Life: Don’t Take It For Granted

Dedicated to Napolin.  RIH.

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As I’ve shared with you all a few times before, by trade, I work in customer service. (I’ve also shared how very badly that job gets on my nerves, but I digress.)  The very first call that I answered today was from a woman who was a front desk agent at a hotel in Florida.  She was making accommodations for a family who had gone through a terrible ordeal just hours before she contacted me.

Here’s What Happened

A family of four; a mother, father, and two young daughters, as well as the family pets (a dog and a caged cat) was traveling home to Texas from Florida after they had spent the last several days on vacation.  As they were driving down the interstate, the father (who was driving) looked away for a split second.  That split second caused him to lose control of the vehicle.  While trying to get back on course and continue his trek home, he overcorrected and that caused him to hit another car and flip his vehicle (it rolled a few times).  The family’s dog, which they have had for years, was thrown from the vehicle as was killed by an oncoming semi truck.  As for the rest of his family, everyone survived — UNSCATHED! The father suffered an achey leg and some minor abrasions.  Even the cat survived!

I sat at my desk and I listened to this story.  Even though I hated to hear about what that family had gone through that morning, and I could never imagine how they must have felt at that time, I smiled — BIG! Why? Because they are all alive, and able.  People have had far less impactful accidents and didn’t make make it out alive, or suffered life changing, permanent injuries.  But, this family — the mother, the father, and the two little girls had literally walked away from their accident.  I’m sure that they knew how blessed they are for things to have gone the way they had gone.  I believe that they were saved for something special.  Obviously, their mission isn’t complete yet.  Maybe someone who was in that car will make a positive difference in the world.  One or all of them have a huge calling; we’ll have to wait and see.  Maybe their lives were spared so they could tell their story and inspire others to appreciate their lives.  Or, maybe they who took their lives for granted and the accident was the Universe’s way showing them how precious their lives really are.


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Oddly enough, as I dressed for work this morning, I thought out loud, “I wonder how many people actually take the time to appreciate, and be grateful for the air?  If one day it goes away, we all die“.  Most people would probably consider that to be a small thing, but it’s really not.  We need air to stay alive, and it’s always there for us (even though we treat it pretty badly).

Later, towards the end of my shift, my daughter contacted me to tell me that a high school friend of hers was killed today in a motorcycle accident.  All of these incidents inside of one 24 hour period has to have some kind of meaning.  They didn’t “just happen“.  The sequence as well as the actual events themselves are messages and/or lessons.  Maybe there’s message in this for me, personally.  Or, maybe these things were brought to my attention so I would write this blog to remind you all to be grateful for every atom and particle of your lives.  And to never take for granted that something is “a given“, nothing is “a given“.  You don’t have to have any of the things that you have.  It can all be taken away in far less time than it took for you to accumulate it.

Don’t stop at being grateful and acknowledging that how ever good or bad your life is, you don’t have to have it; show your gratitude by being gratuitous. Love, give, care, help.  Send that kind of vibe into the Universe and watch it expand.  When you are grateful, appreciative, and happy, you glow.  Others can see those positive traits in you.

Be Happy

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Most humans who claim  to be unhappy  feel that way because they’re looking for happiness.  They spend their time looking for someone, something, or somewhere that will make them happy.  Should they chance upon the happiness that they think they want, it’s only temporary.  They just keep bouncing from thing to thing because they really don’t know what will make them happy.  I can speak at length about this because I lived it for years.  I couldn’t stick to anything because I was so unhappy that I didn’t know what I really wanted, or what would make me happy.  That kind of mindset and behavior can never be conducive to expressions of gratefulness to the Universe.  At that point, I was taking my life for granted.

What I didn’t understand was that I would never find happiness if I didn’t know what I was looking for.  How could I identify something that I had never seen?  When I started working on myself from the inside out, things began to change — I began to change.  I had found what makes me happy — and I stuck with it (and right now, you’re reading it.)  I started making plans for continued happiness.  It all started with me.

Take Inventory

Happiness does not start off as an external emotional.  It always starts on the inside, and it works it’s way to the outside.  For me, it was looking at what I have and being happy that I have it.  It’s not all that I want out of life, but what I have is mine — I can build from it. I also realized that there are things about me that are not only valuable to me, but valuable to others as well.  I’m grateful for my talents, as they are now, and for what they will become.  I appreciate being appreciated.  I’m grateful that I have people to love and appreciate.  I’m grateful for every relationship, romantic or otherwise, that I’ve ever had with anyone — even the ones that went terribly wrong.  Those experiences were contributive to my evolution, so I’m a better person because of all of the bullshit that I’ve dealt with.  THANK YOU!

Once I began to take inventory of everything I have, I began to exude happiness without even knowing that I was.  I take inventory everyday, and I thank The Source for everything, everyday.  Sure, I still have melancholy days, and there are days when I am discouraged — those are human emotions, and it’s okay to experience them.  However, I never allow myself to stay there.  Even though it took time, and it wasn’t easy, I had stopped searching for happiness.  Instead, I decided to be happy.  Apparently, taking that stance made me vulnerable to happiness, because it found me.

Life Is Precious!

Being happy with yourself is the genesis of being grateful and gratuitous.  When you learn all of the thousands of reasons why you, and your life is amazing, it will be impossible for you to take it for granted.  As proven in the beginning paragraphs of this article: Life is precious.  Life is a miracle. Don’t take it for granted, because it can all be gone —  just like that.

“Every life is precious.  Not just yours or mine, but every single person on the planet who’s breathing, their life is precious.  And the loss of another life, even in Oz, is my loss too.”

~Tobias Beecher, “Oz”

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Anxiety, Insecurity, And Overthinking

You Control Your Thoughts

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I spent a great part of today overthinking things.  As I’ve expressed in prior articles, I’m about to make a huge life change.  This change is like no other transition that I have ever made.  With making changes of any kind, there are always moving parts, sometimes a few, sometimes many.  It’s the moving parts that tend to create uncertainty.  That uncertainty is nothing more or less than fear.

When in the process of changing your life, I think it’s healthy to be apprehensive, or even scared at times.  However, it isn’t healthy to become consumed by fear.  This is not to say that if you are afraid, you should abort your plans, or (God forbid) wait for a better time (we all know that waiting for a better time is the death of a plan).  What I’m suggesting is that when you begin to feel apprehensive, take some time to ask yourself why.  Why are you afraid of whatever it is?

I eventually got around to asking myself those questions while I was overthinking everything today, and what I learned was that I wasn’t afraid (well, at least not that time), but instead, my overthinking was the product of anxiety.

When change is on the horizon, it’s very easy to become overexcited — and overexcitement is not usually a good thing.  It usually results in impulsiveness.  It also solicits anxiety.  In my case, it caused irrational thinking, such as:

  • What if my flight is delayed? How does Delta Airlines handle that?
  •  (Which resulted in me googling Delta’s protocol on canceled or delayed flights.)
  • What if there’s an earthquake as the airplane lands?
    (Which resulted in me googling the procedure for landing a plane during an earthquake.  I didn’t really learn anything)
  • I’ve got to give notice to my job.  When should I do that?
    (I’d already decided on a date.  This shouldn’t be an issue today.)
  • There’s so much to do, and I’m still waiting on somethings to work out.  I’ve got 67 days.  How will I make this work?
  • What if this is a bad decision?
  • What if the sky falls and the sun melts us all?
    What if…
    What if…
    What if…

I could have gone on and on with the “What if” scenarios, and as you just read, some of those “What if’s” were pretty ridiculous.

I had reached out to a couple of people and hinted to them about what was going on in my head at the time. Unbeknownst to them, they fed the insecurity that I was feeling.  This didn’t upset me, because I had been evasive and did not punctuate how I felt.  Had I been more open, I’m sure that they would have been encouraging.

While I was dealing with my own self-doubt, I took everything as a bad sign.

  • Why is that song playing?
  • The birds! I can’t hear them chirping!
  • Why do I keep seeing the number 6?

These are all natural occurrences, with no pretense.  My anxiety caused me to give definition to things that didn’t need to be defined.  On the flip side, I’d see numbers that would calm me and reassure me that things would work out, and that I’m on the right path.  While it’s great to have signs and symbols that bring me back down to earth, they are only able to accomplish that because I believe in them — that belief gives them value.

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In all of that craziness, it hit me: What you are doing is exactly how people talk themselves  out of their dreams.  That thought  brought me out of self doubt.  In just a matter of seconds, I was completely chilled out.

Were it not for the fact that at the core of my being, I believe in what I’m doing — and I know that this is not only what I want, it’s a necessity.  It would have been very easy to believe that those thoughts were there for a reason, and that reason was to show me that I was making a bad decision, but I’m sure that albeit there was a reason, that wasn’t it.  I believe there was a reason for that brief moment of self doubt, and that reason was that The Source wanted to see if I would back down and give up (I’ve noticed that the closer I get to goal #1, the more these things happen.  And, as soon I snap out of wallowing, things fall in line).

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After I identified what was going on that was causing me to overthink, I changed my way of thinking.  Whenever I’d deflect and think of what will go wrong, I think about what will go right.  Instead of worrying about flight cancelations and delays, I’d think about how dope flying is, and how lucky I am to have a window seat.  When I’d become overly concerned with earthquakes, I’d think “I am an earthquake.  Earthquakes need to be afraid of me!” Instead of worrying about completing everything that I need to complete before leaving, I focus on all of the things that I have completed, and I realize that I’ve done far more than I had given myself credit for.  I’m actually ahead of myself.  As far as worrying about being melted by the sun… well, that was just stupid.

Because of that momentary self doubt, I had manufactured endless scenarios of why I would be a failure.  I know that I am not the only human who has done this to themselves.

When I look back at how I spent most of my day, I have to giggle at the things that I allowed to get so close to me.  I’m grateful to The Source for providing me with the wisdom to believe in myself enough to redirect my line of thinking, instead of succumbing to it.  However, that is not the case for some people.  There are people who scare themselves out of accomplishing the things that they’ve set out to do.  The result of that is living with the regret of not seeing their plans through (that has to be a rotten way to live).  One of my mantras is:

I’m in control of my mind, my thoughts, and my mouth.  No one can make me say or think anything.

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You have total control of what you think, so why would think yourself out of your destiny? Why would you think that you’re inadequate? Why would you think of excuses to back down? In the same manner that you can use your mind to validate negative thoughts, you can use your mind to think of the many positive sides of what you are doing.  Always keep in mind that the things that you think, are.  If you first think that you already have what you want, you’ll believe that it’s already yours.  You’ll become unbreakable.

Of course, now and then, you’ll experience periods of fear, self doubt, or anxiety, but knowing that you got this will conquer those emotions and perhaps make you stronger.

The only way that you’re not going to make it, is if you choose not to.  Regardless of how many times you may have to try and try again, keep going! Don’t allow anyone to talk you into giving up — not even you!

“The sharpest minds often ruin their lives by overthinking the next step, while the dull win the race with eyes closed.” 
~ Bethany Brookbank

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Humans VS Humanity

Why Do We Do What We Do?

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Why are human beings so fickle? We latch onto things while they’re hot, and when they cool off, we act as if said event never happened.  Are we loyal to anything? Or, is our loyalty only as lengthy as the latest trend?

Are we really so fickle that we are willing to exploit the issues of the world, and pimp out our opinions for the price of temporary fame in the form of a few likes and comments?  Don’t get me wrong, I know a few real ones who mean what they say and have pure hearts.  They’re always easy to notice, because they get very little social media attention.

Do we need love and attention so badly that we’ll compromise our morals and beliefs for “what’s cool” right now?  Are we only as “deep” as our audience expects us to be? Do we even know what we’re talking about?

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What do you think about when you have to think yourself to sleep? Do you think about the world and how you will change it? What kind of influence will you have on the people you chance upon on the next day? How will you make someone smile? Or, do you think about what you will post on social media next, and how many of your followers will “like” or “comment“?

What kind of show will you put on?

What kind of lies will you tell?

Who will you pretend to be?

What kind of bullshit pseudo philosophy, draped in false consciousness, fodder will you feed your sheep? What are you even conscious of? How will you politic your phoniness into what you probably believe to be “fame“, love, and friendship, but it’s really notoriety?  If you are that fickle, then you deserve many sleepless nights. If I’m stepping on your toes, then perhaps you need to check yourself.

What happened to us? If we scan back in time, maybe six or seven decades, we’d find that we had awesome teachers.  Maybe we should channel the annals of time and revisit and learn from those teachers.

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Why weren’t their lessons forced into our psyches? Why is it that most of us can recite the Pledge of Allegiance, yet very few of us can recite any more than a small sample of any of Dr. King’s speeches — usually, “I have a dream” or “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty! We are free at last“.

Did our parents drop the ball with us? Were they so concerned with making a living that they didn’t have time to enforce the messages of the masters who were probably  household names in their youth?  And, did we drop the ball with our own kids because we were too consumed with fashion, style, social media, and “fame“? Our parents, at least, tried to instill values and a work ethic in us.  In turn, we taught our kids to depend on the internet for everything and to follow what the powers-that-be says is right.  Because of that, many kids have never read a whole book or know who the Black Panthers were or who Fred Hampton was.  Most of them have never even heard of A. Phillip Randolph.  It’s shameful.  We’ve made our kids weak and fickle. Regardless of their race, they really don’t know who they are, where they came from, or what they’ve been through.  And, they don’t care.

Where is our activism? Does it only last as long as the last soundbite that we’ve heard, or the last YouTube video that we’ve watched?

When you have massive attention on social media, what do you use it for?

Do you give love or lust?

Do you love yourself? If you don’t, you can’t love anyone else.  You have to fill before you can pour.

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Our planet is thoroughly pissed off by the acts of mankind — past and present.  It demonstrates said anger with the weather. Oceans are angry; they’ve got tortured souls in them, and evil have traveled through them.  The sky is angry; it’s witnessed too much.  It’s polluted with more than the toxins that we know about.  Earth will continue to express it’s anger with all four of the elements: Earth, wind, fire, and water.  We’ve all witnessed her wrath. We’ve made scientific excuses for why these things happen, but the truth is that humans are responsible for the anger of the planet. We can’t do anything about the past, but we can correct our behavior now.

If we’d step outside of ourselves, we’d see that we have the power to make changes — to make things better, to fight for the rights of all people, instead of physically fighting each other, or fighting over who is “deepest“.  We could exercise consciousness, intelligence, and strength, and unite to make a difference as a collective.

Will we band together as one for the common good? Or, will we blindly remain steeped in our own ignorance and selfishness?  We have the power, but how we use it is up to us.

“The planet is fine. The people are fucked.” 
~George Carlin

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Being Supportive of Yourself

Don’t Second Guess Yourself

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I’ve been writing Afrologik for ten months now.  Writing this blog has become one of my favorite things to do.  I love and appreciate the reactions (both the good and the bad reactions.  Luckily, there are far more good reactions than bad). I’m not exaggerating when I say that Afrologik has readers from all over the world.  Seriously, people from six of the seven continents have read my work, and some of them follow my blog — thats AMAZING! (Big shout out to India!)

When I started this blog, I had great expectations that I felt were unrealistic, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming big and working hard at something that I believe in.  Thus far, I have never missed a date — in fact, I’ve added days.  Even when my “job” kind of got in the way and disturbed my writing schedule, I made it work.  It’s important to me that my readers know when to expect new material, so they’ll continue to support me.

Ten month ago, when I was writing through major depression, I never would have thought that people would latch on to what I was doing, or care about what I have to say. However, when I would check my numbers, they would always reflect that people really do care, and that they enjoy my work.  It didn’t happen over night, and I’m still growing, but it’s happening! For that, I am eternally grateful to The Source and all of my supporters.  You all keep me going.

And Speaking of Support…

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Although many people regularly read Afrologik, most of my readers are people of whom I have never met — and thats fine.  As a matter of fact, it’s awesome (since there are more people that I don’t know than there are people that I know).  Even though people from forty-six countries have read my blog, there are people that I have known my whole life, or that I am close to, who don’t follow me and have never read my blog.  There are some who show support, but there are some whose support has shockingly never been there.  Some of them have made excuses such as: “I haven’t had time” or “I’m not a reader“.  Some simply don’t take me seriously as a writer (I’ve got some surprises coming for them!), and some ignore me, change the subject, or simply go silent when I mention my blog in their presence.  It used to hurt, and I’d wonder why people that I love didn’t support me.  Eventually, I didn’t care.  Not caring happened so gradually that I didn’t notice — I just, didn’t care anymore.

A few of the people who have chosen not to support my work have projects of their own that they ask me to view, listen to, or support by sharing.  Many of them come me because they need someone to listen to them and help them sort out their situations.  At first, I had decided not to support or be there for any of them anymore.  I thought to myself, “Screw them! They don’t support me, so I won’t support them! See ya suckers!”  And, for a short while, I really didn’t, I began matching their energy.  When they’d ask me to listen to or view their work, I wouldn’t.  When they’d ask me for advice, I’d respond with. “I’m sure that you’ll work things out“.

I’m aware that most people who have been in the same positions that I’ve been in would, or have reacted similarly.  We are not wrong for expecting support from those who we’ve known the longest, and love the most.

Don’t Match Their Energy

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It didn’t take me long to realize that matching their energy wasn’t right.  In fact, by doing that, I was no better than them.  So, I loosened the reins.  I decided not to wear myself out for the sake of being there for those who aren’t there for me.  When someone want’s me to check out their project, or when someone needs advice, I’m there for them — IF I HAVE TIME, or, IF I WANT TO! The fact that those people do not support my project(s) doesn’t mean that I love them less, but it can definitely have an effect on their ranking in my life.  The things that they do will likely become less important to me.

The Moral of This Tale

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I’m sure that some of you have projects, plans, or dreams that you work hard to see come into fruition.  Sometimes, it feel as though those who should be for you are either against you, or they simply don’t care.  When this happens, it’s very easy to develop an “if these people aren’t being supportive, then maybe I’m not doing the right thing” mindset. It’s disappointing, hurtful, and disheartening, but remember these two words: FUDGE THEM!  Don’t second guess yourself due to a lack of support.  Your dreams and plans are YOUR dreams and plans — only you can execute them.  No one has to believe in your dreams except for you.  Never give naysayers the power to say nay to your ideas.  Make it work anyway.

We have no way of knowing why they feel the way they do, and quite frankly, we don’t need to know — it’s none of our business.  In the same respect, our dreams and goals are none of their business.  So, even though it would be nice if they’d lend their support, we really don’t need them to.

The Truth Is

When you cannot find the support that you want from current relationships, the best thing that you can do is to continue working on your art, and surround yourself with like-minded people.  Especially those who are working on, or have already accomplished what you are building.  Those people will always be your greatest supporters because they understand the process.  Just because certain people are closest to you, does not mean that they understand why you’re doing what you’re doing (and even though no one really likes to say this, sometimes they’re jealous.  Not everyone has the gall to take the chance that you’re taking.)  In that case, it’s probably best that they remain silent and distant when it comes to your project.  Silence and distance is much better than ostracism and discouragement.

Continue to work on your craft, and spend as much time on it as you see fit. When your project pays off, those who chose not to support you will try to latch on to you.  And, by then, you’ll have a new circle of friends.

“If nobody knocks your door, knock your own door! The most precious support for you is the support you give yourself!” 
~ Mehmet Murat ildan



Moving Backwards To Move Forward

The Roads To Progress Goes In Several Directions

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A couple of days ago, my son and I were conversing about making moves in life.  Of course, everyone wants to move forward, that goes without saying.  Still, we spent a great deal of the conversation on moving forward towards progress.  We work hard right now to secure our futures — to be where we want to be, and to do what we love to do.  As the saying goes, “Work hard now — play hard later“. (I kinda disagree with that logic.  I say, work hard AND play hard, now.  Time won’t wait for you, and you don’t even know if there’ll be a later.  Just my opinion.)

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It’s true, moving forward is most important.  Forward movement represents progress.  Be that as it may, sometimes we have to move in other directions to move ahead — and that includes moving backwards.  As I’ve written in past articles, it’s not a good idea to spend too much time on events of the past — especially those that give negative energy.  The past doesn’t exist, and that dwelling on it can block or yield progress.  I’m not retracting that theory, but there are also some good reasons for revisiting past events.

I gave this scenario to my son: What if he was to travel up the road a few miles  towards wherever he was trying to go, and then suddenly realize that he had left his phone at home.  I asked him if he would go back to get it, he admitted that he would.  The fact that he would interrupt his transit to move a few miles opposite of his destination just to get his phone, means that having it with him is important to him for whatever reason.  He found that it was necessary to have it with him at that point in time, so he’d go back and get it.  If he were to go home to get his phone, and then wind up sitting on the couch watching TV for hours, then getting to his destination wasn’t very important (which is similar to dwelling on what’s behind you).

Life is full of important experiences that we can rely on when appropriate.  It’s perfectly fine to take a few baby steps backwards to make one giant step forward.  Doing that is a good way to make use of the things that you’ve been through.  Ignoring the lessons of the past discredits the lessons and perhaps the heartache and pain that you’ve endured, and makes it all for nothing.

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Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes, it takes us humans a while to grasp said reasons.  Sometimes, we never figure out why things happen.  You might have to move backwards because of timing — maybe you’re being protected from something.  Or, maybe taking a few steps backwards will cement the things that you’re working on; or maybe, you need to step back to get a better perspective of what’s going on. It could be any one of a plethora of reasons why you would have to change directions.  Trust the process.  Trust The Source — it knows what it’s doing, and it will not throw you off of your course (the Universe wants you to win.  It also wants to help you win).

You will get to where you’re going.  You already have the necessary tools to build the life that you desire.  But sometimes, we inadvertently leave a few of those tools behind, and we have to go back and get them, there’s nothing wrong with that.  There’s usually several roads that will lead to any particular destination, so be prepared to move in different directions sometimes.  What matters the most is that you get there, and you will!

“Study the past if you would define the future.” 



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Untitled 2: (Energy And Triggers)

Focusing On Energy Over Details

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I was talking to a good friend of mine today, and I told her about this song that popped into my head out of nowhere.  Songs popping into my head is nothing new or odd.  It happens to me everyday, several times a day. (I’m not exaggerating.  Literally, every single day, songs pop into my head.  Sometimes, they get stuck there.)  This particular song kinda snuck up on me.

The first time I ever heard the song, I instantly fell in love with it.  It came on the radio one day (one of the few times that I have listened to terrestrial radio in the last 10 years), when I was driving home from Nashville, in the rain, with my two sons.  As soon as I got home, I went to Apple Music and bought it.  I’m sure that I played it ad nauseam, much to the chagrin of my sons (sucks to be them! LOL!)

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One night it was playing while I was talking to a friend on the phone.  They asked what was playing, I gave the names of the artist and the song — and that was it.  Nothing else was said about it.  We continued the conversation as we had before the inquiry about the song.  After that phone call, (which was pretty uneventful — just two friends talking about regular friend stuff), for some reason, unbeknownst to me, I never played that song again.  There was no reason why; I was still in love with the song, but I never played it again.  It happened very naturally; I didn’t plan it, I didn’t even miss it — as a matter of fact, I never even thought about it again.

Months later, I was hanging out with my friend (the same one who inquired about the song).  We spent the day together. It was a beautiful day — one of my favorite days ever.  As we enjoyed being in each others company, the song came on, and there was dead silence between us.  It wasn’t planned, and I’m sure that neither of us made a conscious decision to not talk, but we didn’t.  I felt… Well, I can’t really put that into words, but its reminiscent of the way I feel when I’m vibrating towards the right things (another feeling that I can’t articulate).  I was just as much in love with that moment as I was with the song.  I can only speak for myself, but the silence was fascinating — as if the song had hypnotized us.  Even though I remember everything that happened that day, the only thing that I can remember about that three minutes and thirty-five seconds is the silence, the song, and the moon, because it so brilliant that night.

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I’ve never tried to figure out why that happened.  Nothing like that had ever happened to me before, or since then.

We’ve never spoken about that incident. For there to be dialog about it, I’m certain that I would have to bring it up in conversation.  I knew that there was every chance that the silence was coincidental, or just plain meant nothing, and that the moon and the song were just ornaments in my mind.  I knew that I couldn’t handle knowing that those few minutes were only special to me.  So, to this day, I’ve never said a word about it.  I probably never will.

After that occasion, I still have never played the song again.  Like before, it wasn’t planned, I didn’t think about it, I was still in love with the song (maybe, even more now), but I never heard or played it again.

This morning, while I was getting dressed, the song popped into my head for no apparent reason.

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I was standing in front of the mirror at the time.  I looked up and saw myself blushing.  I took my time getting dressed, and I then went to my iPad and played the song.  It was the first time that I had heard it since that day.  The keyboard in the beginning has a very pretty sound, like that of one of those wind-up music boxes.  That sound flooded the room and my soul.  I was smiling, and I felt exactly the way I felt that day, like I was vibrating. And, I only played it once.

I don’t know when or if I’ll ever play it again, but it will remain in my Apple Music library.  After it ended, I pondered why I don’t play that song more often, especially since it has such a good effect on me.  I reasoned that it was best not to play it too often because it’s special to me.  I wouldn’t want anything or anyone to taint, or blemish that memory.

Then, I thought about it more deeply: it wasn’t a memory that I didn’t want to disrupt — in fact, the only things that I can remember about that short time is silence, song, and moon.  It’s the feeling — the energy of those moments that I want to preserve.  If I hear that song by happenstance, that’s fine.  I might even play it now and then — very rarely.  However, I’ll never put it on a playlist, and hearing it will never become a regular thing in my life again.

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As a lover of music, I have plenty of songs that evoke feelings, or actual memories.  There are even songs that I only play in certain situations.  For instance, “Valdez In The Country” by Cold Blood.  I only play that song in the summer time, and only on bright sunny days.  That song has a lot of horns in it, and I’ve always imagined that if the sun was a musical instrument, it would be a brass instrument — strong, loud, shiny and commanding.  I like that energy. I’ve said all of that to say that we all have triggers — whether audial, visual, or attractive — to any of the the five senses. Those triggers lay in the recesses of our minds and sometimes, they’ll bring us to pleasant, or unpleasant places.  We compartmentalize events, sometimes unconsciously, and now and then, they sneak up on us.  It’s human to try to shove unpleasant feelings under a rock and keep on truckin’, and then celebrate the pleasant things.  None of it should be shoved under a rock, but you don’t have to dwell on things.

When you experience recurring energy, it’s trying to tell you something. Perhaps it’s telling you that you are in the right or wrong place, or with the right or wrong people.  Or, that you are moving in the right direction.  These are all things that you need to know.   It’s more wise to remember the way things make you feel than it is to remember physical details.

As for why that song popped into my head, surprisingly, after so long — I have no idea.  But, my eyes and ears are open, and I’m tuned in.  The Source will show me what I need to see and/or learn when the time is right.  In the interim, I’m grateful for the recurring energy that I experienced today.


“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.”



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Living Beyond Your Expiration Date

Save Your Own Life

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Have you ever felt as though you’ve been somewhere, or have been doing the same things,  or maybe even with the same people for too long? And, you begin to feel anxious, frustrated, restless, and worst of all, BORED!  You’ve given all that you have and now it feels there’s nothing left  for you.  I’m totally familiar with that.  I call  it “Living Beyond Your Expiration Date“.


We humans are perishable, just like produce and dairy products.  We can no longer exist, or be of any good to anyone or anything when we are beyond our expiration date.  And, like perishable foods, we can become rotten and toxic after that date.

We’re At Our Best When We Are Fresh

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I’d say that this happens to everyone, but I don’t believe it does (at least not the same way).  Most people will feel themselves going into a rut, pull themselves out, and keep going.  A vacation works for that type of person.  They’re able to change their environment for a few days and come back refreshed, and ready to go back to the same old routine.  I’m not knocking those people — especially those who enjoy what they do.  In fact, that kind of commitment and conviction is almost enviable.  But, then there are people like me who don’t fall into ruts, but rather, fall out of favor with situations, positions, and locations — those things have an indefinite expiration date with me.  Eventually, things have to change, sometimes drastically.  For people like me, a vacation could potentially make things worse, as it would only serve as a reminder of how badly I need to make a change.  This could (and most likely would) have an  effect on my mood.

You can’t give your best when you’re past your expiration date, because everything in your path annoys you.  The bottom line is that you’re no longer in a position of growth and light, so you can’t give any.  You’ve become stagnant.  You can’t live like that.

Take Inventory

Obviously, you are aware of what is making you unhappy, now you have to find what makes you happy.  Make a list, make several if necessary.  Write down everything that would make you feel more fulfilled — regardless of how fantastic you think it may be.  Also, write what you are capable of doing now, that will afford you the changes that you require.  Set a date, go to work, and cement your plan.

It’s Not That Easy…

This isn’t easy to do, but most things that are worthwhile are not easy.  In fact, when things become not only hard, but ridiculous (not to be confused with ridiculously hard), that’s a sign that you are on the right track (crazy how that works out…). Besides, so what if it’s difficult? At least this is a difficult task that will find you in a better place.  How easy is it to stay in that rut? That’s extremely hard; I know this from experience.  Many of days, I’ve tried to figure out a way to live comfortably without income (you think of stupid things when you’re beyond your expiration date, apparently).

Live Like You Only Have One Life To LiveSee the source image

When something expires, it’s dead.  It’s no longer any good.  It smells and it has to be thrown out — this could be YOU! The good news is that unlike perishable foods, we can revive ourselves.  As long as we are alive, we can rebuild, or reinvent ourselves as many times as we’d like to.  It’s impractical, and your friends and family will think you’re crazy for bouncing all over the place and always doing something different.  Would you rather have them calling you crazy, or have yourself actually going crazy by living outside of your design?  Crazy isn’t always a bad thing.  Crazy people are never bored, and they don’t get into ruts.

Uncomfortable situations are easier to navigate through when you can see an end to them.  Start making plans to save your own life.  Your dream is your escape.  That light at the end of the tunnel will brighten the path that will lead you out of your rut.

“Happiness Is Waiting For You”

~El DeBarge


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Being Strong In Tough Situations

Making It Through A Storm

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If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, then you’ve heard or read about me getting caught in a tornado last week.  In the case that you don’t follow me on any of the above mentioned social media outlets, here’s what happened.

I was out jogging on a fairly good day.  The sun was shining, and people were out doing what humans usually do in the early evening hours: yard work, going to and fro, walking their dogs, or just sitting on their porches and enjoying the end of the day.  Everything looked and felt wonderful.  Then suddenly, the sky became dark.  there wasn’t any wind (yet), but the sky had gone from a pretty sky-blue, to battleship-gray in what seemed like the blink of an eye.  The people who were sitting on their porches went inside, and those who were walking their dogs seemed to be determined to get somewhere fast (home, I assume…).  I decided that it was at least possible that the sky could clear up.  I figured that I had time to turn around go home in case this was a real deal storm.  I quickly decided to keep jogging .  I began to feel raindrops fall gently on my face (actually, it felt kind of nice) and I could see them landing on the sidewalk in sprinkles — nothing major — so I kept jogging.

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The weather remained the same for about two miles, but the sky had gotten darker; this is when I decided to turn around and head for home.  Shortly after I turned around, I heard a mild rumble of thunder.  I laughed and thought, “as long as t doesn’t start lightening, I’m good.  If it does start lightening, I’ll just run into someones garage“.  As the thunder got progressively louder, the rain went from mild sprinkles to large raindrops that smacked my face.  Next came the winds — not regular wind, but blow Dorothy from Kansas to Oz kind of wind.  Trees were bending, leaves were blowing into the street, and I stood there thinking “Damn… I should have gone home“.

When I heard the sound of the storm siren, my next thought was “Goddammit!“.  At this point, what else could I do? I had to get home, and when I did, I’d have a hell of a story to tell.  I turned my earbuds up and continued to jog, this time while chanting “Gotta get home! Gotta get home!“.  The wind blew harder and harder.  I kept running.  Rain came down harder and faster.  It felt as though tiny needles were falling harshly onto my face.  But, I kept running.  It was difficult to maintain my balance, and I could barely breathe, but I had to get home.

My phone rang and I fussed to myself, “It’s an iPhone, not an iPad! I could have called someone for a ride at the onset of the storm, and I’d have been home, dry and doing anything else“. Oh well, I can’t do anything about that now.  I answered my phone, it was my oldest son, Gabe, “Ma are you alright? Where are you?“.  I answered him without breaking stride, but almost screaming into the phone, “I’m on Cunningham heading towards Lafayette“.  Gabe told me that he was on his way and ended the call.  I imagined him rushing out of the apartment to go and look for me in a storm.  I felt horrible about that.  I tried to run faster, so I would make it to the corner before he’d gotten too far, and he wouldn’t have to be out in the storm for too long.  I was only a mile from home and grateful that, as awful as the weather was, there was still no lightening.

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The storm siren sounded again, “Shit! That can’t be good.  But, I can do this.  I can get home.  I got this!“.  A strong gust of wind nearly blew me off of the sidewalk, “DAMMIT! Gabe, where are you!!!“.  I kept running, and suddenly, a car slammed into a driveway just ahead of me. It was Gabe.  I was about a half mile from home; I almost made it home! But, I was so happy to see Gabe! I got into the car, panting and trying to catch my breath, I couldn’t help but laugh.  I laughed because, even though I had made the bad decision of not heeding the signs that a storm was coming and then not using my phone as a phone, I had made it quite far.  I held myself accountable for not making wise choices, and for dangerously testing my limits.

I stayed focused, and I pushed hard.  The wind couldn’t stop me, and the rain couldn’t stop me. And, neither could fear.  I knew that I had to get home, and I was determined to do so.  While I pushed through horrible conditions, an angel was sent to me, and that angel brought me home.  The Source took care of me, even though I could have made much better choices.

When I got home, I took a shower and collapsed on my bed. I laid there wrapped in a towel and smiling at the ceiling.   I was given another test and another lesson, and I became a stronger person because of it.  People talk about coming out of a storm often, but there I was, 5’3” and 122  pounds, and I, had literally, made it through a storm.

There is absolutely nothing that we can’t get through.  As long as there is life in us, we have the strength to push through, and keep running.  Keep looking ahead, and know your destination.  Tell yourself that you want it, and then go after it.  Don’t stop, and don’t get discouraged.  The Source is there, watching.  As long as you are doing your part, it will help you along the way (even when you make bad decisions, as we all do from time to time).

That adventure was symbolic, and as I laid there staring into the Universe and realizing the symbols, I was grateful — grateful to be alive, and to have made it out of that storm unscathed. I was grateful, too,  that the Universe apparently thinks very highly of me to give me such a test, and to bring me out of it.  I didn’t know it, but I really needed this to happen.

The next day was a sunny day, just as the day before, so I decided to go for a walk.  I took the same route that I had taken on the prior day, and I saw fallen trees and huge limbs in yards and in the street.  Later that day, I learned that the storm that I was caught in caused devastation to many homes.  In fact, a few miles from where I was jogging, a roof was blown off of a house.


I was out in that! How soon after I had passed the trees did they fall?


The actual Weeping Willow tree that was blown down in the storm.


One of the fallen trees was a Weeping Willow tree.  WOW! The wind had knocked that tree down, but it didn’t knock me down.  I don’t think I’d ever felt more loved than I did at that moment.  As a plant lover, fallen trees always make me a little sad, so it was bittersweet for me.  However, I will never forget this experience.

The actual Weeping Willow tree that was blown down in the storm.

I don’t mean to beat this story into the ground by constantly talking about it, but I really believe that there is a lesson it it for everyone.  It’s a necessary reminder that even though it gets hard, energy draining, or even if it seems impossible, you can do it.  There are going to be challenges, but challenges are good.  Challenges are tests, and tests establish the quality of our endurance.  How much can we take? That matters because we have to be strong enough to overcome the obstacles that will fall in our way as we move towards our goals.  Accept those challenges, and allow them to bring out the best in you.  You have to be your best you, if you want the best results.


“Once you’ve been through tough times, you can only become stronger.”

~Alesha Dixon



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Getting What You Want

Deciding That It’s Yours

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As the days pass, I’m more and more excited about relocating in the next few months.  I’ve started condensing some of my things, giving things away, and settling affairs. Once in a while, I’m faced with adversity and my immediate reaction is, “Screw this! I’m leaving next week!” Soon after, the reality of “You’re not ready yet.  There are still things that have to be done” kicks in, so I chill and keep preparing.  Whenever I’d have to talk myself out of leaving “right now” I’d become scared that as my planned departure time approached, I’d eventually talk myself out of moving.  In fact, plenty of times, I almost did just that.  Fear of the unknown would take over and nearly derail my plans and dream instantly. The closer I get to my departure, the more life comes at me.  But, regardless of what monster would rear it’s ugly head, gravity would pull me back into the direction that I needed to go — and that direction is westward.  Since despite my best arguments, I couldn’t talk myself out of my own progress.  I decided to make it official.  No more talking about leaving in September, I proved myself to myself by booking a oneway flight.  Now, I’m married to my plan.  Now it’s real — I love it!

Be Inflexible About What You Want

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When I would go back and forth with self doubt about moving, I’d often talk to people about what I was feeling, almost as if I wanted to be told what to do.  Some of the people that I reached out to about this advised that I should wait instead of moving in September.  However, if you’ve been following Afrologik, you know that I don’t follow that logic.  Either you act now, or you forever remain complacent.  So their advice was quickly cast away.  The next group were those who responded by saying that I had cold feet, and that it was understandable that I would feel that way before making such a big change.  They encouraged me to push forward with my plans.  I loved their advice because it made sense.  I had gotten cold feet before every major change in my life, as well as a few minor changes. I always made it through good and bad times, and I’ve always learned from my experiences. I’m a survivor.  The third group would mirror the first group and express doubt, albeit more gently than the first group.  I’m not exactly sure of the entirety of what they wanted to say, but it would begin with, “maybe you should consider another…” , or worse, “if it doesn’t work out, you could…”  Moving somewhere else is not an option because gravity is pulling me to the place I want to be, so there could be no substitute.  Either it ‘s Los Angeles, or I stay put (and I ain’t stayin put!).  I’d listen carefully to what was being said, then I would respond with, “Nah.  I’m gonna move to Los Angeles“.  Those words would come out without me really thinking about it, and then I’d move on to the next subject.

Whenever someone would start telling me what I could do if it “doesn’t work out“, I’d cut them off by saying, “You said that!“.  I responded that way because I’m not going to think or speak that into the Universe.  Plan B’s prevent humans to from working hard to see their dreams through.  It gives the option of becoming lazy and/or quitting.  Neither of those options re for me, so I never allow for that sentence to be completed in presence.  If I see it in a text message, I stop reading.  We have to be careful of what we allow into our psyches.

There Are No “What If’s”

I don’t acknowledge “what if’s“.  I know that many people would say that it’s irresponsible of me to be that way, while others would raise their fist to me and say “Right On!“.  As for me, I say that it’s the best way for me to hold myself accountable for my successes and failures.  The only way that I could truly fail is if I give up, or never try.  I made a choice to lock myself into my plan, and to stick with it.  If I eliminate the idea of things not working out, then they can only work out (because, things always do.)

You Have To Know What You Want

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When you’re sure of what you want, you have to make the decision that it’s yours already.  Don’t second guess yourself.  Don’t predesign difficulties.  Just wake up each morning knowing that it’s yours, and do what you have to do to make it yours.  There will be obstacles — you can count on that.  Some obstacles will be big enough for you to  throw your hands up and surrender, but don’t! This happens to me often and even if I allow it fester, I always say to myself, “it doesn’t matter what happens.  It doesn’t matter who does what, how things look, or what falls in my way.  I know what I want, and it’s mine“.  That affirmation makes me feel better.  It’s how I tap into my inner strength.  I don’t ask for what I want (when you ask, you take a chance on hearing “no“), I state it.  I don’t wait for things to happen, I do what’s necessary to make it happen, and I live the result everyday.  I manifest my destiny — no one else can do that for me, and no one can do it for you.  We have to know what we want, and make a steadfast decision that it’s already ours.

Manifesting Your Destiny


In my case, I cemented my move by purchasing a oneway plane ticket.  I didn’t insure the ticket, so it can’t be refunded.  I don’t have money to waste (especially since I”m moving to the second most expensive city in the country), so I have to go — no turning back.  I don’t have everything together, and I doubt that I will before I leave.  But, I know what I want to do, and where I want to be.  Thats more than I knew a year ago, and still ahead of many who do not yet know what they want to do, or where they want to be.

My youngest son, Chris, and I don’t always get along, but he recently said something to me that stuck:

“Ma, you started your evolution a year ago, and you’ve evolved as much as this environment will allow you to.  You have to go to Cali now.  You’ve manifested the life that you want, now you gotta go make it happen — go live it!”

Very wise words.

Make A Decision

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Take some time to figure out what you want to do with your life.  Stand firm in that decision and don’t create or allow anyone to offer you substitutes.  Stay away from that kind of thinking and trust gravity.  If what you want to do will fulfill your purpose on this planet, there is no way to fight that gravity anymore than you up and float away.  That gravity will pull you whether you move or not.

It’s your life.  Whatever you do, or don’t make of it is up to you.

“Your most important “want” should be the one that you can control.”

~Shannon L. Alder


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Feeling Good About YOU!


Loving Your Flaws When Others Do Not

“If you’ve not been criticized, booed, jeered, or such; it’s not because you have no flaws, but because you don’t count so much”

~Danny Thomas

I fell in love with that poem when I heard Danny Thomas say it at the end of a Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roast that was held in his honor. I’m not sure that these are his original words, but they really hit home for me. I’ve always had to deal with harsh criticisms from people who don’t understand me and aren’t interested in trying to. All they know is that I am different from what is acceptable as normal, and it sometimes seems most important to these people that I know that they believe me to be “weird“.

Some of Us March To Our Own Drummers/ Some of Us Have Our Own Rhythm Section

People who are not afraid to march to their own drumbeat often endure the criticisms of other people– sometimes even the ones that we love. Personally, I’ve been labeled with a plethora of adjectives that were used on me with the intent of hurting me or breaking me. Terms like: different, weird, crazy, strange, even retarded! Even more outlandish terms such as: snooty, stuck up, and selfish! (Clearly these are people who have never gotten to know me, or people who did something to get on my bad side). I think my favorite snide remark about me is: “You’re too much”. Because of the context in which it is used, that is ACTUALLY supposed to be an insult! I’ve always wondered if they knew that being “too much” is so much better that being “not enough“.

There was a time when those types of remarks would really sting. Especially when they came from relatives and so called close friends. I spent many years feeling as though I really did not “fit” anywhere. I felt unwanted so I tried to follow trend–at least enough to fit in amongst my peers. As a result, I started losing myself. Sure, I fit in and everyone thought I was cool, but I didn’t like myself so much anymore. I decided to take a time out for self assessment. I needed to decide which was more important: that “they” like me, or that I liked myself.

You Have To Live With Yourself

Of all of the components of this issue, there would be one thing that would never change– I would have to live with me for the rest of my life. No one else would ever be obligated to live with me forever except for me; so I’d better get as comfortable with myself as possible. With this mindset, I decided that fitting in to avoid criticism was no longer an option for me. Regardless of the general consensus, I would always be the me-est me that I could be!

I won’t pretend that this was easy– it wasn’t. In fact, at times it was physically and emotionally draining. I felt alone and misunderstood which moved me to create a fence around myself. That might not sound like a good idea but at the time it was necessary. I needed the time and space to get comfortable in my own skin. Even though I felt alone often, I believed that I truly needed the time to myself. I’m an extrovert, so this was a difficult but necessary step to take if I really wanted to get back to “me”.

I stopped going to clubs and parties. Most of the times that I spent time in these kinds of places was at the behest of people that I thought I needed to blend in with. Instead of going out to night clubs and parties, I started hanging out at Barnes & Noble at night on weekends. I’d always loved to read but I hadn’t read a book in a couple of years because I was too busy fitting in. In fact, books became an important part of this odyssey. I spent a lot of time in libraries as well. I read about everything that I saw. I had so many questions and there was a book or 100 for every question that I had. This new behavior aligned me with others who shared my newly reformed interest in reading. These were people that I met at Barnes & Noble or the library. Eventually, I started taking classes at a community college where I met even more people who loved to read and learn.

I did not completely cease contact with my party people–instead I inserted reasonable distance. From time to time, I’d still communicate with a few of them. I told the few that I still dealt with what I had been doing and where I had been going, and to my surprise, one or two of them became interested also. I will not take this as an opportunity to pat my own back but I have a couple of friends who are now very well read…because of me-the de facto weirdo.

Conversely, there were also people from my former band of associates who felt that I was “acting funny“. Being called uppity and sadity (I really cant stand that (non)word) didn’t bother me at all but rather, showed me that I was better off being in my own “little world” and away from such people. This would prove to be much better for me. I felt lighter, I smiled more, and strangers always seemed happy to have me around. This felt right. This was the life that I knew before my experiment with conformity.

Loving YOU

As time has moved on, I’ve found that I can comfortably be myself in any company and I never feel the need to readjust myself. On the rare occasion that I am uncomfortable in certain company, I simply remove myself–physically if possible. If I can’t remove myself physically, I remove myself mentally. I worked hard and had become brave enough to be accept my eccentricities –not take umbrage from those who couldn’t appreciate my “me-ness“. To this day, I dress differently, I speak differently, and my belief systems and are ideals are different compared to those of my peers– and if that ever changes, it will be only because I want to change them– not because they do not work with the masses. And people…well, they still have things to say. It usually comes back to me through the grapevine, but I never spend any time on their opinions. I wish them all well and move on with my life.

Stand Up To Stand Out/ Inventors vs Consumers

Not everyone is meant to be one of the crowd; some of us were placed on planet Earth to stand out. I call it “inventors vs consumers“. You have to be a little odd to be an inventor. To create something, you have to be able to think differently than the masses. Most of the things that have become necessities in our everyday lives were invented by weirdos–people who were talked about, ostracized, picked on, and misunderstood. The same can be said about the greatest leaders of the world. But they worked on their crafts and they made a difference in the world. They are all very important people and life as we know it would be very different had they decided to become one of the crowd in order to avoid ridicule. Consumers are equally important because obviously, someone has to buy and use these inventions, and by nature they follow. It’s us weirdos who provide the crowd with what they need in order to be cool.

I carry Danny Thomas’ poem in my mind because it reminds me that no one takes the time to criticize, jeer, or put down insignificant people. We actually have to qualify to be subject to insult. Our flaws are integral parts of who we are, they make us beautiful. Love your flaws and be flawsome as you go on to do great things– be they public or private victories. Stay steadfast, confident and vested in yourself!

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 
Ralph Waldo Emerson


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