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"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Beyond Thanksgiving Towards Personal Growth

Now that we've allowed the thanksgiving Holy Day to become the slingshot into the christmas shopping season, complete with the maniacal black friday opening act, I wonder if thankful is how we're really living?

I am thankful for my portion of the Spirit.
My appreciation lies with my children.
I have much gratitude for those I've never seen but extend their self in order to extend a helping hand. Jeisea is one of those people whose kindness, courage and strength epitomize personal growth and perseverance.
I appreciate those who get up or help others get up.
I am thankful for opportunity more than attainment.
I am thankful for not wasting natural resources.

As I considered what to write for today, I received a call from my sister. I am thankful for conversations. She just turned 50, started her renaissance in her early forties, maintaining rhythm and progressing.

I appreciate having the daily choice to celebrate thankfulness and in my own way. Especially in much smaller, simpler, less overindulgent ways. Can we really be thankful if we're not reaching for our better selves? Any day towards personal growth is a Happy Holy Day yet days we fail to celebrate are just as sacred. Anybody for an everyday celebration or a Personal Growth Party where we eat enrichment, not entertainment, and drink wisdoms and enjoy the desserts of diversity and dreams?

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

1 Giant Leap for Creativity

This music review showcases the perfect example of what connecting the disconnected is all about.

Title: "What About Me?"
Artists: Various Artists
Producers: 1 Giant Leap (Jamie Catto & Duncan Bridgeman)
Format: Double CD
Genre: World Music, Pop & Dance

I'm fortunate to have experienced the imaginative and intuitive music of "What About Me?" It is a stimulating journey of discovery and renewal while urging the redemption of our better selves for the betterment of our world. In a sense, it goes a long way towards mapping our global connection through the spiritual DNA of creativity.

Listening to sounds of unfamiliar instruments rise, merge and beckon, is like slipping into a virtual jam session full of artisans being intimate with life. The first track, "Come To The Edge," wastes no time moving us forward with its opening lines:

“Come to the edge,” we said.
And they said “No, it's too high.”
“Come to the edge,” we said.
And they said “No, we will fall.”
“Come to the edge,” we said.
And they very reluctantly came.
And we pushed.
And they flew.

From this contemplative start, the diversity and depth of this collection allow it to be both energizing and soothing. Reflection, finger-snapping and body movements just happen.

There are a few words of profanity in the song, “What I Need Is Something Different.” It doesn't bother me but it might offend some listeners.

In the midst of the creativity, there is a celebration of culture and the renewed belief that all it takes is one giant leap to travel among continents. This is what is possible when cultures collaborate instead of compete. I highly recommend this two-cd set for anyone open to a multicultural artistic experience.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Spirituality: Child of a Greater God

The gods are a funny lot. Even though they know I love to write and have been practicing and patient, they have chosen to bestow their creative abundance on a ten-year-old.

These are the same gods who ignore my pleading by day though I offer pieces of my soul in exchange. They wait, slip into my dreams and fingerpaint images on my eyelids. I awake to laughter and forgetfulness. That's how they treat me. Sometimes I am able to eavesdrop and snatch a few ideas as they relive their mischief.

The other day my son told me a story he's working on will be 68 pages long.
“How do you know?” I asked in jest.
“Because the notebook was 70 pages but I tore two of them out,” he said. His matter of fact confidence is justified by the umpteen hundred stories he's already written.

When Omari writes, he does so with the relentless passion of the Rocking Horse Winner. It's as if he can see the entire story and is plagiarizing the spirit. Other than the gods, perhaps its simply the ancestors who have adopted him and are taking turns whispering words only spoken in heavenly places.

His stories are funny, historic, insightful, factual and daring with details exhibiting awareness and incorporating the senses. He is a spelling champion, writer, music maker, announcer, illustrator, funny guy and many more things creative and otherwise.

If he chooses, he will contribute to art, literature and thought in ways that will dispel things needing no current explanation. The artistic and academic gifts he possesses defy my genes. I've been skipped over before but this is ridiculous. I need an affirmative angel. Until then, I'll be begging for blessings and learning to cope and live with the child of a greater god.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Personal Growth Requires Humor & Laughter

The ability to look on the funny side of things is just as important as looking on the bright side. If you're truly serious about personal growth you'll laugh a lot along the way. It's good for the spirit. In addition to the satire on this blog, here's some humor that has helped me during crazier-than-usual times.

It's fabulous so many are becoming involved in the political process. This interest has also spilled into the national economic crisis. With so many debates and discussions surrounding these issues, it's easy for many newcomers to get some information a little mixed up. My sister is one of them. She thinks Jimmy Buffet is who Barack Obama said could help with economic policy. It's Warren Buffet. She didn't question me at all when I said, the name of Warren and Jimmy's grandfather is Old Country. I'm glad she's at least voting for change.

I'm amazed at how many people, when given the choice: You can be a fool if you want to, will choose that option.

Things are getting so bad in the economy, I went to rob a bank and they took my money.

Laughter is the best medicine because it's a free legal stimulant. Give me a hit of humor and I'm good to go. At least until I'm feenin' for my next funny fix.

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