by Anna Walker

When was the last time you thought about your thoughts? Researchers say we have about 70,000- 75,000 thoughts a day.  If you were to take inventory of your thoughts, would they be positive? negative? fearful? When we change our thinking, we change our beliefs, when we change our beliefs, we change our expectations, when we change our expectations, we change our attitude, when our attitude changes, our behavior changes, when our behavior changes, we change our lives.

This month's blog will encourage you to think about what you are thinking about.

In order to believe in a new identity-the fact of being who or what a person is-we have to [first] prove it to ourselves.
— James Clear


Taking Our Thoughts Captive

Motivational speaker, author and pastor, Myles Monroe stated that we must change what we feed our minds in order to change our minds.  The media, past experiences (good or bad), and the trials of life can cause our thoughts to overwhelm us.  The real battlefield is in our minds.  We can choose how we respond to certain situations by controlling our thoughts.  Many times we conjure up situations that don't or wont even exist!  It's like feeding the body junk all day and expect it to run properly.  If we feed the mind with negative thoughts and evil forebodings, we will get negative results.  If we feed the mind with affirming thoughts, we will get more positive results.  It is necessary to constantly renew our minds by deleting past files of negativity and downloading new files of uplifting and empowering thoughts.  Start the day by thinking on the things you have to be thankful for- count your blessings.  Your first thoughts often set the stage for the entire day. Take your thoughts captive, says 2 Cor 10:5, so that we may maintain good thoughts- thoughts that are lovely, true, of good report, and excellent (Phil 4:8).  You are how you think.  Even when your sky is gray, cause yourself to focus on other things.  Better yet, think about how you can be a blessing to someone else who is hurting.  In other words, take your mind off yourself.  I know easier said than done, but from experience, it works.  I cast my thoughts to God and He always works it out. 

Photo by isabel tiessen pastor/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by isabel tiessen pastor/iStock / Getty Images


You Are How You Eat

It has been said that eating is more a  matter of style than of substance.   Simply put, how you eat speaks volumes about who you are.  I teach dining etiquette classes to a diverse group of participants - from elementary to university students to corporate executives.  Mastering this technique is still confounding to most.  What we often do not realize is that improper etiquette can shatter your image.  If you are not comfortable with your dining etiquette skills, take a class, or read some of the books and resources I highly recommend.  In the meantime, the following are some basic tips to help you avoid embarrassment enhance your style.

  • Immediately place your napkin in your lap when you sit down; place it in your chair to be excused and to the left or right of the plate when leaving.
  • With utensils, start from the outside and work your way toward the plate, no matter how many are on the table. The dessert fork and spoon are usually supplied as needed; sometimes, however, they are found at the top of the plate, parallel to the table edge.  
  • When resting between bites, place the knife on the right rim and the fork on the left rim, never on the table. When you're finished, place the utensils side by side, across the middle of the plate, or right rim of the plate.
  • Add salt and pepper only after you taste the food; Pass the salt and pepper at the same time.
  • Your bread and salad are to the left of your plate, your beverage is to the right.
  • Butter breads, rolls, biscuits or toast, using a knife and break small pieces one at a time.
  • Cut meat one piece at a time. With chicken, do not pick it up, always slice.  Leave portions you are unable to cut.
  • Do not talk with your utensils or lick your knife; Never wipe dirty utensils on your napkin or dip in the water glass. Simply ask for another one. Pick up utensils dropped on the floor.
  • In general, if you spill food on the table, discreetly scrape it under your plate out of sight.
  • Salad Lettuce may be cut, if it is too thick. 
  • When finger foods are offered on a platter, place them on your plate before you put them into your mouth.
  • Don't drink from your cup with the spoon or teabag in it.
  • Sugar wrappers can be tucked under your saucer or next to your plate, lying flat. Leave butter wrappers or jelly containers on your butter plate.
  • A pie-shaped wedge of pizza may be picked up; If the slice is large, eat it with a knife and fork.
  • Turn off cell phones and beepers

Q: How do I get unwanted food out of my mouth?

A:  Place your fork back into your mouth, remove it and hide under another piece of food. Do not spit it back into your napkin.


RESOURCES: ( to learn how to eat certain foods and find great recipes!)

Emily Post's Etiquette

Emily Post's Teen Etiquette

Letitia Baldridge's, Executive Advantage

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Etiquette, Mary Mitchell and John Korr






Please email me your comments and share ideas.  Feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends. We want to reach women around the world!  I look forward to hearing from you.