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A Selfish Journey

Selfish. Over the past two days, In various conversations, I’ve heard that word used as a negative.

Specifically, those conversations were dealing with people on their personal journeys of emotional, physical and/or spiritual healing. In just about every conversation, people have been told that they were selfish because they were making positive changes for themselves that people surrounding them didn’t like.

I believe that we, as humans, typically don’t like change. Many of us drive the same route to work, we get up at the same time, we cook the same meals. So when our friends and family see changes happening, even though they are positive, that scares them… At least in my view. That leads me to my conversation piece today:

What is your definition of selfish? Can a person that is making a positive change for their well-being be considered selfish? Why or why not?

Let’s have a discussion. Love and light! 😍

10 unusual Ways to Raise Your Credit Score

It’s possible to raise your credit score with some simple changes. Credit scores affect insurance rates, loan interest rates, and other important financial products. A higher score can lead to a brighter financial future!

 

Consider using these ideas to raise your credit score:

 

1.      Piggyback on good credit histories. You can use a family member’s or friend’s good credit history to help you. 

 

·         If you add yourself to an account in good standing, your credit score will go up. 

 

·         Most credit cards allow users to add family members and distant relatives to their accounts. 

 

·         You’ll be an authorized user on the account and able to make purchases and pay the bills. 

 

2.      Keep old accounts open. It’s important to keep older accounts like credit cards open because they influence credit scores. Credit scores can decrease if you close accounts.

·         Account age also matters. Scores are affected positively by older accounts because they show a history of maintaining credit.

·         Plus, these old accounts add to the amount of credit you have access to, thus lowering the percentage of available credit you’re using, which raises your score.

 

3.      Set up auto-payments. Automatic payments are a convenient way to pay bills every month. They’re also an easy way to avoid a late payment and a fee. Auto-payments can help improve your credit score by preventing these issues. 

 

4.      Pay credit card bills more than once a month. Credit scores rely on a debt utilization ratio. This ratio compares how much debt you have to the size of your credit limit. 

 

·         One way to improve credit scores is to lower the debt utilization ratio. 

 

·         Paying your credit card bills more than once a month can help you improve the score by decreasing the ratio. Extra payments lower your debt while increasing how much credit is available during the month.  

 

5.      Ask for good-will deletions. It’s possible to ask credit reporting agencies and lenders for good-will deletions. 

 

·         Late fees, late payments, or unpaid bills can affect credit scores. A good-will deletion is a request to remove these items based on a prior good history. This method works best if you’re a long-term customer with few issues.

 

6.      Avoid pre-approved offers. The pre-approved offers that come in the mail usually require a credit check, and multiple credit checks affect your credit score by lowering it. 

 

·         It’s also beneficial to avoid creating too many accounts. It’s easier to manage a smaller number, so you’re less likely to make mistakes. 

 

7.      Avoid new utility accounts. Utilities like gas, electricity, and phone services require credit checks that lower scores. It’s better to transfer utilities to a new address instead of opening new ones. 

 

8.      Remember library fines. Did you return all of your library books? Unpaid fines can decrease your credit score, and libraries can send unpaid bills to collection agencies.

 

9.      Avoid online quote comparisons. Online quotes for insurance or loans count as inquiries on your credit score. These credit checks affect the score each time you ask for a quote. 

 

·         Getting quotes from multiple websites can lead to many credit checks. It’s best to narrow down the options before getting a quote, so your score isn’t affected. 

 

10.  Establish long-term credit. Instead of switching to a new company that promises lower rates for a few months, consider staying with the previous one. 

 

·         Credit scores go up based on positive, long-term relationships with lenders. 

 

·         It may be tempting to take the lower credit card offer from another company to move balances, but your score may suffer. 

 

It’s possible to raise credit scores with several strategies. Careful planning is an important part of getting a higher score.

 

PS – If you want more tips like these, check out a full credit system that will put you on a brighter financial footing.

 

Were you surprised at any of these tips?  Did I forget to add any that you think would be simple for folks to follow?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Love and Light!

The Evidence of Emotional Healing

This journey of healing has been fraught with U-turns, left turns and baby steps.  In the end, while I’m still making progress, I believe I’m making forward movement, finally!

 

Recently, I came across a person that I thought there was an instant energetic connection – our conversations were on point, our thoughts about life were similar and we seemed to want the same thing.  I was joyful at having met someone that was on the equivalent path in life of wanting to find a friend, a partner, a sacred space.  We talked for a few months before actually meeting, in light of this COVID-19 pandemic, but that was okay.  It allowed us more time to get to know one another.

 

I want to take a quick pause here and point out that I try not to think hostile thoughts about anyone that I open up to.  It’s important to me that I learn something from every connection I have.  I also realize that folks have their own pain that they’re dealing with and I honor that.  In the past, when I’ve been hurt, I’ve buried those emotions deep and ignored them to my own detriment. 

 

I CANNOT DO THAT ANYMORE!!

 

While I understand that each one of us is on some type of journey, I have to call bullshit when I see it – especially when someone handles me the wrong way unnecessarily.

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

 

This person visited me for my birthday and I could sense there was something different as soon as they walked through the door.  The “energetic connection” was no longer there.  I brought this up rather quickly in the visit and I began getting the language run-around.  This is when someone tries to talk to you without saying the truth.

 

I don’t want this post to turn into a rundown of this person so I will say that they were not honest with me and tried to use our shared interest of enlightenment to get around being truthful with me.

 

I know that I’m leaving out all of the juicy stuff – and trust, there is quite a bit of that – but I’m more interested in sharing something I learned about myself.

 

What did I learn?

 

·         I’ve made it further on the continuing road to healing than I thought I had!!

 

We can do all the meditation, yoga and Pilates and counseling we want.  Until we get to put everything we’ve learned into practice, we’ve only learned theory.

 

This situation has forced me to realize that I took in a lot during my knowledge gathering.   I’m truly happy for that!

 

This didn’t mean that I wasn’t, and continue to be, disappointed or mean I can’t grieve for the loss of what could have been.  It does mean, however that my automatic reaction was not to retreat and put my feelings six feet under and ignore them and pretend that nothing was wrong.  I was able to work through my feelings of anger faster and in a more constructive way – mainly in dealing with how I can improve.  Another important thing is that I didn’t fight to try to fix someone that isn’t fighting to fix themselves.  That is not my responsibility – it is theirs and theirs alone.

 

One day if this person wants to be a friend, I think I will be able to be open to that.  But if they don’t, I’m finally able to realize that it would be their loss if they don’t – and I’m okay with that!

 

PS – How have you dealt with disappointment?  I’m still learning and would welcome firsthand, constructive thoughts on this.

 

Love and Light! 

Imperfect Perfection

I’m riding, for the first time, from the WordPress app! 🥳

Why is this such a big, damn deal? My answer is simple. I’m tired of writing, re-writing and ultimately not making anything public because it’s not perfect. I simply want to give my authentic voice on things that matter to me… On things that I care about. all in All, I want to give you the real me!! Now, sometimes

I Will still write from the computer on more detailed topics but I think this is going to work for me.

I’ve been walking on my journey of healing in a very intentional way for the past three years. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and really settled in, it forced me, like so many others, to sit with myself with no distractions. At times, this became very uncomfortable for me — sitting and working through some of the trauma in life.

But I’m still fucking standing!!! 🤗

You’re going to learn a lot about me. Just typing that scares the shit out of me but it’s time that I’ve become a little bit more vulnerable to allow more people of goodwill in. I want to have real discussions, real debates, real conversations about a range of things — anxiety, confidence, feelings of worth, happiness, laughter, struggles, successes, The human existence. The only way that will happen, at least for me, is to open up.

I hope I can meet new people for friendship, chat buddies and who knows, maybe even that all elusive partner! 🥰

Here’s to the start of something wonderful!!

PS — If you wouldn’t mind, tell me a little bit about yourself in the comments below and if you already have some type of relationship with me, feel free to ask something you’ve been wanting to know about me. You could have the next idea for a blog post…

Love and Light! 😁

What Does It Mean to Live in the Moment?

To live in the moment, or in the present, refers to a state of being aware, conscious, alert, in tune with your senses, and focused on what is happening at that particular moment in time. It is the opposite of “automatic living”, that is, just going through the motions.

More importantly, the present is a time during which we stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. We are able to enjoy the here and now.

Our Mind Creates Our World

Our mind is a powerful thing that processes all of our life’s experiences, and is also the instigator of our actions. However, most of the time, we are not even aware our own mind and its full power and potential. We lurch from one thought to the next with no rhyme or reason, and often feel the world is external to us, outside ourselves, and that we have no control over it.

The truth is that living in the present can help you gain the skills you need to take control of your life, through focus and concentration.

We Value What We Pay Attention To

When we concentrate our attention on the present, we focus on the task at hand, such as washing the dishes, gardening, or spending time with a loved one. We are not just sitting next to them on the sofa, with both of us fiddling with our cell phones. We are making eye contact, speaking, listening, and perhaps being affectionate. We give our full attention to what we are doing and we let go of the rest.

Being Mindful

The practice of living in the moment is referred to as being mindful – in other words, paying attention. Being mindful when we eat means we enjoy our food more, because we are not wolfing it down. Being mindful as we walk through the park means we can enjoy the beauty of nature, such as the flowers and birdsong. It is about quality not quantity, brief moments in the present that take us out of our busy day. We can stop running around propelled by stress and take a short “mini-vacation” through mindfulness practice.

How to Start Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness practice starts with observing things more closely, and then trying to describe them. Imagine washing the dishes. Think of the sight, sound, smell, touch and so on. What does it feel like? How do you feel when you are doing it?

For most of us, this is a dull chore, and one we usually do on autopilot without thinking about it. But thanks to mindfulness, it can become interesting and even fun.

Stopping to reflect on one or two of our actions throughout the day can help us discover the beauty and wonder of all we do. We stop taking things for granted.

We also start to feel more positive energy because we are being less dragged down by the baggage of our past, and are giving ourselves more and more permission to enjoy ourselves and have fun. We are creating special little moments, and through those moments, can feel confident we have more like them to look forward to.

Live Every Moment Like It Counts

Life is too short to sleepwalk through it. Adding mindfulness as a daily practice can help you truly appreciate all you have. You will notice your work improves, your relationships get better, and everything starts to feel more effortless and less stressful. It does take practice, but the result is a happier, healthier you with a rich life full of meaning.

 

 

What are some of your techniques to live in the here and now?  I would love to learn from you.  Let’s chat…

Introvert… Who Me?

One of my friends and I were talking about personality traits and he sent me the video below. Take a look and I’ll continue my thoughts afterward.

 

This video freaked me the hell out!

 

OK, it wasn’t nearly that bad but after reviewing it a couple of times, some things about me made perfect sense…at least in explaining it to people in the future. Below, I’ll put the things that really stood out to me:

 

  • Needing to recharge after spending time with people

 

I really like to spend time with folks but after I’m done, I need recuperation time – quite a bit of it! Many of my friends and partners over the years did not understand this part of me – heck, I didn’t understand it myself.

 

If I don’t get that time to re-set myself, I feel out of balance and I’m not as nice of a person as I know I can be.

 

  • Being calm during fights

 

I try not to get into arguments much but over the years I’ve always heard, “You don’t care,” or “You’re so nonchalant about this…” I never tied that into a trait related to me being a loner.

 

It’s not that I don’t care – again, it takes me off balance and I don’t like that feeling.

 

  • Being kind towards others

 

This one has gotten me into trouble. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, even when they piss me off. Unfortunately, many view this as a weakness in today’s society and they try to push you to see how far they can get. Most times, especially since I’ve gotten older, they’re not allowed to push very far at all.

 

What do you think of the video? Share your thoughts and whether anything stood out to you about yourself or someone you know.

Bloomberg‘s Apology Is Political Theater

I have scrutinized the “apology” of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the Stop and Frisk practice and frankly find it to be a sad, wretched act of political theater.

 

Suddenly, Mr. Bloomberg finds it in his heart to extend a half-assed apology when he was just endorsing the practice earlier this year?

 

I can’t speak to his way of thinking at the time.  In the early 2000s, there was a distinct mode of thinking when it came to combatting crime.  Since then, research has shown that the practice of Stop and Frisk devastatingly affected  people of color.  End of story…

 

This speech does not clear Mayor Bloomberg in light of his recent defense of the practice.  He should put his money where his mouth is and endow programs that engage in battle against the new Jim Crow policies of policing today.

 

As they say, “What have you done for me lately…”

Ten Ways to Use Facebook Live to Market Your Business

There are so many ways to use Facebook Live to market your business that it’s hard to stop at just ten. As you read these ideas, it’s likely you’ll think of even more ways. When you do think of ideas, write them down in a file so that you can try them out.

1. Host an Affiliate Contest – Your affiliates love contests. A contest will get any launch or refresh of a product off to a great start and keep it going hot throughout the contest. Start mentioning what’s happening in your affiliate group a week before your launch, then conduct a live every day during the contest to announce who’s winning and to give tips for them to promote more effectively.

2. Host a Customer Contest – Go live and then invite your customers to go live in your group or on your page. Tell them you want to hear about how they use your product or service, and what a difference it’s made for them in their lives or business. This is a great way to get testimonials that can even go viral. Whichever live gets the most likes, wins.

3. Host a Round Table with a Panel of Experts – Bring in some experts about your topic and host a round table. Allow viewers to submit questions in advance so that even those who watch the recorded version can get their question in. Then let the panel offer their advice on the question. You can have many questions or just one question, weekly or monthly.

4. Participate in a Viral Challenge – Even though in some cases it’s not relevant to your business, it can still get the word out about your brand. Sometimes they have robot challenges, ice bucket challenges, and lip-syncing challenges. Going live doing one of these, then sharing the video result, is a great way to go viral.

5. Host an Open Question Hour – You can go live at any moment and let people ask questions while you’re live. You can give your people a warning via email and announcement or by scheduling the Facebook Live, but you can also do them last minute.

6. Create Private Content for Your Group – An effective way to use Facebook Live is to create content only for your private group. Announce it on your page, market it through your email lists, and blog – but require them to join the group or membership to get the content. You can even make this another income stream.

7. Share a Day in the Life – You get four hours to stream, so you can host a working session where you work live while everyone can watch. You can talk about what you’re doing, share with them how you do what you do, share your screen, demo what you’re doing and so forth during the live stream.

8. Share How You Decide What You’ll Do Today – Start the morning off with a motivating five-minute live video talking about your plans for the day. You can get on and say, “Today I’m going to knock out this website, upload the 30 blog posts I purchased Friday, add CTAs to them, and rock this day. What are you doing today?” Then invite them to respond to the video below. Of course, you’ll add some reasoning and some information. Facebook Live usually needs to be longer than five minutes to get more viewers, but in this case watching the recording can be energizing too.

9. Host an Open Live Critique Hour – This will work for many different niches, marketing experts, content experts, logo designers, coaches, and so forth. Invite people to be in the hot seat and get critiqued for something that you can normally fix if they hire you.

10. Conduct Regular Training – You can train people how to do things via Facebook Live. It doesn’t matter if it’s knitting, creating spreadsheets, cutting hair, doing makeup, or cooking. Think about the things you know how to do that’s relevant to your audience, and show them how to do it.

If you try any of these ideas, keep track of the results. How many conversions do you get? How many people watch it live versus watch the recording? What ways did you repurpose the content you created and what were the results from that? In marketing, data is important and can help you figure out what your audience likes most, and what delivers the most value to them and adds to your bottom line.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts in the comments…