Lesson #18: Valentine’s Day Everyday 

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Today is Valentine’s Day, a day to show love to the people in your life. It’s a day to let people know how much you care for them. This is the mentality of many people. Valentine’s Day in reality is just a day–one of 365 or 366 days of the year to express the love you have for the people in your life. Just like you wouldn’t want to wait until a funeral to tell someone you love them, don’t wait until Valentine’s Day to do so.
On this special day I want to express gratitude for the man who shows me love on a daily basis–my husband Sheriffo. He has made me feel extremely loved, honored and respected every day that we have been together. 
He prays for me, encourages me, teaches me new things, helps me sharpen pencils and grade papers at night. As a busy teacher and wife when I accomplish a portion of the many things on my to do list, he is proud of me.
If you are not in a relationship, I pray that you can find someone to treat you the way my husband treats me. Here are just some of the ways you can express love on a daily basis.

Ways to show love everyday:

  • Say I love you
  • Help with the laundry 
  • Cook dinner for your spouse
  • Wash the dishes after your spouse has cooked dinner
  • Pray for and with your spouse
  • Encourage him/her to achieve his or her goals
  • Have fun together 
  • Surprise your loved one with his/her favorite thing
  • Laugh together 
  • Eat dinner together without distractions 
  • Celebrate the small victories with your significant other 
  • Go on date nights a few times a month

Of course there are plenty of ways to express love and gratitude to your significant others. I don’t have all the answers. This post is dedicated to my beautiful husband Sheriffo. I love you always and forever on this day and everyday thereafter!
Love Always,
Tanika Monique 

Always & Forever 

Forever & Always

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Lesson 17: There Are Blessings In Each Day

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Today as I was walking down the street, I started thinking about all the things I still needed to do. I started feeling overwhelmed thinking about my to do list. Then it dawned on me, “there is a blessing in everyday.” As I said this to myself, my eyes welled up with tears because I knew this was true. I may not be able to do all the things I think I need to do today. But God woke me up this morning; I have family who loves me; I love myself; I’m gainfully employed; I have a roof over my head.

Don’t get so drowned in your perceived problems that you are blinded to the blessings in this moment. Everyday you are alive is a blessing. The problems you have are blessings and opportunities to learn, grow, and become a better version of yourself.
This is a short and sweet message, but I hope it adds value to your life. I still have a ton of things to do, but it was important for me to write this message for myself and for you.
Stay blessed, KNOW THAT YOU ARE BLESSED, and See the blessings around you.
Love always,
Tanika Monique

Always & Forever

Forever & Always

On Lemons and Entitlement by Tasha Richardson

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Photo by Tasha Richardson of abeautifulpatience1.wordpress.com

Photo by Tasha Richardson of abeautifulpatience1.wordpress.com

Scene: A throng of commuters hurry down the stairs of a CTA train station in Chicago.  As they go past, a mother and her daughter, quaintly dressed in a school uniform and book bag, attempt to walk up the stairs.  The little girl hesitates and the mother says with a tone of annoyance, “You don’t stop for anybody–keep moving and they will move out of your way.”  

The mother who told her daughter to stop for no one and that people will move out of her daughter’s way was creating an entitlement dynamic.  Should this little girl override her natural instincts to hesitate and begin to plow through any crowds with the belief that they will always move aside, she will be sadly mistaken when that time comes where no one will move out of her way.  A similar form of entitlement thinking is encouraged by the above advertisement when it tells us to demand something other than which life provides us with, the lemons, in exchange for that which we don’t have, coconuts.

When we feel entitled, we feel the world owes us something and that it has no choice but to give it to us.  This is very different from feeling as though you are worthy and deserving of a certain outcome or the best that life has to offer.  One of the main ingredients that is missing from the entitlement story is humility, acceptance, and the realization that  it is okay–more than okay to get out of life what you didn’t expect.  Entitlement is a trap that only sets us up for discontentment in life when what we feel that we are entitled to does not come to fruition.This article does a great job in making the distinctions between entitlement and other forms of healthy expression. To take an entitlement quiz to see just how entitled you think you are in addition to everyday examples of entitlement thinking, click here.

Practical Tips–Shedding Entitlement Thinking:

  1. Recognize the gifts that life has bestowed upon you and note this favour in a gratitude journal
  2. The Power of the Pause (as frequently stated by Transformation Coach Vicki Hudson-Stapleton, formerly of the Cara Program): Take a giant step back and pause before you launch into thoughts about what life or those around you owes you
  3. Owes means woes–realize that unnecessary thoughts of expectations and what life owes you will lead to woes, comparisons, and anger
  4. Appreciate what life gives you and be willing to go above and beyond for love–without any thought of what the payback will be…and see how much you transform as a person
  5. Don’t fight against the reality of your situation–and what is–and see how you become transformed.

For more awesome and practical tips about life, personal growth, change, and moving beyond entitlement thinking, check out these great below posts from Marc and Angel Chernoff:

  1. 50 Things You Need To Give Up Today

  2. 16 Reasons You’re Succeeding in Life (Even If You Don’t Feel You Are)

  3. 8 Things You Forgot to Be Grateful For

Where in your life do you hold the expectation that you are entitled?  When you do feel that way, what is life showing you?  Is life complying with the entitlement that you feel–or are you experiencing roadblocks?  Comment below!

Here is some food for thought:

Thoughts are just what is. They appear. They’re innocent. They’re not personal. They’re like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling. Thoughts arise like that, and we can make friends with them. Would you argue with a raindrop?

Byron Katie

Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.

Byron Katie

“No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it.”

Richard Bach