Archive for March, 2017

PostHeaderIcon WORKOUT NO NO’S

By Vernalee

Many of us are trying to get in shape and become healthier.
Include me in that group!
It starts with life style changes. Eating healthy and exercising are key components.
An exercising partner/someone who cares enough about you to help you reach desired goals are positive influencers.
A loved one recently purchased me a membership in a fitness center; how loving and lovely!
Now, it’s my job to use it; it’s my job to get and stay in shape.
Long hours and mentally exhausting days are stimulants for relaxation and rest; not exercise.
No one said that it was easy!
As the kids say, “It ain’t no joke!”
I’m learning; I’m growing; I’m inspired; I’m adapting.
Nowadays, I have a helpmate to motivate me to physical fitness.
So as I trained and reposition my thinking and routines, the experts say that I should keep in mind a few tips.
Here we go.
Things that you should never do at the gym:
1. Lift too much. Don’t risk injury.
2. Do the same routine every single day.
3. Skip your cardio.
4. Go to the gym when you are sick.
5. Work out without a towel.
6. Hover, gawk, or push in.
7. Go to hard too soon.
8. Train only one muscle group.
9. Use only one machine.
10. Ignore proper form.
11. Not putting your weights, DB’s , and bar bells away after use.
12. Check all forms of social media while resting between sets. Get off your phone!
13. Converse with friends while using a piece of equipment.
14. Video shaming.
15. The more chalk you use doesn’t make the weight lighter.
So, as I go to the gym this week, I have a roadmap.
It’s left up to me to travel its course.
As they say, the proof is in the pudding. We’ll see if a transformation occurs. If so, the end results will be a suave, physically fitted manicured body.
I’ll drink to that!
Photo Credit and Source:


By Vernalee

Hearts …old and young …
They beat continuously; their beats are synonymous to life itself.
Hearts, heart, hearts …
Certainly, they were not meant to be broken.
But it happens.
Day in; day out; 24/7, hearts are being rescued.
Often times the irregularities cause disarray; other times, actions from near or afar cause heartaches.
The ultimate damage occurs when there is a broken heart.
I am sure that many of you know what I’m talking about.
Let’s examine this with our emotional stethoscope.
A broken heart is not a heart attack, but to many, it feels that way.
How does one heal?
How does the healing occur?
Great questions.
I know not the answer.
Most folks don’t.
None of us are exempted.
It saddens the affected.
It may even spill over into other folks’ lives as they help the afflicted to cope.
It makes one as the old folks say feel ” some kind of way.”
It can be devastating as it puts its victims in an occasional or frequent turmoil state of mind.
By definition, the term – a broken heart – is a metaphor that describes intense emotional and sometimes physical pain.
That same metaphor seduces reality on many levels.
Let’s see there is anger, uncontrolled outbreaks, crying, fits of rage, abusiveness, and others.
Some of the conditions enable or produce alcoholism, obesity, worry, and other mental/physical maladies as the intensity is contained to make its external appearance.
How does one come out?
What does one do?
Finding peace of mind is certainly a remedy that is on the journey to healing.
The footsteps of panacea are not easy depending upon the circumstances that it took to get to that threshold. A myriad of emotions may accompany the process; often times outside of one’s sphere of control.
Putting the pieces back together is not as simple as joining the pieces of a crossword puzzle.
Here’s the great thing; here comes the miracle.
The fragmented pieces can be reassembled.
Completeness can once again be achieved … one day at a time.
So I say to my broken hearted followers, do know that just as Scarlett O’Hara said on “Gone with the wind”, “Tomorrow is another day” – the sun will rise in the east and set in the west; a baby will be slapped upon its behind and cry out sounds of life; a prayer will be answered; and “this too will pass.”
Photo Credit: tiny Buddha

PostHeaderIcon STILL I RISE

By Vernalee
On days when we are feeling gloom, a “pick me up” poem, song, that special person or antidote of some type can lift us up.
So when you want to rise above your current circumstance, start preparing yourself for excellence.
While doing so, listening to the late great Maya Angelou may put you in the mood.
Take a listen.

When I heard this version of her recitation, an immediate rush of excitement filled my spirit!
It was hard to maintain my composure.
How are you feeling?
Were you motivated and inspire?
I was and am!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Recently, I received an email from one of my sister girls containing this famous Maya Angelou piece.
After digesting this itemized list, admittedly I fall short on a few categories.
At least, now I have a roadmap!
It’s time to go to work on my shortcomings.
Nobody can say it like Dr. Angelou! I share her words with you!
Enjoy and achieve!
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE … by Maya Angelou

enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to…

something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…

a youth she’s content to leave behind….

a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age….

a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…

one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…

a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family…

eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will
make her guests feel honored…

a feeling of control over her destiny…

how to fall in love without losing herself..

how to quit a job, break up with a lover and confront a friend without ruining the friendship…

when to try harder… and WHEN TO WALK AWAY…

that she can’t change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

that her childhood may not have been perfect…but it’s over…

what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…

how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it…

whom she can trust, whom she can’t, and why she shouldn’t take it personally…

where to go…be it to her best friend’s kitchen table or a charming Inn in the woods when her soul needs soothing…

What she can and can’t accomplish in a day, a month…and a year…

After this read, may I ask, “What do you have and what are you lacking?”
Don’t answer.
Let’s get busy; let’s do it together!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
How many days have you struggled with wardrobe choices?
What do I wear today?
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Every single day, we make hundred of decisions; some important, others trivia.
Yet they must be made.
It’s exhausting!
I’m tired just thinking about it.
Maybe, I suffer from “decision fatigue, a psychological condition where making a decision in the present will reduce your decision making ability in the future.
Simply put, every decision you make uses up your mental energy.”
Thus, it is logical to assume that the more decisions you have to make throughout the day, the weaker your decision making process will become.
“This is why many successful individuals like Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Albert Einstein decided to reduce the amount of decisions they make throughout the day by doing things such as choosing to adopt a monotonous wardrobe.
They understood that less time spent on making decisions meant more brainpower and time for everything else.”
For the majority of the time President Obama spent in office, he always wore either a gray or blue suit. In an article for Vanity Fair, President Obama explained why he did this,
“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make. You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”
Let’s take a look at Steve Jobs.
He famously wore the same “black turtleneck, blue jeans and New Balance sneakers every day. This quickly became his signature look as well as a part of the overall brand of Apple. Steve also understood that he had a finite capacity of brainpower to make well thought out decisions. A minute more a day using his brainpower to decide which T-shirt to wear is less brainpower he would have to think about his company.”
The list continues.
“Albert Einstein was also known for owning several variations of the same gray suit so that he wouldn’t have to waste time and brainpower deciding on which outfit to wear every morning. If you’re constantly worrying every day about little decisions like what to wear, you’ll become more mentally exhausted as the day progresses. In order to save your mental power for the important decisions of the day, you have to learn to automate the mundane decisions you go through every day so that you don’t have to constantly think about them and waste brainpower.
Here are some things you can do:
1. Like Steve, Zuckerberg and Einstein, find a few t-shirts, sweaters, jeans, and dresses you like and buy multiple quantities of them. Then essentially wear the same thing every day.
2. Schedule a set time to exercise every day. Don’t constantly use your brainpower trying to think about when is a good time to exercise.
3. Do your grocery shopping at the same time once a week.
4. Design a morning routine. The morning is filled with a lot of mundane decisions that you can learn to automate such as what to wear, what to eat, what time to leave, what time to wake up, etc. You can automate all your morning decisions with a routine.
5. Make a few meals that you have every day the same. This can be a great dieting tool, but the main idea is you don’t want to be worrying about what to make, which ingredients to use and what the nutritional value of each meal is throughout the day, every day.
These are just 5 of the hundreds of decisions that you make throughout the day that you can learn to automate. But truthfully, you could probably automate and eliminate about 80% of the decisions you make every day. You just have to be aware of this concept and learn to notice which decisions aren’t high quality important decisions and then delegate those.”
My light bulb just came on.
I just provided a fantastic solution for upcoming evening/black tie events. I’m buying a tuxedo.
Like my male counterparts, I will only need to get it dry cleaned before an event.
This decision just helped me save tons of dollars and shopping time.
Next, I’ll move the concept to my professional wardrobe.
I’m feeling relieved already!
Hmmm…What will I think of next?
Photo credit/Source: www.linkedin/Vincent Carlos


By Vernalee
mourners bench Mourner’s Bench

The baptismal tradition in the South was a serious undertaking. The first step was to pray before the church as you kneeled on the mourner’s bench. It was a “coming together” because the church prayed with you and for you. After successful prayers of forgiveness and repentance, you became a candidate for water baptism. On a designated Sunday morning, dressed in pure white, baptismal candidates prepared for their immersions.
800px-River_baptism_in_New_Bern Water’s Baptism

In my home town of Glen Allan, Mississippi, the baptismal candidates, their families, the pastor and congregation marched to the bank of Lake Washington. It was a major celebration as most of the town looked on to witness those being “born again” as they came to Christ. The traditional old Negro spirituals that were sung included “Take me to the Water to be baptized,” “Wade in the Water,” “Precious Lord” … among others. After coming out of the water as a new baptized saint, it was your duty to serve the Lord! Your conduct was to be reflective of a new you with a renewed Christian spirit and heart! The Mothers of the church would invariably sing “Something got a hold on me” and the pastor would say, “Let the church say Amen!” Reminiscing, I say Happy Sunday and Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Oh yes, the traditional words, “Give me that old time religion. It was good enough for my Mother and it’s good enough for me” … have never been truer. God bless!
Photo reprints:;


By Vernalee
Yes, I am still on the topic of FRIENDSHIP.
The subject is timeless; it never grows old.
So let’s examine our wish list.
First things first.
It is unreasonable to expect from others what you are not willing to give.
That sounds hypocritical…don’t you think?
So whatever attributes you desire in and from a friend, you should be willing to give.
Fair play?
Listen up as we examine some friendship guidelines.
1. Avoid competition.
2. Avoid gossip.
3. Confront wisely.
4. Forgive.
5. Maintain friendships; treat them with care.
6. Celebrate best friends.
7. Let your friendships serve as a mirror.
8. Make changes, if needed. You are allowed.
9. Create a healthy community of friends with the reality that just because you are the nucleus that your friends may not become friends to each other.
10. Give everyone their space.
11. Explore your expectations.
12. Befriend yourself.
Now I ask…
Who can you confidentially talk to and get the best possible advice?
Who wants you to succeed no matter what? Who will be there for you when everyone walks away?
Who will be there when you are up, down or turnaround?
Answer: A true friend.
Remember this.
Everyone needs someone.
No one is an island.
Having a true friend is valuable. True friendship doesn’t come around often.
If you have one true friend, you are lucky.
Two – would be a steal!
When you find a true friend, keep him or her close.
Don’t ask for something that you are not willing to give!
Think of others; do for others.
Don’t be a talker only; show that you care.
Cherish being a true friend as much as having a true friend!
It’s a treasure!
Photo credit:; Source:

PostHeaderIcon FRIENDSHIP 101

By Vernalee
the daily quotes
For the record, you don’t need to take a class (Friendship 101), to determine who your real friends are.
Your heart, love, body & soul, and evidence of treatment will tell you!
Friends that you love and who love you; friends who care about you and your well-being; sincere friends; respectful friends……..who could ask for anything more!
When you pick up your phone to talk to a true friend, it appears as if they are in the next room though they may be miles apart.
Distance is immaterial.
Though schedules may prevent you from getting together frequently, they are never far!
Feed, water, and nurture your true friends because the value of true friendship is priceless!
You are connected through your hearts and you become a blessing to each other!
I am truly blessed.
Are you?
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
During the course of our lives, we meet many people. Nothing beats the ones who enter our lives and never leave. There’s a reason why they stay.
You probably are itching to know the answer.
It is no mystery or miraculous finding.
Is it that we share the same values, goals, and objectives? Yes.
Is it that we love them and they us? Yes.
Is it that we need them to make our lives complete?
There are a number of reasons that varies by individual prerogatives.
I cannot say that I have a comprehensive answer or the right response, but I attribute it to a divine connection.
Your spirits become intertwined.
I have been fortunate to meet a few true friends that only time and distance separate.
Whenever we see each other regardless of the time that has slipped by since our last visit, we pick up as if we glazed each other in the eye just yesterday. It’s a stickiness that cannot be erased; a glue that connects; a love that will hold and keep us together.
It is the thought and the reality of knowing that someone is there in your time of need; during those moments when you need to spill your guts.
My Mother always said, “God places people in your life.”
We walk our trail not alone.
Having a true friend on the journey makes the distance traveled worth the measured steps.
When we are fortunate enough to find “true” friends who share our inner spirit, it is a treasure; a glittering diamond of sorts.
They are rare, but hopefully you have encountered a few. I have!
I refer to them as the ones that are spiritually connected to us by God.
True friends … are the ones with whom you share your stories of successes, failures, ups, downs, and turnarounds.
Lest not forget the relating of those horror stories (nightmares of sorts) and stupid stuff that even you cannot believe that you did until your wisdom kicked in and convinced you of the dangers.
Often, we discuss subjects that are embarrassing, but we need the advice of someone who cares enough to set us straight without judgment.
Our innermost secrets are tucked inside their soul never to come out.
They have stories that can never be told!
They laugh with us; they cry with us.
They have a nudging bent on their knees from the constant prayers for us.
Their prayers travel in two directions as they pray with you and for you.
They too are the ones who encourage and motivate you to do your best, connect you to the right people, and share not an ounce of jealousy.
It becomes a mutual alliance.
They truly want the best for you as you desire for them.
For you to reach the highest height and soar like an eagle is their wish.
Yes, it is unequivocally true that true friends are a rare commodity!
I can testify.
So I feel bless to have these valuable treasures of true friends (one in particular) in my life.
It is a privilege as they don’t come around often.
I don’t take them or what we have for granted.
I thank God for them … and their families for sharing them with me.
I thank them!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
173922446 getty images
Speaking of friends; who are yours?
Crossing racial and gender lines, I feel privileged to call a selected few my true friends.
It is said that you basically need five types of friends. Without calling my friends by name, let me provide you with their descriptions.
The comedian is the friend who makes you laugh and interjects humor into your life.
The risk taker is the adventurer who stimulates you beyond the status quo.
The loyalist will stand by your side through thick and thin no matter what.
The challenger always encourages you to maximize your position.
The life coach is the friend who you can talk to about anything without judgment being passed.
A few of my friends have amazingly combined these five ingredients into one. From Mississippi to Ohio with an extension into multiples states, I am truly blessed as I have these wonderful loving people in my life.
Their professions are too multiple to outline.
Regardless of what they professionally do on their day jobs, my true friends work hard to keep our friendship genuine, caring, and loving.
I believe that they sincerely care about me and of course me, them!
I so appreciate them!
We genuinely want the best for each other and do not begrudge the other. Motivation is in; jealously is out.
Love flows in all direction as does our advice.
I made a basic discovery years ago – The type of friend that you are is just as important as the type of friends that you have!
It is my responsibility to give to them what they give to me.
It is a two way street.
It is what friends do!
Photo credit:

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