HAPPINESS is an Inside Job

happiness-is-a-choiceHappiness is an attitude and a choice that begins within you. Don’t wait for bliss to come to you, with just a few adjustments to your outlook on life, happiness can enter your soul. How you let the world around you, affect you, could be the key to your happiness. You can’t control everything that happens in life, but you can choose how you respond. Learn to see opportunity where others see misfortune. It is not easy to do this, but you CAN do this. Start by changing the way you react to situations and your life can become stress-free and happy, IF you choose.6

We tend to depend on external things to make us happy. Like our favorite food, movie or music, but those are just temporary. To experience true happiness, you need to dig deeper inside yourself. This may feel undoable at first, but just breathe, relax and follow these few steps. And remember every day is a new day, and that is a blessing within itself.

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First recognize what makes you happy, find out what inspires you, whether it is hanging out with friends, going to the beach, or getting a great night’s sleep. Look at what you’re good at, particularly what you lose yourself in – whether it’s writing, travelling, cooking, reading, sports. Whatever it is, make a list and get those things into your daily routines. These activities that you enjoy will make you happy – do them more.

c762e6048a5436970066d1d7d3f73f53--quotes-about-happiness-quotes-about-lifeBegin to foster positive emotions, such as empathy, serenity, and especially gratitude. Start speaking positive words and compliment others. Learn to trust others, start being more open and loving, even to strangers. Help others and give to those less fortunate. Gratitude is a part of being happy. Be thankful for all the blessings that you have in your life and what is going well. Learn to listen to others and become genuinely interested in all they want to say, this shows compassion. Choose to forgive those who have hurt you. Forgiveness is an act of kindness and you will feel that burden lifted.

happy-smile-happiness-quotesShow appreciation and respect for all the good in your life. You ARE blessed, know it. Focus on being the best version of yourself. Nobody in the world can beat you at being you. Be who you are and confident in the real you. Fill your inner circle with those who accept you the way you are and radiate positivity. The people around you should love you, challenge you, and lift you higher. Some people just suck the life right out of you. Simply let them go, now.

c5efbff3d26263126315439829345a07--happy-quotes-wise-quotesEmbrace change. Where there is resistance, flow around it. Where there is opportunity, flow right through it. Let go of your fears, they aren’t real. Live in the now. Find out your life’s true purpose, whatever it is, focus in on what actions you can take to move towards this higher purpose. Become someone who makes a lasting impression on the world with your own amazing creations.

be-happyTake the lessons learned from past mistakes, life is all about trial and error. Learn to let go of what you cannot control and allow peace to enter your life. Don’t look to others to validate who you are or affect you in any way. We’ve all got weaknesses and areas in which we lack confidence, accept them and don’t get hung up on them. Know who you are and be confident. Get rid of the negative emotions such as pessimism, resentment, and anger. The world has enough negativity. Don’t contribute to it anymore.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKXAAAAJDRkYTczM2Q3LWEwZjktNDI3Yi05NGE4LWIzNjQwY2IxNDc1ZQAccept responsibility for everything in your life. Never blame others for your unhappiness. Tell yourself it’s in your hands, because it IS. We have the power and ability to control our own thoughts and feelings, regardless of what is happening to us externally. Feeling in control internally is highly liberating and will make you feel happier. Remember, YOU are enough, and nobody deserves happiness more than you.

 

3b079527fa45dce6c713d4b410c6578015971ad886ed008cdc9034aee0d4abaa--happy-wife-happy-dayFinal Thought:

I know, sounds great, right? Who doesn’t want to be happy. Easier said than done. I never said being happy will be easy to achieve but it will be worth it. Try the steps, if you fail-and you will, we all do-try again. Keep trying. Every day is a new day and a new opportunity to become a happier you. 😊

The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.”

-David Viscott

~Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton

 

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

St. Baldrick’s & Nico’s Army

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I’m not going to lie, there are some things in this world that makes me question my faith and one of them is cancer, particularly Childhood cancer. The universe is random and chaotic. Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. I can’t make sense of it and try not to spend my time focusing on the why. I rather admire the courage and determination of these brave soldiers fighting this hard battle and join the army full of passion to make a difference in doing my part to contributing to advancements in childhood cancer research. Honestly, what else can I do? Of course, I pray but I also argue with my God for allowing these children and families to suffer.

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Over the years, I have unfortunately lost family and friends to cancer, as many of you have also. And we have watched them suffer thru sickness, some lucky enough to beat it and some who have left this world. It is a horrible disease and I wish for a cure- quickly.

 

 

 

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The Unforgotten Haven, which I am proud to be one of the managers of, has been a huge supporter and friend of 10 yr. old Nico, a blackwood resident battling Neuroblastoma. Nico was diagnosed with stage IV high risk neuroblastoma in August 2010 at the age of 3. The Haven has helped raise money for his bucket list and took part in this year’s St. Baldrick’s event. A few team members even shaved their heads! It was an amazing fundraising event. Cancer sucks and it breaks my heart to see the suffering it causes. But through all the tears and hugs, the heroes, miracles and truly good hearted people that have gathered- all for the good of the cause-has touched my heart so much.

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Nico has touched so many lives, more than he will ever know. I am very grateful that he has allowed us to follow him along the way through social media. Nico’s Army posts updates on Facebook showing pictures of Nico, with his approval, at the many hospital and doctor visits and tests that he needs. He is a quiet hero to all. He is a personal inspiration for me not to sweat the small stuff and not to take anything for granted.  Nico’s family, friends, Army and supporters are also hero’s. Please keep them all in your prayers, as I will continue to do.

 

 

Together we can make a difference against childhood cancer.

~Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton

The Greatest Love of All

44fad4f6843f1b92f5d97ab041a3709aI believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, Show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride to make it easier, Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.

Everybody searching for a hero, People need someone to look up to,
I never found anyone who fulfill my needs, A lonely place to be,
So I learned to depend on me.

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows, If I fail, if I succeed,
At least I’ll live as I believe, no matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.

Because the greatest love of all Is happening to me.
I found the greatest love of all, inside of me. The greatest love of all, is easy to achieve.
Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows, If I fail, if I succeed, At least I’ll live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.
Because the greatest love of all, is happening to me. I found the greatest love of all,
Inside of me. The greatest love of all, is easy to achieve.

Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.

And if by chance, that special place, that you’ve been dreaming of,
Leads you to a lonely place, Find your strength in love.

This song by Whitney Houston came on the radio as I was stuck in traffic last week. For the very first time I listened to every single word. She sings of self-love and standing up for your beliefs. But we all know the decision to love one’s self is not quite as easy as the lyrics suggest. There are many struggles faced in learning to love yourself and being happy with who you are, even the parts of yourself you aren’t too fond of.

Given all that has been happening in our country with youth on youth violence and youth suicide, I was struck by the timeliness of the message of this song. However, it was the chorus, which resonated with my spirit. I believe we need to teach our youth how to connect with themselves so they can create a better future for themselves and the next generation. We must teach our youth, and ourselves, the true meaning of self-love, The Greatest Love of All.

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton

 

 

Equal pay for woman

Equal pay for equal work. It might sound like common sense, but unfortunately, it’s not reality. On April 4th, a day known as Equal Pay Day, people gathered in various cities to speak out against the various barriers women encounter in the workplace.

In 1963, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act (EPA) into law, making it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform equal work. At the time the EPA was made a law, women earned only 59 cents to every dollar earned by men. Today, women make, on average, only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men which tells us that significant differences remain and need to be addressed. The EPA started to help move the pay gap, but a lot still needs to be done.

imagesWomen have made tremendous strides taking jobs and occupations previously held exclusively by men. But women are still segregated into minimum-wage working jobs, according to an AAUW report. Based on their analysis of Department of Education data, 40 percent of women work in historically female occupations like social work, teaching and nursing, but only five percent of men were employed in these fields as of 2013. American women who work full time all year are paid only 80 cents for every dollar paid to men — and for women of color, the wage gap is even larger. That is a gender wage gap of 20 percent! This means it took 44 years for the wage gap to close just 18 cents — a rate of less than half a penny a year.

equal-pay-dayOn average, women receive more college and graduate degrees than men do. Yet, women continue to earn considerably less than men. The pay gap was the smallest in New York, the largest gap was in Wyoming, where women were paid 64 percent of what men were paid. The pay gap affects women from all backgrounds, at all ages, and of all levels of educational achievement. The pay gap is even worse for women of color.

 

In Pennsylvania, workers are on track to get the same pay for the same work in 2068. That is 51 years from now, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research reported. In New Jersey, equal pay is projected to happen in 2054.  Overall, the U.S. is expected to have equal pay by 2059.

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What can we do? Let’s help support raising the wage to promote fair pay for women. Equal pay for equal work shouldn’t be an idea. It should be reality. We need to make pay equitable. The Legislature can create paid leave and child-care policies allowing mothers to keep their jobs, avoiding long gaps in employment that drive down wages. And we need to raise the minimum wage — two-thirds of minimum-wage earners are women — and enact other policies to raise wages. We need to rally to combat wage discrimination and get our voices heard. Here are some dates in 2017 to support equal pay. Get out there and show your support!

2017 Equal Pay Days

March 7, 2017-Asian American Women’s Equal Pay Day

April 4, 2017-All Women’s Equal Pay Day

May 23, 2017-Mothers’ Equal Pay Day

July 31, 2017-Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

September 25, 2017-Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day

November 2, 2017-Latinas’ Equal Pay Day

 

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton

www.girltalkmarlton.org

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“When I joined four teammates in filing a wage-discrimination complaint against U.S. Soccer late last month, it had nothing to do with how much I love to play for my country. It had everything to do with what’s right and what’s fair and with upholding a fundamental American concept: Equal pay for equal play.” —Carli Lloyd, in a New York Times article from March 2016

“If fighting for equal pay and paid family leave is playing the gender card, then deal me in!” —Hillary Clinton, in Harlem at the Apollo Theater in March 2016

“Without women’s groups knocking on doors, I wouldn’t have gotten where I am. We need women to support each other. We still don’t have equal pay.” —Sonia Sotomayor, at an event organized by Watermark in 2013

 

One word

whats-your-wordIf you had to pick one word to live by what would it be? Maybe it is a virtue you want more of in your life, maybe a challenge you want to overcome, or maybe something you are passionate about. I stumbled upon a service project online that asks this question. What’s your word?

I had to give this some thought, there are so many words that are perfect! Immediately the words love, hope, dream, breathe, pray, and wish popped into my head. Picking one word out of all the glorious, interesting, provoking, meaningful, wondrous, and reflective words out there can be downright intimidating!

So how do you go about picking one word?  Drive deep into your soul and list your qualities. Is agtzfndvcmRhcml1bXIfCxIHR2FsbGVyeRgBDAsSCkNsb3VkSW1hZ2UYudQ_DAthere something you could benefit from focusing on? This will help you nail down your personal motto – the word that captures your purpose and passion. This word defines you and your mission. It will be your focus, your mantra, the word that will guide you. Choosing one word makes it easier to remember and to put into action. It will help give you meaning, mission, passion and purpose. And your one word can change, it doesn’t have to be the same forever. Start with one and see how it goes.

56a5b7441e1df7e12af3878fcf27fa26After much reflection, I chose INSPIRE. It is one of my favorite words. I am lucky enough to have had many inspirational people in my life that put a fire in my heart to inspire others. I want to be a positive influence capable of inspiring others to become better versions of themselves. Of course, as I am constantly continuing to work on myself to be the best version of me.

Understanding the difference that positive inspiration can make in a person’s life gives me the motivation I need to make every moment count as an opportunity to inspire others. Inspiration is powerful. I take opportunities to inspire others through my words and actions during everything that goes on in this hectic world we live.  I try my best to be cognizant of how I act and react in situations.  But I am human, I need to remind myself to be authentic and true, to be kind and to not judge others so harshly.  By trying to be the best version of myself I hope to inspire others to do the same. My one word -inspire- I believe, challenges us all to live purposefully.

So, how did you do? Did you choose your One Word? 75cefe30b681dcd94e180f6c87d43831 You can now put that word to use, that’s my wish for you! Keep it where you can see it, and let it inspire you each day.

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/one-word/

www.girltalkmarlton.org

www.thewishwall.org

Welcome Spring!

spring-1210194_1280Spring is the season of tremendous beauty, it is a time when flowers bloom and trees begin to grow. It is a time of new hope, new dreams, rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, and regrowth. We welcome spring and rejoice in the longer days filled with visions of growth all around us after the cold depressing winter. Open your windows to allow the breeze to come through the curtains and let the sunlight fill your home waking it from its winters long slumber. This instantly lifts our mood and energizing us. Sometimes simply noticing the change of seasons is enough to bring a change within ourselves. We must learn to enjoy the simple things in life. Just observing the beauty of God’s creations and enjoying them gives us a sense of renewal.

“A prayer in Spring” poem is beautiful poem by Robert Frost and one of my favorite. Robert Frost is known as one of the best poets of the 20th century, his poems have been a source of inspiration to the young and old. In this poem below, he reminds us it is important to not overthink the future and live in the moment while enjoying the gifts God has given us.

34b5b46716894a8eb046fe4cb9ce452bLearn to be present and be grateful for all the beauty around us. Stop worrying so much about the future but instead love and embrace today. Use the visionary beauty of spring as inspiration to bring your goals and creative energy to fruition. Use this time to renew your commitment to your goals and replenish your motivation.

Spring is a perfect time to stop, reassess your life, and make changes. What better time than spring to re-group and re-prioritize, and even re-invent ourselves! My wish for you is to embrace the change of the season and take the time to enjoy the beauty of it. Welcome Spring!

 

A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost

OH, give us pleasure in the flowers today;

And give us not to think so far away

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here

All simply in the springing of the year.

 

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,

Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;

And make us happy in the happy bees,

The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

 

And make us happy in the darting bird

That suddenly above the bees is heard,

The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,

And off a blossom in midair stands still.

 

For this is love and nothing else is love,

To which it is reserved for God above

To sanctify to what far ends he will,

But which it only needs that we fulfill.

Spring-1

 

 

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/welcome-spring/