Thursday, December 31, 2015


"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people" - Victor Borge

The year end is a time meant for reflecting all things good and bad, happy, sad; a time for a  moment in remembrance.    It is also a time of letting go forgiving and clearing our mental, spiritual and physical houses that can bring a flood of mixed emotions.  Remembering the good and fond things about people we are not longer connected to in the physical actually brings their spiritual essence closer.  More importantly is letting go and only holding on to the good and healthy thoughts.  

2015 has been a year of good, bad, and unexpected tragedies. It has been a year of resilience and for those of us who woke up this morning, a year of many blessings.  One way to balance life in between the ups and downs for the coming year is to remember to laugh.  "Laughter is the best medicine" is more than just cliche;  it's scientific.  For the year 2016 never forget how to forgive; just live, love and laugh.  Sonja Brooks.

“Where there is great love, there are always miracles”  – Willa Cather 

Amidst all the celebrations, the most powerful way to end the year for me is to celebrate the miracle of love.   Love is much greater than what we feel romantically. It is what makes us sing, dance and makes us human.  Love is the most amazing thing in our lives. It is what make us human, what makes life worth living – in the grander scheme of things, nothing else truly matters. The size of our homes, bank balances, the beauty of our partner, the speed of our car – all those things pale into insignificance when we face the miracle of love.

Love leads to other miracles such as kindness. Have you noticed how great you feel afterwards when you have done someone a kind deed? Through the miracle of our love, we can indeed transform the world – even a hug, a loving touch or just a smile can cause the miracle of healing others. There are so many simple things we can all do on a daily basis to bring more love into our lives. Together we can all make this an even more beautiful and miraculous world than it already is. I love the Creator of the Universe, and I love you all. Thank you for all your support and love (you know who you are). There are even greater miracles about to happen in 2016.  Watch out for those miracles. Keep loving. 

You don't need a reason to be happy just a choice. It's a beautiful world, enjoy it. Dream. Explore. Discover.
Contributor: Nanna Abban "Reflections of Adinkra."

Saturday, December 5, 2015

From Losses to Days and New Strength

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Everyone has an equal opportunity to deal with losses from little tangible items such as treasured childhood things to something of great value such as a home or a relationship.  In aging, humans sometimes lose the value of precious memories.   You can learn how to let go of the past. Whether you have experienced a break up with someone you cared for deeply, whether death has taken a loved one, whether you have had a feud with a friend or family member, whether you have lost a job or a business has gone bust.  Life can be joyful and rewarding again when we learn how to move on and let go.  Let a broken romance or friendship go. Let a lost job become an experience and no more. Even with death, there is a time to mourn, and there is a time to renew and to move on with your own life.

Why spoil your day complaining.   It is better to focus your thoughts on positive matters.

Do's and Don'ts  
Don't spend too much time or energy mourning what has happened. 
Don't over-react to your loss and take any sudden actions without time for careful contemplation.
If you are feeling desperately lonely or frightened, don't take actions based on those emotions. 
Seek support in the short term, and only make significant commitments after you have restored a sense of being centered and confident.
Don't complain about what has happened, and don't listen to your friends' complaints.

 Keep your attention on building a bright future.   Every day brings new choices.  - Martha Beck

Nana Abban - blog contributer 

Friday, November 13, 2015

HAPPINESS: Desiring, Hoping, Wishing, Creating

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen; others make it happen,” is a quote Michael Jordan made at the peak of his success. Perhaps he did not originate the quote, but certainly the most famous person to say it publicly that will resonate forever.

I’ve heard this quote paraphrased by mystics, ministers, motivational speakers, Sufi’s and many others given a platform to teach, preach and reach.   It doesn’t really matter the source from which the wisdom comes, only the results of the intended action because of it.  Just imagine the physical state of a professional sports athlete; the mind - body coordination must become more receptive to coaching and training than that of the average person. Special conditioning of the mind-body coordination improves over time until it reaches a performance capacity peak absent from injuries, it be followed by a slow and natural digression called aging that occurs in all forms of life.   More so, what happens when the mind-body can no longer master performance driven successes; when satisfaction and gratification are a void?   Life becomes critical for most high-performing individuals, including athletes, executives, top-achievers and workaholics. At worst, some will conclude that life is unbearable.

Prior to reaching the performance peak  along with the mind and body conditioning and after is the spirit-self that also needs the same intensity of training.  Depression and fatigue come easily absent the core training of our being.  More so, when we work and train hard with a sense of balance, we will often recognize it in ourselves as satisfaction or gratification and at times may even witness greatness.  Achieving greatness is not limited to physical performance, talents, wealth or receiving highest recognition or awards.

“You can chase a desire; hope for success; wish to achieve wealth or you can create happiness.” The greatest achievement of man is finding unwavering happiness right where you are; and often it's in the palm of your hand.” -  S. B.

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” -  Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Reflections of Wisdom on Adinkra: "Attitude"

Attitude is the single biggest factor in how happy you are.
While you can certainly change your attitude toward life and become happier, it is not as simple as just repeating, "I am happy. Life is good. I am happy." Positive affirmations have a role to play in creating a happier life, but they are woefully inadequate by themselves - to the point of deserving the ridicule some have heaped upon positive affirmations. Actions to become happier in life
    1. Begin Today. Take a step toward your Life Goal today
    2. Persevere - Have Commitment.
    Happy people don't give up or waver. You may choose to change your goals. You may choose to change your tactics for reaching your goals. But persevere and stay committed.
    3. Hold your Intent (also called Intention).
    There is power in affirming, "It will be thus." There is power in speaking your Intent to the Universe. Trust and affirm your Intent for the future. Speak your Intent (or prayer) with gratitude for something that certainly will happen rather than hope that something might happen.

Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice.
~ Wayne Dyer

Stinky socks will remain stinky until you decide to wash it or discard it; otherwise, each time you put them own, the stink will follow.
~Redd Sonja, The Vibrant Woman @H3

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A STORMY MONDAY STORY: Dog Bites and Major Technology Crashes.

Yes, it was a stormy Monday. Talk about a bad day!

I walked down to the mailbox in front of my building and saw my neighbor walking her two dogs. She seems like a nice single lady who apparently felt that her one-bedroom unit could use some company other than a boy or perhaps a girlfriend, so she adopted two rescue dogs. I commend her for doing it. The dogs previous situation was a bit of a nightmare.

Anyway, the dogs look like a mix of a few things but mostly coca-poodle. They’re a bit doofey, and one has a crossed eye. They’re over excited whenever she attempts to walk them; they seemed so excited about going for a walk yet confused about which way to go until the leash into a twisted braid. While I was checking the mail box, the neighbor walked up with her mutts. As soon as I turned away toward the mailbox, Grrrr-aaach! One bite! The little bitch bit me! I event heard it. The nerve of that mutt! I guess they knew I had talked about them to everyone behind their tails for being loony dogs and decided to bark me a thing a two. Guess they showed me!

The day didn’t stop there, my land line went dead; the very very new cell phone Samsung Edge would not open because it did not recognize my thumbprint! (Go figure). Worse yet, I had not created a back-up password. I was locked out of my computer because my house guest decides attempting using my computer by bypassing the password and it locked. I couldn’t even remember the password. Then the printer stopped working after I purchased new ink cartridge and tried to replace it. This day, I needed to turn around and go back to bed for a few hours to rid my head ache and try this all over again. It will be better tomorrow!

by Redd Sonja

Saturday, September 12, 2015

9/11 - Grief to Gratitude

September 11, 2015 marks the fourteenth anniversary on the day catastrophic incidents engulfed the nation in tragedy. Thousands of lives lost prematurely; and the world was in shock. Family and friends will be forever heavy with the premature losses of loved ones; however, the lives were not lost in vain. The sacrifice of those lives should remind us every day to live mindfully and with as much joy as possible.

There are seven stages of grief; shock, denial, anger, guilt, sorrow and depression, reflection and re-engaging life; much of what I went through when I got fired or the day my doctor told me I was pre-menopausal. I felt like life was over and I had not experienced the basic human accomplishments like raise a few rug rats, watch them fail and succeed; kick them out and watch them come back. But each one of us has our own grief cycles (menopause being one of them) and when we experience tragedy the healing process begins.

September 11th is a time to honor a loved one lost in the tragedy and for the world to pay honors. Yearly or monthly activities that honor the memory of those that departed will help ease away sadness and allow joy to enter again. In 2013 after losing my dad to Alzheimer, the same year I raised money through the Walk to End Alzheimer. Although the 4 mile walk in the dead heat in Walnut Creek that I ended up so exhausted that I almost forgot where I parked my car. But, I got through it and felt tremendous for getting involved with a good cause with great people and for walking in honor my dad's name.

The stages of grief are not the same for everyone. The processes are much the same; however the required time that it takes to move through the healing processes will vary. Healing advances quickly when we dancing, clapping or engage in gratifying activities like an outstanding orgasm of the mouth after eating our favorite dish or when interacting with others to uplift the spirit. (Gotcha!)

To celebrate is to lift the spirit, sadness and lament is heavy and low. Never allow grief to keep you stuck in loneliness and sorrow. It is perfectly okay to embrace grief. We should embrace it when it is our time to grieve. Allow time to grieve and lament and look forward to power in the light of love, laughter and gratitude.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Metaphysically Correct: MC not PC

Wayne Dyer, writer, speaker and self-help spiritual guru, and author of several books from Your Erroneous Zones; which is one of the top best-selling books of all times, to The Power of Intention transitioned in his sleep on August 29th at the age of 75. It would be commonplace to say, ‘Wayne Dyer died' or that 'so and so died,' but if Mr. Dyer could comment now that he has transitioned, he might tell us that the way we refer to death in Western society is not philosophically correct nor is it metaphysically correct. He might say, ‘I did not die, rather my body and spirit transformed into an unrestricted formless dimension as a part of a greater existence unknown to the limitations of the human experience and intellect.’

No one ever wants to think about death and dying, but is there any happy way to look at loss? When western cultures deal with the subject of death, it is typically associated with an abundance of mourning and sorrow; sadness, emptiness with days and months of darkness and depression. These are the things that weigh heavily on the all aspects of life and draws from the source of life energy to it's lowest depths. Often, sadness experienced is not about the individual but rather it is about us. If we live life unselfishly and free of guilt rather than reflect on the relationship we had or lacked with the individual, the more we will desire to celebrate their life rather than become overly occupied with sorrow.

Metaphysical Word-Energy Association Scale 1-5

    5 - Grace, glory, gratitude, gratefulness, loveliness
    4 - Spirituality, transition, memorial, celebration, birth, life, friendship
    3 - Relationship, support, eco, bio-degradable, natural,ocean, flowers
    2 - Deceased, funeral, cremation, mortuary, burial, embalm, casket, insurance, fees
    1 - Murder, accident, death (row/penalty), suicide, undertaker, attorney

Notice (unapologetic) that attorney comes under category one. Not to knock the profession, I do like some attorneys and there are times when they rate higher on the scale depending on the side of the fence you are on. Nonetheless, surely everyone has a few other descriptions and professions that can be added to the metaphysically-correct word energy association.

The Dyer life experience (the dire pun here displays humor power of intention) left the world with so many quotes of wisdom to live by such as "Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." It’s always our choice on how we view life and death and all the experiences in between.

One of my favorite quotes is: “It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive, and you have the power to choose either.”

Wayne Dyer, was a phenomenal speaker and teacher entered into the dimension of the human experience through birth as Wayne Dyer an impoverished orphaned child who transformed his human experience into one of love and happiness through actualizing his life purpose; and later transitioned from this dimension of the human experience as spiritual self-help guru into an even higher dimension leaving the legacy of his teachings and his spiritual essence.

Thank you for the gifts you left the world. – Redd Sonja Creative Commons License
Metaphysically Correct: MC not PC by Sonja Brooks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

Thursday, August 27, 2015

COMIC RELIEF for The Workplace: Have a Coke and a Smile

Explosive violence occurs too frequently in the America workplace but we seldom hear about the goings on within a company culture or with individuals who allegedly are problems until one morning you wake up and turn on television news stories about a mass shooting or just one or two people is one story too many. People are hurt, lives are gone and hearts are broken. But on August 26, 2015, it happened again.

Most people of color and women who often represent a minority are aware of hidden and some not-so hidden biases that is prevalent in the workplace based on salaries, promotions, wage increases and treatment from day-to-day. No matter how bad it gets, there is never an excuse for violence in the workplace. A bad working environment doesn’t excuse rage or violence in the home, in theatres, churches or anywhere in civilian life. So what if people had careers that were intentionally destroyed by certain group of mean egotistical individuals accustomed to privileges and entitlements who may smugly flaunt their special privileges to taunt or bully their victims; violence isn’t an answer. The truth is that it happens all of the time, but seldom become news until it is made public by filing a huge lawsuit or the outcome of an horrific aftermath from the sole action of an individual as in the case of August 26 when a professionally trained and frustrated journalist wrote a three page manifesto and last words followed by murder and suicide.

America has a long history of intolerance and the workplace can become a powder keg where the dominant social culture has less tolerance for others i.e.;the opposite sex, race, gender, sexual preference or ethnicity. There is such a condition known as repetitive psychological stress syndrome has possibilities of escalating into an explosive situation if not recognized. The danger of workplace violence increases when matters go unaddressed and ultimately the targets may be innocent parties in retaliation. The August 26, 2015 incident that left three people dead including the gunman and one person seriously injured, there are no winners. There are alternative methods in seeking vindication and retribution other than violence.

Alternative Approaches to Snapping

Individuals sometimes are unaware of the causes and triggers for anger. If we can recognize the triggers and use another plans of action rather than seek revenge we can circumvent explosive outcomes that may lead to losing a job or getting arrested. Why not use the antagonistic approach exemplified by Univision reporter Jorge Ramos when he interrupted Donald Trump’s press conference. Ramos’s bombardment of pointed questions was a challenge to Trump’s character and competency to run for president of the United States. Needless to point out that Ramos methodology sent Mr. Trump well over the moon.

We may have visions of carrying out actions like the characters played by Dolly Parton and Lilly Tomlin in the movie 9 to 5, but there are alternatives to snapping like taking out rage with pen and paper. Create a rap about the work place, write a poem and perform open mike, even create a stress relief meditation group at work. You can start an art stress relief group or draw pictures of co-workers or the bullying boss as an over-sized gluttonous gorilla wearing suspender, spats, and a bow tie with a cigar in his mouth (I actually did it hung in my cubicle for months at my last job, which gave me plenty of entertainment). Try joining a writing group tell your story, perhaps submit to a newspaper or as an opt-ed about the issues in the workplace. Your story can help others seek out resolutions in a therapeutic way. Start a meet-up group and call it Jane and John DOEs for Dissed-Off Employees for humor. Have a big piƱata filled with suckers and jaw breakers or soft squeezable stress balls for everyone. Arrange a discussion group to allow people to vent confidentially offers a harm-free alternative solution that will help obtain peace of mind. Be sure to have hold harmless agreements and signed disclosures for your attendees.

The reality is that most of us have experienced something in our past that may irritate a nerve when the memory is triggered. Companies across the US certainly can do a better job with providing objective resources to diffuse internal conflict within departments among staffing. The company should utilize multiple conflict resolution resources for workers. Rather than leave it up to individuals to sort out their own issue can be a silent time bomb. More integration of team building activities is recommended that is not all directed towards productivity, but focused on social exchange to build trust and reduce possible xenophobia that may exist in the cultural work environment. An active Ombudsman program who may serve as an excellent resource is recommended to reduce differences and personal conflicts.

Discrimination is epic and to widely unchallenged from age to race and gender. There’s too much room for ambiguities that go on in the workplace and that slip through the cracks that run deeper that the San Andreas fault. But until the cracks are repaired and companies do their part to address internal issues, it is best for individuals to find alternative methods to handle that stress. It is better to just cool out have a coke and a smile. And if your employer is Coke, I hope they pay and treat you with respect and according to merits of your character and not by the curl in your hair or the size of your waist. Just remember that laughter is best for distressing and healing wounds and that success is the sweetest revenge and the best way to the bank.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

When Laughter Is The Cultural Divide

America often boasts as being the melting pot, yet there cultural differences when it comes to humor. On Saturday August 22, 2015, a book club group made up of eleven African American women purchased tickets for a food and wine excursion on the luxurious Napa wine train. Like the other passengers, the women were served wine and cheese, laughed and chatted in between while enjoying good companionship amongst the group; that was until the train arrived in St. Helena You see where this is going, right? So apparently, passengers complained (as far as they know it was one or more) to the staff that the women were excessively loud with laughter and the other passengers found it disturbing. The women, whose ages ranged from thirty- something to eighty-three years of age, were confronted by a staff person to keep their levels down but when their laughter continued they were confronted by a female passenger aboard the train who scoffed stating, “This is not a bar.” Okay? After the second warning, when the train arrived in St. Helen, when the women were met by the local police who escorted them from the train. We are a diverse culture too often divided by class, culture and community. But now and then we will find ourselves in a blended situation coming together for a common experience; in this case it was for wine, cheese and a wonderful 18 mile scenic ride on the Wine train through Napa. What they did not have in common was a motivation of joy, fellowship and welcoming. But what was unique about this story, is that the Sisters of Reading Edge book club stepped off that train with dignity and continued to laugh. They did not let a woman with her britches in a bundle (if you can just imagine that they were way up her crotch) spoil their mood. What is fun and humorous to one culture or class may not be to another, but that should not prevent others the right to enjoy themselves and get a little bit loosey- goosey after a couple of glasses of wine. Just check out the smiling faces of the faces of the Sisters of Reading Edge. Keeping with the humorous mood, they continued to laugh about the situation not allowing the miserable Ms. Snooty Booty spoil the day. No guessing that this group consisted of women with healthy attitudes; why else would the eldest be eight-three years young? That’s what good living and a good sense of humor will do for you.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Coping With Life Through Humor

The saying goes that tragedy + life = comedy. In 2013, life dealt me several low blows. So many other people I knew, I too went through enclave of economic hardships heightened by a series of losses. It had been years of struggle with legal issues; trying to save a home, familial disputes, employment disputes, legal counsel hearings, and divorce. At times, the world appears to have little sympathy in the hardship and loss of others.

After surviving through 2012 and not quote one month into 2013, the next difficult crisis on my plate was the death of my father and an untimely job termination; which circumvented taking time off with pay protected under FMLA. .

The emotional and financial tolls were overwhelming. It took another year for me to remove myself from states of anger and feeling vengeful. Insomnia was frequent; I suffered from mental and spiritual exhaustion. Nightmares about the employer were often occurrences which continued two years after leaving. Soon, I realized that I had been suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome from the trauma that loomed in my subconscious and haunted my sleep. For the eight years I worked I had not been in great health and it needed some improving. I knew that I could not continue in this state. It was time for me to find my voice; my true self and get back to being myself. In the past eight years of work, marriage, the debt, and in the life struggles I lost myself and needed to find my voice again.

My ah-hah moment occurred one morning after waking up from a nightmare that led me to log my dreams in a journal. The words began with sarcasm soon turned into humor and pursing comedy struck me. Why not? My choice was between comedy and the psychiatrist's couch. Been there and done that. The psychiatric couch may be satisfactory for others, but was not an alternative for me. The only alternative after you’ve reach middle-age sometimes is to rediscover yourself and take yourself outside of the comfort zones you've come accustomed. Too often we think we are limited specific designs of comfort, but easy to slip into mediocrity and that does not always bring happiness

The time arrived for to re-invent myself and push the envelope and step out of the comfort zone; and humor was my answer for sanity; which prompted me to launch the H3(Cubed) project: Humor, Health and Happiness. I invite you to come along this journey. Get some laughs, and share a few experiences, thoughts or comments. Join me for a slice of humor pie with H Cubed - for Life.