Go outside and stand on the porch. Let the refreshing wind kiss your face. Listen to the trees as they laugh and sway. Welcome the sound of insects’ singing lullabies as the sun lowers itself into sleep. Bask in the beauty that is a changing sky. Reflect on the rich hues, reds, and orange-golds and let the sweetness of nature wash over you. Eat the meal you love without punishment. Something so savory it melts on your tongue. Let it fill you like a cup of hot chocolate on the first day of winter. Drink water. Bathe. Make sure the water’s hot and marinate in Epsom salt. Wash off the worries of the world. Drift into peace like someone swimming. Wear something comfortable to bed. Something that will hold your body like your grandmother’s hugs. Make the room completely dark and close your eyes. Feel the drum of your heartbeat prophesy that you are still alive. Touch your chest and feel the vibrations underneath your fingers. You are still here. Calm the chaos of your mind and focus on your breath. Breathe deep. Inhale. Hold it. Exhale. Now let your soul rest.
I think I’ve been away from this blog the longest since starting these past few months! I miss you guys! Which is why I am taking time out to chitchat with you this morning (evening for some of us). The air in Georgia is cool but I am not complaining about the cold for the first time since ever. There’s a bite to the air that’s refreshing and the warm coffee I am drinking is hugging my insides. There is a gloomy cast over the city as I am writing this and it sets the perfect tone. If you are new to No Whining Wednesday, be sure to visit the original post here to learn more about this segment. I haven’t done an NWW post in a while so we are far overdo.
I read a quote earlier this week that stayed with me. The quote said:
I encourage you to try this for yourself. It will be fun and drive the point home. Set water to a boil. Once it’s boiling good, try to see your reflection in the water. Can you see anything or is the steam too much? Let the water cool and then try again. The cooler the water, the easier it will be to see your reflection. Even after the water settles, it is difficult to see yourself if the water is still too hot.
When you are hot, popping off and steaming, you can’t think logically. You can only think emotionally. You can only think with what you are feeling at the moment. This isn’t always bad (not all stress is bad…some stress is good because it gets you excited, motivated, and charged) but too much and it blurs your vision. Only after you’ve cooled off can you see the situation clearly enough to make a sound decision.
I came upon a Facebook memory the other day that fits this well. In the post, I said the following:
And I’ll leave it here. You got this.
p.s. The Gutenberg WordPress editor is not so bad! Perhaps a bit unnecessary since the classic is easier to use but not so bad. I used it for this post and I’ll do a short tutorial soon.
Happy Wednesday! Your favorite day of the week 🙂
If you’re new to this blog, learn more about No Whining Wednesday HERE.
Today’s message came as I was frying chicken strips last night. I was also listening to some throwback jams (preparing for what to choose for tomorrow!) As I was listening I thought about the night before, where I re-watched some of The Five Heartbeats. For those of you who didn’t see my post last Friday, I quoted a line from a movie, well, it was a song and I asked you all if you knew what movie it was from. Since I got no responses I figure I’d tell ya. It was The Five Heartbeats and from the scene, everyone loves – The “We haven’t finished yet” scene. Long story short, I pulled it up on YouTube. As I listened again and again and again and….you get the point, I decided this would be a great inspiring video for No Whining Wednesday!
You’ve gotta listen to the lyrics as you’re listening. Today’s message is simple: You don’t have a reason to complain because you haven’t finished yet. You are still here and, as I always say, you’ve got something to do. Enjoy and remember, today is a day of peace, not war. When you find yourself getting upset focus on rooting yourself in this present moment and don’t forget to BREATHE.
FYI: The video quality is not great but it is the only version on YouTube that played the entire song. If it’s too low you will have to plug in your speakers or headphones but it should be good though.
So, how was No Whining Wednesday? You can be honest. I will.
Before I do, for those new to NWW, see last weeks post HERE to understand what it is, what it’s about and how to participate. Tomorrow is our second week of the newest feature to The PBS Blog and I’m going to try to do better because I was a mess last week. I failed miserably.
AND, I didn’t even have any quarters.
You know what, I don’t even want to talk about it.
OK, OK, I will. But only because I like you. What had happend was…
I woke up that morning to a situation that brought me to tears. Not just tears but TEARS. I was balling. Here I was balled up on the floor praying away the anguish on the first day, but that’s not all.
Eventually, I decided to be a big girl about it and clean myself up because I remembered that it was No Whining Wednesday and I wasn’t supposed to be whining, let alone crying. I decided I would make pancakes before I got to work. Usually I’d just grab a cup of coffee or maybe some fruit so I was treating myself. So I thought.
This is Tuesday so I’ll get all my complaining out the way now. I hate…OK, hate is such a strong word… I dislike very much the taste of pancakes using oil. I like to use butter instead. For the twenty-nine years I’ve been on this Earth, my pancakes have always done well using butter. Except last Wednesday. They started to stick. I changed pans, thinking it was because I wasn’t using the cast iron skillet. It started to stick again and not just a little bit but like crazy. So, I started again using oil. It started to stick again. I should mention my sister in law is visiting. My plan was to make us a nice breakfast this morning (since I admittedly let her feign for herself the first night.)
My sister-in-law, awakened by the noises coming from the kitchen, walks in.
“Don’t worry, I’ll still eat them. I don’t really know how to make pancakes myself.”
“But I do! I do know how to make pancakes! Uhhgg.”
After giving the pan (the butter and the oil) a piece of my mind I remembered this was No Whining Wednesday (something I started) and that I was definitely not winning.
At the end of it all the pans started to behave themselves and my pancakes and turkey bacon came out lovely.
The rest of the day smoothed itself out and all of my locs are still here. By the end of the day Wednesday all was well. I think I even had enough time left in the day to watch a chick flick (which turned out to be whack but I didn’t complain. I’d already done enough of that.) As I think back on it now it didn’t turn out so bad (maybe I just needed to write it out?) but I definitely had a rocky start.
So, how about you? I know you did better than me.
We are officially done with summer (boo) and are entering the fall months. We are headed to what I like to call the darkest times of the year. I call it this because lots of negative energy is released around this time. Lots of stress, suicide rates climb, and people lose their minds. So, this is just a random Thursday word but, I’d like to remind you as we come into the later portion of the year that no one has an obligation to respond to negativity. There is no written rule that the loudest voice is the most courageous and I’d like everyone to remember that its OK to be cool, calm, and collected. Poised if you will. Balanced.
Being angry is easier than being kind. Anger requires little to no effort at all. Anger robs you not only of peace, but of physical and emotional energy. It is a sign of weakness and low self-esteem. It takes more self-control and self-discipline to be kind when others are being mean. It takes more strength to be still in the face of adversity, and to sit back and be silent when others are in confrontation. Kindness is a sign that someone has done a lot of work to improve their personal self and have come to great self-understanding, humility, and wisdom. Learn and practice being the kind, centered version of yourself. This is the most inspiring and productive person.
Contentment is defined as the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.
It’s so easy to be down, to be depressed, and to be so very unappreciative of this moment. So easy to worry about what bill needs to be paid next, what the work schedule is looking like for this week (even though this week has not come yet), what the children are going to wear to school (even though its Friday night) or how many blog followers I do not have (even though there are people praying for your numbers).
I’ve been doing quite a bit of self-reflection and one thing I’m learning is contentment. I am learning to be content with where I am right now. Right this very minute and it is paying off. There’s a calm, tranquil to my days when I don’t have to bunch so many of them up into one. I take risks because right now may be the only opportunity I have. As the saying goes, it doesn’t matter how many resources you have, if you don’t know how to use them they’ll never be enough. Likewise, it doesn’t matter how many doors open, if you’re too afraid to walk through them it doesn’t matter. It’s not because I know it all (because I don’t). It’s not because I have thousands of followers or get millions of views (because I don’t), and it’s most certainly not because I don’t make mistakes (I make plenty). It’s not because I don’t have down moments. It’s because I have this moment. This one right here and there’s no telling if I’ll have another one. In this fast paced world of ours, we tend to worry about tomorrow as if it’s promised. We don’t have the time to appreciate where we are because we’re usually focused on the next place. Even in typical conversation we do not listen to understand, we listen to reply. We hear words and we subconsciously search for the ones that will trigger a response in us. Listening. It is a lost art. We hear a lot, but rarely do we understand what we hear and it is because we are not content with being still. I’ll bet there’s a lot going on around you right now, even if you are sitting alone. I’ll bet there’s a lot that you haven’t noticed, even in a small room. You’ve been in that house for years and rarely have you noticed the bird on your windowsill and seldom do you hear his singing. We have to learn to be content with where we are in our lives. Not in the sense of laziness or the unwillingness to work or to change, but content as in appreciating the moment for what it is without constantly thinking about the next. Today is not Monday and you are not at work so stop thinking about that. It’s a nice day out today, take a walk, or take the children to the park. Homework is tomorrow but tomorrow is not here yet. Focus on today.
I am from the earth. My skin soft like the soil. I watch as the rain slithers from the sky like perspiration from my brow. It brings with it the taste of tranquility, and the smell of clean. I let the water kiss the palms of my hands and muddy itself into the soil of my skin. Perhaps it will seek to filter my thoughts and purify my soul as it does the air. The winds are soft and polite this warm and yet cool morning; a mixture of bleak sunshine and splashes of gray. I hope to accomplish what needs to be done. Who knows, I may just give birth to flowers this day, a rose or perhaps a lily or two, with the gentle rain.