Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm Counting on My Word

Selfie with a blue Billie
Many years ago, I'd picked up Don Miguel Ruiz's book The Four Agreements. It was a recommendation from a friend, one which I deemed as a good one. The agreements were so simple and still quite powerful. Powerful enough even to write a song  melody and lyric based on the first agreement.

The agreement goes like this:
Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Lately, I've made moves to make room for the work that I want to do , as well as the collaborations that have been forming. I've decided to follow a best friend's advice, "Just Do You." That means despite certain opportunities that I may be shirking, I am turning in and focusing on the promises I have made to myself. I can't keep promises outwardly if I can't keep them with myself. I have been having a hard time consistently delivering the kind of work that the projects I love and want to support deserve and part of that is because I have not been working on consistent delivery in my own life.

I look around my little apartment and I see the writing which has been started and piled on the desk but not redrafted, let alone sent someplace or being read by anyone. It's collecting dust. The dishes are piled in the sink. The laundry is unwashed. The room is a mess. The bill collectors are calling. . . .

I was reminded then of the song I mentioned above and I imagined, for the first time since its creation, singing it to my self. I'm keeping my word because I am counting on it. How else can I be happy with myself? How else can I be a success? How else can I have plenty enough and more from which to give?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just Do You

 I walk with an aim for no fear and with movement
towards clarity, true love, and equanimity.
Doodle heart by Tameca L Coleman.
One of my new friends in music, Ahmad JP wrote the following on his Facebook page today: 
I'd tell you a personal milestone but my path is irrelevant to your own. So, just keep doing what you need to do for you and reap what you've sown.
I was annoyed at first. I loved the message but at the same time, it grated on me. 

I felt, and mentioned on his page, that there is power in telling stories. I'm thinking of all the times in which I have read something that hit me in such away that either inspired me to keep doing what I was doing, or to at least keep putting one foot in front of the other, while realizing that perhaps some of my stories might do the same for other people, as well. 

But that's the thing. I was inspired to keep doing my own do. 

I also wrote this in response to his post: 
Of course, most of us are too confessional, way too self-important. Our stories could distract others from their own due. Thank you, therefore, for the reminder that there's a gift, sacred and true, inside each and every one of us.
All any of us can do is speak to our own experience and tell how we did what we did. How we did something may not be true for someone else. We can teach our way and while there is value in that, there's more value, perhaps in getting to that spot within where the ingenuity of one's own essence can be sparked. This is a self-empowered light and I believe, the most powerful motivation and the most productive action. 

Ahmad's quote for me was compounded when I'd called my best friend for a check in and some help today. I told her, in frustration, about all the projects I was trying to do. Most of the projects weren't even my own. And you know what she said? "Just do you." 

It's not a message that is new. My Stepdad always said something similar while I was growing up, "'Meca, just keep doin' what you're doin'." 

Truth. I mean, what else can I do? It's more than fair to give my ideas a chance. If you want to hear about it, we can share. I might want to hear about your way, too. We can have tea and share our adventures and know that as long as we are walking in line with our own inner light and compass, we are doing our do, honest and true. In the meantime, I'm doing my work and perhaps my friend Ahmad is right about it. My experience is my own and the work is most important. We all have our own work to do and the prospects of that are simply beautiful (!).

I'm layin' down some seeds, and cutting loose the chaff for real this time

Also, if the message wasn't compounded enough, another friend who is becoming dear posted the following video by India Arie. I hope that it inspires you. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I Never Was One of the Cool Kids

What can I say? Old habits die hard.
The back of my arm is apparently a
pertinent extension of my paper planner.
I used to use my hand. It was always covered with notes. Someone told me it was low class to do that and bought me a little paper notebook. I never did get the hang of it. I forgot all kinds of things. I need to get back to left hand scratch pad for notes technique; works much better for me. --Archduke Griffith.

In a previous post, I considered image and how it was affecting my communication effectiveness. Writing on my arm was one of the things that kept coming up and that I'd mentioned in the post. 

I had a recurring experience at work in which, while talking with say, customers,  I would notice them get distracted by my notes. Some would make a joke of it and I would play along. Some others would lecture me about how gross it was, or how it was dishonoring my parents somehow. Others would just stop in disgust mid-sentence and move on (and some folks really didn't care, which was nice).

Today, there were so many things that I needed to remember and I was running around without a pad or pen (save for the sharpie I usually carry in a pocket at work), so I again wrote the list on my arm. 

Old habits die hard and today, I made no excuses for them. I giggled at myself and continued to get my stuff done.

While meeting folks part way towards what they need for communication in order to get the communication done in a successful manner is important, while understanding where they are, their culture, if you will, I believe it is also important to consider and respect your own needs. Today, I did this. What's on my arm would not have been remembered had I not found a method that worked for me. Had I been at a networking event, job interview, or family reunion, I might have been very thankful that today, wearing long sleeves would not have given me the profuse sticky sweats. It's Fall! Otherwise, being a barista who is bustling behind the bar with a sharpie and some stuff to remember, shouldn't receive the flack it's been getting from the customers on the other side. And if the flack comes, why should I worry about it? I'm learning what works for me and going with it, respecting where I am as I would try to respect where anyone else is. It's not getting in the way of my work.

For whatever that's worth. . . .  It's meant as no offence to anyone. It's really just a way for me to remember to get my stuff done. 

Also, you may disagree. I'd be happy to hear about it: