Chapter Twelve: Find Your Root

Why do you do the things you do? Why are you the way you are? Learned behaviors play a key role in figuring out the answers to those questions. 

About a week and a half ago two important things happened. The first was my twenty-seventh birthday. The second was my friend graduating from her master’s program. Well two months ago we decided to celebrate them both simultaneously. I wanted to go to Miami, but was open to other locations. A month later nothing solid had been put into place. I had basically given up on going anywhere or doing anything. She started to really look into locations and prices. She chose New Orleans and I was upset. I wanted to go but how could I when this was so last minute?

After some back and forth I agreed and purchased my plan tickets. I still had some reservations because I felt like I wasn’t prepared. And I was still a little angry because people know that I am a planner. 

The day before my birthday I spent time on the lake front. I did some yoga and laid out. I felt so much gratitude. I saw twenty-six as the year of reflection. Twenty-seven had to be the year of manifestation. 

After I left the lake front I went to see my mom at her job. We talked about my plans to go out of town and what I had done that day. I invited her to come do yoga with me. I said we could plan be night before and she said, “You know I plan my life in advance.”

That’s when it dawned on me. I said, “Yes I know. And you’re my root. My friend wakes up and goes places while I wake up and plan to go places months from the day.”

Guise, we gotta live life. 

A learned behavior. I learned that planning is essential, so much so that I was unable to budge without a plan. That day I thought about all the learned behaviors that make me who I am. While I wouldn’t change who I’ve become, not every behavior is good or positive or beneficial. I realized that in order to really tackle an internal problem like this, I had to figure out when it started. Why it started. I had to evaluate how it could be holding me back from achieving greatness. 

We went to New Orleans. While I may not have found my great great great great great great grandmother, I found a feeling of excitement, opportunity, growth, and belonging. The tours we went on. The people we met. The history we learned. Every aspect screamed, “find your root.” 

Who am I? Who will I become? What will I achieve? The answer is limitless. I am limitless. I will be limitless. And I will achieve unimaginable levels of greatness. 

But first, I have to find my root(s).


📷: jywilson

Chapter Seven: But

Think about the last time you told your story. Think about the last time you tried to explain yourself. Think about the last thing you did and why. 

Did any of  those situations include additional details using the word “but”?

My god grandfather was a great man. I’m constantly reminded of him and how everything he taught me applies to every aspect of life. The past week I keep thinking about his lesson on the word “but.”

“But” cancels out everything you said that came before it. “I wanted to help you, but I had to work.” “I wanted to do the right thing, but I was afraid.” In the same light people say, “I’ve struggled a lot, but God got me through it all.”

No matter what your intentions are, using that interjection cancels out whatever you meant to do or say.

I can’t even pretend like I haven’t tried to find a way around this. 

I’ll keep it short and sweet this week. Cancel out the negative, shed light on the positive. 

When you’re thinking of what to do or say and you find that you’ve hit the “but” part of it all, think about what you’re really setting out to accomplish. Try using the words “and” or “instead.” And as you find different words, realize the transformation being made. You’ll end up transforming the way you think, which will reflect in actions, and in words. It’s a great way to check in with what really matters, and who. 

Chapter Six: Emotional Rollercoaster

The last two weeks have been hard. I’ve been learning lesson after lesson, but never took the time to let everything sink in. 

When you take time for yourself, make sure you’re using that time to also reflect. Yes, it’s important to do something that makes you happy and relaxes you. But as you relax or begin to enjoy your time, think about the day or the week. Realize your feelings about events that have happened. 

I forgot that part. So I went through the ups and downs of being emotionally overwhelmed. I felt paralyzed. Like I had to allow myself to feel, for every moment I overlooked, all at the same time. 

It’s exhausting. 

People leave. People let you down. Sometimes you let yourself down. When this happens, it’s often hard to control our reactions, whether we be sad, angry, or disappointed. 

I searched for ways to be active and present for myself, even though I felt like I couldn’t. One article stated that we must acknowledge our feelings so we can control our response to how we feel. For we cannot control how we feel, but we can control how we allow ourselves to act in response to them. 

So acknowledge how you feel, especially when you don’t want to or feel as though you can’t. Come up with a game plan now, so you won’t have to search for one on the spot. 

What’s my game plan?

I’ll try to think through my response. What’s going to be the healthiest and most fulfilling way to respond to this anger or sadness? How do I make sure I don’t take it out on others, even if they are part of the problem? Think. Breathe. Solution. But most importantly, save the solution for last. 

Be gentle with yourself.