7 Simple Steps to Being Happy

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Happiness is defined as a mental or emotional state of well being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. My mother calls me her happy child. No matter what’s going on I choose to see light in every situation. This is not to say that I’ve never felt the pangs of emotional distress. I know my joy is my strength.

You can choose to be miserable or content in whatever situation you’re in. The latter will cause you to rise above any challenge and open your mind to new possibilities. Don’t be bitter. Be happy!

Below are 7 steps to living a happier and healthier life:

  1. KNOW WHO YOU ARE. You are not a mistake. The Creator created you with love for a purpose.  Embrace this truth.
  1. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE. The Apostle Paul, while imprisoned on the isle of Patmos, wrote: “I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I’ve learned the secret of how to live and be content.” Philippians 4:12
  1. LEARN THE ART OF GRATITUDE. Everyday that you live is a day to give thanks. Recognize the blessing in everything. If you can’t see it, look for it.
  1. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? Choose to meditate on thoughts that empower you. “Fix your mind on things that are true, noble, right, pure and lovely. If anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:6
  1. MEDITATE. Be still and let go. Holding on to your past hurts and worrying about tomorrow adds nothing to your life. Russell Simmons states in his book Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple: “You can decide that no matter what is happening around you, the sun will always be shining in your world. The external world doesn’t make that choice. You do.”
  1. SMILE and the world will smile with you. Share the love.
  1. JUST BE!  You are more than enough and equipped for every good deed. Give it all you got!

Happiness generates good energy that is contagious. It’s not hard. Live in the moment with joy and gratitude. It’s a choice. Clap along if you believe happiness is the truth.

 

 

Reaching Higher Plateaus

This Far by Faith

“Everything and everyone that is available in the place you are in right now has something to teach you or give to you.” –Iyanla Vanzant

This morning I woke up reflecting on the last three years of my journey at Full Sail University, which soon will be coming to an end.  In June I will emerge with a Bachelors of Fine Arts for Creative Writing in Entertainment in hand.  Not bad for a sister girl who hasn’t been to school since Brooke Shields starred in Pretty Baby.

In the process of selecting pieces for my digital portfolio, I reviewed my very first project as a student, Who Has Gone Before You.  I created a Keynote presentation about my industry heroes Tyler Perry and Michael Jackson, whose journeys epitomizes their love and faith to deliver their message, and which had phenomenally propelled their careers.  Their lives are testaments to the power that rests, rules and abides in us all.

Did you know that whenever Michael wanted to write something great, he prayed?  When Tyler failed at his endeavors he did not stop believing; he talked to God.  The rest is history.  Michael knew what he wanted to be.  Tyler had an epiphany.  Enjoy the video and be inspired.

As I begin the next chapter of my life, leaving behind the familiar and forging ahead into new possibilities,  it’s a little unsettling, but being driven by  love, faith and determination I fearlessly press forward and embrace the unknown.  I do know for sure that the Most High has armed me with love, faith and creativity, and He is guiding my steps.  I’m not exactly sure where I’m going, but I know it’s going to be good and I trust Him.

Michael Jackson and Tyler Perry continue to inspire  with their words, creations and journey.   Their messages are purely based on the principles of love and faith.  Thanks to all who have gone before us, and who seek to encourage and inspire others to live with purpose and to reach higher plateaus.  I pray that the Lord will take my life and do something with it, that He may be glorified and others will be blessed.   

Feel free to comment and/or share whom your heroes are and how they have inspired you.

Love & Favor,

Angela

LET IT GO

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“He did that to you,” as if he were surprised. “My brother’s a beast. You’re too beautiful for this!”
She nodded her head in agreement peering through her bruised eye. “He’ll change,” she mumbled from her busted lips.”

“What!”

“I’m trying. I got to keep the family together.”

“You trying? He ain’t! Listen little gal, ain’t nothing you can do to change a man. You ain’t Gawd! Lawd knows you’ll die trying. Only God can change people.”

“Here try this. It’ll make you feel much better,” he said.

He held the flame to the pipe while she inhaled deeply. Flashing warning lights reflected brightly in her minds eyes. She could hear the words, POISON, POISON, POISON, screaming in her ears. The words formed in the cloud of putrid smoke. Poison! She inhaled again. That voice only she could hear said, “Let it go,” as she drifted away.

Marked By Love

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Every cloud has a silver lining. I have been inspired by my friend, motivational speaker, Warren Winston and Oprah’s Ambassador of Hope, Marala Scott to tell my story to help and heal others.  Through many struggles I’ve always been lifted to continue walking in joy and peace with love in my heart.  I remember being angry with God while struggling through an abusive relationship. I told him that I had done everything that he had asked loved everyone unconditionally, guarded my eyes and ears, prayed without ceasing, and let him fight every battle, but I couldn’t see the blessings. I wondered if it was all in vain.  Where was my love? I broke down. The tears of my soul nearly drowned me.  Then a wave of peace and stillness permeated my being. I heard a voice within say would you leave all of this behind and follow me. I said, “Yes. Wherever you lead me will be far better than where I am now.”  I packed my box, forgave my past, and never looked back.  I had been marked by love.Edit

MARKED

by Angela M. Spencer

When a family’s bond of love and trust are destroyed by domestic violence, a traumatized young boy is raised in the church and struggles with loss and vicious emotions until he is able to forgive his father, and lets go of his haunting past.

Introduction:

Daddy and I sat on the side of the bed playing my favorite game, Super Mario.  I loved doing things with my Daddy.  I smiled thinking about the good time we just had watching the kite that we had made together swirl up into the sky as we launched it on a spool of string.  Mommy walks into the room with her hands on her hips.

“Can anyone tell me why my good sheet is cut up into shreds?” Mommy said.

“We needed it to make a tail for the kite so we could fly it,” Daddy said.

“But, those were my good sheets,” she said.

I saw his face tense up.  He took a sip of his beer and glared at her.  I could see the rage was brewing inside of him.  I’ve seen him look this way just before he’d lose his mind and slap her around.  Mommy gave me the look and I knew I had to runaway to the secret place.  Before I could move he grabbed her by her hair and smashed his fist into her face.  Her jaw swung to the side and blood gushed out of her mouth.

“I HATE YOU DADDY!” I screamed.

Tears pour down my face, and the blood surges to my head as I watch her fall.  THUMP, went her head on the bedpost.  Mommy is on the floor helpless.  All I see is red, and I jump from the rickety bed and leap onto his neck before he can hurt her any more.  He snatches me off his neck, slings me in the air, like I was nothing, and my body slams up against the wall.  I land on the floor banging my head.  Paralyzed, I can’t move.  My eyes were tightly shut and I drifted into the darkness.  When I opened my eyes he was gone.  I see my mommy – still – lying on the floor.  “Oh my God.  Pwease mommy, don’t be dead, I cried.  Mommy, pwease, wake up, don’t be dead.”

My body wrenches with pain, and I am shaking uncontrollably.  I wipe the tears from my eyes and run to the bathroom to get a cup of water.  It works in the cartoons, I thought.  Trembling, I climbed up on the side of the tub, grabbed a cup and filled it with water.  “Mommy has to get up.  I can’t breathe without her.  Mommy has to get up.”

As I enter the room, she lifts her head, her lips swollen and blood is dripping from her mouth.  Her eyes search the room.  I drop the cup and run to her.  Shaking uncontrollably as streams of tears rush down my face, I cry out, “Mommy, mommy, are you alright?”

“Yes, baby I’m alright.  Just remember this,” she gasped, “you can’t do anything with what you have no control over.  Forgive and be a better man.  I love you so much.”

“Mama,” I cried.  She was gone.

I became a ward of the state.  I was seven years old.  The counselor there was very nice.  Her name was Angel Santamaria. She talked kind of funny like she was singing every word.

“Hi Nick,” she says.  “Youse de handsomest lil maaan.”

“Nick, ju wanna go play with de other children?”

I nod my head, my eyes dart across the floor.  “I want to play.”

With her gentle hand on my shoulder we walk to the playroom.  Standing in the middle of the room playing video games is the prettiest girl that I had ever seen besides Mama.  She has a knot on her head, like mine, and shiny dark eyes, just like Mama’s. “Maybe we could be a family, just like me, mommy and daddy.”

“Hey Shorty, you wanna play?  We can play video games together.”

She turns to look at me with her hands on her hips and tells me, “my name’s not Shorty!  My name is Leslie.  Yeah, let’s play.”

I can’t explain what happened next, but I grabbed her by her hair and slapped her face.

She snatched away from me, and slapped me back and said,  “my mommy says love don’t hurt.  You hit me again – I’ll kill you.“

Ten years later … (to be continued)

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