How to Float Through Life’s Peaks and Valleys

Photo courtesy of bringchange.in

It’s funny how life goes through its peaks and valleys. It’s funny how when we’re in the valley or that dark place, it feels like we’re dying a slow death. And when the peaks are peeking or we are experiencing happiness, we feel like we are unstoppable, unconquerable, and outright powerful! And in those moments, we ARE.

Lately, I’ve been on a cloud of unconcealed bliss. My feelings about my life and this journey that I’m on have brought me to this place of peace within. I’ve gotten to this place where I don’t feel the need to worry, even when things outside of me aren’t looking too promising. I no longer look outside of myself for validation of WHO I AM or WHAT my WORTH is. I no longer entertain those who fail to SEE me as I see myself, to respect my evolution and embrace the whole of me. This space that I am in has been carved out for me by God to take place at this point of my life because it was always God and the Universes intention to use my story as a means of reflecting HIS light.

I now trust that every valley that I ever found myself in was there to teach me how strong and resilient I really am. They were there to show me that regardless of the obstacle, LIFE. GOES. ON. And instead of folding, I learned to bend and flex, and sometimes morph into whatever the moment calls for. I was only able to do this when I truly relied on a SOURCE bigger than me.

Being raised in a Christian Baptist faith, I learned the importance of the Bible verse that says something like, “Lean not on your own understanding, but trust in the lord with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Well lets just say that I have acknowledge that I don’t walk alone in this world, even when I am alone. I feel very watched over, and protected, and safe, and secure, and befriended, and loved, and appreciated, and forgiven, and trusted, and… Well, I could go on and on, but you get the point. I feel all of these things even when I am alone because I now KNOW that God is in me, and acts through me even unbeknownst to me. And if I know what I know about God, then I KNOW that he is the creator of all things, and can do all things.

With this knowledge, I know that if HE is in me, then it is also true that I too am a creator, and a conqueror, and that with sheer WILL POWER, I can overcome any obstacle placed before me, and still find PEACE in my heart. I thank GOD for this level of understanding! And you should too! Because we all are being walked with throughout our journeys. We are NEVER truly alone. However, It is only when we consciously decide to “lean not” on our own visual understanding of what we see and experience in life, and instead, step outside of our stories and understand the bigger picture of what GOD is doing with our spirits, that we can experience this most profound sense of PEACE and POWER. It is then that you can let go of the blame, and anger, and frustration, and take control of your emotions, and ultimately your LIFE!

I believe that I AM a Teacher of some of life’s most humbling, yet graceful lessons because of the peaks and valleys that I’ve faced along this journey. But I am ever so thankful for them, and I wouldn’t take any one of them away if I had the chance, because they made me who I am today. And like fine wine, I just keep getting better with time! And if you pay attention, so do YOU! ūüėČ

Peace & Love,

@BCSTARKS

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The 3 Gems of LIFE: Self-Esteem, Self-Value, & Self-Worth

There’s this reoccurring lesson that keeps presenting itself to me in various forms of my day to day interactions with others. And for a while I didn’t recognize just what it was truly about. In fact, in many of those instances, I thought that somehow life was playing a cruel trick on me. Yes, even I played the victim role. But it hasn’t been until recently that I had to take several steps back and connect the dots in every single one of those scenarios. From interactions with family, boyfriends, co-workers, potential business partners, employers, on down the list… I had been experiencing what felt like a tug-o-war over how I wanted them to see me vs. how I felt I was being treated. And let me tell you, as foolish as this feels for me to admit, I understand that its all a part of growing up. We all have experienced or will experience such a feeling of being under appreciated, or undervalued, especially when we truly know who we are inside.

The trick to something like this is that it’s never really about the people that you are interacting with. In fact, they aren’t even half of the equation of this battle that you’re facing. From what I had to learn, and I’m still absorbing nuggets of wisdom from, is that:

We teach others how to treat us, by the way we treat ourselves

We show people how to interact with us, by the way we interact with ourselves

We inform the world of how much we are worth, by the way we value ourselves

The world looks at us the very same way that we look at ourselves

When we see and feel ugliness and pain within, the world will reflect that same ugliness and pain to us through our interactions

When we see beauty, love, and kindness within, the world will reflect that same beauty, love, and kindness through others

When we show forgiveness for ourselves for our own shortcomings and flaws, it is easier to forgive others, and it unknowingly makes it easier for them to forgive us

When we stand up for ourselves and become our own biggest champion, others will rise to meet us, defend us, and cheer us on

When we feel amazing, unstoppable, and fearless on the inside, life will give us more evidence of just how amazing, unstoppable and unconquerable we really are

When we understand that we and GOD/SOURCE/UNIVERSE are ONE, we understand that we too possess unlimited power and NOTHING or NO ONE outside of us has control over our lives

YOU ARE IN CONTROL of YOU and ONLY YOU!

These nuggets of wisdom come in handy as I continue to sort through what I feel is best for me within my interactions, and in order for me to live my best life. This includes how I wish to be treated by family, friends, significant others, and so on. I’m understanding my role in all of these interactions and how I am hardly ever a victim in any of them. Its all about learning to love myself on the deepest levels, feeling whole and complete at all times (regardless of what I have or have not accomplished), being confident in the woman that I’ve become so far, setting boundaries for what I will and will not tolerate from others (and sticking to it…there’s no point in betraying what you really feel on the inside, otherwise you will attract experiences where others will betray you as well).

Are you starting to get the point here? If more love is what you desire, then figure out where in your life you are not loving yourself enough. Do you often criticize yourself and the way you look? Do you feel like you don’t deserve certain things, even though you really want them? Or do you feel like others won’t do certain things for you, even though you would really like them to? Do you beat up on yourself when you make mistakes or not so great decisions? If so, this is exactly what you are training others to do when they interact with you. To turn it all around, learn to be kind to yourself. Learn to do things for yourself that you would like others to do for you (remember, they are watching your movements and ultimately following your lead). Know that you deserve any and every good thing that you can imagine for your life. And perhaps the people that you are interacting with are not the one’s to give you what you really need. Instead, they are a reflection of who you are choosing to be in those moments. So when you finally wise up and learn to value yourself, perhaps those same people will either step their game up in how they treat you, or disappear altogether and make room for people that will honor this new and improved version of you.

This lesson is something kinda special. I’m not saying that its easy to do either, because one of the hardest things to do in life is to unlearn bad habits. But with effort, gentleness, and time, you can become anything that you want to be!

 

Namaste,

 

@BCSTARKS

“Surrender” Is the Key to Miracles Unfolding [VIDEO: Oprah’s own experience]

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

For me it’s no trivial question. It’s a question that we’ve all been brought to from time to time–me, quite often along my journey. It has even brought me to my knees, and every single time I’ve only been met with one logical answer… SURRENDER.

I’ve come to know first hand that there is no greater power than the power of surrender. In fact, it is when we do the opposite, trying to always control the outcomes of this physical life, that we suffer the greatest pain. That’s because life is made up of more than just the physical parts that we can see, touch, taste, smell, and hear. Yes, we are more than just our physical bodies. According to¬†A Course In Miracles, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Therefore, our true core operates in a dimension that oftentimes cannot be explained by anything physical short of a miracle.

But don’t get things twisted. To surrender doesn’t mean that we are being weak, or that we should condone poor behavior from others. It merely means that we find ourselves at a place of peace about what is, no matter what is. Once we’ve done all the good that we could do to try to help or ¬†correct it, surrender that which is beyond our own control to the DIVINE, and watch grace take over and miracles unfold.

¬†“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” –¬†James 4:10

So simple, yet often so hard to rid ourselves of the ego enough to let life unfold in our own favor.

Check out this video of “Momma O” (Oprah) as she opens up about her own experience with surrendering the trivial things of life to GOD and the Universe.

Love,

@BCSTARKS

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpwW42HVZws%5D

Happiness Is Found In the Choices YOU Make!

The new year is already 8 days old and there have been so many lessons that I’m sure we all have walked away from 2012 with. For me, the journey of 2012 lead me to places I never thought I’d be… spiritually, physically, and especially emotionally.

Last year alone I experienced every human emotion possible, oftentimes feeling more lost than found. For a while I couldn’t understand what God and the Universe were doing with me. And at one point I felt resentful for some of the experiences that I had endured. That was until I realized that I had more power than what I had given myself credit for. Yes, I had the power of choice! It’s the one thing that we as humans have complete control over, even if we can control nothing else… We experience life according to the choices we make. We can choose to play victim and have life happen to us, or we can choose to be a co-creator in our own happiness. Yes, we can CHOOSE HAPPY!

Happiness is a choice that we make with every passing moment. We can choose grace, love and gratitude, or we can choose misery and fear. Since I’m writing this post, you can probably guess which choice I made. That’s right, 2012 may have been quite the challenge, but it wasn’t the deciding factor in my journey. If last year’s phase taught me nothing else, I learned that I can determine my own happiness with a simple shift in awareness and the courage to choose different. If things are going well and you feel a sense of contentment, keep doing those things that serve you best. But if you start to feel that your world is being turned upside down and you are becoming a helpless observer to your own misery, then my friend you need to make some different choices.

As for me, I chose to write this blog post after so long because writing is one of the things in life that makes me happy. I’ve also made some major choices about the direction that I want my life to go in. I’ll ¬†be sure to keep you updated with my progress through BCSTARKS.com. Until then, choose wisely.

Love,

@BCSTARKS

Are You Living Your Purpose?

There is nothing like being in tuned with what your spirit has called you to be. And I’m not referring to titles that we’re always so quick to throw out there. Your purpose has absolutely nothing to do with a job title. In fact, jobs are merely channels that we use to be able to express our purpose. The key is to connect with the channel that will allow you to be more of what you are, thus giving you the room to allow your light to shine as bright as GOD intended.

This all sounds good right? But some may be thinking, “Well, what if I don’t know what that is?”¬†As Oprah once suggested, if you don’t know what your purpose is in life, your mission is to figure it out IMMEDIATELY so that you can get about the business of living it.

Every single person is here for a reason beyond what the human mind can conceive. Just as life happens in divine order, each one of our lives MATTER all because WE ARE HERE! Of the many combinations of mating that takes place among human beings, and the fact that you and I made the cut in this lifetime; the fact that we co-exist RIGHT NOW is nothing short of a miracle. The fact that we have breath in our lungs, and the families that we have, and the experiences that we encounter, and the ¬†many chances that we have to make another choice that will determine the direction that our lives will go is NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE bestowed upon us by the DIVINE. Do you see where I’m going with this?…

When it comes to tapping into your life’s purpose,¬†Daniel Pink suggests that instead of asking questions like “What am I passionate about?,” which seems to be a question that often gets people stuck, better questions to discover your purpose would be “What do you do when no one’s watching? What do you read in your spare time? Where do you seem to inevitably steer your conversations, no matter what the topic is?

For me, these past few months have allowed me to step into my purpose in ways that I never saw coming. The experiences ¬†that I’ve encountered have shown themselves to be channels for me to do what I do best… the thing that I do effortlessly, even when no one else is looking. I do this thing everywhere I go because I take myself with me everywhere I go. And when I do this thing, it makes me feel ALIVE; like I am contributing something greater than myself to those I come in contact with. I know for sure that it is my ultimate purpose because no matter what job title I have, I AM IT!! This is my purpose, and now that I am aware of WHAT I AM ¬†and not just WHO I AM, I vow to use channels that will allow me to be MORE of WHAT I AM; those that will allow my light to shine as bright as GOD and the Universe intended. This blog is one of my channels, and it gives me great pleasure to share my purpose with those that I am so blessed to have read my words, and those that I come in contact with.

My purpose is to INSPIRE through the various skills that I have acquired through various life experiences. When I write, when I engage in conversation, when I embark on projects that allow me to share my purpose with others through service my heart smiles, my light shines, and the DIVINE approves and blesses me in my efforts. And the same happens for all those who do the same.

Make finding your purpose your main life mission. For when you do, life unfolds most gracefully and it makes it all worth while.

Love,

BCSTARKS

The Crippling Disease Know As FEAR: Has It Gotten In The Way?

I write this post  from the deepest place of empathy and compassion, with hopes that at least one person who reads this will become so self-aware that they no longer allow this horrific disease to ruin their life.

Yes, FEAR has long been known to be the most destructive enemy of mankind, and it has caused more heartache and physical harm than any other known disease.

How so? Or better yet, why? Because fear is the most silent and unsuspecting state of thought. It causes all kinds of discomfort in the mind and the body. Think about it… when you are scared, all kinds of thoughts run through your head; mostly negative. Your heart races, or you feel anxious at times. Sometimes people have panic attacks, while others just simply shy away from life, or avoid what it means to truly live.

Fear can stop the most ambitious person dead in his/her tracks and cause them to give up on their dreams… Why? Because they may be “afraid” that they don’t know how to do something, or they become too scared to try something new because they don’t know how things will turn out. Some are just too “fragile” to be vulnerable because they fear “failure”… Yes, as if getting an F on your mid-term or breaking up with your ex who means you no good equates to the idea that the world is ending.

What ever happened to studying harder to do better next time, or practicing something so much that you become a master at it, or learning from your past mistakes so that you do better the next time. So what if the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th times were a complete flop? Pick up the pieces and try, try, try until something works! Yes, even if it takes a lifetime (none of us really knows what’s in a lifetime until we’ve lived and died anyway).

“You Can Rise From The Ashes of Your Life”-Oprah

So many times we worry ourselves sick and become prisoners of our own minds, often feeling as if we have lost control. But the truth is, the only thing we have true dominion over is our own thoughts. We can decide whether we will allow negative thoughts to consume us in a way that keeps us in bondage and from living our best life. Yes, that is the one true god-like power that GOD gave man; the power of thought (and within this, the power and right to “choose”).

It is my wish that each person reading this will become more open to change. My prayer is that you (the reader) will see change as a great indicator that you are the all-powerful being that GOD intended for you to be. And that you excercise this power by choosing to rely on a greater power beyond mankind and yourself. When you trust that a “set back” is just a “set up” for you to be greater than before, for you to aim higher than you ever have, go further than you’ve ever gone, dream bigger than you’ve ever dreamed, and don’t stop at the 1st few attempts, or the first few “NO’s”… You can rid yourself of the indicating symptoms of FEAR before you fall severely ill, only to become completely consumed by it. It will steal your joy, your health, your wealth, and your life, only if you let it!

Be courageous and trust that if no one else supports you, at least YOU and GOD/the Universe will always support YOU.

As a lover of Hip-Hop for all the right reasons, I came across this video interview of rapper 50 Cent and the BBC. In this video 50 discusses his recently published book where he talks about how overcoming fear can be helpful and harmful in business. Of course the lessons in the video, as well as this post is about life as a whole, not just business. Check it out and let me know what lessons you’ve drawn from both, in terms of your own struggles.