No Whining Wednesday – Take Nothing Personally

Welcome back to another episode of No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, complain, or criticize. Now, if you are new to this blog or new to this segment please visit the first post HERE for more on what this post is all about.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

 

 

The Four Agreements is one of those books I keep close to me alongside the Bible and Letters to a Young Poet. This agreement is my favorite and has been on my heart even without having anything to do with the book. You will find that you are happier when you don’t take things personally. When you know who you are, you don’t need people to tell you how good you are. When you receive praise, you don’t take that personally by letting it get to your head and start to think more highly of yourself than you should think. There is only one creator, and it’s not you. You understand that you are a vessel used for Yah’s purpose and that everything you are belongs to him.

Most importantly, when people say bad things about you or do not react in the way you expect them to, you don’t take that personally either. You learn to create healthy boundaries that allow you to cut people off who continue to disrespect you but you don’t take it personally. You know whatever they think is a result of their own belief system, opinions, and emotions. When people violate your expectations, whether that’s not calling/texting you back or not responding the way you think they should, you don’t see it as a personal attack on yourself. You’ll learn when people are happier, they respond positively but when people are not happy they respond negatively. And the good thing? That has nothing to do with you.

People who are not happy with their life will not be happy to see you happy and that’s okay. They are on their own journey. They can’t relate to you at this point in their lives. Otherwise, they would respond differently. They would be excited, motivated and charged. Why? Because they have been where you are and they know what it felt like when they had that same joy. But when things are not as joyous in their own life? They will respond differently. That’s okay. This has nothing to do with you. It’s an opinion given to you based on how they are feeling in this moment but you don’t have to accept it. The person is dealing with themselves, not you.

Taking things personally is a selfish act because you make everything about you when that’s not the case. What people do and say is not a reflection of you. It’s a reflection of their own selves.

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Poet Spotlight – 2-Day Special: Grand Prize Winner | Jahkazia Richardson Part 1

This week we are spotlighting the winners of the 2nd Annual Poetry Contest! For the next two days, you’ll get to learn more about our grand prize winner.

Jahkazia reminded me that it’s never too late. How so? Because her poem came in exactly one minute to the deadline of this contest and won the entire competition. If she had thought, “maybe it’s too late,” then we would not get to meet and learn more about this beautiful soul. Let’s get into it.

Introducing Jahkazia Richardson

Jahkazia Richardson

Jahkazia (Jah-kay-asia which translates to Goddess of the land) is a slam poet hailed from Durham, NC. She studied Clinical Psychology at William Peace University and will be continuing her vocational path in Art and expressive therapy next fall. She appreciates going to live shows in the area as well as trying different recipes from all over the world. Currently, she is an insurance agent in ‘Bull City’ where she teaches clients how to protect their financial assets.

Welcome Jahkazia! So nice to meet you beautiful. We almost didn’t get to witness your beautiful writing and voice. Please, tell us what inspired your poem.

Jahkazia: In my darkest moments, I saw myself as a victim for a long time, and I always had a pretty negative outlook on life. When things got cleared up, I truly felt more powerful than I have ever felt before. My inspiration for my piece was a deep reflection of my overall growth and healing journey as well as wanting to honor my ancestors in their struggle to find their own power also.

Beautiful.

We’re going to stop here because tomorrow we will go a bit deeper into the mind of Ms. Richardson. For now, let’s get into this poem!

What if I Knew My Worth?

Copyright©Jahkazia Richardson

Thunder thighs was my name growing up,

Thunder that cracked like the whip on the back of my ancestors

Too bad I didn’t have their strength

Head hung low and shallow

my back hunched and broken.

How did I get here?

Words that cut deep into my skin like razors,

But I didn’t let anyone see me bleed

Times that I would cut into my own self

with the perpetuation of my thoughts

Lies that I would tell the little girl inside myself

Cut – excise the light from their eyes

Until darkness became my reality

Pain my reality

Depression my reality

Shujaa – warrior

That’s me.

Ripped out, open, and beaten.

Boom, boom, boom, I’m an African drum

Don’t let them see you break

Don’t let them see you bleed

Wrap them like the bastard’s child away and out of sight

Until the blood began to drip through

Until the universe can no longer ignore my cry

Cry likenegro spirituals echoing through the Earth and waking up the light

Somehow there was refuge in my brokenness

Deep in the soul of my being,

I awakened

Like sunrise

Up I came from the waters and introduced my light

Shujaa – warrior

Shujaa – strength

That’s me powerful with my pen and I write:

“Thunder thighs was my name growing up,

I hear thunder that cracked like the whip on the back of my ancestors

Passed down like tales they used to speak,

I now know that power

I am worthy. I am warrior.”

From Yecheilyah…

Whew. That’s some powerful stuff. I highlighted some of the lyrics that really spoke to me. What did I like about this poem and why did I think it was worthy of the win?

Self-love is a journey and a journey is called that because you never know what you will find. It’s not always about being where you want to be but the journey. It’s about the process and all of the challenges and emotions that come along with it and the willpower to endure those challenges and to overcome those emotions.

This piece embodied the personal touch that all of the poems had. It was set-apart in that it told the story of how one person went from self-hatred to self-love in a deeply honest way. This is not just someone who had conquered the demon of self-hatred, but someone who had fought it and could show that fight in words. Someone who had gone through the journey and had fought to reclaim that power. This is a fight we’ve all had and this poem showcased that process. You get to see someone who did not just suddenly arrive but who evolved and endured the way we all do when we are coming home to ourselves. At some point, we have all asked ourselves, “What if I knew My Worth?”

Very well done.


 

Be Sure to Follow Jahkazia Online!

IG: @chamelaninaire 

Facebook: Jahkazia Richardson

Tomorrow, we will be asking Ms. Richardson some more questions and learning more about her as a person with an extensive introduction interview. You don’t want to miss this. Stay glued.


Missed our other poet spotlights? Please be sure to show our winners some love:

Click Here for Kiyana Blount

Click Here for Nia Elise

Click Here for Nailah Shami

No Whining Wednesday – Look for Solutions

Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, criticize, or complain. I missed you all last week! And, I hope you have not been complaining! If you are new to this blog or this segment please check out the first post HERE for more on what this post is all about.

I love the strategy we’re going to talk about today to stop complaining! I didn’t think I would have had the time to get one in today but since I’ll be virtually MIA next week I thought, why not?

Last month, one of our NWW talked about waiting it out. (Read it Here) about being patient when things go astray instead of anxious and frenzied. Today, we’ll use a similar strategy. Except instead of waiting it out, we will look for solutions. It sounds like common sense right? We complain about things that are not going as planned. It seems obvious that the thing to do is to look for a way to solve the problem! Well, this is life and it’s not always this easy. We can never control what kind of day it is going to be because the moment passes quickly.

One minute we are reading a book and the next there’s a thunderstorm that shuts off the electricity. One minute we are happy-go-lucky and the next the feeling of sadness, anger, and frustration overwhelms us. And so we know the challenge of trying to “figure it out” in the midst of chaos. However, if we take from the image above, it makes sense that complaining never solved a problem. It makes us feel good for sure (hey, you gotta get it out sometimes) but overdoing the venting leads to poverty. It literally comes to nothing.

Today, let’s try looking for solutions to those things we complain about and if we are looking for someone to listen, let’s gather the courage to ask! Hey, we’re human and sometimes we complain because we want someone to listen but what if we just reached out? Today, instead of complaining take action.

Staying Humble

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Humility is not something that someone does once, but that one must strive to maintain if it is to be a consistent part of that individual’s life. As I thought of this, I also thought on how arrogance is not always boastful or typical of what we commonly associate with pride. There are many subtle ways to which a person can display a characteristic of pride.

Humility – a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness

Assumption

It is a mistake to assume that people do not know what you know, or that they are any less intelligent than you are. Even if you are wise, remember that even a fool is considered wise when he just stops talking. I am sure we all have our own stories concerning people who were surprised to discover that we knew more than what was perceived by way of our silence or decision to withhold certain information. Assumptions cover a lot of ground as they are always based on preconceived notions and unanswered questions. It is always best to communicate with others to learn more about them, than it is to assume something about them. It may seem odd at first, but asking questions is a good thing because it helps us to understand and to get to know the individual.

Acceptance

This is a tricky one and comes through very subtly. At any time in our lives where we fight against acceptance, then we exhibit a form of pride. We must understand that stepping stones exist for a reason; they are bridges to the next level of our growth and for that we may not understand it when we first encounter it, whatever it may be. People who struggle with acceptance also have a habit of disagreeing with every single thing. This too is a form of pride. The person may not realize it, but they are expressing a form of arrogance. Why is it that you have something to say about every thing? How is it that everyone is wrong but you? That person needs to sit back and ask themselves why.

The thing to remember is that all is not meant to be understood in the moment, but to be accepted. In the words of Rainer Maria Rilke, “Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them.” Sometimes we are not in a place in our lives to understand, no more than a five year old understands how to safely handle a weapon, and for that we must accept the place we are in now until we can grow into the person who could. “At present you need to live the questions. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Asking

No, begging is different. But seriously, being afraid to ask for help is another subtle form of pride. It stems from our fear that others will either judge us or think that we do not know something. But you know what? So what! So what if you don’t know? No one knows everything and everyone has something to learn from someone. If you are afraid to ask for help when you need it, now is a good time to ask yourself why. Why does it matter how others perceive you? People talk a lot about keeping it real but being afraid to admit our wrongs, or our mistakes, or ask for help is not being real. That’s being fake.

Contentment

This one is like acceptance. Once you’ve accepted what is, then you can just be. Another subtlety, people who are not content express a form of arrogance. What you’re essentially saying is that what you have is not enough. I’ve learned that discontent is also a triplet, she has two identical sisters who accompany her everywhere that she goes. Now, I actually have a twin sister and though we look alike, we are also very different. For that, discontent has two twin sisters and although they can be very different, they are also very connected. Their names are covetousness and complaint.

When you’re not content in your present situation, you can be sure that a lot of complaining will accompany it and leading you to ultimately covet what you do not have. However, I’ve also learned that contentment is like this undercover miracle worker. When you are truly content in your life, all worry, stress, and depression leave you. I know that many of you are off on weekends and especially on Sundays.  Just take some time today and embrace the stillness, and to practice being content in all that you have.