Wednesday, August 8, 2018

SELF-PRESERVATION: THE LIGHT AT THE END OF YOUR TURMOIL


The moments right after a breakdown are so crucial. Once the tears and tantrum end, it’s what you do next that will make or break you. Going straight to sleep, getting drunk or high, binge eating, going out and beating someone up to “let off some steam,” or doing anything other than turning your attention to yourself in a loving, caring way, will always lead you to a shoddier place emotionally. This is because you have completely abandoned yourself at your worst time. Going to sleep right after a breakdown may not seem like a bad idea, and it’s actually not bad. I mean, sleep is necessary, and it’s not destructive like the other options, right? No, but what it is, is an easy way to avoid looking at your life and dealing with your pain. In times of crisis, that is the healthiest thing to do if you want to bring the issue to a close as soon as possible: deal with it—no drugs, alcohol, violence, or convenient escape mechanisms.

You know how when a friend calls you in a panic and asks for your help with a problem? You usually do it without hesitation, because you care about that person. You take time out to focus on their issue, show them that you care, dig in and come up with some encouraging words, find a [hopefully healthy] way to make them feel better, if you can. That’s the advised approach to take with yourself, in your own time of need. You don’t skip out on your friends when they’re down, so why would you do that to yourself? In times of emotional turmoil, the best counteraction is to find a way to do something loving for yourself, to come to your own rescue, stat!

Typically, after a meltdown, the first thing you forego is your “normal routine.” For example, maybe the dishes won’t get done; the laundry won’t get folded; your teeth may not get brushed and flossed that night; you may skip your exercise routine; if you’re in school, you might not get that homework done; maybe you’ll postpone that prayer session you had planned; or you had cooking a healthy 3-course meal on your agenda, but now you’ll just opt for some greasy fast food. Whatever it is that you normally do when you’re okay, those things are usually the first to go by the wayside when you’re distraught. It’s just too much. You’re too broken down. You’ll do it later, after you ruminate for 18 more hours on the issue at hand.

It’s how you care for yourself in moments of crisis that shows how deep your love for yourself really is. After a breakdown is precisely the time to put extra focus on taking care of your life—even if you just take out the trash, clip your fingernails, dust the shelves, or walk around the block once. Do any healthy thing that you know will make you feel better or feel good about yourself, even relax you. Any move you can make towards showing yourself that you care about yourself, and even your immediate surroundings, is a great start. You may not think it’s worth much at the time, but I can’t stress enough how showing yourself love and care when you feel bad will boost your self-esteem, and, dare I say, allow you to feel a glimmer of hope about getting through your situation.

Being your own friend and motivator first, changes things. It gives you incredible strength and resilience. It helps preserve your sanity. It says, “I love myself enough to not let myself sink into the abyss of hell.” Remember: wallowing is reactive; self-care is proactive.


Friday, August 3, 2018

TEMPORARY PASS

Sometimes you'll act out, do unhealthy things, disregard your best interest, dip back into unsavory habits and ways of functioning. When you do, ask yourself why. You have your reasons. What are they? You only act out when you're upset about something and feeling out of control. Instead of belittling yourself about it, give yourself a pass for a minute. Ask yourself what's really going on. Look at your life. What are you longing for? It's not necessarily about getting the thing at the moment (or at all, if it's not good for you); it's about admitting how you feel and allowing yourself to feel it, being okay with being there, embracing the fact that it's normal to feel out of sorts. It's about being able to say, "Okay! I'm not happy about xyz, so I'm out here wildin' out right now. This isn't good, but I understand. I'm human. I backslide every now and then. It's okay. I'm still great. I'm still worthy. I'ma still shine. This is just a moment."

The quickest way to get in control of your actions is to get in control of your feelings. Identifying why you're doing something makes it easier to reel yourself in. So walk yourself all the way through your moment. Be kind to yourself in the process. Then go ahead and lovingly snatch yourself up, drink a cup of that Act Right Juice, and put yourself back in your [healthy] place.

Learn more at www.honorthespirit.com

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

THANK YOU! MORE, PLEASE!

Asking for more of something isn't a sign of being ungrateful; it's a sign that you liked it, that it felt good, brought you joy, enhanced your life and/or someone else's, and you want more of it so you can continue experiencing those great effects. You can be grateful for what you have and still ask for more. There is nothing wrong with asking for more—a whole lot more—of what you already have, just had, or maybe haven't even experienced yet (in which case you would ask for the initial experience).

When you enjoy (or need) something, asking for more is a natural response. When you're a guest at someone's home and they feed you really awesome food, and you want more, you politely ask for it. It's a compliment of sorts. It says, "Hey, you really did the damn thang with that food, and I enjoyed it so much that I'd like to do it all over again." People generally like it when you express that something they have given you was not only appreciated but also that more of it is desired, if possible. The universe is like a big "all you want" buffet, where there's no limit to what you can have. You're a guest here, and if you need or want something, all you have to do is ask.

Settler's Gratitude is when you're playing small, not confidently and passionately asking for [more of] the things you need and enjoy (things you know deep down that you deserve). It's equivalent to quietly accepting an unfulfilling relationship, being meekly grateful for the [inconsistent] times your mate actually treats you the way you want, and hoping that one day, if you're grateful enough for "the little things," the person will kick that good treatment into overdrive. Because you're afraid of being an ingrate, afraid that asking for more is tantamount to balking at your [lovely but inadequate] blessing, you lack the courage to assert yourself in said relationship and make it clear that being treated well "sometimes" isn't acceptable, that you enjoy and deserve being treated right all the time. If, when frustrated enough, you do try to assert yourself and pursue your ideal relationship, you do it while feeling apologetic and guilty. Part of you is like, "This isn't working for me; I deserve, need, and want more"; the other part of you is like, "Dang! How ungrateful are you right now? Think about that good thing your boo just did for you last month! It was so special, and now look atcha! You can't be content with and focus on that goodness, that blessing; you just gotta be negative by thinking about how this isn't enough and how you want it to be like that all the time. See, that's what's wrong with you; that's why you can't get ahead in this relationship. You just refuse to be happy with what you have. Ole ingrate."

No matter what disheartening drivel your ego tries to get you to believe, the fact is this: you deserve the buffet of wonderful treatment and perks in your relationship, and in all of your life's scenarios.

Now, don't get it twisted: gratitude is always crucial, and it's a major key to getting ahead in life quickly. Gratitude is encouraged to be in the front seat during your journey, and you're urged to employ it daily. As a matter of fact, the truly courteous thing to do before you ask for more of something is to say thank you for what you were given or experienced. If you wanna uplevel your request game, you can say, "Thank you [Universe/God]! I enjoyed that! I'd love an unlimited supply, please!" And you know how sometimes when you're asking someone for something, and at the end of your request you say, "Thank you, in advance"? You can do that with your source, too. "Universe/God, I need/would like XYZ. Thank you in advance." I know these options may seem extra'd out or silly, but remember that the idea is to help you learn how to confidently do two things simultaneously: be grateful while requesting more because you comfortably acknowledge that more is not wrong, especially when it's necessary to function at full capacity in life. Some people have no problems aggressively asserting themselves in pursuit of more when something's not enough. Good for them. Maybe that's not you, though—but you need to get better at your asking so you can advance in life, so, hey, maybe you have to start off being a lot more diplomatic than the veteran guilt-free asker. The point is to finally feel good about your request, to not feel like you have no right to be asking. If you have to pretty-up the language a bit in the beginning, then so be it.

You can totally go about getting more while being grateful and courteous.

Another important aspect of this concept is that it's important to keep asking for more (in life) when your whole need or desire isn't met. Nobody but you can properly assess when your needs and desires have been fully met in your various scenarios. It they're not, then yes, give thanks for all the parts that are, the steps that are leading to the full fruition of your needs and desires, but definitely continue to pursue the rest. It's your job to make sure your best interests are tended to, so don't apologize for doing so, and don't let people make you think you shouldn't be asking for more or better for yourself. What you want or need for you is none of their business.

Now here's the hard part: Not asking for what you need and want is a sign of low self-esteem. Huh? How, Sway? Because encompassed in self-esteem (which equates to self-respect) is self-care, your depth of it, and how you feel about engaging in it. Self-care involves doing and pursuing all the things that are in your best interest—confidently, not timidly or halfheartedly. Any time you're struggling to do what's best for you, it means your self-care meter is out of whack. You are really the only person who can spearhead taking care of yourself properly (unless you're having a medical emergency in which you're unconscious and need medical professionals to decide your best interest for you). You're in charge of making sure to initiate and follow through with your pursuit of happiness. If some part of doing that makes you uncomfortable, it's time to dig deep and ask yourself why. Because you have every right to be happy in this life. Going after it, asking for it, and feeling good about making moves toward it, isn't intended to morph into an emotional crisis (which subsequently blocks your advancement). If you're not passionately and unapologetically compelled to pursue the peace of mind and overall life you want, then what's an even more painful pill to swallow is the fact that you'll be hard pressed to acquire the [full] outside support you need to get there, because what you get from your environment is a direct match to what's going on inside of you.

Getting yours begins with your having a high level of determination to do so. Look around you. What do you have that you enjoy, love, appreciate, and desire more of? What in your life makes you feel your best, feel at peace, feel confident, and helps you feel like you're adding value to the world? Whatever those things are, I encourage and invite you to practice expressing your appreciation for them, and then having the chutzpah to ask for more—as much as you think you'd like, that will allow you to keep that smile on your face and that contentment in your heart. You deserve it. Every day.

Take care, and always remember to HONOR THE SPIRIT!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

PICTURE YOURSELF WINNING

You can't give up. Know why? Because sometimes what you're pursuing isn't ready yet. Literally, it may not even exist or be created yet. It might be in the process of creation right now. Someone might have your thing right now. It might need fixing. It might need to be revamped. The people who can help you get it might not be involved yet. So many scenarios. You think your "thing" isn't happening because that's what it looks like on your end. But there are a lot of other elements to the picture you can't see. There are people and situations involved in your victory that have to be in place before you can have it.

I'm speaking from experience. When something is yours but it's not fully prepped for you, you have to wait, boo. Like that time a thousand years ago when I was working at San Quentin State Prison, in the records department, and I wanted to work in the mailroom sooooooo badly, but there were never any openings. As a matter of fact, there was a hiring freeze, and "they" told me I wasn't gonna get in there at all. Nobody was leaving their position down there, and they weren't opening any new ones. It was a wrap; that's what "they" kept saying. But I wanted what I wanted, so I stayed with that goal. This went on for a year and a half. People thought I was crazy for continuing to ask if there were any openings yet. They would laugh at me, shake their heads, tell me to forget about that. No one had been able to get in for hella, hella long. Okay. Whatever. I'm gettin' in, though, I thought repeatedly.

There was a woman working in there. I knew her. We had even hung out quite a bit. She got in trouble. Big trouble. She got fired. She got walked-off-prison-grounds fired. All of a sudden, there was a position open. My supervisor, who already knew my goal because I kept asking her about openings, told me about it right away. I applied. So did a bunch of other people. But I had already claimed that spot looooong ago, so I knew it was mine. I got that spot. After a year and a half of claiming and being laughed at and told to forget it, it was mine. But I had to wait because someone was in my spot. It was mine, though. And I took it.

Don't give up. I don't care how wack it looks, how convoluted it feels, how many people tell you it's not gonna happen. They can't see your big picture just like you can't. You have no idea what's needed for you to get yours. Stay in the game, friends and fam. By all means necessary.

This full story is in my book Building Faith and Character Through Life Challenges, available at www.honorthespirit.com.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

CH-CH-CHAAAANGES

Learning how to honor your spirit in all of your daily scenarios will change your life and your personality, permanently, and in the greatest way. When your self-esteem is low, you function completely different than when you're confident about your worth, and feeling good about yourself and the decisions you're making. You may think that the way you are now is your true self, but if your peace of mind is shot, you're feeling broken down and defeated all the time, and you're constantly feeling bad about yourself, then you haven't experienced the best you, the you whose disposition will be completely transformed once you learn to tend to your best interests at all times, in the healthiest way.

I say this because I've experienced it firsthand. I'm a completely different person now, as someone who puts honoring my spirit into practice daily, than before I learned why it's so important for a balanced mental state and life, and how to do it.

If you wanna get in on this peace of mind, high self-esteem action, now is a great time to do it. My services are being restructured, so in January 2017, the options will change and the prices will increase significantly. If you've been on the fence about investing in yourself and working with me so you can move through one or more of your life and/or career challenges, then I invite you to take advantage of my current setup and prices, and make that commitment before this month is over.

Remember, if you'd like to see if what I offer is right for you, then you can always do a free Intention and Energy Assessment before moving forward with a service. You can get started on that right here:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: THE INSIDE CURE FOR THE OUTSIDE MADNESS

It may seem like the time to expend extra energy having conversations with people about the election, trying to convince them of how wrong they were for functioning in this or that way regarding their voting stance, trying to understand why they didn't vote the way you think they should have, or why they didn't vote at all, and blaming them for the results. However, what I'm seeing is that those conversations are largely taking people away from what I feel are the two most important things right now: self-care and life-path work.

I know it's a challenge, but now is the time to turn inward during the struggle, either for the first time (for many), or simply more than ever, and pay close attention to not only how we feel but also what we need to do for ourselves so we can feel good and peaceful [again]. Something outside of you (this election and its results) has separated you from any inner peace and comfort you may have had, and you need it back, but it's up to you to make sure you get it for yourself. Many people are waiting for something in the governmental structure to shift so they can feel loved, safe, protected, valued, worthy, etc., and I gotta tell you that if you're doing that, then you're barking up the wrong tree. For one thing, you can't rely on other people to make you feel any of those things. You can't wait for people to decide they care about you and that you're worthy of their love, resources, time, energy, etc. so you can then feel at ease. I mean, you can do that, but you and your emotions will forever be controlled by those people; and while you're relying on outside sources to fulfill you, you'll be continuing to neglect fulfilling yourself through your own special, unmatched efforts. That is your job, all day, every day: to be vigilant in doing what you need to do for your own peace of mind.

I understand the fears and concerns eating everyone up right now. I truly do. If Trump actually makes it into office (cuz, again, it ain't January yet, and a lot can change before then!), then yes, all kinds of things are gonna get super real. There will be an insane amount of structural change that will likely affect everyone, including me. So, yes, I am there with you about the unknown ahead of us. But what I know for sure is that now is not the time for me to spend worrying about those unknowns, especially since I can't control them and have no idea when/if/how they will happen. What it is the time for, for me, is to buckle down and go even harder in the paint for myself and for my goals and dreams. It's time for me to nurture myself that much more, to spend even more time catering to my state of peacefulness by honoring my spirit in every way I can, large or small. This is what I have total control over: how I take care of me, how I go about providing for me, how I speak to myself, how I treat myself, how I listen to and respect what I feel, and take action on the things that are in my best interest, even if others want me to disregard all of that. This is what I know gets me through the days, makes me feel stable and valuable.

Continuing to do the work I'm here to do, that helps people be and do better for themselves and others, is even more crucial now. It's not the time for me to take a single moment away from that work to engage in fruitless interactions about what life may be like starting next year, because it's all fear-based speculation that won't help me, or help me help someone else, in this moment. It will cause stress and more worry, which will take away from my peace. The best way to prepare for what may come, is for me to make sure I'm doing all that I can to provide peace, support, and emotional stability for myself right now, which in turn allows me to have healthy relationships and interactions with others, so my foundation will be solid in the face of whatever adversity may await.

This is what I'm inviting all of you to do, too. Honor your spirit, now more than ever. If you're looking for the light at the end of what you perceive is a dark tunnel, then guess what? You're gonna hafta turn it on within yourself, first, and light the tunnel up for yourself, as you travel through it. Be the light; don't wait for it. What do you need to do for you, and how can you [continue to or begin to] help others, using your gifts and talents?

Learn more about how you can honor your spirit, and why it's so important, at www.honorthespirit.com

Friday, October 21, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: WHATCHA GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

A lesson in dealing with someone who has habits that rub you the wrong way, and when you experience them, your blood pressure rises and you snap at them, and then things are tense: The challenging thing about this type of situation is that people do not have to change their behavior if they don't want to; and they really won't do it if they don't think there's anything wrong with it. You're welcome to ask them to change, but don't expect it.
No matter how annoying or foul it is, you really only have two healthy options: discontinue your dealings with them, or find a way to deal with the behavior so that you retain your peace of mind. It doesn't serve either one of you if you always react negatively, especially when you already know how the person is. Since you're the one who's always bothered by the behavior, it's your responsibility to figure out how to handle it, and the person, in a way that allows there to be peace between you two. Figure out why the behavior annoys you, what it means for you if the person doesn't stop doing it (What harm, discomfort, or loss does it cause you? Does it scare you?), how you can accept the person for who they are, and then work around what they do, meaning find a response that's neutral. If you choose to keep them in your life, then you have to work it out on your end. It's your problem, not theirs.
*By the way, I'm not talking about someone doing something to you that is harmful, disrespectful, abusive, etc. I'm only talking about behavior that you find annoying or distasteful.
Learn more at www.honorthespirit.com