Category Archives: Inspirational

Soul Status

Quote Of The Day – Margaret Young

I came across this quote today:

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” – Margaret Young

I wholeheartedly agree. Enjoy your day!

Raising Them Up


To say it’s been a while since my last blog post would be an extreme understatement! But as I continue to bask in the warmth of motherhood after my amazing Mother’s Day yesterday, I wanted to reflect on the actual job of motherhood: raising our children.

It’s truly amazing to see the growth and development of our kids! We do our best as mothers to teach and guide our children; to instill values in them and to help them become the people they’re destined to be.

We provide wisdom. We teach them the value of being respectful, honest and kind. We help them to understand the importance of resilience, determination and hard work. We encourage them to do their very best in all things, while also reminding them not to sweat the small stuff.

For mothers, life can be hectic. We’re often so focused on getting our kids where they need to go, and making sure they have what they need (as well as making sure they know the difference between what they actually NEED and what they WANT), that we may forget to simply enjoy the time we spend with them.

All it takes is one glance at a picture from years gone by, when your kids were younger (and you were thinner), to realize how fast time passes! Enjoying the special, as well as the ordinary, everyday moments, is key.

Motherhood is wonderful all of the time (and frustrating some of the time), and it’s a job I feel blessed to have!

Insights on Achieving Work-Life Balance and Making Career Transitions

I’d like to thank Lady Charmaine Day for having me as a guest on her Christian talk show, Taboo Talk, on BlogTalkRadio today!
I truly had a wonderful time discussing work-life balance and career transitions.

The show aired live, but you can listen to it here, in case you missed it!

Listen to internet radio with Taboo Talk on BlogTalkRadio

Guest Appearance on Taboo Talk with Lady Charmaine Day on BlogTalkRadio

Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 15, 2013) from 2-3 p.m. eastern standard time, I’ll be a guest on Taboo Talk, a Christian talk show featuring ordained Pastor, Wife, Publisher, Author and Radio Host, Lady Charmaine Day.

The show, which is syndicated and appears on BlogTalkRadio, YouTube and Itunes, features insightful commentary from Lady Charmaine Day on a variety of topics. It airs live on BlogTalkRadio each Sunday and Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. EST.

On tomorrow’s show, we’ll discuss health and fitness tips, ways to balance home and work life, as well as advice for people who want to make a career transition in order to pursue their true passion.

I hope you’ll join us!

(Click the image below to link to the webpage):

Taboo Talk with Lady Charmaine Day

Take The First Step Toward Achieving Your Goals

5197882-man-stepping-on-long-stairway-to-his-destination-3d-illustrationTake the first step! “What first step?” you ask. That step that will lead you in the direction of your goals and dreams.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his infinite wisdom said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

It all begins with the first step.

Each of us has our own aspirations and desires. Things we’d love to accomplish or feel called to do.
For me, it’s writing music and sharing knowledge and insights.

For you, it may be writing your first novel, eating more healthfully, adding exercise to your daily life, spending more time with family, finally getting that promotion or simply making time for yourself.
But how do you get from that internal longing and state of wishing, to actually setting things in motion?

Here are three actions you can take to get started:

1. Decide to take the first step.

I know this seems more contemplative than action-oriented, but making the decision to work toward achieving your goals is where it all starts.

First, you need to know what you want to achieve in specific, well-defined terms, then decide to make it a priority.

The goal of eating healthier gets defined as eating breakfast every morning. Writing your first book starts with making an outline of what you want it to include.
Both of these first steps are specific.

2. Commit to taking that step.

That commitment may take the form of putting it in writing on a vision board, in a journal or even on a sticky note on your refrigerator.
You may prefer to share it with a family member, a trusted friend, or teacher.
Or perhaps you, like me, would rather go inward through prayer, in order to gain clarity and focus for your task.

Either way, figuring out what works best for you, then doing that, is the best way to keep your commitment.

3. Plan what steps will follow.

Many of us get tripped up on the way to our dreams, because we forget this crucial step.
We’ve made a decision (and maybe even a commitment) to realize our dreams, but without a plan to make it happen, you’re more likely to get off track.

If you want to eat more healthfully, and have committed to eating breakfast everyday, are the foods and beverages in your refrigerator and pantry going along with the new plan?
You may need to figure out what healthy breakfast options you want this week, and make sure to have those foods in your house (or at least, on your grocery list).

If drinking more water is the plan, filling a reusable water bottle the night before (we all know how hectic mornings can be) and taking it to work or school everyday, could be the first step in your plan.

Suddenly, spending more time with your family, begins with keeping certain days free from scheduled activities, eating dinner as a family as often as you can, watching a television show or taking a walk or bike ride together.

The goal of making time for yourself may require having your evening chores and things to do completed by a particular time, so you can hole up in your room with a cup of herbal tea and a good book (no smartphone alerts, laptop computers, depressing evening news or reality TV allowed)!

All of these planned actions are specific and achievable. Once you get going on making your first step a routine, the act of adding new steps becomes much easier.
Making a change in your status quo habits and moving toward achieving a goal that may, at times, seem unachievable or too big to start, begins with taking that first step.

For me, after deciding to write and committing to writing, my plan was not to wait around for inspiration, but to get up everyday, and write like it’s my job!
What steps do you plan on taking, to move in the direction of your goals and dreams?

Make Time For Yourself

BusyI have a question: Have you ever looked up from the “busyness” that is your life, and realized that you were so occupied taking care of the needs and wants of those around you, (whether it be work, family, school, organizations, etc.), that you failed to take care of your wants and needs? I’ve done that recently and noticed that on a things-to-do list that was a mile long… I was nowhere on it!

What about the gifts I’ve been given that I haven’t carved out time to use or explore? What about the goals I want to achieve and things I want to do? Whose fault was it that I haven’t made time for myself? The blame was firmly in my court, but rather than place that blame, I continued to refer to the verses that caused me to put my “busyness” into question in the first place: “Be still…” – Psalm 46:10 and “Peace, be still.” – Mark 4:39.

By quieting myself for a bit of self-reflection, I was able to hear His “still small voice.” I prayerfully examined our family schedule, made some changes to create more balance, and lo & behold… time for me too! Time to be creative and use the gifts I’ve been given. Time to set the ground work for goals I’d like to achieve. My insight on that… it won’t happen, if you don’t make the time to make it happen. I’ve come to the realization that “later” is a dangerous place. It gets pushed further into the future each day you say it.
Now I’m glad I made it a point to take those ballet and contemporary dance classes I always wanted to take at Ballet Austin and Tapestry Dance Academy!

I’m also glad I’m making time for my music. Not in a forced I’ve-got-to-get-a-CD-done kind of way, but more organically, by doing what I love and enjoy without putting pressure on myself to produce. By taking the time to learn the guitar and piano, educate myself on music software and speaking with artists/vocalists with similar interests here in Austin (thank you Candace Bellamy and Erin Duvall).

I listen to a wide variety of music and often find myself inspired by songs, be it the lyrics, the melody, the beat, or all of the above. I often ask myself (especially about the gospel and contemporary Christian songs I hear), what if that artist felt moved to write that song, but never did it; or wrote the song, but never recorded it; or recorded the song, but never released it… then I wouldn’t be enjoying it now, or encouraged and blessed by it in this moment. It was that thought that propelled me back into action… making it a point to get back into the “music saddle.” I’m curious to know if any of you have felt the same way in your lives? Let me know by posting a comment, if so inclined. :)

I want to give a special thank you to everyone who has inspired me in music and dance to date. Danielle DeCosmo in Gainesville, FL, my vocal coach for a year; to my brother and sister in music, David Davis and Joy Matthews (my former fellow gospel group-mates); Erin Murphy at Cameron Dance Center in Gainesville, FL, my first ballet and jazz teacher (started those lessons at age 38); and to Mary Knestrick of Independance Studio in Gainesville, FL and Melanie Smith of Dancin’ Jazzi and the FLAVA Dance Company in Austin, TX, for their dance inspiration as artists/choreographers.

Dr. Dayo Lanier