Monthly Archives: May 2014

In Memory of Maya Angelou – Touched by an Angel



Touched by an Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.


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In Memory of Maya Angelou – I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings


I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou

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In memory of Maya Angelou – Still I Rise

maya angelou - still i rise

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou, 1928 – 2014
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

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H-Day Report – If I feel……, I will……

Og1And how will I master my emotions so that every day is a happy day, and a productive one? I will learn this secret of the ages: Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts. Each day, when I awake, I will follow this plan of battle before I am captured by the forces of sadness, self-pity and failure –

• If I feel depressed, I will sing.

• If I feel sad, I will laugh.

• If I feel ill, I will double my labor.

• If I feel fear, I will plunge ahead.

• If I feel inferior, I will wear new garments.

• If I feel uncertain, I will raise my voice.

• If I feel poverty, I will think of wealth to come.

• If I feel incompetent, I will remember past success.

• If I feel insignificant, I will remember my goals.

- Og Mandino

There are days when we really feel down, frustrated, and depressed, like nothing we do is right. We don’t even want to get out of bed. It’s natural to have such downtime. It’s healthy to accept and recognize the nothing-is-right moment. What makes the difference is how we respond to it and what to follow. We can either continuously feel the gloomy, or we can simply release the frown and give a smile. Remember when we are in low mood, our brain takes it as a threat and tries to avoid the reality. In such situation, the rational part of the brain is shut down, leaving the primitive brain take control. So we can’t think rationally, act responsibly or communicate clearly; whereas when we feel relaxed, the rational brain starts to work, and we are able to be rational and controllable. According to neuroscience researches, when we acknowledge our feelings and say it aloud in our mind, that part of the brain feeling the distracting emotion is calmed. We can then return to clarity and purpose.

So acknowledge and say in your mind about your feelings. You are back on track.

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A Mother’s Precious Heart

mother heartA mother is like wheels with eyes, which scan over her children lives.  Without a shadow of a doubt she desires to see them rise, to be her pride and joy.  She meets their needs by making sacrifices, based with potent love, sprinkled with the spice of care and presented with a majestic smile. Because her role is vast and tedious, she adopts the wheels with eyes persona, enabling her to see and sense, everything that her children are blinded to. This mother, like a wheel, protects her children when needed because she stops and starts in time, preventing danger by changing course.   

A mother of this calibre often accomplished difficult tasks, which in many ways require the strength of many men.  Although she often functions in masculinity, she does not wish to be a father, but it is the lack of role parameter, why  mothers frequently find themselves,charged with role reversal. No matter what the role is, she does it with grace, for the benefit of her children. So with mother’s day now approaching, remember what a mother does, and treat her with gentility, which says, without a doubt I know you chose to be my mother, but you have far surpass that role. 

In difficult times, when the role seem burdensome, just for a moment she reflect with thoughts of being a father, but what a world of difference that would make, if mothers had the ability to become fathers when they need to be.  For with her eyes within the wheel, she would experience a pain so deep, if only for a day she watched the family mourn the loss of such a mother. The loss of such a mother would give the earth great cause to mourn, because she has made the earth to sigh in disbelief, that a mother is now disqualified!

On the day of thanking her, the day of her sabbatical, Mother’s Day, which only comes but once a year, she is all the more a mother, when she thinks about how blessed she is, to hear affirming words of love and deep appreciation from her nurtured children, which gratifies this mother’s precious heart.

In reflection of Mother’s Day, the fleeting moments of her sitting still, was never long enough, to search her heart and find within the missing pieces of her life, never to be regained, because time and children has wiped away, the simplicity of that life, dedicated to being a mother.  What a mother, what a heart, and who would dare to take her place? No takers can fill that worthy stead because her worth can only be measured by understanding this mother’s value.  Now the purpose of the wheels with the eyes persona, have been revealed, because the children knows, that a mother had to do it all until she is no more.

And with the passing of such a mother there is a feeling deep inside, that makes me want to say, my mother, dearest mother, young at heart and unfulfilled in many ways, I miss you!  I am forever grateful for your dedication, love and life surrendered commitment to me. 

So my mother, my dearest mother, you died too young! 

Signed: Erma.Washington.May 2nd, 2014.


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M|M|C Report – Brain to Brain

brain2brainHappy Monday MMC’s!

Psychologists have been trying for years to curve the workplace fever. There’s always some kind of tension with a boss or a colleague and no one really knows why there needs to be tension or what is causing it. Employee engagement is a tough battle. Every year companies are spending billions on learning and development (L&D) trying to improve workplace performance and soften office tension and quarrels. US companies spent $164.2 billion in 2012 alone on employees. Sure it helps performance but, does it solve the tension and the quarrels? 

Communication and team work is a big thing in everyone’s life. Learning how to join forces with people and interact well is an asset that each person should aspire to develop. It’s not only useful on the job but it impacts our personal life as well. It’s very difficult to have one way of communicating at home and another way at work, because you’re the same person and your personality is your personality. Therefore, whether you’re on or off the job, you’re either making a friend or a foe. You decide what is more useful in your life.

I agree that it’s hard to understand people, because we change on a dime sometimes; one minute we’re happy and the next is all sadness or grouchiness. It’s a difficult thing to deal with. But we don’t have to try to understand everyone we meet or work with. We only need to understand how the brain works, and see it from that perspective will give us more clarity in why people do what they do and say what they say. It will also allow us to be more mindful with our words and choose to respond rather than react when threat or tension is present. 

The SCARF model was developed by David Rock and was first published in 2008. It explains the reasons why employees act the way they act in the work place and why bosses do what they do as well. It’s a daunting task for companies trying to understand employees and managers and how to keep everyone happy and productive. The SCARF model explains the inner workings of the brain and breaks it down into five areas. Understanding these five areas will give you more clarity in your bosses and colleagues head and will create agility in your approach to work related issues.

SCARF stands for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. Let’s take a closer look at how this impacts us in the work place and our personal life.

Status has nothing to do with social status in our daily language. It means to feel important to other people and have a sense of being needed.

Certainty is to have a clear expectation of the future, knowing what is expected, what is to happen if expectations are met.

Autonomy is to feel a sense of having choices. When people feel being micro managed, the trust is broken.

Relatedness equals to trust.  It represents a sense of belonging. The need for safe human contact is like the need food.

Fairness is referring to the fair exchanges. The need for fairness may be part of the explanation as to why people experience internal rewards for doing volunteer work to improve their community.

“We are not thinking machines that feel; rather, we are feeling machines that think.” – Antonio Damasio

If you want to know more about how SCARF model is related to yourself, your work and your organization, please check out our website at

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W|D|R – When the sun rises

Jeff Nyveen

Jeff Nyveen

Imagine you are watching the sunrise on a massive historic fortification in the desert. You are painted the same color as the surroundings, the warm and glowing orange. On top of that massive structure, it’s like the sky is within touch. Can you feel the magnificence of the great nature. We are nature’s miracles when we are in it and become part of it. When we are the leader of our lives, we take charge. Spend some time in the great nature, feeling the merge with the surroundings, feeling the attachment to the air and the sun, seeing the spetrum of the blosoms, hearing the sounds that we’ve been missing in city life, smelling the fragrance of the blooms.

Our hearts rise with the sun jumping out of the horizon. A new day, a new page, a new life. How will you welcome such a new start in your life? The beauty about it is that it comes with every sunrise. Take the opportunity of every new sunrise. Appreciate the opportunity to every new start we have.

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H-Day Report – Be a stronger self!

the-leadership-in-meHave you ever felt frustrated when the person you are working with can’t meet the deadline?

Have you ever felt the contempt in your supervisor’s tone because you are a junior staff?

Have you ever thought of why you have to be the one who compromise in a discussion?

What if you can go to the person and tell him that if he doesn’t meet the deadline, he’s gonna lose the opportunity to work with you?

What if you can say to your supervisor that you are qualified and capable to do more complicated work because you’ve been learning on yourself?

What if you can stand on your ground because you have the skills and the ability to direct the discussion to the optimal direction?

What would you feel if you can all these? Your confidence level will soar, because you are confident in your skills, experience and capability. You believe in yourself that you are the leader, the one who succeed.

There are a lot of the times we are not willing to take that leadership position. Of course, it’s safer if you stay in our comfort zone. There’s less trouble to avoid spearheading in a project. There are fewer headaches simply being a follower. However, when you give up the responsibility, you also give up the opportunity to grow and develop. Why leave the decision with other people, not yourself?

Leadership is different from power. You don’t need to hold any power, or have any superior experience. You don’t need to be senior in rank or age. You just need to have the willingness to make impact on other people because of your characters, i.e. who you are, and take actions to make that impact.

You are making an impact when you assist other people accomplish a common task. You’re making an impact when you organize a group to reach the common goal. You’re making an impact when you contribute to your community by volunteering. You’re making an impact when you help other people be stronger mentally and get back on their track.

Take the responsibility in leadership. Be a stronger self. You will feel more satisfied everyday.

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M|M|C Report – I will persist until I succeed.


I will persist until I succeed.

Before World War I, the foundation of success was focused on Character Ethic, things like integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty and the Golden Rule (ethic of reciprocity). These are the basic principles of effective living, meaning that people can only experience true success and ever-lasting happiness when they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character. My understanding of the principles is that those are the characters of a good person. Even though being a good person doesn’t guarantee that you will get what you want, but losing of those characters will lead to a failed life, no matter what you have. I know I am a good person, so as long as I persist, I can succeed.

I will persist until I succeed.

The road to my goal can’t be flowery or sunny all the time. But I understand that at the end of the desert is the grassland and that after the thunderstorm is the colourful rainbow. What’s more important is that the sun rises in the morning everyday no matter how terrible the weather was the night before. Therefore, it’s up to me to stop when unfavourable situation occurs, or bend my back, take a deep breath and keep going. If I want to welcome the sunshine on every morning, I need to live through the thunderstorm and the dark night. So as long as I persist, I will be the one who enjoys the sunshine every morning.

I will persist until I succeed.

“The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning.” So I don’t know how many steps I need to take to reach my goal. Failures are unavoidable as long as we do something, but success might be behind the next bend on the road to success. Never will I know what’s behind it until I turn the corner and see, so I take another step to find out. One step at a time is not that difficult. As long as I persist in taking the steps, I will see the difference and get closer to the success I want.

I will persist until I succeed.

I was not born with the smartest brain. I was not born in the richest family. But I have managed to be an independent individual in the society. I know what I did works for me, which is to keep on. Keep on learning, keep on practicing and keep on perfecting. Success is not measured by how wealthy I am. To me, it means how helpful I can be to others and how much I can do for the people who are in need. As long as I persist in doing what I did, I’m on my way to success of being a helpful person.

I will persist until I succeed.

I won’t take “No” for an answer, because I know where there’s a will, there is always a way. I won’t hesitate on a frown, because I know a frown is a sign that my idea is taken in and it might prepare me for the smile to come. I won’t depress about setbacks, because I know it is just a setback and I will succeed once I get over it. I won’t skip the night, because I know I must have the night to appreciate the day. I must fail to appreciate the little accomplishments along the way. I know as long as I persist, I will succeed.

I will try, and try, and try again, because I know one of the greatest principles of success – if I persist, and long enough, I will win.

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