Today is Yours, Use it Up

By Samantha McKenzie

Today is Monday. It is the first day of the work week and another chance to move your plans forward. You can start, stop or just keep going.

Don’t look back to Sunday and don’t count on seeing Tuesday. Neither exist at this moment. Today requires your commitment. It doesn’t want you reliving the past or using all of your waking hours planning for the future.

Today wants you to live in the present.

It knows that this is the only time available to start something new, improve on something existing or come to terms with something that is ending. Do it. Use it to make amends or use it to get one step closer to your truth. This day literally requires your personal attention.


Instead of complaining, decide to show up ready to work. Make a commitment to work cheerfully too. Don’t let obstacles take away from the richness of the day’s opportunities. Don’t let someone else’s poor attitude affect you in a negative way. There’s way too  much to get accomplished.

Today is Monday.

Today is the only day you have.

Today is yours. Use it up.


What We Expect, We Create

You will find what you seek

By Dawn Onley

Whatever you are searching for, you will find. Peace. Contentment. Happiness. Joy. Love. Whatever it is, the Bible says ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Buddhists believe whatever you are looking at is a projection of your own mind.

We see things through our way of thinking. Sometimes not as they are, but as we think they are. If we see the world as a cold, miserable place, it will be. If we see more good than bad, that’s what we will find. Our minds have the power to create and destroy. We can draw things to us — good and bad — by tapping into that power.

What we expect, we create.

If you’re not pleased with your world, you may want to ask yourself what you are seeking.


You are the Sunshine the World Needs

By Samantha McKenzie

I love, love, love the sunshine. I love the one I see up in the sky each day and I love the sunshine I see radiating from extraordinary people every day. I gravitate to the energy of people who are alive and doing something that betters themselves and others – big or small. This is the energy that makes living all worth it.

I crave the harmonies of human beings and heartbeats of the unknown. I want to laugh at the things we regard as impossible and marvel at every day miracles. I search for vibes and pulses that connect me to others, even those in a faraway land.

dreamstime_l_19391358It doesn’t matter where your passions lie. I recall a colleague of mine who was a passionate teacher. She loved science and she loved teaching. Everywhere she went, she found new ideas on how to teach the tough topic while also making it fun for her students. She was her own mad scientist and the students loved her for it. She’d turn a casual trip to the supermarket into a lesson plan in five minutes flat. And it worked. Her class outscored all the others in the school and surpassed the state’s requirements. She was radiant sunshine!


We’ve grown up hearing about this little light inside of us. We’ve been warned about hiding it under the bushel basket. Yet, each day, we put our passions off for another day, cling to the mundane and call it life.

Do others snub their noses at your joy? Shine anyway.

Your sunshine is your high-five, fist bump, atta-girl to the Creator. It’s how you communicate out loud that you are thankful and appreciative and grateful for this life. You look better when you’re beaming anyway!

Your sunshine is not for show. It’s not tied to fame or glory, popularity or prizes. You don’t have to be Twitter famous to shine. It’s personal and unique and will light up the world even without the help of technology.

I see sunshine on the faces of my college students who can’t wait to tell you about the new program they are planning. I see it in the park when parents are playing with their children. I see it in the grassroots volunteers who line the sidewalks vigorously reminding us to vote. I see it all around me. I see it.

Be the sunshine that’s contagious and use it to light your life on fire!

Capture It. Create It.

female hands with pen writing on notebook on grass outside

“Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention.” — Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

By Dawn Onley

Pull out a blank piece of paper.

At the top of it, write this: “In five years, I will be …”

Then, list as many words to describe what your future holds for you.

An entrepreneur? A college graduate? Healthy? A homeowner? A world traveler? Debt free? Married? A mom? Living in a new city? Cancer-free? An author? An artist? Wealthy? A vegetarian? A runner? A caregiver? An investor? Writing my dissertation? Retired? A swimmer? A success?

Whatever you dream for yourself, capture it on this sheet of paper. Don’t hold back. Just write. Don’t think too hard or take too long. Don’t you dare talk yourself out of your words. Instead, let your words flow freely. If you feel it, chances are it’s something you’ve been wanting to do. Capture it.

Every good thing, claim it for yourself. Only you get to determine what’s good for you.

Fill up at least half a sheet of paper with these actionable dreams.

How will you get there? What will it take? What will you need to let go of to reach your goals?

Write the answers to these questions on the back of the paper.

This is where it all starts. It may seem simplistic, but when we write it down, it helps to keep us focused. It makes it easier for us to make happen. It’s all about intention and purpose.


Do this exercise.

Keep the paper.

Remember the date.

Get to work.

‘Misogyny is the Death of the Heart’

By Samantha McKenzie

Fact # 1. I don’t like Donald Trump. I could have started this out a different way, but I didn’t. It was necessary.

Fact #2. My dislike for him has nothing to do with his bid for the presidency. The presidential campaign was just a bigger platform for him to expose his brand of ugly. He has the right to run for president and I respect this freedom.

Fact #3. His consistent derogatory remarks against women boils my blood. Not because I take any of his words personal, but because it reminds me that I have to live in a world with such ignorance and hate. And that we, America, raised him.

It’s hard to ignore his special type of disrespect. I go to sleep at night trying to dismiss the obnoxious comments he’s made in the past, only to wake up to yet another offensive remark flashing across my newsfeed. I’ve been through the slums of the inner city, met more than a handful of questionable characters, but never, ever have I heard a man speak about women the way he does. If riches were the standard bearer for class…but they’re not.

Donald has become the face of misogyny and he’s done it to himself. Singlehandedly.

I recently stumbled upon this article, “12 Ways to Spot a Misognyist” in Psychology Today, published in Feb. 2015. It quickly caught my attention, because it reminded me of him.

Take a look at the traits of a misogynist:

  1. He will zero in on a woman and choose her as his target. Her natural defenses may be down because he’s flirtatious, exciting, fun, and charismatic at first.
  2. As time goes on, he begins to reveal a Jekyll & Hyde personality. He may change quickly from irresistible to rude, and from rude back to irresistible.
  3. He will make promises to women and often fail to keep them. With men, on the other hand, he will almost always keep his word.
  4. He will be late for appointments and dates with women, but be quite punctual with men.
  5. His behavior toward women in general is grandiose, cocky, controlling, and self-centered.
  6. He is extremely competitive, especially with women. If a woman does better than him socially or professionally, he feels terrible. If a man does better, he may have mixed feelings about it but he is able to look at the situation objectively.
  7. He will unknowingly treat women differently from men in workplace and social settings, allowing men various liberties for which he will criticize female colleagues or friends.
  8. He will be prepared (unconsciously) to use anything within his power to make women feel miserable. He may demand sex or withhold sex in his relationships, make jokes about women or put them down in public, “borrow” their ideas in professional contexts without giving them credit, or borrow money from them without paying them back.
  9. On a date, he will treat a woman the opposite of how she prefers. If she is an old-style lady who prefers a “gentleman” who holds the door for her, orders for both and pays for the meal, he will treat her like one of his male buddies, order for himself, and let her pay for the whole meal if she offers (and sometimes even if she doesn’t). If she is a more independent type who prefers to order her own meal and pay for herself, he will rudely order for both and pay the check while she goes to the bathroom.
  10. Sexually, he likes to control women and gives little or no attention to their sexual pleasure. Foreplay, if it occurs at all, is only a necessary means to an end. He likes oral sex but only as a recipient. His favorite positions enable him to avoid looking the woman in her eyes.
  11. He will cheat on women he is dating or in a relationship with. Monogamy is the last thing he feels he owes a woman.
  12. He may suddenly disappear from a relationship without ending it, but may come back three months later with an explanation designed to lure the woman back in.

owlThis is what we’ve been experiencing. Fact or fiction?

Fact #4. Each citizen, over the age of 18, has the freedom to vote for whomever.

Fact #5. I am voting against misogyny.


Packing Fun into Our Week Days


By Dawn Onley

Mondays can be so rough.

We are forced to shift gears from our casual, weekend mindsets to all of the work assignments and deliverables that need to get done during the week. It can feel so abrupt and overwhelming, leaving us in need of just one more day off.

During one of these tough weekend to Monday-morning shifts two years ago, I began thinking about the work week differently. I wondered what would happen if I started embracing Mondays? What if I started focusing on things that I was actually looking forward to doing during the week rather than a) honing in on the things that I needed to do or b) zoning in on the following weekend?

In order for this to work, I realized that I had to line up some fun things to look forward to doing during the week. Even on Mondays.

When I started setting up things – as random as trying out a new recipe or restaurant, watching a favorite TV show, or getting a fresh pedicure — I began to pack more enjoyment into my week. I found that by focusing on the daily drops of joy, it made some of the more difficult parts of each day more palatable.

For me, this could be virtually anything. The only criteria I set was that it had to be something that I found exciting/fun/educational/uplifting.

For example, these are some of the things I’m looking forward to this week:

  • Finishing up The Mothers by Britt Bennett
  • Going to the library to check out a new book
  • Baking zucchini bread
  • Going to visit my brother
  • Watching Queen Sugar with my husband
  • Early voting
  • Early morning walks
  • A glass of wine
  • Researching fun things to do for an upcoming vacation
  • Writing this blog


But in my old way of thinking about the work week, I would have missed the joy in these things because I would have been too focused on checking work items off of my “to do” list. In my new way of thinking, I have found that the work week becomes more enjoyable when we incorporate some personal fun in with our work days.

Is there anything you’re particularly excited about doing today? Tomorrow? This week? If not, you need to get to work adding fun into your weekday schedule.

Let’s bring some thrill back to our week days and recommit ourselves to making every day count. After all, why should the weekends get all of the fun?

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

By Samantha McKenzie

Question: How do you eat an elephant?

Answer: One bite at a time!


This wisdom is for all of you dreamers, goal-getters, and people divinely pushed by your purpose. This is for those of us who see the big picture and stretch our hands out just inches away from touching it. This is a reminder to take one bite of your goal at a time.


One bite means to –

  1. Take small steps. One step leads to the other. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  2. Celebrate each accomplishment. Put up reward stickers every time you complete a task. Or eat a cupcake. Whatever works!
  3. Appreciate short-term goals. They get you to the big win.
  4. Ask for help. People are waiting to help you.
  5. Don’t turn your dream into a nightmare. It’s yours. Let it inspire you.
  6. Do it for  yourself (because it’s your purpose). Anything else is inauthentic.


Cheers to your elephant, your dreams and your goals! Savor each bite, chew slowly and don’t choke. You are well on your way.