Operate from Value

There is a place called Value that resembles you having your peace and leaving another with their peace at the end of an argument. Operating from Value also occurs when you are in another’s company and you notice an enhanced emotion or wellbeing versus an observation of melancholy or sadness from your engagement – where the former, is adding value to the outcome. I had a conversation with my teen this morning that left me teary-eyed not because it was a sad conversation, but more so a dialog that had me hoping she’d share the same with her offspring one day.

House boat near in NOC: Nantahala Outdoor Center. 9/20/2020

Always operate from a place of Value” when you have relationships with people, I explained. Her eyes hinted at a further explanation and I began to share the following with her. Any time you are with someone, e.g. friend, relative, significant other, aunt, parent or in a professional setting, you want to aim at leaving the table having had a positive impact on the person’s life where the next encounter brings not only joy but spiritual uplifting and emotional wellbeing for both parties, particularly the other party. Before she could ask what I meant, I elaborated using myself as an example.

At 49-years old in October, I am welcoming situations that add value to either my presence, life, emotional state, holistic wellbeing and time because anything or anyone that goes against this desire or request is negating from my self-healing, growth and presence. Too often we see couples break up to later learn they are now at each other’s throat because of a promise made that now, suddenly, cannot be trusted from the other’s mouth who they previously loved. Crazy? No, accurate. What about a situation that invites a misunderstanding and now both parties involved are leaving the table with inconceivable stress that didn’t exist before?

Both aforementioned vignettes are discounts to one’s health; thus, taking away from what could have been avoided to begin with. Adding Value simply means enhancing one’s present situation, e.g. offering a smile to brighten up their day; validating their point of view or emotion or even something as simple as trusting their truth because from this delivers an exchange of harmony, peace, respect and dignity. Conversely, when we don’t bring Value with us, we do just the opposite: we deposit reservations, invite stress, create strife and may leave emotional scars that are all sometimes challenging to correct yet are unavoidable.

How do we add Value? Arriving at the answer is simple, yet not simply stated because one may say ‘treat the person the way you want to be treat,’ which begs a question? Is the person doing the treatment treating her/himself the way s/he ‘knows’ is the best treatment for themselves?! Therefore, adding Value requires you to assess and evaluate your purpose by looking from the outside in and arriving at your answer when you know that your objective should be to leave the person in a better state of mind or in a better emotional space.

So, if you find this a challenging task – don’t, just envision how you could benefit if you were the recipient! Promise yourself to add Value and if you are incapable of doing so, don’t negate. Don’t take away! Aim to always ADD!

– Blossom

Remain conscious of your BUT

I vividly recall my session. It was day 3 after I found my new counselor. The person I had looked for when I began calling a list of individual & family therapists who would meet my standards was exciting, overwhelming, scary, promising, yet fearful.

Fear_Male
Photo by mwangi gatheca on Unsplash

She knew I’d be a handful when I initially called her, outlining exactly what I needed for my emotional-mental therapy! “Are you African American; are you older than 50 and are you credentialed in family therapy?” were the questions asked of her. “Yes, I am, but why?” I continued to explain that my personal issues directly stem from systemic patterns in the black community that negatively impacts relationships I have with loved ones, inadvertently affecting friendships.

I had reached a point of lethargy! The intersection of what to do + where to go was too confusing for me to navigate. After all these years I had finally run out of tools and resources on this solo ride to self-healing. A plateau. I needed professional, clinical intervention but not at the hands of a novice.

Mental Health Therapy
Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

She needed to know the depth of my hurt and wounds without being coached. I had to have someone who could not only relate, but look me eye-to-eye and break through my guarded heart and passive-agressive assertions to see my bullshit. This professional had to also be a ‘she’ because I know that effective empathy + combined wit + careful delivery would give me a safe space to talk. This was vitally important because I am particularly known to shut off emotions and recoil when I feel attacked – a place where only my dad understands.

“At the time, it seemed clear to me that any between-sex differences in thinking abilities were due to socialization practices, artifacts and mistakes in the research, and bias and prejudice. … After reviewing a pile of journal articles that stood several feet high and numerous books and book chapters that dwarfed the stack of journal articles … I changed my mind.”   Diane Halpern, PhD

Dr. King is and has been my safe haven. Her teachings, techniques, discernment, communication style, presence, aura, spirit, strategies, methodology and various specialities have traveled a 35+ year journey from the academia, turned clinical sector with awe-inspiring accolades. When she told me that I needed to hear the BUT behind every explanation I knew there was an incredible breakthrough on my end. Not only did I hear her explain the importance of why, I also understand how effective communication is discounted when we are unable to remove our BUT from conversations!

Think outside box
Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

About a month ago Dr. King said to me, and I paraphrase: “Felita, listening to the BUT when a person is explaining themselves will allow you to visualize, listen, have access to, witness and perceive their mindset about a subject issue, which will give you both an opportunity to clear up and potentially resolve any misunderstandings you would never know otherwise.”  This was the best advice I had received in a while, as it reminds me of instruction I received years ago about my writing, which is ‘the best way to notice your errors in writing is to read your sentences backwards because the pace is slower in the backwards direction.’

Today, removing the BUT allows me to sit in the present; to hear and stand witness to a person’s heart amidst their explanation of what they believe they’ve heard about our conversation that may be confusing to them. I remember removing my teenager’s rights to use her bathroom until she was tidy enough to maintain her own, and while she began to explain her point of view – I interrupted her at “BUT, mommy” — I later learned that she needed to know more about the why. We concluded that our definitions of tidy differed, and my inferences were confusing instead of helpful.

Thank you Dr. King for inspiring and teaching me to become a better me! The words that follow ‘BUT’ will be heard before I speak further; I will also commit with a thoughtful mindset. I promise to remain conscious of my ‘BUT’ so that others may also heal because words unheard are feelings unexplained. The takeaway – communication should be fluid, unambiguous, simple, sincere, gentle, kind and delivered with empathy. I get it — we all fall short, however, speaking in our present state will allow us to exercise care and attention for a created platform that is safe for all to share a seat at the table.

 

 

 

 

Ridding Yourself of Clutter

I recently read Oprah Winfrey’s book, titled “What I Know For Sure” at the recommendation of a dear friend, my daughter’s Papa. Our conversation initially began with the normal chats about co-parenting but ended with a discussion about great books I can read, and he suggested this one along with a few others. As I combed through each page, highlighting what resonated most, I further shared excerpts with friends and posted some on Facebook that were both inspiring and thought provoking. The takeaway: to make conscious decisions about why I shop for what I do when, where and how often.

Now notice how each bold word usually leads to a thoughtful response because they are used in open-ended questions; however, I could not find a satisfying answer to justify my actions – a rude reality, particularly because this is my last year in the 40s club.

I hope the way you spend your money is in line with the truth of who you are and what you care about.”

– Oprah Winfrey

I call this blog ‘Ridding Yourself of Clutter’ because I have firsthand knowledge of how accumulating items on a regular is like hitting the cruise control in your car without sensing your speed, i.e. you buy because you have the power to do so; you have the money to spend; you are replacing a personal emotion you can’t quite kick or you are following the Jones’ and must remain in the game. Whatever your reasons – they are your reasons because I have my own. However, I am challenging you to buy with a conscious mind that has purpose. No, you don’t have to do anything … nor am I suggesting, but I’d like to energize you to adapt to something different that can bring spiritual awareness and personal satisfaction.

DeClutter_totes

Buy plants (see image below), rearrange your bedroom, practice yoga, watch less TV, read more, walk around the block, take a drive up the mountains and the list continues. If you’re wondering how reducing one’s buying habit relates to the list of things you can do in its place I’d like to explain the tradeoff. When you turn off the cruise control in your car you then begin to feel the speed at which you are traveling that directly correlates with awareness practices, such as the ones described. Above is an image of what happened when I turned off my cruise control, as I continue to sort through what to keep and what to sell.

Plants_Lights_Mood enhancement

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather boost my mood, add life to my sterile office space at home – especially during these times, brighten up my day with a little outside inside my home (e.g. plants are living organisms) and increase my concentration, which are all believed benefits of having a plant. So, kudos to Oprah Winfrey when she wrote “When you define yourself by the things you can acquire rather than see what you really need to be happy and fulfilled, you’re not just living beyond your means or overextending yourself. You’re living a lie.”

Decluttered home_couch

So to you, the reader, come join me on this pursuit to simplicity. It may be challenging at the start but you need only be willing because the first step will take you forward when you begin to realize the calming benefits of Ridding Yourself of Clutter. Above is a couch that sits in my bedroom and confronts me to commit to wellness each day before I begin my work.

Until next time be kind to yourself and be safe, keep and stay well…

 

Never Claim a Cardiac Arrest in place of a Heart Attack

So often we treat the experiences of our severed relationships like a ‘cardiac arrest’ when the result is a heart attack – neither of which we want. Remember your heart hasn’t stopped (cardiac arrest)! It is the attack on your emotions that need acute care and proper healing.

No Cardiac Arrest Here!We must take time to make time like we can take time to treat, both of which may require a paradigm shift in our inner circles. And although this self-investment may appear too daunting of a task, the days that turn into weeks and months forward will have you wishing you did the inner work beforehand. Now some may say the fault belongs to someone else because of child-rearing circumstances or mental health reasons, which may weigh heavily on the side of accuracy. However, in the HERE and NOW of where we are today, the onus and accountability rest with us and our capability to acknowledge, seek, ask and submit for improvement.

Besides, your relationship with self is where the focus should shift because “If you are holding anyone else accountable for your happiness you’re wasting your time,” quotes Oprah Winfrey.  –What I know For Sure

I digress with this: We must sow a personal seed for inner growth.