Good For The Soul, Great For The World ~ Full Circle

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This week we talked about just a few things that are good for the soul and great for the world.  The phrase was coined as a way of saying that when something is done in justice and truth with the intent of blessing others, a blessing is also automatically generated for the person doing the deed. 

When the scriptures talk about how it is more blessed to give than to receive, I always figured that when one is supplying something, that means first he possesses something to provide.  (Which is a blessing already as opposed to needing something.)  But also just for the sake of seed sowing or karma, giving blessings also open doors for you to recieve your own when needed.

It is with this in mind that I want to remind us that we have to invest into ourselves as well.  By that I mean we can only give and bless to the degree that we are fulfilled and functional within.  If we are stressed, worried and angry it’s difficult not to reflect that energy back into the world.  Giving will only be so effective as there will be a level of resentment and hurt because of our own unfulfilled need for love and security.  If we are free and flowing with the universe as it pertains to our peace and purpose, the fruits will be that much sweeter as we extend benevolence to one another.

So inward investment is in order.  Charity (love) starts at home – so we must learn to love ourselves and appreciate what we have inside.  We must recognize and acknowledge the gifts and talents we posess and believe that they are a blessing to others.  We also have to learn to accept the gifts that are available from others and deem them necessary for our own development.

What am I saying?  Its time to invest in yourself!  That means taking an inventory of your life – seeing where you are and where you want to be.  What is it going to take to get you there?  What steps are necessary for you?  What books do you need to read?  What are the initial phases of change that need to happen?  Who are some people who can help you? 

Look inward and ackowledge who you really are on both the good and the not so good sides.  Decide what kind of person do you really want to be.  How much integrity do you REALLY want to live with?  How far are you willing to discipline yourself to reach that level?

All these questions need to be answered if you are going to live your best life.  Time is short and we don’t know how much of it we have left.  But we do have the moment and if we build those moments piece by piece, we can accomplish goals and be a witness to other people the a life of peace and success is possible. 

By success I don’t mean money – though there is money to be made.  Successful people are people who have worthy goals and plans and follow through on them.  Successful people are focused and directed – they make things happen for the good even if no one else can see the progress for the moment.  Most times when we see someone who is a success, we see the finished product, but were not around to see the price that was paid to get to that point.

There are no quick fixes, but investing in your own goals, peace, and happiness is a great way to start your life that is good for your soul, and great for your world.

Be good to yourself~

Grace & Peace

2009, The Real After Party

A lot of us have gotten our party on to celebrate the new year.  Certainly 2008 has been a year to remember for many reasons good and bad.  I find the rough seas of the economy and life in general to be a challenge to me taking a more active role in living my best life possible.   One of the sorriest lives one can live, is one of mediocrity, passiveness, apathy, or defeat.  I think of my life and must admit there have been times I have subjected myself to all of these.  I think of the time I have wasted or the opportunities lost.  I think of the years I have settled or didn’t believe in my own abilities. 

There are so many areas of directions to subscribe to in life.   So many things that could be focused on.  I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions, but I do believe that the new year is an opportunity for reflection, and an opportunity for new goal setting for life’s course.  For me, the most important things at this point are,

1. Taking control of my thoughts – I can’t control what other people do or say.  I can’t determine whether people will treat me with goodness or evil.  Who knows where my next dollar is coming from.  My mind and spirit have to be “mission control” as I only have true authority over self attitude and focus.  I need to think with a sense of optimism and hope in my life, and in the lives of the people I touch.  I have to believe in my future even as I embrace the present. 

2. Understand the adventure that life is – I think the most exciting life is one lived with a sense of fierceness not knowing what the next day will bring.  Packing light if you will.  My need for personal and emotional safety has cheated me out of that most of my days.  I hope to step out and dare myself to embrace more of the unknown.

3. TCB Academically – There are a few projects that I have been working on that need completion.  That will give documentation for my deeds.  Revolution is started with a spoken word, but it’s carried on the printed page.  My pages should be read long after I am gone.

4. Not just about what I do, but who I am– It is important to accomplish my goals and leave my mark on this world.  To help make it a better place than when I entered it.  But I truly want to be remembered for the love I gave, the wisdom and knowledge I shared, the joy I spread, and the hope I inspired.  If in my works I do not make someone’s life better, I have failed.

5. Love freely and unconditionally, understanding that I am responsible for my own happiness.  – People are wonderful creations.  And we all have our flaws.  We need to give and receive love.  But we need to learn to love ourselves independently.  It has to be so strong that it sustains us when we can’t sense the love from another.  Giving and receiving love is reciprocal to say the least.  They feed one another and it’s a beautiful thing.  But if we in wanting to receive that love and acceptance give people too much power over our personal sense of value and worth, we are destined to live and die with a broken heart.

I have not attained all of these.  They are key areas that I see within myself that I vow to focus on. 

I hope each of you have your own set of goals… and God grant you the grace to see them through.

 

A Call To Oneness – A Success!

The interfaith movement targeted at stopping the violence and reclaiming the streets of the St. Louis metropolitan area named, “A Call To Oneness” started off in fine fashion.  Friday nights panel discussion for the men had a healthy mix of professionals from all walks of life.  The panelist included Eric Rhone,(Entertainment/Business manager) Hon. Judge Jimmy Edwards, (Chief Juvenile Court City of St. Louis) Eugene  Willingham, (CEO, A Soldier of God Clothing) Kenneth Boyd (Author, Know Thyself Psychologically) William Polite, (Educator/ Author, “Hood Infectious Virus) Troy Buchanan, (Health Education/Youth Activity Instructor) and James Muhammad. (Dynasty Hip-Hop Inc. Mentoring Program)  The program held at Shalom Church City of Peace was moderated by former St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr and facilitated by Jacque Land of 100 Black Men of St. Louis.   All of the speakers were informative and real.  They shared openly about their experiences and what the responsibilities are for the older and younger men.   During the question and answer period the younger teens were given first priority to ask questions.  Legendary civil rights leader Norman Seay and St. Louis Urban League head James Buford were given awards for their long time community service.

Saturday there were a host of workshops for the “Day of Information and Implementation” given.  On Sunday the “Day of Worship, Witness & Reconciliation” march took place.  The turnout was impressive as 20-25 thousand men packed the streets of St. Louis starting at Page and Kingshighway.  The march ended at Tandy Park in the city’s mostly African-American north side of town.   Women and children lined the streets cheering on the men as they marched and called for “One” meaning one community.  At the park park there were speeches given by some of the more prominent and influential politicians in the area and the game plan was laid out for the next steps of the long term “Oneness” agenda. 

First there will be units of block organizers and facilitators who will go door to door in order to pull local communities togehter.  Second an organizing of men 35 and under who will serve as mentors for as many younger boys and men as possible.  Overall this is just the beginning, but there was a definite commitment from both the Christian and Muslim leadership involved to make this mission a permanent one.  Big ups to the visionary of this collaborative mission Rev. Dr. F. James Clark, pastor of Shalom Church, and his committee including Minister Donald Muhammad for bringing this together. 

The day was awesome and the unity was beautiful.  I had never seen that many people gathered for anything in the City of St. Louis.  We even got coverage from CNN!  I pray this will help bring our community together and promote the unity we desperately need. 

Photo Gallery ~ L-R from the top

1. Panel Discusson 2. Judge Jimmy Edwards 3. Dr. Clark, Norman Seay, Min. Muhammad, Jacque Land, 4. Motor Cycle Convoy lining up for the march, 5. The Kappas 6. The Q’s 7. The Leaders starting the march 8. The Black Panter Party 9. The Community of Marchers 10. Women of Islam 11. State Rep. Jamilah Nasheed 12. The Leaders make the Call To Oneness 13. Myself with St. Louis Police Chief Joe Mokwa 14. Myself and Normal Seay 15. Alderman Mike McMillan 16. Minister Donald Muhammad 17. Movin The Crowd 18. Minister James Muhammad