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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Coasting to a Full Glass

Coasting…..I am not a person that usually does this.

Lately I have allowed myself to coast…..surrender to His plan instead of my own. I am enjoying coasting. How did I get here? How did I get to a place where I am not stressing or worrying about the next step (Not to be confused with me not caring about the next step)?

Because everything is moving forward and I have stopped trying to control things and instead I allow myself to be in a place of alignment. What do I mean by moving forward? All of the people that I put timelines on and have taken responsibility for are progressing at their best. I hone in on people because it has recently dawned on me that most of my goals and wants involve other people. For example, if I want to go on a cruise with a group of friends there are many steps that involve interacting with other people and systems (still led by people) that affect whether I will go on the trip as planned.

Friends schedules

Friends money

Friends goals for the trip

These are just to name a few, but one of the most important things on my list that cause me stress or to stop coasting when dealing with people is:

TIME

If I ask my friends in December do they want to go on a trip in May but they do not respond until April, I may be out of luck regarding my trip. Fortunately I have been able to coast because all the people that I am currently aligned with and dependent on are working at their best as it relates to interactions with me and my time. Currently all of my relationships, (friends, significant other, family, co-workers, volunteers, etc) are collaborative and I am confident of who is on my team and who cares about working with me (my schedule, my goals, my timelines, etc.). Therefore, I can surrender-no matter what the outcome- because I know that good will is at play.

Have you ever found yourself frustrated, arguing with people while in groups or in organizations, or coming home miserable after work? It is probably because someone in your space is working against you. And I do not mean that they simply disagree with you; they are actually trying to hinder your progress or are careless to your concerns and needs.

After many years of being in negative spaces in which I was forced to be “on 10” ALL of the time (i.e. trying to control, out think the next person, and worry about outcomes) , I am now at a place where I can trust that people I am involved with are respectful of my time, circumstances, and goals.

Have you been able to “coast” lately? Have you found alignment with the people (systems included) that you are surrounded by? How does it feel? How has your life improved?

Tips to Coasting

1- Create SMART goals-if you do not have clear goals and priorities for your self you can easily wind up in a place of frustration, anxiety filled experiences, and confusion.

2- Remove the opposition– again, opposition is not people that disagree with you, but those working against you or your agreed upon interactions.

3- Practice peace and appreciation– CHOOSE to be in a peaceful place; CHOOSE to stray away from negativity; CHOOSE to acknowledge good things in your life- the glass should ALWAYS be half full.

Check out this website to fill up your cup:

http://www.terrystarbucker.com/

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The Outlier of Good People

This is a guest post from Loy Webb, an amazing poet and socially conscious young woman who I have met along the way. In her own words: “my main goal in life is to follow the lead of those who came before and leave the world a little bit better than I found it.” 

I want to give the disclaimer that my experience is my experience. Not everyone goes through what I went through. I can only speak for myself, and what I experienced:

When I began law school, I was so full of hope and held high expectations. However, slowly and painfully that hope and expectation began to wane. From my observation, the first year law student is taught that, in order to survive, you need to develop a Darwinian mentality. As a result, you end up with a “one cheese and thousands of rats mentality.”  I am not suggesting this mentality is only applicable to law school; this mentality can be applied to any area of thought. Because I was always taught that you cannot compete for something God has already given you, I couldn’t understand some of the mentalities and attitudes that were prevalent. The backstabbing, the fakeness, the hoarding of information, the “I have to pull you down to lift me up, etc.”,  took a huge toll on me emotionally. The emotional drain drove me to the point that I dreaded attending school.

Finally, a course that I took last semester made me realize why I had been so disappointed with the law school experience. It was the last day of class and our professor handed out an article on the perception of lawyers, making the argument that the credibility of the profession has gone down. As he reviewed the article with the class, I recalled a show that I watched three years earlier called “Lock Up” that comes on MSNBC. It’s a show that crosses the barriers of prison walls and provides an intimate look at the lives of prisoners. One particular prisoner stuck out to me. He had a tattoo on his arm that said 13 ½. The interviewer asked him what it stood for.  The prisoner said, “12 jurors, 1 judge and a half ass lawyer.” After the professor concluded reading the article, I raised my hand. I shared this story with the class and explained that such thinking is truly how people perceive most lawyers.  I asked myself why and the answer became simple:  we are so focused on being good at what we do that we overlook being a good person while doing it. I explained that I not only want to be good at my profession, but be a great person while doing so. The profession deserves that, my clients deserve that, and my legacy deserves that.

My professor was obviously touched because he pulled me to the side and thanked me for the comments. Other classmates came up to me and shared my professor’s sentiments.

I find that I am often the outlier, presenting a perspective that stands away from the pact. There’s a picture of President Jimmy Carter, with Bush I and II, President Obama and President Bill Clinton below.

When I saw this picture, I immediately identified with President Jimmy Carter. I have felt like him my entire life. People considered him a “better man than he was president.” He was guided by his morals and his ethics.  Sometimes, when that is your guide, it puts you at a professional disadvantage.  Still, that is a risk, like President Jimmy Carter, that I am willing to take. I urge you in everything you do, to always remember this quote: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” (Ralph Waldo Emerson). Don’t let people tell you that in order to be successful, only you can be good at your profession. No, you can be good at your profession, and a great person while doing it.

I encourage you to read on Dr. Benjamin Carson. He has a formula for doing that very thing: http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/car1bio-1

Loy can be reached at loyawebb@gmail.com.

 

COLD- A Multi-Media Novel by A.D. Carson

I consider a good read to be one that motivates me to take action during or after reading. While enjoying Cold, a novel by A.D. Carson, I found myself writing poetry, thinking more in-depth about the college experience, and reflecting on the dynamics of romantic relationships. Cold is a multi-media literary piece that combines a novel, poetry, and a hip-hop album to present a coming of age story that has rarely been expressed.

I was impressed with the literary package of Cold which led me to think about what factors play a role in people’s choice to read a piece of literature, buy a CD, or take the next step in a visual design. With so many books on the shelf and music on the internet, each presentation has to catch the attention of a potential reader, and Cold was already succeeding in my eyes.

Other facets of the book that caught my attention were the writers’ placement of memories, technical book aspects, and the infusion of poetry and rap songs. The author A.D. Carson describes the novel as a concept album on paper. He reminds readers to make their own rules in writing not only with the multi-media format, but by placing the forward in an unconventional location.

“I put the foreword after chapter one because it is part of the novel.  I think that there are many times when people start reading a book without reading the foreword or the prologue or the epilogue.  I’ve always been the person who reads everything in a book just to be sure that I didn’t miss something.  In this case, if a person doesn’t read the foreword, the prologue, epilogue, or the critical essay/notes, they will miss quite a bit.  So the foreword appearing where it does is like a hint that it’s rather important…it’s a part of the story. “  A.D. Carson

Cold is a gumbo of communication, not only because of its inclusion of rap, poetry, and novel, but the foreword and epilogue are academic. When I think about the target audience of who this book can best serve (transitioning men of color), I immediately see the need for academic critique included in the piece. The stories are easily relatable- drugs, alcohol, jail, college, high school, women (Black and white)- Black people, people of low-income, and anyone who ever decided to trash their silver spoon or entitlement crown will identify with characters in the story and the lyrics.

The novel is very intimate. I read in private and felt as if A.D. had written the story directly to me; that I was the only person he was willing to reveal these secrets to.  One of the most prolific statements from the novel was during the transition between high school and college. A.D. wrote, “I can’t decide whether drugs ruined my life or saved it.” Personally growing up in communities and a family where drug addiction and exposure to drugs was prevalent, I understood exactly what he meant. Developing men are forced to make choices EVERYDAY that stick them between a rock and a hard place. These decisions affect the ENTIRE family and lead to a cycle of, abuse, love-hate, coping in which understanding is required to heal; Cold is the product of this cycle.

Many coming of age stories usually end at high school, begin at college, or start somewhere else, but Cold navigates readers through all three very important transitions, providing insight on Black males and their decision making influences in contemporary urban settings. Rites of passages continued to come to mind as I read the story. Each stage of life was a struggle and the next stage was only earned through perseverance and determination. A.D. provided clear transitions that allow readers to move with him to the next phase.

As a person in youth development, I plan to introduce this novel to teens and college students. Cold has the potential to draw young readers in while helping them push out negativity and doubt. A.D. Carson successfully romanticizes perseverance and academic attainment and that’s worth the read/listen.

Website:
aydeethegreat.com

Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cold-a-d-carson/1102186743

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Cold-D-Carson/dp/1932278729

Audio Available from iTunes:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/a.d.-carson/id428797921

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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