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

No Idea’s Original… But C’Mon Man!!!

Giving Your Audience Something To Think About

Building a blog is hard and sometimes disheartening work. I suppose this could be said of any goal that a person sets for themselves. It takes time, hard work, tough skin, strength, endurance, and perchance the hardest of them all– it takes patience, and lots of it! At times it challenges my conviction of how bad I really want Afrologik to become a successful blog. However thus far, I’ve remained fixated on the end result. Whenever I feel discouraged, I imagine myself on the beach in a bikini writing the next Afrologik blog, with the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop. That is going to happen, it’s written in stone–and that’s usually all the encouragement that I need.

I’ve also received good feedback from readers who have told me that my words have helped them with some of their life situations. That is the cardinal purpose of this blog; helping people feel better. So that kind of encouragement and the various “high fives” that I’ve gotten from friends are also the jolt that I need to keep moving forward.

Each day I give my eight hours to “the man” (my nine-to-five job), and then I give the next four to six hours to Afrologik, plus most of every weekend. There have been days when I have written for hours and then decided that “this is garbage” and start over. I never throw anything away because I’ve discovered that when it comes to art, todays trash could be tomorrow’s treasure.

I only write about things that I am personally knowledgeable of and things that I have experienced. My core intent is to make my readers feel confident that they can get through anything that they are going through. In doing that, I share techniques that have worked for me and encourage my readers to look at life from other perspectives– not allowing themselves to become too caught up in the way that things are “supposed to be“.

Nonetheless, not following the “supposed to be” approach to life, and then encouraging others to rage against the machine, so to speak , is not the best way to amass a huge following. In fact, the best way to become popular is to do or say (1) What has already been said 900 times (in the last hour alone) or (2) What ever everyone wants to hear (which is usually (1)). To me, this is counterproductive. If all of these cliches and platitudes are tried and true, why are so many people still looking for answers or just something that makes them feel better? I am not suggesting that Afrologik is the answer, but I hope that it offers an alternate way for people to find answers within themselves.

Cliches & Platitudes — Fortune Cookies Are Deeper

You can’t please everyone

Who can you please?

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

Sometimes what doesn’t kill you makes you sick.

“Don’t be sad that it happened, be glad that it’s over”

Even death?

Life doesn’t give you more than you can handle

And you are content to merely “handle” things?

I’m not saying that there isn’t any truth to these sayings, but as I demonstrated, they are very easily challenged. However, it is rare that anyone who practices the use of cliches and platitudes ever expand on them or define them in a different context. How many times must the same statements be made? Now that social media is the nucleus of communication, people are changing one or two of the words and reissuing the same statements. Changing the words makes it theirs, but still they are not expanding on the meaning, so essentially, it’s just more of the same.

“No idea’s original, there’s nothing new under the sun. It’s never what you do but how it’s done”

~Nas

I’m amazed when I see hundreds of “likes” and comments on these posts and blogs. Wow! Are there really this many unoriginal people walking the planet? I’ve played the devils advocate a few times by challenging their statements with an alternate viewpoint– which is rarely understood by the author or his or her followers. They can’t even imagine a new take on an old adage. However, this is now what is considered “deep“.

Meanwhile, I have friends who are amazing writers, musicians, artists (painting), and some who may not be into the arts, but are enlightened and have something to say that needs to be heard; but they do not have considerable followings yet, because they refuse to sensationalize themselves. I respect that! One of my friends even made a song about it.

There’s No Price-Tag On My Soul

Cliche topics are easy to write about. I’m confident that I could post a new blog every day if every title included some form of trite phrase. My other creative friends could very easily jump on the bandwagon and enjoy a bit of the hype. But if any of us were to do that, we’d be selling ourselves out. I’m by no means implying that authors of such blogs and social media posts are sellouts, but perhaps a bit shallow.

When you have a platform and a following, you should give your public something to ponder beyond a random “amen” or a thumbs up. Your readers, listeners, or spectators should walk away feeling fulfilled and ready to make changes in their lives and in the world. With your platform you have an opportunity to use your talent to empower and influence your audience. You are selling them out when you do not encourage them to think deeper, question everything, and believe that it’s going to work out (whatever their dilemma may be).

Every subject has a genre and every genre has an audience. It will probably take a while to find your audience; but when you find it, remember that they are there to see you.