Self-Actualization in America

During my early college years I studied about educators and psychologists who had similar lines of thought – that each individual’s primary goal in life is to reach the pinnacle of self-actualization. You know, that moment of clarity where you understand the purpose of your life and your role as a part of the collective called humanity. Each person’s subconscious desire is to reach this nirvana of understanding within us.

I spent the last two weeks grappling with understanding what I was witnessing in real time. Murder, mayhem and lies broadcast far and wide. George Floyd was murdered. By law enforcement. Nothing can justify that. The collective of law enforcement had refused to even arrest the officers involved – that is – until massive amounts of people spoke out about it. Murder. And law enforcement shrugged like – eh, it happens.

So the first amendment allows for freedom of speech and the freedom to peacefully assemble. So the people did just that. Assembled peacefully. Law enforcement took to the protests as though it were a war cry and suited up in military-grade tactical gear (wait, where’d the money for the upgrades come from when there’s no money for education?) complete with tear gas, shields, batons, rubber bullets and fireworks. Yes, they were shooting fireworks at people!

Agitators were sent in to disrupt the protests (which spilled across the nation from coast to coast), pallets of loose bricks were left in plain view (and not near any construction or demolition sites), and police used their bikes, batons, horses and cars to assault protestors. Even the reporters felt the attacks. One reporter was shot in the face with a rubber bullet and lost her vision in one eye. Several protestors from across the nation decided to form a group for those who lost an eye from being shot with rubber bullets (as of 6/9/20 there were at least 8 who had found each other on Twitter).

The devastation caused by gross abuse of power is a major and deadly deterrent to achieving self-actualization. How can we become our best versions of ourselves under the domestic terrorism of our law enforcement whose sole purpose is supposed to be to protect and serve the public?

Photo by Pexels

To My Children…

Thank you for choosing to begin your journey through me. As the vessel to nurture you and bring you forth into this world, I accepted the responsibility. Not a light one either.

Each day from the moment I knew of you, my decisions have caused me anxiety. Am I teaching you the right things? Am I nurturing enough? Do you REALLY know how much I love you?

Even now, as the ‘original kids’, you have reached that milestone of adulthood and I am terrified. Did I show you enough love? Was I affectionate enough? Did my failures in love dissuade you from seeking it? Did I inadvertently pass down hurts that were passed on to me?

My alpha and omega, Tyrice and Chava

Motherhood is a strange emotional ride. The never ending roller coaster. More so for me as I am still trying to figure out my combination lock to life. It feels like the calculus class I took multiple times as a freshman in college and never passed. Some days I feel like I am drowning in the center of the ocean and other days I feel like I am sprinting down the coast with warm sand under my toes.

Amidst the tears, uncompromising expectations (of self) and unpredictability, I wouldn’t change being a mother. It took 20 years to appreciate my stretch marks, but I earned every one. Thank you to all of my children for choosing me to be their mother.

Changing Times

I haven’t written in a while. Since the last time I’ve written the world has seen a global outbreak of the corona virus that has shut down entire countries. Here in Pennsylvania we are under a loosely followed stay-at-home order. Stores and businesses had to close and millions of people were laid off.

During this time even the schools shut down for the remainder of the school year. The school district began the transition to distance learning for the remainder of the year. Chromebooks have been distributed to the students so they could finish the school year.

Meanwhile, many occupations were deemed essential along with the medical professionals and emergency professionals. As a staff member of a homecare agency, our staff was also considered essential meaning we were to remain open and operating.

During this time of quarantine I have had to re-design some of my goals. Some were accelerated. During this time I have had to utilize online ordering more than I used to… In light of that, I have had to re-order copies of both of my books, Entangled Hearts and Reflections: Past, Present, Future. I have since designing my website: http://www.markishabunn.com and now both of my books are available on my website.

Although many are affected by this pandemic there is some good that can come from this. I look forward to seeing the outcome of this pandemic. Squeeze the most out of each day while you have it.

Black Violin Groove

Happy Friday! We are at the end of February and boy did this month fly by! I have been grooving these last couple of months on music from my favorite violinists – Damien Escobar and the duo, Black Violin.

Only those super close to me understand how deeply music touches me and many of Black Violin’s tracks have touched me in a way that can only be felt, not explained. Let me start by suggesting some of the tracks in my current rotation:

* Triumph

* Virtuoso

* Magic

* Showoff

* A Way Home

* Impossible Is Possible

Now all of these tracks can be found on YouTube so don’t fret. This group is also on twitter and instagram (I know because I gave them shout outs a few times). Who knew violins could get so… deep?

I kept thinking these last few years that this is the time for the strings as in the early 2000s the saxophone had everybody grooving in the jazz listening circuit (especially me) but I have always had a love for the strings and bass. I guess that influence comes from seeing my father’s guitar as a child and being fascinated with Prince in the Purple Rain movie.

Back to Black Violins… I love how they pull you in with their openings and then wrap you up in their melodies. They will be in concert in Wilmington, DE on March 28th. That would be awesome to see them play live! The way their music makes me feel…

Life is Important

As I celebrate my new year, a return to my sun rising, many are mourning loss. And as I empathize with the pain, I already understand the importance of showing love to those you love everyday because you don’t know when the last time you see them is the last time you see them. So for those you love, make the time to see them. Make the time to call them. Make the time to tell them how you feel or clear up any misunderstandings. Time is precious and stops for no one.

That is why for my birthday this year I chose to do something just for me. My birthday has been like a rose bush for me, pretty but painful, for too long. The short version – my father never bothered to remember my birthday, ever. He remembered my brother’s birthday which is 2 days after mine. From 1987 on I do not recall one birthday call. So my birthdays have always been bittersweet…

Fast forward to 2020. My birthday has returned, the bitter has lessened and the sweet is increasing and for those who choose not to see – well, it’s their loss not mine. Our time in these bodies are not infinite. So I choose to walk into my new decade, into my new season, leaving any and every thing behind who does not honor or cherish me as the divine being that I am. I am here on purpose and for a purpose.

Happy Birthday Why Yet 💜

*photos courtesy of Sean Lassiter Photography*

It’s Cold Outside!

I don’t like winter or winter-like weather. I feel the cold beneath my skin, into the bones. I need warmth. I like warmth. Cold air makes my body retreat into itself.

On the upside, winter makes for good cuddling if you have a cuddle-buddy. Hot chocolate or warm apple cider and a good movie or two while bundled in a warm blanket makes for a comfortable evening. Throw in some bulky yarn and your choice of needles or hooks (my fellow yarnies know what I’m talking about) and you have a recipe for heaven – for some.

But me, I like the yarn and chocolate and cuddles yet I’d rather do without the freezing temperatures. I don’t like opening my front door to Sub-Zero yelling “Finish Her!” for three – six months out of the year. That is not my cup of tea!

But since I am on the East coast of the United States, there’s no getting around it. So I’ll just bundle up, stock up on yarn and hot chocolate and knit my way to summer! Stay warm in the meantime.