Thursday, March 12, 2009

This week's affirmation:

With love,
I choose
To focus on the present.
With gratitude
And faith
I could fly right now.
- SatiLife.

I love this affirmation because of it's focus on the present. It's sooooo easy to get caught up in the past... in particular (at least for me), expecting what happened in the past to be an indicator of what will happen in the future. Looking back at the past for its lessons is important, but there is definitely a point where looking back stops being didactic and becomes restrictive - limiting us from reaching our full potential in the here and now because we aren't open to experiencing anything but the kinds of situations and experiences that have passed.

The sankofa, an Adinkra symbol.

For the past two years of my life, I've been doing a lot of what the sankofa represents: to bring the good things from the past (the lessons) to help me in the present and the future. Very recently I realized I reached a point where I was doing TOO much looking back and thus lived in my past. It was an important for me to do this looking back - it was a phase of serious introspection that I needed - but that phase has officially passed, with its own lessons to be used in my here-and-now. I don't think I'll ever completely stop looking back at my past for its lessons but I'm now concerned with living in the NOW.

It's come to my attention that my potential in the here-and-now is really, truly, limitless and I've been limiting myself with what I once thought were big dreams. Here is a good example of what living in the past can do to you. Living in the past had me still in the mindset that the goals I once set for myself were SO far away and thus were BIG... meanwhile, when I was brought back to reality and the present (via a very enlightening conversation I had earlier this week) it was noted that my dreams are very close to becoming reality. So they're still worthy of attaining and they're just as important as they were in the past - but they aren't so grandiose considering my proximity to accomplishing them. All of this means that I need to keep focused on those goals and to DREAM BIG once more....

And so I've been doing just that. Saying the affirmation helps - especially in the midst of moving and stretching and pushing myself during a SatiLife class. More on those SatiLife classes later. I'll just say for now that I am so unbelievably glad that I'm taking them.

So say the affirmation, see how it makes you feel and really think about what it's saying (in particular, note what I bolded in the affirmation because they are all very important). Also consider this: When you think of your present and future, do you think of it more in terms of what has already happened? Or do you consider it more with the mindset that any and all things are possible?

More and more I feel like I could fly right now.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

As long as it comes in.

When you blame others, you give up your power to change.
- Robert Anthony

If you're unemployed, don't blame your job situation on the economy. I don't.

I don't blame it on the fact that I just took the bar exam for the second time last week and I didn't pass the first time I took it.

I don't blame it on the fact that looking for a job while trying to study for the bar exam is crazy difficult, especially when you're also working at the same time as studying.

I also don't blame it on the limited amount of jobs in my chosen field in comparison to the number of applicants, or on the fact that the City of New York (as an employer) is on a hiring slowdown and has been for some time.

I don't blame it on these things, but I totally could and I'd say that most people in my position would. The aforementioned definitely have had an impact on my current lack of employment. They've had their impact but I've come to realize a few things this week as I resumed my job finding mission full force:

1. No one factor in my life can really be to blame for my lack of a job because they all have had their effect - and the blame game does not empower me at all to effect change and make things happen (so apropos, that quote!)
2. There are MAD job opportunities out there! (Yo, just check Monster or Careerbuilder or some other site. No joke.)
2a. There are mad job opportunities out there, although the majority of them may not be what I would want to do preferably.
3. I have so many skills that are applicable to so many different types of jobs and the only thing stopping me from applying to these different types of jobs is me.
3a. By me, I mean, my sense of entitlement...

It dawned on me this week that I have been going at this job search with a strong sense of entitlement, namely: I am entitled to work in a certain kind of job, which pays a certain level of pay and gives me a certain kind of experience. And that entitlement stems totally from the fact that I am no longer a 16-year-old with zero job experience, willing to do whatever kind of job she can do legally - but I am a 26-year-old doctorate-of-law recipient who bust. her. ass. earning that doctorate, who has worked in some form or fashion for almost 10 years (including the majority of her four years of law school) and thus has culled a significant amount of experience and skills to back her terminal degree.

As understandable and predictable (frankly) as this sense of entitlement is, it amounts to absolutely NOTHING in itself. Entitlement controls or dictates very little, if anything at all. Circumstances have to favor that sense of entitlement coming to fruition... and more importantly, GOD has to favor the sense of entitlement, I believe. I believe that, not only because of my faith in God generally, but because in the 10 years I've been employed, I have held at least two (absolutely amazing) positions that, on the surface, I was in no way entitled to hold... but I got the job and gained so much for them (so thankful for those, and all my experiences). But if circumstances/God don't favor me getting whatever it is I feel I'm "entitled" to, then its not likely to happen!

So I have officially let that sense of entitlement go. It feels good. And it feels like is my horizon has suddenly expanded. The sky was always the limit, but instead of those one or two paths I had in mind for going beyond the sky, now I see so many ways to go. It's sort of exciting. I'm not saying I won't be looking to be an attorney fighting the good fight for what's right, or writing/publishing that Great (Jamaican) American Novel (or book of poetry) but I am no longer limited in my search for employment by anything in existence, whether economy, entitlement or other.

Think about this. When you boil down the issue of employment, regardless of whether you're employed at your ideal position or not, there will always be left the core concern of whether your job can sustain you and provide you with all that you need to live (at a minimum) or prosper (ideally). And if the job isn't, you will likely adopt the secondary income mentality, which leads to looking for and finding an alternative source of income using some other skill set you've developed because you feel as if you need the money. My job finding mission hasn't changed in scope - I will not stop searching for what I ideally want - but it has now adopted the secondary income mentality, and is open to the possibility that the secondary income might just be the primary.

Income is just that, as long as it comes in.

N.B. When that income does come in, and my primary monetary concerns are addressed, this might just be the shoe purchase I use to celebrate...

It's nice to have something to look forward to.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This week's affirmation:

Today I gratefully receive all the gifts life has to offer me.
So as above, as is below. This is what I know.
- SatiLife.

I like this affirmation - not just because it's "affirming" - but it also acknowledges the supremacy of God. What he ordains above is what will happen below. Reminds me a bit of The Lord's Prayer.

I'm sharing this particular affirmation from my SatiLife classes (more later on my SatiLife challenge!) because for me, saying it a couple of times opens my mind up to all the possibilities of positive things that could come my way today. It's energizing - such a good feeling. Say it a couple of times to yourself and see how you feel.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Me want cookie!

Is success more about 1) the pursuit of our dreams and desires or 2) from the actual possession of that desired thing? Is it more about the hunt that leads to the capture (1) or more about what you do when you have your prey (2)?

You might wonder why I pose the question at all. It wasn't something I thought about until Saturday afternoon, at the beginning of my SatiLife class, where the instructor talked a bit about the pursuit of a goal. She posed to the class the question above and gave what she believed to be the answer- numero uno.

Was my instructor right? Consider this hunter-of-sorts:

You may not have realized it as a child when you were watching Sesame Street, but Cookie Monster was teaching you all about how to go after your dreams (among other things)! Considering CM's fervent search for cookies: while his goal is always to eat some cookies (Me want cookie!) his success lies completely in his pursuit. If he wasn't Cookie Monster, i.e., a blue monster always on the hunt for cookies, he would never have had any cookies!

Sounds so simple but yet so complex when it comes to achieving success. This question is important because the answer tells you where you need to focus your energy! I find it to be REAL easy to get caught up in the end goal: because it IS what we want. The end goal is what it is though - the end. If we don't do what it takes to get there, we won't get there. Consider, again, Cookie Monster. Even when his efforts seem to be thwarted by things out of his control, his desire (or maybe frenzy in his particular case) grows and he keeps on pushing until he gets his cookie!

Learn from the monster! An obstacle stood in the way of the cookies but CM didn't let that daunt him. He saw his problem, came up with an effective solution and Kept It Moving. And that's all you can do. An obstacle only stops you from reaching your end goal when you let it. And the more you're focused on your pursuit, the more likely you are to find a way to get rid of the obstacles - the more likely you are to find a solution to a setback. You think Cookie would have thought of eating a safe if he wasn't focused on his pursuit?

The point: Keep the end goal in mind but remember that the end goal comes at the end - you have to make the effort to get there. Even when setbacks and obstacles threaten your success you just have to find a way to get over them or around them. If it's something you really want, stay focused on your efforts. You'll get your cookie.

By the way, Cookie Monster was my favorite monster on the Street.