Gratitude Makes A Difference



What’s gratitude got to do with it? Everything!  Gratitude has transforming power and one small act can make a difference. We can choose to be grateful or ungrateful, why not choose to be grateful which can precede to happiness.  Why not create a more positive life with gratitude! Each day in our journey of life we may be presented with an opportunity to express gratitude in a positive way…. through a handshake, a smile, a gift or some kind word, or whatever gesture may be demonstrated.  Show gratitude. In addition to this, it is a good thing to show appreciation to those who have done kind and loving things to us. When we offer a genuine expression of gratitude from our hearts we are giving back appreciation, joy, satisfaction or love. It’s called collaboration.  The respect of this sentiment is regarded from two sides, from the side of the person benefited and from the side also of the person who presented the benefit. We should always convey appreciation to others gracious gestures of kindness. Albert Schweitzer, missionary and Nobel Peace Prize winner, conveyed, “To educate yourself, for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kindness that stands behind the action… Train yourself  never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.”

Be an encourager, make a difference, everyone has something to offer. Keep a good positive mindset and always try to positively impact  the lives of others. Your positive impact is your great work demonstrated of compassion, kindness, words of encouragement, and noble services to others. Let us choose to express the attitude of  gratitude with genuine appreciation. Choosing to express gratitude in thanksgiving makes a difference.

L. Jones – Yu’Niquely Created

Peace and Love




Happy Birthday to Dr. Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise”

One of my favorite poems from this brave Queen. Still I Rise!

Maya Angelou, 19282014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Masking For Survival


How many people wear a mask? We all wear masks for one reason or another, unlike people wear different masks under different conditions and for various reasons. Do you put your masks on and proclaim to the world: I’m Okay and I have it altogether,  however when we get home to our sanctuary we find relief to take off our public mask and we allow the real person to loosen up in our own way. We use the mask to suppress our frustrations, our isolation and any lack of happiness. The mask serves as a defense mechanism, it shields us from the opinion of others and protects us from being hurt. The truth is we absolutely cannot let the opinion of others determine who we are.  Remember that an opinion doesn’t always equal truth!

Some of us would rather stay in the survival mode;  the mask has become our secret to survival. Most of us are taught to put our best face forward’ and to hide secrets and insecurities inside. The famous poet William Shakespeare quoted “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.” We can’t allow the mask to hold us back from achieving authentic happiness by continuing to hide behind the mask.  We must begin to contend with the issues that infringe upon our lives. As a result, we have a wardrobe of masks, some of us wear emotional masks, masks of divorce, masks of guilt, masks of loneliness, masks of pain,  masks of sickness, masks of shame, masks of  insecurity, and don’t forget the everything’s OK masks.

One of the most prolific writers Paul Laurence Dunbar gives insight on human emotion in a poem called ‘We Wear The Mask”:

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

The problem with the mask is that after wearing them long enough we forget who we really are and we lose track of our true identity.  The first step is to reclaim our  identity and embrace who God created us to be. God wants us to be free. It’s time to unmask and be willing to face the skeletons of unresolved issues that has become secret strongholds in our hearts and mind. And the best way to dismantle strongholds is through God’s Word.  Strongholds are negative thinking patterns that are formed in the mind to keep us paralyzed in the land of negativity and hold us back from living a joy-filled life. Before long, those thought patterns will characterize who we are. This is why it’s important that we renew our mind daily with God’s truth how He sees us.  And God see us as “beautiful.”

God wants to cultivate our character and help mold us so that we can fulfill our destiny. In Romans 12:2, Paul tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The best part of it all, God loves us just as we are and the hidden things no one knows. We have to allow God to pull away layers off our lives and bring in healing. It’s a mean of letting go and letting God know how much pain we are housing. In the end, we must be honest with ourselves and God. It is okay to take off the mask. Is masking your survival apparatus?

L. Jones – Yu’Niquely Created

Peace and Love!























Hit the Reject Button On Negativity


Let’s talk about negativity! Negativity is lack of enthusiasm, disapproval, intolerant and is not constructive.  Have you been in the vicinity of  people who are always negative about things? Negative People! Negative toxic people will sap your energy; they will make you feel like you been run over by a vacuum cleaner. Don’t let negative people bring you down or cause you to deviate. Negativity can be disapproving to a person’s spirit. What do you do with the negativity when it attacks you? You don’t entertain negativity or negative people.  Change your circle! Negativity breeds negativity; Positivity breeds positivity.   You can’t control what other people say about you, but you can control how you let it have an affect on you.

  This Traditional Native American Indian story illustrates the point about negativity:

One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. A fight is going on inside me dear one. “Its a terrible fight and its between two wolves. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. He continued, “the other is good. It is: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a moment and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”      The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”

Don’t let the negatives dominate your thoughts. And how you do that. Choose to ignore it: Hit the Reject Button and move on! One way to reject negativity when it comes up  is to press your internal pause button to deflect your attention from negative thoughts. Let the power of your positive thoughts outweigh the power of others negative words.  Accentuate the positive. There will always be people who will be critical, and have something negative to say about you, or just downright negative.  “Hurt people hurt people.” Remember those who are at war with others are not at peace with themselves. Keep a safe distance from negative people and situations if at all possible. Please don’t let others infect you with their negativity or allow yourself to be critical or negative toward others because of your mistreatment. Be polite! Strive to give positive feedback and if you don’t have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people who will help you embrace the positive side of life. Be Positive!!!

L. Jones- Yu’Niquely Created

Peace and Love!



How to Spot Psychological Manipulators


By Dr. Perry, PhD

“You learn a lot about people when they don’t get what they want.” ~Anonymous

Like the waves that forcefully crash on the shore and later gracefully retreat, there is an ebb and flow to life. The seasons change and the flowers bloom, only to later wilt. We all give and take in our daily lives. Our interactions with one another are overall based on a healthy exchange of emotions, ideas and positive social interactions. There are some individuals, that like crashing waves have a disruptive influence in our lives. They seem only interested in profiting from the relationship and will give little or nothing in exchange. They use psychological manipulation to disguise their true intent.

Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that uses deception, underhanded tactics and abuse in order to achieve the interests of the manipulator. The manipulator may use these tactics for…

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