Inspired by nature this morning during my daily walk/jog, I started to pay attention to all my surroundings. Watching the trees, the grass, etc and how they just grow in all directions, somehow was confirmation to me that there is in fact intelligence there. We humans think our intelligence is superior because of our ability to think. Today I thought “Nature is in a way advantaged not to think, having to worry about nothing.” Several different types of grass grow together in the same space and just exist there. While as humans, we can’t seem to do the same. We fight about what color skin is superior, who’s more athletic, religion, etc and kill one another based on this stuff! This leads me to feeling that nature is of superior intelligence compared to humans. Nature simply grows, going with the natural flow of Life. Since humans like to personify things and in honor of my love for hip hop music I’m going to say that Life/God/Universe is the greatest freestyle rapper of all time! No specific design, yet everything flows together PERFECTLY.
I saw long stretch of brown “dead” grass and right next to it, really beautiful green grass thriving. Is there sadness? Who knows? It seems as if life simply goes on. Seasons change. Leaves and trees “die”. Things don’t stop growing and evolving because of it. Life doesn’t get stuck in that space. It knows that with Life being an infinite circle, that these things come back next season and therefore don’t really die, but simply change form. Religions teach that we’re made in God’s image. If we truly believe this, would it make sense to also believe that everything happens as it’s supposed to? That we can’t force ourselves to grow a certain way? That your life is supposed to be lived in a freestyle fashion but we get so caught up in an event or emotion and refuse to move on from it? Thus causing our own suffering…
Seems we’ve forgotten from whence we came. We’ve decided that instead of allowing Life to flow, we’d let other humans dictate our path and how we should journey it. Is Life not the Supreme of existence?
“I’ve always felt like I could do anything. That’s the main thing people are controlled by: their perception of themselves. They’re slowed down by their perception of themselves. If you’re taught you can’t do anything, you won’t do anything. I was taught I could do everything.”~~ Kanye West
Society strips us of our confidence from birth. Then unfortunately, the try to sell it back to us via their idea of how we should perceive ourselves through clothing, the type of home we have, cars, income, etc. Most of us buy what they’re selling. The words in the quote above are very profound. I’m a huge fan of Kanye West. Certain behaviors of his are portrayed through media that vilify him. What provoked those behaviors is rarely displayed. Whether you’re a fan or not, if you take the opportunity to listen to just ONE of his albums, you’ll see that there’s so much more to him than the “rants” he’s become famous for. Or rather you’ll see why those rants happen. Getting back to the quote, it states so much truth. How would you perceive yourself without all the outside influences that helped form your current perception of yourself? It’s difficult. The key, I feel, is to unlearn what has been taught and start anew. Sometimes, you must die to live.
I was blown away this morning when I opened my Twitter page and saw a BEAUTIFUL example of what true freedom to live looks like. In this world we live in, regardless of what is said to the contrary, it is difficult to fully be ourselves. Recently there was a television interview conducted by Diane Sawyer on Bruce Jenner. He discussed feeling like a girl/woman since childhood and how he’s been living a lie all his life. Living to please everyone but himself. Bruce had decided to finally live life his way and is now living as a woman. Today we were introduced to her as Caitlyn Jenner and I must say she’s GORGEOUS. Serving up all kinds of beautiful fierceness!! This is a huge step for our world. I’mso truly ecstatic about this. This is going to change lives. People who once felt powerless will be empowered by her strength and courage to live exactly as she was meant to. Since my childhood I’ve always been about the business of living my life as I please and am an advocate for others to do the same. So here’s to CAITLYN JENNER!!! Way to start the week off girl! Check her out on the COVER of Vanity Fair magazine!
Being perfect is all the rage these days. Perfect hair. Perfect butt. Perfect nose. In a world that sells perfection as the standard, it’s difficult to be yourself if you don’t have a strong foundation in who you are. As a child I struggled with being myself. I knew who I was but was afraid to be that person for fear of other’s harsh opinions. Today I’ve grown, for the most part, beyond that. Many adults today have yet to grow beyond that point what with makeup ads, gorgeous models on magazine covers and on television. Product on top of product being advertised as if you are not cool or beautiful until you have them. We have girls starving themselves to be thin. There are teens injecting themselves with poison for bigger lips, hips, and everything in between. So how do we get people to love themselves exactly how they are? If we raise our children to love themselves and focus on their greatness, we have a good chance of them becoming adults who love themselves. Perhaps someone will develop an ad agency that focuses on positive body imagery. Instead of selling people what they should have , encourage them to appreciate what they do have. I’m confident our children will build a better, more progressive model of this world where perfection is being unapologetically YOU.
I like to rise higher. Evolve. Change. Explore new things, people, places. Continuing to have the same thoughts, beliefs, traditions (basically living in the past) stagnates progression in life. It’s why racism, homophobia, and so many other hateful ideals still exist. MOVE forward and upward. It’s time!
I often hear people say that their kids don’t misbehave with them because “they don’t play that” as opposed to their behavior when they’re around others. I don’t physically discipline (i.e. hit) my children (and they are not “unruly”). There are many people who do and feel it’s okay. While I am not here to criticize those who do, I will say I don’t feel hitting ANYONE ever helped them to be better. In fact, there are scientific studies that show using violence (verbal and/or physical) as a form of discipline only teaches children/people to be violent in order to get what they want. In my experience and through my own research, I’ve found that children who are harshly criticized or punished for displeasing behavior only hide that behavior from those who do the criticizing and punishing. ( side note: just because the behavior displeases you doesn’t necessarily make it wrong.) This is done out of fear. They are either afraid of being or feeling unloved, hit, or harshly punished. This does not equal respect or trust. When people in general feel safe they are able to be themselves completely. They tend to hold back when they feel unsafe or uncomfortable. My 11-year old son taught me this valuable lesson first and it has helped me to grow. Through observing and having open conversations with my children I am able to see things more from their perspective. Many times unpleasant behaviors are deemed as disrespectful. It’s possible that the child or person is reacting/responding to the energy you are giving off. As “authority figures” sometimes we need to check OURSELVES and evaluate the energy we give off. As humans, in general, it’s important to be aware of our behavior toward others, as their behavior toward us may very well be a reflection of that. To expect trust and respect when we don’t give it seems a bit one-sided. I do my best to make sure my children feel they can trust me to love them no matter how they behave. I may not like the behavior at times and will deal with it accordingly. However, I don’t withhold love or affection from them because of it. Children often exhibit their most undesirable behavior to those they trust he most because they know it’s safe to do so without the fear of unfair and unnatural consequences. Be love.
People use many paths to correct what they call “bad” or undesirable behavior. This is what has been called discipline. What is discipline exactly? As defined by many dictionaries, discipline is 1) suffering or pain as retribution; punishment 2) a field of study 3) training that corrects or molds 4) gaining control by obedience; orderly conduct. Throughout our lives, based on choices we make, naturally we experience suffering or pain in some way. Since this is true, why, do you suppose parents and/or adult caregivers insist on inflicting more pain and suffering on children? Is this to prepare them for the pain and/or suffering they may face in the future? Oh yes! Let me inflict this “good” pain on you now to prepare you for all that “bad” pain you’ll experience later in life!! Why is it called discipline when we hit children but abuse when its done to an animal, or an elderly person, women, or someone who is disabled in some way? Hitting is violence no matter what creative name you give it ( spanking, corrective discipline, etc.). Is it not considered violence because you ‘love” your child?
What if your husband or significant other hit you and told you that it was out of love? Would you thank them for their loving correction or think they’re bat shit crazy and abusive and therefore leave them?
Shaming is another method people use to coerce obedience. I’ve seen people place their children in a corner and force them to hug each other as if this will incite love, then post it to social networking sites like it’s some great feat. I’ve also seen children made to wear oversized shirts called “get along shirts” in an effort to force siblings to get along. This is shaming. It’s also ridiculous! It solves nothing. Do you think putting a homophobe and a gay man in a shirt together will make the homophobe like gays? NO!! See my point? For one thing, it teaches our children to lie when we do this. To feign feelings that aren’t there at the moment. Then we turn around and punish them when they lie to us.
Is corporal punishment or punishment period effective? If your goal is to raise blindly obedient and subservient children in society the answer is yes. If your goal is to develop independent, mentally and emotionally healthy, critically thinking children the answer is no. Spanking and many punishments lead to mental imbalances which in many ways contribute the current state of our world. Much research has been done that proves this. I liken spanking to slavery. Slaves were yelled at, punished, and beat with whips so that they would fear their owners and be obedient to their demands. However, many didn’t allow their spirits to be broken IN SPITE OF the terrible treatment. We must look for more effective ways of disciplining our children if we want them to inherit a better world.