When we think about communication, what is the first thought that comes to your mind? We associate communication with speech. Speaking is a form of how we communicate with each other. We have learned that communication means speaking. But is it?

Communication is so much more than merely that of speaking. There are many other forms, such as, non-verbal, observation, and listening.

Let’s look at the communication between a mother and that of a child. Within the first year of life, children will start forming words, for example, they may say, “mama”, “dada”, “nana”, and “baba”. Since they are limited to certain sound structures, at first only certain words and sounds are created. Subsequently, some words may be distinguishable amongst the caregivers raising the child, but some are not as obvious to outsiders. Although, you often hear the parent shout out with enthusiasm, “Did you hear what he/she just said? They just asked for a banana.” We, as the primary caregivers can detect the word banana even though the child isn’t developmentally capable of forming these sounds yet. However, we understand their desire for the banana and think we hear them say banana from learned behavior or observation.

Another form of communication is “people watching”. This act of observing is non-verbal and left to our own interpretations of what we are viewing within their interactions. It is a form of communication but instead of it being ours, we are observing another; communication, as we interpret it.

Communication may also be intimate. It is wonderful to be close to someone, a significant other, our partner, and understanding them without any verbal communication. Simple gestures of body language, such as twirling one’s hair between their fingers can indicate to the other of discomfort or in deep thought. A sigh, suggesting frustration or even a certain smile between two people with so much understanding without any need for words. Smiles can allude to expressions of, “I’m not feeling well”, I feel safe with you”, and so much more.

And finally, listening. One of the most important, yet undervalued forms of communication, which is so often overlooked. So many of us can talk up a storm but lack the qualifications of being an effective listener. Without the ability to listen, you do not have valued communication. So many people miss the true meaning of the word, communication. Speaking and listening must be equally important. Communication is about understanding and without listening, you cannot understand the words that are being spoken.

So next time you are having a conversation, pay close attention that you are not merely communicating words, but are fully understanding and processing the subject that is being communicated.

Have fun with it too. Try your spoken communication, observing others around you, smile at a stranger, letting them know that you “see” them. Notice the world around you with all its splendor. Communication is all around us, be a part of it, in every aspect it is intended to be.


I Can Make a Difference

Have you ever thought, “Can I make a difference when there is only one of me?” The answer is, yes you can.

As individuals we don’t think that we have the power to make a difference, but we do. And how, do you ask? One simple strategy is reaching out to them – connecting. Connection is so important because people want to feel seen and heard; that others love them, that their loved ones, friends, and work associates value them, notice them and recognize that they exist.

There is nothing worse than feeling as if you have been disregarded, thrown out like yesterday’s garbage, and worse yet, forgotten. However, it doesn’t need to be like this, when a simple text or phone call will do to tell them “Hi, I’ve been thinking about you”. It really is that simple. I know we don’t always have the time to call, with our busy schedules and lives, so texting can be just as effective.

One thing that I do every single day, is send a good morning text to my daughter and sister. I also include a cute emoji or funny clip to make them smile and acknowledge that I love them. I make this a habit to do each morning with my morning cup of coffee. It is simple, without much effort on my part, but creates a lasting impact in their day.

Believe me, there is nothing worse than feeling like you’re alone in this big world, especially during difficult times in our lives. Reaching out gives us a way of staying connected with the notion that we aren’t ever truly alone – it is our mind being deceptive, tricking us into believing that we are alone.

Let’s make a difference in someone’s life today, by reminding them that they are not alone and that they matter.



The Jewels’ Angels Foundation wants to wish you and your family a very Happy Easter, spending time with family, friends, or doing something that you love. Also remember self-care during the holidays because YOU are most important and without you, nothing else matters.




Most of us have had a pet during some part of our life. It may have been a dog, a cat, a bird, a hamster, a horse, or even a fish. The excitement upon meeting them for the first time brings us a spike of endorphins. We have adopted a new family member to love, nurture, and who will spend time with us.

Did you know that having a pet may have direct positive benefits on your health, both physically and emotionally? Scientific studies have shown that owning a pet can help improve a person’s well-being by lowering their blood pressure and decreasing cortisol levels, the stress hormone.

Besides the physical benefits, there are also emotional benefits. Studies have shown that certain pets can reduce anxiety levels. Have you ever come home to your pet and cried yourself to sleep, while holding them in your arms? Or what about talking to your pet – they don’t talk back, but the ability to talk out loud helps a person to organize and process their thoughts. And how wonderful it is to have a pet at home with you when you may be home alone, helping us to feel connected and safe, whether your pet is a dog, cat, or even a horse.

Are you a cat or dog person? It doesn’t really matter because we generally pick our pets by our personalities. Personally, I like both cats and dogs. Cats have an attitude with the ability to make you laugh, while in a moments time, they are laying in your lap, cuddling. Whereas their counterpart, the dog, is protective, loving, and a great companion to spend time with traveling, going on runs, hiking, or whatever you love to do.

Depression is a mental disorder characterized by persistent sadness and lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities. Some studies show that having a pet doesn’t help with depression, whereas others agree that it does have a direct and indirect effect. I believe that having a pet does significantly improve one’s mental health, even if it is indirectly related, especially if you are fond of having pets and loving animals.

First, when you own a pet, you are forced to drag yourself out of bed to feed them, take them out to go to the bathroom, and play or walk with them. The simple act of getting out of bed stimulates our mind by creating endorphins, and other similar chemicals in our brain, which elevate our mood.

Secondly, it helps us to feel better about ourselves when we are pouring love into our pets, giving us a sense of belonging and purpose, by knowing that something needs you. Subsequently, the petting motion takes our minds off our anxiety, calming our minds, slowing down our rapid breathing, and even sometimes taking our minds off of what is bothering us, at least for a little bit.

Third, having certain pets, such as a dog or horse, we have a companion, a friend to go on hikes with, riding in the forest, or simply walking around the block or stables. Indirectly, we have decided to go out and do something that brings us pleasure, as well as a new perspective and a peaceful mind. Without that pet, we may have decided to stay in bed, eating the tub of ice cream while watching Netflix – which is okay to do sometimes.

Pets are beneficial in so many ways. Directly and indirectly, altering our behaviors, our perspectives about our lives, and giving us healthy outlets to be creative, active, and healthier. We all wish to be loved and to love – what better way than by loving and caring for an animal – your best friend.




I remember someone asking me, shortly after my daughter died, if I was worried that she would not go to Heaven. Understandably, I was beyond distressed and stunned. Sadly, I looked them in their eyes, telling them that of course she was in Heaven – she was just a child who was in a lot of pain.

After this encounter, I relentlessly researched the subject, uneasy with a lot of the information that I found; however, I knew in my heart that they were wrong about suicide. 

I haven’t spoken about this publicly until now and I don’t mean any disrespect to those with these rigid beliefs, but my truth must be heard. 

How could God turn his back on his children standing before him at the gates of Heaven because they had died by suicide? Through my years of Bible study, I was taught that He is a loving and forgiving God. I mean that must be true, since he forgives our sins, including the sins of murder, rape, molestation, and torture towards His children or any of the sins for that matter, by accepting us into his graces by simply asking for forgiveness. And why? Because the Bible states that all sins are created equal. 

Don’t we all sin every day and do we ask for forgiveness after each time we do so? If you have a bad thought about someone, do you ask for forgiveness? If you use the Lord’s name in vain, do you ask for forgiveness? If you judge someone, even if silently, do you ask for forgiveness? What if upon your last day in this life, you lied to your parents, partner, co-worker, or any fellowman and didn’t get a chance to ask God for forgiveness? Would this justify in your mind that you would not go to Heaven? Of course not. It wouldn’t even cross your mind. But yet, according to the Bible and Christian’s alike, God will turn away and slam the door, metaphorically speaking of course, in the faces of His most broken, wounded, and desperate children, who had nowhere to turn, who felt alone and abandoned. That doesn’t sound like a belief that I want to follow. 

Aren’t we supposed to comfort those of us who are hurting? Isn’t that what Christianity is all about, being kind to those less fortunate than ourselves? Helping those in need. Not casting stones upon those with judgment, but instead, forgiveness. 

If so, then how can suicide be a mortal sin that does not permit His children to enter the gates of Heaven. If he is truly our Father in Heaven, then I would expect him to welcome all of his children, bad or good. Isn’t this what our mortal parents do? We teach our children that at times we may not like their actions, but we always love them, no matter what they do. So why is suicide any different, in the eyes of Christianity?

I imagine God is furious with his creation, casting away His children who were too lost to find their way out of the darkness – trying to find their way back to the light, but with too little time, only to be shunned by the Church, when his intention for us was to be kind and good.


The Truth Behind Anxiety


What does anxiety feel like? Many describe it as a racing heart. I have heard of numerous cases of people going to the hospital with a racing heart, while worrying about it being a heart-attack, but being sent home with a diagnosis of a panic attack or also known as, anxiety.

To me, anxiety is so much more evolved. Yes, anxiety causes me to have a racing heart, but if you really pay attention to your symptoms, there are others that aren’t as distinctive or obvious. You should pay attention to the other symptoms as well.

First, when I am anxious, I first notice it by my lack of focus. Staying focused on simple tasks, such as working, cleaning, or reading, may become difficult. You may read the same paragraph in your book several times before realizing that you are not getting very far into your story. You may start cleaning the kitchen and find that you have wandered off to the bedroom performing another task, while leaving the one started in the kitchen forgotten. It isn’t an attention deficient or hyperactivity, that is occurring. What is happening is that my mind is trying to distract myself from what is really bothering me or causing me to be anxious. Needless to say, this distraction creates more havoc and distress at the time, but the mind is simply trying to distract us.

Listen to your body symptoms as well. You will see that your heart his racing, your hands may have become clammy, and you have a tightness in your throat. It is important to take a few deep breaths, recognize the symptoms, and be patient with yourself. When I become distracted, I make myself a list of what I need to accomplish for the next hour or day. This helps me to keep my mind focused on the tasks needing to be completed. A visual stimulation draws the mind back to focus, allowing me to follow through with the items I need to complete. Make sure your written list is reasonable and simple because if you put too much on your list, you will be overwhelmed and disappointed with yourself for not finishing the list. The other positive component to making a written list, is that it will also give you a sense of completion. You completed what you set out to do and this is always a good feeling.

Second, I often feel dizzy or light-headed when anxiety is coming on. This is due to my heart racing and the blood going quicker than normal to my head. When this happens, it is important to stay hydrated and sit down for a bit, take several slow, deep breaths, and slow down your breathing.

Third, this symptom is less obvious than the others. A lot of times I am hyper-focused on worrying about something bad that may or may not happen. This is due to my past traumas. I have found that I am a preventer and planner. What I mean by this is that when I’m in a stressful situation, I will plan out in my head the best possible solution to prevent more anxiety from occurring. An example of this is prevention. Let me explain. I will always try to put myself in a situation that will allow me the least amount of stress. Such as if something bad happens to me, I will create a positive scenario to replace the negative action. This may sound like a positive thing, and it may be, however, what I am really doing is alleviating the stress and panic that is starting to creep up into my chest and mind, preventing myself from having a full-blown panic attack. Diverting my attention away from the negative situation and replacing it with a positive scenario. Even though the possibility of it ever occurring is slim, it calms my mind down and saves me from a panic attack.




Too many times we feel that we are insignificant to the world. Who are we to think that we make a difference in this great big world because we are simply one person, singular in principle? As we grow into adults, some of us may change our viewpoint on this subject or perhaps years of therapy teaches us the importance of our value, but for our youth, they are lacking this knowledge. The world is such a big place and many times we are lost to it and the importance of each and every one of us.

Let’s think about this from a different perspective. The simplicity of a flower. We purchase them all the time, either for ourselves or for others. They are a representation, a gesture of love, thoughtfulness or letting someone know that we are thinking about them. We see them in our homes, churches, and hotels, filling the space with beauty. They are independent of anything except a vase and some water to keep them fresh. But are they? In order for a flower to grow it must first start out as a seed. The seed needs the nourishment from the soil, water, and the sun to enhance its growth. Subsequently, without these elements, it will neither grow nor continue to prosper into a beautiful flower.

Humans are not relieved of this dependency. We want to believe that we are independent, that we don’t need anybody but ourselves, but this simply is not true. We NEED people to grow, prosper, and blossom into healthy individuals. We need support from others when we are feeling down. We need to feel loved. We need human companionship and compassion. We need to feel that we are accepted and belong. We need to love back. We can have all the food and water in the world, but without human connections we will eventually die; emotionally, mentally, and even physically.

Unassumingly, we need each other. As children we grow up to be independent of our parents. It doesn’t mean we no longer need their love and helping hand from time to time. As parents, we want our children to grow up into healthy and independent adults, but it doesn’t mean we no longer need the love from our children or may need a helping hand.

Being independent means that we need to grow on our own, into our own individual and healthy selves. We are not weak because we ask for help. We are not pathetic because we sometimes fall down and need help getting back up. We are independently strong, but even stronger when we know that we have others to reach out to when we need help. A community is stronger than a single person and it is okay to ask for help because we need you and that is the beauty of this life – we are never truly alone because we are independently dependent on ourselves and each other.


The Misconception of Gratitude


We are often misunderstood for being ungrateful. The misconception of our perception is not the lack of gratitude, but rather a misdirection of our understanding or perhaps, a misuse of the word gratitude. First let’s break down the meaning of depression versus sadness. The definition of depression is a mental disorder (not a state of being), characterized by at least two weeks of a persuasive low mood. The definition of sadness (a state of being) is similar to depression; however, the one common difference is in the length of time. The feeling of sadness may last for a day or two, but to classify as depression, it would extend for at least two weeks or more.

You may be thinking to yourself, I don’t see the difference, but there is, and people suffering with depression know this. When you have depression, you may know what your cycle is – two weeks, three weeks or a month of  depression is harder to accept than knowing that if you’re sad, it is only temporary and you will probably be feeling better by the next day or a situation may help to curb your sadness almost immediately. For example, a trip outside to get some fresh air or a drive to the ice cream shop.

Subsequently, living with depression isn’t as simple. Acute depression is exhausting and terrifying. Facing weeks of depression at a time puts a physical toll on your body, as well as an emotional toll on your mental health. It has the ability to negatively affect your social life, relationships, school or job performance, and your health. Even during your moments of “happiness” you’re worrying about when your depression will come back and if you have the strength to go through the long haul of dragging yourself out of the dark hole you are inhabiting.

So, when someone tells us that we need to find gratitude in the simple things in life, we do. Each day is a constant reminder to ourselves that we are grateful – grateful for the people who love us, for making it through another day, our warm beds, and the food and shelter we have been blessed with. It is not our lack of gratitude that casts us out as negative thinkers, but it is the deceiver, called depression. This is the cause of our inability to show gratitude. A typical day while in a depressive state is convincing ourselves how incredibly blessed, we truly are, and calling out the liar to its face: and its name is depression.



We have all heard the expression, “Skeletons in our closet”. What this means is that we have situations, feelings, or emotions that we haven’t dealt with in our life. They are called “skeletons” because we have learned to compartmentalized these negative thoughts to the back of our minds, leaving them there until we are emotionally better equipped to deal with them. Unfortunately, this is never the healthier alternative. 

Pushing these negative experiences away doesn’t mean they go away. They don’t. When they are ignored, the healing process is delayed. They have a handy way of sneaking up on us during our vulnerable moments. Perhaps not right away, it could be years down the road, creating problems with relationships and our own self-esteem – constructing unexpected anger and health issues. 

It is best to deal with the “skeletons” at the onset of the trauma, with a professional mental health provider. You will see a more efficient healing process, with positive results. Pretending that you can handle it on your own is a fallacy. We all need help from time to time and there is no shame in reaching out to others for help in times of despair. 



Capturing Our Thoughts

Has any ever told you that you are a negative thinker? Did you know that you have the ability to control your thoughts? The choices we make can change the way our brain processes information in either a positive or a negative way. Therefore, if we are convicted of thinking negatively, any positive thinking is then condemned, causing us to feel guilty and any possibility of positivity is changed to a negative thinking pattern.

Within our thoughts, we have so many choices at our disposal and under our control. We have the choice to go to work or not. We have the choice to be kind to ourselves and others or not. We have the choice to make good decisions or not, if this is the case, then why do our thoughts turn negative?

Perhaps, it’s a matter of perspective and the way we have learned to view the world and the key word here is “learned”. We have learned to think negatively and if we were able to learn it, then we are also capable of unlearning it. It may sound like a challenge. It will take a lot of work, but perhaps the flaw lies within the ability to see it – to really view it. What do you think would happen if we simply shifted the way we see things, problems, solutions, theories, and instead of telling ourselves that we can’t change, we realize that we do have the power to do so?

I heard an interesting quote on self-discovery this weekend that has resonated with me, from a woman named Jean Aspen, “Life is a creation, not a discovery”. This is such a beautiful way to view the world and life. It puts the power of our choices back on us. We can create the life we want, by entering into our own journeys and directing our thoughts to the way we want them to go. Our life choices aren’t a mere coincidence, but a conscious choice created by us. We, as individuals, have the power to change. If life is our creation, then we are in control of our own destiny. We don’t have to accept the negative (traumas) that happen to us, to all of us. We have the power to rewrite our story, to recreate our story to be the way we want it to be.

Will we make mistakes? Yes, we will make mistakes along the way, but that is how we learn and grow, by making mistakes, learning by them, and changing the way we see the situation. There’s no room for feeling guilty and condemned by our life choices because we are in control of our life path, creating the story we wish to live by, while feeling enveloped with in the love and hope our story has to tell. We are the storyteller; it is our story and our ending. Make life what you want it to be and don’t be at the mercy of our traumas. After-all, haven’t we already suffered enough; it is now time to let go of our traumas and live our live to the fullest we were meant to live.