October 17, 2012

Even When You Don’t Want To

Posted in Thoughts on Being Your Best, Thoughts on Life, Thoughts on Love at 3:56 pm by withlovemissmiak

Getting Back to Lovin’

Unconditional Love means not wanting to…and doing it anyway. It means not agreeing, but accepting. And this has nothing at all to do with being the bigger person, but everything to do with the un-wavering commitment you have to Loving anyway; and to showing that love even when it’s not convenient.

I experience this so often, most recently this evening, I am more than sure we all have. That nagging, compelling, persuasive, screaming voice in your mind that projects to the pit of your stomach telling you to just throw your hands up and walk away. To simply stop holding back the words that you know will hurt for no other reason but to get them out of your head and let them loose into the atmosphere around you. To pick up of every contribution that you make to this relationship in that moment and leave. It would just be so much easier.

The truth is, that without your submission to Love you WOULD remove your gifts to the moment; thus sending a negative ripple of energy outward into the universe instead of the positivity that Love provokes. Love is what will keep you engaged, present and giving your best. And where would the world be without your best? What would life be like without your loving actions?

There are too many people in this world that just throw in the towel when things get hard. When comfort leaves the they room are quick to walk out close behind it. It reminds me of the Hermit Crab who sheds his old shell to find one that accommodates his new growth. But the difference is that it doesn’t leave its colony, it simply takes on a new form. I hope in this moment to be like the Hermit Crab, shedding  my old shell (behaviors) when things get tight (uncomfortable)and relocating to one with more room for Love to live.  The results of the alternative are far too great, much too negative and I take personal responsibility for keeping my community uplifted in positive energy.

If  you do decide to remove yourself and all that you have brought to the world of another human being, you potentially become like a black hole in their universe; a void needing to be filled. As a matter of fact you may have filled a void left by another upon entering that life. The bottom line is that as we build relationships from a foundation of Love and Respect we must not aim for perfection, the fulfillment of our expectations, or any change at all. We must simply be open to these things: Be true to yourself and accept your relationship partners as they are; prepare for that relationship to place you in uncomfortable situations where your internal, metaphorical shell will become overwhelming tight forcing you to search for a broader perspective, and love your mistakes and those of others nearly or more than your triumphs for they are like tiny lamps along the Right Path.

In closing, as you continue to Love first and without condition see to it that your actions are at all times a reflection of this foundation. And I challenge you to remove the yoke of romantic  or relative conditions from love and give it freely as if it were water from a stream traveling from a boundless ocean…there’s plenty more where that came from;). Love your neighbors, and our children, love the bear and the bush, love it all and you will grow to a place where no shell could ever hold you. And in that place there is Love and there is Peace. Until next time….

Love Often…Love Always…Love Mia K

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February 23, 2012

Am I a BLOGGER Now????

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:25 am by withlovemissmiak

 Since I last summer I’ve had 3 blogs…LOL…How many of them are alive today?? Just this one; and its only just making it. My greatest struggle is making                 it a daily task to write. I want to, I would love to, but with all of life’s distractions in my little world I am challenged to build the habit.

This class has been a major help in forcing me to keep up with my blogging. One of the major lessons that I’ve learned is that a blog is living and breathing. Followers are in sort of a relationship with their blog’s author, knowing them through their writing and communicating through comments. Not feeding your blog with content is just about the equivalent of not giving your close friend their daily call. Miss it enough and the relationship dies, as will the blog.  I cannot be a blogger without staying true and responsible with the relationships that I build with followers. But honestly…I have issues with maintaining friendships in my true life…Go Figure.

In my experience as a blogger nothing truly surprised me, perhaps except for the minimal time it takes to produce a full blog! 30-45mins of sitting in front of the laptop without interruption and Whala!! Reading the Chris B article really helped me to step out of my shell with that one. I believe I have the tendency to over complicate things and therefore would dread the idea of taking a few hours to perfect my writing before I put it up for the world to see. (Even though I only had 2 followers).

 

 

A blog could be helpful to a nonprofit in many ways, 2 are to build an identity for stakeholders, current and potential donors that reveals the good work of the organization as well as to build relationships with other non profits that have similar or complementary missions. As we know, transparency is a VERY important characteristic for a nonprofit to own to show those who have a stake in their mission to maintain confidence that their efforts or dollars are going to meeting that mission. Nonprofits also have free access to the latest information about their industry by building relationships with other bloggers. In this way they are able to help one another with access to resources in their field and building beneficial partnerships.

Ghost From Our Past

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:08 am by withlovemissmiak

Have you ever been attacked by a memory?

Was it pleasant or disruptive? Did you re-experience the emotions that came along with those that were present at the time this event took place? This is something that happens to me all the time.

And if it happens to you, I would like to offer another perspective, one that may lead us together towards understanding why we isolate ourselves from one another and how we can repair these relationships.

In my lifetime I have lived in several different states but mostly lived around the same demographic of people, middle class-upper middle class whites. It was interesting growing into myself in this atmosphere because as with most adolescents, I wanted to fit in. Many times this meant taking on the attitudes and ideologies of my peers; even when it came to my own race. Even when I had no knowledge or understanding of where these beliefs came from, nor how to validate them; but when you are a child…you just don’t question these things.

Perhaps, if we can be hit with a memory that illicit an emotion, we may also be hit with the memories or ideologies of others that also illicit emotion; mainly Fear birthed from the “certainty of assumptions”. However, when we as individuals are thrown into the thralls of another’s assumptions we never take the moment to reflect on how a person may have come to build that wall that now separates the two of you. Usually, being looked over for your dream job that you more than qualified for, being ignored by the server at the 4 star restaurant, or being followed through the specialty shop will make you…well…mad as hell. But if we could, in that very anger, slow down in that very anger and rethink the emotion towards compassion. Whenever I think about a person who engages in some form of discrimination, the image of German children reading anti-Semitic story books comes to mind. Or the impoverished child whose Father tells him to get his head out of the books and into the work that is going to help support the family. After time passes these children become the adults who do the things that make us …Mad as Hell.

So how will compassion help us to help others challenge their own biases? By showing them that there is nothing to fear. From compassion comes kindness, and from kindness individuals can build a new understanding and form more positive assumptions which is better for everyone involved. So next time you want to call a manager or write a letter, do something instead to make them reflect on why their first assumption was the wrong one
.

February 8, 2012

Love One Another

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:31 pm by withlovemissmiak

How does one go about changing the world? Well I feel like it first begins with encouraging a change in one’s perception of others.  I sat in on a facilitation of an anti-bullying assembly called “Step Up” recently where the importance of this value was reinforced. The activity was a silent one where everyone took a card. You could not share what was on your card with others in the group, and participants simply had to separate themselves according to the number of “F’s” on their card from 1-8. As they did this there were two large groups and a few outliers. At the end of the activity they were told that everyone had the same number of “F’s”.

LESSON: Your Perception Becomes Your Reality.

It seems to me that perception is the thing that divides us; the beliefs that we hold of others and their beliefs. The most destructive part of this is that we seldom give ourselves the opportunity to learn about the parts of other cultures that we have never experienced.

I know that it’s hard, especially when certain and perhaps the most damaging perceptions are rooted in childhood. Damaging because the very belief in some perceptions corrupts the human spirit and encourages one to participate in oppression.  

A great example of this is the movie “The Help” which I just recently watched. Where white children are raised, loved and cared for by black women only to grow up and follow in the oppressive attitudes of the era. There was a memorable scene where one little girl, about the age of 2, rubs the face of her caretaker and tells her “your my real mama”.  Now I’m more than sure that by the age of 5 this child will have “gotten with the program” and changed her tone by conforming to the power arrangement that favored her and all that looked like her; but the problem here is what is lost in the transition. The transition from love to near and sometimes something beyond disgust. Or the love that was never discovered

This is by no means a racial issue. The same problem happens between countries and internationally through class and religion as well. However the results are always the same. Suffering for all and some more than others.

I would like to see a world that values love over divisiveness. Enjoy the clip:

 

Is Email Dead?

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:28 pm by withlovemissmiak

Is Email Dead? [Infographic]

courtesy of Visible Gains

 

From what I can tell the Jury is still out on this one. Although millions of emails are still sent every second of every day, it’s the future of this communication avenue that may be in danger.

In her article Is Email Dead? Jill Duffy describes situations that we have all been through! Being CC’d on an email thread that had absolutely NOTHING to do with your work…but if you are a super multi-tasker like myself you may pause anyway to check if the “ding ding” of your email notification to check if it was anything pressing. This gets unbearable around email number 12 of the same threaded conversation that you don’t need to be a part of.

I agree with her suggestions of substituting company email for social media type applications; especially using status updates to inform the office or your network about the projects you are currently working on.  I recently had an experience where I sent out an email to recruit volunteers and I may have gotten 3 responses from 100 emails. I put it on FB and received 10x more.

When it comes to using online communication for building a following, member base, or increase in repeat donors /fundraising I definitely think Social Media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and even blogging are the future.  It reaches a multitude of individuals that are genuinely interested in your cause.

 

After all…. You the last thing you want to end up as is SPAM!

January 26, 2012

Video Test

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:18 pm by withlovemissmiak

Our Community Project

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:24 pm by withlovemissmiak

 

When embarking on our very last semester of the Social Work Graduate Program there is definitely a taste of bitter and sweet in the air. One thing that is for sure is that all of us were thinking ‘how will I leave this program having engaged in the profession of doing good that I have studied for so long?’ Needless to say this self posed question could ignite the passion of the most lackadaisical of us all. For myself, Shawndria, Hannah, Kehli and LaQuandra at first review of the Proposal Request it was clear; 9 to 5’s “Serve your Server” fundraising event had us hooked. Not only could we advocate for a higher working wage for tipped workers, which two of us have been on the tipped side, but we had the opportunity to provide much needed care and information to those of the community who like us, serve for a living.

The first few meetings have already been productive and exciting. We as budding Social Workers have had the opportunity to exercise the skills necessary to make this event a success during our studies and in our intern placements. Those such as leadership, project management, empowering others, facilitation, planning, and community organizing.

Tentatively, on Saturday March 31st we will hold a wellness spa that focuses on healthy lifestyle, relaxation and sharing information. Tipped worker are legally paid $2.13 per hour to devote sometimes 10 hour shifts to standing, or running, on their feet, wiping tables, filling cups, appeasing ridiculous request and all with a big smile! Some of the hardest working among us walk away from this experience some nights having made less than minimum wage including their tips! It just doesn’t seem worth it, does it? Well for many it’s about so much more than just a job, it’s about the people they serve. So for their service we will go out into Atlanta and pull together in kind donations, volunteers, and potential attendants to Serve our Servers. For no cost to them, they will have access to spa and beauty services, unique bites from restaurants in the city, and even a chance to win great FREE services of all kinds from around Atlanta. As Social Workers we know just how important it is to take care of yourself so that you can be of help to others.

This event, in addition to being a fabulous way to appreciate this special group, will also be a way to give information on and gain support for 9 to5’s Fair Eats Campaign. This program works from grassroots to the legislator to lobby for a raise in the minimum wage paid to tipped workers. We hope to increase the base for the campaign and gain momentum for the number of individuals asking and demanding higher pay for tipped workers. Our goal is to assist 9 to 5 with a model that is successful and can be replicated in the future.

 

With Greatest Regards,

Mia K

Is Privacy a Thing of the Past?

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:23 pm by withlovemissmiak

According to the oh so bias opinions of the Internet moguls who created websites like Facebook and LinkedIn, consumers are moving towards the consensus that they do not mind their information being freely shared with…well…the world. Although this seems at face value ridiculous and unreasonable I think that this statement is partialy true; if you take the ENTIREworld out of it. People don’t mind sharing their information with their friends and  family and even their friends of family who may have an interest in seeing the photos from your two year old’s Transformers birthday party. There is suppose to be some connection between what you say and what happens in reality that I think these Billionaire CEO’s are playing off of; because let’s face it, the less we as the common public care about privacy, the more money we are worth as a collective.

We are most definitely headed in a direction of information sharing that we cannot reverse. But I think we should look at how we can use this power, especially as future community builders and world changers, for good and not evil. First of all and more often than not: Transparency=Trust. Although we can really be whoever we choose to be online I think there is definitely something to be said about the ability to share consistency in thoughts, beliefs and actions that will allow people around the world to gravitate to not only your causes but you passion and drive. If we are completely real with ourselves we know that human service isn’t something everyone is just DYING to embark on, but I am a firm believer that passion is contagious and that just making something look fun will encourage people to try it. Does this mean that ALL that you do is relevant to do-gooding (yes I made up that word up=)? NO. Which leads me to my next point.

We should never ever place the responsibility of how much information we want publicly known in the hands of people who profit from that very knowledge being shared as much as possible. In other words, we are our own information gatekeepers. Just as in true life, in “cyber life” we have the ability to display a cohesive image, a persona for others to perceive as who we are. A good example of this is that when I choose my attire for the day I make sure that it says “I am comfortable in my own skin and welcome the invitation for communication”. How do I do this…Well that’s my own little secret, however I have found that the group that I am most interested in reaching, young adults, are most often attracted to this way that I carry myself. It is the same with an Internet persona, I “wear” my personality online just as a wear my clothes in the true and living world. If there is something that I do not want seen, I cover it. Simple as that. My mother always said, “Some things are best left to the imagination”.

Is privacy dead? No, its not even old yet. And I would suggest that we stay skeptical of the advice given by those that gain from its demise.

January 14, 2012

Crossing the Line: Personal and Professional Self

Posted in Classroom Journey, Social Work at 5:24 pm by withlovemissmiak

 

“Inspiration begins with BEING yourself, and is followed by SHARING yourself”. This is my current Facebook Status and morning Tweet. I would not say that this can be classified as a personal post because even in my professional life I wish to motivate and inspire. This creates a blurry line of division between the personal and professional identities of my online persona; and who is to say that there is anything at all wrong with that?

“At a Kick ass party with Rachel and Vanessa getting WASTED!!!!” I have seen post similar to this as well, and what makes it personal is its uselessness. Even if your job title is “Party Animal” for the Miller Beer company how do post like this benefit your personal or professional image? Quick answer: They Don’t.

While online I try to stay true to a few guidelines for posting that are reflective of my dyadic personal/professional self.

  1. Give it meaning: For myself but particularly for those in my network. Can I, with these words, generate thought, hope, inspiration, or relationship? By sharing my own thoughts, opinions, expertise and experiences I perhaps can positively influence others.
  2. Keep it positive even when it’s negative: Of course there are times when I feel beaten or unhappy and allow these forces to influence my interactions with others; but what’s the silver lining? I attended a lecture once where I was reminded of my struggle in and out of the Christian faith and my post the next day reflected this. Within 18 minutes I had 20 text messages asking if I was ok! This was a true display of the friendships that I have been blessed with but I was also reminded of the positive personality that I have always presented and what happens when that is altered. It affects others. So I immediately changed my status to something that showed my anger but also my hope for the future, staying true to ME.
  3. All that is written and posted is PUBLIC: If I don’t want the teens I work with, my boss, parents, or colleagues to read it or see it…..I don’t post it. Simple as that. No matter how “private” your setting are on FB putting it out there means that SOMEONE can see it and do what they will with it.

There are ways to have a solely professional image on social media sites. For example if you are writing or posting representing a professional entity and therefore following their policies, it is simply a matter of sharing information and building recognition and support.  This type of social media behavior seems so much easier!! Someone else governs the what, when and how of your post. Your voice is not your own and there is a safety under that veil.

Hope this was helpful….and at least entertaining!

 

Love always…Love Often…Love Mia K