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Archive for July, 2013

freedom

We spend alot of time fighting external forces for our freedom.

But what is freedom, exactly?

In the “Idomewed” state of existence, I believe true freedom is personal freedom.

Personal freedom? What the hec does that mean?

Here it is: true freedom comes from within.

Meaning what?

Meaning that the first form of liberation comes from our minds. Then we have to start listening to our hearts… and then living according to our own truth.

OUR truth. Not someone else’s. Not the media’s. Not our mother’s. Not our father’s. Not our friends’. Not our government’s. Not society’s…and not our church’s, mosque or synangogue’s, either.

OUR truth: what’s true for US. What makes sense to US. What’s best for US.

In my post of “The Real Monogamy”, I talked about how we can be unfaithful to ourselves. About how we cheat on ourselves with other people.

True freedom comes at a price. You have to be loyal to you first. (That’s a problem for many people because they’re brainwashed to believe that it’s bad or selfish to put yourself first).

True freedom requires an “Idomewed” mentality. You must say “I do” to yourself first-heart, mind, body and soul. To be free, you must know yourself and love yourself deeply. You must be a critical thinker who doesn’t accept anything an outside source says as truth without determining if it’s true for you.

True freedom means following your heart-even when everyone you know doesn’t believe in you. It means that you listen to yourself and trust your intuition and gut instincts. As the song “The Greatest Love of All” says:

“If I fail, if I suceed, at least I live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity!”

Why?

“Because the greatest love of all is inside of me.”

Now that’s true freedom.

Looking yourself in the mirror naked and still loving yourself anyway.

Not giving a damn what other people think of you.

Speaking your own mind with your own truth.

Walking down the street and singing your favorite song without fear of being laughed at.

Givng yourself permission to feel any and all emotions without judgment….

Bottom line: Freedom is being authentically and unapologetically you. Period.

See, you can have all the money you’ll ever need and be imprisioned by guilt or fear of losing it all.

Or you can be in the dream marraige with the white picket fence and 2.5 kids and a dog and yet be trapped emotionally.

You can have the career others envy and still be unable to speak your own truth.

I’ll say it again:

Freedom is being authentically and unapologetically you.

And that’s the only kind of freedom that matters.

Until next time,
Wishing you peace and internal ease,
“Idomewed!”
Helen

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happy black women

What does self-love look like in the real world?

The answer to this question is my everyday motivation. I feel it’s a mission of mine to share this seemingly elusive answer with the world. Our biggest deficit is self-worth. You can also throw self-esteem in there, too.

I’m by nature very pragmatic. I love philosophy but I’m very practical as well. Otherwise I feel imbalanced. Lofty ideologies aren’t enough. It has to be real in some way to everyday life-otherwise, what’s the point?

Hence we have this “self-love” concept. I got to a point where if I heard one more person on the OWN network or self-help conference, one more coffee time with the girls, one more talk show saying the words, “You have to love yourself first,” I swear I was going to turn into the Incredible Hulk and start hunting people down…

girl hulk

Ahhh… Calming down here.I’m good now.

I absolutely hate when things get cliche’. I hate it because cliche’s are truths and when they get played out they lose their power and meaning. Life-changing truths get watered down to where they no longer hold any potency.

And when that happens, now what?

It’s back to the drawing board….

Loving Yourself 101

Life tests us to see how much we love ourselves. When we are in relationships, these tests come often. If we’re in an abusive relationship, for example, are we going to love ourselves enough to leave?

What does that even mean, right?

Here’s a start:

Loving ourselves (verb): To care about oneself intimately, sincerely and unconditionally; to feel one deserves to be cared about intimately, sincerely and unconditionally.

There is a difference between care and love. Caring means we are concerned with what’s in the best interests of ourselves. This is not selfishness as we have been brainwashed to believe. We are supposed to cater to our best interests if we love ourselves! Anything less is self-destruction. There’s no honor in that.

So, back to the example of being in an abusive relationship, if we truly care about ourselves, then we will want what is best for us…

And then the question becomes, is being abused best for me?

As I shared in my post on “The real monogamy”, an “Idomewed” life means saying “I do” to ourselves FIRST and being faithful to ourselves first.

As I talked about in my article on “Friendship,” who is on your all-star team? Do you care enough about yourself and your happiness to be selective of who is on your team? Do you feel you DESERVE to have real quality friendships who treat you as you desire?

What you feel you are deserving of is a huge piece to self-love in everyday terms. The truth is that what we deserve is directly tied to our self-esteem. Sadly, we often confuse deserving with some kind of karma. If we did something “bad” then we feel we are not deserving of anything good.

Don’t get me wrong-we do reap what we sow. But deserving is not about cause and effect. Deserving is about who we are and not what we do. Deserving is not earned.

Remember when you were a kid and you had to do something to earn a reward? Maybe it was cleaning your room. Maybe it was doing your homework. Whatever it was, the lesson was that in order to have something you desired, you needed to do something to deserve it. So you learned subconsciously that you were only worthy of the best when you did something to deserve it. On top of that, we also overheard the adults in our families grumble about people being “entitled”, such as the welfare programs so prevalent today. Although in another context, working for goals and people feeling entitled holds true, in the context of “Idomewed” it is false. We are worthy of ALL good things because we ARE. Just as God in the Old Testament of the Bible told Moses he was the “I AM” so we are.

Religious folks see this as blasphemy, but it’s the truth. You deserve all your heart’s desires because YOU ARE!!!

Look at it another way: just the very fact that you are desiring something says it’s possible-and that you’re deserving of having it, too.

This doesn’t mean all you want in the moment is in your best interests but that is another context. The point is you are deserving.

This topic is so delicious and rich, I will no doubt be revisiting it again and again, so this is not the last discussion on practical self-love.

Hope it helps, inspires or stimulates some thought!

Until next time,
Wishing you peace and internal ease,
“Idomewed!”

Helen

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friends holding hands

Today’s conversation is about friendship. I was talking to my current best friend the other day and shared with her my recent realization that my best friend from high school is not compatible with who I am now.

Have you ever been friends with someone for years and years and one day you just look at them and think,

“Why in the world am I friends with you? Were you always like this?”

And the answer is…yes.

I realized that my high school friend, the “sista from another motha” was the same person she always was. I was the one who had changed.

And here is the “Idomewed” question: am I worthy of a better friend?

The answer to that would be, damn right!

Think about friendships the same way you would romantic relationships. You (at least you should) have requirements for someone if they want to be your friend. If someone wanted to date you, you would have a standard for what kind of person it takes to be with you.

I realized I am valuable. I already knew this, but this situation was an opportunity to learn a new aspect of my own value.

So when it comes to friends, we’re talking about the select people we allow into our circle-our “all-star team”.

Who’s on your all-star team?

When was the last time you reflected on the people in your life and whether they deserved to be there?

The Los Angeles Lakers don’t recruit players from the YMCA. Or the guy sweeping the floors between quarters.

So why do we bring people into our inner circle who aren’t worthy?

See, if we are living an “Idomewed” lifestyle, where we marry our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits, then we must be super-selective with the people we have around us.

We all know about this.

Mom or grandma said, “If your friends told you to jump off the Brooklyn bridge, would you do that, too?”

Our Sunday School teachers said, “Bad company corrupts good character.”

And Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

Who are our closest friends? Who is this “starting line-up” on our all-star roster? And how are these people helping us win at the game of life?

My high school friend informed me that she didn’t need any new friends.

Meanwhile, I was making a mental note: Danger!

Because when you say you don’t need any new friends, that means you are complacent where you are in life and aren’t interested in growing. The people around you are a reflection of your state of cosnciousness…so, if you keep the same friends you had since you were in high school or college, then your mentality is stuck in high school or college.

In life, we are the General Manager of our team. We recruit our players and in turn, we can fire our players when they’re sabotaging us and causing us to lose.

This is about doing what’s best for us, not being a cold, callous person.

When my friend said those words, I realized we were on different paths. As much as I love her, as much as I love her family-and they love me-and as connected as we are in certain ways, she’s not interested in going places in life. She’s comfortable and complacent… and like the majority of people out there, unwilling to work on herself; unwilling to say “I do” to herself.

This means she can’t say “I do” to me, either. If you can’t love yourself, if you can’t be generous with yourself, if you can’t be a best friend to yourself, then how can you be a friend to anyone else?

I sat back and did a review: who’s on my all-star team? Who is my A-list? And most of all, what are the requirements for people to be on my A-list?

We all need to be doing this…well, if we have said “Idomewed” to ourselves we should. If you value yourself, then you have high standards for who you let hang around you. Your five closest friends must be a sacred space. Not just anyone gets to walk on in. They must prove themselves worthy.

This is easier said than done, isn’t it?

Our sentimentality overtakes us. Fear of being alone paralyzes us. Wanting to be liked and accepted ties our hands. We coddle our outdated relationships instead of taking an honest inventory of where things are at.

Evaluating my friend is difficult. I struggle with sentimentality as well. But I have said “I do” to myself, which means that I’m willing and able to be honest about our friendship. She is not fit to go where I’m going in life. Her consciousness is at a different place. We are on different paths. When I make big moves in life, she’s a “hater” waiting to happen. Because of her deep unresolved insecurities, her self-destruction button is primed and ready.

And in review, she has always been mean-spirited and emotionally unavailable. She is the last person in the world that I could go to for emotional support or encouragement when I’m having a rough time. She’s one of those females that don’t want to be bothered if she can’t “fix you”. Compassion and listening is a waste of time for her. She has a nice side, but I need more than she’s able to give me.

And don’t tell me that I’m giving up on her! That I’m judgmental. That I’m not hanging in there through thick or thin…

Not the case. That mentality is anti-“Idomewed”. In my post called “The Real Monogamy,” I explain that our loyalty needs to be to ourselves first. It isn’t selfishness, it’s love and devotion to self. If you can’t do it for yourself, then you can’t do it for anyone else. And if someone is an anchor around your neck dragging you under, does it make sense for you to drown with them?

It’s a new day. I have requirements for my A-list: one being that I deserve friends who are kind, nurturing, supportive of my dreams.

That’s right. I am.

As a consciously growing person, you will need to “spring clean” your relationship closet every couple of seasons.

Remember, the most important person on your team is…you.

Wishing you peace and internal ease,
“Idomewed!”
Helen

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monogamy

To have an “Idomewed” consciousness, we must say “I do” to ourselves and not to any cause, ideology, or belief system. It doesan’t matter how good they are. Or sincere. We are married to ourselves FIRST.

We often hinge our intrinsic self value on what we believe in or what kind of ideology we subscribe to. This can be a religion, a political party, vegan/vegetarianism, or a sorority or fraternity. The center of the pie becomes that external thing instead of ourselves.

Let me try and drive this home, because this is huge.

We identify with these things so much that our identity becomes one with our religion, eating habits, political status, net-worth or anything else other than ourselves.

We fail to realize that when these things change or are somehow taken away, challenged by an objective party, or someone presents evidence to the contrary of what we identify with, there’s a problem.

Our self-worth, our sense of self goes up in smoke, too.

This sense of value, self-worth, sense of self (etc, etc.) comes from within. We nod and say yes we know, but we don’t, do we? Our actions and emotions reflect something different, don’t they?

To exist in “Idomewed” we must say “I do” to ourselves-body, mind, heart and soul. This means we must embrace our own truths and not someone else’s. Our truths may align with a belief system, group, person(s) or lifestyle, but we cannot allow the two to meld into each other. Truth is relative to your perception, level of conscious awareness, and what is in your best interest (highest good)- which means that it can change as you grow and evolve. So don’t lock yourself in a box. Subscribing to beliefs, religions, groups, dietary habits and the like will do that to you. By their very nature, these things DEMAND your allegiance and loyalty-above your own loyalty to yourself.

A true case of adultery. Unfaithfulness. Cheating!

Say no. Return to your first love-you.

Recommit. Patch things up. Ignite that passion and intimacy again. Renew those vows to yourself.

Just be true to you.

Be faithful to you.

Vow to be love honor and obey yourself and do what’s best for you.

Veganism makes no vows to cherish you.

Religion declares no unconditional love for you.

A political party makes no promises to protect you.

The ethno-centric group never claims to have and to hold you in good times and bad.

That’s your place.

Live, love, “Idomewed”

Helen

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big tummy

Here’s an email I sent to my best friend the other day.

Sigh. Vulnerability. Yikes.

Well, here goes…..

Hey girl,

This is the name of the blog post I’m writing today.

I experienced the shocking revelation of my pot belly gut last night.

I’m so used to holding my stomach in that when I released and let go, my waistline took it a little too literally.

I look like I’m in my first trimester. Seriously.

I thought, “wait a second. I’ve been detoxing for a month and have been eating mostly raw fruits and vegetables-except for some sprouted bread and almond milk”.

Nothing unusual than I’ve eaten in the past, but for some reason my tummy has transformed into the guy on the old Rolaids commercial.

I’m bewildered as to why I’m getting fatter when I’m living healthier and feeling better than I have physically in years.

Any ideas, my intuitive friend?

Last night I was out doing my now-daily 3 hour walk and let my stomach be “as is”.

What an experience.

My intent was this: I need to love myself-and this includes my pot belly. As you know, I of course am well versed and well practiced in self love, but this challenged me to take it higher.

I feel discouraged and dissapointed about it. It feels as if all the hard dedication and work aren’t paying off. I hate being fat. It feels gross and I know I don’t look my best-my idea of “best” anyway.

Any ideas?

I’m being honest about how I’m feeling. Or trying to be. I don’t want to get stuck in those negative thoughts and end up sabotaging myself. But I know permission is so important. It’s easier said than done when you face a new challenge.

I’m BIGGER than before I detoxed and changed eating habits AND exercised? WTF!!!

Anyway, me and my stomach are amicable right now. Pray for us!!! LOL

Hope all is well over there!

Lots of love,

Helen

—————

I feel better today as I write this. No matter how much you think you’ve arrived at self-love, something comes up (or out in the case of my stomach) that makes you re-evaluate how far you’ve come. There is always room for growth. In the grand scheme of eternity, it’s all a journey, isn’t it?

Having an “Idomewed” mindset matters here, because the challenge is for me to embrace who I am, not just who I’m going to be.

And part of who I am is my recently protruding belly. A definite crossroad. I had to question whether I was really committed to myself. I’ve said “I DO” to ME which includes saying “I DO” to my imperfections.

Weight for women is HUGE (no pun intended here). Millions of women are in a battle with the bulge for a lifetime. Dieting is a way of life. Some have just let it go and are resigned to the “if ya can’t be it, join it” mentality, where they feel sexy looking like what a guy I know calls “rolling refridgerators”.

Do I want my stomach to look like this?

flat stomach

Of course!

What this experience represents is the understanding that we are more than our physical bodies. The body is only 1 percent of who we are. Our consciousness is who we are. I can observe my stomach and acknowledge the jelly rolls and still do something about it.

Ultimately, the question is, can I accept my “1st trimester belly” without hating myself, beating myself up or withholding love from myself until my body is lean, toned and firm?

The answer is YES.

So, am I going to do something about it?

Of course I am.

Knowing what I know about the true nature of reality, there’s no way I can give up. Giving up is just not in my nature. Maybe it’s the Aries in me.

Another lesson learned here: what works a year ago doesn’t mean it will work now. As Bruce Lee said, you must be “fluid like water”. That means you have to be open to change and making the necessary adjustments. This has to do with weight as well. If eating raw foods or a vegan diet triggered weight release in 2012 and it’s causing weight gain in 2013, then there’s a solution to every problem. If what I’m doing isn’t working, then I have to try something different.

Okay, that’s it for now. The love saga continues.

Wishing you peace and internal ease,
“Idomewed”.
Helen

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commitment

A famous preacher once said there are four kinds of people:

First, there are the cop-outs. These people set no goals and make no decisions.

Second, there are the holdouts. They have a beautiful dream, but they’re afraid to respond to its challenge because they aren’t sure they can make it. These people have lost all childlike faith.

Third, there are the dropouts. They start to make their dream come true. They know their role. They set their goals, but when the going gets tough, they quit. They don’t pay the toll.

Finally, there are the all-outs. They are the people who know their role. They want and need and are going to be stars: star students, star parents, star waitresses. They want to shine out as an inspiration to others. They set their goals. The all-outs never quit. Even when the toll gets heavy, they’re dedicated. They’re committed.

Which one are we going to be? After all, our commitment is first and foremost to ourselves.

Peace and internal ease,
“Idomewed”

Helen

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aha moment

Recently I had a revelation:

My interpretations create my reality.

Let me explain.

This is not a new concept, but it’s something that we can intellectually understand but still not get on a heart level.

That, my friends, was me.

I believed in the saying that “our thoughts create our reality” but it took time to really internalize such a lofty concept into real life.

The same goes with our interpretations.

The other day I was doing a self-help exercise that I discovered online. (I can’t remember how I came across the guy’s website, but the point is I found it).

And it was good. Real good.

Then came the point in the exercise where I had a revelation.

In one fantastic, deliciously beautiful, “lightbulb” moment, I realized that my reality is created by my interpretation of what I see and experience. Perceptions are real for us, but the trick is to understand that just because it’s real for us doesn’t mean it’s a fact. Believe it or not, there are other ways of seeing things.

The great thing about perception is that is isn’t right or wrong. It just is.

Let me explain some more.

As children, we develop core beliefs about ourselves from our parents, for example.

Certain situations stick in our subconscious minds. Maybe you remember when you were learning to ride a bike and how your father screamed at you every time you fell down. Memories are linked with emotion. In fact, whatever the emotion was that we felt when we fell down and we were berated for it, our minds interpreted what that situation meant.

The mind attributes meaning to every situation and circumstance. It has to make sense of it. As children, we are not aware of this and so whatever we interpret the situation to mean is what is created and buried deep in our subconscious. Then as we grow up, we keep attracting, creating, and/or manifesting the same kinds of experiences to reinforce the interpretation our minds have already been imprinted with.

Let’s go even deeper.

You interpreted your Dad yelling at you for falling down as what? What meaning did you give it at that moment that entrenched itself in your subconscious mind?

Was it that failing is bad?

Or that when you fail you aren’t loved?

Remember, the mind is trying to make sense of a situation. So when your father is yelling at you for falling down and perhaps not getting it right the first time, your mind is piecing it together, like 1 + 1 = 2.

Like this: When I try anything new (riding a bike) and I fall down (a failure) it results in me getting yelled at (a negative response) and I feel bad (feeling attached to trying something new). That means:

A. I shouldn’t try anything new because it has bad consequences

B. I am not worthy unless I am perfect and make no mistakes

C. I have to do things right the first time, unless I’m a failure.

D. I’m a failure who can’t do anything right.

But what if that was just our interpretation of the event?

What if that is the meaning we assigned to it but not the reality of it?

Remember, our perceptions create our reality. So let’s shift our interpretation of the event.

When I try anything new (riding a bike) and I fall down (part of learning something new) my Dad yelled at me because he thought it would make me try harder and learn faster. It wasn’t because I was a failure or I wasn’t learning fast enough. It was how his father taught him to ride a bike.

This choice of interpretation empowers us rather than belittles us. Feelings are real, but they are not reality! We can feel hurt by someone simply because we misinterpreted the situation to mean something the other person didn’t.

Just because we feel a certain way as a response to what someone says, how they say it or what they do, that is our interpretation of it. This puts the power in our hands because we can choose to see things a different way. The key is to see things the way that will benefit us the most. If a woman (the little girl learning to ride her bike all grown up) hears her husband speak to her and feels his tone is harsh, it most likely will activate the emotion from learning to ride her bike and her Dad yelling at her. She will automatically react emotionally to the tone of his voice and the interpretations listed above (i.e. I’m a failure and can’t do anything right) will resurface.

But, if this woman can deconstruct and rebuild her interpretations of the situation, she can reassign a new meaning to a “harsh” tone and can see the situation more clearly. She won’t assume that she is a failure and isn’t worthy of love when she makes mistakes. She won’t internalize it and make it about her.

This, my friends, was a huge “aha!” for me-and I hope it is for you, too.

Until next time,

Wishing you peace and internal ease, “Idomewed”!

Helen

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