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Showing posts from 2018

Heal

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"Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity." Hippocrates


Life is about experiences - all of them, the good and the bad. Life is about making sense of those experiences, and gleaning what we can from them. Sometimes those lessons are easy to extract, to apply, and to keep pressing on - other times, we struggle to find the root cause, the bottom line, the essentials. It's the things that have caused us pain, heartache, and that indescribable heaviness that elude us. We have to learn how to heal or else the wounds that have been inflicted upon us will never do just that. We have to find the right bandage, surgery, or rehab to get us to where we need to be. Each healing process is going to be unique but it has to be appropriate for our trials and tribulations. 

Healing is as much about the process of healing as it is choosing to heal. That is choosing to unpack the baggage we lug around - the hurt, anger, sadness, resentment, anxiety, sorrow…

Stress

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"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another." William James

Stress is meant to be temporary; not a permanent state of being. Once more with feeling, and I'll say it again for those in the back. Stress is caused by our reaction to the things going in on our lives, not the things themselves. Think about that. That means that as we are able, we can manage our reactions. We have the choice to downplay or highlight the impact of what we face. We get to determine what something or someone means to us. In a world that glorifies the disease of being busy, demands contribution to an incessant news cycle, and a sacrifice of the entirety of who you for are for "productivity" - stress has become normalized. If you're not stressed out, to the point where its toll is visible on your body, then you're not working hard enough. Stress is not a measure of success nor is it a quantifier of hardship endured. Stress should not be rew…

Indirect

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"Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble." Yehuda Berg

I've been ghosted one too many times, and once is too many to begin with. Indirect communication defeats the purpose of communication inherently. Messages are misconstrued, signals are crossed, and conclusions are few and far between. I think people truly believe that their line of indirect communication laced with missed responses, multimedia scavenger hunts, and passivity is being kind to others. It's not. It's avoidance. Whether intentional or not, it communicates a lack of care, a level of disregard, and implicit disrespect. Indirect communication does the exact opposite of what people who employ its ambiguous means set out for it - hurting others…

Hyperbole

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"The very definition of 'blackness' is as broad as that of 'whiteness,' yet we're seemingly always trying to find a specific, limited definition." Issa Rae

Where do you go when you belong nowhere? What is the place you can rest when the world wants you to be restless? What happens when others deem you unworthy of peace, when you existence is a problem, when your life is and of itself is a political issue? That is the dilemma of blackness. Blackness inherently has no significance but because of the ways we're socialized to respond, interact, and navigate race it comes with a lifetime of things to unpack. I had someone ask me if I liked being black last week. I had to explain to them that I love being black, and that I would not be me without it. Blackness is not a burden, a curse, or a summation - but it's how we treat black people, and blackness itself that makes existing, persisting, resisting while black an everyday challenge. 

Oppression is an ac…

Literate

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“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an  act of political warfare”Audre Lorde

Self-care is the buzzword of the year. Think-piece, vlog, tutorial, etc. after another keeps being released but I don't think most people realize the full gamut of what it means to take care of themselves, and to do so with a genuine authenticity. Self-care in a world/society that demands you give the entirety of you and all that you are to others/your work is a bold stance in declaring that you, yourself matter. Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Self-care is about intentionality, and being purposeful in what you're doing. Wellness in and of itself has different realms that holistically contribute to our sense of well-being. Those are emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial, and spiritual wellness (with some others depending on who you ask). As we are able, …

Empower

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"Empowerment isn't a buzzword among leadership gurus. It's a proven technique where leaders give their teams the appropriate training, tools, resources, and guidance to succeed." John Rampton 

Every single person we meet gives us the opportunity to demonstrate kindness towards another human being. Each and every day we pass by droves of people, and the few we do interact with either get to be the beneficiaries of us at our best or experience us at our less than best. That opportunity to show empathy, compassion, and benevolence to another being though is one that we should not take for granted. Those fleeting moments where we have the chance to connect are what we all seek. It's in that minutiae that we have the opportunity to do something awe-inspiring. We get to do some empowerment. We get to deposit encouragement. We get to speak truth and power into the lives of other people. We get to validate, appreciate, and celebrate who other people are. We get to make mo…

Vibranium

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"In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.” Chadwick Boseman 

I'm still processing through Black Panther but even so there is so much to unpack from it. This week I've spent substantial time talking about authentic self-care, narrative autonomy, and emotional labor. What I have come to see is that so many of the people I've interacted with recently have yet to realize what makes them both mundane and unique. It's this balance of self-actualization that you are in fact the only person who is you, and also that you are like other people. That duality matters. We want to be different but we also don't want to feel alone in the world. We yearn for human connection and yet want to retain our individuality. What if we treated ourselves - that is who we are, how we are, our stories, our gifts/talents, etc. as if they were the most valuable thing in the worl…

Emote

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"Sometimes, how you ingest this idea of masculinity as projected onto you by the world could be the difference of life and death." Barry Jenkins

We're bad with emotions, well most people that is. We don't know what to do with them. We keep them bottled up. We let them out in messy ways, usually accidentally. We're all over the place. We are emotionally unstable. Why? You tell me. Maybe you don't know, or maybe you do and you're not willing to share that truth with yourself. We are socialized in a myriad of ways (family/upbringing, friends, school, religion, media, etc.) to act and to not act. That is the impact of being taught to suppress your emotions. It might not have been direct but all the times you were told to stop being sensitive, to grow a backbone, to be strong, to stop crying, to get it together, to be man up, and the list goes on and on were the negative reinforcements of an ideology that asked you to shut down a critical part of yourself. Men,…

Avail

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"There's just some magic in truth and honesty and openness." Frank Ocean
People need people. People need people to need them. People want to be seen, heard, valued, wanted, and appreciated. Humanity is reliant on community, connection, and relationship. It's why we struggle with being alone but even more so feeling alone. That fear of isolation is one that is embedded in all of us. Managing that feeling takes practice, and no one completely excises it. It's there to remind us that regardless of who or where we are, we always require some kind of connection to another. Nothing hurts more than putting yourself out there and being shut down. There's such a visceral reaction of embarrassment, shame, and retreat into yourself. That's what happens when someone tries to connect with us but we don't open up to receive them. That's not to say that anyone and everyone who wants to commune with us can and should have access to us - no everyone deserves us or …