I’m Trying

With the world hitting me over the head at every turn, I’m trying my best to remain faithful.  How about you, how do you handle the cares of this world?

#SelfCare

We often do so much for others that taking care of ourselves individually goes untouched.  I’m not talking about getting our nails and hair done – those are things we do to keep our masks shining.  The concept of self-care is deceptively simple: making time to take of yourself for the benefit of your overall mental and physical well-being.  But if you’re human who exists in this world – the real world, where burnout, depression, anxiety, pain, illness, trauma, oppression, shitty families, violence, tragedy, breakups, divorces, death, unemployment, addiction, and good old fashioned bad times exist – you know that “taking care of yourself” is never a simple thing.

There is no denying that alcohol and other mind-altering substances give the user some type of pleasant sensation. Even if the “high” does not constitute a state of euphoria, it is at least a respite from unpleasant sensations of anxiety, tension, and depression, and awkward self-consciousness. The use of such chemicals is nothing other than the pursuit of contentment.

There’s a frustrating misconception that anything that is not 100 percent selfless is selfish. But taking care of ourselves and caring for and considering others are not mutually exclusive. In fact, taking care of our own health and well-being empowers us to be better friends, partners, coworkers, bosses, family members, and humans. Without doing the essential work of showing up for ourselves, how can we expect to be in any shape to show up for others? As the old saying goes, you have to put your oxygen mask on before you can assist anyone else.

One of the most common criticisms of self-care is that it’s unfair and unrealistic to put all this pressure on yourself to be in charge of your own well-being. And that’s absolutely true—there’s nothing more annoying than the old adage that you can “choose happiness,” as if you’ve always had the power to zap away your misery and have just been squandering it. None of us has the capacity to soothe all that ails us on our own. Self-care is as much about opening yourself up to the many ways others can help you as it is about taking care of yourself. It’s educating yourself on resources, giving yourself permission to access professional help without shame, and asking for what you need.

We have options we can attend self-care groups or twelve-step groups, we can try therapy and we can stay stuck.  One thing I’ve found out is that I must stay centered with God in my life before I attempt any outside intervention.

 

1, Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:26-30 MSG

 

2. When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day’s journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: “Enough of this, GOD! Take my life—I’m ready to join my ancestors in the grave!” Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush.

#Yoga Virtually

What is yoga – Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six Āstika (orthodox) schools of Hindu philosophical traditions.

There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The term “Yoga” in the Western world often denotes a modern form of hatha yoga and yoga as exercise, consisting largely of the postures or asanas

Goal of Yoga – The Goal of Yoga. The main goal of Yoga is to clean the mind and calm the mind. “Yogaha Chitta Vritti Nirodaha,” Raja Yoga says.  When done regularly, the physical practice of yoga can help reduce stress and boost concentration, overall health and a sense of well-being.  Yoga encourages one to go deeper into their being and find the inner place that is beyond temporary anchors.

Breathing –  Breathing is obviously an important part of every day, whether you’re doing yoga or not. Though we don’t typically focus on our breath during the day, in a yoga class, breathing is just as important as the poses and serves a greater purpose. Each inhale and exhale can energize, calm, and help you form a deeper mind-body connection.

Pranayama, which literally means “to extend the vital life force,” or prana, is an incredibly rich practice made up of many breathing techniques that vary in complexity from ones simple enough for a child to do to those appropriate only for advanced practitioners. While the best way to practice pranayama is under the guidance of an experienced teacher, there are simple techniques—such as gentle diaphragmatic breathing and comfortably lengthening the exhalation—that can be used at any time to transform not only your breath but also your state of mind.

Benefits of Yoga – As for the benefits of yoga, there is evidence that practicing yoga can help you increase your flexibility, strength, and stamina. Hatha is the type usually studied, but there’s no reason to believe that you won’t gain these benefits from other types as well.  For women – Several studies have proved that the lifespan of women doing yoga is more when compared to non-practitioners. Yoga can be classified as the body and mind cleanser. It cleanses the body and allows us to lead a happy life. Practicing several yoga poses before, during and after pregnancy helps to keep the mother and child strong. Mainly, yoga practice before and during the pregnancy helps women to have painless labor. For PTSD survivors – A growing body of research suggests yoga does provide mental health benefits, from alleviating depression to PTSD. Yoga has been studied as an effective treatment for some types of depression. A series of studies from the Netherlands found yoga provided some benefit for people with chronic depression.

Why I Dislike Yoga – First let me say I do find some relief with the breathing exercises nonetheless I’m not a big fan of slow methodical movements.  Perhaps because when I think of movement I expect to feel an immediate change in my physical awareness much like working out – we seat, we feel “in-shape” we/I feel like I have done something that will produce changes if I keep at it. Perfoming Yoga virtually has little or no benefit for me at all. Yet with Yoga, I feel like I’m slowly walking a beach with little or no effect physically.  I guess that and in of itself is the positive side of Yoga.  Yet I still dislike it…

What are your thoughts?

 

 

#MorningMeditationForYourSoul

I decided to unplug for a day of rest and feed myself with positive and uplifting messages

Losing my sanity

Good morning folks, apparently I got quite a bit side-tracked from my #journeytofreedom and let the cares of this world deter me from my purpose.

I got caught up in Trumpism, the Mueller Investigation, Lies, Russia, Racism, Police Brutality Against Black Folk, Injustices in the Government, Rand, Giuliani, Pirro and yes even #FakeNews.  I was researching other stories that would show every supporter in a negative light (hmmm who was I following for – surely not God]  I got physically tired and overwhelmed with responding verbally to every #Tweet and #FacebookPost…. until I had a [moment of clarity] and realized I was fighting a #battle that was not mine – if I believe in the messages from God in that #Book.

 

I decided to unplug for a day of rest and feed myself with positive and uplifting messages – soon, the clarity returned.  So I’m here to testify that it only takes one day in some situations for God to move and turn-it-around!! I’m determined more than ever to stay on track.

How did you get off track and how did you return to #sanity?

 

#MentalHealth and #Alcohol

Jake has been an ambassador for change at VA

President Trump selects Jake Leinenkugel to lead VA commission focused on Veterans’ mental health treatment

[Well that nice but did you know – In cases where a person has a genetic predisposition to alcohol, underlying emotional or psychological issues can easily become a driving force behind excess alcohol consumption. While drinkers may not start out with a full-blown psychological disorder, alcohol’s effects on the brain can cause psychological dysfunction to develop. Unfortunately, mental illness caused by alcohol abuse is a common occurrence. According to the Medical University of South Carolina, nearly 40 percent of alcoholics suffer from one or more psychological disorders.]

Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that President Donald J. Trump has selected former VA White House Senior Advisor Thomas “Jake” Leinenkugel to lead a key commission focused on the department’s mental health care programs.

“Jake is a veteran; two of his children are veterans. He certainly knows first hand the challenges and opportunities men and women who leave the military face,” Dick Leinenkugel said Monday. “This will allow him to impact the policies that will impact veterans.”

“Jake has been an ambassador for change at VA, working to implement President Trump’s policies throughout the department over the past year and a half,” said Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke. “As leader of this important new commission, Jake will continue to advocate for better care and services for his fellow Veterans.”

At VA, Leinenkugel has been instrumental in the creation of the department’s “ChooseVA” branding campaign and the implementation of November’s National Veterans and Military Families Month. He has also worked to promote VA’s efforts to reduce Veteran suicides.

Lastly – Leinenkugel’s #brewery in Chippewa Falls was built over natural springs in 1867 but now uses about 70 million gallons of water a year from the city. In the past eight years, the brewery has spent more than $12 million on improvements that, said Jake Leinenkugel, the brewery’s president. The company is also donating $500,000 to help preserve wetlands in Chippewa County.

That’s right the man overseeing the Mental Health of #Veterans owns a brewery!

#Sexual #MisConduct – #POTUS

break and destroy any aggression, attempts of the enemy

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that women who accuse someone of sexual misconduct deserve to be heard, even if it involves President Donald Trump. “I know that he was elected, but women should always feel comfortable coming forward. And we should all be willing to listen to them,” Nikki…

via Nikki Haley: President Trump’s Sexual Misconduct Accusers Should be Heard — TIME

Why won’t this happen – #Satan loves a #scandal so with that said…

We ask You #Lord #Jesus to break and destroy any aggression, attempts of the enemy to penetrate, curses resulting in the destruction of the mind, behavioral perversion, schemes of the enemy or wicked people, self condemnation and sexual perversion.

Amen in the #NameThatIsofChristJesus

Book of Prayers

 

#Cellphone #Addiction

But smartphones can also foster anxiety and undermine performance. Even hearing one ring or vibrate, produces a welter of distractions that makes it harder to concentrate on a difficult problem or job. The division of attention impedes reasoning and performance. One study found that when a person isn’t able to answer a ring or vibration, blood pressure spikes, the pulse quickens, and problem-solving skills decline.

The evidence that our phones can get inside our heads so forcefully is unsettling a lot like drug addiction. Smartphones have become so entangled with our existence that, even when we’re not peering or pawing at them, they tug at our attention – much like drugs when one is not using them they are thinking of ways and means to get them, diverting precious cognitive resources. Just suppressing the desire to check our phone, which we do routinely and subconsciously throughout the day, can debilitate our thinking.

Nearly all drugs, directly or indirectly, target the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that control movement, emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. The overstimulation of this system, which normally responds to natural behaviors that are linked to survival (eating, spending time with loved ones, etc), produces euphoric effects in response to the drugs. This reaction sets in motion a pattern that “teaches” people to repeat the behavior of abusing drugs.

As a person continues to abuse drugs, the brain adapts to the dopamine surges by producing less dopamine or reducing dopamine receptors. The user must therefore keep abusing drugs to bring his or her dopamine function back to ”normal” or use more drugs in an effort to try to achieve a dopamine high.

cell phone addiction

Ben Carson – Slaves and the Carnival Cruise Ship Filled with Hot Dying Men/Women and Children with Dreams and Aspiration of a Better Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dialectical Fluidity of Race

Between self-definition and other-definition, between an individual’s chosen racial identity versus society’s imposed racial identity — facilitates an understanding of race as a social construction

Ben Carson – Slaves and the Carnival Cruise Ship Filled with Hot Dying Men/Women and Children with Dreams and Aspiration of a Better Africa

WASHINGTON ― Ben Carson made his debut as secretary of Housing and Urban Development Monday by telling agency employees about the virtues of the “can-do” American society. Carson said this value system was best exemplified by slaves, whom he characterized as immigrants who came to the United States with very little and worked very hard.

“That’s what America is about,” Carson said. “A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great grandsons, great granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

By 1830 slavery was primarily located in the South, where it existed in many different forms. African Americans were enslaved on small farms, large plantations, in cities and towns, inside homes, out in the fields, and in industry and transportation.

Though slavery had such a wide variety of faces, the underlying concepts were always the same. Slaves were considered property, and they were property because they were black. Their status as property was enforced by violence — actual or threatened. People, black and white, lived together within these parameters, and their lives together took many forms.

Enslaved African Americans could never forget their status as property, no matter how well their owners treated them. But it would be too simplistic to say that all masters and slaves hated each other. Human beings who live and work together are bound to form relationships of some kind, and some masters and slaves genuinely cared for each other. But the caring was tempered and limited by the power imbalance under which it grew. Within the narrow confines of slavery, human relationships ran the gamut from compassionate to contemptuous. But the masters and slaves never approached equality.

View the Video Here

Black Group Identity

Work on Black group identity is not easy to characterize, in part because of relatively limited research on this issue, especially that which examines ethnic group differences (Porter and Washington, 1993). Typically, analysis highlights the influence of social class on identity (e.g., Landry, 1987; Farley, 1984). Some inquiry suggests that class is only a part of the puzzle. Broman et al. (1988) reveal that older, less-educated respondents in urban areas and highly-educated Blacks living outside the West were most likely to feel close to other Blacks. Gurin et al. (1989) show that identity, defined as common fate and as more Black than American, was not simply related to class. Males and those of upperclass status were more likely to feel a common fate with Blacks. Younger Blacks and those who did not work full-time were also more likely to feel more Black than American. Williams, T. K., & Thornton, M. C. (1998).

Introduction to the Subfield

The sociology of race and ethnicity began to take shape in the late 19th century. The American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois, who was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard, is credited with pioneering the subfield within the United States with his famous and still widely taught books The Souls of Black Folk and Black Reconstruction.

However, the subfield today differs greatly from its early stages. When early American sociologists focused on race and ethnicity, du Bois excepted, they tended to focus on the concepts of integration, acculturation, and assimilation, in keeping with the view of the U.S. as a “melting pot” into which difference should be absorbed. Concerns during the early 20th century were for teaching those who differed visually, culturally, or linguistically from the white Ango-Saxon norms how to think, speak, and act in accordance with them. This approach to studying race and ethnicity framed those who were not white Anglo-Saxon as problems that needed to be solved and was directed primarily by sociologists who were white men from middle to upper-class families.

As more people of color and women became social scientists throughout the twentieth century, they created and developed theoretical perspectives that differed from the normative approach in sociology, and crafted research from different standpoints that shifted the analytic focus from particular populations to social relations and the social system.

Note: Ben Carson you should take another look…

Source:  Huffington Post

Source:  The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography, George P. Rawick, General Editor, with A Comprehensive Name Index for The American Slave, compiled by Howard E. Potts and Subject Index, from Index to The American Slave, edited by Donald M. Jacobs, assisted by Steven Fershleiser.

Source:  PBS

Source: Williams, T. K., & Thornton, M. C. (1998). Social construction of ethnicity versus personal experience: The case of afro-amerasians. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 29(2), 255-267. Retrieved from http://nclive.org/cgi-bin/nclsm?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/232586794?accountid=13217

Should #Prisoners Be Allowed To Vote?

If you know right from wrong, you go to jail. If you don’t, you go to a mental institution.

If the rule is: If you know right from wrong, you go to jail. If you don’t,  you go to a mental institution.

If that be true: Prisoners have chosen to do wrong

Why is the government giving some prisoners the vote, in the UK this option was reviewed. 

Having initially said prisoners serving up to four years would get the vote, ministers now plan to give the vote to only those prisoners sentenced to serve a year or less. However, they are aware this policy will be tested in the courts and they might lose again.

Why only up to 4 years? Let’s suppose this was the USA, I don’t know but are the Electoral votes comprised of all residents? 

Prisoners are counted at the location of the prison. However, I would suspect they are released to their hometown.

What are your thoughts. 

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-11674014

The #Playground

Those were the good old days when the old LaSalle ran great – a line from prelude song to The Archie Bunker Show. Our interested changed from watching the Electric Company to wanting to be Marsha on the Brady Bunch or who didn’t want to either be Thelma on Good Times or go out with Michael?

smiling-baby-playground

Infants, adults like to hold, smell and play with them.  As children, we like to play with things, dolls, games and other toys.  As adults we play with babies and sometimes grown up toys like cars and large flat screen televisions.  Infants smile at us as we pretend to speak a language intended only for them.  We think the infants are smiling at us, believing they understand our gibberish;  the remarkable thing is that infants are smiling because our facial features are changing and babies find it fascinating.

As toddlers we are shuffled off to the playground for enjoyment; we get great pleasure out of going to the beach or the amusement park, there are so many things to do and see.  Our friends are there, and we have an excellent opportunity to “network” as toddlers.  The boys are fascinated with frogs and such, and the little girls are not very interested in worms but the swings, oh the swings. Do you remember running to the swings, (one had to run especially if they were empty).  As young little girls would all run in sync to the swings, and we all did the same thing, you know what was!  We would jump on them, stand up, push and drop ourselves at the waist as we swung back and pushed forward with all our might and when the momentum was just right – – we would drop down in the seat and swing on that swing for the entire 45-second thrill of the moment.  That thrill lasted until we mustered up enough energy (which took all of 10 seconds) to do it again, and again and again.

 

playgroung-succint-swinging-1 playgroung-succint-swinging

 

As time goes on we turn into teenagers and the swings and the sliding boards don’t have that appeal and excitement as they once did, we now seek other more “grown up” toys in the playground.  The sleepover became a constant – well as long as our parents were in agreement.  We would listen to music, comb our hair, have mini fashion shows and experiment with all the makeup we could find.  We would roll our hair,  braid it and talk about boys, and just have plain ‘ol simple fun all night until we passed out or we heard that crackling voice from downstairs, that demanded we “turn out those lights and go to bed.” Of course, the “darkness” was just as much fun; we would always find a way to continue to engage until dawn.

Those were the good old days when the old LaSalle ran great – a line from the prelude of The Archie Bunker Show.  Our interests changed from watching the Electric Company to wanting to be Marsha on the Brady Bunch or who didn’t want to be either  Thelma on Good Times or go out with Michael?  Me, I just wanted the Evans family to keep the money they found and move into a better neighborhood.  Then there it was – The Jeffersons – the family that made it from the ghetto to the Upper East Side – who didn’t want to slap the maid and fire her?  Sure our playground(s) was starting to change.

 

alone-in-a-room

I’m not sure how it happens, I suspect there can be a lot of reasons and rationalizations as to why our interests and desires change from wholesome fun to a desperate need for something more.  Was it the guy who broke our hearts, or the father who was never there, perhaps it was that man who raped us on a family trip – and just when we thought it was over, as we are traveling down the road 6 states away from home, on a  street we have never walked on – there he is, the rapist in the car adjacent to the one grandpa is driving.  The sheer horror, yet there’s no sound, no tears, no outward reaction, but you know, and now he knows it’s you…

Yea maybe that what is was, maybe the pain of that scenario at 15 was just a bit more than any 15-year-old who still likes to watch the Brandy Bunch and fantasize about being Marsha, having a large family a maid and a nice home could bear.  She wanted something different  so much that one day as  she’s getting out of the shower with a towel draped over her head (pretending to a girl with long hair), singing a song from around the way, “I can’t get off my horse …. ” and BAM her brother snatches the towel off her head, and yanks her out of her fantasy show moreover, she’s standing there now, as if now naked, her veil is gone, and she’s forced to face the stark reality that she’s just a black girl in the hood with a brother who has no compassion for her need to be…someone, anybody – else.

She needs another playground (the fantasy playground is  not working) one where no one will snatch her fantasy off, no one will know she’s from the hood, no one will question, “Why are you here,” a place where Nobody Knows Her Name and she can flush all the pain down the drain.

The adult playground is filled with all sorts of adrenaline raising toys, there’s gambling, flirting, shopping (for excessive unnecessary items), the hair store, clubs, sex, unavailable men and women, the drive for a better job, the attainment of one more degree, soap operas, unedifying television shows.  Speaking of television shows, one can get deeply lost in watching re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy.  Every character can be identified with, for example, the relationship between Izzy and Denny Duquette.

 

izzy-and-dennyIzzy the young intern and Denny the man who requires heart.  She falls in love with him and does the unthinkable – she tries to save him.  Don’t we all try to save a “him.” Save him from destruction, idleness, from that bad wife or from his trifling girlfriend.  So Izzy cuts his LVAD in hopes that the heart will be donated to him – well it does not quite work out that way.  Denny does not get the heart; he dies, and she has ruined her career.  Before she walks away a Knight in shining armor ( a bad boy) comes and sweeps her away from the pain of that moment – if only for one moment.    How many times have we lost ourselves in the playground of the salvation of another person? Perhaps one of the worst toys in the playground, because it rips so much of who we are away that we need a great deal of “good feelings” to replace the void.  Perhaps that’s the catalyst for drug abuse.

Could the desire for the playground be as simple as understanding that just as there is right and wrong, good and bad, there are also heavenly spirits and evil spirits that draw us into the playground.  If we could come to that understanding, and begin to look for the good and bad in our lives, come to understand how it works, the desire to enter the playground would diminish?

It would appear to me that much like the children’s playground – it closes at dusk, perhaps we should keep that in mind when we opt for toys in the playground.

If it closes at dusk, the toys are not meant to be taken home or played with excessively.

Dedicated to Carolyn S.

 

bus
To Be Continued…

 

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