Archive | August 2011

The Man In The Mirror (In honor of MJ on his birthday)

“It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.”

We have to face and good and bad times in life.  We have all have hurdles/challenges to overcome.  Some of us, for whatever reason, face greater challenges than others.  Operating at your highest /best self is easy to do in the best of times.  Life is good.  Everything is going your way.  The question is what type of person are you when beset with challenge upon challenge?  Or maybe just one challenge or disappointment? Do you continue to operate at your highest level or do you let the worst in you come roaring forth? I contend that the person who comes forth in trying to situations gives the best picture of who you really are.  The person you may work to cover up in good times.  Or perhaps, you are consistently wonderful and who doesn’t love that? Either way, the answer is very telling.

We all like to think that everyone sees us in the best possible light but ask yourself a few honest questions:

1.  When times are bad for others am I the last person they call?  There could be many reasons why this occurs, but one of those reasons may be that those people see your personality in trying times as less than exemplary.

2.  In trying times are you a calming force to be around or one who stirs the pot even more and gets others further agitated?   Have you ever noticed that some people can walk into a room full of chaos and bring peace to all present?  I am always so impressed when I see this at work and think to myself how great of a positive force this person is.

3. Can people easily “knock you off of your square?”  Does the smallest thing get you riled up?  Do you find yourself saying repeatedly “I try not to go there but they always make me.”  Please recognize that no one makes you act in any particular way.  The choice is always yours.

4.  Can everyone always tell when bad things are  going on in your life either because you advertise the fact to the world or because your disposition becomes so unpleasant when you are facing undue stress?

The answer to the these questions are between you and yourself.  🙂  And what you think of the answers is also on you.  If however, you ask yourself these questions and are bothered by the answers I encourage you to spend some time working on meditation, behavior control, and peace finding exercises.  None of us is perfect by far but I know the person I want to both be and be perceived as.  As I drifted off to sleep last night I heard the words of the Hezekiah Walker gospel song playing in my head “I won’t harm you with words from my mouth.  I love you.  I need you to survive.”  I understood what the message was immediately.  With one person in particular I ALLOW myself to say hurtful things.  I need to stop that.  Not for that person at all, but for me because I am a better person than that and allowing myself to stoop to that level is unacceptable.   Again none of us is perfect but that realization put this blog on my heart.  You can always be the person you want to be, even if you are not that person now.  Sometimes it requires a lot of work and self-examination.  You may already have evolved into a great person.  Others benefit from knowing you.  They may also benefit from you showing them how to get there as well.  As always I would love to hear your thoughts.

Spread love… peace and blessings.

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Encourage Yourself

Sometimes no matter how positive a person you are life can begin to weigh on you.  Let’s face it.  We all have worries, insecurities and doubts that we primarily keep to ourselves.  Sure we may invite someone into the neighborhood of what is going on, maybe even give them the street address,  but a lot of times when are most overwhelmed we don’t let anyone into the house.  Don’t want them to see the clutter of things that is dragging us down. Not letting others in is just one of the reasons why we not be as encouraged as we would like to be by others.  Other reasons may include but are not limited to: people’s assessment that you have brought your problems/challenges upon yourself, you are a person who is ALWAYS going through something (the person who cries wolf), your goals and dreams far exceed those of the rest of your circle and they just can’t relate, or perhaps you are a person who chooses to handle everything solo.  Regardless of the reason, there are many times in life where you have to encourage yourself.

Because you are the only one who knows ALL of the details of your circumstances you are often more overwhelmed than people may realize.  This is the time where a serious mind shift is in order.  Understand and BELIEVE that whatever you conceive you can achieve.  Know that nothing worth having in life comes easily and know that you truly are the master of your own fate.  All clichés you say?  Well you are right, but they are also all truths.  When things get toughest and you feel like you can’t go on you really are closest to your breakthrough.  Tee that’s just a saying.  How do you know that to be true?  Well I don’t in every case but do me a favor.  Talk yourself into hanging in there while continuing to do the work and then advise me of the results.

If you have done any work on yourself in the maturation process, then you should know yourself better than anyone else does.  Even in the toughest of times you know what you are most capable of doing to turn the tide.  Knowledge is power and that power will give you the catalyst to change – to do what is necessary to alter the momentum.  As you encourage yourself, change naturally  occurs.  You know what else is a natural result of this?  As others begin to see the strides you are making they encourage you more.  And after all, isn’t that what you desired in the first place?  You see the results show people what your goals are even if you have been reluctant to share said information.

So here’s my suggestion for both you and me: stop listening to that little voice in your head that expresses doubt and offers excuses.  As a matter of fact, you have my permission to tell it to “shut the hell up!”  Replace that voice with an even stronger one that whispers, speaks, then shouts “I can do all things…” You are strong, you are capable, you are able.  And when there is no one else around to remind you of this, encourage yourself.

 

Dream Big (Our Deepest Fear)



They say that in order for something good to happen you have to first envision it.  It is  also said that you can not begin to imagine the full extent of what God has in store for your life.  I guess the answer lies somewhere in the middle – conceptualize the things you want to happen and sit back and watch for what God makes materialize.  Don’t think that you must limit yourself.  There is no benefit in dreaming small.  Dream big.  See the fullest manifestation of the thinking coming to fruition.  A small dream is a cat nap.  By  imagining the greatest, largest vision we challenge the universe to bring even better to us.  So go forth, dream big, ask the universe to bring it to you , work toward helping yourself achieve the goal, believe it will happen, and wait for the results.

Many of us are afraid to dream big.  We are accustomed to others around us shooting down our ideas or giving some other indication that the dream is beyond our reach.  Unfortunately a lot of people do not have a dream support system.  They have a reality support system.  The “reality support team” has twenty ways why what you wish to do can not or should not work.  They don’t think themselves dream killers.  They fancy themselves helping you by keeping your feet rooted in reality.  The truth of the matter is that these same people may feel threatened by your dreams.  Whether they admit it or not,  they can envision the dream happening for you and it makes them nervous, scared, and insecure.  You see they worry that if your dreams come to fruition you will outgrow them, outshine them, or worse yet expose their inadequacies.  The “reality support team” is strong and large in number.  That being said you must remember “there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”  And to be fair there is always a realistic reason why something should not happen.  Looking at her background in rural Mississippi should Oprah Winfrey be the Queen of all media?  Not at all but she never listed to those voices, no matter how loud and how many, that told her such.

The “dream support team” is a lot smaller for many reasons.  First off, some people find it hard to support something in which they may not see themselves personally benefitting.  Secondly, some people have been conditioned not to dream.  They are living day-to-day and have been doing so for such a long time that they have forgotten how to dream.  But for some… they get it.  They understand that by encouraging you to reach for and obtain your goals they are in no way minimized.  As a matter of fact they are more than willing to help you along the way.  They understand that “as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

I have been an enormous fan of this “Deepest Fear” poem by Marianne Williamson since I heard it recited in the movie “Akeelah and the Bee.”  It resonated strongly with me then and has a place of prominence on my desk so that I can read it often, if not daily.  It serves as a reminder that it is okay to dream big and it is okay to be great.  I am aware that greatness does not come suddenly, immediately, or overnight.  It builds and grows as we do.  Blessings are the same way.  Large blessings never come if we don’t appreciate the small ones when they occur.  Yesterday and today I had two unexpected small blessings.  They were couched within a series of frustrations.  However, I chose to give attention to, celebrate and be thankful for the blessings.  Because you know what?  They will be what is remembered anyway and the small frustrations they were couched in are just remembered as part of life for that day.

I wish you all the manifestation of your greatest dreams.  If you have already seen great things come to fruition please share your story.  The rest of us on the “dream support team” would love to cheer for you and be further inspired in our journey.

Spread love…peace and blessings.

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening – Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

A few days ago I stopped to take inventory.  I took a look at all of the goals that I have yet to achieve and had to have a little heart to heart with myself.   Sometimes we have to do an honest assessment and within that I have to admit that I am not in my twenties with “my whole life ahead of me.”  The truth of the matter is I have already lived about half of life.  That being said, I have a LOOONG laundry of things on my To Do list and I have every intent upon accomplishing them.  So what is the plan?

Well obviously I have to become less intimately acquainted with procrastination and more closely associated with focus.  Determination and I need to become much better friends.  Positive self-image and knowledge of self are about to be in bed with me nightly.

Here’s the point.  It is never too late to take a moment to reassess and refocus.  The dreams we hold are attainable or God wouldn’t give them to us.  If the idea is there you can do it.  It is just a matter of doing the work to put together the ideas, do the research, and then as they say “let the magic happen.”  Last week I was hit with several pieces of disappointing news on the same day.  While I could have taken the opportunity to host a small pity party, I realized, instead, that I was being afforded the gift of additional time.  More time to work on what I’m called to do and not what I should do.  Gifts should not go unused or to waste.  Thus I told myself  “Tee it’s time to get your act together. You need to do some more research and then do what you need to do to make your dream happen.”  You see these items shall be accomplished.

“But I’m getting old” is not a proper response.  Age is a function of the mind.  I do not know what my lifespan is, but I know that I have less time than a twenty year old.  So,  I trudge forth with determination and renewed energy to get it all in because the fact of the matter is “I have promises (to myself) to keep and miles to go before I sleep… and miles to go before I sleep.”

Spread love…peace and blessings.

The Person You Have To Be Most Honest With Is Yourself

We all have subjects we discuss and when we do we give a variation of “the party line” as our discussion point.   We say what is expected, what is least likely to rankle, or what puts us in the best light.  It’s human we all do it.  Some of us dabble in the worlds of social networking and we certainly are conscious of the impressions others hold of us there.  Some even have “alternate” personalities (especially on Twitter) where they express themselves in ways that they never would in a face to face situation.  I make no judgement of how people choose to operate within their realms of their internet experiences nor their interpersonal interactions, but I suggest that there is one person you HAVE to be honest with.  Yes HAVE to be,  and that person is yourself.

It is only through honest self- examination that we are able to grow into our best selves. The following are just a few of the reasons why honesty should be your best policy.

1.  acknowledgement of fear- we cannot conquer what we don’t acknowledge.  You can tell your friends that you don’t go to the beach because you don’t like the sand, but fear of water when you can’t swim can be very debilitating.  By admitting to yourself that you are a non or inexperienced swimmer you will free your mind of the weight of the fear.  Hopefully you will then be motivated to (in this case) take lessons or do whatever is necessary to conquer the fear.  The most crippling thing about fear is the fear itself.  By acknowledging the existence of such you begin your journey along the road to freedom from it.

2.  Recognizing procrastination- sometimes the reason we have not done something is simply because we have been sitting around procrastinating.  Sure we may offer up grandiose excuses as to why the action has not occurred but honestly it is because one has not yet bothered to make the effort.  Again, you don’t have to admit it to me, but the interesting thing is that once you admit that to yourself somehow you now have the catalyst to move forward and “get ‘er done.”

3.  You don’t have to like everyone and everyone won’t like you.  Yup, I said it.  Everyone is not for everybody.  That being said, it’s ok to admit to yourself “I just don’t like him/her.”  You don’t really have to justify it.  It is what it is.  Free yourself from forcing the issue.  Though my sidenote is sometimes we can learn the most from those we like the least.  I’ll just let you marinate on that one for a bit.  🙂

4.  Sometimes, no a lot of times, the only person holding you back is … YOU!  Take an honest assessment of how you are living your life- the energy you project, the things you spend time on, the people you spend time with, etc.  Within this assessment you will notice where the stumbling blocks lie.  Minimize or eliminate them and move forward to the better life ahead.  (We all have some areas where our life could improve, correct?)

I’m merely scratching the surface here, but I think you see my point.  We all hold within us the ability to do great things.  There is a reason for your existence at this time and in this place.  No one is a space filler.  Be honest with yourself and hopefully others as well and move into your destined path to greatness.

Spread love…peace and blessings