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The Power of Ancestral Healing

The Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, Egypt. (Credit: Intarapong/Shutterstock)

Almost every week, I see headlines of police killings of unarmed Black people, of children being handcuffed and humiliated by police. How would these police feel if their child was treated this way? What thoughts enabled the police to look on a child as not a child because her skin was dark? What interactions has this policeman had with Black people? What did he grow up hearing and learning to think about people different from him, his family, and friends? What are the racial stories she tells herself and others?

The first step in racial healing is to look at the stories you’re conscious of being told and of telling yourself. You may have traumatic stories of racial injustice, toxic work spaces, or unequal treatment. Or you may have experienced violence from a person of another race. Often these stories are pushed to the back of your consciousness. Yet, they influence not only how you interact with people of any race but also how you interact with yourself. Without the experience of ancestral healing, your true self may be hidden beneath shrouds of the past.

In traditional cultures and religions, those who were remembered and revered as divine guides were often individuals whose lives benefitted their community. They were known for their wisdom and healing abilities. For example, the Egyptian god Imhotep was worshipped, as the God of Medicine, in Egypt from 2850 B.C. to 550 A.D., longer than Christianity has existed.

Imhotep was a true “renaissance” man who lived in Egypt in the Third Dynasty. He was an architect, credited with creating the first Egyptian pyramids. He was deified because of the care he gave, as court physician, to King Zoser. His other talents included astronomy, magic, philosophy, and poetry.

After his death, his fame increased and led to the building of the first Temple of Imhotep, the first hospital. People from around the world came for prayer, peace, and to receive physical healing. His well known quote “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we shall die,” has often been attributed to other sources.

Today, Imhotep isn’t worshipped, but the influence of his life, thoughts, and work remain in the buildings he designed and the stories of his work. The history of the USA, as a country, is not 500 years. Yet, most Americans have little idea of their biological heritage. This lack of knowledge leads to social and personal disconnection. If you do not know where you came from how do you know who you truly are? How do you know if your ideas about race and other people are your own ideas and feelings or the unconscious inheritance from your ancestors?

Ancestral Healing the Key to Racial Healing – Part 2 – coming soon.

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You Are the Light

Do you wake up every morning feeling the world is falling apart and you are too unimportant and too consumed with day-to-day survival to make a difference? I did.

Until I decided to send light to you-the-world.

You whose skin is brown, black, yellow, red or pink. You who speak English as a second language. You who came to this country to escape tyranny or oppression or just to create a better life. You who worship Allah or Buddha or Jesus Christ or your own innate wisdom consciousness. You who choose love based on your own feelings and not someone else’s idea of right and wrong. You who are woman, like me, especially you who continue to deny your own right to control your body and to demand the same respect given to any man. And yes, you who are a white man feeling the changes of this century threaten your existence. To you who are trees, water, air, wild places, oceans, rivers, lakes, and all the four legged, hairy two legged, winged, and crawlers.

You-the-world, know I, this one-insignificant-striving-to-be-universally- conscious being, send you light to guide you through the darkness of these days. I send you the light that never dies, the light of wisdom, the light of love, the light of compassion, the light of courage.

Remember it is darkest before dawn. Recognize change is constant and the most feared changes can become a tipping point. Yes, it is true this country, the United States of America, has a bloody karmic history. But the valor of those who stand firmly for the highest values of humanity have continuously balanced negative actions. Beyond the law is justice, beyond security is generosity, and beyond economic necessity is collective responsibility to preserve and protect all life.

You may feel as overwhelmed as I do at times. You cannot believe with all of the world’s technological ingenuity the governance of nations has fallen to the lowest denominator. Rather than celebrate the wealth of our diverse world so-called leaders act like cave men, pull out their clubs and light their sticks ready to “defend” their caves against any one different.

I, this one-insignificant-striving-to-be-universally-conscious-being, like you, attempt to contribute to positive actions. I sign petitions, write, and call representatives. Still a nagging voice whispers does it really matter?

Out of the darkness rises the light of consciousness that I, as well as you-the- world, possess the power to create a safe and free life for everyone.

Remember the teachers who’ve shown us the way from Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Dalai Lama, to Mother Theresa, to Archbishop Tutu. They wielded the eternal light sabers of courage, compassion, kindness, and generosity. With those sabers you battle greed, ignorance, desire, jealousy, and hatred.

You-the-world are a conscious being. You and I need each other and must care for each other. You and I can illuminate these dark times.

The way may seem bleak and dreary. My ancestors looked to the heavens and followed the North Star to freedom. Now know when you look within you’ll find your road to freedom. And know I, this one-insignificant-striving-to-be-universally-conscious-being am with you on the same quest.

Don’t Call Yourself a Minority!

Photo Courtesy Eye For Ebony

Recently, I had to let a dynamic, talented woman of color know she was using racist language. The most racist word in the English language is not the “n” word but the “m” word – minority

In the 1960’s, South African activist Steve Biko said,  “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”  Forty years later, George Stevens, San Diego deputy mayor expressed the same idea with action. He introduced legislation to ban use of the word minority from municipal documents and discussions because “Minority means less than and language has strength.”

When talking with youth throughout the city he found minority was seen as a negative term by black and Latino youth. The same youth said teachers expected less of them and didn’t push them to succeed as much as white students. Stevens asked, “When you’re called a minority, why should you be expected to achieve like a majority?”

Even though The Census Bureau stopped using minority in the 1990’swhite politicians continue to support its use.  In 2003, Boston City Council President Charles C. Yancey, felt that minority “. . .is anachronistic and demeaning.” The City Council unanimously supported his proposal to ban the word minority from official city documents. But, the white mayor vetoed the vote.  Such actions have created the situation in which now, in the second decade of the 21st century, you still see and read black professionals and entrepreneurs who say, “I’m a minority.”

Verbal Hypnotism

“Of what race am I? To this question there is and can be but one true answer–I am of the human race, I am an American. . . I would liberate myself and ourselves  from the entire machinery of verbal hypnotism. I am simply of the human race. . .I am of the human nation. . .I am of Earth.”

       – Jean Toomer

At the turn of the 20th century, Jean Toomer, author and philosopher, recognized it’s easier to use labels rather than to discover the true nature of an individual. Ironically, the USA concept of rugged individualism is a myth when you look at actual practice. From politics to pulpits people classify others based on age-old prejudices of appearance, wealth, education, skin color, ethnicity, and language.

These classifications result in the use of the word minority as a noun rather than as an adjective.  Problems arise with the use of a word which means less than to label unique, individual human beings. People grouped as minority have different backgrounds, encounter different problems, and often speak different languages.

Yet, organizations, institutions, and individuals continue to use the word minority when speaking of people of color ignoring the inherent meaning of  “less” at the root of the word. The defense and use of the word minority supports and perpetuates intellectual, institutional, political and social racism.

By examining the inherent problems with minority alternatives arise. Precise and specific language in sociological research, use of the language of inclusion, and promoting positive descriptive language are a few options. Such alternative actions contribute not only to significant language change but also to progressive social change.

Instead of your organization serving “minorities” you assist under-served populations, or people of color in business, or the woman of color entrepreneur

Oxymoronic Language

The pejorative nature of minority is increased with the use of double-speak, in minoritymajority. An oxymoron is, according to Webster’s Tenth Collegiate Dictionary, “a combination of contradictory or incongruous words.” I first heard the oxymoronic expression minority-majority as an employee of the University of Texas in Austin decades ago.

Placing minority before majority enables people to consider these populations as less than making their numerical majority insignificant because the minority-majority is still seen as less than the “majority” in education, economics, and political power. Thus, such language use maintains the status quo.

The status quo keeps the growing minority in this country, wealthy white men, in positions of economic, political, and social power. This power is propped up by the mass entertainment industry still dominated by white men and women in front of the camera and behind the camera.

“Tradition has it that whenever a group of people has tasted the lovely fruits of wealth, security and prestige it begins to find it more comfortable to believe in the obvious lie and accept that it alone is entitled to privilege.”

       – Steve Biko

“What minority?” is the question many ask. As racial and ethnic intermarriages continue to increase, the question of racial identification alone becomes more complex. Is a person with one white parent and one black parent a member of the white majority or the black minority?

But that question does not support the ludicrous suggestion to “let’s remove the race category from the census.” Rather, research should be scientifically precise by using specific ethnic, racial, or national identifying language. And those options should include mixed race or choose more than one identifying race or ethnicity.

However, as long as social problems are identified as problems of racial minorities the so-called majority doesn’t have to concern itself with addressing the minority’s problems. By placing minority in front of majority, those with privilege feel they can hold on to their power.

Yet, this thinking gets confusing when the greatest number of people in poverty among that group classified as the minority in poverty in the USA are white people. Because the wealthy ruling elite and mass media propagate negative reports about affirmative action for minorities the white poor fail to align politically with people of color who are poor. Additionally, to further the contradictions caused by the blanket use of minority are the minority groups of gay, bi-sexual and transgender people and differently-abled people (which really encompasses most human beings, but in this case, is a better label than “disabled or retarded”).

A prime example of the social and psychological confusion misuse of minority causes is the problem of disproportionate minority confinement. What goes on in the minds of black youth who have been called minority (and other dehumanizing terms) to enter an institution where they find themselves in the majority population?  

Some political and social efforts are combatting the disproportionate confinement of black, brown, and poor people. But real progress cannot be made in a system that continues to describe people as a minority based on a norm that is in flux.

Sadly, not much progress has been made among journalists since 2003.   That year, the director of data research in a U.S.News and World Report defended the publication’s refusal to call whites at historically black campuses a minority when they were numerically in the minority. The researcher explained, “It’s done from the context of what society, broadly speaking, generally considers a minority, and what higher education calls a minority.” In other words he was saying, “From the context of the white men who are writing, researching, and publishing this ranking of Campus Diversity no way exists, in our minds, for the white man to be a minority.”

The Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 designated four specific minority groups – Black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, and American Indian. Taken together, along with others classified as minorities these collective groups of people are the growing majority.

In the summer of 2003 the census released figures that revealed the white population of the state of California was only 47%, less than one-half of the total population! The response of the press was to fall back into the comfort of the impossible descriptive of a “minoritymajority state.”

Most census and population forecasters predict that inevitably, white people will become a numerical minority in the USA. The values and cultural expression of this country are changing one dominated by the western white male paradigm, to that of a multicultural, multi-gender reality.

The election of a black president happened because the USA is a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-gender population. The open racism and bigotry displayed in the halls of power now are simply the cries of those who cannot accept this truth.

The Changing Paradigm

There are no accidents in language. Language is the growing, changing, evolving process of our conscious development. . .”       Victor Villasenor

Well-meaning people of all races are the first to say, “But we need minority in order to document social inequities.” However, if scientific studies of society are to be done, they should be conducted with as much rigor and preciseness as any other science. In states where people of color are significant numerical minorities and poor whites are even more invisibly marginalized the catch all term minority can produce a skewed statistical picture of the problems of the diverse realities lived.

On the other hand, the black medical doctor with a private practice in a white suburb is a member of the numerical black minority in the community but he is also part of the upper economic majority class setting social policy. Racial, sexual, ethnic, economic, and health data are essential to learning how people live in terms of scientific studies and social programs. Specificity is the key to combating diverse social problems which have been lumped together under an amorphous minority.

The USA is not the only country confronting use of the term  minority. Muslims in India, indigenous and religious sects in Japan and Turkey are among countries that have taken the easy route to classify people who are different, indigenous, poor, of a different religion, or another language group. These countries too, in the 21st century, struggle with how to address diverse people, meet their needs, and guarantee their rights.

History is filled with the genocide of groups of people who were deemed the “minority.” The slaughter of indigenous peoples in countries from Australia, to India, to the USA in the name of exploration was the genocide of colonialism.  This genocide of people due to their religion or ethnicity occurred repeatedly in the 20th century and now rears its ugly head this century in Myanmar.

Word usage changes over time. For over 200 years the use of nigger was common among whites and blacks, not as a pejorative, but as a country, southern pronunciation. By the beginning of the 20th century polite society frowned on the word, as black people in America called themselves colored, Moorish, Negro, Black, Afro or African American.

Black was how Gwendolyn Brooks, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, chose to identify herself because use of this descriptive makes black Americans part of a great world majority. Every country has people who are darker, different, or the so-called “black sheep.” Calling oneself a black person creates a great unity going beyond ethnic, geographic, or tribal divisions.

If Africans had recognized their common needs and not sold their people for money and guns to kill each other, Europe might have become the “third world.” The world white minority might not have succeeded in imposing its values, economics, and military might upon the majority, black, brown, yellow, and red populations. And the United States would not have become a dominant world power built on the backs of the unpaid labor of black people for hundreds of years.

If the Census Bureau and government documents do not use minority as a descriptive of people, why do media, educators, politicians, business leaders, and social workers continue to stigmatize living, human, feeling beings by telling them they are less? While the big question today is “who or what are they less than?”

Liberating Language

“. . .these labels, together with ideas, opinions, beliefs, emotions and their associated behavior constitute the sociological, psychological factor of racial matters.” Jean Toomer

Private businesses have begun taking a progressive lead through their human resources departments to address how people are labeled. Some surveys have shown employees find the use of minority “offensive, a ploy to label people.” Upon a logical and thorough reflection, the language of inclusion is the only language to use.

21st Century USA is a multicultural, multiracial, and multiethnic nation. Thus, language must be inclusive. The language of inclusion is the language of a true democracy which builds its wealth by investing in the capital of all of its citizens by offering opportunities and compassion to all.

Communities, schools, businesses, and government can work from a policy of inclusion that welcomes everyone and asks people how they wish to be called, how they choose to identify themselves. This inclusive philosophy recognizes the need to be willing to become culturally competent in as many cultures as one meets in order to avoid falling into the acceptance of stereotypes and/or engaging in prejudicial actions or so-called unconscious bias.

Renee Sneitzer, a black woman who traveled from the projects of New Jersey to become the first black prosecutor in Black Hawk County, Iowa saw language change as one tool for helping to combat the problem of disproportionate confinement of black, brown, and poor people.

Her guiding quote was “People will rise to greatness if greatness is expected of them.”

Thus, she suggested rather than calling people “poor, disadvantaged, or at risk” for whom society, fate, or forces beyond their control have cast into negative life situations to recognize them as the individuals and communities “with the greatest potential for growth and success.”

Imagine the change that will occur in the minds of the public when journalists write stories with headlines such as, “Black and Brown Youth Exploit their Potential for Growth and Success.”  Imagine the positive impact on justice when legislators pass penal laws to “increase the potential for growth and success of people incarcerated.”

Imagine the decrease in police brutality and arrests if police were trained to view black and brown men as  “people with the greatest potential for growth and success.” Imagine the improvement in families if social workers were taught to view their clients as “families with the greatest potential for growth and success.”

The use of positive language creates positive results. The challenge now is to take this knowledge and use all resources at hand to institute changes in the language paradigm. And remember to stop yourself or anyone else who slips up and refers to a person as a minority.

How to Budget for Happiness

           By Miesha Wilson

Have you ever wondered how an extra $1000 a year could positively transform your life? Do you see yourself going on a cruise surrounded by your closest family and friends? How about soaking up the sun on a warm sandy beach with your favorite drink in hand; how does that sound? If you’re like most women of color, or for that matter, most middle-class America, you will be familiar with the adage “money doesn’t grow on trees”, and it’s true, money doesn’t grow on trees, but with a little financial planning, you can allocate your funds in a way that will ultimately make your life far more happier.

Build a Finance List: Your First Round of Defense to Financial Stability

         Self-care comes in many different forms. Along with physical care, financial care is equally vital to happiness and mental stability. Try creating a financial list to help you get more organized. A finance list is a composed document of all of your monthly expenses. Making a list of your expenses (down to the Netflix and Hulu bill) will help put the guesswork out of managing your income. Knowing exactly how you are spending your money will help you keep track of your bills, avoid late fees, and retain more money in your pocket.

Budget Your Way to Financial Freedom

            Now that you’ve created a finance list, its time to start budgeting your income. Using your finance list, decide how much of your monthy salary contributes to your household’s expenses. Any funds that are left over after all bills are paid should go towards your “self-care” savings account. I suggest that you name this account “self-care” to remind yourself of the bigger picture. The goal of this task is to put yourself first. You spend all year working to provide for you and your family, but it’s just as important to set out some time and money to indulge every now and then. 

            To budget your finances, decide how much of your money is going to each bill, during this stage, you can see if there are any expenses that can be cut to allow more wiggle room for your income to spread even further. For instance, can your cable/satellite service be replaced using a cheaper alternative? Can you reduce your grocery bills by replacing bottled water with a filtration water pitcher? Could you save on personal expenses by cooking wholesome foods at home? These are all changes that you can begin to make once you know just where your money is going.

Income Taxes Can Help

            If you are eligible for receiving an income tax refund this year, take advantage of that! This can be a financial blessing for families or single individuals who would like to travel but just can’t afford to take a trip. Instead of blowing your well-deserved yearly income tax refund on a brand new car (which is essentially creating another bill for your family), opt to put at least half of the income into your “Self-Care” account so that you can travel and create new memories and experiences for yourself. There’s no point in working hard throughout the year only to give all of your money to corporations and institutions that, quite frankly, aquire an exorbitant amount of money yearly from customers. Yes, we live in a society where we must work to survive, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend wisely.

Remember, You are in Control

            Change doesn’t automatically come; you must choose to make better choices if you want to live your best life. With a little preparation and persistence, you can transform your life into something more desireable. Struggle and lack doesn’t have to be the story for any woman of color. Remember, you are stronger and more capable than you ever thought you were, and more importantly, know that you are the the conductor of your own symphony, the sailor of your ship, and the pilot of your plane. Continue to make the healthiest choices for yourself and those around you, and sit back and watch how your life will change for the better.

Amazing Method to Overcome Fear

Be Sassy

On Monday, I sat in my sacred space overwhelmed with a feeling of dread and fear.  My bank account is literally almost empty and no matter what I do, no one wants to pay me. “What am I doing wrong?”

How often have you told yourself that story. And when did you heal it to become a transformative story.

My story Monday was – Some people could see my life as a failure. Didn’t get my Bachelor’s Degree until I was in my 40’s and then it was in Storytelling! Had a mid-life crises, became a Registered Nurse, for 10 years. Self-published two books that were not marketed well, so no sales.  Invested in voice-over and ended up with a podcast no one listens to. And now, once again, bank empty and more debt.

I sat and breathed deeply.   I rested in the silence and allowed energy to flow.  Responsibility was the first light. Purpose was the second. Soon ideas of how to move forward flowed.

My story Tuesday was – I’m grateful for this extraordinary life I live.  I was fortunate to have a secure, safe, loving childhood and youth.  My young adult years were a mess but I was able to be creative, not get pregnant, and not be traumatically abused in a series of failed relationships and two failed marriages. I flourished in my 40’s – 50’s as a creative writer, dancer, storyteller, practicing Buddhist, and non-profit administrative worker. And now, while other women my age volunteer, retire, or become professional grandmothers, I’m starting a collaborative business with the woman of color committed to conciliation and compassion. I am grateful, I am conscious, I am fearless. I am the Black Queen of the Universe!

Are you listening to a story that brings you down rather than lifts you up?  Do you need help with healing your story?   Why not schedule an exploratory call to learn how you can heal your story and be sassy too?  CLICK HERE.

How Gratitude Heals

  • Want career success?
  • Desire happy relationships? Practice gratitude.

  • Striving for health and fitness? Practice gratitude.

  • Desire happy relationships? Practice gratitude.

  • Striving for health and fitness? Practice gratitude.

  • Seeking spiritual enlightenment? Practice gratitude.

Gratitude is a virtue, a practice, a reward, a measure of a person, the source of wealth and abundance, the foundation of all that is good.

The values and philosophies of the East and the West often seem at odds, but they meet at the intersection of gratitude. The Buddha, the source of wisdom, virtue, and enlightenment arising from the East said.

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.

From the West, we find Epictetus, a Greek philosopher of the Stoic school. He taught.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.

We would not think a king of capitalism and a talk-show queen have much in common but they share the throne of gratitude. Charles Schwab, grew up in Californian affluence and founded a leading banking and brokerage firm. His advice shows the importance gratitude plays in creating a successful business.

The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.

Although her life began with poverty, abuse, and struggles, Oprah Winfrey used gratitude not only to amass wealth but also to become a personality admired worldwide.

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. 

But, it is from those who understand that gratitude sweetens every moment do we see how gratitude is the key to open doors to a fulfilling life.

Gilbert Keith (G. K.) Chesterton was an English writer born in the late 1800s. In his lifetime he became known for his books, particularly a detective priest series. He also was a leader of the Distributist movement that supported the idea of providing small amounts of private property to all citizens.

But in his twenties he experienced a deep period of depression which he eventually overcameHis understanding of gratitude was key to his later accomplishments.

 I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

Injustice, oppression, racism and war shape a person’s life in unplanned ways. Dietrich Bonhoeffer grew up in the large family of a leading psychologist in Germany. In 1931, he was ordained a Lutheran minister. Three years later he joined other Lutheran pastors to form the Confessing Church, a free church not controlled by the Nazi party. But in 1937, the Nazis outlawed the Confessing Church.

Bonhoeffer’s writings, eventually compiled in a book called “Ethics,” reflected his opposition to the Nazi government. That opposition culminated in his decision to participate in an effort to overthrow the government and assassinate Hitler. The plot failed and the conspirators were caught. Unfortunately Bonhoeffer was executed 21 days before Hitler committed suicide.

His life experiences and spiritual beliefs, grounded in compassion and courage, led Bonhoeffer to acknowledge the value of gratitude. 

In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.

Kidnap, abandonment, sexual abuse, and addiction were traumas Melody Beattie survived in her childhood and youth. During a drug treatment program, a spiritual experience turned her life around and she never returned to addiction.

But her troubles were not over. She overcame the betrayal of her husband, who continued his alcoholism secretly and left her in debt, and later the death of her 12 year old son. Beattie wrote about her experiences, defining codependency, and has inspired millions to find the means to overcome troubled pasts and grief.

Gratitude was vital to helping her attain a life of balance and happiness. 

Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

We see that from the spiritual to the financial worlds and all in-between, gratitude provides a foundation for fulfillment, balance, and happiness in life.

 

6 Keys to Happiness

You might have heard of the saying “happiness is a choice”, but the true meaning of this expression is often misunderstood. When this statement is used, the speaker or writer is saying that happiness doesn’t come easy. One must actively practice happiness by first training their mind. “What does this active pursuit of happiness look like?” You ask. Well, I’m going to give you six tips that will help you transform your life and find true happiness that lasts a lifetime.

  1. Be on the Lookout

It’s easy to forget the happy moments if you let them pass you by. When life hits you and defeat begin to crowd your everyday life, focusing on the best aspects of your day can help recalibrate your mindset. For survival purposes, your brain is hardwired to latch on to the negative things, and when this happens, it can be easy to forget all of the wonderful things that happen on an everyday basis–sometimes your mind needs a chance to refresh itself. An easy way to counteract this natural occurrence is to be on the lookout for the special moments. Whether they are big or small, actively focusing on the good can be transformative to your life.

Did you receive a discount on your favorite cup of coffee this morning? That’s great! You saved a little extra money without the sacrifice. Were you able to snag an extra five minutes of sleep before preparing for your day? That’s fantastic! Now you can rise from bed feeling a little more energized. Try to remember how the good things made you feel to avoid a burnout.    If you Can’t Control It, Don’t Worry About It!

2. If You Can’t Control It, Don’t Worry About It!

If you can’t control the situation then don’t worry about it. This may sound like common sense, but too many people get caught up in the things that they can’t control. Worrying about unforeseen disasters can cause depression and anxiety which isn’t good for you or anyone in your life. So why do people put themselves through the unwanted stress? Often times, we use control as a method to gain confidence in our lives. The need for control causes us to react negatively to unfortunate life events that happen to us, such as losing a job that we had for many years or ending a relationship with a spouse or life partner.

Of course, I don’t expect for you to jump for joy when these things happen, but it’s important to recognize that sometimes “bad” things happen, and when these situations occur, it’s vital that we take a step back, evaluate our emotions, take into account the role that we’ve played in the circumstance, and make a conscious choice to make a better decision the next time around, because life doesn’t happen to us…in the end, we have the power to come out on top!        

3.  Think Outside of Yourself

This may sound a little harsh, but get over yourself! If you’re having trouble finding happiness, it could be because you’re thinking of yourself too much. Nothing gets you out of a selfish mindset quicker than to do something for someone else. This act of selflessness should reflect your current stage of life and capabilities. You never know what a simple smile or friendly greeting can do for someone else. The act of giving can come in many different forms. From sending a thoughtful letter to a friend, to buying lunch for a coworker, this simple act of kindness could brighten both of your day.

4. Be Present

Another great way for you to maintain happiness is to simply be present. Try not to focus so much on the negative things that have happened in your life or why a fellow coworker may not have returned your friendly greeting at work. Instead, I challenge you to be present in the moment. When you catch your mind drifting over into dark murky waters, try this quick trick to help you refocus your energy.  Close your eyes. Take a deep breath, and slowly release the air through your nostrils. This will force you to concentrate on your breathing, which in turn, brings your energy and mind back to your current reality. Remember, you can only influence your present not your past, so why think about it?

5. What is Your New Year’s Resolution?

You don’t have to wait until a new year arrive to make a resolution or set some goals for yourself. Do it right now! What are some things that you’ve been wanting to achieve but have been too distracted by life to accomplish? Write it down and place it somewhere that you can see it every day. Use this new goal sheet as your daily reminder to always be pushing towards your goals. If you’re stagnant in your life right now, this could be the source of your unhappiness. As humans, we should be striving to achieve new goals every day. Productivity creates the environment for growth, which brings forth happiness.

6. Love Yourself

I can’t push self-love enough! You must love yourself regardless of where you are in your life. This life is about growing, and yes, sometimes that means making mistakes, but in those mistakes, we find out just how tough and resilient we truly are. As you work to navigate this complicated maze that we call life, remember that you must first learn to accept yourself (flaws and all) and remember that happiness is a choice that we must all consciously make not just one day, but every day of our lives. 

Written by Miesha Wilson is a millennial freelance writer who transforms words and concepts into valuable content that influences the digital age– She uses words to cast a magical spell that grabs the reader every time! When she’s not crafting engaging pieces, she’s building marketing strategies that help her clients reach their full business potential. 

Welcome, Woman of Color

Photo by Andy Lee, Unsplash

What stories are you telling about yourself, your life, your happiness or lack of happiness, your work, your desires, your purpose?  Are you telling a story of frustration or fulfillment?

Negativity Has Impact

Every day you can hear a negative story. And too often that unreliable story is about you. You’ve got to look closely to know if you’ve subconsciously been telling yourself worthless stories. You can be the hero of your story or . . .

Do you continue to live your life the way you always have. Do you say or think, “This is my life, I can’t change it. I was born here. This is my name, I can’t change it. This is my job, I can’t change it.”

You can change anything you want to change.

Transformation begins when your frustration leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. Or the light of fulfillment draws you like a nail to a magnet.

All of the things that society or your boss or company says can’t be changed are in constant states of change.

Only you can shape your life into your beautiful vision. You are not powerless.  

Tell a story you enjoy. Tell a story with meaning and purpose. Look at the story you’re telling yourself.

Are you happy with this narrative so far? Or are you, the main character, constantly placed in the victim role?g

Tell Your Story

Tell your story the way you want the world to know you. In your story, when you’re the lion, you scare the hunter so badly, he drops his weapons and cowers. Gently you lick his face, turn, and disappear into the dark depths of the forest to sit in meditative equipoise. You rest in the power of knowing you are the only one who can truly tell your story.

Begin to tell your story by practicing Every Day Happiness, with this free five day email guide.

Gratitude and Giving

I am grateful for you stopping by, whenever you do. Your likes and comments let me know my efforts have meaning. And this is what everyone wants, a feeling of purpose and meaning in life. So, I truly do appreciate you.

We have so much to be grateful for. Every day you breathe and are of sound mind is a time to be grateful. Be grateful for your home and source of income. Be grateful people who love you, care for you, you can depend on.

Once you acknowledge your reasons for gratitude, it is good to send that gratitude out to others not as fortunate as you. You don’t have to go work in a soup kitchen or try and feed every homeless person.

You can just take a few minutes to send out the intention for all who are hungry to be fed. Some people may be hungry for love, some may be hungry for peace, some may be hungry for education.

In no way can you satisfy all of the hungers in the world. But Science has proven our thoughts, emotions, and words have energetic power to cause change. You never know who will be touched by your kind thought of wishing that everyone’s hunger is satisfied. Adding a visual component with your mind’s eye intensifies your wish and its power.

Okay, maybe you don’t believe me. If you believe in science or logic, you can test this idea.  Take a few moments, wherever you are, close your eyes, and say, “I wish all who are hungry receive the nourishment and type of food they need.”

Say it three times and if you are good with visualization, see people gathered in groups, in halls, eating, dancing, laughing, talking and listening to each other.

Slowly open your eyes. How do you feel?  If you did the exercise sincerely, even though a bit skeptically, you may find a sense of calm satisfaction and happiness flowing through you.  The act of giving is tied to the act of gratitude.

What is Spirituality?

Spirituality is not religion. Religion is an institution built around a person or a spiritual truth or teaching. The Buddha did not start Buddhism, Jesus did not start Christianity.

Spiritual is not material. It is not seen, it is something we experience through our consciousness and heart. Spirituality is all around us and grounded in love and compassion to create happiness. Even people who say they’re atheists, if they practice kindness, if they love other people they are tuned in to some spiritual source.

We’re all connected energetically and spiritually. If we understand this we recognize other people suffer just as we do. Everyone wants happiness just as we do. It’s important to understand spirituality and to have a spiritual practice.

Spiritual practice takes many forms, rituals, going to church or a synagogue, or mosque, or sitting in silence. For some, it’s taking a walk or spending time alone writing or reading books by spiritual teachers.

It’s important to have some kind of spiritual practice because it feeds your heart and creates happiness inside of you. When you have happiness inside of you it expands, like light, to others.

Spirituality grounds my life. I do this work because without a spiritual source it’s hard to be happy. Connection to a spiritual source lets you feel you are part of this vast universe and not alone.

We’re all connected. You do have the ability and power to be happy and affect others with your happiness.