I See You

Dear friends in recovery, rediscovery, and/ or simply on the path of wholehearted living.

Maybe you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, maybe you know something isn’t quite right but you’re not sure what it is, maybe you’re just tired, and yet still, you’re trying and…

peekaboo

I see you

Out there doing your thing, trying to redeem yourself,  trying to maintain.

I see you struggling day in and day out maneuvering your stride, adjusting and letting go of baggage from old pastimes. Having to dodge character assassination attempts on this new life, and thankfully another chance.

Funny how people fully clothed in their imperfection try to shoot you down for yours. Interested in resurrecting a past self that while you can’t ignore, don’t be fooled, it isn’t the complete story. And you may feel guilty because you’ve played that role too. You might wonder if it’s worth it and if you’re even worthy. You are. You’re not now who you were before. But you were always enough even on your yesterdays and you’re enough even as you stand here all patched up today.

So don’t worry, keep doing you. Keep being true to your journey.  Don’t be afraid to seek out your own truth.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. It’s downright scary sometimes too! Yeah, you’re going to stumble and yeah you may just fall. But get back up and dust yourself off. Not because you should,  but because you believe deep down that you could and you would…eventually. You already have before. And you can once more.

Listen, I’ve worn similar shoes,  heck sometimes I still wear them because like they say ‘one day at a time,’  and sure enough some days aren’t as bright as some of the others but, some days are even better. And you learn to cherish each moment and even be grateful for the disappointments every once in awhile.

I didn’t want to take up too much of your time. I just wanted you to remind you that you are not alone. I wanted you to know that…

I see you
I get you
I choose light and life too just like you
I’m praying for you
And I love you.

Flickr Photo Credit

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free PDF of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

If You Want to Express Gratitude Go Right Ahead

heart-art

I love this time of the year! I’ve expressed that probably every year around this time of the year, and yet it never really gets old for me. Even during my “dark years” when I literally couldn’t afford to make it back home to my blood relatives I found out that love was a verb when I reached out to people within my network who accepted me into their home so I wouldn’t be alone during the holidays.

But I am also very aware that this time of the year for many people are lonely, depressed, and even suicidal. There are plenty of useful tips for coping with holiday anxiety and depression dedicated for such a time. So, me, knowing the power of words and expression began trying to build a habit of finding things great and small to be thankful for. Some people have gratitude journals, some people have gratitude prayers they recite on a daily basis. I wasn’t at that point in my life where I had such a habit and ritual. I just knew that sometimes the best defense against feeling of loneliness, and bitterness, and the makings of depression is to go on the offense. Expressing Gratitude during the month we designated as Thanksgiving felt like a good place to start…and so start I did.

Everyone has Permission to start somewhere when it comes to developing a practice towards a more mindful life. You never know where one small act can take them…

I saw a meme on Facebook a few weeks back. It mocked anyone who rode the 30 days of Thankfulness truck after spending the other 335 days posting about anything but.

I got it. I really did. Somehow it reminded me about an ongoing joke in the church from my childhood memories where folks would talk about the flighty members of the CME church. Naturally I wanted to know about this group of people so I asked and I was told it meant people who only came to church on Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Easter. I got that too. I really did…But what I couldn’t wrap my mind around was why were people concerned about people who decided to do something different from what they normally did driven by the notion that what they were doing was something “good” and “right” and “positive”  if even for a moment or temporarily.  One small act of kindness or gesture by someone who is normally Scrooge McScrooge can save a life if done to the right person at the right time of their miserable day. Does it offset the damage done to those who were acquainted with Mr. McScrooge, of course not! But as long as there is an embodiment of hate and fear, there is need for someone to be love.

No, we don’t have to give out cookies and other rewards because someone decided to look at their day and find something in it to express gratitude about for a month. It’s true that Gratitude is more than just an attitude. It’s more than a quick post on Facebook  amongst obscenities and such.  It’s a practice; it’s a conscious choice to make every day of your life. But perhaps we can appreciate a whole month and even holiday season where some people actually try to send out good vibes; this being a direct result of seeking something positive in your daily routine.

Until Next Time…Peace!

Did you enjoy reading this? Awesome! I’d like to invite you to sign up here to receive new blog posts in your inbox when they update…

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

From Which Viewpoint Do You Approach Life?

benfranklinwalkway

Photo Credit: Lynette Davis

I was already feeling sick when I woke up to a text message from my best friend. It read, “You still going to the bridge this morning?”  Power walking across the Ben Franklin bridge was the last thing I wanted to do, I wanted to roll over, snuggle with my blanket, go back to sleep, and hopefully the next time I got up, my tummy wouldn’t feel like someone was punching it from the inside out. \’Hecks to the no I don’t want to go!\’ She was jogging anyway, and I was going to slow her down, she had made a commitment to her physical health that as much as I tried to convince myself, I simply didn’t make the same kind. She took massive leaps, and I took babysteps with temper tantrums along the way…

When I looked from a narrow view,  I only saw that she was ahead of me and in control. Whereas I myself, was behind and trying to play catch up. If she tripped, she’d get up immediately and keep going however, if I stumbled, I’d sit there embarrassed about my clumsiness for awhile only later to realize that I only had an audience of me, and I was the one holding myself back by keeping myself down to faceless judges. Yes, eventually I’d get up and dust myself off and begin again but it would take me awhile. For all intents and purposes she is more advanced than myself in this particular slice of life. And if I looked around, many people seemed more advanced than me, with their personalized baseball caps, their armband radios and vibrant running gear. Yet, when I take a step back, open my senses to the energy all around me I stop looking at where I’m not, and who I’m not compared to those surrounding me; I find that instead of being nowhere, I AM NOW HERE.

Yeah, I may be moving at a slower pace and sometimes I whine too, complaining about how much everything hurts. But here I am, making my way, living my life, walking my talk. Compared to where I started I am now facing my fears and anxiety, overcoming simply talking about doing and actually getting into action mode. And what I no longer do is wonder why I’m not more talented, more disciplined, more…not me. I work with who I am right now, and I build on it. It took a long time for me to get to this place. This was a huge hurdle to overcome; a mindset shift that took practice and is an ongoing practice.

Our inner arch nemesis can’t wait to use one of her vices to convince us to give up on our missions. The Comparison Queen is one of her minions and it takes a conscious choosing not to let her rule your court anymore. We set the pace for our inner superheroine journeys, we walk it out boldly showing up as only we can…and instead of gratefully accepting whatever labels we’ve been given or have subsequently given ourselves, we get to say… “I define me.”

So, 43 minutes later my best friend received a text from me, asking when should I be ready. I knew she was patient and didn’t give up on me (what are besties for afterall?). About a half hour later, I took that picture above with my Droid phone. If you look close enough you’ll see that all the runners are way ahead of me, but I did indeed make it across the bridge and back. And man, what an amazing view!

Until Next Time…Peace!

Did you enjoy reading this? Awesome! I’d like to invite you to sign up here to receive new blog posts in your inbox when they update…

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Vincent Ogutu

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Vincent Ogutu

If the video didn’t show up here’s the direct link: https://youtu.be/RjxkAIts5RM

 

How You Can Help

1) See how Vincent gives hope to some of the most demoralized people on the planet, and take a page from his book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH3Ornhn6yk

2) Contribute to research that will help entrepreneurs connect better with what they do, here\’s a link to Vincent\’s 15 minute survey targeting entrepreneurs: https://rutgers.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3aCmC58oDR9yeTr

Here\’s a quick summary of what Vincent talked about during our interview. (He was kind enough to email it over  )

“I talk about the coincidence of being asked to talk to prisoners and my then finding out that my training so far has positioned me to inspire people like that and give them hope. I wanted to run away from any such endeavor since I wouldn\’t have time, and then I realized I couldn\’t tear myself away. For the first time in my life, I had found a problem I could solve. I\’ve always wanted to solve problems (poverty, disease, war, etc) but never really thought I had anything particularly unique to offer. Now suddenly I was confronted by a problem I\’d never worried about before (people languishing in despair, in prison), and I realized my training in the psychology of meaningful work, and my experience as a teacher (public speaking skills) combined wonderfully to enable me to inspire hope in people.”

About Vincent

Vincent is a Doctoral Candidate (ABD) at Rutgers Business School, NJ and is making the world a better place by helping people create meaningful work experiences. His dream is to turn his students into social entrepreneurs. After getting them to propose solutions to problems in society as part of a social entrepreneurship course, he would challenge them to actually do it. Not just to shelve it as a finished course assignment, but to take the dare – as he had to, kicking and screaming  – and actually turn their ideas into reality. Be the Change!

Until Next Time…Peace!

Did you enjoy reading this? Awesome! I’d like to invite you to sign up here to receive new blog posts in your inbox when they update…

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Set Yourself Free

caged

I’m not a huge fan of pop music. It feels like it’s an amalgamation of the kind of music that captured and expressed cultural movements. I’ve never felt the heartbeat of society in pop music…more like the music was a diversion *shrugs* However, being that I am a visual learner, I do appreciate the videos that accompany the catchy songs. Every once in awhile, I’ll hear a song that makes me wonder what kind a video could express what the song is trying to say, and every once in awhile, I come across what some would consider controversial videos.

Recently, I watched the video for Elastic Heart by Sia on YouTube. While, I was understanding to why a lot of people were really uncomfortable with the presentation I couldn’t help but notice a pattern of her using the young dancer, Maddie to represent what seems to me like inner-child work interpretation.

The very first thing I thought when watching the video was that it represented the cage of self-imposed limitations, a concept I’m currently reading about.

I saw two aspects of a personality, but my main focus was on the child that wants to behave in ways that may not be socially acceptable, that wants to express herself, that wants to be free and wants full cooperation and willingness to obtain said freedom.

I saw that she could only be free and whole when both aspects of her personality walked out the cage together as one healed and fully integrated soul. Otherwise, we have a bunch of children playing all grown up, those working 9-5s and 5 to 9s just to get by, those heading major corporations, those who are deciding whether or not certain people should have access to education that could actually give them a chance to get out of the systems that are inherently catch-22…all of them yearning to be free.

What I was most curious about was whether the underlying message I interpreted from the video was triggering a reaction to the child still trapped inside our own personal self-imposed imprisonments of the soul.

And if that was the case, would we be willing to let our yearning lead us to living an uncaged life and have us swinging from the chandeliers, (kidding, just kidding I couldn’t help it) or stay put and deal with the constant uncomfortably comfort of the dull stinging grey existence. And if you chose living and freedom, I suppose the next question after that would be… how bad do you want it?

Until next time…Peace!

Did you enjoy reading this? Awesome! I’d like to invite you to sign up here to receive new blog posts in your inbox when they update…

Flickr Credit