What Grooves Me


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Emotional Challenges of Being a Music Lover...

A snippet of my 500+ cd collection
Hola! Those who know me very well can attest to my love of music.  A new section, What Grooves Me, has been added to the blog's navigation.  It will be an ongoing list of the artists and music I groove to or the latest 'eargasm' I've discovered.  Make sure you check it out.

I've stopped buying cd's (thanks, Legalsounds), but what should I do about the 500+ cd's floating around my abode?  I'd rather give an arm than sell them, so that's out of the question.  I won't even go into the amount of music I have in my electronic library (think thousands!!!).   Don't ask why, but I'm also attached to my cd's in their original cases.  Oh, I've tried those cd carrying cases and they don't work for me.  I keep wondering, "What if I'm on Antiques Roadshow, let's say 30 years from now, and the value of the cd is significantly less without its original case?"  Arggh! I'd be kicking myself.  Then again, I sincerely doubt that Dr. Alban's "Its My Life" will ever be considered a gold mine, but its still a part of the soundtrack of my life.

(Don't deny it, you were jamming to this too. My fellow Nigerian's need not disown him either )  

I'm always on the hunt for new music or artists, so if you have something you think might peak my interest, PLEASE SHARE!!!  Don't forget to check out What Grooves Me and I'd love to hear your thoughts about the blog so far (psst! comments section below). love+live.life

One Republic- Good Life

Me and My Shadow


Monday, August 27, 2012

My shadow in Phoenix, Arizona

I believe that the Jungian “Shadow” archetype has been given bad reputation by pop culture and those who don’t understand its importance to human personality.   The Shadow is everywhere in popular culture.  It is Bruce Wayne’s Batman or any other character with a dark superhero alter ego.  It is the evil Mr. Hyde to the good Dr. Jekyll.  Ask anyone you know and they are likely to refer to the shadow side of one’s personality in a negative way, but is this really true?

According to Carl Jung, everyone has an energy within that stays hidden from the conscious mind (ego), yet it contributes to the overall structure of one’s personality.  This energy, which contains more of man’s basic animal nature than any other part of the unconscious, is the shadow.  The shadow is amoral—neither good nor bad, just like animals.  It simply does what it does.  It drives our normal instincts and appropriate responses that have survival value.  It also has the ability to be the most powerful and potentially dangerous part of the psyche, so it’s no wonder we often work hard to suppress our shadow side.

The funny thing is, your shadow is persistent and does not want to be ignored.  It is always around and works with your ego. When your shadow and ego are in close harmony, you feel full of life and vigor.  The harder you work to suppress it, the likely you are to sink into depression, spin out of control, or project those unwanted parts of yourself onto another person.  When one unconsciously suppresses the shadow, you do so at the expense of the best part of the psyche that is also hidden. Unrealized talents and gifts, spontaneity, creativity, strong emotions, and deep insights all live in the power of your shadow.  Your ability to handle situations that require immediate decisions and reactions or actions, come with your shadow. 

Bruce Wayne knew that the only way to truly be himself or help Gotham City, was to become Batman at the appropriate time.  He embraced his shadow and so should you.  Those sometimes socially considered unattractive, dark, and annoying traits or behaviors are what make you whole, real, and three-dimensional.  The key is to find ‘acceptable’ forms of expressions for your shadow, so that the whole personality, its light and its dark sides, can be brought into greater balance.  So, the next time your shadow shows up, acknowledge its presence, smile, and take it by the hand. love+live.life

Everyday is Humanitarian Day


Sunday, August 19, 2012

I had the privilege of meeting a wonderful group of people and organizations during my recent trip to South Africa.  In the spirit of World Humanitarian Day, I will be sharing some information on these organizations every month.  Check out their websites, support their causes, and spread the word on what these everyday heroes are doing with very limited resources.

Make World Humanitarian Day a celebration everyday! 

Original T Bag Designs


Started in 2000, Original T Bag Designs was founded out of the need to create job opportunities for others in the Hout Bay region of Cape Town, South Africa.  Jill wondered what would happen if tea bags were reused creatively, instead of throwing them away after having cups of tea. Twelve years later, Original T Bag Designs offers employment to many Black residents living in Nelson Mandela Park by teaching them how to make coasters, greeting cards, bookmarks, artworks, bags, christmas decorations, wall decorations, etc all from TEA BAGS


Original T B Designs Founder, Jill
Production Area

Cross Wall Art

Coasters and Jewelry Boxes
Me (center) with  Jill and Peggy Sue

Of course, I could not leave without a few goodies for myself and gifts for others.  The next time you dip your tea bag in a cup, consider giving it a second life.  Keep them, empty them out, mail them to the workshop and support this wonderful social enterprise, its people, and community.  love+live.life! 

Transitions... Advice from a Caterpillar

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Who are YOU?" said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then."...

The Caterpillar was the first to speak.  "What size do you want to be?" it asked.
"Oh, I'm not particular as to size," Alice hastily replied; "only one doesn't like changing so often, you know."
"I DON'T know" said the Caterpillar.
Alice said nothing: she had never been so much contradicted in her life before, and she felt that she was losing her temper.
-  Chapter V in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll was onto something in this exchange between Alice and the Caterpillar.   Alice was chasing a white rabbit when she fell into the hole and stumbled into a foreign land.  She has shrunk to a smaller size and  almost drowned in her own tears.   She just listened to a mouse deliver a dry lecture, watched animals engage in a Caucus-Race, where everyone runs in a circle with no clear winner, and now she meets a blue Caterpillar sitting on a mushroom smoking a hookah.

Their interaction begins when the Caterpillar asks " Who are YOU?" which leads to Alice's admission that she currently does not know who she is.  Alice is having an identity crisis!

Hands up if you haven't felt like Alice at one time or the other.  I have been exploring "Who am I?" for the past year.  In some ways, I have had my own identity crisis.  I've been in that place where life decides to switch things on you without notice.  Better yet, you have hoped and prayed for something to change but the process feels as though you have fallen into a dark abyss and you are lost.  Everything feels unfamiliar  and you are in a perpetual state of confusion, frustration, hope, relief, and grief all at once.

These feelings of being suspended in purgatory may come as a result of the loss of a job, loved one, or relationship.  It may come because you resist or oppose change in your life.  If you are nodding your head in agreement, rest assured that all is well.  You are merely in transition.  

According to William Bridges in his book, Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes, life is one big transition  with an "ending-then-beginning pattern" in continuous play as each person grows and changes.  Transition is an internal process, a paradigm shift that occurs in the mind as one goes through change.  To be clear, transition is not change.  It happens much slower and subtly than change does, but ultimately, being in transition leads to change.  Just like Alice, you live experiences and along the way, your view through the looking glass of life makes you question "Who am I now?", "Why/What is this happening?", " Why me?", " Why now?"

The most important thing to remember when in transition is that the neutral zone between the end and new beginning stages is the most disorienting.  However, it can be where your greatest moments of creativity, innovation, and renewal occur.  You may feel the need to withdraw, be alone, or feel empty.  Do not apologize or feel defensive, for the neutral zone is meant "to be a moratorium from the conventional activity of your everyday existence."  In embracing this period, you are welcomed with an extraordinary kind of awareness of who you are.  You start to see and think differently, old things are left behind to make room for the new.  You are able to answer the Caterpillar's  "What size do you want to be?" question in the neutral zone. 

In the end, accept being in transition.  It will help soothe the bumps that you will encounter along the way toward change.  love+live.life!

New Beginnings


Friday, August 17, 2012

Welcome!  I have decided to join the world of blogging. Why?  I asked myself the same question over and over again and truthfully, the only reason I could come up with is that I want to create a space online that does not fit into one box or another.  A place,  where social issues, fashion, faith and spirituality, music, movies, photography, design, health, and information on people and organizations doing good mindfully coexist.  A place, where the noise of everyday distractions sometimes take the fun out of conscious and authentic living.

I am committed to being a lifelong continuous learner, so let's make this a conversation.  I welcome your comments and feedback, or if you know of something that deserves to be a featured.  Wish me luck and always love+live.life!

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