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Evolve, Grow, Do Better

There are those who will remind you  of your missteps and ill choices, despite your growth and progress, regardless of  the many layers that comprise you and so, we must stay strong.  There are those who will attempt to keep you in a box, like a snapshot Polaroid picture, remembering you as the exact person that you ONCE  were and reject, refuse to accept, learn, or even experience the miracle and beauty that you’ve become, or possibly WERE ALL ALONG. Some will  choose to amplify your shortcomings and flaws, but the thing is, that’s their prerogative – let them! Just live your life and do what makes you happy.

There will be folks who will  opt to tolerate you, rather than celebrate you, and in such a situation you have a choice to stay or to leave. Is anything in between ever worth it? There are those who will claim to love you and say that they’re just being tough on you because they want the best for you. Sometimes they are the very same folks whose presence is most felt when they’re  criticizing, judging and rejecting you. When this happens we have the option to be thankful and to bless them for showing us who they are (in that moment) and even still understand that they too may be going through something.

There are those who’ve gone through their own growing pains, who sometimes manage to speak and act in such a way that comes off as if they’ve forgotten that others grow and learn at their own pace too and in such a case, a little bit of humility goes a long way. Why put down the next human being for where they are in life? I believe that if we can’t extend our hands, then we should close mouths and try opening our hearts…even more than we  may think we have.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.” -Ghandi

Love, Light & Peace,

Ebony Brown

[Photo by Alex Allen]

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How You Respond Makes The Difference

Energy. I like to surround myself with a lot of it, the good, the great, the creative and beautiful kind, but as we all know, otherwise is inevitable. Negative energy is 24/7 relentless, intently working to sabotage us if we let it. What makes the difference in our stress levels is how we choose to respond to it, including ignoring it. While we may think that we’re being positive, or well intentioned when responding, at times our own negative energy comes to the surface, heating every word spoken, sometimes without us even fully knowing just how ugly we’ve become. Is it always easy to admit when you’re wrong? Who’s never gotten mad and said some things that they realized later on wasn’t the best thing to say?

We could choose to respond better and some of us do, but too often, we opt out and react with the first thing that fills our spirit. For some of us, its some level of anger, or display of defensiveness, as opposed to simply taking things in and allowing it to fully process.  Somehow, yelling or worst tends to feel better in that moment of hurt, rage or out right disappointment. The thing is, while we’re experiencing some type of bad or negative energy in the presence of another human being, it IS possible to ask ourselves, “Will what I’m about to say, heal or hurt, will it build or break?”  and  “Am I thinking, speaking or doing to cut into nerves of the other person, or am I expressing myself to create understanding, peace and resolve? What is more important?

I’m a believer of the powers of the universe and that it ensures that our offenders, violators, haters and trouble makers will encounter the kind of energy that they’ve put into the universe, or in our our path. We need not allow negativity to infect, possess and drive us off a mental cliff, especially because we can choose to not internalize, instigate or perpetuate it, we really can. We only get ONE life! Is any minute of it worth spending on responding erratically or unproductively to whatever has managed to get underneath our skin?

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” -Lincoln

 [Image(s) Credit: Unkown. All rights reserved for originating source.]

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OUR LIFESPEAK

What is Our Lifespeak? Our Lifespeak is what we tell ourselves and others everyday. I’m convinced that whatever it is that we’re saying throughout our day to ourselves, out loud (not too loud hopefully) or in our heads and to others, play an important role in what WILL manifest that day, the coming days, or in our lives. If we made deliberate efforts to pay attention and take inventory of our self talk  and what and how we speak to others, then we would discover something about ourselves that we may not have really known or have been unconsciously ignoring – be it how negative or positive, or discouraging versus encouraging we really are.

Some of us are already in the habit of being highly conscious of the words that escapes us, and sensitive to it’s potential impact on others and ourselves, and if you are, more power to you! Each one teach one!  Some of us are not very mindful of such and could also be in the habit of asking why (in general, regarding the things that happen in our lives), or why ME, more often than we’d like, and to this, I say, we must ask ourselves, why NOT me (be it good or bad) and really tune into our self-talk, namely our lifespeak.

I realize that I can be really tough on myself and on those closest to me through my lifespeak. I also recognize that there’s a difference between being tough and being negative. When we’re being tough on ourselves or on others, the intent is to encourage better, but when we’re being negative or saying negative things (sometimes not even fully aware of it), we couldn’t possibly be pushing ourselves or anyone else towards better. In actuality, we’re breaking more than building, discouraging more than encouraging,  amplifying more than diminishing our fears and worse, we’re possibly projecting such negativity onto someone else. STOP! Take stock of your thoughts, your words, your actions  and become acquainted with your lifespeak - an ongoing process for me. The learning never stops.

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Think With Your Heart


Don’t allow the over thinking of the mind to blur the vision of the heart, is something that I tell myself.  I think way too much – waaay too much! And why do I do this?  One word: Control. I like to be in it – in control. Where I get in trouble is when I unconsciously desire to control more than what is in my power, like the actions and words of people, especially folks who are the closest to me. Do I really want to control people? Of course not, but something about  a person’s incongruent words and actions, like saying one thing and acting in a manner that I receive as completely opposite or contradictory drives me nuts! In such situations, my “fix it” sensors and instincts kick in, where I’m literally trying to bring about some sort of parallel or bridge between what someone is saying to me and what they’re showing me. I tend to do this so that some real learning, connecting and understanding could be won, but of course the other party has to be willing, and that’s where I could stand to pay more attention. At the end of the day, I know that it is not within my power, or our power to control a person’s thoughts, words and actions. We could however, influence or impact them, and remain hopeful for as long as our hearts are open. Breathe.

Awake, tuned in, everyday I learn more and more about who I am. I like to be in control and I accept this part of me. I accept it with a greater sense of responsibility and accountability, essentially with deliberate awareness of the intention behind my words and actions. Specifically, whether my words and actions are motivated by my heart and a real yearning to connect and understand or by my ego and its yearning not to be hurt or deprived of a certain attention or recognition. See the difference? I’m guilty of  hurting folks in my quest to understand them, and in my attempts to get them to GET me, or understand me, because I am unrelenting and persistent when I’m trying to make sense of things, and it could be received as overbearing, especially to someone who is resisting, and so I get this. I admit, I don’t always recognize certain gestures as resistance because either I’m too focused on what I want or because its not always obvious. Such as, people lie, make up excuses and reasons, and convince you that “its not you” and that things are ok) when its precisely you (me or us), who is the problem.

Our desire to control is unveiled when we vehemently want someone else to stop saying what they’re saying, doing what they’re doing, or being how they’re being AND they resist, and we persist with our efforts to MAKE them hear or understand us. Our desire to control is evident when we lash out and tirelessly express something over and over again to a person, attempting to get results that we think that we need from them. I’m convinced that all of this stems from over thinking. And so, we need only to quiet our minds and tune into our hearts and souls, where a certain level of self awareness and clarity has been waiting all along. We know way more than what we give ourselves credit for, we need only to shut up and listen to the whispers fighting to be heard inside of us. Let  our actions take direction from our hearts, because the mind can be brutal, for it is the home of the ego, and a bruised ego is usually a reckless driver; such a force should not guide one’s actions, unless the end result is some sort of creative contribution, thereby offering some sort of positive end, or beginning.

Love, Light And Peace,
Ebony Brown

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Let’s Roll

Let’s roll, and if you fall I may not be able catch you, because I may fall too. Then again, I’ve already fallen and although there were no broken bones, there were black and blue bruises on my soul – so hurt, that I couldn’t move. My heart stopped like record scratch, like cassettes trapped in tape decks.  I fell and my heart ripped like those tapes, but something amazing happened.  My tears created new riffs and rhythms, and my heart beat louder with conviction and hope in its cadence, that things will be even better than, anything that you, or I, or we could have ever imagined!

Internally wounded but healing, I’ve pulled myself up from the pavement over and over again, and this time is no different. I must admit that I didn’t expect to fall and then have to get up without your hand – although, I am used to holding my own. Palm to palm like in prayer mode, still and silent, I am receptive, monk-quiet; my eyes trace where I’ve fallen like the unlucky outlined in white chalk, but I am still here – breathing. Flashbacks, I recall when, where and how I’ve risen and managed to learn, GET UP and begin again, not just to skate but to continue living, and loving and giving my all. Grateful for every scab and scar, my heart remains open, like it was never broken. Skates on wood or pavement, I’m rolling as if I never fell, completely aware that I will fall again, be it on my butt or flat-faced in love, I’m open, and so I welcome it.

Life is amazing!

Isn’t it?

…….Let’s Roll!

Photo of Ebony Brown by Michael Towns

LET-GO

Embracing The Unknown

I found myself contemplating the value of embracing the unknown pertaining to people, situations and things. This desire to know more than what is being shared or communicated with me is slowly, but surely becoming an evaporating preoccupation. Information that isn’t willingly or initially offered is probably either, none of my business, worth waiting for – minus the probing, or certified mental trash, namely stress. Embracing the unknown in all of these cases is simply choosing peace of mind over otherwise and recognizing such moments as opportunities for introspection.

Digging for explanations, confirmations,  or reasons for why someone may have said what they said, did what they did, or have made a certain decision is senseless when someone isn’t ready or willing to disclose whatever it is that we seek to know.  How we respond to this is indeed something within our control. It is very possible to be our own intervention, and to stop ourselves from diving, head first into our own self-conjured pool of assumptions or worry, due to perpetual, unsuccessful efforts in trying to get someone to “meet us halfway” to work things out.

My struggle is with the high degree of hope I usually have for cooperation and a willingness in the other person to be just as open to communicate with me, for the sake of working through or getting past a challenging time BEFORE it becomes evident that true communication is but a hopeful figment of my imagination. I’m naturally inclined to ask as many questions as I need and to  listen in order to reach a place of resolve and peace, and never with deliberate intent to offend, annoy or burden. Sometimes, I don’t realize that I’m contributing to someone’s stress with my need to know or understand something, and so I’m a work in progress in this regard.  I need not pressure anyone for anything they are simply unwilling to give – PERIOD.

Embracing the unknown is not giving up or caring less, it is immediately sensing  the mind wreckage waiting to swallow us whole, upon worrying and wondering too much and recognizing this in time to make a sharp turn in the opposite direction, towards something more open, willing and welcome – ourselves, including others perhaps. To embrace the unknown is to emerge from the darkness of burdensome worry and to enter the light of good energy, thoughts, actions and productivity.

[Image: glamquotes.com]

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To Forgive Or Not To Forgive?

To forgive is to LET GO  of something. It is a conscious CHOICE to RELEASE whatever it is that fills our minds with a certain uneasiness or contempt when we THINK of, or encounter a particular person, or situation. When we forgive, its almost like we make a pact or promise NOT to purposely attempt to injure, wound or burden another person’s mind or heart by reminding them of their indiscretion(s) as it directly involves us.

When we CONSTANTLY mention, complain and remind a person of how they hurt us in the past or how something that they did is still eating us up alive and how we fear that it may happen again, then, its almost like the forgiveness has somehow gone null or void. It is true that for the most part, some of us will  never forget what was said or done,  BUT when we enter the conscious, unwritten contract of forgiveness, it demonstrates our strength and decision to continue living  free of the mental burdens that once consumed and filled our souls with ill feelings.

If we find ourselves continuing to bring  up, mention and complain about something or someone we’ve forgiven, then we haven’t really engaged in forgiveness at all, other than speaking the words. In this case, we may want to let the person who’s inciting such adverse emotion go, until we can find it in our hearts to sincerely forgive them.

“The weak can never forgiveForgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” -Ghandi

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