Try to remember that a symbol doesn’t have any power or meaning that you don’t give to it.
Instead of allowing a symbol to inspire feelings of hatred, contempt, disgust and intolerance, try instead to choose to experience the feelings that will increase the love and the kindness in our world.
When I see a symbol meant to inspire negative feelings, I choose to deny it that power. I choose to feel grateful for the positive steps we have made towards tolerance and acceptance of others, instead of experiencing feelings of frustration, separateness and hatred. I choose to be grateful for the opportunities we still have to become more loving and understanding, instead of feeling depressed and hopeless about the injustices some of us may still have to experience. Instead of allowing General Lee’s battle flag to bring up sorrow in me, I choose to celebrate all of the good people in the world who are not perfect, but still choose to demonstrate love, kindness and tolerance more often than hate, greed and ignorance.
Don’t let hate win. Be strong, and find a way to personally translate those symbols into reminders to spread love instead.
I am an Oprah groupie. I am not ashamed to admit it. I have been watching her broadcasts of Super Soul Sunday and Oprah’s Lifeclass on her OWN network since its inception. Integrating some of the great ideas that have been brought to my attention through these shows has been an awesome, fulfilling and a truly joyful experience. I enjoy exploring ideas that might shift my perception, and allow me to arrive at a new appreciation of life as a human being.
One of the things related to Oprah that I am entertaining currently is a “O-Course” called “Thrive.” The instructor is Arianna Huffington. Many of the things we have covered so far make me feel proud of myself. I didn’t need the instruction to know that plentiful sleep is important or that working until you fall over is not success. Today’s assignment was to identify three goals, and then to let go of goals that aren’t a priority and that you can’t realistically include in your life. Completing this assignment gave me the opportunity to clarify and re-affirm three key areas of focus in my life. I’ve decided to share these with the biosphere of the internet. Here we go…
Living life by being present and full of love. Using this presence to cultivate awesome relationships with myself, my husband, my son and each person I encounter each day. Removing mindless and numbing things I do out of habit. Practicing gratitude and making decisions made from love. Being aware and fully experiencing all the joy in my daily experiences.
Getting my “house” in order: removing chaos and providing management for my daily life. Employing self-care strategies to feel great physically: improve diet, increase exercise, increase physical touch and massage and remove unnecessary stressors. Employing strategies to make household chores and administrative tasks more manageable and less stressful…and get them completed to create an environment of peace and harmony instead of worry about what needs to be done. Letting go of self-judgment regarding the things that I realistically don’t have time to do.
Using my employment opportunity not only to help support my family, but as a fertile training ground for helping others while achieving personal growth. Monitoring the amount of energy I allow my career to consume. Continuing to cultivate a positive, curious and helpful attitude while working. Cherishing those with whom I get to spend so much time each work day. Doing excellent work by focusing on one task at a time and maintaining a slow, steady way of being.
I’ve decided that the time is right for me to be openly secular. The inspiration for the timing of this “coming out” is a video I saw on Facebook today.
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations, no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within
Do you over-think things? I do. I’ve been procrastinating. It’s time to color my hair. I’ve been hiding my gray hair for years now. It was really important to me when my son was born. Pregnancy hormones help you have strong feelings, and I was not going to be a gray-haired mom with an infant. I did cut back while he was baking in the oven, because the jury is out on how safe it is. But my OB said that it was OK.
But that is irrelevant now. My son is now six, and the hormonal decree has long expired. But, am I ready to give up the hair dye? I’m on the fence about it. Like India.Arie says, “I am not my hair.” Where is that line between vanity and a healthy practice of taking care of yourself and your appearance? Should I be changing the natural state of my hair? What does coloring my hair say about me and my relationship with my ego?
Am I caught up in believing that a youthful appearance is more beautiful? Not completely. Am I ready to deal with the awkward stages of growing my hair out? Probably not. My husband thinks that long hair is sexy, and he does not want me to cut it short, so that’s not a good solution.
Probably the best thing to do is to stop analyzing it. Just do it, like Nike. Stop wasting energy on this insignificant decision.
Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.
Big Brother’s “Zankie” And The Problem With Sexual Orientation Labels.
I really agree with and like the thoughts shared on The Undie Drawer blog. I love it when people are able to express what I’m feeling, too. Love is so much bigger and more important than labels.
I finally started a blog last night.
It’s kind of a big deal for me because one of my goals is to be brave and to speak my truth. I am still speaking through my writing, but my hope is that it will eventually lead to my actual spoken word, face-to-face with other people, most or all of the time. That is not to say that I’m going around lying all the time. I am actually a very honest and truthful person. But my trick is the things I don’t say – the things that I keep to myself. I have thoughts, feelings and responses about topics that can be controversial, or spawn judgment from others with strong opinions, that I keep to myself because of my fears of conflict, judgment and rejection. I love, and I am inspired by the song “Brave,” sung by Sara Bareilles, from her fourth studio album, The Blessed Unrest (2013). When asked about the song in interviews, Sara shares that she thinks that “there’s so much honor and integrity and beauty in being able to be who you are, [and] it’s important to be brave because by doing that you also give others permission to do the same.” These are things I want in my life: honor, integrity, beauty and the people around me (including myself) to feel willing and able to stand up and be and share who they truly are. In the end, it’s all about love and acceptance.
But I wonder what would happen if you
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.
— Sara Bareilles and Jack Antonoff
Here’s where the gratitude comes in. My expectation is that I would write and no one would read it. And, because I am fighting some fear, I was OK with that. But within hours of my first post, I got my first “Like.” It was from a blogger named Eddy, whose writing has those courageous qualities I hope to achieve for myself. And because of this simple form of acceptance, my needy ego is very happy. I’m so grateful for the positive feedback and the speed in which it was delivered. This will motivate me to share more.
A thankful shout-out to a brave and kind blogger, Eddy, for my first “Like”: http://eddybcruz.wordpress.com/