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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BALANCE AND DESTRUCTION
Sometimes, bleeding for a reason is worth the cut. Other times, bleeding for the sake of bleeding is more exciting. “Instant gratification” in its many guises is destructive, but addictive.
So why “instant gratification”?
Well. Why not? Having to deal with the day-to-day mundaneness of life is overwhelming. When things are going well and there’s nothing to worry about, it sometimes forces one to seek an outlet… enter “instant gratification”.
Partaking in an event of which the results are as random as the nature of this very blog is a sudden rush. The thrill surpasses everything ones mind is acquainted with or can possibly imagine. It’s like flying, only without the external equipment humans use to take to the air. Dare I write this, but it’s addictive.
And when the dopamine wears off?
Sadly, and this is with anything, the descent from the high is inevitable — even in cases when pure ecstasy is as simple as laughter. The rush goes away and reality grips one like the fear experienced by a soldier facing execution.
Suddenly, there is no escape… and no place is big enough. The feeling of walls closing in on one and that of glaring stares at ones vulnerability is consuming. What to do?
Indeed, what should one do?
As most studies — such as the Journal of the American Medical Association by federal researchers — will tell you, excess is bad. Taking and doing things in manageable doses is good for you. This suggests, although technically, that nothing is bad for you… as long as it is done moderately. So pace yourself.
Echoing the study published in the Journal of Psychology and Marketing, renowned San Francisco therapist Peggy Wynne said, small doses — when engaging in something which can be potentially destructive — were good.
“In small, manageable doses it can soothe the soul. For example, shopping isn’t a problem when it’s done in moderation, just like moderate use of alcohol,” she said.
So when do you have a problem?
Wynne said that lying or hiding your activities from loved ones, feeling guilt or shame about them, missing work or other obligations to indulge them, and feeling that going about that activity is no longer fun but a necessity are all signs that your habit has gotten out of hand.
Doing things that fall under “instant gratification” is a plea for help. There is only one antidote to emotional distress: it’s human connection. We are a species that’s meant to be with others. Whether that takes place over dinner, at home, or at the mall, it’s therapeutic.
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TYLER PERRY’S WORK HAS JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF MAGIC
One of the few black film producers making headwaves in Hollywood has to be Tyler Perry. Although his works are a bit “too much” on the dramatic side, they bear a mark of greatness… they are easily relatable and parallel to everyday experiences.
And the truth is…
I have to admit it; I’m a Tyler Perry fan… PERIOD! How can I not be? He is a symbol of black pride. He is one of the few Africans who have gone against the grain by succeeding in an exclusively “white world”.
His projects promote black excellence and shine a beacon of hope which assures black people that success is possible.
What to like about a “Tyler Perry production”
Although I poke fun at them for being a turd too dramatic, I understand that is their selling point. A little laughter here and there never hurt anybody, especially when the message conveyed is driven home.
I especially love the fact that his creative side knows no bounds. He can easily go from comedy to hard-hitting drama effortlessly. All this, while tackling issues plaguing black communities — and society, at large.
And now to grasp at straws… HMM!
One has to wonder if it’s safe to refer to Tyler Perry as the post year 2000 Spike Lee. But, without jumping the gun here, I can safely state that his courage and relentless drive should serve as an inspiration to others.
Bringing it altogether…
Whether he’s making the Madea movies or Temptation: Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor, Tyler Perry’s work always has a touch of magic about it. I certainly hope his star will glow even brighter with each project he produces.
Now, who can ever forget Byrrraaaaannnn from the Madea’s Big Happy Family movie? LOL!
|—||Words of wisdom|
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WOMEN SHOULD BE PUT ON PEDESTALS
August is Women’s Month, one of the most important footnotes in our calendar. It’s a time when the world gets an opportunity to celebrate the true architects of our society.
This, in my not-so-humble opinion, is the most important time of the year. In fact, all the significant holidays pale in comparison. Yes… Christmas, Easter, and everything else you care to think of.
I make such a bold statement because women birth entire nations and go on to nurture them. The world is such an interesting place, littered with all sorts of personalities, because some mother took the time to give “life” to her offspring.
And this takes me right to my mother…
YEP! My life- and caregiver — even today, as old as I am… LOL! — is the most amazing woman in the entire universe. Sadly, English and all the languages in our solar system always come up short on words to describe her magnificence.
By the way, happy birthday ma… I sooo can’t wait for the 20th.
Anyhow, this woman is strong, gallant, capable, brilliant, outstanding and has an X-factor for infinite lifetimes. Right about now, I think it’s safe to mention that I count my blessings everyday for biology having placed me in my mother’s womb.
HECK! I feel this was a classic case of opportunity having met chance, only sprinkled with loads of magic, in the ecosystem of that magical encounter called “lovemaking” my parents shared — on that fateful day.
I also feel it’s safe to mention what a lucky man my late dad was. I mean, how many men can honestly say their wives “are everything and beyond what I could’ve ever prayed for”, to quote meu pai.
YEP! That man knew he had it good… LOL!
To wrap up…
Women are society. They are the basis of creation and life itself. They should be celebrated and made to feel special all the time. I feel guys should live by the mantra “too much is never enough” when it comes to loving their woman.
#Nuff said. #Amen. #Dankie saan.
|—||Ann Brashares, My Name Is Memory|
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ARMING YOUR MIND WITH TOOLS TO FOCUS
Although a busy mind is a beautiful phenomenon to marvel at, when overdone, it can also be a distraction. All those thoughts flooding into what can only be likened to a computer’s central processing unit (CPU, for the geeks among us) can be a bit too much, at times. Alas, focusing — the greatest muscle in the human body — is the only resolve.
But what’s the problem?
So you’re listening to yourself think, but all that information is convoluted. Your brain’s musings are diluted — from the productive, the casual, to the downright destructive ones. The objective is not clear and you have a task — you must complete — on your hands.
Your mind being overloaded is not helping — and trashing your head against the wall, spattering your brains all over the place won’t do you any good either.
At last, you come to the stark realisation that you do have a conundrum on your hands.
But, what makes the mind wander?
The simple answer: rumination, fantasy, analyzing and planning.
At this point, however, I shall put you at ease by writing: ”You’re not alone,” as the late, great Michael “Wacko” Jackson once sang.
Dare I write this, but Wacko was right. You are not alone. A 2010 study by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert sampled over 2 000 adults during their day-to-day activities and found that 47% of the time, their minds were not focused on what they were currently doing.
But what now? What to do?
Well… meditation is one of the suggested ways. Apparently, focusing your mind — which has the natural propensity to wander — on a single thought is quite useful. Obviously, meditation is something you have to practice — because the more you do it, the easier it becomes to detect when your mind has shifted from focus.
Another way is unitasking… avoid multitasking at all costs. A 2009 study by Stanford researcher, Clifford Nass, revealed that multitasking is not an effective way to get things done. In fact, his findings encouraged focusing on one task at a time. This will increase productivity and reduce stress.
Another effective way is to allocate separate blocks of time to plan, problem-solve, create, and strategize. This means having a journal and a to-do list to keep track of your ideas.
And here comes the all-important conclusion…
Practicing these three steps will help you master one of the 21 century’s many
a-Holy Grail: mind-focus… LOL! Enjoy playing with them.
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WHEN STARVING YOURSELF SHOULD NEVER BE AN OPTION
It’s another month, day, hour, minute and second. The world is progressing as always, but you’re stuck in some issue… you know, that bridge you should’ve gotten over long ago. It’s not going away, it seems like it never will. Well, it’s time to take action… YEP! It’s yum, yum time.
At this point, you’re tired of starving yourself to death. You are probably so skinny you’re on the brink of nonexistence. The mornings are getting harder and your stomach’s grumble is growing fainter by the day.
You’re weak and the depression is piling on. Looking at and even thinking about food feels like betraying a cause. The one defined in your head as fasting… well, really a self-imposed punishment of sorts, if you will.
You’ve been holding out on yourself and you’re tired of it. The mere sight of food, any, forces your mind to turn it into a delicacy — even if it’s not. Face it, your issue is not going away anytime soon. But you don’t have to starve yourself to death in the meantime… NO!
This is where emotional eating comes into its own. You know, indulging your blues away. Dig in sister, brother. There is no need to be depressed and look it. That’s the disadvantage of starving yourself… it makes you look like shyt… LOL!
It’s time to break free. Listen to that luring voice in your head. Let go.
Yeah momma, bring out the ice-cream, marshmallows and the custard… mmmmhhhmmmm! Let the emotional eating take centrestage. It’s time to toss all that restraint out the window, build a nice curvaceous bod and enjoy everything you’ve been denying yourself.
Indulge in all that delicious fatty, rich food you thought eating would be betraying your cause. Take a bite out of that burger and eat into that cake. HECK! Every time you chew, it’ll feel like eating huge chunks of your problem away. But with that written, don’t forget about jogging and going for long walks.
The idea here is not to achieve obesity. No. It’s so you don’t starve yourself; to relish in the happiness food brings, and to use it to help you become more outgoing. Sometimes, life-changing experiences happen when you’re out there satisfying your appetite… LOL!
After-all, enjoying every moment you experience is what life’s all about. Everybody experiences problems, but the difference is that they eat it up — and even spit it out. (Don’t excuse the pun… LOL!)
So go on, take it in. Variety is the spice of life. And remember to go through life a bite at a time… LOL!