As I've grown, my expectations for what other people should be doing, even on the most basic level, has dwindled. I realized a very long time ago that a lot of what was upsetting me was simply me relying on and expecting something from someone. It was not an easy adjustment but it was worth it for my sanity. If I am going to be upset with someone, I'd rather it be me. It's hard lowering your expectations, especially with all that is going on. Our anger is literally an expectation that we had for someone or something to uphold, that was not fulfilled. Moments like these, which are pretty consistent for us, still get under our skin and anger flushes out. It's all justifiable, but also feels like a constant cycle of being let down.
I have very low expectations for the police or the entire government for that matter. I do not expect conditioning of a 400+ year system to change over night. Now, it would be nice to see our government completely dismantle and start the entire police force over (like Camden, NJ and now Minneapolis, MN (1) AS WELL AS numerous other systematic racist divisions within the system, with completely new training and staff, adding in serious mental health requirements, mediation and deescalation training, etc but I no longer take them serious enough to have those expectations. Reform sounds nice but I think this whole system needs to be thrown away and started over. I don't have expectations for white people or anyone outside of our community. I have switched those expectations over to myself.
“Expectations lead to premeditated resentment.”
At this point, I just can't keep doing that. Being disappointed is exhausting; it will have you not caring about the things that deep down, you truly care about. Or it may have you fighting with no strategy because you still have an expectation for someone else to fulfill. I think it's time we start focusing that energy of anger, expectation, and disappointment, on ourselves in a positive way.
I am (We are) the change. I am (We are) the motivator, the seed. If I want change, than I need to make changes. Everyone has their role, and if I don't fulfill mine, others cannot fulfill theres. We have to be on the same page that what we do individually, matters for the whole collective to grow. Grow yourself, and spread that growth, intentionally. BUILD YOUR TRIBE! I can sit here and drop facts about our oppression, the lack of money cycling within our community, the powers that be, black plight, etc but we all know it. Some may not have detailed information but the basic information is known and it's enough to make each of us question what WE are doing.
I am a firm believer that if you start working on yourself, your health, and your wealth as well as your spirit, you will inevitably be the seed. We don't know who we are so it's hard for us to grow collectively.
I purpose getting to know yourself. Who are you? How do you communicate? What drives you? What areas of yourself can you work on to be a better you? What do you want to do in this life? Do you want to contribute to your community? How do you want to contribute to your community? What are your morales and why do you hold them?
There are a few personality tests out there can help you start better understanding yourself. There is one in particular that I and several of the folks around me took and it was overwhelming accurate for all of us. It gave me a much better understanding as to why I do certain things, what it is that drives me and how I can be a better me. 16Personalities.com. Once you really start getting to know who you are, you'll want to be better. You will want to take better care of yourself. You will start looking more into what you put in your body as well as what you allow in your brain/spirit. You're not going to tolerate bullshit anymore.
I also have 2 books in mind that I think will help tremendously will better understanding who you are. The book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts. In this book Alan explores “The cause and cure for the illusion of separateness that keeps us from embracing the richness of life” He really makes you dig deep; opening your mind to different possibilities as to why we are the way we are. This book was a huge game changer for me and definitely played a role in the person I am becoming today. Next, would be Ismael by Daniel Quinn. Ismael is a philosophical novel about the cultural bias that are driving the world today. He explores a new way of thinking and a new way of living while also being sustainable on this planet. My morals and ethics evolved so much after reading this book. It's a book I can read several times and still be intrigued.
While you are getting more in tune with yourself, getting healthier almost seems inevitably. Lifestyle changes are necessary. Work out. Meditate. Clean eating. I have ideas but we all have different body types. The key is to try and be consistent. This should be important to you. I've created a list below of the resources and ideas I use to achieve these goals.
Meditation improves concentration and focus in addition to mental and physical well being. This is exactly what we all need right now, FOCUS! I try to meditate each morning and evening. I do a 3 minute meditation in the morning to get my mind prepared and focused for the day. Not too long as I don't want to fall back asleep lol. In the evening, I meditate until I fall asleep. You can use the free version of the headspace app to learn fundamental and beginner techniques for meditating and breathing.
Everyone will need to find their own style for this one. Again, the most important thing is to try and to be consistent. I do yoga in the morning for about 20 minutes (check out my previous blog for yoga sources!) then I do this 20 minute full body workout. I think everyone can benefit from this one. I try to do this 3 to 5 times a week while also getting a an evening workout 3x a week. I'm not perfect but I stay consistent!
I am a strong believer that moderation is key in all aspects of life. I myself do not eat much meat; there are pockets in the year (holiday season!) where no holds bar lol but I am very consistent with keeping my meat intake low. There are resources for being moderate and resources for helping you transition to a plant based lifestyle. My girl Danni is killing the game by providing a plethora of resources, guides and recipes to help you make changes to being vegan. She even wrote a book! AND, she's Black ! Please check out damgoodvegan.com and follow them on IG and facebook. Danni is fun, goofy and down to earth. She makes eating healthy exciting.
What you do with your money is probably the most effective way to make change these days. (see the play on words there ) SAVE SAVE SAVE! Be fully aware of who you are buying from and what they stand for. We are out here unknowingly supporting racist, sexist, pedophilia etc groups and that needs to stop now! PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING! That's all Im going to say about handling your money right now. But we will definitely be getting into stocks, land, real estate, generational wealth, collectivity, etc very soon.
It's time to start making real changes. orrrrrrr stfu.
cover image: The St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond was one of the first black-owned banks in the United States.COURTESY OF NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, MAGGIE L. WALKER NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE