Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 33: Loving Yourself

There's no way in the world that anyone can tell me that you can love fully and completely when you don't love yourself.  You cannot let go.  You cannot really embrace.  You cannot allow yourself to fall.  You're too guarded.  Too scared.  Too worried.  Even if you find someone who loves you the way you need to be loved, total acceptance still won't be possible.  You're too blocked.  You've got too much personal baggage.  You've got to release it.  You've got to fall in love with yourself before you can really allow someone else to love you.

Day 32: A Direct Route to Divine Power

Man can proclaim to be as wholly holy, devout, and pure as possible.  But it never changes our human nature.  Our innate fallibility and imperfection.  Our tendency to pass judgment, to boast, and be haughtily bound in our approach.  Some of us can't help being ourselves in everything man has "created" - even religion.  We were made in his image but are not the image.  We may be Christians or working to be Christians, but we are not Christ.  We are not God, Buddha, Allah, Vishnu, Shiva, or any god of worship.  That's why I will never allow anyone to tell me about how I should live my life, force their beliefs upon me, or tell me about how my relationship works with The Creator.  It's personal territory.  It's mine.  It's about my spirituality and my spirituality determines how I believe my relationship should be.  Advice and guidance are one thing.  But you do not rule my path to higher power.  Because I - like you, like everyone else - has a direct route all day, everyday.  And there's nothing that any man can do to change that.

Day 31: On A Mission

I doubt there will ever come a time when we will like everything and everybody in this universe.  We're fickle, finicky, and at times very adamant about what we like (and don't like).  And other times, we can be downright nasty about it.  Shady too.  Knowing this - why would we ever strive to to please everybody?  We need to please ourselves first and foremost.  Maybe we'd stand a better chance at achieving the things we're so passionate about.  Maybe then we'd be on a mission that nothing and no one could abolish.  That's when you know it's deep.  That's when you know it's meant for you.  That's when people can say or do anything but won't break your faith, determination, or steadfast nature.  When you're on a mission to please you (and The Creator) nothing will stop you.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 30: Obligation & Convenience in Relationships

Two things that can keep someone in a relationship are convenience and obligation.  After a particular span of time, people get complacent.  They become very comfortable with where they are.  Even when they know they deserve better - they stay.  They'd rather suffer than make the move on to something better suited for themselves.  They also may be weary of hurting their mates feelings.  And they may be feeling that staying (because of the time put in - amongst other things) is what they're supposed to do.  Well, you've got to think about your heart.  If after all this time things still haven't changed or don't look like they will change - it's time to go.  Doesn't matter what or who you're leaving behind.  Happiness and joy are not worth your accommodating someone who is not meant for you.  Why suffer in silence?  Put yourself first.

Day 29: The Way You See Yourself

One must think as positive about themselves as possible.  The way you think and feel about yourself reflects and reveals itself to others.  So if you have a negative view of yourself - you may need to take a step back and re-think how you see yourself and change it.  Positivity goes a long way and always makes a substantial difference in many of life's situations.

Day 28: Getting Beyond Blame

We have the power to make great changes in our lives. Our power, in this vein, can manifest in both good and bad ways. At times, we can be our best champions or our worst detractors. And when we detract from ourselves—time to recover and recoup can be lengthy. After a certain phase in our lives, it matters not whether others or we were to blame for our misfortunes. That's because the responsibility for the outcome and our personal resolution(s) remains with us. This responsibility cannot be placed elsewhere. No scapegoating or excuses, because our power and our choices will be at play. It’s imperative that we use our power and make choices wisely.  We must get beyond the blame.

Day 27: Other People & Their Problems

When it comes to other people and other people's problems - there's only little we can do.  It's up to them to make the changes and transitions necessary for improvements in life. You can advise, counsel, support, and love them all you want.  But if they don't want things to be better for themselves - you might as well proceed like it's business (your business) as usual.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Day 26: Make Time For Yourself

Doesn't make sense to run yourself into the ground.  You've got to make time to replenish yourself. Do the things you love to do.  Do the things that relax you.  The things that keep you centered when everything around you has embraced insanity as its BFF.  Do for you what no one else can.  Make the time.  Take the time to care for you.

Day 25: Fear

Fear can be debilitating.  It can hold you captive, but in a way that is more detrimental to you and your progress.  You have to get over the insecurities, the self-doubt, and all that you've allowed to hold you back.  You have to let go if you want to claim what's rightfully yours (completely, without the baggage).

Day 24: Ego-Tripping

Here's a little reality check for all those who've been ego-tripping lately... There's more to life & more to the world than you.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Day 23: Faith & Determination

When you're really pushing to achieve something the negative forces will always try to deter you.   This is especially true during our bleakest and most difficult times.  You have to be steadfast and hold on to your faith.  It isn't easy.  But it's better coming out of the fire having done the right thing instead of the wrong thing.

Day 22: Outside The Comfort Zone

The tried & true methods are not always the best ways to approach problems.  Sometimes you have to step outside of the place where you feel most comfortable in order to move forward.  Looking towards new methods you are not accustomed to may be the way to go.  Take the risk - you never know.

Day 21: Balance

There's something to be said about someone who is so selfless and giving of themselves to other things and people.  There's also something to be said about someone who is so selfless and giving that they neglect themselves. You've got to find the balance between everything, everyone else, and you. Otherwise, this kind of imbalance can lead to self-inflicted burn out (amongst so many other things).

Day 20: So-called Communication

Doesn't seem to be many of us around who are interested in or care to really communicate anymore.  So much is misunderstood, misconstrued, and taken out or put in the wrong context.  If we thought before we spoke (or wrote), did our research, went straight to the source instead of making assumptions and passing judgment, and asked the right people the right questions - so much bullshit would be eliminated.

Day 19: Real Greatness

You may be the best at what you do.  Amazingly gifted and talented.  But none of that matters if you aren't using what you've been blessed with to inspire, motivate, nurture, guide, and assist those coming up with or behind you.  It's about giving back what you've been so fortunate with.  Is there anything worse than a truly talented person who's not only boastful, arrogant and egotistical but selfish too?

Day 18: Talking Shit

People will always have shit to say.  It's part of the human makeup.  Unfortunately, the things people say tend to be more on the illogical, biased, ignorant, or negative side.  But when there's a problem or an issue that needs to be addressed, if you're not bringing anything relevant or constructive to the table - do everyone else a favor & shut the fuck up!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Day 17: No More

No more second guessing
Time to cast away the doubts,
The insecurities and the fears
And go with my gut instincts
The first thought or answer to come to mind is usually true

No more beating up myself
What's done is done -- it's a thing of the past
Time to accept it, reflect upon it, gain from it, and move on

No more bouts with despair
Time to move beyond and get over things that I simply do not have the power
Or control to change

No more worrying
Time to channel that energy into something better
Something useful
Something creative
Time to just live and let it be

No more tears being wasted
On those who said that they loved me
Or those who said that they cared
It's their loss, not yours

No more sweating the small stuff
Because it's just that
Time to accept letdowns and disappointments as tests of character,
Endurance and strength
They are gifts in disguise
It's all a part of life's journey
And I'm going to enjoy the ride
Whatever happens, happens
However the cards will be dealt
I can guarantee this:
The game will be played and it will be played well

I am now more aware of myself than ever before
I realize that nothing is wrong with me
I am perfectly fine
No more downgrading or shortchanging
I accept myself for who I am
I will not bow down or fall victim to the expectations
Of what everyone says I am supposed to be

No more
I am all of who I am supposed to be and much more
Take it or leave it

(c) BuddahDesmond

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 16: Round Midnight: A Tribute to Great-Grandpa

On the afternoon of March 14th, my great-grandfather died.  He was 95 years old.  He'd been sick for the last several months.  He was semi-comatose during the last several weeks of his life.  But up until that time - he was still hanging, still going strong.  He lived a long happy life.  Not many people live that long.  And it's truly a remarkable thing.  He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather.  He was a supporter, inspiration, mentor, and role model.  He was a military veteran who took pride in serving his country and worked in the federal government for 33 years.  He was also a self-taught jazz musician who didn't read music.  He had several instrumental and vocal bands that toured the East coast.  Music was his passion.  Though he didn't get to completely follow his passion due to his love and commitment to his family, his passion for music and his talent never ceased.  He is one of the reasons why my love for music (jazz in particular) and singing is so strong.  He gave me a deeper appreciation for jazz and musicianship.  So this one's for Jazzman Gus, one of many names he was affectionately called.  Here's a classic jazz tune, "Round Midnight" written by the phenomenal pianist/composer Thelonious Monk and performed by Sassy/The Divine One, Sarah Vaughan.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Day 15: You Know What The Bible Says...

A few weeks ago I came out to one of my best childhood buddies.  We'd known each since the fourth grade.  Though we lost touch a few times along the way due to distance, we never lost our bond or connection.  It seemed to grow stronger over the years.  We went through and experienced a lot - individually and collectively.  And he'd been there with me - through most of it.

So I have no idea why I waited so long to come out to him.  There's a part of me that didn't think he'd have a problem with it and that he'd be fine.  I thought, "Hell, he probably already knows - he's just waiting for me to tell him."  And then there's another part of me that was hesitant.  When I was away in college, he became a born-again Christian.  And I thought that there's a great possibility that he either won't accept me or if he does - he might rub the sin, scripture, Bible, Christian thing at me.

I wanted to speak with him in person or at least over the phone about this.  But due to hectic schedules, we kept missing each other. So I opted to do it via email (not my mode of choice, but hey...).  Here's a portion of his reply to my email:
You know I look at you as a brother and really want you to live a long, prosperous, joyous & blessed life. You also know my religious views being a Christian rapper and all I'm sure you know where the Christian belief stands on homosexuality. The bible tells me that it's a sin against God, but it also says that no sin is greater than another and that sin (including homosexuality) can be forgiven. You see God loves is greater than anything sin and His love is the definition of unconditional... My beliefs will not allow me to celebrate what the Word of God calls sin HOWEVER just as God still loves you; so do I. It doesn't mean that the bond of friendship is any weaker on my end...
I just don't know what or how to respond.  I was both angry and somewhat content with the response. Content because this is what I was expecting him to say and this is why I was hesitant in telling him anyway.  Angry because I'm so sick and tired of hearing this sin bullshit.  And I'm sorry but it's bullshit.  God made me the way that I am for a reason.  My being gay is not a choice or something that I can just turn on and off like a light switch.  It's part of me.  It doesn't consume me and it doesn't cloud everything that I do.  But you cannot acknowledge me in totality without acknowledging that part of me.  And as a lifelong friend, I guess I was just thinking that he'd be able to see completely beyond this and accept me totally, wholly.  Maybe I'm asking for too much.  Maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing.  Maybe I asked for it.  But at what point do you get beyond the scripture to the realness in life and the substance of the realness staring in your all of its divinity?  What would you do?

Day 14: From Beauty to Ugliness

Welcome to the Blizzard of 2010!  It's winter in the DC Metro Area and it's a big mess.  After over 20 inches of snow, people are losing or have lost their minds, patience, and humanity (practically). People were fighting in the grocery stores over food.  Driving like bats out of hell on the roads.  And expecting cleaning crews to do magic tricks to get things back in order.  With this much snow, normalcy will be a dream not achieved for some time.  Many of our neighborhoods still have yet to be plowed, many of us don't have power, and have no way of getting around (if you're depending on public transportation).

My fiance' & I have been without power and heat since last Friday night (when the storm hit).  You could see your breath in front of your face in our place.  It was just that cold.  We couldn't spend another night at home so we decided to try to get a hotel room.  Because the roads were so bad we couldn't get to the strip where most of the hotels were in our area (Rockville/Bethesda), so we ended up heading to my mom & granny's house.  What was usually a one-hour trip took almost two hours.  It was a scary trip.  Many of the street lights were out.  Only the left and right lanes were clear.  The center lanes were full of ice and compacted snow.  We were on edge the whole way.  But we made it safely (thank god).

Since the roads are still terrible - we're staying put (working from mom & granny's until further notice).  I typically take public transportation to and from work everyday so you know that's out of the question.  The underground stations are the only stations being serviced.  Bus and Marc train service is limited. You'd be out of your mind to even think about a taxi.

There's really not much we can do besides hoping and praying for the best.  The really sad part of it all is that this area never seems to be prepared for any major emergency.  And I think for it to be the DC Metro Area that it's totally unacceptable.  People are freezing in their homes, looking for their next meals... They can't even get off their streets to go to the store let alone to work.  Pepco can't get to the affected areas without power because plows have yet to clear many streets (especially in Montgomery County).  Had this been technological or biological warfare it would be every man, woman, and child for themselves.  I can't bare to imagine what it would be in either of these situations...  The meteorologists are predicting that we may get another foot or more of snow between Tuesday and Wednesday...

Snow...  It's so beautiful and peaceful when it snows.  So quiet, so Edenic, so pure...  But in the aftermath - snow loses it's beauty and brings out the ugliness in people, the process for clean-up, and the issues that arise when government fails to have a plan in place in the event of a snow emergency.  Yes, welcome to the Blizzard of 2010!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Day 13: At the Fork in the Road

I've been sitting at my computer for several hours this evening...  Much of it was spent staring at the screen, staring into space, or staring at the tablet of paper I'd been scribbling on.  I couldn't concentrate for the life of me.  I've been so busy at work (and kinda at home) that I don't think my mind has been able to rest unless I was actually sleeping.  And if it lingers for too long - I start to get pissed and will get really close to saying "fuck it."  With the schedule I have and the deadlines between work, school, and my personal life - I don't always have the luxury of saying "fuck it."  But I've been more than willing to pay the consequences when I did it in the

At this point in my professional life, I feel as if I'm longing, yearning for more.  I love the job and what I'm doing (or what I've done).  But I'm just not feeling that fulfilled.  I'm bored.  I feel as if I'm on auto-tune...just going thru the motions - not anywhere near as enthusiastic as I used to be.  And this is something that has not changed in the last few months.  And the feelings seem to be strengthening.  I feel like I need to be challenged in new and exciting ways.  And I'm just not seeing it where I am now.  That is unless things change.  We're still in the midst of re-organization (however this process hasn't been addressed to us formally since April 2009).  We just turned in our performance appraisals a few weeks ago.  It'll be awhile before our supervisor gets back to us about them.  I can say that I did quite a bit in 2009 and I did it all to the best of my ability.  But am I that thrilled about any of it anymore?  No, not really.  On top of that, I just don't feel as if I fit in with department anymore.  I feel kinda out of place.  The culture in my department has/is changing again - and it's changing rapidly.  Nothing like what it used to be in first two years.  And I'm not sure that that's a good thing either.

So I think I've come to the fork in the road.  I'm at the crossroads.  And the part that worries (and I'm not sure that "worries" is the best word) me most is the fact that I haven't quite figured out what to do about it.  I don't necessarily want to leave the company.  And I don't want to leave the people I've become close with.  But I don't want to squalor in complacency or contempt either.  I'm blessed to have bit a talents, gifts, skills, and experience to pull from.  It's just a matter of what I'm going to pull from and where do I want it to take me next.  Whatever it is - I'm sure I'll make the best decision I see fit for me personally and professionally.  I just hope and pray it'll go well.  One things for sure - I cannot afford to be depressed about my worklife.  I don't have time for that shit.  Gotta keep it moving if that's the case.  I'll just have to hold tight however, until something else/better comes along. Pray for me...

Now playing: Vanessa Williams - Just Friends
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 12: Poetry Spotlight - Not Anymore

Not Anymore

Taking out the trash.
Getting rid of all the old shit.
Locating all the hidden treasures that squandered
     in the presence of you.

Started over.
Went from lost to found.
Spirit renewedfound a new love,
Not as costly or exhausting as the love I had
     with you.

Got it right this time.
Didn't give way to self-doubt.
No more self-interrogation.
No longer being the criminal to the victim always played
     by you.
I realized when problems in relationships arise,
It's usually not just one party to blameit's two.

I've washed myself clean.
Still have my issues,
But I acknowledge them and make it known.
There's always room for improvement.
But I can be myself.
No need to hide or disguise face, as if I would at heartbreak's
     masquerade ball.
I've been welcomed and accepted completely.
And did I say loved?
Loved like nobody's business.
Loved better than I could ever dream of.
So there's no need
     to look back

(c) 2009 BuddahDesmond

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 11: Poetry Spotlight - Ain't Worth It

Ain't Worth It

Why get fully vested in something that has yet to prove
     its future's promise?
Why get emotionally involved when you still are unsure
     if he or she has your heart and you have theirs?
What's the sense in crying over it if the tears and your efforts
     won't change a thing?

When substance isn't fully formed,
And the foundation is absent or still weak
It's too much to give your all if you haven't seen a return...
     especially when he or she is fixed, unbending.

When the union can't get beyond shallow matters
Ain't no sense looking for depth.
Cause superficial love ain't love at all.
It's all a facade
A fantasy of what it could but will never be.

If you're looking in others for what you can't do or find in yourself
You're hopeless.
You're only killing timeyours and others
When you drag someone else along and you're not ready
    (or you know they're not ready) for the commitment.
The wise choice:
Go play.
Get it out of your system.
Or stay single until you're ready.
Cause it ain't worth it.

(c) BuddahDesmond
Now playing: Amel Larrieux - Weary
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 10: Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way Every Day"

For the last few weeks I've been reading Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way Every Day: A Year of Creative Living.  I find the information to be very inspiring, motivating, and refreshing.   Being a creative, artistic person - this is the jump start I need to begin the new year.  I've noticed since late last summer that I've had very few opportunities to delve deeply into my creative self.  And it's been killing me.  I feel like I've been neglecting a part of myself that I've otherwise had no problem nourishing.  And considering the fact that I started nourishing this part of myself at the early age of four - I'm like, "What the hell happened?"  But I won't fret.  I've never been one to force my creative self into doing something just to do it.  I have to feel it.  I have to be in the mood.  Each time I force myself into doing anything in this regard I hate the outcome.  And whatever is produced usually goes in the trash.  I realize that I need to give my creative self the space to process, exist, and grow.  And that I need to uplift and inspire my creative self just like I would any other component of my being.  I can move on now with a better perspective.  Here are a few takeaways from the book.

From January 11: "We expect our artist to be able to function without giving it what it needs to do so. An artist requires the upkeep of creative solitude. An artist requires the healing of time alone" (p. 17).

From January 13: "Writing goes much better when we don't work at it so much. When we give ourselves the permission to just hang out on the page" (p. 19).

From January 15: "When we open ourselves to something or someone greater than ourselves working through us, we paradoxically open ourselves to our own greatest selves" (p. 21).
Now playing: Mary J. Blige - Each Tear
via FoxyTunes

Day 9: Rihanna - Rated R

I must say that I was quite surprised after listening to Rihanna's latest album.  I found it to be quite good.  It's a dark, emotional album that offers a deeper glimpse into the mind and artistry of one of the world's most popular singers/entertainers.  The sound and style of this album is quite different from what we've heard before (which may be one of many reasons why some fans have turned away). There's a musical versatility not quite seen on previous releases.  Rihanna's vocal performances seem a little more seasoned and confident and sprinkled with more emotion (thankfully).  And I think we now see the perfect melding of her image and musical style.  It may not flow well on this side of the Atlantic but that's probably due in large part to the fickle nature of our audience.  I give Rihanna lots of credit for pushing her talent into a different direction and taking some risks.  One thing the world didn't need was Girl Good Gone Bad, Part II.  And with "Hard" becoming her 13th top ten hit on the Billboard Charts, looks like "Rihanna Reign" won't be letting up anytime soon.