Tag Archives: life

NO EXPLANATION NEEDED

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ex·pla·na·tion
ˌekspləˈnāSH(ə)n/
noun
a statement or account that makes something clear.
“the birth rate is central to any explanation of population trends”
synonyms: clarification, simplification; More
a reason or justification given for an action or belief.
“Freud tried to make sex the explanation for everything”
synonyms: account, reason; More

I’ve always had a difficult time saying no to someone and having to explain, the reason why.  The guilt of it all was so severe that I would often agree to almost anything, to avoid having to let the person down.  Last year, I began the process of putting myself first.  It’s been hard, when I’m so accustomed to putting peoples needs, in front of my own, but I knew that I had to do it, because it was killing me inside.  In the end the person was happy, and I was left feeling drained and dissatisfied.  The fact that I was hurting, allowed me to realize that I had to honor myself,  by not only saying NO, but to also not explain the reason why.

Our loved ones, know us better than anyone else, and its usually them, where we are faced with the challenge of saying, NO.  We don’t want to disappoint them and yet not honor our own time and things that we want to do for ourselves.  Looking back at the many times I’ve made sacrifices for people and the many things I’ve  neglected in my own life, made me understand how this was truly affecting my life.  When I began to put myself as a priority, I began to see results, not only physically, but emotionally.  Though they were left disappointed, what mattered was that I was left feeling relieved.  I wasn’t overwhelmed with task, obligated to situations, I had no cares for, and most importantly, I was honoring my time.  Life is so short and time is so precious.  Strategically, I plan out my day from the moment I wake up, till the end of the day.  With such a busy schedule, it doesn’t allow me much time to be off assistance to anyone, but myself.

I always say that if they love you, they will understand, but reality, it doesn’t always go that way.  There have been times when I would say NO, and the person would be more upset than I.  Hang up, stop calling and even cut off all communication, because I couldn’t help them, with what they needed.  It does sadden me that people have to resort, to such actions, but in the end, if they loved me, they would understand, and since they didn’t, the ties had to be cut.  You owe no one an explanation for why you can’t be there for them.  If you can’t say no, with them understanding, what makes you think that an explanatory statement, would make things any better.  It won’t!

 Analyze the people that you are sacrificing your time for.  Are these people doing the same for you in return?  Is this a constant reoccurrence, where you are always throwing out a lifesaver vest?  How much of your own task are you sacrificing for the sake of not disappointing people?  No means no, and no explanation is needed when doing so.  Honor your time. It’s valuable and it’s not promised. Put yourself first. When you put yourself first, you become a happy and functioning human being, to yourself and society. Say no to anything and everything, if it goes against your schedule, your beliefs, your interest, and finances.  Prioritize YOU before the needs of anyone else, if it drains, overwhelms or stifles your well being.  Doing this is not a selfish act, it’s selfless to your mind, body and soul.

MOVING INTO RADICAL ACTION

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“Our destiny hinges on a mindset for bold action.”

2015, had only just begun, and yet, I already felt like I needed something more, in my life.  I hated my  job.  My supervisor, made my life, very difficult.  He was an expert in using scare tactics, to keep me, constantly in fear.  Every night, I would say a prayer before I walked into the workplace, hoping that tonight wouldn’t be worst than the night before.  During my shift, I would purposely stay out of his way, to avoid having any unnecessary confrontation with him.  He would schedule me to work, almost every weekend, deny most of my vacation request, and if for some reason, he accepted it, he would make me pay for it, when I returned.  When I requested to go on my annual vacation to Trinidad, for carnival, and was denied, I knew that I could no longer allow my life to be controlled by an insecure and mentally and physically, abusive man.  Without a back up plan and barely a cent in my banking account, I put in my 2 weeks noticed, and finally decided to take control, of my life.

A month after leaving my job, I had all the time to concentrate on my business.  Brass & Sassy doesn’t bring in a steady income, but what it does bring is fulfillment, purpose and most importantly, passion.  I was so unhappy with the direction, in which my life choices were leading me, that I moved into radical action.  “But a certain degree of insanity and recklessness is necessary to advance or innovate anything, to make any new remarkable or meaningful contributions.”  Now while I don’t recommend everyone, in my position, to quit a job without some financial backing and employment, in the waiting, I will say that  it takes desperation and a willingness to succeed, by any means necessary.  When I quit my job, I knew that I would invest my life into making my business a success.  Along the way, I have made major moves, and also mistakes.  I’ve ventured onto other endeavors, while still maintaining the hunger to succeed.  Am I financially, better off, then I was, prior to me leaving my job, no, but what I am is truly happy and in control of my life and the decisions, that I make.

Some of the greatest people of our time, didn’t get to where they are, now, but following the rules.  By playing it safe and smart.  Many had to starve, sleep in their car, sell their personal belongings to pay the rent, all for the sake of pursuing their passion.  Could I have stuck it out and allowed myself to deal with my work environment and think of the positive aspects, that I encountered, while being there?  Yes, but I didn’t want to.  I already wasted valuable years, persuading myself, that things will get better.  When I knew that I couldn’t wait, till it did, I took whatever, inner strength, I had within me, and moved into radical action.  I heard the naysayers, who tried to fill my head with doubt and fear, but being the person that I am, I allowed myself to make my own choices.  I still stand behind my choice, though there are days when I have no money and my account is overdrawn.  There are days  when I have to borrow money from my parents and my daughters father.  There are days when I can’t afford to go out with my friends.  It’s the risk you take, to pursue your passion.  I’ve become patient, with the process of it all.  I’m not intimidated, by my bank account, or the fact that I have to budget my life.  I know that the day will come, when the hard work, will eventually pay off and the sacrifice, will be worth the pain.

WISH YOU WERE HERE

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“I don’t think about art when I’m working, I try to think about life.”

I think about you ever so often, wondering what your life would of been like, if you were still here.  Would you still be an artist, or maybe a writer?  Your thinking was too advance, to ever be put into a corner.  I draw inspiration from your work, your unique style, choice of music, and your thinking, capabilities.  What I love most about you, is your unspoken truth.  Your ability to define who you were, on your own terms.  You crawled before you were able to run.  Knew from the beginning, what you were destined to be, and didn’t allow anyone to make you do, differently.  You’ve opened up so many doors, and through your journey, you never forgot your humble beginnings.  You weren’t silent, through the injustices of our people and you displayed that through your unconventional locs, interviews and your artwork.  I always wonder why the best, die young.  I almost wish someone had saved you, but they turned their backs, instead.  Forgotten about the human being, and labeled you a victim of your own fame.

I wish you were here to see how times have changed.  Passion has been replaced by greed.  Talent has been replaced by popularity.  The struggle has been replaced by the overnight success.  Your work have been plagiarized to the point where you’ve been replaced, by them.  Copyright, doesn’t allow you to take the passion with you, and so I see a lot of blank canvases, with no real emotion in them.  Words with no meaning.  Color with no vibrancy, behind it.

I met you at the lowest time in my life.  Feeling worthless and uninspired.  Your life and the journey, in which you pursued, inspired me to do the unthinkable.  You inspired me to be brave in my work.  To be outspoken in my beliefs.  To be true to my character.  You inspired me to be greater than I ever thought possible, because that is who you were.

Long live SAMO

“YOU ARE, WHAT YOU BELIEVE”

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This isn’t a question, its a known fact.   Your beliefs, mold and shape the road map to your life.  We are what we believe.  We act on our beliefs.  Our thoughts are our beliefs.  I’m currently doing the 21 day meditation experience that Oprah and Deepak does, quite often, throughout the year. The topic on this meditation experience is our BELIEFS.  I get very emotional, when I’m in this process, because it opens up my mind and soul, to certain things about my own self, that I tend to hide.  This year especially, I’ve begun to challenge, all the things that I’ve been programmed to believe.  I began to question my career choices, which led me to quit my job, and college.  I began to question my friends and acquaintances, which led me to distance myself from a number of people.  I began to question, the many things that I was forced to learn about the history of my culture and race, which allowed me to become more “radical” and outspoken, against the injustices of my black brother’s and sisters.  I began to question the bible, and religion, as a whole and it made me realize that I don’t want to practice the teachings of a book, I’m not even sure to be true, but to obtain more spirituality, in my every day life.  Because of these changes, I began to feel more free.  My beliefs are my own, and not of those of my parents, family, and friends.  I’m beginning to live a life, that allows me to be free of doubt and fear.

The beliefs, we have, about ourselves, have been programmed, into our mind space, over the course of our lives.  As a child, children would often make fun of the way that I spoke.  My voice naturally drags, and because of that, I was often mocked and teased.  I grew up thinking that something was wrong with the way I spoke, which in return, made me hate it.  To avoid, being picked on, I became anti social.  Not wanting to speak, so I wouldn’t face the fear of being picked on.  The belief I had in my true self, was that I was abnormal, because I spoke differently.  I still struggle with this belief.  Even though I know that what I believed to be true, was untrue, it’s taking some time, to regain the power of owning my true self.

So within the next couple of weeks, I will touch base on this topic, associating with our beliefs, and who we truly are, versus what we want people to believe.