the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes.
Observing what I am THINKING behind what I am saying and doing, checking my OWN EMOTIONS behind what I am saying and doing is forces me to examine myself. LEARNING to this BEFORE I say and do is the POWER in the EMPOWERING myself! In order to do this you must be honest with yourself about what you are really thinking and feeling. Before you “lose it” at the person behind the counter for getting your order wrong, what are you REALLY thinking and feeling before you arrived at the place? On the job? Home? Is it s right thought? Is it a right action? Are you mad about what happened on the job? Are you stressed about bills? Are you unhappy in your relationship? And you go out into the world already “feeling and thinking” about something. So, when your child gets in the car and forgets to tell you they have practice you “lose it.”
We are often good at reading others, but can we read ourselves. Checks and balances with yourself through introspective empowers you to be a better person. For me, it works for me because I can locate my mental state and emotions and MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION about what I am really feeling. Therefore, I can handle the wrong order at the counter better. I can avoid having to apologize to coworkers, a child, or a mate about your outburst or sudden mood change. I have the power to address the real issues on my job instead of taking it out on other people that have not a clue about my money problems. I learn my triggers. I also have the power to address my mental and emotional state to solve the real problems. I place my energy where it needs to go and not on the nearest person or distraction.
Free yourself by being yourself. Who cares if they like your hair, like your style, like your decision to start a business, change careers, etc.? You shouldn’t care! Who are these people that like to hold us captive in their will for out lives? Well, whomever they are, they are not the boss of your life. So what if that color doesn’t look good on you to them…you like it, you buy it, you wear it.
Oh, and don’t forget to let others be themselves without your approval.
The authentic self is the soul made visible. -Sarah Ban Breathnach
AUTHENTICITY. I took a journey to excavate my authentic self and it turned out to be the most POWERFUL tool in empowering myself. Who am I before religion, before all of the trauma and drama, before I was shaped and molded into the woman I had become to know, loathe, and then love? I had learned to love myself as I was, which was powerful, but when I remembered, dug deeper into who I was before all of this, before I admitted how I TRULY FELT ABOUT EVERYTHING I WAS TAUGHT in home, in school, in life, in church…that real honesty that can make you feel guilty because you know, they say it’s wrong…or it’s not lady like or it’s not part of our culture or God is going to strike you down. God’s going to write it down and he is reading your thoughts and recording them. Whew, child! I had to now accept my TRUE SOUL and love her all the more. I had to do away with some of my outdated thinking and programmed thinking. I had to move beyond the Black/African American-AMERICAN culture. I had to remember the free little girl in her free moments laying in the backyard looking towards the sky. The little girl sitting on the step of the front porch daydreaming. The little girl before being horrifically teased about being black with naturally red hair. Before prejudice and racism. Before, abuse and before the beat down of self esteem and the rip off of a budding fashion designer. I am more than a preacher’s daughter. I am more than a Christian, if I am that in fact. (Still discovering).
My authentic self is like this megaphone echoing throughout the universe. “Here I am! Here is the real me! Love it, like it, leave it, NAMASTE.” If you are mean, miserable, biased, rude, insensitive, lying to yourself about what you really think and feel, carrying the torch for known evil, etc.. I highly recommend EXCAVATING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF. If you hate anyone in this world, if you love division, if you can’t see people for people, then you’re probably not as REAL as you claim to be. If you are about ZEN life, Yoga/Yogi, spirituality, but when a person of color walks in you ignore them and their knowledge or experience you probably need some excavating. But I must warn you that becoming your authentic self can be daunting and painful work. It may cause you to lose friends and family and to leave you lonely at times. It may make you feel funny and it may make others living a carbon copy life question your sanity. With that being said, GO FOR IT.
I’ve been thinking bigger. I am just as great as Oprah, Tyler, James Patterson, Stephen King, Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Jay Renee etc. I see their methods. They have laid out their blueprints. And you know what, it’s all about determination, belief in your self, shutting out the critics, focus, never giving up (faith), drive, being prepared for the opportunities, going against the grain, walking away when it wasn’t right for them, taking risks and learning from it all. I love to hear Stephen King on interviews about his writing and career. He gives inspiring advice and so does James Patterson. Yes, I know sometimes as an AA it’s harder for us. Some people can get a deal on mediocre content based on their skin color and who they know (But I know somebody, too! ). But that doesn’t stop my flow or kill my vibe. It doesn’t put my fire out. Some want to help, some want to hinder, all I need is discernment and to trust my gut. This year, I am going to give it all I got and let my Creator and Angels do the rest. I’m going to push the envelope pertaining to my beliefs. #44Presidential
Its my birthday eve, and I want to leave you with seven things from my 43: The It Is Well Within Tour.
- You don’t have to allow craziness, madness, chaos, because the person is your parent or relative. Set boundaries. Yes, set boundaries for your family.
- Remove yourself, Let me help you remove yourself, I will remove myself to maintain peace within.
- I realized I would never have the relationship I desired to have with a “relative”. I was both sad and relieved. I could stop trying and start figuring out how to best deal with them.
- It’s not me, it’s you. You’re fake and I don’t do fake. I also don’t entertain liars and cheaters. They are not good for my heart or health.
- Cry. Pray. Meditate. Laugh. Repeat.
- I am expanding my circle to those that vibe well with me and I with them instead of making it smaller because of the negativity I’ve experienced in the past.
- Keeping my within helps me to control my without.
Today I want to take a moment to honor Alma Woodsey Thomas. She was an African American Abstract/Impressionist Artist. She is the biggest influence on my art. She is an inspiration.To find a black woman, who painted abstract art, gives me confidence in myself and my artwork. I put a link to the article in the comment section. Alma Woodsey Thomas (1891-1978).
“Alma Woodsey Thomas developed her signature style — large, abstract paintings filled with dense, irregular patterns of bright colors — in her 70s,” writes the National Museum of Women in the Arts. “Thomas became an important role model for women, African-Americans, and older artists. She was the first African-American woman to have a solo exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, and she exhibited her paintings at the White House three times. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/weekinreview/11cotter.html
The problem with pretending everything is okay when it’s “not” okay is you begin to accept behavior that is not okay. Once you begin to accept behavior that is not okay, you begin to NORMALIZE this bad behavior and mistreatment. You know what is worse? Anything that points to you having to confront or deal with REALITY sends you into retreat or lies to protect that which you don’t want to disturb. You make excuses. You don’t want to deal with the elephant that once was simply in the room, but is now on top of your head or chest. You are cracking up on the inside. You are miserable as hell. You will have a nervous breakdown, a heart attack, before you deal with the elephants. Yes. With an “s” because an elephant not dealt with becomes a heard.