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  • 29 May 2017 8:30 AM | Kim Sudderth (Administrator)

    Reach Your Dreams by Achieving Your Full Potential

    By Andreas Jones

    Every now and again, I catch myself getting stuck in the daily grind of life. I find that I’m “accepting” what life throws at me instead of pursuing my dreams. I find myself settling instead of deciding what I really want, envisioning my dream life, and making a plan to get there.

    We all do it. Most of us never explore our full potential because we get stuck in a pattern of “small” thinking. We forget that our journey is always ultimately up to us.

    Reach Your Dreams by Achieving Your Full Potential

    Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.

    – William Falkner

    Thinking big requires a thick skin. If your dreams are bold, plenty of people will do and say little things to discourage you from chasing your potential. The greatest achievers have to face this challenge all the time. Learn to ignore it, or consider keeping your dreams to yourself.

    If you want to think big, try these tips:

    1- Consider what will happen if you don’t think big. You’ll regret the things you didn’t do far more than the things that didn’t work out. So take a few minutes and imagine how you’ll feel if you never even try to reach your dreams. Think about how you’ll feel if in 10 years from now your journey has taken you even further from your dream life. Sometimes pain is the greatest motivator to truly explore your potential. How much pain will you feel if you don’t take action today?

    2- Be brave enough to let your creativity shine. The most important step towards exploring your potential is to realize that you’re more creative than you think. We all are. Just watch a child play by him- or herself. You still have that ability to create with your mind. But if you’re like most adults, you’ve learned to stifle or ignore it, and to suppress your dreams. Don’t, because your imagination might be your greatest strength. Let it run free.

    3- Stretch beyond your comfort zone. If you’re not making yourself at least a little uncomfortable, you’re not thinking big. If something seems comfortable to you, you’re probably already doing it. If you’re already doing it, it’s not going to take you to the next level. That’s a sure-fire way to prevent yourself from ever exploring your potential and achieving your dreams.

    Learning to deal with discomfort is an important part of growing. If you have enough motivation, anything is possible. Learning to lower your discomfort through healthy means is a crucial part of any upward journey.

    4- It’s easier than it has ever been. The Internet and other forms of mass media have made it easier to go global than ever before. All that’s required is success on a local level. That success can then be propagated to other places. Think about how difficult it would’ve been to spread your ideas to other countries 50 years ago.

    5- When exploring your potential, use your emotions as a guide. You’ll know you’re on to something when you’re overwhelmed with positive emotions. Keep thinking big until you come up with an idea that truly moves you. Then think even bigger and imagine how you can use this idea to design your dream life.

    If you’re like most adults, you’ve become too logical and practical. But you are more capable of doing what truly excites you than you realize. What do you really want to do? What inspires you?

    6- Spend time each day thinking big thoughts and dreaming big dreams. Make it a habit to spend a few minutes each day coming up with great ideas. If you already have your idea, then spend the time developing ways to make your dream life become a reality. Keep mapping out your journey and improving your plan.

    Make it a part of your daily routine. One possibility is to go to bed earlier and spend 30 minutes letting your imagination run wild before you sleep.

    Most of us think too small. We underestimate ourselves. We worry about failure. We worry about being too successful. But the world needs your big ideas, and it needs your audacious dreams. You must think big to explore your full potential, both for your own sake as well as for the world’s.

    Think big to live a life that’s fruitful and fulfilling. Think big to live a life that’s free of regrets.

    And start today.

    Andreas Jones

    http://www.AndreasHQ.com

    Andreas is the founder of Combat Business Coaching, an award-winning #1 bestselling author, leadership expert, Business Growth Expert, and columnist at Forbes, Inc, BizCatalyst360 and The Huffington Post. Andreas helps you achieve all of your goals and get results in your life and business without stress, overwhelm and burnout with his tried, tested and proven strategies and insights.


  • 17 May 2017 1:59 PM | Kim Sudderth (Administrator)

    12 Reasons Why Rental Properties Are the Best Investment

    by Brandon Turner | BiggerPockets.com

    Sure, flipping and wholesaling properties might be fun. Notes and tax liens might have fewer tenants. The stock market might be more popular.

    But rental properties are my true business love.

    Let me explain why.

    Renting your house is a great way to enter the world of real estate investing, but most first-timers (understandably) have a lot of questions. Fortunately, the experts at BiggerPockets have put together a complimentary guide on ‘How to Rent Your House’. All the skills, tools, and confidence you need to successfully rent your house are just a mouse-click away.

    Click Here For Your Free Guide to Renting Your House

    1. Ability to Purchase with Leverage

    Rental properties are great because you can borrow the bank’s or someone else’s money to increase the potential return.

    This is known as leverage.

    In other words, you don’t need to have 100 percent of a property’s purchase price on hand to be able to buy it. Rental properties allow me to buy large properties for far less cash than I might need to purchase stocks or other investments.

    2. Ability to Hustle for Greater Returns

    Not only can I leverage my cash, but I can also leverage my time and abilities to make magic happen in this game—something difficult to do with other investments.

    In other words, I can hustle.

    If I want to do the work needed to rehab a property, I can do that. If I want to leverage my networking skills to raise money, I can do that instead. If I want to leverage my knowledge and time to find better deals that provide an even greater return, I can do that.

    Rental property investing gives me the ability to hustle for my future.

    Related: 5 Ways Real Estate Wins Big Where Stocks Fall Short

    3. Ability to Manage My Investment Directly

    I’ll fully admit I’m a bit of a control freak, and that drives me toward rental properties in a powerful way. With a rental property, I am directly responsible for the outcome of my investment.

    It is up to me to analyze a property before I buy it; it’s up to me to ensure the property is in good condition to rent; it’s up to me to ensure the property is running at peak performance.

    I don’t have to depend on some board of directors in New York City for my life’s direction. I can manage my investments directly and personally.

    BRRRR-strategy-deal

    4. People Always Need a Place to Live

    The real estate market will go up and down, but the beauty of rental properties is that demand will never end. People always need a place to live, so unlike the latest tech trend or in your brother’s start-up, real estate is an investment that will last.

    Furthermore, because increasing student loans are making qualifying for a mortgage more difficult and our culture increasingly values mobility, the demand for rental properties will only grow over time.

    5. It’s Worked for Millions of People Before Me

    Perhaps one of the greatest benefits to rental property investing is the proof of concept handed down by millions of successful investors before us. Since the dawn of human civilization, landlords have built wealth by owning and leasing out residential property.

    Today is no different. According to a joint survey produced by BiggerPockets and Memphis Invest in 2012, “one out of eight, or 28.1 million Americans, either consider themselves to be residential real estate investors or own residential investment properties today.”

    6. Fairly Stable and Predictable

    Yes, events such as the market collapse in 2007 do happen, but rental property owners who were investing for long-term gains did not suffer like those who were trying to be “fancy” (or as my good friend and fellow landlord Jordan says, “punk drunk on greed”).

    Furthermore, I would argue that the 2007 real estate crash was predictable for those who were paying attention—because one of the defining characteristics of the real estate market is the boom-and-bust cycle that never goes away. Once an investor learns to identify this cycle, the old adage of “buy low, sell high” becomes much easier to achieve.

    7. Incredible Variety

    Rental properties also offer an incredible amount of variety within the asset class.

    I can invest in single-family houses, small multifamily properties, large multifamily apartments, office buildings, high end, low end, Section 8, transient, and any of a number of other options. Then, within each of those classes, I can find larger properties; smaller properties; ones that are newer, older, taller, shorter, ugly, beautiful, and so on.

    The possibilities are endless.

    8. Simple and Straightforward

    Although I’ll never claim that working with rental properties is easy, I do maintain that investing in rental property is fairly simple and straightforward.

    Sure, it involves more than just buying a piece of property and placing renters in it, but the strategies for success are not overly difficult to learn or master. To help, a tremendous amount has been written on the topic by those who have mastered it. Books, podcasts, videos, blogs, forums, networking groups, mentorships, and more can be found to help you learn nearly everything you will ever need to know.

    In addition, knowledgeable people are available to help. Several months ago, I ran into a situation I didn’t know how to handle (a smoking tenant accidentally lit part of the outside of her house on fire yet claimed she hadn’t). I reached out to other investors on the BiggerPockets Forums and received some excellent advice on how to proceed—and it didn’t cost me a thing.

    9. I Can Buy Below Market Value

    I was raised by a “garage sale mom” who taught me the value of haggling for the best deal.

    As a result, one of my favorite reasons for investing in rental properties is my ability to find properties that I can buy below market value.

    In other words, I can shop for a great deal!

    Finding properties that are worth $100,000 that I can buy for $80,000 truly excites me and is an integral part of how I’ve been able to build wealth so quickly over the past eight years.

    10. Insider Trading Is Legal

    In the Wall Street world, there is a concept known as “insider trading,” which is when an investor makes a profit on a stock because he or she had access to some secret bit of information that helped him or her buy or sell at the right time.

    This practice is not just discouraged in the stock market, it is also illegal and can even land you in jail (just ask Martha Stewart).

    However, as a rental property investor, I can leverage any secret knowledge I can find to benefit my investments. If I know that a new light rail is moving into a neighborhood, I can jump in and swoop up properties before word gets out.

    If I hear that a major industry is leaving an area, I can get out of that area before the market declines. And unlike in the stock market, this is 100 percent legal and encouraged in the rental property realm.

    11. Multiple Ways to Profit

    One of the greatest benefits of rental property investing, especially compared with other real estate niches and strategies, is the opportunity to capitalize on all four of real estate’s major profit sources:

    Cash flow

    Appreciation

    The loan pay down

    The tax benefits

    12. Not Having to Be Present to Make Money

    Finally, I love the idea that I can make money without physically needing to be present. That’s called a “job,” and I want to avoid that.

    Understand that real estate is not generally a 100 percent passive activity, but over time, the systems you create can help you outsource most of the landlording process.

    The dollars will roll in whether you get out of bed in the morning or not.

    “Why I Love Rental Properties” Facebook Live Video

    Recently I took to Facebook Live to explain the twelve reasons why I love rental properties that I’ve outlined above. Check out the video below to hear my explanations (and, at the 10:00 minute mark, the cutest little girl on the planet!)

    This blog post was inspired by a section from The Book on Rental Property Investing, written by me!


  • 14 May 2017 3:49 PM | Kim Sudderth (Administrator)

    CLEAN OUT YOUR CLUTTER

    By Fila McMillan-Antwine

    www.facebook.com/sheisfila

    Ok love so we are well into spring with the first week officially down. That means you should have started your spring cleaning or at least be in a space to start planning what needs to be thrown out, tossed aside, or given up. Most of us tend to focus only on the obvious clutter around us but you need to pay special attention to those corners and crevices that often get missed. So, here is my checklist for spring cleaning your home, head, and heart:

    1. Start with your phone - it's the thing you use most and keep closest to you on a daily basis. It's always at your disposal and that means it's full of crap that you no longer have a need for. Delete excess pictures, contacts, and emails. You'll feel lighter and less stressed plus your phone will likely run faster now that space is free.

    2. Scroll social media - you're always on there anyway so it's an easy shift. Check out your timeline and see what you see most. If the rhetoric is mostly negative or annoying from any of the accounts you see get rid of them. Preserve your sanity by blocking anything you don't want to penetrate your thoughts.

    3. De-clutter those closets - you have clothes you can't fit, shoes you don't want, and bags you don't need. Get rid of the things that are no longer your size or style and consider donating them to dress for success or a similar program.

    4. Clear your mental space - so much of what happens in life begins in the mind so we want to be sure our minds are at peace as much as possible. Take time and dedicate to a practice of yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or prayer for at least 10 mins in the morning and 10 minutes before bed. It will help you tremendously with getting better rest, better digestion, and overall improved mood.

    5. Check your fridge - what you've been eating is often responsible for what's also eating you. The winter can be hard and you may have been snacking on chips, dips, sugar, and processed foods. Now is the time to throw all of that out and fill up on fresh fruits and veggies for better health and wellness. Let's not forget summer is right around the corner!

    6. Make house a home - spruce up your place with some fresh smells and sights. Add some color with new accessories, buy a diffuser to fill your home with the smell and benefits of pure, essential oils. Put on a fresh coat of paint or re-vamp your favorite room altogether. 

    7. Let in the light - human beings need sunlight and you can be sure you aren't getting enough. So open those blinds, crack the windows, and let the sun fill you up with its warmth. It can make all the difference some days.

    Feel free to add to this checklist as you see fit. It's really all about opening new doors and allowing new blessings to sprout in your life. Cleaning is vital to making the space and creating room for those opportunities waiting for you. A little at a time will go a long way. Get started today! Love Fila
  • 14 May 2017 3:19 PM | Kim Sudderth (Administrator)

    By Brianna Wiest

    www.thoughtcatalog.com

    1. Being beautiful is most important. Unfortunately in our society there is a very heavy emphasis on physical appearance, however, it is not what you should be focusing on the most. If genuine, unconditional love, success, meaningful relationships and a purposeful life is what you’re after, realize that none of it will come from nice physical attributes.

    2. There is only one way to be beautiful. Just understand that everybody has different tastes and opinions as to what is beautiful, and it just so happens that the people who control mass media, advertising and fashion editorials have one opinion, and that is not to say that it is the only opinion nor is it the correct opinion.

    3. Marriage is happiness, singledom is not. It’s as though we have been conditioned to believe our lives will not be complete or happy if we don’t have a romantic relationship. Of course it’s wonderful when it works out, but there are plenty of other things that are wonderful as well. Being in a relationship and being married does NOT necessarily mean you are in love or that you are happy, just as being single does not mean you are miserable and unwanted.

    4. Skinny is healthy. People will often disguise a plight to influence weight loss behind “I just want you to be healthy and do what’s best for you.” Skinny does not always mean healthy. You can have a whole slew of health problems from being too thin as you can from being too heavy. What’s more is that stressing out over not being the right size is even more detrimental to your health than simply being a little out of shape is. Keep your health separate from the idea that it will necessarily translate thinness and focus on habits that will actually make you healthier, not skinnier.

    5. There isn’t anything to celebrate other than marriages, babies, Christenings, bridal showers, etc. and there is only one correct way to celebrate them. Theme: heterosexual marriage and reproduction. Even if you do choose to marry someone, you don’t have to necessarily have an over-the-top wedding, you don’t have to invite all of the people in your extended family who you barely know just because they are “related” and you do not have to feel bad about wanting a very small gathering to exchange vow to be loyal and loving with the people who really do matter in your lives. On the other hand, you do not have to apologize for spending an exorbitant amount of money on a huge celebration if that’s what you’d like. Bottom line: decide what works for you, do not apologize, and do not let other people make celebrations a stressful time for you because of the expectations you are not “living up to.”

    6. You are lesser if you do not choose to be with a man. I sometimes like to call my significant others my “partner” even if it is a man, because I like to confuse people with the gender binary. He is my partner, isn’t he? And I guess I’m on a one-woman crusade to normalize terminology that does not define your relationships by the genders involved. You have a husband if you are heterosexual, you have a partner if you are homosexual. While some women wouldn’t want to be called “husband,” (and that’s perfectly fine) there is, unfortunately, a sense of superiority in having the former as opposed to the latter. Don’t let these age-old prejudices get you down. Either which way you roll the dice, if you are loved and you are loving, you are doing just fine.

    7. You can’t handle a life on your own. Men are for fixing the pipes and paying the bills, right? Don’t let yourself be scared into a life you don’t want because you think you can’t function on your own. This is more than just in marriage, though. Some people don’t even want to be single and not in a relationship, they need to feel wanted and worthy because someone else wants them and sees them as worthy. Letting somebody else give you your sense of worth is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Trust me.

    8. You are wronging your children by raising them outside of a nuclear family structure. Some people believe this very adamantly, and I respect their beliefs: it’s the system that has been in place for all of time, and of course it’s scary to accept a different way of life. But you know what? I’m of the belief that what really matters is how much you love your family, no matter who they are or what genitalia they happen to have. Clearly, nuclear family structures are not foolproof or flawless, so don’t be so quick to judge two happy and madly-in-love women who want to raise children together.

    9. A career is something you pursue when you don’t have love. This actually can be the case for some people, but for others, remember that the concept of a “career” doesn’t necessarily mean a job that you hate that you’re just in for the money. If you really find your passion that fills you up like any other kind of love would, it’s more than just a job, and we call it a career, but really, it’s self-fulfilling and not reliant on anybody else. It’s something very much worth pursuing for those reasons alone.

    10. Your body is made for the eyes and satisfaction of others. This means you shouldn’t have hair in places other than where men can look but not have to touch (eyelashes, eyebrows, hair) but even that has to be groomed properly. You should not have natural bodily smells or fluctuating weight because that won’t please someone else. It’s really just plain silly when you think about it. The only purpose your body has is to provide you with a vessel through which you can experience your life. If someone else chooses to love it too, that’s fantastic. But never, ever should you make decisions about it because of someone else’s opinion.

    11. You are only a woman if you are biologically born that way. This is a more universal teaching, and it’s that sex and gender isn’t a choice, when really, it is. You can choose just how masculine or feminine you would like to be, and you can act on the ways you most identify with the ways in which men and women typically behave– or not! It is your life and your body, and there is no reason to label yourself in only one of two categories for other’s simple minds that can’t understand


    Listen in on a conversation with Tracy Brown from the Brownstone Radio Network and the founder of PIP Women Rock Kim M Sudderth, as they discuss the lies girls are told and take into their adult life. http://tobtr.com/s/10019243

  • 10 May 2017 11:00 AM | Kim Sudderth (Administrator)
      C.f.10 Tips for Improving Your Memory

    It's hard to recall every single little detail. Here are 10 tips to make remembering easier.

    By Kevin Dau Twitter @KevinJDaum

    Yesterday I was readying myself to sit down and write this column, and I completely forgot what subject I had planned. I laughed out loud when I found my notes and saw the title. Perhaps I couldn't remember because I have been extra busy this week, or maybe I am just getting old and my brain is full (I am close to 50). In either case, I was glad to do a little research about some surefire ways to strip cobwebs from the mind while tuning up the old memory muscle.

    Regardless of age, you are being inundated daily with thousands of facts and opinions from many sources. You get plenty to think about each week from my three columns alone, not to mention everything else you encounter. It's hard to retain the important stuff when so much is going on.

    No need to stress. Here are 10 great tips for making things stick in your brain.

    1. Establish Routine

    I rarely lose my keys or sunglasses because I put them in the same place every time. On the rare occasions I don't put them in their proper place, I can drive myself crazy trying to find them. The same applies to important information. If you establish specific e-mail and desktop folders for critical documents, you'll know right where to go first.

    2. Go Against Habit

    If you really want to remember something critical, intentionally break the routine surrounding it. Suppose you keep forgetting to back up your computer at night. And let's say you always keep your keys in your right-hand pocket. Put them in your left pocket in the morning so when you are ready to leave you have to break your pattern. The odd feeling acts like a string around your finger, making you aware that something needs to be done.

    3. Eat More Brain Food

    Lots of foods improve your memory because they are filled with special antioxidants and vitamins. Try adding more green tea, blueberries, salmon, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, dark chocolate and turmeric to your daily intake. Experts say a glass of red wine every so often can help as well. Of course, too much of that and you probably won't remember what happened the night before.

    4. Get More Sleep

    Your brain needs downtime to stay sharp. If you don't get enough sleep, you'll tax your memory and start forgetting things. Stay rested so you can keep your mind alert.

    5. Have a Mental Workout

    I am all for zoning out on mindless videos and light fiction, but actually challenging my brain makes me sharper and more effective at remembering. Mental challenges like studying complex concepts make simple tasks like remembering names at a party seem like a piece of cake.

    6. Create Stories in Your Mind

    Names and numbers by themselves can be easily forgotten if there is little or no context involved. As you are being introduced to new information, be aware of the surroundings and any possible details you can associate with the specific information. Recognize the order of events and then you can replay them in your mind to retrieve the answer.

    7. Write Things Down

    The keyboard on your smartphone or tablet can help you take notes and keep records. But it is not necessarily your best friend if you want to remember some of those important nuggets off the top of your head. The pen is mightier than the board when it comes to encoding the brain. The actual act of physically writing something down helps to register text in your mind where you can recover it later.

    8. Get Creative

    I constantly make up poems, songs and other mnemonics to lock important facts in my memory. They can be very powerful tools. I still use the 30 days has September poem from childhood to figure out the number of days in each month.

    9. Pay Attention

    Ultimately you want to shift important facts from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. Science dictates that this process takes about 8 seconds of focused attention on a specific item. So next time you need to encode something important, focus on it while counting to 8 alligators and lock it in.

    10. Exercise

    A healthy body provides for a healthy mind. Not only does exercise make the brain work better, getting the blood pumping actually makes it work harder. I recently came up with 18 column ideas on a 10K run and--with a little work--was able to remember all 18 by the end. Not bad for an old guy

    Repost from INC

    https://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/10-tips-for-improving-your-memory.html

  • 01 May 2017 4:26 PM | Kim Sudderth (Administrator)

    Five Things You Can Do To Honor Mom

    Moms17-Meme-5Things

    By The Potter's House of North Dallas

    www.tphnd.org/5-things-you-can-do-to-honor-mom/

    If you’re running short on time and creativity, here are five things you can do to show love to the mothers in your life.

    Give her a full day of rest

    Moms are very busy ladies. They take care of the kids and their husbands – some even care for aging parents. Many of them hold down jobs outside the home and also have volunteer and church obligations. A mom’s day is never fully done. Show her you care and honor her sacrifice by giving her a day of R & R. Whether it is a lavish spa day where she is pampered from head to toe, or as simple as taking the kids out of the home and letting her lounge in her pjs binge watching her favorite TV shows, she’s sure to appreciate time to herself to relax.

    Bring the family together

    Who does mom love to spend time with more than her family? This one is especially good for those empty nest moms who cherish every moment they can get with their kids and grandkids. Plan a day where the entire family comes together to spend quality time. It can be a picnic in the park, the kids making dinner, or a popcorn and movie night. The connectedness will make her nostalgic of times when the house was full and the warmth of love abounded.

    Plan a get-a-way

    Whisk her away! A change of scenery is always a refreshing reprieve from the mundane every day routine. Weekend trips are fun, quick ways to get away. Or plan a longer retreat to a place she’s always wanted to go. Either way, the thought is what counts. Make it all about her and make sure it is stress-free.



    If you’re running short on time and creativity, here are five things you can do to show love to the mothers in your life.

    Give her a full day of rest

    Moms are very busy ladies. They take care of the kids and their husbands – some even care for aging parents. Many of them hold down jobs outside the home and also have volunteer and church obligations. A mom’s day is never fully done. Show her you care and honor her sacrifice by giving her a day of R & R. Whether it is a lavish spa day where she is pampered from head to toe, or as simple as taking the kids out of the home and letting her lounge in her pjs binge watching her favorite TV shows, she’s sure to appreciate time to herself to relax.

    Bring the family together

    Who does mom love to spend time with more than her family? This one is especially good for those empty nest moms who cherish every moment they can get with their kids and grandkids. Plan a day where the entire family comes together to spend quality time. It can be a picnic in the park, the kids making dinner, or a popcorn and movie night. The connectedness will make her nostalgic of times when the house was full and the warmth of love abounded.

    Plan a get-a-way

    Whisk her away! A change of scenery is always a refreshing reprieve from the mundane every day routine. Weekend trips are fun, quick ways to get away. Or plan a longer retreat to a place she’s always wanted to go. Either way, the thought is what counts. Make it all about her and make sure it is stress-free.

    Honor God

    If she loves God (and we know she does), honoring Him with her will definitely warm her heart. Take time to pray or study the Bible with mom. If you don’t usually attend church with her, join her (without her dragging you). It will mean a lot to her for you to spend time doing something she loves.

    Spend the day with her

    Nothing beats quality time with the ones you love. Time is irreplaceable and priceless. Be fully present with her. Put your cell phone down and give mom your undivided attention. It can be as simple as being her chauffeur while she runs errands or going with her on her morning walk. Whatever she wants to do, it is her day. Honor her with the very best of you by giving her your time. After all, it is you who she cherishes.

    - See more at: http://www.tphnd.org/5-things-you-can-do-to-honor-mom/#sthash.MEu1NhEh.dpuf
  • 14 Nov 2016 2:29 PM | Kim Sudderth (Administrator)

    6 Best Ways To Support A Loved One    Who Has Cancer               

    By Karen Lynch  www.gaiam.com

    Just before my 36th birthday, my world was rocked: I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was successfully treated and expected to remain cancer free, but three years later, my cancer recurred.

    Then, just as I was getting a clean bill of health after another round of treatment, my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Now she needed me — and one good thing my cancer gave me was personal experience with how to be there for her.

    Three out of four families will see a family member diagnosed with cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Chances are there’ll come a day, if it isn’t already here, when you’ll wish you knew just what to do to support a loved one with cancer.

    We talked to doctors, social workers, patients, survivors and their loved ones to create this list of the most important, meaningful and supportive things you can do to be there for your friend or family member who’s been diagnosed with cancer.

    HELP YOUR LOVED ONE GET THE BEST TREATMENT

    “Make sure your loved one gets into good medical care, and not into some crackpot place,” says Dr. Barrie Cassileth, chief of the Integrative Cancer Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “There’s a whole world of quackery out there.”

    Helping the patient get a second opinion and researching treatment options are also part of getting your loved one the best medical care possible. Don’t rule out complementary therapies as adjuncts to your loved one’s care. Acupuncture, massage therapy, nutritional counseling, yoga, fitness programs, self-hypnosis, guided imagery and meditation help many patients cope with the symptoms of cancer, cancer treatment and its side effects. And many respected integrative cancer programs now offer complementary therapies either on-site or on an outpatient basis.

    But understand these therapies do not cure cancer. “It would be foolhardy for someone diagnosed with cancer to go exclusively to an alternative clinic,” says Cassileth. “You get one shot at treating cancer effectively. Don’t take chances with that.”

    BE TRULY PRESENT

    “The major difficulty we find with loved ones and friends and family is that they don’t know what to say to people,” says Cassileth. “The answer to that is you don’t have to worry about what to say; you just have to be there to listen and care.”

    “Don’t try too hard to do or say the ‘right’ things,” says Stacie Beam-Bruce, a social worker at the Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center. “And don’t feel like you have to fix everything for them.”

    Understand that as much as you would like to — you can’t. You can’t take away your loved one’s diagnosis and you can’t endure their treatment for them. But you can help facilitate their healing by offering them emotional, social and spiritual support.

    “It was so much better to talk to someone I could just be myself with and not feel like I had to be strong for them,” says breast cancer survivor Terry Kais, who was diagnosed in 2004 at age 39. “I just wanted to break down at any moment and didn’t want to feel bad about doing it.”

    “I had no problem crying with my friends and family and being pissed along with them that we had to be going through such a horrible situation,” she adds. “Friends and family can never make things okay, but they can help you get through the day by just being with you, letting you cry, and letting you know that you are not alone. I had a sister-in-law who used to call me and ask, ‘how are things going down there in Iraq?’ It used to crack me up, because it did feel like I was fighting in a war, and I felt like she sort of ‘got it’ just a little bit.”

    Sometimes all someone with cancer needs is to sit beside a loved one — someone to listen and talk to her if she can’t stand the quiet, hold her hand while she cries, or pray while she prays.

    Aimee Chen’s best friend Diane also ‘got it.’ “Diane was with me at every single doctor’s appointment,” recalls Chen, a breast cancer survivor. “Not just in the waiting room; she was right there in the office. She was my ears, because some days I did not want to hear things. She listened, asked questions and remembered all the things I wanted to ask the doctor. Some days we did not say much to one another on the drive to chemo; other days we laughed. She did not have to do anything special. She was just there by my side.”

    OFFER PRACTICAL (AND TIMELY) HELP

    It may help to focus on tangible, everyday things you can do to make things a little easier for your loved one — helping prepare meals, doing the housework, assisting with childcare and/or running errands. This is where the masses come in — everyone will offer help, so give them all something tangible they can do.

    If you head to the dry cleaner or grocery store regularly, include your loved one’s errands with your own. If you have children the same age, arrange for play dates and/or offer to pick up and drive their child around. Just think about the things that seem like a natural fit with your loved one’s needs, and offer that up.

    Play on your strengths, too. If you are a natural coordinator, take on the task of assigning meals to all who want to cook for your loved one. Or, if you are a fitness buff, schedule walking buddies for your loved one for each day of the week, or take on that task yourself.

    Don’t overlook any opportunity to offer support, however small the task may seem. “It shows that your friends really do care for you and want to be there for you,” says Cassileth.

    Another very thoughtful way to help your friend or family member during this time is to stay on top of what’s in their schedule from day to day.

    “I had a handful of friends who must have kept my chemo schedule in their calendars,” says Chris Maxwell, a finance director in Boulder, Colo., who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 34. “Without any reminders from my end, they either called or I had a card in my mailbox each time I got home from chemo — all 12 treatments. When you are in chemo you feel like the world is moving on without you. You get inundated with attention in the beginning, but it is really toward the end of treatment when you need the most support. It was such an amazing feeling to know that they were mindful of the fact that my fight waged on.”

    AND, YES … DO SHOWER YOUR LOVED ONE WITH CARDS AND GIFTS.

    “I used to love receiving the most thoughtful and loving cards,” says Kais. “Just knowing someone was thinking of me and praying for me used to give me so much inspiration. Kind, genuine words from someone’s heart meant the world to me — they didn’t have to be eloquent or upbeat or tell me that I would be ‘okay’; it was just so nice to know that someone cared about me and that I was on their mind. Again, it took away the isolation or loneliness that I would feel and helped me realize how much I was loved.”

    BE FLEXIBLE

    It may happen that what you think is best isn’t what the patient really wants or needs. “Ask what she needs and be respectful of her wishes. Let her decide what is best in that moment,” says Beam-Bruce.

    Of course, your loved one may not know what she needs, or her needs may change from day to day. So you may have to figure it out for yourself or pose deliberate questions: Do you want me to come visit you today? Sit with you one night a week? Walk with you after dinner? Take you to a yoga class? Take anonline yoga class with you?

    “When family members are able to talk to their loved one about how to help, it leaves more time, space and energy for their loved one with cancer to focus on her healing,” says Beam-Bruce.

    TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, TOO

    “For those in a supportive role, the most important thing is to be healthy, both physically and emotionally,” says Beam-Bruce. “The healthier you are, the better able you are to be fully present and helpful for your loved one, and the better you can help her go through her journey.”

    That means getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising and taking part in activities that you enjoy. Or personally take part in some of those therapeutic activities. The bonus? You can manage your own symptoms of depression and anxiety that often accompany a loved one’s diagnosis. Better yet? “Most of these activities can be done together — enhancing wellness on multiple levels,” says Beam-Bruce.

    MAKE THEM LAUGH

    Finally, it sounds cliché, but honestly, laughter really is the best medicine. After my own surgery, my sister had me laughing so hard that I literally thought I would split a stitch. I know I’d have peed my pants, had I not left the hospital with a catheter. It hurt so horribly every time she cracked a joke, but to this day I actually look back on those days with fondness — what positive, special memories I have of that post-op period, thanks to her.

    Survivor Sherry Smith agrees. “It was the laughter, the silliness, the keeping things light and ‘normal,’” she says. “It allowed me the freedom to just let loose and experience some of the joy that I thought I might never see again. When I would hear myself laughing from somewhere deep within my soul, there was a part of me that said, ‘You’re going to make it. You’re going to do this. You are so loved, and life is just so great even when it’s so horrid.’”


  • 07 Nov 2016 1:02 PM | Kim Sudderth (Administrator)

    Seven Simple Steps to Paying Down Your Debt

    by Tracy C.Brown www.startuhp.com

    When you combine the right mindset with a tactical game plan, not only can you pay off your debt faster, but you can actually enjoy the process as well. That may sound like a foreign concept, but by keeping a positive mindset and celebrating your successes, you’ll find it’s easier to pay down your debt and to reach your other financial goals as well. Don’t underestimate how powerful your mindset is or forget that you have the power to choose what you want it to be with your money. Once you’ve changed your beliefs, you can change your behavior. 

    Here are 7 simple steps:

    Acknowledge the Debt You Have

    A lot of Americans have debt but still may not be very clear on how much debt they really have or what type of debt it is. Look at your debt and get very clear on what you owe, what type of debt it is, and the annual interest rate and minimum monthly payments. You cannot afford to not know this information. 

    Accept the Debt You Have and Forgive Yourself

    Once you acknowledge your debts, a lot of emotions can arise: shame, guilt, regret, anger. All of these emotions are normal. You don’t need to give any unnecessary meaning to the debt you have. You are not a failure, and you are not a bad person because you have debt. Choose to look at the debt as neutral and a learning lesson in life. Forgive yourself for having debt and decide to move forward from here on out.  

    Focus on the Present

    Focusing on the present will release you from anxiety around your debt. Remember that you are not your debt. Have the intention to stay present with your debt and do your best paying off your debts in the most efficient way. By staying in the present with your debt, you can check in with your emotions and make sure you are bringing positive energy into the debt reduction plan.  When you notice fear or anxiety come up, simply acknowledge those emotions, feel them and let them pass through you. 

    Create a Game Plan

    Once you have your list of debts, determine if you will follow the Avalanche Method or Snowball Method for your debt reduction game plan. With the Snowball Method, you start by paying the minimum on all debts and allocate additional debt payments toward the debt with the lowest balance. This method allows for immediate gratification, motivating you to keep working on paying off your debts. But because the debt with the lowest balance may not necessarily be the one with the lowest interest rate, you might not be saving as much interest over time using this method. However, since a lot of financial success comes from your behaviors, this method allows for some quick wins—which may help you stay motivated over the long haul.

    The Avalanche Method suggests that you allocate any additional debt payments toward the debt with the highest interest rate while simultaneously paying the minimums on the rest of your debts. You continue this method—adding the entire additional payments to the debt with the highest interest rate debt—until the debt is completely paid off. Then you move to the next highest interest rate debt and allocate any additional debt payments toward it while still paying the minimums on the rest of your debts. Mathematically speaking, this strategy will save you the most money over time, since you’ll be paying the higher-interest debts before lower-interest ones.

    Make Additional Payments

    Look at your income and expenses every month and decide how much money you can realistically add toward making additional debt payments given your other savings goals. If you find that you are falling short or living paycheck to paycheck, then you will need to either cut back expenses or make more money so that you can begin to add extra toward your debt payments. There are lots of ways to increase your income (i.e. you can ask for a raise or do work on the side), so stay creative and find what works for you.

    Remember it’s Temporary

    Nothing in life is permanent. Remember that the debt you have is temporary and can be eliminated with the right mindset and game plan. 

    Celebrate Mini Milestones

    As you work toward paying off your debts, remember to celebrate the mini milestones along the way. You can celebrate every time you reach a new benchmark (i.e. you pay off another $1,000 increment). Find ways to acknowledge your hard work. It’s important to stay motivated along the way. 

    Celebrate Mini Milestones

     As you work toward paying off your debts, remember to celebrate the mini milestones along the way. You can celebrate every time you reach a new benchmark (i.e. you pay off another $1,000 increment). Find ways to acknowledge your hard work. It’s important to stay motivated along the way.

  • 30 Sep 2016 1:44 PM | Kim Sudderth (Administrator)


    16 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health Today 

    By: Michelle Schoffro Cook (A Repost http://www.care2.com

    Forget the excuses.  Just for today, focus on the many ways you can improve your health.  This list is by no means complete but a starting point to get you making your physical, emotional, and spiritual health a priority in your busy life.  And, once you do these health upgrades today, do them again tomorrow.  Before you know it you’ll be living a healthy lifestyle…with virtually no effort.

    1. Drink more water. Your body is 90 percent water and needs water for almost every function.  Many of the aches and pains, headaches, and other symptoms we experience would lessen if we just drank more water.

    2. Go for a brisk walk. Your body was made to move. Your heart is a muscle that needs movement to function optimally. We know this but we often need a reminder to just do it.

    3. Better yet, take your brisk walk in nature. Trees and other plants are regularly turning our carbon dioxide into rich oxygen we can breathe. Getting rich, oxygenated air help kill bacteria and viruses, improves breathing, and may even help prevent cancer.

    4. Hug someone you love. When you hug someone you love (someone who actually wants to be hugged), your body releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin that ward off depression.

    5. Eat 2 or 3 pieces or servings of fruit (count ½ cup of fruit like grapes, blueberries, cherries, etc. as a serving). Brilliantly-colored fruit is packed with disease-fighting phytonutrients like proanthocyanins that protect against brain diseases and quercetin which helps alleviate allergies and breathing problems.


    6. Eat a large salad. I’m frequently told by someone who is making excuses for his/her bad diet that eating healthy is expensive. Nonsense. Some of the best superfoods are cheap and readily available in the form of salad greens. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll (gives plants their green color and boosts our blood health), enzymes (that improve digestion and increase energy), and many phytonutrients.

    7. Meditate. Just taking some time out to clear your thoughts and unplugging from technology and people can help you feel more balanced and peaceful.

    8. Deep breathe for at least 5 minutes, as often as you can. Research shows that deep breathing, even for minutes, can reduce stress hormone levels. That translates into less anxiety, better sleep, and less likelihood to pack on the pounds.

    9. Snack between meals on healthy snacks like almonds, veggie crudite, hummus and whole grain pitas. Not only will you stabilize your moods, you’ll balance your weight thanks to regulated blood sugar levels.

    10. Drink a freshly made juice—preferably with green veggies. Green juices are Mother Nature’s healing nectar. They are powerhouses of nutrients that help your body heal and energize you all at once.

    11. Stop and smell the flowers, literally. Not only will slowing down make you feel great, you will be exposed to natural aromatherapy with relaxing, energizing, or therapeutic effects. The fact that you can smell the flowers means molecules of their essential oils are coming into contact with your sensory systems—one of the fastest ways to balance hormones.

    12. Write down at least 10 things for which you are grateful.  Increasing amounts of research show that gratitude builds better health and happiness.

    13. Soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts. The magnesium in Epsom salts absorbs through your skin and helps relax your muscles and reduce pain levels while contributing to your heart health

    14. Do something nice for someone. Years ago my husband and I were out in a restaurant in Pemberton, BC, Canada. When we asked for the bill we learned that it had been paid by a gentleman with whom we’d had a lovely conversation shortly after arriving. It not only made our day, we still think back with fondness about this kind man and how it gave us more faith in the goodness of people. You don’t even have to know the person for whom you do something nice.

    15. Dry skin brush. Dry skin brushing in small circles with a natural bristled brush, working from your extremities toward your heart boosts your blood circulation and the movement of lymph through your body to help eliminate toxic waste buildup in your tissues while boosting your energy.

    16.. Eliminate at least one item from your life that contains toxic chemicals (all commercially-available dryer sheets, almost every type of commercial laundry soap sold in grocery stores, dish soap, “air fresheners,” etc.) For essential items, choose a natural option instead

    A Repost from http://www.care2.com

  • 20 Aug 2016 9:33 AM | Kim Sudderth (Administrator)

    The company you keep can be a threat to your future.

    by Kim Sudderth

    -You are as good as the company you keep.-John Erickson White -

    When is the last time you took a count of your relationships?  Fear’s goal is to steal your success, kill your dream, and destroy your purpose. Someone else’s fear of your success will make them speak negatively over your life to change your course (and they don’t even realize it). When I say it’s up to you to protect your success and your future from people’s words and their fears, I tell you the truth.


    Taking a count of the relationships in your life should be something you do on a regular bases in order to preserve your future. People will always say they are in your corner and wish you the best with their lips, however when you need them they are not around to assist. It is very important that we know who is in our corner.


    Relationships are like trees. A tree has leafs, branches, and the bulk which is attached to the roots. You have people that come into your life for a season (a short time) to teach you a lesson(s), however they don’t stay long. They are like the leafs of the tree.  Then you have people who come into your life that stay a longer time, however they are not there for the long haul. They are like the branches of a tree, which breaks off with one good blow from the wind. Then you have the bulk and roots of a tree, which equals to family members, and your best friends. The ones who weather out the storms with you. They are the ones you don’t have to ask or tell them what to do because they are already doing it. They are by your side during the shining of the sun and wetness of the rain. They are truly the bulk and roots of your life.


    As you are taking account of your relationships remember “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. “(Proverb 27:17) Your relationships should add value to your life not take away from it.


    If you find that some relationships are taking value away from your life, then please do yourself a favor and remove them from your life. I know it sounds easier than it is, especially when the person who is not adding value to your life are your parents or your spouse. In these special cases my advice is to first forgive them for their negative words and actions against you. Stay positive around them, for you will be the example of what success is right before their eyes going forward. It’s can be difficult, however your success and future is worth it. To offset these relationships you want to have more positive relationships surrounding.


    Are your present relationships adding or taking away value from your life?
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