Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017: A Year Without a Valentine



As I reflect back on this past week I title it "No Valentine".

It didn't start on Tuesday, actually started on Monday… Reeling from the agency wide mental health crises, we could say it began there… Trying to find a way to make sure my friends and coworkers could be utilized, saved, supported, transitioned to another gainful employment, I was overwhelmed and tired by the end of the day.

Come Tuesday,  multiple crises impacted my mental health caseload, as the team leader I have to orchestrate as well as be knowledgeable about all clients as well as develop treatment strategies to assist them with progress in their goals and avoid the pitfalls of the crisis. It was a long drawn out day that took longer than usual, or at least it seems… Barely registering that that day was a holiday for lovers. A few checkins came in my iMessenger, from coworkers and friends, a few male friends that kind of had me questioning their stance… But that was more about me then them, they clarified that there was no sugar in their tank, they just wanted to wish me well on this day…

So I got off later than usual, well, not so unusual, as I do cover mobile crisis Monday through Thursday usually… Made a few pitstops and made it home.

But I came home to no Valentine, no texts of love, no gifts of love, no words of love, no love... and I have to ask myself why?

I'll explore in new music, poetry, etc. 

Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

MOCK Talk Radio - January 7, 2017



Hidden Figures
Release Date: December 25th (Limited)  January 6th (Nationwide)
Synopsis: Based on a true story, a team of African American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program's first successful space missions.
Review: A pervasive trend in black cinema, that has become more and more difficult to contend with, is the notion that our dramatic narratives must revolve around the theme of being victimized. This is not to say that  history is not replete with such tales of persecution. However, there has been an incessant clamoring for other accounts to be depicted in film, thus proving that the tent poles of our history are not just planted in the soil of victimization.This is why Hidden Figures succeeds at not only being a refreshing take but  one that constitutes as necessary viewing. The three central characters, played vividly and meticulously by Taraji P. Henson, Janell Monae and Octavia Spencer, do well to authentically encapsulates the essence of  empowered , black feminism during a time when it was suppressed thanks in part to societal biases fueled by white supremacy.To witnesses the debunking of such beliefs, that these "figures" were intellectually inferior, creates repeated moments of immense satisfaction and joy that never feels patronizing or playacted. Beyond its' crowd pleasing aspects though stirs burrowing concerns that relate to the omission  of other such figures and events from the pages of American history. Nevertheless, those lingering concerns can not prevent this film from being triumphant in providing models, for girls of  all shades, to aspire to as well  accomplished women, gaining the opportunity, to finally witness their mirror images receive proper praise and attention! (A-) -CgN

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! New Year! New Me!

New Year! New Me!
F. Khristopher Blue

A lot of people are disappointment because of what happened this past election year… And I admit, I too was disappointed… Hurt, depressed, anxious, disillusioned, so much more. My team and I hit the airwaves to share our disgust via our radio program M.O.C.K. Talk Radio and POLI-TRICKS but found the more I vented the more I became upset so I ceased such activities.

These last few days I had emotional, mental, and physical breakdown… I just couldn't do anything, nothing. I think I was overwhelmed regarding this transition but I know it also has something to do with my current caseload in my mental health practice. Nonetheless… I woke up today, this morning rather, with a new outlook… I told myself you sit in that chair and I told my alter self you stand there, now it  wasn't really my alter self but it was basically to put myself in the chair as if I was the client… What would I tell my client in this position?

What goals do I hope to achieve in this coming year…?

I hope to establish a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise, and a good sleep regimen.

I hope to use my creative energy to make impact regarding bringing awareness to issues such as mental health, homelessness, physical disabilities and illnesses etc.

I hope to have a good study regimen so I can pass my certification test for my LCAS and then start another study regimen so I can pass my NCE so I could pursue my LPC. 

I hope to establish the greatest team of all time in this mental-health realm of community support team as well as community intensive services at freedom House recovery Center much like the one I had in the past but have not had in recent years. This is our year the team is there, I have the personnel, we can do this… We will do this!

Now before I get ahead of myself… I must be very realistic in my approach they are certain behaviors that I have that have caused me problems in the past such as not sleeping enough or oversleeping, have a negative attitude and aiming it at people who have nothing to do with it... Indicating that I am the pillar of this community but not following through with"pillar" like activities... Investment in things I don't need, not invested in enough things that I do need, not spending enough time with friends and family, spending too much time thinking about clients therefore not having a balance in life. Balance is key to success… I strive to have balance in 2017 if nothing else. I plan to succeed in 2017 if nothing else. I plan on being a better person in 2017 if nothing else.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

#30DaysofGratitude #1: What smell are you grateful for today?

#30DaysofGratitude

#1: What smell are you grateful for today?


Today, I am grateful for the smell of rain... it has been so HOT lately, and the rain, came right on time... I stood in it for a minute or two before following behind a client into the DMV. It didn't last long, not long at all... but that brief moment recharged me for the rest of the day. I love the smell of rain.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Today's Challenge: Look for the divine within the ordinary trials of you...





Today's Quotation:

The "trials of ordinary existence" are the divine curricula for spiritual maturity.

Skye Jethani

Today's Meditation:

It is difficult to imagine how many opportunities I have squandered in life to learn and gain invaluable spiritual wisdom, simply because I was looking for something extraordinary. There is endless sacredness and beauty present all around us at every ordinary moment of our lives--in our family, friends, and neighbors, in songs and laughter, in the rushing brook, throughout all of nature and the expanse of the universe.

It becomes quite easy for us to ignore the ordinary, perhaps because we have seen it all before and it seems so understandable. The flowers bloom every year, so what is the big deal? Yet we are wrong... those blooms are not the same blooms as they were last year, or the year before. The world around us truly is holy, from the very next person that we will run into... to the flowers and trees, birds and animals... to the infinite amount of matter spread out throughout this massive universe. And until we are able to see each creation in its own sacred and unique right, we will fail to understand and to learn the "divine curricula" they speak to us.

From the food on our tables, to the falling snow and rain, to the smile of a child, to the comforting embrace of a caring friend--each and every creation is an extraordinary, unique, and holy creation of God, just as I am. And by recognizing the sacredness around us, and allowing ourselves to focus our awareness on it, we allow our lives to become much richer.

Today's Challenge: Look for the divine within the ordinary trials of your life today.

Questions to consider:

How rich do you feel your life to be? What are some of the sacred things in your life?

Does failing to notice the sacredness in the ordinary rob us of our riches? How might being able to see the divine in the ordinary existence of life add to them?

Is sacredness reserved for saints, priests, and pastors? Why do we tend to feel that they somehow have better access to the sacred?

For further thought:

All thoughts, all passions, all delights, whatever stirs this mortal frame, all are but ministers of love, and feed his sacred flame.

Hartley Coleridge

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Today's Challenge: Make the most of your life today by entering all four rooms of your proverbial "house."

Today's Quotation:

There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms--a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.

Rumer Godden

Today's Meditation:

As a child, it had never really occurred to me that there might be more to me than just the person I thought I was. But as I have grown older and learned more about myself and life, I have come to realize that who I am consists of many differing parts--and that if I simply try to improve one of these parts while neglecting the others, I generally fail in the long run.

Lasting change requires our lives to be in balance, our personhood to be in harmony with all our essential fibers of being. And if we "go into every room every day," we are sustaining that balance and making sure that we are aware of where we stand as far as these four elements of ourselves are concerned. Perhaps I have been at a spiritual low for the past few days. Without this awareness, I might not understand what is bringing me down, and I have no way of seeing that some spiritual nourishment may be all that is necessary. Maybe the stressful feelings of the last few days are the result of emotional turmoil. Again, unless I pay attention to my emotions, I will not be able to address the issues that are causing the turmoil, and those stressful feelings will continue.

Each day... open the doors to those rooms you rarely frequent. Open the curtains and let the light guide you, direct you, and strengthen you as it weakens those negative things that hate the light. Open the windows and add fresh air into what has otherwise become stagnant. In doing so, we serve to strengthen our inner selves and help ourselves to remain aware of all that is going on within us.

Today's Challenge: Make the most of your life today by entering all four rooms of your proverbial "house."

Questions to consider:

What do you see when you enter each room of your house--emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually? How often to you frequent each room?

What are some ways in which you can encourage yourself to work on improving upon all aspects of who you are?

Are there any other rooms in your "house" that you recognize?

For further thought:

Personal growth is a process of identifying the physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual changes we desire, and working in each area to improve and reach our fullest potential.

Dr. Christina Hibbert

Friday, January 2, 2015

Kissing... (a poem)

Today's Challenge: Ensure that all your interactions today express love, concern, compassion and kindness.

Today's Quotation:
Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough; money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go; first of all in your own home. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor.

Mother Teresa

Today's Meditation:

All too often, when we think of giving, we think of financial gifts and material goods. And although it is very important that people have money and things, as Mother Teresa points out, "these things are not enough." Money and things can be obtained, or even replaced, but love cannot. And people need to be loved. They need to know that their lives matter, that their concerns are heard, and that their importance exists.

So much of the ills of our societies exist because people feel unloved. Heartbreak and depression--a result of feeling rejected and unloved--are cause for the majority of the harmful and negative things people do in life. Just imagine how much less crime, misery, and hatred would exist in this world if people just felt loved.
So how can I go about spreading love throughout this world? Can I give love to others without making them feel uncomfortable? Can I give love in appropriate and meaningful ways? Can I give love equally and without conditions to those who are close to me as well as to complete strangers?

This world needs our love. Spread it through service toward your fellow man, through encouragement and genuine concern, through compliments and compassion, and through any other meaningful contributions you can make in the lives of others. And although our loving efforts may seem small, or we may not always see the results of them, the differences they make are tangible and essential for all of life.

Today's Challenge: Ensure that all your interactions today express love, concern, compassion and kindness.

Questions to consider:

In what ways do you give? In what ways do you try to spread love?

Think of someone you know as a loving person. What are some of the things this individual does that make you consider them to be so loving?

What are some excuses for not spreading love? How legitimate are these reasons? If you do not spread your love because of these reasons, can your love be unconditional?

For further thought:

You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

Amy Carmichael

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year... Same Mission (educate, empower, and entertain...) The journey continues with me...

Today's Quotation:

Every new year people make resolutions to change aspects of themselves they believe are negative. A majority of people revert back to how they were before and feel like failures. This year I challenge you to a new resolution. I challenge you to just be yourself.

Aisha Elderwyn

Today's Meditation:

New Year's resolutions do not necessarily have to be about changing a negative aspect of ourselves. Sure, we have flaws, and it is good to be aware of them and to work at reducing or eliminating them. But when we only look at the negative, and direct all our energies on only fixing what is wrong, we often find ourselves facing more difficulty and failure that generally leaves us no better off than we were before. Perhaps as Aisha mentions, the trick instead is to look for potential and places in our lives where we can excel.

When we spend our time focusing on things that we do well, and work hard to become even better at them, we set ourselves up for a high margin of success. And it is far easier to make positive changes in our lives when we are met with success instead of failure. Thus, with each little success we come that much closer to meaningful and lasting change.

This year, instead of looking for all the things you would like to fix in your life, focus on the things that you do well and work at getting even better at them. Just imagine the potential that you might create for yourself and the wonderful things you might accomplish. Remember, the most effective way we can strengthen our gifts is to use them to grow and further ourselves. So why not "just be yourself" this year and work on being the best version of yourself that you can be.

Today's Challenge: Resolve to change and build up a positive aspect of yourself this year.

Questions to consider:

What does it mean to you "to just be yourself?"

What are a few things you are good at? How much time do you spend developing those gifts?

What kinds of activities can you do to develop your own strengths?

For further thought:

In this new year, may you have a deep understanding of your true value and worth, an absolute faith in your unlimited potential, peace of mind in the midst of uncertainty, the confidence to let go when you need to, acceptance to replace your resistance, gratitude to open your heart, the strength to meet your challenges, great love to replace your fear, forgiveness and compassion for those who offend you, clear sight to see your best and true path, hope to dispel obscurity, the conviction to make your dreams come true, meaningful and rewarding synchronicities, dear friends who truly know and love you, a childlike trust in the benevolence of the universe, the humility to remain teachable, the wisdom to fully embrace your life exactly as it is, the understanding that every soul has its own course to follow, the discernment to recognize your own unique inner voice of truth, and the courage to learn to be still.

Janet Rebhan

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Identity Theft and Bank of America's Lies



On the 16th of January, I went to an ATM in Roxboro, NC to make a withdrawal. When I checked the receipt, I noticed that what was left in my account did not equal what should have been there. I immediately went to my office and logged into my Bank of America account to see what transactions went through. I noticed a pending entry from a company called National Safety Council which I did not authorize. I immediately googled the company and got the contact information so that I can contact them regarding such a matter. The customer service representative, Lisa, told me the details of such a transaction and it was revealed that my debit card information was compromised. I asked her to correct the fraudulent transaction and she indicated that she would void it out. I then contacted Bank of America and told them that my debit card was compromised and that someone was making illegal transactions with my card. The card was then cancelled. The customer representative at Bank of America indicated that if the representative at National Safety Council voided the charge, it would fall off the account by midnight.

I checked my account on the 17th of January and the account still indicated that the charge was still pending. I contacted National Safety Council and the representative indicated that she voided the transaction and that there was nothing else that she could do regarding the fraudulent charge. I then contacted Bank of America and informed them that the National Safety Council representative voided the charge and that my account still showed the fraudulent charge as pending. I was informed that it could take 48 hours for the transaction to be removed from my account.

I checked my account on the 18th of January and the charge was still pending. I had National Safety Council fax the information needed to Bank of America as I was informed of a representative on the 17th that if they received the information indicating it was an erroneous charge, they could remove the pending charge within 30 minutes. Later, the representative of Bank of America indicated that the charge was no longer pending and he did not see any pending charges on my account. I was looking at my account online and the charge was still reflected as pending.  He indicated that it should be resolved if I logged back out then logged back in. I did that five times while on the phone with the Bank of America representative. It never reflected what he indicated that he saw on his end. He then said that the web version takes awhile to update, so while on the phone with him, I called the Bank of America to check my account and it still indicated that the charge was pending. He then said that it should reflect what he saw on his end by midnight.  I was then transferred to fraud and it indicated that though the card was cancelled, many other charges were attempted but were denied.

On the 19th, I contacted the Bank of America and informed them that the charge was pending and that I had been lied to by the organization for the last three days. The representative, Tandra Jefferson, was rude and indicated that it could take up to five days to fall off my account, that it was a Visa issue and not Bank of America. I informed them that the information she was giving me was far different than the information I received on the 16th, 17th, and 18th. She then became rude regarding my questioning the information she was giving me and asked her to read back the notes from the previous conversations that I had in Bank of America employees on previous dates. I asked to speak to her supervisor and she became even ruder to me. I informed her that I had a number of pressing issues due to this fraudulent transaction and that National Safety Council did what was required and that the holdup was now with Bank of America. I then asked to speak to her supervisor and she indicated that she was a supervisor. I asked to speak to her supervisor and she transferred the call. Her supervisor, Deon McClinton, reiterated what Tandra said and provided additional information regarding Bank of America’s policies regarding fraudulent charges. I told him that the pending charge reset on two occasions, now indicating a hold date of 1/23. He said that would indicate the 5th business date and that is why it probably reset to that date.  I then informed him of what previous Bank of America representatives said regarding crediting the account a certain amount of money and I then asked him to that for my account. He indicated that the fraud department could not do that and that must be something that the customer service department could implement. I then asked to be transferred to that department and he did so, but it was indicated that they were closed hours earlier. I then called back verbalizing my frustration regarding the run-around I was receiving from Bank of America and they issued an apology but no viable solutions. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

It's not that "today is the first day of the rest of my life," but that now is all there is of my life.




Today's Quotation:

It's not that "today is the first day of the rest of my life," but that now is all there is of my life.
Hugh Prather

Today's Meditation:

It would appear that Hugh has a problem with the people who focus on the idea that "starting now, I can be a better or different person." Personally, I do not have any problem with the concept, but I can see Hugh's point quite clearly--the more we stay focused on what we are going to do with the rest of our lives, the less we allow ourselves to commit to living the present moment for all that it is worth.

"Now is all there is of my life,"--and Hugh is right. Your next moment, ten minutes from now, two weeks from now--none of these things is guaranteed. And what happens two weeks from Thursday is completely out of our control. What will happen will happen, and we may be able to influence it, but we certainly cannot control it. The present moment, lived fully with enthusiasm, love, attention, and awareness, truly is all there is of our lives. And once it is done, it will be replaced by another present moment.

When all is said and done, life is simply a series of "nows." How we live them depends on us. I do not want to stay focused on the rest of my life because if I do, I am taking away from the potential of this moment. Yes, I prepare for the future, and I prepare for retirement, and I prepare for what may come later, but even that preparation is accomplished in my present moments.

At this moment, you have the entire world full of possibilities at your disposal. If you decide that you want to travel around the world, you have the potential to do so, if you spend your nows preparing for it and raising the money for it. If you want a stronger relationship, then you can spend your nows improving that relationship. If you want a better job, you can spend your nows learning more about your work and improving your performance. But please, do not waste the present moment by putting your focus on some future moment that may or may not get here.

Questions to consider:

What resources are available to you right here, right now?

How might you improve your experience of the now? How might you get more out of each present moment as it arrives?

Why do so few people keep their minds, their hearts, and their attention on right now?

For further thought:

Many people live as if life were a dress rehearsal for some later date. It isn't. In fact, no one has a guarantee that he or she will be here tomorrow. Now is the only time we have, and the only time that we have any control over. When our attention is in the present moment, we push fear from our minds... Practice keeping your attention on the here and now. Your efforts will pay great dividends.
Richard Carlson

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.


Today's Quotation:

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Today's Meditation:

How much time have I spent feeling inferior to others? What result has this had in my life?

It was not until I grew up a bit that I realized that feeling inferior is a common trait in developing individuals. It has less to do with the superiority of other people than it does with the perceived inferiority of the person who feels inferior. I recall as a child, thinking everyone was better than me at everything--relationships, work, hobbies, school... you name it. And if anyone ever tried to make me feel inferior, they certainly did not have to work too hard to do so.

Fortunately, I have learned in the meantime that things such as inferiority are just a question of perception, and are not to be given as much credence as some people would like. So I may not be as good at baseball as another boy--life goes on, and there are plenty of things that I am much better at than he is.

When we allow others to make us feel inferior, we are giving away much of our power to live our lives fully and happily. We are stripping our own power to control our lives and allowing others to determine how we feel about ourselves, which is something that we simply never should do. As long as we are trying our best at all we do, we should feel fine about ourselves and not worry about how other people perceive us, our efforts, or our results.
I determined long ago not to consent to allow anyone else to belittle me, judge me unfairly, or make me feel inferior. And in the time since I made that decision, I have learned that it truly is my choice--when I do not let it happen, it does not happen. When someone tries to do so, it is very obviously a reflection of their own insecurities and not an indication of who I am or of my value as a person. I like life much more when I do not consent to let others make me feel small and insignificant.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things do you allow people to make you feel? How did you start letting them do so?
In what ways do you consent to let others make you feel inferior?

I have learned to not allow people to have that much influence over me. Now, occasionally, I may fall into the trap of allowing someone's ill treatment of me influence me to feel sad or hurt, but I quickly resolve such feelings so that I can be in good spirits. A person can only do what you allow them to do.

Think of someone who sticks up for themselves in a very genuine and healthy way. What allows them to do so? How do they do so? What can you learn from them?

I can name many people since I do work for a mental health agency and we are taught to model what we "preach".

For further thought:

Don't let the opinions of other people determine the image you have of yourself. There is no need to feel either appreciated or understood. Be even-minded. What you think about yourself is everything. What others think about you has no value at all, unless you choose to give it value.

Shantidasa

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us.


Today's Quotation:

We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us.
Virginia Satir

Today's Meditation:

It is hard to believe just how much time I have wasted worrying about how other people have seen me, what they have thought of me, what they have considered me to be, the value they have seen in me. I somehow grew up putting a great deal of value in other people's perceptions of who I am and what I am worth, even when those people really have not known much about me at all.

Because of this tendency, I have made many of my decisions in life based on what I have thought other people would think about me and my decisions actions. I have rejected possible relationships because of what I thought other people would think about me if I went out with a certain girl. I have not pursued certain careers because of the judgments that I was sure other people would pass on my choice of professions. I have not pursued certain passions because I did not want people to think less of me.

I have also lost an amazing number of opportunities in my life. And while I am not going to spend today regretting what I did or did not do yesterday, I know that my life could be much more fulfilling today if I had not worried so much about what others thought earlier in my life. I wanted to be the person that I thought others wanted to see, so that they would accept me more fully. But that acceptance would have been conditional, which is the worst type of acceptance that we can possibly pursue.

I knew a man once who wanted to be a lawyer because that is what his father expected from him. His dad had defined him, defined his likes, his dislikes--his very life. But his dad did not have to live that life.
I need to define myself. My tastes, my preferences, my passions, my likes and dislikes--all need to come from me if I am to live a genuine and authentic life. They need to come from my heart and my spirit, not from what I think others want to see in and from me. If I allow others to define me and who I am, then I am allowing others to do so from a very limited and distorted position, and I am setting myself up for major disappointment in life.

Questions to consider:

Who defines who you are? How is that definition reached? 
I define who I am... my education, experiences, and employment define who I am. I am a man who educates, empowers, and entertains, mostly on daily basis. I had a far reaching radio show called Eclectic Perspectives and hope to get another season started in 2013 with +Anjene Davis , +Ashley Mitchell , +Ayasha Calloway , +Courtney MacDermid , and +Philicia Baugh

Why do we sometimes give others the power to decide who, what, or how we should be or act? 
I feel we sometimes give people such power because we want their approval or we look up to them for guidance and to show us a better way, so we may conform in order to get their blessings. All too often though, we find that it is never enough.

How can we take back the right and ability to define ourselves? What will be some of the positive results if we do so?
We simply must do it, no steps defined, One must simply decide and make it manifest. By defining ourselves we indicate the end goal and what we must do so when accomplished, we know that we have succeeded. 

For further thought:

There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout: This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me... or leave me. Accept me--or walk away! Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don't fit your idea of who I should be and don't try to change me to fit your mold. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision. When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad--you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.

Stacey Charter

Monday, January 30, 2012

Studying for the NCE (National Counselor Exam) Try Out These Online FlashCards

http://www.proprofs.com/flashcards/story.php?title=nce-flash-cards

"I have created numerous cards designed to cover all the major content areas. Most of my cards come from the book, Encyclopedia of Counseling by Howard Rosenthal. If you are serious about passing the exam, I suggest you purchase this book, as it is the finest study guide I have ever seen."

I am looking to form a cohort and study for this exam... if anyone is interested in joining me in my efforts to study for, pass, and obtain that LPC licensure... contact me and lets make something happen.

One... strong, more... even stronger.