Thursday, September 1, 2011

Series Continued: 21 Habits of Joyful People –Part 3

Here’s a recap of those habits of joyful people covered in previous entries...

Joyful People:
1 Appreciate Life
2 Choose Friends Wisely
3 Are Considerate
4 Learn Continuously
5 Use Creative Problem Solving
6 Do What They Love

Note:  Many thanks to Dr. Michelle McCollum for her portion of content in this series. Photo credits: Google Images and Personal Collection

Enjoy Life

“A man can only do what he can do. But if he does that each day, he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.” ~Albert Schweitzer

Take the time to see the beauty around you. There’s more to life than work. Take time to smell the roses, watch a sunset or sunrise with a loved one, take a walk along the seashore, hike in the woods etc.

5 LINX Super Saturday Training - Embassy Suites Dallas, TX 
Learn to live in the present moment and cherish it. Don’t live in the past. Learn from it. Don’t live too much in the future. Just prepare for it.

“Well, one thing, at least is good: it is for a man to eat well, drink a good glass of wine, accept his position in life, and enjoy his work whatever his job may be, for however long The LORD may let him live. And of course, it is very good if a man has received wealth from The LORD, and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and to accept your lot in life – that is indeed a gift from GOD. The person who does that will not need to look back with sorrow on his past, for GOD gives him joy.”
~Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

Keep Their Word

Honesty is the best policy. Socrates said it like this: “The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”

Every action and decision you make should be based on honesty. Be honest with yourself and with your loved ones. If you find that you are unable to keep your word, say something. Don’t just ignore your promise hoping no one will remember. That seldom works out well.

“It’s not what we eat, but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain, but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.” ~Frances Bacon, Sr. quote


Forgiveness is a key ingredient to true peace.  In Luke 17:4, we learn “Even if a person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

Holding a grudge will hurt no one but you. Forgive others for your own peace of mind. When you make a mistake – own up to it – learn from it – and FORGIVE yourself.

In the chapter on forgiving yourself of the wonderful book by Paul Meyer, Forgiveness:  …the Ultimate Miracle” he gives “The top 13 reasons why forgiving yourself is hard” and they are listed below.

“For most people, forgiving themselves is a very difficult thing to do. Is that true for you? If so, why? Perhaps it is because:

§  You can justify the actions of others, but not your own
§  You still feel guilty, regardless of what others say
§  You cannot accept failure
§  You have to live with yourself
§  You cannot escape your past
§  You can give grace, but you cannot receive it
§  You couldn’t possibly pay for what you did
§  Your mind will not stop replaying the incident
§  You don’t feel worthy of forgiveness
§  You don’t believe others and God have really forgiven you
§  You refuse to forgive others
§  You simply don’t know how

WHATEVER the reason – or excuse – you still need to forgive yourself . I repeat, YOU NEED TO FORGIVE YOURSELF!

When you forgive yourself after forgiving others, you finish the circle of forgiveness. You are completely free to enjoy all the benefits of forgiveness without the side effects of unforgiveness.”


“Trouble knocked on the door, but hearing laughter, hurried away.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Don’t take yourself – or life to seriously. You can find humor in just about any situation. Laugh at yourself – no one’s perfect. When appropriate, laugh and make light of the circumstances.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my favorite films. The lead played by the late Audrey Hepburn sharing my same sentiment, remarked: “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”

Naturally there are times that you should be serious as it would be improper to laugh. Often when people are uncomfortable or don’t know what to say they will laugh as a reflex. Ask yourself, “Am I laughing at someone’s pain?” And if the answer is yes, of course it would be best that you not laugh. However, if it’s not at the expense of another, I say by all means have yourself the best belly laugh you can get out of it.

With DPSVP Barry Donalson at 5 LINX Super Saturday in Dallas, TX 

I remember reading once that “Laughter is the human body wagging its tail.”  Laughing just makes you feel good. Do it as much as you can and share generously!

Are Grateful

“Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks.” ~1 Timothy 4:4 (NLT)

Develop an attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings; All of them – even the things that seem trivial. Be grateful for your home, your work and most importantly your family and friends. Take the time to tell them that you are happy they are in your life.

“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. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for it.” ~Albert Schweitzer

“It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either.”
~Wayne Dyer

“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” Gladys Brown Stern

Thanks so much for Reading and Sharing The Love!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School: Importance of Education in Individual Success by Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa

America’s expectation that all students will graduate from high school has increased throughout the 20th century and continues to be a focus for educational policies in the United States.  High school graduation rates have gained increasing prominence as a key issue in educational policy since the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was passed into law in January 2002. The NCLB has generated a great deal of research regarding high school dropouts. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, researchers agree that every nine seconds a student decides to permanently leave high school prior to graduation.  This early exit from high school has forced policymakers to investigate and research the educational, economic, and civic impact of dropouts on society. 

Photo Credits: Google Images
A high school diploma has long been regarded as a requirement for economic and social well-being. Generally, the higher levels of education an individual has, the higher the income, the more stable the employment, and the less the individual is dependent on public assistance.

The decision to drop out of high school is rarely caused by one event. Many students show warning signs years before they leave high school. Whatever the causes, a decision to drop out of high school can have future negative effects on the individual as well as society.  Every year, more than one million United States students decide to drop out of high school.  These dropouts are unprepared for meaningful work or postsecondary education. 

Our communities can no longer afford to allow this trend to continue.  We all need to work together to keep children in school and improve the well being our communities.   

Here are some things you and I can do to help:

  • If you are a parent and you want your child to graduate on time and prepared for college, talk to your child’s teachers and counselors to ensure that he/she is on track to meet the school’s graduation requirements.

  • If you are a concerned citizen, attend local school meetings to gather more information of what your local high school reform efforts are.

  • If you are an educator, pursue professional development opportunities that present new ideas about high school curriculum and instruction.  Have an open mind.

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the President of the Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC and is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the author of Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader.   For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Any Given Saturday by Sharon Watkins-Jones

On any given Saturday in Texas, in the fall, families gather to cheer on little boys in full protective gear, as they battle it out on local football fields. Here, we start them early and make them tough. Most Texas cities, large and small, have youth football leagues with team members as young as 5 or 6 years old. 
Photo Credit: Google Images
Mothers wince as their babies hit or get hit. Fathers beam with pride and live out dreams deferred through the youthful arms and legs of their little men. Every parent in the stands expects that their son has the potential to be as great as their favorite Monday Night Football sensation. 

Despite the fact that my young son is fortunate enough to play for a Houston youth league which emphasizes the importance of good grades in addition to athletic ability and good sportsmanship, I can’t help but notice the degree of intensity on the faces of many parents, including my husband's, on Saturday mornings.  

To read the rest of this story, click here. Thanks for reading and sharing!

Meet Sharon Watkins-Jones, Author
 Sharon is a community college administrator, former special education teacher, wife of 17 years and mother of two school-age children in northwest Houston. Her primary interests are family-inclusive culture and arts, travel, politics, historical literature, Texas Longhorns and all things Disney.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Persuasion: A Key Leadership Skill by Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa

Photo Credit: Laurie Madden Mire/
Laurie Mire Photography
I have good news for you.  You don’t have to be a slick salesperson in order to be persuasive.  The skill of persuasion is simply the ability to convince others rather than coercing compliance. During a recent seminar I conducted at Texas State Technical Institute, the skill of persuasion was one that prompted the most discussion.  The Servant Leader primarily relies on making decisions within an organization based on persuasion rather than positional authority. 

In other words, you will never hear the Servant Leader say, “do it because I am the boss and I say to.”  This particular element offers one of the clearest distinctions between the traditional authoritarian model of leadership and the concept of servant leadership.  The technique of convincing rather than coercing is one of the most effective ways a Servant Leader can build consensus within groups.

Photo Credit for remaining pictures:
Google Images
Instead of making a big deal about something and telling your colleagues that they have to change, “or else,” the Servant Leader has learned to use a method of gentle but clear and persistent persuasion.  Leadership by persuasion has the ability to encourage change by convincement rather than coercion.  Its advantages are enormous.  Just think about it, aren’t you more apt to make a change if someone has convinced you of it as opposed to telling you that you MUST change because the boss said so?  In order to be highly persuasive, a leader must have developed relationships with others. Effective leaders are able to form bonds with others that result in relationships.  These relationships allow for open communication that lay the way for trust.  People who trust you will be more easily persuaded by you.

A final point to keep in mind is this…effective Servant Leaders who are great persuaders don’t ask themselves, “who can help me?” but instead ask, “whom can I help?”  There are some basic techniques that can help you develop your persuasive skills.  I hope you will try some of them this week and join me on this great journey to become the most effective Servant Leader we can be. 

As discussed in more detail in my book, Are You a 10? The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader (2010), the following tips can help you as you develop your persuasion skills:
  • Create Transparency
  • Practice Fairness
  • Develop Consistency
  • Build Consensus

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  This article is an excerpt from the  book, Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader.   For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at or like us on Facebook at Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC.  Ordering information can also be found at and Barnes and

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Allergy Relief and So Much More

Photo Credits: Google Images
I woke up with puffy allergy eyes to complement my swollen face today and decided to write this story – after a cup of coffee – of course. If you also suffer from seasonal allergies you will want to keep reading. In fact, if you are plagued with fatigue, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or have any immunity issues, you will find this article very helpful to you too.

Facebook is a wonderful thing. I’ve met some of the coolest people via this social network. One such person is Davida (Veda) McKnight. Even though we’ve never met face to face, I would not hesitate to call her my friend and sister.

That’s because a few months ago I posted a couple of statuses about my allergy woes and she in-boxed me a suggestion that I will never forget. After a couple of messages back and forth, she asked for my address because she wanted to share something with me. She called it a ‘blessing in a cup.’

A week later, I got a package from her that included samples of the product about which she spoke along with some informative reading material. Boy was I glad that she reached out to me! After multiple days of stuffiness, I could breathe again after drinking only two cups of latte. That’s right! Latte!

The product is called Organo Gold. It’s main ingredient is Ganoderma, which has been used in Ancient China to help people with all kinds of health issues. It has been used as a medicinal mushroom in Chinese medicine for over 4,000 years. Google it!

Allergy sufferers, this stuff really works. Ganoderma helps relieve inflammation – which means soon after ingesting it…you can breathe! If latte is not your thing, they also have regular coffee, mocha and green tea.

Not only did I feel better quickly, I really enjoyed the taste. The active ingredient in the coffee is known to be bitter, but I couldn’t find the bitterness in either product.

If you would like to experience what I did, you may contact Gabriel and Davida (Veda) McKnight by writing them at:  To order and learn more about the products, please visit their website at:

You could say that this awesome couple “grew up to serve.” Gabriel is a US Marine and Veda is a nurse. They would be more than happy to serve you, too.

The world becomes much smaller because of the accessibility of the internet. 

Here’s their contact information once more...
Name:        Gabriel and Davida McKnight
US Phone:          760-583-7998

In closing, I found these top 10 benefits for using Ganoderma, also known as Reishi: 

  1.    Restores the body's natural state, and helping all organs to function properly.
  2.    Maintains a healthy immune system.
  3.    Lowers blood pressure.
  4.    Provides calcium and phosphorus, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals 
  5.    Used to treat asthma.
  6.    Used to treat anxiety disorders.
  7.    Used to treat sleeping disorders.
  8.    Promotes liver health and can even regenerate the liver.
  9.    Reishi mushrooms have antibacterial effects.
10.   Supports healthy nerve function.

Since the mushroom itself it bitter, I would highly recommend the ‘blessing in a cup’ called OrganoGold. Thanks so much for reading. Please share this article generously with your networks.

No matter where in the world you live, you do deserve to be in the best of health. Let them help you and make sure you tell them that you read this story on the blog.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Sense of Awareness by Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa
Robert K. Greenleaf (1970) described awareness as a disturber and awakener.  In order to lead more effectively, one must have a keen sense of awareness.  A general awareness, as well as a self- awareness, is necessary for a leader to ensure that the correct actions are taken. 

Photo Credits: Google Images
Many times we all know of things that are just not right, but we hesitate to acknowledge them because then by the sheer fact of awareness we are responsible for doing something.  It is much easier to stick our heads in the sand and not allow ourselves to be aware of things around us that may need changing. 

Kouzes and Posner (2007) listed Self- Awareness as one of the domains of Emotional Intelligence.  The authors explain that if a leader is not aware of his/her strengths and weaknesses, then there is no path for improvement.  Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee (2002) also describe Self-Awareness as a key characteristic of Resonant Leadership.  The authors state, “simply put, self-awareness means having a deep understanding of one’s values and motives” (p. 40). 

Leaders who are self-aware know exactly where they are going because they understand their values, goals, and dreams.   According to Kouzes and Posner (2007), “learning to be a better leader requires great self-awareness, and it requires making ourselves vulnerable.  Modeling that for others makes it easier for them to do the same when it becomes their turn” (p. 87). These leaders typically engage in self reflection and time of thought. 

In order to be able to address weaknesses that were discovered through the process of becoming self-aware, the following should be considered.

·         Step back and gain perspective
·         Ask yourself what new skills and knowledge you need
·         Set goals and make a plan
·         Get help and support from others

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the President of the Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC and is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the author of Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader.   

For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at or visit and Barnes and

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Spotlight: Dr. Sharon J. Gilbert - Hallelujah and Hooray for these Helpful and Healing Hands of Houston

Nothing gives me greater pleasure at this moment in time than to introduce to you in this Spotlight Section…Dr. Sharon J. Gilbert of North Houston.

Dr. Gilbert is a graduate of Prairie View A& M University and obtained her doctorate from Texas Chiropractic College. As an undergraduate student, she had planned to become a pediatrician and took the MCAT to prepare for medical school. At some point in her journey, however, she was introduced to the holistic approach of chiropractic care. This interest led her to pursue the natural, drug less and non surgical treatment offered by her field.

In Psalm 139:14 of The Word of God, David reminds us that "we are fearfully and wonderfully made" and it seems chiropractors know this. They rely on the body’s ability to heal itself as our Creator designed it to do. Of course things happen to our bodies that cause illness and pain, however, none of that diminishes the fact that the majority of us are born with inherent recuperative abilities.

A few months ago I was blessed to visit “Dr. G,” as her staff affectionately calls her, on a trip to Houston with my Godmother, LaRue Gilbert Dorsey, to visit her brother (Dr. S.J. Gilbert, Sr.) and family.

In the introduction to this story, “What a Blue will do” I mentioned how I came to need and appreciate her chosen field from the ‘adventures’ listed. At the conclusion of this particular trip, I had been suffering from a three day old headache and believed that an adjustment was in order. Uncle Jack and Aunt Alyce graciously drove ahead, leading us over to her building - which is located at in Suite 180 of 1919 North Loop West, Houston, Texas.

She graciously fit me into the schedule that very morning and I was ever so grateful. Shortly after lying down on her table, she adjusted my neck and as she finished said to me with a big smile on her face, “That’s the reason you’ve been having those headaches.” The relief I felt was worth far more to me than what the visit itself actually cost.

I felt like singing. In fact, I felt so good that I offered to write a story that very day. That’s also how I ended up with all of these nice pictures of Dr. Gilbert and her staff. Speaking of her staff, the young ladies that work with her both told me that they love working for her. One told me that she was not ever leaving because “Dr. G” is just so sweet.

I can’t remember her name, but I do remember that she told me that by the next time I was in town, she would be able to offer a massage after my next adjustment. I am looking forward to that.

Quoted from Who’s Who in Black Houston, Dr. Gilbert said after working for a chronic pain specialist in industrial medicine, “All along I wanted my own business, so I worked with them to get the experience and give myself time to save money to open my own practice.”

Dr. Sharon Gilbert is married to John Gilbert. John is another Houston entrepreneur that assists her with bookkeeping for the practice in addition to his the duties of his own firm. They are both active members of the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. Her hobbies include traveling, shopping and going to the movies.

A good chiropractor is like a good mechanic. A good mechanic will make the necessary adjustments to your vehicle and then give you tips on how to maintain it. Dr. G. generously does the same thing.

"Chiropractic care is more than just making the pain disappear. It is about learning, understanding and taking care of your body to improve your quality of life," says Dr. Gilbert.

On her website you will find: information on nutrition, preventative health and  spinal degeneration, 3-D spine visuals, educational videos and exercise videos to help maintain a healthy body. You will also find wellness tips on basic –yet very important- things we do everyday like standing, sitting, sleeping and the best way to use the phone over long periods of time. In her office and on her website ( you will find vitamin and weight loss information as well.

Her services include: adjustments and manipulation, cold laser therapy, therapeutic exercise, ultra sound, electrical muscle stimulation, massage therapy and cryotherapy (extreme cold) to name a few.

If you or someone you love has a sports or personal injury or even been in a car accident, I would highly recommend that you begin your road to healing by visiting the healing hands of Dr. Sharon J. Gilbert.

Her practice is located in North Houston. The address is 1919 North Loop West, Suite 180, Houston, TX 77008. To make an appointment or for additional information, you may call 713-699-3200. Be sure to visit her website, too, by clicking:

Her office accepts Worker’s Compensation and other insurance plans. I paid in cash and found her office visit fees to be extremely reasonable.

Office hours are:

While there are those who question chiropractic care, I am not one of them. That’s because it has worked well for me. Now that massage therapy is one of her services, I have declared that I will make a point to make an office visit whenever we go back to Houston. There is something very appealing to me about getting relief and maintaining it without drugs and/or surgery.

Thanks so much for reading. Please feel free to share the story generously with anyone in the Houston area.