fear has slowly left me, after so many, many years and I am at a place where I can stand and clearly see the outcome of my decisions. I am facing the reality that I am making my reality. And, the more I move about in an open, loving, sharing, yet keenly aware way – I receive the gifts of clarity and knowledge, and I now know how to move about and see my plans and dreams come true.

    My point in writing all of this is simply – DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF! Financial problems, employment trials and tribulations, family drama, etc., etc., etc., can come and go – but when you can resolve to do and be the best you can, face each challenge without letting it take you over, you will reap the benefits of success. May all who read this realize the gift I am sharing with you. You cannot run away from problems – but you can turn around – face them squarely, and then begin to remove them with perseverance, determination and strength. Start chipping away at that little “thing” that stands in your way, look directly in the face of your threat – it will start to look quite different in a very short time. Trust in yourself to be more than you even know you are or can be – and then watch it happen!

    God has always had my back, he has simply been waiting for me to let him know that I am ready, and I AM READY.

    Anita Marie Colbert

  357. Hi Valorie, love your work. I couldn’t agree with you more. I recently wrote a post about the same exact thing! For me, my “what is” (that thing I must accept), is that I will not have the body of a “twenty-year old” no matter how hard I try. Sure, through proper diet and exercise I will be healthier and stronger, but the reality is that gravity has taken it’s toll and the body that I would love to have is no longer within my reach…and that’s okay. I accept the body I have, because it is what it is. I’ll continue to work on becoming a healthier version of myself and part of that is accepting “what is” RIGHT NOW!! Thanks so much for this post and the confirmation that I am on the right track 🙂

    1. Stacey! I absolutely adore your attitude. And with that healthy body, you will have a longer, stronger life and precious time with the people you love. Your beauty and attitude are radiating through my computer screen!

  358. Valorie, How can you help me handle my “what is” the thing I must accept? I loss my oldest child, my only son in February of this year and each day I must live with knowing that I will not see him again on this side, but one day in heaven. How do you address parents living through this? It’s not something that is easily accepted nor do we just get over but, pray to God each day to help us live through the pain. I would love to way up each day feeling whole but, in reality there is a part of me missing and always will be. I love your books and your daily assignments, but this is one is definitely a challenge for many women or should I say mothers…like Me!

    1. T.O. Dorsey:
      I am so sorry for your pain and your loss. This burden must be so hard to bear. I have not lost a child, so I cannot begin to understand. But just my *fear* of losing one of mine is sometimes heart-breaking to me. I am glad to hear you know you will see him in heaven; there, you will have no more tears, just endless joy. I hope you can focus on the joys you were able to experience with your son. Again, my deepest sympathy.

    2. T.O., I am so, so sorry for your loss. I am praying for your strength, comfort and peace. I have never been in your shoes, but I know you are right that it will always feel like there is a part of you missing because your son is indeed always going to be a part of you. You blessed him with life. Please email leone @ valorieburton.com and give her your address. I’d like to send you a copy of Where Will You Go from Here? In it, I tell the stories of several mothers who lost their children and you might receive some sense that you are not alone by reading their stories. Also, you may have done this already, but joining a grief support group or going to grief counseling may also help you during this time when your loss is so new.

      May you feel God’s love each day.

      With love,
      Valorie

  359. Hi Valorie: Thank you for this column. Your message is right on time. Last year I got a great new job. Only issue is the location. Initially I made plans to move and settle in my new location. However somewhere along the way I started digging into my “home” and resisting the change. I finally realized recently that plan is not really working and I started to make plans based on what is really going on in my life in terms of where my job is located, the fact that I have not won the lottery (yet) and I have to manage the money I actually have. It sounds so simple, but getting to this point was not easy. I do feel much more peaceful now that I’m no longer fighting against my real life. Thanks again for your wonderful insights.

    1. Wow, what a process, huh? Kudos to you for listening to your life and doing what gives you peace! That takes courage, Kim.

  360. Talk about right on time, me accepting my “what is” is the fact that everything I’m having issue with in my life is because of the person I look at in the mirror every day. I’m overweight with a slew of health issues because I’m not doing what I should when I know what to do, I’ve done it before(lost weight), have many books, subscribe to blogs, and watch all kinds of shows to give me healthy advice, but I start and stop, haven’t been consistent, and get upset over the same results. My reality is I am truly blessed, and rather than focusing on all that I deem wrong right now in my life. I have two healthy children, my son starts college at the university I work for in two days, my daughter will be a senior in the fall, I never thought I’d find love again, but God showed me otherwise and I got engaged two months ago, I’m in a position to go back to school and plan on registering today as well as getting started on my next book of poetry that I’ve been putting off. I know that simply being here and waking up this morning is enough for me to be grateful, so my “what is” is me making an effort today to maintain a more positive attitude and make an effort to make better choices as well exercise a lil.I know I’ve said a mouth full, but thank you the reminder this was truly eye-opening. You’re truly a God-send Valorie, thanks for all you do!

    1. Aliya, can I just say it sounds like you have an awesome life! Enjoy it! And stop beating yourself up for the one area where you struggle. We all have something. The key is to find what we are willing to do to move forward. Set very small goals to start, something you KNOW you will be able to do consistently. That will build your confidence to eventually do bigger things. Before you know it, you’ll be a healthier, happier version of yourself. 🙂

  361. i just wanted to say as I am aging in Life it is becoming more clear to me that I Love life even more as I let go of and delete toxic people and things from my Life it really makes me feel stronger and happier and I had to realize that it was not selfish to feel this way I started a project in my House and it is very rewarding to me I have started painting each room a different color and it is simply beautiful and the fact that I and completing this project alone with the help of God it is awesome. I am truly grateful and I thank you for your obedience to God for doing what he has called you to do for his glory.

  362. Rock with you is my favorite Michael Jackson song! It’s so funny because I know the entire routine. I get this warm fuzzy feeling every time I hear it. Moving/Dancing is such a great feeling. And it does bring a happiness and joy!! It had been a while since doing a workout. But this week I felt the need to get back into it. And I am starting to get my positive edge back! Thanks so much for this. You are truely an inspiration to me!

  363. Lady Burton, you are so on point…as always :). I continue a daily battle with myself about “what isn’t” and “why isn’t it”. I realize I’m driving myself insane allowing these thoughts to reside in my mental day in and day out. My love relationship particularly is not where “I” feel it should be but my mate assures me that “we are progressing in that ultimate direction and just because you don’t see every little duck in a row doesn’t me we’re not moving forward”. I find myself hard to trust it because I stay in fear of “what isn’t” and “why isn’t it” and trying to control it, boy is that a continuous loosing battle. I know I’m missing out on valuable time and opportunity of the “right now”. I’m so ready to obtain the ability to absorb the “what is”. Thank you for being an encouraging and positive vessel to so many.

  364. Hello Valerie,

    When you spoke about savoring the moment, past, present and future. I thought about my grandmother Pearl. The raised me from age 5 until I left to live with my mother at 15 years old. The moment that I still laugh until I cry is when she fell out of the rocking chair and the house shook. We lived in the country. We had a wooden fire place. My grand father arranged the wood logs on the fire, however it was not to my grandmother specifications. The logs smother the fire. So she took the poker, lean forward on the rocker and the chair slipped out from under her. Indeed it was a surprise to her. However, before I screamed (laughed) I made sure she was alright. She chased me out of the house. My grandmother has been deceased for 43 years. I still miss her. She taught me well. There are so many things I would like to tell her, now that I am a mother and a grandmother. Thank you for allowing me to share.
    Peace n’ blessings.

  365. Thanks Valorie. What an uplifting post! My day is filled with hundred of emails, texts and phone calls, and tasks that must be taken care of. Reading your post was a wonderful break. I will savor the positive emotion that I felt in sharing your experience. God bless you.

  366. When I was 6, I had gotten sick, and didn’t go to school that day. I was pleasedly surprised when my father came home from work and surprised me with a small stuffed blue, pink,and white clown. Thirty-four years later, I still have this toy…never even washed the thing!
    My father became an angel in Heaven four months ago. This special gift, strangely, means more to me than the gold class and college rings and gold bracelet he purchased me when I got older. I plan to pass this special gift on to my daughter, whom he affectionateley referred to as his “heart”. Thank you dad for a special memory I will always hold dear in my heart 🙂

  367. I like having the connection with family and friends. We have the opportunity to share insight or encourage on another. There are times though when I do feel negatively down after plugging into social.media. My life is difficult. There are days when I wonder why my life isn’t yummy recipes and pictures of my husband and I on family vacations enjoying life. On those days when life hurts, I choose to over look those cheerful posts and look at my encouraging ones from you and other resources that lift me up.
    Sherry

  368. What a great reminder for us to be grateful for what we have. It is so true that we can get side tracked by looking at the life of others and forget to remember that we should grow where we are planted. Great Blog.

  369. The way Alexis felt was also the way I did when I had no job. Reading all the positive posts made me feel jealous when I know I shouldn’t. It’s the comparison factor that removes a person’s happiness. I really do not suggest looking at Facebook much on a low point in life. But thankfully, there are groups or inspirational people (like Valerie Burton) in Facebook that balances out the negativity.
    I also believe, most people do not post the bad side of life, so keeping that in mind, nobody’s life is perfect.

  370. I am glad to know that I’m not the only one who sometimes feels down after checking my news feed on FB. I guess that’s why I don’t post often. My husband has been sick for the last 14 of our 20 year marriage and our son has a learning difference. There are days I just don’t feel like being happy for someone else, and those are the days I have learned to stay off FB.

  371. I enjoyed this! We should learn to be grateful for those things which we currently have versus what we do not have. It’s also important not to compare ourselves to others because we don’t know the obstacles they faced in order to get to where they are now. We must focus on the plan and path which God has set for our life

  372. I love Facebook. I have the opportunity to stay in contact with a lot of relatives and friends that I wouldn’t otherwise. I love hearing about their successes, anniversaries, vacations, and birthdays. I also like being able to encourage those who are having bad days. I guess it is easier for me because I am an empty nester and retired, but I love the interaction with others. Thanks for your articles, Ms. Burton. Very informative.

  373. I left social media about two months ago. It was the best thing I could ever do. Consider this if you focused completely on yourself and you life goals what could you accomplish. Sometimes scrolling was just a way for me to avoid dealing with my own life. I found myself liking things I didn’t like. I felt not liking my friends constant bragging meant I looked like a hater. When in all honesty nobody like a bragger. I’m now focused on me and my family.

  374. I can’t help but think how so much on Facebook seems superficial. I started an account just so I could monitor what my kids were posting and before I knew it I had friend requests from people I don’t even remember. The best thing that came out of facebook for me is as Veronica mentioned above the connection to family and some friends that I truly do love and care about but don’t get to see often.

    I am never ashamed of my low friend count since I actually know those forty something people that I have as friends. I am not bothered by the fact that old high school friends have not requested to be my FB BFF since truth be told we probably didn’t like each other much when we were kids so why should we start now. I have finally overcome the profile picture blues and have decided that having the same picture for a full year is not that bad.

    More than anything I am grateful that I have not shared something that I could never take back or even told a little white lie that I would later be questioned about. I think Social Media has advantages and like anytihng else that we do is a positive if we manage it appropriately.

    For me true sharing happens face to face or live over a telephone or even skype. Lately I have decided to send thank you cards and thinking of you cards over the mail to people in my life. It takes just a little longer to arrive but so far I have had many delighted calls and text messages from the recipients.

    As part of my journey of being a happier person I prefer to document my thoughts, gratitude and memories into a good old fashion journal. I don’t get as many likes but I find comfort in knowing that one day I can still read back at what has happened good or bad with no regrets of having given up my privacy.

  375. This is a very interesting read, and I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one who feels down sometimes after looking at the news feed on Facebook. Seeing everyone’s happy, perfect-looking life always makes me feel bad about myself and my not so perfect life. However, I love how you said that gratitude is a great way to get over those Facebook blues. When I am truly grateful for who I am and where I’m at in my life, I find that I’m able to look at my news feed on Facebook and be happy for others instead of being envious of them.

  376. Wow this is a great artcile and so true. When we are going through “life” we often will have our emotional ups and downs and I do not think social media helps. People only put up the good things that are happening in their lives – not what is actually happening behind the scenes. In the examples you wrote about, the married couple for 15 yaers – I bet the wife didn’t put up times when she was angry with her husband, or the arguments and disagreements that they have. Or how about them having to go to their pastor for counseling. See we only see “my hubby is the greatest” but we don’t see “I really don’t know if I should be here” moments that married couples DO GO through whether they want to admit it or not. So, we (including self) have to realize that everyone’s life isn’t “perfect” we just choose to show what we want the world to see. Of course everyone wants to look good, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we are doing good. GREAT POST! (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @iamebbyK and @classyfitgals)

  377. Sadly, I have done the very same thing, log onto a social website and leave feeling terrible. I know what The Lord has provided for me and my children is amazing, truly we are blessed to be alive. But I do have those moments when I feel sorry for myself because I have worked so many years and have little to show for it. I have made so many mistakes and wasted so much.

  378. This is the truth. I often wonder why people always feel the need to post if they are at an expensive restaurant versus if they are at Mcdonalds or starbucks, lol, this is probably more the norm for the average facebook friend. My real friend and I often laugh at the all the “facebook lives.”

  379. This article is very enlightening. It is like a ” stop and reflect” moment to see what we actually put ourselves through when viewing social media. Because we tend to stop and think about what the other person is achieving not knowing what they have been through to make it to that point. We can slow ourselves down by dwelling on ” The have not’s”. Social Media like ” Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram” to name just a few of the popular one’s can be used for positive activities like ministry, networking, business and communicating. I believe that it is up to the individual to view social media based on whatever they feel is necessary to get out of it. What is also very interesting is how these systems are pulling people away from actually face to face communication and being more “real” with each other instead of trying to keep up or show off for one another.

  380. I posted a picture of my foot on FB today. You make Facebook what you want it to be. I live by the phrase: we don’t see things as they are, we see things as WE are. The question, “How do you see FB?” is one you answer every time you visit. A place for comparison? A place for keeping up with family/friends? A place where you post pictures of your feet? I stay away from the drama, post things that help my business, stay away from the drama, post pics and fun stuff to make others smile, and mostly, stay away from the drama. 🙂

  381. I too have been guilty of posting the “good” things about my marriage. Not to be deceitful, but in an effort be obedient to God. Now, I am grieving the lost of my son who was brutally murdered 2 months ago. I am finding out, in our self- centered, reoccupied with technology society, many people really have no idea of what it means to grief the lost of a murdered child. It’s not the same as losing a parent or a sibling for that matter.
    Not even one month later my husband filed for divorce. I was caught off guard because I had no idea our relationship was in such disarray. I posted that too, without speaking bad about my spouse.
    I use Facebook to be as my testimony to how God is faithful to take me through this difficult journey.
    Yes, there are days when it gets down right ugly, but it’s real. Somebody needs to see “real” Christians honoring God in the middle of the storm. Prays are appreciated.

    1. Althea, I am so, so very sorry for your loss. I am praying for you and will continue to pray for your comfort and God’s strength during this unimaginable time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, and may your future hold many good things. With love, Valorie

  382. I agree, Facebook can be superficial. I now use it to share my journey as I grief for my done who was murdered 2 months ago. In the same month, my husband sought advise to file for a divorce. I shared the information about the divorce on fb because my soon to be x and I graduated in the class. It was an excellent way to explain to my classmates why I would not attend our 35 reunion.
    My posts are inspiration as Holy Spirit leads me. I know there is someone out there who will read my posts and be set free.
    It’s not always pretty, but it’s authentic and driven by my desire to give God the glory.

  383. I am an encourager! Today I will encourage my husband as he spearheads a new ministry.
    I am great at encouraging other people. Unfortunately sometimes I forget to apply that encouragement to myself and those in my household. Today I pledge to be conscious of this.
    Thanks (again) Valorie!

  384. One sentence? I am struggling to find or remember my purpose after almost two years of unemployment despite glowing references, valuable work experience, two degrees, volunteering, flexibility, praying, reading self-help books (including yours), depression, divorce, pet death . . .

    1. Dee, Your reply is so touching to me, because I have been where you are. I am recovering but have not fully recovered yet. It is so hard to not feel ‘together’ when you most need to – looking for work, dealing with other difficult issues. You sound like a very accomplished woman, and underneath all those traumatic events, that wonderful woman is still there. Keep on pushing forward. Something great will happen for you, hopefully soon!

  385. My purpose is to help shed light on solutions and point the way forward to ‘aha!’, ‘I never thought of it quite like that before’ so we can be in the best position to succeed in all facets of life and ultimately come to the place of knowing we are loved.

    – Today, I’m connecting this purpose to me first. I needed to see this articulated in black & white! Thanks for the challenge, so glad I accepted and followed through, have a terrific day!

  386. I love this question Valerie! How is someone’s life better when they cross your path?
    I have a disposition of compassion. I think I get that one from my mom. I have this place in my heart to listen, hug, love, and when appropriate or moved by the spirit, to share insight and encouragement. Though I do not always have the time or even feel like it, something in me will just say no, stop, and be compassionate. This person needs it. This disposition works wonderfully with my profession that I love so dearly. I am an administrator at heart with the talent and skill. I believe God has blessed me with the unique ability to deliver TLC coupled with military planning precision! : )

    Today, I get to live out my purpose with 2 of my Clients.

  387. Hello Valorie,
    I think you’ re right on on this topic; I also think that one can do her or his homework, as far as finding out as much information one can about whatever place, position, or career dream one has in mind( you could talk to someone who is already doing what you are trying to accomplish to get a better sense of the reality of a job, or anything you’re interested in doing). You might not get the whole picture, but you can certainly get more information to help you make the best decisions in your pursuits.
    Have a great week!
    Zola