"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)



“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Half-Stepping

I moved away from a rigid adherence to holidays several years ago. My awareness was on a time limit right along with the meaning of the holidays. I was only aware of peace on earth and goodwill towards men at a certain time. I was only aware of being thankful at a certain time. I was only aware of celebrating independence at a certain time. At all other times, a respected routine helped me ride out the wait for the next thing to celebrate.

Since it was not on the calendar, I was not celebrating me. I had no personal celebration in mind. Since nothing or no one was shaking me out of my stupor, I was settled in like sediment. I was not honoring hundreds of days of my life. This lack of awareness caused me to half do whatever I was doing. I ate up a bunch of resources. At the same time, I helped myself to a full helping of half-stepping.

Half-stepping is the same as half-asterisk. It is a low quality, low standard, low expectation way of thinking and living. I was doing fine by worldly standards with my degrees, job, house, car, bank accounts, vacations with photo proof, and more, but still half-stepping. I was not reaching, stretching or “raising the bar” for myself and my relationships. Half-stepping lazied me into feeling satisfied with being busy instead of being better.

Half-stepping steps in the way of progress by occupying me with a whole lot of activity that adds up to a bunch of nothing. I've seen evidence of this over and over again at the end of people's days. It up to me to learn to avoid those mistakes so the story of my life is not a replay of the same regrets. Half-stepping is not dedicating time to rest, to reflect and to rejuvenate on a regular basis so I can stay aware of what I should be doing with my life.

Half-stepping is having a to-do list but not having a to-live list. If I am not doing what I was born to bring forth for the world, I am half-stepping no matter how great I am held up to be. How am I supposed to celebrate the first fruits of the harvest when I'm not planting, tending or harvesting any natural goodness and freshness into my life? If I am not doing what I was born to bring forth for the world, I am half-stepping.

Half-stepping is waking up each day but not putting much effort into waking up my mind and spirit. It is a mentality of running here and there instead of trying to get there from here. I know you feel it...stuck in traffic...unable to do anything because the way you're going is the best way 'you know how' to get there . You've settled in and accepted 'the fact' that what you have to deal with comes with the territory.

How do I get there from here? I go the way where there's never any traffic. The spirit is bursting with blessings. It is able at any moment to scoop up handfuls of heavenly here-you-go's. Once I value and respect this resource, reach out, stretch, trust, reach, believe in my value, submit to guidance, reach, give up distractions, reach and reach again, then I'll be able to receive what the spirit is trying to give. It will be mine. It will be the world's. Then I'll remain aware of how sacred, holy and precious gifts are. I'll understand what it takes to have these additional, unique, custom-made-for-me gifts and I won't take them for granted any longer. There you go.

Try going this way once. Just try it and see. You can go where you dream of going. It doesn't matter how many people are trying to go to the same place at the same time and how many are already there. The road was made for you. The speed limit is fast. Your seat is reserved. The only thing stopping you is you. A lot of what we think we have to put up with, especially other people's behavior, is simply because we're not going the best way possible. I am a work-in-progress not a stuck-in-traffic. I am fortunate.

Most Christmas movies and stories are about people forgetting and then realizing the true value of something. It's good to value the true meaning of Christmas; however, it does me no good if I'm not aware of my own true meaning. I can celebrate them both, all the time, by knowing what I'm about and by being better.

Several years ago I made a personal calendar to remind me what I should be celebrating and when. I now work on me and celebrate living each day, one full stride at a time.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Clarity From Children

Broccoli is on the short list of green veggies my son eats without smothering with some sort of sauce. I'd like to keep it that way.

In an effort to help him become one with broccoli, we are growing some. We periodically go in the back yard to check on its progress. The two plants, like the two of us, are braced against the cold. Side shoots have formed. He cut the center heads which made our first harvest official. He dropped them into a plastic bag then we hurried inside.

Anticipation of this agricultural event caused me to open the bag as soon as my coat was off. I brought it towards my nose. I was greeted by the two small florets as though they were trying to escape. They emitted a powerful, intoxicating essence. My son said they smelled green.

I knew our broccoli would not be enough for a meal so I bought some the day before. We opened this “fresh” package. My son said it smelled like air. To be clear, the air in our house did not and does not smell like broccoli.


Later that evening my son read a poem of approximately twenty lines. Without hesitation he gave a very thorough explanation of the meaning he absorbed. He did so referencing points in the poem. He responded confidently to fleshing out questions. He's eleven and a sixth grader. It was an invigorating environment. We were as one with growing, breathing and learning. Clarity was in the air.

Related Links:

Another Dangerous Habit
Mother's Day Poem - Motherly
Pleasures Of Nature

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Break Away, Still Away

My Big Break – Part II

They let me go one mild morning.
No longer licensed to make boilerplates.
After putting on the same uniform, I walked from the gatehouse.
The guards shot poorly. I hit one with a rock.
The accident and innocence claims would have to be adjusted just so.
Dogs came and barked; but left, since I wasn't running.
That's what happens when you send lap dogs to a hunting dog's job.
Each step into the full world was accompanied by a livening understanding.
Though inmates sometimes gain control of prisons, they're always still in prison. As they carried on, I moved to be still among reeds and waters.

Sometimes you gotta be still
Before you can get ahead
Be still
Ask the universe for help
Be real
You can't do it all by yourself
Sometimes, sometimes you gotta be still
It takes some time to rejuvenate
Be still
Take some time to clear your space
Be real
Chaos isn't good for your health


(From Slow Down, India.Arie, Voyage To India)

Taking time to rejuvenate is a critical step I must take if I'm ever going to break away from anything. I need time to re-energize and reclaim awareness of my "why I'm here to-do list."

There's not enough time after work, on weekends, during jollydays or while on a two week vacation. It takes a lot of time to break away from whatever has been holding me for forever. I need long, extended periods of uninterrupted, by-myself time to break away from habits, to break away from routines, to break away from all my mindsets and to break away from things I might not realize keep me orbiting around bodies of foreign beliefs and unnatural behaviors that hold me in place, never allowing me to find fulfillment in the Styrofoam world my life revolves around. I need time to get to know my spirit better.

I need time to build up enough energy to reach escape velocity and break away from the atmosphere and gravitational forces that have kept me circling like crazy. If I don't dedicate enough time, I will be pulled, sucked, dragged and welcomed back in.

Jesus took forty days and nights by himself away from everyone and everything. My guess is that I need just as much time away and more. When anyone is successfully rehabilitated from the menacing effects of self-administered drugs, they are placed in a very different environment for as long as it takes. I've been under the influence for a long time. I need time to get to know the me I'm going to be from here on out.

Breaking away necessitates leaving the present environment. Millions can attest to that. Now that I'm on the other side of that wall and no longer hanging out in the yard, I have a far greater chance of thriving despite the circumstances as opposed to surviving under the circumstances. I did some breaking and entering to get myself into that kinda mess and now I'm breaking and stilling away.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One Second Future

Borrowing Against The Future

I used to think of time occurring as the past first, then the present, then the future. Turns out this is true only when I view time as a stagnant event. When I view time as a moving event, I realize time occurs in the opposite direction. The future occurs first, then the present, then the past. This means I always live one second at a time, in the present, using one second at a time, borrowed from the future.

The instant I was born, I did not have a past. I only had that present instant and then another and another. Where does each instant/second come from? It comes from the future.

As each future instant is given to me and then used in the present, each one moves into and adds up to become my past. It is always this way. Just because I'm older, doesn't mean my past happened first. If my past is now occurring first, I would be living my life backwards. If I keep thinking my past occurs first I really am living my life backwards because my approach to living is backwards. I'm going about it the wrong way. I am out of order and so is my life because I have time in the wrong order.

Time Soliloquy

My understanding, approach and use of time determines everything. If I look at time in large groups of seconds such as a year or a month or a week or a day or an hour or a minute, I will always think I have another large group of time just waiting for me. I'll fool myself into believing I have a heckuva lot more than I should reasonably expect and more than I can borrow.

Every Time Is The First Time

I've had nearly 1.5 trillion opportunities represented by seconds of time. Yet, there is no deep depository of time called “The Future.” There is no tomorrow. The future contains one second only. Future time is freshly created and is instantly handed to me in the present. Present time is used and instantly handed into the past. Time moves quickly through this short and seemingly nonstop process.

Thank goodness I can't borrow more time than I can use at any given second especially since there are no rollover seconds for later use. There is no do over of time. One second, one shot. There is no saving time. It's here and then it's gone. There is no wasting time. It still matters and has an effect. It still adds up and fills up my past.

Just like empty calories, wasted time might have seemed right or good or necessary then, but I received no nourishment and am ultimately left with a past full of time but a nagging, empty feeling I can't stomach. This miserable feeling is so strong it stays in the front of my memory. From there it can easily creep from the past into the present leaving me unable to concentrate on each new, start over second I have.

This can stop happening in an instant. Each time I get a brand new, unmessed up second, I can help make it different, very different. A one second future is more powerful than every second in the past.