Self- acceptance.... or something like it

As stated in earlier posts, last year I embarked on the life long journey of self-improvement. The first step (as it should always be) was to take a long look in the mirror and ask " Where am I and where do I want to be? What do I want?" During this time, other questions come up. " How did i get this way? When did this happen?" These questions are usually very hard to answer (usually having no clear answer) and get in the way of the actual goal; creating a foundation, a start point to begin your journey. The worst thing that you can do to yourself at this point is try to justify why you are where you are. Justification does nothing to help your goal. In fact, it holds you back because in the back of your mind you will always think: " Is that the real reason why?". Another question that will be difficult to answer.

The first thing that needs to happen... is for you to stand in front of a mirror and take a good look at yourself. Do not lie or justify any flaw be it physical or otherwise that you might have. Take good stock of the good and the bad within you, for we all have good and bad. Understand that the process you are about to start will be life long and full of ups and downs. Be determined that no matter what, you will not deviate from the path, become complacent in your laurels or worst of all give up. While looking in the mirror, smile. You've just accepted yourself.


Unequal Exchange ( Karma part two)

I remember what an old friend of mine said to me: " Cat luck ain't dog luck!" . It's an old Barbadian saying meaning: what works for one person, may not work for you. This was in response to a conversation we were having where we were equating the situations between myself and another person. She was warning me that at the end of the day what worked for them might not work as well for me so it may be best to remove myself from the situation. While I do agree with her, it brings me back to my definition of karma. Given my definition it should be possible to achieve the same success as given the same situation using the same technique. This however is not as straightforward as situations solely involving oneself. From the time other people are involved. Things get messy. The words of other people become the biggest obstacle you have to face.

It is said that the power of life and death are held within the tongue. And its true ( even to that extreme). If you accept the negative rantings of other people, slowly they will take seed in your mind and bear fruit. "You'll never get that job." , "You're not good enough for him/her." ; These common place phrases that even some of our "friends" use do detriment to our hopes and dreams, shortchanging us for something unequal in value: Failure for success.

To defeat this negative attitude, there are two methods that I have found to be successful. Both are based on my view of

1) Simply refuse to accept that person's words. Say it out loud if you have to. As much as possible do not let your mind rest on the negativity that has just entered your life. Reaffirm your belief that you will attain your goal.

2) On the other hand you can try to attain your goal by reinforcing it through a new definition. "I will prove them wrong. My ability and potential are greater than even I can imagine." It might seem childish to base the success on trying to prove someone wrong. But sometimes, our most childish emotions and reasonings are the most powerful. Why not use it for something good?

Growing Pains

Have you every looked back and realised how far you are from the person you were, then only to realise that some parts of you are still the same? There are somethings that we all should keep; those altruistic properties that we all have within us. The traits I speak of are not of those ilk. There are the niggling bad habits and attitudes that seem to stick to us so well, we even forget that they are there, waiting for their chance to pull you down. Today, I talked to an old friend of mine. She was always a so called "sage" to me. She's not much older than me in terms of age, but much older than me in terms of life. She reminded me of an old habit I have that in the long run could cause me major problems in my life. This time she used a perfect example of how this trait could not only damage me in the future, but how it could be damaging me right now.

As soon as she spoke of it, my heart sunk. It was something i had forgotten to pick up and throw away on my quest to live up to my potential; A link from my past that had yet to be broken. Then I realised that I should not beat myself up for the mistake I made. I reminded myself of something I had read a while back: " The road to self-improvement never ends." I had become so happy with the place that I was currently at, that I had forgotten that I was no where near finished with my task. In fact, it is a task that will never be finished. The flame of inspiration lit within me again. So as i sit writing this post a new quote comes to mind. " Growing pains are the signs of unfinished business. " Thank you "sage."


Lost opportunites

Saturday was a day of great frustration; at least in terms of my musical career. For the last three months I have been spending large amounts of my time, energy and money into trying to improve my craft as a musician, by expanding on my knowledge of performance through several exercises. The culmination of this "workshop" was a showcase, where the members who have participated would display the numerous talents that they would have learned. However, for the last two weeks, various members of the workshop group have been 'benin' ( For the definition of this word see this blog post by a friend/mentor of mine )and as such have not been attending practice as other 'dedicated' members have been. I in particular find it a very strange occurrence given a conversation members of this workshop had a couple weeks ago ( outlined in the linked post above). After talking about those people who spurned the opportunity to take part in this workshop, only to ruminate on the missed opportunity later, these members now not only destroy the opportunity for themselves, but eliminate the opportunity of the others in the workshop to showcase their talent. For me especially it is a difficult blow to take because this workshop for me was an opportunity to expound and realise my potential. Somehow some people didn't think their participation in the final stages of the program were needed. That they could show up on the last day and because we need the numbers they would be included. However, it will be my sorrowful duty to inform them that the dedicated members of this workshop will not reduce themselves to such mediocre standards.
P.S I spoke one of the the people who were benin at a show we were both attending. She seemed ever so sad and disappointed about not being able to sing, although she has not been present for two straight weeks. It took all of my neighbourly good will nature not to reduce myself to behaviour not befitting someone of my potential. " A chain is only as strong as its weakest link." Too bad we were unable to chop the bad ones before the chain broke.