Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Humble Warrior knows best

Time passes and leaves you wondering what are the steps to take toward a happy life. What is success? How do I attain it? What path should I take to gain it? ... The Buddhist would says, follow the path that is most natural and akin to your inner spirit. Some might see that as passive. The Capitalist would say, take what's yours and dominate. Some might see that as arrogant. But, in reality I believe the path toward happiness lies somewhere in between. I think it's a combination of both. Going for your personal wants for some people, especially me, might make you feel torn at times - stuck between desire and duty.

I found solace in being a Humble Warrior in my search for my truth, my happiness. The Humble Warrior in yoga is bowing forward in focused concentration, hands clasped behind ones back, balancing the body weight on the legs spread in a lunge posture. The Humble Warrior is dutiful, stable - balancing its weight, posed for whatever may come.

A Humble Warrior is quietly calculating, listening, watching and waiting ... to take its position toward becoming an active warrior. A person moving toward fulfillment. A person who is looking forward to the future, thinking and seeking out truth in every motion. They are committed.

Find your truth. Don't make decisions based on what others think. Don't do what is best for mother, father, sister, brother or even auntie or cousin. Do what is in line with your spirit. Do what suits you, because after all it isn't the others that have to endure the life you lead; it's you that will have to live with the choices you make - good or bad. Guilt creeps in so quickly, so be careful. Be humble and then the active warrior! A person living in the present. A man or woman not ashamed for their choices. An individual willing to accept the truth of the past and take on the challenges of the future with unshielded eyes and an open heart.

I have learned that living for others only holds you back. While it is in my nature to help others, support and uplift them - it also weakens my inner core and at times dampens my spirit. I'm not ashamed of this trait, I'm proud that I can carry the weight of others and balance those pains - good and bad - on my shoulders while humbly waiting for my time to strike ... And my time is now. I strike with an unapologetic force because I know my truth. The Humble Warrior always knows when to make the right move. I'm on the war path towards happiness!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

As spring time blooms, so shall I

A week after the wonderful Cherry Blossom's bloomed, signifying the beginning of Spring in D.C. it got me thinking about new beginnings. Excuse me for pointing out the obvious, that Springtime really is a new beginning, a renewal and a chance to be reborn.

So often it's easier to stay cocooned in a comfortable place where no one may see you, going about your daily business with no real intention. Boring! The beauty of Spring and the lovely gardens that pop up haphazardly all over is that the flowers don't care. They want to be seen and can't help but explode onto the surface of the once harden dirt. What good are they hiding underground?

Flowers don't care that they may loose all their colorful petals with one hard blowing wind, or heavy rain, or even when some kid plucks them from the ground. The mission of Spring and its flowers is for all living things to rise up from the dead and beautify our surrounds with natural beauty that come in all shades of the rainbow.

Flowers are fearless. They are seen. They are admired. Even for a moment.

I want to be like a flower; fearless, fancy and free. I want to take more chances and not care. Stop trying to fit into a mold of what I think should be, may be, might be. Silence the commentary in my head and just do what the heck I want with no guilt!

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Beg to Differ

You know, that was the title of one of my high school year books, and I never understood why the yearbook staff chose that phrase, but I think I do now.
I honestly was perplexed when I read the engraving on my beloved annual tradition. Why would I be begging to be different? What does that even mean? What the? :/

I actually thought of this phrase tonight during a conversation over some wine ... Are my current experiences that similar to that of my parents? the Baby Boomers? Did they really do what I'm doing now, only in a different time? Did they actually feel the same pains, joys, confusion? I don't know? Some might say yes, but I beg to differ. Each generation weaves its own web.

I've never been married or divorced, I have no kids, no mortgage, but I have had many other types of glorious trials and errors. I know what it means to have lost, to have heartbreak, to start over, to soul-search for some reality ... But this isn't about trying to find myself. I know who I am, I'm trying to decipher what direction I should journey.

I think we all have had some variation of life's circumstances, but no single person is alike or had the same set of life experiences. And for some, a series of unfortunate events happen at once, so by the time you're 30, -2, -3, -4, you've had enough suffering for a lifetime. No one would know what it's like to lose a loved one, unless it's happened to them. No one would understand what it means to be unemployed without any savings or health insurance, unless it happened to them. No one would know what it meant to have people judge you because you are "still single" and not on the path to marriage while in your 30s, unless they've endured it.
I mean, my struggle isn't yours? But, it's not to say you can't relate. I'm just saying, our lives are not cookie cutter suburban houses. They are a collection of random dwellings that come in all shapes and sizes.

Just because you were 30-something once doesn't mean you have the answers to my dilemma today. I can't do X, Y, Z and get what you had at my age today. The honest truth is it's not the same playing field and it's definitely not level. Society; the global world is playing a different game. The competition is more than fierce, it can be down right lethal. And, if you let it, life's unexpectedness can sucker punch you, but the test is whether you have the strength to fight back and kick life in the shin.

The differences is what distinguishes each from the other.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Recognition vs. Acknowledgement; there is a difference

Sorry, I forgot to post last week. I was celebrating the life of my Aunt Betty. Her life was definitely being recognized for greatness. I always acknowledged that she was a beautiful woman.

Recognition and acknowledgment are often used interchangeably, but I believe there is a slight difference. Although I think that slang phrase "You betta recognize!," is much cooler than you betta acknowledge, right?

1. a. the action of recognizing
Which means, to acknowledge formally; to take notice in some definitive way; to perceive to be something
1. a. the act of acknowledging
Which means, to recognize the right; to disclose knowledge of or agreement; to express gratitude of something

I feel like recognition is much more about pomp and circumstance for others to see that someone or something was or wasn't, and acknowledgment is a more personal realization between one or more people that something is either right or wrong, great or stupid.
In school recognition was necessary for all to see what we had accomplished; graduations, degrees, skills.
In a relationship, when someone makes a huge mistake that rocks your world, you would hope that person would acknowledge the error of their ways.
In the workplace, I don't think the worker bees expect to be recognized with a prize on the daily when they do their job, but when they go the extra mile acknowledgment, sometimes, is all people want.
In life, don't we all want to be to be scene and heard and thought of as adding value?

The big question is will we?

What kind of validation do we need in our daily lives, and is that good or bad? Should we even care to be validated?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bittersweet Revelry

The start of a new year always ushers in a flurry of excitement that is marked by new (or old) goals). It's a period of reflection, fresh starts and a reason for new challenges. There's the usual goal to hit the gym to get fit for Spring, the occasional surprise of new found love and the rekindling of friendships, but there's also the unexpected.
With every beginning and birth there is an end and passing ... Last week I experienced a roller coaster of emotions, and am still processing the loss of my dear family friend, someone I consider an aunt, who lost her battle with cancer. I literally found out the news while at a company holiday party. While in the midst of that celebration, another was beginning a mourning.
The shock is obvious. This is a person I've known for almost all of my 30-something years. She has been present in nearly ever stage of my life, encouraging me like my mother, supporting me like a friend ... So, why would I ever imagine her not here with me as I begin my journey into my 30s?
This sudden passing drives home that reoccurring theme, which isn't intended to be cliche, but no day is promised to any of us. And, we should live our best lives right now. Please, don't sit back hoping for change, make it happen.
Life isn't meant to be easy and it isn't meant to be stagnant, it's meant to be a journey. Life is to live. It's something we have to breath into and make special. Don't just do, Be. 
While my Aunt Betty's journey on Earth has come to an abrupt end, I believe she was the most genuine person I knew. So real, so grounded, so caring. I can see her face and I can hear her voice. She was always present, and that's how I hope to Be: present; taking it all in. Absorbing the realities of life, but not dwelling on it and making beautiful memories along the way. <3
My sister, Ayo, Aunt Betty and Me. I will miss you <3

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Long Time Coming

This is my first entry into what I hope becomes a series of reflections on being a 30-something in today's modern society. There are so many questions and thoughts I have on this magic number. Why has so much pressure been placed on this royal prime decade of 30. What's so great about it? Why have we been convinced that all great things must happen by the time we turn 30? Or, that if we have not accomplished certain things by this magical age, we're failures. And by certain achievements I mean, marriage, career success, family bliss, home-owning and the like. Somehow all these major life experiences are supposed to manifest themselves in the age of the three O. I will say, major life experiences have occurred but not necessarily what I expected. Now, is that because I'm 30 or because that's life? I'm still waiting for a few of the traditional, more conventional expectations to appear, but will they? and in what order?

I'm gonna figure this mystery out. I hope you will come along for the ride.