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Treasure dad on Father's Day

Strong and Tender – Modern Fatherhood at Its Best

The breadwinner, the disciplinarian, the guy who wrestles with sons and dotes on daughters – this is likely what comes to mind when you think of fathers. The traditional role has been one of supporter and teacher, but today fathers are allowed and encouraged to be so much more. Look at your family and around your local community and you’ll see fathers taking a far more active role. Look around and you’ll find a treasure in these men.

It’s a New World

Modern-day dads change diapers, take care of midnight feedings, cook dinners, and carpool kids. Dads are the trustworthy guide through the challenging parts of childhood and the teen years. They are the guys in your local community coaching the kids sports teams and volunteering at local charity events. They are no longer just the guy who works hard at the office all day to feed his family.

Not all men are comfortable with this new, softer side of fatherhood. They may be reticent to fix their daughter’s hair, to cry at a sad movie in front of their kids, or to step outside of the traditional role and help clean the house. But as new generations of dads are born I imagine that “being manly” will become more about stepping up in any capacity that’s needed. They are the unsung heroes in many lives and increasingly are becoming an inspiration for defining fatherhood for future generations.

Creating a Bond That’s Out of This World

My husband lost his father at an early age and it had a huge impact on who he is today. He made a vow to himself to be an involved, loving father – to never let his child miss him even if he was still living. He has more than succeeded. The relationship he has with our son is filled with laughter and includes lots of time spent doing the things they both enjoy. It’s also filled with great trust, honest discussion, and genuine expressions of love. There is no fear in either of them about hugging and saying “I love you.” It fills me with joy to watch them together and to know that my son is learning to be a good person, a good man, and one day a good husband and father.

Give Them the World

This Father’s Day, look around your local community for the unsung heroes of parenthood, see the fathers in your family and view them all in a different light. Not just as the strong and trustworthy financial provider but also as the necessary compliment to mothers. Treasure them as the one who provides strength that comes from a place of love, and discipline that comes from a place of tenderness and caring. No matter how much they may try to hide it, dads are all just those little boys who may have wanted something more from their fathers, like time, attention, approval, or love. Know they are strong but give them permission to be softer. Love them regardless.


About the Writer: Brenda has lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia for most of her life. Her background as a reporter and news anchor for a local program fed her interest in writing on varied subjects.
She also enjoys spending time with her family, painting watercolors, playing on a tennis team, and traveling whenever possible.
Brenda H.

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Jump in

Jump In, The Water’s Fine – The Risk /Reward Experiment

It’s that nagging voice in your head that holds you back. It’s the thought that something big has to happen in order to feel truly alive. It’s the fear that you’ll never accomplish a dream. Taking chances and making things happen doesn’t always feel like an easy thing to do. But actually it can be. You just might have to make small changes to reach your destination.

Hesitation

Getting a job, meeting someone to spend your life with, traveling to far-away places – there are people who seem to do these things with ease. Some people feel comfortable throwing themselves into new adventures, others don’t. But anyone can accomplish what’s in their heart. Knowing what you want and setting a goal is a place to start, but don’t lose sight of the smaller, less obvious things you can do to work towards your goal.

  • Wake up each day feeling as though you can.
  • Change something in your routine and learn to embrace disruption or change.
  • Put yourself in uncomfortable situation.

Time to Overcome

Growing up I was incredibly quiet and shy and didn’t want to be noticed. As I got older, I realized my fears were affecting my ability to participate in life, it was impacting my personal growth. I wasn’t challenged in my job but had no confidence that I could do anything else. Knowing I had to push myself, I vowed to make small changes. I began with having conversations with strangers I encountered, I explored my area and ate in new restaurants, and I started singing to myself – very loudly – in spite of the fact that my upstairs neighbors might hear. Anything to push me out of my routine and comfortable place.

Then I took a real risk by signing up for a local adult education course in theater. There’s nothing more terrifying for a shy person than to stand up in front of others and perform a scene. Turns out it was scary and it was fun at the same time. I auditioned for some plays at a community theater and performed on stage in front of real audiences, accomplishing something I never thought I could do. The next step was going back to school to study journalism and eventually I landed a new job. It was a long way from being shy to reporting on camera and ultimately anchoring a newscast, but I made it. I threw a rock into the calm water and started a ripple that carried me to a new life.

Dive In

What are you afraid of? Do you have a dream that seems too big? The hardest thing may be determining how to accomplish the things in life you desire. But your personal growth won’t happen on it’s own. Drop a pebble into the water and let the ripple begin. Soon you may create a wave of change that sweeps you into a wonderful place. Don’t leave the water stagnant – take a risk, accomplish a dream, or simply live a more fulfilling existence.


About the Writer: Brenda has lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia for most of her life. Her background as a reporter and news anchor for a local program fed her interest in writing on varied subjects.

She also enjoys spending time with her family, painting watercolors, playing on a tennis team, and traveling whenever possible.

Brenda H.

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Face your fears with action

Face Your Fears With Action

What is fear? We can ask many people the same question and get different answers. However, one thing fear definitely shows us is that it is all in your head.  If we think of our childhood, did the ghost in our closet ever come out? For one moment, remember the worst times that you’ve felt fear. Did that plane crash? Did that dog bite? Did the boogie man come out from under your bed? Fear means false evidence appearing real.  It’s all in your head. Or is it? Let me explain.

I have gone to different countries without knowing the language, the culture, or even how to get to my hotel. I cannot even ask for directions because I do not speak the language that I need to ask the directions in.Sometimes, I learn how to ask for directions only to not understand the answer. At this moment, fear has a way of creeping in. I start to panic until I realize that these are just thoughts and there is not any logic to them.  Surely, I will find that hotel eventually.  The worst case scenario even when I do not speak the language is writing the address down and catching a taxi—something I have done many times.  My fear is not logical.  It is just panic and fear of the unknown at that moment in time.  It is not a logical thought to think that I will never find my hotel and I will have to sleep on a park bench somewhere.

But what if what we fear has happened?  If you know me, I have a dog phobia.  As a child, I fell asleep at a friends house and they put me to bed.  I must have been three or four years old.  When I woke up, maybe the dog was startled or maybe it was upset that I was sleeping on its owners bed.  The dog did bite me and as a young child that experience stuck with me.  I learned that dogs were unpredictable and unsafe.  It is a fear that I am consciously working on.  The truth is dogs do bite sometimes.  I know because it happened to me.  So how do I deal with this fear that totally makes sense?  I replace the fear with constant action.

Don't panic

The USA has strict laws that require dogs to be on a leash.  However, this is not the case in other countries.  In Paris, I was once in a phone booth for a good 30 minutes because there was a dog that decided to take a nap right next to the phone booth. It was not until I got to Thailand where I faced my fear directly. There are dogs everywhere in Thailand without a leash and just laying around all over the streets. I did not have a phone booth to hide in.  I had to walk everywhere so I did not have a choice but to replace my fear with action.  I calmed my thoughts that every dog out there is out to bite me.  As I walked to my hotel one night I must have run into half a dozen dogs.  Here it was, the moment of truth. One dog looked at me as I passed by and could not have been more disinterested in my presence. I giggled at that moment because I realized that my fear was not justified.  Most of these dogs are so accustomed to taking long naps under that hot Thailand sun that they do not have any interest in coming to you.  If anything, some of them are even more scared of you than you are of them.  It occurred to me that these dogs may be abused and the only desire they have is to be left alone. It was not until I replaced my fear with action that I started to realize that my thoughts are just words taking up space in my head. I can acknowledge my fear and its existence but I can just as easily replace them with new thoughts and ideas.  My dog phobia is something I deal with but I remind myself that unless I take action to finally heal this phobia—the fear is still controlling me. An episode that happened in my childhood still has power over me until this day.

I will never forget a blind man with a dog that could tell that I was afraid of it.  He asked me what had happened to me that I was so hesitant with his dog.  He must have had that sixth sense and could tell I was afraid of it even though he could not see me.  When I told him my childhood story his answer was ¨How old are you now?  You are STILL holding on to something that happened decades ago?  Let it go.¨

Thanks to that gentleman I noticed that he was right.  It seems we hold on to negative experiences a lot longer than the positive ones.  Surely, over all those decades I have been around dogs that never bit me 99% of the times.  Even though I had evidence that dogs can bite, I had more than enough evidence that most do not.  I learned that it is true that fear is false evidence appearing real. As for my travel adventures, I have never spent a night on a park bench and I have never been bitten by a dog again since that episode as a child. The only way to take the power of fear from controlling us is by replacing it with the actions we are most afraid of.  We must say hello to fear, accept its presence and then tell it to go on its way.  Trust that all will ultimately be well and you deserve the joy and peace that comes from moving beyond all of your fears.  You must choose to take action through your fears instead of always allowing yourself to feel helpless by it.  You have the ultimate power to choose your ultimate path.

Elaine Mercedes Mendoza is a writer, speaker, traveler and foodie who uplifts our world one word at a time. She is passionate about travel and shares her experiences on www.finallyelaine.com. You can also follow her along on Facebook.

Elaine Mercedes Mendoza