The Guardian Angel

Have you heard of the angel of Nanjing? Click on the link to hear his story.

Prayers vs. Pandemic

Here are some great and easy YouTube videos to follow to assist you in praying for loved ones during the pandemic. DailyEffectivePrayer has many short and easy-to-follow prayers that you can use. They are usually about 4 minutes long each. These are just a few of the collection. Consider your own loved ones. Does one of these categories fit that loved one? Then click on the link below and just listen and follow along with the words.

At this time, I also like these 3 prayers. The first is Psalm 91, a protection prayer against pestilence that is the exact opposite number of COVID-19. According to some videos regarding Psalm 91, the words in Hebrew have many symbols over the tops of the letters. This is supposed to mean this is a very strong spiritual warfare prayer for your family. The second video is a short hedge of protection prayer. In the biblical story of Job, a special hedge of protection surrounded Job and kept him from harm. The third video is a longer prayer but talks about pleading the blood of the lamb over your family during the pandemic. It draws from the Passover story of the Israelites.

The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn is Just to Love and Be Loved in Return

The first tape I ever bought was Nat King Cole’s Greatest Hits. Natalie Cole had just released the song with her father called Unforgettable.  It was my favorite song at the moment.  I liked love songs back then. I liked old AMC movies about love. Especially the black and white movies like Roman Holiday or any of the kodachrome Elvis movies or anything with Cary Grant. I liked everything to do with love. I was a typical young girl full of heart and dreams. So, I went to the store when I was maybe 12 in 7th grade and I bought Nat King Cole’s tape.  I still can recall that day at the mall store.    

I learned every love song on that tape, laying on my bed with my Walkman and listening to the songs with my eyes closed and smiling.  His songs were so happy and promising and full of optimism. I played the tape over and over and over again.  I wore that tape out.  His voice was amazing.  The songs I loved the best were Walking My Baby Back Home and L-O-V-E.  A lot of people today reference Nat King Cole and probably don’t even realize it.  The phrase “to love and be loved” comes from a little known song from Nat King Cole called Nature Boy.  It actually goes like this…. “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”  This song is also in the movie, Moulin Rouge. 

There’s an urban legend story about Nat King Cole’s wife.  Some say it is true.  Some say it is not.  Here is the story, irregardless.  This woulda been in the year 1965:

“An African-American woman is stranded on an Alabama Highway in a rain storm. She flags down a motorist who turns out to be a white man who takes her to where she can get a cab. She’s in a big hurry, writes down his address, and leaves. A week later, there is a knock at the man’s door. It’s the delivery of a giant console color television with a note from the woman he had helped on the rainy highway. She thanks him and says that because of his kindness, she was able to make it to her dying husband’s bedside. It is signed Mrs. Nat King Cole.”

There are other firsts in my life for different types of music playing.  The first 8-track tape I ever remember hearing when I was a little girl in the 80s dancing at my grandma’s house with my cousins was the Beegees.  I remember dancing to Stayin’ Alive.  It was a very happy moment. I must have been four or five.

My mother had a record player and to this day it is in her attic.  We only had three records we would play over and over again.  They were Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Joan Jett’s I Love Rock and Roll, and then Olivia Newton John.  I can’t remember the specific album from Olivia Newton John but I remember her singing I Honestly Love You. My mother liked her a lot.

My first CD, well, that was Wrecks n Effect or maybe Guns n Roses Appetite for Destruction.  To this day, Sweet Child of Mine is still one of my favorites. 

Once streaming came on board, it was pretty easy to access all sorts of songs and I honestly can’t remember what were my first ones then.  But I remember the tape of Nat King Cole the most of all. 

How about you?  What are your fondest memories of music?  What was your first 8-track or your first tape or CD?  What songs meant the most to you as a kid? 

Hoping for Peace

I studied abroad at 19 years old in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. I just remember how vibrant and beautiful the places were that we saw in the Holy Lands.

Years have come and gone. I don’t have a side. I don’t choose one over the other. It’s not really my business. I don’t live there. I just remember meeting and connecting with good people on both sides in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Dead Sea region, Gaza, Ramallah, and the Golan Heights.

I’m hoping for peace for the region. I’m thinking about old teachers, colleagues from school, and roommates. I just hope tonight they are okay and safe.

I’ve been a military spouse but I hate the futility of war. Being a mother raising a son has taught me that. You spend so much time and effort raising and nurturing a child only to see the violence of war cut their life off unexpectedly. I am praying for the mothers and fathers of the deceased on both sides and just hoping for a good resolution.

Rejection is Just Redirection

Have you ever experienced an online troll?  What about a “hater” or even a “group of haters”? 

(By the way, this is a great song about the whole “haters gon’ hate” vibe.  To go off on a short tangent, I really love this song.)

What about someone in your environment who, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get them to treat you right?  Or maybe just someone or something that leaves you drained?    

Here’s some simple tips:

  1.  Take time out for you and practice self-care/self-love. 
  2. Be wise to the negative behaviors of others but hold yourself to a higher standard and do not stoop to that level. 

“I am sending you out as sheep among wolves, so be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”  Matthew 10:16.

  • “Do not cast your pearls before swine.”  Matthew 7:6.  This is not to say that other people are necessarily bad.  Perhaps they are not at a point in their lives that they are willing and able to receive you with love and respect.  If this is so, do not waste your energy and time trying to prove your worth to them.  Life is short and precious, it should not be wasted continually trying to be perfect for someone else’s expectations of you.  Make your own expectations.  Meet your own goals.  Dress the way you want.  Think the way you want.   You are not unworthy.  You are enough.  They just fail to see the treasure that you are, even if you may appear to be a diamond in the rough.  Remember, in this life, we do not know who God treasures either.  Some people would be the least you would expect.  Treat people fairly and stand up for yourself when you feel in your heart that you are not being treated fairly by others. 
  • Let go of bitterness and get your spirit back.  Bounce back from hardship like you’re Walter Payton.  This is extremely hard.  First, learn to take the L.  Second, learn to forgive.  Third, vow to not let the pattern repeat itself.  Respect yourself enough not to allow it to happen again.  Fourth, understand that what others meant for your harm, God may have intended for your good.  This is called providence.  It was providence that made Joseph a powerful influence in Egypt to prevent the famines despite all he went through.  Providence worked in his life and it works in your life too.  It’s just hard to see when you’re in the trenches.   You just got to believe.  Sometimes, though, we pray and pray and pray on something and it still doesn’t happen.  That’s another life lesson right there.  The failure, the rejection, the divorce, the bad grades, the whatever is going on in your life…..it is teaching you to first lean not on your own understanding of things but on a spirituality, and second, it is teaching you to love yourself.  The full and total rejection moment will teach you to find value in you, to regain your self-esteem, self-confidence, self-worth.  Remember as Rocky says in this short motivational speech, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.  It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.  You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.  But it ain’t about how hard you’re hit.   It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

 Keep moving forward towards your goals.  If you have to, start very small.  Work on your hygiene first.  Work on the way you dress.  Work on your hair, make-up, style, etc.  Go back to the gym or church or wherever you find positive vibes and happiness from meeting goals.  Don’t let others tell you not to do these things.  Do them because you need to do them to improve your self-esteem.   Raise that bar first and then move out from there to your surroundings and your interactions with others.  Begin, at the same time, to strip away that which does not serve you.  Are there behaviors or traits you have taken on that are not good?  Substance abuse problems?  Addictions?  Unhealthy habits?  What about people you interact with that wear you down?  Begin to set boundaries not just with certain people but with things you do throughout the day.  Ask yourself, do I really want to do this thing or is this something I am doing because so-and-so wants me to do it?  Once again, this comes back to self-love and self-respect.  It is not selfish to say no.  It is awareness that you need to raise the bar on your self-esteem/self-worth.  Likewise, choosing to not date certain people or hang out with certain folks that bring you down…..that is not arrogance but self-awareness that you need to protect your energy.  Your energy is vital to your overall health and success.  So start small.  Take the baby steps which can turn in to bigger steps down the road. 

These are the things I am telling myself now.  I too have faced a personal setback and I am re-learning this now.  It is a thing I have to continually re-learn painfully.  You would think I would get it the first time but no, I keep having to re-hash it over and over as I believe a lot of people do.  One thing that really helps me is YouTube.  Here’s some video advice from folks way, way, way smarter than me about how to do it.  The first three videos are about self-love.  The fourth is Maya Angelou reciting, And Still I Rise.  The two other videos are inspirational pastor sermons.  These are my two favorite sermons of all time that I must admit, I have to go back to again and again when “my chips are low” and I feel myself entering that defeated mindset mode.  I highly, highly recommend watching these sermons!  However, they are each long but packed with valuable info.  I hope that you like these videos too (please share with me as well, any videos you think would help me) and remember that whatever I am going through and whatever you are going through, we are in this together and you are enough, you are valuable, you are worthy.  Think like Walter Payton and bounce yourself back up.  Let’s get to it!    

Oil

There are many customs and beliefs of ancient times that are resurfacing due to YouTube. As the spread of home remedies, folk medicine, and alternative medicine is introduced, this can benefit the reader. It is Sunday so I wanted to talk a little bit about herbs and oils to benefit the body.

One oil that can really help people is castor oil. Use castor oil to grow thicker hair on your head, eyebrow, and eye lashes. Castor oil packing on the abdomen can help women with fertility issues and some say castor oil can reverse damage to breasts and uterus and ovaries. Another method of using castor oil is for belly bloat and belly fat. Simply place some drops of castor oil in your belly button before bed. Put a cloth over it and rest overnight. The next morning, you will probably have a bowel movement as the castor oil helps with bloating and constipation but it also expels unwanted elements from the digestive system like mucoid plaque and parasites that rob you of minerals and nutrients. You put it in your belly button because this was the original receptor of minerals and nutrients into your body as a baby and it is closely tied to circulatory and nervouse system. Castor oil can help with skin tone too. It is used in facials and deep cleans pores to smoothen skin, give it a glow, and reduce acne.

If you have brain issues, consider using oils on your third eye area. Remember all the passages of the Bible about anointing the head with oil? Shepherds do this to their sheep, placing oils on their heads to fight off pesky parasitic elements or insects. Use frankincese or myrrh to improve overall body health and beauty.

Another thing to consider is something called the sattvic diet in Ayurvedic. Food is medicine to the body so be careful what you intake. You want to eat Sattvic foods like raw fruits and vegetables and avoid low vibrational foods like mushroom fungi (decomposers and death eaters) or meat that has been adrenalized due to the suffering of an animal.

Replace sugar cravings with locally grown honey which hinders allergies to local pollen and is antimicrobial with lots of nutrients. Also consider incorporating the following foods in your daily diet: berries, apples, bananas, pineapples, pomegranates, and medjool dates, walnuts, almonds, and green veggies especially broccoli, kale, beets, watercress, etc. Be sure to eat foods that help your kidney and liver function for optimum energy and watch out for foods that will make you what doctors call insulin resistant. You want to be what’s called insulin sensitive. One herb that can really help you if you are prediabetic or diabetic is Rosemary. Incorporate this herb into your daily food to help lower onsulin and cortisol levels in the body. If you have thyroid issues, look into seaweed chips or seaweed flakes to add to dinner meals for iodine. If you have kidney concerns, look into something called an adrenal cocktail on YouTube.

Humans are just the same as plants. We need the sun to produce vitamin D in our bodies. Vitamin D deficiency is correlated to cancers, diabetes, Covid mortality, etc. You need sunshine to thrive and fresh air is better than HVAC systems because it naturally purifies the air of microbials that cause odors and illness. So get some walks in outside that don’t bring up your cortisol levels and cause adrenal fatigue like extended cardio. Breathe in the fresh air and let the sunshine absorb through your cells so they can generate just like a plant makes chlorophyll. If you find some dandelions along the path, pick the leaves to make a nutrient rich salad that can help lower acidity in the body.

Watch this to learn all the benefits of dandelions to protect against diabetes. high cholesterol, cancer, and ovarian cysts or PCOS. https://youtu.be/kTrvMN3yXtc

Another important item to look for on your walk is red clover which in Amish medecine prevents cancer. The use of apple cidar vinegar actually comes from the Amish. They are way smarter people than modern society gives them credit for. Even hedge balls are supposed to be good for the body if chopped up. Gather a few and throw them under your house to keep spiders, snakes, and other insects away.

When you go to bed at night, drink a mug of warm milk mixed with honey, cinnamon, and ashwagandha powder. Get plenty of sleep. Drink lemon water and green tea during the day.

Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning house. Consider the use of white vinegar to clean things and other healthier alternatives. And consider having your water tested to see how healthy it is for you. Your residence and resources can really determine your overall health so before you move somewhere look into the public health data. For example, I used to work in a town with an old ammunition plant nearby and fertilizer company. Rates of cancer were much higher there and often times we would have a ban on water consumption. Look into this data and the water data as well as lead or phosphorus levels. Study if the water source is surface or ground.

All of these tips are beneficial.

Chris Rock, Will Smith and the Conflict Resolution Procedure

Being an HR Manager for close to 10 years, you see a lot of drama and conflict in the workplace. You see all sorts of behaviors. Sometimes, someone will get real mad about a situation, often times justifiably from their perspective. They will come to my office looking for me to resolve their problem. Sometimes, it will be a situation in which one person feels unfairly treated by the other or even bullied.

The first thing we are taught is to listen, assess the situation for any major escalation, and then calmly ask the person, “Have you addressed this directly with the other person?” “Have you confronted the problem together and have you explained how it made you feel?”

Often times, they will say no. Then we calmly say, “The first step you must take is to go talk to that person directly. If this does not resolve the behavior and it continues, then come back to me for the second step.” Then you send the person back…unless there is real danger or threat to safety.

9 times out of 10, this approach is most effective in treating the issue. It also helps the person to build their own courage and stand up for themselves which is critical to their self-confidence and also their reputation and dignity in the workplace.

Sometimes, this still doesn’t work. They come back to the office for step two which involves a supervisor or manager mediating a discussion again between the two and advising them of how to act professionally in the workplace. This also is very effective usually.

However, sometimes you have quite a problem in the workplace and the third step involves either progressive documented discipline or even legal involvement. Sometimes, even a person must risk social or job loss or financial loss in order to eventually come to the table for honest dialogue. Most times, if it does involve legal assistance, it can be handled out of the courts and not escalated even further. Often times, the HR manager might want to consider offering a suggestion of private counseling to both parties. One party may feel some trauma from feeling the victim of some mistreatment in the workplace, whereas often times, the other party may experience trauma too from the subsequent anxiety of potentially facing negative workplace reaction or legal repercussions down the road. Either way, both parties are stressed out and could use some confidential private help to address their concerns. Don’t advocate for medical help but rather behavioral psychological help.

That’s how you handle it in the workplace. What about on a larger scale such as the situation that Will Smith and Chris Rock faced? The most effective conflict resolution would be the same.

  1. Address the situation head on.
  2. If an open dialogue does not occur, then suggest an advisor mediate.
  3. If this still does not resolve issues, then consider discipline or legal assistance.
  4. Once this occurs, still keep the offer on the table for both parties to come together to resolve this amicably.
  5. Listen openly and objectively to the concerns of both sides.
  6. Offer them both the opportunity to seek private guidance on how to handle the stress or any subsequent trauma. Unresolved trauma can lead to bad longer term impacts.
  7. Try to minimize the interference of outside parties offering judgment or using the situation for their own gain down the road (such as media replaying the video over and over again or getting the opinions of a diverse group of onlookers). Just like a cop at a car crash, keep the people moving around the scene and keep things peaceful.
  8. Consider the use of legal assistance to open a dialogue or as a form of future deterrence for outside parties but never use legal assistance for gross personal financial gain at the expense of the other which is a form of retribution. Personal financial gain is acceptable perhaps for defamation but gross personal financial gain can be detrimental to the future of that relationship if either party wants to continue association.
  9. If violence does occur, then it is the company’s responsibility to deter future occurrences for the safety of all by releasing a statement of what behavior is and is not permitted.

The Transition

A little boy found a caterpillar. He picked it up gently, marveled at it. He put it gently in a bush.

Everyday the little boy would return to the little green bush to visit the caterpillar.

Then, one day, he saw that the caterpillar was changing.

It had built a chrysalis.

The little boy continued to watch over the chrysalis. He protected it from harm.

One day, he found the chrysalis had broken and then he found the beautiful, brilliant butterfly waiting nearby. He looked at the butterfly and it gently fluttered once, twice, and then spread its wings to fly away.

A nurse took care of patients.

Everyday, he would come to visit the elderly woman. He would care for the woman, feed her, bathe her, provide for her needs.

He came back day after day to watch over and protect the little old woman.

Until one day, he came to her room to find she was not well. He still nursed her and looked after her.

She moved less and stayed to her bed. He watched her carefully and attended to her needs.

Then, one day he saw that she had passed. He sat by her bed quietly and attended to her one last time.

But like the brilliant, beautiful butterfly, she now spread her angel wings to fly gently away.

People Love to Hate HR

People don’t like HR. Admit it, you don’t. Nobody you know actually likes HR either. They are the lawyers of the organization and nobody likes a lawyer….that is, unless you need one to defend you.

In Dilbert cartoons, HR is the cat. Or consider Michael’s disdain for Toby.

But imagine for a moment, what you would do if HR just went “poof” and vanished? A puff of smoke and then they are gone without a trace. Or maybe they’d melt into the floor like someone Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz.

I’m sure at first, there might be a collective cheer. That lazy evil office lady or guy that no one really knows what they do…..would you even miss them for a second? Probably not at first.

But imagine the next day. Who would record your work attendance or fix your time clock or input your missed punch when you forgot to clock in? Who would do your payroll so you would get paid? Who would put your bonus in our submit your forms for family medical leave? Who would you call in to when sick? Who would fix your benefit issue or your work comp claim or file your short term disability insurance with Aflac? Who could you complain to about the bully on your shift?

And then, there’s the other stuff like who would make the company coffee or post the company newsletter or schedule the company cook-out and bring a lot of dishes? Who would say thanks to you on National Secretary day or whatever? Who would setup the company kitchen or bring donuts in for breakfast or plan the Company Olympics sporting events?

Yeah, you wouldn’t have to worry about those dumb documents to sign for the federal government or endless paperwork or stupid boring orientation classes to attend. But then, who would teach you what the rules of the company are or get you a badge or go over the organizational chart with you or explain the rules of fire safety in case the boiler downstairs explodes in a giant fireball and you’re caught in the inferno.

Admit it. You don’t like HR. But you kinda need them… a bit. They are not lazy douche bags or good for nothing losers that can’t get a job in any other department. They actually work pretty hard.

I’ve heard the complaint that HR hire people for jobs that they know nothing about…..like say engineering or welding. But did you ever consider that they are the only one filling the holes in the boat so it doesn’t sink? Or did you consider that of course they don’t know all a welder does but they are expected to know the general job descriptions of some 50 or so jobs in the company and that does technically require quite a lot of brainpower and confidence?

HR spend all day long listening to employee complaints. Come on, honestly….does anyone in your company go to the HR office to chit chat? Maybe the maintenance guy but other than that no. Face it, you show up in that door of that HR office, you and HR both know that you are only there to drop a problem in their lap. That HR person is locked in committed to 8 hours a day of fixing problems for folks that have a general disdain or even outright obvious dislike for HR.

It takes a lot of moxy to be an HR manager. They are poorly paid lawyers. Let’s be honest, as a member of the administrative staff who knows exactly everyone’s pay, HR already knows they make less money per hour than you. But they are there anyway and willing to listen to your complaint or problem and ignore your sidebar jabs about their work performance in order to get the job done and keep you happy.

HR is a thankless job.

People say they don’t contribute to the numbers or the creation of the products but I disagree for one simple reason, the word called recruitment.

What?

You honestly believe you can get out those 800 widgets in 6 hours without the necessary staff numbers to do it?

Mmm-kay. Keep believing HR people are absolutely worthless and I got some swamp land in Louisiana to sell you.