Unpacking How Slavery Still Impacts Black Relationships 150 150 admin

Unpacking How Slavery Still Impacts Black Relationships

I wanted to explore how slavery effected masculine and feminine roles.

For over 400 years, slavery shaped black identity and families in America. Black people were denied healthy examples of manhood and womanhood. The trauma from this still brings issues in black relationships.

As mainstream society grapples with issues of toxic masculinity and female empowerment, unpacking slavery’s complex influence on black relationships has never been more relevant. Healing this past hurt is key for the fair, caring relationships we want today.

How Manhood Got Twisted

Consider black, enslaved men who had to watch their wives and kids be abused and used with no power to protect them. Not being able to guard their families clashed with men’s roles as providers and protectors, causing deep shame and anger

Even after being freed, black men struggled to find their footing as men while racism continued. Pain and vulnerabilities were buried under fake male bravado, quick tempers, and avoiding emotional bonds out of fear of more hurt. This unresolved agony still drives broken homes, jail, violence and addiction.

For many black men now, the past trauma shows up through struggles with self-respect, not expressing feelings, and discomfort with softness – what’s needed to heal. Facing the buried pain is required before truly reclaiming manhood.

Survival Mode: How Black Women Learned to Silence Feminine Needs

Picture enslaved women who had to act tough, self-reliant, distrustful, and refuse help to survive cruelty. They alone sustained families as men were broken or taken. To endure, they had to ignore feminine caring energy.

Discrimination after slavery demanded more manly traits from black women who became community leaders and culture keepers. Battling inequality often came before personal needs. Relying only on themselves became part of their identity and a way of protecting themselves.

As a result, many black women today instinctively avoid showing vulnerability, dependence or stereotypically female qualities. Toughness learned from the past conflicts with cravings for tenderness in safe, loving spaces.

Healing the Pain Passed Down

Slavery created intertwined trauma for black men and women – blocking healthy kinds of manliness and womanliness important for bonding. Five generations later, we still feel the inherited heartache.

But just as slavery’s damage was connected, so is the healing.

The healing process from the legacy of slavery can vary for each individual. Some individuals may find resolution and closure after a certain period of time, while others may experience a more long-term journey of healing.

The impacts of slavery were deep-rooted and intergenerational, and therefore, it can take time to address and heal from the associated trauma. It is a complex process that involves unraveling ingrained beliefs, reshaping behaviors, and fostering healthier relationships.

However, it is important to note that healing is subjective and personal. Some individuals may experience profound breakthroughs and significant healing in shorter periods, while for others, the process may extend over a longer timeframe. The duration of healing depends on various factors, including the extent of trauma, support systems, personal resilience, and access to resources.

Ultimately, the goal is to support individuals in their journey towards healing from the impacts of slavery, regardless of the timeframe. The focus should be on fostering self-awareness, self-compassion, and personal growth, while also acknowledging and honoring the unique experiences and paths to healing for each individual. Let’s get into some specifics.

There are several essential steps individuals can take towards reclaiming their full sense of self and fostering healthy relationships:

  1. Acknowledgment: Recognize the historical and intergenerational trauma inflicted by slavery. Understand how it continues to impact personal experiences and relationships.
  2. Self-reflection: Engage in deep introspection to identify how the legacy of slavery has shaped your beliefs, behaviors, and expectations around gender roles and relationships.
  3. Education and Awareness: Seek knowledge about the history and experiences of black men and women, both during and after slavery. Learn about alternative models of masculinity and femininity that promote equality and emotional well-being.
  4. Emotional Expression: Challenge the notion that vulnerability is a sign of weakness. Encourage open, honest communication within relationships and cultivate emotional resilience.
  5. Self-care and Community Support: Prioritize self-care practices that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Seek out communities and support networks that facilitate healing, understanding, and growth.

Assessing Progress and Continued Growth

Measuring progress in healing is a deeply personal journey, and it may vary for each individual. Here are some indicators that can help assess growth:

  1. Increased self-awareness: Develop a deeper understanding of one’s own emotions, triggers, and thought patterns related to gender roles and relationships.
  2. Improved communication: Engage in open, empathetic, and non-violent communication, expressing needs and emotions more effectively.
  3. Empathy and understanding: Exhibit a greater capacity to empathize with others’ experiences and challenges, particularly regarding gender dynamics and historical trauma.
  4. Building healthy relationships: Foster relationships based on mutual respect, equality, emotional support, and vulnerability.
  5. Self-love and self-acceptance: Cultivate a sense of self-worth and embrace all aspects of one’s identity, including embracing and nurturing both masculine and feminine energies.

Remember that healing is a continuous process, and progress may not always be linear. It’s essential to be patient with yourself and practice self-compassion throughout this journey of rebuilding and reclaiming a sense of balanced masculinity and femininity.

My Top 10 Books 150 150 admin

My Top 10 Books

My intention with this article is to share the top books I’ve read. At the time of this writing I’ve read somewhere between 100 – 200 books. Some things to note before I give this list.

  1. These books helped shape ME. They are important books in MY story. It’s really hard for me to agree or disagree when someone lays out a book list and says “These are the best books on X” because it is shaped by their unique experience.
  2. Much of what was really impactful to me and stood out as being the best for me weren’t books. Maybe a “My top 10 resources that aren’t books” article next?
  3. I listed these in the order I read them, so it’s kinda like a story.
  4. Most of these books I’ve either read as a physical book or an audiobook. I don’t think I’ve ever read a whole book on the Kindle app or tablet.

I look at books like a tool set. There are so many ideas, invitations, suggestions and mentoring out there to fix the problems that will inevitably come up in life – especially with the rise of the internet and online resources like YouTube and Google to go along with books. Let’s get into it.

Alfred’s Basic Piano Library

I know. It’s cheating because there’s more than one book here (a whole ass library yo) but….that’s ok. Sometimes I be cheating.

These were the first books I remember being into studying piano. I spent SO much time slogging through these books (slogging because I didn’t understand the payoffs of consistent practice AND felt that I couldn’t just practice when I wanted to). Both of my great teachers used these books to teach me, and I still use so much of what was in these books today playing piano.

I remember we focused on the books on theory, ear training, song/hymn books and finger exercises.

The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

This is the best book I’ve ever read…still. It talks a lot about surrendering to the moment, and I think I had to surrender for this book to even show up in my world.

I remember it helping me specifically with emotions. I’ve probably saved SOOO much stress just by reading this book pretty early. When I started reading this book I was feeling so frustrated. The go-to-school get-a-degree and have-a-safe-stable-job-for-life path just seemed so ‘not me’, but I was headed right down that road, and it made me afraid for my future. Meanwhile, I was registered for college classes I wasn’t paying for AND I was skipping them. So mix in some guilt in there too with the frustration.

One of the resolutions was just to have some space from thinking period, which made me feel lighter and more peaceful. It was like erasing a chalk board full of stuff on it. Then, I could deliberately choose what I wanted to add on to it.

This book alone helped me be a match for more upbeat, positive people. This book was my introduction to meditation. It just showed me how much my own mind was beating me down. I hadn’t ever considered that I could actually just turn my thinking off. It was soooo freeing to be able to have some space from my negative thoughts that had gone on for decades.

Meditation and spiritual teachers have been a well for me to go back to when I feel like I’m getting bogged down by life. I can take care of things a lot better when I’m taking care of my own peace of mind.

The Pick-Up Artist – Erik von Markovik

I really wasn’t motivated by pick-up until I moved in with a friend who was naturally great with women. When I lived with him, there were just so many women in our world largely due to him, so it made me curious as to what he was doing to bring them into our world. He invited nudged me to share my love of music more with everyone, which pushed things to a whole nother level. We went out to clubs and bars and events all the time.

I still remember the 5 things from this book. Leader of men, protector of loved ones, preselection, willingness to emote and successful risk taker. If you watch enough nature documentaries you’ll even see these in the animals. It’s like a biological, evolutionary thing.

People were really turned off by the formulaic, forced aspect of pick-up overall and the inauthentic, canned routines – as they should be. But to me, the underlying principle to the formulas and routines that I can align with is this – be a better man (embody masculinity) and the feminine will be drawn like a moth to a flame. And so, the next books you’ll see stem from my desire to learn what it meant to be a better man.

No More Mr. Nice Guy – Robert Glover

I remember this book being about honesty and maintaining integrity – and sometimes that isn’t nice.

Reading these types of books and moving in with three other masculine men helped me see, and more importantly feel what I missed out on growing up. Up until that point, I really didn’t understand why not having a father around mattered. I could write a book on this. It would be titled The Absence of the Masculine.

Growing up around all women led to me HAVING to please women and be nice all the time, and this did a lot to offset my polarity while watering down an already muffled voice.

Luckily there was music to offset this. I felt the total opposite as it relates to music. I was learning music and performing and in the choir so my voice was heard a lot. I could be free and was encouraged to make mistakes.

Outside of music though, my voice was drowned out by a chaotic household. There was no masculine to balance that chaos out and calm it and ground it effectively. I think that’s why The Power of Now was so powerful for me. I read this in college, and that was the first time I felt like I got some peace.

This book (along with living with very blunt and honest roommates) gave me permission to be honest – and there is nothing more freeing than being honest. It also showed me that people respond well to genuine truth whereas my family seemed to drown it out.

Living Abstinently

Remember the chaotic household? Yeah one of the most chaotic things was our eating habits. We pretty much ate fast food every day, little to no cooking and were all fat! was a program that FINALLY introduced some structure by way of food that made complete sense, and this book was an overview of that program. There was also other books we used a lot though too.

It was so simple and not profit-motivated. There was no buy-this-food-from-my-company in it – just normal foods you buy on the outside perimeter of the grocery store. It was FINALLY an answer to the question I had for decades on how to TRULY lose weight – specifically fat with JUST nutrition and what I was eating. I lost about 110 lbs through this program. It was like my body was saying “thank you for finally putting some stuff we can really use in here”. I gained the weight back plus more when I left the program, but I can’t erase what they taught me over there. It checked so many boxes, and I will be forever grateful.

The Illusion of Money – Kyle Cease

This is for the money chasers or if you feel like you’re chasing anything period. Chasing can get exhausting if you feel like the chase never ends.

There was soooo much talk of money in my family ALL the time. All that talk heavily influenced me to get into accounting in college (seeing as I have a whole family of accountants). The rap music I was listening to was always talking about money. It made me exhausted of thinking about money. Like damn…we’re not gonna focus on anything else here?

HOW I was making money became a lot more important around this time. Life started to be REALLY good, and for the first time it was starting to feel unbearable to keep doing the flat, boring, repetitive, meaningless slave work that had served me in the past to just stay afloat financially.

I read book this after attending Kyle Cease’s conference Love Rising. And I started working on Social Expansion (now Welcome Home) right there. It felt good to finally work on something NOT for the money.

The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks

So…things were going amazing. It made me feel like, “damn…this was more along the lines of the experience of life I was supposed to have”. Then everything crashed, and it seemed like I made it crash. I remember sitting and tryin’ to figure out WTF happened.

The Big Leap is one of the only books I know that addressed this as what is phrased as an “Upper Limit” problem. Things get too good, and you aren’t used to things being this good for this long, so you get scared and sabotage yourself and bring yourself back down to the comfortable problems you’re used to experiencing. At the time of this writing, it’s the book I want to revisit the most.

Atomic Habits – James Clear

This is one of those books where I just read it off recommendations. It gets recommended everywhere in the personal development space, so I read it and understood why it was recommended. Just reinforced the idea that big things come from the small. There are a lot of ways that idea can be applied, and I hadn’t thought of the ways presented in this book.

Will – Willard Carroll Smith II aka The Fresh Prince aka Will Smith

Let’s go Willard! I loved this book because of the dynamics of the audiobook. There was actually music in this book along with all the twists and turns his life took. It really kept my attention for over 16 hours! That’s damn hard to do. It wove in all the different parts of his story – including the bad and ugly. I appreciated his transparency, and as a creator I learned a lot about creating an engaging EXPERIENCE for the person on the other side of the creation (the reader/listener/viewer).

Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins

This is up there with me as far as the best books ever – top two next to The Power of Now.

It really inspired me to examine and be curious about the limits of what my mind is telling me is possible on a day-to -day basis, and it’s written by a VERY credible source. David Goggins has really pushed himself and CONTINUES to push himself incredibly hard to find his true potential, and it’s so inspiring to me.

This dude is SO badass that there is ANOTHER BOOK made of someone living with him called Living with a Seal (I haven’t read that one, but I could just imagine what’s in it). If you ever feel defeated, pick this up. Like…now yo.

Give me some time to internalize his work and the messages, and I won’t be so fanboyishly in awe of it.

Honorable Mentions

50th Law – Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) and Robert Greene

I loved only the parts where 50 cent was speaking (at the beginning of the chapters). He would say something short in the beginning of the chapter and then Robert Greene would expound on it. I thought they could have cut Robert Greene’s part off though. It seemed like it was fluff to me.

The MagicRhonda Byrne

This book is all about appreciation and really explores creative ways to appreciate. I’ve loved Rhonda Byrne’s style since her documentary The Secret. She’s so resolute about positivity. Of the author’s on this list that have authored more than one book, she’s the only author on this list where I can say I’ve read ALL of her books (except her latest Masterclasses…I just found out about them yesterday).

The Courage to Be Disliked

This might go along with No More Mr. Nice Guy. I just happened to read this one later. I think I was also diving into exploring freedom and what that meant, and this showed up. There’s a lot written about systemic freedoms, but this and other books I’ve read deal with freedom internally. It’s about facing a hidden fear of being disliked (if you have that fear).

Well…that’s all folks for now. These were the books that stood out to me as the best.

Neediness In Crypto Investing 150 150 admin

Neediness In Crypto Investing

On September 17, 2020 I received a free airdrop of 400 Uniswap tokens (UNI).  At the time of this writing, this has been the most popular airdrop to date in the crypto space.  The day I received the airdrop, the price of Uniswap was goin all over the place.  That day it was swinging at $3-$8 and ended up stabilizing around $5.  This was my first airdrop so…I thought to myself “Oh my god, free money!” and sold those 400 coins almost immediately for $1400.  I was pretty happy.

Fast forward to today (249 days later) Uniswap’s price is selling at $24.24.  Those 400 coins I sold would have been worth $9,696 had I kept them.  3 weeks ago Uniswap reached its all-time high and was valued at #44.92…so 3 weeks ago 400 Uniswap coins were worth $17,968.

Deep in the Telegram and Discord channels of different crypto coins you’ll see wild success stories and some not-so-successful ones too.

Approaching the Market

The past “me” might have beat myself up over the decision to sell those 400 coins early.  The “me” now sees so many paths to $20,000 that it doesn’t bother me as much.  The main lesson I learned was how I approach the market can affect my results and the experience overall.

I don’t believe there are any accidents.  If I’m honest with myself, I can say I sold those coins early because that’s the amount I was comfortable receiving.  At the time, I was used to receiving amounts close to $1000, but not anything close to $17,968 at all at one time.  I was used to making $800 / week working my regular job and Door Dash on the weekends.  Attracting anything above $1000 at once was way out of my comfort zone.  If I had been earning $20,000+ checks outside of the crypto space, then I would have just left that 400 coins alone.  It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal to me, and I would have given those 400 coins the time and space to grow and mature financially.

The Real Work in Investing

It made me realize that the real back-end work to investing is becoming comfortable receiving the amount of money I want from an investment OUTSIDE of that particular investment.  That way, I don’t approach any particular income stream or investment with a sense of neediness.  I wouldn’t need an investment to go up in value during my specific timeline.  It can be fun, playful, and light vs serious and stressful when a coin doesn’t do what I want it to.

If I want a million dollars from an investment, am I comfortable receiving a million dollars outside of that investment?   Would I be comfortable or ok with receiving a million dollars all at once in my day-to-day life?  If not, then a million dollars all at once might stress me the fuck out.  There was a time where after hearing that I would have been like “yeah right…give me a million dollars and see if I’m stressed out”.  It gets real though.  I’m in Telegram groups where a few people’s $100-$1000 investments are all of a sudden worth anywhere from $10K to $300k.  I see the hate and jealousy that gets thrown their way.  I see that owning a coin that shoots up in value could be stressful depending on the way they frame it.  Do you sell that coin and cash out only to see it rise 80X more in value?  Do you hold it and watch it crash to ground in value?  Do you go half and half?

  • If you do cash out…how much (if any) do you give to others?  What about homeless people you see on the street?  What about charities?
  • If you don’t cash out… are you watching the charts 24/7 to see when you should sell or what the price is currently?  Stressed when the number goes down, euphoric when it goes up?

I looked at the definition of trauma – a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.  It’s weird to think that having a lump sum of money placed in your lap can be distressing, but I can see it now.  Add to this the fact that many of those people who’ve seen their coins skyrocket in value don’t know wtf their investing in, and it was just a lucky gamble or a call from someone who does know about that coin.

Security is an Illusion

Nothing is static.  This includes investments, the value of money, the trends of different markets, etc.  There’s no need to let those fluctuations manipulate your emotions – but they will if you’re needing investments to somehow “save you” from looking at other parts of life you don’t want to address – like the job you hate that you can’t take a break from and/or the time and effort it might take to learn a skill that’s more valuable to the marketplace and one that is more enjoyable and provides you with more fulfillment.

One of the reasons the crypto space is shaking things up is people are waking up to the fact that the security they thought they had in money is being yanked from under them.  The USD has continued to decline in value while Bitcoin and Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have risen in value over their short history.  Printing money out of thin air doesn’t help the cause for the security-in-money case. In the long term I can see the writing on the wall for fiat money.  In the short term, I don’t know wtf this shit gonna do.

I’ve noticed friends try to approach me looking for me to give them a sense of security in their crypto investments in the short term.  I decline that responsibility.  The best I can do is invite you to  be an active participant in learning about your crypto investment and also explore the idea that the best security is to learn to not need security as much…kind of like the real work in investing is learning to not need investments.  ?

BTW…This is not financial advice, and I am not a financial advisor.  I learned to say that from the Youtubers.

If You Order From DoorDash… 150 150 admin

If You Order From DoorDash…

Through Favor and DoorDash I’ve done almost 1200 deliveries combined…not to mention the extra deliveries family and friends request when they find out this is what you do.  If you order Door Dash or Uber Eats or Favor or any other P2P food delivery service follow these small tips to have a faster, smoother and cleaner delivery experience:

  • Be able to tell me how to get in your gate.
    • If you live in an apartment, please learn how to get in your own gate.  If you don’t know how to get in, then how can you expect me to?  If you don’t know how to get in your gate, please don’t order from any food delivery service until you can find out how or are willing to meet outside of the gate.  Yes, we can wait on other people to come or leave and go in behind them, but in most places that’s prohibited and we shouldn’t have to do it anyways.  It shows a total disrespect for our time.  I’m willing to bet that more often than not, you KNOW you don’t know how to get in your gate, you’re just hoping the driver can figure something out.  Please figure it out first.  Please.
    • I remember there was one time I pulled into an apartment (not realizing it was an apartment when the order first showed up).  I called the customer to ask how to get in the gate, and she didn’t know.  So I’m at the dial pad stuck…There are cars that are behind me honking at me, there’s no space to turn around or go in the exit gate, and I’m pretty upset at this point.  She then says she’s going to send someone out to pick up the food.  After a while I see someone walk towards me with a slow, smooth bop in his step (if you’ve ever watched Bruh Man from the show Martin walk, that was the walk).  WHAT ARE YOU DOING DUDE?!?!  HURRY YOUR ASS UP MAN.  THIS AINT THE TIME TO BE TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL.
    • If you live in a gated community, please let the person at the front know who I am and/or that you’re expecting a delivery.  Many times I feel like I’m crossing a border with all the identification I have to provide to them for delivering your smoothie from Sonic.  Name, license plate number, license, passport, social security, birth corticate, actual mom that birthed me, etc.
  • Give detailed directions 
    • I’m tired of driving around your horribly lit apartments at night looking for your building number.  Then I look to your directions for some semblance of guidance…it says “thanks!” or “I’m in the back”.  You only have to give the directions once.  Come on yo!
  • Put your animals away
    • Through many deliveries I’ve noticed quite a few things about the dynamic between you and your pets:
      • Your pets don’t listen to you.  As well as you think you have them trained, when you talk they pretty much ignore you…at least while I’m there.  “BACK! GET BACK! SIT!”  I see you squeeze through the door trying not to let the dog out.  The dog completely ignores this weak ass request, euro-steps you and starts sniffing me.  Then I hear you say something I don’t think any delivery driver wants to hear – “oh he don’t worry, he doesn’t bite!”.  How do you know this animal is going to do?  You can tell me what he probably will do.  You can tell me what he has or hasn’t done in the past.  You can’t tell what he’s going to do in the future.  I don’t want to hear it, and please stop saying it.  If he’s a dog with teeth, I’m going to assume he bites.
      • Some of you are way too damn intimate with your pets.  I don’t want the type of intimacy with your pets that you might have.  I don’t want your pets licking, sniffing, or biting me.  I just want to deliver the food and leave.
  • Give me the right address
    • I know.  Everyone makes mistakes, and granted this has only happened like 3 times to me, but this really is a bad one to make…the worst.  When you put the wrong address a driver either ends up looking for an address that doesn’t exist or delivering to a person that isn’t expecting an order.  I actually had a customer who didn’t speak must English at all and didn’t know her real address.  The address she gave me didn’t exist, and when I called her for directions, all she kept saying was that her place was “by the trees” *insert blank stare emoji here*.  There were literally trees everywhere.  Needless to say this food took forever to deliver, and of course I got the negative rating.  This could have all been avoided if she knew her own address BEFORE she requested someone deliver food to her.

Help me, and other delivery drivers help you.  Help us get you your food faster.

Asking Busy People for Help 150 150 admin

Asking Busy People for Help

Have you ever felt like you need help from a person who is already inundated with requests? You know this person has a full inbox, but you still need help and you know this particular person has the specific help you need.

Avoid Taking without Giving

When I first started reaching out to people who I knew received many messages, I would get back messages with template responses.  Something along the lines of “Hello Broderick! We’ve received your message, and someone will get back with you shortly!”.  They rarely did, and it had to do with my energy.  I wanted to take, take, take and not give.

What consistently helps me get answers to my questions a lot faster now is helping the person on the other side somehow…some way.  Thinking win-win.

Another way to put it is Law 13 from Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power.

Law 13:  When asking for help, appeal to people’s self interest, never to their mercy or gratitude.

Give and Take by Adam Grant is another good book that addresses this.

Put yourself in the other person’s position and think about things from their point of view.  What would be valuable to them?   What do they want or need that you could provide?  Money could be one thing, but you can also look for things that aren’t monetary.

Maybe they have a course or a book and they need feedback.  Maybe they’re already inundated with feedback and they need a way to manage the feedback.  Maybe they need a way to have more free time.  Maybe they need new shoes.  Maybe they need a Covid19-free hug.  How can you be of service to them?  How can you create value for them?  If they have a website, they might mention what they need or want.  Coming from a space of service when I need help has been a much more effective strategy to get the help I need.

Show some commitment if you want mentorship

If your question is a how-to/mentor kind of question, show some type of indicator that you’re committed to actually implementing the advice they’re going to give you.  If they have a bestselling book (or multiple best-selling books), its likely they’re receiving many messages.  Each message answered is a time investment.  Again, put yourself in their shoes and imagine someone comes to you for genuine advice.  How would you feel about giving advice to that person knowing it’s falling on deaf ears and that they will just ignore it?  If you want to increase the likelihood that they’ll invest their time in answering your question, show that you’ve already got the ball rolling in some form or fashion.

When I was into self-publishing and I wanted some advice from bestsellers in my genre on how they gained such visibility in the Amazon Kindle Store.  I emailed 4 authors with best-selling books.  Two didn’t respond.  One had an email assistant respond, and the last author directly responded with the exact answer I needed.  An important part of this story is that I had already published books that just needed more visibility, and I led with that in my message to these authors.  I wanted to show that I’m not some person thinking about doing self-publishing, but that I’ve already got works published.  I’m in field.

Whatever you want, give it

If you’re having a tough time getting help from the specific source you’re looking for, consider releasing your attachment to finding your answer in that direction and consider giving help to someone else.  You want advice or help?  Give advice or help.  That sounds crazy right?  Like one of these crazy counter-intuitive solutions I keep rambling about.

Counterintuitive Solutions 150 150 admin

Counterintuitive Solutions

Over the years I’ve come across many counterintuitive solutions.  These solutions when I seek help from other people who have overcome the same problem and get out of my own thinking or I let go of finding the answer completely and move on to something else and then the answer just shows up.  When I find these answers they hit me like a ton of bricks and leave me stunned…like this ?

Here are the solutions I’ve found.

Weight Loss

I remember wanting to learn how to lose weight and just failing by focusing on weight loss.  Eventually, I just let go of the whole idea of trying to lose weight and I started focusing on health.  That’s when I found out about my food group and cut out sugar and flour and they actually taught me how to eat in a way where I could eat normal foods, was way happier, and kept losing weight in a way that felt effortless.

Intuitively I was overweight, so it made sense to focus on weight loss…that led me astray.  Focusing on health was way more effective and ironically resulted in me losing the most weight I’ve ever lost.

Money and Work

I remember wanting to learn how to earn a lot of money.  I wanted it sooo bad I was willing to take shitty jobs sacrifice everything else, work long hours of overtime.  It didn’t help.  My expenses rose to the level of my earnings and I was living paycheck to paycheck.  Eventually, I decided I would stop chasing money and accept the freedom I had.  It brought me face to face with the question – what would I do if I had all the money in the world.  I would write and work on music, so I really put tons of hours into writing and working on music, and my bank account is as big as it’s ever been.

When I was broke, it made sense to focus on getting a job and earning money.  Writing and sharing with people was my way of volunteering.  It brought about more flow socially and connected me with more people and it was pretty damn rewarding.  More rewarding than any check I ever got from a shitty job, and I think it was all because I didn’t chase money.

Social Circle

In the back of my mind, I would always see people who had big social circle and wonder how it happened for them.  AND…how were people so interested in them.

Eventually, I realized that one great way to attract others is not need others – to be content with yourself.  Do the things you want to do and find interesting.  Follow your own curiosities.  Accomplish the things you want to accomplish.  Have fun.  Stop beating yourself up over the past and learn to be happy with yourself.  Forgive yourself for bad time and money investments.  Practice self care and treat yourself well.  Respect and enforce your boundaries and strive to meet your needs.  That way you relate to others without neediness.  You won’t need anything from others.  People can feel that, and it’s attractive.

Intuitively, when I wanted a bigger social circle I thought that there was something I needed to do “out there”.  I needed to meet more people.  I needed to get out of the house more.  Those things are great, but if you do those things you will have far greater rewards and results if you can learn to be content and happy with yourself first.

The Big Three

It’s been said that these are the big three in personal development.  If you can get health, wealth, and relationships all working in-sync, then you’ll feel that flow of life and things will lean towards spiraling upwards.

Accomplishing Big Things

When I read Atomic Habits, it made me appreciate the small things.  Small habits over time can lead to big accomplishments or big bombs that you have to deal with later.

I think it’s human nature to want to go to big accomplishments quickly.  We want to be able to play and sing the beautiful song we hear right after we hear it.  We want to have the great bodies we see others have instantly.  We want to have success in our careers overnight.

Intuitively I want to jump right into having and accomplishing big things, but ironically they come from the small recurring habits over time.

Are there any counterintuitive solutions that have blown your mind?

Self Esteem and Career 150 150 admin

Self Esteem and Career

There was a time where I was feeling like I needed a job and would desperately seek any office job that would hire me.  My standards were pretty low at the time.  I’d take a job…any job if:

  • It paid at least $10/hr and
  • It wasn’t back-breaking labor and
  • It wasn’t fast food

This led to taking many bullshit jobs.  I would try to engage with the work I was assigned as much as possible because it seemed like that’s when time went by the fastest.  More often than not, my disdain for the work wouldn’t let me muster up enough engagement with it, and I would have thoughts like these:

  • “Fuuuuck this shit.”
  • “This is a waste of life.”
  • “I should be doing something more important.”
  • “How much longer til lunch?” (same question to myself 10-20min better)
  • “When is this gonna be over?”
  • (after being ordered to do something) “yeah…whatever”
  • “I hate that I’m getting good at this bullshit.  I’m not going to use this anywhere but here or other jobs like this.”
  • “hmmm…they just took all the credit for what I did.”
  • “I’m making them rich”
  • “They’re not even physically working.  Me and other people at the bottom of this pyramid are doing all the work and getting paid the least.”
  • “Fuck this shit!”  (Did I mention this one already?)
  • “How do I get out of this shit?”
  • “I’m not keeping any of the money I make here.”
  • “I just need X to make rent.”
  • “I need to be doing something more challenging.”
  • “I’m letting my ancestors down.”
  • “I hate when they bring other people in to look at us work like we’re animals at the zoo or something.”
  • “When will this end?”
  • “I’m just here because I need the money”

Add to this often daydreaming about entrepreneurship and vacations.

Fast forward to today.  I haven’t had a job in just over 2 years, but I have more money in my bank account and invested in crypto than I ever had before.  Why?

On June 26th…I said to myself – “no more neediness of money”.  I am free NOW.  Many things happened as a result of drawing that line in the sand.  I lived in my car for months.  I went through a voluntary repossession.  I started living with parents and started doing DoorDash for the little money I needed.  I couldn’t count the amount of times I heard or was nudged to “get a job”.  During this time, I actually started volunteering in a different way.  While I was doing DoorDash, I created a course.  I wrote 150+ articles.  I guest posted!  I actually did what I wanted to do and what I would do if I was completely free, and I’m still doing it.  I experimented with different ways to share this stuff.  I even learned some new songs to cover!  I realized that…I get to experiment with and choose how I want to work.

I also realized I can’t be attached to how money comes in – my job is to keep working and serving!  Having created a popular blog before, I thought I was going to get paid through advertisements or a sponsorship or something, but I got paid another way.  I can’t prove this for a fact, but I believe money came to me because I didn’t need money.  I stopped chasing it.  Now, when I feel like I need more money or I have to chase money, I try to volunteer.  It’s counterintuitive, but it works!

It wasn’t all good though.  I gained so much weight back that I’d lost!! but I couldn’t be happier with the work I’m doing.

Aligning with Your Values

If you look at this Linked-In post by Adam Grant (author of Give and Take) many of the thoughts I listed are reflective of Phase 1 – low self-esteem in career.  This is only part of the picture though.

“Living your life consistent with your deepest values is essential for you to enjoy high self-esteem. People who are clear about what they believe in and value, and who refuse to compromise their values like and respect themselves far more than people who are unclear about what is really important to them.” – Brian Tracy

Working on something you feel is important could be one standard, but why not have multiple standards for your work?  Aligning with your own values can not only raise your self-esteem in your career but across the board.

One value I hold very high is freedom.  My ancestors were slaves, so a big reason for the thoughts I listed above was due to not living consistent with the value of freedom I hold in high regard.  Early on, I didn’t demand freedom from my career.  I’d settle for working in a friggin box.  From the outside looking in, living in a car creating a course was weird, but I still look at that and I’m so proud of it – because I was free.  I was prouder than anytime I spent working a bullshit job in any office.  There is no replacement for living consistent with your own values.

I also don’t think I understood how to handle freedom responsibly.  No matter how free you are, there’s still work to do.  There’s still an infinite amount of ways to serve.

I feel thankful for the work I’m doing now, because I feel like even if I help one person have a shift that feels way more rewarding, fulfilling and more important than wasting time doing something easy, boring and repetitive as work.

What are your standards?

What are you not demanding from your job?  Do you like cubicles? Do you want months of vacations?  Do you want to work on something important?  What would that be?  Is there something you feel like only you could/should do?  Is your unique genius at work?

What are your values?  Do you value freedom?  Creativity?  Responsibility?  Skill-building?  Service?

Have you written down your values?  Values can definitely shift, but it’s good to keep some record of what you value and how they change over time.

How can you take one step today to move into greater alignment with your own values?

Too Grounded or Not Grounded Enough? 150 150 admin

Too Grounded or Not Grounded Enough?

Are you feeling too grounded or not grounded enough?

“Too grounded” symptoms:  You feel at peace, and you’ve felt at peace for a long time.  Nothing is really changing in your life from day to day and you feel like you’re just going through the motions.   Your needs are met, but you really feel like you need to spice it up.

If this is you, then do just that – spice it up!  Embrace the New! Commit to something challenging for you.  Face a fear you’ve had.  Volunteering could also be a great way to go here.  Put your willingness to try something new “out there”.  Put more of your skills/time/effort out there.  Since you’re at peace and have your needs met, let your cup flow over to help those who do not have their needs met.  Take some of your groundedness and connect with someone else that might need to feel more grounded.

I’ve been feeling like this lately, so I’ve began guest posting to get some new flow and energy in here!  So, what’s up if you’re new 😉

“Not grounded enough” symptoms:  Here you might feel like things are flying at you quicker than you can handle.  There’s a lot going on.  You might be in a totally new place or around totally new people.  Things have changed for you in a big way.  It feels like you’re walking on air and you don’t have as much control as you normally do.  Maybe you’re having to rely on someone else to do something.

I felt like this when I joined a group that committed to abstaining from products made with sugar and flour.  That was tough.  I ate lots of fast food and junk filled with sugar and flour for decades.  Then, I join this group and they’re telling me that I can’t have ANY product that has sugar or flour in it.  My emotions were like a roller coaster.  Some days I was confused and lost.  Other days I was an emotional wreck, crying for no reason.

During that time, I really appreciated the new things that stayed the same.  The meetings we attended were new for me, but they were constant and happened regularly and had this uniform structure to them.  I was forming new habits and being introduced to new routines and people, but those new habits and routines stayed constant, and the people who committed to the group were always there to connect with.  It gave me a new appreciation for the new things that were constant while I was surrendering the old habits, routines and people that were constant.

The biggest help for me in that situation was connecting with someone who had been where I’d been before and successfully overcome it.  These people will offer you a more grounded perspective on the situation.  The more people you can find to connect with like this when you’re feeling ungrounded, the better.

Listening to meditation audio or someone you feel is grounded (try Eckhart Tolle) could help make you feel more centered during the turbulent times.  Even then, it might just take some time and patience on your part.

The beauty of life is this dynamic.  Things are changing constantly.  Stay aware of what the moment is calling for and adapt.   Take inventory and recognize when things need to be rebalanced.

Too damn grounded and feeling bored?  Words like “spontaneity”, “edge”, “spice”, “new”, “challenge” will help you here.

Feeling like you’re walking on air and would like to get your feet on solid ground?  Connect with someone who’s taken that walk before and ask them questions.  Get used to letting go of control and expectations.  Be patient and let things sink in and integrate where they need to.