Archive | April 2011

I’M SO GLAD I’M FROM FAMU

I’m so glad I’m from FAMU.  I’m so glad I’m from FAMU.  I’m so glad I’m from FAMU. Singing glory hallelujah, I’m from FAMU.  If you know me at all, and heck even if you don’t (my twitter buds),  you know that I am a proud alum of Florida A&M University- FAMU for short.  And for you uninitiated that’s FAM- U not FA MU.  🙂

This song came into my head last night and I just want to share you with you over this Cup of Cheer why I’m SO glad I’m from FAMU.

1.  My best friends are people I met at FAM.

2.  FAMU means FAM(ily).  I can go anywhere in the country and meet up with a FAMily member who will welcome me with open arms.

3.  FAMUans are some of the proudest HBCU alum in the country.  We love our school thus we love each other and it shows.

4.  My days at FAMU are some of the best days of my life.  Not perfect days all the time, but days that helped make me the person I am today.  Times spent maturing into adulthood, making mistakes, celebrating successes, and growing all the time.  All in an environment where I felt that the professors were personally vested in my success.

5.  Like a lot of college girls, I fell in love at FAMU.  No it didn’t last forever, but it was a wonderful learning experience and one that I would never trade.

6. I learned to walk hills, fear fire ants (allergies), party, and study at FAMU.

7.  I also learned that all of my friends didn’t have to be my age.  Thank God for some ladies I met who imparted their brand of wisdom on the youngun.  Oh how naive I was! 😉

8.  I saw a lot of people make big mistakes at FAM and do some very destructive things.  All of these people are now highly successful.  There is something about the atmosphere there that teaches that mistakes are temporary obstacles that can and shall be overcome, that not being perfect is a part of life and learning, and that it’s ok to find your way.  Most people need this kind of safety net and as the examples I have seen bear witness that with it in place they will shine.

9.  FAMU has undeniably the greatest marching band in the land.  I can’t mention FAMU without mentioning the Marching 100.

10.  Unlike a number of state schools, this lil Maryland girl met people from all over the country.  It helped to expand my thinking.  Showed me that everyone does not think like people from Baltimore and what a wonderful thing that sharing of different mindsets can be.

11. And lest I forget, on the campus of FAMU you will find some of the prettiest people you will ever meet.  Bump Howard, Spellman, and Morehouse; FAMU has them all beat.  Don’t believe me?  Take a little trip to the highest of seven hills in the lovely city of Tallahassee, Florida.  You will come back a convert!

I could go on, but these are the top very good reasons that I’m so glad I’m from FAMU.  Join in and sing it with me Rattlers…

Spread love….peace and blessings.

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Mind, Body and Soul

If there’s one thing I am totally convinced of it is that we MUST take care of ourselves- mind, body and soul.  This is one of those adages that  we all know, but not all of us put it into place.   We make other things  priority.  We understand that we must work in order to pay bills and live comfortably so for many of us work is our top priority.  Others of us may exercise, but we spend little time, regardless of religious beliefs,  nurturing our spiritual selves.  We are all probably guilty of watching too much television- especially the mindless “reality” type and far less time reading.  We spend countless hours per day engaged in internet activity, but how much of it is for our own edification? Why don’t we do it?  The most common response is “I don’t have the time.”  I understand that.   Believe me I do.  We are all pressed for time and those with children are often juggling individual schedules along with those of their children.  But, the bottom line is we must take care of ourselves.

I don’t know the statistics, but it appears to me that the number of people suffering from mental illness/depression seems to be growing exponentially.  I know the number of medications to treat such is definitely growing if frequency of advertising is any indication.  As a person who has very personal experience with mental illness, I know that the disorders are a result of a chemical imbalance.  I know that some people appear to be more susceptible to depression than others.  Those most at risk seem to be  those who live a life engrossed in their own “stuff.”  It is through doing and serving others that we are able to see beyond our own box.  It is part of the reason why dogs are taken into nursing homes.  The pets give the elderly residents something to focus on other than themselves and that this thing which also comes bearing love is a much-needed benefit.  That’s the mind…

One of the areas where most of us neglect ourselves the most is in the area of the body.  We don’t get the regular preventative medical attention that we should.  We figure “I’m alright” and again “I don’t have time” to go to the doctor’s office if I’m not ill.  We fail to exercise regularly.  We eat improperly.  All of you reading are well aware of the fact that America has some of the most overweight people on the planet.  Yes we are one of the wealthiest nations but we eat in large quantities and do not exercise.  On this matter, the solution is simple.  Make the time now or be forced to take it later when you are suffering from the results of your choices in your younger years.  Within the past couple of months I have known of at least 4 people requiring  joint replacement surgery.  All of these persons are overweight.  These are people I know well and love, but our joints are not designed to carry excessive amounts of weight and still perform their necessary functions.  Exercise, in this case, in helpful in two ways- it helps to keep our weight down and helps to strengthen our joints.  A large number of joint replacements are due to arthritis.  While there is no prevention of arthritis, regular exercise helps to alleviate the symptoms to some degree which may help minimize the need for surgery.

Lastly, one of the biggest ways we neglect ourselves is by taking not care of our souls.  The purpose of A Cup of Cheer is not religious based and it is not my intention to tell you who or what to believe in.  I, however,  believe in God and that God is still I Am regardless of what he is called by what religion.  So in my book, as long as you recognize a power greater than yourself that resides in all of us you are alright with me.  Some of us get caught up though.  We forget that we are not the god of the universe.  We think that the world revolves around us and that we must make everything happen.  I totally believe that our thoughts can influence our environment but I also understand that I alone can not stop a tremendous earthquake from happening or evil from occurring around me.   Getting in touch with the spiritual side of yourself is essential.  Spend some time in quiet reflection daily if possible. Write in a journal.  Allow the God spirit that is within  you to actually guide you.  It is there for that purpose.  We must just quiet ourselves enough so that we can hear it.  Taking this time is freeing.  It grounds your thoughts, soothes your self and is directly correlated to the health of both the mind and body.

I know this entry is long and I appreciate you taking the time to read it.  There are signs all around that we need to rebalance ourselves in order to settle the world in which we live.  I urge you to spend time thinking about what you can do to take care of yourself.  Everybody needs to take care of every body.

Spread love…peace and blessings.

Feel The Fire

A couple of friends and I are working on a new project and I am literally on fire.  I can not wait to get it off  the ground.  I am psyched about the potential for success.  I am awakened with ideas and go to sleep thinking of more.  Which led to me to thinking about something.   When are we operating at our very best?  My answer? When we are on fire for something.

Think about it.  A lot of times the best times in a relationship are in the early stages.  Both parties are filled with the promise of what the relationship has to offer.  They work  very hard to put forth their best foot.  They place that person and their needs above many others- sometimes even themselves.

When we start a new job we are on fire with passion.  We put forth our best effort.  We desire to impress all of those with whom we work.  We want our managers to feel pleased about their decision to hire us and we want to make them look good.  When we start our own business we are really churning on all cylinders.  We are willing to put in whatever amount of time and energy is required to make our venture a success.  After all,  this is OUR thing and we wish to prove that there is no one better to bet on than ourselves.

So what happens? How do we lose the passion that we have initially?  I propose that we let the fire go out.  While it is true that it is difficult to keep a fire stoked at the same level indefinitely, we have to continuously  search for new kindle to keep it going.

Within a relationship, the kindle may be a new hobby for the two of you to embark on together, a trip you are planning, exercising together or any number of things.  The point is you have to find something that makes you feel the initial spark you once felt.  It can be done and with sustained effort is not that difficult.

In the workplace, suggest a new method, process or project.  More than likely you will be asked to lead that initiative which should successfully relight your fire for a few.  With your own business, it is easy to become bogged down and discouraged especially if things are not going quite as planned.  This new venture/project  has been very enlightening for me.  Not only am I super- excited about the new project but have seen ways to incorporate it into the A Cup of Cheer brand as well.  Thus one pilot has lit the flame on two separate eyes.

These are my thoughts.  You may have other suggestions and I encourage you to leave them.  I, and others, would love to read them. Most importantly,  I encourage you feel the fire.  Life is glorious when we are doing what makes us happy and being rewarded in the process.

Take The Time To Take The Time

Recently I saw a status update on Facebook.  A friend had taken a pic of a menu she saw in a hospital and posted it.  The caption read that it was taken at a hospital in a given city.  Of note is that the friend does not live in the city where the picture was taken.  It was taken it her home town.  Why am I telling you all of this? Well, the very interesting (and yes sad) thing I noticed when I viewed the thread was that all of the comments were on the menu items featured in said photo.  No one had taken the time to inquire why the friend was visiting the hospital in her home town. I know….”Tee I don’t like to pry in people’s personal business.”  I understand.  I truly do.  But I also understand that one doesn’t need to be privy to all of the particulars to at least inquire as to whether all is “ok.”  There is an old adage “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  We are all busy- all absorbed in our own lives.  That being said, it is sometimes necessary for us to step outside of our own box to see what is going on in someone else’s.

‘By taking the time to make the simplest of inquiries one would learn that the lady is indeed at the hospital for some serious reasons regarding her closest relative.  The challenge is to not merely see the subject of the photo but the more important message of the caption.  While a small few may interpret your inquiry as nosiness, I guarantee most will appreciate the concern expressed- especially if the question is posed tactfully.

You see sometimes it is when we are swimming in our muddiest waters, that we are called forth to pull someone else out of the quicksand.  I personally believe it is God’s way of 1) showing you that it’s not all about you,  and 2) that by stepping outside of yourself you will recognize that your situation, whatever it may be,  is not as dire as you think.  By ignoring the opportunity to do the above, we are actually doing the greatest disservice to ourself.  We are self-absorbed, pouty, and listening solely to the voice in our own head.  Our opened eyes allow us to hear the voice of God say to us “It’s ok.  Everything will be ok.  Bless this person as I bless you.”

Life is a circle- not linear at all.  We give and take from one another.  Others give to us and we give back to them or pay it forward, but it is all about working together in life.  It is essential that we connect with others around us.  Sometimes it is not an opportune moment, but that does not excuse us from extending ourselves in service to others.  After all we are but one large community.  In case you haven’t noticed,  the world is shrinking around us.

As always, I welcome your thoughts on the matter, but as several of my friends are fond of saying “we all we got.”

Spread love… peace and blessings.