Saturday, August 17, 2013

Unkindness is Ignorance

 When a person says mean things or does means things, they are ignorant because they do not realize their power.  Over and over, when people are unkind, this signifies that they are not happy. They are discontent with who they are as a person or they are not satisfied with their life situation. What they don't realize is that they have the power to change how they feel within and they have the power to change the manifestations of their outer or external life. They just don't know. They are ignorant. It's not up to us to control what others say or do. What you can do is control what you say and do. You are also able to develop a profound understanding of what is occurring around you. That way, instead of reacting, you can immediately recognize what is going on, pull back, make a thoughtful assessment instead of lashing out instinctively to protect yourself. Let me show you what I mean.
 
When I was in high school, I remember waking up this particular day to put special care and attention into picking out my outfit. I did my hair and make-up, too. I felt really good and thought that I looked so cute. I got to class and this really popular and pretty girl came up to me. I was surprised because she never really spoke to me before. She stood directly in front of me, made eye contact, looked me up and down in my face and said,"Ahm, no. Go home and try again." Then she walked away. At the time, I was very confused as to why someone who was so pretty and popular would make such an obvious effort to be unkind. In retrospect, I now realize that with all that seemed to be going well for her on the outside, she was unhappy on the inside. She was ignorant of the fact that she could change her situation. There was one other component of which she was not aware as well.
 
Words are very powerful. They are full of energy. Words are tangible components. The voice produces waves that can be measured and tracked. What you say, what you think and what you feel are very powerful. Your words can build up a person or tear him or her down. THAT'S how powerful they are. THAT'S how powerful YOU are.
 
The next time someone says something that you perceive to be unkind or they do something you don't like, instead of tallying it up as another hurt, analyze it with your mind. That person's unkindness has NOTHING to do with you. It has every thing to do with how they feel about themselves. Don't react and take it personally. I know this can be so difficult to do, yet will save you so much life energy 'at the end of the day'.
 
That is because you realize that a person's unkindness toward others is a reflection of how they truly feel about themselves and is a symptom of their ignorance of their own personal power. Instead of letting their mean words and insensitive actions yield power over you to hurt you, see it for what it really is: their belief in that they have no power. It is a LACK of power on their part.

Use this knowledge to empower yourself. Try to refrain from turning around and throwing their ignorance in their face. Be the bigger person. That is because you are the bigger person. You know the strength and the depth of your power and thus, that of others.

Don't react and say something back to hurt the person or to protect yourself. Why not? Because it's not who you are. Why allow someone else make you act in such a way that is not a reflection of who you really are? Why allow someone to change who you are? You are not mean or unkind. Lashing out will make you seem as if you are.

It's not necessary. You are powerful in knowledge of who your are. You know that you can change your internal or external compass if your situation is currently not to your liking.  You don't have to lash out. You just simply need to change your thoughts, and  your actions will follow and what you envision for yourself will manifest in time.
 
Embrace the power that you have. Be aware of it. Use it to beautify yourselves,  those around you, and our world, bit by bit!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When You Love Yourself, You Tend to Think of the Needs of Others

Why? When you love yourself you are good to yourself. You give yourself the best food you can afford, you care for your physical body with exercise, you avoid relationships and interactions with people who aren't good for you. You ensure your finances are stable so that you have options. In summation, you give yourself what you need and require. Does it mean that your life is perfect? Of course not! Does it mean that you will have everything you want? Nope! What it does mean is that you have met your own needs. You are fulfilled, whole and healthy. You don't HAVE to have other people in your life to make you feel whole and complete. You provide what you need to yourself.
 
I remember the last week of my father's life. At the time, I didn't know that he would be dead seven (7) days later. I arrived to see him on Friday. My mother told me that we had one more doctor's visit on Monday. I was confused but tried to be quiet. Daddy, mommy, my dad's two brothers and I, went to the doctor's office. Daddy couldn't walk well so his brothers assisted in getting him in and out of his wheelchair and into the car. Daddy was light and easy to lift. I know because I helped a bit to get him into the back seat.
 
His voice would leave him off and on but I learned a trick! I'd give daddy some water to drink and that seemed to help him speak better. My uncle's wheeled daddy into the office and I sat at his feet, waiting for our turn to see the doctor. I wheeled him in with my mom while my uncles remained in the waiting room, with the other patients and their loved ones.
 
The doctor looked at my dad and told him there was nothing else that could be done for him. My dad's voice started to go, so I got some water, and my mom gave him a sip. He asked, "Why not?" The doctor told him his health needed to stabilize before he could be put in any future trials.
 
Mommy told me to go and get my dad's wheelchair so we could get ready to go home. I obeyed and left to retrieve the chair. On the way back, I saw the doctor leaving the room where my mother and father remained. He came up to me, opened his mouth to speak and began to explain.
 
I don't know why, but I cut him off and put my hand up to stop him. I said, "You don't have to explain to me. I know that every time you have to tell your patient that you can't do anything else for them, that a piece of you dies along with them. I know that you have done all that you knew to do."
 
This dignified, elegant, well spoken African American doctor just looked at me and quietly nodded his head. He dropped his eyes and his shoulders wearily to the floor. He stepped away, turned his back and entered into his private office and gently shut the door. I watched him silently the entire time. I stared at the closed door for the briefest of moments. His nurse came up to me and touched me, which brought me back. She said, "That was God...what you said".
 
I pushed open the door where my father and mother were. My father was weeping and my mother held him in her arms to comfort him. I had never seen my daddy cry before and his tears punched me in the stomach. I gripped hard and tight to the handles of the wheelchair. My eyes went from his face to mother's and back to his. I left the room. Mommy got daddy back into the chair.
 
What happened next, I will never forget. My father dried his eyes and schooled his face. He made sure that when he passed through that office, filled with all those other scared but hopeful cancer patients, that he didn't steal away their hope. He thought of their needs. He looked as if nothing was wrong. No one in that waiting room had any idea that he had been told that his life was at the end.
 
Trusting in the wisdom of my father as always, I had followed suit and schooled my facial features as well. I saw the patients search my father's face and then my own face for clues to his prognosis, and ultimately, clues to their own prognosis.
 
At that moment, I was so proud of this man, my father. He thought of the needs of others. He put all those people before himself.  He made a conscious decision not to steal their joy and hope by not letting them know about his situation. The only tell tale sign was that unlike before, my father was so heavy to lift. Before he was light and easy to lift, and now he seemed to weigh 10x more than before. My uncles strained and grunted getting him in the car. Again, I helped and I too felt his heaviness.
 
My daddy taught me many powerful lessons throughout my life and time with him. This lesson was one of the most powerful. During the last seven days of his life, I would be privvy to several more profound life lessons.
 
That day, my father showed me not in words, but in deed and action, that when you truly love and care for yourself, you will put the needs of others before your own. Learn to truly love yourselves, deeply and profoundly. Even in your darkest hours, you will have all that  you need. Loving yourself takes time and understanding and will beautify you bit by bit.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Billions of Lights

Have you ever slunk into a room because you weren't feeling so attractive that day? Have you ever walked across a room brushing against the wall so you don't step too far out into the middle of the floor and be seen and attract attention? Have you ever played down your accomplishments or achievements because you didn't want to take the attention off someone else? Have you ever tried to tamp down your shine so you won't make others uncomfortable?

I used to do it all the time. It wasn't because I thought I was so fabulous and wonderful, it was because of just the opposite. I listened to the lies of others around me who reminded me of my place: average, quiet and in the corner. They reminded of my place because it was where they had been living when they encountered me. Since that was the space they occupied, of course the expectation was that I should occupy that space, too.

Let's talk about cells. There is a connection. In theory, a healthy functioning cell, within the human body works much like a spark or a battery. When there is plenty of oxygen around the cell membrane and the right material within the core of the cell, a miniature flame or spark is created and the cell revs up. The healthier the human body, the more light it supposedly emits. Now, if you have a billion cells in your body and they are emitting light, what's that make you look like if you are trying to turn down the lights so you're not shining as bright as you can? How much sense does it make to try to turn out billions of lights? Oh, and let me remind you that ahm, cells are constantly being created. So even if you did turn out the billions of lights, you would STILL not be able to tamp out all that light completely.

Stop dimming your lights because some misguided, unhappy person, with diminished light is trying to tell you that you are shining too brightly. The essence of who you are is light and shine. Could a billion cells be wrong? The next time you feel the need to play down your achievements, your accomplishments and who you are, think twice. In fact, think a billion times. You were made to shine, literally and figuratively. I hope you never hold back, or make excuses for who you are. Be yourself and do your thing, beautifully! Every day, let that little light shine bit by bit!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Pit-Stop of "Doubt and Pain"

A pit stop is defined as a brief rest, especially during a journey. The pit stop of "Doubt and Pain" is the place you may  find yourself at some point in your life, during your journey. In the big picture, your 'rest' there, too, will only be brief. Even the greatest of us have moments of doubt and pain.
 
In these moments,  of great doubt and pain, your detractors (haters) will be present, too! Not only that, they will ensure that they make themselves known to you.
 
You may experience:
  1. The moment when doubt slams into your carefully laid out path and plans.
  2. The moment when the pain is so intense and consuming that your heart will actually ache and you can barely take your next breath.
  3. The moment when your detractors (haters) will grin with glee as they watch you pass through your doubt and pain, relishing and enjoying every moment of your discomfort.
These things like to come together, like Three Sisters. These, too, will pass. Actually, YOU will pass THEM by.
 
When these three things come up, remind yourself and know that you are on a journey. You are moving, sailing into the sunset; a place of glorious light filled promise-toward your future successes. Your detractors, well, they are firmly planted on the shore, unmoving, stuck.
 
Eventually, you will be triumphant.
 
During our moments of triumph, we hardly give our detractors a second thought. I would encourage you to try to catapult yourself to your moment of triumph right now at these low moments.  When you are suspended in the throes of your moment of  doubt and  pain, with your detractors onlooking and salivating, make them [your detractors] as insignificant right now as they will be when you are triumphant. Use your mind and heart to project yourself to that place and time in the future. Try to create that future in your heart and mind when you need it, when the Three Sisters are present.
 
As for the doubt and pain, it's just a pit-stop, a temporary place for you.  You are just passing through. As for your detractors, well, they are rooted to the ground, mired in a permanent tar pit of unhappiness. They may never get out.  That's not  your issue or concern. I'll take a pit-stop over a tar-pit any day. You move on from a pit-stop. It's hard to escape a tar-pit. Your successes and triumphs are waiting and gently beckoning  you to ease on down the road. So pull up to the bumper, keep it running, and then get going. Beautify bit by bit!




Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Are you stuck in a rut? Or planted to bloom and blossom?

The passport was up to date, my money was ready and my itinerary was set. I couldn't believe it! I was actually ready to take my dream trip. Since it would be some extended time off, I decided to do my routine check-ups. One more to go in December! Well, to make a long story short, one of my tests came back abnormal. The results indicated that I could possibly be seriously ill. I had planned to leave and take my trip the second week in January. Unfortunately, the specialist to whom I was referred, was not availabe until two weeks after my departure date. I couldn't go on my trip. 

I was devastated and angry. I had been planning my trip for so long. The only reason I had gotten the tests done was to have my routine check-ups before I embarked on my trip. I wanted to verify that I had a clean bill of health. Yet, my trip was not to be. I was stuck.

Or was I?           

A few weeks later an opportunity to work abroad arose for somone close to me. It was painful and difficult to witness because I had been planning a trip abroad and had it aborted right from under my feet. Here it was now, someone that I knew was going abroad instead of me. This person hadn't even planned to go. It left an envious lump in my throat.

Since I was still in town, I was able to take care of his pets and his house. He could focus on his job at hand and be worry free.  While he was there, he was able to fully develop some skills he had been nurturing. In fact, one of his counterparts was not only an expert in the area my friend was learning, this counterpart was generous and very forthcoming with his knowledge. He helped my friend raise his level of expertise within  this very esoteric, specialized area.   

My friend was able to use his new found skills on a project and hone them during the two months he was abroad. When he came back, he applied for another job on a Thursday and was given an offer for the position the following Tuesday. He was able to get the job because of the skills he had recently developed during his assignment overseas two months earlier. Had he not gone, he would not have refined those skills so quickly. He was able to take the job abroad because I was here to house sit for him. Ironically, he is working in a place that cares for people with health issues. He is gifted at what he does and I know that he is going to impact many lives in a positive way.  

Also, during this no-you-aint-taking-no-trip time, someone else I know was stricken with cancer. He once said to me one evening prior to his illness, " When you say 'goodbye' in the evening, you remind me of my favorite cousin and it tickles me every time." From January to March I saw him become emaciated and energy deprived. Some days he was so weak he had to brace himself against his desk to remain standing for a few minutes. I thought about his cousin that he had so lovingly mentioned and asked him if I could give her a call. I called her and told her that her cousin, my co-worker, needed a strong advocate. She cried and told me she was afraid for her beloved cousin.  I told her that he needed for her to lift him up. I explained that he was staying strong for his children and his wife and that he needed someone to help him to be strong: he needed her.  She surprised him by coming to his home for his birthday that Saturday.  She told me he was very moved by her presence. I could hear the joy and peace in her voice when she told me about her weekend spent with him and his family. My co-worker shared his joy with me that Monday upon our return to work from the weekend. Had I been on my trip, I would not have been there to bolster his cousin and she would not have extended herself to buoy her cousin, my co-worker. She told me she had not wanted to 'impose' on her cousin. Her presence during his birthday Saturday was not an imposition. It was a wonderful decision!                        

Even though you think you are ready to go, and move on, it may not be time to do so, yet or ever. It does not mean that you are stuck or that you have failed. It may mean that your presence is necessary to help  another. In order for something to bloom it must grow. In order for something to grow, it must be planted and not be mobile. For now, I have been planted. I know in my heart that I am to bloom right where I am planted. I am to radiate beauty and impart it into the lives of those around me, in the form of providing support to them.

Don't be let down by the outcome of this story. Because of this temporary delay, I was able to save more money for my trip. In addition to this, I found out about an alternate way to travel that will be far more comfortable and less expensive than I had initially planned. Had I taken my trip, I would have missed this opportunity!

Most importantly, I realize that I am not stuck. I received a message that was very loud and clear. I interpreted it to mean that it is necessary for me to stay and bloom where I have been planted.  Instead of the bloom fading from me, the rose petals of my Soul's vibrancy intensify on a daily basis. I am grateful for the opportunity to add beauty to the life of another because I am blossoming where I have been planted. 

When you feel like you are stuck, stop and think. If you feel like you have done all that you can to move on and you are weary from the attempts, but you have yet to move on, perhaps you too are intended to blossom where you have been planted. Blossoming is not a failure. To the contrary, a bloom confirms the presence of life,  ensconced and embraced by the loving warmth of the sun, fed by the nutrients of the Earth and quenched by rain from the heavens.  Share the beauty of your bloom with those around you where you are planted, right now. Beautify bit by bit!           

Saturday, March 31, 2012

BE+ DO + HAVE = Your Dream

I used to think that in order to accomplish my dreams I had to have certain things, like money and opportunity. By having those things, I could do things like travel. By doing the travel, I could be the person I wanted to be, such as be a person who lived or travelled extensively abroad. But it seems that the order is just the opposite. It is not have, do and be. It is be, do and have.
I have a voracious appetite for books, particularly self help books. Some of my favorite self help books are on creating the life that is ideal for me. Those books range from positive thinking to creative visualization, to the law of attraction and even religious based books. I started reading these types of books when I was in high school. My mother gave me, "The Magic of Believing" to help adjust my funky, adolescent attitude.
I believe that life balances out for each person in the end. Even for the individual, there seems to be a movement toward some kind of equilibrium or middle ground. All of us, no matter who we are, experience sorrow and joy. Life is often referred to as being bittersweet, a word that captures this mixed bag we get as we live our lives.
The interesting part is that I think that although there is a balance, still we can reach our dreams. Think about going up a ladder perched against a wall. As you climb the ladder perhaps your right foot is on the ladder rung above the left foot. Then what happens? The left foot is lifted and joins the right foot on the same rung. Although there is balance and sameness and equilibrium, you are still advancing toward the top to your goal or dream.
As you 'live on', you may experience tremendous ups and tremendous downs. Being who you want to become starts in your heart and your mind. You make a decision and a commitment. Hopefully, the decision is well thought out and you are concious of it. But for example, if you were surprised by someone telling you or pointing out that you are too often negative or critical, then you are making a decision to be a certain way, but I doubt you were conscious of it. Try to be
conscious of your choices and decisions at all times.
Being [who you hope to be] requires nothing external to yourself. It just requires a shift in your belief and your thinking. When you do that, experiences may come into your life that will require you to do something or take action. The person you decide to be or believe yourself to be will determine what you do, which actions you take. Actions include how you react to what is done or said to you and includes the choices you make.
The choices you make, what you do, will determine what you have. If you choose and decide to spend your money and eat out for lunch and dinner frequently, you're probably going to have less money than if you cooked at home and brought a lunch. What you have, whether that be experiences, a loving relationship or a possession, are gauges for whether or not you are moving toward or have reached your dreams.
Don't be afraid to live, to love. People that we love are going to die. We ourselves will one day pass on. Your current circumstances may even look dire and bleak. Maybe you are broke and can't figure out from where the next dollar is going to come. Maybe you are heartbroken. Perhaps your significant other has revealed him or herself to be someone, who had you truly known, you would have run as fast as possible away from. Perhaps you are experiencing a health crisis and your body is broken and ill.
I say, find whatever symbol of courage or talisman you can find and make it tangible. Because ready or not, life is going to come your way. Maybe you can keep a sheriff badge in your purse, or a lion that represents the formerly cowardly but now courageous lion. Maybe, it's a religious verse or even a miniature of the religious book itself you want to carry around. Fortify yourself to be able to stand up and face and embrace what life is bringing. Don't run, embrace it and face it.
Then, if you don't want it you tell yourself that you don't believe these circumstances and look around and beyond the situation. Figure out how to get through it. Determine what you need to do to move past the situation. The result is what you will have.
Do not be discouraged when it comes to your dreams. You have the capability to move toward your dream every day. Dream grasping is a process. The first thing is to be who you want to be. That just takes belief and faith. No one has to know what is going on inside you. Just with those two things you become who you want to be. In that instant. In the moment that you decide. To do that takes thought and thought has energy. Energy is tangible and real. When you instantly become who you wish to be on the inside, you start to do the things that person would do. Those actions then begin to manifest in your outer, external world in a form that you can see, experience and touch. You start to have what that person would have, including your dreams.
Sometimes you must go through very painful experiences. We take action not when we are complacent and content, but when we are in pain. We do whatever we can to move away from the pain. Those actions, if selected conciously, may expand who we are and change us from who we used to be to who we wish to be.
I'll give an example for me. I dreamed of having long, healthy, hair that hung to my waist when it was straightened. It is no longer a dream but something that I possess, that I have.
I decided in my mind to be the woman with healthy waist length hair. It started in my mind, in that instant because of the decision. Although you wouldn't have known it looking at my crunchy, chewed up, armpit length hair ends that were whitened from damage. I believed it and I had faith. Then I started to take actions that coincided with my belief of who I believed myself to be. I started to learn about hair and take action to protect and preserve it. After awhile, I started to have longer hair. Then I reached my dream.
Although your life circumstance may have one foot on a lower rung right now, let me encourage you to look for and find some joy that is present in all of our lives, to help lift that foot that is lower on the ladder, to bring some equilibrium to your life and give you rest in your Spirit.
No matter what is going on or how lofty your dream, become who you wish to be by making a decion right now, today. Believe it and have faith. Take the actions that the person you have decided to now become would take. Little by little, you will start to see in your life what that person would have. The result just may be attaining your dream or some variation of your dream, which may be even better than you imagined.
BE+DO+HAVE=Your Dreams. I sincerely believe that is the order. The great thing is that at this very moment YOU can work on your dreams. Shift your thoughts and be that person now. The rest will follow.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

You Get to the Crossroads Every Day

The Crossroads is a mythical place where some say you meet the devil. It represents a decision point. The fact of the matter is that we are constantly making decisions. Evil exists in this world. Many people like to believe that it is something external to ourselves. I tend to think that the Crossroads is the decision point that we come up against every day. The type of decision that you make determines if you make a 'deal with the devil' or if you decide to move forward in the direction that is based on the better part of your humanity.

You see, people destroy other people every day. When you make someone doubt themselves, by talking about someone or criticizing them, you are at the Crossroads and you have made a deal. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. When someone has apologized for doing something wrong and you bring it up again, to make them feel bad about it, to make them doubt, you are at the Crossroads again, making a deal.

I used to be a big fan of horror movies but can't seem to watch them anymore. The ones about evil always had the same element running through them. The evil entity would always try to make the victims or the protagonist doubt who he or she was based upon some past action and/or decision. The evil entity would use guilt and an ambiguous personal situation to make the person falter. "You left your mother alone to die while you were away. Your sister counted on you and you let her be placed in the asylum. You failed her. Had you walked with your little brother to school, he would still be alive today. It's your fault. "

At some point, we are all going to disappoint and let someone down. At some point, we are all not going to be able to be there for someone who may need us. That's not what I am talking about as you cannot control that. I am talking about what you can control.

I am saying that it is important to work hard to not be the reason why someone else doubts him or herself. When someone wrongs you and they apologize, let it go. To throw it in their face makes them doubt and falter in their step. Let them move on and heal, too. When you purposely make someone doubt who they are with your criticism and your reminders, you have not only made a decision at the Crossroad, you have have made a deal.

A core component of evil is self doubt. Although you may not doubt yourself, if you create a situation for another to doubt him or herself, you are adding to the evil that is in this world. Evil doesn't need to come forth large and looming ,swirling in a dust cloud, cloaked in smoke. It creeps quietly as a mouse, clothed in little words that seem harmless.

When you are at the Crossroads, make a decision to continue on your path, the right path. Don't stop and make a deal. Be meticulous with your word and honorable in your actions and decisions. You must be vigilant. Stand guard on the watchtower of your Soul, and protect yourself. You do that by protecting and helping others.

Be on guard and look for others to help and uplift. I was at TJ Maxx in town going down a side aisle. I saw a woman with beautiful creamy skin. Something told me to tell her what I thought. I stopped dead in my tracks and spun on my heel and went one aisle back. I told her, "Your skin is gorgeous." She thanked me and said she needed to hear that. I told her, "Well it's true, you are a beautiful lady." A tear dropped from her eye and she told me that she was missing her family and that she appreciated the compliment." At the Crossroads, I took the right path and made the decision to "move forward" in what I believed was the right direction, even though I literally physically went back to talk to the lady in the store.

I fail, too. I was deeply hurt by someone that I trusted and they committed an act that by anyone's standards, was wrong. But I took that and reminded the person of their mistake every chance I got. When that person was feeling good, I found a way to bring up the event, to remind the person of what they did, to impact that security and safety that person was finding within. I wanted that person to feel the discomfort that I felt by what they had done to me. At the Crossroads, it seems I made a deal, to bring doubt to another person. It doesn't matter if that was not my intent, it was the result.

The next time you get to the Crossroads, I hope you step in the right direction. Uplift those you meet on your journey whether they travel with you for a moment or a lifetime. Make the journey as beautiful as you can, bit by bit, step by step.