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Don’t chase, attract

30 Jul

Maybe two years ago or so I first heard the saying, “What you chase like a thief will run like one.”  Since hearing it, I promise you it has haunted me.  In a good, and frustrating, way.  Two nights ago a friend of mine suggested that I watch the movie The Secret which is more like a documentary based on the book of the same name.  The premise is there is a secret that has been shared among the great figures in history, the aristocracy, and the successful and that secret is the law of attraction.  You need to attract what you want and the universe will supply it.  Sounds too simple, right?  Well little did I know I have been semi living this way for a couple of years (remember ‘if you live like you’re starving you’ll always be hungry?’ same premise).  The theory is that we get more of what we put out.  You may be thinking “i want to be out of debt” but really your thoughts are just consumed with debt, and so you get more of it.  So we must change our thoughts.

That made me think of Liz Gilbert and Eat Pray Love who undoubtedly knows the secret, whether she was aware of it or not.  In the book she made a petition to the universe and at first she was skeptical of her right to even do so, but she had a friend who told her “You are part of this universe, Liz. You’re a constituent–you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So, put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me–it will at least be taken into consideration.” And so she did.  As have I, twice before and once again recently.  Then the documentary goes on to say that we will not get what we want until we can be appreciative of what we have.  Again, deja vu as just a 2 months ago I wrote these words:

Oprah was interviewing Maya Angelou and she said, “I had called you crying over something I don’t even remember what anymore but you told me in that moment to stop and say, ‘Thank You,’ say Thank you.” And Maya interjected and said, “yes we must always say thank you because we must let it be known that our faith is unshakeable.So I sat in my complete agony, uncomfortable and crying, praying and just waiting.  I wrote a note to my best friend’s mom and I ended by admitting I didn’t know exactly what I was asking for in my note.  I couldn’t shake Maya’s advice…to say thank you. So I sat until I could find something to be thankful for…I came up with the following offering to God

Thank you for giving me a platform.  Thank you for giving me strength over my vices.  Thank you for the insight to know that this is conquerable.  

Then I stopped crying.  I got out of the ball I was laying in. I got up and stretched and I felt like so much of the weight had been lifted.  Nothing had been solved, no, but sitting in my mudpile and saying Thank You.  That was foreign…foreign and effective.  Maybe I’ll add to my personal mission statement a note to give thanks, even in adversity.

Gratitude.  For all that we have been given, for the clear sight to see that what we have is plenty.  Gratitude to dull the ache of starvation we have for things to in the end, really don’t matter as we have been getting along just fine without them.  Gratitude for a God/Universe that has blessed us abundantly over and over again.  When you sit in that place and you marvel at how wonderful life is, and are filled with thanks that is when things begin to happen.   Ask. Believe. Receive. That’s what The Secret suggests we do.  Then be thankful as if our blessings have already come into fruition because they have.  On August 15, 2010 I wrote the following notes from church:

  • Earth is (3) Firmament is (2) Heaven is (1)
  • All needs have been supplemented but in heaven. It is not faith that creates fulfillment, but faith that moves the invisible to visible. If you need it in (3) He will release it in (1).
  • So why do some prayers go “unanswered”
    • (See Mark 11:24 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.)
    • The moment you asked for it, God gave it to you.  If you have not received it, it is caught in (2).
  • Change your voice, SHOUT at the enemy so that your potential be let loose.  If you are poor, ask God for wealth (not to not be poor), and He will give it to you, SHOUT to satan that your blessing not be held up in the firmament.
    • Do not yell at God, do not be angry at God, SHOUT at the enemy. Change the direction of your voice to change the direction of your life.
I laughed as I copy/pasted that because maybe I knew the secret too.  Maybe we all do, but we chalk it up to circumstance or do not pay close enough attention to the signs.  But I’m paying attention now. I’m listening now and I see it now.  So much so that I immediately asked my mother and sister to watch the documentary as well, which they did.  I urge anyone who wants something different in their lives to strongly consider doing something simple and ASKing for it. Then despite all rationale, believe that it will come to you.  Believe it with the entirety of your being.  Continue living a life of grace and gratitude and see if the desires of your heart do not unfold before you.

Open Books: Power in Purpose and an Assertion of Truth

30 Jun

Last night I was struck with a bit of insomnia.  I was up and reading poetry, browsing through blogs and the sort which lead me to a guest post by Tamala Baldwin on Peace Love and Pretty Things.  Here is an excerpt of her post:

I came across a motivational video featuring Will Smith, and he said, when you are trying to build a wall, you don’t focus on the wall. You focus on laying one brick at a time, perfectly. So in times of doubt, fear and negative thinking, I stop thinking about the overall picture – the big impact – and hone in on laying my own brick for the day perfectly (source).

I loved how much of an open book Tamala was and contacted her immediately via various social media outlets, and we have been chatting back and forth. Our conversations reminded me of the purpose of this blog, as well as part of the purpose of my life. Being an open book is how I’ve been able to meet so many amazing people, learning so many priceless lessons, and get through the past few years.  Why are so many people afraid of sharing their stories?

I sit and think about how many people I know both personally and professionally who have been going through things that they never told anyone about until they were about to break.  By then its overwhelming and all you have is tear soaked pillows, restless nights, either insatiable or nonexistent hunger, and you feel close to surrendering to the misery of the world.  I just wish people spoke up before it got to that point.  I wish more people saw the power in truth, in saying it OUT LOUD to those around them and not being saddled by guilt, or shame.  I wish more people understood their purpose is not solely for themselves, the universe is patiently waiting for you to catch fire, and to spark a fire in others; you cannot do that as an island.

Keeping what’s yours

2 May

Things happen. Things that are often beyond our control. Things that can hurt, things that can harm, things that bring sadness into our lives and the lives of our loved ones. What are we supposed to do with all those things we don’t want?
Saturday afternoon I was over the moon elated; graduation was but a mere week away, my plans were set firmly in place and I now had everything that I needed for the following weekend. Saturday night, however, here come the things. Bad things came, and invited over their friends worrysome things who showed up with irrational things. None of which were welcomed in my home, so what did I do? I chose not to entertain them. I’m not sure if this is what some people might refer to as having victory over a situation or not, but I feel victorious. Being an emotional person and a being that cares very deeply about…well everyone, I usually ingest other people’s hurt. I take in the bad things and all their +1s allowing my happiness to play host to destruction. No more. Yesterday I kept repeating my mantra: “Breathe. Yield to God, always. Answer with love. Remember your purpose is written, as are all things.” Over and over again I said these words and took deep breaths, exhaling out every Thing I did not claim as my own.
I am not numb to the hurt, I feel it, but I refuse to take refuge in it. Where would my joy go? Would I give away my smile to appease a tear? Not when that tear does not belong to me. The Things that happened, they are not my Things and I, for once in my life, did not let them become mine. There’s a line in Ntozake Shange’s chorepoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Was Enough that says “now you cant have me less i give me away”. I believe that to be something of a gospel. A warning to all the Things.
I am mine.

Inspiration and Infinity

18 Apr

Lately I’ve had a sort of love affair with dandelions. They have become symbolic for both the most beautiful and the most terrifying things in life; possibilities. I remember being a kid and thinking they were the most beautiful things, up until someone told me they were weeds. Disgusting that someone’s bitter “reality” has to taint a child’s vision.

I had lunch with a friend of mine recently and in speaking at the time quite literally she said, “I’m afraid to dream.” It felt like a thunder clap went off in my head. I was blown away at the depth of such a statement, that I had to redirect our conversation back to it. I called her attention back to what I felt was monumentally insightful, but I’m not sure she saw it the same way. It stayed with me all weekend and nagged me enough to where I finally had to write about it…being afraid to dream. For many of us, self included at some point in time, there is nothing more scary than possibility. To say it out loud doesn’t it sound like such a silly thing?

What if I fail? (What if you succeed?)

What if my heart gets broken? (What if you fall in love?)

What if I hate it? (What if you don’t?)

We talk ourselves out of the most beautiful journeys by siding with fear and doubt. I see us as dandelions. We are filled with possibility and if we ignore the world (who believes us to be weeds) and go with the wind, we find ourselves in the most beautiful of places, experiencing the most amazing things. I am not responsible for living up to other people’s expectations of me. When I find myself saying “I can’t” I make myself answer “Why not.” Who says? Who is setting the rules for my life? If it is anyone other than me, then they’re wrong. And what if it is me? What if I am limiting myself ? I’ll tell you this much…being “realistic” is the quickest road to mediocrity I know.

At one point in my life, I too was afraid to dream. I was terrified of the things that I was capable of, and of what people would think of me, what family would think of me, and of failure. Something funny happened when I stopped entertaining doubt; I am not sure if things stopped being so scary, or if I simply got braver, but I will say that things have unfolded quite nicely.

So my message to you, whomever comes across these words today, tomorow and the next day is to live your life limitless. Do not be afraid to dream because that is where brilliance is conceived. Someone fabulous once said, “I constantly remind myself that in order to be who I am called to be I have to let go of who I think I am.” My friend (another friend from lunch) affirmed that. There is no prototype for success, or guideline of perfection. We define those, and if you don’t fit into your own definition then CHANGE IT! The power we have over our own lives is astounding, and we choose to ignore it because then that would mean accepting the fact that we are also responsible for our own misery. You do not have to be miserable. Nothing is stopping you except for you.

Spirit liquidation, EVERYTHING must go!

8 Apr

Sometimes I feel as though this is what many women are saying in their relationships.  Take everything! Take my ambition! Take my joy! Take my laughter! Take my drive! EVERYTHING must go!  The thing is, what are they getting in return?  Giving away such precious things for pennies on the dollar; what are you gaining?

The old saying goes “If you knew better, you’d do better,” but I often wonder how valid this statement is.  When I hear women say, “I know I could do better, but…” or “I know I should break up with him, but…” I have to assume that these women know better and just aren’t doing better.  I can’t wrap my head around why though, and not for lack of trying.

Is it low self esteem?

Is it low self worth?

Is it ignorance?

I believe that every relationship platonic and otherwise must undergo regular appraisal.  We must look at that other person and access what they give and take away from our life.  We must look at our unit and calculate the contribution.

And what about our core needs? It is okay to have needs.  If you need a man that is a provider does that mean he is always in control of the money? If you need a man that is a protector does that mean that he is controlling of your company, or overly jealous? Some women find that to be cute, I find it to be stifling and insecure.  What is for me, though, is not for everybody.  You must discern the things that you need in a relationship and you must not accept anything less than that.  Also, do self-appraisal. Why do you need the things you need?  Is it due to your own personal insecurities or shortcomings? Is that a need that someone else can fulfill or are you looking for an external answer to an internal problem?

Before you put everything on clearance sale, check the books. Do an audit, and find out whats there before you give it away.

Why are Black Women obsessed with long hair?

6 Apr

This is a real question.  One I would love the answer to, but fear that there may be many answers, some of which will be a bunch of sugar honey ice tea.  But I’m serious, I would love an answer.

I’m sure that some will tell me its because long hair equates to healthy hair.  That’s just like saying skinny equals healthy. We all know that is not the case, so lets try again.  Some will say that they prefer the way long hair looks on them.  A valid, and honest response, one that I respect but preferance does not explain obsession.  Let me back up a bit.

I was visiting a few hair websites and both of them asked some basic questions to be included as apart of your member profile. One of those questions was “Goal Length”  I put down “whatever happens happens,” I have never been one to be obsessed about hair nor hair length, but it seems that is more the exception than the rule in the Black community.  I’ve seen many transitioners refuse to let go of that last inch or two of relaxed hair on the ends for fear of cutting their hair and losing length.  I’ve seen people hold on to split, and breaking ends just to say they are bra strap length, even when their hair was dry brittle and breaking.  I’ve seen thinning, whispy hair be refused layers because of the fear of losing length. I’ve even had my own sisters hold grudges because after trimming away horribly damaged ends I’ve “given them short hair”.  To be honest it turns my stomach, but for the purpose of trying to get answers rather than hate-filled backlash I’ll keep my opinions to a minumum.

I am truthfully and honestly just baffled.  Is it because we still, to some extent, hold sacred European American ideals of beauty, and that includes long flowing hair?  Is it because biologically men pair long hair with health and health means the ability to procreate?  Is it because social media shows us that long hair is whats acceptable, as there are more with Kim Kardashian weaves than Halle cuts?
To be fair, I’ll say that I have no problem at all with long hair, and have vowed to put down the scissors for awhile myself.  That has more to do with my patience than an obsession with length.  I don’t even think there’s anything wrong with wanting long hair, but it really seems to be deeper than that, and I just can’t figure it out…What do you think?

No bad news

6 Apr

Don’t nobody bring me no bad news…

If only more people had this mindset, but the old saying is pretty dead on misery does love company.  In fact, misery is the ultimate party girl!  Keep me off that guest list please! Have you found it to be true that the more you have to celebrate the more, it seems, others have to complain about?  When you finally decide not to sweat the small stuff the entire world seems to fall into a fit of sorrow and dispair?  Then of course when you refuse to entertain the negativity, people want to know why you’re so happy and what it is you’re smiling about all the time.  Some might even get upset because you RSVP’d “no” to the pity party.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

The ugly ones wonder too.  Everybody does!  She must have a new man…She must have a new job…She must think she’s all that.  Well yes you’re right, I do! Why don’t you? You’re upset because I’m happy? I am truly sorry you feel that way *smile* but you could choose to be at any time.

People don’t want to hear that.  They don’t want to take responsibility for themselves.  They don’t want to own the fact that they are the key contributor to their own wretched lives and their own submission to misery.  No its their boss, their finaces, the government, their significant other, everybody in the world’s fault but theirs.  And that is okay.  You don’t have to preach the gospel of choosing joy over sorrow.  You don’t have to spread the word near nor far about how you refused to be burdened by angst.  You don’t have to tell a soul.  You just keep your song in your heart and hold fast to your peace.  Glide through life because you are not shackled with sadness, fear, and woe.  Let them hold that bad energy.  And when you meet someone who seems to be gliding as well, smile at them and wink because you are rare gems who need encouragement.

A friend of mine said that the choice (to be happy) is easier said than done. I agreed with her, and simply added, “but not impossible.”