You lose when you snooze because sleep fragmentation hurts your body’s ability to recuperate.
Every time you fall asleep, your body starts going through a 5-stage sleep cycle. The later the stage, the deeper the sleep — and the more restorative it becomes.
When you wake up at 7 AM after 7 hours of sleep, you’ll be closer to the end of the cycle and in a state where your body is already preparing to wake up.
If you hit the snooze button, however, your body starts going back in the opposite direction. It’ll gear up to sleep more — and it really won’t like being rattled 9 minutes later. As a result, you’ll feel more tired than before, even though, technically, you slept longer.
When it comes to good sleep, getting up after one consistent stretch is more important than how long that stretch was. This is counterintuitive, but it’s true.
Similarly, if you “take excellent care of the front end of your day, the rest of your day will take care of itself.” That’s Robin Sharma’s thesis in The 5 AM Club, a book he wrote to share his morning routine of 20 years.
The idea is that if you invest the first hour of the day in yourself, that hour will pay returns for the remaining 23. “Own your morning, elevate your life,” Sharma says.
The book teaches via metaphor — a fictitious billionaire helps a struggling artist and a young entrepreneur. Here are 3 lessons from the story that’ll help you wake up earlier, start most mornings productively, and get as much as you can out of every single day.
1. Your brain has a creative edge early in the day.
In a classic student-teacher move, the billionaire tells his two disciples that he holds the key to their success — and in order to receive it, they must meet him very early the following morning.
When his students arrive, the master explains: “You have already received the key by waking up at 5 AM, because in doing so, you’ve given your brain an advantage in succeeding throughout the day.”
The scientific concept behind this edge is called transient hypo-frontality. When in this state, your brain is more likely to go into “flow.” You’ll be less prone to worry and over-analysis, more daring in your choices and ideas, and better able to focus.
You can trigger transient hypo-frontality in different ways, for example by taking a walk or exercising, but the early morning environment is also conducive to it. You brain is just “booting up,” and the extra dopamine and serotonin from daybreak tranquility will make you feel energized and peaceful at the same time.
2. Balance your mind, health, heart, and soul.
After explaining the mindset advantage of waking up early, the billionaire explains there are three other “interior empires” the students need to master.
Your “health-set” is your physical health. Use the emptiness of early mornings to get in a little exercise to reduce stress, gain energy, and be happier, all of which will, in turn, help you live longer.
Your “heartset” is your emotional wellbeing. Journaling in the morning can be a space to express feelings you can’t share elsewhere — the insights of which you can later use to communicate better with others.
Finally, your “soulset” is your spiritual balance. We all believe different things, but whatever we do have faith in allows us to connect with ourselves and the world at large. Writing down your values and briefly looking at them each morning will help you remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.
For a balanced, successful life, ground yourself in mindset, healthset, heartset, and soulset every day.
3. Productive days begin with the 20/20/20 formula.
When the students ask him what exactly to do at 5 AM, the billionaire shares his formula: The 20/20/20 rule divides your first hour of the day into three equal blocks of exercise, reflection, and learning.
Exercising for 20 minutes will not just get your blood flowing, it’ll also make you sweat. Sweating decreases cortisol, a hormone related to stress and fear. It also releases BDNF, which helps create new neural pathways faster and repairs brain cells.
20 minutes of reflection will plant your feet firmly on the ground, no matter what the day ahead brings. You can use them to meditate, visualize your big goals and to-dos for the day, or journal and write down any ideas or inspiring thoughts. Quiet in the morning makes for patience later in the day.
Lastly, 20 minutes of real, interested learning go further than hours of social media, news, and mindless entertainment. Read a book, study someone you admire, or take a free online course. Whatever you learn, make sure it’s something you’re really interested in, something that’ll make your brain shoot sparks rather than go numb.
20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of reflection, and 20 minutes of learning. The 20/20/20 rule will maximize your chances of having a productive day, every day.
The 5 AM Club will motivate you to get up earlier, build a morning routine, and prioritize the internal work that’ll lead to external success.
Here are 3 lessons worth remembering:
Waking up early gives your brain a competitive edge because it makes it easier for you to get into a flow state.
Balance your mind, health, heart, and soul for true self-mastery.
To not waste the first hour of the day, use the 20/20/20 rule; dedicate 20 minutes to exercise, reflection, and learning each for productive days.
The 5 AM Club
Sources & Links For This Post
Does sleep fragmentation impact recuperation? A review and re-analysis
Here’s a tiny question. What is the lesson COVID is trying to teach us? As much of the world now enters the second wave of lockdowns, thanks to the second wave of the virus –– or, in America, faces the grim situation where the first wave never really crested, and became a tsunami of death –– what should we be learning?
I think of COVID as a message backwards, from the future.
And it says something life as you know it is now over. The future is now going to become a bitter and bruising battle for the basics. The basics. Air, water, food, medicine, and energy. Things that many of us took for granted, would simply be around as if by magic.
That age is now coming to an end. Did you ever think that breathable air would be in short supply? It’s already being marketed as a luxury in (where else) California. The very same California which is on fire, on the one hand, and wracked by COVID, on the other. Result? Air itself has become a luxury in a collapsing America. That is what the future looks like, except for all the basics.
Another way to say that is that a certain way of life is now coming to an end.
To make that point, let me ask the question: why have Eastern countries done better on COVID than the ones in the west? What does this teach us that money, power, and history are no guarantee for success in this battle for basics that the future is now about. Maybe the rich and 1% can buy clean air –– but what about society as a whole? Forget it.
People have to work together to provide one another the basics.
And that is where the western response to COVID has fallen down. Western nations are still fixated on the illusory notions of freedom. But freedom itself is what is going to change radically in this age –– if not by choice then by force of nature’s revenge.
Consider the example, as usual, of America. Americans wouldn’t cooperate with lockdowns. Governors revolted and made it illegal to make people wear masks. Meanwhile the red states–– states that are republican led –– became the world’s worst COVID belt, because people refused to stop… going to bars… having barbecues… eating at restaurants. Their President –– who’s now been hospitalized for COVID –– encouraged them NOT to take it seriously. The result was that COVID exploded, and has probably become a permanent fact of life –– another dystopian one –– in a collapsing America, hence, even air itself will be a luxury for the rich.
Americans in other words, were obsessed with “freedom.”
One certain idea of it.Freedom is an individualistic exercise in consumerism, in status and pleasure seeking. What Americans don’t tend to understand is that the “old” list of American “freedoms” is now badly obsolete.
What good is it carrying around a gun… when a tsunami or megafire is approaching?
What good is it being able to battle over whose God is stronger… when you can’t breathe the air anymore?
Life as the American set of freedoms is over now.
Let me enumerate a few of those. The freedom to waste and squander. The freedom to believe in any old malarkey you like, no matter how ignorant. The freedom to abuse and exploit. The freedom to make the point of your life as shallow, foolish, and stupid as you may want to, like just making more money. None of these this were ever really “freedom.”
What such freedoms really were and are is the toxic hangover of centuries of brutality.
Americans think they should be free to waste –– while half the world still goes without decent food, water, or sanitation. They imagine they should be free to carry guns to Starbucks – while much of the world has been enslaved to pick those coffee beans. I’m not trying to moralize, just making a point. The world largely thinks of the American idea of freedom as a folly and a bewildering form of self-destruction.
COVID is trying to teach us, in no uncertain terms, that we are not really free in these old ways – and never were.
They’re just paths to self destruction. When we waste and squander, we pollute the skies, and the planet heats up. When we abuse the natural world, it bites back in the form of everything from pandemics to wildfires to floods.
Let me summarize what I am trying to say here. The economist in me will put it this way. The global economy has been predicated on one simple transaction. The west and north –– and particularly America –– overconsumes, and the east and south is who and what is exploited to make that possible. That transaction is now over. The age of western overconsumption is now at an end. Even the west is starting to suffer shortages of the basics –– beginning with air. By the next decade, water, food, and energy will be in shortage, there, too.
The west can continue to pretend it can overconsume –– by which I mean spend too much on consumerist toys which cost the reefs, rivers, forests, animals, skies, not to mention the potential of people in the east who are mostly stuck in assembly lines making stuff for it. Since that stuff is artificially cheap, those in the east are exploited –– never fighting climate change, mass extinction, ecological collapse themselves –– or even to give themselves decent food, water, sanitation, and medicine, which means pandemics that then affect the globe erupt at an increasing pace now.
That is why the whole world is coming to a standstill.
This fatal bargain is now coming to an end. One great economic age is ending –– the age of western overconsumption. In hard terms, that means the west is consuming more than the entire planet can provide sustainably. Which is precisely why catastrophes from climate change to mass extinction to pandemics are now ripping our lives apart.
So where do we go from here?
Well, we must ask the question: how did that age come to be, the age of western overconsumption? If we want to fix it, that is. The answer, though, is ugly and difficult, and many people don’t want to hear it, much less understand it.
The age of western overconsumption is really a consequence of a simple, brutal, dismal truth: 20% of the world is rich and white, the other 80% is poor and not white. The 20% of the world that is rich and white is precisely that portion which enslaved, brutalized, and colonized the part that is 80% poor and not white.
Those centuries of abuse and exploitation led the rich and white societies to enjoy a generous surplus.
You can think of that as everything from gold in bank vaults to all those hundreds of kinds of coffee, tea, and sugar that you can find today in the aisles at Walmart. The age of western overconsumption is the product of the previous age of western slavery, colonialism, and empire. That age allowed the west to get rich –– and the west then spent its riches on consumption.
Economists once upon a time argued all this was a good thing. That buying stuff from poor countries would allow those countries to prosper, too. And that has been the case to a minor degree –– there have been some successes, like South Korea and Japan, and some half-successes, like China and Malaysia. But “externalities” dominated even this effect. What that means in plain English is that while the rich westerners buying stuff from poor easterners might have balanced back the scales of empire and slavery –– hey, at least they were being paid now, right? –– nobody much noticed the effects on the planet.
This central transaction of the global economy, rich westerners buying stuff from poor easterners, was flawed in one central way. It was artificially cheap.
Because it was still OK to exploit poor easterners –– to pay them the least that rich westerners could get away with, instead of enough, say, to have decent water, food, sanitation, medicine, income –– why wouldn’t it then be perfectly OK to abuse and exploit nature too?
The east lost wars, and ended up enslaved. Nature has never really fought back at all –– until now. And finally we are seeing how terrible its fury can be. Even the west can’t outrun an age of catastrophe like the one we face now –– like I said, it’s already doing worse than the east when it comes to COVID.
So how do we fix all this? Well, the truth is that “we” probably can’t.
I can tell you how but westerners by and large aren’t interested. What they seem to be interested in is never changing. In ways to be able to go on living in wasteful, harmful, toxic, abusive, exploitative ways, like Americans are –– if you tell them how to do that, they will admire and respect you. Gentle and wise Europe has made some progress, it’s true. But mostly when you tell people like Americans that they must change NOW, and change fast, they give you the look: their eyes go dead and their jaws tighten. They’re holding in the anger of having to hear something that they don’t want to, aren’t equipped to, can’t handle.
“We” aren’t going to fix the age of western overconsumption.
What it would take is something like this: the rich west agreeing to pay nature. After all, nature works hard for us –– it provides us everything from water to air to food to medicine. If the rich west were ready to agree to pay nature for the work it does –– instead of exploit and abuse it –– then treaties could be made to compensate eastern countries and their people. To pay them living wages for doing things like caring for rivers, reefs, forests, oceans, animals, and so forth, instead of just toiling away on assembly lines to make cheap junk for rich westerners.
But that is not going to happen, probably. I say that for a simple reason.
One topic nobody much in the west wants to hear about is fixing the future. They say they want to hear about it. They are constantly asking what to do about the state of things but when people talk or write about it, only a handful truly listen. Not even a handful. So what I think the majority of westerners mean when they ask what to do is: “tell me a way to never have to change. I want to live the old way –– the wasteful, exploitative, abusive way.”
Having a serious discussion with westerners, especially with Americans in particular, about fixing the future has become impossible.
That should be self-evident, though. They are not willing to change their lives even when a lethal pandemic is ripping through their societies.
And yet the rich west is the only part of the world with the money to really allow the future to be fixed. What does that tell you? It tells me it won’t be. And so what will happen probably is this. The world will go on spiraling headlong into the new Dark Age its entered. The fools and fanatics and extremists will go on rising to power, because the average person is incapable of change, but the old way of life is collapsing, and in that vacuum is where EVERY fascism is really born.
Life as you know it really is coming to and end, my friend.
The problem? Not enough of us can face that simple fact with courage, grace, truth, kindness, love and goodness. And so what do you expect to happen? If change can’t, then only collapse is left.
Yesterday, was a very difficult day for me as I said goodbye to my grandfather, my Poppa, John Tracey. He lived 84 beautiful years and raised 6 incredible children, including my own father. His nicknames for me were Carrot Top- I was his first redheaded grandchild, or Squirt- because I was short as child.
We developed a bond that is really hard to explain, as a child when I would sit on his lap I would just trace his panther/jaguar tattoo – and I did the same as I said I love you to him for the last time I saw him I chose not to say goodbye to him because it was too hard for me. He has always called me Squirt– all the way to the end I will always be his Squirt.
I remember him telling me stories of his days growing up, we shared a love of westerns– African Queen, we loved doing the crossword puzzle together, and when attending family parties- inside or in the backyard I always kept my eyes out for Poppa because I loved his hugs they were always warm, tight (not too tight), and full of love; he always gave the perfect hug. I could go for one of those right now.
He loved family, fishing, golfing, New York Yankees, and talking about his Troy days. I loved watching him tinker, every summer he and Nana would come visit us during the Tracey Family Camporee, our annual 3 day camping trip on Saturday they would bring fresh bread and the clams for our big cookout that evening, and when I moved into the place I live now he brought over some stuff to seal up my driveway its still sitting in my basement. Poppa always loved to help out.
Seeing him at my college graduation in 2013 with a smile on his face I could tell that he was proud that through my disability I succeeded – he always had a smile on his face, that is what I loved about him is even when he was hurting or not feeling well – he was smiling.
He was a soldier for the US Army, in the Korean War came home and married my beautiful grandma, and raised 6 incredible children and 13 grandchildren.
It is the hardest to lose those who loved and nurtured us, and who we loved and cared for most. I have a treasure trove of memories that I will hold on to forever, that will make me laugh and smile. I will miss him so much but I will never forget his beautiful smile. I keep hearing his voice. I miss him terribly, I miss his hugs and will love him and miss him for a long time.
Right now life might not make any sense and you might be thinking that you are crazy reading a letter from yourself when you turn 30 years old, but I am about to drop some knowledge on you. You have soo much life left to live… enjoy it.
You are 6 years old –– so the year is 1996 your going have a new baby in the house– a little sister in a few months time. You have a little brother– he’s 3 and cute as a button. Your mom and brother walk you down the street to school
You still live in the house that you were brought home from the hospital to. Your bedroom is Barney- purple and you love to read –– EVERYTHING… which is a good thing, never stop reading– ever.
Your mom is awesome and she will always help you don’t be afraid to ask for it no matter what and if she asks you to go do something go it will be fun because when you get older you will be more like her than you will ever know.
Ask your dad if you can go with him to the grocery store –– whenever you can because he loves you, wants to spend time with you and cares about you. He believes in you more than you will ever know. Take time to help your parents, you may be a kid but you are awesome.
When your sister arrives you to will eventually become the best of friends be there for her, she will be there for you too.
This is a new monthly series that I have been planning out for a while so here we go let’s see how it goes. This is where I will add some number facts about the month of February or the date of the post ie. February 4. Let me know what you think. This was a tough one to find information on.
About the Month Of February
The Name of The Month: Februa was a Roman purification ritual and was considered as early Rome Spring Cleaning Festival. Februs, the Roman god was named after this festival.
The original 10 month, 304-day Roman calendar didn’t work for long because it didn’t align with the seasons. King Numa Pompilius reformed the calendar around 713 BC by adding the months of January (Ianuarius) and February (Februarius) to the original 10 months, which increased the year’s length to 354 or 355 days.
February is of the most commonly misspelt words in the English language. People seem to forget the first “r”.
Today I will be giving you a list of things you don’t know about me. I am not sure how this is going to go but lets see where this goes. And this is going to be all fun and good times. So here we go
Number 1- Genealogy
I am fascinated with my family’s genealogy and have been working on it for sometime now. I find that as I go further back it becomes more interesting. My family members dispute some of the stuff I find but that is because it is like a puzzle you just have to start putting the puzzle pieces together to figure out what is true and I start with what I know has been proven by multiple sources.
Number 2- History
I love learning about history. I love thinking about what would happen if the opposite of what had happened occurred or if the chain of events occurred differently and so on. It is fun to think back and learn about the time long ago. I also like looking at old photos.
Number 3- Crocheting
I learned how to crochet a long time ago and ever since then i have loved crocheting ever since.
Number 4- Music
I love listening to music all the time anything and everything.
Number 5- Favorite Things to Watch
I love watching documentaries and movies based on history.
Today is Martin Luther King Day, a day where we honor the memory and legacy of MLK. Who was ahead of his time. Today I am going honor him here and talk about him and how he impacted me. I will be using some different events, quotes, and sayings as reference and commenting below. My comments will be italicized… here we go!
King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.
Even though Martin Luther King was a Christian minister he believe in Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings of using your voice to send a message… and avoiding violence.Which I thought was very wise of him.
He helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963.
Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech is one of my favorite speeches of all time.
On October 14, 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance.
MLK recieving the Nobel Peace Prize was much deserved because he wanted to send a message that racial inequality existed then and the African American race was tired (and 56 years after his I Have A Dream speech still exists) and knowing that bothers me.
In his final years, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War.
I want to say that his war on poverty is still ongoing. Martin Luther King wanted to have a world of peace and find diplomatic solutions until all diplomatic options have been exhausted.
He alienated many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”. J. Edgar Hoover considered him a radical and made him an object of the FBI’s COINTELPRO (syllabic abbreviation derived from COunter INTELligence PROgram) FBI agents investigated him for possible communist ties, recorded his extramarital liaisons and reported on them to government officials, and on one occasion mailed King a threatening anonymous letter, which he interpreted as an attempt to make him commit suicide.
His “Beyond Vietnam” speech was about his anti war stance. As a result this speech rubbed some of his allies the wrong way, also the FBI started investigating him as a threat to the country. That is crazy that they would deem a man who is using peaceful protests as a message a threat. I understand that times were different then.
King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971; the holiday was enacted at the federal level by legislation signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, and a county in Washington was rededicated for him. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011.
We have Martin Luther King Day exists because of another Republican president.
In March 1955, Claudette Colvin—a fifteen-year-old black schoolgirl in Montgomery—refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in violation of Jim Crow laws, local laws in the Southern United States that enforced racial segregation. King was on the committee from the Birmingham African-American community that looked into the case; E. D. Nixon and Clifford Durr decided to wait for a better case to pursue because the incident involved a minor.
Nine months later on December 1, 1955, a similar incident occurred when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus. The two incidents led to the Montgomery bus boycott, which was urged and planned by Nixon and led by King. The boycott lasted for 385 days, and the situation became so tense that King’s house was bombed. King was arrested during this campaign, which concluded with a United States District Court ruling in Browder v. Gayle that ended racial segregation on all Montgomery public buses. King’s role in the bus boycott transformed him into a national figure and the best-known spokesman of the civil rights movement.
I am happy that MLK organized the bus boycott that resulted it the Browder v. Gayle ruling that helped to end segregation on all Montgomery, Ala. buses. King’s role in the bus boycott made him a national name and spokesman of the civil rights movement.
King believed that organized, nonviolent protest against the system of southern segregation known as Jim Crow laws would lead to extensive media coverage of the struggle for black equality and voting rights. Journalistic accounts and televised footage of the daily deprivation and indignities suffered by Southern blacks, and of segregationist violence and harassment of civil rights workers and marchers, produced a wave of sympathetic public opinion that convinced the majority of Americans that the civil rights movement was the most important issue in American politics in the early 1960s.
MLK wanted to use peaceful protests to send a message that was loud and clear that would cause the press to take notice.
King organized and led marches for blacks’ right to vote, desegregation, labor rights, and other basic civil rights. Most of these rights were successfully enacted into the law of the United States with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Martin Luther King’s Views
As a Christian minister, King’s main influence was Jesus Christ and the Christian gospels, which he would almost always quote in his religious meetings, speeches at church, and in public discourses. King’s faith was strongly based in Jesus’ commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself, loving God above all, and loving your enemies, praying for them and blessing them. His nonviolent thought was also based in the injunction to turn the other cheek in the Sermon on the Mount, and Jesus’ teaching of putting the sword back into its place (Matthew 26:52). In his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, King urged action consistent with what he describes as Jesus’ “extremist” love, and also quoted numerous other Christian pacifist authors, which was very usual for him. In another sermon, he stated:
Before I was a civil rights leader, I was a preacher of the Gospel. This was my first calling and it still remains my greatest commitment.
You know, actually all that I do in civil rights I do because I consider it a part of my ministry.
I have no other ambitions in life but to achieve excellence in the Christian ministry.
I don’t plan to run for any political office. I don’t plan to do anything but remain a preacher.
And what I’m doing in this struggle, along with many others, grows out of my feeling that the preacher must be concerned about the whole man.
MLK’s Birmingham Jail Letter
King’s private writings show that he rejected biblical literalism; he described the Bible as “mythological,” doubted that Jesus was born of a virgin and did not believe that the story of Jonah and the whale was true.
Veteran African-American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin was King’s first regular advisor on nonviolence. King was also advised by the white activists Harris Wofford and Glenn Smiley. Rustin and Smiley came from the Christian pacifist tradition, and Wofford and Rustin both studied Gandhi’s teachings. Rustin had applied nonviolence with the Journey of Reconciliation campaign in the 1940s, and Wofford had been promoting Gandhism to Southern blacks since the early 1950s.
King had initially known little about Gandhi and rarely used the term “nonviolence” during his early years of activism in the early 1950s. King initially believed in and practiced self-defense, even obtaining guns in his household as a means of defense against possible attackers. The pacifists guided King by showing him the alternative of nonviolent resistance, arguing that this would be a better means to accomplish his goals of civil rights than self-defense. King then vowed to no longer personally use arms.
In the aftermath of the boycott, King wrote Stride Toward Freedom, which included the chapter Pilgrimage to Nonviolence. King outlined his understanding of nonviolence, which seeks to win an opponent to friendship, rather than to humiliate or defeat him. The chapter draws from an address by Wofford, with Rustin and Stanley Levison also providing guidance and ghostwriting.
King was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and his success with nonviolent activism, and as a theology student, King described Gandhi as being one of the “individuals who greatly reveal the working of the Spirit of God”. King had “for a long time … wanted to take a trip to India.” With assistance from Harris Wofford, the American Friends Service Committee, and other supporters, he was able to fund the journey in April 1959. The trip to India affected King, deepening his understanding of nonviolent resistance and his commitment to America’s struggle for civil rights. In a radio address made during his final evening in India, King reflected, “Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity.”
King’s admiration of Gandhi’s nonviolence did not diminish in later years. He went so far as to hold up his example when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, hailing the “successful precedent” of using nonviolence “in a magnificent way by Mohandas K. Gandhi to challenge the might of the British Empire … He struggled only with the weapons of truth, soul force, non-injury and courage.”
World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable.
All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew.
Nonviolence is a good starting point.
Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion.
We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built.
Martin Luther King
Another influence for King’s nonviolent method was Henry David Thoreau’s essay On Civil Disobedience and its theme of refusing to cooperate with an evil system. He also was greatly influenced by the works of Protestant theologians Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich, and said that Walter Rauschenbusch’s Christianity and the Social Crisis left an “indelible imprint” on his thinking by giving him a theological grounding for his social concerns.
King was moved by Rauschenbusch’s vision of Christians spreading social unrest in “perpetual but friendly conflict” with the state, simultaneously critiquing it and calling it to act as an instrument of justice. He was apparently unaware of the American tradition of Christian pacifism exemplified by Adin Ballou and William Lloyd Garrison King frequently referred to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as central for his work. King also sometimes used the concept of “agape” (brotherly Christian love). However, after 1960, he ceased employing it in his writings.
Even after renouncing his personal use of guns, King had a complex relationship with the phenomenon of self-defense in the movement. He publicly discouraged it as a widespread practice, but acknowledged that it was sometimes necessary. Throughout his career King was frequently protected by other civil rights activists who carried arms, such as Colonel Stone Johnson, Robert Hayling, and the Deacons for Defense and Justice.
Activism and Involvement with Native Americans
King was an avid supporter of Native American rights. Native Americans were also active supporters of King’s civil rights movement which included the active participation of Native Americans. In fact, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) was patterned after the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund. The National Indian Youth Council (NIYC) was especially supportive in King’s campaigns especially the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. In King’s book “Why We Can’t Wait” he writes:
Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race.
Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shores, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society.
From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles over racial supremacy.
We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population.
Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade.
Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or to feel remorse for this shameful episode.
Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it.
Martin Luther King, Why We Can’t Wait
King assisted Native American people in south Alabama in the late 1950s. At that time the remaining Creek in Alabama were trying to completely desegregate schools in their area. The South had many egregious racial problems: In this case, light-complexioned Native children were allowed to ride school buses to previously all white schools, while dark-skinned Native children from the same band were barred from riding the same buses. Tribal leaders, upon hearing of King’s desegregation campaign in Birmingham, Alabama, contacted him for assistance. He promptly responded and through his intervention the problem was quickly resolved.
In September 1959, King flew from Los Angeles, California, to Tucson, Arizona. After giving a speech at the University of Arizona on the ideals of using nonviolent methods in creating social change. He put into words his belief that one must not use force in this struggle “but match the violence of his opponents with his suffering.” King then went to Southside Presbyterian, a predominantly Native American church, and was fascinated by their photos.
On the spur of the moment Dr. King wanted to go to an Indian Reservation to meet the people so Reverend Casper Glenn took King to the Papago Indian Reservation. At the reservation King met with all the tribal leaders, and others on the reservation then ate with them. King then visited another Presbyterian church near the reservation, and preached there attracting a Native American crowd.
He later returned to Old Pueblo in March 1962 where he preached again to a Native American congregation, and then went on to give another speech at the University of Arizona. King would continue to attract the attention of Native Americans throughout the civil rights movement. During the 1963 March on Washington there was a sizable Native American contingent, including many from South Dakota, and many from the Navajo nation. Native Americans were also active participants in the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968.
King was a major inspiration along with the civil rights movement which inspired the Native American rights movement of the 1960s and many of its leaders. John Echohawk a member of the Pawnee tribe and the executive director and one of the founders of the Native American Rights Fund stated:
Inspired by Dr. King, who was advancing the civil rights agenda of equality under the laws of this country, we thought that we could also use the laws to advance our Indianship, to live as tribes in our territories governed by our own laws under the principles of tribal sovereignty that had been with us ever since 1831. We believed that we could fight for a policy of self-determination that was consistent with U.S. law and that we could govern our own affairs, define our own ways and continue to survive in this society
John Echohawk, Executive Director and Founder of the Native American Rights Fund
As the leader of the SCLC, King maintained a policy of not publicly endorsing a U.S. political party or candidate: “I feel someone must remain in the position of non-alignment, so that he can look objectively at both parties and be the conscience of both—not the servant or master of either.” In a 1958 interview, he expressed his view that neither party was perfect, saying, “I don’t think the Republican party is a party full of the almighty God nor is the Democratic party. They both have weaknesses … And I’m not inextricably bound to either party.” King did praise Democratic Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois as being the “greatest of all senators” because of his fierce advocacy for civil rights causes over the years.
King critiqued both parties’ performance on promoting racial equality:
Actually, the Negro has been betrayed by both the Republican and the Democratic party. The Democrats have betrayed him by capitulating to the whims and caprices of the Southern Dixiecrats.
The Republicans have betrayed him by capitulating to the blatant hypocrisy of reactionary right wing northern Republicans. And this coalition of southern Dixiecrats and right wing reactionary northern Republicans defeats every bill and every move towards liberal legislation in the area of civil rights.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Although King never publicly supported a political party or candidate for president, in a letter to a civil rights supporter in October 1956 he said that he had not decided whether he would vote for Adlai Stevenson II or Dwight D. Eisenhower at the 1956 presidential election, but that “In the past I always voted the Democratic ticket.” In his autobiography, King says that in 1960 he privately voted for Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy:
I felt that Kennedy would make the best president. I never came out with an endorsement. My father did, but I never made one.” King adds that he likely would have made an exception to his non-endorsement policy for a second Kennedy term, saying “Had President Kennedy lived, I would probably have endorsed him in 1964.
Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1964, King urged his supporters “and all people of goodwill” to vote against Republican Senator Barry Goldwater for president, saying that his election “would be a tragedy, and certainly suicidal almost, for the nation and the world.”
King supported the ideals of democratic socialism, although he was reluctant to speak directly of this support due to the anti-communist sentiment being projected throughout the United States at the time, and the association of socialism with communism. King believed that capitalism could not adequately provide the basic necessities of many American people, particularly the African-American community.
King stated that black Americans, as well as other disadvantaged Americans, should be compensated for historical wrongs. In an interview conducted for Playboy in 1965, he said that granting black Americans only equality could not realistically close the economic gap between them and whites. King said that he did not seek a full restitution of wages lost to slavery, which he believed impossible, but proposed a government compensatory program of $50 billion over ten years to all disadvantaged groups.
He posited that “the money spent would be more than amply justified by the benefits that would accrue to the nation through a spectacular decline in school dropouts, family breakups, crime rates, illegitimacy, swollen relief rolls, rioting and other social evils.” He presented this idea as an application of the common law regarding settlement of unpaid labor, but clarified that he felt that the money should not be spent exclusively on blacks. He stated, “It should benefit the disadvantaged of all races.”
On being awarded the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Margaret Sanger Award on May 5, 1966, King said:
Recently, the press has been filled with reports of sightings of flying saucers. While we need not give credence to these stories, they allow our imagination to speculate on how visitors from outer space would judge us.
I am afraid they would be stupefied at our conduct. They would observe that for death planning we spend billions to create engines and strategies for war. They would also observe that we spend millions to prevent death by disease and other causes.
Finally they would observe that we spend paltry sums for population planning, even though its spontaneous growth is an urgent threat to life on our planet. Our visitors from outer space could be forgiven if they reported home that our planet is inhabited by a race of insane men whose future is bleak and uncertain.
There is no human circumstance more tragic than the persisting existence of a harmful condition for which a remedy is readily available. Family planning, to relate population to world resources, is possible, practical and necessary.
Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess.
What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victims…
Martin Luther King
Actress Nichelle Nichols planned to leave Star Trek in 1967 after its first season, wanting to return to musical theater. She changed her mind after talking to King who was a fan of the show. King explained that her character signified a future of greater racial harmony and cooperation. King told Nichols, “You are our image of where we’re going, you’re 300 years from now, and that means that’s where we are and it takes place now. Keep doing what you’re doing, you are our inspiration.” As Nichols recounted, “Star Trek was one of the only shows that [King] and his wife Coretta would allow their little children to watch. And I thanked him and I told him I was leaving the show. All the smile came off his face. And he said, ‘Don’t you understand for the first time we’re seen as we should be seen. You don’t have a black role. You have an equal role.'”
I honestly could keep going on and on about the incredible icon that is Martin Luther King Jr. Thank you for reading. I will see you soon.
Hello Readers, I am here today to talk about how I spend some alone time with myself. I wanted to give you a little peek inside my little bubble. So here we go.
When I take time to be myself it is usually because I want to take care of myself first. How can I be there for everyone else without being there for me. You have to live for yourself first because if you aren’t taking care of you everything else you touch won’t be the best version that it can be.
When I take time to be by myself I usually am reading a book that I have been trying to finish for a while, work on a project that I am crocheting, research my ancestry, research something that I want to learn about, or just watching something.
Taking care of yourself is vital for the rest of everything in your life.
Hey, Readers, I apologize that I have not done one of these in quite sometime I have been really busy… that will be for another post on a different day.
Why Are Chakras So Important
What Are Chakras?
Too often, we start feeling overwhelmed with worry or stymied by a relationship conflict, or just life in general or in need of an energy boost. But the right class can leave us feeling clearer, lighter, and refreshed. Credit the stress-busting powers of a good workout? Sure. But the ancient yogis, and many teachers today, would also chalk this up to the unique way that yoga poses and breath work move blocked energy through the subtle body. According to yoga tradition, the subtle body is a part of you that you can’t see or touch—it’s where your energy flows, which is why it’s also referred to as the energy body. There are seven key points in the subtle body that are thought to be vortexes of energy, known as chakras. When energy becomes blocked in a chakra, it triggers physical, mental, or emotional imbalances that manifest in symptoms such as anxiety, lethargy, or poor digestion. With just a little bit of coaching, you can tap into the chakras as a potent way of harnessing and shifting your energy in the direction you want it to go.
Start by thinking of chakras as a blueprint for your own self-care, and your yoga practice as the architect that makes that blueprint a reality. The most direct way to use the chakras is to learn how each one is associated with an element in nature. As Alan Finger, founder of ISHTA Yoga, explains, the first five chakras are associated with the physical elements earth, water, fire, air, and ether (or space). The last two chakras are thought to connect us beyond the earthly realm, so they are associated with the elements of light and cosmic energy.
Once you learn the element that each chakra is associated with, you can start to suss out how that element feels in your body. And thinking about your body in these symbolic terms can help you access new stores of energy with the practices detailed in these pages. For example, the root chakra is associated with earth. When it’s in balance, we feel strong and grounded; when it’s out of balance, we may feel unrooted and insecure. Or take the pelvic chakra, which is associated with water. When it’s in balance, we feel fluid and like our creative juices are flowing. When it’s not, we might feel rigid, dry, or emotionally brittle, like a plant that hasn’t been watered enough.
In order to restore balance in your chakras, you must first tune in to how you’re feeling, then figure out which chakra to stimulate to counteract the imbalance. For example, if you’re feeling low in energy, you can do poses that target the navel chakra to rekindle your inner fire. If you’re feeling anxious and long to feel more grounded, choose poses for the earthy root chakra. Or if you seek more courage to speak your truth, the right poses can open and stimulate the throat chakra.
The effects of a chakra-based practice can have a tangible, empowering ripple effect on your life. Jasmine Tarkeshi, vinyasa teacher and cofounder of Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, says she’s been doing more root-chakra practices since becoming a new mom, and the effect is palpable. “If I’m feeling frenzied, I hold the poses longer to feel more grounded and present,” she says. “It informs the rest of my day to the point where maybe I’m not losing my keys so much or I’m not so busy or forgetful that I skip lunch. If I specifically use the poses medicinally rather than just haphazardly, I can really change my day.”
Each of the poses Tarkeshi recommends here is designed to address a corresponding chakra and its associated life issues. You can do the entire sequence, or focus on the pose or poses that speak to areas in your life that need attention. For a more restorative, meditative approach, first close your eyes while seated and envision the color associated with the chakra radiating from the chakra’s location, as you repeat the sound associated with it. And to help you focus and go deeper into each asana, try repeating the associated chakra sound while practicing.
Remember, the changes to the subtle body can’t be touched or measured as you would your heart rate or height. You have to trust your inner experience to feel them and to recognize their benefits. Claire Missingham, a London-based vinyasa flow yoga teacher, advises trying chakra-based poses for four weeks and keeping a journal of how you feel after each practice. Keep your notes simple, and write down any changes you feel in your energy, such as, “calmed me down” or “helped me communicate more clearly.” Keeping track this way just might help you see how tuning in to the chakras can help you shift more than just your physical state.
Muladhara (Root Chakra)
Element: Earth Color: Red Sound: Lam Life theme: The Muladhara governs your family ties and feelings of survival, belonging, and guardedness. Your earliest memories are stored here, including whether or not your basic needs were met. When it is blocked or out of balance, you can become needy, have low self-esteem, or have self-destructive behaviors. When Muladhara is in balance, you feel strong and confident; you can stand up on your own two feet and take care of yourself.
Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, creating a stable base. On an exhale, soften your knees, and release your tailbone as you engage your thighs. Draw the sole of your right foot to the inside of your left inner thigh or calf; continue dropping your tailbone and engaging the standing leg’s thigh to keep the stable alignment you had standing on both feet. Press through your left foot as you lift through the crown of your head. Hold for 5 breaths, and switch sides. Allow gravity to root you down, while noticing how the energy moves up your spine.
Svadhisthana (Sacral or Pelvic Chakra)
Element: Water Color: Orange Sound: Yam Life theme: This chakra corresponds with your reproductive and sexual organs, and represents fluidity, creativity, and fertility. You can take a literal interpretation of this, or associate this chakra with whether or not you feel deserving of a pleasurable, abundant, creative life. When it’s out of balance, you can feel emotionally unstable, guilty, or hard on yourself. When Svadhisthana in balance, you feel creative, positive, and receptive to change—like the ocean and its tides, you’re in the flow.
Deviasana (Goddess Pose)
Step your feet wide, turn your toes out, and sink your hips far enough to bring each knee over its corresponding ankle. Place your hands on your thighs and draw your tailbone down as the pubis lifts. Breathe deeply and move side to side, rocking your pelvis back and forth. You can fold down and move your arms side to side between your feet. The point is to enjoy the movement. Feel free to sigh or make sounds. Hold for 8-10 breaths. By opening the hips, you draw focus to the reproductive organs; in swaying, you recognize life’s ebb and flow.
Manipura (Navel Chakra)
Element: Fire Color: Yellow Sound: Ram Life theme: You’ve heard the expression “firing on all cylinders.” When the Manipura is in balance, you feel alive and have the self-esteem and confidence to take action and be productive. When it’s blocked, you lack courage, have low self-esteem, and feel stagnant and inert. By working on this chakra, you can awaken your true personal inner power and work through your fear of taking risks.
Navasana (Boat Pose)
Begin seated with your legs ahead of you. Hug your knees into your chest, and then grab behind your knees to help lift your feet off the floor and balance on your sitting bones. Lift your chest, and draw your shoulders down. Shift your weight forward to the front of your sitting bones as you draw in your navel, engaging your abdominals, and extend your arms forward and your legs up into Navasana. As you exhale, cross your arms at your chest, and lower your legs until they’re a few inches off the ground; inhale to rise back to Navasana. Repeat 5 times, and then lower to your back. Boat is an energizing pose that ignites your core muscles, creating power for transformation.
Anahata (Heart Chakra)
Element: Air Color: Green Sound: Yam Life Theme: Awaken to the power of unconditional love within you through compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. When the heart chakra is blocked, you become possessive and codependent, and may form dysfunctional relationships. You may also stay isolated for fear of rejection. When you stimulate the Anahata chakra, you can heal past wounds by reopening your heart, learn to love unconditionally, and form healthy relationships.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Come to your knees, and sit back on your heels. Join your hands at your heart center. Tuck your toes and rise to bring your hips over your knees, making sure knees and toes are hip-width apart. Place your palms on your lower back with the fingers pointing up and gently draw your sacrum down, as your front hip bones lift. Keep your chin in toward your chest, and lean back. Hug the shoulder blades toward each other. Stay here and breathe, or reach for your heels with your hands. The head is the last thing to release, if it’s comfortable. After a few breaths, bring your hands back to your sacrum and sit on your heels, returning your hands to prayer and bowing your head. Camel opens the heart center. Before you arch back, consider dedicating the posture to someone for whom you feel compassion.
Vishuddha (Throat Chakra)
Element: Ether Color: Blue Sound: Ham Lift theme: When Vishuddha is blocked, you may feel like you can’t find your voice or your truth. You may also be overly talkative and not listen to others. When this chakra is open and stimulated, your voice moves through space to help you communicate your emotions in healthy ways. You also become better at listening to others and honoring their personal truths without judgment.
Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand)
Lie down with your shoulders supported on a folded blanket, head on the floor. Bend your knees, rock your hips up, lift your legs overhead, and then release your toes toward the floor beyond the crown of your head. Place your hands midback, and lift one leg at a time skyward. Allow your gaze to drop toward your heart, and hear the sound of your breath. Feel free to express yourself by joining the soles of the feet, or by lowering one leg at a time toward the floor. Hold for up to 2 minutes. To release, lower both feet to the floor above your head, release your hands to the floor, and lower yourself vertebra by vertebra. Freeing the neck and spine, and then turning the senses in toward your breath, allows you to connect with your own rhythm.
Anja (Third-Eye Chakra)
Element: Light Color: Indigo Sound: OM Life theme: This chakra is associated with your intuition, or sixth sense, and governs how the rest of the chakras function. When Ajna is functioning well, you have insight, and you trust your inner wisdom to face life’s challenges and choices.When it’s blocked, you feel close-minded, too attached to logic, untrusting, and cynical.
Working on the sixth chakra opens your mind to the bigger picture and different perspectives, and it helps you receive the wisdom that cannot be seen or heard by ordinary senses.
Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
Come to a seat. Fold one heel in toward your groin, and then the other. If your knees aren’t lower than your hips, sit on a folded blanket. Cup your palms toward each other, touching opposite fingertips in Hakini Mudra. For 10 breaths, close your eyes, pose a question to yourself, and focus on the sound of your breath, placing the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth as you inhale, and relaxing it as you exhale. Release the backs of your hands to your knees, and see if you sense an answer. Stay here for up to 5 minutes. Hakini Mudra is known to increase the power of concentration, and in this pose you can easily access calm focus.
Sahasrara (Crown Chakra)
Element: Cosmic Energy Color: Violet or White Sound: OM Life theme: The crown chakra connects to beauty itself and the spiritual realm. It helps you to understand who you are beyond your physical self—that you are a spiritual being having a human experience. It is not located in the body but actually hovers above the crown of the head. When it’s closed, you think happiness can only come from the outside, and you suffer. Working on this chakra helps you to feel free in any situation.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Make sure you’re warm and comfortable, and lie down on your back. You can cover yourself with a blanket, cover your eyes with an eye pillow, or place a rolled-up blanket under your knees or head. Open your legs hip-width apart, and release your arms to your sides with your palms facing up. Take a deep breath and squeeze every part of your body tight, lifting your head, arms, and legs off the floor. Hold for a moment, and let everything go with a big exhale out of the mouth. Do this several times. Imagine a lotus flower at the crown of your head. With every inhale, imagine Divine light pouring in through the flower, and with every exhale, let go of anything that binds you to the past. Stay for 5–20 minutes, then slowly bring your awareness back to your breath, and move your fingers and toes to reconnect to your physical body without losing your connection to your infinite self.
Why Meditation Is Key…
I find that meditation is key because I find that helps me with my ADHD and my focus in addition to my medications. Even though my meditations still work quite well for me I find that meditation helps me center myself even more so than just taking my medication on its own.
Ways To Control Your Anger
As I said above this is why I use meditation and other methods to help control my anger and when I do get upset I tend to just go for a walk and try to come down before I do or say anything that would later regret. You just have to figure out what your triggers are and try not to let yourself get triggered by those things that usually do trigger you.
Early in my life my father taught me one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned and that lesson was not just on responsibility but on accountability as well and it goes further into accepting who you are. When you do something whether it’s good or bad own it. You need to be who you are don’t pretend to be somebody you are not. On who you are good things and bad things because that makes you who you are and be proud of yourself be proud of everything you do good or bad.
Thank you for being a continued reader and for those who have just joined in welcome to my blog and I hope that any questions you may have do not hesitate to let me know and I will make sure that I can answer them if not I will make sure I can find that answer for you.