Category Archives for "Karla’s Korner"

Karla’s Korner: The Importance of Reaching Out

The Importance of Reaching Out

reaching-out

The Importance of Reaching Out…..

With the news of Robin Williams taking his life this past week I have found myself filled with questions and in discussion with friends and family about this tragic loss. There are many views on suicide and whether or not it is a selfish choice made by someone who believed it’s the only way out of the darkness or the result of feeling that death is the only way to lighten the burden of those we love, the truth of the matter is it’s devastatingly tragic. My heart aches for those left behind trying to find answers to the questions brought about by the sudden life changing tragedy.
As I climbed on the exercise bike at the gym on Saturday I searched for a movie to watch while I pedaled through the 13 miles ahead of me. As I opened up my Amazon video choices a Robin Williams concert was at the top of the suggestions. A child of the 70’s and 80’s I remember watching Williams as he played Mork and admired his ability to fall in and out of a character quickly. As I began to pedal, Williams appeared on the screen larger than life and full of energy. There he was the funny man, making everyone laugh and forget about their own troubles for a while when we now know he was battling his own debilitating illness; depression was tearing away at his soul while he soothed ours with laughter. How difficult was it, I wonder, for him to put on his happy face and literally pretend to be happy and filled with joy? He became skilled at hiding behind the mask of deception making the world believe all was well. Allowing a sneak peak at his personal struggles throughout the years I believe we (the general public) ignored the tough stuff because quite frankly the tough stuff isn’t much fun. It’s easier to laugh and hide than face the struggles and cry. We tend to believe that sharing our struggles makes us weak; I disagree.

Plato once said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”. Thinking about this and battles I face in my own life I am grateful for those who extend a helping hand, share a smile or a word of encouragement. I believe that my Creator created us to live in community; in fellowship with one another. In fact, I believe that we are our brother’s keeper; whether we want to be or not. Filling our lives with purpose and meaningful work will not only help us through our own difficult times but ease the struggles of those around us.

After discussing the importance of dedicating ourselves to helping others with a close friend this week, he sent me the following quote: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around”. Those few words strung together shared between friends have the power to change a life. For the one reaching out to help it allows them to lose themselves in service to another and to the receiver of the kind act it restores hope and establishes a sense of importance and relevance. During one of my tough days earlier this year as I battled my food addiction that same friend sent me a note of encouragement willing me not to give up or give in to the addiction; “you’re relevant, worth the effort. Keep it going. You can do this.” Those few words gave me the courage to keep fighting that day and not give in to the destruction that is my addiction. Last week I was able to do the same thing for a relative stranger in the gym. Passing on the kindness shared with me to her pushed her to keep going and opened up the doors to a new friendship.

I encourage you to reach out to others with small acts of kindness knowing that everyone you meet is facing some sort of battle. It may be that one small thing you do will help turn their lives around or bring them a bit of joy in a less than joyful time in their lives. As we turn our focus from ourselves and begin to dedicate our time and talents to helping others we will find that our own healing takes place. In closing I share with you the words of Mother Teresa “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” Being kind is not difficult; it’s necessary.

Peace,
Karla

mother-teresa

karlarobey

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner , also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!

Karla’s Korner: Dreaming Big

dreams

Dreaming Big……

Henry David Thoreau wrote “Go confidently in the directions of your dreams”

While putting school supplies away in my classroom the other day I noticed those words on the wall and found myself wondering what they really meant. What does Thoreau mean and why am I struggling to figure it all out? And why am I trying to figure it out now at 46 years of age? What are my dreams? What direction are those dreams taking me; if they are taking me at all?

Quite often I think we find ourselves losing sight of the dreams we have because life takes over and survival mode kicks in. When we are young it seems that we have our entire lives ahead of us and our dreams are endless. Throwing caution to the wind in search of the meaning of life seems do-able until somewhere in the midst of it all we grow up, have bills to pay, become parents and set those dreams aside because somewhere someone told us that following our dreams and doing something for ourselves is selfish.

Born a twin in a low-income area in Miami, Florida, Les Brown and his twin brother, Wes, were adopted at six weeks of age by Mamie Brown, a single woman who had very little education or money but a very big heart. As a child Les struggled with hyperactivity. His non-stop talking and inability to focus on school work landed him special education classes for the learning disabled most of his school career. Les would spend hours in his bedroom each night listening to his transistor radio; using a hairbrush as a microphone he would introduce songs to an invisible audience. Listening through the thin walls his mother and brother would scold him for talking too much. He never stopped; Les Brown dreamed of being a disc jockey. After graduation Les became a sanitation worker in Miami Beach, but he never lost his dream.

Through persistence, hard work and wanting to keep his dream alive, Les Brown landed his first job in a radio station; a job that would take him onto many other endeavors including becoming an Ohio politician, public speaker and television personality. Les Brown never lost sight of his dreams; he pursued them with intent, purpose and dedication.

Wondering what it is that causes some to stay focused on their dreams while others give up and move on living a life filled with “what if’s” and “I wish I had’s” I conclude that there are no right answers. I believe that some people have buried deep within their souls the desire not only to dream but to live the life they dream about. I am not referring to fairy tales and fantasy rather living life to fulfill our dreams and reach our highest potential.

Following our dreams can be scary. Quite often it would appear that dreams are un-reachable because we are taught that they are filled with frivolity and fantasy, however, dreams are really the roadmap to the life journey we are on. A friend shared with me the following quote: “If your dreams don’t scare you then they are not big enough”. Allowing ourselves to dream the impossible will enable us to achieve the impossible. Much like Les Brown, I too found my life path filled with obstacles that slowed me down leaving me filled with fear and standing still. It was only after I made the decision (with encouragement from family and friends) to dream again that life began to make sense.

Dreams are the gateway to our soul allowing us to see what it is that we really want. Dreams are what give us courage to quit the life we are told we should have and live the life we have always dreamed of having.

Follow your dreams for as you dream you shall become. As Christopher Reeve once said “At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable.” I encourage you to live large and dream and achieve the inevitable.

Peace,

Karla

karlarobey

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner , also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!

Karla’s Korner: Lessons from an Ant

Lessons from an Ant

lessons-from-an-ant

Carrying our Life Load: Lessons from an Ant

After running in several different directions this weekend, preparing to send the boy off to camp (again) and the husband off for a week long business trip I found myself with a decision to make. It’s 6:30 p.m. on Sunday evening and I have yet to get to the gym for my daily workout. Seriously considering skipping the gym and maybe take a quick walk around the block I sought out the husband in hopes he would talk me into staying home with him. Finding him outside with a drink in one hand and a cigar in the other I took a seat on the steps and began my “I think I’m going to skip my work out because I am tired” speech I caught a glimpse of something moving along the bottom step. Taking a closer look I realized it was an ant transporting a rather large object up the steps. Thinking out loud I wondered why the ant chose such a large load to carry. What would make this ant think he (or she) could carry such a load? Always the positive thinker, my husband stated that maybe he needed it. I’m not sure what “it” was, but my guess it was a piece of a leaf from the tree above. But whatever it was it was bigger than the ant; a lot bigger. Continuing to watch the ant move across the step and up the next I was reminded of the difficulties in life and how we have to make the choice to carry the load or give up. Upon that thought sinking into my brain, I dusted myself off, grabbed my car keys and went straight to the gym. After all, if that teeny tiny little ant could carry his heavy load up the steps the least I could do is work out.

Throughout my workout I thought about the ant and how hard he has to work to survive. That trivial piece of leaf was apparently pretty important or he wouldn’t have kept going like he did. I wonder what would happen, if we took the time to put all we had into what matters to us; family, friends, faith, work. What if like the ant we decided that instead of fussing over stuff we figured out a way to work through it. What if we learned to prioritize and determine what was really worth working for? What if, like the ant, we lived in a community that took care of one another and worked alongside of one another for no other reason than because it’s the right thing to do. What if we were able to carry our life load and be thankful for what we have? The “what if’s” are endless; much like our life’s work.

In watching the ant it was apparent that he wouldn’t stop until the job was finished. Determined to get over any obstacles in his path I watched as he made it up the entire set of steps and disappear into the grass. Working hard is necessary to achieve our life goals. Making the decision to never give up is important; no matter how heavy the load. Taking life one step at a time, one task at a time and working to complete each one step at a time will allow you to live a fuller more satisfying life. Look at your load and decide to pick it up and carry it through to the end.

I encourage you to take a moment and watch the video below and to pick up your life load and carry it with determination and motivation. After all, if that tiny little ant can do it I’m sure you can too.

Peace,
Karla

karlarobey

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner , also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!

Karla’s Korner: Kindness Still Counts

Kindness Still Counts

kindness counts

Kindness Still Counts

This week has been filled with a lot of emotional “stuff” for me. Some of the “stuff” was good and some brought about some anxiety. Learning to deal with bumps in my life road is something I continue to work on. One day, maybe, I will be able to lightly touch the brakes and hit the bumps lightly. For now I work to take each bump as they come and hope I can come out learning something from them. As I read through my normal blogs, news stories and social media pages that I follow this week I noticed a “theme” of unkindness. Reflecting on an article I wrote in 2011 about kindness and decided instead of writing something new I would re-share my thoughts on kindness. This week I encourage you to spread a little kindness to the world around you. Take time to lend a hand, share a smile or utter a word of encouragement. Life is way too short to be mean…..

Peace,
Karla

Check out my post on why Kindness Counts….

karlarobey

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner , also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!

Karla’s Korner: A Message of Thanks

Karla’s Korner

karla

Service, Duty, Friendship: A Message of Thanks

He greeted me at the door, larger than life and eager to welcome me into his world; I was apprehensive, fearful and scared. Up until then our worlds were completely different. Keeping my distance, avoiding eye contact I managed to slip in and out without much contact; besides what would we have to talk about? He was the trainer and I was just an overweight, out of shape food addict attempting to lose a few pounds or at least look like I was trying. He is a drill sergeant in the Army and I could barely stay on the treadmill for thirty minutes without heaving up a lung. He was strong, in shape and healthy and I was none of the above. Yet somehow, little by little he managed to find a way to speak and quietly encourage me with a few words every now and again. “Good to see you” or “Great job today” he would say all the while keeping a safe distance yet somehow getting closer at the same time. “Keep it up” he would call out as I zipped past the office door hoping to go unnoticed. And with the occasional conversation it became apparent that he was not the intimidating unreachable figure that scared me to pieces. He was there to help me. Alfred would become my coach, trainer and friend.Continue reading

Karla’s Korner: On Being Unique

karla

On Being Unique…

I took my son to his job at summer camp this weekend, a place he has been to many times since he was eight years old. This camp, located on 780 acres of land nestled alongside the James River in Central Virginia is a special place for my family. My daughter camped there for several years and spent the last six years working there as well. Leaving my children at camp has become a rather normal ordinary experience. But somehow, this trip affected me a bit differently. As I caught a glimpse of my boy in the rearview mirror (yes, he still rides in the backseat) I realize that like his sister he’s preparing to leave home in the not so distant future. With his junior year of high school right around the corner, I realize that my baby is not a baby anymore. Being a junior counselor at camp requires him to be flexible, quick thinking, responsible, and possess a fun, quirky sense of humor. He has that covered in more ways than one. Knowing that he will be asked to participate in song, dance, impromptu skits, games and more he filled his duffle bag with silly hats, ties, goofy shirts and his hot dog costume; yes a hot dog costume.

When I became a mother I had certain dreams and ideas about who my children would become, what they would be like as big kids and eventually grown-ups. Let’s just say that what I had anticipated and what has actually happened don’t exactly mesh; and I am totally okay with that. As a young mother I always encouraged my children to be themselves, refuse to be anything other than who they wanted to be and yet in my wildest dreams did I think that my little boy would grow up to be the young man he has become and have the confidence to wear a hot dog costume. As silly as it was to be greeted at the door by the hot dog boy I am grateful for his quick wit and silly sense of humor. And while I’m sure the neighbors thought he had completely lost his mind when he went to the mailbox dressed as a hot dog I was proud of him for not being afraid to be silly and have fun.

This summer has brought about a lot of changes for my boy. Not only has he grown physically he has matured and grown his spirit. With his sister being sick for nearly six months he has graciously taken on the role of caregiver to her during the days when my husband and I are away at work. And while he may not always make his bed or pick his dirty clothes up off the floor he has stood steadfast by his sister’s side making sure her needs are met and that she is comfortable.

The importance of instilling a sense of independence, responsibility, life skills and encouraging our children to be their own unique selves is key to the adult they will eventually become. As our children grow it is necessary to provide them with the opportunity to learn and grow in all areas of their lives. As much as I miss the little boy who followed me everywhere I went, playing with race cars, dump trucks and building blocks I really like the big kid who has showed up in his place. He’s funny; he’s extremely smart, kind hearted, sensitive and stubborn. He loves with his whole heart and loves to laugh. I am beyond proud of my boy and know that in time he will be ready to spread his wings and fly away from the safety of the nest knowing that he can make a return flight if he needs to.

Children do not come with instruction books and as parents we will make mistakes; lots and lots of mistakes. It is our job as parents to be the example to our children. Living our lives as we want them to live theirs is an important lesson we must teach our children. American author Richelle Goodrich shared her thoughts on the subject when she penned the following: “You can’t make me be nice. You can’t make me be good. You can’t make me believe. But your example, your kindness, your patience and love will affect me perhaps enough that eventually I may choose to do those things.”

Live well. Be the example. Love with your whole heart. Prepare them fly. Prepare to let them go….

Peace,
Karla

!cid_629D06DF-7AEE-40C5-8761-EAD7DDB8499C

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner , also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!

1 13 14 15 16 17 41