Friday, 31 January 2014

What Kind of Stories Are You Telling?

My patience ran extremely thin and finally snapped several years ago. I had told one too many sob stories and Patience quit me.
Romance novels, filled with heartbreak and pain, were my favourites growing up. The more unfortunate the story, the more tears it illicited from me, the more I devoured it.

Same is true for television shows, the "soaps" that are awash with lies, deceit and betrayals. We just cannot get enough of the drama! I would not even begin to describe the fare fed daily, minutely, every darn secondly by the news media.

Almost two years now, I decided to turn off the news. Many years prior to that, the television was removed from my bedroom. The time had come when I no longer wanted or needed Wolf Blitzer or even the indomitable Christiana Amanpour to direct my thoughts.

Neither did I need to listen to one more sob story from myself. Enough! 

"You bring about what you think about," is one of my favourite quotes. I usually add "persistently" at the end as it is my belief that a thought that crosses my mind for a second might not 'come about'. However, those things that we, as the Jamaican in me love to say, "draw long bench" on are the ones shaping our experiences.

We all desire to live "the good life." However, our training in news reporting is getting in the way. If your habit is to call up your friends, post to Facebook, BBM everyone on your contact list to report the latest episode in the dramatic production entitled "Your Life," then do not be shocked at the manifestations.

Do not get me wrong, storytelling is a wonderful thing. It is free entertainment, can offer merriment and serves as an important tool to impart life's lessons to others. There, however, are life-giving and life-sucking stories. You get to choose which ones you want to tell and/or hear.

My hope is that you will most frequently chose the stories that will uplift, empower and fill you and those listening with beauty, light and love. Please share some with us here or on our Facebook page. Follow us as well on Twitter.

Have an awe-filled day.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

What Are You Seeking?

"Change is the only constant in life," said Heraclitus and nothing could be more true.

We humans fight this truth, a losing battle though it might be. Failing to see that life is about expansion, in fact one might say that life is expansion, we humans live for the destination.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" This is the question most children are asked. Whatever the response will be the measure of their success or failure, unfortunately.

To change one's mind, to deviate from the script is tantamount to sacrilege in some homes. "But you said," is the accusatory response when an individual changed his or her mind, did something else, reached for another desire or simply came home by a different route. Somehow we got it in our heads that to change course is a bad thing.

Why is that so? Could it be because we are more focused on getting there rather than the trip there? We want the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and changing the route, the departure date or taking the bus might mean getting there late and someone else got it or never reaching there at all.

Would you be shocked to know there is no pot of gold, no end of the rainbow and no destination to get to?
The desire (want) is all that there is! It is what expands us and it's the road map.
"You never get it wrong and you never get it done," was one of the most freeing statements for me to hear. I had beaten up on myself for some of the changes in my life, the detours that I took, the pits that I fell into and the destinations never reached.

My answer to that age old question was first, "I want to be a doctor," not because of any true passion for medicine but it sounded good and my childhood friends had said that as well. From an early age we learn to keep up or surpass the Joneses. When we "failed" to do so, shame and disappointment sets in as "you got it wrong." It took me all of 40 years to give a finger to that notion.

Pursuing the desires of our hearts, seeking What seeks us is all that matters. Your mode of dress, whether in a doctor's coat or in an overall, is not the point. How you travel - joy-filled, at peace and freely; or angrily, shame-filled and envious - will determine the length and smoothness of your ride.

"Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love..." Rumi 

Listen to your heart, clarify your vision, take your eyes off what others have or are doing and live YOUR desires.

Feel free to contact me should you want to share how the "trip" has been for you. Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page. You may also follow us on Twitter.

Be blessed!

Photo Source: moazmodernvinyl.com

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Gracefully Maturing

Are you aging with a "bad" attitude?

That is a relative word, "bad," and not one of my preferred. Labelling is not an activity that I like to indulge in. No situation or experience is really "good" or "bad," they just "are."

Growing older 'just is' a fact of life. It is part of living. Everyone will grow older, will age and most certainly will die. Resistance is futile. To regard aging with fear is to create a monster within oneself. Being obsessive about the effects of aging on the body and physical appearance is maddening.

There is nothing you can do to stop aging - accept that or go nuts!

Clich├ęs such as "age is just a number," or "it is great to be old, wise and sage," do little to quell the fears and concerns of those who are not aging gracefully. Are you aging gracefully? Not sure what that entails? Let me explain my understanding.

Recently, I was reading an article about French women and aging that really impressed me. The French are often ridiculed, particularly by American comedians among others, however their approach to life is very commendable in many ways. On this specific topic of aging gracefully, this Huffington Post article stated that French women:
  1. Can be the sensual love interests in movies 
  2. Feel that less is best when it comes to wearing make-up 
  3. Consider sex to be important for women 50+ 
  4. Prefers having just an handful of really nice, perfectly fitting clothing over a wardrobe full of 'junk' 
  5. Rate walking as far more valuable than being an obsessed gym bunny 
  6. Watch what and how much they eat, choosing smaller portions of a variety of dishes 
My conclusion is that aside from my name, there is more French to me than originally thought! My only addition to this list would be that aging gracefully (successfully) also requires knowing what you want. What are the experiences, things, places, people etc that would completely open up this stage of your life?
"To age gracefully, one needs to anticipate the changes that are inevitable...people who think rigidly do not do that. As they encounter the natural changes and health status that are part of aging, these things are experienced as negative and adding a lot of stress and strain to their life. Rigid thinkers tend to get overwhelmed. They can't manage it, and they get depressed." Mark Frazier 
I jokingly refer to myself as maturing (like fine wine) rather than aging. That may very well be my spontaneous reaction to the negative associations with the word "aging." The other day, I had a minor panic attack seeing that my right hair temple had gone gray. It lasted all off two minutes when no one sympathized with me.

Aging gracefully or successfully, if you prefer the latter word, is way more than accepting the increasing physical evidence of changes in one's body. As with any type of "loss" or changing circumstances, it is okay to 'mourn', lament or freak out as I did. Let it not be, however, an immobilizing event.

Whatever your age now, start planning or identify and participate in things that are important to you. These might include things that you did not have the time or dared to do before. Activities such as travelling, spiritual pursuits, hobbies, new social groups, lifelong learning or volunteering might be of interest, depending on how you want to experience this exciting stage of life.

"There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age." Sophia Loren

Do share some of your tips for aging gracefully with us in our comments section, on our Facebook page or tweet us.

Be blessed and age gracefully, daily!

Photo Source: earthangels-angeliclightworkers.com

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

So You Want A Relationship?

So you want a relationship? What are you BEING to attract one?

You read right. What are you being to attract your next relationship is a very crucial question to ask yourself. There is a song that says "pretty looks isn't all," and that is so true when you are wanting to be in a meaningful relationship. Pay attention to the key words used here: "being" and "meaningful."

You are either considered beautiful or not according to society's standards. Looking gorgeous, super-model slim with a booty to go with that will most certainly get you attention, many catcalls and numerous telephone numbers. If what you "want" is a relationship that is full of meaning, one in which you are both growing to the fullest of your individual potentials while nurturing each other, your family and home, then you will need more than looks.

To have that kind of relationship, you have to "be" all the qualities you want in the relationship. We have discussed this before, but it bears repeating.

So many people, men and women alike, enter relationships on the basis that:
  • The person holding their attention is 'hot', very attractive, well groomed, etc 
  • The individual possesses material things that they want (money, car, house etc) or the potential to get them (status, job) 
Physical attributes are well and good when considering a mate. In most instances, there has to be 'something' that catches the eye. The challenge is going beyond what meets the eyes. That requires you knowing who you are and being discerning about who comes into your presence.

We attract who we are, through the 'vibes' that we emit.

It is the law and it operates in the same manner regarding abundance, career/job, friends, relationships - in every area of our lives. Our emotion laced thoughts are the signals that we send out, calling to ourselves the potential "lovers." Whatever you are focussed on, whatever are your predominant thoughts and feelings about yourself, your life and relationships - those will determine who comes to party with you.

Your last relationship was a bummer. Actually the last few were. Loneliness is setting in, all your friends are in relationships never mind that some are full of drama. You have certain criteria that the new love must meet because you are not "settling" this time (really). He/she must be:
  1. Holding down a 'decent' job 
  2. Kind and able to pay his/her own way 
  3. Faithful to you and no baby mama drama 
  4. A car owner and not still living with his mother 
  5. Able to hold a conversation and is fun to be around 
  6. Well dressed at all times (except when nude) and is very easy on the eyes 
Sounds fair enough but the real question is - what underpins these criteria that you have set out? 

Hurt, anger, embarrassment, mistrust and pride because the last date(s) turned out to be a Mama's boy(s) who could neither keep a job or buy you a big deal meal? His car was in the shop more than on the road, he dressed like a clown to your office party and if that was not embarrassing enough, his idea of being funny was telling x-rated jokes all night to the head of HR!

Truth be told, this last love or two were reflections of you!

That is a bitter pill to swallow but here is my story:
I met him a couple years after the devastating break up of a long term relationship. Although reluctant to get back on the dating scene, I bowed to the pressure of close friends and my daughter that it was time to 'get a life'. The two years were spent in therapy, counselling, deep reflection and self-evaluation. The missteps were identified, along with the deep-rooted childhood/family issues that trailed and plagued my interpersonal and intimate relating up to that point, the 40th year of my life.

Sure, I was ready and after kissing a few frogs, the man who would hold up to me a huge mirror, reflecting the issues that were still unresolved, appeared. When the relationship fell apart a few years later, all the blame was initially laid at his feet. Once I was able to move beyond the obvious, it became clear to me that I was not yet 'being who I wanted to be in relationship with'.

Certainly, your ex (and mine) was not the person you thought they were but neither were you.

The Universe never fails. It brought you (and I) the perfect matches, not to who we say we are or want but to what we were vibrating. These 'matches' come into your life or you into theirs to teach what is required for further expansion. Some lessons take a long time to learn and others are easier to understand. This is why some relationships lasts for years as the parties are still learning together.

Others end earlier, when you and/or the individual have served the intended purpose, the mutual learning/growing has come to an end or one party "got it," and decides to move on. They move on through break up/divorce or death.

Life is a big school and we are all here to grow and expand into all we can be. In order to stop taking the same relationship class repeatedly, before entering your next one, do your homework!  Dig deep, get help if necessary to evaluate and reevaluate yourself, your thoughts and what you are feeling. Do not rush the process and unpack your baggage as best as possible. Most important, be the person you want to have a relationship with and watch what happens.

Feel free to drop me a line, comment here or on our Facebook page. You may follow us on Twitter as well. Have fun today and continue to be blessed!


Photo Source: khyatikothari.com

Monday, 27 January 2014

Want Killers & Cures

Usain Bolt, Beyonce Knowles, Vincent van Gogh, none of these top athletes, performing artists, world renown painters achieved their success by just wishing that it was so.

It first started with a thought that "this is what I want," to do or be. This thought was repeated over and over. Then came a pressing desire, feeling and urge to "do it," one race along a dirt track at a time. I have never spoken to Beyonce or read her life's journey to this point but I would bet my last dollar that she sang and danced at every penny concert that she could. As for Van Gogh, he must have scribbled on any blank wall, scrap of paper and even in the dirt if that was all available, when a picture plastered itself on his mind's eye.
Desire (Want) + Passion + Focus + Continuous Doing = Dreamed of Life 
How many times have you given up on a "want," because it seemed impossible or people told you that you could not make it? Have you ever felt guilty for wanting something because it seemed "too big" for you or someone asked you, "Who do you think you are?" Worse yet, when you have been convinced that you are either selfish or unworthy.

The number of fingers on my hands and feet are not enough to count the "wants" that I have shelved, sacrificed or crucified. Most of these were not related to fame or fortune. They were simple and not so simple things that I wanted to be or do.

My desire to serve in a political capacity, for example, was killed years ago because of the nuances of a relationship. The desire to achieve certain professional goals were shelved due to fear of failure, holding back to support a partner's development or an observation offered by an "expert" killed my hopes.

Many of you are familiar with these want-killers. They are pervasive, insidious and relentless. To overcome them, you have to develop a certain body part, attitude and demeanour.

A backbone, a @$% attitude and a "It is done" demeanour. 

People going after their wants usually have a strong backbone. Criticisms, judgments and projections by others of their own fears onto them require that they do. Their attitude, one that the naysayers love to describe as "bitchy," "jerk" or arrogant, have to be polished with humility daily in order to keep their focus.

One of my favourite affirmations is "It is done!" It became an essential statement in my daily visioning practice. Whatever I desire, affirming that it is for my highest good and causing no harm to anyone, I claim it as done, completed, attained.

What are some of your wants? Are they for your highest good and would enhance your existing sense of well being? Do your wants promote life, love, happiness - in you and those who come into your experience? Then what is stopping you from going into training, performing on life's stage and scribbling your daily movement towards it in your "Book of Life?"

If you need any help, pointers to go for your wants or would like to share some with us, feel free to email me. Otherwise, you can comment here or on our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter as well and stay connected.

Blessings.

Photo Source: focusnjoy.com


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Blessings: Press Down, Shaken Together & Running Over

Religion or religiosity, actually, neither being spiritual is required for one to assume the much proclaimed "attitude of gratitude." 

Attending Church was a weekly practice for me growing up. My mother insisted that I should join the neighborhood children and go to Church. Ironically, while packing me off, the only time she herself attended the "House of the Lord,"was either for a funeral or wedding. That struck me as highly contradictory. Even worse, by the time I got home after hours of watching the machinations of the adults, my mother was busy enumerating her burdens.

Gratitude and the intentional practice of counting one's blessings were "attitudes" that I developed much later in life. For too long, I tried my mother's ways of telling my troubles to anyone who would listen, worry about problems - real and imagined and giving away my mind, piece by piece, to anything and anyone that disturbed me. None of these strategies worked - neither consistently nor produced the results I desired.

See, my desires were and remain no different from anyone else'.

As you, I desire to live a healthy, joy-filled, abundant and prosperous life. The challenge was the parameters kept changing. Abundance and prosperity were measured against the size of my bank account, whether I owned or rented a house, my job title and salary and where and how often we vacationed. Joy was dependent on fulfilling those requirements. My health deteriorated as I did not.

This state of affairs continued well into my 30's. It mattered not that my income was well above average, the fact that by then I had owned two houses, the latest model truck and car were parked in my garage, my credit was excellent (if not the size of my bank account) and that I had traveled a fair bit of the world. Certainly, I had heard that gratitude was the best attitude; I even had several gratitude journals, books, tapes and attended countless seminars by then.

Something, however, was still off. 

One day my eyes just opened and my hearing unblocked as I sat talking with an inmate. This was not my first conversation with an incarcerated person nor with this individual. I was working in a correctional facility going on four years at the time of my "holy encounter" with this person.

The basic story was the same as any I had heard before from inmates and even my own. Growing up with a single parent struggling to make ends meet, feelings of abandonment by the other parent, childhood sexual abuse, physical and verbal abuse by parent, raised in an environment of poverty-consciousness, etc. All this eventually translated into a misguided pursuit of belonging, happiness, success, wealth and wholeness.

The turning point conversation for me was when the individual said to me, "You know that you are a prisoner just like me, right?" My initial reaction was to rule him out of order, to tell him in no uncertain terms that he had passed his place. Instead, I looked at him in wide-eyed silence and allowed his observation to sink in.

From that day, I took a full inventory of my life. I checked the number of bars on my cell and the strength of each. Then I prayed for Wisdom to lead me out. What happened in the next few years not only released me from my prison but changed my course. I stopped measuring, calculating and complaining. 

My title now is "Primary Counter of Blessings."

Each morning as I open my eyes, my first thought is "Thank you, Spirit and may I in this day be a blessing in my world. May your Grace continue to flow to me, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing. And, may you guide me as to how to share your blessings to me with whomever comes into my presence or consciousness." 

The houses, the cars and the bling do not matter to me now. Whether there is a lover in my life does not make me any more happy or sad. There is a sense of well being about me now and it purifies with each passing day and/or challenge. My friends say that I am glowing. I am way more discerning about what and who I allow in my consciousness and entertain in my physical space and for how long.

Those are some of the blessings being intentionally grateful has brought to me. Finally, I am free! 

It would be my privilege and honour to discuss or hear about your journey in gratitude. Feel free to email me, leave a comment here or on our Facebook page. You may also follow us on Twitter.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! Namaste

Photo Source: godisincontrol.wordpress.com

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Sing Your Song!

Over my life thus far, I have had the opportunity to travel a bit of our world. During these trips, it was my pleasure and honour to have met people from much further than I had ventured.

One thing was common in my meeting with people from across the world and it was their reactions when I said my home country is Jamaica.

 "Bob Marley!" 

It is a wonderful feeling being embraced wherever one goes in the world, even if it is for a compatriot's achievements. The Honourable Robert Nesta Marley took our island home onto the world stage with him trough his music and power-filled lyrics. Many of his songs have deep personal meaning to me, reflecting a sociopolitical period in my life and/or love that was once my experience.

That is true of many songs from different genres. I love music. Classical, country, jazz, reggae, gospel, R&B, hip hop, blues and folk songs can be found on my playlist. Somehow though, for just about every song that I repeatedly listen to, there is a story that can be related to each.

"And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it's enough. I really do because they've made me happy. And I'm only one person." Stephen Chbosky 
Do you find yourself listening to a certain genre or two on specific days or at specific times in your life?

Sunday is my gospel and jazz day, granted I do listen to gospel when I am doing 'kneel' time. As for those heart wrenching R&B songs, ironically they are the tunes for when I need a good cry. Bob's music, for the most part, stirs up the rebel in me. Tracey Chapman's give me a sense of "you either take me real or walk!"

How does music affect you? What is your favourite genre and songs? Do share with me by posting some on our Facebook page or "blast" one at us on Twitter.
"If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die." William Shakespeare
Sing your song sweet music man, I'm listening!

Photo Source: downloadwallpaperhd.com

Friday, 24 January 2014

Proud Women, Not Poor Imitations

In a previous life, I might have been a man but I honestly do not recall. Something tells me though that this "trip" around the block of Life will be etched in stone.

Close friends always ask me when is the book going to be published. That date cannot be set yet as I am very much still writing! This journey into womanhood continues and for every river that I have crossed and thought "it cannot get worse/better than this," I was mistaken.

Men, I am sure, enjoy being men. Their exploits, sexual and otherwise and their conquests - of women and challenges that only a man can undertake - are nothing to scuff at.

Experiencing this trip as a woman, however, is where it's at. Sorry guys :)

You have to think as men do to understand and hold their sometimes fickle attention. Then, you have to nurture, care for and support men as their mothers and sisters do. If your strength has not evaporated after you have cooked, fed the family, done the dishes and tidied up the house, you have to make love to him like a porn star.
"Sure God created man before woman. But then you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece." ~Author Unknown. 
Personally, I have no clue who is a "real woman," despite the numerous posters on Facebook. Real to me means physically existing and if we all can see you with our eyes, then you are real, you exist.

Ask me what is a power-filled woman and I can answer. 

That is a woman who has answered "Yes" to The Invitation:

"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. 

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. 

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. 

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human. 

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. 

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, 'Yes.' 

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children. 

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back. 

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments."

What is your response to the invitation? Share your thoughts on this or any other topic with me in our comment section, on our Facebook page or on Twitter. You can also send me an email. Would love to hear from you.

Blessings.

Source: "The Invitation" is written by Oriah Mountain Mountain Dreamer


Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Three D's

Are you in debt to your eyeballs and about to file bankruptcy, awaiting divorce papers or depressed? Awesome!

No, I am not crazy! What I am is happy for you as a new life is on your horizon, if you are willing to seize it.

The three D's - Debt, Divorce and Depression - are major catalysts of change.

Successful businesses, love-filled and soul-growing relationships and geniuses have been the offsprings of these three. Think I have been smoking crack with Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford? Well check these facts:
  • Simon Cowell, the former American Idol judge we all loved to hate went bankrupt before building his entertainment empire: "Despite living a luxurious lifestyle, things have not always come easy to Cowell, who filed for bankruptcy twice in the 1980s while trying to launch independent music companies. 'I was 30 years old and I literally had the equivalent of six dollars in my pocket… so I had to go back and live with my mum and dad. 'It was pretty awful at the time, but now I'm glad I went through it because I now know the value of money… it was a lesson learned.' In June, Forbes Magazine listed Cowell's annual earnings at 95 million dollars, placing him tied for first with Howard Stern on their annual list of highest-earning television.'"  Source: http://www.ctv.ca/XFactor/article/X-Factors-Simon-Cowell-talks-bankruptcy-and-babies-on-the-Tonight-Show
  • Rebecca Lammersen is the founder of Yogalution, a donation based yoga studio in Scottsdale, AZ. This successful business woman and contributor to the Huffington Post is divorced. In a 2013 article in that publication she wrote: "Three years ago, at the age of 31, I separated from my husband and divorced. Thus far, it ranks as the most frightening decision of my life and coincidentally, the one that set me free." Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-lammersen/love-after-divorce_b_4023029.html
  • "It’s no secret that the fairy tale that began with Diana Spencer’s wedding to Prince Charles in 1981 ended tragically. The princess openly spoke about the depression she felt following their separation and divorce. During a tell-all interview with the BBC in 1995, however, she revealed shocking details of postpartum depression, bulimia, and self-inflicted injuries. 'When no one listens to you, or you feel no one’s listening to you, all sorts of things start to happen,' she said. 'You have so much pain inside yourself that you try and hurt yourself on the outside because you want help, but it’s the wrong help you’re asking for… I didn’t like myself; I was ashamed because I couldn’t cope with the pressures.' Diana said she went through 'diverse treatments' to restore her mental health, and went on to become a noted humanitarian before her sudden death in a 1997 automobile accident in Paris. Source: http://www.ivillage.com/princess-diana-celebrities-and-depression/4-b-230295 
Well known and not so well known people, as well as totally obscure people like you and I, go through debt problems, divorce and depression and come out at the other end to start afresh. None of these situations and/or conditions, even when they all happen simultaneously or one as a result of the other, has to mean "it's over." It can most certainly feel that way but with the help and support of professionals, family and friends you can not only survive but thrive.
"The end of a relationship is not always a failure. Sometimes all the love in the world is not enough to save something. In these cases, it is not a matter of fault from either person. Some things cannot be, it's as simple as that." Ashly Lorenzana
If you or someone you love is facing any or all of these challenges, there are many resources available to you and them. Should you need some direction or encouragement, feel free to email me, post a comment here or on our Facebook page or on Twitter.

Remember, it is not over until the fat lady sings - and I have lost the weight! Lol

Blessings!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Job or Career: Which Do You Have?

"Are you working?" "What do you do for work?"

These are a couple of the questions directed at me in the past several weeks. What I do for a living really is no one's business. However, in a society caught up with status, money and titles, some people get quite nosey about others' source of income.

Well, were I inclined to respond in any detail to those questioners it would be to say, "I am pursuing my passion and I am abundantly provided for." The possible follow up question would be "What is your passion?" 

That would be a very valid question and one that more of us need to ask ourselves. "Am I living from and pursuing my passion?" An even more pertinent query is whether your income and your career path are products of this pursuit. Or are you like the majority doing a 'job' just for the paycheque?

Some experts feel that their is no real difference between having a job or a career. They are of the opinion that a career is merely a series of jobs through which a person gains experience while building or leading up to a career. This is true in many cases, such as starting as a cashier in a fast food restaurant and over time being promoted to various levels - in the same establishment or at other companies within the same industry.

A 'Career' is defined by www.diffen.com as:

  • "an occupation or profession, esp. one requiring special training, followed as one's lifework.
  • a person's progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking."
Do visit the website and check out their comparison chart of the two.

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." Confucius
My personal experience has led me to somewhere in the middle. Yes, I have had several jobs that opened doors to promotions, increase in salary and more responsibilities. With each promotion, not necessarily in the same company or even sector, my skill set expanded.  There were times in many of these jobs when I was pursuing my passion, which is to touch the lives of people in an empowering manner through communication, education and information sharing.

Like many, I have changed 'jobs' and seemingly have also changed careers, moving from diverse fields such as public education in Government agencies, to public relations and marketing for corporate entities and private individuals. My path later took me to chaplaincy, behavioral counselling as well as, to case management in hospitals and in the criminal justice system.

Betwixt and between these movements, my career objective has not changed.

That would be the crux of the matter to me, whether one has a job or a career (path or goal). If you are driven only by the money, clocking in just for the paycheque, then in my view that is a job whether you have been at it for five months or twenty years.

Margaret Young said it best, in my view, when she wrote, "Often people attempt to live their lives backwards, they try to have more things or more money in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are then do what you need to do in order to have what you want."

The question therefore is  dear friends, "Are you BEING or Doing?"

Share your thoughts in the comment section or on our Facebook page. You can also Follow us on Twitter.

Be blessed until tomorrow!

Photo Source: adteacher.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Relationship Faltering? Do Nothing!

There was this post on Facebook that I found so hilarious. It recommended that the developers of the social media network needed to create a new relationship status.

"Unstable" was the suggested status and it was for those people who changed theirs at least three times since joining Facebook. I found it so humorous as I was such a person, having changed from "In a relationship," to "Single," and, at the time of reading the post, had only recently changed from "Married," to "Separated!"

My God, I was looking really "Unstable!" 

The 'good news' is that I was not alone. Misery loves company and there was a 'draw down' crowd on my friends list.

We find who we really are in and through relationships. Humans are social beings; we were created to relate - with other humans, other creatures, nature, etc. We are relational and it is through and in our social interactions, we learn how to "be."

Sadly and too frequently, we miss that this - the essence of our relationships, particularly the intimate ones. We "fall in love," and knock all the senses from our heads! No wonder some describe the feeling as one of dizziness.

A relationship based solely on the physicalities of attraction, be that looks (beauty or handsomeness), sexual appeal, seeming wealth (car, house, etc) and/or actual or perceived income (job, job title, etc) will sooner or later lose its luster. Longer lasting relationships are the ones that are grounded in friendship, a deep seated liking of each other. The presence of any or all of the physical points of attraction is a bonus or add-on.

An early indicator to my ex that our relationship was faltering after 10 years was a very simple thing. "You no longer greet me at the door, there is no good evening, no smile, nothing," I was told. Hard as it was for me to hear that, even more difficult to accept, it was true. The intimacy was dying in the financial hell hole we were sliding down. Our relationship was staggering along and it was only our genuine "like" of each other that kept us going. We lasted for another six years. How?

For one, I did nothing. 

Throughout our relationship and up to that point, I was the "go to" person in our "coupledom." Whatever was to be done, where we would vacation, what's for dinner - every decision, big or small was made by me. At first, I rejected the suggestion that I had anything to do with the faltering state of affairs in our home. "I am doing everything, for crying out loud!" 

Therein laid the problem. I was so caught up being Miss Fixer & Chief Decider Of Everything, that there was no room for anyone else to be who they were - at least nowhere near a full expression of themselves. After much soul searching and a few sessions with Dr. Ruth (honestly, we went to couples counselling with a psychologist by that name), I backed off.

Chief Decider was demoted to Asker & Accepter of Others' Opinions/Desires. Some other practical 'nothings' that were implemented included:

  • Spent more time alone, allowing my partner time to pursue personal interests alone 
  • Stopped cooking every day, had more family outings where we just talked
  • Ceased looking for faults and simply appreciated whatever presented itself
  • Reduced my talking and upped my listening 
  • Resigned as superwoman 
Our relationship lasted another six years, surviving many a challenges including the death of a beloved parent, further financial upheaval and migration to Canada. While I am not attributing its longevity solely to my doing 'nothing', it certainly helped to change the tone.

In the end, after 16 years the relationship ran its natural course. That perspective was not easily arrived at, yet it is the most accurate. I now and have for some time believe in "spiritual partnerships," wherein you are in relationship to support each other's growth. When that is no longer the case, when growing has completely ceased and stagnation set in, it's time to move on.

“Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than to hurt yourself putting it back together.” -Anonymous 

So, is your relationship faltering? Yes? Why not try a few "nothings?"

Should you like to share your experiences on this or any other topic, please feel free to message me here, or on Facebook. You can follow and contact me on Twitter as well @DOSFoundation.

Blessings until tomorrow. Namaste

Photo Source: savethislove.com

Monday, 20 January 2014

Have You Set Your Intentions Yet?

We have covered this at least twice before. However, as I am certain that quite a few of you have neither set your intentions nor made resolutions for 2014, the 'class' is being repeated.

New Year's Resolutions are something that went out the window for me quite a few years ago. It came to a breaking point when I realized that every year my resolutions were all broken by February 1. In 2000, listening to the senior Minister at my new church, I learned about "setting intentions" for one's life. What is the difference?

Resolutions are usually very deterministic with a target date, weight or quantity as the measures of success. The maxim with goals (resolutions) is that they have to be: Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Time-bound

Some management professionals and teachers add E and R to that, making it SMARTER goals. The E being "evaluate" or even "ethical" and the R - "review," "reevaluate," or "rewarding."

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with goal setting, it is not for me, particularly when it concerns my life and at the beginning of a new year. For a project, yes I will set a goal as either my employer or client requires a measurable output. "Intentions," on the other hand, focuses more on the "big picture." What is the 'vision' for your life? Where do you see yourself in terms of vocation? What is your passion and how do you envision making an income pursuing it? What does your dream house looks like?

Those are some of the questions "Intentions" ask. Notice how often the words 'see' and even 'vision' arise in those questions? Setting intentions for your life is a visioning process. Creating a vision board, whether on paper or electronically is what I refer to as the "backward plan." The intention is naming your highest and best desires for your life as you can see it in this moment. The vision board items are the daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly reminders.

As an example, here is one of my intentions:

"It is my intention to live how I want, where I want, with whom I want and doing things that increases my feelings of well being, joy and abundance." 

Walking "backwards" from this intention, I have images depicting my vision of "living...where...with whom" and the things that I see myself doing. There are pictures of an apartment/townhouse (for the immediate), images of my dream home and places/surroundings that I desire to live in. As well, there are images of the partner I desire - more charactistics rather than a set face/body type. Albeit, Bruce Willis is who I really desire! Lol

Your vision board does not have to look as mine does but I urge you to get to doing one. There is a famous quote:

"If you don't build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs." ― Tony A. Gaskins Jr.

Feel free to write to me with any questions on this or any other topic. Contact me either through the comment/email sections here or on Facebook. You can also follow us on Twitter @DOSFoundation.

Have a blessed week and stay connected with us as we explore this "Failure is not an option," theme.

Photo Source:  www.kimdeancoaching.com

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Simple Question: "Why?"

Have you ever gone to bed feeling completely overwhelmed by the tentacles of another?

That drowning feeling overcame me last night. Having been through the tumultuous ride of depression years ago, I knew what to do. The signs of slipping into the deep murky end of the emotional sea are now well known to me.

As any drowning person would do, I cried out for help. Well, actually, I Facebook messaged for a ring buoy.

Stunned and bloated with tears though I was, my mind was still racing with questions. As my life-guard, my cousin, used her shepherd's crook to pull me in, I asked her, "Why will she not leave me the @$%* alone?" 

There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.” ― Richard DawkinsThe God Delusion

"Why?" Such a simple yet profound and oftentimes unanswerable question. Posing it, most of the time we really do not anticipate a satisfying response. Yet, asking "Why" can start a conversation that eventually lights a path to follow.

My cousin could not give me a definitive answer and I did not expect one. Her Australian candour and wit, however, sliced my pain like Spanish machetes in the mangroves.  Sleep came soon after logging off from her.

I arose this morning with a throbbing headache but certain what needed to be done. "Be the question," was what Bishop John Shelby Spong told me over a decade ago as I sought his direction regarding my calling. So, today I am "Why?"

You can join me on our page or follow on Twitter @DOSFoundation as we explore why? If you have been challenged by feelings of depression and uncertain how to cope, please feel free to message me - there is NOTHING to be ashamed about. There are many resources available that I might be able to share with you.

Blessings and have a peace-filled day. Namaste

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Confession: Good For Whose Soul?

Photo Source: hnltv.com
Who said that? "Confession is good for the soul," is an old Scottish proverb I found out and actually a word is reportedly missing.

An article on www.devotions.com states that the proverb in fact reads: "Open confession is good for the soul." What the heck?! It seems to me that what this is saying is one has to publicly admit to sinning ("missing the mark" is my preferred choice of words) and not merely 'confess' in your heart. Do you agree?

Admitting you have made a mistake to self is sometimes hard enough. Add to that going to whomever you screwed over and 'fessing up' in order to be completely absolved is taking it to another level. I can hear some of you saying, "Just shoot me and get it over with!" 

Apologizing for borrowing your girlfriend's lipstick without asking her and never returning it until she saw it on your dresser is one thing. Admitting that you and her boyfriend once smooched is going overboard! Is it not enough that it happened only once? "They broke up like three years ago so what's the point telling her now?! Hell no!" 

We all join in the hue and cry for politicians to be honest and confess their misdeeds. A virtual lynch mob gathers when a scandal, especially the salacious sex ones or some financial wrong doing, is uncovered. That **** is juicy! Then why not the same standards for ourselves in our personal lives?
  • I could lose my job. 
  • It could destroy my marriage
  • She would never speak to me again. 
  • The whipping that I would get is not worth it. 
  • I would be disgraced in front of the entire community. 
  • My family would ostracize me/us. 
These are just some of the reasons people do not confess to error in judgment. Rightly or wrongly, it is their choice whether to confess. Being judged as inadequate, different, greedy, addicted to (sex, food, money, etc) you name it, or being isolated from people dear to you are powerful disincentives to confession.
Telling the truth, however, is such a power-filled action. Keeping secrets, requires a special degree in "Cover Up Artistry." You need several devices to keep up with the stories because one lie attracts another and the momentum builds until explosion point! 
Have you ever wondered why someone would confess to an action taken moons ago, one that seemed as if they had gotten away with it? I worked in the correctional system and one important thing that the parole board members assess is whether the potential parolee is displaying remorse. It is a driving factor why people confess. Other reasons that lead to confessions - immediate or delayed - include:
  1. "Guilt (for what they did years ago or recently or both) 
  2. Closure (To seek help to get the 'demons' out of their minds) 
  3. Seeking help (To find out why they have done these acts)"
Whether you are a Christian or following any other religious or spiritual path that teaches confession and, based on my personal experiences, I would have to agree that confession is indeed good for the soul and mind. It heals not just you but possibly the person(s) you have wronged.

While we are not in the "confession" business :), feel free to drop me a line should there be something weighing heavily on your mind. There are many resources available and I might be able to point you to one.

Follow us on Twitter @DOSFoundation and/or *Like* our page at www.facebook.com/daughtersofsheba for further discussion on this most challenging but freeing of act.

Have a great day!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Fun Day

Have ever declared a #FunDay?

Well today is that day for us. No debates, no discussions, no stress and certainly no fuss!

Fun really ought not to be scheduled. Life is supposed to be fun. We should all be enjoying the ride! Unfortunately, that is not the case and the opposite is true for many. There have been times when I have wanted off of this flipping train!


Photo Source: insidewomanmag.com
Then you wake up and realize that it is all about perspective. So why not choose the vision that is full with laughter, even one day of the week?

I choose today! All our posts on the DOS Facebook page are aimed to bring a smile to your faces. Feel free to submit your fun pictures, quotes, etc to us by visiting the page or tweet us @DOSFoundation. 

Be blessed, have a fun-filled day and catch you tomorrow!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMUiwTubYu0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Mixing It Up: Interracial Love

This one is personal. It is intimate on all sorts of levels. Who knows, it may even be controversial.

Continuing our theme of "Living in Awareness," we turn our spotlight today on our world and how its inhabitants, humans, are "intermingling," might we say?

Photo Source: huffingtonpost.com
Interracial couples, relationships, marriages and families - they are everywhere! People of African descent mixing it up with Europeans. Asian blending with East Indians. Filipinos merging with Jamaicans. Persians doing the salsa with Latinos. You name it and cities such as Toronto has the mix for you!

Yours truly, for example, is married to a Canadian-born man of Scottish descent, red head and all!

Mixed marriages were once illegal in the United States but not anymore. In 2012, one news headline read: "Interracial marriage in US hits new high: 1 in 12," and reported that a Pew Research Centre study found that "8.4 percent of all current U.S. marriages are interracial, up from 3.2 percent in 1980. While Hispanics and Asians remained the most likely, as in previous decades, to marry someone of a different race, the biggest jump in share since 2008 occurred among blacks, who historically have been the most segregated." 

Statistics Canada had similar findings in that country with newspaper headlines trumpeting: "Number of Mixed-Race Couple on the Rise in Canada." Shock of all shocks as the great White North was turning brown???

Not everyone welcomed this news. Another shock.

The report from Canada was, although interracial couples was one of the fastest growing demographics particularly in urban centres, growing by 33% between 2001 - 2006, prejudicial attitudes towards mixed marriages was still rearing its ugly head.

When my husband told his late father that he was getting married, I could hear him repeatedly saying, "Yes Dad, she is a black girl." Granted I was over 40 at the time and so was he but he had to reassure his father that he had not drank some jungle juice and everything "is gonna be alright."

We lived in Alberta, the most conservative province in all of Canada, and that accounted for some of the stares we got walking through the mall. To bump it up a notch, my husband and I would hold hands and virtually skip through the place! It was downright hilarious to see the reactions, priceless in fact.

Yet bittersweet.  Why? Well, some of the most harsh stares came from "my own" - people, especially the men, of African descent. The looks, or I interpreted the knitted brows, the hissing of teeth and the furled lips to say, "Sister, why? Why have you done a thing like that?"

One fellow/brother at the institution where I worked had the cojones enough to ask me whether I "married a white man to get ahead?" Being the 'biatch' that I can be, especially in that male-dominated environment where guts meant everything, my response was, "Is that what you and all the other brothers were trying to do with those Becky's that landed you inside?" He never passed his place with me again nor did anyone else.

Marrying or even dating someone from another race/culture is no walk in the park. So many issues arise, from which food will take precedence in your household, cultural traditions that will be followed or at least respected or dress styles just to name a few. Add children to the mix and you have a way more complex life, starting with a seemingly simple thing as how their hair is to be groomed.

Sidebar: My Caucasian Sistahs with your mixed Afro kids: it's so not cute and culturally insensitive to have them running around with unkempt hair!  Message me for basic nappy hair care instructions please!

Do visit and *Like* our Facebook page today as we explore the many expressions, challenges and the beauty of interracial love. You can also follow us on Twitter @DOSFoundation.

Have a blessed day!



Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Dream The 'Impossible': Martin Luther King, Jr's Legacy To Women

On April 4, 1968 when Martin Luther King, Jr., (MLK) was assassinated my three year old mind had no clue as to what had happened.  Frankly, I am glad it did not as the brutality, cowardice and darkness of the act are not the influencers that would have best serve me.

Photo Source: globalhiphopbattles.com
Many accolades and words of remembrance will be offered today and again on Monday, January 20, which is MLK Day in the United States. My humble "Thank You," will be lost in the throng of praises. Nonetheless, it is offered as Martin Luther King, Jr., impacted and influenced the lives of people worldwide.

Reflecting on our theme "Living and Being in Awareness of Self & World," MLK's less oft-quoted words strongly resonate:

"If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control."
MLK was as much an human rights leader as he was a Minister of souls. In fact, what became his life's work was grounded in his faith and spiritual values. Read his words, examine his life and his work and it is very clear that visioning was an element of his process.
He saw equality, peace, justice, a bright future for humankind. MLK not only saw it, he walked his vision - literally and figuratively. He spoke truth to power and supported those who did the same. Was he perfect? Of course not. Who is? 
That spirit and example of fearlessly visioning and walking our dreams is the legacy for us to live by today. We often succumb to the opinions of others, the "what is" of our lives and the deep-seated fears in our consciousness. MLK's life and legacy, if nothing else, teach us the power of dreaming, standing in your strength even with shaking knees and 'dying' for what is your true calling.
"Seeing is not always believing," he also said.  In other words, what is before you is not all that there is; dream again! 
Happy Birthday MLK and an heartfelt thank you for all you offered, modelled and willed us to be.
Submit your thoughts on MLK and his legacy in our comment section, follow us on Twitter @DOSFoundation or post your comments and pictures at www.facebook.com/daughtersofsheba


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Money, Money, Money - Friend or Foe

For every time we have a conversation on any topic it always end with her saying, "Only rich people... ." Whether we are talking about food, clothing, housing, having a pet, even sexual relationships for crying out loud, this lady always conclude that only rich people have it good.

Before executing my plan not to engage her in any conversation beyond the weather, I asked her whether she thought her words had any impact on her finances. Sure she would not understand the metaphysics of my question, I simply said, "Why do you always say money is short and basically only rich people can afford to be happy?"

"But is true, Miss Estrene!"

There was no point in telling her again how to pronounce my name or that she was
reinforcing her reality with the negative self-talk. I kept my silence ever since.

This is what most of us do, myself included. We unconsciously and repeatedly feel, think and talk our way down a dead end street where money has no way of reaching us. If you are anything like me, along the walk you stop in at every credit card company, every retail store that issues credit card and at your personal banker to top up your line of credit.

Money and people with money become the problem. Once you reach the end of the street and the credit options dry up and there is no turning back, "rich people" become the favourite whipping horse. You loudly or silently hate them. "They were born with gold spoons in their mouths," you say. Somehow it becomes their fault for you having mounting credit card debt. Nevermind that you signed up for the card but "those bastards jacked up the interest rates!"

The financial systems operating in our world are not equitable, plain and simple. The "rich people" own the banks and set the terms to make the highest profits.  We borrow from them at our own risk and possibly financial peril. A rapidly expanding group of paradigm shifters are expounding the need for a more life-giving financial system. Until and while that thought develops into practical banks that offer terms that truly support their clients' growth, we can and must make personal financial choices that radically change our relationship with money.

Here are six steps you can take to make the shift:
  1. Check your limiting beliefs and negative self-talk about money.
  2. Boldly take responsibility for where you are financially; stop blaming the world, the government, the barking dogs for your situation. 
  3. Dream a new dream for your life, identify your passion, visualize yourself living the life you always wanted and write out a "backward plan" of how to get there. 
  4. Get the advice and engage the services of not just a reputable financial advisor but one who shares your personal, optimistic view that "the best is yet to come."
  5. Take the first, then second, then third baby steps toward your dream, always believing AND knowing succes is yours.
  6. Live within your current means in the full knowledge that those means are continuously expanding. Be sure to watch for signs that will lead you to ideas to move one step further into your new life. Ignore anything and anyone who try to distract you.
  7. Before getting out of bed each morning, give thanks for life and the gains you are making in that day living your best life.
My personal philosophy is never to suggest what I have neither tried, trying, proven or succeeded in doing.  These seven steps are very much part of my current journey. I will continue to share my progress and hope you will too. Send me a private message, post a comment here or on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/daughtersofsheba. You can also follow us on Twitter @DOSFoundation.

Together let us make money our best friend!

For additional resources, check out:

http://www.budbilanich.com/create-your-career-success-by-managing-your-negative-self-talk/
http://michaelhballard.ca
http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2013/10/08/how-im-changing-my-relationship-with-money/

Photo Source: downwardspiralintothevortex.com

Monday, 13 January 2014

All Woman: Reawakening to Her

Energy Vampires is what I call them. Those people and, in this instance, I mean women who suck the air out of any room they enter.

Sisterhood, community and real friendship are things high on the priority for me and Daughters of Sheba Foundation.  We strive to be supportive, stand in the gap for each other and lend a hand if and when needed.

Are we perfect at what we do? No. Do we get it right everytime? Certainly not. Will we keep trying to be the best that each of us can be, first for ourselves and then for all others? That is the intention as we move to reawaken the "All-Woman" of our beings.

What does that mean - "to reawaken the 'All-Woman' of our beings?"

Growing up in the 70's in a developing country - Jamaica - where the political temperature was set on high and the ripple effects of the Black Power Movement in the United States were touching our lives, I became acutely aware of my heritage. My potentials, the possibilities and the purpose of my life as a young woman were coming into sharp focus aided and abetted by the rhetoric of the then Prime Minister, the late Michael Manley. His wife at the time, Beverly Manley, embodied for me a vision of what I could be - educated, articulate, strong, unafraid, supportive of other women and seemingly loved by her man.

It would take many years (at least two decades in fact), many trials and errors (including that of my role models), being diagnosed clinically depressed, major health challenges and financial 'ruin' for me to begin to understand what I thought I knew.

Photo Source: empathicguidance.wordpress.com
Reawakening, you see, requires both darkness and light. It is my conviction that when we arrived here and throughout our formative years (some experts say three, some six), we knew who we are. As life unfolded, as our 'teachers', including and mainly parents, molded our minds and as lovers broke our hearts we went back to bed. For some, it was more as if they fell into a coma.

In this stage of virtual comatosed existence, the energy vampires come alive. They thrive on sucking the dreams, hopes and even smiles of others. Front of centre they feel is their birthright. Everyone must acquiesce to their requests, demands and opinions of things even when there lives are in total contrast to their utterances.

Life is the ultimate equalizer. I can attest to that. She abhors imbalance in all its expressions whether in nature or human behaviour.  Life flourishes when energy is flowing freely and according to 'need'. Our environment constantly demonstrates this truth.  So it is in us humans - we can sleepwalk for so long, suck, sap and steal energy from others to a point, then Life will correct course us.

“Life gives you exactly what you need to awaken.” 
― T. Scott McLeod

An All-Woman is one who has zapped and has been zapped by others, has fallen to her rock bottom, has been saturated, overdosed on other peoples' energies and finally reawakened by the Mother of mothers - Life.

There is no better way to express this than in the words of Sonny Carrol:

"Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart's desire. And a sense of power is born of self-reliance. And you live with honor and integrity because you know that these principles are not the outdated ideals of a by-gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build your life. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful opportunity and exciting possibility. Then you hang a wind chime outside your window to remind yourself what beauty there is in Simplicity."

Read the full poem here and see whether you are still sleep-existing or reawakened. You can share your thoughts in our comments section, on our page at www.facebook. com/daughtersofsheba or tweet us @DOSFoundation.

Be blessed, stay awake until tomorrow! Namaste

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Sunday Comfort

Sundays, like Christmas, are my favourite days and time of the year. A warm, satiny peace naturally envelopes me as my eyes open on a Sunday morning.

The first day of the week is my 'comfort' day. Special breakfast is made and since being single it is usually had in bed. A cat has nothing over me when it comes to gliding and sauntering around the house most of the day. Whatever chores there are, they are unhurriedly and gracefully, yes gracefully, completed. That might account for why my Sunday dinners are the most tasty as they are prepared with ease and a serious infusion of love.

Comfortable would best describe me on a Sunday. It took me years, many a slips, falls, nosedives to be at peace with myself and at comfort with Claudette.  More time is spent now pampering myself in whichever manner that provides the greatest comfort. The self-care measures that were once a daily necessity are now a rarity.

What is the difference? Comforting, in my case, is doing things to sooth me back to my "zen." I am not big on sitting crosslegged in meditation but after a long day, a challenging or energy-draining conversation with a would-be antagonist or an unwanted telephone call, taking a long shower is my pacifier.

A solitary walk on a beach or a tree-lined avenue, sipping a warm cup of Milo looking out my window or treating myself to an unscheduled day at a spa are all "comforters" for me.

Seldom are the days now when I need to go into retail therapy, drinking more than my one-glass tolerance level or eating to near explosion. Those were the days, months, even years when my awareness of who and whose I am was virtually non-existent. Care was what I needed and sadly had no idea how to either give it to myself or how to ask for help.

Throughout this week, this will be the overarching theme of our posts - "Living and Being in Awareness of Self and World." Here, on our page at www.facebook.com/daughtersofsheba, as well as on Twitter @DOSFoundation our articles, posts and tweets will highlight self-awareness, emotional intelligence and generally being aligned with Yourself.

Subscribe to our blog, leave a comment, like us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter and let us continue to grow together.  Have a bliss-filled day and week! Namaste
Photo Source: russianblackwork.blogspot. com

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Blessons Along The Way

How many times does Life have to knock you down for you to finally get it? Are some experiences easier to learn from than others for you? Which are the hard ones - relationship, financial, career, health?

In my case, health was and to this day poses the most challenge. The 'plagues' of diabetes and hyperthyroidism visited my house over two decades ago yet I remained in denial. Weighing in at 200lbs then losing 80 in a month were not signals enough to me to get a grip on my health.

My mother had diabetes and, with time, every related and imaginary ailments. My father died at 40+ from complications of diabetes that were escalated by his alcoholism.  None of this meant anything really to me as they both modelled "the art of ignoring" very well.

"Blesson" is a word coined by Karen Salmanshohn and it is one that has become very meaningful to me. My blesson regarding my health was dispensed about two years ago when a short man of a physican stared me down  called me a "coward" and wrote a prescription for insulin! I really am not fond if short men but that is fodder for another past. Never dare me or call me a coward - someone must havd told him. Snitches!!!

The moment of my first self-injection was the turning point. Since then, another short physician came into my health journey  (is there a special medical school for short men?) This one is an endocrinologist and he has me doing things and eating in ways I never imagined.

Not there yet but I am much closer to an ideal for me body weight. My diet and eating habits have vastly improved in quality and quantity.

I love food - as evidenced by today's focus on our page at www.facebook.com/daughtersofsheba.  Most types of food and dishes I will try at least once. Now, however, I eat to live and my life and this journey are so rich and fulfilling without needing to endlessly and obsessively count calories.

What about you, what has been your blesson in food, dieting and/or your health in general? Do share with me through the comments section, on our Facebook page or on Twitter @DOSFoundation.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Chapters of our Lives

A year ago at about this same time, in a different city and in fact country, my paradigm shifted. So much had changed, not due to anyone's fault not even mine.

Life happened and decisions made years before were coming into fruition. Sitting in my room filled with more memories than furnishings, my ever faithful laptop provided solace.

Scouring the Internet to distract myself as the remnants of the Christmas 'blues' ebbed from my heart, I came across this poem. Weeping as I heard my name being called by the silent voice of Portia Nelson, an "Autobiography in Five Chapters" became my soliloquy.

Have a read. In fact, this poem requires at least three readings.  Pour yourself a glass of wine or make an hot beverage and reflect on these power-filled words. Then answer the question,  "What chapter are you writing now?"

Share your thoughts with me in the comments box or send a private message. Cheers!

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson
I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.
II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place
but, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
V
I walk down another street.

Copyright (c) 1993, by Portia Nelson from the book There's A Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery
















Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Paradigm Shift

Paradigm shift - what it is and how it applies in our daily lives have been the focus of this week.

Source: http://blog.brewer-garrett.com
Starting with a working definition, the term paradigm shift was coined by Thomas Kuhn in 1962 in his book "The Structure of Scientific Revolution." He was of the view that "scientific advancement is not evolutionary, but rather is a 'series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions', and in those revolutions 'one conceptual world view is replaced by another'.

Simplifying this definition, the authors at www.taketheleap.com explains: "Think of a Paradigm Shift as a change from one way of thinking to another. It's a revolution, a transformation, a sort of metamorphosis. It just does not happen, but rather it is driven by agents of change."

Why is an understanding of paradigm shift relevant to us?

You are an agent of change and as our world and lives change, it will be your choice to fully embrace your role. To choose otherwise, other change agents will effect the changes and you will be left to live with them.

Change begins with our thinking. A repeated thought, it is said, becomes a belief. Our beliefs literally dictate how we life our lives, the things we fear and those to which we are loyal.

So far this week, we have examined the gentle wind of change that is moving businesses, managers, supervisors, etc to adapt their business and management practices. As well, we have looked at the paradigm shift in how we relate intimately - in our marriages and long term relationships. Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/daughtersofsheba and catch up on what you might have missed.

For the remainder of this week, we will cover the 'shifts' in parenting and race relations due to technological advancements and the emergence of an increasingly more compassionate world.

To keep abreast of our posts, reflections, commentaries and the views of others about them, please *Like* us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @DOSFoundation.

EVENT ALERT: We are in the process of putting together the First Gathering of DOS Foundation which is scheduled for December 2014 in Jamaica! Stay in touch as details will soon be released.

Be blessed and continue to be a blessing (a change agent) in your world. Namaste.