We all have opinions on many things……some warranted….some just cause we don’t want to be perceived as wrong, a wimp, or not against the flow of popular opinion. But where is the balance?????….…….
I write this post from the position that I am at odds with the negative aspects of the world that we live in right now……soul sapping manipulations……..blatant indignities against what is right…….blind eyes to the way that “our” world is supposed to be……human cruelty, murder, one-ups-manship, use and abuse, politics…..political agendas…..all common place…….Where does it end????……
I am not speaking of the conscious acts…sometimes we may need to be our brothers keeper….For this post, I am speaking of those blatant “conscious” intents of power plays……”Power”…..a term that has been around since the beginning of time….Oh, but now…….the playing field is not level…….dollars, ideologies, pompousness, control, egos, rigidity, flawed upbringings, lack of being grounded in God and self…negating the intelligence of another because of visual differences or “just because”… lack of conscious…….and I could go on……
Sometimes, I don’t want to watch the news because I am sure that someone is putting a “spin” on some notion of “a realism that is not reality”…..that someone is staging a plight against something or someone…..that someone, some organization, some cause, is not considering the implications of their ill-willed notions……that someone just wants to control…….us…them…..life….me…..you….our existence……with their opinion… with their spin…maybe not an opinion after all, but something they feel they need to do to which may not be in the best interest of mankind…..
This post is not about calling anybody out…..it’s intent is to just say…….keep” US” (me) out of “YOUR” agendas………My “US (me)” is collective……and has no boundaries in terms of race, sex, and religion or geography. My “US” (me) is “people-centric”……and at the end of the day…..when things get really important…..it boils down to God, family, friends, and the people we love……and being cognizant of individual differences……and being so grateful for our loved ones.
In terms of how social media, the media, (in whatever form), has narrowed that divide…Their barrage…..their strategic plot to get me to think like they do…..and to fall into line with what is against my ilk………And guess what……do you remember the term “six degrees of separation”…….At this point, six degrees of separation has been narrowed to less than one degree….if even that……with a whole new definition……..and the original intent of the term does not suffice relative to its original intent…….
The way things are being set up….. (life…..living….work….relationships……manhood….womanhood….black man, white man, man of another color, man of another religion that is different than us, you, and me.)……feeling like we are pawns being strategically managed………Not good…..
An on-going quest for peace, tranquility, and balance…
(An excerpt from Revelations , a poem from the collection,
“Voice From the Soul of Trees” by Celestine McMullen Allen)
This post is about embracing and understanding the power of self. This post is about the power of knowledge, specifically self knowledge. This post is about taking the time, in whatever intervals, to allow time for a personal assessment of self. This post is about taking the time to do a personal introspection on me.
Of course, this activity takes place on a regular basis, but since I have some downtime and not currently working, I have had an ample amount of time to get “into my head”. This downtime is welcome in that it has allowed me the opportunity to decompress, to release, and to relax – as in de-stress. This valued time has also allowed me time to focus on me.
Over the years, professionally, my career has been about helping others, lending an ear when one was needed, advocating a cause, helping people to understand themselves and their emotions, helping others to follow “viable” career paths, helping others to secure employment opportunities, and helping others to understand that” the glass is always half full versus being half empty”. Over the years, personally, I have been immersed into the heart string of my family, siblings, extended, and otherwise – a perpetual sister, auntie, cousin, great auntie, and friend. These combined activities, both professionally and personally are all emotional, fulfilling, soul zapping, soul satiating, and rewarding on so many levels. I have embraced these essences of life, oftentimes, carrying the weight of others’ burdens, hurts, and pain as if they were my own. And because I am a poet, a writer, have a sensitive soul and a strong “personal antennae” and “people gut” – I truly eat, live, and breathe these emotions.
There is a saying that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Trust me, this has not been the case for me and I have done everything I can to keep from falling into this trap. I am a constant thinker, and over the years have learned how to “relax”. But I also know how to focus on activities that are important to me. This time has allowed for deep reflection, introspection, continuing to understand me, and most importantly, focusing on my desire to continue on the path of God’s plan for me. I have been using this time to discern my own career options, if it were time for a career change, and determining which skill sets I want to focus on that truly define me. I have been focusing on what new books to write, – several of which are in progress now. I have also been continuing my efforts to promote my first book, “Voice from the Soul of Trees”.
One thing I do know and understand, I will continue to keep my finger on the pulse of mankind, which is a natural stance for me. I will continue to write and share messages of life, love and hope. I will continue to learn. And most importantly, I will remain true to myself. In writing this post, I was reminded of how I philosophically try to live my own life. My philosophy of living is based on embracing the following basic concepts and continuing to be a “good person with a good heart”:
It is never good to “force fit” situations of life.
In times of personal turmoil, pray, let go, and let God.
There is always a time for compromise, but never to the detriment of my personal convictions.
Listen to the voice “in my head”, be discerning, and act accordingly.
Just because…..by Celestine……”life, our glass houses and understanding of life”
I have not posted on this blog for several weeks. I was personally wrapped up in emotions that consumed me. I decided to “be still” for a minute. I decided to let life flow. And when the time came, I knew that my time to write would ripen again. I felt the need to brew. I felt the need to step back. There is nothing worse than sharing forced feelings. And with all of this emotional stuff bottled up in me, I knew that when I “picked up the pen”, that this would another time of sharing me. I recently posted a status on my Face Book page a prelude to this moment; the words……..”Looking forward to the next journey”. The first level of my release on this phase of my life came when I recently visited the water. The next phase of it was a recent camping trip and communing with nature in its raw form. These experiences ran parallel with the essence of my soul – nature in her bounty.
Living comes back to haunt us in many ways; dependent upon how we live. Whether it is in dynamics with self, dynamics with the ones we love, or dynamics with mankind, there is a price to pay or a benefit to reap. And as innocently as “out of the mouths of babes”, the questions are why…..Why this or Why that or Why me?
Pure intentions wharf in the air as if they did not exist. They are called fleeting moments for a reason. For a fated moment, they emit, we feel, and in a fleeting gasp of time, they are gone, only to be replaced by another aroma of life. When we do not embrace these momentary experiences of life, or we can’t smell, hear or see, the aromas of life become jumbled. Imagine the negative aromas of life – hate, disdain, personal ego wars, hidden agendas to hurt self and others that take us over. We can’t discern. We become numb. And when senses shut down like that, our options become limited. Heart strings are broken as they are plucked, serenades of dance have no emotion, and the purest of intent of floating on a cloud of bliss are marred with perceptions of hidden agendas and lack of faith in love and the essence of the soul of man.
This dialogue can go in so many directions. The backlash can affect relationships with the ones we love. But I think that the worst repercussion is the internalfight that we have with ourselves regarding some “ill fated” moment of pain that we experience. This fight can turn into lack of love for self causing us to implode if we are not grounded. If this happens, we lose our personal power.
So instead of this happening to me, I chose to “continue to be me”; to know and embrace “my center”; to know these moments are a part of my personal and emotional growth; and that these moments will pass, and will meet “me” on the other side.
“To flow with life is to drift upon a calm wave as if there would never be turbulence.
To live life is to soar the eagles’ flight.
To understand life is to be present in chirp of a bird and hear the wings of a butterfly.
To embrace life is let life grow like the limbs of a tree” – Celestine McMullen Allen
just because……by Celestine…..”the plight of the world” and “personal hurt”
A twinkling star was my sage when I started to write this post. It was as if the star was shining right into my window speaking only to me; although I know that there were others that saw it. The star depicted strength; a lone warrior. And if the world ended tomorrow, it would still be shining bright, beaming hope. But the imagery gets deeper. I had this thought. We are inhabitants of earth and we live as the individuals that we are. What makes us uniquely the same is the fact that we feel……we hurt……we anguish…and we get into mental and emotional overload. We strike out, or people capitalize on our personal sorrows; for whatever reason. What if we carved a hole into the core of the earth and everyone that felt pain just poured their feelings into this cavity. Can you imagine the weight of this collective pain? Where would the world be? What would be the impact of this weight?
The reality is that these experiences take place everyday; ongoing issues of the weight of the world; our individual and collective repository of life experiences. This is what happens to our individual souls when we hold onto pain. The manifestations can create an onslaught against us personally and against our fellow man.
The headlines of current media speak to this every day. Social issues are telling “us a story”; stories contrived in cultural differences; stories contrived in just living; stories contrived in being in the wrong place at the wrong time, stories that may have nothing to do with personal karma, and stories contrived in the name of personal survival; whatever that means. There are stories of youth dying because of a perceived idea of being where they are not supposed to be. There are stories of people that hurt others because of cultural differences. There are stories of abuse. There are stories of babies slain. There are stories of elderly slain. There are stories of rape, robbery, and gang wars to validate some personal stance in life that speaks to an inhumane way of being a person in our society. Are these negative instances meant to lament on the misery of mankind, or should we take these messages and say shame on us for capitalizing on the misery of someone; regardless of a personal bias or whether personal biases dictate a position of harm to others. Or should we embrace these biases and admit to being wrong.
The weight of the world of human existence shall always be an issue for us. We should all strive to overcome a position of harming others to save self or to validate an unwarranted position of “self-survival”. It is the perspective of life that we chose that will be the factor that will drown us in our personal fears or which will save us from our “personal” ignorance.
Emotions are just as much a part of us as is our skin, ears, eyes, and each breath that we take. Emotions create our heart song. Going deep within, they create a foundation for us to embrace life and love. And with this song, we express our individuality; we create synergy in life. This scenario is the epitome. But sometimes, we get out of synch with this powerful force. Sometimes, the rain falls. This is another way of saying that all in life is not about smiles and joy. Sometimes, there is pain. Instead of embracing life and all that comes with it, we block it. Instead of living through the pain, which is also a manifestation of emotion, we lash out. When we lash out, there is the potential to harm self and to harm others that we love and love us. Being out of synch drains us. It affects our lifestyle, the choices we make, and ultimately, our capacity to give and receive love.
But if we go with the river song, we understand that those things that cause us pain will subside. Understanding this gives us strength. We can’t discount them as if it never existed just as we can’t dismiss the tumultuous waves of the water. If we flow like the river song, it is easy for us understand the crests and relish in the fact that there will be calm waters again.
I am in that place of “receptivity”. In other words, I am embracing “fated moments”. Fated moments come into our lives now in many ways. What does that mean to you? For me, in conjunction with my recent blog posts, it is another level of being “soul open”, exposed, and receptive to the blessings that come my way. It can take the form of a message of inspiration, a phone call, an unexpected introduction with someone, or just being in the right place at the right time. On the other hand, it could be that you are placed in someone’s life that may need to hear your message. In this case, you may end up touching their lives in ways that you may never know.
There are several words that come to me as I write this post – communication and connection. These two words are powerful, for you never know who you meet, why you meet them, the places that you find yourself in, and the potential bounty of acknowledging relationships that you establish with people just by the sheer act of meeting or connecting with them. Call it what you may – kindred spirits, spirit sisters or brothers, vibes, being comfortable with someone, and “gut feelings” – these connections are real.
Our methods of communication and connection are more varied. Communication venues are beyond one-on-one face time. What once was telephone, telegraph, snail mail, and tell a friend, we have technology that has allowed us to connect with people that we would have never met otherwise. This communication extends to the various forms of social media platforms like Face Book, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, chat rooms, and other platforms. We connect with people in phenomenal ways and feel their spirit and character, if we are discerning. And within these venues, there may be a “fated moment”. The messages could be as small as a “mustard seed”, so we have to pay attention. Most importantly, these “fated moments” could be the key to “your path” in life.
To share the vulnerability of the soul is to expose yourself, especially to yourself - be “soul open”. The following poem reflects my sentiments of what this post is about:
Curtains open…..appreciating the rain…..ears discerning…..listening to the thunder…..soul open…….soul open……soul open………embracing life………
Curtains still open….it is the early morn…..grass dazzling in her dampness ……more fertile……overcast skies…….awaiting another nurturing from the source of the sun…….piercing through natural patterns of life……soul open.
These lines were written amid a backdrop of a heavy rain, figuratively and literally. And as is typical, I get a lot of inspiration from nature and the natural cycles of life. This night was no exception, nor the following morning. The rain, projected to be severe, only ended up being a hard rain – strong, but not torrential. My mindset was reeling with the events of the day – Whitney’s funeral and how I was personally affected. This post is not about Whitney’s funeral or any specifics about her death. This post is about how I was personally affected with her loss and her death placing me in a position to reflect.
During the course of the day, the evening and in the wee hours of the morning, I was reminded of a quote:
“We only have one life to live, so how do we chose to live it?”
This quote has been a part of me for years as I formed, framed, and orchestrated my life. After life-altering circumstances reared their presence in my path, these words took on a different meaning. So to this day, I search deep…….“soul open”.
Nature speaks to me. It has always been a part of who I am as a person – the water, the trees, the wind, the sun, and life; all of which were inspiration for my collection of poetry, Voice From the Soul of Trees. The collection represents a life perspective; my perspective, and my “path”. I was reminded of this as it rained this night. The rain provided another opportunity to be vulnerable to me and to God – “soul open”. Typically, rain can make one feel depressed – lack of sunshine, having a case of the blues or melancholy. Not in this case. The rain was soothing, it was nurturing, and served to replenish my spirit.
I lay awake most of the night with the rain still pouring. I chose to leave the curtains open all night. I didn’t have to worry about who saw me. Yet, as I went to sleep, I knew that I was being “exposed” in a very special way. In my communion with God, I was being reminded of “my perspective” – “soul open“.
…”soul open” is another way to express my willingness to embrace messages from God; …ears discerning. With that being said, I heard the inspiration for these words. I listened. If there are messages for me, I embrace them. If there are messages I feel compelled to share; I share them either through my poetry or through avenues such as this new segment of my blog.
I received my confirmation to continue on my path. And yet, the message gleaned from this beautiful rainy night also had a message that speaks to the overall nature of man; a universal message.
Sometimes, we position ourselves to be so closely guarded. Sometimes we close ourselves off for fear of being vulnerable – “exposed“. We block our hearts from enjoying the best blessing in life; that of love and that of having an open heart and soul to truly receive the blessings of life. Thus, inhibiting our capacity to love self and others.
It is easy to shut it down. All it takes is one hurt, one trial or one broken heart. Negative consequences rear their ugly head. We shut ourselves off from the realities of life. We shut ourselves off from friends. We shut ourselves from the capacity to love others and our selves. We shut ourselves off from life. We miss our blessings because we chose to fix the problem ourselves, instead of “letting go, and letting God”.
The seeds of life are given to us in so many ways. Being discerning is the only way for them to infiltrate our being, as God intended. To be discerning is to be aware……and this awareness leads us to our responsibility to be attuned. Being attuned means having “discerning ears” and “soul open”.
As in life, most of us have adapted the ability to be flexible. Such a critical trait. Flexibility means that we can bounce back from despair, that we can move beyond “issues” of life, and that we can maintain a presence that defines us. The ability to do this is based on our strength, our inner fortitude, our perseverance, and how we juggle the variables of life. The ultimate is to flow like a ship in the most turbulent waters, and once upon solid ground, we rejoice in the deliverance from this journey…..awaiting the next tidal wave.
…..like rock and sand, crystal clear becomes the dreams of man….
This is a very appropriate quote for this blog post. Yes, I wrote the quote. It is a stanza from one of my poems, ”Serenity and Dream of Light“. This quote is suggestive of how life equates to understanding our own frailty, like a fragile piece of glass.
Do you know what the process is to make glass? It is actually amazing. Heat, rock, and sand; tempered and forged to make exquisite bottles and containers for our daily use. Heat – overcoming issues of living – rock, our foundation, and the sand, life’s circumstances. And for me, this is the epitome of life – the fusing of these natural elements to become a resource that can be idealized, that can be seen through, that which can be reflected upon; and that which can be broken down as in the frailty of life – just like rock and sand.
I was really unsure as to where this post would go. It first began as a poem. Then I realized that I just wanted to write…..Then I realized that I really wanted to create a venue for just sharing. Sharing is a good thing……sharing is about being vulnerable to exposing the soul…..sharing is about embracing and “speaking” to our mutual life existences that make us the individuals that we are.
…a journey into the soul has far more worth than a life time of reflections. The reflections are the images that you recall…..the soul journey is one that you live…
For these words are about sharing. And what a more private place…..that of vulnerability……There is nothing negative about this. For you the reader, for me the writer, for anyone that lives.
Share….. leave a post……share the vulnerabilities of your soul…Celestine