Tips that help reduce stress

Stress, also known as the silent killer, can be defined as a state of mental or emotional pressure resulting from difficult or very challenging situations. Basically, it is life happening all around us and the seemingly insurmountable weight of it all. Life happens to everyone and everyone will (at some point) encounter stress. We all respond to stress in different ways but learning to structure our lives around it can ultimately be a matter of life and death, sickness or good health. Below are a few stress-reducing tips you can try.

Tip #1
Breathe, baby breathe
deep breathing(Photo courtesy of Google Images)
Deep breathing works. It really does. When I had my first child, the doctors and nurses told me to breathe, inhale through your nose (your diaphragm contracts and your lungs expand), and exhale slowly through pursed lips. This was my first introduction to deep breathing and over the years I have found that this technique has many amazing and powerful benefits, mainly being instrumental in reducing stress, improving sleep, optimizing your immune system and so much more. So when faced with a stressful situation, before you become unglued, take a moment to sit quietly and breathe deeply!

Tip #2
Pray, Meditate and Refocus
prayer meditate refocus(Photo courtesy of Google Images)
There are situations that we will encounter that are beyond our human control. We are not super people with super human strength, contrary to popular belief. This life will get crazy and that’s when we need to take it to the Lord in prayer. Prayer, like deep breathing, works. It is the understanding that we cannot control or fix everything and everybody that brings us to our knees. Learning to pray sincerely, meditate honestly on God’s word and taking time to refocus on what’s really important in our lives, will reduces stress immensely.

Tip #3
Laugh
laughter(Photo courtesy of Google Images)
This one is fun. Laugh! Hard and loud and until your stomach cramps and the tears soak your cheeks. Laughter is your internal medication, its God’s natural remedy for a soul-ache. What Tylenol does for your headache, good old-fashioned laughter does for your soul’s-ache. It works!

Tip #4
Read a good book
reading a book(Photo courtesy of Google Images)

We can get so caught up in the hub-bub of life that we forget how relaxing it is to sit down with a steamy/hot romance novel or an inspirational self-help book that not only takes your mind off your problems but gives your brain the inspirational work-out that it needs. There have been studies that determine that reading is the work-out your brain needs in order to stay in its optimal health. Reading reduces stress and expands your knowledge; it’s a win-win situation!

Tip #5
Music calms the savage beast (called stress)
listening to music(Photo courtesy of Google Images)

This is another one of my favorite stress relievers. The power of music is remarkable in so many ways and has so many incredible benefits. We can actually calm that beast called stress by listening to our favorite songs, regardless of the genre. Listening to soft classical or jazz can help slow down your pulse and heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and decrease stress hormone levels, while up-beat tempo music can help boost your self-esteem, improve your mood, your concentration and so much more. So close your eyes and relax as your stress dissipates into the sounds and rhythms of melodic pleasure.

A few other stress reducers are, going on walks in the evening, riding a bike, working out, watching a sunset, singing, going to the beach, fishing, journaling, road trips, pampering yourself at a day spa, doing Yoga, sitting in a hot tub, going to the movies, volunteering, reading your bible, eating ice cream (or your favorite treat), simplifying your life and spending quality time with good friends and family. Can you think of other ways to minimize stress?
sunset(Photo courtesy of Google Images)

At whatever cost, reduce the stress and relax. YOLO (you only live once)!

Love,
Toni

26 Declarations of Strength!

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We all have problems in this life, but at the end of the day, how are you going to handle the challenges you MUST face? Will you allow yourself to get better or become bitter? Will you trust God or trust yourself? And ultimately, will you allow your tests to make you stronger or will you crumble under the pressure? I choose to live, learn and increase in strength. For all my sisters (and brothers) who may be going through a difficult time right now, be encouraged. And be strong! I wrote this for US today:

There is a strength inside of me that he wish he had.
There is a strength inside of me that the devil would kill me for.
There is a strength inside of me that she envies to the point of seething rage.
There is a strength inside of me that the world didn’t give me.
There is a strength inside of me that the world can’t take away.
There is a strength inside of me that takes a lickin’ but keeps on tickin’
There is a strength inside of me that only weeps in the presence of my heavenly Father.
There is a strength inside of me that declares, Show no weakness!
There is a strength inside of me that must move on. I must!
There is a strength inside of me that understands that, Only God can fix this one!
There is a strength inside of me that sings through the midst of my tears.
There is a strength inside of me that walks tall, even with a shattered heart.
There is a strength inside of me that carries my children, with broken arms. I’ll NEVER drop them!
There is a strength inside of me that stands, even when I don’t know what else to do. I stand!
There is a strength inside of me that fights victoriously, on my knees!
There is a strength inside of me that understands that, NO WEAPON . . . And again I say, NO WEAPON BABY!
There is a strength inside of me that prays in an unknown tongue. The devil don’t know everything!
There is a strength inside of me that shares secrets with God. He makes known his heart unto me.
There is a strength inside of me that will fight for mine!
There is a strength inside of me that says, “I will trust the Lord, with my whole heart.”
There is a strength inside of me that through wisdom, accepts when to let go. And let God!
There is a strength inside of me that will fulfill my destiny, and will not die one second short of it!
There is a strength inside of me that embraces all that God has for me.
There is a strength inside of me, he wish he had.
There is a strength inside of me, the devil would kill me for. But he can’t.
There is a strength inside of me and his name is Jesus!

Father, I thank you for strength today. I thank you for strength for my journey. I thank you for strength to cast all my cares upon you because you care deeply for me. I thank you for strength to finish this life course. I thank you for strength to understand that this battle is not mine, but it is your battle, Lord and you will fight for me. I thank you that when I’m weak, you are strong. You are my strength, Father. THERE IS A STRENGTH INSIDE OF ME!

toni beside bed2 Love, Toni

Highlights from MegaFest 2013

Megafest 2013 logo
I’ve been traveling the past couple of weekends but now I’m back, ready to share some of my most memorable moments. I went to the one and only MegaFest in Dallas, TX the last weekend in August, and I would like to share a little about that experience. If you have never been to MegaFest, it is truly something you and your family should plan into your vacation time. Please enjoy my highlights!

HIGHLIGHTS FROM MEGAFEST 2013

This year’s MegaFest was BIG! Over 50,000 people from all over the world gathered in Dallas, Texas the weekend of August 29-31 at the magnificent Omni Hotel, the Dallas Convention Center and the American Airlines Center downtown, to celebrate the world’s largest family fun festival!

I had never seen anything like it before as this was my first MegaFest experience. I was in total awe of the collaboration of events, activities, seminars, movie screenings, concerts, expos, celebrity red carpet interviews, comedy shows, and kids and teenagers activities. There was literally something for everyone!

MegaFest 2013 hosted Oprah’s Lifeclass, the inaugural International Faith & Family Film Festival, the Just Churchin’ Comedy Show (with Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash), the Ball Up Streetball Classic Tour Championship and empowerment sessions for men, women, young adults and children.

On Wednesday, August 28th, there was a press conference with Bishop TD Jakes, who was joined by the Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings, to kick-off the three-day inspirational festival celebrating Relationships and the Restoration of Families through Faith.

I participated as Media representing Six Brown Chicks and I worked harder, and walked longer and sweated more profusely than I have with any physical workout at my neighborhood gym. I’m sure I lost several inches and pounds during this ‘five’ day event (for me). I checked in Wednesday and stayed through Sunday.

I met some of the most wonderful people and made contacts that I hope will last a lifetime. There were several ‘moments to remember’ that I want to highlight as well as a checklist for anyone wanting to attend MegaFest next year.

MOMENTS TO REMEMBER

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Oprah’s Life Class – This was definitely something I will never forget as long as I live. I watched with goose pimples how Oprah and thousands of other women (and men) responded to the words of wisdom that came from Bishop TD Jakes. Please be sure to watch the life class this month of September 2013, it’s about fatherless children.

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The Woman of Purpose Concert benefiting Autism Speaks – This concert featuring the Grammy and Oscar Winner, Jennifer Hudson, emceed by comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey was truly something to see. Performers ranged from Brandy, Mary Mary, Joe, and Kim Burrell, just to name a few. A portion of the proceeds from the concert went to benefit Autism Speaks.

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Woman Thou Art Loosed – The only thing I have to say about this is, NO MORE CHAINS, I am loosed!

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International Faith & Family Film Festival – This was an extravagant affair. There were training sessions, movie premiers/screenings, and Q & A sessions with directors, authors, screenwriters, and actors. This was truly amazing.

If you’re wanting to attend MegaFest in 2014:
• Start planning and saving money now.
• Book flights and hotels in advance.
• Pack clothes and shoes according to Dallas, Texas weather. But also plan for surprises (like rain).
• Women may pack heels but also plan to wear flats and tennis shoes for the vigorous walking around the convention center and the hotel and outside to catch trolleys and buses for travel within the city.
• Make sure to have ‘some’ cash on you. If you’re anything like me, I don’t carry much cash in my purse but I had to go to the ATM several times because I needed CASH for parking (they didn’t take credit/debit cards!) and cash for some of the vendors at the Family Expo.
• Register online! It will save you from having to wait in those long, long lines with frustrated folks. Also take your receipts and proof of purchase/registration to MegaFest. Don’t leave home without it!
• Pack snacks and bottled water. The restaurants and food vendors were a little pricey for some. The average burger, fries and coke was right at $10.00+ (per person). A 20 0z bottle of water was $4.00. (I can get a 24 pack for $3.00 at Wal-Mart)
• Overall, plan to have a good time and to be blessed. There is so much to do, you’ll have to pick and choose because you won’t be able to do ‘everything’.

Love,
Toni

Reflections of My Soul (Destined)

Embracing your destiny is like embracing a distant relative you’ve been eagerly awaiting to meet. It’s your daddy’s, mother’s, father’s, cousin’s niece from down south about twenty-three miles east of the river that runs past old lady Martha’s place. smiley face

You’ve heard of this relative, you’ve even dreamed of meeting this relative one day. From what you’ve been told, this relative is filthy rich and has in their possession something of extreme value, just for you. The only catch is that on your twenty-first birthday at 12:01 am you have to be at the Mississippi bus terminal in the north-west section, approximately 20 feet in front of the information desk before you can meet this relative and obtain what it is they have for you. bus terminal

This thing in your relative’s possession has the power to radically change your life, forever! You will never have to work another day in your life and all you must do is meet the basic criteria and at the appointed time, receive your gift.

Is there anything or anyone that can keep you from following the specifics of this demand? What will stop you from being at the exact place at the exact time to meet your relative and receive your inheritance?

Well, your destiny of promise, hope, success, and over-whelming blessings are your inheritance (your gift) and the distant relative is God. He has in his possession a destiny (future) with your name and your name alone stamped all over it. It’s yours! No one else can have it! He wants desperately to give it to you, but you must FIRST meet his criteria.

The funny thing about destiny is, we all have one and I don’t know about you but I want to fulfill my God-given purpose. I want all that God has for me. I am destined for: Success NOT failure, good health NOT sickness, prosperity NOT poverty, and a peace of mind INSTEAD of fear and torment.

I’m embracing my ‘no-longer’ distant relative and walking in my destined inheritance. What about you?

Love,
Toni

1 Simple Word of Encouragement

Message StonesHappy Monday!

As everyone should know by now, I am a writer/author who enjoys giving encouraging and motivating words to others. I was talking to a wonderful friend of mine this morning and we shared some valuable nuggets that heightened our spirits and provided determination to keep doing what God has called us to do.

Now I want to share a simple word of encouragement with you. It’s a scripture from the Bible. It comes from Proverbs 18:16 and it says:

A man’s gift will make room for him, and bring him before great men.”

Basically, whatever ‘gift’ God has placed in your life, whatever talent or ability, when nurtured and perfected, it will open doors for you, make room or space for you, and in God’s perfect, divine timing, it will bring you before great, powerful, wealthy and influential men (and women).

open door

A dedicated writer who perfects his/her craft, will be sought after. You don’t have to desperately hunt people down, when it’s your time, they will come looking for YOU! The same applies to any other line of work or career. When you’re good at what you do, and have a spirit of excellence, people will come to you. I heard a preacher say one time that if you have something that people want or need, they will get out of bed in the middle of the night to come get what you have.

Think about it. When you’re sick, you will go to the pharmacy at 2:00 am for medication or if it’s bad enough, wait in an emergency room full of sick people to receive the care that will make you feel better.

If you have a product or a service that people genuinely need, they WILL come to you!

So be encouraged. Don’t stop believing in your dream. Never give up! Trust God! Remain faithful. Be diligent. Walk in integrity. God is faithful to his word and his promise concerning you, he WILL bring it to pass!

Have a blessed day!

Love,
Toni

Book Trailer

Book trailers are HOT! I just learned how to navigate through a program that helps you design videos for your books or anything else you may want to share a visual message about. Whether it’s an online training, a webinar, a new product, or your new book, video messages are powerful.

Soooo, check out my new trailer for my book, The 2 Faces of a Preacher’s Wife.

Love,
Toni

Author’s Quote for the Day – Example

sunrise one“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.”
― Benjamin Disraeli

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Write your story so compelling that others will want to follow in your footsteps one day. Shine the light! -Toni J. Spearman

Love,
Toni