The PBS Blog Podcast Ep 15 – Discipline and Consistency

If discipline is a form of self-love then a refusal to correct the things that are wrong in our lives is a form of self-hate. Let’s love ourselves better. Tune into today’s podcast to hear more.

Listen to Discipline and Consistency now on Soundcloud for more and be sure to subscribe for notification of new episodes.

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Intention

It is the soul of our reasons why and the breath of purpose. It drips from our thoughts and can be smelled through the pores in our actions. Intention is the unseen fabric of the heart; the thing that either manifests dreams or turns them into nightmares. What will be is dependent upon its reason for creation. Intention is foresight. It marches ahead of now and reveals the future of an action. Are we cold hearts or warm ones? Bloody hands or clean ones washed in genuine? Intention is genuine and does not lie. Invisible though it may be it floats alongside us still and like a shadow reveals what is real versus what is being portrayed. A helpmate and a companion, intention is rib. Intention is Eve. Intention is by the side of action, the soul of our reasons why and the breath of purpose. The question is not what you will do. The question is, what’s your intention for doing it?

8 Ways to Avoid Stress

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  1. Take some time to sit quietly and appreciate everything that you have. Happiness is not in having more physical wealth but having less wants.
  1. Stop trying to change things that are beyond your control. Sometimes stress comes from not being able to alter those things outside of our control but trying to anyway. Stop that. You’re just going against the grain and you’re not going to win.
  1. Forgive yourself. If you make a mistake, get back up and forgive the less mature version of yourself who made it. Peace cannot exist around you if it does not first exist inside of you.
  1. Forgive those who hurt you the most. After you forgive yourself, forgive others. Instead of seeing what they did to cause you hurt, try and see them through the eyes of mercy. Sometimes people have been hurt and they pass that hurt on, try to see that. Look at them with the eyes of love instead of revenge. Excess pain is just baggage and in the words of Toni Morrison, “If you wanna fly, you gotta give up the stuff that weighs you down.”
  1. Learn to create balance in your life. Being busy is no excuse for surrendering your peace. We like to use the “I’m too busy” for everything but it just ends up being an excuse. Take breaks. Go on vacation. Date. Take some time to actually smell the flowers. In the words of Lena Horne, “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
  1. In times of pressure, seek to be calm and centered instead of frustrated and angry. The calm person is the most productive person and makes the best decisions. Quick story. When I returned from a road trip last month, I thought I lost my USB or better yet, left it in Chicago, a 13 hour away drive from home. Upon realization that I’d lost the drive with all of my files and manuscript revisions (which I’d unwisely not saved anywhere else), I was actually too tired to worry about it! I literally put my worrying off. My exact words were, “I don’t have the energy to worry about this right now.” I didn’t even look for the drive. A few days went by and I knew that at some point I had to try and find it. Those things on that drive were very important after all. On the third or fourth day, I sat down in my chair and searched the place I last remembered it and found it. Just like that. By choosing to be calm and not worry instead of frenzied and out of control, I was capable of thinking clearly about where I’d last had it. I also learned a very valuable lesson. In remembering everything has a purpose, I understood that I should never save important files in just one spot.
  1. Don’t compare yourself to others, it’s the easiest way to fail. It is also the easiest way to cling to your fears. Sometimes you can be so sure something is for you until you look at how others are doing it, saying it, or have done or said it. Own what you know to be true and perfect being you. People don’t want to see how you can do something the same as others are doing it. They wanna see how you can do it differently.
  1. Speaking of comparisons, be true to yourself. Stop worrying about being accepted by others. This too can cause unnecessary stresses. Don’t dilute your light for something superficial. The light bulb may shine bright now, but it is in no comparison to the sun.

When Are You Done Succeeding?

I thought this was a great post by Shayla of Curiouser Editing:

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As an entrepreneur, do you consider yourself successful? Or do you feel like you’re not quite there yet? Do you sometimes say, “I’ll be happy/successful when I get to this point”?

In the business world, we are engrained with the mentality that success is defined by numbers. We are told that it is something measurable. We are not successful until we get more followers, get more clients, get more engagement, get more subscribers, get more money, get a dream house, getgetgetgetget…

And it’s still not enough.

Because we keep going and we keep pushing ourselves to get better and be all of these things that our inner child would think were nuts.

So when is it enough? When do we get to say, “I did it. I’m successful”? When does that happen?

When are you done?

When you get 10,000 Facebook followers? When you make $8,000 a month? When you can hire your first employee? Second? Third? When you land an interview with a multimillionaire exec?

Speaking of interviews, I recently read one with a millionaire shop owner. She said, “We haven’t succeeded yet. We’re not at a point where we’ll all take a deep breath. I don’t know when we’ll ever stop.”

A millionaire said that.

To someone, that kind of dynamic attitude is contagious. It’s always been for me. But then when a friend asked me, “When are you done?” I began to rethink the definition of success.

Success means, “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.”

I believe it’s time to change the definition of success. I believe we are more than the numbers on our Facebook page. I believe we are more than the amount of subscribers who read our blogs. I believe we are more than something that can be measured on Google analytics.

Here’s a thought: We already are successful. We were successful the day we put ourselves out there and hustled for our dreams. We were successful ages ago, but for some reason, we thought it wasn’t enough.

We have already succeeded. No amount of fans, followers, likes, subscribers, clients, or dollar signs can ever change that.

Here’s my new definition of success:

The act of waking up each day and being in love with what you do and who you are as a person.

It took me longer than I want to admit to realize what success truly means. It is not a number. It is being happy with who we are and who we strive to be every day.

So are you successful?

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – If You Don’t Define Yourself

Yayy I’m back :). Time to get back into the swing of things. What better way to start than with Writer’s Quote Wednesday. This week, I take my inspiration from Audre Lorde. And since I just came back from a Stage Play, I thought it’d be fun to use the picture of me on the set in my costume right before going onstage lol.

Besty Mae

“If you don’t define yourself for yourself, you’d be crunched into other people’s fantasies of you and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde

When it comes to writing, and also to life, what sets one person apart from another are those individual qualities that are specific to that person. There is uniqueness about each of us and our style of writing that defines our work and defines also who we are as individuals. It is a kind of branding that does not have to be created, it already exists. We just have to discover it. There is a lot of good advice out there and a lot of good living examples to follow, but if you do not yet know who you are as a person and as a writer; if you do not yet know what sets you apart from the rest; if you have yet to define yourself, it is easy to get lost in all the opinions and philosophies and false images of who everyone perceives or desires you to be. Many invoke what others are expected to see. As a result, they lose sight of a definition of self. They cannot find the voice that is exclusive to them because they are trying to be a mirror reflective of someone or something else.

While I disagree with many of Audre’s views, I enjoy this quote because it is a constant reminder, for both my personal as well as my writing life, to be true to myself no matter what. I also chose this particular quote because my next book deals with mixed ancestry and it is noted that Audre Lorde’s mother could pass for white, while her father was darker than the family would have liked. Lorde is therefore among many African Americans to have experienced in some way the question of the colored line.

About the Author:

220px-Audre_LordeLorde was born in New York City to Caribbean immigrants from Barbados and Carriacou, Frederick Byron Lorde and Linda Gertrude Belmar Lorde, who settled in Harlem. Lorde’s mother was of mixed ancestry but could pass for white, a source of pride for her family. Lorde’s father was darker than the Belmar family liked and only allowed the couple to marry because of Byron Lorde’s charm, ambition, and persistence. Nearsighted to the point of being legally blind, and the youngest of three daughters, Audre Lorde grew up hearing her mother’s stories about the West Indies. She learned to talk while she learned to read, at the age of four, and her mother taught her to write at around the same time. She wrote her first poem when she was in eighth grade.

Audre Lorde was a Caribbean-American writer, poet, essayist, etc. and her poetry was published very regularly during the 1960s — in Langston Hughes’ 1962 New Negro Poets, USA; in several foreign anthologies; and in black literary magazines. Her first volume of poetry, The First Cities (1968), was published by the Poet’s Press. She died in 1992 at the age of 58.

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That’s it for this week’s episode of Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Be sure to check out Silver Threading to join in on the fun. Just click on the pic below!

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http://silverthreading.com/2015/05/06/writers-quote-wednesday-the-buddha/

To Move a Mountain

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“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Proverb

So I have a very important writing endeavor coming up and it’s a really big deal. I will be among nine other writers to take part and not everyone’s script is guaranteed to make the final cut. With just a small window available to get it written, it made me think of this quote. A huge job or task only seems impossible because for the most part, we are trying to do it all at once. When I think about projects it’s usually the finished product. I think about how to go about completing the entire project but in truth that just makes it more difficult than it has to be.

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When I was in High School (well technically I had graduated but we were still in the summer months following graduation), I was chosen to take part in this program. The program was called “Paint the Town”, in which a group of former students sacrificed the rest of the summer to get together and perform one final project on behalf of the school. Since we were no longer students and really didn’t need the credit this was a paid job, so you know we were in. Some of us were already working summer jobs and preparing ourselves to start College the next semester. The job was to paint a mural on a concrete wall in the neighborhood. Initially, it seemed overwhelming because we had to complete the entire wall before the end of the program. Not to mention that we were not professional artists, we were former High School students guided only by the school’s Art teacher. Our job was to decide on a theme, draw out a blueprint and decided how to transfer our vision from paper to an outside concrete wall. It was no easy task as we struggled to decide what was important enough to leave its mark on this wall forever, or for as long as the elements didn’t wash it away. However, once we decided to break it down into parts and sections, and delegate those sections to certain individuals or teams, it didn’t seem like such a large mountain to move. We were able to see the possibility of it all coming together and today, I can walk down that same Chicago Street and still see my name carved among those who participated in the program that took place nine years ago.

When you are faced with an important job, try not to take it all in, but see it coming in slow, a little at a time and eventually the whole picture will come together. It is only when we try to move the mountain in one sitting that we overwhelm ourselves. Just take it one stone at a time; you’ll get there eventually if you remain diligent.