Archive for May, 2011

BRADES, Montserrat – Conference host Nerissa Golden will be teaming up with Career Development Expert Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe to bring The Art of Reinvention workshops to YES Caribbean. The two motivators will focus on how persons can take their years of experience in various jobs and fashion them into a more focused and purposeful career.

YES Caribbean is a conference for entrepreneurs and persons considering a career change or who have been out of work and looking for new opportunities. It takes place May 25 to 28 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. Dr. DeFoe is one of several featured speakers sharing their knowledge on business development and overcoming the spiritual, financial and physical challenges of being an entrepreneur.

She says one of the first thing that individuals should do is assess their “transferable skills and determine what current and emerging occupations those skills can be used in if you need a new job, your interest have changed or the jobs have disappeared. Also look to see what gaps are in the community and determine how you can monetize your skills and create a mico-enterprise.”

For people who want to retool their occupational or technical skills into a new job it is important that they assess their gifts and talents, suggests Dr. DeFoe. “Reinvent yourself offering services using these and also think how you can use technology to sell this so you are not limiting yourself to only the local economy but the global economy as well.”

“Reinventing yourself is about seeing an opportunity in the middle of something that looks like it was the worse event happening to you,” says host of YES Caribbean Nerissa Golden. “It doesn’t happen by accident but my making a conscious decision that you are going to turn the bad for good. We all have skills we are not using to the optimum. This is the time to find those passions you put on the back burner. Your income and future success is hidden within them.

Both speakers will be speaking daily on various topics within The Art of Reinvention series during the four-day conference. Visit www.yes.trulycaribbean.net to see the full lineup of speakers and schedule of activities.

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What Was My Mother

It is hard to believe that my mother transitioned to eternal life six years ago, it still seems like only yesterday, for the ache in my heart will just not cease. As my mother battled cancer, she wrote down her wishes for a homegoing celebration. One of her wishes was for me to write a poem for her, she even titled it for me… she wanted it to be called “What Was My Mother.”

Writing has always been one of my divine gifts and talents, but in the midst of intense sadness, penning a poem was the last thing on my mind, this I saw as one of the most difficult writing assignments I had ever been given. Then I stopped pitying myself and instead chose to be grateful for the gift of the mother I had been given, and wanted to honor her wish and then these words flowed from my pen as tears dropped from my eyes……

What Was My Mother

She was Clarence and Mary’s Lovie, their sweet baby girl with the mesmerizing brown eyes, At birth, evident to everyone, was her warm spirit and her especially captivating, glowing smile.

This bundle of joy was born to them on a balmy, breezy summer day, From the moment my mother graced the earth, it was clear that she would impact it in her own special way.

She was a sister to Annie Lee, Blandina, Carrie and Julia too, Brothers Clarence Junior, David and John rounded out the Neal crew.

Over the years my mother was a sister to many from all walks of life, She was indeed a cheerful giver, always helping others navigate their moments of personal strife.

She was a lover of learning, so she decided to make education her career, Choosing to impart knowledge to her students was my mother’s passion; her commitment to teaching was sincere.

My mother was my first teacher, sharing with me the pleasures of reading, the magic that written words can convey, My mother taught me to genuinely strive for my best, each and every day.

My mother always gave unselfishly to others but especially to me, I will forever be humbled to have been showered with love so unconditionally.

My mother was my greatest supporter, an endless fountain of encouragement, she always stood firmly by my side. She was my role model, my dream champion, her compassion for humankind always filled me with such pride.

My mother was a rainbow on a cloudy day, she was a fragrant rose garden on a spring morn, She was a lily, a hibiscus, bougainvilleas; rare orchids that make a room exquisitely adorned.

She was an enchanting, soothing melody, a shining star that could light up the darkest room, She was my source of joy, she was my comforter, she uplifted me from waves of gloom.

My mother was my personal bridge over stormy waters, a beautiful sunset melting into the turquoise sea. She taught me my values, gave me the gift of resiliency, she modeled the power of faith and a strong belief.

She was the epitome of elegance, a woman of unforgettable style and sheer admirable grace. She was a true blessing in my world, and deep within my heart my mother will always have a place.

My mother leaves behind a legacy of service for she touched the lives of people near and far. Although you have gone on to eternal life, I know you will continue to guide me no matter where you are.

May you rest in peace my dear mother, hold fast to God’s unchanging hand, as your body and spirit become renewed. I know that his soothing goodness, love and unwavering mercy will forever be bestowed upon you.

Writen in 2005 for Lovie Neal Davis, my mother, my teacher, my dream champion, always my friend, forever in my heart.

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Coming To Terms With Mother Love…a must

    Silence filled the room as I painfully watched my mother take her final breaths. During the seventy-four years that my mother lived, she always gave untiringly to me and to others. I feel blessed to have been so fortunate, for my mother was always my greatest supporter, an endless fountain of encouragement. 

     As the reality of my loss enveloped me on that cool January night, it was a Saturday, the 8th, the year 2005 was still brand new. Up until this point, 2005 seem filled with endless possibilities. That may still be true but I know that it will take time for my emotional wounds to heal; meanwhile I know that I must press on.  While I sat there filled with despair listening to my mother gasping for air, I was also humbled by the knowledge that someone had loved me so unconditionally. My mother forever stood firmly beside me as I weathered storms wrought from poor choices, self-discovery and defining life lessons.  I am full aware that this is not always the case when it comes to mothers and their children.

    While witnessing her spirit leave that hospital room, I pondered the mysteries of mothers and their children. I considered the full implications of this connection. I could not help but wonder if most people fully understand how necessary it is to find peace when it comes to the woman who gave them life. Coming to terms with the mother love in your life is fundamental to ultimately becoming comfortable with yourself, critical to being able to give and receive love.

    Your own evolution as a person will surely be stunted until you face all aspects of your relationship with your mother. Even in the best relationships some form of turmoil can exist. Failing to address these matters is a mistake. Refusing to do the work necessary to deal with your distress is not a good choice.  You cannot thrive carrying this kind of unresolved emotional baggage around.  It is difficult for both men and women to focus on their possibilities when he or she feels limited by family circumstances. Unresolved anger and nagging hurt steal dreams and shatter lives. In fact, one can end up virtually immobilized for years if mother dilemmas are not resolved.  In fact, your attitude about “mother” influences you one way or another for a lifetime.

    You see it does not matter whether your mother abandoned or adored you. It does not matter whether she championed your dreams or channeled her own sorrow into your life. It does not really matter if she demonstrated her love daily or only gave you doses of affection when she was able to put her own agony aside.

    No matter how tumultuous or terrific your relationship with your mother, no matter if you never knew your mother, little does it matter that you somehow always feel that your mother has made no effort to understand who you are. Coming to grips and accepting both the good and bad truths about your relationship with your mother is a key which can unlock your capacity to form healthy relationships throughout your life.

    Until you are able to realize that even though your mother may have given you her all, or perhaps at the other end of the spectrum, she gives you little or nothing; neither of these realities guarantee or limit who or what you can become. Until you accept that maybe your mother did the best that she could, that she is loving you the best that she can, or that your mother relates to you as she was taught, you will remain caught up in a sea of turmoil that hampers your overall ability to relate and love.

    Every person’s perception of mother love colors his or her view of the world and self-definition. Depending upon your experiences, you may learn to be caring, giving, compassionate and empathetic; or you may learn bitterness, distrust, helplessness and manipulation.  This is why taking the time to learn about your mother’s life is so important. This information will help you to better understand the choices she made, her personality, her ability to communicate and display affection, the number of sacrifices she endured.

   Bearing all of this in mind, move quickly to resolve anger and unfinished business where your mother is concerned. Heal your emotional wounds, and if necessary, find ways to forgive your mother even if she has not given you the kind of love and support you craved, or if for some reason she has been unable to be a mother to you. When it comes to your mother, choose to open your heart to the best of your ability. Focus on being thankful for the gift of life that she gave you, even if that is all your mother has ever given to you.  If you already have an excellent relationship with your mother, treasure it and let your mother know just how much she means to you.

    No matter your personal situation, when it comes to your mother, you do not want to have any regrets. Remember, in a split second things can change and you do not want to spend time laboring over “I should have,” when your time and talents need to be focused on your “I wills.”  Honor your mother and your life no matter the circumstances. This attitude will bring you a tremendous amount of peace, and an outpouring of blessings will come your way for choosing to focus on the positive instead of dwelling on the negative.

    Mothers are not always right, but your mother will always be the woman that gave you life. In spite of her imperfections, her absence in your life, her human failings, or her inability to meet your emotional needs, none of those things can keep you from soaring to great heights unless you choose to embrace that attitude as your own.   Seek to come to terms with your mother love, because by doing so, you can earnestly become the person that you were destined to be.

 Wishing mothers and those who mother much joy, boundless blessings

 and the fulfillment that comes from divine purpose on this Mother’s Day,


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“And for love’s sake, each mistake, you forgave; and soon both of us learned to trust, not run away, it was no time to play, we build it up….. You didn’t turn away, When the sky went gray, Somehow we managed, we had to stick together.  You didn’t bat an eye, when I made you cry, we knew down the line, we would make it better.  And for love’s sake, each mistake, you forgave, and soon both of us learned to trust, not run away, it was no time to play, we build it up… And now it’s solid, solid as a rock, that’s what this love is, that’s what we’ve got.  Solid, Solid as a rock, and nothing’s changed it, the thrill is still hot, hot, hot!

     Singing duo, husband and wife Ashford and Simpson penned these lyrics years ago, and this couple continues to share love and a mutual passion when it comes to lifework, gracing stages with their unique harmonious melodies.

     Whether due to shared career interests and an intentional wealth-building blueprint, striving for more control over leisure hours, or strategizing with the future in mind so that there will be ample quality time to nurture children, both newlyweds and the long-time married are seeking ways to couple love and lifework, no pun intended.

     Copreneurs are growing in numbers, and more couples are choosing to fully share life’s journey in all aspects of their lives. Yes, when considered separately, love and business are indeed challenging, and the potential for success while a mystery, is within the grasp of any couple who dares go there. Take Jamaicans Eric and Claudette Hammond, both share backgrounds in engineering, and the couple work side-by-side running the highly successful Hammond and Associates Engineering Firm in Plantation, Florida. Virgin Islander Dion Parsons, co-founder of the 21st Century Band which plays mesmerizing Caribbean Jazz all around the world is managed by his wife Nicole.  Mitzi and Howard Allen, partners who run HAMAfilms Antigua, share both love and filmmaking.

    Is it possible to mesh love and lifework and keep the flames in the marital bedroom hot? Without a doubt the answer is a resounding yes, but as with all relationships, the question becomes is the couple willing to do the work. Spiritual food for thought, the only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary. My point, couples who opt to work in business together will have to establish a plan to navigate the seas of enterprise together, and also agree on family and work boundaries to ensure that the ebb and flow of the business tide does not spill over into the boudoir, extinguishing the passion that sparked the desire to get married in the first place.

    Dr. Patrick Handley, President of the Insight Institute commented at Sleeping With Your Business Partner.com, “Marriages are difficult enough without working alongside your spouse, day in and day out, as a business and career partner. Likewise, work relationships provide enough challenge without being married to your coworker. Couples who undertake both, partnering together in their businesses and marriages, undertake a special journey.”

   Challenges that a couple face commonly are fostered by gender differences; communication styles, conflict resolution and teamwork skill deficits, and ultimately personal feelings about self.  When couples start to disrespect each other, neglect their own personal needs, fail to balance the business with other spheres of life,  a recipe that can bust the business, and break up the boudoir’s intimate connection is being concocted.

 Want to make it work, consider these tips:

  • Together, construct a solid plan for the family business, and clearly define the roles each of you will play in the business. Discuss expectations at the onset so that future misunderstandings can be avoided.
  • Daily work on how you communicate with each other as a couple; keep mutual respect at the forefront. Check your body language, and do not make the assumption that you are communicating effectively. Respect each other’s viewpoint, stay focused on the issues, use your differences and varied strengths to the benefit of the business. Fully embrace the 80/20 rule, focus more on choosing joyfulness, and not hopelessness.
  • Identify the situations that cause you stress and then create strategies to cope that do not include taking it out on each other. Ask more questions, and pass less judgment.
  • Define how business and household responsibilities will be shared. Assign different spaces to the business and the boudoir, in other words do not make the nightly bedroom pillow talk all about the business’s balance sheet. Work on your spirit of negotiation and compromise as a couple, and remember you are each other’s dream champion.
  • Share moments to celebrate the accomplishments and successes of your spouse, and relish this journey.

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