The Journey of the Human Mind, Part 3: The Finale

Following The Lead of Mind And Soul

This is the final installation of my Journey of the Human Mind series. Throughout this series, it’s been my intent to examine mind travel, the use of words, and the use of our time. I hope that this series has inspired you all to pay attention to the things that enter our minds, and offer a different perspective of how to use and benefit from our cosmic resources — to achieve the peace of mind that is required to reach our goals, and live a more relaxed and rewarding life.

“It’s not at all fair that I feel as I do. Tell me something to make me feel better”

~Roy Ayers, “I Am Your Mind

Our minds and our souls are the most honest and powerful components of our spirit. They’re more honest and powerful than even our hearts and our brains. However, we never allow them to reach their full potential. Although our cosmic connection is tied only to our mind, soul, and spirit, we are constantly trying to train them — telling them what to do, how to feel, and what to think — even though as humans, we are not qualified to give such instructions.

The Journey of Mind And Soul

The mind and soul are on their own journey. The mission of the mind is to keep our vibrations and frequencies high by releasing serotonin into our brains which enables us to be cool, relaxed, well rested, and able to make reasonable decisions. The mind, on its own, is incapable of manufacturing negativity. When those thoughts occur, they are environmental, or self taught (usually as reactions to personal experiences). The human mind will always lead us in the direction of our purpose, as long as it is not being steered by us or other outside forces. Because we refuse to trust the power of our spirit, we are constantly trying to force it into the direction that we want it to go, based on our ideas, wants, and needs, until what once was a perfect mechanism of a perfect system, is no longer as functional as it was designed to be.

The soul houses our consciousness, morality, being, and in conjunction with the mind, our actions. It is our very essence. It’s the only part of us that will live forever.

As with the mind, we allow our souls to become congested with ideas, thoughts, and situations, that take us off of our intended courses — which is our true purpose. Outer influences can poison, as well as nourish, our souls, depending on whether we are allowing it to be steered, or if it is organically traveling in its own direction and reaching only those who are conducive to our evolution and well being. A soul left to its own devices, can only lead a body to its true purpose. It cannot be out-thought or, out-loved. Even if its true nature is suppressed for long periods of time, it’s true self is always revealed, eventually.

Let Your Spirit Be Your Guide

Masking emotions, hiding scars, and living a facade will not only prevent our true selves from reaching the souls of others, but it will also prevent accessory souls from reaching us. Since the soul is a component of our spirit, and our spirit is our connection to the Universe, it’s best not to disturb that connection. However, we do. And, then we wonder why things go wrong.

It’s not wise to selfishly try manipulate the mind and soul to work against their nature, to act in our favor. Together, the two must follow their own unique design to lead us to our divine destinations. When we act against the nature of our true beings, we become impatient, anxious, and depressed — which is counterproductive to our growth.

We spend a lot of time focusing on the worst case scenario, and unproductive thoughts, such as: memories of things that weaken our vibrations, deaths, loneliness, and other unhappy situations, instead of focusing on that which gives life –possibilities, each new day, the air, the sun, the Universe!

It’s fine to stroll down memory lane sometimes. Good memories can keep our vibrations high. However, it’s not okay to stay there. Remember, the past does not exist, and we can never go back to those times. Focusing on today, and making new memories, and meeting goals, gives life. When strolling down memory lane, STAY OUT OF THE GHETTO! The mind does not steer us there — we do!

Trust The Process

Humans are indeed obsessed with things going wrong. We can hardly enjoy the pleasant events of life without expecting the bottom to fall out. We think and speak these things into existence, and then agonize when they come to fruition. The weight and worry that we place on ourselves is unnecessary. The Universe is aware of our greatness and wants us to have the everything that we desire — love, prosperity, peace, knowledge, abundance, and happiness, but we have to stop getting in our own way. We must concentrate on that which will raise our vibrations, influence growth, feed our spirits, and provide a good source of energy.

We cannot do it by ourselves! This has been proven time and time again. We become emotional and we have a need to control things, which has a tendency to make things worse. Put your trust in your higher power, regardless of what you call him or her. Trust your spirit, mind, and soul to lead you to the path of your destiny, because you will never find on your own. And most of all, trust the process!

“In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.”

~Lawrence Sterne

Energy, Spirit, & Power: The Core of The Human Being

How To Use Your Power Effectively

Once again, we’ve made it to another weekend. Happy Friday!

As you enjoy your weekend, or, if you’re like me, and you’ll be working through the weekend, keep this in mind: we are all humans, and the core of our being, is energy and spirit. The human body, dies. However, our spirit and energy lives forever.

Not all spirits and energies are good, so it is imperative that we stay in tune with the Universe, as we are all susceptible to absorbing the energy of others. In the same respect, we also give energy and vibrations to everyone within our radius. We are all cosmically connected, so we influence each other. Through our spirits and our energy, we are also influenced by, as well as able to influence, the wind, the water, the Earth, and the sun. Because we are made up of the same elements as the sun, and the Earth’s crust (some say that humans are made of stardust), we are able to communicate with the planets, the stars, the moon, and the Universe, as a whole. We humans are more powerful than we could ever imagine.

What Kind of Influence Are You?

As individuals, we have to decide what type of influence we want to be. What kind of energy do you want to give? We leave remnants of our spirits everywhere we go, what kind of effect do you want yours to have on those who are exposed to it? Since you know that you’ll spend your life walking in and out of spirits and energies that have been left behind by others, how will you repel them if they are bad? Will you lash out and create more negative energy? Will you walk away without incident, or maintain a positive attitude that will perhaps, influence the current situation?

I’m learning to use my power to be a good influence on those who are exposed to me — and this hasn’t been easy. Usually, it’s nothing for me to go from, “Loving You” – Minnie Riperton, to “No Vaseline” – Ice Cube. All it would take was five minutes for me to cross an entire genre. But, by doing that, I was only satisfying my ego — I was not using my power correctly. We watch each other, learn from each other, and vibe off of each other — so we all have to be leaders, just as we are all followers.

I’ve said all of this to ask a favor of you all. If you will, please use this weekend to practice being genuine, look at everyone in the eyes, and feel what they are about (the eyes really are the windows to the soul). Smile, and keep your vibrations high — keep your frequency in check. Be the influence that you’d want to influence you.

Emergency On Planet Earth

Our planet is not in a good place right now. There’s an abundance of bad energy that has stirred up the spirits of the Universe, and we are all affected by this. We have the power to shift the energy and make the Gods happy, but this can only be done by us all working together to alleviate said spirits, by raising the vibrations. Individually, we are all in separate places, but as a spiritual collective, we are also everywhere at the same time. Let’s use our influence to be the light.

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”

~Wilma Rudolph

Time, Chance, & Circumstance

A Note To Self

When I moved from Michigan to Tennessee, people from back home, as well as people from other states, would ask me, “When are you going to come back for a visit?”. My answer was always, “When time, chance, and circumstance prevails, I’ll visit” — In other words, when all things line up and provide an opportunity, I might plan a visit. That was how I felt, usually. Nowadays, if I don’t want to visit, my answer is, “Probably never“. If asked about someplace that I am interested in visiting, I start planning right away.  That doesn’t mean that I’m going to hop on an airplane, or hit the highway that weekend, but probably soon.

If your plans are based on time, chance, and circumstance, working in harmony, you’ll never do anything, or go anywhere, as those three concepts rarely work together in unison. When you have one, you won’t have the other two; if you have two, you won’t have the other one. Before you know it, you’ve given up and decided to stay in your comfort zone.  Yes, it is very easy to become complacent with your situation, and it’s quite difficult to go against practicality and be a little radical (especially, if you are not used to it).

Let’s Break It Down

Time

Most people spend their time pretty redundantly, and in the same intervals: work, family, maybe some social activity, TV, rest — more of the same tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year.  This is the same repetitive schedule that you’ve followed for the last several years. We have at least a little bit of control over this time, yet, we claim to not have time for ourselves, to try new things, or even start a new life.

There are also instances when time is working in our favor, but we believe that it is inconveniencing us, so we become angry and say (C’mon, we’ve all said it), ” I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS SHIT!“.  That kind of statement is usually warranted by situations like this:

You’re driving down the highway, and there’s a pick up truck in front of you moving at about 35mph, when the speed limit is 70mph.  You can’t pass the truck, because there is a mother in a minivan full of kids on the side of you, and it’s not moving much faster.  You’re becoming more, and more pissed by the minute, as time is getting away from you, and it’s going to cause you to be late for work, or whatever event that you were trying to attend, that required you to be on the highway, at that time.  As you cuss and scream at people who cannot hear you (which by the way, is stupid), and beat the steering wheel in anger, you look ahead in time to see a large truck bump another car (possibly the same size as your car), knocking it off of the road.  You can see and smell smoke.

The lost time that angered you before, might have saved your life.  Had you been allowed to travel at the speed that you preferred, it could have easily been you to wind up in the ditch. Losing time, actually gave you more time (on Earth), as it saved you from serious, life threatening injury, and possibly, death. 

At that point, you’re grateful, and you realize that time really was on your side, as your life and/or livelihood was spared. However, it’s unlikely that your gratitude will last for long. It’s more likely that you will immediately slip back into the same old routine: work, family, maybe some social activity, rest.

Chance

When things happen by design, we don’t have much (if any) control, because the situation is designed by the Gods.   However, chance, doesn’t have to be a deterrent, as there are other designs to follow.

Let’s face it, SHIT HAPPENS! People get sick, people die, cars break down — by chance. And of course, things will likely go wrong when you have plans (chance becomes happenstance). While any one of the above listed events can stymie you from taking advantage of an opportunity, it doesn’t have to stop you from devising a new plan. But, it’s more likely that you’ll lose momentum. When you had the chance, shit happened, so just forget it now.  What’s on TV?

Circumstance

Chance and circumstance usually go hand and hand, and most times, they’re one and the same. But, there is one circumstance that is probably most common, and we’ve all said it before, (all together now: 1,2,3…) I AIN’T GOT THE MONEY!

Yes, financial circumstances can quickly kill dreams and plans.  Just as James Brown is Soul Brother #1, “I ain’t got the money” is circumstance #1.  If you really think about it, money doesn’t have to have that kind of power.  I honestly believe that not having enough money, is mostly an easy excuse to use when talking ourselves out of things.  It’s really not a good excuse, because money is always there.  If your electricity is about to be cut off, you’ll find money to prevent that, so you can also find money to do something for yourself. Of course, I don’t mean that you should purposely neglect the necessities — home, utilities, food (if you’re into food), etc. However, I’m sure that there are some extras that you could cut back on in favor of giving yourself a real treat.

Don’t Overestimate Your Spending

You don’t have to have a new wardrobe to take a trip. If you don’t get out much, chances are, the clothes that you have are damn near new. If not, do as I do — raid your daughters closet, or your friend’s. Take advantage of whatever options are available for you, but DO NOT allow circumstance #1  to stop you from having new experiences and enjoying your life.

Make Changes, Not Excuses

I have used time, chance, and circumstance, as my de facto excuses for not going places and doing things. In the process, I am sure that I’ve let others down. I even used those excuses as reasons why I could NOT start Afrologik.

I had also accepted the idea of staying in a town that I don’t enjoy living in, because settling is so much easier than taking a chance.  Besides, under the circumstances, I’m broke. I could fall on my face, and ain’t nobody got time for that.  That was my mindset, and I’m a rebel, so it’s my nature to rebel.

Finally, one day I decided, “I don’t like living here, and settling is not acceptable. I will take a chance on myself.  I can change my circumstances, and I have a lot of time left on this planet; I’m going to spend the rest of it, my way!

There’s never going to be a perfect time; Circumstances happen, and change. But, you can certainly miss your chance — act quickly.

The subtitle of this article is, “A Note To Self“, because I have to remind myself of these lessons several times a day — everyday. I’m about to make a huge life change (details will be shared at a later time).  Even though I am taking special care in preparation for this new journey, and I know that the Universe thinks highly of me, and has my back; it still scares me sometimes. I know that this is what I have to do, as well as what I really want to do, so I’m making the time to change my circumstance, and take this chance.

I know that it’s going to be an amazing experience, but regardless of what happens, I’ll be proud of myself for taking the risk.

If this 5’3, 125 lb, big haired woman, who was blown into a puddle of mud by the wind (seriously, the wind blew me into a puddle of mud, about an hour ago.  See the picture below) can do it, any one of you can do it! Get out of your comfort zone; you don’t have to play it safe all of the time. Take a chance on life, take a chance on you — hell, take a chance on failure! Failure breeds lessons, and lessons (when learned and accurately applied) breed success.

Whenever I feel stuck, or afraid to continue, on the journey that I’m on — I play this song at full volume and it gets me back on task (that song and my vision boards). Find your inspiration and get off your ass — start living, and stop making excuses!

“Shit! God Damn! Get off your ass and jam!”

~Funkadelic

 

 

 

Celebrating Dr. King Day, Dr. King’s Way

Give Love For MLK Day!

It is very well known that Dr. King was a civil rights leader. However, when I listen to humans talk about and express discriminatory views toward certain groups of people, lifestyles, and classes — yet claim to understand and appreciate the struggles and sacrifices of the civil rights movement, it makes me wonder if they understand what the word “civil” means when relating to the civil rights movement.

Civil: Relating to ordinary citizens and their concerns, as district from military or ecclesiastical matters.

By that definition, “civil” means, everyone; thus, civil rights would mean justice for all people.

Of course, equal rights for Black people was at the forefront of the movement, due to the condition of Black communities — especially, but not exclusively, in the southern states. The plight of the Black populace was so horrendous that it definitely required immediate attention. So, yes, equal rights for Black people was the primary concern of the movement, but it was not the only concern.

The fight for civil rights included (but was not limited to): equal rights for women, poor people, alternative lifestyles — any people who were subjected to discrimination.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice, everywhere”

Any time we discriminate against each other, or unfairly stereotype each other, we are dishonoring an entire movement — people who sacrificed their livelihoods as well as their lives in an effort to make the world a better place for all people.

Nonviolence

In my lifetime, I’ve heard people criticize and say some pretty awful things about Dr. King, because of his use of nonviolence as a tactic. If this is what I’ve heard in my lifetime, I can only imagine the criticisms expressed as these events were happening in real time.

Hundreds of times, I’ve heard people say, after watching footage of dogs, and fire truck hoses being used on protesters in the 1960’s, that it couldn’t have been them — that they would have fought back. If I am to be honest with myself, I, too, would have to say that I would have certainly fought back. I’m not strong enough to be nonviolent, and neither are many of those who claim to have the stamina to to remain nonviolent while being spat on, called terrible names, kicked, pushed, beaten, and much more. Those of us who admit that we are not strong enough to withstand that type of abuse, even if it is for the betterment of the world, are more honest than those who say that they wouldn’t. It’s natural to strike back when struck or attacked in any way. It’s unnatural to stand still and allow yourself to be abused.

Going against nature and allowing themselves to accept abuse, because the greater good was more important, was very difficult. Unlearning human nature and learning to accept abuse and humiliation required practice. Classes were held in churches that taught protesters how to be nonviolent — how to take a punch, remain calm when they were being cursed at and spat on, and how to go limp and become dead weight when police would unfairly cuff them and drag them off to jail. Most of us could not handle that. I know that I couldn’t.

Nonviolence is the most courageous, revolutionary, and effective tactic that could have been used at the time. Most of us would allow ego and vanity to take over, because we are too weak to allow anyone to see or hear about us getting our asses kicked.

Dr. King knew that the news, being broadcast all over the world, was beneficial to the movement. If the world were to see how the United States treated its people, what would they think? Dr. King and the entire movement used the ego and vanity of a nation against itself (which is probably why LBJ became anxious to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But, that’s only my opinion). Those who would protest and march for the cause did so, fully aware that they would be beaten, humiliated, and that some would lose their lives, but that was not a deterrent, because they believed in the cause and was committed to making the world a better place. Conversely, we have people today who speak against marching, yet, none of those people are doing a thing to improve our situations. They’re weak. It takes far more courage and strength to take action, or be nonviolent, than it does to criticize and do nothing.

Although the efforts of the movement have increased our quality of life, we still have a long way to go. So, for MLK, 2019, don’t sleep in! Don’t have a lazy day! Celebrate our beloved martyr by taking action and becoming a part of the community. Take someone to register to vote (you don’t have to wait until election time to do so), help someone who can’t do for themselves, spend time with someone who is shut in or locked up, talk to young people about the movement, so maybe they won’t take their rights for granted. No effort is too small, if it comes from the heart.

If we can learn to love each other, we can live together without the use of racial or homophobic slurs and classist statements. There’d be no more need for some to be inferior so others can be superior. There’d be no division — just a a beautiful world full of beautiful people, beneath an awesome Universe. We are all afforded the right, at birth, to simply “be“. Love was Dr. King’s theme. Let’s pass it on.

“I’d like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say, on that day, that Dr. King tried to love somebody”

~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. April 3, 1968.

40 Most Interesting Album Covers

Interesting Album Art

HAPPY WEEKEND, my dear Afrologik readers and/or followers!

On Friday’s, I like to keep my articles light and short (even though last Friday’s was a bit deep. Kinda). So, today, I’m going to revisit my first love — music!

Usually, when I write about music, it’s a listicle of my favorite artists and/or songs, and any one of several reasons why I choose to listen to them. But really, how many times can I write about and share pictures of artists and bands, along with brief descriptions of why I enjoy them? It gets boring to write, so I’m sure that it becomes boring to read (not too boring… Afrologik keeps everything interesting!).

For this light and short Friday article, I am going to cover a different side of music. One that is not often discussed: ALBUM COVERS!

At first, I was going to list the 10 most interesting and/or iconic album covers — but somehow, 10 turned into 40 (no idea how that happened). Obviously, I’m not going to write about 40 album covers, so I broke them down into genres.

These ARE NOT the only album covers that I find interesting. In fact, many did not make the cut. It was very difficult to narrow my list down to 10 (which is why there are 40)

*Keep in mind that this list is only based on the album cover art — not the album’s content.

So, here goes…

Afrologik’s 40 Most Interesting Album Covers

Hip Hop

(Left to right)

The Roots – Things Fall Apart
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
NWA – Straight Outta Compton
Public Enemy- It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back
A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
Common – Like Water For Chocolate
Eric B. & Rakim – Paid In Full
Ice Cube – Amerikkka’s Most Wanted
Digable Planets – Blowout Comb

R&B/Soul

(Left to right)

Prince – Around The World In A Day
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
D’Angelo – Voodoo
Donny Hathaway – Everything Is Everything
Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
Minnie Riperton – Perfect Angel
Erykah Badu – But You Caint Use My Phone
Michael Jackson – Off The Wall
Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul

Funk

(Left to right)

Funkadelic – Maggot Brain
James Brown – In The Jungle Groove
Baby Huey – The Baby Huey Story
James Brown – Revolution of the Mind
Funkadelic – Lets Take It To The Stage
Ohio Players – Pleasure
Parliament – The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein
Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love
The Brides of Funkenstein – Funk Or Walk

Jazz

(Left to right)

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters
The Crusaders – Street Life

Rock

(Left to right)

The Beatles – Abbey Road
Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
The Doors – Platinum Collection
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?
Nirvana – Nevermind
Lenny Kravitz – Are You Gonna Go My Way
Guns N Roses – Appetite For Destruction
INXS – Kick

What are some of your favorite album covers?

“Thank God for artistry and creativity as an outlet”

~Ceelo Green

Taking Your Confidence Back

Forgetting About What “They” said

How many of you have had a dream of something that you’ve always wanted to do, or become, but the words and perceptions of others deterred you? Perhaps, you’ve always wanted to become an actor, but felt that you didn’t look as good as Denzel Washington or Halle Berry, so you believed that no one would want to see you. Or, maybe you’ve always wanted to be an athlete, but didn’t believe that you’d ever be good enough to play professional sports. Here’s one that I know many of you can relate to: how many of you never went for that person of whom you just knew that you could spend the rest of your life with, because you didn’t think you were good enough for them?

Missed Opportunities

Missed opportunities are nearly impossible to get over. They hang around and haunt us forever, encouraging thoughts of what could have been. We beat ourselves up for years for not taking that life-changing leap — just taking a chance on ourselves. Eventually, we adjust and learn (or pretend) to be content in the safe lifestyles that we have chosen.

Ask yourself, “what or who was it that planted the seed of self doubt inside of you?” Most likely, it wasn’t you. By nature, humans do not elect to put ourselves down. Feelings of inadequacy are always the result of other people, and or forces, whether advertently, or inadvertently. They tell us (in a variety of ways) that we are not good enough. The best defense to that is to hone our crafts and go on to become great, but that doesn’t happen often enough. Most of us learn to accept that we are not pretty enough, tall enough, thin enough, strong enough, or smart enough, and settle into a conventional life where we are not often reminded of our inadequacies. Safe; it is. Happy, it’s usually not.

Growing Pains

We’ve all had dreams when we were younger of what we wanted to be when we “grow up“. Adults seem to love to ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. Since we were brave enough to dream, back then, most of us gave elaborate, festive answers to that question. We’d say that we wanted to be everything from doctors, to astronauts, to cowboys — because we believed that we could become those things. Then, somewhere along the way, someone, or some people, began to criticize us and point out (or make up) reasons why our dreams were stupid and unachievable. Usually, this begins in school, and as time progressed in our scholastic careers, the criticism would increase, until we’d begin to believe that our ideas were unrealistic and that we simply were not good enough.

The Cool Kids Clique

Every school has the “Cool Kids Clique“. The group of popular kids who pretty much decided who and what was cool, and what was not. Although this clique was always a minority in numbers compared to the rest of the schools population, those who were not selected to be a part of the “in crowd“, would find themselves measuring their own worth by comparing themselves to the popular kids. In most cases, this is the beginning of self esteem issues that, in many instances, last a lifetime.

Inferiority Complex

When you have your peers, family and the media causing you to feel inferior, you’ll begin to believe that you are not “good enough“. You’ll stop challenging yourself, and eventually, you’ll settle for “good enough“. Not being a part of the “Cool Clique“, or not having the latest fashions, or not looking like the people on TV, are constant reminders of all of things that you feel that you are not. This will cause you to lose the confidence that you had when you were a child, and believed that you could be an astronaut, a cowboy, or a princess. The cool kids were right; it was unrealistic — for you.

Good Enough — Not Good Enough

Settling definitely has a snowball effect — especially if you are settling because you do not believe that you can do a thing or that you deserve better. You’ll settle for a good enough job, a good enough car, a good enough home, and a good enough spouse. Things might look good to outsiders (there are more people living a good enough life, than there are those who are living an extraordinary life), but inside, you’re unhappy. When you look in the mirror, you’ll see the reflection of a person who could be, and should be, more. Not necessarily making more money or acquiring more material things, but being happier, more fulfilled, and simply liking yourself. You’ll also see a person who allowed others to measure their worth, compared to what they found ideal, and worst, you believed them.

Beware: The Spirit Assassinators

Usually, when a person tries to destroy another persons spirit, it’s because they are afraid. They see something in you that makes them feel inferior. They believe that you are capable of achieving great things, and they’d rather destroy you than see you reach your full potential. They don’t have the nerve to step out of their clique and delve into the things that they are really interested in, because that if they try new and/or different things, they may no longer be “cool“.

I’ve always felt bad for the cool kids, because they never had what us outcasts had: the courage to be ourselves, and allow others to be themselves, regardless of who their true “self” was . We didn’t have to be pretentious; we created our own version of “cool” that worked for us, and because of that, we never lost our confidence. Some never caught on to that and have spent their adult lives trying to catch up to the status that they never achieved with people who stunted their growth. Vying for “likes” on social media, and still trying to hang out with the very people who grossly rejected them in high school.

It’s Never Too Late

It’s never too late to challenge yourself. Be daring! Accept the fact that although you may not have been the textbook definition of “cool”, you’re a better version because you’ve defined yourself. You are the judge and jury that decides who you are. When you relinquish your power to those who have elected themselves as the gatekeepers, you are doing yourself a great disservice.

Go back and take back your confidence! Become the cowboy, astronaut, or princess; it’s possible if you believe that you can. I’ll share a secret with you (SHHHHH! Don’t tell anyone), when I was a kid, more than anything, I wanted to be “Mork“. Do you remember that TV show, “Mork & Mindy”? Robin Williams played an alien named Mork, who used to say “Nanu Nanu“, and sit upside down. He was from the planet Ork. Mork didn’t have a spaceship, like most aliens. He flew through space in a giant egg. I loved Mork, and I wanted to be him.

As I grew older, in my own way, I became Mork (a female version, of course). I’m not an alien from planet Ork, but I am kind of an alien on planet Earth, as I am told that I am weird, compared to what is considered usual. I’ve never been in outer space, but I often study the stars and planets, and how they effect us humans. I don’t have a spaceship, or a giant egg, or a demented prophet named Exidor, and a superior called Orson, but I’m lifted by the Universe and God (superior), and elevated by several personal prophets (some are demented, some are not. But they’re still my prophets. Lol!).

At the end of each show, Mork would concentrate and connect with Orson — much like how at the end of my day, I meditate and connect with the Universe.

So, all of my life, I’ve been working towards being Mork, without realizing that I was. When I realized that perhaps I am kind of an alien compared to the norm, and people tried to make derogatory remarks and innuendo, I didn’t care. If I could become my own version of Mork, then you can become a cowboy.

A strong spirit transcends rules”

~Prince

The Journey of the Human Mind: Part 2

Living Life In The Now

“All of your dreams can become reality. My dial reaches full, but you’ve only turned me up halfway. Turn me up, and alpha and theta waves will spew from your pores. Knowledge, peace, happiness, and prosperity, will be placed at your feet. Let’s create. Solve. Love. Accomplish. And unify.”

~Roy Ayers, “I Am Your Mind Pt 2

Life In The Now

I know that we’re all busy working, raising families, perhaps, trying to start businesses, dreaming, and trying to accomplish goals, and sometimes, we’re busy doing nothing. At the core of the hustle and bustle of taking care of business, and trying to make a living, is the human tendency to spend most of our time looking too far ahead. By overthinking, we easily take for granted what we have right now. And, right now, is forever.

It May Be Hard To Believe But…

The truth is that we will never achieve the things that we want out of life — knowledge, peace, happiness, love, and prosperity– if we spend all of our energy on tomorrow — what could be, what we fear, and being overly prepared.

It’s Not Our Fault, Entirely

All of our lives, we’ve been being trained, by our parents, teachers, church, and even society itself, that the way to ensure a successful tomorrow, is by preparing for it today. Although that is logical and true, it’s that conditioning that can interfere with us enjoying and making good use of today.

The fear of failure, not having enough, not being enough, and not fitting into a societal mold that dictates what success is “supposed” to look like, detracts us from learning and being our true selves. Because we deny ourselves of ourselves, we never really turn our minds all the way up. Instead, we keep ourselves at a volume that the multitudes can tolerate. So, we live our lives conforming to what “they” say is the way that we are to live. In turn, we never fully realize who we really are.

Little You

When we were kids, we were our true selves. We were outspoken; we were cosmically intelligent and free. Because, we were not exclusively concerned with what other people expected of us. We knew what we wanted, and we were brave enough to imagine, as well as act out our imaginations. For most humans, childhood is the only time that we’ve ever lived out loud.

As we grew older, teachers, parents, and even life itself, began to dim the light that was inside of us, and we would begin to lose our innocence. It was time for those who groomed us to begin teaching us to be responsible adults. Although it is very important that we know how to take care of our responsibilities, our responsibilities are not always right now. There’s never any reason to over plan and insist on being overly prepared, if you are taking care of right now. Put money away, right now! Work, right now! By doing that, all of your tomorrows will take care of themselves.

Are You Seizing The Day, Or Are You Sweating Tomorrow?

All you can do, is all you can do — period. While sweating things that you can’t control or fix, today, you are wasting your right now. Worrying about what’s to come (which might never come), is counterproductive, and it takes you out of the moment. This very moment, is the only time and space that you truly have. As the saying goes, “Tomorrow is not promised”, neither is the next minute. We don’t know how much time we have on this planet, so don’t spend the majority of it worrying about the next moment — which may never come.

Emergency On Planet Earth

As corrupt as our planet can be, it’s still a beautiful planet, with a lot to offer — but only if we are living on it. Each minute that we spend agonizing over things that we have no control over, we are inviting death into our orbit. We merely exist; we don’t live.

Be at one with the Universe, the Creator, the Gods, Allah — whomever or whatever you choose to call your higher power, and trust the process as well as nature. For, just as the nature trusts the process, takes care of itself, and live only in the now…so can we.

Your Dreams Are Waiting To Be Realized By YOU!

Everything that we want — love, success, happiness — is completely achievable. In fact, our dreams already live inside of us — we just have not tuned into them, yet. However, none of us will figure any of it out, if our minds are congested with tomorrow — which doesn’t exist, or the past — which also, doesn’t exist. We must allow ourselves to breathe, relax, and get into the rhythm of our spirits — right now! And, in that meditation (even if it’s walking meditation) we will find the key that unlocks the door to life that we all desire, individually.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”

~Oprah Winfrey

Small Gestures Make Big Differences

Make Someone’s Day Today

While lying in bed last night, waiting for sleep to befall me, I remembered the first time that I had to spend five days in the hospital with childhood asthma. I was in the second grade.

Obviously, I was sick, but that fact was unbeknownst to me. When I was a kid, I never knew when I was sick — I felt fine. My mother always told me when I was sick. On this occasion, apparently, I was very ill, so my mother took me to the emergency room. While there, doctors and nurses gave me liquid medicine — yuck! (To this day, I’d rather be sick than take liquid medicine). They also ran a battery of tests, which included breathing treatments with a nebulizer. Eventually, it was decided that I needed to be admitted to the hospital until my condition improved.

Upon hearing that I wouldn’t be going home with my mother that night, I became inconsolable. I cried and cried, mostly because I was scared. Since being in the emergency room, I had been stuck with needles, given yucky medicine, and forced to breathe into a whacky contraption — and this was all while my mother was present. What would they do to me when she’s not around?

My father had to leave work to come and see about me. By this time, all I wanted to do was go home and be with my parents and my little sister. Besides, at that time, the only time that I didn’t sleep at home, was when I was with my grandparents.

My First Hospital Experience

A while later, nurse took me, by wheelchair, to the room that I would spend the next five days in. I was given a backless gown that was decorated with cartoon characters, and placed in an adjustable hospital bed. My parents had calmed me down, a little. Shortly after regaining some level calm, an evil nurse came into the room with a needle. As she stuck the needle into my hand, I screamed as though she was sawing me in half! She taped my hand up and tried to comfort me, to no avail. It was decided: I HATED THAT PLACE!

The next morning, before my mother arrived, a doctor came into my room and shoved a popsicle stick down my throat, and then made me breathe into the horrible contraption, that left a salty taste in my mouth. He turned out to be rather friendly and told me that I was doing well, and if I continued to do so, I could go home soon.

Over the next few days, I had many visitors, most of whom came bearing gifts. My classmates had made “Get Well Soon” cards for me, and soon, I was well enough to go home.

When I think back on that experience, I am certain that the smiles and love that I received from the multitude of people who visited me, as well as the cards that my classmates made, were instrumental to my recovery.

Smile On, Pass It On

As a Customer Service Agent, I get plenty of chances to give back to the Universe the love and kindness that I was given while in the hospital. For example:

Hip Hop Changed The Day

A customer called, in need of a rental car, because his had broken down (I think he said that it was his transmission). Although he was very upset, he struggled to stay cordial with me. I understand how it is when car trouble strikes. I’ve been there several times. When I asked the customer what kind of vehicle he preferred, he responded, “I don’t care. Gimme a goat wearing Jordans, as long as it will get me to work tomorrow“. I said to him, “Oh, you’re a Nike man. My goat would have to be wearing Shell Toes. I’m an Adidas woman and an old school Hip Hop Head. Wearing Adidas is how I pay homage to the culture“. This lead to almost 20 minutes of dialogue about Hip Hop. We talked about who are the greatest MC’s, the evolution of Hip Hop, and where it is (or isn’t) today.

My calls are only supposed to be four minutes long; but I didn’t care. During the course of the call, that customers demeanor had changed from irritable to relaxed. I could hear his smile through his voice. If only for a moment, he wasn’t thinking about his transmission or the unexpected expense of fixing his car or renting one. He felt better…if only for a little while.

Bye Bye Dirty South, Hello Hollywood!

On another day, I was helping a lady whose car had broken down, leaving her stranded at work. This woman was VERY unhappy. As I began gathering information from her, I noticed a mild Bostonian accent, albeit, she was making her reservation in North Carolina. “Oh, she must be a transplant “, I figured. By what should have been the middle point of the call, the Bostonian accent was becoming more and more Southern as her anger increased. Then, mid-sentence, she noticed that her Southern drawl had slipped into her Northern vernacular, and she said, “DAMN IT! Now that damned Southern dialect has come out! I’ve got to get out of the South!”. She didn’t know that she was preaching to the choir at that point.

On top of the frustration of having to repair one car and rent another, she had disappointed herself by allowing her environmental Southern accent to reveal itself.

You from Boston?” I asked. She responded “Yes“. I told her that I’m from Michigan, and that I also live in the South now. I shared with her that I have the same problem — sometimes I sound Southern, and when I do, I immediately check myself. We talked about how we don’t care for the conformist South, and are looking forward to leaving it in the rear view. She and I laughed about it and continued with the reservation.

Just before ending the call, I asked her where she plans on living after she escapes the “Dirty South“, she said “LA“. I said:

OH MY GOD!!! I’m moving to Los Angeles!

After laughing and talking about our “California Love“, I said to her, “We are going to run into each other in ‘LA-LA Land‘. We’ve never seen each other, and most likely, won’t even remember each other’s names, but our spirits will recognize each other. It’s destined“. She agreed, and we ended the call.

When that call began, the customer was fit to be tied. By the end of the call, she and I had found common ground — TWICE. Before the call ended, she was laughing and smiling. Even if only temporarily, she wasn’t thinking about the problems at hand.

Offer Smiles, Not Counsel

When someone is having a bad day, or has just gotten bad news, the last thing that they want is counsel! Most likely, you’re not going to say anything that they don’t already know or haven’t heard before. There is a time for counsel, and that time is never at the onset of a problem. Advising too soon only makes it worse, as it resembles being a “know it all“.

During my five day hospital stay, I saw that people loved and cared enough about me to take time out of their day to sit with me, and classmates cared enough to spend their art time (which is huge in second grade) making cards for me. Since this would not be my last time spending a week in the hospital for asthma (it happened again the next year), the next stay was much easier, because I knew what to expect, and I knew that people loved me enough be there (and because I knew that they’d bring gifts!).

My customers called with anger in their voices, as car trouble has the ability to ruin anyone’s day. When they learned that they were speaking to someone who, although detached to their situations, cared enough to take advantage of a chance to get their minds off of their troubles for a while, they felt temporary relief.

Smiles And Laughter Are Contagious

As we travel this planet, we are often offered the grand opportunity to brighten someone else’s day. The tiniest gestures — things that we probably don’t even know that we’re doing, can make someone else forget about their troubles for a while. A simple smile can remind a person that there are always possibilities. Small gestures of kindness can garner big results.

Give love as you are receptive of love!

We all have our up and down days, but it’s not hard to smile and say thank you.”

~Yvette Nicole Brown

Tough People: Not So Tough

Letting Your Guard Down And Taking Risks

I’m sure that we all have known at least one person in our lives whose heart could not be penetrated. Try as we may, we just couldn’t love them into accepting love. I’m not speaking of romantic love (well, not exclusively romantic love), but all kinds of love — friendships, coworkers, or family. Regardless of how hard we’ve tried, we couldn’t seem to cut past their tough exterior.

Trying to reach the center of these kinds of people can be exhausting, and giving up on them, eventually, is not the most difficult thing to do. It’s very difficult for those who are trying to show compassion only to have it returned with disregard or worse, insult.

I’m Not Only The Tough Guy President, I’m Also A Member

As with all Afrologik articles, I speak from experience. I’ve been guilty of being the person with the impenetrable heart, so I know a cold heart is the result of experiences. When life throws us human beings blows, there are a couple of ways of dealing with it:

1. Learn from it and try to make better decisions, moving forward. Or, accept that every day is not a sunny day, and not all people are pleasant.

Or

2. Promise yourself that it will never happen to you again. Then, build an invisible wall around yourself that prevents anyone or anything from getting close enough to cause you hurt, ever again.

Won’t Make A Fool Out of Me…

For years, I kept an invisible wall around myself. To this day, I will still flip the switch that will erect that wall. My reasons for doing that are most commonly: feeling abandoned, betrayed, and of course, hurt. Another reason is to avert anyone from getting too close to me. I’m afraid of my feelings being mocked or that they won’t be returned. “It’s better to bail than it is to stand there like a fool, waiting for both shoes to drop“, I’d reason to myself. So, I developed an “Eff it. I don’t care” mentality. At first, it was phony, but as time passed, it became very real. Before I had realized, I didn’t care about anything, and very few people. I’d respond to everything with sarcasm, and sometimes, blatant evil. I’ve really hurt the feelings of some people, and turned even more away. “Eff it. Eff them“, I’d say to myself, mentally.

It had gotten so bad that I began to dread human contact. I couldn’t stand for anyone to be in my space, “three feet!“, I’d say to anyone who has gotten too close to me.

*Okay, to be honest, I still have a problem with strangers being too close to me. For this reason, I’m uncomfortable in malls, concerts, or any place that draws a crowd. At stores, I prefer to use self check out.

I wasn’t always that way. Experiences with people, hurt, deception, and the like made me distrust all people. I actually thought this was cool. While everyone else was taking chances on other people, only to fall on their faces, I was fine. I was a statue inside of a velvet rope. I was there to be seen — perhaps admired — but never touched.

“Sadness is for suckers!”

~Papa Fuerte, “The Get Down”

As stoic as I had become, ironically, I couldn’t stop smiling. Even now, naturally, I’m a smiler. Even when I’m thinking “Eff you“, I’m smiling. My aura has always been big and red, yellow, and orange. As much as I tried to be unapproachable, it never happened. It wasn’t natural. Because of that one little thing, people were (are) drawn to me, and I couldn’t do a thing about it, even though I really did not want them there. I was the tough cat. I didn’t need anyone.

Realization

It took several months of pondering for me to realize that I’m not really a “Tough Cat” (as my grandfather used to call me), I was a fraidy cat! I had allowed life and its situations to harden me and scare me so badly that I was afraid to take chances. I thought that if I was to take a risk, I’d risk my sanity. Conversely, living inside of an invisible wall is certainly insane.

Be aware that the tougher a person portrays themselves to be, the more afraid they are. Those who are not afraid to take a chance on love, life, and change, are truly the “Tough Cats”. It takes guts to cry and risk looking foolish. Hurt, as unpleasant as it is, is a sign of life. You have to be alive to feel. Dead people don’t feel anything — not only the physically dead, but also the mentally dead.

Some people are afraid to learn new things, try new things, or understand other cultures, (I thank my lucky stars that this part never happened to me). They stay in their boxes with likeminded people who are not encouraging to their evolution. They’re afraid to challenge the things that they have been conditioned to think and do. It scares them that if they learn more, do more, and accept more, they will no longer fit into the presentation of themselves that they created.

Life is all about taking risks. Sometimes the risks have good results, sometimes they don’t 🤷🏽‍♀️. When they don’t, the lesson is; regroup, recoup, and move forward. The lesson is NEVER to “shut yourself off from the world“. The Universe needs each and every one of us to have open minds so we can receive the greatness that we are entitled to.

There was a reason why while I was in my wall, putting on a tough guy facade, I couldn’t stop smiling. That reason is that, that kind of behavior from me wasn’t cosmically sound. I had made a choice to go against nature and imprison my spirit, however, my spirit was too big — it could not fit inside of that wall. Upon disassembling that wall, people and opportunities started coming to me, and I was open to it all. I’ve been places, and I’ve allowed people into my life. There is much more to come.

“Life Is Good”

~Mitch, “Paid In Full”

I haven’t taken that wall down, completely, but I can now see over it. Maybe one day, I’ll no longer need it. Maybe I’ll always need it, now and then🤷🏽‍♀️. As for now, I can say with honesty, that it’s pretty cool to be free.

“It’s the lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”

~ Muhammad Ali

Keeping Your Cool When People Are Trying To Take It

How To Not Lose It!

Not so long ago, I had a hair-trigger temper, and would quickly become upset and curse people out. Regardless of how minor an offense was, they all seemed major to me. Caring nothing about whether I was right or wrong, what was most important to me was that my feelings were fully known. Usually, after thoroughly expressing my position by cursing a person out, I’d feel much better. Feeling that I had set that person straight for their heinous (or not so heinous) offense, I’d walk off into the sunset — my arms swinging behind me, like George Jefferson.

A bruised ego can be an ugly, and potentially dangerous thing. When we feel disrespected (a word that I feel is often misused), we instantly go into defense mode — even if it’s not necessary.

The Loudest Person In The Room, Is Also The Weakest Person In The Room

Some people choose to enter situations, or go around people with the intent of “stirring the poop pot“. They’re basically verbal riot provocateurs. They believe that reacting with hostility proves that they don’t “take crap” from anyone. Others, react that way because their egos are fragile, so they are always prepared to protect said ego, and avoid hearing or seeing something that makes them feel bad about themselves.

I’ve never entered a situation solely to cause confusion, but I know people who do just that. However, my problem was that my skin wasn’t thick enough to take the words and actions of other people who preferred to be offensive towards me. So, I’d distribute verbal retribution without assessing the situation at hand, the source of the offense, or if it was something that would have any effect on any part of my life, other than my ego.

Since I’ve always been a small person (5’3 and thin) I had been picked on and considered an easy target for jokes and bullying. With that being the case, I believed that if I allowed this kind of behavior towards me to continue, it would never stop. Being a bit strange, compared to my peers, didn’t help. Because I suffered from “Little Persons Syndrome” cursing people out became my defense mechanism.

What’s Your Ism?

Everyone suffers from some sort of syndrome or –ism — they are our weaknesses. When we feel cornered, we act as a cornered raccoon would; we claw and bite our attackers until they are no longer able to attack us. For some, claws are words. For others, claws can be physical violence. In either case, it’s avoidable. When someone makes us feel bad, making them feel worse is not the best solution (even though it might feel good for us). In fact, it’s not a solution at all. That act alone only brings us down to their level, and when that happens, we’ve given the opposition an easy win.

With Time Comes Maturity (😫😫😫)

As I’ve gotten a little older, I’m more selective in deciding which offenses are deserving of verbal wrath. Still, I am human, and there are times when I allow other people to get the best of me, even though I practice being peaceful, positive, and patient. I’ve always had a razor sharp wit (apparently, it’s hereditary), and that has caused me problems in the past, because I didn’t control it. I’d let emotions take over and I’d say anything. Since learning to control my wit, and use better words, I no longer feel the need to become loud and explicit. Wit can be distributed politely, so vulgar people are usually defenseless to it, as they only know how to respond angrily. I’m not necessarily suggesting that this is the best way to handle these instances, but it works for me.

The best solution is to ask yourself if whatever it is that’s been said or done is going to interrupt life as you know it (most of the time, it won’t). However, stooping to the level of someone who does not have enough self control to be tactful, could repeatedly play in your mind, preventing your progress. The way that you choose to respond is ultimately your choice. Ask yourself if it’s worth it — even better, if they’re worth it.

It’s natural to want to return hurt unto someone who has hurt you. People are going to upset us now and then, and we are going to upset people as well — that’s human nature, and humans are fallible. It boils down to self control, and that’s not an easy task. Even the most passive person has desires to lash out at those who have offended them. Those people are able to practice restraint, even though they may be scrutinized for it.

Protect Your Energy

Never allow anyone to disturb your energy and spirit, as that is the core of who you are. By acknowledging the lack of decorum of others without employing tact, you give life to the ugliness that they represent, and in turn, you’ll become a part of it.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should let people antagonize you. Always stand your ground. But, there are people who cannot understand peaceful disagreements without vulgarity, and they’ll try to force you into a position where you might have to speak to them in ways that they understand to get your point across to them. Even that can be done without mirroring their ignorance and contradicting your true self.

Anyone who disrupts your energy by making you mad enough to cuss and fight, should not be there. It is your decision as to whether or not you should keep those types of people around. If you decide to stay in the company of such people, then they are not bringing you down to their level — you were already there.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”

~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Change Starts With Change

I had to make a decision to not respond to insults with more insults. I was able to do this by asking myself two questions: “How do I feel about myself?” and “Is there anything that anyone can say or do that has the power to detract from the way that I feel about myself?”. The answers were: “I feel great about myself! In fact, I feel so great about myself that I refuse to lend my power to those who display dislike for themselves by attempting to engage me in their toxicity.”

If we carry ourselves with class and dignity, the Universe will send classy, dignified people into our orbit. Those are the people who will help us achieve greatness, as we will help them.

“Right now I’m trying to be in a place of calm. A place where I can chill out and then handle the chaos of life better. You don’t just get there overnight; you have to work at it. It’s a daily struggle.”

Jackee Harry