Reflection: Life IS Short So Spend Time Enjoying Your Steps

Reflection – there is real value in it. This could not be more true than it is now for me. Actually, we all could spend more time reflecting on our paths, historical and current, while living our lives fully.

Reflection Prompted By A Text

reflectionYears ago, a text message sent me into deep reflection. Home, nursing a sore knee and contemplating my next move, I was chatting with my daughter on the phone when a Sistah-Friend sent me a message. That was not the one that caused me to think.

My daughter and I continued talking while I checked out the link my Sistah-Friend sent. The multi-functions of smartphones cannot be praised enough. As I shared the information received in that text with my daughter, another one came in. That was the one that floored me.  Here is some of what I wrote on my personal Facebook profile about the text and the reflection it caused.

What Happened?

“A former colleague of mine and her partner just returned from holidays last evening. They went to bed but the partner wasn’t feeling on top of the world. This morning, he asked her for a glass of water. She went to get it and upon her return to the bedroom, he was dead.

Death is not something that phases me – not anymore. Not after my time in hospital chaplaincy being with people who are in the process of transitioning. However, occasionally the news of a passing moves me to the core. This one did. The suddenness and the anguish that I am told that my former colleague is suffering. I suspect that I will go be with her as soon as she is ready for visitors. I don’t normally attend funerals but I will go to this one if it is open to the public.”

The Reflection

Continuing the story that I shared on my Facebook profile four years ago:

“The tears are flowing down my cheeks as I write this. I can feel what my colleague and the friend who shared the news are going through. Cannot get into the details but I am taking many lessons away from this experience:

  1. Never give your life over to a job, stand on your head for an employer who disregards you the minute you ask, “How much more do I have to do?”
  2. Wherever you find happiness, wrap your arms around it tightly and enjoy it as much as you can and for however long it lasts.
  3. If you are not celebrated but merely tolerated – leave.
  4. Make sure you not only tell but show those who love you and who you love that you do every single day!

I can honestly say that I am feeling sad yet, this story and my process also have a freeing element to it.”

History Repeats Itself Somewhat

mentalThe reason why I am sharing this again is that the history of the sudden death of a spouse came again and this time so much closer to home. It was my own husband who was murdered and for the past four months, my time has been spent in reflection. The four tips above were uppermost in my mind, even as the tears flowed copiously or the walls felt as if they would close in on me.

Here is what have I done with each and again suggesting that you do the same.

Since July 2020, my life has been my own when it comes to employment. The outbreak of COVID-19 and illness sent me home since March. In addition to that, however, my husband’s sudden departure sharpened my resolve to once my health returns, to never again give my life over to a job. That was the first tip.

Daughters of Sheba Foundation gives me joy, almost as much as my two granddaughters, although I do not get to see them as much as I would like. My arms and yours as well should be completely wrapped around anything and everything that makes one’s heart sing. Tip number two.

The third tip I cannot overstress! Leave, get up from, let go of any place, person or thing that does not celebrate your presence!

reflectionMy husband texted me five minutes before he was fatally shot. Do you know what he said? “I love you my darling, Claudette.” Every opportunity he had to say that he took it. If there is no other lesson that I would like to leave with you today, it is the fourth tip – “Make sure you not only tell but show those who love you and who you love that you do every single day!”

Take The Time And Do It

Please, stop and reflect on your journey so far. Creating space for reflection in your life can help to “course-correct,” especially when things seem to be out of whack or confusing. However, I find it a useful thing to do even when things are “going well.”

This is our last post for this week, so do follow, like, and comment below as well as on our Facebook page, Instagram as well as Twitter.

Peace and Love,

2017

Share our story!
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ghosted: Someone Disappears From Your Life? Do Not Chase Them!

“Ghosted?” – have you ever heard the word? Better yet, have you ever been ghosted or did it to anyone?

Ghosting — when someone cuts off all communication without explanation — extends to all things, it seems. Most of us think about it in the context of digital departure: a friend not responding to a text, or worse, a lover, but it happens across all social circumstances and it’s tied to the way we view the world.

That explanation is from an article in The New York Times that you might want to read.

Ghosted By A Pen

More than hurtful, it is confusing when it happens. Things seem to be going well and then, out of the blue, without any explanation, they are gone. Not from the world, frankly, that would make it just a little easier to understand; they just stop communicating with you.

Reminds me of a pen that I lost as a child. It was a multi-cartridge pen that my uncle brought back from his stint in the United States. The pen simply disappeared. I was warned not to take the pen to school but which child would listen to that when they possessed the very thing that could make them the centre of attraction?

When I discovered that it had disappeared, I searched every crevice along the paths I had taken that day. Not finding it and knowing the hell and powder house that was going to occur when my mother found out, I ran away. Well not quite. I hightailed to my father’s family house, a place that I might have visited twice before. That is another story for another time.

As night fell, my half-brother took me home promising to plead on my behalf. We held high hopes that his pleas would soften my mother’s hardening heart as he had done so before. That too is another story.

He failed and I was severely whipped and chastised.

 

First Lesson In Letting Go

In that incident, I learned my first lesson in disappearing possessions. It would pave the way for how I dealt with the people who ghosted me. The incident daughter me, among other things, to hang on to things and people! For dear life I gripped:

  • Every relationship or friendship even if the other party did not want to relate to me any longer
  • Pieces of papers that said I had earned certification, a degree, experience even though I had suffered through the course, job, etc and hated every second

If it disappeared, if the person ghosted me, I would hunt and tie it down so tightly, preferring it dying than allow it or the person to “leave” me. That is exactly what I did when a long-term relationship started dying in its ninth year. Seven years later when it finally gave up the ghost and up and disappeared – literally and metaphorically – I started to learn the real lesson in what to do when ghosted.

Let them go.

What Is Yours Is Yours

In Jamaica, we have a saying: “What a fi yuh can’t be un-fi-yuh.” Translation: What is yours is yours.

ghostedIt would take me six years to earn my degree in “Goodbye Psychology.” My professor, Life, was patient and allowed me to repeat classes and courses, gave me extra lessons and set for me the most rigorous examinations. I graduated when I was truly ready to let everything, everyone and every situation disappear once they had fulfilled their purpose in my life.

Do you release that that is why people ghost you? Or you ghost them? The purpose has been served – whatever it was.

When this post was first written and published, it was the first anniversary of my a job with a not-for-profit organization. It was a proud moment for me not because I was going to receive a fat bonus cheque or something. My pride stemmed from the fact that this “Enjoyment Employment” was one of the several rewards that my professor, Life, gave to me.

Although the job would end almost two years later, the position was made redundant, I was able to let go without any tears or fear. Why? I had to learn to:

  1. Work not for money but for the richness of service
  2. Cherish friendships for their heart value and not popularity ranking
  3. Allow my most precious personal gift, my daughter, to be who she wants to be
  4. Love wastefully anyone even those who piss me off
  5. Release easily anything and anyone

ghostedGhosted, Literally, And Living Happily With It

A couple of years ago, I entered an outstanding life class that would lead towards a doctorate in “Goodbye.”

After swearing for years that I would never marry again, I did in January 2020. This was my way of entering the class, “The Joys of a Fully Free and Totally Unconditional Intimate Relationship.” 

Well, as Life had it, it was a relatively short class. My husband “ghosted” me, literally, as he was murdered five months after our marriage. He managed to make one final phone call to me minutes before he was shot.

The gift in this painful situation was that I had entered that particular classroom with my heart wide open and my palms uplifted to Source and the words on my heart were simple:

“Take me as I am.”

This ghosting, one of the worst that I have ever experienced is turning out to be one of the calmest for me. Yes, I cried, still sometimes do, however, I have come to learn and graduated from the school knowing that nothing lasts forever. People will come and they will go from your life. Some will simply walk away from you and others might, sadly, be taken out of your space.

If you would like to borrow my notes from earlier courses or be my study partner in this class on “What a Fi Yuh…” do comment below and I will be happy to share with you. You could also follow, like, share and tweet to us through our social media profiles. We are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Peace and Love,

2017

Share our story!
Posted in Life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fundamentalist: 2020 Teaches Us The History Lessons Of Holding A Hardline

Fundamentalist – have you ever been called that? Maybe not but you have heard the word “fundamentalism,” and it is usually associated with religion. However, when you check any good dictionary you will find that it goes deeper.

The definition of “Fundamentalism” includes – “strict adherence to the basic principles of any subject or discipline.”

Fundamentalist In All Its Form

fundamentalistMany years ago, a supervisor of mine during my chaplaincy training cautioned me about being a “liberal fundamentalist.”

Puzzled by her warning, let us call it that, I asked her to expound. Basically, what she pointed out to me that being a fundamentalist does not relate only to religion. She advised me that it is important to know who you are and stay true to one’s principles. At the same time, she said that it is equally important to offer and allow others the same right.

Still not sure what she meant, I asked her to be more specific. That was when she laid it out for me. My views have always been on the liberal side, the side that believes everyone is equal before the law and that being treated justly is not a privilege but a right of every human.

As mentioned before, fundamentalism is not restricted to religion, religious beliefs and attitudes. On a wider scale, it includes politics and also in one’s personal life. This was an eye-opening conversation for me.

What she explained is that being a fundamentalist in any form is basically trying or actually being a bully, trying to ram your beliefs on others.

2020, COVID-19 And Politics Are Full Of Lessons

This year, 2020, has been a life-changer for many. Too many lost their lives to COVID-19 and more will be forever impacted with health challenges as a result of the virus.

Many, myself included, are dying for this year to end. In our minds, it is about the date but is it really?

Went to bed pretty late last night and was up less than four hours later and went straight to where I left off, to watch the US Presidential Elections. As I type this, the next President of the United States of America is still not yet known. Hopefully, that will change by the end of today.

Frankly, I was hopeful for a resounding defeat of the 45th President of that country. Without going into the details of his politics, let me just say that his approach, style and rhetoric are not ones that I can endorse or find appealing.

Is it my right to be angry that so many people seem not to agree with me? No, unless I am being a bully, a fundamentalist – strictly adhering to my own principles and expecting everyone to see it my way.

Liberal Fundamentalist

fundamentalistBeing the political junkie that I have been since the age of seven, it has always been my view that these things form part of basic human rights:

  • access to justice
  • equity on all levels of society
  • being able to live in peace no matter one’s race, religion, nationality, etc

Since that conversation with my supervisor, it has been a continuous process of learning to accept that, whether my view of human rights is valid, others have a right to theirs as well. Any attempt to force or coerce people into my way of thinking is being dogmatic.

One of the many lessons that my American friends on all sides, but with greater emphasis on those on the supposed left, is this:

You cannot assume that everyone thinks as you do, should think as you do even if their or your life depends on it.

You would think that with so many still sick and many who will die from COVID-19, that everyone will wear a mask to save lives. No, even here in Canada a rising number of people are refusing to do so.

The lesson? Stop, listen, pay attention and meet people where they are and while you might present your view, never bully or try to force them to change.

People wrap themselves in their beliefs. And they do it in such a way that you can’t set them free. Not even the truth will set them free.”― Michael Specter

The Art Of Persuasion

Simply put, “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.” That is what Desmond Tutu told us.

That will be the walk from here into 2021. My hope is that we all, on the religious, political and personal levels will take that journey.

Have a great day and do visit our social media profiles and give us a like, follow us, tweet or share our posts. We are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Do also leave a comment below.

Peace and Love,

2017

Share our story!
Posted in Life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Elections Matter: Go Vote As If Your Lives Depend On It!

Elections matter. Wherever in the world that you are. Whichever party you like. Voting matters.

Four years ago, maybe on this very day, I wrote a post imploring women to go out and vote. Today, doing the same thing – vote, vote, vote!

The Elections Of All Elections

Very few times in history voting in elections have been more important as it does today. Obviously, you know that my primary reference is to the presidential elections in the United States of America.

My personal political leanings tend to be centre of left, on some matters it is very left. However, whatever your political leanings, you ought to exercise your right to vote!

electionsCanadians will head to the polls soon enough and I will be among them.  Honestly, I did not always exercise my franchise in every past election. My adolescent years in Jamaica were very much focussed on women and voting, politics in general and international affairs. However, my life several years ago was in somewhat of a topsy turvy and quite frankly, and ashamedly so, voting was the last thing on my agenda. Those who know me will tell you that regret is not a word that comes easily to my lips – it will not now. I do not regret my decision not to go to the polls in 2011 but it is something that has not happened again.

Seriously, Our Lives Depend On It!

There is another election that my eyes are focussed on. It does not have international consequences as the election of the next President of the United States has. However, it can and will impact or at least influence the lives of Jamaicans on a local level.

While this Foundation will not engage in partisan politics of any nature, whether Canadian, US, Jamaican or any other country in our world, what is important to us is that women never forget that:

  1. It was a long-fought battle for us to gain the right to vote.
  2. Women in several countries around the world still cannot vote.
  3. The female vote is extremely important – it can be the deciding factor in many political races around the world.

voteWhy Elections Matter And Why We All Must Vote!

On this question of women and voting, five years ago this is what I shared on my personal Facebook profile:

“I told my team that I will not be at work on Monday and why. They all said, ‘Seriously Claudette?’

Yes, I am dead serious that I need the entire weekend and morning of Election Day to decide who I am voting for. Having not watched television at all for two years, haven’t read a newspaper in 2+ years and have not voted in the last federal elections I need more time to decide.

My vote counts this time to me more than ever because of my granddaughter. I am voting for her and in her interest every time from now on. As:
1. Immigrants (13 years) and citizens now for almost 8 years
2. A thinking, independent and strong woman
3. A person of colour
4. As a non-religious individual
5. A soon to be a senior citizen (15 more years)

I am voting to make sure that this next and all future governments ensure, protect and legislate with the best interests of women, children and seniors at heart. I’m voting for those who support equal rights for ALL and not pander to any one group.

I’m voting for good schools for children, social welfare programmes, good jobs for ALL, fair immigration practices – ones that encourage the continuing construction of the mosaic called Canada.

Not Every Woman Can Vote In Elections

electionsAnother reason I will not miss voting ever again is that many women around the world are dying for the opportunity to choose for themselves. Women in the United States won the right to vote about 100 years ago. In Canada, women began voting in 1916, gaining full right to vote in 1919.

Wherever in the world that you are reading this, please go out to vote if you have that right. If you are living in a country where that right is restricted or completely prohibited, do your part – quietly if necessary – to change the system for your daughters if not for yourself. I am not into political agitation but this is not – voting is a human right as much as any other in my book.

Please share your thoughts on this or any other of our posts in the comments below.  Also, do visit our social media profiles – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – and like, follow, share and tweet.

Vote!

2017

Share our story!
Posted in Life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bad Memories: A Strategy How To ACT Them Out

Bad memories. Absolutely love this quote about them:

The more you talk about it, rehash it, rethink it, cross analyze it, debate it, respond to it, get paranoid about it, compete with it, complain about it, immortalize it, cry over it, kick it, defame it, stalk it, gossip about it, pray over it, put it down or dissect its motives it continues to rot in your brain. It is dead…over…gone…done. It is time to bury it because it is smelling up your life and no one wants to be near your rotted corpse of memories and decaying attitude. Be the funeral director of your life and bury that thing!” ― Shannon L. Alder

badBad Memories – They Will Come

Here I am at home alone, tapping away on the devices that surround me with the television playing in the background as often happens on a Sunday. Lonely is not something that I ever am. In fact, my own company is the one that is most preferable to me. My daughter would often tease me about being single for so long. Now, I am a widow. Prior to that, however, I have been living alone for years. Even though I married early this year, we lived in different countries. Living alone really impacted my entering a live-together relationship.

My daughter seemed more concerned whether, as the years go by, my memories and my gadgets will be my only daily companion. How would bad memories affect me? From time to time, she would shyly raise questions about some of those memories.  She would usually be surprised by my answer.

Releasing Bad Memories

The act of letting go is big with me. It has been important to me for years now. So much so, that I dedicated pages of my previous blogs to tips, guides, and conversations on the topic.

Bad memories are something that most people would love to let go, free themselves from and be done with them. The mind, however, particularly the subconscious mind does not erase bad memories that easily. It actually stores every memory without labelling them. We are the ones that do that – add labels such as “bad memories,” “awesome day,” “could have been a better situation,” etc.

Ironically, letting go is not what I did when it came to bad memories. Not at first and not without a fight.

For years the memories and the hurt associated with them caused me much angst. They brought out the most aggressive parts of my nature and ruined many relationships. Over time and with ageing (I prefer “maturing”), I came to realize one truth – what you focus on only grows larger and takes up more space in your day.

Depression Among Us

Years ago, I shared a frightening statistic that the number of people in the world suffering from depression was close to 350,000,000. The number seems to have changed with time. Check here for the latest.

As I sit, alone, doing what comes naturally to me which is writing, human interest stories appear on the television on this very topic. It is a situation that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as more and more of us are in isolation.

Senior citizens who are grandparents are especially hard hit by this as they are tucked away in facilities or alone at home with little to no physical outside contact.

badStill, years away from being committed or admitted to a seniors’ residence, as I watched these stories, my thoughts went to how do I really deal with bad memories?

My daughter was at first surprised when she heard that best serves me when it comes to bad memories – was not letting them go.  When it comes to all my memories I sit with them. Those that bring a smile to my face are very special and usually make my moment, or longer, so much sweeter.

The A.C.T. Approach ©

However, the bad memories are some of my best acting instructors. What do I mean by that? Do I get into role-playing when bad memories visit with me?

Many people fall into depression – close to 350,000,000 of them – with certain memories. Their minds will not release them and truth be told, it will not. After years of “faking it” when it comes to the most hurtful memories of mine, and failing to “make it,” or get to a place of peace with bad memories, I came up with a new strategy. It is one that I am sharing with you – not to replace any psychological treatment you might be benefitting from or that you are actually receiving.

My strategy is meant to support you, especially on those Sunday afternoons when, sitting alone at home as I am, and bad memories come to take the seat next to you.

It is a fairly simple strategy and one that I have named the A.C.T. Approach © as it does need some acting on your part. Not faking but actively erasing the mind’s tape when it comes to bad memories.

The Steps

badHere are the steps when the mind replays the tapes of things that lead you into feeling sorry for yourself, depressed and anxious about life. Feel free to download and print or share:

Assess – your role, your reactions and your responses in the drama, situation and challenge that this memory has brought back up. Instead of running from the memory or trying to block it, hit the replay button. Loop it as you assess your R’s (role, reaction, response) in every part of the drama. Do so without judgement – that is key – just with a desire to understand once and for all.

Clarify – this is something that many either have no time or patience to do. Ignorance is not bliss – it is ignorant and that does not help to erase bad memories. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what really happened. There are three sides to every story: His/Her’s, Yours and the Truth. Read every side.

Turn – the table or the tide on the story. Write a new script. In this new script, create a role for “The Best You.” Drop the ‘players’ from the script and include co-creators of the best version of you instead. Leave room for God/Source or if you prefer, “the magic” to happen. What is most important, do not end this new story. There is no ending to life. “To Be Continued” is how you will close this chapter.

Be Well

This is one way that I have learned to deal with bad memories that would leave me empty, wasted on an emotional heap that I no longer wish to climb. If that is where you are – lying on top of that heap in pieces – then please make contact with us and let us together A.C.T.

Follow us on Twitter as well as Like our Facebook page and Instagram to see posts on this topic and many others throughout the day. There are so many hurting people in our world, many who are embarrassed or do not know where to reach out for support. Why not share this article and our blog with them? What we can promise is a listening ear and pointers to where they can get professional help if that is needed.

Peace, Love and Wellness,

2017

 

Share our story!
Posted in Life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

October To Remember: How We Did At Daughters Of Sheba Foundation

October is almost over and what a month it was. There is much love in my heart for this passing month. The leaves changing colours is one reason. “A riot of colour” is how it has been described. My love for the month also has a lot to do with the fact that my only surviving child was born in October.

The Month Of October At DOSF

octoberIt was also the full second month of Daughters of Sheba being a registered Canadian nonprofit organization. We are so proud of ourselves and what we have managed to accomplish so far.

As with every individual or organisation, you move forward on some things or in some areas; move backwards on others and stand still on several. That was true of us as well but even when things paused or ended, we understand what the bigger purpose is and so we trudge along.

Due to differences in approach, style and time commitment, we, unfortunately, have parted ways with one of our Directors. Mrs Beverly Sukie-Martin decided that she could no longer move forward with us. We thank her for her contribution to each of us individually and to the organisation as a whole and wish her all the best with her future endeavours.

Round-Up Details

Inaugural Christmas Auction

Quite frankly, much of our attention was focussed on putting together our Christmas Auction. This opens on Sunday, November 1, 2020, and closes at midnight November 15, 2020.  Previous posts have detailed information about the wonderful women who donated their art, craft, jewellery, products and services that we will have up for bidding. Check them out here. Be sure to check our Facebook page as well as our Instagram profile as of November 1, 2020, to see the items and email your bids to daughtersofsheba@gmail.com

Hyacinth Brown – Micro-Chicken Farming Project

Regular readers will recognise this client’s name and the work we have been doing with her. Happy to report that Hyacinth collected the chickens and feed that our generous donor paid for to get her started. It has been two weeks since her micro-farm is up and running. If you have Instagram, you can check out the video update that she sent to us here.

Student Data Grant Initiative

This initiative turned out to be more far-reaching than we initially imagined. Believe we shared before that instead of helping only three (3) children, we in fact are paying for data for eight (8) PLUS their siblings who will have access to the internet through hub spots. The donations that we have received so far is therefore helping closer to 21 children in total. This campaign ends in December and has as its goal C$1,000. At the time of writing this, we have either collected or have donations promised in the amount of C$851. Only $149 and these children will be guaranteed support until the end of December 2020 when the initiative ends.

 

Other Activities

We continue to receive Requests for Support that require responses to and unfortunately, we had to decline quite a few. This was so as persons are not carefully reading the criteria for us to consider supporting their request. Might we suggest that if you or anyone you know is interested, please read the information carefully here before completing and submitting the form? We cannot help everyone but we do try to help at least one. To be that one, we ask that the person requesting support to meet our requirements.

A couple of mothers did reach out to us for help with school supplies for their children returning to school. However, as we always say, we do not send cash to anyone. We asked for book lists and then approached our network for support. One mother was assisted with a couple of books.

octoberAs we have been doing, we continued to do daily posts providing COVID-19 updates to our social media profiles. We now have a growing YouTube channel. Would you mind going over and subscribe? Our plans are to beef up our presentations on that channel next year. We are on Facebook, as you know, as well as on Instagram and Twitter. Do visit and like, follow, tweet to us and share our posts. We greatly appreciate it.

Enjoy your weekend and the final day of October! Each month, we will do a Round-Up of our activities for the month that is ending or has ended. It is one of our ways to remain accountable to our donors and the general public so you know what we are doing and how your donations are being spent. Gloria Rose-Saunders is our Director and Treasurer and as a former banker, she keeps us in check.

Peace and Love,

2017

 

Share our story!
Posted in Why We Serve | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Half-Full Or Half-Empty? What Is The Situation With Your Glass?

Half-full? Half-empty? What is up (or down) with your proverbial glass?

In his book, “Fathomless“, Jackson Pearce wrote,

It is beautiful, it is endless, it is full and yet seems empty. It hurts us.

The book is apparently the third in a series of science fictions novels. While it is not my preferred genre, the title caught my attention and then the particular line quoted above.

Neither Half-Full Nor Half-Empty

It can be hard to fathom being in that space – neither half-full nor half-empty. Your proverbial glass has something in it but you are not sure whether it is closer to full or closer to empty.

half-fullIf you exchanged the word “glass” with “heart” – would it be easier to describe?

Your heart is full but you are emotionally empty?

Your life and schedule are jam-packed with things to do and people to see but a lingering sense of emptiness is at your core?

Full Heart, Empty Spirit

Years ago, at the mid-point of my longest-term relationship to date (16 years) that full yet empty feeling was upon me. We had packed our bags, my child and the dog, migrated to Canada full of hope at the promise of living in a relatively safe, orderly and prosperous country.

Yet, after months and hundreds of job applications, the money that we came with was running out and there was no sighting of the better life we had hoped to find. It would take several years for things to start looking up, economically, and just as a sense of belonging was about to set in, the bottom of my world fell out. My partner left me for another and emptiness was all that remained.

That was an extreme experience of being full and yet empty. We all have our experiences of it – one of the most profound contrasts of life. As they say, you cannot know one without the other. You know what you had when you lose it. The same is true of fullness and emptiness – the half-empty, half-full glass. Criss Jami has an interesting take on this:

“Seeing the glass as half empty is more positive than seeing it as half full. Through such a lens the only choice is to pour more. That is righteous pessimism.”

Do you agree? Is it more positive to see the glass or feeling half-empty?

Share your thoughts in the comments below or on any of our social media profiles. We are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

Peace and Love,

2017

Share our story!
Posted in Life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Up With Technology: How Well Are You Doing On That Front?

“Keeping up with the Joneses” -almost sure you have heard that saying. However, today we want to briefly ask you how well are you keeping up with technology?

COVID-19 And The Scramble

Just about everyone that you and I know has a smartphone of some sort. However, when it became clear that we are in for the long haul with this pandemic, the scramble started.

Schools began closing and classes moved online. The few students in my life are mostly based in Canada and they all have just about every technology you can imagine. As it became clear that schools would not completely reopen come September and many would stay closed, the scramble became intense.

This was true of not only schools. In fact, many companies even here in Canada had to convert their operations to facilitate working from home by their staff.

Keeping Up With Technology

Several business people that I know were ill-prepared for this transition. Many just did not have the capability or funds to support telework. What surprised me was the number of employees who are not up to speed with technology, aside from their phone, to work from home.

Our world was already on the technology road, the pandemic only sped things up. Something tells me that we are not going back at least not completely. So if you are one of those who need to step up whether as an employer or employee, now is the time to start keeping up with technology.

Its Place In Your Life

How do you feel about technology?

There are some advances in technology that I am sure will pass me but we are not at that stage yet. When it comes to everyday technological advances, it would be fair to say that at my ripe “old age,” I am still keeping up with the millennials. We have come a long way when it comes to the use of technological advancement. Yet, many are cynical about it.

“We can’t jump off bridges anymore because our iPhones will get ruined. We can’t take skinny dips in the ocean because there’s no service on the beach and adventures aren’t real unless they’re on Instagram. Technology has doomed the spontaneity of adventure and we’re helping destroy it every time we Google, check-in, and hashtag.”Jeremy Glass

Are You Checked In?

Our lives or that of a great many across the world are “checked-in” to our gadgets. So many are unable to do much of anything without phones, tablets, laptops, even or watches these days. The village has and continues to get smaller, yet:

“Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone.” Dan Brown

We have to use these advancements to help make our lives better.  there are many examples of how technology has improved the lives of many, including those with learning disabilities, the physically challenged, those living in remote areas with once limited access to resources such as water and many more examples.

Keeping Up But Maintaining A Balance

While you cannot allow technology to take over your life, striving for a balance is key. However, to thrive in today’s and tomorrow’s world you will have to invest time and money in technology. That may be in equipment or paying for sessions on how to use the ones that will help you at work or in developing your business or side gig. It is no longer cute to be technologically backward.

Long before we could have thought about the way technology would run our lives in the way it does now, Martin Luther King, Jr., reminded us:

“But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.  We must work passionately and indefatigably to bridge the gulf between our scientific progress and our moral progress. One of the great problems of mankind is that we suffer from a poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually.”

Frankly, he was speaking the truth, yet at the same time, we cannot fall behind too much, become technologically poor if we hope to thrive in the new world.

Continue to enjoy your day. Share your thoughts on technology in the comment section below. Do drop by our social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Peace and Love,

2017

Share our story!
Posted in Opportunities | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Special Needs: Exactly What Does It Means And Why Do We Care?

Spe·cial needs.

noun

(In the context of children at school) particular educational requirements resulting from learning difficulties, physical disability, or emotional and behavioural difficulties.

“the absorption of children with special needs into mainstream schools.”

specialWhat Exactly Is A Special Needs Child

The definition above is taken straight from the Dictionary.

Soon after Daughters of Sheba Foundation was publicly launched, one of the things we announced was that we would be hosting an online Christmas Auction. The benefactor of whatever amount we raise, we said, would go to our Special Needs Funds.

As this Auction will open on Sunday, November 1, 2020, thought it a good idea to have a brief conversation about what exactly does special needs mean.

Given that we were and remain in the middle of a pandemic, we wanted to find ways to fundraise online. We were also concerned not to simply constantly “beg” for money but exchange value with potential donors. Our first campaign, the Students Data Grant, has been a success. However, it is a one-way street in as much as donors only have the satisfaction of helping the children. For many, I would say all, knowing that several children are able to access learning online during this pandemic is all they need. We, however, went further and post regular updates about the progress. In fact, at the time of writing this, we are only C$149 away from our targetted C$1,000.00.

A Special Need Child Is…

All sorts of images come to mind when we think about special needs children. One that most often come to me is that of an internationally well-known public figure mocking one such person, albeit an adult.

A special needs child is a youth who has been determined to require special attention and specific necessities that other children do not. The state may declare this status for the purpose of offering benefits and assistance for the child’s well-being and growth. Special needs can also be a legal designation, particularly in the adoption and foster care community, wherein the child and guardian receive support to help them both lead productive lives. Julia Kagan, Investopedia

Wikipedia adds another level to the above definition by Kagan.

Special needs can range from people with autismAsperger syndromecerebral palsyDown syndromedyslexiadyspraxiablindnessdeafnessADHD, and cystic fibrosis. They can also include cleft lips and missing limbs. The types of special needs vary in severity, and a student with a special need is classified as being a severe case when the student’s IQ is between 20 and 35. These students typically need assistance in school, and have different services provided for them to succeed in a different setting.

Why Did We Choose This Group

specialIt was Clara Brown‘s suggestion that we target this group for support. If I am recalling the conversation correctly her exact words were, “Let us focus on special needs children as in Jamaica, too little attention is given to these kids.”

While this article is a little dated, the concern remains the same – exactly as Clara said. Invite you to read the full article here but this is a brief excerpt from it.

“At the age of two years, DJ’s mother became concerned about his speech. They visited their local health centre where his mother was told, “boys are slower than girls.”

So there were no alarm bells. She was somewhat reassured, though she was still a little concerned. So when he was almost three years old, she took him somewhere to be assessed. They told her at the assessment centre that he could not be assessed properly until he was six.

Next, she tried to get him into school and when she went to the first school she was told that ‘they don’t take children like him’. This made her very frustrated because she had done so much in trying to get services for him. So she kept him at home until the age of six years when she thought she would get him into a government-run primary school that took children who had special needs.”

A Drop In The Bucket

What we will raise from our Christmas Auction will, of course, be a drop in the bucket. However, my response to that is – it is a start, at least for us.

With the help of six wonderful women, who donated their craft, art, products and services, our Auction will open from November 1 and closes at midnight on November 15, 2020.

The six women helping us are:

  1. Aims Abson of Big Blue Barn Designs in Red Deer, Alberta. You can see more of her work on Instagram @bigbluebarndesigns
  2. Lea of Mersi Cookware in Calgary, Alberta. She is on Instagram as well and you can see more of her products there @mersicookware
  3. Kedesha Dallas Goode of Creative Goodness Hub in Kingston, Jamaica, donated product and more of her work is on Instagram @creativegoodenesshub
  4. Ann McLarty Jackson, professional during the day and excellent artist at all other hours in the USA. See more at @amj550
  5. Alissa McLeod you might recognise as one of our first clients. Author and creative, she is giving back and paying it forward and you can learn more about her @insideoutam
  6. Viviene of Veloria Art Jamaica, also in Kingston, Jamaica. You can see much more of her amazing art here @veloriaartja

Grateful To Them And To You

We all are so grateful to these women who said yes to our request for help! Not one of them hesitated!

Also grateful in advance to you who will support us come November 1, 2020. You can bid for any or all of the items by emailing your bid to daughtersofsheba@gmail.com. Maybe you do not want any of the items but would like to support our Special Needs Fund, simply donate here.

Thank you and peace and love,

2017

 

 

Share our story!
Posted in Features, Why We Serve | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Monday Motivation: 6 More Ways To Keep Going In Tough Times

Monday. That was the day of the week that I entered the world over five decades ago. That probably explains, if you believe in those things, why Monday was not a day that was disliked by me.

Monday Morning Blues

Just after my 50th birthday, which I spent at Clara Brown‘s house in Jamaica and who hosted a poolside bash for me, the thought crossed my mind – “What next?”

Those closest to me will tell you that over my lifetime the hats that have adorned my head are legion. Since leaving high school, my journey has taken me across the Caribbean, Europe, and North America. My jobs have been as varied as the places and people I have met along the way.

From junior secretary in a legal firm, personal assistant for a restaurateur, Communications Specialist for several Ministers of Government to Marketing & Communications Manager for a regional organization, my job titles have sounded impressive but the work was uninspiring, to say the least.

Not necessarily the brightest girl in my high school class, street smarts, the gift of the gab and keen listening skills were something that most could not claim. After my education took me all the way to Russia and back, the field of communications was my next significant-stop, but something remained missing for several years.

However, throughout all this time, I never hated Monday, not really.

It Will Pan Out Someday

In my heart, I knew that my life experiences were to be shared but how and with whom were unclear. Until the Worldwide Web came into my house. That was when this leg of the journey began. My blogging life kicked into gear with my first venture with the title Comforting Words. New but excited about the possibilities, I poured my heart out – maybe a bit more than I was really ready for and it would come to an abrupt end years later with another blow in my personal life.

As life would have it, the wish to write and share my story with even one never died. Moving to Canada was the beginning of the next phase, launched by my training in chaplaincy. I would pick up the pen again a few years later and started the Daughter of Sheba group on Facebook. This would evolve and now here we are.

Throughout, books, quotes and spiritual guides and mentors would motivate me, pulling me back from the brink of suicide and kept me going. The following piece was first published on February 19, 2014 – four days after my 50th and it is my gift to anyone – male or female – who today or any day might feel that they have had enough. It is my six (6) steps to keep moving on.

How To Stop Striving And Instead S.T.R.I.VE.

You keep doing and doing, but it seems to continually elude you.

Every morning you get up, dress your best, be one of the first to arrive, maybe you even put on the coffee and have lunch at your desk but come promotion time – bypassed!

Bought the car but it is not the dream one. Maybe in the next couple of years, you can. Got a mortgage but only for one bedroom so the living room is the makeshift bedroom for your child. That will improve say in five years, you think.

You dress well, your body not in too bad a shape and your face is really easy on any beholder’s eyes, but the love of your life seem to be blind! On all or some, a couple or even one front you are striving to succeed, but it just is not happening. Fatigue is setting in, not to mention frustration. Every motivational, relationship and financial expert you consult tell you to “keep at it, girl!”

For how much longer? That is your question!

It certainly was mine. Then I stopped. I checked myself. No warning other than sitting at rock bottom on the relationship, then financial fronts and there was nowhere else to go. Nothing seemed to work for me until I learned to stop my striving and struggling. A believer that like attracts like, eventually it became crystal clear to me that for all my striving, I was getting more reasons to strive and struggle.

The moment stillness – literally, spiritually and emotionally – became my stance, things began to change for me.

Yet to win a multimillion-dollar lottery, I am comfortable with my finances. Still single, I am happy with the relationship with me and that which I have with dear friends. Every would-be financial or relationship challenge that formerly might have had me flapping about in a panic, now find me calmly taking them in S.T.R.I.D.E:

Source provides

This too shall pass

Right answers always come

am capable

Deal with what is

Embrace the lesson and move on

“Take every endeavour in your stride. If it succeeds it is wonderful, if there is a setback, it is experience.” Anil Sinha

So, no more Monday morning blues. No blues period because of your job, your relationship or your situation. STRIDE and know that it might take some time, but it will not be forever.

If ever you need to talk, know that we here at Daughters of Sheba Foundation are happy to chat with you. Should we not be able to assist you, we will find someone who can. Link us through our social media profiles – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We simply love interacting with you.

Peace and Love,

2017

Share our story!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment