Mindfulness Means NOW

Embracing NOW is a new a level of being and living.

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My ears are turned to whomever utters words that captivate me and resonate with my being. I listen to whom I’m drawn to whether it be friend, stranger or foe. I can learn something from everyone if I am willing to notice the lesson and pay attention.

I am not a fanatic of anyone. I read whoever has something to say that I am interested in or drawn to at the time. It could be a child, a store clerk or a person in front of me in line at the bank. I do appreciate the contributions of those who have helped to add to my life along the way both directly and indirectly.

Simply put, my goal is to seize the moment with awareness! How about you? Learning to live in the now positions us to live at an entirely different level of existence. Whenever we fully embrace the moment we elevate ourselves from mindlessness to mindfulness. It’s easier to see the rainbow in the clouds and our lives become more of an eventful pleasure rather than something to be endured.

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Have you ever been driving and wondered how you’d arrived at your destination? Truly you were in the car but your mind was miles away. Are you truly present when others are talking to you or is your mind elsewhere? When you take a shower or bath are you thinking about the comfort you the feel from the warm water sloshing between your toes? Or are you yelling at the kids and trying to ignore the knocks and voices on the other side of the bathroom door. When you eat are you savoring every bite chewing each one at least twenty times? Or are you woofing it down—finished and wondering what you ate while you’re still hungry? When you walk from one point to the next are you enjoying each step and taking time to smell the flowers along the way or are you just trying to hurry up and get there? In this rushed society too many of us have the next thing on our mind!

There are times when reflection is absolutely necessary. However, a majority of the time it is personally advantageous for our minds to be in the present moment. Our focus should be on what is—not what will be or what was.  Our families, jobs and a plethora of other demands can keep us running through life like it’s a sprint when life is meant to be an enjoyable marathon of a journey.

 

Are you free? We arrive at another state of being when we learn to bask in the moment and savor the flavor of our experiences like tasting a new wine. Now is the only thing that is certain. Let’s not waste it! The present moment is a unique gift. Receive it! Take this moment and sit in stillness. Just try it for 60 seconds. Pay attention to what you hear. Try to relax and quiet your mind. It may help jut to pay attention to your breathing—each inhale and exhale. If you like, do so to the count of three or four.  Additionally, the picture below may help. Sit and imagine being there and hearing the sounds of the waves—feeling the cool wet sand between your toes. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. Just relax in moment. That’s mindfulness meditation. That’s how manifestation begins. That’s embracing the now rather than allowing time to control you. Oh, what a feeling….

Beach scene

In love and peace,

Dr. Free

Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder and or respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.

Feel free to use this platforrm to encourage others. Express your authentic thoughts. Leave a comment.

Beautiful!

Our eyes behold countless scenes and images within our lifetime and it is up to us to determine for ourselves what we think about what we see. Sometimes we will call what we see beautiful and other times we won’t. We do not exist in this world alone. As we journey our own path we will more than likely meet a wide variety of people from differing walks of life. Their experiences helped to develop and shape their perceptions, ideologies and expectations from the people and the world at large. We have a definite right to whatever opinion we form about these people—if that’s how we choose to spend our time. However, they owe us no explanations for who they are and how they exist in the world. Maya Angelou said we will probably forget what people said but we won’t forget how they made us feel.   Maybe the people that made us feel loved and appreciated are people you and I would also call beautiful.

Have you ever heard a song whose lyrics moved you toward a defining moment in your life? You may call the song beautiful while no one else even notices. Why did the song elicit such a different response? The old adage is true! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Cultural conditioning has influenced our personal ideas of beauty. Within certain cultural constructs some appearances and ways of being are rejected.  The ridiculous one aspect of cultural conditioning is the it inclines us to be like others rather than embracing and celebrating our unique individuality. Behaving in this manner causes us to ignore and dismiss the beauty we encounter in the world and often the beauty we should behold when we look in the mirror.

Trying to look like someone or become just like someone else is a waste of time. No one else can be YOU like you can. The color of your skin, the texture of your hair, size of your feet, shape of your nose and lips all makes you uniquely you. Do you call what you see when you look in the mirror beautiful? You should. No one else’s opinion should be more important to us than our own. You are an original priceless masterpiece! Loving yourself means truly accepting yourself for the beautiful person you were created to be.

My authentic thought:

We are beautiful Black women with a wonderful culture to honor and fully embrace. It is unnecessary to align ourselves with what society deems beautiful. Actually, society is in denial about Black beauty. It’s more than interesting that others pick and choose to emulate certain aspects of Black beauty without acknowledging the origin.

Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder and or respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.

Share your authentic thoughts. Post a comment.

Growth

 

Growth is fortunately a significant reality of good living. When the state of our existence is healthy and the quality of life consistently improves growth is inevitable. The key then to personal growth is making certain that our outlook from within our personal habitat for life is personally nurturing. Now this does not mean that everything around us has to be positive and perfect—that’s never going to happen. Nor is love and respect from everyone we meet a necessary conduit for growth. The old adage is true. Life is not about what happens to us. Life is about how we respond to what happens to us. Our unique perspective determines whether our experiences add to or subtract from our lives. When we respond to life’s problematic circumstances as opportunities to become we will experience personal growth by leaps and abounds.

I have concluded that personal growth comes when we honor our commitments and goals, forgive ourselves and release the need for perfection.  Honoring our commitment means keeping the promise we made to ourselves on the good days and the bad days—during favorable and unfavorable conditions. Quitting is not an option. Commitment is standing firm on our own convictions. We set ourselves up for failure when we compare the commitments of others to our own. Even when personal goals are the same the path one person takes to get there could be totally different from someone else’s route. The process of reaching our personal goals can only be accomplished by climbing from our own foundation of commitment.

Secondly, making mistakes is part of the process of living. Therefore, forgiveness of self is necessary for growth. Unforgiveness sucks the life from our souls and stagnates our growth.  Even healthy balanced lives do not have error free zones. The most valuable lessons are learned from falling down not winning.  Winning is usually the culmination of gleaning from many lessons learned. Got a whole lot of adversity going on? Good. The Creator says class is in session! The universe will respond to all of your intentions so act according to your desired outcome. Some venture to say there are no mistakes just lessons to learn. As long as we fall forward, (applying what we learned) we will grow and even win from time to time. In those moments our seeds of knowledge bloom into flowers of wisdom. I personally win, every time I learn a lesson from this wonderful journey called life. I’m always trying to learn something cause winning in my life is motivational fuel for the journey.

Finally, we must fully embrace our growth at each phase. Have you ever looked at old photos with embarrassment or regret? Why? What would have made that moment better? You knew what you knew, nothing more—nothing less! It has been said by many elders that when we know better we do better. Too often we look at past photos or reflect on moments in our history with clearer lenses of new knowledge. Of course, if you knew then what you know now things would be different. However that is not the case. We made the best choices or not at the time simply because that’s who we were. We had to be that person then to be who we are today. Don’t remember  your past or present development for that matter with regret. Change the story you tell yourself about what happened. Highlight the good and honor the valuable lessons you have learned. Only then is the time well spent and we are equipped and ready to move forward.

A farmer wholeheartedly accepts the labor of tilling the soil and preparing the earth. He or she is privileged to plant the seed and does not discount the joy of participating in beginning something new. Further the farmer commits to the process of caring for seed, the seedling, the finally full grown plant and harvesting the fruit. Each phase is crucial the process and just as important. The farmer wisely sets right expectations for each phase of growth and development.  So, embrace each phase of your growth with a grateful heart. Every growth phase is part of the unique human process of becoming. You were everything you needed to be then and everything you need to be now—that’s perfect!

In love and peace,

Dr. Free

My authentic thought:

Life is a journey. We delude ourselves if we hope to reach a final destination. There is always more to do and more to learn if we make ourselves availible. Let’s surrender to the process and enjoy the ride.

Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder and or respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.

Express yourself and share your authentic thoughts. Follow me for future posts at the bottom right of the screen.

Malcolm X vs Martin Luther King: Debate

Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered as a Christian man of peace. So much so, that he received the Nobel Peace Prize. He is considered a prominent leader of the civil rights movement. King demonstrated valiant restraint and an immovable non-violent disposition even when others were egregiously violent with him. His efforts were the catalyst for changes in the law and integration. Today his legacy is celebrated all over the world. His dream of integration still compels people to make efforts to be amicable with people different from themselves.

Malcolm X was a Muslim man of peace but was intolerant with those who were violent with him. He demonstrated noteworthy self-control as well and believed in adherence to the law and its enforcement. Like King, Malcolm X further believed that he had the right to public protest. He understood his obligation to protect his family, and fellow brothers and sisters had to be upheld by any means necessary. Minister Malcolm was also very instrumental in the Black community. Malcolm X encouraged Blacks to be proud and demand respect. He thought it was more important to direct our energies toward strengthening our own communities rather than trying to integrate.

Watch the  short 8 minute video:

My Authentic Thought:

Self knowledge and self love cause individuals to walk in divine purpose. People who know who they are and unwaveringly love themselves are also less tolerant of the inconsiderate foolishness of others and wise enough to use their energies in ways that are of great benefit to themselves and their community. Most unfortunately, due to aged yet refined oppressive systems, African-Americans do not have adequate knowledge of self. If we did nothing would prevent us from furthering our own interests.  Knoweldge of self is absolutely essential.

  • Is either position of King or Malcolm out dated—antiquated even? Should African-Americans be doing something different to bring about the positive change we long for?
  • Should we be concerned? Is change necessary?
  • Do we need change? If so, who is responsible in bringing about the change?
  • Who has the right perspective of the European? Malcolm or Martin?
  • What’s the right plan?

Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder and or respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.

Share and express your authentic thoughts,

Hotep, (Peace)

Dr. Free

Do What U Gotta Do!

Singing about tomorrow, I’m wishing this day would past.
My problems weighing me down, but I know they will not last.
Searching for the answers, all along they’ve been so near.
I took a trip down in my soul and put aside all of my fears,

I said, Go ahead now you, can make it.
Do what you gotta do, do what you gotta do, baby.
Keep your head up, you can make it.
Do what you gotta do.
Go on now, you can make it, do what you gotta do.
Go ahead now, you can make it
Do what you gotta do, do what you gotta do

By Angie Stone

The lyrics above have brought me much encouragement! Each time I listen to the song above, I am motivated to persevere. There are times when we may feel a little discouraged by goals yet to be accomplished. Setbacks are inevitable and adverse circumstances and difficult people are something we have to learn to deal with. It’s all a part of the human existence.

There are times when I’ve ended up starting back at square again and again. In times like these I resolve to do whatever I can in that moment to work toward my goal and I keep it moving. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not come but what I do today, right NOW, will determine the quality of my future.

I’m not a quitter and the lyrics in this song remind me that I am equipped and well able to overcome if I choose to be intentional and willing to do whatever I must do. I am obligated to actively participate in making my own success and victories a tangible reality.

Look within yourself, or Angie says take a trip down in your soul, follow your intuition. I hope the lyrics encourage you the way they’ve encouraged me. Positive self-talk is important. I always tell myself, “As long as I keep moving in the right direction, eventually I will get there.” Hold your head up and tell yourself, “I can make it cause I resolve to do what I have to do!”

Thanks Angie Stone

Be encouraged,

Dr. Free

Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder and or respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.

Leave a comment. Express and share your authentic thoughts.

What’s Culture Got to Do With it?

Simply stated culture is an individual’s way of life. It’s an all-encompassing term. Culture includes everything that defines our lifestyle and our way of being in this society. For example, culture includes the holidays celebrated, the food we eat, rites of passage, family structure, social behaviors, spiritual/religious beliefs and gender roles and expectations.

The travesty for African-Americans is that our culture was redefined for us when we came to America. In short, before we came to America we were strictly African with our own very progressive culture. We had great respect and oneness with nature. This connection allowed us to vibrate at an extremely high level determining our abundant individual productivity and the effective ways we related with one another. We were very creative, intuitive, and supportive of one another because we saw ourselves in our brother or sister. The ancient African understood the potency and beauty they possessed in themselves was merely a reflection from their brother or sister.

Our African ancestors left us an awesome and remarkable legacy. Ancient Africans had an advanced written and spoken language long before Europe even existed. Our understanding of our naked bodies was a beautiful thing. There was no sense of shame attached to our nakedness. The lines of how we interacted with others in our nakedness were not blurred. Indeed, we dressed for the occassion and climate in which we lived.

We understood our divinity and connection to the Creator and that connection was evident in every aspect of our lives. We have always been spiritual people!  The essence of our Creator was at the center of all African activity: diet, dress, family, education, worship etc.  In fact, there was no need for theology to try to explain the Creator to the African. Theology is a European concept. Why explain what was is inherent and intrinsic? The Creator was in sync with our being and our actions. We just existed in that power and presence—that was our own identity. That is our awe-inspiring cultural inheritance!

There were African spiritual practices for birth, death, and marriage. Much of what we practice is not African in origin. The result is willfully passing on a common legacy that is uncommon to our souls. We even had our own rites of passage. There were also ceremonies and spiritual practices for young people. Young men and women knew clearly their defined roles and were prepared to follow through with willing hearts. Young people had the utmost respect for their elders always interacting with them with the greatest humility.

The entire African community had a communal spirit. We worked together as a collective. Every endeavor was we centered and not I centered. Men and women worked together as one. The woman was not behind or in front of the man. She was beside her man. The woman was respected and revered in African culture. The African woman was not a bitch, whore or anything of the kind. It was clearly understood she was the giver of life. The Master Teacher Dr. Ben Yosef Johacannan stated within a spiritual context, “Heaven is between the legs of a woman. Feminine energy compliments male energy and vice versa.

When we came to America as slaves in the hulls of slave ships, we were made to forget every aspect of our culture. Our culture was a contrast to the Europeans that enslaved us. There’s not enough space here to tell it all. (More info will come in future post.) Just know whatever we believed Europeans were at the opposing far end of the spectrum. Their belief system was based on principles that were the exact opposite. In their eyes, our differences were barbaric and uncilvilzed. We were in need of a savior. I heard it said this way: when you’ve got your foot on a man’s neck how can you not feel like a son of bitch other than convincing yourself that it’s for his own good.  So, in the European’s mind they were showing us the right way to live because it was in our own best interest. Cognitive dissonance was in full effect.

We were forced to abandon every aspect of our culture through horrendous abuse, mind control and malicious oppressive acts so that we would in turn embrace theirs. Africans were required to revere Europeans if they wanted to survive. The dreadful resulting hope is that we would never be able to reproduce ourselves in the original sense. The plan has been very successful. Most African-American people are ignorant of their history and it is not by accident. It is by design. Lies were created and negative images were displayed to get African-Americans to hate the Motherland and African culture. We have forgotten who we really are. Our educational system has not supported knowledge of self for the African and our parents cannot be responsible for teaching us what they did not know.

We are resilient people and like always we have found a way to adjust. We created a culture for ourselves from scraps and in the spaces of time where we dared to express ourselves while wearing chains like animals, existing in shacks, ripped away from our families, tending well to the slave masters plantation, and singing songs of triumph while picking cotton or working in tobacco, and sugar cane fields all because we are innovative adaptable people. Think about the oppression have endured as people. We have been socially conditioned to believe that we are inferior and white or European is superior . We have been marginalized, underestimated and devalued. Yet, we are still here! Not only are we still here and but we are accomplishing great feats. Through it all, we still manage to culturally influence the masses.

African people are survivors! We are indeed are overcomers. Chattel slavery is the worst kind of slavery every enacted upon a group people. Just because the literal chains are gone, it does not mean we are no longer slaves. We have a personal responsiblity to remove the chains from our minds.  The way I see it, slavery was a debilitating evil distraction that deterred us from living out our truest essence.

When we come to know who we really are as African people everything about our person, our family and our community will change. We cannot be afraid to wake up from our slumber. Have you found comfort in discomfort? For many of us, the knowledge is present but dormant within our DNA on a cellular and spiritual level. Given enough truth we will wake up to our African mind. We can have the families, relationships, businesses, financial power and oneness in our community that we long for. I asked, “What does culture have to do with it?” In my opinion, culture has every thing to do with it!  Rise and manifest!

Master Teacher Dr. Asa Hilliard III author of The Reawakening of the African Mind, said it like this, “A fundamental decision must be made by each African. It is a decision to understand and accept uncompromisingly our African ethnicity. It is not a decision about race or class. Rather, it is a decision to recognize and accept our connection to the human family with all of the responsibilities that come with that decision. Our survival as a people is connected to our unwavering identification as Africans.”

In Love and Peace,

Dr. Free

Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder and or respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.

Leave a comment. Express and share your authentic thoughts

Blessed or Not

Blessed or Not

I have heard so many boast about being blessed when things are going well in their lives. Celebrities and musician’s accept awards by first acknowledging God with sparkling gratitude. So, does that mean that the other people who were nominated in the same category were not blessed or favored? Are the favored blessed, better or worthy of blessings?  Further, is there a group of people who are not favored and undeserving of blessings? And are gifts of abundance, opportunity, victories, grace, and mercy the only blessings we should expect to receive?

When one person is sick and the other is well, then is the healthy person blessed and better off? Better off maybe. Blessed, I don’t know. In the midst of a tornado those whose property and belongings are spared from destruction are blessed but those who lose everything—what are they? Whenever we seem to win against all odds many give thanks and praise unto God for the blessing. What about everyone else who fails?

If the team I am cheering for wins does that mean I have the blessing of an answered prayer? Does that mean the other team is cursed? How often do we ascribe the good in our lives to blessing and the bad to a curse of misfortune or some type of evil force? Moreover, is losing and struggle in life such a terrible thing? Are we so spoiled or selfish that we only expect and accept blessings with gratitude? So do we only learn from mountain top experiences?  Aren’t our times in the valleys of life just as important? Whats the right proclomation while walkining in the valley? Do you still say I’m blessed?

If blessings do exist? Are they a result of our own actions or some type of divine intervention? Is the blessing something I can earn or something I am predestined to receive? What exactly does it mean to be blessed? Does claiming to be blessed engender feelings of comfort, a sense of approval and acceptance in the eyes of one’s creator? Maybe using the word blessed is just a way to justify the means of immoral acts? So, are you blessed or not?

Authentic thought:

            Today, I think our actions and thoughts whether good or bad contribute to outcome in our lives. Whatever a man thinks in his heart is what he becomes. The energy we put out us what comes back into our lives. The sunshine and the rains comes down on us all. The word blessed is often misused and over used for the good that cannot be explained.

In Peace and Love,

Dr. Free

Authentic thoughts are thoughts that are genuine and sincerely expressed. Authentic thoughts reverberate with other authentic individuals so they have an irresistible urge to ponder and or respectfully respond from their own unique perspective.

 

Express and share your authentic thoughts…