Observing the common themes and messages that are shared across social media outlets, I noticed a trend. There seems to be an increase in messages about consciousness and spiritual evolution. What a wonderful experience to see that more people are waking up and getting an innerstanding of Truth.
But, a question comes to mind: Is your life reflecting what you are speaking?
The beauty of evolving is that we learn, our perspectives shift, and then we become demonstrators.
We are living in a time when feel good messages are not enough. It is imperative that we are DOERS and follow through with what we are called to DO.
During this winter season, do some introspection. Take the time to consider what you need to ACT on. When each of us takes the initiative and are postively in action, the peaceful world that we envision becomes a greater reality.
“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have, and never be satisfied.” -Les Brown
Many people express that they don’t pursue a dream or a goal because they want the conditions to be a certain way, or they want things to be perfect. In reality, the conditions won’t change until the person decides to get into motion and to continue to stay in action.
I can admit, in the past, I have been guilty of putting off a goal or a desire due to circumstances. In the past, I have told myself that I had to wait until the situation was perfect or certain pieces were in place. True, there were times when it was necessary to wait on the other pieces of the puzzle, but it was never time to stop doing things towards my goals and desires.
The Law of Attraction expresses that whatever we put energy and attention towards is what we draw unto us. This universal law is simple, and can be actively applied to manifest one’s desires.
However, here is something to consider: If someone told you that your present situation and surroundings are the result of your past thoughts and actions, would you be bothered, or would you be willing to take responsibility for yourself?
One of the hardest things that I had to admit to myself was that I am responsible for myself and my progress.You are responsible for yours too.
Of course, this does not mean that you won’t face challenges and obstacles along the way, but it does mean that you can choose the course of action you take once they arise. Ideally, when a challenge arises, one of the best things you can do is mindfully look within and look at key areas connected to this challenge.
Four key areas to examine when facing challenges: 1) Thoughts–What do I really think about this situation? OR What are my exact thoughts? 2) Emotions–How do I really feel about this situation? 3) Underlying Messages–What is this situation helping me to learn? 4) Positive Behaviors–What am I able to do right now that supports a positive outcome?
Examining these things gives you an opportunity to shift a possibly negative perspective into an empowered one. This empowered perspective is one where you recognize that you have choice, and you can make a decision based on the understanding that you are always learning and evolving. Depending on the situation, the choice itself can range anywhere from sweet surrender to engaging in more focus-driven actions.
It is your choice.
Remember: Every action (or lack thereof) always results in some type of outcome.
Think about your life goals and how far you have come towards meeting these goals. Consider the one most important thing that affects the realization of your goals: YOU
What are you focusing on daily? What are you doing daily? Are your thoughts and actions moving you towards or away from your goals? You always have choice.
Right now, you have made a choice to read this post. In reading this, my hope is that you are gaining some insight or awareness about yourself and how powerful you really are.
There is one thing that I would change about the wording Les Brown used in the quote above.
I would say:
“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have, AND continue to expand.”
There is power in your decision to stay in motion.
When your heart speaks to you, do you listen? OR Do you talk yourself out of what is being said to you?
There comes a moment when we know without a doubt that we are being called to do more with our talents, our gifts, and essentially our lives.
Depending on where you are in your journey, some people might call it a mid-life crisis. In some spiritual communities, this process is referred to as Divine Discontent. I like to use this phrase because it is more than just a developmental stage; it is the Universe’s way of getting your attention and growing you into someone even better than you were before.
From personal experiences, and working extensively with several clients, I recognized that this process typically happens in stages.
Here is my summary of the stages related to Divine Discontent:
Stage 1: Misalignment= This is when you begin to feel out of sync with what is going on in your life. The things that you normally do might start to feel monotonous and boring. You might start to feel fleeting senses of disinterest or displeasure for these things. (Not to be mistaken for depression symptoms.)
Stage 2: Denial=The awareness of your misalignment increases, but instead of looking further into the reason behind it, you go against what you are feeling and try to continue in your monotony. You basically talk yourself out of whatever it is that you are feeling…or at least you try… which leads to the next stage.
Stage 3: Detachment = This is when you still are not quite ready to “dig deep” and give anything up or make major changes, so you start to distance yourself emotionally from the things that are causing the discontent. Unfortunately, this state of discontent may also spill over into other things in your life. People might notice and comment on your shift in mood and your distant presence. You can’t hide it anymore.
Stage 4: Epiphany/Climax/Aha Moment =This is when Shift Happens. Your discontent pushes you to the edge of introspection. You look inward, and question what is at the core of your feelings. You realize that you need to make changes, whether small, medium, or major ones. You decide that you are willing to make these changes.
Stage 5: Pursuit = You take action and make the necessary changes so that your discontent decreases. You actively seek guidance, whether it be inward, from mentors, or both. You change your direction and move towards your new goal.
Stage 6: Alignment= You feel more alive and the things you are doing or engaging in feel right. You no longer have that unpleasant sense of monotony or boredom. You are in motion, and it seems like everything and everyone around you are propelling you so that you stay in motion.
Stage 7: Realization= You reach that point of bliss where you know that you are doing what you are meant to do. You have moments where you reflect upon where you were before this stage, and you are grateful that you made the changes. You realize that everything was already worked out for your benefit, and all you had to do was take the first step.
Consider what things (or people) in your life that you feel discontent with. How long have you allowed this feeling to linger?
This life we live is precious and priceless…similar to the beauty of these flowers.
There is one significant mystery about Life: Our amount of “time” in the physical world varies from person to person.Time is one of our most precious and irreplaceable treasures. Not the time on clock, but the Life you Live. HOW we spend our time matters. WHO we spend our time with matters. Essentially, we are sharing our Life when we give of our time.
Today I am remembering the life of a good friend whose time on Earth was less than mine: Kenny Reeves, who passed away from leukemia on July 24, 2007. I appreciate the smiles, laughter, and laid-back fun we all had with Kenny, yet at that time, I questioned why someone who was younger than me would also leave the physical realm before I did.
Today, I am also thinking about the people and things in my life that I give time to. I have purposely strayed away from some traditional 9-5 jobs because I value my time and the way that I use it. It can be challenging to spend a lot of your time doing something when you would rather be doing something else with that time. There have been jobs that I absolutely LOVED, which I have given more than the 40 hours a week, yet it was easy to do so.
It is empowering to be consciously aware and to live in the moment. Here is an example of my experience with acting in the moment.
In one of my graduate school courses, my professor proposed a challenge to us, related to the present moment. He dared us to express whatever message we wanted to share with someone who was not in the class, as we were sitting in the middle of class. In a very matter-of-fact voice the professor said, “When you walk out this door after class, you are not guaranteed to return. Hell, you are not guaranteed to finish this class and leave out of here! You havethismoment. What would you do? What would you say to someone that you love or care about right now? I dare you to do it.”
I felt the weight of his challenge like a rock was in my stomach. I thought of several people to text or call, but I felt like I had to make a quick decision. (He was counting down). I took out my cell phone and dialed the first number that came to mind. I looked around and saw that several of my classmates were taking out their phones too. A few people got up and left out of class. The professor smiled, and he took out his phone. The room fell silent as everyone was texting or awaiting to hear from the person on the other line.
I began to think about what was happening. What really bothered me about the challenge was that a lot of what he said had validity to it. It made me think of what it must have been like for people when 9/11 happened, or school shootings, or even hostage situations. (Oddly enough, the class was a crisis intervention course.)
My thoughts were interrupted by hearing a ring and then airy silence…
My mother answered. I heard her gentle voice and immediately said to her, “Mom, I just want you to know that I love you.” My voice was shaky for some reason, but I kept talking. “I am in class, and we were told that if all we had was right now, what would we do or who would we contact. I chose to contact you. I am okay, but I just wanted you to know that I love you.” She sounded a little worried, but she graciously said, “I love you too honey.” It was comforting. After we hung up, I texted several of my friends to let them know how much they mean to me. I could hear chatter all over the classroom, and the prominent message I heard was, “I love you.”
This awakened my consciousness again.
At that time, I was so caught up in my own routine as a graduate student that I had drifted away from living mindfully. I appreciate my professor for doing this exercise because I never forgot that experience, and how I felt in that moment. I allowed myself to think about what matters to me the most and evaluated how I acknowledged those things.
I hope this makes you think about what you are doing with your time on this planet.
We need not wait until a tragedy happens in order to appreciate Life. We need not wait until a death occurs before we join together to celebrate Life.
LIFE Is Right NOW.
Who or what do you need to give time to today? Sit down, take a moment, and make time for it.
One of the many reasons that I traveled to Ghana and spent a month there is because I wanted to learn more about my African roots. One of my siblings did the DNA genealogy test to help us to determine what regions/countries that our ancestors came from. To me, the test results were…well…they weren’t very conclusive. They read something like: Overall 85% from Africa (of course), then it was broken down into countries- Cameroon/Congo 31%, Ivory Coast/Ghana 26%, Nigeria 10%, and traces of Senegal 7%, Mali 4%, Togo/Benin 4%, and the South-Eastern Bantu region 2%. The other percentages were roughly 13% European and 2% Central Asian. When I first heard the results, I asked, “What does that really mean?” I don’t believe that the same borders or boundaries existed when my early ancestors were living freely on the land hundreds of years ago, so I figured that Ghana would be a good place in West Africa to learn at least something about the people I come from.
I grew up in South Georgia with small beginnings on family farmland in the countryside. The farms were former plantations. I remember having family get-togethers outside where we fried fish in a large pot of oil over an open flame. We had live animals running around…horses, pigs, chickens, and the family dogs. My uncles loved cooking Brunswick stew, or bringing back fresh fish from the local river. My dad would cut sugar cane, and we all enjoyed chewing it to get the sweet “juice”. I remember when I was very young, I used to sit on my great grandmother’s porch overlooking the farmland and help her to “shuck” corn.
Some of the houses were more like shacks because they were built by family members and had tin roofs. We called some of them “shotgun” houses because you could walk into the front door and see straight through the house all the way to the back door.
Even when we moved to the city, we continued some of our lifestyle. We grew plums, pecans, figs, blackberries, and peppers in our own yard.
Life was simple and rich.
Sogakope, Ghana in the Volta Region felt the most like my hometown to me. There were mostly dirt roads, several handmade houses, and the people were laid-back.
A few homes in Sogakope
Mango tree in the yard
Food stand: Pineapple, yam, plantain, palm nuts, and chopped sugar cane (at the bottom)
Laid-back moto riders relaxing by a “shack”
Something else that was interesting to me was related to funerals.My family usually wears black to funerals. However, if it is a grandparent that dies, we (as grandchildren) wear white instead. I don’t remember questioning why we had this tradition.
During my time in Ghana, I learned that red, black, and white are the funeral colors for Ghanaians. The people wear red if it is a young person who has passed away. They wear black if it is an adult/middle-aged person. They wear white if it is an elderly person. I felt a sense of satisfaction with this information and pondered if our family tradition was a watered-down version of an ancestral practice.
One final thing that caught my attention and felt comforting was the clothes-washing. Almost everyone hand-washes their clothing and hangs them out on a line to dry. My parents grew up doing the same thing, and they did the same for us. At some point, we had a washing machine, but we NEVER had a dryer, so we used a clothesline. As a teen, I used to be ashamed of it, but now I smile joyfully about it. (Plus, it is very environmentally friendly.)
Clothes hanging on the clothesline at a university guest house.
These small similarities made me feel more at ease in the “foreign” country. I started to pay more conscious attention to the people, and began to see familiarity in all of them.
It is such a pleasure to notice the small things that connect us all as a people.
I love writing, and maybe you do as well. My most consistent writing practice began in my early childhood. I had a diary. Oh, the juicy, secretive world of diaries with their special locks and “keep out!” signs. Then I graduated to journals. I had several black and white composition books filled with some of my most intimate moments, fears, joys, and requests to God. I journaled almost everyday.
Recently, during the process of packing, I stumbled upon my journals from high school and college. I sat down for a moment and carefully read over my entries. I wrote passionately about my woes related to school issues, family, friendships, and relationships gone awry.
There was a pattern that took place in my writing: 1. I started out writing about the day (Ex: It was a rough day); 2. Then, I wrote extensively about the suffering or strife that I perceived I was experiencing (exaggerating most of it, by the way); 3. Lastly, as if in response to my discouragement, I wrote wise words of encouragement that were well beyond my years of experience and knowledge.
(Ex: I know that this is a situation where I am meant to learn about…)
I read through several of these journals, and was fascinated by something within them that I hadn’t noticed before.
You see, when I read more closely, I realized that I was also prophesying to myself in every entry.
At the time that I wrote the entries, I did not realize that they were more than words of encouragement, but actual prophecy. I didn’t know they were true until I reflected on the entries recently and recognized that most of the things had occurred!
But… Where did those prophetic words come from?
I went into meditation about this question, and here is some of what was expressed to me. Spirit reminded me that I am always taken care of and supported by unseen forces. It was brought to my attention that when I wrote my journal entries, they were a way for me to connect with My Creator and seek guidance. It was a form of prayer.
The most beautiful message I received was this reminder: “I already knew what you needed. I already saw everything you were going to request. I Am in You. Be in a place to receive those things.”
This makes me think of a biblical text that states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”
Take the time to think of all the things that you have requested of Spirit. What would it mean for you to know that your requests are already known?
Better yet, what if there is already an answer?
There Is.Affirm for yourself today: Everything is already in order, and the solution is clear.
When you come into contact or cross paths with another human being that you do not know, what is the primary thing that you want to do?
Do you make eye contact, smile and nod? Do you say Hello? Or, do you work hard to avoid eye contact, keep your space, and keep moving along your way?
What thoughts/feelings contribute to the ways you interact with others?
There is an inner knowing within all of us that helps us to gauge the general vibe of others. Sometimes we can become so distracted with cell phones, music, social media, and other devices, that we don’t tap into our inner guidance system. We might miss out on an opportunity to make a new friend, save a life, or lift up our own moods.
What would happen if you went throughout your day today with the intention that“No ONE is a stranger”? I am not saying that you should run off with a stranger and jump into a dark van with shaded windows. (Please don’t.)
I am referring to the conscious effort to mindfully acknowledge the people that are with you from moment to moment throughout your day.
From a Spiritual point of view,there is no unfamiliar face in our world. We came from the Formless (Spirit/God/Energy/Universe) and were made into Form (Human Beings).
If all of us truly are made from ONE Source, then we really are not strangers to each other.
We simply need to re-introduce ourselves.
Imagine how rich your world will be once you perceive yourself with connections everywhere that you go.
Turn off the music for a moment and say hello.
Look away from your smartphone or tablet, and actually make eye contact.
Love is more than just a feeling. Love Is a way of Living.
Modern culture frequently displays love as a sense of feel-good, fantasy, and endless romantic awe. Yet, these types of examples are temporary expressions of a bigger, more infinite concept. Think about this:When did you first learn about love? Who told you what it means? What thoughts, feelings, and experiences do you associate with love?
Many years ago, I had the misconception that love = suffering. I thought that loving someone always meant to sacrifice, to put the other first, and to stretch myself in order to make the other person happy. I did this not only in romantic relationships, but also in relationships that I considered to be very important to me.
However, one common and major thing kept happening…I was left feeling betrayed, used, and alone.
This sent me on a journey to re-evaluate my understanding of love. I reflected upon my experiences, looked at the spiritual aspect, read books, and then went out and asked questions from my elders.
One of my favorite graduate professors was in his late 80s. He shared this definition of love: “To take delight in the spiritual development of another”. When I first heard it, I felt a squiggly warmth and childlike curiosity. The definition seemed so plain, but when you look at it more closely, it actually involves several layers.
To take delight in another person’s spiritual development also includes the ability to let go of expectation, to eliminate judgment, and to release the need to be right. This way of loving causes you to accept a person as he or she is, because you are aware that spiritual growth is always taking place. To love in this way is to understand that the person is doing the best that he or she can, based upon his or her own circumstances (thoughts, beliefs, actions, feelings)…even if you don’t like it.
Don’t get me wrong. If someone is treating you in a way that is condescending, harmful, or life-threatening, and using “love” as the reason, I am not referring to this situation. This is not love. This is manipulation and abuse.
The love that I am referring to is made up of thoughtfulness, positive regard, and a healthy detachment. Yes, detachment. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “If you love someone, you will let ‘em go.”
Loving someone on the spirit level creates a greater sense of freedom for you and that person.
In various Biblical and spiritual texts, it is expressed that “God is Love” (Feel free to put The Universe, Creator, Allah, etc)…and “This Love is unconditional.”
Other texts also express that “Love casts out all fear.” Most of us have attached ourselves to others in unhealthy ways, saying it is love, when it is actually fear. Let go of the fear.
Look and see that the person is on his or her spiritual journey, and smile. Your supportive presence (even if at a distance) is more valuable than hovering around negatively out of your own worry.
Most importantly, see yourself this way. Be there for yourself as you go through your spiritual development. Remember, Real Love is unconditional anyway.
Take delight in your own journey as you Evolve in Love.
There is a burning inside of me. I cannot ignore it. There is a purpose that calls from far away. I have to answer. There is a Vision that shows up in my dreams, and it is pouring into my waking life. It Must be My Reality.
What shall I do?
Today, I have chosen to outgrow fear of the unknown. What is the worst that could happen? I could have never tried to live out my dream. That is the worst that could have happened.
–Dana D. Robinson
Miracles are but Divine Orchestration at its finest! Here is a personal story about my experience with saying YES to my Spirit and a greater calling:
Fall 2014: My heart was set on going to Cambodia in January 2015 for an outreach project through my spiritual center, but the Universe told me something different.
Let me rewind. It started with a Joel Fotinos talk and workshop on “living my purpose”. At the workshop, I felt so convicted to focus on my job at the time, build a large savings, and “tough it out” a little longer before I stepped out on my own as a fully self-employed entrepreneur. That Sunday, I had also made up my mind that I was going to take some vacation time off work and go to Cambodia with the group.
The next morning, I did an extended meditation on my decision to leave and asked for guidance regarding my next steps. I was told very clearly to go to Africa instead. I wanted to go to Africa for years, but it never seemed like the right time. During that meditation, I asked which country I should go to. I was clearly told to go to Ghana. I simply said, “Yes, okay” and let go of any other attachment to it.
That following Sunday, I went to the spiritual center and the senior minister did a talk on Beauty for Ashes. It really struck me so hard that I was tearful and attended both services. I realized that I was holding on to fear, and was not happy with the situation I was in.
That afternoon (Sunday) I felt led to go to a local organic food store to get dinner and relax. I randomly met an interesting guy there in the store café, who happened to be a Financial Adviser. I did not feel afraid, so shared with him that I felt the pull to go to Ghana. He was receptive, and kindly shared some financial planning and abundance building tools with me in exchange for a Reading. It was a cool experience!
The next morning on Monday, I went to work feeling discontent. I was very detached and could intuitively feel myself leaving the job soon. That evening, I went to a vibe session (music, poetry, open mic, etc). One of the guys there asked me about the work that I do and invited me to come and do healings at another event the next evening. I agreed.
Tuesday, at work, one of my co-workers yelled at me and became verbally aggressive. The entire staff and director witnessed what happened, but no one said anything. I remained calm, but felt a strong desire to leave and not return. I knew it wasn’t for me, but I kept on working. That night, I did the healings at the event, and it was fantastic! I felt rejuvenated!
Wednesday, I went in to work very early to try to regain some sense of loyalty to the company. One of my very quiet and soft spoken co-workers came very early too. We were the only two there. She looked up at me and said, “You need to get out of here. What they are doing is wrong, and they don’t care about the workers. If you are able to go, then you should go.”
It was one of those moments when I could tell that Spirit was speaking to me without a doubt. I looked at her and said, “I can find a job in 6 weeks, I’m sure.” She strongly agreed with me.
I sent a text to my oldest brother and asked him if it seemed crazy to leave my job and go to Africa. He text me back, “I have been paralyzed for too long in my life. Go where Spirit leads you.” All I could do was sit in awe at his response. But, I still went through the routine at work, and found it very difficult to stay focused that day.
That evening, I went to a class located in a store in the west side. I overheard a person at the store say “Africa“. I went straight to this person and asked if he mentioned the continent. He was very nice, and shared with me that he had been to Ghana and other African countries. He told me that one of the women who worked with him had connections in Ghana and I should contact her. I agreed to reach out to her during regular business hours.
Thursday, I had to take a client to court (part of the job). At the court house, the client was very rude and even yelled at me. In the years that I have worked as a psychotherapist, I have had supernatural patience and compassion for my clients. That day, it was different. I stayed calm, but I excused myself and stepped into the bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “I’m done.” None of what I was doing felt right anymore. What’s funny is that at the same time, one of my friends text me and said, “Had enough yet?” I was appalled, but I text back, “Yes!”
That same day, the HR Manager at the company called me into the office late that afternoon. She never looked me in the eyes, but said they had to terminate my contract with them, stating that I was affecting their billing. (By the way, they were asking me to do things that were not ethical, so I did not do them). When I left out of their office, I celebrated and felt so elated and free. I kept saying, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
Friday, I went back to west side and met with the woman who had connections in Ghana. We talked for hours, and she asked very profound questions. I noticed that she was very curious and smiled confidently at me. She provided me with information about places to go, how to get my Visa, and what I would need to do and have in order to make the trip. Then she did something that gave me chills…
She pulled out her computer and began emailing someone who she knew that also lived there. She wrote a little bit about me, and then had me to write a few things about myself, and provide my contact information. I thanked her, we ended our conversation, and I went along my way feeling happy and open.
I talked to my oldest brother on the phone, and he asked me, “When are you going to Africa?” I laughed quietly. He said, “Hmm. Christmas is coming up. That’ll be your gift. A ticket to go.” I could tell he was serious. I was baffled and could only say, “Thank you.”
The next day (Saturday) I received a call from a foreign number. It was the gentleman who lives in Africa! We talked for over an hour and a half. He was very articulate, strategic in his questioning, and thorough. I found out that he is an educational consultant who travels to different countries. He asked several prominent questions. He asked me, “What do you see yourself doing?” I shared that I had thoughts/visions about teaching, but I also wanted to learn more about the culture to see what I can do to best serve the people. He then said, “What do you need me to help you with?” I was honest and shared that I needed assistance with housing because I wanted to stay longer than a week or two–more like a month.
He was quiet for a moment, and then shared with me that the woman I met at the store was a very long-time friend of his… 20 plus years. He told me that he trusts her judgment and knew that she referred me to him because she felt like I was serious about going. He paused, took a deep breath, and then spoke slowly and carefully saying, “I spoke with my wife, and she agreed that you could stay with us while you are here. Also, I know that I can get you into at least one school where you can teach if that is what you want.” My jaw dropped, my eyes teared up, and I felt ecstatic! I said, “YES” and thanked him.
He and I continued talking every few days, and linked up on social media. I learned that he also works in the human services field, and has built a good business for himself.
One day, we were talking, and he shared that he and his family would be coming to a nearby state. “I would love to meet you in person,” he stated. “Yes,” I agreed. “I will drive to where you are and meet up with you.”
I met with the family on the first day of this New Year! The father was kind, his wife was sweet, and his children were so polite and curious. I felt at ease with them. The father and I talked all night, got up early, and talked until mid-afternoon the next day! If we both didn’t have to travel several hours, I am sure that we would have kept on talking well into the night!
What I loved the most is that it wasn’t just mindless chatter. We talked about life challenges, relationships, psychology, consciousness, books, and various philosophies. I had desired a mentor to help me to grow in my field of work. Not just any mentor, though. I desired for it to be someone who has similar life-views, lots of educational training, a successful business, unwavering discipline, and compassion. I felt like a student that had finally connected with a long-awaited teacher.
Recently, my mentor and I were discussing our personal visions for this year. We discovered that we have similar visions regarding the outreach that we would like to do. It was in this conversation that he asked me, “Can you stay for two months? There is so much work that needs to be done.”
My first thought was, “Yes.”
I know that the Universe conspires to support our dreams. All we have to do is: 1) Listen for instructions 2) Say “Yes” 3) Follow Divine Guidance 4) Be ready to receive
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” –Jim Rohn
“You are the company you keep.”
Heard that before?
Think about it for a moment, and make an observation right now: Who is around you? Who are the people that are a part of your inner circle? What are you listening to right now? What books are you reading? Whose Facebook status are you always checking?
As my life has continued to evolve, so have the people who are in it. Some friendships have faded away, some have emerged, and others have transformed and strengthened over time.
When I was in high school I did not pay close attention to the people who surrounded me. I had friends that were in gangs, had failed classes, and got into fights often. At the same time, I had friends that were part of leadership organizations, in the band, athletic, and some who were academically inclined. I felt like I was connected to all of them, but I didn’t really know who I was.
My lack of self-awareness caused me to get into trouble. I was among the “wrong crowd” and had to deal with being in the wrong places at the wrong times. It was embarrassing and also very confusing.
During my sophomore year, I was selected to become Drum Major in the marching band. Taking on this role shifted my perspective. I had to spend a lot of time with other leaders and forward-thinking people in order to be a leader myself. I started to see some of the foolish things I was doing. I also began to isolate more and look within. Many of my friendships changed, but I knew it was for the better.
In my first year of college, I was somewhat rebellious. I had come from a small hometown where I was not allowed to go out much with friends. When I got out on my own, I wanted to explore the world (or at least Savannah, Georgia). My friends were partiers! We stayed up late, danced, played games, and always found something to laugh about. I loved the times I spent with them!
I made many mistakes, though. I was not seeking answers to important questions because I did not know what I needed to ask. I remember taking a psychology exam and asking my professor how I did on the test. He said to me, “Oh, you probably did how you thought. You made a B.”
But I didn’t think that I made a B. It dawned on me that something about the way I presented myself made me seem like a B was my goal. I was just doing enough to get by, and wasn’t applying any more effort than that, but I did not realize it.
I slowly began to notice that my core values were different than my buddies who I hung out with all the time. I had a scholarship and grant money that paid for my education, and had to maintain certain grades to keep them. Most of my friends weren’t as concerned about their grades, if at all. I also was one of the few people who liked having morning classes, but staying up late made it difficult to get up on time. I surrendered to the fact that I needed some guidance, and had to change the people I surrounded myself with in order to expand the way I was viewing my experience.
I felt drawn to some of the mentors at the university, and I began taking on student leadership roles. I spent a great amount of time serving others and left a legacy on campus. I loved doing that type of service, and I began making more connections to people and situations that lined up with my desires.
Now, I am surrounded by a completely different group of friends. We are conscious, mindful, life-loving, and progressive entrepreneurs. When I look at them, I am inspired to keep expressing my gifts and expanding my personal vision.
The music I listen to on a consistent basis, the movies I watch, and the books I read are all different now as well. They are positive and encouraging. I naturally migrate towards things and people that support my growth and propel me towards continuing to live my passion and purpose.
It is clear that we are all highly impacted by those who surround us. There is a subtle exchange of energy and conscious information that occurs when we spend time, communicate, and connect with others. This same exchange occurs when we listen to music, watch videos/television, and read information.
Maybe it is time for you to reconsider those whom you choose to surround yourself with. Do you feel that these influences are guiding you forward, holding you still, or pulling you back? If you do not like the answer, you have the power to change all of this today. Decide on what you truly desire, and make room for the Divine connections and influences that are sent your way.
Remember: The energy that surrounds us is the energy that we embody.
We have the power to choose how we color our lives.