Shut Up, Sometimes

How To Respond To Other Peoples Situations

I really enjoy writing Afrologik. From it’s inception, I’ve grown with each article, and, according to the feedback that I get, so have my readers! I am extremely grateful for that, because growth, has always been the purpose of this blog — we all grow together, and I think that’s amazing! However, with growth, comes change, and sometimes that change is difficult to adjust to, but we do. Still, we continue to be who we are, and evolve in spite of what may be going on around us.

Some of us have support systems, while some of us don’t. Ironically, those who don’t, often find themselves being a pillar for someone — or everyone else. It’s kind of sad to be a person who cries in private, or scream in empty rooms, because no one is there. No one really checks up on them; or worst of all, those who feel a need to advise on things that they have no experience with. In that type of environment, it seems much easier to deal with our situations without reaching out to those who are closest to us — those we trust the most. Although that seems easier, it’s not healthy.

The Questions

Usually, I’m pretty cool. I’m there for those who need me in any way that I am able to to be — and I’m not complaining. I really don’t mind at all. Especially with people who are in conflict with themselves, because I’m all too familiar with that. So, I’m willing to at least be there for anyone in that situation, whether I know them or not. I don’t offer advice, unless I’m asked. Just because a person is struggling with something, does not necessarily mean that they are seeking advice.

What I have found effective with helping others who are in trying situations, is to ask appropriate questions that allow them to figure things out on their own. If you are a person who is often leaned on for support, try this technique. You’ll be surprised at how well it works.

The Problem With Advice

The reason why why advice doesn’t work, is because it is usually given at the wrong time. Trying to reason with an emotional person is akin to fighting fire with fire — there can be no progress. In many situations, when a person comes to us with their problems, they’re not necessarily interested in our take on it. There are cases when those people only want to vent, or a hug. More times than you would probably realize, they want someone to talk to who will listen and respond with something like: “That’s messed up. I’d be mad too. Let’s go kick their asses!”. Of course, you’re not going to go out and engage in violence (I hope), but sometimes, people who are having an emotional breakdown of any sort, only want to know that they are not alone in how they are feeling.

Humans Are Not Very Smart

And that’s exactly why they usually should not give advice (unless asked). We are all growing and learning together. Every one of us are a work in progress — subject, as well as prone to error. Sharing experiences is helpful, but none of us are truly qualified to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do. When asked, don’t speak authoritatively, because you’re not an authority. You’re just another human being living the human experience.

Don’t Internalize. Find An Outlet

As said earlier, I’m cool most of the time, but I’m human, so things pile up on me from time to time. I have people in my life who are there for me, but not many who “get it“. Most assume the aforementioned roles: adviser, authority, the smart one. So, I’d find myself crying to myself, and screaming in empty rooms (that’s how I knew to use those examples earlier…lol!). It’s also how I know that it doesn’t work. It’s a form of internalizing.

During those times, I compare myself to a bottle of pop (soda for some of you) that has been shaken, continuously. When someone takes the top off, there’s going to be a mess. This is exactly why internalizing is no good. Eventually, somehow, that top is going to come off. With that being said, you’ve got to find a way to let go — with or without the help of others.

Here’s What I Do

What works for me, is the tub. I simply take a soak. While lying in the tub, I stare at the ceiling, and I work things out. As I do with others, I begin to ask myself questions, and I keep asking until I run out of answers — without the unwelcome interruption of advice, ideas, and statements, that have the potential to make things worse. Sometimes, I’m able to devise an action plan that makes me feel better, and many times, I find solutions to what is bothering me. I’m not suggesting that anyone should make this exercise a practice, I’m only saying that it works for me.

Be A Friend To Yourself First

Sometimes, you have to be your own best friend, and treat yourself as well as you treat those who depend on you in any capacity. Understand that those who cannot be what you need, when you need them to be, does not mean that they are bad people — or even bad friends. They’re only doing what THEY believe is the right thing. I’m sure that we have all done this at some point.

Find A Way That Works For You

When something doesn’t feel right with you, find a way to deal with it. Don’t keep it inside. I have a therapist, and dig this: she never gives advice! Yet, I always feel better when I leave her office. And on my down days when I don’t have an appointment with her, there’s always the tub. Find what works for you!

Wise men don’t need advice. Fools won’t take it”

~Benjamin Franklin

Gettin’ Yours When You’re Good And Ready

The Art of Not Jumping The Gun

Okay, so, the last week was very up and down for me. Bad spirits were trying their hardest to attach themselves to me. For the most part, I stayed cool — that wasn’t easy.

Valentine’s Day was the worst. Not because it was Valentine’s Day (I’m not melodramatic or romantic, so, I’ve got little use for Valentine’s Day). It just happened that February 14th was not a good day. As always, I awakened pleasantly and ready to start a fresh new day that was full of possibilities. However, that went south very swiftly and echoed throughout the rest of the day. I had gotten into a bad argument that morning — a very avoidable argument, that wasn’t my fault (unless trying to help someone was my fault — maybe it was), then I got some text messages that pissed me off, and I got a couple that made me smile. Nonetheless, overall, it wasn’t a good day. Try as I may to save it, by around 5:00pm, I had decided to let it go, accept that the balance was off, and agree to start over on the next day. Of course, this took the pressure off, and although I no longer wanted to jump up and pimp slap the moon for shining, I didn’t go to bed as peacefully as I’d have liked to.

So, On The Next Day…

Friday morning, I awakened refreshed and replenished — ambitious to start a new day that would be productive and pleasing in every way. After completing my morning regimens and routines, I began logging into my workspace.

Good Vibes playlist? CHECK

Water? CHECK

Smiles? CHECK

Okay, let’s get it in!

The day started off great! I made miracles happen. I made people smile, laugh, and feel great — whether I was helping my customers with emergency or leisurely services, I was spreading nothing but good vibes. I can always tell when I’m having a cool work day, because I find myself dancing at my desk, and typing to the beat of what ever song is playing. I was doing both. This was more like it. And, it was a Friday! What a great way to kick the weekend off!

My workday had ALMOST ended the way it started: PHENOMENALLY! Before logging out of my workspace for the day, I followed my usual “end of shift” routine, which consists only of: checking for last minute emails, looking at the next shift’s schedule, and logging out of all workspace systems.

While checking my emails, I saw one that contained my schedule for the month of April — which would be my permanent schedule. I was excited because a week ago, I had bid on about 25 Monday through Friday shifts. Of the 25 bids, about 23 of them were early morning shifts (which I preferred), and 2 of them were for evening shifts (which I really didn’t want, but at least they were Monday through Friday — that mattered most to me). Smiling big and bobbing my head to the beat of “Fall In Love (Your Funeral)” by Erykah Badu, as it played in the background, confident that by the ratio of my bids, I had gotten a good shift, I opened the email. Immediately upon reading the schedule, my smile had melted, my face formed a “WTF” stare, and I could no longer hear music.

Incase you haven’t guessed, I got a shitty schedule. Monday through Friday, but 1:00pm until 10:00pm. That not only sucked, but it threatened to throw my balance off — AGAIN! I shut my computer down, and walked out of the room, while mumbling expletives.

Minutes later, I found myself staring at the moon through my patio doors. As I stared, I began thinking out loud to the moon — kinda ranting my disdain for the company that I work for. I was saying things like:

“I hate them, and they hate me. Clearly, it is their paramount objective to fudge my life up and make things unnecessarily difficult for me. I can’t WAIT to get away from them! It’s like, every two to three months, they have to find a reason to bend me over! This stupid schedule is going to fudge up my Cali plans! Plus, when will I find the time to write three Afrologik articles a week? They’ve just thrown a monkey wrench in my plans. This is BS!”

In my pisstivity (I know that’s not a word, but roll with me), I had realized that I was speaking all of that negativity into the planets and stars. That’s no good — and I know better! So, I took my pity party into the kitchen. I sat at the table and continued to stew about it. Eventually, I picked up my phone and started whining to my number one “go-to” person, my daughter, Justice. I sent her a text that detailed what my stupid job had done, and how I felt that they’d thrown a monkey wrench into my plans.

The Monkey Wrench

As I’ve shared with you in previous blogs, I’m in the process of relocating to Los Angeles (and I’m so excited! It’s all that I can talk about). I have a goal date, but it’s tentative in that it will probably happen sooner. Part of my “Cali plan” (as I call it), is to take the California real estate class while here in Tennessee (online, of course). After I pass the class, my son, Gabriel, and I will journey to California together (he wants to see the state), and I’ll take and pass the real estate exam. From there, I will find and convince a real estate company to sponsor and allow me three months to fully relocate to Los Angeles. And, they’ll do it, because I’m like Toni Childs from “Girlfriends” — I specialize in results (finger-snap)!

I work for a company that has branches all over the world, so there’s a chance that I’ll be able to transfer my current position. This means that I would have income until my real estate career picks up, and I’m putting money together to have as a cushion. I constantly watch the job market in LA, and with my Customer Service and Hospitality background, I won’t have a lot of trouble finding work (temporarily. I’d rather not work in either of those fields) until things stabilize. And, if nothing else, LAX is always hiring, and then, there’s always background work (I’ve been doing my homework). Being in Los Angeles has been my dream since I was a very small child, so I’ve got to make it happen. However, it will never happen if I cannot get to step number one: TAKING THE DAMNED CLASS! My current job had totally screwed that up for me (the bastards!). That’s the monkey wrench.

Now, Back To My Chat With Justice

While talking to Justice, she asked some questions, such as: “is it too late to change the schedule? Can you bid again?”. Yes, to the first question, no to the second. By then, I had passed mad and was traveling towards irate. I told my daughter that this job is priority #5, and that I can’t imagine what would be #6. And, that I’m not about to let a bunch of mfers that I don’t know or like, bind me to a life that I don’t want — regardless of the repercussions. So, I’d keep with my plans as previously arranged.

Justice disagreed. She believed that I would wear myself out and that by forcing something to fit, I’d be contradicting everything that I said in “Never Chase ANYTHING“.

DAMMIT!!!

Dammit” for a multitude of reasons, but mostly, because I can’t stand having my own advice thrown in my face (one of the drawbacks of being a genius…LOL!). Because of that, I continued to make my case. It didn’t take long for her to acquiesce — mostly because she knew I wasn’t going to change my mind (and because she was probably tired of talking about it).

Fast Forward A Few Minutes

I’m making the salad that I’ve been wanting all day. As I chop up lettuce and tomatoes, I’m thinking about the situation:

The real estate class is only two weeks, and it’s online. I can take the class in the mornings, and I’ll still have time to study. As far as writing for Afrologik, and any other blog, I could write at night and on weekends — which is when I usually write anyway. I can make this work. And, if there are some forces out there that are against me, what better way is there of kicking their asses, than to win anyway?

I started visualizing myself in the life that I want. I saw myself working in the real estate field, writing, and living a comfortable and enjoyable life, in a space that I love. I also saw myself hitting the beach — often. That was confirmation for me that it’s worth it to use my time wisely and make it work.

Revelation And Understanding

You see, even though I had set it up, and believed that the day was going to be great (and it was), I was about to allow one situation to throw me off of my square, without thinking it through. Instead, at the first sign of discomfort, I allowed myself to sulk and become upset. All it took was for me to step back for a moment and assess the situation, to learn that a minor inconvenience would not affect my my plans, unless I gave it permission to do so.

I also have to hold myself accountable for the unfavorable shift. When I made that bid, I asked the Universe for a Monday through Friday schedule — I was not specific in my request. Essentially, I got what I asked for. We MUST be specific when making requests to our higher power. I know better!

Later that night, while meditating, I thought, what if this was a test? I imagined the Universe’s position as:

“Okay, she seems serious about this move. She’s studying, researching, reaching out to others, and examining her resources. I like that. I want her to have the life that she wants, she deserves to have, and has been awaiting her. Still, I need to see how serious she is, before I gift her, her destiny “.

If that was the test, and I was too angry and [feeling] defeated, to rearrange my time to allow things to happen on schedule, I might have acquiesced and became accepting of things staying the way they are, instead of working on myself and ensuring that I’m ready for all of the greatness that is to come.

Don’t Change Your Mind, Change Your Attitude

Things don’t always go the way we want them to go, but that is never a reason to give in. When obstacles come, find a way around them. There is ALWAYS a way. Make it work for you. You may not have to change your plan, but instead, rearrange it. Yes, there are forces that are working against you; there always have been. If you’re onto something, there always will be. Who’s stronger — you or the forces? Sometimes, your higher power needs confirmation of how badly you really want the things that you ask for, before those things are gifted to you (the Universe don’t wanna be gifting and then ungifting things. Ain’t nobody got time for that). What you are willing to sacrifice, and how you manage your time, will indicate how serious you are.

Don’t allow monkey wrenches and curveballs throw you off course! That’s what they are designed to do. Stay in the game. You’ve got no idea of how close you are to your dream life. #BOSSUP

“Take your time and think it through, if this is what you wanna do.”

~Prince “1+1+1 is 3

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Never Chase ANYTHING!

That Which Is For You, Will Always Come To You

Nowadays, with social media, people have displayed self-sufficiency, and independence, sometimes to the point of arrogance, and cockiness. Don’t get me wrong — I’m happy to see others doing well, and I see nothing wrong with being tactfully proud of accomplishments. I can even dig a little bragging. What I can’t understand is: when I see people, seemingly, proud of chasing things.

I’m positive that I’m not the only person who has seen memes that state things such as: ” Me Chasing Money #MCM“. I don’t get why anyone would be happy and proud to admit that they chase money. If a job has you chasing money, and that makes you feel good about yourself, to me, that’s occupational masturbation — it feels good, but it will never produce life. It’s not producing life if it’s wearing you out — in fact, it’s producing death. The whole idea of this life experience — producing life — growth. I refuse to chase anything or anyone. It’s tiring, and chasing something does not mean that you’re going to catch it.

“I observe yeah, I don’t chase”

~ Amy Winehouse

When you’re chasing something, you’re focused on a target. And as you move towards that target, it’s moving away from you. Obviously, it’s faster than you, otherwise, it wouldn’t be ahead of you. Why wear yourself out, chasing something that you may never acquire?

This isn’t limited to money, but also dreams and other people. We’re conditioned to go after what or who we want, and to chase our dreams. Observing, and not chasing, is the only way to achieve your wealth, destiny, or soulmate, without wearing your body, mind, and soul out. What is the point of having wealth, your dream career, and love, if you’re too tired to enjoy them?

Observing Instead of Chasing

Only you know what you want and need. When you truly know this, you’ll see yourself in the life that you desire. Regardless of what you do, or where you are, you’ll see yourself in your dream position — even in the worst of times. When this becomes a habit (and that won’t take long), you’ll begin to acclimate yourself to that lifestyle. In doing this, you’ll research, experiment, and talk to others who are already doing what you would like to do. Don’t consider it working towards a goal, but instead, call it working on yourself. As you observe, learn, and prepare yourself for what’s to come, you’ll see that there was never any reason to chase anything, or anyone, because the life, as well as the people that you desire, will begin to come to you. This will make you grateful, but not surprised, because you’ll have conditioned yourself to believe that you’ve always had those things. While everyone else who chose to chase the same things, are tired from trying to catch something that’s trying to get away from them, you’ll have the energy to enjoy what came to you.

Chasing things indicates worry. You’re worried that the thing that you want will get away from you, so you’re trying to catch it, before it does. Contrarily, when something is trying to get away from you, you should let it. If it’s trying to get away, it’s not yours. It doesn’t love and want you, as you love and want it or them. Know that, in the end, things will work out (as they always do), so chill, relax, and take care of yourself. Devise a plan that will make you into a better person who is ready for their destiny when it arrives.

Why Would You Chase What’s Already Yours?

I’m not suggesting that you “wait on it“, because waiting sucks. I’m only saying, take the time to condition your mind, body, and soul to recognize what is already yours. Take Amy’s advice — observe, don’t chase. If it’s yours, it will come to you.

“Happiness doesn’t have to be chased…it merely has to be chosen.”

~ Mandy Hale

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Don’t Overestimate Your Personal Best

Your Best Will Fluctuate

Yes, we should do our best at everything that we do, and be the best people that we can be at all times. However, don’t be foolish enough to believe that your best will be at the same level with every effort. That’s not always possible. Our personal bests will fluctuate.

Really, your best is the only thing that is required of you. If you choose not to give your finest efforts, you’re not being true to yourself, or making the gods happy. As you release lackadaisical efforts into the Universe, the same will be returned.

Your “A” game will not always give the same results, even with tasks that you perform regularly. It’s unrealistic for anyone to set such an unrealistic standard for themselves. Give your all and rest assured that you’ve done all that you can do — because, that’s all that you can do.

Think of Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was the undisputed King of Pop. Never was there a bigger Pop Star before him, and likely, there will not be a bigger Pop Star after him. There was a time when everything he touched, turned into gold. I’m sure that I don’t have to write a bio on MJ (since he was the biggest Pop Star in the world, everyone knows his story), so, I’ll fast forward to his multimillion selling album, “Thriller“.

Thriller” sold tens of millions of copies, and changed popular music forever. While I have no doubt that Michael was thrilled by this (pardon my pun), it also raised the bar for him. I’m sure that there was pressure to repeat that performance with each album that followed.

Although, he never produced another album that sold more than, or as much as “Thriller“, he still created quality product that made his public happy enough to continue to buy his music.

In 1982, “Thriller” was his best effort. That doesn’t mean that his following albums were not given his best effort — or that they weren’t great– but, they were his best for the time that they were recorded. Never matching the success of “Thriller” did not reduce his audience, and he remained one of the most influential and sought after entertainers in the world, for the rest of his life.

Your Performance Is Based On Several Factors

Our personal best can depend on several factors, for example: mood, health, time, place, if we got enough sleep, if we haven’t eaten. And sometimes, we’re simply off balance. In any case, when we measure our personal best to our current performance, the results could be slightly, or extremely different. As long as we have given our all to the tasks at hand, we have fulfilled the requirement of being at our best.

When you’ve done all that you can do, yet your usual “A” game, is a “C” game, don’t beat yourself up. Tomorrow is another day to be great!

“Perfection is impossible; just strive to do your best.”

~ Angela Watson

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When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong

Be Yourself, But Be Accountable

No, I’m sorry; this article will not be about the hilarious Dave Chappelle skits — well, not exactly, but it may resemble the skits, in theory, a little bit.

Yes, I’ve been on a kick, of sorts, trying to convince you that one of the best things that you can do for yourself (if you really want to live a happy life) is: A) let the Universe guide your mind and soul, and follow their lead, and B) don’t be afraid to be who you truly are inside.

I understand that both A and B are not easy to do — especially if it goes against what you are trained to do or believe. However, they are attainable. I know this because I’ve attained them both. The results have been that I don’t worry about things anymore, I am able to stay in the moment, and I’m happier than I’ve been in a very long time. Am I happy with my position in life? Not entirely. I could use a new career and moving from the Dirty South will be heavenly. I am, however, happy to be alive, happy enough to work on my exit strategies, and furthermore, I believe in myself! I still become angry, impatient, and anxious, now and then — but nothing like three months ago. We human beings are works in progress, albeit, we also have human emotions. Nonetheless, overall happiness will make the more difficult emotions last only briefly.

But That’s Not What This Article Is About

Sorry, I got off subject. Now, to get to my main point…

I follow another blogger and YouTube vlogger, named Te-Erika Patterson. She’s inspired me quite a bit, because she’s done things that I am going to do. For example: she just up and moved to Los Angeles, and through all of the ups and downs, she not only made it work, but gave grants to others who had done the same as she did. She has also written books, and she’s a relationship coach. These are all things that I am going to accomplish soon! (Except for being a relationship coach. But I am currently studying to become a life coach amongst other things).

Oops! I got off of the subject again. Sorry for all the segues, but I am really loving life today. When that happens, I become chatty…

So anyway, Te-Erika did a live broadcast on YouTube a few days ago, and I was lucky enough to be available to watch some of it, as well as make comments. One of the things that she said, really stood out to me. I’m paraphrasing, but she said something to the effect of, if you suddenly become the real you, people, friends, and family, will either think that you’ve become a phony, or they’ll think that you have flipped.

That really caught my attention because I’ve been gradually revealing my true self for the last several years. I chose to evolve gradually, because there is so much to learn, as well as so much to unlearn. I didn’t choose to reveal myself in intervals for the sake of others.

In this revelation, that has been taking place for revolutions, I’ve gotten side eyes, blank stares, shaken heads, derogatory comments, inaccurate assumptions, and called unfavorable names. This doesn’t offend me for two reasons: 1) They don’t understand, and obviously, they’re incapable of understanding, and 2) It’s my own fault.

Taking Ownership of Your Sh!t

It was I who chose to “go along to get along” for years. It was my fault that the people in my life became acclimated to the person that they thought I was, but only because I showed them that I was more like them. It’s also my fault that those same people have had difficulty becoming climatized to who, or what, they believe I’ve become — even though it’s really who I’ve always been. I was afraid, before, to show my true self because I didn’t think I would be understood — and that assumption turned out to be more true than false. That misunderstanding is the reason why some people believe that it’s fake, while others believe that I’ve flipped.

“What’s up with her and all of this Universe shit? Planets, meditation, crystals, and energy, and shit — why is she telling us that our pasts and futures, don’t exist? What’s wrong with her? Is she for real? WTFudge is she talking about? Does she even believe in God anymore?”

I’ve heard them all, and I refuse to dignify any of it with a response. I like that there’s a bit of mystery to me (like Prince. Lol!). Anyone who does not understand me, can either read Afrologik (which of course, I prefer), or they can exercise their right to not spend time, or communicate with me. I’d hope that not many would choose the latter (depending of who it is), but if it has to be that way, so be it. My happiness is attached to my freedom to be me — so that’s first and foremost.

Brandi Badd Ass Encourages You!

The truth is that depending on who your true self is, you might be scrutinized, but you should not let that stop you from being the person that you know you are. If freeing your spirit will make you happier and at your best (which it absolutely will. I promise you!), then do it!

Ask yourself the important questions:

Who am I? What do I like? What are my passions? What makes me happy? What happened to me? How do I correct the things that are wrong with me, according to me? What, or who, do I believe in?

You may not be able to answer those questions all at once. It might take days, weeks, or even months. Keep in mind that it took your whole life to become conditioned to be who you’ve become; it’s not reasonable to believe that you can become deconditioned overnight. (In fact, if you are able to accomplish that overnight, perhaps you really are faking it). Take time to get to know, or become reacquainted, with yourself. Take my word for it — it’s worth it! It feels great!

You Want Patience FROM Others, So You Have To BE Patient With Others

I can tell you to expect to be scrutinized and to be who you are in spite of it, all day, everyday, but still, somewhere deep down inside of you, you’ll have a mild expectation of patience from your friends and family — and that’s not terrible. The truth is that your friends and family SHOULD be patient and supportive of the things that make you happy — even if they don’t agree (as long as it’s positive, and no one is getting hurt). Regrettably, that’s not usually how it goes, and because of that, you’ve got to hold yourself accountable. Remember that their expectation of you is your fault. It was your choice to play the game, for whatever reason. Regardless of how gradual your evolution into your true self may be, it’s going to seem abrupt to those who have known you the longest. You’ve got to be patient with them, because it’s also a transition for them. Your circle has to learn and figure out how to become acclimated to, and support the person that you’ve evolved into — if they want to deal with it at all. They’ll consider your transition to be “the new you”, instead of the real you. Your conversation, likes, beliefs, tastes — and in some cases, even the food that you eat, will change. The types of people that you choose to associate with and the places you go will also change. That’s a lot for your loved ones to take in, so give them the time and space that you would appreciate from them.

Stop Faking The Funk!

“Life Ain’t So Bad At All (Allllll), If You Live It Off The Wall!”

~Michael Jackson

You might as well come out of your shell, because I’m just going to keep pushing you. Why? Because, I want you to know how amazing it feels to set your spirit free, evolve, stop living up to the expectations of others, and hang up your hang ups. I want you to dance as if no one is watching — even if everyone is watching (I do it all the time!). If you open your mind, and let it, as well as your soul lead, you’ll find that the air is easier to breathe, the sun shines brighter, the moon is more brilliant, and you’ll be at home with the stars — because you’re a star! You’re a planet. You’re already everything that you’ve ever wanted to be. Just keep it real with yourself, and you’ll see that everything that you’ve dreamed of is not coming true — it’s already there!

“No other version, no matter how perfect it is, would ever feel better than being your true self.” 
~Edmond Mbiaka

PS: Check out my Vlogs on YouTube! New vlogs each Thursday!

Giving Yourself The Freedom To Be Pissed

Bad Days Happen

I think that a lot of us have our ideas a bit twisted. Many of us believe that living a peaceful life means always being calm, never becoming upset, and only producing positive thoughts. Well, I’m here to tell you that the ideas listed above are completely unrealistic. We are human beings, and by nature, we are emotional. We respond and react to things, and sometimes, we react in ways that may not be positive.

Living a peaceful life does not guarantee that you’re going to smile your way through all of life’s ups and downs. Do not let anyone tell you that you must always maintain a positive mindset. Not only is that not true, but it’s impossible.

I’ve explained in former blogs, that it is most important that we be lead by our mind and soul, and to not try to steer it in our favor. Instead, allow them to take us on their journey. With that being said, sometimes, the mind will lead us to what we consider to be a negative place, because it is trying to show or tell us something important. Pay attention to the signs. What is this reoccurring negative thought, and why is it lingering? Is this thought about something that is presently going on (remember that the mind does not travel backwards, or jump ahead unless it’s being steered)? These are types of questions that you’d want to ask yourself. The Universe will communicate with you in ways that will get, and keep your attention, when it’s trying to show you something. Don’t ignore it, because it might not be “just you“.

But…Maybe It Is Just You

A couple of days ago, I had a very bad day. Unfortunately, the day began going south in the morning. It felt as though with every passing minute, things got progressively worse. I had done everything that I know how to do, in combatting the negative thoughts that were rapidly forming. I stopped to breathe, I counted, I used my save word, I thought about the beautiful things in the world, I thought about how great it is to be loved, and how much I love myself — but to none of that worked for more than a few minutes at a time. So then, I pulled out the big guns: I thought about (and looked at pictures of) Prince, I listened to Amy Winehouse, and Jamiroquai (which has always worked, until that day). I tried so hard to check my frequency, that doing so, only frustrated me further. By 2:00pm, I was a completely unhappy and unstable person. That day was a wrap.

Call It What It Is

Deciding to wrap up the day was the best thing that I had done for myself all day. Simply telling myself to stop fighting it, and allowing myself to have a bad day, took the pressure off. It didn’t exactly make my day any better, but I no longer felt a need to change it. I said to myself, “One day. I’ll give you one day — the rest of today, to be pissed. But, tomorrow, we will not spend even one second on what is going on today, because it will no longer exist“. So that’s exactly what I did. I gave myself that day to be grumpy, angry, unbalanced, on edge, and quick tempered. I only promised myself that I wouldn’t hurt anyone — and I didn’t.

Letting go and giving myself permission to wild out had actually calmed me down. By the time that I had gone to bed, I was very relaxed. The next day, none of the prior day’s events existed anymore, and I made the most of the new day.

Life Happens

It’s okay to have a bad day. Shit happens! Life happens. And, if no one has died, everything is fixable. It’s inhuman to not respond, react, or live on autopilot, as though nothing can ever bother you. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. We have to release. As described in the example of my bad day, forcing yourself to remain positive can be very strenuous, and cause more frustration. Being positive should not add pressure to our lives.

As we practice peace and Zen, it becomes more and more natural; and before long, it’s second nature to us — and even then, there’ll be times when we’ll have to throw our hands up, and start over, tomorrow.

Your Life Is Real, Not A Meme

There are so many memes out there telling us that we need to keep a positive mindset and everything will be okay. That’s bullshit. It takes hard work to make everything okay, and in the process, things have a tendency to go horrendously awry. However, if you are honest with yourself, and you accept that things don’t always go smoothly, you’ll allow yourself to have a bad day (when you can’t change it). Accepting that you’re having a bad day does not make you a bad person. When it happens, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this situation?” There is always a lesson to be learned, regardless to whether your experience is positive or negative. Make the day count. Let it make you into a better, and more informed person.

Trust the Universe, and trust that it’s only trying to point you in the direction of your destiny. Know that it will use any tactic that is necessary to get your attention. The Universe knows that you are human, and will do human things. It’s not going to beat you up for that, as long as you are doing the right things, so you shouldn’t either. Always remain true to yourself.

“There’s nothing wrong with having a bad day. Let yourself feel the emotions because every emotion is validated.”

~Iskra Lawrence

What Do You Want People To Say About You

You Have Control Over The Way You Are Received

I’ve heard the questions asked: “If you died today, what would you want said in your eulogy?” Or, “What would you like for your obituary to say about you?”. While I don’t disagree with those exercises, I think a more important question is: If you are in a room full of strangers, right now, what would you want them to say about you, after you leave their presence? What kind of impression would you like to leave on a room full of strangers, that you most likely, will never see again? Contrary to popular belief, you have more control over this than you’ve been lead to believe.

The Reception of Others

“You can’t help how others feel about you” and, “You’re not responsible for what others think of you“, is not exactly true. Except for in the cases of emotional indifference, such as jealousy (which is more rare than you probably believe it to be — but it certainly happens), and, of course that there are people who are just unhappy, you have total control over what others think of you. People will still have respect for you and your opinions, even if they disagree with you. It’s the delivery that has an effect on others.

What Kind of Energy Do You Give Off?

People usually respond to happiness with more happiness. Even if they’ve had a horrible day, typically, smiles are reciprocated. Conversely, anger is usually responded to with more anger, and so on with all emotions. I’ve been on each end of the spectrum.

By nature, I’m a smiler, I always have been. Even when I’m dying inside, if I have to go out into the world, I smile and speak to everyone that I face. I’ve always been very approachable (a gift and a curse). There’s a good side and a bad side to that. The good side is that it is confirmation that my aura is strong, positive, and powerful, so even on my worst days, I’m giving off positive energy to those around me. The bad side is that being an approachable smiler, makes people believe that they can strike up conversations with me, and sometimes, I don’t feel like talking. Although, I don’t have to deal with the bad side very often, it has, at times, resulted in what many people would call rudeness. But I think frankness is a better term. Sure, I could be more polite in those situations, but to be honest, lots of times, I’m not. After all, if I don’t want to talk, I shouldn’t have to, right? Yes, that is correct. Still, unless the person who approached me was rude, vulgar, or explicit, it was I who changed the climate of that energy– therefore, leaving a bad impression. I’m not suggesting that anyone should endure intrusive people and allow themselves to become trapped in a conversation that they’d rather not be in. I am, however, suggesting that there are other ways of exiting these situations with kindness and patience — without ruining the energy, or tarnishing your aura.

Sometimes, it’s very difficult to balance, because when I walk into a place, and people seem happy to see me, it makes me feel good, as I am also happy to see them. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that I want to, (or have time to) chat.

Anger And Indifference Responds With Anger And Indifference

If you walk around with a scowl on your face, not making eye contact with others, and not smiling back at people, the responses that you will get will mirror your behavior. Just as in the happiness example, you have control over the energy that you emit. Contented and peaceful people will not allow a bad aura to interrupt their vibe, so it’s not likely that you will attract pleasant people into your life.

Not Everyone Is Outgoing

You don’t have to be the textbook definition of outgoing to emit good vibes and leave good impressions. Being reclusive, does not affect the spirit of your being. Let your spirit guide you, and know that you are a good person, and the good person that you are, will precede you. Good souls can easily identify other good souls. As we know, like attracts like.

We don’t have to do anything excessive to leave a good impression on those who are exposed to us. First, we must know and trust who we are, and be ourselves. Knowing yourself — sensitivities, vulnerabilities, and what makes you happy, sad, or mad — makes it near impossible to be desensitized to the feelings of others. If you are happy with yourself, regardless of what life is doing or what is going on around you, you’ll exude that spirit into the Universe, and it will be returned to you. It feels good to make others feel good.

Sunflowers, And Smiles, And Stuff

Sometimes, I wear large sunflowers in my hair, because I love sunflowers — they make me happy. Also, I do it to pay tribute to one of my favorite people, Billie Holiday (I know that she wore Gardenias, but you know I have to do it my own way). What I’ve noticed is that, when I wear the sunflowers, not only am I happy, but so are the people that I chance upon publicly — which makes me feel doubly blissful. I guess people love sunflowers, big hair, wide eyes, and a smile. Who knew? 🤷🏽‍♀️

What Do You Want People To Say About You?

You, and only you, have control over the energy that you leave behind. Don’t allow your situations or your circumstances to precede you. Remember that you are you, and only you can define you — not your situations. Regardless of what you are going through, you are required to give your best, and be the best person that you can be. In doing that, you might learn that whatever you’re going through is not so bad, or, you might find a solution. Besides, you never know, your smile or kind words could be the best thing that happens to someone on that day. Plenty of times, my day was made by a kind word from someone. I always let those people know that they’ve made my day. Whenever I say that to someone, I really mean it.

People will remember the energy that you radiate, sometimes even more than they remember words, actions, or faces. If you leave them with good memories, they’ll have good things to say about you.

Whatever makes an impression on the heart, seems lovely in the eye.”

~Saadi

Breaking Free

Blog #50! I Did It!

Blog number 50! I’m so proud. yet so humbled. I’m proud of myself, because I’ve stuck with it, and I’ve enjoyed the whole ride. Even with a crazy work schedule and life happening here and there (as life tends to do), I’ve hung in there and kept a schedule of, at first, two articles per week, and eventually three blogs per week, plus one vlog per week. Not too bad for a habitual quitter! (LOL!)

I am humbled, because of all of you who read my blogs, give input, and positive encouragement. It thrills, as well as drives me, to know that as I share my life, experiences, ideas, and logic with my readers, I am also helping others to deal with the craziness of their lives.  It feels great to know that my trials, demons, and mistakes have not been for nothing.  Thank you for allowing me to share parts of me, with you.

And a VERY special shout out to the world’s best editor, Dav Peters.  Sometimes, I miss an edit here and there.  If you should ever notice it, it’s me — not Dav! LOL!

It has also been cathartic for me.  As I said in “About MEEEE“, while writing Afrologik, I am growing with you, and we will get through “this thing called life” together.  I am inspired by you all and I hope that I have been as inspiring to you.

We All Go Home At Some Point

It’s kind of funny how, regardless of where the journey of life takes us, and no matter how far off course we may stroll, we always come back to our true selves. It may take longer for some than others, but eventually, we all come home.

Our mental and spiritual “home” is not necessarily who we were groomed to be. We all spend a great deal of our lives asphyxiated with the idea of doing things the way they’re “supposed” to be done, or acting the way that we are “supposed” to act. Responding to the concept of “fake until you make it“, it’s very easy to lose ourselves and conform to the norm.  We fake ourselves out, and lose the true spirit of who we are — usually to appease the masses. In the process, we even give ourselves the pseudo-importance of judging others for not being afraid to be the way they are — without regard to the masses — and without concern for the judgments of others. They are the true superheroes.  Their superpowers are strength and tenacity.  Those who judge, only do so because they are so afraid or ashamed of their lack of nerve, that they can’t understand those who possess the temerity to be, not who they were trained to be, but who they want to be.  It’s much easier to shield your natural self when you fear that you will not be accepted, than it is to express yourself.

The “Mean Ole Lion” Theory

I’m reminded of the movie, “The Wiz.  The “Mean Ole Lion” hid inside of a statue that sat on the steps of a library for a very long time, afraid to face the world, because he was different.  Unlike most lions, he was sensitive — scared even — instead of ferocious. Eventually, he had to break free from the statue, and when he did, he scared the hell out of Dorothy, The Scarecrow, and The Tinman.

A statue on the steps of a library is not unusual; we see statues everyday. However, it is unusual to see lion bust out of a statue — and even more unusual for that lion to burst into song and dance. But that was the kind of lion that Fleetwood Coupe de Ville (that’s the Lion’s real name) was. Even if he was frightened into becoming his true self, he did it!

So many of us humans spend our lives perched on the steps of a library, or any other building, hiding inside of a statue; because like the Lion, we are afraid that, if we show the world who we really are, it will scare the hell out of them.  The Lion being sensitive and not ferocious does not make him any less of a lion — just as you breaking free from your statue and embracing the person that you are makes you no less of a person who deserves love and respect.

Normal People Suck

Normal people pretty much suck.  Think about it; they are content to live in a statue, rather than enjoy life as the people that they are inside.  Normal people are lead by “supposed to be” and “supposed to do“, instead of their minds and souls.   I’ve been there, and it was very uncomfortable.  I can’t imagine how people can spent their entire lives that way; it would bore me to tears.  In fact, it did.

I’ve always been kind of quirky.  I come from a small, close minded town (I love my hometown, but it’s small and close minded), and quirkiness is not exactly accepted there.  While living there, I played the game for years (I played it my own way, but still, I played the game).  Around 2003, while working at a health food store, I met a real life hippy, named Mike.  Even though he and I bumped heads often, I learned a lot from him.  It was Mike who introduced me to holistic remedies and crystals.  I didn’t want to believe in the power of crystals, because it kind of went against everything that I had been taught, but I was very interested in holistic remedies and health food.

Mike, also had a machine that could zap parasites and other impurities in the human body. I’ll be honest, I thought Mike was a little crazy, but that was only because I was conditioned to believe that when you’re sick, you see a doctor, and when your heart is heavy, you pray. What Mike was showing me contradicted those ideas. Mentally, I was interested in everything that he had to say, but I couldn’t let him know that.

Don’t Be Ashamed of Finding Yourself

One day, Mike had a giant clear quartz crystal, and he called me over to the counter and asked me to touch it.  I held my hand near it, and I could feel it vibrating, so I drew my hand back.  Refusing to touch it after that, I looked at Mike and said, “nah man.  I ain’t touching that”, he laughed.  Later that day, when Mike wasn’t around, I went back to the counter and placed both of my hands on the crystal, and again, I felt it vibrating. I picked it up and examined it more closely as it continued to vibrate.  I looked it over, looking for a battery, a cord — something! It was no way that the crystal was not powered by electricity, I thought — but it wasn’t. It was just a powerful crystal. I never told anyone about that experience, because I knew that no one would understand it. However, that experience aroused my interest in the power of crystals, even to this day.

Over the years, I’ve met human beings (very few) whose spirit quality was as high as that of the quartz crystal that I touched on that day. I could feel their vibration, simply by standing near them — even more so if I touched them. Had I not allowed myself the right to be curious, and unashamed about trying new things — even if they went against what I had been taught to believe — I never would have allowed my mind to expand, and educate myself on things that most would dare to investigate — much less believe.  In part, those experiences brought me into myself, and out of my statue.

Energy And Spirit

The mind is very sophisticated.  If you feed it junk, it’ll learn to live on junk, and you’ll find yourself stuck in position, afraid to come into yourself.  And, ostracizing those who have. But, if you feed it life, it will continue to give life, and you will grow and try new things.  You’ll also learn to be happy with the person that you are.

Human beings are walking balls of energy and spirit.  As we travel through life, we cast that energy onto others. You are light, but when you stifle your growth, you are putting a lamp shade on that light.  Be a bald bulb. Be a flame.  Be the sun! Be a source of energy that gives life and promotes growth.  You cannot do any of these things from the inside of a statue.

You are amazing, and can go on to do amazing things, it you break free from  the chains that life, as well as yourself, have placed on you.  Expand your mind, and consider every possibility as beautiful; that’s the short cut to loving life, and loving yourself. Find people who will facilitate your growth.  I have three people in my life who inspire me to be happy with myself, and when I feel weak, I lean on them.  A strong support system is everything!

As “odd” as I know I may seem to be, it feels damned good to be me! I want everyone to feel that way about themselves.  Learn from the “Mean Ole Lion” and break free! If he can do it, you can do it!

“I’m a free spirit. A spirit that evolves. I’m a diamond. I’m just refining it. Polishing it. Glossing it up.”   

~Simeon Rice

 

 

Tighten Up Your Regimens And Rituals

Weekend Tidbit

Take a couple minutes this weekend to tighten up on your rituals and regimens. If you don’t have any, create some.

Since we are all on the course of elevating our minds, evolving, allowing our minds and souls to lead us, trusting the process, and believing that the Universe has our backs — remember that without work, those are only words.

It takes work and time to create a connection with the Universe, and begin to manifest the life that you want, and deserve to have. As with any relationship, trust has to be established, and each person involved must take time to get to know each other. The connection that we build with the Universe, is just that — a relationship. The harder you work on it, the stronger it will become.

Become Disciplined

In the beginning stages of opening, and elevating my mind, I found it difficult to create new habits — particularly, meditating. It wasn’t easy for me to sit still for several minutes at a time, and concentrate on breathing. I mean, seriously, what could be more boring than that? Because meditation was not especially exciting for me, I had trouble being consistent. I’d often stop, but I’d always start again.

When I first started meditating, I’d do it for five minutes each morning. I’d stick with that regimen for several weeks. From there, I moved to 10 minutes, and then 15 minutes per day. I didn’t want to ever dread doing it, or, for it to become something else that I “had to do“. Eventually, I became comfortable with it. Now, I meditate each morning and each night for twenty minutes each. I don’t dread it, and no matter what I have to do, I always make the time to connect with the Universe, in that way.

During meditation, I’m able to slow down, visualize what I want, where I want to be, and the steps needed to bring these visualizations to fruition. It’s also during this time that I receive answers and clarity. Meditation is probably the most important part of my regimen. Other details of my regimen includes: soaking, journaling, and reading. I do each of these things everyday (except for soaking. I do that 3 or 4 times per week), but it took time, trial, and error to become disciplined enough to be consistent. Now that I’ve adopted these rituals, and have become acclimated to this way of life, I can’t imagine not following this regimen.

If You Don’t Have One, Make One

Here’s how I did it.

1. Ask yourself what you would like to achieve. What are you seeking? What kind of relationship do you want to have with your higher power? After you’ve answered those questions…

2. Make time to connect with your higher power, daily. As I said earlier, DO NOT RUSH THIS PROCESS! If you do, you’ll run out of gas, surely. Choose a time of day, and a place where you are comfortable, and free of interruptions.

3. Don’t cheat on yourself! You are building a universal connection and manifesting the changes that you want to see happen in your life — don’t half ass it! If you want it, act like you want it. Do the work, follow your regimen, and make the necessary changes. There is no other way to do it.

4. You don’t have to get into lotus position to meditate! In fact, you don’t have to sit at all. You could stand up, lay down, you can even walk or run. Choose a position or activity that makes you comfortable enough to concentrate. For the most part, that’s what meditation is — concentration.

5. Be true to yourself. Self honesty will determine your level of discipline. Time will tell if you are not ready. This is why I will again suggest taking baby steps into the process. If you try to take it all in one setting, it’ll become overwhelming and easy to quit. Take your time.

You make time for every other event in your life, and in some cases, your schedule is made for you — and you still follow it. Certainly, you can take a few minutes out of your day, here and there (if you cannot commit to a schedule for your connection exercises), to breathe, concentrate, connect, and feed your mind. It will only make you a better person.

“Give yourself the gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe.”

~Wayne Dyer

Deconditioning Yourself

Breaking The Rules of Tradition

From birth, us humans have been being trained. We’re trained to walk, talk, go potty, and around ages 3 or 4, we begin social training — things such as: manners, sharing, and etiquette. The next course of training is morality. This is basically where we are taught the difference between right and wrong, and then TOLD the difference between right and wrong.

Religion and politics play in the background, as each of the aforementioned trainings take place. If your family votes Democrat, then likely, so will you. If your family votes Republican, then you probably will too. Voting opposite the party that your family favors is not an option, because you’ve been trained that one is good and the other is bad.

It’s the same situation when it comes to religion. Whatever denomination you family follows, is likely the only denomination that you will ever consider, because you’ve been programmed to believe that the faith that your family follows is right, while all others are wrong. If you come from a family who attends church once, or several times a week, it’s most probable that you will too.

This conditioning has been going on for for generations, and will continue to go on for generations.

Back In The Day

When we were children, we had no choice — we had to follow our parents’ rules. It was their house, and they paid the bills, so we had to comply. If Mom and Dad said something was wrong — it was wrong. If they said go to and be active in church, we did — whether we enjoyed, and/or agreed with it or not. Not abiding by our parents’ rules was not an option, unless we really wanted to make things difficult for ourselves.

Our parents instilled morals and values in us — partially, to ensure that we’d be safe and successful. We’d know how to “act in public“, the difference between “right and wrong“, and religion as the core of morality — knowing that there’s a heaven and a hell (rewards and consequences). Our parents also understood that society also has rules, and not following them would result in much more dire consequences. So, following the rules of the house would make it a little easier to follow society’s rules, since all of your life, you’ve been conditioned to follow rules. All of that is understandable, on one hand. But on the other hand…

Who Am I?

Now, you’re all grown up and perhaps, have a family of your own. Staying true to your training, you’ve passed the same systems of morals and values, and rewards and consequences, onto your family — thus, perpetuating the cycle.

What about you? As an adult, why do you continue to follow the same system? Do you really believe in it? Or is it just all that you know? Maybe you’ve become comfortable with the way things are (and there’s nothing wrong with that, if you’re happy). Or, maybe you’ve inadvertently become a member of the Society of “Supposed To Be’s“.

Now that you’re an adult, what if you don’t agree that what you were taught as right, is actually right? Maybe you’d rather vote Republican, even though your family votes Democratic. What if you don’t care for religion and don’t like going to church? What if you’ve never liked church, and now, years later, you’re only attending out of habit? And, if that’s the case, what are you getting out of it?

Learn To Be Yourself

Many people are apprehensive about breaking free from familial chains, because they are afraid that their true selves will not be easily received. It’s easier to play it safe and be the person that you were conditioned to be. While doing that would be pleasing to your loved ones, it will leave you conflicted and unhappy. If you never believe anything that I write, please believe this:

You are the last person that you would ever want to have conflict with, because you’ll never let yourself off the hook. Experience taught me that.

Break Away, Now That It Seems So Clear

When you realize that you are not living your life (even stylistically), the way you want to live it, it’s your choice whether or not you change it. Take some time out and reevaluate yourself. Based on what you know, from your own experiences, what do you believe? What is your definition of right and wrong, true or false? Or, are you like me, and believe that it’s all relative? What are you? Are you gay, straight, Christian, spiritual, Bohemian, atheist, or just you? Only you have the right to make these decisions for yourself. It’s your life — you only get one shot to do it your way.

Holding Back The Years

How many things have you missed out on because you were afraid to go against what you’ve been taught? Think of all of the chances that you didn’t take, experiences you never had, events that you were not a part of. Eventually, you’ll regret not taking a blind leap, even if only once or twice. The most disgusting thing about about playing it safe (to me, anyway), is that it takes away the courage that is required for you to take a chance on yourself. It can stifle growth. You’ll never know what you can become until you free your mind and unchain your brain. Be bold enough to be you, in spite of anyone else. Besides, your family and friends will still love you; they’ll just think you’re strange. Eventually, you’ll learn how much of a compliment that is.

Don’t Take This The Wrong Way

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I don’t believe that the codes of morality and ethics are valuable to society — that isn’t the point that I want to make. I’m not against values and principles. I am against groupthink mentality, because it shames people from living. Groupthink is responsible for the creation of a Stepford society, where people have two choices: stay in line, or, be ostracized for not staying in line. Sadly, most people do not realize that they’ve been brainwashed.

Dare to be the person that you were designed to be, instead of the person that you were conditioned to be. Keep the lessons and the rules that you believe in, but you don’t have to be confined to what works for others. You are beautiful, smart, talented, and perfect in that no one else can ever be you! The world needs you in your purest form. The Universe has your back!

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively”

~Dalai Lama