Category: Uncategorized

“I am Not Dead, I’m Dormant.”

20180617_164100This sign, “I am not dead, I’m dormant,” immediately caught my eye while taking a walk through the conservatory at The NY Botanical Garden in the middle of June on a hot and humid Sunday afternoon.

Have you ever felt that way? Like your life is on a standstill. It seems like the harder you try the more things stay the same.

Or worse get worse.

That’s when you have to really take a cold look at things. Like the plant, cut back. I mean some drastic pruning. Whether it’s relationships you need to run from or places you need to disappear from.

We humans like routine or maintaining the status quo. Taking the path of least resistance is what some will do. That obviously won’t work when you are looking for change.

This is no rah rah speech about attaining phenomenal success in a short period of time or becoming famous.

This blog post is about growth. More specifically what really has to happen for growth to occur.

Plants can teach us alot.

“Where have you been? I haven’t seen you in a long time. Is everything okay? How’s it going? How’s the family?”

Like you needed to be on someone’s constant radar for all to be okay.

Originally, this post was going to be about hibernating for the winter.

That example was not strong enough.

Have you ever seen a landscape person take a wild bush and with their shears cut at it with determination? What’s the result? Sometimes a ledge straight as a box, sometimes rounded out with shapes not thought possible. Of course in this example, this is growth gone wild that needs to take shape. Growth that is out of control and not really pleasant to look at.

The cutting I am talking about are the dead leaves in your life. Growth that’s not going to happen in the branches of your life, no matter how much water or fertilizer you put into you, someone else, or a project you have been working on.

Sometimes things can look so dark and bleak after a pruning that you wonder if you’ve made the right cuts.

In a world where it’s not just the established media, you have homegrown U-Tubers, Bloggers, Instagram and Pinterest stars in the know fighting for your attention to put you in the know. In other words they’re trying to make you think you are relevant if you listen to them and take their advice. Or better yet, if you listen to them they’ll put you in on the know on the next great thing before it happens.

Distractions, distractions, distractions!

Yes, you have to have a sense of what’s going on in your immediate family,  community, city and nation.

Just not at the expense of YOU.

You need just enough information day by day to  develop into a FUNCTIONING part of the whole. Not a dead branch on a tree. Otherwise too much info here and there is like swallowing a whole watermelon all at once.

Meditation is key.

Meditation is not about thinking about nothing.

Meditation is about taking what is current in your life and filtering what is useful to you, what needs to be stored away, and finally what needs to be flushed down the toilet.

Meditating just like pruning are actions that require much work. Pruning is obviously visible and meditating is an internal process.

The next time someone tells you, “Where have you been? I haven’t heard from you in a while,” Your response can be

“I am not dead, I’m dormant.”

Regine Baptiste

P.S.

I don’t write as many posts as recommended because I am not an intrusive writer. The goal of all my posts is for readers to expand their thought processes. I want to truly be an influencer towards people living lives on purpose unique to each indivdual.

I make no excuses, the foundation of all my writing comes from reading the bible. The bible is my main influencer.

I have favorite writers and speakers regardless of backgrounds that have influenced my writing.

And with that, hitting people over the head with the bible is just not my way. Nor do I pretend to be a spiritual guru. There are trained men in the ministry for further imvestigation on questions I am not ordained to answer.

We live in a world of opinions. We are all drunk with my way and this is my take on things.

Truth has fallen in the streets.

Reading your bible everyday leads one towards better and clearer thinking.

The bible is filled with examples of people living lives towards two ways, the way of life or the way of death. You cannot be on two paths at once. The bible is clear on that.

This blog is dedicated to all those who thought suicide was the answer. And those who succeeded at suicide.

Life is a gift. Don’t allow anyone to disempower you in the gift you possess.

Meditation coupled with reading the bible (especially the Psalms) can strengthen your relationship with Source – God Almighty and Jesus the Christ.

 

 

 

 

Don’t lose your mind when you lose a job.

20180514_115638Picture of the board game Cranium.

Click at the bottom of this post and watch another woman’s success at winning the game of a real life job search.

Listen people I’ve been at this for ten years now. In those ten years I’ve been hired 4 times permanently. I’ve also worked at over 25 temping jobs in for profit and non-profit companies. Yeah, that’s right ten years. I celebrated on February 6, 2018 my last long-term job that lasted you guessed it 10 years. I am in a 10 for 10 mode. 10 years of job stability followed by 10 years of “what’s next?” in the job market. And I mean it NEXT!

I’ve networked, attended seminars, job fairs, workshops, attended classes online and off, taken personality tests, LinkedIn myself out,  and read dozens of books. I even took 4 months off to attend a women’s work training program. In all this time I am here stronger than ever. 20 years experience does that to you.

Call me a veteran if you like because the working world is a war zone.

This upcoming Tuesday, May 16, 2018 I have an interview and guess what? I am just going to be myself. With all that I’ve done what more is there for me to prepare for? You either want me or you don’t.

Right now I am feeling mighty powerful.

What’s my secret?

Again, click at the bottom of this post and watch one woman’s success at winning at the job search just as I want you to do.

The Bible.

No religious speech.

The Bible you see is a book filled with people who lived, faced adversities of being human, and died. It’s as simple at that.

In all those setbacks you find in those biblical stories, most and not all mastered just two things.  Here they are:  their relation to God who they can’t see and  life on Earth which they can see.

Now back to where I left off in this game called the job search. I am still a work in progress. You win some, you lose some. Life puts you through some tests and no one comes out with a 4.0 average. For all the nerds out there, you can stop reading because in life you will fail alot of tests.

There are certain jobs that people have like lawyer, accountant, doctor, surgeon, judge, police officer etc. that have clear paths. And even then,  in some paths you have to specialize in one area as with a doctor you would specialize in a body part such as the foot, heart, delivering babies etc.

What about the rest of us who have been factory workers, technicians, secretaries, clerks, computer engineers, etc. where artificial intelligence has pretty much not created the need for as many workers as before?

You’ve got to specialize and show your value. You really have to focus on one thing and do it so well that people will stop and watch you and say wow!

I don’t care if you can sing, bake, ride a bike, sew some clothes. You got to do something that makes people stand up and take notice. Don’t limit yourself to one thing, just one thing at a time.  Mastering anything takes time and focused attention. Don’t think you need to go to school or put out any money when money is an issue. Why do you think there are libraries, internships, and temporary employment agencies? You gotta work to find work. If sitting behind a computer all day isn’t helping you find a job, you have get up and go out and find people to talk to that will help you find that job.

It’s called fighting back. Taking a stand for your life. And not being defined by a job. One thing is for sure, work will come. We humans are on this earth for a purpose. Stand up from where you are and get up and live out that purpose. But before you get up – think about what and where you really want to be and go out and search until you will find it.

And if you end up in a place with less money, realize the money was never important in the first place. Life is not valued by what you have but what you are becoming.

Don’t give up or give in , just be content that you have something to give.

Click on and see how Elizabeth White did it. Watch all 4 YouTube presentations.

Remember,  you are not alone.

Watch “55, unemployed and faking normal: One woman’s story of barely scraping by” on YouTube
https://youtu.be/as6bS-7ZlgQ

Watch “Are you hanging off a financial cliff? Here’s how to cope” on YouTube
https://youtu.be/rzi0Eedks7U

Watch “How coming clean about financial struggle — and counseling others — became a calling” on YouTube
https://youtu.be/bWsLvCqAyDA

Watch “Fifty-five, Unemployed, Faking Normal | Elizabeth White | TEDxVCU” on YouTube
https://youtu.be/hFpQ5N_ttNQ

On my way to the ladies room at Macy’s, a 34th St. miracle

 

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In some far off corner at Macy’s 34th St. store I stumbled onto a surprise.   As I was rushing to the 6th floor ladies room, something familiar caught my left eye.

There high on top of a shelf was the name of the country of my birth, Haiti.

Macy’s has on display Haitian crafts for sale called “Heart of Haiti.”

It seemed odd to me that these expertly woven baskets would be hidden away in a corner of the store.

Before I entered the latrine, I quickly snatched this picture as proof of my unexpected find. Nature was really calling.

As I came out of the bathroom, I tried to make sense of why these Haitian crafts were where they were. Next to the bathroom of all places. Maybe, putting this display next to a bathroom would force customers to actually take a look at products from Haiti?

The equalizer of us all is that we all need to use the toilet or rather in some countries, it’s simply a hole in the ground.

Retail space must be very expensive. Therefore, all possible space must be used   to “sell.”

I was really in a good mood, really I was. I had just saw a fashion show given by the Young Professionals of the New York Urban League on the 5th floor. That is until I saw where all of these Haitian products were at,  put a downer on my mood.

I then connected all the negative remarks that were heard in the media recently about Haiti & other African countries that produced a media storm. You don’t know what to believe anymore among the many actors fighting to push their agenda on unsuspecting victims.

I guess you can call me overly sensitive. The media does have an effect on us all whether we realize it or not.

I decided to brush off all of my overthinking.

Whenever I had entered a bathroom in a store before, I never took notice to what type of products were being sold next to the bathroom.

So why now?

About two months ago I completed a Dean Graziosi 30 day challenge to improve my thinking. And you know what one of the challenges were¿- watch no news for 7 days .

Still all of the negativity in the media does slip in from our smart phones and the free papers that are shoved on us as we enter the subway.

I did make a mental  note to come back to this particular Macy’s and buy a Haitian basket.  It’s the least that I could do.

And I vowed to not let the media get the best of me again. Question all that’s being thrown at us on a daily basis.

As someone once told me a long time ago, “Don’t believe the hype.”

And that’s the real miracle that can happen to you on 34th St.

 

 

AWAI’s 2018 Copywriting Pricing Guide

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The Humble Potato

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By looking at the dish above, you would not know that there was a potato in it at all. It’s a simple dish. A baked potato cut in half sprinkled with sauteed broccoli in coconut oil with just a sprinkle of cheese for flavor and a touch of pink salt.

When I was learning how to cook, I would constantly look for recipes that were complicated and took long hours to make. I wanted to become a really good cook.

A common vegetable like the potato was not a choice for my cooking adventures. Yet, the potato and in this case the white or yellow varieties like the Russet and Yukon Gold are not boring. They really make a difference to your health when cooked properly. Both varieties can usually be found at your local supermarket.

Now when I look at cooking shows and read recipes, I wonder how much of the dish will impact my health? In other words how much of the nutritional value in the ingredients used will be cooked out? I try to find recipes that the home cook can recreate without a hassle. The items to the recipe should be easily found at your local supermarket. No reason for me to travel 30 miles for truffle oil. Extremely pricey as well.

I love the creativity that chefs bring. Really I do. It’s amazing to see foods transformed into pastries, foams, breads, cakes, souffles,  braised and grilled meats and so the list goes on. The oohh and aaah of it all.

Yet, there should be a balance in everything. Especially the foods we eat.

Our day to day eating should be of foods left in their original state as much as possible. This is nothing new, just a reminder post for all you readers.

With more and more of foods being packaged in carton boxes and plastic, there needs to be a reverse in this trend not an increase. The result of food being prepared in this way causes an ever increasing market for vitamins, supplements, as well as the newest spice in pill form to cure our cancers.

So let’s take a look at the humble potato. Taking a closer look at one food item at a time can lead to better choices when you eat.  Let’s begin if you have not already with the potato. Or maybe, you haven’t eaten a potato in long time just because.

In the book “The Doctors Book of Food Remedies,” by Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention Health Books, copyright 1998 by Rodale Inc., various authorities on the potato note on pages 439 – 440, state: The potato can be healing as the peel has in it an anticarcinogenic acid. A baked 7 ounce potato with the skin on can give you almost a third of your potassium intake for the day. That same 7 ounce potato also contains about 45 percent of your daily need of vitamin C. end citation.

See what that humble potato can do for you?  The potato is overlooked most of the time as a very nutritious food selection.

Vegetables prepared as close as possible in their natural state are better for you. Baking a potato is better than boiling it. Why? Because most of the nutrients float out into the boiling water. Those nutrients should be in your body instead. And certainly we should stay away from frying potatos. Although, I’ve been guilty in that area about once or twice a year.

So go out and buy a bunch of potatoes. Find a way to put them back into your meal planning. You can bake about 4-6 or more on the weekends and simply reheat during the week for a filling, nutritious breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack.

Below is a list of different ways potatoes are prepared. If you have a new recipe or way you eat potatoes in your culture or country, I’ll like to know what it is. Send me a post.

The Potato List

Baked potato, twice baked potato, scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes, cold potato salad, warm potato salad, latkes, potato pancake, potato cake, potato dumplings, smashed potatoes, Shepherd’s pie, stew with potatoes, potato soup, potato chips, french fries, cornbeef hash, steak fries, shoestring potatoes, potato bread, potato doughnut, potato scone, potato skins, potato waffle, potato wedges, poutine, samosas, potato dumplings, Spanish omelette, hash browns, tater tots, potato au gratin, gnocchi, breakfast potatoes, potato fish cakes, spiralized potatoes, potato flour, vodka, roti, and who can ever forget Mr. Potatoe? (he’s plastic and not to be eaten)

However tempting as all of these ways are, always remember that the best way to have a potato is a baked potato. Hold the butter and drizzle with a little olive oil and natural salt instead. A little apple cider vinegar or squeeze of a lemon adds a nice tang to your tastebuds as well.

Cheers to the humble potato. You’ve been underground for far too long.

 

 

Women Business Owners in the Harlem Community Celebrating Women’s Month

Harlem Mar 22.pdf – Google Drive
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0uGwxCkhoV-X2owU3VxZndPenJuV2YwaF9PMkh3aGcxOUhn/view

March 15, 2018, celebrating Women Business Owners doing business in Harlem. Thank-you Harlem Community News and Health First for a fabulous day.

Click the link above and I am higlighted on page 15 in March 22nd’s Harlem Community newspaper.

Regine Baptiste

 

 

 

The Bread of my People

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I’d reached the middle of February 2018 when something came over me to make “Pain Mais.” Since returning to New York about 10 years ago, this would be only the second time in 10 years that I would be making Haitian cornbread – Pain Mais – the bread of my people.

Running around for weeks skipping breakfast was not doing me any good. One morning I realized that there were three over riped bananas on the dining room table. The previous week I had thrown out one banana gone bad and throwing out three this week would’ve been a crime. The only recipe I knew offhand by heart that would use three overriped bananas was Pain Mais.  American style Banana Bread was another recipe but I had long lost my bread pan to make that. Pain Mais was the only option that would rescue three very sad looking bananas.

I was feeling  frustrated and helpless that afternoon. I had completed yet another temp. assignment the week before and now I had no job to go to for the current week. I had spent weeks looking for and applying to writing assignments with nothing coming up. Truly I was living between a rock and a hard place.

Stirring cornmeal on a hot stove and then baking it was the therapy I needed. I had bought a pack of steno pads the week before but only managed to write about two pages worth of notes for my book. I wanted to see a project completed from beginning to end.  Cooking at the moment was the only thing to do that provided that sort of  satisfaction.

It’s a known fact that most artists are only appreciated until after they are dead. Basquiat’s painting on loan to the Brooklyn Museum right now is what comes to mind. Unfortunately, drugs cut short the life of a young Haitian artist making it in New York City.

For now copywriting has not supported me.  Copywriting has inspired my vision to be a writer. Nevertheless, I really appreciate the temp. jobs when they do come.

I wish I could say the same for copywriting assignments.

Something very much a coincidence happened as I was preparing the Pain Mais.

As I flipped through the channels to get some noise going other than my breathing,  a show called Afro Pop had a commemorative special on the earthquake that occurred in Haiti in 2010.

As I stirred the thick cornmeal gruel on the stove top, my emotions were stirred as well to the visual reminders of seeing the devastation of an earthquake on my people in their country. Inadequate is not the word that can describe how I felt.

Instead of trying to make sense of what I saw, I focused on the task at hand, making the bread of my people.

Many lives lossed yes. Haitian people got up after the earth shook and broke buildings but not their spirit to live. They saved those who could be saved. Money disappeared. What else was new? Tents and makeshift houses came up. The lines of the cruel blows of disappointment etched onto faces ready to resist. And here I stood connected by the bread of my people. We’re surviving. Promises made, promises broken.  We are here ready to move forward. Today we made the most of what we could. Waiting for Bon Dieu to answer our requests. We know the routine. We must wait. And in waiting we are still here.

Haiti forever in my heart.

Regine Baptiste