Inspirational, Uncategorized

Thank God it Was Just a Dream

Not too long ago I had a dream that really changed my life. It was a scary dream, but the message was so profound. In the dream, my daughter and I were home alone. I was in my bedroom and she was in the living room. I heard voices coming from outside of my window. Male voices that didn’t belong to my son or my husband.

I peeped out and saw three men, one middle-aged and the other two maybe teenagers or early 20s. Apparently, I wasn’t doing a very good job peeping because the middle-aged man saw me. I ran from the window and rushed to every window and door in the house to make sure they were locked. They were. We were safe. Or so I thought.

I eased to the window again, pulled the curtain back, and looked out. The men were still standing there talking. At that point, it didn’t matter because we were locked inside. We were safe. I soon found out that wasn’t true.

When I turned around, there stood the middle-aged man. In my bedroom. Standing next a few feet away.

I started crying. Something about his presence made it obvious that he wasn’t there to chat. “Am I going to die?” I whispered between sobs.

He nodded casually like I’d asked if he’d like something to drink.

At that moment, I could only think of one thing. If he kills me, I’ll never get to hug my daughter again.

“Can I please hug my daughter first?” I pleaded.

I’d like to think that he granted my request, but I wouldn’t know because I woke up before anything could happen. Everything about that dream felt real. The thing that stood out to me was my request. At that moment, when I knew without a doubt I was about to leave, all I wanted was to hold my daughter one last time.

I didn’t think about the books that were unfinished.

I didn’t think about the trips I never took.

I didn’t think about the parties I never threw or the social events I never attended.

All I thought about was my daughter, the one person in my family I had access to at that moment.

I spend so much time in front of my computer either writing or teaching. Even when my work day is over, my laptop and I move from my workstation to the recliner to join my family in the living room. My body is there, but my attention isn’t. It’s split between my computer and my phone.

That dream caused me to reflect on how much time I devote to things that won’t matter at the end of my life. Now, I’m practicing the art of being in the moment. When we’re watching a movie as a family, I’m watching. I’m engaged. Not on my phone. Not checking emails, but giving myself fully and completely to the people who matter the most. Am I always successful? Nope! Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m not supposed to be writing or reading emails or looking at Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram. I’m a work in progress, but aren’t we all?

I hope this message resonates with someone. I hope it makes you stop and perform your own time audit. Where are you spending most of your time? What’s getting the attention your family deserves? Who or what is getting the best part or you, not the leftover, tired, and drained part that’s still available at the end of the day.

Time management is impossible. You can’t manage what you can’t control. Instead, we should practice “self-management.” Learn how to live in the moment again. Spend more time in your own life instead of everyone else’s.

Maybe you’ve already come to that realization and made the needed change. If so, tell us about it. What made you decide to spend more time with family than social media or work? Was it challenging?


My New Life: Chapter 1

God has blessed me to work at some of the best schools in East Baton Rouge Parish. I’ve met wonderful people, taught awesome children, and bonded with life-long friends. I loved every minute (well almost every minute) of my time there, but my time has come to an end. On June 11th I went to Westminster Elementary and cleaned out my office. I left there and drove to the school board office where I submitted my official resignation. 

I won’t lie and tell you I came to this decision with ease. I was so torn. There was so much to consider, money being the main thing. I felt an uneasiness in my spirit until my husband, my rock, asked me what I wanted to do. I told him, without a doubt, I want to write and coach writers. He then looked at me and gave me very simple instructions. He told me, “leave and don’t look back.” Apparently, those were the words I needed. I needed to know that he and I were on the same page. I moved forward and continued moving.

Some of you may know that this isn’t my first time leaving the system. I resigned in 2010, thinking it was my time to be a full-time writer. A few weeks after resigning I found I was pregnant with Kourtney. When I made my way back to the school system I used to say that I jumped too soon, but after Kourtney passed away, I realized it wasn’t that I jumped too soon, I’d just jump for a different reason than I thought. You see God knew I’d only have a short time with Kourtney and he also knew if I was still working she’d be going to daycare at 6-weeks just like AJ and Kirsten did. Leaving when I did gave me 7 months to bond and love on my baby girl. 

This time though there’s no baby (please Lord Jesus keep it that way because although I’m still youthful, my husband isn’t LOL!). This time I’m surer than ever I jumped to take full advantage of my purpose. I jumped because I’m a writer. I’m a creator of wonderful stories. In addition to that, I’m an educator. I help people write the stories that have been buried inside of them for far too long. It wasn’t until I left my job that I really realized the magnitude of what I do for those people and what they do for me in return. I’m way more than a writing coach, I make dreams come true. I motivate. I inspire. I help people bring purpose to their pain by sharing their stories and touching the lives of others. 

When I asked God to use me, I didn’t realize how hard that road would be. I didn’t realize I’d lose my mother at 13-years-old. I didn’t realize I’d sit on the front row grieving the loss of two children. I didn’t realize I’d have to say goodbye to my dad so soon. I didn’t know what God would use to prepare me for the life he has for me, but I can tell you this, even during all of that I never stopped trusting Him. I can’t say I was always happy with Him, but I trusted Him, just as I do right now.

I really didn’t mean to write all of this but sometimes my words have a way of taking over :). I wrote this to share my big news AND to warn you that you may eventually get tired of seeing me posting about my writing program and workshops on social media, but hey… a sistah gotta eat and pay bills LOL! So please bear with me as I continue to build and grow my coaching business and as I continue writing and filming my new series. 

I can tell you that ever since I made my decision to leave. To step out on faith and fully trust that God is carrying me in the direction that He wants me to go, things have been changing. Opportunities have been presenting themselves like never before. Ideas are flowing freely. I’m able to stand before more people and speak and this time I’m not just talking about the faith that I heard about, I’m talking about the faith that I’m living, right now today. 

So, I thank you for your support. I thank you for your prayers and I’m excited for you to see where this journey is about to take me and the people God is sending for me to help, and to help me :). Stay tuned… the best is truly yet to come.


Update: Secrets From the Bayou

Heyyyyy Y’all!!!!! (don’t you just love that country twang 🙂 I know it’s been a minute, but believe me I think of you all every Tuesday. We’re bonded by the Bayou for life :)! My son told me I need to post something or you all may forget that I’m writing. You haven’t forgotten that I’m working on something big have you? I sure hope not, but being the great listener that I am, I decided to take heed to my child’s advice (he’s wise beyond his years) and tell you all what’s going on so far.

Well, we’ve finish casting all our roles for the Secrets From the Bayou web series, well not quite all but all the ones I need so far. I’m finding the plot continues to thicken the more I write, which means more roles to cast…but not right now. Anyway, back to my point, the actors/actresses are better than anything I could’ve expected or asked for. These people are talented beyond belief and I’m not just saying that, it’s the truth. Many of them aren’t new to film. They’ve been a part of some major drama series, and to know that they see something in my work that makes them want to be a part of it too, is simply amazing.

I have to say, when I dove into this journey I had no idea the amount of work (and I mean WORK) that goes on behind the scenes before production even begins. It’s a lot, but I’m enjoying every minute of this learning process. It’s hard to describe how it feels seeing your words and the images in your head, being displayed for all to see. Every day that I work on this series feels like a dream. I’ve prepared for this moment without really knowing. I’ve taken script writing workshops and studied scripts as I’ve watched the shows, but I did all of that to improve my writing as an author. Sure, I knew one day I wanted my books to be turned into movies (who wouldn’t?), but I figured someone else would be doing it. I thought my job was done after I wrote the books. I had no idea that was just a small piece of the puzzle God had planned for my life.

I know this is from Him because all the help had to come from him. The doors that were opened had to be opened by him. People are willing, able, and oh so ready to do whatever it takes to help me get this show rolling and I know, without shadow of a doubt, that’s from HIM!

I could literally go on and on about this project and how much I’m loving it, but because you all have a life outside of reading this blog, I’ll go ahead and bring it to an end. Did I mention how much I miss you all? I really do. You made me laugh each week with your comments about the story lines and the characters. All I can say is if you like the blog, you’re going to LOVE the web series. Seriously! I’m not just saying that because I wrote it. It’s reallyyyyy good :).

Okay, I promised to end so here goes. (Read this part really fast so I can be true to my word…ending now 🙂 Thank you all for all your continued support! Don’t forget I do have a new book out, Double Down and Dirty by L.A. Lewis. Check it out if you hadn’t had a chance to read it. It’s available anywhere books are sold online.

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Nothing Will Change in 2017!


If you’re like me, you probably still have the same list of things you’re hoping will change in 2017. You still want to lose 20 lbs., the same 20 lbs. you’ve been saying you’re going to lose probably for the last 20 years. You still want to write that book before someone steals your idea. You still want to start that business that God’s placed on your heart to start. Well, I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but nothing’s going to change in 2017 unless YOU change. Change doesn’t magically occur because the clock strikes 12 and the calendar starts over. Change is a mind thing, not a beginning of the year thing.

The reason we find ourselves making these same promises of change over and over is because mentally we aren’t ready to change. It sounds good. We know it’ll feel good, but the mind hasn’t accepted that new resolution yet. Change is something that takes time. It’s a day by day process. It takes determination and consistency to change something you’ve been doing, or not doing, for years. When it comes to change, it’s important to:

1. Change one thing at a time. Don’t take on too much or you’ll find yourself overwhelmed and eventually giving up altogether, well until Dec. 31 and then you’ll make the decision to try once again.

2.Celebrate the small victories. If you go to the gym and only walk for 10 minutes, that’s worth celebrating.

3.Set small goals. If you want to lose 20 lbs., don’t think about the whole 20. Set a weekly goal between 1-2 lbs. Doesn’t losing 1 lb. sound more doable than 20? Sure does to me.


4.Get an accountability partner. You may be amazed how many people are seeking to make the same changes as you. I was on the phone with one of my writer sisters and she was naming everything she wanted to change this upcoming year and her list was identical to mine.

5.Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you know your lifestyle won’t allow you to write 1,000 words a day, then don’t set that as your goal. Be realistic.

6.Track your progress. Keep a daily log or checklist of everything you’ve accomplished or didn’t accomplish that day. Seeing those checks or happy faces, whatever you use, does something for you. Hey, who says stickers are just for children? We like them too 🙂


7.Make it fun! Maybe going to the gym isn’t the right workout plan for you. What about dancing? Sports? No one says that the gym is the only place to lose weight. Try new healthy recipes. If you love cooking, then this should be fun for you. Don’t look at it as a chore, but as  fun life-change.

8.LIVE! Don’t forget to live and enjoy life. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you mess up, that’s fine just start over tomorrow. Look at tomorrow as your New Year. A fresh start. A do over.


HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! It’s my prayer that you and I will have different goals for 2018 because we will rock these 2017 goals :)!


Advice to My Younger Self!


If I could write to my younger self, there’s a lot of advice I’d give, but for the sake of this blog and your time, I’ll keep it short… well kinda short :).

Advice #1: Listen to your parents. They really do know what they’re talking about. Money really doesn’t grow on trees. Checks and credit cards aren’t free money, and that amount you saw on your mom’s check stub really isn’t as much as you were thinking.

Advice #2: Enjoy childhood for as long as possible. It’s not that bad things aren’t happening around you, but it’s considered “grown folks business,” and your parent’s never discussed it in your presence. You have no idea how beneficial that is, but believe me, you should appreciate the “leave the room when I’m speaking with an adult” rule.

Advice #3: Making your own decisions and taking care of yourself isn’t as fun as you perceive it to be. I know you think your parents are old-fashioned and treat you like a baby, which by the way you really are, but trust me you’ll want to stay there and be their baby for as long as you can.

Advice #4: Stop waiting to the last minute to work on school projects or to start studying for a test. You can do a lot better if you apply yourself more. Those bad habits will follow you into adulthood, and you’ll spend most of your life trying to change. Do it now!

Advice #5: Stop pouting when your mom says you have to go to your grandmother’s house. One day you’ll wish you could go there again.


Advice #6: When your mom comes in your room to watch The Young and The Restless tonight, cherish that time. Stare at her a little longer. Hold her a little tighter. Inhale her scent a little deeper.

Advice #7: Trust that there’s someone out there for you. There are going to be days when you’re much older, that you’ll start to question that. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. You’re #1 and if the guy clearly shows you that you’re not, run away and don’t look back. The one God has for you makes you feel special from the start. He’ll never give you a reason to question your role in his life. He’s the one!


Advice #8: I know your brother works on your nerves and you think he’s the meanest person ever, but one day you’ll see him differently. He’ll become someone you not only love, but really like. You’re going to admire him more than anyone in the world. And the best part is, your parents would be proud of him too. I know that’s hard to believe being that he’s probably tormenting you as you read this, but just take my word for it 🙂


Advice #9: Be comfortable being you. There’s going to be this thing called social media. Everyone’s life is going to look amazing on there. Just like yours, their life isn’t perfect either. Appreciate the life God’s given you, pain and all.

Advice #10: The most important advice I can share, so please listen carefully and write this down so you don’t forget. On July 2, 2015, when your dad calls….ANSWER THE PHONE! Trust me on this one.

P.S!!! One day you’re going to have a daughter who acts just like you, but don’t ever admit that to your husband. It’s your job to make him think she gets it from his side of the family LOL!


P.S.S. I know you’re not the kissy-kissy type, but get ready because you’ll have a son who’s going to shower you with kisses each and every day. Even when he’s upset with you, he’s going to kiss you because according to him, your kisses make everything better 🙂


What advice would you give your younger self?










2016! Need I Say More?

2016 has literally left my mouth opened. I don’t even know what to say other than #Really2016. Below are my Five Most Shocking Moments of 2016!

#5. No more G.O.A.T! The death of Muhammad Ali was a shocker. We all knew he’d been sick for quite some time, but still, we didn’t see death. At least I didn’t.

#4. The Purple Prince! Prince’s death felt like a really bad joke. It took some time to realize it was real. He was actually gone. That’s the same feeling I felt at the loss of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Some people you just don’t think will ever die, not for a very long time anyway.

#3. The Washington Parish flood. That one was very hurtful because my dad and stepmom’s house was destroyed. Losing my dad was bad enough, but then we had the task of throwing away all of his belongings. That wasn’t a good feeling at all.


#2. The Great Flood of 2016. That one still has me feeling a certain kind of way. Though my house wasn’t affected, it’s hard to see so many neighbors, friends, and family going through. The weight of  knowing so many people are still out of their homes, four months later, is very heavy.

#1. The Presidential Election. That’s all the time I’ll spend on that one because of health reasons 🙂




Though there were some really bad events in 2016,  I must say there were also some really good things. Here are the Three Best Moments of 2016!


#3. The Cubs won the World Series after 71 years. That was awesome! I can only imagine how great that felt for the players and their fans. It showed what can happen if you just keep pushing. Hopefully our breakthrough won’t take 71 years, but hey push anyway 🙂


#2. I published my 3rd novel. I’d worked on this book for so long and finally it’s complete and on sale. ( wink! wink!


#1. VEGAS BABY! I finally did something for me on my special day. My husband, cousin-sister Sheneda, and her husband Anthony, and I all flew to Vegas to celebrate my 39th birthday. I always said I wanted to do a couples trip, but never did it. Now I’m ready for the next one 🙂


What did I miss? There were so many I couldn’t keep up. What were your most shocking 2016 moments? Post on FB or Twitter with the hashtag #Really2016. Don’t forget to tag me.


Back Down Memory Lane


With Christmas right around the corner, I can’t help but remember the Christmas of yesteryears. Christmas was, is, and prayerfully always will be my favorite holiday. I love the sights, sounds, and feel of it. It’s amazing how certain events can stick with you, and almost make you feel like you just experienced it a day or so before. Well, for me it’s Christmas as a youngster.

I remember the days leading up to Christmas I’d go shopping with my mom. Back then Columbia Street in Bogalusa was a big deal, and Fred’s was the major store. I used to love driving down Columbia Street with all the Christmas decorations and lights. Seeing it in my head now kinda feels like I’m watching an old movie. You couldn’t shop on Columbia Street and not get in the Christmas spirit.


  This isn’t Columbia Street but a close reminder from back then 🙂

The night before Christmas, if the temperature had dropped, my whole family (mom, dad, brother, and me) would all sleep in the den. It was warm in there, and my parents didn’t have to worry about trying to heat the whole house. That was so much fun. Knowing everyone I loved was right in one room all warm and toasty was the best feeling ever.

I can remember waking up on Christmas morning and running to the formal living room which is where the Christmas tree was kept. My brother and I would tear into those presents. I knew to expect the latest baby doll and a surprise gift. One year I got a radio and a Whitney Houston cassette. I loved that radio and played it all the time. I’m sure I worked on everybody’s nerves having to hear Whitney Houston playing over and over again LOL!


After we’d open gifts at home, we would put on our new Christmas clothes, pack up the car with more gifts for other family members, and prepare to take off for our thirty-second drive across the street to my grandparent’s house (seriously we did)

That’s when the fun really started. All my aunts, uncles, and cousins would come home for the holidays. My cousins and I played with our new toys. We ate the food my grandmother, mom, and aunts stayed up most of the night preparing. My grandparent’s house was filled with noise and laughter from the youngest to the oldest. I guess that’s why I can’t imagine a quiet Christmas. It wouldn’t feel like Christmas if I didn’t hear talking, laughing, and pots rattling from people going back for seconds or thirds.


Cousins Sheneda and Sobrena Christmas 09′ at our grandparent’s house.

I can’t remember if presents came after or before dinner, but I do know that one thing never changed. My cousins and I all knew we were getting $5 from my grandmother. We did wonder if she’d eventually…maybe move up to $10 when we got older, but nope she stuck with her $5. Hey, it was $5 more than we had LOL!

Christmas is quite different for me now. Instead of trying to force myself to sleep and waking up extremely early, now I go straight to sleep and pray the children will at least sleep past six o’clock. These days, my joy and excitement come from watching my children opening their gifts. 


I can say that even though many things have changed, some things remained the same. I don’t wake up early (voluntarily), I don’t get to eat my grandma’s cooking, receive her annual $5, or spend a cozy night with my parents, but every year God has blessed me to still hear and participate in the talking, laughing, and rattling of pots that let’s you know that it is indeed a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!



Writing Saved My Life


It may sound a bit drastic to say that something as simple as writing saved my life, but I do feel that way. I know, of course, that God has always been by me during my toughest trials, but I also know that He’ll give us avenues to use when life’s battles seem to be a tad too much. 


I started writing after my mom died in 1990. That was the first major death I’d experienced, and boy was it, MAJOR! Losing a mother, the person who knows how to make everything better, is devastating, especially for a thirteen-year-old girl who’s just discovering things about life and her body. Not a good feeling. 

A year after my mom died, I wrote a story called “The Day I’ll Never Forget.” It was all about June 9, 1990, the day she died. I mentioned in an earlier blog that it was that award-winning story that caused my teachers to encourage me to keep writing. I didn’t listen. I only wrote when I had to for school, rarely for pleasure. However, writing that story was therapy for me, but as a fourteen-year-old, it’s hard to explain how writing made you feel better.


The next big loss came when my daughter passed on October 9, 2012 (Something about those 9’s I tell ya). I wrote every day for a year straight. I wasn’t working on a novel; I was working on me. Each day I’d write in my journal. It felt safe to share my true feelings in my journal. There I could write without the sad eyes, or the sympathetic tone that would’ve come had I told anyone else. I was free to say what I wanted, cried if I needed, and moved on. That’s just how I am. I don’t handle sympathy too well, never really learned how to do that. 


Then, in 2015 I was hit yet again. Really God? That’s how I felt/feel most of the time because this time God took the first man I ever loved. Losing my daddy was like losing all the air in my body. I never really expected him to die. I know that sounds crazy, but my daddy, in my eyes, was next in line after Jesus. He wouldn’t die and leave me here. Okay, maybe that’s a bad example because Jesus died too, but you get the point :).

You have to understand; he was more than my dad; he was truly my best friend, my counselor, my doctor, my lawyer, my minister, my whatever I needed him to be when I needed him to be it. As you’ve probably gathered, I’d call him for any and everything. He had a way of making everything right. Even if it wasn’t if my daddy said it was alright, then my spirit felt that it was alright. Now don’t get me wrong, our relationship wasn’t always grits and butter :). We shared a birthday, and we were both Taurus’, so we knocked heads a lot. A little-known fact about me, I’m never wrong, and neither was he. You can imagine what those conversations sounded like LOL!

After my dad passed, I finally finished the novel I’d been working on for so long. I threw myself into my writing. It was my escape from the reality I no longer enjoyed. I’m blessed with a wonderful family and fabulous friends, but none of them are my daddy, and even through my many blessings, there’s still a lot of pain. 

I say that writing saved my life because it was my outlet. Storing emotions can be very damaging both mentally and physically. Everyone feels like they’re okay and managing it well until that day comes and you snap, or you crack, and then you realize you weren’t doing so well after all. I urge you if you’re hurting, grieving, suffering at all, please find a healthy outlet. Don’t hold it in because eventually it will come out and you, your family, friends, or coworkers may not like the manner in which it arrives.


Just Keep Moving!


Sometimes things will happen in life to let you know you’re on the right path. This radio interview was definitely one of my clues. So, allow me to go to the beginning and tell you how all of this came about.

My friend and neighbor, Deshonda was telling me about Wes Hall, who’s an educational consultant, motivational speaker, and author. She filled me in on his workshop, then she told me about his book, “You Are the Money.” That alone piqued my interest enough to run to Amazon for a quick download. It took me about a week to read it because I was busy taking notes on every single chapter. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The message alone was life-changing. Think about that for a moment, “You Are The Money.” Really let that sink in.

Done? Powerful huh? One of the main points I got from the book is investing in your moneymaker which is you. Tiger Woods is the product that generates his millions. Oprah Winfrey is the product that generates her billions. You get it? They invested in themselves (time, finance, sacrifice, and education (which can be formal and/or informal). Stop waiting on outside sources to generate your income. Learn all you can, grow as much as you can, so that people are willing and ready to pay top dollars for what you have to offer.

So enough about that, but you can download the book if you’re interested in reading it You Are The Money Now, back to my story. I enjoyed the book so much that I talked about it on Twitter. Wes read what I’d written, no surprise there since I tagged him LOL! Anyway, he sent me this message.


It didn’t take long for me to accept that offer. Of course I wanted to be on his show! His book was awesome and he’s doing exactly what I hope to be doing one day, traveling around the world speaking and selling books. (Side note: When you have a clear goal in mind the smartest thing to do is learn from those who are already doing it.)

Well, I emailed Wes and waited for his response, which never came. However, as God would have it (I don’t believe in luck), Wes came back to Louisiana to do another workshop in Deshonda’s school district. I learned from Wes that as soon as he walked in the room, Deshonda told him that he knows her friend. When she told him it was me he was floored. How is it possible that Wes, who lives in California, from his knowledge has no family or friends in Louisiana, could possibly know Deshonda’s friend? (6 degrees of separation!)

Deshonda and Wes called me, and we I finally got a chance to talk. Wes scheduled our radio interview for that upcoming Thursday and can you say EXCITED! I was going to chat with Wes Hall, whose mentor is the one and only Les Brown. I love me some Les Brown by the way. Les’ book “Live Your Dream” was the first book my dad gave me when I left for college. I still have that book and refer to it often.

So, back to the show. The day of the interview I was so nervous. I’ve done countless radio interviews, but for some reason this one felt different. I can’t explain it, but something inside of me told me this was going to be the beginning of something BIG, and I still believe that. It’s been my experience that every opportunity God sends always leads to something even better than I imagined. This one will too. Just wait and see 

Well, now that you’re all caught up and understand how this interview came to be, below is the recording. I come in around the 21 minute mark. Enjoy and tell me what you think.


Radio Interview with Wes Hall


4 Ways to Keep the Holidays Happy


“Hey there, what are you up to?”

I can hear his voice just as clear as my own.

“Nothing much, just prepping my ingredients to get ready to cook.” Would be my response. He’d call around the same time every year for one request and one request only.

“You’re making a pound cake?” He’d ask already knowing the answer.

“Of course I am.” I’d smile at the knowledge of how much he enjoyed him some pound cake.

Cooking for my daddy was one of the greatest joys of the holidays. Seeing him sitting at our table enjoying the food I’d prepared and served to him. That was the highlight of my Thanksgiving, but last year that call didn’t come. It didn’t come this year either, and it’ll never come again, not from him.

Now understand this isn’t my first rodeo with this feeling. I had it in 1990 when my mother passed, then again in 2012 with the loss of my daughter. It’s not like the rest of the year is a breeze when dealing with grief, but the holidays seem to add an extra dose of sadness… if you allow it.

The lessons I’m sharing aren’t  from reading articles or performing interviews. These lessons come from real life experience. How I learned to keep the happy in the holidays.

Lesson 1: Recognize it for what it is.

If you’re sad, irritable, frustrated, and just not in the mood to deal with people, especially around this time, it could be that you’re grieving and don’t realize it. The funny thing about grief is it has a way of sneaking up on you and making you feel like you’re crazy. Your emotions are all over the place. Take some time for you. Listen to your feelings and don’t dismiss it as nothing. Allow yourself the time to grieve. Pushing it down won’t help. Cry if you need to cry. Scream if you need to scream. Slap someone if you….okay maybe that’s going too far :), but you get the point. Don’t brush it off.

Lesson 2: Talk about it.

These last few days I found myself feeling “blah.” I didn’t know why, all I knew was everyone was working my last nerve, though they probably didn’t see the eye rolls or hear the deep breaths… hopefully :). It wasn’t until I talked to my friend that I realized I was most likely feeling this way because the holidays are here and I’m missing my dad. After I talked with her, I felt so much better. My daughter even said you seem different. You’re acting goofier than usual LOL! Which takes me to my 3rd point.

Lesson 3: Try to be happy

During this time you have to try harder than normal to be happy. After you’ve cried or screamed, and talked to someone, then you put in the extra effort to be happy. Yesterday I joked around with the children and their laughter caused me to laugh. There’s something magical about laughter; you should try it. Find a funny movie or some funny Youtube videos. Before you know it you’ll start to feel lighter. It’s as if the laughter pushes the burden of grief right out of you. I’m serious it works, try it and see.

Lesson 4: Surround yourself with people

People feel like they’re down and they don’t want to bring others down, so they decide to stay home alone. BIG MISTAKE! Instead of going thinking you’ll bring others down, go with the attitude that they’re going to pull you up. Open yourself to receiving their energy instead of exerting yours on them.

I really hope these tips help you to have a happy holiday season. Remember that your happiness means more to your loved one than anything else. My parents and my baby were happy people. I’ll honor their memory by living the happiest life I can.