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

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…

Dear Why Yet…

First, I have to apologize to you. I have exposed us to years of unnecessary heartache and pain through allowing your innocent vulnerabilities to be taken advantage of. You are a loving and powerful woman. I did not trust you enough to allow you to spread your wings and grow. My fears kept you bound to those who could not give you what you needed and deserved to fly.

My fears kept me from believing there was anything better for you out in the world. You deserve the world. Your smile cheers up those you share it with and you share freely even when you are crumbling inside and I appreciate that. I love you for that.

You put others before yourself when they are in need. You give even when you are in need. You are fiercely loyal to those you love, even when they hurt you deeply. And when you want to retreat and heal I have interfered, and for that I am sorry. When you needed to sever ties and heal your heart I interfered and for that I am sorry.

Even in pain you still emit a celestial beauty through your writings. Everytime I read your poetry I feel your memories and cry your tears. Thank you for sharing your words, not only with me but with the rest of the world.

Continue to shine your brightest light because I need it. I thank you for being the woman you are.

Love,

Why Yet

Mountain Screams

My pain led me – no dragged me – along a path I dared not go but needed to venture. “I’m fine”, I said, trying to shake the pain loose. With a shake of her head Pain continued dragging my resistance to a destination unknown to me.

Adjusting my dress and fixing a smile I spoke firmly – “I’m fine. Release me.” Again Pain shook her head and continued pulling me over sharp-edged terrain up a cliff face on the side of a mountain. My fear of heights spoke then, screaming, “Wait! Where are you taking us?”

Silently Pain continued on, now her light hold turned into a firm grasp – no longer gentle. Rough, angry yanks to keep me moving cause me to stumble over my steps. My thoughts are disjointed, memories colliding, unlocking more pain and ripping open more wounds.

Falling on my hands and knees I yell, “I’M FINE!!!”, trying to force Pain to release me.

Pain spun on her heel so quick that she was a breath away from my face and spoke:

YOU. ARE. NOT. FINE.

That is why I am here. You are consumed by hurt even though you love – your pain is too great so I am here to carry it and you until you let go releasing us all.

Pain stepped back and before me lay the bluest sky I had ever seen. I realized at that moment the weight of what she said. So I screamed. All of the hurt from all of the years of believing I wasn’t enough rushed to the surface in a blood curdling holler. Dropping to my knees, I felt weak and hollowed out.

Tears blurred my vision and streaked my face as Pain knelt beside me, “Good girl”, she said as she kissed my forehead in a motherly fashion, “Rest now. My job is done.”

Finding My Rhythm

I am still working on finding my rhythm here in WordPress land. I looked up my original blog, Poetically Wyld, and realized how laid back and carefree it was to maintain that writing rhythm. I wasn’t concerned about tags and SEO or anything. I just wanted to write and share.

That’s where I am attempting to return to with Why Yet’s Words. A place where I can write and share. Words are powerful things, crafters of energy, encapsulating emotions that are sometimes indescribable and I love the feelings they elicit.

Those feelings come to me in free form poetry and the fluidity of those feelings is pure emotion. Like that warm breeze blowing across your face as you stare out at the water.

That rhythm tempted me and I answered when I penned my new poetry collection, Reflections: Past, Present, Future which is available for pre-order here.

The poems I selected for Reflections are a part of my rhythm, a part of finding my rhythm and by sharing I hope to help someone else find their rhythm.

Why Yet’s Words

Self-Discovery of Me…

The first day of spring is the world’s New Year’s day. Spring is a time of rebirth and new beginnings and for me I am fully embracing that. I am fully embracing me.

The journey to discovering who I am and what my passions are has been interesting thus far. I have met so many amazing individuals, myself included. Before I began paying close attention to this journey, I was a stranger to myself. Working, raising a family, doing everything I was programmed to do. But I was unhappy. I was unfulfilled and I was very unsatisfied. Nothing is more dangerous than an unsatisfied woman.

So far on this journey, I have discovered (and accepted) the fact that I am an emotional individual. My emotions fuel the poetry I write. Emotion is passion. How I display that passion is a story in itself. Many have asked me about the poems I chose to include in my collection, Entangled Hearts.

Each poem spoke a message I wanted to share with you, my readers. We have all experienced love in some form. Good, bad or indifferent, love has left an imprint on each of us. But some imprints left a residue that made me feel alone and isolated, so I wrote about it to reach out to others who may have or yet to have experienced the same.

Entangled Hearts is a collective love letter to myself, to past loves, to future loves and to lovers in general. Sometimes love hurts but other times it doesn’t and that is what entangles all of our hearts…

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Many times when October rolls around many people are thinking about Columbus Day, Halloween, domesticviolenceawarenessThanksgiving and Christmas plans. Many times the quiet woman nursing bruises is overlooked. The timid woman in the office is ignored. The mother who averts her gaze when picking her child up from school is mistaken for being stuck up. Many times this is not the case. Many times she is trying her hardest to avoid abuse at home should she not return fast enough, should she be caught or suspected to interact with others. Our job as a community is to learn what the warning signs of domestic violence looks like. Our job is to speak up and speak out to end the cycle of domestic violence in our communities.

The media always portrays domestic violence as always being physical violence, like when Rhianna’s image flew across the internet after Chris Brown abused her. Yes, that is domestic violence but that is not the only form it comes in. Because society believes that is the only face of domestic violence many women stay silent for fear of being ridiculed and judged for not resembling Rhianna. In all cases of domestic violence the dvam imagebeginning stages include emotional and psychological manipulation. Loving words and gestures while slowly, methodically, and quietly separating the prey from any and all forms of outside support, i.e. friends, family, loved ones. Once the separation is complete then the loving words turn into judgments, put-downs, insults, ridicule and cruelty. The longer this stage is allowed to continue unchecked and unchallenged the more dangerous the situation becomes. In the most dangerous cases sexual and physical abuse begins.

Recognize the mental and psychological abuse: “You’re fat. Nobody’s gonna want your fat ass!”; “You didn’t have anything when I met you!”; “Everything you have is because of me!”; “I saw you looking at that person, so I know you slept with them!”; “You ain’t shit! Everything you think is an idea that came from me!”; “If you try to leave me I will call the police and have you arrested!”; “But baby I said those things because I love you. I NEED you! I can’t be without you!”¬†Other forms of domestic violence include financial abuse, and sexual abuse. Being in a relationship does not entitle anyone to sex. NO means NO! Another misconception is that only women get abused. It is rare but men can also be victims of domestic violence too. Recognize the signs, ask careful questions, lend a listening ear and offer genuine help. Especially when children are involved. Children learn what they live. If you or someone you care about is in an abusive situation call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (from a secure phone line) for help: 1-800-799-7233

Domestic Violence Awareness
Domestic Violence Awareness

5 Incredible Reasons To Try Yoga

yoga pose3I woke up this morning and was tired of seeing my post baby stomach jiggling like a bowl of watermelon Jell-O. I know exercise is good for me and my body but I just wasn’t motivated to workout. I like the taste of Oreo cookies a bit too much. When I was still pregnant with my youngest son in 2013 – 2014, I began looking into prenatal yoga. Well, it amounted to just that – me looking into it. The jiggling of my stomach was no longer funny this morning because I had begun noticing aches and pains I didn’t use to have. So I began practicing some of the yoga poses I had only looked into before, and after twenty minutes of stretches I felt better. So I grabbed my notebook and began scribbling down what I believe to be five incredible reasons to try yoga.yoga pose2

  1. Everybody can do it: This was key for me because I learned that I am not cut out for all of the Shaun T and PX-90 style workouts. I tried the Billy Blanks tapes back in the late 90’s and well…
  2. Improves flexibility: After having twin boys in 2002 I have had lower back pain that wouldn’t completely go away. I felt some relief after doing a couple of the stretches. And I realized some of the basic yoga poses I learned in phys ed in grade school. How cool!
  3. Helps you focus on the present: I really needed this because I wasted too much time absorbed in past hurts and memories. When I practiced the yoga poses I reflected inward and enjoyed listening to the birds chirp outside. Besides, I have a bucket list that is a mile long. I need to start checking items off by living!
  4. Better posture: I used to be told that I walk like a model. That was a wonderful compliment that I used to get. Practicing yoga brought my attention back to my posture so when I sit or walk I can straighten up. I want my model walk back.
  5. Improves immune system: By stretching and twisting the muscles, I found out that the increased blood flow brings nutrients to the spine and cartilage throughout the body and it improves your immune system by releasing toxins in the body. How awesome is that?

yoga pose

I made my decision to give yoga a try and after doing a couple of stretches for a few minutes I can see how great my body will feel after long term practice. This will become my new healthy habit. If you want to know more you can go here:

www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/

www.webmd.com/balance/guide/the-health-benefits-of-yoga