As it is told over and over again, in the first year of growth for the Chinese Bambo Tree, we see no visible signs of activity. Again, in the second year of the Chinese Bambo Tree still there is no growth above the soil. The third and the fourth are the same, no signs of anything. Finally in the fifth year – behold, a sign of growth (above soil)! What wasn’t obvious to the human eye in that five year process, was the progress of the Chinese Bambo Tree, a thin tall woody plant that grows in rainforests and the mountains of central China. Far beneath the surface it grew underground, developing a strong root system required to sustain life as it finally grows to its potential of up to 80 feet in just six weeks!
The same principle is true for us as humans along life’s path as we faithfully work toward our dreams and goals. If we are not careful, we could find ourselves spinning in a paralyzed state – questioning, when will I be rewarded? When will I see – visible fruits of my labor? This state of worry takes our focus off of what is most important…the process …. the building/preparation phase.
There are many lessons to be learned from the illustration of the Chinese Bamboo Tree, some of them are;
Growth is not always seen immediately
Never despise the process of starting small
Take the time necessary to develop a strong foundation
We are not exempt from adversity and/or challenges – stay encouraged
All of the above is essential for sustaining latter results (Growth)
In the end and as always the reality is, the Chinese Bamboo Tree requires nurturing (watering, fertilizing of the soil, and sunshine) even though there is no visible sign of growth.
This too holds true for you and I. With the end in sight continue to press toward the mark, believing in the midst of the unseen. Your reward is pressing through even though you cannot see it. The pressure of a strong foundation and upward momentum is bound to break through soon.
My prayer for you: May you have the strength to endure beyond what is unseen in order to reap what will soon spring forth in great magnitude – your reward awaits. –Shalom
To everything there is an origin, a beginning, a seed of thought that blossoms into an idea and eventually gains forward momentum. The same is true with what we now call “Black History Month“.
The story of “Black History Month” began as an idea, in the mind of Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson. Early on in the year 1915, as Mr. Carter was discussing with a group of African-American men at a YMCA in Chicago, he convinced them that an organization focused on striving for a balanced history was needed. Later in the same year (September 1915) half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States along with prominent minister, Jesse E. Moorland, Mr. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). The organization’s main purpose was to research and promote the achievements of black Americans and other people of African descent. The ASNLH today is known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). The group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The creation of Negro History Week in 1926 thus paved the way for the establishment of “Black History Month” in 1976. Since its inception the celebration has grown.
Today “Black History Month” is celebrated nationwide. Schools and communities alike continue to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures all, in a collaborative effort to celebrate historical figures who range from abolitionists to jazz musicians. To everything there is an origin, a beginning, a seed of thought that blossoms into an idea and eventually gains forward momentum.
When we take the time to break from one aspect of living to equally engage in others (Physical, Emotional, Career, Spiritual, Intellectual, Social), we then begin to tap into balanced living. Although living in balance is not always easy to achieve much less maintain, it can be very rewarding.
A perfect example and probably one of the most popular in which we lack motivation, is that of the physical aspect of balanced living. Statistics shows that regular exercise or physical activity helps the body to function better. However, only 30 percent of Americans get leisure-time physical activity.
One Hundred and sixty people were surveyed from different faiths (Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists). The results show that religious experiences such as prayer, meditation, yoga, etc. was significantly linked to better mental health and helped people to better cope with everyday stress.
When it comes to intellect, it is sad to say that for some of us, once we graduate from high school or college our pursuit of/for new knowledge deteriorates. Yes, we may be masters at what we do, but we are not learning anything new. Research clearly shows that education and learning produce favorable changes in the brain.
Socializing, considered a form of mental exercise, providesstimulationfor the brain, keeps one sharp, have been associated with lower blood pressure and contributes to a longer life expectancy.
When achieving work life balance neglecting your mental well-being, relationships, and health can affect yourproductivity. Instead plan ahead, give yourself ample time to complete projects, set a work start and cut off time and define clear expectations with others.
Improving your emotional health can be a rewarding experience. People who are emotionally healthy tend to be in control of their emotions and their behavior. Able to handle life’s challenges, build strongrelationships, and recover from setbacks.
Tap Into The Whole You!
The following are a few tips for tapping into the Whole You this new year;
Set Priorities. List all your tasks if not daily then on a weekly basis, organize them according to priorities. When prioritizing, be sure to consider each area (Physical, Emotional, Career, Spiritual, Intellectual, and Social) pertinent to living a balanced life.
Be Flexible. It is pertinent to take a break from routine. Be flexible and adjust your schedules and priorities accordingly.
Mind Your Mind.Subconscious beliefs are known to be self-limiting and self-sabotaging. Purposefully embrace the process of positive thinking, especially in the areas of behavioral/habit change, wellness and stress reduction.
Establish Accountability. Enlist the help of an accountability partner to encourage you along the way.
“Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day SOME.” –Robert Fulghum
Living a balanced life is living a life of harmony where all things work together tocompletethe whole you. When your life is inbalance,you will be healthier, more energetic, happier, motivated, and satisfied.
Happy Thanksgiving Day2017to you as you celebrate with family & friends. I encourage you to give thanks for “Everything” that you have encountered this year, thus far. Whether good or bad, small or large, significant or insignificant. That (everything) has helped to catapult you to thespace/place = splacein which you occupy today. Thatsplaceis one of awareness and forced conscientiousness.
If it weren’t so, then you would not have realized thepainthat it caused, the joy that you gained, the peace that it ushered or thegrowththat you’ve experienced…Think about it… selah
Now give thanks for the “Splace” and “Everything” in and of it….. Therefore in all things give Thanks…..
When having it Now outweighs the discipline of waiting until Later, we allow the pains of anxiety to consume our rational mindset, delivering us into a valley of emotions. Emotions are defined as “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.” Our natural instinctive response to life’s situations are accompanied by two types of emotions. The first, primary emotions (fear, sadness, anger, happiness). They are immediate, without conscious thought, instinctive responses. The human mind and body transitions within a matter of moments from primary to secondary emotions. In between the departing of one (primary) and the arrival at the other (secondary), there exists a bit of confusion. The mind questions the heart, “what did we do? Was it the right thing to do? This begins the procession of secondary emotions. With it comes a more in-depth thought process.
Examples of secondary emotions;
When the fear of a threat turns to anger and the body resorts to the fight or flight mode
When news of a wartime victory may start with feelings of joy, but then enters sadness for the loss of life
So you may ask, what is the purpose of our emotions? They serve to help you survive, to thrive, it also motivates you to take action, while affecting the decisions you make. Emotionsallow you to not only understand others but to understand yourself as well. Although it is easy to make decisions based on how you feel― be very careful not to allow the anxieties of Now, to outweigh the discipline of waiting until Later. If you haven’t already, be sure to order my book titled, “The Art of Transitions, Mastering the Highs & Lows of Every Girls’ Emotions”, written with the female psyche in mind.
As we progress through this times journey and gift of life, there are many things to be learned, expressed and experienced upon the way. It is only when we cease to learn, express and experience, that we end up becoming stagnant. A stagnant force becomes separate from its source and in turn ceases to grow.
I found “The Four Agreements” by Don M. Ruiz to be quite the motivation to keep pressing toward our very best. The best that will lead of toward passion and on to the conquering of purpose. It is without a doubt that we each have a purpose and with that purpose comes a mighty plan that connects us to the greater good.
As you take some time to recite each agreement, meditate upon them and make them apart of your daily source for living. In each you will find a wealth of wisdom materialized as practical steps for daily living.
Huddled deep on the coast of the sea islands, we are surrounded by beautiful bodies of water here in Beaufort, SC. On a day like today I stopped to admire nature’s beauty, its systematicsynchrony and perfectrendition of colorfulharmony. First to grab my attention, the true blue of the body of water that surrounds us, and the peaceful ebb and flow of its very existence.
Upon the motions of the current, the rhythmical pattern of coming and going, the decline and regrowth, are etched captions of similar lessons in life. Whether in relationships, business, finances, sports, there must be an ebb and a flow, release in order to receive, a reciprocation that must remain in order for continuum – movement to take place.
I am reminded during this time, that to everything there is a season, to everything there is a flow, a purpose, a definition, a divine appointment in the vast circulation of time. That within all of life and all of nature, there are many examples of lessons taught and lessons to be learned if, we would just take time between the ebb and the flow of our daily grind to consciously acknowledge them.
In that space of time or mindful momentbe sure to include prayer or words of empowerment. I chose the following words during my time of reflection:Asah(pronounced aw-saw) – when opportunities come to light and prayers are answered, descend upon me, let your looking eye and seeing heart be my guide. Let a time of peace be my portion daily, so that what you had set according to divine connectedness and original intent, will be my portion. Se-lah