Friday, September 29, 2017

Can Those With Disabilities Still Be Successful In Business?

Today I'm delighted to welcome Swiyah Woodard to my blog, author of Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm Just In Love With God. She's been touring the internet for a while, so you've probably seen that cool purple cover in many places already. But why would anyone call her crazy?

Swiyah lives with and takes medication for her own diagnosis. In this book, inspired by a true story, she invites all who struggle with mental illness or the consequences of mistreatment to see a true way forward.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog Swiyah. And now, over to you...

Can those with a disability be successful in business?
By mental health expert, Swiyyah Woodard

Can those with a disability be successful in business? Sure they can. The secret is to find something you love to do, something that you are willing to do for free until you become a professional expert. Start off by volunteering. 

There's a such thing as positive stress and negative stress. Negative stress is what happens when you work a stressful 9 to 5 job. You really don't want to be at work. The customers get irate and there's little you can do about this. Challenges occur that you don't know how to overcome. Supervisors put more work on you than you can handle. All of this adds to your stress. All of this is negative stress. But when you're doing a job that is fun and a God given talent, you're a natural at it. You quickly attack problems. You rarely get an unsatisfied customer because you're working from your heart, and you get a load of work that you can actually handle. This is positive stress and I believe those with a disability can easily handle this type of job. 

I was misdiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but I have a mental illness and I cannot work a daily 9 to 5 but I blog and I find it easy. I write and I find it easy. I'm a TV producer and I find it easy. And I'm an actress and I find it easy. 

Start developing a list of different talents that you can do for free. The money will come eventually because you're doing it from your heart. Go online and go to the library to research how you can make money doing what you love to do? The more you practice at your craft the better you will get and when you hear those words, “how much do you charge for your services?” You will know that you are ready.

Build a team.  There will be things required of your business that you will not be good at and will not want to do. Find those that you can hire and find those who have a gift from God that would be willing to volunteer until you get on your feet.

I didn’t allow my disability to interfere with my progress. I believe that God created a person that can excel at any job created. You just have to do what you were created to do and learn how to delegate responsibility. Never stop. Never give up. Through God any dream is possible.


Swiyyah Nadirah Woodard was selected as a Bay News 9 Everyday Hero, which was seen by two million viewers, for publishing a book and teaching the community about her own battle with mental illness. She was hospitalized six times and misdiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her first book, Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm Just in Love, became required and suggested reading in Reading, Writing, Abnormal Psychology, and General Psychology classes at a four year Institution. 

She was born in the housing projects of 
Saint PetersburgFL. Her father left when she was three so she was raised in a single parent home. At the age of five she was molested by her eight year old brother. She later started school, she had slurred speech and didn't care to make friends so she was bullied by her peers. At the age of eight, she wanted to kill herself because a girl wanted to fight her. She looked into the medicine cabinet for medication. Thank God, she couldn't find any.

As a teenager she was physically abused by her step dad. The abuse was so severe, God blocked it from her memory. At the age of 20 the brother that molested her committed suicide, which was devastating to her and the entire family. Swiyyah has always viewed herself as normal. She never received any disciplinary problems in school, made good grades, and received her BA degree in Psychology from the 
University of South Florida.

When the doctors misdiagnosed her with the most debilitating mental disorder known in mental health, paranoid schizophrenia, she denied it. She questioned their expertise. She refused to take medication. She was then hospitalized six times. Her family took a picture of her at her worst and that's when she knew she needed help. She has been taking medication now for ten years without a relapse.

She is now a published author and a National Inspirational Speaker. Her first book is entitled, “Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm just in Love,” and is inspired by her true story. 

She was raised Muslim and the revelations she received from God and placed in her books, didn't make any since until she meet her Christian husband 14 years after her first relapse. 

Please contact Swiyyah to book speaking engagements, life coaching, author and speaker coaching, radio and TV interviews, or to purchase her books at 727-495-3217,


Author: Swiyyah Woodard
Publisher: Swiyyah Productions, Inc.
Pages: 229
Genre: Inspirational / Motivational / Romance / Christian

Because of God, nothing will stop Anika from marrying the love of her life, not even paranoid schizophrenia. You don’t want to miss this spiritual journey filled with inspiration and power.
This book is insightful and perceptive. Inspired by a true story. Few people consider the God factor in mental health. Join Anika and journey with her as she receives revelations from God while on her walk to overcome mental illness and naiveness towards religion. Required reading for High schools and colleges.

FIND IT HERE: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:

     Anika begins to lose her mind. While continuing to stare at the television set, Anika sees a vision of Jesus. He appears to her in just as perfect form and image as the paintings on Mary’s wall. She then hears Jesus speak, “I am the son of God.” Then just as fast as he appears, he leaves her vision.
     “Did you see him? Did you see Jesus?” Anika turns and looks at her friends. Words are stuck within their throats.
     “Did you see him? Did you see Jesus?” Anika repeats once more.
     “Anika, you’re really scaring us. I thought you were Muslim?” Mary says.

Anika then feels as if someone was controlling her thoughts. “Forgive yourself.”  

She then begins to ramble, “Atoms are neither created nor destroyed. There was always an existence. You have to take baby steps to understand how this existence works, where we came from, how it started. Don’t jump from A to Z. No, you must go from A to C. Take a break. It has been painted. First there was nothing; it was blackness, pitch blackness. There was first the black hole. A plumber can understand the black hole. There was a white light. The creator is positive energy. We all have a little bit of positive energy. A person of positivity can change your life without saying a word. We try to increase positive energy which is the same as increasing spiritually. Once we are of that same positivity as the creator, we become one with him. Only a few souls have reached this level of existence. The rest of us are growing spiritually so we can reach that level.“

     It appears to Anika that she is making sense as she began to explain herself, justifying her words.

   “Positive times positive equals positive. Negative times positive equals negative. Therefore, if you have any negativity in you, you cannot become one with positivity.”

   “The creator is all positive energy. Negative times negative equals positive. If you learn from loads of negativity you will learn from your mistakes and become all positive. It’s mathematics. Everything stems from mathematics. Less than a cup of wine is what I need to rest. Don’t want to scare away this beautiful spirit controlling my thoughts.” While holding the sides of her head trying to rid her racing thoughts, she runs into the kitchen and pours herself a cup of wine. She then thinks, “no one will ever have to go through what I went through again!”

Anika takes a look at her past to see how in the world she got to this point in her life.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

On A Journey To God, or just walking a spiritual path?

Today I'm delighted to welcome Gary and Susan Eby to my blog, to share about their book of personal stories. In the book blurb they say "Our disclaimer: you are completely free to reject everything we have to say about spirituality. What we believe in is not that important. What really counts is what you believe that gives your life meaning, direction, and purpose," so I had to ask...

·       Who are your intended readers? How did that influence how you wrote the blurb?
We wrote Reflections: A Journey to God for anybody interested in walking a spiritual path. We define spirituality as a journey within to find the presence of the Divine according to your own understanding.  So our blub emphasizes the freedom of choice over strict compliance with a set of rituals or doctrines as indicated in a religious creed.

·       Do you expect your readers to reject what you say - or rather, which readers do you think might reject it?
Reflections is story about our two different spiritual journeys finally converging and ending up in the same place: hope, joy, love, and healing. It is also full of tips, advice, and positive thoughts designed to help all of us have a better, healthier life .  In addition, it's a strong message that we can put love into action to create a more peaceful world.
We suspect some people who subscribe to a strict and religious point of view may reject our spiritual approach. We do sincerely hope, that our readers contemplate our poems, essays, and talks with an open mind and heart.

·       What might be the consequences of lives lacking        meaning, direction, or purpose? And how do you see that playing out in modern society?                                                                                                 
Susan and I have experienced considerable adversity,  emotional pain, and psychological challenges in our life. We certainly don't have all the answers. But we do believe depression, anxiety, stress, addictions, financial problems, and relationship issues at their core reveal a lack of self-worth, meaning, direction, and purpose.
Reflections: Provides people with the powerful message that all problems (social and political too) can be conquered when you know and feel a personal relationship with the Divine. If you would like more information on our spiritual approach, we hope you will check out this link to an earlier interview of us done via The Crazy Mind in May of 2017.

·       What events or people influenced the development of your spirituality? Could you define your life's meaning, direction and/or purpose in one or two words, or is that asking the impossible?   
Love of nature, my profession (as a retired social worker, mental health worker, and addiction therapist),  as well as Susan's interest in philosophy and becoming an interfaith minister via The Emerson Theological Institute, has influenced us significantly on our spiritual journeys. "Magnificence" is the word that describes for us the path towards a more spiritual way of being. We explain this term in our book and on our spiritual blog. Hope you will choose to discover more about us at
Our life's meaning is to bring peace, joy, love, self-understanding, and self-acceptance to those who read our book.  This is our life purpose.

Thank you so much Gary and Susan.

Sending you Peace, Light, Joy, and Love today:  Gary and Susan Eby.  

And now for some more information...                                           

Author: Gary & Susan Eby
Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing
Pages: 268
Genre: Spirituality/Self-Help/Healing/Poetry

Our disclaimer: you are completely free to reject everything we have to say about spirituality. What we believe in is not that important. What really counts is what you believe that gives your life meaning, direction, and purpose.
This book is about our personal stories with Spirit and what we've learned along our journeys. We're sharing it with you because it might help you on your own journey to God. We only ask that you read this book with an open mind and heart.
We suggest you pick one of these spiritual essays. Ponder it, meditate for a while, even read it out loud. Allow yourself to feel the words and the light, which may lead you to discover the better life you truly deserve.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Emotional Healing
In the twilight of an Oregon summer night, the half-moon projects a mystical glow. Cool mountain air flows with the gentle sounds of cricket music. A glimmering star curtain unfurls to reveal a celestial vision of power and energy that transcends all human worry, doubt, and fear.
Tonight I am at peace, yet I still struggle with discouragement. A part of me obsesses and worries about an unsure financial future. This negative side is unforgiving, self-critical, and emotionally abusive.
At age 60, it appears overwhelming and even impossible to change the direction and course of my life. As I try out new ideas and new technology to achieve my dreams and goals, I stumble and fall. So many barriers and obstacles loom on the horizon. The prospect of giving up and throwing in the towel appears seductive.  Why not just give up?   What's the point anyway?
I ask myself why am I trying so hard to achieve my dreams, when reality smacks of karma, suffering, powerlessness, and death?  We all know about all of those 'bad things' that keep happening to 'good people'. Right?
I accept that evil and injustice exists in this world.  I know random or calculated acts of violence, painful relationships, disease and the loss of loved ones, cause untold pain and suffering.  In these moments of despair, frustration, and discouragement, my consciousness returns to the power of the half-moon.
There is darkness but the moonlight always conquers the night. Even when no moon can be seen in the sky, the moon is there.  Tonight, I choose to thrive on the Light living within all of us.
Much of life will remain a mystery. The stars above and the universe within will sustain me through predictable trials and life challenges. I choose to embrace the majesty of life made sublimely radiant by those infinite, flashing, celestial spheres.
I feel myself merging with the universe and my thoughts begin to turn toward God.  This is the place I want to be.  This is the space I want to be in.  This is where I want to live my life.  I refuse to let the negative overtake me.  
I emotionally reach out toward the lights dancing in the sky and accept what is always, always true.  I am forever guided by God, and whatever happens in my life, I know Spirit will show me through.  No fears, worries or negativity can touch me when I am existing in the Love Light.
Link to Trailer:

Gary Eby is a retired social worker, mental health counselor and addiction therapist. He writes about self-help and spirituality. Gary loves playing the piano, the drums and walking on the beach with his wife, Susan. His motto is "Choose the positive, because it's all good!"

Susan studied philosophy in college. Some of her favorite philosophers are Socrates, Plato, William James and St. Thomas Aquinas. She is currently enjoying Emerson's mystical essays. We have conducted an interview with them.

Their current book is Reflections: A Journey to God.




With thanks to Pump Up Your Book for inviting me to share in this tour.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Why I like Dark Fiction

Perhaps we all hide shadows in our past. Perhaps dark fiction appeals to us because it sheds light on someone else's shadows, making ours less scary without ever threatening them. Perhaps... But I must admit, I've read some pretty dark stories recently. Maybe it's just the lengthening darkness of evenings drawing in as the year moves to fall. Or perhaps I just enjoy dark fiction because it allows me to "experience" the adrenaline rush of danger without ever having to face the risks involved. After all, when asked as a teen, would I prefer a long boring life or a short exciting one, I chose long and boring because of all the short exciting lives I could enjoy in imagination.

Anyway, here are some book reviews of dark, definitely not boring lives. Find some coffee - probably a dark cup - and see what you think.

Scar Tissue (The Mindsight Series Book 1) by M C Domovitch, starts with a young woman escaping a captor who has been torturing her. Her physical scars begin to improve, but the mental scar is obscure and unrelenting--she can't even remember the face of her torturer. Retreating from her former identity as a gorgeous model, Ciara crosses the country, takes up an entirely unexpected job, and learns some unexpected skills. She who once was made up to be beautiful makes others up to be normal... and danger lurks. It's moderately predictable, curiously fascinating, and a really good read. Enjoy with some dark five-star coffee.

Spice Trade by Erik Mauritzson is a Swedish noir mystery, blending ice with Moroccan fire in a tale of drug and human trafficking. The protagonist's past is kept nicely separate from his job, and his wife is pleasingly supportive--two facts which make this tale intriguingly different from other Scandinavian noirs. The dialog has a sort of pedantic stiltedness that perfectly matches the careful investigation, and it works. Maybe a well-balanced four-star coffee but no... it's a dark tale and it needs its coffee brewed five-star and dark.

Another dark police procedural, this time set in America, is The Eulogist by Jeffrey B Burton. Again the protagonist blends dark and light. Retired from the FBI with a wounded hand, he lives a peaceful life with a peaceful woman and contented dreams, but it doesn't take much beyond an accident of circumstance to draw him back into the dark. Relationships are nicely drawn with just enough background detail, characters are intelligent and nuanced, and mysteries within mysteries abound with ever advancing danger. A cool tale with clever surprises, this is another to enjoy with some dark five-star coffee.

On a more light-hearted (but still dark) note, Baby Take a Bow, a Grace Street Mystery by Jane Tesh, is set in a small town among a fine cast of curious characters, from private eye to listener to ghosts to... well, there's even a rather entrancing fox. And there's murder, hilarious mayhem, plus some serious notes and wise touches of humanity. Try some well-balanced smooth three-star coffee with this smooth well-balanced tale.