Tell your stories to connect and dicover: no shame, no blame!


I attended City Speaksa storytelling event, last night in Pompano Beach, Florida, which reminds me, back in the days in my homeland  Haiti, when my dad used to gather us together, just to tell us stories.

Sometimes, they were folktales of Bouki and Malis, the villain and the smart; and other times it was just about his personal stories, telling us about his day to day dealing with  this thing called “life.”

Last night, it was about life stories from folks in the city, telling us their narratives about their life segments, and how they intersect with us, the listeners.

There were tellers, there were listeners. Moods swang from joy to sorrow. It was a real life experience.

I enjoyed it. It was a person to person moment. I discovered myself in the stories I heard, and connected with the speakers.

As Mij Byram, an expert storyteller, who introduced the event, said :

“Storytelling is about the connection. That connection is not magic. It’s real. It is about touching the hearts and imaginations of listeners. It is opening them to adventures, feelings and possibilities.”

“In  a story,”Mij added, “we can walk through fear and chase the villain. We can experience sorrow and joy and do it in the safe harbor of a story. A story can change thoughts and ideas.  A story can touch your heart, make you laugh or make you cry, it can comfort or challenge. A story can help you see yourself and your world in a new way.”

That’s excatly what happened to me when I left Pompano Beach last night reflecting, thinking, and pondering about what I heard about immigration, illegal immigration, thick accent, police interactions with black people, depression, and anxiety.

It was fascinated. A great delightful moment. I loved it.

Be well,

Roosevelt

 

NB.: City Speaks is a 50 minute event followed by a time of public interaction and reflection. To know more about their programming click here….

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The Top Five Regrets of the Dying


Bronnie Ware, an author who worked in palliative care, wrote “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.”

They are:

1.- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2.- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3.- I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.

4.-  I wished I had stayed in touch with my friends

5.-  I wish I had let myself be happier.

These are significant issues. How can we positively address them when we still have some time?

Can we be kinder towards ouselves and others and be more determined to live the life we are truly here to live?

Be well,

Roosevelt

rojefra (2)

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if you found this post useful, you might want to join other leaders in receiving life changing information from #Rooseveltjeanfrancois and the LIFE INFO (app) about leadership, literacy, and leverage- all the cutting edge intelligence you need to live the life you’ve always wanted and to keep ahead of the competition today.
Please, download the Life Info (app) on your cell phone. Free sign up with referral lifeinfo or 61238105.
Thank you.

Tiger Woods is back to the top. How his ladder climbing out of a slump can help you climb your own ladder?


I don’t play Golf. I even don’t understand the game in its entirety. If I had to explain it, I would say- and correct me if I am wrong- this is a game played by affluent people who have time, money, and prestige on large pristine green grass open-air courses where they discuss business, politics and make deals. The end result is to stroke a small white ball with a club into some small holes in the ground. Sometimes, I heard 18 or 21 holes.

That’s it. That’s all I know.

I also know that Tiger Wood is a golf famed winner. He went from fame to shame after his character and reputation have been widely gone under water after some personal issues in his life, which have also impacted negatively his professional ability to perform.

This emotional saga associated with physical pains led him wonder, just last year, if he would ever play again. He thought he was done. Now look what he’s done.

Last Sunday, he was able to emerge from the funk and win again. Sport analysts rank his last win as impressive as some of his greatest victories.

in an interview, Woods described what his rock bottom moment was, his dread, and what he did not want.

“Probably the low point was not knowing if I’d ever be able to live pain-free again,” Woods said. “Am I going to be able to sit, stand, walk, lay down without feeling the pain that I was in. I just didn’t want to live that way. This is how the rest of my life is going to be? It’s going to be a tough rest of my life. And so … I was beyond playing. I couldn’t sit. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t lay down without feeling the pain in my back and my leg. That was a pretty low point for a very long time.”

Let me just repeat what kept my attention in this interview:  “It’s going to be a tough rest of my life.”

I go ahead to reflect, think, and ponder about this statement. I put it in perspective, and I pull out a tool, a book I read from the Life Leadership Essentials Series, entitled LADDER, Climbing out of a slump, and to never let a good slump go to waste.

slump

I ask myself what can I learn and share from Tiger Woods’ slump experience. This is a good one to learn from and to not let it go to waste. what can we learn from our slumps and not let them go to waste.

LADDER Climbing out of a Slump, forwarded by Dan Hawkins, a bestselling author, life-coach, and successful entrepreneur, is a book, a tool that will help you discover the art of a slump, and how to take action immediately and effectively.

In my next post, I will share with you the art of climbing a slump, and actions to be taken to live the life you’ve always wanted.

Be well,

#Rooseveltjeanfrancois (Rooseveltjanfranswa)

@rooseveltjf

Roosevelt-pic

An Invitation:

if you found this post useful, you might want to join other leaders in receiving life changing information from #Rooseveltjeanfrancois and the LIFE INFO (app) about leadership, literacy, and leverage- all the cutting edge intelligence you need to live the life you’ve always wanted and to keep ahead of the competition today.

Please, download the Life Info (app) on your cell phone. Free sign up with referral lifeinfo or 61238105.

Thank you.

 

Build confidence, destroy fear, and live the life you want. No regrets!


The following notes are from The Magic of Thinking Big, an outstanding self-development book, published by Dr. David Schwartz.

Fear is real. Fear is psychological. It’s success enemy No 1.

Fear stops people from capitalizing on opportunity; fear wears down physical vitality; fear actually makes people sick, causes organic difficulties, shortens life; fear closes your mouth when you want to speak.

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Fear a powerful force.

All confidence is acquired, developed, and nurtured. No one is born with confidence of the world. You take a big step toward conquering fear when you refuse to remember negative, self-deprecating thoughts.

You can conquer fear of people  if you will learn to put them in “proper perspective.”

How do you face your fears?

How do you build your confidence?

An intentional conversation with blogger, and singer Tara McLeod: A pleasure!


I walked in the Barnes & Nobles in Plantation, Florida, last Saturday morning, thinking in my mind, I am here for a couple of minutes, after missing an earlier appointment with a business acquaintance to discuss about leadership, life issues, and  community building to help people live the life they’ve always wanted. I would be there to take my time, and recompose myself after a glimpse of disappointment.

tara

I rushed in the magazines section in the back, picked up a couple of recent magazines, and walked through the aisles, looking for a comfortable sitting place. Two lazy boy chairs were available, I avoided them preferring a chair by a table where it would be more comfortable to take notes.

It was Christmas eve. The book store was full with last minutes shoppers looking for gifts for their loved ones.

I sat by the Sociology and Cultural Studies bookshelves where was pulling books, after books.

I said “Hi.”

She replied with a direct eye contact “Good morning.”

“Are you in Sociology?”

“No,” she answered shortly.

“What are you looking for,” I asked.

She said she was looking for the book “Women that run with the wolves.”

A customer representative helped her out to find this book. I asked her about the book and her type of reading.

She mentioned personal development, and self-help materials which lead to growth and becoming the best she can be.

She told me she’s very active in her church as a member of the choir, and the women ministry group.

She  blogs and speaks on relationships issues.

I told her what I do as a global connector for Life Leadership in South Florida and the Caribbean.

We agree to continue our conversation, link our communities to reach millions of people, and spread more light in a very dark world.

A pleasure to have met you Tara!

Roosevelt

 

 

My understanding of Christian Spirituality based on the reading of “Guiding principles for a Christian Spirituality” by Michael Downey.


I understand Spirituality as a human quest to discover where we, human beings, are from, where we are going, our connection with each other, and in a large extent, our relationship with a Higher Power greater than ourselves.

Therefore, Christian Spirituality is the global experience through time and space of this quest for meaning to those who accept to follow and believe Jesus-Christ as the One who models this Higher Power perfectly.

Reading the handout “Guiding principles for a Christian Spirituality” by theologian Michael Downey helps me to focus on the concept of “Christian Spirituality” as both a universal lived experience and an academic discipline.

This experience and knowledge are oriented towards the ultimate values and highest ideals perceived and pursued in the mystery of Jesus Christ.

In those 15 paragraphs, Downey specifies some key principles to promote the concrete experience of searching for God through specific guidelines.

I retain the 6 following elements as the main essential points of Downey’s thought in this context :

  1. The Christian life as an experience, and a story
  2. The Christian life as communion
  3. A life of prayer
  4. A life of growth, development, and maturation.
  5. A life of solidarity
  6. A life of stewardship

Each of this point has broadened my understanding of the concept of “Christian Spirituality” as I will develop in the following paragraphs.

  1. The Christian life as an experience, and a story

Christian Spirituality is an experience, and a story to be told. It involves us with God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and others with inner and outer events. God uses human works, images, stories to accomplish His people. His revelation is ongoing. Experience is the source of all meaning. Each individual shapes his or her experiences in a unique way. Sharing stories lead us to spread, the message and style of Jesus are truly life-giving. Our telling stories keep traditions alive and meaningful. This is the base of the experience of the human relationship, and any relationship between human beings and God. (1)

  1. The Christian Life as communion

Christian Spirituality invites us to participate in God’s life through communion. communion is more than a memorial. This symbolic ceremony molds us with the Incarnate Word by the power of the Holy Spirit. Communion is not an individualistic matter; it is a body matter. It leads us to better relationship with God and with others. (2)

  1. A life of prayer

Prayer is the ongoing relation with God. it is one of the greatest gift our Lord has given us outside of salvation. Prayer is the pipeline of communication between God and His people, between God and those who love Him. Prayer engages God, enables God’s people, and enlarges His kingdom.

  1. A life of growth, development, and maturation.

Human growth and maturation are prerequisites for growing and maturing in the spiritual life. Our growth as human beings can often be a measure of our spiritual maturity. Spirituality itself can be defined as a “ fully human phenomenon, and it is a phenomenon of the fully human.” Human development is also applicable in regard to ones relationship with God. (3)

  1. A life of solidarity

Our light is to be shared with others. We are entailed to live in rightly ordered relationship with ourselves, other human beings, and God. The very heart and soul of the Christian Spiritual life is in solidarity with others above with the least disadvantaged, the disenfranchised. It is expressed through communion with the Incarnate Word of the Holy Spirit. The Christian spiritual life is reserved for an elite group usually vowed religious and clergy. All the baptized are called to the fullness of life in the Spirit.

  1. A life stewardship

Christian Spirituality is to be in service to others for the goods of creation. We also develop relationship between human and nonhuman life. We can use our God given gifts and talents to throw our lights on current issues such as global warming, war, human justice.

In Conclusion, this text on Christian Spirituality has helped me to better understand this concept on its aspect of a global experience with God. It has broadened my understanding on the connections between systematic theology and spirituality.  As Christians, we are followers of Christ, and with those guiding principles, we are better equipped to have dialogue and conversations with others based on our faith, and our personal development

Bibliography

“Guiding Principles for a Christian Spirituality” by Michael Downey. Understanding Christian Spirituality. Paulist Press, 1997; 146-150.

(1) Tad Dunne

(Published in The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality, ed. Michael Downey, Liturgical Press, 1993). http://users.wowway.com/~tdunne5273/Expernc.pdf

(2) Mark M. Mattison

The meaning of Communion

http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/openhse/communion.html

(3) Reflection on Psycho-Spiritual Development   – John Friel C.P.

http://daneoservices.weebly.com/refection-on-psycho-spiritual-development-john-friel-cp.html

 

Leadership, philosophy, clear thinking, and living a good life with simplicity


Philosophy professor Marietta McCarty, and New York Times bestselling author questions one of her college students about “what is a good life”.
“Good living means having the time to actually think…”, said the student as reported by Marietta McCarty in her book “how philosophy can change your life, 10 ideas that matter most”.
Good living is about investing time to produce ideas which are the building blocks of our lives.  Thinking produces ideas which help us to find our way and know what really matters.
marietta1Clear thinking is a lasting benefit of quiet introspection, solitude, and good conversation which cultivate our sense of wonder.
The first idea developed in this book turns around the concept of “Simplicity.”
McCarty gives us food for thoughts about simplicity. She develops this topic based on ideas of ancient philosopher Epicurus, and modern thinker Charlotte Joko Beck.
Epicurus, 341 BCE, a citizen of Athens, decided to lead a private life for his tranquility. He decided that public life and politics in particular made tranquility impossible.
Charlotte Joko Beck is an American pianist who delved into the study of Zen Buddhism after assuming the responsibilities of a single mother of 4 children.
With the conceptual framework. and the ideas of these thinkers, McCarty invites us to reflect and hold conversations on simplicity, prudence, needs, wants, independence, and freedom from our own ego and self-concern.
Charlotte Joko Beck calls life “a very simple matter”. What is simplicity? What is a simple way of living? It is as simple as having the basics that we must have for good living.
We need to leave behind complicated lives to “savor a life spent enjoying the simple pleasures which feed our essential selves.
Our first priority is to be a mental and spiritual well-being. We do not need much to satisfy our material needs. We overlook “ordinary” joys when we overextend our reach into the world of things. We are moving fast to acquire things and lifestyle. Debt conquers our peace of mind. We become “multitasker”. We are not in the center of our lives. Our energy is scattered and depleted. Epicurus
We are racing to nowhere. This prevents us to think and produce ideas. Clear thinking is impossible if material concerns remain our priority and our goals.
This endless race of materialism and acquiring stuff is a dead end of anxiety and sadness.
Simplicity is a prerequisite for thinking clearly. It clears the mind as a dust cloth, and as the mind brightens, clear thinking is possible, and the fountain of ideas and simple pleasures is open.
Charlotte Joko Beck agrees with Epicurus on living a life’s simple pleasures.
“Go slow to go fast”, said Best-selling author Chris Brady in his acclaimed book “One month in Italy and Rediscover the art of Vacation.”
Epicurus in his “Letter to Menoecus” said “Pleasure is the end…. Freedom from pain in the body and trouble in the mind.”
His philosophy evolved from his life experience: pleasure is the main ingredient of a good life and simplicity is the key to obtaining pleasure and minimizing pain.
Extravagance has consequences, he said inviting us to discover the freedom that comes from needing little.
Prudence vs Desire
Epicurus is known for his accent on pleasure as the aim of life. But, in my studies of his philosophy as mentioned by McCarty, his central virtue is prudence. This requires a rigorous examination of the circumstances of our lives.
While pleasure is the goal of life, we must be very smart in how we go about achieving it. Desire is a powerful fuel. Prudence can keep desire in check with its sensible detection of the true needs in our lives.
Epicurus made a critical distinction between needs and wants. Some desires are natural, other desires are vain, he said.
We have the power of discernment and we can figure out what is essential for a pleasurable life and what is not.
Just as Epicurus departed from public life in Athens, Professor McCarty invites us to shift- not necessarily physically, but surely mentally and spiritually- away from the roar of mainstream culture’s advertising and media glitz.”charlotte

Bestselling author Orrin Woodward invites us to “escape the financial matrix” which is a web of debt which brings control and profit for the elite, stress, debt,  and anxiety for the masses.
Epicurus is optimistic. His idea is we have the ability to deal with mental disturbance using our reasoning power to adjust our lives accordingly. He elevates mental pleasures over physical pleasures. Mental pleasures are more numerous; more easily controlled, and rarely have painful consequences.
We can temper our desire by disciplining ourselves to need less.

Beck said desire causes suffering. We have to let go our ego by avoiding to manipulate life to suit our expectations. We need to be our own measure of success, and grow confident that an unadorned life is also full of pleasure and lasting satisfaction.

philosophyPhilosophy is the act of asking question. I invite you to reap the rewards of hearts and minds by reflecting, and sharing your personal experiences on the following questions.

-What are some of your life’s simple pleasures? Why do you forget them?

– Do you confuse what you need and what you want?

– Describe what you need for a satisfying life? Are you surprised  at the things that you do not include?

-Are you “too busy”?

– When was the last time you just sit and do nothing?

If you have a good appetite for food for thought, I invite you to read Marietta MacCatty’s book “How Philosophy can save your life, 10 ideas that matter most”.

Roosevelt Jean-Francois