On Lemons and Entitlement by Tasha Richardson

Standard
Photo by Tasha Richardson of abeautifulpatience1.wordpress.com

Photo by Tasha Richardson of abeautifulpatience1.wordpress.com

Scene: A throng of commuters hurry down the stairs of a CTA train station in Chicago.  As they go past, a mother and her daughter, quaintly dressed in a school uniform and book bag, attempt to walk up the stairs.  The little girl hesitates and the mother says with a tone of annoyance, “You don’t stop for anybody–keep moving and they will move out of your way.”  

The mother who told her daughter to stop for no one and that people will move out of her daughter’s way was creating an entitlement dynamic.  Should this little girl override her natural instincts to hesitate and begin to plow through any crowds with the belief that they will always move aside, she will be sadly mistaken when that time comes where no one will move out of her way.  A similar form of entitlement thinking is encouraged by the above advertisement when it tells us to demand something other than which life provides us with, the lemons, in exchange for that which we don’t have, coconuts.

When we feel entitled, we feel the world owes us something and that it has no choice but to give it to us.  This is very different from feeling as though you are worthy and deserving of a certain outcome or the best that life has to offer.  One of the main ingredients that is missing from the entitlement story is humility, acceptance, and the realization that  it is okay–more than okay to get out of life what you didn’t expect.  Entitlement is a trap that only sets us up for discontentment in life when what we feel that we are entitled to does not come to fruition.This article does a great job in making the distinctions between entitlement and other forms of healthy expression. To take an entitlement quiz to see just how entitled you think you are in addition to everyday examples of entitlement thinking, click here.

Practical Tips–Shedding Entitlement Thinking:

  1. Recognize the gifts that life has bestowed upon you and note this favour in a gratitude journal
  2. The Power of the Pause (as frequently stated by Transformation Coach Vicki Hudson-Stapleton, formerly of the Cara Program): Take a giant step back and pause before you launch into thoughts about what life or those around you owes you
  3. Owes means woes–realize that unnecessary thoughts of expectations and what life owes you will lead to woes, comparisons, and anger
  4. Appreciate what life gives you and be willing to go above and beyond for love–without any thought of what the payback will be…and see how much you transform as a person
  5. Don’t fight against the reality of your situation–and what is–and see how you become transformed.

For more awesome and practical tips about life, personal growth, change, and moving beyond entitlement thinking, check out these great below posts from Marc and Angel Chernoff:

  1. 50 Things You Need To Give Up Today

  2. 16 Reasons You’re Succeeding in Life (Even If You Don’t Feel You Are)

  3. 8 Things You Forgot to Be Grateful For

Where in your life do you hold the expectation that you are entitled?  When you do feel that way, what is life showing you?  Is life complying with the entitlement that you feel–or are you experiencing roadblocks?  Comment below!

Here is some food for thought:

Thoughts are just what is. They appear. They’re innocent. They’re not personal. They’re like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling. Thoughts arise like that, and we can make friends with them. Would you argue with a raindrop?

Byron Katie

Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.

Byron Katie

“No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it.”

Richard Bach

Three Year Old with a Relaxer

Standard
Tanika 3 years old

Tanika 3 years old with chemical relaxer abeautifulpatience1.wordpress.com

This is me on picture day in Pre-Kindergarten.  I was three years old.  As you can see my hair is bone straight from a chemical relaxer or “perm.”  At this age, it was ingrained in me that my hair was bad and needed to be altered.  Although I was only three years old at the time, I distinctly remember having this message instilled in me.  One day, my mother’s sister and her children came to visit from Louisiana.  Several of my relatives were sitting around the table in my grandmother’s kitchen talking.  I was sitting on the counter next to a Dark and Lovely Super Relaxer, which is meant for extremely coarse and kinky hair textures. If you have ever had a relaxer before, then you know there are adult “perms” and “kiddie perms.”  Well this one was the adult version.

My aunt asked my mother, “Are you going to put that in Tanika’s hair?”  She was concerned about her giving me the maximum strength  adult “perm,” even though I was very young. My mother replied, “Yes, her hair is bad, so she needs it.” This memory sticks out to me, so much even though I was very young at the time.   For  17 years of my life, from ages 3-20, I was addicted to the “creamy crack” and hated my natural hair.

If you check out the rest of our blog, Tasha and I talk about topics such as worthiness, positive thinking, overcoming life’s tests,  and the importance of self-care, etc.  So, what does hair have to do with the overall message of this blog?  It has everything to do with it.  For me, making the decision to accept my natural hair texture was more about accepting the part of me that I believed was inherently bad for the majority of my life.  It about loving the God given me, including my natural hair.

Going natural has changed not only my life, but has allowed me to have a positive effect on many young girls’ lives and self-esteem.  Anyone who knows me in real life, knows that I love natural hair!  I love styling it, reading about it, watching videos about it, and writing about it.  It’s more than hair, it’s about self-love, self-esteem, health, being a role model, empowerment and so much more.

I want to share with you some more of these stories in future posts.  In the meantime check out this song I absolutely love called Love Me So Naturally by Alicia James that totally relates to my point.

You are beautiful.  Own it. Accept it.  Inspire others to do the same.  What  physical characteristic do you love about yourself?

 

Peace and Blessings

Love Always,

Tanika Monique

Always and Forever

Forever and Always

Off the Shelf: You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

Standard

It’s unanimous!  We would reread You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.  This book is a timeless reminder about how our thoughts can help shape our reality!  It’s a great book for helping one to feel empowered about his/her life and to realize that one is not at the mercy of circumstance.

 

A Metaphorical Suicide- Lessons Learned from the Death and Life of Robin Williams by Tasha Richardson

Standard

On Monday, August 11th, the world lost a gem in Robin Williams.  Preliminary reports reveal that he may have committed suicide.  His death caused a ripple effect of pain to travel across the world. Williams has touched the world with his gifts and talents, and we were made all the better for it.  We thank Robin Williams for all of the humour, authenticity, and light that he offered to us and send condolences to his friends and family.

While the world no longer has Robin with us, the question that remains is what will we do with our own light and lives?  Many of us commit a metaphorical suicide every day.  What does this look like?  This looks like us showing up half there or not there at all.  This means us being silent when it comes to voicing our truths.  It means us agreeing to arrangements and situations that fail to acknowledge our authentic self.  Suicide is defined as the act of intentionally taking one’s own life.  Are you able to identify those areas in your life where you intentionally kill your power, presence, voice, and all that is uniquely you?  Once you do so. what are you willing to do about it?  Unlike those who we have physically lost to suicide, we are still here.  Own your light, beauty, wisdom, and power and “dance and embrace the musicality of life” so that when you really leave this earth, those around you can truly lament your homegoing and benefit from all that you’ve left behind.  What legacy do you choose to have and create–beginning this very moment?  Wake up and live!  Be the YOU who you were created to be!  Grant us the awesome occasion of being surrounded by the you who makes yourself known, no apologies and no excuses!  Change begins now!

For inspiration and life lessons taught by Robin Williams, check out the following articles:

  1. 11 Important Life Lessons Robin Williams Taught
  2. 20 Lessons Robin Williams taught us about life and love
  3. 15 Lessons From Robin Williams Films to Make You a Better Human
  4. Robin Williams: Life Lessons He Left Us With

What lessons have you learned from the life of Robin Williams?  What ways have you been committing suicide in your own life?  Comment below!

Lesson #4: Passing the Test

Standard

Congratulations! You have written down your goals and taken steps needed to accomplish them.  You are in a state of mind in which you feel that you have successfully let go and are approaching a bright future.  Just when you take another step in the right direction, you are knocked back three more steps.

 
I personally can attest to feeling this way.  Often times, when we think we are well on our way to success, we are faced with obstacles.  The question becomes, what do you do when you come across that obstacle?  You are being tested to see whether you will continue on your path and not let that obstacle deter you or completely give up on your goals.

 

Back in 2011, I was casually checking a rarely used email account and I received an instant message from someone I used to chat with.  Before this incident, I had deleted this person from my Facebook friends, messenger friends list, and even permanently deactivated my Facebook account.  I was completely thrown off guard by the IM because it came out of nowhere.  In my mind, I had been on the right track.  I felt like everything was coming together for me and I was changing my life.  During our whole 10 minute chat session, I was reminded of all these negative feelings I once had.

 
Here I was chatting with someone I no longer wished to have in my life, whom I only chatted with when I didn’t want to study, and whom I never felt comfortable talking to in the first place.  I was reminded of the person I no longer wanted to be.  Then it hit me—although I had wasted 10 minutes of my life on this day–I DID NOT HAVE TO WASTE ANOTHER HOUR.  After this sudden realization, I decided to close the window and log out of my email account.  For the record, three years later, I still have not been in contact with this person.

 

When you are faced with an obstacle that you were sure you had overcome–what will you do? Even, if you revert back to your old ways, briefly, just know that you do not have to continue on a downward spiral. If you fall off the wagon, you can pick yourself back up again.  Anytime you are making a positive change in your life, you will be tested.  You can pass that test because you are continuously making positive changes in your life, you are equipping yourself with skills that will enable you to pass any test that comes your way!

 

How do you respond when you are being tested?  Let us know in the comment section.

 

Peace and Blessings

Love Always,

Tanika Monique

Always & Forever
Forever & Always

 

Lesson #3: Sprinkle a Little Pixie Dust

Standard

Recall the memory from your childhood in which you sat down to watch the Disney classic film, Peter Pan.  Can you picture the movie in your head?  Close your eyes and envision Wendy, John, and Michael the first time they were about to fly. Do you remember those magical words Peter told them: Think happy thoughts.  With those happy thoughts and a little sprinkling of pixie dust, they were able to fly.  What if I were to tell you that you too can be just like those children in Peter Pan?  Well you can, in a figurative sense.

The key to the message from Peter Pan is….you guessed it!  Thinking happy thoughts; any little happy thought.  The mind has so much power. By making the conscious decision to think positively, you too can “soar.”  Under no circumstances can you “soar” if you continuously tell yourself negative messages.  Telling yourself “I could never do that;”  “I’m crazy for believing that I can change for the better;” “I am unlovable,” etc will only keep you stagnant.  Your feet will stay remain firmly planted on the ground.  Negative self-talk is a dream killer.  Therefore if you want to fly above your present circumstances think positively.  If you want to make a career change, lose weight, or go to school, you have to constantly tell yourself all the reasons WHY you can.

Tell yourself that you are beautiful, capable, divinely favored, and worthy.  I encourage you to continuously fill your mind with positive messages, which will enable you to soar!  Like Peter said, “think of happy things it’s the same as having wings!”

 

What positive messages do you tell yourself? Comment below.

Peace and Blessings

Love Always,

Tanika Monique

Always & Forever

Forever & Always

 

 

Lesson #2: Apples and Oranges

Video
Photo credit: Tanika Richardson

Photo credit: Tanika Richardson

“Stacy has a better paying job than me.”  “Hector’s married by now! I’m 28 and still single, what is wrong with me?!” “Look at how much weight Mary has lost in a week! Man I’m struggling to lose an ounce.”  The list goes on and on of the types of comparisons we tend to make with others.  We look at the lives of other people and see all the qualities that we do not possess and we end up feeling inadequate.  I had an epiphany the other day, that there will always be someone who has something that you do not.  Yes, Stacy may have a better paying job than you, but at least you are gainfully employed.  Yes, Hector is married, but you are enjoying getting to know yourself and falling in love with you.  Mary may have lost 5lbs in a week, but at least you have consistently eaten healthy home-cooked meals and exercised for 5 days this week.

My point is that comparing ourselves with others is useless.  It’s like comparing apples and oranges; they’re both fruit but completely different. They are both delicious, provide nutrients, and have something beautifully amazing to offer the world.  Instead of comparing yourself to others and focusing on everything you lack, focus on the positive and live in a space of gratitude.  You may not have everything that someone else has, but guess what?  You have something.  I truly believe that we are all uniquely beautiful creations who have something to positive to give to the world.

We are all teachers, we are all leaders, and we are all magnificent.  Apples cannot be oranges and oranges cannot be apples.  Only apples can create apple pie, apple dumplings and apple juice.  Only oranges can make orange juice and cranberry-orange scones.  You may not be Stacy, Hector, or Mary, but there is only one you.  Appreciate who you are and what you have and I guarantee that it will change your life for the better.

 

If you want to hear more about the reasons not to compare yourself to others, check out link to the video below:

What is one thing that is unique about you?  How do you celebrate your uniqueness? Let us know in the comments sections below.
Peace and Blessings
Love Always,

Tanika Monique
Always and Forever
Forever and Always