Tag: Blog

Where Are Your Boundaries?

Know your limits.
Before becoming involved in a situation, know what’s acceptable to you, and what isn’t. It’s best to be as specific as possible, or you might be pulled into the trap of giving just a little bit more, over and over, until you’ve given far too much.

Know your values.
Every person’s limits are different, and they’re often determined by their personal values. For example, if you value family above all else, this might lead to stricter limits on how late you will stay at work, away from family. Know what’s most important to you, and protect it.

Listen to your emotions.
If you notice feelings of discomfort or resentment, don’t bury them. Try to understand what your feelings are telling you. Resentment, for example, can often be traced to feelings of being taken advantage of.

Have self-respect.
If you always give in to others, ask if you are showing as much respect to yourself as you show to others. Boundaries that are too open might be due to misguided attempts to be liked by elevating other people’s needs above one’s own.

Have respect for others.
Be sure that your actions are not self-serving, at the expense of others. Interactions should not be about winning, or taking as much as possible. Instead, consider what’s fair to everyone, given the setting and relationship. You might “win”, but at the cost of a relationship’s long-term health.

Be assertive.
When you know it’s time to set a boundary, don’t be shy. Say “no” respectfully, but without ambiguity. If you can make a compromise while respecting your own boundaries, try it. This is a good way to soften the “no”, while showing respect to everyone involved.

Consider the long view.
Some days you will give more than you take, and other days you will take more than you give. Be willing to take a longer view of relationships, when appropriate. But if you’re always the one who’s giving or taking, there might be a problem

Remembering LaShawn Daniels (1977-2019)

LaShawn Daniels, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter, died Tuesday as a result of injuries from a car accident at the age of 41, according to CNN. His writing credits spanned decades and genres, and included hits like Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right but It’s OK,” Michael Jackson’s “You Rock My World,” Destiny’s Child “Say My Name,” and Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” Daniels’ wife, April Daniels, posted a statement to Instagram announcing the death of her husband.

“It is with deep sorrow and profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, family member and friend, LaShawn Daniels who was the victim of a fatal car accident in South Carolina,” writes wife April Daniels. “A Grammy Award-winning producer and songwriter, Daniels was a man of extraordinary faith and a pillar in our family.”

Daniels, better know as “Big Shiz,” was instrumental in creating the sound of late Nineties and early 2000s R&B and pop. In a 2018 interview with Rolling Out, Daniels described his working relationship with Whitney Houston. “We would talk about relationships and she loved talking about real situations,” he said. “She didn’t want to sing about anything that was fake, Whitney always wanted to keep it real. I think that’s another thing that made her special and people relate to her. It would start from a conversation and we’d go from there.”

LaShawn is survived by his wife, April, and his 3 sons.

 

 

CV Quote of the Week: “TEAMWORK DIVIDES THE RISK & MULTIPLES THE EFFORT”

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. {Ephesians 4:15-16}

Remembering Betty Wright (1953-2020)

The singer and songwriter Betty Wright, who has died of cancer aged 66, occupied a significant position in African-American music across six decades, beginning with powerhouse gospel in the 1950s and settling on an R&B, soul and funk groove from the 60s onwards that eventually led to work with superstar rappers of the 2000s.

Wright’s career began as a young child in a gospel group in Florida, and her signature song, Clean Up Woman (1971), was recorded when she was only 17, epitomising what became known as “the Miami sound” – Floridian soul music shaped by the many facets of her home city’s cultural melange.

After years of solid achievement in the US as a singer and songwriter, in the mid-80s she set up her own record label and, although she continued to record her own material, began to make a new name for herself as a producer and songwriter, collaborating with the likes of Gloria Estefan and Joss Stone. Later still her material was much sampled – including by Beyoncé – and she was able to undertake projects with rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne.

She was born in Miami, to Rosa (nee Braddy-Wright) and McArthur Norris. The infant Bessie – as Betty was christened – was co-opted into the family gospel group, the Echoes of Joy, at the age of two. The Echoes worked the Southern US gospel circuit and Bessie proved to be a vocal prodigy – so much so that by the time the group split in 1965, she was confident enough to start singing on her own, in a new R&B vein, and with a new name – Betty Wright.

Willie Clarke and Clarence Reid, two Miami-based musicians, were so impressed by the young girl that they signed her to Deep City, the only African-American record label in Florida. Wright’s debut 45, Paralysed, was released in 1965, and it sold well locally. However, Deep City lacked the resources to promote records properly, and so Reid and Clarke eventually passed Wright on to Henry Stone, a distributor with experience and contacts who was launching Alston Records in Miami.

Aged 14, Wright recorded her debut album for Alston, My First Time Around (1968), which not only revealed her to be a formidable soul singer but generated a single, Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do, that reached the Top 40s of the US and Canadian pop charts.

Although subsequent singles failed to make much of an impression, Wright continued to sing in the Miami clubs on the weekends, building up valuable contacts in the music business. Then chart success returned in 1971 with Clean Up Woman, written by Clarke and Reid, which got to No 6 in the US. Based around a distinctive guitar lick played by Willie Hale, Clean Up Woman’s breezy, danceable funk ensured that Wright would be one of the few school pupils ever to have turned 18 with a million-selling hit record behind her.

The song also helped to launch the Miami sound, whose origins Wright associated firmly with the city’s vibrant and fluctuating cultural scene. “You’ve got a little Cuba, a little Jamaica, and a little Haiti; you’ve got a large Jewish culture and you’ve got calypso,” she told Billboard magazine. “Then you’ve got people who were born here or came from South Carolina, where they’ve got a heavy African culture too. It’s a very rhythmic roots music. Even the white acts that come out of Miami tend to be very soulful. We’ve got that serious, serious conga rhythm.”

Wright continued to produce popular songs across the 1970s – Baby Sitter, Let Me Be Your Lovemaker, Secretary, Where is the Love?, Tonight is the Night – although none quite matched the success of Clean Up Woman and generally made more of an impact on the US R&B charts than in the pop sphere. A prolific songwriter, she won a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1976 for Where is the Love?, a song she had co-written.

Signing to Epic Records in 1981, Wright quickly grew disillusioned with the restrictions of being with a major company, and so launched her own Ms B record label in 1985. With her 1987 album Mother Wit she became the first African-American woman to achieve a gold album on her own label.

From that point onwards, however, Wright began to achieve greater success by working with other artists. Estefan’s US No 1 single Coming Out of the Dark (1991) featured Wright’s vocal arrangements, and Wright co-produced and co-wrote every track on Stone’s 2004 album Mind, Body & Soul, which reached No 1 in the UK.

In 2006 she appeared as a mentor on the US reality TV talent show Making the Band, and in 2008 produced two songs on Tom Jones’s album 24 Hours. Her 2011 album, Betty Wright: The Movie, featured Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne, and was praised by reviewers as her best effort in 30 years.

Wright continued to tour almost up to her death – she sold out the Barbican Centre in London in July 2019 – and earned considerable amounts from her back catalogue. Clean Up Woman has often been sampled, while Beyoncé used a section of Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do for her 2006 single Upgrade U.

In 1985 Wright married Noel “King Sporty” Williams, a Jamaican musician who had co-written the song Buffalo Soldier with Bob Marley. Noel died in 2015; Wright is survived by three daughters and a son.

Remembering Ja’Net DuBois (1945-2020)

Ja’Net DuBois, an actress who left her stamp on television playing beloved neighbor Willona Woods on “Good Times” and the voice behind the theme song to “The Jeffersons,” has died, according to Kesha Fields, DuBois’ youngest daughter. She was 74.

DuBois died peacefully in her sleep Monday at her home in Glendale, California, Fields said.
Her death was unexpected as she had no underlying health issues, her daughter added.
DuBois had a career that began in the late ’60s, but she became one of classic television’s most beloved figures thanks to her role on “Good Times,” a spinoff following characters from the TV show “Maude.” The series, from Norman Lear, Eric Monte and Mike Evans, ran for six seasons from 1974-1979.
“If you got a chance to know her and lived through the words of her song or just watched her contagious laughing spirit, every time she walked through the door on the set of ‘Good Times,’ that was her. She was effortlessly portraying a character because that was her spirit,” Fields told CNN.
An accomplished theater and music performer, DuBois co-wrote and performed “Movin’ On Up,” the theme song to “The Jeffersons.”

Fields said DuBois wrote the song “as a gift to her mother for all the promises she made to her when she was younger — what she would do when she reached a certain level of stardom.”
After the conclusion of “Good Times,” DuBois’s acting career continued with guest roles on shows like “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” “Home Improvement,” “ER,” and “Moesha.”
She also appeared in “The Wayans Bros.” and was part of the voice talent on Eddie Murphy’s “The PJs” animated series, a role for which she won two primetime Emmy Awards.
On Instagram, Janet Jackson, who was one of DuBois’s co-stars on “Good Times,” paid tribute to the actress. “I saw first hand how she broke stereotypes and changed the landscape for Black women in entertainment,” Jackson wrote. “I’m grateful in recent years I had a chance to see her and create more lasting memories. I pray for comfort for all her family and friends. Thank you Ja’Net, I’ll miss you.”
DuBois is survived by three children Provat, Rani, and Kesha and “a host of grandchildren,” said Fields.

Dating From A –> Z (literally!)

Need some date ideas? From A to Z, here are some things you can suggest for a fun evening out –

A – aquarium, arcade, art gallery

B – biking, brewery, bonfire, B&B, boating, bowling, batting cages

C – camping, cook, comedy show

D – dancing, dinner, dive bar, drive-in movies, dog walking

E – escape room, exercise

F – football, fishing, festival, fondue restaurant, frisbee golf

G – game night, go-kart racing, ghost tour, garden, greenhouse

H – hiking, happy hour, hockey game, horseback riding

I – inline skating, ice cream, ice-skating

J – jazz music, splurge on junk food

K – karaoke, kayaking, kickboxing

L – line dancing, live music, laser tag

M – massage, museum, mini-golf, music

N – new restaurants, new experiences

O – opera, open theatre, anything outdoors

P – picnic, photoshoot, paint, progressive dinner

Q – a quadruple date

R – road trip, race track, rock climbing, read together

S – scavenger hunt, watch a sunset, stargaze, staycation

T – theme park, top golf, touristy stuff, trampoline park, play tennis

U – unplug, hear a university lecture together

V – volunteer, vineyard, volleyball, visiting with others, vintage shopping

X –  eXploring

Y – yoga, peruse yard sales

Z – ziplining, zoo

Failure

Failure is an important part of success. Through our mistakes, we can:

1.Learn what NOT to do – If what you’re doing isn’t working then you know that it might be time to try something different. This doesn’t make you a total failure, but this information can at least guide you towards changing things up.

  1. If you’re not reaching your goals, ask yourself, “Why not?” – Find out what it is that’s standing in your way between you & success. Is it not having enough time or insufficient funds? Maybe it’s naysayers or lack of resources? Whatever it is, pinpoint those reasons & start working on them one by one.

3.Learn what to keep doing – Between the things that went “wrong,” there are probably a million things you did right. Remember these things & improve upon them.

4.Build resilience – Trying & failing at something teaches us about facing adversity and overcoming our challenges. Resilience is a valuable skill to apply to your professional and personal life.

5.Gain confidence – Viewing failure as a learning opportunity takes away the scariness of trying something new. Not to mention confidence is sexy!

5.Discover hidden strengths – In many cases, failing at one thing will show that you’re better at something else. You never know what you may discover about yourself!

 

Here’s your challenge: Identify a few of your recent failures. Jot down what you learned from them and think about what you can do to improve your actions (and your responses) in the future. Share your list with a friend, and encourage them to do the same – then offer your advice/support to help each other make the best of your failures!

Feel free to share in the comments some of your biggest successes & even share pictures if you’ve got some!

Remembering Damon Keith (1922-2019)

Judge Damon J. Keith has had an illustrious career. Born on July 4, 1922, he has served as a United States Court of Appeals judge for the Sixth Circuit since 1977. Keith was the youngest of six children born to Annie and Perry Alexander Keith and the first to attend college. He graduated from West Virginia State College in 1943 and was then drafted into the military. His experiences in the segregated Army strengthened his conviction to the cause of civil rights. Keith received a J.D. from Howard Law School in 1949, passed the Michigan bar exam in 1950, and earned an L.L.M. from Wayne State University School of Law in 1956.

In 1964, Keith established his own law practice, Keith, Conyers, Anderson, Brown, & Wahls, with four other African American attorneys. Keith was also very active in the Democratic Party and used his political connections to help his community. He served as the chair to the Detroit Housing Commission and the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson appointed Keith to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, where he served as Chief Judge from 1975 to 1977 before President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Keith took senior status in 1995.

In 1993, the Damon J. Keith Law Collection, an archival resource devoted to the substantial historical accomplishments of African American lawyers and judges as well as the African American legal experience, was created at Wayne State University and named in his honor. Keith has received numerous awards and honors, including: thirty-eight honorary degrees from various colleges and universities; the NAACP’s highest award, the Spingarn Medal; the 1997 American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award; the Detroit Urban League’s 1998 Distinguished Warrior Award; the Distinguished Public Service Award for the National Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith; the prestigious Edward J. Devitt Award for Distinguished Service to Justice; the Pinnacle Award at the 2000 Trumpet Awards in Atlanta; and the American Bar Association Spirit of Excellence Award in 2001.

Keith has also received the lifetime achievement award from the National Black College Alumni and was inducted into their Hall of Fame. Keith is married to Rachel Boone Keith, M.D., with whom he has three daughters.

Keith passed away on April 28, 2019.