Life changing true stories told to encourage, empower and inspire us!

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"Fill your mind with light, happiness, hope, feelings of security and strength, and soon your life will reflect these qualities." ~Unknown

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"The Greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance!" ~Brian Tracy

All post and stories are the sole property of Velvet Over Steel aka Coreen Trost. I write and create post in order to help others, so share as you want. I just ask that you link back or give VOS credit. Some of the stories are going into a book in progress. Thank You ALL.. for your support and help!!
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." ~ John Quincy Adams

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What we Overcome... Helps Us Grow

"The word 'crisis' is from the Greek, meaning 'a moment to decide.' The recurrent moments of crisis and decision when understood, are growth junctures, points of initiation which mark a release from one state of being and a growth into the next." ~Jill Purce
"Even the most daring and accomplished people have undergone tremendous difficulty.  In fact, the more successful they became, the more they attributed their success to the lessons learned during their most difficult times.  Adversity is our teacher.  When we view adversity as a guide towards greater inner growth, we will then learn to accept the wisdom our soul came into this life to learn."~Barbara Rose 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chicago Art Gallery Show

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We always have HOPE...

"Learn from yesterday, Live for today, Hope for tomorrow." ~Albert Einstien
Never Let Go Of Hope
One day you will see that it all has finally come together.
What you have always wished for has finally come to be.
You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself,
"How did I get through all of that?"
Just never let go of hope.
Just never quit dreaming.
And never let love depart from your life.
~ Jancarl Campi ~ 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fighting for Love...

"Never Forget that your most powerful force on earth is Love." ~Nelson Rockefeller
In my back yard!
"You never lose by loving.  You always lose by holding back." ~Barbara De Angelis

Friday, February 10, 2012

Half Full & Aloha Friday Question!

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him. ~Buddha
Half Full Friday is a series of weekly posts that Eye Girl originally started in June 2009.  Now the it is hosted by Sprinkles at Wyldechylde.  We believe that a lot of our happiness is determined by our attitude about the things that happen to us. So by participating, we are deciding to see the glass as half full, instead of half empty. We are choosing to concentrate on the positives, instead of dwelling on the negatives. Our Half Full Friday posts are a way to do just that. They are a list of the things in our life that have brought us happiness over the past week. We are determined to find the something good in every day. Are you?
“The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” ~Allan K. Chalmers 
For the next week, we challenge you to keep a list of at least one thing that brought you happiness each day. This week I'm especially Happy and Thankful for:
  • a trip being planned! :-)  
  • the support of my sons! 
  • Interesting dreams at night! 
  • amazing people in my life! 
  • my complete Independence!
  • being unique and proud of it!
  • not 'needing' anyone else!
  • making a difference! ;-)
“Think of all the beauty that’s still left in and around you and be happy! ~Anne Frank

It's also "ALOHA FRIDAY" Everyone!!  If you want to join in the fun? Post your own question on your blog and leave your link at the Aloha Friday post at An Island Life. Then you can visit the other participants if you wish...It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends or see what people are thinking about this week and join in a conversation or two if you like.
"Don't give up!  You will succeed and be Happy if that's what you truly want." ~Unknown
My question:  When you feel like giving up; how do you Not?
My answer: I refocus, PRAY and take one day at a time. :-)
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down to your feet.  Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist.  Be curious.  And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.  It matters that you don’t just give up.” ~Professor Stephen Hawking on his 70th birthday.
Have a wonderful weekend!!
Blessings and Hugs,
~ Coreen XO
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Harmonized Hysteria Gallery Show

There are twenty aspiring artists from the Illinois Institute of Art- Schaumburg (including my son Matthew @ Creative Haf) hosting a gallery show in Pilsen, IL.  They are striving to show the constant conflict between chaos and order in fine art and design. These two styles can often work together to create the most interesting concepts. They will work together to close the gap between these two worlds.
When: March 9, 2012, 6pm - 10 pm
Where: Chicago Art Department
13932 Halsted
Chicago, IL

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” ~Aristotle

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Stop Justifying their only enables them.

"Truth never needs to Justify itself." ~Glenn Curtis Maddox 

Stop justifying what someone else does.  When we do this (and we all do at times) we're actually just making excuses for their behavior, actions, in-actions and the choices they're making in their life.

Justifying or making excuses, doesn't help anyone in the long run.  Only enabling them to continue what they're doing; keeping them from taking responsibility for their own actions.

Those actions or lack of action, behavior and/or choices can go two ways.  They can be someone who for example be: manipulative, unstable, irrational, or dishonest.  Or they can be the person who puts up with a toxic person or situation.

Either way; it's that person's choice and they need to take responsibility the role they play.  Justifying either behavior, only enables them to continue to make excuses and push blame away from themselves.

I have justified actions and enabled a friend more than once over the past few years.  Believing that I needed to help them because I understood, and had great empathy because I'd been in a similar situation once.  Only recently have I realized that I've probably done more harm than good.

It's certainly OK to offer help and friendship to someone; however if they don't change their situation or circumstances, I feel it's best to step back.  Sometimes we're too close to someone and want to believe they need us, that we don't see the situation realistically.

After being honest with myself; I could finally see that I was justifying their choices and making excuses for their choices, behavior and not being honest.  So many times I thought they were getting stronger and closer to choosing a better life.

I now know that a person being treated badly, must also take responsibility for allowing it or for staying in a toxic situation; before they can move on and finally allow themselves to choose happiness over misery.

Justifying their actions only seemed to give them a 'free pass', enabling them to escape any responsibility for their own in-action and choices.  I now feel I've allowed them to use my friendship and support as a sort of ER whenever their wounds are once again torn open and they need another band-aid to stop the oozing and numb the pain to get them through... until the next time things fall apart or are unbearable; then returning for another band-aid... over and over again.

Even blog post that I thought were bringing strength, hope and direction seemed to have been nothing more than a type of Prozac to comfort them temporarily.  Once again to only get them through another day or week.  Not all that I'd hoped I was doing for my friend.

At least now I know the truth and realize my mistakes.  After these recent revelations, I've significantly changed how I handle people and will view friendships from now on.  My focus is still on helping others through my writing, blog and interactions; however I've learned to set boundaries earlier and move on without regret.  Once again, you can't help someone, who's not ready to help them-self yet.      
"Every reason they give is a cognitive distortion."  But they rationalize their actions to cope with the situation they find themselves in.   
These rationalizations are cognitive distortions that allow them to act on their impulses, and there are as many rationalizations as there are manipulated, manipulators, abused or abusers. ~Sarah Paquette
Manipulative People: Confessions of a Covert Aggressive Personality Disorder

Stop Explaining. Stop Justifying. Stop Talking. Boundaries Are Upheld With Action

I know the following quote is harsh; yet it is so true...
"Hitler's dictatorship rested on the constitutional foundation of a single law, the Enabling Law." ~Alan Bullock

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Just Honesty...

"Just be Honest with Yourself.  That Opens the Door." ~Vernon Howard
"Honesty is an active verb, not a passive noun. Go out of your way to be truthful, beginning with the things that you say to yourself." ~Joe Tye, America’s Values Coach  
“Walking your talk is a great way to motivate yourself. No one likes to live a lie. Be honest with yourself, and you will find the motivation to do what you advise others to do." ~Vince Poscente (Olympian, Speaker and Author)  
"Being vulnerable doesn't have to be threatening. Just have the courage to be sincere, open and honest. This opens the door to deeper communication all around. It creates self-empowerment and the kind of connections with others we all want in life. Speaking from the heart frees us from the secrets that burden us. These secrets are what make us sick or fearful. Speaking truth helps you get clarity on your real heart directives." ~Sara Paddison, The Hidden Power of the Heart 


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