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

Homeschooling, It’s a New Day!

HOMESCHOOLING JORDAN DINING ROOM Hello wordpress family, I’m back, for today, at least. I’ve been missing in action for several weeks and this is why. . .

I’m the proud new mother of a 7th grade homeschool student! Woo Hoo!

Well, in the beginning it started out, “Mom I love being home schooled, I wish we could have done this a long time ago.” But today it’s, “Aww, mom, this is too hard, I wanna go back to public school.”

Well, that’s not happening, LOL. I’ve come too far and had to fill out too much paperwork and jump through too many hoops to get here, so now we’re going to stick it out until the end! Besides, I’ve started to like this ‘learning with my child’ idea. Not only am I taking a very active part in his education as his primary instructor, but I know EXACTLY what he’s being taught, I’M THE TEACHER, YAY! The challenge may be great, but the rewards are greater!!!

So to every parent who has homeschooled their children, my hat goes off to you and for any parent who may be considering it, please research it fully and if it’s something your child will benefit from, please do it.

Now, I’m only a beginner, but I will have wonderful stories to tell you as my son and I both learn about integers (math), the Supreme Court (history), and how to say apples in French (des pommes – day pom)! What an exciting journey ahead.

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

Is it your career, or your calling?

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What are you doing for a living right now?

What type of job do you have?

Do you look forward to going to work everyday, or is it difficult to get motivated?

Do you feel fulfilled at the end of each day?

Is the money good, or are you barely making ends meet?

Do you see yourself in the same line of business the next 10-20 years or until retirement age?

Whatever you’re doing today, is it just a career (a means to pay bills and provide for your family), or is it your calling (the thing you were born to do, your purpose and your destiny)?

There is a HUGE difference in the two. Your career will cause you to move around and switch jobs several times over the years, but your calling will keep you grounded, no matter how hard it gets.

Your calling is the last thing on your mind before going to bed and the first thing on your mind when you wake up. It’s the idea that you can’t get out of your head; it is the idea that drives you to pursue at whatever cost. Your calling will also become more important than a price tag, it’s deeper than money.

CAREER VS. CALLING IDEAS

Career: CEO in Corporate America
Calling: Small Business Owner

Career: Medical Doctor
Calling: Missionary to third world countries

Career: School Teacher
Calling: Bus Driver

Career: Mental Health Specialist
Calling: Writer/Author

Career: Car Salesman
Calling: Preacher

Career: Executive Secretary
Calling: Mother

Your calling is the thing that you were born to do, uniquely crafted by God to do, specifically put on this earth to do and strategically hard-wired to do. Your calling is usually effortless. It will have its challenges, which goes without saying, but it feels like second nature because the ability, the know-how, and the passion is weaved into the fabric of your soul.

So, are you fulfilling your career or your calling?

Are you building a business from scratch?

IMG_1203If your answer is yes, I tip my hat to you, I applaud you and offer you my greatest sympathy. I’m kidding, but I do understand the extreme sacrifice that goes into creating something brand new. Some people are just born with vision and the entrepreneurial spirit. They may work for others most of their lives, but are never truly satisfied because something deep inside of them screams for self-sufficiency, self-employment, and the desire to design a product or a service.

I am one of those people. I’ve been running my own business since I was about twelve or thirteen years old. My first business was sewing and designing monogram pillows and the kids at my middle school were my customers. My second project was selling home-made cookies, brownies and cupcakes and once again my classmates supported me. This was during a time when vending machines were not available to students in public schools.

Another business venture idea was an alteration service I provided. I also designed an African print wrap skirt with a matching tunic that sold like hotcakes. I could not keep up with my orders; I eventually hired a good friend to cut the fabric for me while I did all the sewing. It was fun but I had to turn away customers (and money) as I was not able to fill all the back orders.

Then several years later, I started a daycare in my home. The process was tedious with all the paperwork, licensing, coding, meeting state standards and regulations including compliance with my local fire department, applying for an EIN through the government and so on. But I loved it! It gave me the opportunity to raise my babies at home while making a decent living as a self-employed mom. I loved the children, I enjoyed teaching and the money was pretty good too.

Now here I am today, still self-employed but feeling the pressure of building this writing business. It’s hard work yall. It keeps me up late at night and I rise early to get on my computer to research, study, write and learn. It makes me pray hard too. Then there’s my family who demands time and attention. I may be self-employed but I’m still a wife and a mother who has duties around the home that cannot go neglected.

Building a business from scratch is hard work, but very rewarding if you don’t give up or cave in. You have to pace yourself and develop a schedule. I run my home just like I run my business. It works for me. I have a schedule and a to do list that I follow daily which helps me stay on track. I have learned not to put too much on my list. It is unfair to expect more of myself than I’m able to accomplish.

Self-employment requires a financial sacrifice as well. Unless you have a full-time ‘paying’ job or a spouse that works full-time, or a savings account for cushion, you must understand that you may not be rolling in the millions $$$$ initially, but good old-fashioned hard work, commitment, sacrifice, patience and trusting God will pay off!

Are you building a business from scratch, if so, what kind of business is it? Maybe we can share some ideas, tips and resources to help each other fulfill our dreams of success.

Love,
Toni

To Our Heroes! Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day to all! God bless the United States of America and all the patriots who have fought to make this great land what it is today! We love our veterans who have gone on before and those who yet remain.

You are our Heroes!

Love,
Toni

Appreciation Quotes for Teachers

teacher appreciationI celebrate and appreciate teachers, instructors and educators everywhere!

“Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime.” –Chinese Proverb

“Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” — Albert Einstein

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” — Henry Brooks Adams

“Modern cynics and skeptics…see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.” –John F. Kennedy

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Plato

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” — Lily Tomlin as “Edith Ann”

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove . . . . but the world maybe different because I was important in the life of a child.” — Kathy Davis

teacher appreciation 2

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” Tom Brokaw

“To know how to suggest is the great art of teaching.” — Henri Frederic Amiel

“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.” Tennyson

“We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.” –Barack Obama

“The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate apparently ordinary people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people.” — K. Patricia Cross

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.” — Dan Rather

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” — Mark Van Doren

Thank you teachers, God bless and we love you all.
Toni