Stop & Smell the Roses

picture of smiling woman smelling flower

Smell the Roses. 

We’ve all heard the popular quote “stop and smell the roses.”  Well this also applies to things like your daily readings and meditations. It is one thing to do these things and just going through the motions, but how much do you really take in and absorb, and how much do you really get out of it?

For years, I faithfully read my daily meditations. They became a part of my daily routine. After my morning readings, I would sit quietly and digest the material, allowing it to sink into my consciousness. This was a great way to start my day and proceed with a clear mind on what I wanted out of life.


Over the years, I somehow began to get careless. I rushed through my reading and mediations without really absorbing them, without fully taking in the meanings and lessons they offered. As a result, I missed the essence of what keeps me grounded.

Do you read, meditate or perhaps do yoga? If you do, are you just going through the motions and thinking about what you have to do next, or are you there in the moment learning and benefiting as much as you can? So many of us have such hectic lives that we don’t even know how to relax anymore. We don’t allow ourselves to chill out for even a short period of time and quiet ourselves – we don’t take time to see the roses, much less smell them!

There is great power in your readings and mediations, power that can change your day, power that can make sense of what is currently happening in your life, power to let go of anger and see things through a different light. However, if we simply go through the motions and never really process what we read, how can it really help us?

So please remember that you will get out of your inspirational readings and meditations exactly what you put into them. The more you practice absorbing the material and quieting your mind, the easier it will become, and the greater the benefits will be.

Feel free to join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts pageTwitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn.

Facebook. Baby Pictures. Photos.


Photos. Social Media. Facebook.

Do adults have rights over photos taken of them when they were children? Can children sue their parents to remove their photos from platforms such as Facebook or Instagram? These are some of the questions that will need to be answered in the not too distant future.

Camera. Photos.

Camera. Photos.

In Austria, an 18-year-old woman is suing her parents for posting roughly 500 images of her to their Facebook page without her consent. The woman told an Austrian newspaper, “They knew no shame and no limit — and didn’t care whether it was a picture of me sitting on the toilet or lying naked in my cot — every stage was photographed and then made public.”

The woman not only wants her parents to remove the photos from their Facebook page, she is also seeking monetary damages. Facebook does require its users to be at least 13 years of age, but it does not have a specific policy prohibiting the sharing of children’s photos. Will Facebook and other social media sites have to adjust their policies in this regards? They may very well have to.

Taking and Sharing Photos.

The father of the woman at the heart of the lawsuit simply states that he has rights to the photos because he took them. On its face, that statement may be a bit simplistic. The woman’s attorney stated that they have a very good chance of winning the case, which is scheduled to be heard by an Austrian court this November.

Many parents and grandparents post and share photos of their kids and grandchildren on social media. Many believe this is harmless, while other parents are reluctant to make photos of their kid’s public due to the threat of improper use by potential predators and other unsavory people.

The Austrian decision on this case will surely have world-wide ramifications. The social media phenomenon is still in its early stages, relatively speaking, and there will be many issues, legal and otherwise, that will ultimately have to be addressed. Meanwhile, if there’s an embarrassing baby photo of you out there somewhere on the Internet, you may finally have some recourse.

Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on FacebookTwitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groupsGoogle+ Circles.


Gratitude. Amazing grace. Grateful.


Gratitude. Amazing Grace.

Grateful. Gratitude.

Grateful. Gratitude.

What an amazing year this has been, mostly because of the connectedness I share with my family. An amazing grace. This past Thanksgiving I was in Atlanta and celebrated the beginning of the holiday season with 17 family members. Thirteen of us shared Thanksgiving dinner and 4 more joined us for lunch on Saturday. What a blessing to be with family. An even greater blessing is that I wanted to be there and loved EVERY moment of the experience.

Like so many folks, I spent much of my early years hating my family; my mother in particular. It’s ironic, as I think back on it, how I complained incessantly, about my family, to anyone who listened to me. In my eyes, they could do no right, yet I was the alcoholic black sheep of the family; the one who created havoc at every opportunity. It’s amazing how skewed our vision becomes when we are pointing the finger outward.

Grateful. Gratitude.

I have so many gifts to be thankful for, and when my heart and mind are open, I get to truly appreciate the blessings. At the top of that exhaustive list is my family. I have created supportive and loving community wherever I lay my hat, but my blood family is key to my survival. How lucky I am to still have a mother who is living and present. How fortunate I am that I have elderly uncles and aunts who have seen way more than I. I grateful I am to have cousins like me, in our sixties, with whom I share a common bond. How blessed I am to be in relationship with my nieces and nephew.

Grateful. Gratitude.

As we start the Holiday season, I think about all that I have to be grateful for:

  1. My mother
  2. My relationship with my mother
  3. The fact that I truly love my mom
  4. That I am financially able to do things with, and for her
  5. A wonderful husband who lets me be ME
  6. Enough to eat
  7. Many comfortable beds to sleep in
  8. The ability to live the life I love
  9. Friends that matter
  10. A clean and sober life
  11. My beautiful animals
  12. That I love and value animals
  13. My education
  14. That I am 61, quickly approaching 62—and loving it!
  15. That, and so much more…

What are you grateful for today? Think back over your life to where you were 20-, 10-, 5-, 1-year ago.  How has your life changed? Is it better? Are you worse off? Even if it feels as if it has changed for the worst, are you able to manage it? Despite the struggle, do you have enough? Do you have hope?

On this day I thank God for my many gifts, and NOT the least of them is my mom.  Join the conversation on my Esteemable Acts Fan Page and let me know what you are grateful for.

Filed Under: Esteemable Acts Blog, Family, family values, Friendship, God, How to build self esteem, How to show love, improve self esteem, Life, Love one another, Personal Development, personal growth


Unfit Parents. The Good Wife. Iyanla’s Fix My Life. Drug Abuse. Drugs & Children.


Just because you can have kids, does not mean you should.

Unfit parent. Drugs.

Unfit parents. Drugs.

Often I get complaints about my statement that not all women are fit to be mothers. Some folks seem to believe just because a woman can have children, she should, and just because a man has sperm, he should share it with every woman he desires. Sadly, from a legal perspective, I get to see what happens to the kids. This week I took notice of two outrageous examples that bolster my opinion on this subject.

Unfit Parents. Drug Addict. Effects of Drugs.

The other day there was a news story ,  yet one more example of why I feel that way. A Delaware mother is under arrest after she sent her 4-year old to daycare with a backpack filled with 249 bags of heroin. Innocently, the child promptly began giving out the dangerous drug to her classmates. Whether the mother accidentally gave the kid the backpack or intentionally gave it to her to share with friends in attempt to get the kids hooked, this woman should be in jail forever and she should lose custody of her children, forever!

Not only has this woman endangered her own child, the potential harm she has caused other children is shameful. I am sure there are some will call me harsh, or that she simply made a mistake. Perhaps it was a mistake. However, that doesn’t explain what the woman was doing with 249 bags of heroin in the first place. Was it her intent to sell the drugs? Even if she was simply a user and not a dealer, she is still a danger to her children. This kind of irresponsible behavior can ruin lives regardless of how or why the drugs wound up in her daughter’s backpack.

The Good Wife. Drug Dealers.

It’s no secret that I put pedophiles and drug dealers in the same category. And it’s too bad more of us don’t share this opinion, including people in the entertainment industry. For example, I am very disappointed at the direction one my favorite TV shows has taken in this regard. The Good Wife started as out a great program, but I now find the plot twisting into darkness by glorifying and legitimizing drug lord, Lemond Bishop, played by Mike Colter. We will never get rid of addiction and all the destruction it causes by glamorizing drug dealers. What would happen if one of one of Alicia Florrick’s children wound up hooked on drugs, maybe even drugs supplied by her client? While the portraying the Alicia Florrick character as being a good mom, she is selling out her values for dirty money. And the Good Wife is only one of MANY shows that glamorizes, and thus desensitizes us to crime, drug trafficking, pornography, pimps, pedophilia, explicit sex, and violence.  These shows encourage you to feel sympathy for the “poor dope dealer” who sells drugs to everyone’s kids except yours, or the pimp who looks like the kid next door, or the hooker who is just paying her way through school.  Shows like Breaking Bad, the Sopranos, Sons of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire, White Collar, Weeds, the Good Wife, and so many more.

Iyanla’s Fix My Life.

Another one from the “just because you can have kids does not mean you should” file.

This week on OWN’s Iyanla’s Fix My Life show there was a segment about a man who had sired 34 children with 17 different women. Maybe one can understand if a person has one child that they cannot care for, or have no intention of caring for, but 34! He should be in jail for committing such a heinous act against God and human kind. Many of his kids have gone on to behave in the same way. Even if he stops his outrageous and irresponsible behavior and gets an overdue vasectomy, the destruction he has caused in so many lives is as sad as it is tragic. Some folks may say that everyone deserves a second chance. Yes, but he had 34 second chances and still has not made it right. He says, “I never considered getting a vasectomy, nor will I, because simply, I don’t want one … I don’t have a problem with what I created.”

Then there’s the matter of the women who gave birth to his 34 children. No doubt, some will feel sorry for them and see them as victims. I say that it’s the kids who are the real victims! The women chose to have unprotected sex with a man who they knew was a bum. Perhaps they thought that this time he would be different, that he would change. It’s hard to believe that they didn’t know who they were dealing with. How is it possible to hide 34 kids from smart women? At what point do these women take responsibility for their actions and lack of judgment?

Supportive Family.

Even with an intact and supportive family, it can still be hard growing up with all the challenges and temptations children face on a daily basis. Then think about the odds of growing up to be a happy and productive adult when born to people who really had no business having children.

Until next time, I’m Francine Wardattorney, coach, author, and speaker.  I invite you to join my conversation on my Esteemable Acts Fan pageEsteemable Acts Twitter feed, or in one of my LinkedIn Groups.


Happy Birthday. Gratitude. Francine Ward. Copyright. Intellectual Property.


Happy Birthday to Me — Francine Ward. Intellectual Property. Business Attorney. Copyright.

Happy Birthday Francine Ward

Happy Birthday Francine Ward

Birthdays are a special time. Not everyone GETS to have them. Today I am grateful for my life, my recovery, my good health, a wonderful husband, 2 beautiful and sweet kitties, lovely homes, a wonderful career, a strong mind, a willing spirit, a serving consciousness, a grateful heart, women who come to me for counsel, a number of women I go to for counsel, these things and so much more.

What a gift.  This morning I woke up and got the best birthday present. I received 3 cards,

  1. The first was from Kiwi.  In her card she told me she saved enough catnip all year to get me a gift.  So sweet.
  2. The next card was from Mango, who earned money by cleaning other kitty’s litter boxes. That’s my boy, he is such a little worker.
  3. Finally, the third card was from my husband, who borrowed money from Mango to get my present. What a loving family I have.

Thank you God and Happy Birthday to Me!

I’m Francine Ward, Birthday Girl, Business and Intellectual Property Lawyer, and all around pretty decent person.  Do you have a birthday today or this week that you’d like to share? Or would you just like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me? If so, join my conversation on any of my Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter pages, or in a LinkedIn Group.