Dance

Do a little shimmy. Do a little kick and slide or a slide a kick. Wiggle. Wiggle. Wiggle. Hit a spin. Dance as much as you can. This is life. In life, everything is a gift.

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Plan the work. Work the plan.

My friend Greg is a big runner. He wrote a post about how he prepares for ultra marathons. In it, he writes “Plan the work. Work the plan.” I love it.

Effort makes result, but not all efforts are equal. Spending time creating a plan is spending time thinking about effort: how it’s applied, when, where and how. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Mike Tyson

Plans change. That’s expected. The benefit of a plan is structure, a medium to practice discipline, and a familiarity with process. “Process wins championships.” Nick Saban

Set your goal. Make your plan. Work that plan.

Fall in love with the process.

Don’t take anything personally

How do we stay effective and above water when people suck at communicating? 

Don’t take things personally. The Four Agreements tells us that:

  • Nothing others do is because of you.
  • What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
  • When you are immune to the option and actions of others you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

There’s so much more to this, but we’ll pause here, simmer on this, and take this with us as we go about our day. Sure, it’d be great if they had it too. Let’s start with us.

The Worst Shooting in American History

Wounded Knee, December 29th, 1890 is the worst shooting in American history.

US Government Troops opened fire killing 150-300 Sioux Native Americans. This was the last major event between the Americans and the Native Americans of the Plains. Some tried to call it a battle, but historians say “in reality it was a tragic and avoidable massacre.” A group of well armed soldiers surrounded the Native Americans, it’s unlikely the Natives were looking for a battle, but historians speculate that the soldiers shot first in retaliation for an earlier defeat to the Native Americans at Little Bighorn in 1876.

American treatment of Native Americans or First Nations people on the continent was & continues to be subpar. America has always has a gun & ego problem.

History is a flightlight into the future, but we mustn’t let it be washed away.

 

Creating as liberation

Post-College, life can look monotonous. Work Gym Home. Work Bar Home. Gym Work Home. It’s all that–in some order. Throw in a few episodes of Insecure or Narcos, maybe some Shooter (USA) when everything else runs out–it’s a life.

Next time you’re feeling stuck on the hamster wheel–try creating.

You don’t need to be Picasso to start. Just starting is good enough. Grab a pen and a notebook: write what’s on your mind for 2 minutes; then 5. Grab your laptop-write your thoughts into your notes. Grab a pencil–draw. Put on a track in the silence of your corner–freestyle for a few minutes. Don’t worry.

Nobody’s there to judge you, but yourself. You’ll always be your biggest critic, but how bomb it would be to find yourself liberated from the fear of your critique–from the critique of others– and create what you like–if only because you like it.

If only because it makes you happy.

I wrote a poem on identity in Spanish (here it is in Spanish & English)

Video: https://youtu.be/9Z83Vzjiot8


¿Quién eres? Ellos me dijeron. No estoy seguro—jamás estoy seguro. Pienso ¿por qué? ¿Quién quiere saber?   ¿y por qué tú quieres? ¿Quieres celebrar quién soy yo?

¿Quieres apoyarme cuando alguien dice malas cosas sobre mí/mi mamá/ mi hermana/ mi gente que creció como crecí/que se parece a mí/ que hablan como yo? Me preguntas por qué tú quieres ensuciarte las manos conmigo o me preguntas por qué tú quieres ponerme en una caja donde puedes entenderme más?

Soy una mezcla de lenguas, bailes, y músicas. soy chévere, triste, y feliz. Soy hijo de miles de años de historia—cada en el mismo tiempo. Soy el guardián de mi hermano. El amigo de mi vecino. Solo hijo de mi mamá. Quiero ser liberado de la caja. Quiero una identidad por mí—para mí. Quiero escribir mi historia y que niños como yo puedan escribir la suya también.

Yo soy yo.

Si te digo quién soy no me hace más y si tú no sabes eso no me cambia. ¿Entonces, si te digo quien soy yo—si trato explicarlo—eso me ayudará a ser libre? ¿Si te cuento mi dolor intentarás entender o mi dirías que soy loco—quizás demasiado sensitiva? ¿o que ‘si dejo de ser una víctima mis matones se irán’?

¿si lo comparto contigo, quieres rezar conmigo los ojos cerrados mientras tomas mi tierra o quieres tomar mis manos y caminar? Soy poderoso. No quiero un héroe, pero me gusta amig@s. Quiero compartir todo, pero por favor antes de que lo haga, dime: ¿quién eres y por qué quieres conocerme?

Cuando tú me preguntes ‘Quién eres tú’—¿Quién quieres saber?


 Who you are? They ask me. To be honest, I’m not sure—I’m never sure. When they ask I think why? Who wants to know? And why do you want to know?

Do you want to celebrate who I am? Do you want to support me when someone says bad things about me / my mom / my sister / my people who grew up as I grew up / who look like me / who talk like me? Do you ask me why because you want to dirty your hands protesting and protecting with me or do ask me why because you want to put me in a box to understand me better?

I am a mixture of languages, dances, and music. I’m cool, sad, and happy. I am the son of thousands of years of history-all in the single moment. I am the guardian of my brother. Friend of my neighbor. Only son of my mother. I want to be free from the box made for me. I want an identity for me, by me. I want to write my story so that children like me can write theirs too.

I am me.

If I tell you who I am, it does not make me more, and if you do not know who I am, it does not make me more. So, if I tell you who I am — if I try to explain who I am-will it help me be free? If I recount my pain to you will try to understand or would you say that I am crazy, perhaps ‘too sensitive’? Or will you tell me that ‘if I stop being a victim my thugs will leave’?

If I share my stories with you, will you want to pray–eyes closed while you take my land– or will you want to take my hands and walk together? I’m powerful. I do not want a hero, but I like friends. I want to share everything, but please before I do, tell me: who are you and why do you want to know me?

Next time you ask me ‘Who are you?’—¿Who wants to know?

 

‘The Drivers Seat’

My baby cousin just finished up college. He’s got some free time before he wants to think about and apply to graduate school. Responding to what he’ll spend the next year doing he told me that that he’s just going to take things as they come. I asked what he dreams of doing. He replied there are things I wants to do and I know it’s going to happen just as a result of living. I’ve got no qualms with that.

It’s like Lego–all the pieces we stack and how we stack them make up what the game looks like later. Yes, the pieces will certainly fall regardless of us, but we can also pick the pieces to use, choose how to place them, and where they land.

I think the later is being in the drivers seat. That allows the most efficacy in the game. Winning/losing aside, a significant part of the future of the game is on us. We can do what we want. We can make what we want.

I’m reminded of the last lines of William Ernest Henley’s If 

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.
I wonder if taking life as it comes is taking ourselves out of the drivers seat. Maybe wanting to be in the drivers seat all the time is too alpha. What of our role-models? How did they live—how do you live?
What do you think?