NELSON MANDELA, December 5, 2013

WE LOVE YOU

WE LOVE YOU

By Melissa Flynn

Justice, Peace and Love. That is what he was all about.

Nelson Mandela. A man I never met, but I am feeling the loss. All I can hope for is that he knows what his sacrifices meant to me.

And though I have vowed to help others, in any way that I can, my heart feels as if it needs to do more.

Tell me what to do. Tell me if I am falling short. Tell me what I am supposed to tell my neighbors.

The only solace that I can find in his passing is that my mother will have her chance to say hello. I imagine them sitting to talk and have tea. I imagine my mom putting gel from her aloe plant on his scrapes and bruises. I imagine her pulling out her pictures and telling him about her kids.

I imagine them becoming friends!

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So here I share some of Mandela’s quotes. They are words that spoke to me. And so I share them with you. Read and share with your friends and loved ones.

And remember that we are all people, and should work together.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞ ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela

Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation. – National Men`s March, 1997

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – 90th birthday celebration of Walter Sisulu, Walter Sisulu Hall, Johannesburg, 18 May 2002

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Long Walk to Freedom

The time is always right to do right. – Nelson Mandela, “The 100 Best Things Ever Said by Men” in South Africa’s Men’s Health magazine, February 2002

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both.

I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.
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A few of my favorites.

So what are you thinking?

HE OWES ME

Learning to walk

Learning to walk

By Melissa Flynn

 

 

 I was recently reassured in my desire to inspire the masses. I want to inspire people to: Get Up! Get Out! And to Be Productive!

“He owes me for all that I have done through the years…I have no money. He does. So he has all the power.”

This was from a fifty-something-year-old man who is looking to his brother for financial aid.

I have repeatedly tried to sway this individual in his desire to seek aid. I have asked him to look within himself. I have asked him to find his purpose in life—figure out what he aspires to do.

“Try to only reach out to others when you are in dire need. If you regularly ask for help, others are less likely to be willing.”

I told him as I have told my son, over and over. “I will only help those who are trying to help themselves.”

I tried to explain that we are owners of our own fates. This reminds me of one of my favorite poems by William Ernest Henley.

“…It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

We all have our trials and hardships, at times. But no matter what, we must learn to refocus, never letting our goals out of sight.

Having this conversation reminded me that I have a lot of work to do. Many people are looking for direction. I want to be a guide to all those that are seeking solutions to all of life’s puzzles. I want people to know that there is hope for us all.

Within my soul, I believe that life is meant to be lived. And we all are here for a purpose. Find yours. And remember not to allow other to take control. It only adds to your sorrow.

As for the earlier mentioned individual, I guess time will tell his fate. But as for me, I’m moving on and trying to make my mother proud.

NEW VIEWS. OR ARE THEY?

Cute boots, huh?

Cute boots, huh?

Explaining the meaning of life...

Explaining the meaning of life…

By Melissa Flynn

It’s 2013 and I’m still moving on. What about you?

Whatever you are doing, please tell me that you didn’t make New Year’s resolutions. Please tell me that you didn’t write down that you wanted to lose weight and dump that loser.

Instead let’s all make a list of life goals. Then every year, I want you all to review and revise those goals. It’s all about retrospection and redesign.

Recently, I did one of my “Moving On” workshops at a local church. I preached the same thing to them—forget resolutions and concentrate on the bigger picture.

My sister Halima has an interesting idea of rebooting that I also shared with the group. At the beginning of each year, she cleans the house, stocks up on all supplies and toiletries, and even backs up her computer. It’s all a bit more than I want to do, but I like the idea. Feel free to read more about her ideas on her blog. (halimaflynn.blogspot.com)

I think we can all agree that it doesn’t hurt to reboot, reorganize or re-evaluate our lives—especially for those times when we feel like we are hitting a wall. It’s like that saying that I have repeated to my son over and over. “If you keep doing something and it isn’t working, then try something different.”

Sometimes when we try to move on, no matter what we do it does not work. That means it is time to re-evaluate—revise your course of action.

I explained my notion of retrospection to the church group. But I also added that we must all pull together and help one another. As I talked, I saw a smile and a nod, here and there. Being presumptuous, as I tend to be, I took those expressions and body language to mean that they agreed and understood.

My talk continued, as it usually does, with me going on and on about my trials and tribulations. I decided to move on from my mess and reach out to help others. (FYI: Helping others helps you. Helping you helps others.) And as many do, I struggle along the way. No matter how great my determination, life doesn’t always work out as planned. I conjure up inspiration wherever I can: a Psalm, a MLK Jr. Speech, The Presidential Inauguration, and maybe even a glance from my mother’s picture in my office.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

These and many other words, help me maintain my balance. The world needs more beacons of hope and inspiration—people who are willing and able to spread the word that it is never too late to get your life on track. I have decided to be such a person. So if you need a bit of inspiration for any cause, send me a note: movingontoinspire@gmail.com.

If you have a group who needs inspiration, send me a note. If you need a coach to keep you on track, send me a note. Even if you just want to say hi, send me a note.

We all find ways to cope with what life throws at us. Sometimes those coping mechanisms are not very healthy. I can give you some tips to find healthier ones. And in the meantime, I want you all to do two things for me.

 Make a list of goals
 Then get up every day and work towards those goals

And at the end, it is not important whether or not you complete those goals. What are most important are the journey and the people you meet along the way.

To reiterate, forget the making of New Year’s resolutions. According to the definition, resolutions could look a lot like goals. That I can agree with; just don’t wait until January 1st to try and push yourself towards succeeding within the next twelve months. Sit down and set some short and long-term goals for your life. Then be realistic about the things you need to do in order to reach those goals.

And in order to stay focused, I want you all to copy these things down and repeat them regularly.

 I AM SOMEBODY
 WE ARE ALL SOMEBODY
 WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER, THAT’S HOW COMMUNITIES GROW
 I WILL IDENTIFY MY FEARS
 I WILL OVERCOME MY FEARS
 I WILL STAY FOCUSED
 I WILL BE A LEADER
 I WILL BE AN EXAMPLE FOR ALL CHILDREN
 I WILL HELP MY NEIGHBORS

As I put this down on paper for you, I was remembering a couple of things: that movie “Pay It Forward” and Ann Curry’s 26 acts of kindness campaign.

So let’s move on and make the most of our time.

LIFE JUST IS…

By Melissa Flynn

Life can be very messy. Life can be very hard. Life can be full of ups and downs. Regardless of all that, life is what you make of it. I have always told my son, “If you want something to happen, make it happen. Don’t sit around waiting for anything. Be proactive.”

I’ve recently been faced with some new trials. Don’t get me wrong; most of them I actually pushed on myself. I’m trying to make some things happen. That’s what I do. I’m not sure I know how to wait for someone else to do it. It’s just not what my mother taught me.

This economy, this election, this new world we live in are all reasons for me to keep trying. I have many questions, but I realize that it will take time to find all the solutions.

As I wait, I’m determined to do my part to help our society—to do my part to help our fellow man. Sounds a bit rehearsed, huh? I am serious though. I’m all about making lists, having goals and reaching for… Well, that last thing isn’t important. Regardless of our goals on paper, most of us have our mental list also. It can be a secret; no one has to know. Just be reaching for something.

I’m sounding off and thinking of my words from yesterday. And this time, I’m reminded of not one, but two blogs from the Cheshire Patch. So, for the last time this year, I’m sharing again. The two together may seem longer than my usual, but it’s really not that long. Be patient and read on. You might just agree with what I have to say. And feel free to comment, if I have provoked any feelings.

http://cheshire.patch.com/users/melissa-flynn-3/blog_posts

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The Answer Lies in the Question

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 9:00 am

The cure for what ails us all is what? I don’t know about you, but every day I search for the answers to the world’s questions. Why are we all here? What is my purpose? What religion is the real one? Who decides who is right and who is wrong? Can we see what goes on once we are dead? Can people really talk to the dead? How can I get to talk to the dead?

I know you are all thinking that if she figured them out she wouldn’t really be sharing them on Cheshire Patch. Maybe that is right. And I definitely do not have the answers. I, like many others, have no clue what is going on. We are all in the dark together. No man has these answers.

I will tell you what I have figured out though.

Life is what we make it!

Sounds so cliché, huh? Oh well. It is the truth. So, if you are unhappy and don’t like your life’s direction, then do something to change it. Get up, get out and make something happen.

A few weeks ago, my 21 year old son was telling me that he can’t find a job. Okay. Is it that he can’t find any job? Or is it that he can’t find the job that he really wants.

Recently, I came across a quote about writing that rings true for many things in life.

“If there is a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison

“If there is a job that you really want that you can’t find, then create it.” Melissa Flynn

And as you fumble along in the dark trying to figure out how, share your story. That’s how we make the world a better place, by sharing what we figure out.

 

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Reflections of Hope and Faith

Posted on January 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

H/F

Recently, I had an incident that shook my faith in people. Losing confidence in people and our society is not a complete rarity for me. And in the past couple of weeks, I realized that I should not allow this. I’m not going to share the specific experience with you all, but I will say that people can be cruel. Having said that, I believe we all possess a power within, and we must not allow anyone to steal it. You decide how you see the world – how you approach its trials and tribulations. And with this particular incident, my vision was blurred – not by choice, of course, but hurt can do that to you.

Honestly, for a while I was numb. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. And believe it or not, I didn’t have anything to say. I was mad. I was sad. I wanted to
scream. I told a friend that I wanted to scream, but if I did, no one would hear me. She told me that seeing how close we live, “I might hear you from my house.”

She probably wouldn’t hear me, but it was a sweet thought. Just when my cynicism seemed tenable, someone reminded me that people aren’t all bad. Times are hard. And we are at a time where people are looking for answers. We all need a reason to have hope. I believe that knowledge yields hope. So, let’s continue to educate ourselves, and we will all grow together. Our nation is a melting pot, and
ignorance should no longer be allowed as an excuse. Instead of putting someone down, maybe have a conversation and see where they are coming from; you might just learn something.

We can’t grow if some of us are too busy enjoying life while others are fighting to survive. All people matter. No one human gets to define another. We all have stuff, but that stuff doesn’t define who we are and what we can do. So, wake up people and get off your tush, lend a neighbor a hand, don’t take what isn’t yours and realize that we will get further if we work together.

I know I sound a bit tough. That’s me – ‘tough love Melissa’. It’s something I picked up from my mom. “You fall; you get up and keep trying. You don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.” That was her thing. “I don’t ever wanna hear you say you can’t.” Her premature death convinced me further that life is short; take hold of it and make it your own.

We all have dreams and not all of us get to live our dream. Don’t let life pass you by. Get on the bus and go wherever you desire.

I, myself, figured out the key to my low moments. My cure is time. I just have to remember that I do have aspirations; I’m either inspired to do something or I’m not. I am. So, I do.

No matter how much I’m pushed, I am going to push back hard and keep teaching me. There will always be ups and downs in life. Don’t let life get you down.

And I leave you with the words of the late, great John F. Kennedy. “Let us think of
education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”

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Let us think of my words as a means to the end. Read. Share. And then let’s get started. Remember, Melissa and moving on are synonymous.

Melissa

 

Smiling As I Usually Am

Autumn Rushes in—Moves on

 

Another month glides by as I continue to lick my wounds. Some days I long to get out and scream. I fear no one will hear me, so I rest when I need to and keep going while I can. In the past week, I have been resting, writing and consuming lots of continual fluids—a cold or maybe a flu-like bug has struck my system.

There has been a chill in the air and a bug at my back door. I love the fresh air; I really do. But these rain and wind storms scare me. Where can you run that the lightning won’t follow? Will these storms bring darkness as it did last year? To that I say, please don’t. In my house, it was a day in August and five days with the October storm. Let’s hope Mother Nature spares us this fall.

So, as my head slowly unclutters and the skies continue to grey, I’m reminded of my blog Wuthering Storms—mostly because I’m lying here wrapped in my quilt.

For this time and once more to come, I will share an old post from The Cheshire Patch. After that, I will continue to move on and see where that leads.

Please feel free to let me know when there is something you would like to know more about.

So, here is what I have to share.

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Wuthering Storms

Posted on August 29, 2011 at 2:50 am

Malissia and Melissa

Five days in advance, I scampered around to find my batteries, flashlights, lighters, candles, extra cell phone, rain coat, boots and emergency food cooler – complete with granola bars, H2O bottles, vitamins, canned tuna, can opener and Ritz crackers. Having no idea just how bad Irene would hit, I had to prepare for the worst. My first instinct would be to head for my bed and wait for her to pass.

And now as I lay here awaiting her complete departure, I’m reminded of storms, like Hurricane Gloria, from my younger years. Even then, nothing gave me more comfort than my Nana’s quilt. I’d crawl in the bed, wrap it around me and pray to be kept safe.

Nana was my favorite grandmamma Malissia – my maternal great grandmother. Growing up, I skipped preschool to stay home with her. She taught me how to cook, sew and speak my mind. Nana was so funny. She’d tell you just what she thought of you and could care less if it hurt. Of course, when it came to me, my Nana was gentle. She was my best friend.

When I was four, I sat in her room handing her patches of cloths. I watched as she stitched each piece together and blessed it with her sweat. I begged her to let me help with the arrangement; I thought the colors were so pretty and resembled the sky. Little did I know that the quilt was my special present.

One day while I was out with my mom, I came home to find it spread on my bed. I screamed to Nana that I loved her and hugged my bed tight. And now as I lay here wondering if Irene will blow the house down, I hold my bed tight.

As children, we find comfort in physical objects. But as adults, our attachments to these objects and memories of the people associated with them can become internal resources we can take anywhere. We carry quilts of coping, quilts of hope and quilts patched together from precious memories. Tell me about your quilts. Tell me about your patches.

What are the moments that you hold tight? What moments enable you to weather the wuthering times? Let’s remember these memories and share. Irene has given us these moments to reflect. So feel free to share moments of relationships past and present.

Like relationships, quilts do become worn. But, with a few added patches and some stitches, its life can be prolonged. So, no need to let Irene get you down; she could have been much worse.

As Terri Guillemets (a US quotation anthologist) said, “Weather is a great metaphor for life – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.”

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Let’s hope my quilt is enough to keep me warm this fall, as I move on.

Light a Fire, Change a Life…

As the fourth of July approaches to fill our skies with fireworks, I’m reminded of how May rang out with its brilliance and June strolled in the same way. I was inspired over and over again.

I gave one of my inspirational ‘How I Got My Move On’ presentations for a group of women in Hartford on June 7th. The talk was very well received, and the level of client participation just knocked me out. By that, I mean to say that my heart is filled with hope. And though a move is upon me, my load feels light.

Here’s a brief clip. This is evidence that this time instead of Bill Cosby, I was the one on fire. Feel free to comment or ask any questions you may have.

http://youtu.be/sMMEWY5pXy0

Side note: I think the shirt makes me look pregnant, but I’m not.

So, as I look back on this experience and look forward to more after my shoulder has healed from surgery, I’m reminded of something I said recently. I posed the question as to whether or not my mother was looking down on me from the heavens and saying ‘that’s my girl.’ Well, right now, reflecting on what I have started in my life, I know she is. She was one who helped others and helped me. Without the love and support of such a great woman, I wouldn’t be able to help others. And now that helping others is my goal, I am sure my mother can see herself in my success. Thank you, mom. I miss you.

As I think back to June 7th, I remember how fulfilling it felt to know that I touched someone’s heart – to know that the dialogue has begun.

“I really appreciate her honesty and openess while sharing her story. I learned some great stuff. It was very informative,” said one of the participants.

So, if you have a group that needs inspiring, think of me.  I have been through many of my own trials and desperate times. They have made me someone who can relate to people at all stages of life’s journey. They have also made me proof of my own main premise; it’s never too late to get your life on track. I come loaded with treats, handouts, giveaways and a fun, free raffle with nice prizes. I create an interactive, fun atmosphere where people can be themselves.

Maya Angelou said, ‘As long as I am here, I will be of use.’ And I will also. I believe one of the reasons I was put on this earth is so that I could be here right now. It’s so that I could reach out and grab your hand and tell you that there are people out here that care. We can hold on to each other and pull until we are all standing straight.

 This is an excerpt from the talk. I designed and implemented it as an inspirational tool to help people (of all ages, sexes and races) with a variety of obstacles think about those roadblocks in a new way, thereby opening a dialogue about more realistic ways to overcome them. My talk is titled: How I Got My Move On: Coping Mechanisms and Goals. It’s about patterns/addictions and moving on.

That’s what I’m all about these days – ‘moving on.’

 

 

 

 

Bill Cosby was on Fire, that’s all I’m saying…

Wednesday, May 30th 2012, I attended the Get Motivated Business Seminar. If you weren’t there, you missed something special. There are dates in other cities. Check out the website (GetMotivated.com). I promise you that it will be money well spent.

Singing and bobbing my head as I drove home that day, I was newly inspired. I began texting myself notes on how wonderful the experience was. Wish I hadn’t been so sore and tired; I’d have wanted to stay longer. Of course, it was over; but, you never know what kind of stragglers you may run in to.

I’m inspired. I’m motivated. I’m ready to work. Nothing but this surgery will slow me down. Too bad it is upon me. If I hadn’t waited two years for the authorization from the insurance company, I would put it off for 6 months. But, tomorrow morning I awake and head to surgery. And at least I had the chance to experience this seminar that gave me my new found sense of hope – a new joy in my life’s path.

Great people. Fun. Sweet snacks. There were even a few cuties. Huh? What? Did I say that? Oh well. I am single. It’s allowed. I get to look and touch. Remember, I am ‘moving on’ to new things – new people. 🙂

I was disappointed at first. I think mostly this was because I never went to sleep the night before.  As I sat there amongst hundreds of people, all I could think of was my bed. After getting some work done the night before, I just had to watch ‘Man on a Ledge.’ Good movie. Not what I expected, but that is the point, right? Anyway, I was up and determined to learn something.

After I kicked myself in the butt real quick, I listened to the different speakers. That’s when it hit me; there was something for everyone at this seminar. Though it wasn’t pertinent to my needs, Bill Town was very informative and friendly.

And, Mr. Bill Cosby was just like his character Mr. Huxtable; he had great facial expressions and a sense of humor to boot. What am I saying? He is ‘Bill Cosby’; of course he is hilarious. I recall him asking the audience, to show by clapping, how many people have employees who work for them. He told the crowd that he had some wisdom to impart on them. He had the perfect way to help motivate employees. Mr. Cosby went on to tell them that they just have to get their employees together and show them videos of unemployed people. Now, for me, that would be enough motivation. He’s funny.

The other speakers had wonderful information also. And, if I hadn’t been running my mouth so much, I wouldn’t have missed Geno Auriemma and Barbara Corcoran; I had hoped to hear how they ‘got their move on.’ Some attendees came to see all of the speakers, but many had their favorites as I did. Then there was the great Eli Manning. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a Giants fan, but he is cute. He also spoke well, and he shared some inspirational stories from his younger years.

It’s just what I needed. You know how sometimes life just seems to be moving along; things are busy, and then we start to get worn out? Then, before you know it, inspiration jumps out at you from an unexpected, exciting source. I learned what we all already know. I learned that if you want to do something, just do it. No procrastination. No fear. No excuses. Do it. So, I’m done with life getting in the way of my goals. I’m on the move.

As my friend, Kelly, said recently, “You are on a roll.” And, yes, I am.

I am, because I am ‘moving on.’

What about you?