Asking Her Father


Asking Her Father
By Bernadette A. Moyer

It’s nice to see that some traditions have staying power and still ring true for so many young couples wanting to marry. Yesterday I was at my nail salon getting my nails done when I began talking with the young lady next to me. Later that afternoon she was going ring shopping with her soon to be fiancé’.

She shared the story of what it was like when her boyfriend “asked her father” for her hand in marriage. They had been dating for several years and the parents openly accepted him. But … dad wasn’t so quick to say “yes” but replied with “I will let you know after I discuss it with her mother.” It wasn’t long before the much anticipated answer was “yes.” She talked about respect, the respect her boyfriend had for her and for her father and mother. She knew that this would translate to the best possible start to their married life.

Later that day I attended a wedding myself and this young couple also began with tradition in “asking her father” for his daughters hand in marriage. As I sat through the church service and later the reception you could see all the friends and family support for this newly married couple. They definitely have all the markings for making it and staying together and I have to believe it begins with respect.

“Over the years I have counseled many young couples and the couples that begin the marriage process with “asking her father” are by far the ones that manage to stay together.” Father John

As a wedding officiant myself I see it too. When a man loves a woman and respects her and her family of origin enough to “ask her father” it sets the stage for a healthy and happy beginning. This single act lets the family know that this is a good start to a life that is beginning with inclusion and with love and with respect.

In a world that is ever changing it is so refreshing to see that some traditions survive the test of time.

On the way home from the wedding yesterday I couldn’t help but ask my husband about it. What would you think if someday you were in the position where a young man came to you for the sole purpose of “asking her father” and his response was without thought “it’s still the right thing to do!”

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The Importance of Proper Alignment


The Importance of Proper Alignment

By Bernadette A. Moyer

Organizational alignment just like our own body needs to be properly aligned to function at the highest and most productive levels. Last week I pulled a muscle in my lower back and I am fairly certain this came from sitting in a new desk chair that wasn’t suited for the computer station that I was using at that time. I wrote for hours in a position that literally pulled and strained my lower back.

I haven’t been in this much pain in years and it caused me to want to overcompensate by using the other side of my body in an unaligned way which only put additional stress on my legs and other body parts. Once I got moving around I found some relief but after sitting and sleeping it was excruciating to get moving again. My body experience reminded me of the importance of how everything must work together and in harmony and complete and proper alignment for maximum and best results.

Organizational strategic plans are often derived from the same concept where all efforts must literally line up and face one common goal to achieve that corporate goal. When each created staff position supports the next position inline it creates a direct line to the identified goal. An unaligned organization where staff members are pulling in their own direction is like six people pulling on a wagon each for their own direction. That wagon is basically immobilized as a result of the lack of alignment. Those same six people working together and pulling together for the same goal/direction have a higher degree of probability to attain that goal and make it to their desired destination.

These same analogies can be found in our current state of political affairs. With a country that is literally divided in half between a Democratic party and a Republican party you have equal parts pulling in opposite directions whereas it is nearly impossible to achieve any real goals. When the majority of people get behind a single goal that is when we will see our country move forward. As long as the wagon is being pulled in two completely different directions no real success can be attained. I am not afraid of change I am much more concerned with the effects of division rather than what can be achieved with proper alignment.

Alignment is so important in how we live our lives. If we want something and have set a goal for ourselves have we done what is necessary to line up all our efforts to achieve that goal? We can manage to move without proper alignment and often we do this by putting undue stress on other areas. It is only when we have identified our mission and our goals and properly aligned ourselves and our support team that we can achieve highest and best results. When we identify and make our goals a priority, and line up all our efforts, there is a higher probability for success.

We should never underestimate the importance of proper alignment in our own bodies and in our health as well as in any goals that we set out to achieve. Personal and professional alignment gives us a direct line to fully functioning and achievable results. My back is not 100% but a new properly aligned desk chair has been ordered and I am reminded of the importance of proper alignment in all that we do as we set out to achieve our goals.

This Presidential election I hope that enough people come together in a majority and align themselves on a single mission where we can accomplish goals and attain success for the majority of people.

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Leader and his team. 3D rendered image.

Leader and his team. 3D rendered image.

Accomplished …


Accomplished …

By Bernadette A. Moyer

Every once in a while I get hung up on a word where I can’t stop processing it and thinking about it and all its meanings. My new word is accomplished, a colleague recently referred to me as “accomplished” and for days now it has stuck with me.

How do we define “accomplished” does it change and grow as we do? I’ve always believed that to truly become accomplished you have to love what you do and have the discipline to practice and stay with it. Like a muscle that needs to be exercised our talents and our gifts need to be exercised if we are ever to be truly great and therefore, accomplished.

“Most of the important things in life have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” Dale Carnegie

For many of us I think the word “accomplished” can be intimidating as if only a Ballerina is an “accomplished” dancer or a Grammy Award winning artist is considered to be an “accomplished” musician/singer.

I want to believe that if we are living true, true to ourselves and our hearts and in keeping with what God wants for us in this lifetime, then indeed we have accomplished much.

Christians believe; “God has a plan for your life and if God’s word is believed and obeyed God’s will can be fully accomplished in one’s life.”

Whether or not you “believe” in a higher power, a God source, I think most of us would agree that we know in our hearts and our souls when we are living true to ourselves and therefore are feeling and living an accomplished life.

Each one of us defines “accomplished” as it relates to us and our journey in this lifetime.

My own personal best definition of an “accomplished” life models this Henri Nouwen quote; “Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love?

These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bits of love that I sow now will be many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.”

How do you define “accomplished?”

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The Importance of Truly Great Mentors


The Importance of Truly Great Mentors
By Bernadette A. Moyer

This piece is “prompted” by a request for submissions on mentors. I originally wrote about my mentors in an essay included in my book, Halfway Home The First 50 Years.

I’ve had a few teachers all through school that took an interest in me. There were numerous teachers that said things that resonated with me and impacted my thinking and my desire to learn and to uncover my own gifts and talents.

As an adult professional career woman, I had two significant mentors. In real estate it was my office manager Marianne. She took a real interest in my success and in me as a woman and as a mother. At that time, my mid-twenties I had never known anyone quite like her. She was a socialite and a southern belle. She had adult children and was a part of Junior League and other elite social community groups.

Marianne believed in me, she was different from my family and other teachers in my life. As a strong and successful female corporate executive she was also one of the most diplomatic people I ever encountered. The take away for me with her was that I was worth it, I was good and I was good enough. She supported me and in her support I was truly successful. Marianne was genuinely happy for me when I did well and sympathetic and supportive when I struggled. She was everything you would want in a female role model.

Because of her I was a better Realtor and a better friend and a better mother. Her support trickled down to my child as she attended “grandparents” day to support my daughter and she was there when that same child graduated from high school. She was successful and came from a place of strength. Marianne had a lot to offer and I was easily mentored by her.

The next very important person in my professional life was the President and C.E.O. of a special needs school; Dr. Ross. He was my mentor into the world of not for profit work. He taught me to think differently and he taught me that even the most broken people in our society, those with educational and emotional challenges had value. Unlike much of my Italian and Catholic upbringing he didn’t judge people. He lifted them up. He never lost his childlike enthusiasm and the “I can do that” mantra for challenges. Dr. Ross took an interest in my success which ultimately supported his vision and the organizations success. He was both driven and disciplined.

Dr. Ross and Marianne both shared one common trait in their ability to lift others up, and mentor them. They had such a high opinion of you and of your value and worth that you never wanted to let them down. In that single common trait they both brought the best out of the people that they managed, supported and mentored. They are positive, upbeat and driven. They come from a place of strength, placing value and challenges on the people that they work with. They are positive people that lift up every single person around them.

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to do more and to do better and to become more accomplished because of the mentoring support I received from both Marianne and Dr. Ross. They supported my success in two completely different worlds. One was total for profit business, real estate and the other the true social work model in not for profit work in a special needs school. Great mentors are so important and without mine I would never have known the career success that I enjoyed.

Paying it forward; as a result of the mentoring I received I have mentored many young people through the years. Young adults who worked as volunteers and as interns. I did my best to lift them up and to help give them the confidence to soar with their own strengths.

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The Courage to Say, “No Thank You”


The Courage to Say, “No, Thank You”

By Bernadette A. Moyer

Did you ever have someone offer you a dessert, a nice big piece of pie or cake and you were on a diet and counting your calories? The person offering it wanted you to take their offering and you didn’t want to be unkind or hurt their feelings but the truth was you didn’t want it.

When I was younger I never wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings and often this lead me to saying “yes” when I really wanted to respond with “no” and “no, thank you.” I had men who wanted to date me and I liked them as a friend but found it difficult to say that I didn’t want to date them. They may have been nice guys, but they weren’t for me.

Through the years I have been offered many things like trips, dinners, events, friendships, associations and something inside told me “no” “no thanks” and I may have tried it anyway. Yet sooner or later that little inner voice that knows what is right for us, becomes louder and louder if we deny it.

Not wanting something doesn’t make it bad or make it wrong, it just may make it not right for us. I have had to do so much soul searching when it came to the direction my church has taken on things like gay marriage and things I have personally witnessed them do that don’t seem to be very loving nor are they very kind or Christian.

Things I know would not be in keeping with What Would Jesus Do? I believe that my church has alienated so many groups of people through the years and that we are in the midst of an uprising. I don’t believe they will ever have the power or the following that they once did.

It is not just church though, I witness it in politics, if you declare a side, you have all but alienated 50% of the people in our country. Business people have learned to be “politically correct” as not to offend any potential customers.

They would rather not say what they think and believe because they know it could cost them business.

We seem to be living in a time of; “if you aren’t with me you must be against me” views on most any subject. Debate used to be healthy because you could flush out the best ideas. Having “the conversation” meant you were open to hearing all views and trying to determine the best outcome for the greater good.

Our culture has taught us to say “yes” and then go off on our own with expressing our real response “no” in a dishonest way. We fear what our heartfelt “no” “no thanks” and “that’s not right” communication will bring. So we try and make it easy with a “yes” when that really isn’t what we want or believe is the best answer for us.

It can take so much courage to be honest and to be truthful and kindly respond with “no, thank you” that isn’t for me. And when we respond with the truth, that is when we respond with authenticity. Not everything is intended for everyone.

I still don’t like saying “no” to people I still don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but more than that I have learned that I can’t be my best when I am not responding in my most authentic way. We all have to do what is right and what is best for us. In Hamlet by William Shakespeare the phrase spoken by Polonius; “To thine own self be true” translates to “Do not deceive yourself.”

And saying “no” can be so healthy and so freeing and it opens the doors for us to respond with “yes” for all the right things, the ones that best defines us.

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All I Ever Needed


All I Ever Needed

By Bernadette A. Moyer

All I ever needed I always had deep within me. Funny how when you stop searching and stop looking outward you come to know that all you ever needed you already had within yourself.

“There is something so pure, true, alive and wondrously unpredictable about a person who is feeling her inner voice. She is fully present in a way that people rarely are. And she is stepping out of the convention of who she should be to be who she is.” Helene G. Brenner, Ph. D.

When we are young we are constantly looking for affirmation from outside sources and from all others. As we mature we understand that affirming ourselves is our greatest gift and the gift that is most aligned with God.

This past year so many things literally came from heaven above, like missing pieces that just arrived and they arrived when needed. I have always believed in God and in His messengers; Angels. But unlike any other year this year everything I ever needed arrived when I needed it the most. This taught me to trust in the universe, in myself and in a deeper sense to trust in God above.

A few years ago my mother passed away and to say that we had any real significant relationship in decades would be a complete untruth. Our relationship was a huge void for me. Yet this year many things happened and people re-emerged that knew us, my mother and me from another time. A time when I was just becoming a teen more than 40 years ago and things happened this year that can only be described as “gifts from God.”

Without going into the details, I met people many people that embraced me and during this time something significant and profound happened that literally was more than 31 years due. It should have arrived over 31 years ago and only found its way to me this year, more than 30 years later.

It would affirm for me that someone or several someone’s from Heaven above were looking out for me. My core knew that I already had it all. Throughout my life, I have been scared to death to die. Today I am no longer fearful, I don’t want to die at least not yet but I know that when I do I have made my peace and could go to God at any time knowing that whatever came my way, I did my best. I may not have gotten it all right, all of the time, but I always tried my hardest. What else and what more could anyone ask of me?

Real character isn’t about how we handle the easy stuff, it is about how we handle the difficult challenges that we all face. When we are tested by adversity our character or lack of character shows itself.

“Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!” Luke, the Message

“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” JOHN 14:27

Something magical happens when we let go in love and when we are in touch with our core, our hearts and our souls sing when they are aligned together. When we stop the anxiety that comes from searching outside of ourselves and stand in the moment and at peace with what lives within, we come to understand that all we ever needed, we already had …

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I Had a Waterbed!


I Had a Waterbed!

By Bernadette A. Moyer

Yes there was a period of time when I had a California King Sized waterbed! And another time when I drove a 1971 Ford Pinto and once was the proud owner of a real muscle car in a 70’s Mustang with a 351 Windsor engine. At one point in time these things were important to me and they meant something special.

Yet it took a television show where the hostess was chatting about her “waterbed” and I had all but forgotten that I used to sleep on one too. It was another time with another guy and at a completely different period of time in my life.

Remember the things that you had and held dear? And the things that you let go of? And the things that took their place?

Things change. It has been said that that is about all that we can truly count on in life; change. We change. Our circumstances change. Life changes.

I’ve sported long hair and short hair I have had jobs and I’ve had careers and there is a big difference. I’ve witnessed friends enter my life and others depart it. All in its own good time.

In high school I had a teacher who had a classic line “regret the hardest pill to swallow” and I never forgot that and have tried my best to live my life accordingly. I don’t have regrets but rather lessons learned.

There is a time and there is a place. I never tire of Ecclesiastes 3 – A Time for Everything.

A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot
A time to kill and a time to heal
A time to tear down and a time to build
A time to weep and a time to laugh
A time to mourn and a time to dance
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing
A time to search and a time to give up
A time to keep and a time to throw away
A time to tear and a time to mend
A time to be silent and a time to speak
A time to love and a time to hate
A time for war and a time for peace

Enjoy your “waterbed” period and everything that came before it and all that comes after as we come to know that nothing last forever and really the greatest gift we can give to ourselves is to live fully in this moment in time, because that is life and all that we really have …

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