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Money Mondays: Seminar

Conquer 9 financial skills! Bring a friend!! Gain control of your financial lives together!!! Call for more info or RSVP soon!!!!

Financial Planning 101 – Your Guide to Confidence

Quick Overview

R.S.V.P.

To reserve your spot, please contact me at:

972-692-0909 Jkort@munnmorris.com www.munnmorris.com 14180 Dallas Pkwy Dallas, TX 75254

When & Where

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Parkway Office Center, 14180 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75254

 4-Benefits-Of-Budgeting-That-Goes-Beyond-Your-Income-And-Expenses Everyone can benefit from a financial plan that is tailored to individual needs and circumstances. A financial roadmap can motivate you to save money, help you meet your financial goals, and improve your overall financial security now and in the future.

In this seminar on Financial Planning Basics, you’ll learn:

·        How to construct a budget and the importance of establishing an emergency fund

·        Credit fundamentals

·        Basic investment concepts, including risk tolerance and the difference between pre-tax, after-tax, and tax-deferred investments

·        Basic estate planning concepts

You’ll also receive a free workbook created just for this presentation. The workbook contains key information, worksheets, and questions to help you remember important points from the seminar.

Directions:

We’ll meet in the 1st floor conference room @ Parkway Office Center’s Northern Tower – North of Spring Valley on the Northbound side of the Tollway.

Notes:

No preparation required, but, feel free to come with, or pre-submit questions.

Snacks and beverages will be provided as well.

Refer a friend To find out more click here
This information, developed by an independent third party, has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. This information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. This information is not intended as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security referred to herein. Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. The material is general in nature. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. does not provide advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues. These matters should be discussed with the appropriate professional. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, an independent broker/dealer, and are not insured by FDIC, NCUA or any other government agency, are not deposits or obligations of the financial institution, are not guaranteed by the financial institution, and are subject to risks, including the possible loss of principal.
Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2017.

Money Monday: Student Loans

 

Student loans.  Even thinking about paying student loans can give you anxiety.  Fortunately, Jeff Kort has provided some tips on how to repay student loans and get your tax deductions for doing so.

Repaying Student Loans
What is it?
When you take out a loan to pay for college or graduate school, you must repay that loan at some future date. If you find yourself in the position of having to budget every month for a student loan payment after graduation, you are not alone. A majority of students now borrow at least some money to help finance their education. Yet excessive student loan debt can have negative ramifications.
For example, student loan debt may affect decisions to buy a home, a car, or to have children. Because student debt levels are likely to continue to increase as the cost of college and graduate school continues to outpace inflation, it
is important to know how to manage student loan debt.
Repayment options
The federal government offers several flexible repayment options for student loan borrowers. Along with the standard 10-year repayment plan, the government offers graduated plans (your monthly payments start out low and increase over time), extended plans (you extend the time you have to repay for up to 30
years), income-sensitive plans (your payments are tied to your monthly income), and consolidation plans (you combine several loans into one loan with a lower monthly payment). Private lenders may or may not offer all these options; contact your specific lender for more information.
When you know your repayment options, your next step is to determine, using a monthly budget, the amount of discretionary income you have available each month to put toward your student loan.
What happens if you can’t repay your student loans?
Rare is the individual who hasn’t run into difficulties at one time or another in repaying a student loan. If you do run into difficulty in repaying a student loan, take a proactive approach. The primary way to postpone the repayment of your student loan is to request a deferment or forbearance from your lender. This is a temporary postponement based on well-established criteria, such as unemployment or a full-time
return to graduate school. Alternatively, in some cases, you may be able to obtain a cancellation of your loan, which means you do not have to repay your loan at all. An example where a cancellation is generally granted is if you become totally disabled. If you are unable to obtain a deferment or forbearance from your lender and you do not meet the requirements for cancellation, yet you are still unable to repay your student loans, then you will be in default. When you are in default on your student loans, your loan will likely be passed on to a collection agency. A collection agency is authorized to
engage in some serious collection efforts to try and get you to pay, including letters, phone calls, wage garnishment, and tax refund interceptions. As a last resort, you may decide to file for bankruptcy.  However, be aware that there are special rules governing bankruptcy and student loans; not all student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy.
The student loan interest deduction
You can deduct up to $2,500 each year of the interest you pay on qualified student loans, provided you meet income limits. In 2017, for single filers, a full student loan interest deduction is available with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) up to $65,000 and a partial deduction is available with a MAGI between $65,000 and $80,000. For joint filers, a full deduction is available with a MAGI up to $135,000 and a partial deduction is available with a MAGI between $135,000 and $165,000.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Jeff Kort, Munn & Morris Financial Advisors
14180 Dallas Parkway, Suite 530, Dallas, TX 75254
972-692-0909 (o), 972-333-0809 (c)
Jeffrey.Kort@RaymondJames.comwww.munnmorris.com
This information, developed by an independent third party, has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James
Financial Services, Inc. does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. This information is not a complete summary or
statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. The information
contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material.
  • This information is not intended as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security referred to herein. Investments mentioned may not be
    suitable for all investors. The material is general in nature. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Raymond James Financial
    Services, Inc. does not provide advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues. These matters should be discussed with the appropriate professional.
    Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, an independent broker/dealer, and are not insured
    by FDIC, NCUA or any other government agency, are not deposits or obligations of the financial institution, are not guaranteed by the financial
    institution, and are subject to risks, including the possible loss of principal.

Money Monday: Buying a Car


It’s Money Monday and Jeff Kort of Munn and Morris Financial Advisors is here to share some advice with Project Verve readers.  Today’s topic is: buying a car!

Maybe you’ve always pictured yourself driving a shiny red convertible. Or perhaps you’ve had a recent addition to the family and you’re looking for the practicality of a minivan. Whatever the reason, you’re in the market for a new car. Here are some tips to help make the car-buying process a bit easier.

Choosing a car

As you try to decide what type of car you want to buy, consider the following:

If you already have a car, what do you like and dislike about it?

Do you want a lot of passenger space?

Do you want two doors or four?

Do you prefer a standard or an automatic transmission?

How much does prestige matter?

What about better fuel economy?

Is your heart set on purchasing a new car, or are you willing to settle for a well-maintained used one?

How much can you afford to spend?

You’ll also want to keep in mind such factors as resale value, maintenance, and insurance costs. It may be helpful to consult one of the many car-buying guides to help you choose a vehicle and give you information on pricing, reliability, and safety. Many are available on-line.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, you’ll want to visit some dealerships and take those cars for a test-drive. When you get behind the wheel, ask yourself:

Is there plenty of legroom and headroom?

Is it easy to load passengers and cargo?

Is the seat comfortable?

Is the control panel visible and accessible?

Is there enough trunk space?

Does the car ride smoothly?

Does the car have good acceleration and handling?

Determining your target price

Once you’ve settled on a car model, you should do some research on the invoice price, including the cost of any options that you want. That way, you can negotiate the price based on the approximate cost of the vehicle to the dealer, rather than try to bargain down from the sticker price. Keep in mind that the dealer’s cost is often less than the invoice price because of factory-to-dealer incentives. That’s why a good target price is approximately 3 percent above the invoice price, although this will vary depending on the car model.

Going to the dealership

Armed with your target price, you should be ready to begin shopping around for the best purchase price. Try to visit more than one dealership, since prices vary. At the dealership, you’ll want to be sure to negotiate, keeping in mind the following tips:

Don’t set your sights on just one car model. Many manufacturers offer similar models, and one may be much more affordable than another.

If you’re trading in your old car, don’t discuss the trade-in price until you have established a purchase price for the new car. You don’t want to negate a good purchase deal by accepting far less than your trade-in vehicle is worth.

If the dealer isn’t willing to give you a deal that you’re happy with, don’t hesitate to take your business elsewhere.

If you want to avoid negotiating over price, you may want to consider a dealer with a no-haggle policy.

Closing the deal

After you and the dealer have settled on a purchase price, you may need to sign some preliminary paperwork and give the dealer a deposit. If you need a loan to purchase the car, you’ll also need to obtain financing. If you don’t mind making financing arrangements ahead of time, many banks, credit unions, and auto clubs offer favorable interest rates on car loans.

At the dealership, you have a couple of financing options. First, you’ll want to ask about special financing programs available through the car manufacturer. These are usually the best deals, offering low interest rates. Unfortunately, though, qualifying for these programs can be hard because special restrictions often apply (e.g., large down payment, limited payment terms).

You can also apply for a traditional car loan through the dealer, who makes additional money by arranging on-the-spot financing. But don’t assume you’re getting the best deal available. The interest rate on dealer-sponsored loans is usually higher than the interest rate that you would receive on your own.

Around this time, the dealer will try to sell you extras such as an extended warranty, service contract, or rustproofing. Watch out–these extras are expensive and often overpriced. If you’re interested in purchasing them, be sure to negotiate a favorable price, or look into buying them elsewhere.

The dealer can also help you arrange proper insurance coverage of your car and make sure that the registration and plates are in order, or you can choose to do this yourself. In either case, once all the paperwork is signed, the dealer will hand you the keys, and the car will be yours!
Thank you to Jeff Kort for this article!  If you are interested in discussing your personal finances with Mr. Kort, you can contact him with the information below.  Also, he will be holding a seminar in Dallas.  Those details are also below.
Jeff Kort
14180 Dallas Parkway
Suite 530
Dallas, TX 75254
972-692-0909
972-333-0809

Jeffrey.Kort@RaymondJames.com
http://www.munnmorris.com

If you are in the Dallas area, Jeff Kort will be holding a seminar on financial planning, including information on creating a budget, basic investment concepts, and basic estate planning.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Parkway Office Center, 14180 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75254

*This information, developed by an independent third party, has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. This information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. This information is not intended as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security referred to herein. Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. The material is general in nature. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. does not provide advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues. These matters should be discussed with the appropriate professional.

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, an independent broker/dealer, and are not insured by FDIC, NCUA or any other government agency, are not deposits or obligations of the financial institution, are not guaranteed by the financial institution, and are subject to risks, including the possible loss of principal.


Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2017.


Munn & Morris Financial Advisors

Rise and…

coffee

“Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.”- W.C. Fields

There are some days when I just don’t want to get out of bed when the alarm goes off. I make an excuse that I’m just not a morning person and I roll over for a few more minutes of shut-eye. When it is time to finally get up, however, I find myself racing around the house trying to get everything done on time. On these days, I’m usually out of sorts for at least the first few hours of the day.

There are other days, however, when my alarm goes off and I take a moment to breathe instead of going back to sleep. I pray, meditate, or stretch, and then I get out of bed and start my day. On these days, it’s a lot easier to tackle the morning. I feel more centered, more alert, and less like I am stumbling through my day.

Of course, every moment is a chance to make a decision that will enhance our lives, but the way we start our day usually sets the stage for the hours that follow. If you talk to successful people, most of them have a daily routine. This routine will vary depending on who you talk to, but there is something that they do to get themselves into a proper mindset.

What can we do to start our day? Prayer is one way- if you don’t pray, you can just express aloud your gratitude for everything you have in life. You could meditate, simply breathing deeply or listening to one of the many wonderful meditation guides on the internet. You can also wake up and stretch, slowly acclimating yourself to your morning. Exercise is another excellent addition to a morning routine. Eating a good diet, drinking water, and going to sleep at a reasonable time each day will help with your morning routine as well.

There are many routines that can help us get our day started on a positive note. What’s yours?

“Bean There, Done That” Black Bean Burger

Black Bean Burger.pngblack bean burgers.png

Craving a burger but looking for a healthier version?  Below you will find a recipe cooked up and shared by Moshe Prystowsky.  If you’re a fan of Bob’s Burgers, then you know that they always have clever burger titles so this post’s title was my attempt at one of those.  🙂

(Keep in mind this wasn’t done by a recipe and so a lot of things were thrown in willy nilly.)

“Bean There Done That” Black Bean Burger Recipe

Black Beans (1 1/2 cans)
Sweet potatoes (a few spoonfuls finely diced)
Onions (finely diced)
Kale (a few cupfuls cooked down and added to the mix)
Red pepper (one half of the pepper, finely diced)
4 baby Bella mushrooms (sliced and diced)
Garlic to taste
Breadcrumbs (half a cup)
Cornstarch (a tablespoons)
A smidgen of each of these: about 1tsp each
Onion powder
Cumin powder
Garlic powder
Coriander powder
Turmeric powder
Salt
Pepper

Mash all of these ingredients together and give it a sample- you might need to add a little more of the seasoning depending on your taste. After this, add one egg. Form patties, and place on wax paper. Let them sit in the freezer for about 30 minutes and then cook in a skillet with coconut oil or a light oil til nicely browned. Then fix up your burger!  You can avoid extra carbs and a bunch of extra calories by making a lettuce wrap burger instead of using the traditional bun and using mustard and low-caloric condiments instead of mayonnaise.

 

Happy eating!

 

**Thanks to Moshe Prystowsky for this recipe!**

 

 

Money Monday: Setting and Targeting Investment Goals

Are you trying to set some financial goals but don’t know where to start?  Jeff Kort is a financial advisor for Munn & Morris Financial Advisors, Inc. and he offered to share some of his financial management tips with Project Verve:

Setting and Targeting Investment Goals

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don’t take any money out until you’re ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it? But that’s what investing without setting clear-cut goals is like. If you’re lucky, you may end up with enough money to meet your needs, but you have no way to know for sure.

 

How do you set investment goals? Setting investment goals means defining your dreams for the future. When you’re setting goals, it’s best to be as specific as possible. For instance, you know you want to retire, but when? You know you want to send your child to college, but to an Ivy League school or to the community college down the street? Writing down and prioritizing your investment goals is an important first step toward developing an investment plan.

 

What is your time horizon? Your investment time horizon is the number of years you have to invest toward a specific goal. Each investment goal you set will have a different time horizon. For example, some of your investment goals will be long term (e.g., you have more than 15 years to plan), some will be short term (e.g., you have 5 years or less to plan), and some will be intermediate (e.g., you have between 5 and 15 years to plan). Establishing time horizons will help you determine how aggressively you will need to invest to accumulate the amount needed to meet your goals.

 

How much will you need to invest? Although you can invest a lump sum of cash, many people find that regular, systematic investing is also a great way to build wealth over time. Start by determining how much you’ll need to set aside to meet each goal. Although you’ll want to invest as much as possible, choose a realistic amount that takes into account your other financial obligations, so that you can easily stick with your plan. But always be on the lookout for opportunities to increase the amount you’re investing, such as participating in an automatic investment program that boosts your contribution by a certain percentage each year, or by dedicating a portion of every raise, bonus, cash gift, or tax refund you receive to your investment objectives.

 

Which investments should you choose? Regardless of your financial goals, you’ll need to decide how to best allocate your investment dollars. One important consideration is your tolerance for risk. All investments involve some risk, but some involve more than others. How well can you handle market ups and downs? Are you willing to accept a higher degree of risk in exchange for the opportunity to earn a higher rate of return? Whether you’re investing for retirement, college, or another financial goal, your overall objective is to maximize returns without taking on more risk than you can bear. But no matter what level of risk you’re comfortable with, make sure to choose investments that are consistent with your goals and time horizon. A financial professional can help you construct a diversified investment portfolio that takes these factors into account.

 

Investing for retirement – After a hard day at the office, do you ask yourself, “Is it time to retire yet?” Retirement may seem a long way off, but it’s never too early to start planning, especially if you want retirement to be the good life you imagine. For example, let’s say that your goal is to retire at age 65. At age 20 you begin contributing $3,000 per year to your tax-deferred 401(k) account. If your investment earns 6% per year, compounded annually, you’ll have approximately $679,000 in your investment account when you retire.

 

But what would happen if you left things to chance instead? Let’s say that you’re not really worried about retirement, so you wait until you’re 35 to begin investing. Assuming you contributed the same amount to your 401(k) and the rate of return on your investment dollars was the same, you would end up with approximately $254,400. And, as this chart illustrates, if you were to wait until age 45 to begin investing for retirement, you would end up with only about $120,000 by the time you retire. (This hypothetical example is not intended to reflect the actual performance of any investment. Taxes and investment fees are not considered.)

 

Investing for college – Perhaps you faced the truth the day your child was born. Or maybe it hit you when your child started first grade: You have only so much time to save for college. In fact, for many people, saving for college is an intermediate-term goal–if you start saving when your child is in elementary school, you’ll have 10 to 15 years to build your college fund. Of course, the earlier you start, the better. The more time you have before you need the money, the greater chance you have to build a substantial college fund due to compounding. With a longer investment time frame and a tolerance for some risk, you might also be willing to put some of your money into investments that offer the potential for growth.

 

Investing for a major purchase – At some point, you’ll probably want to buy a home, a car, or even that vacation home you’ve always wanted. Although they’re hardly impulse items, large purchases are usually not something for which you plan far in advance; one to five years is a common time frame. Because you don’t have much time to invest, you’ll have to budget your investment dollars wisely. Rather than choosing growth investments, you may want to put your money into less volatile, highly liquid investments that have some potential for growth, but that offer you quick and easy access to your money should you need it.

 

Review and revise – Over time, you may need to update your investment strategy. Get in the habit of checking your portfolio at least once a year–more frequently if the market is particularly volatile or when there have been significant changes in your life. You may need to rebalance your portfolio to bring it back in line with your investment goals and risk tolerance. If you need assistance, a financial professional can help.

 

Examples for Investing for Your Investment Goal and Time Horizon –

 

Have $10,000 for a down payment for a home in 5 years

At 4%, you’ll need to invest $151 per month

At 8%, you’ll need to invest $136 per month

At 12%, you’ll need to invest $123 per month

 

 

Have $50,000 in college fund in 10 years:

At 4%, you’ll need to invest $340 per month

At 8%, you’ll need to invest $276 per month

At 12%, you’ll need to invest $223 per month

 

Have $250,000 in retirement fund in 20 years

At 4%, you’ll need to invest $685 per month

At 8%, you’ll need to invest $437 per month

At 12%, you’ll need to invest $272 per month

 

Examples assume 3% annual inflation, and the return is compounded annually; taxes are not considered. Also, rates of return will vary over time, particularly for long-term investments, which could affect the amounts you would need to invest. This hypothetical example is not intended to reflect the actual performance of any investment.

 

Of course, this is general advice since you would have to meet with Jeff Kort or another financial advisor in order to review your finances specifically, but making investment goals is a great way to start your path to financial security and turn your dreams into reality.
 

 **Thank you to Jeff Kort and Munn & Morris Financial Advisors, Inc. for this article!**

 ***Raymond James Financial Services does not accept orders and/or instructions regarding your account by e-mail, voice mail, fax or any alternate method. Transactional details do not supersede normal trade confirmations or statements. E-mail sent through the Internet is not secure or confidential. Raymond James Financial Services reserves the right to monitor all e-mail.

Any information provided in this e-mail has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed by Raymond James Financial Services and is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision. Any information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation. Raymond James Financial Services and its employees may own options, rights or warrants to purchase any of the securities mentioned in e-mail. This e-mail is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this message in error, please contact the sender immediately and delete the material from your computer.

 

Transformation Story: Charles Cole III

The beautiful thing about life is that we don’t have to amble down the same path, doing the same thing forever. Every day we wake up, every moment that we have, we are given the opportunity to make new choices, make different plans, and become everything we always dreamed of being.

This week’s transformation story is about Charles Cole III but it is also about the transformation of his parents and their family life.  Charles Cole III is an educator and public speaker who writes for publications such Huffington Post.  A few months ago, he published a story about his parents overcoming addiction to achieve their goals- one of which was to graduate from college.  Over the next month or so, this story went viral.  After watching a video about his parents, I contacted Charles to ask if I could share his story on Project Verve.

Charles grew up in an unstable home- his parents were both young and addicted to drugs.  Because of this instability, he was constantly being shuttled to different schools and into different living environments, including shelters.  He had a difficult time in school because he was having a difficult time at home.  Charles credits a middle school teacher with turning his life around.  “Mr. Brown…was able to connect with me and build my confidence in a way that no other teacher had.  He was hard on me.  He told me that I was responsible for me, no one else was.  I had to choose success. I had to choose to be different than what I saw.”

Charles, with the help of this teacher, made the decision to change his life- to be different than what he saw everyday.  And wonderfully, Charles’ determination in bettering his life, inspired his parents to better their own.  With the help of local sobriety programs, they were able to overcome their addiction and go back to school to get their degrees.

Charles and his parents are living examples that we are able to make life-changing choices everyday.   The road might be difficult and there might be obstacles along the way, but with determination, achieving our goals is always possible.

 
*Special thanks to Charles Cole III for sharing his story.  If you would like to learn more, here is a link to his article:

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_58963e51e4b02bbb1816bb17

Words That Can Change Your Future

blog pic
(This might end up being a multi-part post because the concept is very powerful.)

This morning I woke up with very little sleep and immediately thought to myself: “today is going to be a long day.” I followed that one up with similar thoughts like: “I am so tired.” “It’s going to be hard to get through the day.” The more I thought about how tired I was and how long the day would be, the more tired I felt.  That’s when I knew exactly what I wanted to write about for Wednesday’s blog post- positive thinking and the power of words.

When I was a child, I began to learn about words.  First, I learned how to use words to communicate and connect with others around me.  Then, I learned words that I shouldn’t say (rude or mean words.). After that, I learned words that I should always remember to say (“please” and “thank you” were two of those.)  Then, much later, I began reading and watching videos about the power of words- how words can actually change our circumstances.

Now, bear with me, I’m sure when I talk about “the power of words” it sounds like we are venturing into fantasy land- but think about it.  Our words influence our thoughts and the thoughts of others.  Our thoughts influence our actions and our actions change our circumstances.  I’ve listened to gurus and motivational speakers such as Sadhguru and Tony Robbins and learned about the power of changing our thoughts from negative to positive.  It’s not easy and I sometimes struggle with its application, but I’ve realized if we shift our thinking, we will be successful.

One way of shifting our thinking is by using positive affirmations.  Positive affirmations are short statements that we say about ourselves and our lives.  (For example: “I am able to give and receive love.” “I am successful.”  “I am a healthy and vibrant person.”)  Most affirmations start with the words “I am…” which is a very powerful and encouraging phrase.  Instead of destructive, negative self-talk which is normally a constant replay of words like “I am not worthy,” “I am stupid,” or “I am unloved,” positive affirmations shift us into building ourselves up.

Feel free to sit down and come up with a few personal affirmations of your own that you feel will help put you in the right frame of mind for the rest of your day.  These affirmations are like guides for our thoughts and help us remain positive.  Of course, positive or negative, we don’t always get EVERYTHING we want, but positive thinking puts us closer to success than the negative self-talk that we may be used to.

Dr. Wayne Dyer has an excellent meditation that combines the measured breathing of meditation with the power of positive words.  I believe this track is available online, if you want to use it for your daily affirmations.

I hope you decide to use positive affirmations as part of your daily routine.  Please write in and let me know what your favorite affirmations are!

Transformative Stories: Chaya

Chaya Picture

 

I’ll always remember when I first met Chaya.  A friend and I were at a party mingling with others at the event, when we saw a large afro floating above the crowd.  Of course, we had to introduce ourselves, and that’s when I made a very good friend.

A few years ago, Chaya went to a normal medical examination and received news that no one ever wants to hear:  she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  In the next year, she would undergo chemotherapy and a double mastectomy.  Throughout all of this, her attitude was positive and her faith in the beauty of life was unshakable.  Eventually, her cancer went into remission and Chaya received a new lease on life.  Then she took a chance and did something she always wanted to do- she moved to Israel.

I asked her to share a bit of her story with Project Verve.  If you would like to read more about Chaya Lev’s journey through life, she maintains a blog with The Times of Israel (www.blogs.timesofisrael.com).

“Shalom, everyone!  My name is Chaya Lev and I am coming to you live from the Land of Milk and Money (No, it’s not a typo- well, this time anyway.)  I am willing to share my breast cancer journey with you wonderful humans if you are willing to laugh and cry with me.

Breast cancer is a devastating and life-changing experience- one that affects millions of women around the world and is an experience that I would not wish on my worst enemy if I had one.  I found out that I was one of the lucky ones who won the breast cancer lottery but I have refused to let that diagnosis end my life.

Imagine waking up one day and having a “routine” mammogram that instead turns into the first day for the battle for your life- a fight for which you were completely unprepared, and the only weapon that you had on hand was your smile and a handy bag of giggles.

On this journey, I realized that a person only lives once and, after a few surgeries coupled with chemotherapy and radiation, I decided to make my way home to Israel.  I truly feel that breast cancer was my wake up call to do something new or as Morah Sheli would say: “Mashu Chadash.” (How’s that for one month in Ulpan?)

Anywho, before I give away all of my goodness on our first meeting, I just want to let you know that I made it through my fight with breast cancer and I want to share my (very loud) voice with those going through, or have loved ones going through, a fight with this disease.  Let’s begin a journey together, where I will share my breast cancer experience as a new Israeli.  (On this journey, be careful of boob spillage because I am not ashamed to show you how amazing my doctor is.)

Cancer tried to kill me and my spirit and I’m living proof that it did not succeed.  If you, or anyone that you know, is going through this experience, please know that I am here for you and we are going to laugh it away together.”

 

Welcome!

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Hi!  I’m Jena and I can’t tell you how excited I am about this blog! I was thinking the other day that the world needs a big dose of positivity and, to that end, I decided to create a website where each of the posts are geared toward enlightenment, health, and self-improvement.  I hope that you enjoy this website and if you would like to share your own positive stories, recipes, etc. – please go to the “Contact” page for more information.