Gratitude for my Elegant Team…the reason for the season!

Gratitude for my Soul Family

As we reach Thanksgiving and of course always, I choose to blog about my gratitude for my soul family.  I have many to be grateful for, God, the Universe, my children, my husband, and of course, my cat.  I have many friends to of course have gratitude for and angels along the way who have always taught me a lesson even if the experience was less than desired.

I would like to give special thanks for my Elegant Team.  As I continue to embark on further journeys and future endeavors for my social enterprise I realize who is there day to day making the dream work, bringing my vision to life.

I will start with my gatekeeper or Elegant Director, India. She has tirelessly put up with my continued obsessions, my yelling from my office to get something and always willing to do anything that supports the mission.  After hours, she will do whatever it takes to listen to an idea, personally or professionally by me, travel on a whim and be there for any and all that needs to be done.  Her ability to manage the Elegant program and work on other endeavors, makes the dream work.  She has learned me like no other and supports which ever way the mission goes on any given day.  India will give into the individuals served needs as I always want in the mission we started Elegant by.

Takisha, who may appear quiet, but is super outgoing and loving.    She will do whatever it takes to make the day go smooth.  She listens and is super supportive to the Elegant Team members and is always willing to go the extra mile when direction is given.  She is fun, loving and super caring to those we serve and continues to rise up with Elegant as we move forward into new avenues.

Chantel, who has been with us from the start, WOW!  She is a staple, someone that we can count on to ensure delivery of any supplies, care for the program afterhours, before hours and beyond.  Her commitment has enlarged the mission from the beginning following our current growth.  She goes above and beyond to make sure the individuals served are cared for even doing after hour calls and FaceTime with individuals making their home life as smooth as it is supposed to be at Elegant.

Monica, holds it down.  When she is not present her absence is missed.  She is someone the individuals can count on to maintain the rules and order while still giving them all the incentives out of her own pocket as with her own family members.  She goes above and beyond during hours and after hours to help individuals served feel special as she is to Elegant.  Monica has been with us for many years.  She is funny and super loving even though sometimes she tries not to show that side of her.

Derrick, of course is a relaxed, do anything type of guy.  He will do things without being asked and go above and beyond.  He brings a sense of calm and love to the program.  He will stay late and finish progress notes for all of his teammates while they leave to go off to other jobs or to go home.  He will step up into a leadership role as needed at anytime to ensure things are done.  In a moments notice, he can travel, work and will even come in work sick.  His effort and level of commitment are to be admired.

Darnell,  is funny, caring, loving and knows how to navigate any dilemma with ease and finesse.  His charm keeps the individuals served happy and content.  He is always accommodating, will go and pick up anything that needs to be picked up and has also been doing a lot of maintenance to chip in when we have a sudden defect in our wall from a slight punch from our individuals.  He has been with us for some time as well and I know he can attest to whatever he suggests, results to be delivered.

Penny, is a mother figure to me and the program, doing arts and crafts, providing that therapeutic element that is necessary in a program like ours.  Her ability to manage a crisis situation is excellent and done with ease.  She goes out of her way to make suggestions so that the lives of those we serve is one of quality and love.  She voices her concerns and makes things happen.  Her balance is one of beauty and elegance.

Edwin, is a Godly man who embeds the Elegant program with morals, values, and skills.  He works hard on off hours to make sure that the skills learned in the program are those of lasting success with real life practical examples so that those we serve are respected, loved and have the ability to flourish in the world.  Those individuals served who are getting job interviews and those employed have done so under the direction of his amazing values and skills that have been integrated into the Elegant Program.

LaTisha “Tot”,  Our newest Shining star to come to the Elegant Team who has fit in with ease and belongs in our team of love, joy, and excitement.  Tot can quickly diffuse situations and is always found engaging with the individuals served, cleaning, helping any way she can.  Tot actually asks what she can do to help and does it.  When she says something you can count on her to do it.  She is someone of her word and puts in the effort.  Her success should be no shock in the Elegant Program where she has found a fit.

Tracy, is the core, the foundation of Elegant, the reason for the season, the man who on the scene and behind the scene has the most affiliation to me, the man I envisioned for the job.  He has held up to the job by providing that brick layer that built us and will continue to shelter us with the brick layer he puts around us to protect us all from the evil that inevitably comes when you run a program as amazing as ours.  Tracy is my rock, without him, there would be no Elegant!

Everyone goes above and beyond…everyone takes money from their own pocket to better the lives of those we serve and beyond…everyone is living the mission!  I am beyond grateful to everyone who puts up with my level of “awesomeness” some may call crazy!  I am honored to be part of this Elegant Team!

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Effort, yes, EFFORT…

If there is one piece to success, relationships, love, abundance, it’s effort.  It takes effort to get anything worth having which can consist of the job you want, the business you passionately start, the countless hours you put in, the relationship of the man or woman of your dreams, the car or house you want, the family and values you possess, it takes effort, truly.

It has nothing to do with your intelligence level, skills, etc.  It has everything to do with your effort as to being successful.  Step outside of yourself, care more, make an effort for what you want.  Anyone can talk about it, anyone can pretend or put in a little work up front, but anything worth having takes effort.

As we get near to the holidays my ability to think about the year, has effort as my top priority.  If you want a life worth living full of love and happiness make the effort.

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Abuse and Neglect Oh My…

Abuse and Neglect

It is surely frowned upon topic in the industry of working with individuals with disabilities however it shouldn’t be because it’s time to address it. In training and policies and procedures all staff must sign off to understanding the rules around abuse and neglect and what that is. It appears clear cut or at least when training happens it seems that way.

The real work comes when the introduction of those you served comes into the equation. It’s the test of the training you just had, right? NO! Mistake number one. A training is never going to take the place of a clinician supporting the caregiver or direct care staff to truly understand the individual served and prevent abuse. I have been in this industry for probably upwards of 15 years now. I have seen upper management place responsibility on staff at times on direct care professionals saying they are “bad eggs” or “this industry is not a fit” or “they just don’t have patience.” The reality is they were never properly trained in almost all cases. I have seen stuffy clinicians who choose not to even work around the individuals served try to dictate behavior plans without ever really knowing any of the parties meaning staff and clients. I have watched staff and agencies take over programs without being prepared administratively never mind their incompetence to teach their staff. I have watched greedy top heavy agencies run to accept the revenue and not fully execute a comprehensive plan to train. The worst part is the lack of collaboration amongst providers for the betterment of the individuals and person centered planning that should occur.

When we have forgotten the plan is to move all individuals served along to reach their potential in a safe environment, no matter what any agency has for a mission statement.

When we are putting the individual first we put ourselves aside and work toward the greater good which is to train, have all team members pull up a chair to the table and do what is right, not popular.

It is time to take a look at the system, refine the details and work together as providers to make things better regardless of feelings toward other members of the team. It’s time to go where the rubber meet the road and get our hands dirty being out on the floor working with the individuals and making it happen, increasing goals met, decreasing behaviors and promoting consistency.

If you want abuse and neglect to cease, you have to model what’s right, not popular. Camera up your programs, use them for assistance in training not seeing whether or not your staff are wearing flip flops and get out from behind your screen.  Become the change you want to see! If we all get up together we will see a change and a new system will emerge! Let’s do this!

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Travel

It slows you down even if it’s a family trip with younger kids.  Travel takes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to embark on a journey of beauty and insight.  I find as I continue to travel even by car I find more beauty in the worl with landscapes around, the destinations you go to and the pure journey of it all.  I find it liberating.

As I continue on my journey of life I find so much joy in traveling.  I am truly grateful for all I have seem so fare on my long list in my Pinterest account for places I still have to see.  It creates a different element, a wonder in us, an untapped market of creativity emerges from it.

I encourage it!

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Journaling

Successful people tend to journal things, keep notes so that they can measure their success over time.  It’s what I read in blogs, books, and know from talking to people who are making it, who have drive, and commitment.  With that being said, there is journaling that you do when you keep a running tab in your mind of experiences that you have, memories that you share, feelings that are in your heart.  There is also the flip side, people to watch out for, stay away from, avoid, or confront are all in that running tab in your head.

With that being said, I think it is important to also document when it comes to work and happenings that take place.  I have chosen to quietly observe while we have done all that we can to showcase the wonderful things we are doing and outcast all the bad.  But, document, never let something happen without documenting it.  It all shows up with experience down the road, it all has a payment or check from Karma.  So Journal, don’t let life go by without the precious moments being captured, after all, in life those precious moments are what matter, not the sip of evil that comes from time to time, just stay armed for that, surrender and God will have your back!

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Prayers up high Las Vegas!

Prayers are up high today with the tragedy in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It is clear that each day is a treasure, a gift, one you MUST be grateful for.  When you get that special feeling when your birthday comes around, find that special feeling daily, and I mean every single day.  I live a life where I feel special everyday and if I don’t, I look within as to what I need to fix or create a boundary around.  I am a work in progress, a work of growth, a child of God as we all are.  I am no different than anyone, no better, no worse.  We are all one really, so if your script for your life isn’t going as you planned, you need to change the script within.  The script is in the mirror.  If you don’t like your job, work harder, go back to school, use time after work to think about what you may want to be the CEO of, same for your life.  If you don’t like who you are with, be the CEO and change it.  The harsh reality is always in front of you, always the clarity that is bleeding to come through until the lesson reaches you and you fix it or not, then all you are doing is slowly dying, not growing.  Grow, evolve, or well…evaporate.

Be grateful.  Find a profession you love, find a way to serve others.  Enjoy life, nature, give all the love you have once you find yourself.  When you give all the love you have, you will receive all the love you have been longing to receive.  Nothing will ever be perfect, but perfect is overrated.  I like mistakes, joy, fun, laughter.  I appreciate my family first, the beauty of life, my passion, purpose, inspiration and gifts to the world.

Having been in Las Vegas this weekend with a terrific team of unique individuals, through this unforeseen, horrific tragedy, I will pray for all of those who are no longer with us, those injured, and those there including all responders to this incident, as they were all innocent and full of dreams too.  To think such evil exists is truly unimaginable.  It puts a lot of things in perspective in my life and others should step back around and do the same.  I am grateful I am here.  I am grateful for the ladies who went with me.  I am grateful for so much and evil can only be pushed out through love.  I don’t wish to ever understand it.  I just want to love those around me and pray that love will conquer all.

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If I ruled the world…

If I ruled the World…

If I ruled the world I would like everyone to get the love, attention and trust that they needed from a very young age, to be nurtured with love and disciplined with the same love.  I would want a world of balance, fairness where if you win you learn and if you lose you learn.  A world where the universe was present, people were able to be free to make choices and if the choices were bad, the consequences would fit the crime, nothing more nothing less.  I wish people were loved as young children so that they would learn to be industrious, not inferior.  I would want people to feel safe, secure, without fear unless it came from a past life and it was there to transform them or teach a lesson of value. I would want a world where people minded their own business unless it was time to react, act to wrong-doing, not to merely manipulate and hurt others.

I feel like we should live in a world where we are loved, where we have freedom of expression no matter what it is without ridicule.  If we aren’t effecting others, then why would expression hurt another.  We should live where a governmental system of incompetency does not exist.  A place where people earn their jobs, not just get into the system based on who you know.  A place where people are able to move fluidly through the world making an impact, finding and more importantly have a purpose to act upon.  A place of integrity.  Where if you do commit a crime and do the time, that you are not branded for the rest of your life, reform without control.  A way to rehabilitate those who can be without being naïve to think everyone can be reformed.  Troubled souls will need to make that effort their next time around on the earth.

If I ruled the world there would be no color, disability, hidden agendas.  I would rule a world of freedom and prosperity, a world of fairness.   Knowledge is power and education does a lot, but love conquers all.

As a business owner, I have that purpose and others have a duty to stand up against any form of discrimination and make an impact.  We can no longer sit back and watch the show.  It is debatable to me if those who watch are worse than those that do.  I would lean to the latter.  It is time that we fight fire with fire to end the bullies, retaliatory and inequalities.  Now I am not going to change the whole world, but if I believe I rule the world, then I must do my part in making that world a better place, a place of trust and most of all love.  In order to get started on this new world, it can’t be the same world.  We can’t just make America great again when equality has never been part of the equation.  We can’t ignore it any longer, suppress or tolerate it.

I see business owners instead of being up front, teaching the proper skills, if they feel hurt personally, they just go after their employees in progressive discipline with the thought of any difference in opinion, however, the diversity is absolutely necessary to see different sides, make sure you are covered, make sure your impact is the greatest.  I see people I don’t even know coming at me with bogus e-mails, trying to side bar attack me and my organization.  I pray for them, wish that they were loved, wish that they didn’t feel inferior and wish they spent more time on themselves. The issue is however hard it is, it isn’t personal.  It is a void that others have and the only thing those of us on a mission can do is pray and move on, most times.  Most times it isn’t our battle something isn’t right within them.  When it gets way too out of control, we must act, it’s our duty.  We can’t tolerate injustice and another person being harmed for acts they don’t commit or someone else’s hate or jealousy.  I am here to act.  I am here as a warrior and if I ruled the world then neutrality is not an option.  Neutrality only silences the oppressor not the oppressed.  So, if I ruled the world, I’d send my love to all and hopefully it fills the deep void that they have which makes them hate and they in turn love those around them and the cycle of love repeats. J

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Resources, etc…

Resources

So it is a time when resources are plummeting no matter which way you turn.  Many agencies have decided not to weather the storm and then there are a few that are stepping up to the plate.  Changes in care require a cultural change, not philosophical change, but culture changes.  The top-heavy management is not going to work much longer in this industry of care.  It is time to create or form some teams that can get the job done.   Yes, like Mr. Belichick J  In order for “sustainability” to occur in this industry a new model must be developed.  A model of technology and efficiency.

So, what are the actual steps behind the ideas and grand thoughts?

It is time to create a structure where the individuals you serve have the power of choice while knowing they are secure with their caregivers.  You see at the foundation of a good working environment lies with love.  Love for those you serve, a passion, a level of care, empathy, that you either have or you don’t.  And, guess what, the individuals served can sense ALL THAT.  So, you won’t make it in the field if it doesn’t exist.  And, well never get too comfortable because these people will pull out strategies that you never knew could exist, but give love from your heart.  Trust me, they need it and any one of them can pick up someone who doesn’t belong.  Remember they spent a life not fitting in like many of us have, so they know the outliers.

Create a work environment that is the least hazardous to your employees, having structure, a schedule of staff, activities, appointments and clear and concise expectations.  Follow up, check in, CARE.  It’s care we provide.  It seems like common sense, but at the end of the day we complicate things with intensive clinical plans, negative energy and drama.

Give these individuals a chance and you will see growth, progress and they will teach you things you were meant to learn so that you can personally grow too.  Everyone is here to teach us something so make sure you get that intuition raised and I bet some of you are already equipped with the right formula how.

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The things I know for sure…

The things I know for sure

Oprah wrote this book that I recommend to others all the time, whether they take my advice or not, is unknown.  She writes about the things she knows for sure which have to do with setting healthy boundaries, relationships, good energy and intuition.  

As I have embarked on my journey, I have found all to be grateful for.  For those of you who read my blogs know that gratitude is truly at the foundation of my life and purpose here.

There are some things I know for sure.  I know that an idea doesn’t come to life without action.  I have spent energy listening to ideas, advising others to make plans to achieve their goals they set forth with the ideas they tell me about and watched nothing happen.  What I know for sure is money doesn’t grow on trees.  Success takes going underground alone and pulling 12-14 hour days, Fridays and weekends included.  That I know for sure.  I know people who won’t commit to a day let alone everyday.  I won’t put much energy into the dreamers without them being a doer.  

People don’t care what you do when you have nothing.  But when you have more than a dollar in your savings account, people start coming, out of the wood work people you may not even know to act like they care, profess interest all to try to take 50 cents of the dollar you earned.  That I know for sure.  

What you allow is what will continue.  That I know for sure.

People you think you know from past even supposed professionals can be on a warpath for your demise.  I have seen people who have lawsuits, agencies with HUGE lawsuits, on the news, people who are devilish judge me and what I do.  What I know for sure is that the green monster of jealousy is something fierce.  It leads to all types of lies and deceit.  I have seen people come out of the biggest glass houses throwing stones.  What I know for sure is jealousy comes in the shape and form of all kinds.  It’s diversity will terrify you.

I have seen people who I have told directly my concerns run around behind my back to be evil.  What I know for sure is that has nothing to do with me and everything to do with them.  That I know for sure.

I know that my heart is pure, what I know for sure is anything in my intuition.  And of course, God favors me as one of his children.  I am protected and I know this for sure.  All those around me have the same protection, especially my family, that I know for sure.

What boggles my mind is that people don’t want to stand by the laws of karma.  It’s a crazy thing.  I have seen karma happen quick and I have seen karma happen after time.  Any way you look at it, what’s in the dark will come to light…and never mistake kindness for weakness.  Nobody is better than anyone else and the universe will always serve.  This I know for sure.

If you don’t learn the lesson the universe is sending the universe will kick out another lesson, one that is going to be a little harsher and made to electrify you so you become stronger and ultimately continue to serve.  That I know for sure.  We are all sent here to serve.  When we lose sight of all this and live in a web of lies for reasons of greed and jealousy, the lessons of the universe appear.  What I know for sure is, I am always cautious with the universe for I have seen and know for sure what it’s capable of.

I will continue to carry out my purpose all the while knowing the misery existing in others who have tried to stop me, but will never succeed.  This I know for sure.

Diamonds shine.  That’s what u know for sure.  When they come from the ground and weather the storms, they are the strongest of all diamonds and the most beautiful. 

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Secret to Success

Secret to Success

The secret to success comes in many forms, not always one answer and success is defined to people in different ways.  One of the things that I feel is key in success is movement.  Movement toward your goals, movement away from negative/toxic people and movement toward freedom.  My definition of success has freedom closely attached.  Ironically though freedom isn’t free.  

Soldiers have to take a stand in war.  They have to be definitive, go after the target, confront the situation and conquer.  The courage and bravery that a soldier must have is unimaginable.  They can’t be a bystander or be neutral.  They can’t hide behind a wall and judge other people and gossip, they have to act.  They have to focus on the goal, the target.  It could mean life and death.  Never seeing loved ones again, can you imagine!

Be a soldier.  Stay true to your own mission of freedom.  While other toxic devilish people come around and try to knock you down, make up lies for personal gains, not like you because you are courageous and fight for what you are here to do, which is to serve!  You see, the Devil is a liar!  And no matter what he keeps coming with, be a soldier and keep moving in the direction of your goals and your dreams.  Be free!  Always remember what you are here, this time, this soul, now.  Nothing can stop your mission because God and the Universe will spin that evil  and the law of karma is certainly in our favor.  Keep in mind what side of the karma you want to be on though.

I live the life I want because I had the courage to go out and create it.  Do the same.  Along with success being similar to what a soldier has to do, remember when you are working on Devils work that the Devil isn’t your friend either.  Because their soul has no shine, doesn’t mean they can steal any shine from you.  

I know for me, I absolutely won’t let them, even on my weakest days.  Freedom is something I feel with all my senses, a feeling that is like no other!

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