I remember once I sat talking to Detroiter at my tutoring job senior year. A young girl not more than 19 years began to share her story . She still had the sane glaze in her eyes versus the wide dulled stare of the unfortunate. It seemed stress over time desensitizes the brain to reality, almost as if to be a defense mechanism sparing the individual of anymore hurt.
After a few minutes of discussing majors and other school related topics what was revealed to me stirred my temperament. My fault, I always lead conversations, its just something in my nature. I asked her if she had any siblings and what they were like. I would never had suspected the drama going on in her life. This kind, soft spoken lady was missing her older sister every day– literally. She had been missing for a couple weeks; a dancer that never came back home. I sympathized with her in anyway I could. A cliche` story to some but dancers there are like amazon women in a concrete jungle. I could see this lady just wanted someone to share the burden of her story– sincerity can’t be faked. Believe it or not sometimes it is very therapeutic to speak your mind to a stranger.
One aspect of adversity I admire is that it awakens a person to what is truly important to him or her. Adversity reveals unauthentic aspects of your life- mirages disappear. Drug addiction, abusive relationships, poverty, a period of mental illness are all life changing events. This adversity doesn’t have to be life threatening but as simple as a displacement from a comfort zone for a prolonged period of time.
I’ve met a woman, small in stature but strong in character maybe 5,2” at best. She was the sole breadwinner in her home as a single parent, but this parenthood came about by tragedy. Her mother died in a car accident leaving herself and 2 younger siblings behind; she had inherited the role of a mother, student and professional by chance. Everyday she worked 9 hours shifts and studied toward graduation while overseeing her younger siblings. Yet everyday her dimples could be seen to every stranger. She was glad to blend in as a regular college student and surrounded by positive people.
“Brothers ” in war often miss the chaos of combat. They don’t miss the bullets flying pass their heads but the comradery, a deep bond forged by the threat of death. A love for the platoon over one’s self–brother’s keeper. This reality that cannot be replicated in ordinary day to day life. Adversity peals away layers of superficial behaviors down to the “nitty- gritty”. Now after fighting side by side for another that will kill and die for you its not the same to appreciate another for pretense reasons when returned to the “civilized” world.
This same idea of “brothers in war” can be observed in popular hip hop culture. The most dangerous urban communities have unimaginable high mortality rates, often competing or higher than warzones in the middle east. These young males tied to one another by gang affiliation or association share the similar traumatic experiences as veteran soldiers. A professor once relayed the notion that hip-hop culture embrace homosexual conceptions in her sociology lecture but she didn’t understand the ideology of “brothers in war”.
Diamonds are found in the dirt
A King’s reign is never forever.
Thieves often splurge their bounty or lose hands
Beauty is always temporary but never seen in a mirror
A balance of energy this world demands
Only one thing is certain, endure the seasons
Appreciate every moment for its worth
A collage of memory is the reason,
We chase, we fight, we strive, we love.
Embroidery for the soul and etched hearts
An experience that will live on above
A good stance and posture reflect a good state of mind.
I’m in back in my hometown/ country Barbados, I must admit life here has transitioned to an almost mundane creep. Life here in Barbados is much more relaxing and there is less pressure to work your hands to the bone. No more working two jobs trying knock off rent and other college expenses. The climb up the corporate ladder was the only option I cared to recognized at the time. Activity doesn’t add value to a day’s fulfillment here; I remember I used to make a to-do list every morning between networking programs, editing the school’s newsletter, research papers and my part-time sales job door-knocking.
It’s now quite a blessing to drive 5 minutes to a beach and sit around in the water doing nothing for a couple hours while drinking a few beers. The thought of tomorrow could come if she chooses– no worries. A different philosophy on life the Caribbean culture has to offer. Enjoy the downtime and simple things in life, I must admit my busy days are a blur because I never really lived in the present, part of me was constantly planning for the next move –disconnected.
I sometimes caught myself walking at a pace that was deemed “suspicious” because there was too much urgency. My brain was still conditioned to be busy and in a constant state of “crisis” to complete a task on my check-list. The humor in this was there was no check-list, I was just on the way to the barber. How I felt was directly linked to my body and was transposed to the pace of walking. Constantly I would check my emails and social media networks anticipating some information from a previous job interview. I was anxious to plan for the next opportunity and my fingers couldn’t keep still. Insomnia soon reared it’s ugly head; when your so used to having a high energy compact day there must be a release of energy in activity of some sort but instead my mind raced anxiously.
The body and mind are one. The key point I want to share is; the mind affects the body just as much as the body affects the mind.
Amy Cuddy speaks:
Your Body Language shapes who you are!
- Posture – A simple and effective trigger to the mind
— Take two minutes out of your day to practice a confident, commanding posture. One that is associated to be of a C.E.O to a fortune 500 company or generally a successful, confident person. Sit or stand in this posture for two minutes or more and imagine you are as you are acting. Immediately after compare how feel you after this “trick” to before you engaged in the meditation.
“Fake it til you become it”
As we assume different roles in life it sparks changes in the brain. The roles govern the behavior and subsequently the mind and quite marvelously it works in reverse. We can change our behaviors to change our lives. Be the wall-street broker, the well respected intellectual or even the sociable life of the party. It will be reflected in everyday life one way or the other.
Each person is a constant evolving being.
My bad habits aren’t my title, my strengths and talents are my title
Each person’s has a unique story, situation , circumstance, belief, attitude and intellect. Hence we can safely say a person’s road in life is different. Life is not a race, never compare one’s self with others as you can never be truly reflected in their image. It is pointless.
“You may be reluctant to investigate your strengths quite simply because you don’t believe that your true self is much to write home about. Whatever the label– a feeling of inadequacy or “imposter syndrome” or plain old insecurity– the symptoms are familiar. Despite your achievements, you wonder whether you are as talented as everyone thinks you are. You suspect that luck and circumstances, not your strengths, might explain much of your success. The anxious little voice in your ear whispers, “When will you be found out?” and, against your better judgement, you listen.
In part this explains why, when asked to describe their strengths, people rarely refer to their natural talents. Instead, they talk about external things that they have gathered during their life, such as certificates and diplomas, experiences and awards. Here is the “proof” that they have improved themselves, that have something valuable to offer.
We don’t mean to imply that this fear is entirely negative. After all, the flip side of insecurity is complacency. We do want to remind you, however, that if you stop investigating yourself for fear of how little you might find, you will miss the wonder your strengths. We say “remind” because so many of us take our strengths for granted. We live with them everyday and they come so easily to us that they cease to be precious. Like the New Yorker who no longer hears the sirens and the horns, we are so close to our strengths that we don’t see them anymore.”
Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D
Have you ever been complimented sincerely on a project you completed or a specific ability? Following this compliment did you ever blush uncontrollably or even have a moving sense of satisfaction or reassurance? If you do this “specific” activity to just put you in better mood or get things back on track mentally it might just be one of your strengths or talents. They aren’t many clear indicators, but mostly intuitive in nature.
He wished her essence to reality as thought to a lyric– a story dramatized by a unique city and poetry. Dry cry, vapor tears on her cheeks–scars. He sees a wingless angel burdened by the weight of the past. A knight in shining armor never comes to her rescue–a lost damsel. Bandits only search for the bounty of love and the spoils of courtship camouflaged under a mist of uncertainty–seduction. Her beauty brings tranquility that saves his sanity. A delightful complement but not quite the remedy– the wise are often lonely. Hours to minutes, frowns to smiles–a mild high. Intoxicating lips and a touch never forgotten– a dose of emotion. Everyone fights but only the brave love– a battle not to be won. Blessed and cursed with beauty as every mirror in her possession is broken; never reflecting the true jewel within. A jezebel growing to a queen, the wise man understands her adoration is his to steal– another bandit yet a hero. Bleached sins and loud steps betrays confidence to vulnerability–blonde vanity. Intellect and sex appeal is her arsenal; a duo crippling masculine ego. Womanly provocative yet innocently youthful; this queen shuns love to save her kingdom–victim of a Trojan horse. A proposition for Philia; confused she returns to the site of a tragedy–broken heart. Wisdom and warmth meets experience and coldness. Romance is followed closely by turbulence, it is paired with the heavens of appreciation and the hell of neglect. The cure to her heart is unsure, the elixir is only found with the courage to fall again.
Every person has a “pull” force; the center of this force is the mind. We send signals to the universe with thoughts and words– prayers, wishes, complements and swears all have an influencing power on our lives. “I knew this was going to happen!” might be a familiar expression when we expected some news.
Have you ever noticed that when you are happy, joyful and cheery the world around you seem to move favorably? Opportunities seem to pop out that may have been overlooked all the while life seems to be a fun ride. A sense of ingenuity and confidence dictates the day and everything just seems to fall into place.
On the other hand when a person sits in a “funk” life almost seems to stand still. No new faces cross their path that may offer a window to the next chapter–monotony and isolation depresses the day. Sadness and negativity doesn’t shake the world like optimism and genuine happiness.
If our mind is the center of our world that constantly communicates signals to others then no one can truly control your happiness and temperament. We should never chase relationships but attract the kind we wish to embrace. Worrying about not having a certain type of car, job, wife or husband will only repel it further away from you.
If the dream job, car, wife or husband is not available, then the timing is probably wrong. Desperation and impatience makes a person vulnerable to the negatives in the world. A forced relationship is almost never satisfying. Soul searching is sometimes necessary to evaluate if the object of our desires is actually beneficial to happiness. Then with much thought, visualize the person or career and accept it into existence as if it is the present.
“You will meet someone when you least expect it” or you might just stumble on a career opportunity that may brighten your whole future on the way to visit an old friend or family member. Anyone who has experienced genuine friendships and love interests know it was an unforced happening as both parties gravitated toward one another. Sometimes the most prosperous opportunities or people fall into your life while you were busy “living” not dwelling.
Live, concentrate on dreams and the purpose of your life and whatever is for you will be for you….