I believe that these three words can have more weight than “I love you”. For instance, I love people in general and I love my cat. Based on a previous definition I gave of love (Love…Anyone?), it is impersonal but also delightful.
Trust, on the other hand, is very personal. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines trust as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Sounds quite personal to me. Trust can be developed, or it can already be established, depending on the situation.
Either way, it can be lost.
Someone can love another person but feel he or she cannot trust that person. Trust is a delicate gift that requires vulnerability.
In my profession of healing and transformation, the people I serve must trust me. They trust me to keep their best interests in mind. They trust me to be knowledgeable and experienced in the services I provide. They trust me to honor their sacredness and respect their privacy. Most of my clients do not say the three words out loud, but their actions and willingness in the sessions speak to this truth.
Ultimately, when you trust someone, you are allowing yourself to be in the vulnerable space of innocence and complete surrender. One of the most detrimental things that can happen in this line of work is for the healer to violate or break the trust of their client.
I could go further into this issue, but I will focus more on things you can do (as a client) to see if someone is trustworthy. These suggestions are geared towards the healing profession; however they can also be applied to personal interactions as well:
Do your research (Is the person qualified? What do others say about their experiences with the person? What skills/characteristics are you looking for?)
Listen to your gut (Intuition supersedes intellect; Do you feel safe? Do you feel heard? Do you feel respected?)
Ask questions (Get clarification on whatever you need to.)
Express yourself (Make your requests and needs known. Then refer back to number 2.)
In a society that promotes selfishness and self-centered gains, it is important for those of us in the healing profession to be selfless and genuine about providing the service the client needs.
The MOST VITAL part of any healing relationship is TRUST.
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.
What would this world be like without music? I cannot imagine. I grew up with a passion for music. My earliest memory of it is when I was approximately 2 years old, hands held high for my mother to pick me up, but she wasn’t able to because she was hand- washing dishes. She looked down at me and said, “Not yet, wait one moment honey.” She began humming and singing a soothing song as she cleaned. I recall slowly putting my arms to my side and listening to her while feeling peace in my heart. During my early childhood, my two oldest siblings took piano lessons. They would come home and play the songs that they learned. I would ask them to play the songs, laugh contentedly, and then ask them to play the songs over and over again. Eventually, they became annoyed or exhausted and stopped. There came…
Recently I stepped away from all of the activities that I do in the big city in order to spend some quality time with my family members at the beach. I went on this trip with the intention of healing and to build stronger bonds with my family.
This mini vacation was manifested from a combination of desires that my sister and I both had. She wanted to take her two sons on one more special trip to the beach before they went back to school, and I wanted to spend more personal time with her. The Law of Attraction delivered her a prize from a drawing which included a trip for 4, lots of free and kid-friendly events, and a few days at a nice hotel directly across from the dusty white sands of the beach.
It was pretty awesome.
During this time away, I had a much-needed opportunity to take a step back and observe the path I have been walking so far. There is something about being near the water, especially the ocean, which cleanses me and puts me in tune with Source unlike any other part of nature.
I reflected on how I started the beginning of the year, and I slowly took note of the things that have manifested since the first day of January. I asked for clarity and assurance of my next steps as I dive deeper into my calling and take greater leaps during these last four months of the year.
One thing about being in nature is that an answer is always waiting to reveal itself. I was riding on a boat, breathing in the refreshing air, and staring meditatively at the ocean waves when a group of dolphins appeared. It was five of them, and each one came up of out of the water to say hello before diving back into the deep. I was asking Spirit a question, and they were my answer.
A few of the dolphins that appeared.
One evening, my sister, my nephews, and I left the beach and headed back to our rooms to get ready for dinner. She turned on the television and it was on the Weather Channel. They were doing a segment on double rainbows and explaining the scientific conditions that make them occur. She and I briefly watched the segment, commented on how neat that was, then continued getting ready. I had a quiet thought in my mind, “I wonder if I will ever see a double rainbow.”
The next day was our departure date. We loaded up the car and headed back towards our hometown. The weather was unusual, with patches of scattered showers and sunshine throughout the drive. I continued asking Spirit for answers to questions, and excitedly noted the signs in nature. I saw beautiful deer, turtles, and other animals along the ride.
We came to a four-way stop in a small town when I noticed a rainbow in the sky. “Look, a rainbow,” I said to my sister. She smiled and expressed gratitude that it was there. In that moment, I thought to myself again, “I wonder if I will ever see a double rainbow.”
Rainbow that was present for almost an hour
We kept driving, and the one rainbow stayed in our sight for nearly an hour. It felt magical. Then my sister pointed and squealed with delight, “Double rainbow! Double rainbow!” I looked up and saw a double rainbow in the sky. I said to her, “You know, I was just thinking to myself if I would ever see a double rainbow.” She looked at me with wide eyes and said, “I was thinking the same thing too!”
Look closely, and you will see the double rainbow.
And there it was. We laughed and chatted like we used to as little girls. She pulled the car over, and I took several pictures and even made a video. It definitely was magical, healing, and inspiring indeed.
You may wonder why I am telling you about this experience. Because I want you to know that:
Double rainbows do exist.
For me, a “double rainbow” was something that seemed like it was impossible for me to experience or witness.
What is your “double rainbow”– that thing that you think is impossible?
Is it World peace, healing from an illness, unconditional love?
This simple message is to let you know that it is NOT impossible.
I toured a small portion of the country and gathered as much information as I could about the people, culture, language, and customs. Most of the Ghanaian people are Christian, and there is also a large Muslim population as well. The day after Easter Sunday, I visited the beautiful Aburi Botanical Gardens for an Easter Monday festival. There was a live band, picnics, dancing, singing, games, and lots of food everywhere. I noticed the FREEDOM of the people, unlike anything else I have ever experienced. Everywhere that I looked, everyone was walking around confidently, laughing, smiling, and LIVING in the moment. I loved every moment of it!
Without me saying a word, people noticed that I was “different”and often asked if I was African at all. A few people said to me that my skin was too light, so they were willing to believe I was from South Africa. I found that hard to believe, because I have a brown complexion. (Then, I jokingly thought about the 13% of my lineage that is European.) After this happened frequently, I learned very quickly not to be bothered by these statements because I knew that it was only curiosity.
I met two young men in their 20’s at Aburi. Their names were Francis and Joe. They were excited to meet an American and asked me hundreds of questions. The first thing they said was, “Are you a Black American?” I nodded. Francis and Joe expressed that they wanted to come to America so that they can have jobs and live a good life. I did not want to discourage them, but I was realistic and told them that many people in America are having difficulty finding work. They looked puzzled so I explained more about the American economy until they understood.
I asked Francis and Joe for their Ghanaian names. With hesitance, they told me. Then, they asked me what my African name was. I told them that I did not know. They looked so surprised at me and asked why I didn’t know. I had to explain to them how slavery impacted my family (and many others) to the point where I could not tell them my whole lineage or my ancestors’ names. They continued to look surprised and a little empathetic.
We continued our conversations and talked about several issues facing each country. I wanted them to know how much freedom they truly have and how amazing life can be, right where they were. I ended up talking to them for a few hours, but it was worth it. After our conversation, they each told me their native names again, and with pride.
New friends Francis and Joe at Aburi
There are talented young people in Ghana. I met Jacob during some downtime. Jacob is a creative and fashion-forward young adult. He makes handbags, shoes, accessories, clothing, and much more…ALL BY HAND. As I learned more about him, I discovered that he had given a large portion of his products to someone in another country who paid him little to nothing for it and now sells it in her store for 120x’s more. I encouraged Jacob to share his work globally using social media, instead of just in Ghana. I pointed out to him that he spends a lot of time and effort to do his work, so he should get back what it is worth. He agreed, and has started working with a Facebook page to share his work. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ja-Creation/832268476851066)
Jacob, a talented and fashion-forward guy. He makes shoes, clothing, handbags, and accessories. By the way, he made the bookbag in this picture.
Hanging out with Jacob and taking selfies at a local Lounge in Tema
I also had the pleasure of meeting Kingsford. He is another young adult, and he works in one of the small shops in the Accra Arts Center area. He was cool, kind, and made very nice bracelets…BY HAND. I supported his business by getting personalized bracelets made. I would sit in the chair and chat with him while he made them.
Kingsford making a personalized bracelet.
Giving Kingsford a goodbye hug and thanking him.
My next to last week in Ghana, I stayed at the home of a missionary woman. She worked with several organizations and had numerous projects. One day, she asked if I could sit in on a meeting and give feedback based on my perspective. I agreed. The meeting was at the Malku Institute of Technology. The topic of interest was marketing and social media. I gave my honest opinion and shared research that I had read. Surprisingly to me, I was asked to come back and present a workshop to the core staff about the topic. I was thrilled to do so, and I put together a simple presentation to assist them in the best way that I knew how.
As I continued with the intention to connect with the Ghanaian people, I discovered that the ones I connected with were ones who needed to be encouraged and reminded that they are worthy of greatness. (Don’t we all need that?!)
Here is another person that I met. Thomas, pictured below. He was my cab driver during my last week in Ghana. Thomas is 70 years old, and has 2 adult children living in New York. He and I had great conversations about spirituality, religion, and stages of the lifespan. Thomas shared that he feels like his time on Earth is about to be up. He said, “My kids are grown and a lot of my friends are dead.” I expressed to him that there is so much life to live right now. He smiled when we talked and shared, “I wish we could have met sooner so we can really talk about Life!” Before I left, he commanded me, “You come back in a year, and I want to meet your husband and baby.” This statement made me laugh.
All in all, I loved to hear Thomas’s perspective, yet most importantly, he also appreciated my willingness to listen.
By the last week of my trip, most people said to me, “Are you Ghanaian? You look Ghanaian.” I was so amused by this because the only thing that changed for me was that I felt less like a tourist or visitor and more like I was at home.
When my host family asked me how I felt about being in Africa and specifically in Ghana, I replied: “I see the faces of my friends and family in the people here.”
It easily felt like home, indeed.
Think about this:
The more we seek to understand each other, the less and less we support the false barriers that exist between us.
Joe gifted me with a bracelet and asked to be a lifelong friend.
In March 2015, I traveled to Ghana, West Africa and stayed for a month.This was my first official flight overseas, so I was nervous. I was not sure what to expect on my way to Ghana. I flew solo, and was going to meet my host family at the final destination in Accra. I took a red-eye flight, but there was a brief layover in Amsterdam. When I made it to Amsterdam, I could already feel a difference in the air. There was a sense of movement and action that did not feel like mindless busyness.
My layover was only for a few hours, so I made my way to the next gate for the plane heading to Accra, Ghana. When I got to the gate, I immediately noticed that almost everyone was Black. The people’s beautiful dark skin had a supernatural glow. I KNEW I was among Africans. It was an exciting feeling. The second part of the flight was long and turbulent. When the plane landed in Accra that night, most of the passengers applauded in relief. Shuttle buses came to the plane to pick up the passengers and take us into the airport. It was raining and humid, but I was in Africa!!
The customs line was long, and I had to wait for over an hour to make it through. Many diverse people were in the line with me. I saw Chinese, Lebanese, Nigerian, Belgian, and Canadian visitors, just to name a few. I admit that I was surprised to see many “foreigners” coming to Ghana. Then it hit me…I realized that I may have had some subconscious stereotypes and misconceptions about Africa even though I consider myself to be a very open-minded and an independent thinker. Due to this realization, this first post of the series is going to address some of the stereotypes and myths that many people might have about Africa. Although I was only in Ghana, I think that a lot of this information is relevant.
Prior to leaving the US, many people asked me, “Do they even speak English over there?” Often times, the tone of the question was condescending and judgmental more than curious.
To answer that question…Yes. A majority of the people in Ghana do speak some English (and also one or more of the native dialects).
Honestly, even if the people didn’t speak English, I was willing to learntheir language. As people of a culturally diverse world, I think it is beneficial not to be xenophobic or extremely ethnocentric. It benefits us if we do not go into another country expecting the people to speak the language that we are most comfortable or familiar with. It causes us to open up and develop an understanding of each other that verbal language can sometimes distract us from.
But yes, a majority of the people spoke English. This was a blessing, and I was extremely grateful.
Sign Above the door at a Primary school
Stereotype: There is extreme Lack of Education This is not completely true. There are professionals such as doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, teachers, etc in Ghana. I did notice that public schools seemed to get the least amount of assistance and care. The conditions were not the best ones for learning. (I will discuss this in a more in depth post later on in the series.)
There are colleges, universities, and tech schools in Ghana.
Stereotype: People only wear Traditional Clothing I can admit that I expected a majority of the Ghanaian people to dress in traditional African clothing. This was not the case.
In all of the places that I visited, the majority of the people were dressed similar to me or my close friends. They looked like Americans. I did learn that this varied based on regions, belief systems, and age.
Adults waiting for a ride near the Volta Region.
Young people dancing in the park at Aburi Botanical Gardens.
Myth: There are only Dirt Roads and Villages with no Running Water or Electricity There are some paved roads, and there are some unpaved roads in Ghana. I had the joy of experiencing both. In some areas, when it rains, the paved roads get washed away and turn back into muddy roads with enormous craters. It can make for a bumpy ride or limited access to areas, especially if you do not have a moto (motorcycle).
Man and woman riding the moto near the Volta Region.
There are traditional villages and thatch roof houses like the ones that are often portrayed on television. However, many people do have homes like the ones in America, and they are HUGE!
Village home in Dodowa.
Back view of a “toilet” at a village home in Dodowa. The owner was kind enough to let me use it.
Private bathroom in my bedroom in West Legon.
There IS running water and electricity in parts of Ghana. Not all places have running water or electricity, but many of them do. Unfortunately there is an issue with frequent electricity outages. The people are accustomed to it, and even have a name for it: Doomsor. Some days I had electricity, but almost every day I did not have electricity for 6, 12, or more hours. I seldom had hot water, but it was bearable because the weather is very hot and humid.
Village children pumping water while a man walks by carrying goods on his head.
Stereotype: There is dangerous “Wildlife” (lions) roaming everywhere.
There are several animals in Ghana. I did not get to see the monkeys, elephants, zebras, and giraffes, but I learned that they have nature reserve parks in different regions where I can go see them. Everyday I did encounter many cows, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, and sheep freely roaming around the streets and in harmony with each other.
Baby goat in Dodowa casually heading under the vehicle for shade.
Herd of cows calmly crossing the street in the city.
Myth: All of Africa is only Deserts. There is no Vegetation. Ghana is beautiful! I was able to experience the lush Aburi Botanical Gardens, go to the beach, see mountains, and visit the bush areas. Plus, almost every where that I went, there was mango, papaya, avocado, and plenty of foods growing naturally.It was magnificent!
Home on a hill in Aburi
Walking a path out in the “bush” north of Aburi.
Cape Coast (The other side of the Atlantic Ocean)
Stereotype: There is nothing for Tourists because the countries are underdeveloped.
I would recommend that anyone with a genuine interest in the continent of Africa visit at least one country, even if it is only for tourism. In Ghana, there are hotels, spas, shopping malls, museums, national parks, and movie theaters. I am certain that other countries in Africa have the same amenities as well. 🙂
Spa in Sogakope, Ghana (Volta Region)
Museum in Kumasi (Ashanti Region)
Myth: They do not like African Americans.
My experience was that many of the people do like African Americans…and people in general. I was often referred to as “sister” (or “girlfriend” or “wife” by some guys who were really trying to push the envelope). The mindset of the Ghanaian people that I interacted with is , “We are family”. The people were extremely nice, helpful, and I felt very safe. I met some kindhearted individuals and made wonderful new friends during my time in Ghana.
My message to you is this: Africa is a rich and enchanted continent.
Do not allow stereotypes, myths, and targeted media coverage prevent you from visiting Africa, meeting the beautiful people, or exploring other regions of this planet.
If the inner guidance of your heart is pulling you to venture out, give it a try.
A loving presence is understood across all cultures and languages.
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.
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.
“Nobody with innocence loves to go to jail. But if he puts you in jail, you go in that jail and transform it from a dungeon of shame to a haven of freedom and human dignity. Even if he tries to kill you, you develop the inner conviction that there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true that they are worth dying for…” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
If there is one thing that I would change about the quote above, it is this: “What are you willing to LIVE for? What do you desire to see changed in the world we live in right now?”
February is celebrated as Black History month in the United States of America. It is also the month where they celebrate Love, Romance, and relationships in honor of St. Valentine.
When I pondered upon what this month means for me, I thought about the fact that there really is not a specific month to represent the history of all beings. My history is your history because we are all connected, and inevitably we all impact each other worldwide.
I also began thinking about the state of the social structure in this nation. There is unrest among many groups of people who are called the “minority” in the United States of America. The nature of this unrest is a recurrence of similar themes that have spanned over several generations. There are rallies against injustice, war, and inequality for all humans. This history seems to repeat itself, while the people headlining the movements are the only difference.
Why is this the case? What is missing?
Soldiers are deployed and encouraged to fight for their country and the freedom of their people. Yet, right here in our own land, many are not Free.
Freedom first begins in the mind.
If a group of people have been taught to believe and perceive their world from an inferior perspective, then their lives will continue to reflect this status, even if they do rally against their status. This is because they are creating what they focus upon. Do not get me wrong, there currently exists a covert and overt hierarchy in American society which affects various groups of people in different, yet painful ways. This hierarchy exists because the nation was created by a group of people who believed that to divide, conquer, and monopolize power was the way to live.
But it is not.
Violence, separation, and destruction only breed injustice, greed, and death.
It takes a conscious movement of everyone in solidarity in order for this ancient, ineffective system to be eradicated. I have read that the largest population in the United States right now is the generation born between the early 1980’s and early 2000’s, also known as Generation Y or the Millennials.
Why does this matter? The largest population in any place can have a huge impact on society. It begins with a shift in conscious awareness, collectively joining together, and is followed by mindful action.
Think about what your ideal world looks like. Is there a major disparity among groups of people based on the color of their skin or partner preference? Of course not.
What can you do to shift things in the direction that makes this ideal world more tangible?
If you are passionate about it, then you have the first ingredient that is needed to take action. Every piece of this Peace puzzle has a major part. First, begin to connect with others who believe in your cause. Second, discuss solutions from a collective and conscious point of view. Third, mindfully put things in motion from a solution-focused perspective. You will see just how much the world you desire begins to unfold.
You and I are the game-changers. We are the ones to lead a conscious movement, not by repeating old patterns of our predecessors, but by acting from a higher state of awareness and connectedness that focuses on the solution to the problems we face now. We need each other, and we are the answer.
We must create and influence the world that we desire to live in.
“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.