INTEGRITY

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If I could teach everyone only one value to live by, it would be integrity.

Integrity is crucial in all aspects of life: professional, personal, social and spiritual. Yet, so many people lack it. Integrity is doing the right thing, even when nobody’s watching. It means being true to yourself.

Wisdom-knowing-font-b-Integrity-b-font-Decor-Cute-vinyl-wall-decal-font-b-quote-bIntegrity is a consistency between a person’s inner values and attitudes and their outward words and actions. The more consistent we are, the higher the degree of integrity we possess.

Those that live with the value of integrity are honest, trustworthy, fair, show respect, accept responsibility, and have courage. The best way to guard your integrity is to decide in advance that you will never sell out or surrender your integrity.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAgGAAAAJDQ5NTMwNGNiLTY5ZDctNDEzZS04NWFiLTNjZTY5N2I4OGUxZQThe road to integrity is not an easy one but it’s the only one worth traveling. Integrity is essential if we are going to become people who positively and powerfully impact others.

People who demonstrate integrity draw others to them because they are trustworthy and dependable. They act with honor and truthfulness. They treat people equally and take responsibility for their own feelings and actions.

A word of advice to those who are striving for a reputation of integrity: Avoid those who are not trustworthy. If someone is dishonest in any aspect of his or her life you can be guaranteed that they will be dishonest in many aspects of their life. It is important to realize that others pay attention to those you have chosen to associate with, and they will inevitably judge your character by the character of your friends.

So, surround yourself with people of integrity. That makes sense, doesn’t it?!

~Mary Beth Iannarella

GirlTalkMarlton.org

 “Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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Mentor. Inspire. Empower.

I am a strong believer in mentoring, inspiring and empowering others, especially young girls. Research confirms the importance of having a quality mentoring relationship and shows it has a powerful positive effect on young people in personal, academic, and professional situations. Mentoring for me has always been first and foremost a relationship, I meet an extraordinary young woman and I think how can I help this person? How can I open doors for her and be supportive, encouraging and nourishing?

2013-girl-talk-logoIn 2013, I started a chapter of Girl Talk Inc in my town-Girl Talk Marlton.  Girl Talk Inc. is an international non-profit peer-to-peer mentoring program with a very simple premise: high school girls mentor middle school girls to help them deal with the issues they face during their formative early teenage years. Our mission is to help young teenage girls build self-esteem, develop leadership skills and recognize the value of community service. The girls develop confidence, leadership skills and compassion. They learn that they are not alone in the issues they face and that understanding, kindness and compassion can be the foundation for better relationships with others. This helps women become stronger leaders in the work place and more effective as parents. Since 2002, the Girl Talk Inc. organization has served more than 40,000 girls in 43 states and 7 countries. My group in Marlton, NJ has grown from 1 girl in 2013 to 107 young girls ages 10-18.

Why the need for female mentors? Statistics consistently demonstrate the alarming incidence of dangerous behaviors in middle school aged girls, as well as the positive impact of mentoring.

2009 data suggests that, of the middle school girl population in the U.S.:

9% are pregnant

22% never make it through high school (drop out)

27% have been or will be suicidal

34% have eating disorders

55% experiment with alcohol, drugs or tobacco

and, of those with low self-esteem, 25% resort to self-injurious behavior and 75% report engaging in activities such as disordered eating, cutting, bullying, smoking or drinking

 

The good news is that data also suggests that youth who are mentored are:

27% less likely to begin using alcohol

37% less likely to skip class

46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs

52% less likely to skip school, are more confident in their academic performance, and get along better with their families
7e277f9e37a1f037ff2ca5f826d533d5So, why NOT mentor, inspire and empower! Inspiration is all around us in everything we do and see. We need to mentor our young females to be inspired by the positive and not listen to the negative. And always empower them to aim high.

Young women often talk about the self-doubt that holds them back, that little negative voice inside their heads. We all have it, we all make mistakes, we are all human. Of course, sometimes even our role models get things wrong, or disappoint us, but this is also a useful reminder especially to girls that no one is perfect, and that anyone can survive both failure and error.

As women, we need to learn to build each other up. Women of different generations, colors and culture need to ensure that the progress we’ve made towards real equality continues.  We need to trust each other enough to share our power, knowledge, strength, talents and innovating solutions together. The women that do this are true role models and mentors and this is what I strive to be. They are the women who drive our motivation and imaginations, merely by their example. If we’re lucky enough, we count them as friends, and they are what we call our mentors.

My wish for you this week is to find a mentor in your life and become closer to them, learn from them and be empowered to inspire others.

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/mentor-inspire-empower/

~Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

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 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?- Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

We all judge each other, and it is OK

b036f98c3c60785e075834f61a10fb55.jpgYou always hear DO NOT JUDGE OTHERS, but I think it is a part of human nature. No matter how subtle, most of the time we judge unconsciously or by intuition.  I judge others all the time, and you do, too. You are judging this article right now, and that is okay.  From the moment you meet someone, you are judging their clothes, hair, makeup, and so on. You don’t even notice it, but we do it all day long.

Judgment is nothing but evaluation of evidence or facts to help us decide.  It is that little voice inside our heads that tells us to ask that sweet looking woman for directions instead of that young teenager because you judged him that he wouldn’t know.  Or when you decide to not pick the checkout line with the young chatty girl because you assume she will be too slow. We judge or evaluate life experiences, situations, things, opinions, thoughts, and people based on the values, emotions and logic we were taught. As human beings, we are blessed with touch, speech, hearing, taste, smell, common sense (most of us-lol) and intuition. These senses help us to evaluate every person or situation-in other words, judge.

Accept your urge to judge, it will help you make good decisions. Assume everyone else judges everyone else (because they do).  Ask others to share their judgements of you. Listen with an open heart and mind.  Embrace your judgements and be willing to learn from others judgements of you. Every person you meet has something special to give you—that is, if you are open to receiving it.

judgeMerriam-Webster defines “judgment” as “An opinion or decision that is based on careful thought. The act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought. The act of judging something or someone. The ability to make good decisions about what should be done.” Many people don’t use the “careful thought” part of the definition and that is where I think good judgment and bad judgment come into play.

Judge when it is right to judge, and know how to judge. That’s imperative. There’s a thin line between judgment and ignorance, which leads to injustice. Knowing when to judge is also very important. Discretion and calculation in judgment is strength, for it shows wisdom and maturity.  Gossiping, ridiculing, or wanting to cause harm to someone by judging shows only your immaturity and ignorance.

People fear being judged because they fear being evaluated. Don’t fear it, instead originalembrace it! We must recognize that we are all imperfect and it is okay. People are going to judge you regardless of what you are or are not doing, so just do whatever makes you happy. And when you choose to step out and walk into the things you have been called to do, you can and should except judgement. Prepare for it and it will not come as a surprise. We cannot always help what happens to us, but we can help how we react to these things.

 “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~Pema Chodron

My wish for you is to Live Courageously!

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

 

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/we-all-judge-each-other-and-it-is-ok/

Stand up & Do Your Part to Help Others by Mary Beth Iannarella

helping-handsIt’s easy to get so wrapped up in fixing your own life that you forget about helping others and being kind. And while it’s important to put yourself first sometimes, it is also important to help others whenever you can. People are usually good-hearted by nature. They want to do good things; they want to help other people whenever they can. Some will even go beyond their means to help someone in need if they’ve been deeply touched by the circumstances of the needy one. But sometimes, we just forget, it’s okay- we are all human.

There is scientific evidence that kindness can improve our lives. Helping others and showing kindness is not only good for those in need, it also makes us happier and healthier too. Kindness and caring for others also seem to be very contagious. When we see someone do something kind or thoughtful, or we are on the receiving end of kindness, it inspires us to be kinder ourselves. Kindness really is the key to creating a happier, more trusting local community. And kindness doesn’t cost a thing!

helping-others-quote-3-picture-quote-1And it’s not all about money – we can also give of our time, ideas and energy. We all have special talents that make this world a richer place. Serve people by showing them how beautiful life can be when you live passionately exploring it with your talents. This may be in writing, painting, singing, or any area of life. Or maybe you could listen and be present to people and just show them respect. Or just try to appreciate people for who they are, not just the behaviors they display.

Whatever you’re doing to help others, no matter how small or unimportant it may seem to you, it can make a huge impact in someone else’s life. Don’t think what you’re going to get in return, that ruins the good deeds. Just do “it”, whatever it is, from your heart. People may not have noticed what you’ve done, people may not compliment you for it but the good has been done. That’s when the blessing you didn’t ask for is bestowed upon you. That’s when the good amplifies and comes back to you.

It’s a beautiful circle, when helping begins with you and you inspire people to practice kindness and pass it on to others. Helping others in my opinion is no way selfish, rather it is a “win win” situation. The person you helped is much better off now and you have raised your self-esteem, feel happier, more motivated and super confident. You can achieve almost anything you want if you believe in yourself and you put your heart and mind to it.

I believe our true purpose in life is to give our lives away to others, and that we receive happiness, fulfillment, and meaning in return. Why not stand up and do your part to spread happiness and kindness in the world? Start small, in your community or neighborhood, or the man you see every morning on the corner. There is always someone that can use your help. My wish today is that you just give it a try.

Here are just a few suggestions from me to get you started:

What can I do to help others?

  • Smile and be friendly. You never know what someone is going through.

  • Call a charity to volunteer your time and talents.

  • Donate something you don’t use to an organization that doesn’t sell!

  • Make a monetary donation to your favorite local charity.

  • Stop to help someone in need.

  • Buy someone a cup of coffee.

  • Comfort someone in grief.

 

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

 

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens

 

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank