😍😍 Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the other side of the world 🌎 Hate no one, no matter how they wronged you, live humbly, no matter how wealthy you become, be uplifting, give much even if you have given little. Forgive all, even especially yourself, never stop praying for the best for everyone. Just do the best you can 😍
From day one, it’s just been my white mom and me, although that’s nothing I would complain about. Throughout my life, she has been one of the only people in my white family to acknowledge and promote me being black. Since I never knew or met my father or the black side of my family, that was a big thing. I had nobody of color in my known family and for a while, very few black people in my life at all. Looking back on 18 years of living, my mom has been the only person in my family who encourages me and helps me understand what it means to be black, live life as a black youth and young man. She’s the only person who ever brought black role models into my life and acknowledged the struggles I’ve faced being a black young man.
One of the largest nuisances I’ve faced has been people constantly insisting that I “pick a side.” I was born to a white mom and a black father who was never present, making me half black and light skinned. Because of who I am, people throughout my life, especially into high school, would insist on me being either black or white. Maybe it was because I’m from the south, but people casually tell me I am “too white” to really be black. And, yet for someone who was “too white,” I constantly dealt with the disadvantages that came with being black in the American south.
My grandma is one of the people who constantly insisted I was white whenever she got the chance. If I ever mentioned being black around my grandma, she would always chime in with “you’re white, too” no matter who I was talking to or what the context was. She could literally be in another room as I mentioned being black and she would holler into the room that I’m also white. My grandmother once even sat me down to try and explain to me how President Obama was black, and I was different because I’m white. Even though we both are mixed are both were born of a white mother and black father, it seemed to miss her. To her President Obama and I were two totally different racial categories simply because she said so and could somehow justify it in her narrow mind. My mom explained to me that this is called cognitive dissonance.
No matter how much my grandma or others insisted I was white I still have to struggle with the burdens and microaggressions that black people regularly face. When I was 15 and 16 I learned to drive knowing that getting pulled over for any reason, even as small as for a speeding ticket, could get me shot by a cop without reason or cause. While other kids were learning to yield to pedestrians, my mom taught me to put my hands on the dash and not make any sudden moves in the case of a traffic stop.
I learned that the white cop who stopped me as I was walking around Downtown Fort Myers with my white girlfriend just to ask her in the middle of our date “Are you okay? Is this man bothering you?” wouldn’t see me as white but as a black man who has no business walking around town with a white young lady. He sees me as a nuisance and a trouble maker.
I grew up knowing that no matter how white I am, confederate flag toting rednecks would still have no problem telling me and my friends to “go back home you niggers” as they drove by in their pickup trucks. Whenever somebody asks what race I am I proudly say that I am black. Because being half white has shown me the privileges that come with being white while providing me access to none of them. Being half black simply gives me a window to peer into the house of the white world as I stand outside getting soaked by the downpour of burdens that come with being black.
We had a black PRESIDENT
We had a black First Lady
We had black attorney general’s, one man and one woman
We have a black Secretary of State
We had a black Chief of Staff for the Armed Services
We have a black female National Security Advisors
A back woman is among the ten wealthiest people in the contry
We have a black Supreme Court Justice
We have a Hispanic female Supreme Court Justice
We have black Congressmen, black Senators, black mayors and black entertainers
We have black Police Officers and black Firefighters
We have a Black Miss American Pagent
We have a black woman win the Miss American Pagent ( no White Miss American Pageants allowed) 😊
The National Football League is 70% black
The National Basket League is 75% black
Major League Baseball is 45% black
All these accomplishments, yet African Americans are just now topping 13% of the American population
1. Push through self-limiting beliefs. As children we think we can conquer the world, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood, our enthusiasm and natural inclinations to dream big are squashed. Parents and teachers start imposing their own beliefs—about what we can and can’t do in life—upon us. If the instructors at the FBI Academy were not pushing us past our self-limiting beliefs, they weren’t doing their job.
How to make it work for you: Find your limits by exposing yourself to different situations and pushing through the uncomfortable. Once you have confidence in yourself, you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish.
2. Never confuse memory with facts. Our memory does not store information exactly as it’s presented to us. Instead we extract the gist of the experience and store it in ways that makes the most sense to us. That’s why different people witnessing the same event often have different versions.
Your brain has a built-in confirmation bias. That means it stores information that is consistent with your own beliefs, values and self-image. This selective memory system helps keep the brain from getting overloaded with too much information.
So recognize that your memory does not always provide you with accurate information. For example if you have low self-esteem, your brain tends to store information that confirms your lack of confidence. That will be all you remember about a specific event.
How to make it work for you: Revisit the facts of a memory loaded with self-limiting beliefs and try to gain a more accurate perspective on the event. Talk with others that might have a different perspective.
3. Talk to yourself. This might seem crazy, but it works. Talking to yourself can make you smarter, improve your memory, help you focus and even increase athletic performance. The documentary The Human Brain claims we say between 300 to 1,000 words to ourselves per minute. The Navy SEALS and Special Forces use the power of positive self-talk as a way of getting through tough times.
For example by instructing recruits to be mentally tough and speak positively to themselves, they can learn how to override fears resulting from the limbic brain system, a primal part of the brain that helps us deal with anxiety.
How to make it work for you: Be positive, because the way you talk to yourself influences your neurobiological response to it. When you say, I know what to do here or see things as a challenge rather than a problem, you’ve turned your response into a positive one.
4. Think positive to overcome your negativity bias. Since the early days, humans learned to get lunch or be lunch. Our natural negativity bias has kept us safe from danger for thousands of years. But not every new or different thing is a threat to our survival. This negativity bias can chisel away at our confidence because we’re hardwired to pay attention to all that we’ve done wrong.
FBI agents are taught to hunt the good stuff. It can be hard at times because positive information is like Teflon and easily falls away. But negative information, like Velcro, sticks.
How to make it work for you: Come up with five positive thoughts to counter every one negative thought. Let every positive thought sit for 20 seconds before moving to the next positive thought. Acknowledge both good and bad emotions. Do not try to suppress negative ones. Label the emotions for what they truly are and move on. Do not enter into inner dialogue about the negative emotion because then it becomes more powerful.
5. Raise your curiosity levels. Curiosity is an important trait for FBI agents working investigations and anyone who wants to be confident and successful.
Curiosity is the foundation of life-long growth. If we remain curious, we remain teachable and our minds and hearts grow larger every day. We can retain our beginner’s mind by always looking forward and discovering new experiences and uncovering new information.
How to make it work for you: Ask questions and be curious because: It makes your mind active instead of passive. It encourages you to be more observant of new ideas. It opens up new worlds and possibilities. It creates an adventurous response that leads you in a new direction.
6. Overcome self-doubt. If you lack self-confidence, you will always feel like you’re at the mercy of other people. When you assume a victim mentality, you are no longer resilient to life’s inevitable obstacles and roadblocks.
FBI agents go where they are needed, not to where they feel most comfortable. I was assigned investigations I had no idea how to solve. But my thinking was this: Drop me into the middle of any squad or any situation, anywhere, anytime. I will not be scared because I am confident I will succeed wherever I am.
How to make it work for you: No one but you is stopping you from achieving what you want to accomplish. It’s time to identify the areas in which you doubt yourself and remove those barriers.
7. Face your fears. When we feel in control, we’re not afraid. When we have a level of comfort with something, it’s not scary. When we don’t feel in control, we don’t think clearly because our emotional brain is in the driver’s seat and takes over. This is why fear often seems random and irrational—our emotions are in control.
To increase safety, FBI agents are taught to move closer to the threat. It does no good to avoid, deny or ignore the fear.
How to make it work for you: Harvard Medical School professor Ronald Siegel recommends this in his book, The Mindfulness Solution:
Think about your worst fear. Spend time with it. Now make your fear worse by getting closer to it. Imagine the worst that could happen. Now focus on your breathing. Feel your body relax. See, you didn’t die, did you? You’re on your way to conquering your fear.
If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anybody else to? Start today.
“INSPIRATION RE-VISITED!” a poem April 14, 2019 [Sunday]
A “sage”-approached, and-was-saying: “You – Inspire YOU! No one else can do it! You’re-the-person-who, Brings-all-your-own ‘catalysts’ into your-own-life, And the ‘catalysts’-are-YOU-too, whether enemy-or-wife!”
For-everything’s-your guru, and-all reside within, YOUR being of existence – To miss-this, is-such “sin!”
Sin is simply missing – the fact that: ALL THESE THINGS, ARE-DIRECTED BY-YOU TRULY, and-it’s-ALSO-you-who-brings, People, times and circum -stances in-to-your-life, To MAKE YOU QUITE FORGET THIS! – and help to increase strife,
For you-want this-journey interesting, or it’s-not a-very-good-stor-y! INSPIRE YOURSELF! It’s-YOU who’s-swimming! Little, blue, sweet Dory!
As one of my colleagues recently prepared for her wedding day, and we all busily worked towards her last day in the office, I tried to scramble a few words together so we could send her off with friendship and love. I thought about all the things we usually say before important events: good luck, best wishes, sending you love and happiness, blah blah blah. They all felt so unoriginal, so I tried to think of some powerful advice I could pass onto her, something for her to remember.
But after some thought, my advice was simple: my words and thoughts to her evolved around treasuring moments and making them count, especially on the wedding day itself. On her special day, I suggested, stop and concentrate for a moment, take a deep breath and focus on the present – look around the room, soak it all in, commit it to memory, and give thanks for the life she has, full of love, health and positive energy.
Later that week, I also dined with a group of women around my age, our sons attend the same school together and are in the same year, though I didn’t know them prior to that night. After introducing ourselves, it wasn’t long before we found common ground, even though we each came from different professions. We laughed together about how quickly life goes by, how Gen Ys and millennials make fun of us (and we of them), how parts of our bodies have headed south, and how our brains still say ‘yes’ though our physical state says ‘no’. We remembered moments from the past and reflected fondly upon them.
Over the next couple of weeks, these two experiences made me see clearly that our circumstances in life change often and quickly. Some of us marry, some of us have big careers or no careers; some of us have children, some of us don’t; we grow together and change constantly. We have such big lives and, as we continue to grow through the stages, we eventually slow down. This made me think deeper about our phases, experiences and moments in life, and how taking time to confirm where we are is important, because embracing and enjoying the beauty of time can add more value to our lives.
Now don’t get me wrong, yes, we all have terrible days where we need time out. We sit in the car not wanting to confront that meeting or event (or person), hide in the bathroom because the kids won’t find you there, struggle to function because there’s just too much going in and out of our brains, or simply don’t want to leave the house, just because. What I’m saying is; as you go through the stages and circumstances of your life, try to identify and memorise moments from the good days to treasure on your less good days, because if we don’t stop and think where we are, we chance missing the point. Here are some tips:
1. Instead of re-thinking your past or worrying about the future, practice noticing things around you in the present.
2. Take notice of your surroundings – sights, sounds, smells, texture and ambiance. 3. Learn to enjoy the beauty of moments, be more conscience and aware of all the good things in your life right now. 4. Let yourself and your worries go more often, because we all make mistakes, but we also do good things. Accept that and find a way to disconnect from time to time, and clear your mind so it’s freer to appreciate what you do have. 5. Be more mindful of each moment passing, because doing so allows you to prolong the value of that moment and make it more meaningful. 6. Enjoy the times that unfold with no questions about what might happen, what could have happened or what will happen. 7. Tell yourself: this is it – I’m in my 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, etc… this is where I am, and I am going to love, accept, embrace and remember it the best way I can. Of course, we still need to plan and set goals for the future, and it’s natural to want to analyse the past to some degree, but we also need to be grateful for what we’ve got right now – and it’s easy to forget that.
So, this month, I challenge you: take five minutes, look at your life with some gratitude, and enjoy that moment.
“A LESSON IN PATIENCE, TOLERANCE & GRUMBLING!” a poem for Tuesday, March 26, 2019
A FROG hopped-up to a GARTER snake, correcting him on the spot! “You SHOULD-HAVE said: ‘This, this, not That!’ ” but-the-garter-did-NOT-get “hot!” “IF you were loving-and-kind-to-me,” the frog proud-ly ass-erted, “You would-a-known-what-you-said-was-wrong! &-what-you-did, you’d’ve-averted!”
The GARTER seemed tolerant, not-easily-moved; he-did-not-react at all, But listened fully to-the-unsolicited-“advice” and-fin-ally-he-did-call, His-cousin-CORAL to-the scene – and told the frog to hop, To-little-coral, red and orange, and-of-course-then NOT-to stop, But-continue giving his [fine] advice, to point out CORAL’s “error,” As to what she’d often said and done! The frog went to her la-ir, And-lambasted Coral’s points of view – manner and address! THE FROG GOT BIT AND BRUISED A LOT, made-into-an-awful-mess!
So, as the frog hopped-off-toward-home, he said-to the garter snake: “What went wrong? for-I-was-only-judging – Coral, for goodness sake!” “Well, your ‘corrections’ are often fine, WHEN YOU-ARE TOLER-ATED, But coral snakes don’t really care – to be so much berated! I am NOT patient – and-could-be-called ‘unkind,’ for NOT reminding you: Most folks are NOT very-patient! with-someone’s-cocky-point-of-view!”
Did Froggie-learn from-all-of-this? Perhaps! to be more “humble,” And not to be so-sure-of-[him]self, to-always-correct-and-grumble, For SOME FOLKS AREN’T SO PATIENT – & WILL PUT YOU IN YOUR PLACE! IT’S-BEST NOT-TO-TELL-OTHERS-THEY’RE-JUST-PLAIN-WRONG, ESPECIALLY-TO-THEIR-FACE! 🙂 – Whoa! Amen!
Steps to go out there like a lion Stand up, close your eyes, and go back in time until a point where you were absolutely confident. It can be any experience. Even shaving your beard perfectly, building a beautiful castle in the sand, or saving someone from drowning into water. It can be a perfect moment on the court as well. Anything. The only important thing is to feel the confidence… Go back there and relive the experience as detailed as possible. See in your mind’s eye what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Be extremely detailed. Take the time here, the more thoroughly you do this, the better your results will be. Keep drilling down to more details until you feel the same confidence you felt back then. Notice your body language, posture and the feeling inside you. Give it a shape, a place in your body, notice the color of the feeling if you want. Imagine a circle a couple of inches above the surrounding floor. Imagine yourself standing in that circle with full confidence. Feel the enormous power and the unbreakable belief in yourself. This is your circle of confidence! If you want, you can anchor it more by making a fist, for example. The key in anchoring is to do it right before the feeling reaches its peak. Take a step back, out of the circle and leave the feeling there. It may seem strange at first, but you can do it. Just leave it there. Look around, count the corners in the room. It means breaking the state. You shouldn’t feel the confidence at this point. It’s in the circle (and in your fist), where you left it. Imagine the next time you have a game. Make up the moment you enter the court, in your mind. Close your eyes and travel to that moment. Chose something that is before the game and is always there. I use the move when I put on my whistle and step onto the court. As soon as you start seeing what you will see, fire your anchor. See what you will see when you enter the court, hear what you will hear, and fire it by stepping into the circle and MAKE A FIST! Notice the difference. This step can be fast. Step in as soon as you see the scene and feel the absolute confidence for as long as it feels right. Iterate. You can repeat steps 6 and 7 a couple of times to anchor it more. The more you do it, the bigger footprint you leave in your nervous system, the better your end result will be. Break the state (open your eyes, count the corners) and try firing the anchor. Make a fist and notice how you feel. If you anchored it well, you should be able to feel the perfect confidence right there. Future pace. Imagine your next game and a game more further in the future. See the moment that fires the anchor. How do you feel? You have three anchors now; making a fist, stepping in the circle and your pregame moment. Fire any one of them to be in the confident state. Use the circle to strengthen your anchors, especially after bad games. Actually, it’s much faster to do it than to read and apprehend it for the first time. Feel free to try it for your next game and notice the difference. Remember firing the anchor when you need a confidence boost. Use it often to re-anchor it from time to time. It will last longer.
“If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.” -Sun Tzu
“If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.” -Sun Tzu
“If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.” -Sun Tzu
“Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.” -Sun Tzu
“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” -Sun Tzu
“He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.” -Sun Tzu
“For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” -Sun Tzu
“For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.” -Sun Tzu
“Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory.” -Sun Tzu
“Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.” -Sun Tzu
“Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?” -Sun Tzu
God, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji, Dr. Harbhajan Singh, Biji Surinder Kaur, Kirpal Sagar, Unity of Man, Spirituality, Love, Compassion, Peace, Non-Violence, Right Understanding, Consciousness, Togetherness, Religions, Mind, Maya, Poems, Aphorism, Digital Art
Jay talks funny because life is funny. Sometimes life and the people, places and things in it are hysterical. But as we all know, sometimes it's not funny haha, sometimes it's funny, whoa, what was that about!? Let's try and figure it out together with a sense of humor, a sense of wonder and a sense of awe at the beauty and insanity of it all. Featuring comedy, interviews, notions, stories, questions, bits, quibbles, improvisation, conversation and inspiration, nothing is off limits, no rules, no deadlines, just a deep dive into life and everything that makes us go ha, huh and whoa! Thanks for taking this journey with Jay.