Monday, December 11, 2017

AUTUMNS LIFE'S LESSON


Every season brings its blessings and autumn is definitely no exception. I love the crispness of the air when September rolls around. My mood and emotions change as I begin looking towards getting together with friends and family.

Autumn identifies itself by the shedding of leaves which happens regardless of the temperature during the season. And we know to look forward to it, because it happens every single year. A few lessons can be learned from autumn which I believe are worth taking note of, and are applicable to our lives today.

1. Autumn signifies shedding or letting go of the old. Think about it, would it make sense if we had spring and no fall? Can you imagine how crowded and over grown the trees would become? In our own personal lives, what are the thoughts, fears, activities, relationships, friendships, habits, past failures that we are holding on to that are worth letting go. For us to move forward and go into another orbit, we have to let go of those things that we know are holding us back. TD Jakes said "when we hold on to our past, we do so at the expense of our destiny". It is important to take inventory of our life, take note of those things in our lives that need shedding, and shed them. The bible speaks of the pruning. This is another example of getting rid of the old and making way for the new.

2. The falling of the leaves happen regardless of the temperature of the season. Once the month of September rolls around, the leaves begin to change and the fall happens. It can be a warm autumn, or it can be a cold autumn, it doesn't change the outcome, fall still happens. We must know our season to let go of the old, and we should make that decision regardless of what others may think or feel. Our calling to greatness is by divine design and should not be handled lightly. Therefore when you know in your heart the time has come, it is movement time. Do not allow others opinions or the activities that are going on in our lives (the temperature) to prevent us from making our decision to move forward.

3. Autumn's shedding, leaves the trees bare for winter's assaults. When we let go of those things in our lives that prevent our growth, we become vulnerable to life's assaults. It is during these times that we may become criticized, or life just seems to become harder. The road to greatness, is never straight and easy, but has many challenges that are essential for building strength, endurance, growth and tenacity. These challenges stretch us and prepare us to handle the breaking point. And for us to make it through each challenge we have to have grit.

4. Autumn leaves us open for the miracle of spring. Letting go of the old, allows us to be prepared for spring. The falling of the leaves onto the ground provides nourishment for the soil which intern nourishes the trees for a better spring. Death to self always creates a new person. Therefore letting go of the old is essential to growth.

What are the life's lessons that you have learned from the autumn season. Please share them with me. I would love to hear them.

One Love
Danni

Thursday, November 23, 2017

SPRINGING FROM ROCK BOTTOM

When you have truly hit your rock bottom, and you know you have put your absolute best forward, never, ever give up, keep on hoping, keep on believing, keep on working, your break through is around the corner.

In those moments when your break through doesn't seem like it's coming to fruition spend time:

1. Evaluating your actions. Have you really tried hard enough or are you still short changing yourself by not putting forth your absolute best.
2. Brainstorm to find other ways or techniques you can employ to maximize on your efforts.
3. Get a mentor, someone who has excelled in your desired field and draw information from them. Have them guide you.
4. Do a thorough research in your field, maybe you are missing something that can assist in your growth.
5. Relax, your break through is around the corner.

One of my favorite stories in the bible, is the story of Joseph. Before he was elevated he had truly hit his rock bottom. Think about it, how much lower could he have gone? But there are two things Joseph did that we should pay close attention to and imitate:

  • He never allowed his resume to grow cold. Even in jail, he continuously put forward his best, having excellent work ethic and constantly growing. Lesson: Never slack off even at the bottom. 


  • He worked his network of friends. By asking his jail mate who was about to be released to remember him when he got elevated he was able to secure the second highest honor in Egypt. Lesson: Work your list of contacts, you never know who will assist in your growth.


Please stay true to your calling, don't get discouraged. You were made to fly.

One Love
Danni


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

THE HABIT PROJECT: HAVING EXCELLENT VISION

THE HABIT PROJECT: HAVING EXCELLENT VISION: I remember sitting in my car one day praying about making a particular decision in my life, and really wondering if God was hearing me. Afte...

Thursday, November 9, 2017

HAVING EXCELLENT VISION

I remember sitting in my car one day praying about making a particular decision in my life, and really wondering if God was hearing me. After praying I opened a magazine that was sitting in my lap, and there in front of me was a quote with a picture of the very thing I was praying about. The quote said, "Vision is looking beyond the obvious, success is doing something about it". Wow, that got me to the very core.

How many times have we wavered in making a decision that we know will forever alter the course of our lives in a positive way? How many times have we allowed our fear to dictate our next move? "God places the best things in life on the other side of our fear" Will Smith. It is moments when things don't seem to be coming through that fear and doubt tend to creep in. Understand that the will to persevere doesn't come easy. But if you are confident that this is what you were called to do and you will know because that desire keeps eating at your core, you persevere, you step out in confidence and you work harder than you have ever worked before. I promise you, it will come to pass. I must add, that to really know your true calling, you should pray and ask for guidance, I am sure God will provide a clear, concise answer by driving you towards His purpose for your life.

We thrive on certainty. No one wants to make a decision that one is not sure of its outcome. But I have learned from my own experience and the experience of others that stepping out into uncertainty isn't such a bad thing. "Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon, must inevitably come to pass" Paul Meyer.

So if the goal is to go back to school and complete your diploma or degree, step out of your fear, and your doubt and make it happen. If your goal is to choose a different career, one which rewards You as a commissioned agent instead of a salaried person. Then by all means, you go for it. You have to step out of your fear and doubt and make it happen. The greatest challenge may be from loved ones who out of an abundance of caution, may give what could be considered as negative advice. Step out of your fear and doubt and push push push towards your goal. Dont let anyone clip your wings, YOU WERE MADE TO FLY.

I encourage you to step out and make your dream a reality.

Leave me a comment.

One Love
Danni

Thursday, October 26, 2017

THE HABIT PROJECT: STOP GAZELLING IT THROUGH LIFE

THE HABIT PROJECT: STOP GAZELLING IT THROUGH LIFE: Every day in the Safaris in Africa the gazelle wakes up with one intention. That is to run for its life. The gazelle understands that for it...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

STOP GAZELLING IT THROUGH LIFE

Every day in the Safaris in Africa the gazelle wakes up with one intention. That is to run for its life. The gazelle understands that for it to survive, it has to run away from the lion, it also has to be a tad bit faster than the weakest gazelle. The weakest gazelle is guaranteed being eaten. The problem with the second weakest gazelle is that it may survive today, but it will be eaten tomorrow.

Everyday in the Safaris in Africa the lion wakes up with one intention. That is to run to sustain it's life. The lion understands that for it to eat, it has to run towards the gazelle. But unlike the gazelle that depends on another's weakness in order to survive, the lion embraces the strength of each individual in the pride (group).

Many lessons can be learned from the characteristics of both animals:
1. Stop spending life running away from something. Become a lion who spends it's time running towards its goal. Embrace opportunity when it comes your way.

2. Don't become the second weakest link. In other words don't do just enough for sustenance, or survival, put your best foot forward. That determines whether you live or survive.

3. Embrace each other's strength instead of relying on someone's weakness. It's not ok to highlight someone's weakness in order to make ourselves feel good. As humans we do it all the time. If we are truly honest with ourselves we will find instances on a daily basis where we compare ourselves to others and pat ourselves on the back for being better. Becoming a lion in personality means that we understand that we achieve and accomplish much more by working together and embracing and highlighting each other's strength.

My hope is that we will run towards our goals, put our best foot forward and embrace each other's strength instead of highlighting their weaknesses.

Have an amazing day or night. Please text, email, Facebook or leave your comment below.

One Love
Danni

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

THE HABIT PROJECT: ME?? DIABETES!!!!!!! WHAT THE HEALTH����

THE HABIT PROJECT: ME?? DIABETES!!!!!!! WHAT THE HEALTH����: As most of you guys know,  I recently had a baby. As is expected, pregnancy comes with various tests one of them for gestational diabetes. O...

Saturday, October 14, 2017

ME?? DIABETES!!!!!!! WHAT THE HEALTH😓😓

As most of you guys know,  I recently had a baby. As is expected, pregnancy comes with various tests one of them for gestational diabetes. Of course this isn't my first baby and being the person who always cherished myself on eating fairly healthily, a gestational diabetes diagnosis was no where close to my mind. That was a shocker and a bummer. I have no history of diabetes in my family that would be directly tied to me. Not my mom, dad, none of my aunt's. Uncle's or grandparents on either side. My older brother was diagnosed but he has a history of diabetes from his mother's side. Not a direct link since I'm not related to them. So what in the world? Could it just be my diet? My doctor recommended a diet which I followed and after seeing that the baby was very underweight at 8 months, he had me add ensure to my diet.

After giving birth and being a science student I couldn't help but worry about the fact that now I had a greater chance of developing the disease later in life. But something just didn't sit well with me. I really wanted to know what causes diabetes. If diabetes has to do with a malfunctioning pancreas then what causes the pancreas to malfunction.

Without going too scientific on you guys, I want to add, that I believe, any disease that is diet related can be cured with diet. But I wasn't doing that much research to find peer reviewed literature regarding the subject.  However I came across this video which I had been hearing about from my friend and after finding a link on YouTube I've decided to share, it has been such an eye opener. I hope people will be more inspired to take their health into their own hands.

The video entitled "What the health 2017, you are what you eat" on youtube speaks to the causes of some of the most popular diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Please check it out on YouTube then leave me a comment. It's over an hour long, but worth every single second.

Would love a feed back.

One Love
Danni

Friday, September 29, 2017

STORMY MIRACLE

I once met a woman on a plane while flying from NY to Orlando. She had a baby boy that she named Stormy Miracle. That no doubt is a very unique name. The lady explained to me the difficult pregnancy she had and the miracle of her child. I have often thought of that woman and her little Stormy Miracle. The message in that name is powerful and I hope that child uses his name to his advantage.

Nothing in life that is worth having comes at no cost. We pay dearly for the things that are meaningful. The storm of our lives tend to produce outcomes that can be used to our benefit in a positive way. Had I not struggled through undergrad and being an international student, I would have been lacking in my desire for greatness. 

I urge you to welcome the storms in your life, because at the end of the storm, a miracle awaits you. Instead of being broken by the storm use it to build and develop strength and character. Create your own "Stormy Miracle".

One Love
Danni



Friday, September 22, 2017

THE HABIT PROJECT: STAYING FOCUSED REGARDLESS

THE HABIT PROJECT: STAYING FOCUSED REGARDLESS: To stay that I am stressed and overwhelmed would be an understatement. There is so much having it togetherness you can have when you place b...

STAYING FOCUSED REGARDLESS

To say that I am stressed and overwhelmed would be an understatement. There is so much having it togetherness you can have when you place baby, toddler and lack of sleep in the mix. I believe also being a mother to a young child there are those jobs that no one else can assist with, like breast feeding and pumping.

Lately I've been struggling to keep it together. What makes my journey at this point in my life more interesting is that I have the opportunity to be mentored by one of the best in a field I'm aspiring to break into, but the timing is bitter sweet. On one hand it would seem as though this is the best time because I'm home and available, but on the other hand, I'm a new mom and that has it's challenges.

However, despite the fact that this situation may not seem ideal, I am deciding to spend more of my time focusing on telling myself that I can do this and I will find success. Being wired for success means getting up and grinding even when the odds seem stacked against you. Michelle Obama spoke of her dad who was diagnosed with MS when she was very young, but very rarely missed a day at work. I call on my WHY whenever the feeling of "why are you pursuing this dream?" Comes rushing at me. I keep my WHY firmly stapled in my head. I have to stay true to my dream. Which means I get UP and GRIND even when I don't feel like it.

One Love
Danni

Monday, September 18, 2017

THE HABIT PROJECT: WHY YOUR FEAR IS CRAP

THE HABIT PROJECT: WHY YOUR FEAR IS CRAP: If you ever get lost in the thoughts in your head you know that your thoughts can make or break you. Your mind really can hold you hostage...

Friday, September 15, 2017

WHY YOUR FEAR IS CRAP

If you ever get lost in the thoughts in your head you know that your thoughts can make or break you. Your mind really can hold you hostage with your fear.  It can also take you on amazing journeys. I refuse to allow my fear to cripple me, especially if it's a fear that will hold me captive and limit my growth. But getting to the place where I say bye bye to my fear isn't easy. Today while driving I began looking at my life and one particular fear that has been holding me captive. I'm beginning to realize that what's most important is finding those Fear Stimulated Decisions and doing the exact opposite. For example today I needed to make a few phone calls that were not the most comfortable. As I thought about them I decided to reach out to a few friends instead. BOOM!!!! that was my Fear Stimulated Decision.

It is so important to identify your Fear Stimulated Decision and do the opposite. Just do the thing that you need to get done. After all we know when we are making the wrong decision and we do know how to adjust. Please take my advise, don't allow FEAR to hold you hostage. Take your life back.

Hope you enjoyed this article and attached video. Please leave me a comment.

One Love
Danni

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

THE HABIT PROJECT: WHEN FAITH AND FEAR COLLIDE

THE HABIT PROJECT: WHEN FAITH AND FEAR COLLIDE: There are pivotal moments in our lives, moments when God is trying to use us for the purpose or the destiny for which we were created, but w...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

THE HABIT PROJECT: WHEN FAITH AND FEAR COLLIDE

THE HABIT PROJECT: WHEN FAITH AND FEAR COLLIDE: There are pivotal moments in our lives, moments when God is trying to use us for the purpose or the destiny for which we were created, but w...

THE HABIT PROJECT: THE HABIT PROJECT: WHEN FAITH AND FEAR COLLIDE

THE HABIT PROJECT: THE HABIT PROJECT: WHEN FAITH AND FEAR COLLIDE: THE HABIT PROJECT: WHEN FAITH AND FEAR COLLIDE : There are pivotal moments in our lives, moments when God is trying to use us for the purpos...

Thursday, September 7, 2017

THE HABIT PROJECT: WHEN FAITH AND FEAR COLLIDE

THE HABIT PROJECT: WHEN FAITH AND FEAR COLLIDE: There are pivotal moments in our lives, moments when God is trying to use us for the purpose or the destiny for which we were created, but w...

WHEN FAITH AND FEAR COLLIDE

There are pivotal moments in our lives, moments when God is trying to use us for the purpose or the destiny for which we were created, but we choose to go another route, only to have God try to reroute us again and again. The problem is, many of us don't heed the call, but for those of us who do, we find ourselves serving a bigger and better purpose.

Four years ago, I was heavily pregnant with my daughter. I had to leave my job due to the fact that it required lots of standing and I just couldn't do it any more. I decided to embark on a career in real estate. At the time, I had very little money left in the bank, not even enough to cover the expenses of the class. In faith, I decided to go to the school and check out their classes. There I bumped into a total stranger who volunteered to tell me, without me asking that I can get a discount for the course through groupon. Can you imagine that? I did the course, passed the exam got licensed and started working. And things were going well for me at the time. But I was still pregnant. Once the baby was born, it got difficult and I lost faith. I ended up taking a "secure government job" with pension benefits and medical leave. So with a secured salary, I quit real estate.

Four years later and I'm again at the same juncture in my life. I'm at a point where I'm feeling God pulling me in another direction, into a path of uncertainty, a path that will require total dependence on God's guidance. And I'm laughing to myself saying, God, why am I here? Deep down, I know God has a bigger meaning and purpose for my life, but I keep on choosing the easiest, "what seems to be the more secure" route. It's the route everyone tells you that is best for you. It's the route that will make your spouse happy, it's the route that will make your parents proud. But is that the route you really want to take? Do you know when God is tugging at your heart, when your faith and fear are in constant tug and war? According to my sister friend Teka "these defining moments change the trajectory of our lives". But I am so afraid, many blogs of motivation later, I'm almost paralyzed with fear. So I've decided to draw from the faith and strength of others.

This blog is especially personal, because I am being transparent with the world about my fear. I am putting my faith vs fear battle out here on the "interwebs" for all to see. I am standing at this  crossroad and I have to choose between fear or faith, settling for my mediocre or leaping off a cliff in search of my greatness. Do I allow my fear to hold me back or do I step into the unknown in faith?

My advice to anyone in my situation would be to follow your faith and abandon your fear. That's the advice I'm giving myself. But as we all know, it takes strength and grit and our purpose firmly stapled in our mind.

What's tugging at your heart? Just surrender, do not allow fear to be your master.

One Love
Danni

Monday, September 4, 2017

THE HABIT PROJECT: LOOKING FOR MY "SWEET THINGS"

THE HABIT PROJECT: LOOKING FOR MY "SWEET THINGS": I want to share with you, a little anecdote I recently heard about the Buzzard and the Hummingbird. Everyday the the Buzzard goes searching ...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

LOOKING FOR MY "SWEET THINGS"

I want to share with you, a little anecdote I recently heard about the Buzzard and the Hummingbird. Everyday the the Buzzard goes searching for carcasses (dead things) and everyday he finds what he is looking for, dead things. Everyday the Hummingbird also go searching but he goes searching for nectar (sweet things) and he also finds exactly what he went looking for, sweet things. The moral of the story? It is a simple yet powerful, we find what we go looking for.

We all hear things like, my grandmother's favorite, "Count your blessings" or the popular "Focus on the positive" and they are all saying the same thing - look for your "sweet things", focus on your "sweet things."

For some reason, maybe because it is anecdotal and I am a visual learner, the story of the Buzzard and the Hummingbird resonates with me. Like many others, it is very easy for me get lost in my own negative thoughts, to be so caught up in the things that are going wrong that I forget about the things that are going right, I forget about the goals and dreams that I have. I shift the focus from my "sweet things" to my "dead things" and I get sidetracked. The more I think about my "dead things" the more "dead things" I find to think about.

After hearing this story I have made more of a concerted effort to think of my "sweet things." When things are tough and the challenges are mounting and the feelings of failure and hopelessness are rising, it is easy to get side tracked. It is easy to start panicking and start focusing on the craziness, the negatives, the "dead things." But I have resolved to keep my compass focused on my True North. I have veered off course, a time or two...million, but I have decided to not beat myself up about my missteps, and use my energy to refocus on searching for my sweet things.

 It is in my power to make my day beautiful and bright, it is in your power to think positive things, it is in our power to accomplish our goals and conquer our dreams. I am choosing to tell myself that I am in control of my mind and my mind is in control of where I go, therefore I am in control of where I go. So join me in saying "sweet things" here I come!



Joy and peace profound,
Niagre

PS. Congrats to Danni who welcomed her sweet little munchkin recently!!!












Thursday, August 17, 2017

KEY STRATEGIES IN OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

It is so easy to look on someone else's problems  and assume that we have the answer. And to be critical of those going through issues that we believe are self imposed. But it's those moments when we find ourselves in adverse circumstances that we become less judgmental and more empathetic towards those in bad situations.

It's so simple to say take our lemons and make lemonade. But for the person who is struggling with those lemon experiences, getting up and moving forward at times seems impossible.

Here are some steps one can use to overcome and move forward through these adverse situations:

1. Know that you are not alone in your struggle. We are not the first nor the last to go through these experiences. I absolutely love to read. So I spend time reading topics that address my current issues. Also read biographies of people who overcame challenging situations and were able to make it.

2. Find a support group. I am a big church girl as most of you know. I find comfort in talking to my loved ones about challenges that I am facing. But it's not always the best option. Find a support group that is specifically designed to address your particular needs. These groups are great in keeping us accountable. Or consider counseling.

3. Make time for finding joy. Begin embracing and participating in those activities that have the ability to lift us out of our funk. Spend more time focusing on the positive vs dwelling on the negatives.

4. Don't self blame. Although our actions may have led us down a path of destruction, it really holds us captives. Look at the past mistake only with the desire to learn from them and find ways we can move ourselves out of that situation. But don't allow it to be a crutch.

5. Set a goal, (your silver lining) and spend time focusing on accomplishing that goal.

6. The bible is the best self help book that I know. Nothing beats spending time meditating on God promises. Remember, all our adversities, no matter how challenging, serve as an engine to propel us forward. It is hard thinking of our adversities in a positive light. I know you are saying easier said than done right? I have been right there thinking that same thing over and over and over....ok you get the gist. But at the end of the day, they are our opportunities to become stronger, wiser and more resilient. And if we can start conditioning ourselves to think of our adversities as opportunities, instead of obstacles, we are halfway to making them into the building blocks they are meant to be.

Please share with me your techniques in overcoming adversities. As I disclosed in an earlier blog, I am currently facing my own personal challenges and struggles. I love hearing from you.

Need your kind thoughts and prayers as I'll be welcoming my son before the next blog post.

One Love
Danni

Thursday, August 10, 2017

THE HABIT PROJECT: LIVING IN THE CRUCIBLE

THE HABIT PROJECT: LIVING IN THE CRUCIBLE: Yesterday while sitting at my desk I felt compelled to plug in my earphones and listen to something motivational while I worked. I tuned in ...

LIVING IN THE CRUCIBLE

Yesterday while sitting at my desk I felt compelled to plug in my earphones and listen to something motivational while I worked. I tuned in to Bishop TD Jakes on Oprah's Life Class. What I learned was so profound, I immediately felt the urge to share it with some of my closest friends. In this clip Jakes spoke about understanding adversities in our lives. He compared those moments to shooting a bow and arrow. The further back you pull the bow, the greater it's resistance, but when released it propels further. In his own words " use your disaster for direction, it is through adversity, that our strength is developed. It is through those moments that you realize, you're more resilient than you thought you were".

WHEN I GOT HOME LATER THAT EVENING:

I'm living in it. I've lived in it before, and I'm sure my future holds many more to come. What am I making reference to? I'm referring to my current crucible experience. Im experiencing excruciating moments of pain and sadness. I feel as though I'm in a stew of pregnancy, parenting, maternity leave issues and business decisions that are not guaranteeing positive returns in a timely fashion. It's those moments of sadness , pressure and problems that my thinking is thwarted towards negativity.

THE NEXT DAY

The next morning, as I sat wallowing in my own self pity, taking multiple bathroom breaks and having personal breakdowns, I began to see the miracle of the preparatory period. The point before my crucible experience began where I was given an opportunity to become strengthened (my TD Jakes experience) for the storm that I'm currently experiencing. I begun to take note of the miracle that was afforded me to power through this adverse combination of issues. I have now begun the process of determining the best approach to each unique challenge. I understand that a higher power orchestrates and helps to channel us (if we are willing) towards the place we ought to be. But first we are giving a preparatory period which is geared towards strengthening us for the tough times ahead. We must learn to recognize our crucible experiences and recognize (most times in hindsight) our preparatory period and pull strength from it, so we can experience the exponential growth our crucible experience was meant to inspire.

THE LESSON

Find your source of strength while going through your crucible and push forward. You can only get stronger.

One Love
Danni

Thursday, August 3, 2017

BEYONCE AND THE LEMONADE STAND

So when life gives you lemons, you go ahead and you make you some lemonade. The whole Bey hive was a buzz when Beyonce released her lemonade album. Needless to say, many of the things that she sang about were tied to her marital issues, (or at least it seems that way). But let's assume that it is true. While most of us were busy on a witch hunt for "Becky with the good hair". Beyonce was smiling all the way to the bank.

The deeper message to this album though, is not necessarily the actual reveal of infidelity on Queen Bey's husband's part, but the fact that she turned her "lemon experience" into "lemonade". And walked away with millions. (Are you still searching for Becky? Good luck).

Instead of allowing the negative situations that happen in our lives to immobilize and cripple us, why not instead use it as a tool to make us stronger, resilient and successful. Life gi u dem lemons, go make u some lemonade. So whatever it is, don't allow it to define you. Instead make it propel you.

It is ok to mourn or allow ourselves to be saddened by the lemons in our lives, but we can't allow it to consume us. For encouragement read Jeremiah 29:11.

Please leave me a comment and SHARE my post on your social media sites.

One Love
Danni

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I'M NOT THE AVERAGE GIRL....I'M NOT...

So I awoke one morning in 2000 and something and realized that mentally I had changed. I had just turned 27 with no marital prospects in sight and trust me, if you're a single female in the church, it means something. But what was amazing to me (not that I wasn't stressing the marriage thing) was how much I began truly understanding myself. I began seeing traits and desires in myself that I never really paid attention to before. I had truly developed the desire to be the most authentic me. I began reading books that were geared towards personal growth. I had truly began the journey to finding myself. So here is what I came up with.

What Brings Me Joy

One of the most important questions I have began asking myself is, what brings ME joy. I have realized that I cannot allow other peoples' thoughts and other peoples' opinions drive my decisions. Ultimately I have to live by the beat of my own drum. In order for me to understand what really brings me joy, I had to do a lot of soul searching to find my value system. What are the values and principles that drive me? What do I believe and if this is what I believe, am I willing to die for it? My belief system tends to fall under a few categories: 1.Spirituality, 2.Family, 3.Self. Narrowing down my core values have really helped me to determine what really drives me and what truly brings me joy.

My Choice of Friends

Choice of friends have also been a big part of finding self. Reason being, my friendships mold my growth or lack of growth. Choosing friends who aid in my personal growth is also determined by my core value system. Are my friends uplifting me or are they tearing me down? At times it may not seem very clear cut, but for me I have to guard my mind and determine with each conversation, was that a waste of my time or did that conversation really uplift me. Even though it is important to step out of my comfort zone, I have to choose friends who mirror my value system. Our friends do hold significant amount of sway in our way of thinking. Even when we move by the beat of our own drum.

Staying True to Me Behind Closed Doors

How do I approach my day to day activities? If being hard working is a part of my value system as I claim in my writing, then how I show up to work, whatever gets my stamp of approval, should reflect that. I have to become the woman that I claim to be, not necessarily for outward show, because I can pretend, but for my own peace of mind and sanity. How I show up to work is for me a work in progress, which is why I write my thoughts down. But as I struggle with growing from mediocrity, complacency and procrastination I have to constantly self assess. How I do the little things in my life, will dictate how I do everything. I cannot be a winner in big things, if I cannot be trusted with the little things.


Dear friends, I encourage you to determine who you are. Find your core principles, and live by them. Allow yourself to become the person you were meant to be.


Please share with me your thoughts and challenge me on mine by leaving me a comment. Also, if this article added value to your life, please share it with others.



One Love

Danni

Thursday, July 20, 2017

From Bayview Projects - Canarsie Brooklyn!!!!!!!!

For many of us living in the US, Starbucks is a household name. Whether or not you are a coffee drinker, there is no doubt that you have stepped into Starbucks a time or two, either to purchase pastry or their multiple lattes or to meet up with friends, study, relax or use free wifi. I've done them all. Starbucks isn't just any old coffee shop, it's a culture. And not only does it have its own vibe, it also has its own language.

What most of us may not know is that Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks is not only a NYC kid, he grew up in the Bayview projects in Canarsie Brooklyn. His parents were poor, not just poor, they were very poor. (For those who may not be accustomed to American culture, the projects is government subsidized housing which is unfortunately stigmatized as poor and crime filled). My question is, how does someone with such a past and from such a beginning have such a great accomplishment? In one of my previous post I talked about the fact that your past should not define you. One of the keys to Schultz 's success, is the fact that he was determined from an early age to break that cycle of poverty in his family. In his book Pour Your Heart Into It. How Starbucks Built a Company one Cup at a Time, Schultz writes " my story is one of perseverance and drive. I willed it to happen. I took my life in my hands, learned from anyone I could, grabbed what opportunity I could, and molded my success step by step".

Howard Schultz wasn't exceptional as a kid, nor is he more gifted or talented as an adult. But his success like the success of so many others is one of 1. Dream, 2. Drive 3. Determination and 4. Dedication. Nothing at all is beyond our grasp if we incorporate the four D's in our lives. In addition to this,  one has to be coachable. Being open to learning new things,  stepping out of our comfort zone and actively looking for opportunities to grow. Accomplishing our dreams, especially very big dreams are no walk in the park. It takes a lot of work, very hard work. And it's often times a long, lengthy, frustrating process.

I encourage each person reading to dream big, don't settle,  and don't assume that your time has passed, regardless of your age or current situation. Never limit or doubt yourself.  Redirect your thinking to one of win win. Sky is always the limit, but only through the 4 D's will you get to that place of greatness.

One Love
Danni

Thursday, July 13, 2017

10 Thousand Hours to Perfection

One day I sat watching Elmo with my toddler. In this episode they had a two headed monster who was giving directions to someone trying to get around in New York City. But when they got to giving directions to Carnegie Hall, the directions given were "practice, practice, practice".

We might assume that this is funny, and the slight message could have easily been missed. But in order for someone to make it to the stages of Carnegie Hall, it's not talent, it's skill. If you have been following me, you know that I place talent and skill in two different categories. Talent we have naturally, skill we have from hours and hours of "practice, practice, practice".

This post is written for those of us who are desiring to excel in a field that we believe we are not competent in. But for the person who is new to a particular activity or task, competence never comes as a result of being talented, becoming a master of a particular task comes from repeatedly doing this activity until it becomes effortless. "Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good" Malcolm Gladwell. Not only do you spend time practicing, you practice with a desire to identify and correct your mistakes. This is extremely important, what's the sense in repeatedly doing the wrong thing over and over.

In the book Outliers by author Malcolm Gladwell, he looks at various people or groups who have truly mastered their craft. He writes "the student who ends up the best in their class (musically) begin to practice more than anyone else 16 hours/ week by age 14. They are practicing purposefully and single minded playing their instruments with the intent to get better. The elite had over 10,000 hours of practice". Can you imagine that, to truly become a master, it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice. It is said that 10,000 hours of practice is equivalent to ten years of performing a task. That may explain why many employers ask for ten years of work experience.

There in lies the key to perfecting a craft. Being the under dog can be extremely discouraging. However, knowing that you are the underdog should motivate you to action. Action isn't merely putting in a few hours here and there, but intentionally and obsessively spending hours and hours working on and mastering our craft. That distinguishes those who become masters and those who remain average.

Please share, like and leave me a comment. I do enjoy reading your thoughts.

One Love
Danni

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Creating A Winning Culture- The Usain Bolt Effect

On my last visit to Jamaica, I happened to stay at a villa in Ocho Rios that was close to a soccer field. Most evenings on our walk down to the town we would pass these little boys ages 8 through 14 running track. I grew up on the island so it never meant anything to me, but over time it arrested my husband's attention (who by the way is not Jamaican) he was very surprised at the boys' dedication and commitment. I guess it was on his mind so much that one day he said to me, "why are they practicing track everyday by themselves"? My response was so nonchalant "that's just what Jamaican kids do babe". It wasn't until recently that that statement came back to me.

Many people around the world are mesmerized by Usain Bolts ability to win so effortlessly and so consistently. But honestly, Usain Bolt's ability never happened in a vacuum. Embedded in the Jamaican culture is an appetite for track and field. Not only do we love the sport, but we believe that it's our duty to create great athletes. Once a child gets into pre K, they are being groomed towards track and field through yearly sports days that have track competitions. As kids grow older in the Jamaican school system, those with unique track abilities are prepared for bigger competitions. So it's not strange to see young children passing time by running track. It's just what Jamaican children do, it's in our DNA.

Preparing our children for greatness should become part of our mental DNA. Preparing ourselves for greatness should also be apart of our DNA. It should dictate and determine the decisions that we make on a daily basis. Children who excel in life for the most part are groomed by parents who are bent on creating excellent kids. Which means that we cannot nonchalantly sit on our phones and ignore our kids when they ask us to read them a story, or choose not to take them to the library because we feel tired. One day we will wake up and see that not only have we lost time, we have lost our kids. We also cannot casually live our minutes, our hours our days aimlessly assuming that great things are within our reach. Every decision, we make should be carefully thought through. Don't allow your mind to carelessly wonder. Choose friends who stretch us instead of dragging us down.

Creating a winning culture in our homes, with our families, in our physical health, with our spiritual lives takes determination, dedication, but most importantly it's allowing ourselves to be principle centered. Over time, it will become embedded in our DNA.

I'm no guru on parenting, actually I'm not a guru at anything, but I want to encourage us to begin evaluating all aspects of our lives, and the lives of our children and begin creating a winning culture for ourselves and our families

Love your feedback. Please hit me up, let me know what your thoughts are.

One Love
Danni


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Stop Playing Not to Lose Play to Win.

There is nothing I hate like playing checkers or monopoly with my husband and losing. The problem is, once I start playing a game with him, I automatically know that I am going to lose, and I begin playing defense and lose optimism. What I really should do instead is bring my A game, spend time learning from him, and look for oportunities to win.

We have brought the first half of the year to a close, and it is at this point in time that we should be reevaluating the goals that we had set in January. Remember all those new year resolutions that were set, and how pumped up we were about reaching those targets? February stepped in and what was four days at the gym weekly turned into a one day drive by every other week. My aim here is to encourage you to not look back with disappointment, even though you have lost momentum. It is important to begin playing the game looking towards winning versus trying to prevent losing.

Last February as I sat with anticipation, watching the super bowl I could not believe that the New England Patriots (who by the way is not my favorite team by FAR) were able to make a come back at the last minute and actually won the game. But the lesson I have now learned from that is, even when it seems like a sure lose, reevaluate and bring your A game. I have to tip my hat to Tom Brady for what is truly a winners mentality.

So as we start off the second half of the NEW YEAR, don't abandon the goals you have set in the begining. Start looking for those oportunities where you found strength to persevere, pick up that baton and begin running again. For those who are Christians, can you imagine the raw deal the disciples felt they were served after the crucifixion? It never stopped them from moving forward. For those of us who are into sports, think about teams who have a history of winning, even when they are down, they find a window of oportunity, bring their A game and move towards winning. A few tips that may help in maintaining momentum are: 1. Determine what got you excited about your goal on January 1st, recreate that emotion and allow it to propel you 2. Treat the first of every month as if it's January first. Even if momentum is lost, the consistency of restarting will eventually help build endurance and sustenance. 3. Get into environments and around people who share the goals that you have, people who will help motivate you to stay focused.

Regardless of the issue, if you have lost momentum, your drive, your passion, your desire to keep going, don't be discouraged, reevaluate and bring your A game.

This is your day, this is your week, this is your month, this is still YOUR YEAR.  OWN IT. No looking back...Bring your A game.

Please leave me a comment. I love hearing from you guys.

One Love
Danni

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Why Micro Goals are Your Best Friend

There is nothing in life that hits you in the head and makes you begin taking inventory of your life like being pregnant and having a mortgage. It's during those moments when I sit silently by myself and evaluate my life, my thirty something ish years of existence, that I begin asking myself; why the heck am I here? What is my purpose on earth? Have I really accomplished the goals that I know God has placed upon my heart? Am I really in the field that I want to be? Do I come home daily feeling fulfilled knowing that I am living in my purpose? I hope this article will help those who like myself want to begin actively working on their dreams.

I have written extensively about having a particular goal and running towards your goals, staying focused and working hard. But I've never really dived into setting goals and how to actually accomplish them. I have found that goal setting plays a major role in guiding our lives in the right direction. But in order to work on a major goal, it's best to break it down into micro goals.

What are Micro Goals?
Micro goals are those smaller goals that set your larger goal in motion. At times having a big goal in mind can be overwhelming. So it's best to break your goals down into smaller building block goals that will eventually allow you to get to the finishing line. Any and everything that you want to accomplish have to start with setting achievable goals. Here are some simple steps in setting our goals.

1. Get a pen and paper: This is the first and simplest step. If you don't write your goals down, they will stay jumbled in your head, and I promise you, it makes it that much harder to achieve.

2. Write down all the things you want to accomplish, regardless of the length of time it may take. So for example, if your goal is to save $1000 in the next month, write it down. If your goal is to start a charity in two years write it down.

3. Place a time line next to your goals. So the goal that will be accomplished in a month, write 1 month next to that goal. Those to be accomplished in a year write 1 year and so on.

4. Place your goals in categories based on time line.

5. Make a note of what it will take to accomplish this goal. Under each goal write subcategories of daily, weekly, monthly and yearly action steps. If you have a goal to save a certain amount of money, two daily action steps may include packing lunch daily instead of buying lunch at work or making a daily note of all your purchases and so on. It is extremely important to take inventory of how we spend our day. It will allow us to pinpoint those areas of weakness where time is wasted.

6. Have a daily activity time table which will incorporate your daily action steps and all the activities that you do during the day. This has been helping me with managing my time while raising my daughter.

7. Be committed to your micro goals. If you happen to loose momentum, focus on the end goal and the reason you wanted to accomplish this goal in the first place. Begin with the end in mind and know your why.

I hope that these tips were helpful. Remember this, a year from now, you WILL wish you had started today. Do not procrastinate. Begin working on your tomorrow right now. It is more important to sacrifice the comforts of today for the comforts of tomorrow. Failure to do so will bring regret later on in life. Let me implore you, to turn your TV off, put down the cell and begin implementing goal setting in your life today. It really will change your life.

One Love
Danni

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Some Key Success Strategies

Many times we think of the differences between someone else's success and ours. Most times we harbor excuses within our own selves. We tend to rationalize that the reason a person is successful and we aren't, are the oportunities that the other person had, versus our own lack of oportunities. But when we truly look at the history of those who have overcome the odds and have become successful we realize that they had every reason and excuse in the world to fail. So what tends to separate those who have beaten the odds and those who haven't?

1. Consistency: Consistency is key. Consistency is staying focused, being persistent and constantly working on what you are trying to accomplish. Starting and stopping creates a mindset that your goal is not important. This also diminishes the drive to get the job done. But how can one be expected to stay consistent when things don't seem to be working out, or at least moving in a positive direction? In order to do so, you have to know and focus on your why. Understanding the driving force behind why you started gives you a clear reason for staying in the game. You can only make a building one block or brick at a time. But what eventually creates a building, is placing one block or brick on top of another until the structure is complete. Take baby steps, but be consistent.

Take Home: What ever you decide to do, don't punk out, just be consistent. Even if you have to slow your pace or ease into a particular activity, just stay consistent.

2. Be a Person of Your Word: Integrity is everything. How many times have you been let down by someone that you trusted or who had promised to do something and decided not to keep their word. It leaves a bad taste in our mouths. It's better to say no, than to say yes when deep down you know you have no desire to fulfill that commitment or is not able to deliver.  My 3 year old promised her dad one of two candies that she had. She kept a flavor for herself that she assumed she would like, but ended up hating. A few hours later she began tampering with the candy she promised her dad and I stood my ground with her. She has to understand that if you made that promise, follow through.

Take home: Don't make promises that you cannot keep, and keep the promises you make.

3. Belief: You have to believe in yourself and your ability to acheve your goal. The story is often told about breaking the record of completing the mile run in less than 4 minutes. This was achieved on May 6th 1954. Despite the fact that this had never been done prior, within 46 days this record was broken by another athlete. Reason being, a mental shift occurred in the mindset of the athletes once someone else was able to accomplish that goal. Self doubt immobilizes us and keeps us in a place of inaction.

Take home: If you can believe it,  you can achieve it.

Quality is better than Quantity: My mom always said, whatever your hands finds to do, do it well. Mediocre is a word I've used a lot and its because as I've said before, it's also a personal struggle. But it's better to do less and its well done than to do more and its questionable.

Take home: Put your absolute best foot forward.

Staying consistent, being a person of your word putting forward quality and really believing in yourself are four important and very key factors that set those who have gone on to do great things and those who haven't. I challenge you to read up on many of those major companies like Airbnb and others who have gone on to be household names or the biography of successful athletes. They struggled tremendously in the begining, but overcame the odds by instituting these principles.

I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment and please share my blog on your social media page.

One Love

Danni



Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Perfect Marriage????

Have you ever felt like you are just stuck in a really bad relationship, but can't muster up the courage to leave?

After writing the blog "Running Towards Your Dreams With Audacity" I got a text from a friend of mine who had a concern. Most of the articles that I write are intended to motivate myself and others to put our best foot forward and work hard towards accomplishing our goals. But he asked me, what if the goal you are currently working on isn't really your own? What if the dream you thought you had, was really mirroring your parents dreams or desires for you? What if your simply reflecting what society expects of you? Is what you are pursuing and your passion a perfect couple? Are they perfectly married to each other? Should you continue to pursue that goal or jump ship and move on to pursuing your passion?

So to answer that question, I decided to share a bit of my own story. I remember wanting to move to the US to pursue my Bachelors in Biology. I remember my dad being quite adamant that I should instead go on to teachers college and do a diploma in education. To my dad, that meant stability. Moving to another country with almost no money and really no where to live at the time, to him was a sure sign of failure. But to me, going off to teachers college in Jamaica, meant letting go of my dreams. Ultimately, I have to live my life for me. He eventually accepted that his desires could not out weigh my own passion and he gave me his blessing. So for me, I believed I made the right choice in standing my ground and going after my goal.

I have seen or heard of many people who after pursuing a particular career make a complete change and go after something that they always felt passionate about.

My Suggestion to young people:

If you believe you are being pushed into a career path that really wasn't your passion but your parents, have a heart to heart conversation with them. Allow them to see that you do have your own goals and dreams and you should be given the oportunity to pursue that. However, understand that parents want what's best for their kids, so approach it with an open mind, try to see the value they are pouring into you. You also have to show them that you are responsible and business like. Your parents know you best, so if they cannot trust you in making your own decisions, it is possible that you have a history of not making the right choices in your life. This has now prompted them to feel the need to take over the decision making in your life.

My Suggestion To Parents:

Be a guide, not a bully and most importantly, listen. Children rebel when they believed they are not being heard or if they are being disrespected. Give them the guidance and support they need, but do not allow your own prejudice to blind your ability to see the value in what they are pursuing. Sometimes you are right,  a positive approach on your part may steer them back onto the right side.

My Suggestion to Those Locked Into the Wrong Field or Career:

Well, personally I believe that my passion does npt allign with my 9 to 5. My suggestion is to first change your approach towards your own career. You may have kids or certain financial obligations, so jumping ship may not be the right decision at the moment. However, find the best way to passionately pursue your goal. Approach it like it's a business. It may be that you have to wake up earlier, take a specific class, whatever it is, make a conscious choice to work on this goal with dedication and determination. Also very important, never allow it to undermine your current job. I've heard a saying once that said "how you show up somewhere is how you show up everywhere". In other words, if your approach to your current job is mediocre, then most likely you will be mediocre across the board.

Finding Your Calling:

What is it that you do effortlessly without thinking? It may be as simple as loving to talk. Spend time praying and soul searching about this. I do believe that each individual is born with unique talents and gifts that are manifested in various ways. When you find what you true calling is, nurture it, cultivate it, and allow it to bloom. Use it to make your mark and leave your legacy in the world.

If you find yourself in the wrong career, be very clear with yourself regarding what area you desire to persue, and go after it. Don't allow other peoples' thoughts to hinder you. Having a family to feed may make the transition extremely hard. However, you will be successful if you truly believe this is your calling, if you work hard towards accomplishing it, and if you constantly find ways and means to grow in this field. Allow yourself to be happily married to your career.

Please leave me a comment also share on your facebook and other social media. I can't wait to hear from you guys.

One Love
Danni

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Is Your Best Good Enough?

Last night I had a conversation with a friend of mine who truly inspires me with her drive and work ethics. I thoroughly enjoy meeting and speaking with people who are consistently driven. It sparks in me a desire to push myself even further. I am getting to the place in my life where I self reflect constantly in order to see where I am falling short in giving 100 percent. The truth of the matter is, not giving our full 100 percent only makes us less marketable and we become unreliable. If I am going to be transparent and honest with you, I have fallen in both categories many times. One of the reasons I started writing The Habit Project, is my desire to instill in myself positive habits geared towards making me grow. But becoming this person who cultivates the right attitude and behavior towards even my day job, much less my blog, is a constant work in progress.

The Mental Shift:

In order to create that drive and energy needed to have that mental shift, I have began reading more, watching more motivational videos, praying more about this negative habit of mine. And truly becoming aware of my decisions. This had sparked more awareness and a desire to grow.

Consistency and Accountability

Creating a culture of greatness, starts with the mental shift, but it stays with consistency. Consistency is best achieved with accountability. It's not very easy to hold ourselves accountable, it's better to become part of a group of people who will hold us accountable. Because not everyone will support our dream or the change in us, it is important to get at least one person you know who will hold you to your word and call you out when you begin to go astray.

Skill vs Talent

Something I got from Will Smith and can be heard in this video, "talent we have naturally, skill is something we develop by constantly beating and working at our craft". Stay focused and work at it day in day out.

In an effort to have you watch the attached video, I've cut my post short. Please enjoy.

Stay striving, stay focused and stay motivated.


One Love
Danni

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Running Towards Your Dream With Audacity

What does it mean to run towards your dream with audacity? It means daring to make that move towards your dream despite the odds that are against you. It means stepping out in faith even though everyone and everything points to it not becoming a reality. It's having a hunger for your dream so badly that nothing and no one can deter you from accomplishing it. I remember having that mindset when I decided I wanted to migrate to the US to study. I also know the consequences of complacency.

Motovational speaker Eric Thomas compares this mindset to someone having an asthma attack and their need for air. It's like being in a race to save either your life or the life of your child. It's wanting something so badly so deeply so desperately that come what may, you have to have it.

Often times we have dreams and goals but the ease of life as it is, dampens our desire to really push forward. I came to that place in my life. A place where things were ok enough , that I lost my drive and my vision. It was as though what I had accomplished so far was enough. I began patting myself on the back and giving myself a reason to relax.

As someone who aspires to motivate and inspire not just my own self but others as well, I cannot continue to put my dreams on the back burner.  Instead I have decided to ignite within me a desire to run towards my dreams with audacity.

In order to run towards your dream with audacity, there needs to be a clearly defined WHY. A clearly defined why for motivational speaker Lisa Nichols was having less than $20 in her bank account and not being able to purchase diapers for her infant son.  That experience propelled her to action making her one of the top motivational speakers in the world. A clearly defined why is that person who just got a health diagnosis and chooses to live a healthier lifestyle. A clearly defined why is that single mom who is tired of watching her children cry for hunger so she picks herself up, works odd jobs and completes college with the highest honors. A clearly defined why is that father who lost his job but has a mortgage to pay and does everything in his power to prevent his family from going homeless.

No one can define your why. Allow your why to become the wind beneath your wings. Allow your why to propel you forward.  Allow your why to be the driving force behind you running towards your dream with audacity.

"For faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidences of things not seen" Hebrews 11 : 1.

Please, please, please leave me a comment I thoroughly enjoy reading them. You can Facebook me, watsapp me or comment on the blog itself. Or text me, whatever works best.

One Love
Danni


Friday, May 19, 2017

Living Life in Crescendo.....It Only Gets Louder With Time

If you've known the word crescendo since childhood, you probably have a musical mom like mine or maybe a music teacher like my mom or even better my mom was your music teacher. Before I even knew myself she had me seated at the piano. She made sure I knew what a crescendo was.

A crescendo as defined by google is "a gradual increase in loudness in a piece of music". How do we live life in crescendo? It's the concept that nothing in life should hold you back from your greatness, but we allow our greatness to get louder and louder with time. Here are a few tips for living life in crescendo.


  1. Age is But a Number: How many times have you cried about all the things that you should have done, and how time has passed. There is an old Jamaican saying, "it's never too late for a shower of rain". Your desires and dreams should never stop because you have grown older, instead, reinvent them. It is never too late to begin putting pen to paper and begin making moves towards that goal you want to accomplish.
  2. Your Disability Does Not Define You: Physical disability should never prevent you from accomplishing the things you desire to accomplish. Instead use it as a tool to move you forward. It may serve as a source of motivation to propel you forward. Challenge yourself to do things that others may see as impossible.
  3. Your Past Does not Determine Your Future: Many times we look back at our past fearing that our future will be the same. But the lessons learned from the past are crucial to streamline our future. Simply put, don't repeat the negative past, instead use those lessons to guide your future. 
  4. I'm Not My Status: There is a lot of emphasis these days on personal status; financial status, relationship status, and the list goes on. The problem is, if we focus on personal status we get lost in comparing ourselves to others. This only takes our focus away from what we should be doing to accomplish our goals. I can't be any one else, I can only be the best version of me. 
 Allow yourself regardless of your age, disability, past or status to find your greatness. As the days turn into weeks, weeks into months and months into years, allow your greatness, your purpose, your desires to get brighter and brighter. It may not be recognized by others, but only you will know whether or not you are living your life in crescendo. Purpose today, this very minute, this very second to live your life out loud.

 Please leave me a comment if my mom was your music teacher lol. Also share with me how you intend to live your life in crescendo.

Please note, the concept of living life in crescendo was adapted from Steven Covey ' s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. 

One Love
Danni




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Making Time for Finding Joy

Living in a busy city like I do in New York brings its own set of stressful moments. It is as if I am on go mode all the time. Finding the time to switch from always doing something to finding time for rest and relaxation may seem like an impossibility. Here are some inexpensive tips I hope you will find useful.

  • Early Morning Walk or Jog: I have not done this in a while, but when I do, it really relaxes me and sets the tone for the rest of my day. While walking or jogging become aware of the beauties of nature, such as the chirping birds or spring flower blooms.
  • Sipping Tea: If you're into tea, then take some time to relax and sip some tea. Doing this with a favorite book, magazine or just getting lost in thought does wonders.
  • Cooking: One of my absolute favorite me time activities. Bring out that old recipe and whip something up from scratch. I have to share my cooking time with my talkative toddler these days, so it have evolved into mommy and me time. 
  • Catching Up With a Friend over Dinner: Spending time with that friend who you can absolutely talk to about almost anything works wonders in keeping you grounded at times. Doesn't have to be dinner, but a quick lunch or brunch works well. You may find an evening, spent shopping with a friend, fun and relaxing as well.
  • Playing an Instrument: There is nothing more relaxing than music. If you do not play an instrument,  then find time to sit, close your eyes, and listen to your favorite relaxing music. If dancing is your thing, then dance to the music of your favorite artist. 
  • Reading: I absolutely love to read. I can almost always find the time to read a good book. Reading not only relaxes you, but also makes you think. 
  • Skincare Treat: The winter months can be harsh on the skin and the summer brings its own set of clogged pores. These are great times to get into a detox regimen for clogged pores and hydration treatment for the winter. Make sure as you treat your skin you enjoy the proccess. It's also fun to whip up your own skincare treatments like a berry treatment for dull skin can be relaxing.
  • Movie Night: This is actually great for busy couples with small kids. A great comedy with your favorite snack after the kids are gone to bed, allows the stresses of the day to melt away. 
  • Sitting still: Early in the morning before anyone gets up, I am up, I worship and then I listen. It centers me. Try it, I'm sure you will fall in love.
I hope you found this article helpful. I am open to learning. I always read your comments, they inspire me. Please share what activities do you engage in for relaxation.

One Love
Danni

Thursday, April 20, 2017

THE HABIT PROJECT: The Love Letter

THE HABIT PROJECT: The Love Letter: If you could go back in time what would you have changed? If you could write a love letter to your younger self, what would your advice b...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Love Letter

If you could go back in time what would you have changed? If you could write a love letter to your younger self, what would your advise be? Those of us who are parents have the unique oportunities to show our children the mistakes we made and try as best as posible, without imposing our biases, to steer them in the right direction. 

So instead of writing a letter to my younger self, I'll instead write this letter to my mini me, Kaity.

Throughout the years I have grown, I've made lots and lots of decisions. I've made great choices, and I have made bad choices. Because of these choices, and the consequences, I now know how to guide you from repeating those mistakes and also making positive decisions that will no doubt affect you in years to come.

1. Value yourself:
There will be those moments of insecurity. And there will be times of peer pressure. They come in many forms. But if you value yourself, if you have a sense of self worth, then those moments will not scar you. You are no doubt in my eyes, precious and beautiful, but you have to believe that for yourself. 
2. Let your beauty radiate:
Don't allow your outward beauty to outshine your inner beauty. Character is way more important than physical beauty. 
3. Happiness is from within:
No matter what you acquire, if you are not happy from within, you will always be unhappy. I am not against wealth and success, but ultimately what's most important is to be appreciative of what you have while you work towards bigger and better things. 
4. Think Long-term:
Begin each day, each moment, each project, each decision with the end in mind. If you know what you want to accomplish, then manage your activities accordingly. Do not be mediocre, don't make a habit of procrastinating. Instead think about what the end should look like and move towards your goals with your vision firmly stapled on your mind. 
5. Dream Big:
No dream is too big for you to accomplish. But dreams and goals can only be accomplished one step at a time. If you value yourself and you begin with the end goal in mind, your dreams will come true. But it takes hard work, dedication and a belief that it will be done. 
6. No sweat:
Don't sweat the small stuff. Not every negative comment is worth responding to. Some people may like you, others may not. What's most important is that you know who you are. 
7. Don't covet:
Don't dislike someone for what they have. Each person has their own path to walk, embrace your own. Instead, enjoy the things God has blessed you with. Seek to uplift others, not tear them down.
8. Serve others:
This week I tried teaching you about other children in less privileged circumstances. Try to serve others who are not as fortunate as you are. Your methods may not be the ones typically used main stream for example volunteering. But what ever your method, don't live a life only for you, but live one of service to others.
9. Be humble:
Live a life of gratitude but live it in humility. Showing off is a sign of insecurity. You won't draw positive attention to yourself that way, and you won't attract genuine friends that way either. 
10. Give God praise:
I saved the best for last. I raised you with certain principles that I believe are best. Allow your life to be a principle centered life. Allow God to be the center of your life and decisions. If there was one message I could pass on to you, it would be, to put God first.

I really honor your feedback and comments. Please share with me your thoughts and challenge me on mine. Leave your comments below.

One Love
Danni


Thursday, March 30, 2017

YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!!!!!


I learned something very interesting today from auther Stephen Covey in his popular book "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". He urged his readers to "seek first to understand then to be understood". That really stuck with me, reason being most conversations are spent diagnosing the speaker and imposing our beliefs without really thoroughly spending time to truly understand the other persons point of view.

My husband and I were recently invited to dinner at a friend's home. After dinner we got engaged in a very heated political debate, it was very emotionally charged. We heard the opposing side of my friend's brother. But seemed so engaged in our own conviction that we really didn't spend time to listen. That conversation stuck with me, because even though I did not agree with my friend's brother's point of view, I saw in that conversation the importance of truly seeking to understand the point of view of others by not just hearing, but really putting ourselves in their shoes. Really spending time to listen.

Seeking first to understand means we learn to listen before speaking. It means being open to being influenced by the other person's view point. However we enter conversations with our own convictions and preconceived notions. We are usually preoccupied with winning an argument or responding in a conversation instead of really listening and understanding.

So I urge you to truly be present and in the moment the next time you are in conversation or in a heated debate or arguement with someone. Don't say "I understand" without truly listening. Spend time to understand that persons point of view, spend time to put yourself in that persons shoe. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. The difference will be profound.

Listen with me.

One Love
Danni


Friday, March 17, 2017

MY FEAR THAT'S CRIPPLING ME

A mind is truly a terrible thing to waste. When I would hear motivational speakers talk about negative self talk, I really didn't quite get it. I assumed that negative self talk was this loud megaphone in a person's head yelling at them about how unworthy and incapable they were of doing something or accomplishing something. But I was so convinced that negative self talk was not one of my problems. Then I began to listen. And it became very evident and clear that I had chosen to host conversations in my head that were so limiting to my personal growth.

I struggle with this on a daily basis. Just the fear of moving forward towards living what I know for me will be a purposeful life is crippling. It's so evident in others but we rarely identify it in ourselves. How can I stop that nagging negative self talk is a constant thought of mine. Here are a few steps that I'm committed to taking, in order to get those thoughts under control.

1. Become clear about what I want to accomplish. It is important to totally understand our own goals vs the desires others have for us, especially our parents. So many times we become uncomfortable with the things we are pursuing, reason being they were not our goals to begin with, they were the ideas that have been imposed on us by others. So I need to identify clearly in my head then write it down on paper what I want to accomplish.

2. Making a decision that this is the path that I am going to pursue. Also write this down on paper for clarity sake. Making a decision is such an important step in acknowledging and accomplishing the goals that we have set for ourselves. Also setting a date on when this goal will be accomplished and the micro steps that need to be taken in order to accomplish the goal. Again, write this on paper.

3. Acknowledging the fear that will come with setting this goal. FEAR is false expectations appearing real. When those thoughts come, make a note of them then identify why this particular though or feeling is false. Begin an I CAN journal. Identify 10 reasons why I can accomplish this goal and why I am worthy of accomplishing this goal.

4. Power up with motivating quotes, books, videos. Allow into my personal space information that will enhance my self confidence. Also power up with more knowledge in the desired field. Take the necessary steps to become an expert in my desired field.

5. Eliminate or limit toxic people. Limiting contact with people who will not support or build my dream. Instead get a mentor, someone capable of coaching me. I got this thought from Lisa Nichols, people will not understand my dream because God didn't give that dream to them, he gave it to me.

6. Take massive action. Begin implementing my micro goals or steps one by one. But step out in confidence knowing that if God blessed me with an inspiration or a dream, He is committed to seeing it through. God is not mediocre, so I better bring my best game.

Please dream with me.

One Love
Danni

Friday, March 10, 2017

WHO AM I?


How would I like  to be remembered when I breathe my last breath is a thought that I have been struggling with. The vision that I have of myself, is that how I am being viewed? How does my spouse view me, how does my child view me, how am I viewed among my friends, coworkers, acquaintances, strangers? Do my words and actions align with who I say I am or who I think I am? Here are four of the qualities that I pray will become part of my personality.

A Builder:

I've always had a thing for real estate investing, but this is not the type of building I'm speaking of. I want to be the person who builds others up. In our relationships, especially when we are angry, we can say the most harsh and mean things. I no longer want to be the person who tears others down in conversation or even in an argument. Who drops mean and unkind comments about others, or even harbor negative thoughts about others. Instead channel that energy into building others up.

A Risk Taker:

I want to be that person who doesn't allow herself to be discouraged by a challenge. Someone who goes after living her dream. I want to fearlessly step out of my comfort zone and work assiduously towards creating the life I want for myself.

A Christian:

Not only by name, but truly allowing Christ like principles to guide my life. And to guide others to Christ.

A Happy Person:

I want to be that person whose personality is infectious, laugh is contagious. Who brings that happiness into the room. I want to be happy but also make others happy, regardless of my circumstances.

This list has no doubt been cut short. But they do capture the essence of who I want to become. What are the character traits that you want to be remembered for?

Please
Be a builder, a risk taker, a christian and a happy person with me.

One Love
Danni








Monday, February 27, 2017

Having Crazy Faith


What exactly is crazy faith? Is it believing that something is possible or is it believing that this possibility is yours? I remember having a conversation with my husband who was very convinced that a particular person could accomplish a particular goal. My question to him was, so why can't we accomplish that goal? There are times we can pinpoint greatness in others. We see their possibilities, but we don't see our own. Or maybe we do see our possibilities but we fail to act on them.

I spent the greater part of today listening to Lisa Nichols on youtube. Hearing her story of where she brought her self from to where she is stirred me. Most of us are not starting at the literal bottom, but we have failed to move into our purpose. You see, there is that little voice in my head and I'm sure you have it too, that is saying " I made you for greater things than this". Whatever your greater is, find it and purpose in your heart to make it a reality by having "crazy faith".

When I look back on my own life of how I took a leap of "crazy faith" and moved to the US, I see how passion and determination can propel you forward. When I see how I was able to complete undergrad, I can attest to how a solid why can move you to success even when the odds are stacked up against you. Then the complacency of completing that goal, and not having a vision of what should come next stifled my growth.

My goal is to challenge both you and myself to gain or regain the spark of determination, grit and "crazy faith". Not defining your present by your past but moving forward into your purpose. Growing and excelling with authority not being shy or bashful but without fear and without shame move forward with "crazy faith". As a christian, I don't believe God placed in us a spirit of fear. So end all negative self talk, doubt, fear and procrastination. Live your "crazy faith" because God created you with a purpose that is unique to you. Live your "crazy faith", because your happiness depends on it. Live your "crazy faith" because nothing else matters but living in your purpose.

Please Crazy Faith with Me

One Love
Danni

Monday, February 20, 2017

Falling In Love


I am so in love, very much in love, head over heels in love and its giving me goose pimples. It's the type of love that captivates you, sweeps you off your feet. So who am I in love with? I'm in love with me.

Self love is one of those things we automatically assume that we have, but our actions may not necessarily tell the same story. For example, are we taking care of our bodies or are we engaging in habits that are depleting us? Are we nurturing our relationships or are we taking them for granted? Or are we renewing our spirit or are we taking our spiritual growth for granted?

Taking care of our bodies:

  • We need to becoming more aware of what we eat, we can do this by planning our meals as opposed to grabbing stuff on the go. We don't have to be a green juicer in order to be healthy, but truly understanding that a healthy body is a gift that must be cherished and that most health issues we encounter especially in the United States are diet related. That being said, in order for us to truly be in love with ourselves,  we need to really be more particular about what we eat, how much we eat and when we eat. We need to incorporate eating practices that really nourish us. (I am currently on a "change my diet" journey, I will share that at a later date) Exercise- for me I've found engaging in speed walking way more effective in keeping me toned and looking and feeling healthy vs going to the gym (though both do work for me). Find the exercise regimen that works for you and incorporate it into your daily life. Each persons' needs and body is different so you don't have to do what someone else is doing, but be proactive in finding the right regimen and stick to it. (Some people say having an exercise partner works well for them). Water- we should not take our water consumption for granted. I believe most of us, myself included do not get sufficient water on a daily basis. But drinking sufficient water is such an important part of keeping healthy (and having beautiful radiant skin).



Nurturing Our Relationships:
  • Quality time spent appreciating our loved ones is so important. It is so easy to take the ones closest to us for granted. But spending quality time with them, listening to them (sometimes I really need to listen more and talk less), uplifting and encouraging them is so important. Randomly sending that "I'm thinking about you or, I'm praying for you" text to a friend or putting down the phone, muting the TV when our child or spouse is talking to us shows that we are actively listening vs just being there. Truly listening to the other persons' side in an argument is also helpful in diffusing arguments. Also, not engaging in bashing our loved ones.


Renewing Our Spirit:
  • This should have been first. I believe that this sets the tone for everything else in our lives. Begining our days with gratefulness and giving thanks. Plugging into God, prayerfully asking for guidance and direction. Spending quiet time to appreciate the beauty that is around us and focusing on the positive. It's mid day in winter yet I'm hearing the birds chirping and I'm in NY city. There are noises all around me, yet I'm only tuned into the chirping of the birds. If you have never done it before, try spending quiet, alone time, first thing in the morning, and practice being grateful. It will set the tone for your day. You will be very pleased.


There are many ways to engage in self love, please share your thoughts on loving ones self. I would love to get your feedback. Also, if my blog has added value to your day, please follow, leave a comment and share on your various social media pages.

One Love
Dan

Monday, February 6, 2017

Unplugging in Order to Be Plugged In.



The Problem:

After two hours of what was supposed to be a few quick minutes glancing on facebook, I thought to myself, I've had enough, I just lost time. This time could have been spent reading, playing with my child or doing something that I've always wanted to do. We always think we are so strapped for time. Never enough time in the day to get all the things we need to get done, actually done. The question is, are we really strapped for time, or are we focused on things that actually waste our time? Think about it, how much time do we accumulate being plugged into our electronic gadgets and in social media and gossip columns?

So I've Decided to:

Unplug. Plain and simple. Yes I have an Instagram and a Facebook and a twitter. I also know from personal experience that me saying that I'm going to limit my time on these sites isn't going to work. So the alternative is to create a timetable reinforced by my stop watch. If it's half hour per day, that's it, I better make the most of it in that half hour.

Plugging In:

Plugging into more positive, mind stimulating activities. For example, getting down on the ground to play with my toddler, reading a book that I always wanted to read, exercising, listing to podcasts that enrich my soul, most importantly, spending a lot more time with God.

My Advise:

Determine by writing on a piece of paper what is the stimulant that starts your gadget or social media binge. Are you bored, lonely, tired, afraid, sad, excited? Whatever it is, figure out what it is. Then create a time table. Allot only a certain amount of time for your indulgence, when that time expires, it expires. Then find an activity that brings you joy and spend that time doing the activity that you love. Please unplug and get plugged in with me.

One Love
Danni

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Home Made Body Scrub to Die for.

With all the things on my plate these days, pampering myself is probably the last that actually gets done.  I must stress this is a very bad habit since we cannot be available for others if we ourselves are depleted.

I'm in love with skin and body care so imagine how delighted I was when I learned how simple and easy it was to create a sugar body scrub. I promise you that you will be delighted with how it makes your skin feel. If you're skeptical at first, then only try on your hands and feet.

Ingredients


  • Brown Sugar
  • Olive or Almond oil
  • Lemon juice
You can control your consistency but to create a small amount for my hands I usually use 2 table spoons of brown sugar, 1 table spoon olive or almond oil, 2 table spoons lemon juice. No need to moisturize after. Just pat dry.


Please give it a try and leave me a comment below. Also please follow my blog.

One Love
Danni

Sunday, January 15, 2017

How Lemon and Garlic Saved me from the Flu


New York winters are hard on my toddler's health. I call it the two weeks on two weeks off season for catching colds. I can almost bet she's going to get sick each winter season and not only will she get a cold, but, I will get a cold from her as well.

Last week she got very sick, this time with the flu. Within two days my husband got sick from interacting with her. I decided to fortify myself with as many home remedies that I could find. I had gotten a post from someone regarding the health benefits of lemon skin in addition to lemon juice and so I decided why not give making lemon tea part of my morning ritual. So each morning for the last week first thing I would make myself tea with lemon peel and lemon juice. Later in the day I would make this tea again but add garlic. There were times when I felt the onset of a cold or flu in my throat and after drinking my tea, eventually it went away. I'm happy I've been spared. If only I could get my toddler to drink it as well.


  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon skin
  • Honey 
  • Garlic
  • Boiling water
Place garlic, lemon juice and lemon skin in a mug, add boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. Sweeten with honey to your taste. You can also add all 3 in a pot and bring to a boil for a more concentrated flavor. 


One Love
Danni


Thursday, January 5, 2017

GOALS!!!! Make Em!!!!Keep Em!!!! 2017

There is something fresh and new about a new year. And though I believe we can start working on our goals at any time, the new year tends to provide a fresh start, a clean slate, a new leaf. Why not challenge ourselves to make 2017 the year of greatness.

This video moved and inspired me so much, I had to share. I will warm, it is on the lengthy side, but I'm sure you will be motivated and inspired.

Enjoy!!!!!