January 9, 2012
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To go after what you want, to speak out about what you believe, and to make something of yourself requires that you put yourself “out there” for others to voice their opinions.
“No one would listen anyway.” That is what the lady at the lake said as my family and I walked past her and asked “How are you?”
As the new school year gets under way for many young people in the region, including my own nephew who is starting first grade this term, I am reminded of the importance of encouraging our young people to buckle down and stay the course despite the obstacles they will face.
A little while back, I found an old leaflet tucked inside the back cover of a red book that I have had for several years. It was a little wrinkled, sort of stiff, and a tad bit discolored from ink that had bled through from years of being pressed firmly against the book’s cover. But, the words were as fresh and fluid and as clear as perhaps the day they were first printed.
When most of us experience tough times, it becomes difficult to see past our own circumstances. We may shut down and feel sorry for ourselves or even angry at others.
I believe it was Albert Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. A seemingly simple concept, yet many of us wrestle with its unseen complexity.
With so much going on in our lives, it is so important that we take time to take care of ourselves.
The business of healing is not a passive, inactive process in which we can simply sit back and watch time pass us by, expecting that we will somehow be restored to our pre-wounded selves. Healing is an active process.
If we are starving, we are more likely to eat anything we can find without any concern for our wellbeing, but when we are full and content, we are more selective about when and what we eat.
Recently I took my vehicle in for a routine service check. In the last couple of weeks, I had noticed a squealing kind of noise coming from the front end of my vehicle.
Growing up, there were times when I didn’t always like something my mom would cook for dinner.
Have you ever found yourself in a struggle with someone because they seem to push back every time you tried to tell them something about themselves or tell them what they needed to do?
To learn from a mistake effectively transforms it from mistake to life lesson.
I write often about change and transition and the usefulness of embracing these as opportunities for personal growth. Very often we have an oppositional relationship to change and transition where we are kicking and screaming, pushing back and resisting.
Recently while having a discussion about letting go of past mistakes, I suggested that “letting go” is often confused with “forgetting” or “pretending mistakes did not happen” and simply moving on with life.
I am currently navigating some difficult terrain as I am facing transition in my life. It makes sense that in order to get where you need to be, you have to leave where it is you are currently.
When we are moving from one place to another in our lives, we are often faced with change. In fact, we cannot get to the next place without experiencing change.
I was reminded of something recently that I felt was worth sharing and it was simply to be mindful of the value I assign to other people’s opinions and perceptions of me — positive or critical.
As we reflect on the many important contributions to our world made by African Americans from times past and present, let us draw inspiration, courage and strength, but also curiosity. Let us be curious about what enabled them to persevere and to succeed. Let us be curious about what we have in common with people of such innovation and creativity, passion and intellect, bravery and determination.
How do you take care of yourself? I pose this question so that we may take a moment to truly reflect on what is being asked.
The human body has processes by which it excretes or removes waste it has produced. These processes occur largely via the excretory and digestive systems of our bodies.
Virginia Satir, a pioneer in the field of Family Therapy, once wrote that “conflict is an avenue for hope.” This is nutritious food for thought that can enrich relationships between people whether they are family members, couples, friends, or even colleagues in the workplace.
If you have spent the past years of your life behind a brick wall in an effort to protect yourself by keeping all of the bad things at bay, you obviously have good reasons for doing so.
The start of a new year has often been a time that we look forward to in hopes of starting anew in various areas of our lives. We create lists of resolutions, some realistic, some not, and we are filled with a renewed resolve to make changes for the better.
My mother’s mother passed away recently and during the time of the funeral, so many members of her side of the family gathered together. I met some first and second cousins for the first time and saw many others, including aunts and uncles, for the first time in ages.
Watching my nephew grow remains the highlight of my life. Yep, he is still learning and still growing. In what seems like an overnight process, I have watched him grow and grow right out of diapers, clothes and shoes on into bigger and bigger sizes in each. He is 6 years old now.
In the last column, I briefly described the major processes of the excretory and digestive systems by which the human body rids itself of waste products and toxins.
I am typically the kind of person who, in a group of my colleagues deciding where to go for lunch, would defer the decision to others based on what they wanted.
I remember earlier on having some particular things I wanted to accomplish in my life, but I would get to a place where I would feel stuck and unable to be productive. It was quite the mystery and tough for me too because initially, I would start off super excited and motivated. My mind would be flooded with all the steps it would require to get me to where I wanted to go.
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There is this commercial where a mother tells her son that he cannot leave the dinner table before he finishes the plate of vegetables (broccoli) in front of him.
What if we each did something different, the thing that was least expected and not part of the usual pattern of response?
Sometimes when things are going badly for us, our thinking can become distorted and we think that things will never improve. Sometimes we believe that things are always going badly in our lives.
Acceptance is not about giving up, but about acknowledging that which you cannot change. Acceptance is not letting go of hope.
I am a work in progress in certain areas of my life. Perhaps you can identify with that for a particular area in your own life.
It is a new beginning. Keep going until you cross the finish line.
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Sometimes, it becomes necessary in our lives that we step back from some things.
Change is the only constant in life. This true, albeit paradoxical assertion reminds us that sometimes things will not go according to plan. We can all think of a thing or 20 that have not gone as intended.
What is it that you are really afraid of? Is it that you won’t be good enough or fast enough? Is it that you are limited in what you know or what you can do?
Times are still trying and money is still tight, but things are getting better. We all still have difficult days dealing with all that we have on our plates.
On a recent ride home down a dark back road, the kind where you have to use your bright lights, I noticed an interesting phenomenon.
When we face difficulties in our lives that confront us with change, we don’t always take too kindly to that, and understandably so.
I was watching a news program recently and there was a story about one state’s improved emergency preparedness and management efforts in the event of a hurricane.
Graduates, Do not pawn your values. You might find that it wasn’t worth the trade you made. Stay true to who you are at your core.
Do you like me? Check yes, no, or maybe.”
In times of intense emotion and passion around potentially divisive issues, we are better served as individuals and as a community when we can suspend our judgment and criticism of one another and attempt, instead, to make sense of one another’s perspective.
So often too many of us spend our lives being an iron that makes grilled cheese sandwiches. I know, just stay with me.
I believe it was Albert Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Shhh. If I had a voice I would tell you that you cannot afford to stay silent. I would ask you to please help me.
In continuous dedication to all the beautiful girls, young ladies, and young women in our communities ...
Dear Dad, I am writing to let you know that I am a man now. This may come as a surprise to you, but I have some things I need to say.
Have you ever had a boss who never had anything to say about the good work you did, but also never hesitated to come down on you on when you made a mistake or had an off day?
Benjamin Franklin said “remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
Thank you. The phrase to show courtesy. The words to convey gratitude. The lyrics of appreciation.
The future belongs to those who prepare for it today. — Malcolm X
Recently I listened to Craig Valentine, an award winning speaker and trainer, give a talk and he said something that struck me as profoundly interesting.
Moping doesn’t mobilize. This thought occurred to me recently when I temporarily succumbed to a moment of frustration over the demands on my time.
If you have lived for a good number of years, you might have, at one time or another, thought, “if I knew then what I know now, I would not have taken some of the paths I did.”
We shall overcome, but we’re not there yet. A change has come, but it has only begun.
It can be hard to look at ourselves when things are not going the way we want them to in our lives. It is much easier to look outside ourselves at everyone else around us.