At Peace

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At Peace
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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“Do I need to be right or do I need peace?” Oprah

What does it take to arrive at peace and then to maintain that peace? Life changes, people change and we change.

Today as I write this I am totally at peace and yet there have been numerous times in my life when I was not living in a peace-filled state. So what has changed? I did.

I know when I am right and that is good enough for me. I don’t need someone else to bless my truth or to fight my truth; it’s enough for me to know it. And like most people I know when I am not right too. Experience is always the greatest teacher.

I no longer get sucked into other people’s drama and their story. Older and wiser, it probably is some of that but also life experience. Knowing who we are and standing in our own truth allows the insults and judgements of others to just roll off. People will love you and hold you in high regard and others will find fault, if we allow others to judge us we will live in a constant state of shift, swing and change. It can be painful to have someone that we love or loved judge us harshly, but most often when we take that healthy step back, it becomes clear that it isn’t about us.

The people that need to make another look badly do so to try and elevate themselves. This is a sad truth. Love yourself today! Taking care of yourself helps you to feel as good can and maintain inner peace, regardless of what may be going on externally.

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Protect yourself and protect your peace. Not every situation is one that we should engage. Sometimes knowing where to side-step a situation will in the end help us to maintain our peace. There will be conflict, there will be noise; there will be situations that test our peace. But we have a choice and our choice is what we do for ourselves and what we do to remain; at peace.

Peace be with you …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Along The Way and Another Way by Bernadette A. Moyer available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

No Money No Mission

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No Money No Mission
By Bernadette A. Moyer

 

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It doesn’t matter how good your mission or your ministry is, if you are out of money, you are out of business. Far too many in the nonprofit arena have this way of thinking that 1) money and abundance are bad things and 2) if they do good work that will be enough to carry them through the day.

The problem is that money isn’t a bad thing and that you can do excellent work but without proper funding you will not make it very far. I’ve witnessed it time and time again. The “do gooders” the people with the vision to help others or teach or supply and support a very real and valid cause are often lacking the piece that marries their mission to the necessary funding.

How about the term “struggling artist” let’ s say that an artist creates wonderful pieces of art but doesn’t have the understanding on the marketing skills necessary to bring their art to the marketplace, what happens next? And many artists do not fully appreciate that the business pieces are just as critical as the making of the art. There has to be a symbiotic relationship between the creator of the art and the selling business in order to succeed.

Years ago in ministry the nuns would meet with money people, the successful businessmen in the community, the scenario went something like this; serve weak coffee and stale doughnuts in a stripped down environment as they plead their cause. Who could say no to that sweet little old Catholic nun? They might even have been successful and received some small donations.

But then … many other religious and nonprofits began to understand the mindset of those that are most successful in the community; successful businessmen. They learned that the most common trait shared was the desire to be part of a winning team. The most-needy didn’t need to start by being successful but they had to be in a position to communicate their vision in a way that a business brain would understand. This much support nets this much growth and development and provide the plan of action.

Today we see a great divide in the nonprofit community with those that are failing or just getting by and others who have a history and track record of measured success. It is not by accident. The organizations that thrive, even in competitive economic times are the ones that fully appreciates the need for the vision to be well supported by the money. You need great salespeople to go along with a great vision.

Most successful people want to help communities that are struggling and to help the under-served communities but they also want to know that the hand out is providing the support for a hand up. Will the money make a difference?

We hear the term “social justice” more and more today, we hear about the inequality of the wealth in our country, we hear that those that “have” should be willing to “pay more” but what incentive do the ones that do not “have” have to succeed if support/money comes with no effort?

What I know for sure is that you can have an excellent mission but without proper funding you will not sustain success. But if you can marry that same mission with money, the sky truly can be the limit. It takes hard work, it takes persistence, it takes an understanding that to appeal to those that can support your cause, you must first communicate that by coming together you can and you will create a winning partnership. Everyone likes being part of a winning team!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

All books by Bernadette A Moyer on Amazon and Barnes& Noble

The Courage to Say Yes

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The Courage to Say Yes
By Bernadette A. Moyer

 

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Several years ago I blogged about “the courage to say no” and often it does take courage to thankfully decline. It could be an event or a position or even a piece of pie and we just don’t think it is right for us and yet we may have difficulty saying no.

However, recently I have been pondering what it takes to respond with “yes” a simple “yes I will do that” or “yes I want that” and “yes I am open to that possibility.”

Sometimes it takes courage to respond with “yes” because it is unknown and we may not be sure if it is what we want. How many times do we get invited to attend an event and we just aren’t sure? Should I go? Should I decline?

That new association with a friend, is this someone worthy of opening up the door and opening up to get to know better? How about that volunteer position or that new job? Is this something that will work for us? Truth is that most often we won’t really know unless we try it or if/when we have that gut feeling that responds with either an up or down vote. Sometimes we instinctively know that “yes” is the correct answer for us. And sometimes it isn’t.

Should I say yes or should I say no? It sounds so simple, right? But what are we actually saying yes or no in our response?

I was recently invited to attend a Ted Cruz for President Rally, at first I was like sure I will go but as the time to attend was getting closer I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t? He is not my first choice for President. I ended up attending and it was definitely well worth my time. That “yes” response allowed me to meet up with my neighbors, see old local political friends and actually learn a few things. It was interesting.

It was my first ever event with the “secret service” and my first ever Presidential candidate rally. We have been involved locally in politics, but never on the national level. It was fun! It was educational! It was new to us and definitely worth that “yes” response. But … what if I didn’t go? I guess I would never know what I was missing.

Through the years I have been offered many things, opportunities to travel, opportunities to go into business, opportunities to move, and opportunities to throw my support behind a specific cause and typically my gut answer gets it right.

However as I age, I find myself with more of an open mind and open heart and more often a desire to respond with “yes” because putting myself in new places with new people and new opportunities and new challenges allows me to learn and to grow and to appreciate everything for what it is … a part of life … a part of living and what greater way is there to experience life than to respond in the affirmative?

YES! YES! YES! Doesn’t it feel good to just say yes, yes I can do that! Yes, I will do that! Yes!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

New books! Along The Way and Another Way on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Internships Create Win-Win Relationships

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Internships Create Win-Win Relationships
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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My first intern was from Chicago and was attending Loyola University here in Maryland. She was wonderful! Bright-eyed and ready to serve and I could literally throw her into any workplace situation and she was great and handled it all like a pro.

Her course load was heavy but she always managed to find the time to volunteer. At the time I was working as a Special Events Manager many years ago and together my intern and I did everything from preparing the seating charts for a black tie gala to Sam’s Club runs for our school to work in house store.

Around this same time I lost my administrative assistant who was on leave for a few weeks and I was already overwhelmed with my busy schedule when I suggested to my boss the possibility of a “temp” a temporary employee he was supportive but with the caveat, “you will have to decide if having a temp is worth the time it will take you to manage them” and he was so right.

The temp was charging up hours and getting very little accomplished and here was my intern working for free and just tearing it up! Something was just not right with this picture. After a week of the temp, I let her go, ramped up my work schedule and encouraged my intern to give me all her available hours. She did and together we managed to not only make our goals but exceed them.

Charting her working hours for her Loyola University internship and writing her letter of recommendation was a small price to pay for all the work that she contributed. It was a win-win relationship. And if she was local I would have hired her in a second.

A Delaware Senator informed me that Washington D.C. engages approximately 20,000 interns each year. They are big believers in engaging interns and fully appreciate all their many contributions and also how it sets these same young people up for success.

In the past ten years I have engaged many interns to work alongside of me in nonprofit work. Most are students who are studying communications and public relations. I have witnessed them do everything from create a website to help with branding and creating new marketing materials. Each intern has left with a robust portfolio that they would otherwise not have had, and they made contributions that lasted long after their departures.

I do my best to keep up with all the interns that I have engaged, social media makes it fairly easy to do so. I marvel at how far they have gone and just how easily they tend to transition into a full–time regular paying job. I want to believe that part of their success harkens back to their ability to successful intern and also their willingness to work for free as they begin to pave their way along the professional corridor.

Internships create win-win relationships that not only enhance the workplace but add valuable work experience to people who are beginning their career. And quite honestly unlike the hired “temp” I have never engaged an intern that has not been worth their weight in gold.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Why We Love Marriott

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Why We Love Marriott
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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We love to travel and we love Marriott properties! Whether we travel for business or for pleasure we are loyal to Marriott whenever possible. If there is a Marriott property located near our destination that will be our accommodation of choice.

In the mid-1990’s I became a “Marriott Rewards Member” and there are some nice perks with being a member. We also have racked up several “free” stays with their points program. We enjoyed 4 nights in Ft. Lauderdale for “free” and a get-away to Williamsburg Virginia “free” just last year while using our program points.

We are brand loyal! But why are we so loyal? Well the points program is nice but the best way to accumulate them is by staying in a Marriott property. They are consistent. The rooms are clean and they are comfortable, the staff is cheerful and kind and the properties are well maintained.

The Residence Inn allows us to travel with our pooches, as each Residence Inn has a dog policy that allows for animals. And the thing is that you would never know it, they are so well kept and clean that even if you were not a pet person, you probably wouldn’t know it. I didn’t. For years we stayed at several Residence Inn’s until I was in Florida and noticed dogs there, the manager said “yes, Residence Inn properties allow for dogs.” Good to know when we are travelling.

Last year we had quite a hefty travel schedule with about 50 nights in a Marriott property. The properties were located all across the country from Las Vegas, Nevada to Nashville, Tennessee to Sarasota, Florida and Williamsburg, Virginia among many other places. We spent part of Christmas at the Gaylord Opryland in Tennessee and have travelled for both business and pleasure. We were never disappointed in our choice of a Marriott property. They are consistent regardless of where our travels brought us.

I don’t work for them nor do I know anyone that does and my blog is completely unsolicited, but after so much travel I felt compelled to write it. Most offer a free breakfast which is not bad and if you travel with a family it can surely help keep costs down. The breakfast can be a homemade waffle or eggs and bacon or some fresh fruits and yogurt. There is coffee and juice and you can eat as much or as little as you wish.

On the very rare experience that may have been less that meeting our expectations, and I do mean very rare, they have gone out of their way to correct any problems that we may have experienced. What else could you ask for?

We love to travel and knowing that your arrival destination is waiting and ready to serve you with a clean and welcome home away from home allows us to travel with very little anxiety. Some favorite hotels that we seem to gravitate toward over and over are the following; Marriott on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Downtown Nashville Courtyard, Lauderdale by the Sea Courtyard, Marriott Harbor Beach in Ft. Lauderdale, Ford’s Colony in Williamsburg, Virginia and our newest find is the Residence Inn situated right on Daytona Beach at Daytona Beach Shores in Florida.

For many years we traveled to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, often with our twin children on holidays so we were thrilled when a few years ago Marriott purchased it, we stayed there so often and now with an added bonus of accumulating rewards points make it an even better choice for us.

I don’t think that they are the cheapest place to stay but I do believe they are a great value for your dollars when you include all the amenities like a free breakfast or gym use or the pool area and the fact that they are consistent in their hospitality and housekeeping services.

So our next trip is planned … June in Nashville and then there is the where shall we go to for “free” and cash in with all those Marriott Rewards points?

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Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Trust Your Wife, Dear!

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Trust Your Wife, Dear!
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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It is being reported that Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders wife is one of his most trusted advisors and that Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is often advised by his wife “to act more Presidential.”

For years when I suggested something new to my husband it was often met with comments like “did I ask for that” and “I don’t want that” and today we laugh about it because he knows it is true. When I wanted to hook him up to social media he was giving me such a hard time that I just set him up and then forgot about it. Today he has more followers on Twitter than I do and he is much better versed in Twitter too!

He balked initially at the iPad I gave him for Christmas several years ago and yet today I don’t think he could live without it. He uses it multiple times each day, the same can be said for the electric tooth that he balked at using and now readily uses every single day.

So what is it? Is it that it is my idea? Or that male thing that is so afraid of being cared for and supported by a woman? In his words he doesn’t want to be “whipped” by a woman. That just makes me laugh!

And here is why, when you enter into a partnership like a marriage, to be successful, you support each other. That’s just how it works. Their success is your success and your success is their success. I don’t try to control him and he makes that easy by being so committed and dependable. Trust is a natural byproduct when someone stands by you through all the events in life, the good events and the not so good ones. Through time and tests you learn that they are there for you.

My husband is a tough guy who knows who he is and even though we spend a lot of our time together, he is an individual. We are a traditional couple. He has his jobs and I have mine.

Learning to trust takes time, for me it took a really long time because I had only ever experienced close family relationships that really could not be trusted. That was all I knew. My husband being who he is that regular guy, who just never lets me down, allowed me to learn that I could and that I should trust him.

His resistance to trusting in me was rooted in something completely different. For him it felt like giving in or yielding. It was like I was asking him to give up his manhood. I wasn’t. I wanted to share with him the things I liked and I wanted to support him. Now he knows that and we laugh at how often he tried to resist.

At almost 25 years together, I know that he knows that he can “Trust your wife, dear.” And that any good marriage is one that has been battle tested and through those battles you do learn that you can trust one another and that in the right relationship/marriage you will have mutual trust, love and support.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

New books! Along The Way and Another Way on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Ten Years of Tears

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Ten Years of Tears
By Bernadette A. Moyer

 

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Cryin’ For Nothin’
Songwriter Kevin Welch, Performer Country Music Artist Gary Allan
All of that cryin’ for nothing
All of that tryin’ for nothing
What has it ever got me
What has it ever taught me
I’ve got to keep believing
In somethin’ baby
‘Stead of just tryin’ for nothing
Cryin’ for nothin’ at all

When my first husband died my mother said, “Death is easier, it is so final.” She had been divorced from my father and struggled with her grief over the failure of their marriage. My husband’s death was final. I had no choice but to accept he was gone for good. Maybe it was easier for me.

In 1998 I lost a child. It may just as well have been a death. I had one therapist tell me it was an “amputation.” It wasn’t my choice but one I have finally accepted. I spent more than ten year crying over this loss. Ten years is approximately twenty percent of my life. Against all odds I hoped, prayed and pleaded for another outcome. It was not to be.

During this time I communicated with several people through online support groups. One woman had her own website called Pennies for Heaven. It was a bright and inspirational site dedicated to her toddler Michael who died. Michael crawled through a doggie door at night when his parents were sleeping. The next morning they found him floating in the backyard pool. He had drowned to death. Michael’s parents were young and he was their only child. I wrote his mother often and she wrote me back. We connected through our grief. Two mothers crying over the loss of a child.

I believe that site and newsletter went on for years. I read all her words. Then one day she made an announcement stating that she was writing two more issues and then shutting it down. She said she will never stop loving Michael but it was time. It was time for her to move past her tears and her grief. They were starting a new chapter in their life and having another child. I always admired how she took her grief made something positive come from it, helped others like myself and then moved forward. Maybe death is easier since it is so final. She had made a decision to move past her grief and start living a happy and whole life once again.

For me I hung onto hope, I thought in time, with age and wisdom that someday we would reconcile. Clearly that is never going to happen. What I am left with is my memories of another time and the fact that I cried for nothing. No amount of tears was ever going to change the outcome.

Grief is a process and has been a cleansing process for me. I still cry over my losses but I only allow myself a certain period of time for tears and then I let go. I won’t spend ten years of tears over anyone ever again. I just can’t allow myself that kind of pain and the loss of my own quality of life. They say, “The first cut is the deepest” and maybe after that much grief you learn to come back quicker.

Like country music artist Gary Allan sings from the song Cryin’ For Nothin’ “cryin’ for nothing’ tryin’ for nothin’ what has it ever got me. We could not reach it and I don’t know why. It took so long just to say good-bye.”

Good-bye to Ten Years of Tears … it was a long sad rainstorm, and just like after any good long rain, when it ends, the sun shines even brighter.

Today April 7, 2016 is the 5th anniversary date of my mother’s death. I don’t cry anymore. I know our history, the good, the bad, the happy and the sad. I choose to remember our story in its entirety, not all bad and surely not all good either. I pray for her soul, I visit her gravesite once a year. I remember her. I know that she is and always will be my mother. I respect that fact. Many of her strong and positive qualities like a work ethic and strength as a woman I learned from her. I learned to soldier on regardless of what has transpired in my life. And I am willing to bet from her vantage point in the next life that she is proud of me, proud of her second born daughter and all that she not only accomplished but survived.

Our tears are important for cleansing and for clearing the way and after the tears it can be and should be an opportunity to reset.

There is life after loss, there is life after sadness … we just have to want it!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

New books! Along The Way and Another Way are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.