Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What About Camille

While many have expressed both concerns and disgust about Bill Cosby in the wake of the recent allegations of his drugging and sexually abusing young women years ago, my heart goes out to Camille Cosby, his wife of 50 years.
I can only imagine what her life may be like during these very dark days. At a time when her season should be blooming with flowers, she has to endure the harsh realities of being the wife of a celebrity at its worse.  Not only is she publicly dealing with the effects of a spouse that has been unfaithful, she has to somehow keep her family together and wear a smile even when her heart is aching.
Camille Cosby has issued a statement in support of her husband speaking to his love, kindness, gentleness and that he is a good husband. She further stated, “He is the man you thought you knew.” I am not one to challenge a wife’s relationship with her husband and I take her statement to be based on her relationship and not public opinion.
I have admired Camille from a distance for so many years. She always appears so graceful and never allowed the Hollywood lifestyle to dictate who she was, even in her youthful years when Bill was in his prime. I am sure it must have been difficult at times. She chose to discontinue coloring her hair and showcased the premature grey many years ago when it was not popular for a young Hollywood couple. Instead of being caught up in the glamour, she devoted her efforts to raising her family and giving millions to education and philanthropy as a way of sharing her blessings. As a result, the Cosby gifts have benefited many.
Mrs. Cosby’s humanitarian acts along should give her peace, but how can she be at peace when allegations against her husband threatens to destroy a lifetime of work. It’s despairing to think her good deeds may be tarnished by actions not of her own doing.
I am disturbed about the numerous allegations against Bill Cosby. I absolutely believe there was infidelity in their marriage. Something Camille appears to have forgiven years ago. My prayers are the truth is revealed by the accused and the accusers, because the truth will set them all free.
I can’t suggest to Mrs. Cosby how to feel or what to say about her husband. After all, she has been with him for 50 years and the accusers allegedly only a brief time. I can agree with the statement Bill Cosby said to a reporter about Camille, “Love and the strength of womanhood.  Let me say it again, love and the strength of womanhood. And, you could reverse it, the strength of womanhood and love.”

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Do You Need a Nudge?

We all need a nudge to get us moving at some point. Whether a goal, vision, project or a simple everyday task, sometimes we sit back as if we were in a daze and allow time to pass without action. I admit there are days it’s a lot easier to do absolutely nothing rather than execute the tasks at hand. After all, it feels so much better to think about our assignments then actually put in the work involved to get them done.
When I am in that mode of thinking which encourages a lack of action, I can rely on God for a power dose of inspiration by listening to his inner voice. The insight obtained from listening and following those most valued instructions guide me back on track. With your mind focused on God’s guidance, you can make the absolute best decision about moving forward and then act on it. The messages can come through various sources providing inspiration. It may be a preached word, motivational tidbit, or a kind gesture from a total stranger. The realization that acting on the call to finish a task becomes a priority when you understand completion is a benefit to your success.
If this brief post provides you with the nudge you may need to proceed with your tasks, consider it inspired by God through my morning meditation.




Monday, November 3, 2014

Five Points for Moving from Conflict to Resolution

     I assume at some point all of us have struggled with inner conflicts that restrict us from moving to a positive resolution in our lives. Perhaps that is you right now? You may be struggling with fear, anxiety, difficulty in making decisions due to life situations, past experiences and hidden rationals.
      Most psychologist, medical professionals and life coaches would agree that the operative action word in resolving inner conflict is “Release.” Sounds simply, but inner conflicts are more complex because the forces that control the battles within are intricate.
     While advanced counseling is suggested for those who suffer from more complex cases of inner conflict, most people are able to conquer and resolve their fears with a willingness to navigate through the issues that allow conflicts to exist. This action would require a cleansing of the mind with an intense desire to lift heavy burdens and exchange them for lighter and healthier experiences. The following points of action may help you move to your desired outcome.
  1. Our inner conflicts must be unlocked before we can resolve them.  First, you must recognize and identify there is a conflict.
  2. Second, acknowledge you are the only one who can go within and unlock the door of resolution.
  3. Identify those past issues that prevent you from moving forward. This requires complete honesty. Your focus must be on you and not the people or things you believe caused the problem.
  4. You should be willing to align your life with what’s important today. Focus on the NOW!
  5.  Establish what you want to accomplish? You have to be extremely clear about your WHY and disciplined to focus on those goals and objectives only.
      Once you are clear about where you want to go, what you want to do and your WHY, you are on your way to creating an environment that will allow you to release those inner fears if you remain focused. The willingness to change is an invitation to experience new and different avenues that allow us to move from fear to freedom.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Are You Headed in the Right Direction?

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Since relocating to Atlanta, I rely heavily on my Global Positioning System (GPS) because I am now driving in unfamiliar territories.  I have become so reliable on my Smartphone; sometimes I know my route, but program addresses in advance just in case I get off course. If there is even a small indication that I am off track to my intended destination, I immediately press start on my Smartphone without having to stop and add the address while in route.

Recently, while trying to find my way out of a large sub-division, I stopped and placed my address in the Smartphone and was out of the maze within sixty seconds. After giving my GPS all the credit, it occurred to me how much we put our faith in these man-made devices to direct our course and considered if I was placing the same faith in my God guidance.

As we chart the course for our life assignments, our life directions, do we trust that God will get us there? There have been a few occasions when the Smartphone has taken me off course, but I know that God will never take me off course if only I put my trust and faith in his word. It’s the times when we don’t give our plans and actions to God before setting off to our destinations that take us off course.

We get so excited about a goal, career or business opportunity, new relationship, educational pursuit; we sometimes miss the one important step in the planning process that provides us the most value in our ultimate outcome.   We may get off track with our life destinations, but God’s guidance will lead us even in the most remote locations of our life journeys.

Years ago, I got around quite well using a paper map to get to my destinations. This reminds me that even though my Smartphone is more convenient, I could get where I am going without it. In contrast, I could never get anywhere in life if God was not there leading and guiding my every step. With God, I am always headed in the right direction

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Maya Angelou One of Those Women

I admire successful women, not necessarily financial success, but women who have pulled themselves from nothing, meager beginnings or adverse situations, and emerged from those adversities to achieve what some only dream about. 

Maya Angelou was one of those women. Every time she spoke I listened with great anticipation of being inspired. Her words were so elegant and full of substance, provoking me to stand firm and stay on course with my goals.

Even though I was not honored to have personally met her, she was part of my path and growth through her writings, good deeds and actions. She proved that you don't always have to come from something to be something. Great people can come from unknown places. She was not without fault, but rather than hide the misfortunes of her youth, she wrote about it in the award winning autobiography, I Know Why Caged Birds Sing. Opposed to living her life as a victim, she rose to become a prolific writer, author, teacher and activist who educated and inspired millions.

Through her widely popular poem, Phenomenal Woman, Maya taught women that true beauty is not on the cover of magazines, but beauty eludes from your body language with attitude and confidence. She encouraged men to look beyond our external features and discover our inner mysteries.

I give honor to Maya Angelou. It's beautiful when you touch someone's life and your legacy is a gift to future generations. That gift should not be taken for granted. If Maya touched many, surely we can touch a few. It only takes one to touch another. Imagine the boundaries we could cross with an arm's reach. 

She died quietly in her sleep. Her voice is gone, but her light will shine forever.
Maya Angelou was one of those women.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mirror, Mirror Please Tell Me The Truth!

While walking down the street a few years ago in my hometown of Chicago, I noticed a man coming towards me with a decorative wall mirror in his hands. As we approached each other, he stopped and asked, “Do you want to buy a mirror?” I replied “no” as I continued to walk past the man. To my surprise he shouted to me, “You are vain.” I chuckled to myself and without any preconceived thought, slightly turned my head (while continuing to walk) and spoke back, “You need to take a look into that mirror.” Thankfully, he did not reply and I kept walking until I was a block away realizing I had stepped out of my comfort zone and made a comment to a strange man who had the appearance of being addicted to something, quite possibly drugs.

     I was slightly agitated that a complete stranger had the nerve to call me vain, but more hopeful that he took my advice and looked in the mirror. Mirrors come in all sizes, shapes and forms. Some are plain with no distinct features and others are quite elaborate with decorative finishes. Regardless of the outward garnishes, mirrors have one thing in common. They tell a story. Some stories are youthful where others show signs of aging. A mirror will show a transformation of our bodies over the years and when we decide to make significant changes, the same mirror will reverse the transformation. We can depend on mirrors to cut, style and curl our hair, put on make-up or sashay in front of with a fancy new outfit.  Businesses rely on mirrors to help us make decisions about making purchases and mirrors are installed in cars with front, sides and back views to guide us while driving, which helps to save our lives. Yes, mirrors tell lots of stories, but most of all mirrors tell the Truth.

     The truth is we all need to look in the mirror of our lives at some point on the journey. We can learn a lot by studying and examining our life experiences. Each day we look into the mirror of life, we may discover something new. Imagine when looking in the mirror if a line reveals you are on a journey. A bump says you have overcome the blocks on the road. Grey hair is an indication of wisdom and loss of hair means you have shredded those heavy loads.  Mirrors can be encouraging and at times discouraging. You can make the mirror your friend or your enemy. My point in the analogies is some things we see in the mirror we cannot change and others we can by making a commitment to transformation.

     Now days when I think about the man walking down the street selling a mirror, I consider if he looked in the mirror and made a life change, but I also take my own advice. Each day I look in the mirror of life and encourage myself with the thought, “You can do better.” As a life coach, I encourage you to look in your mirror of truth and move past the things that time won’t change to focus on the things that really matter, the things you can change.

Monday, February 3, 2014

If I Could Have, Would Have, Should Have

There are many variations of this title. The late jazz and R&B singer Lou Rawls used lyrics in his popular song with the title, “If I Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” The guest evangelist speaking at a church service titled her sermon, “When I Could, I Wouldn’t; now I Want to and I Can’t.” Anyway you say it; the intent is to suggest regrets.

If you are reading this article and have never spoken these words or something similar, you can stop reading now. You are perfect! For the rest of us, there have been times in life, perhaps even now, that you have considered, what if? What if I had continued in school, not had children, married the other person, stayed on my job, took the position in another town, did as the doctor told me………and the list goes on. You can place your own if(s) in the dots and if you are like me, could possible fill most of this page. We all have times when we reflect on the past and believe things would be different if we had taken another direction or made another choice whether personal, family, relationships, careers, or business.

You are absolutely correct; things would be different, but not necessarily for the better. We typically make decisions based on circumstances that dictate our choices. Sometimes we have full knowledge and other times we make decisions based on our emotions. Even decisions made with significant thought, research and educated calculations may not bring us the results we seek. Most significant is the experiences and lessons learned.  If we carefully review are past choices and move forward, we elevate our thought process to a “now focus.”

You may have regrets, but you do not have to remain in that cloud. I understand some choices have been extreme like drug and alcohol addictions, committing crimes, staying in abusive situations or being abusive. However, if you have humbled yourself and submitted to a better life, you have made an incredibly important choice. Regardless of your regret or situation, it is now time to take a living forward position and keep going in that direction no matter what. You Could, if only you Would!

For more on Sheila Agnew visit her on the web at http://www.sheilaagnew.com

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Shifting Seasons of Life

This is the time of year that we see a shift in the weather. Depending on where you live, that could mean a cold, long and brutal winter with snow and ice, cooler with only an occasional dip in temperatures, or places many envy with warm climates and palm trees that appear mesmerizing as they flow in the wind.

Similar to the seasons of Mother Nature, we experience changes in our lives that collate with the drastic changes of the weather.  Some changes we welcome with open arms because they bring about joy and happiness. Other changes are difficult because they involve sadness, loss or unexpected shifts in our lives.
One can only imagine how joyful it would be if our seasons were always bountiful or we were always prepared for our life shifts.  The real truth is our lives never stay the same. Regardless of your age, financial position, occupation or social status, everything must change.

How do will deal with change? We prepare ourselves.  Like many cities and states who know they are about to experience a change in climates and conditions, they prepare for what is about to take place. There is a plan of action to deal with possibilities that may occur from adverse weather conditions.  Even with the best of disaster plans, people lose lives, homes, income and other meaningful possessions. Once the storm is over and the damage is assessed, cities, towns and communities began to pick up the pieces, rebuild and move on with their lives.

When we experience seasons of life, we can hold on to our faith and know that God does not change. Our faith is our security.  Even in our worst storms, God prevails over Mother Nature. When the winter storms become unbearable, know that the season will change, flowers will bloom and you will spring forward into your new season.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

From the Wilderness to the Promise!

If we envision the concept of being trapped in the wilderness, we may see images that are extremely barren, hot and dry. We become weary and delirious with unfavorable surroundings. There are a variety of circumstances preventing one from escaping, which include lack of communication, resources and no road map to lead us to what is promised, A Way Out!

In the movies, there always seem to be a rescue operation leading the person(s) to freedom from the wilderness. In our life situations, we have hope, desire, belief, prayer and our trust in God. These rescue resources are available to us twenty-four hours a day. This vision of hope and faith will lead us from the wilderness to the promise.

We all have wilderness experiences at some point in our lives. These detours can be self, friends, family, health, finances, careers and businesses or just “life” in general.  Depending on the circumstances, our wilderness experiences can be short term or sometimes even years before we move from situations that cause a crisis in our lives. The most important thing is the action we take that enables us to move through the maze successfully.

Moving to the promise requires that you
·         Recognize that you are in the wilderness.
·         Devise a plan of action (how you will get out).
·         Begin to move in the direction that will lead you to the promise of freedom from your situation. 
·         Enjoy your new freedom.

The reality is, you cannot move anywhere if you keep taking a standstill position.  Remember when you are in the maze of life; don’t keep the head (God) at the tail of the experience.

by Sheila L. Agnew McCoy