The Power of Drinking Your Cup of Suffering

Drink your cup of suffering

In this blog post, I’m exploring the concept of drinking your, cup of suffering, like Jesus did. Jesus asked God to take this, cup of suffering, from him if it is his will. But Jesus had to drink his, cup of suffering, to get to his purpose and destiny.

Suffering is usually the pathway to, personal growth, so you must learn to, embrace pain, and suffering as part of your journey and growth. When you drink your, cup of suffering, you’re able to transform your pain and suffering into something positive. This podcast episode is about finding compassion and strength in the face of difficulty, and it’s something that can be helpful on any journey. If you’re looking for a way to overcome hardship, this episode is for you!

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Why Jesus had to drink his cup of suffering

In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus, born with the ability to see his future knew of his impending death. He knew his purpose for becoming God in the flesh was to die for our sins, yet even as a God in flesh he was not looking forward to suffering. The scripture says he became anguished and distressed.

He told his disciples “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. He prayed to God his father and asked him to take the, cup of suffering, from him, if it is his will. Then he prayed again and said “if this, cup of suffering, cannot be taken away unless I drink it, then your will be done.

So, let’s talk today about suffering. Most of us will suffer before we die just like Jesus did. The Buddha teaches that we can transcend suffering with our minds.

Transform Your Mind Luminary podcast
Transform Your Mind Luminary podcast

Embrace your pain and suffering

Let’s imagine that you were just given a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer. So like Jesus you know suffering is coming and maybe even death.

You pray and ask God for a miracle, but at some point, you realize that you have to drink your, cup of suffering.

One of the ways to drink your, cup of suffering, and not choke, is to look at what comes after your suffering.

Jesus knew that he would raise from the dead in 3 days and his suffering was for a purpose. The shedding of his blood was to redeem our sins. So, he made plans with his disciples. He told them “after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.”

podhero podcast Transform Your Mind
Podhero podcast

Make plans to meet on the other side of suffering

So, if you have been given a diagnosis that could lead to suffering and pain, if you can see yourself healed and maybe taking that trip that’s still on your bucket list. See yourself with family and friends totally healthy and cancer free. That will allow you to be in pain, but not suffer. Suffering is resistance to the now. As Eckhart Tolle teaches the now is already here there is nothing you can do, other than accept it.

All suffering is emotionally created and is due to resistance. If you refuse to go with the flow of life, you will suffer. Suffering is usually for a purpose. You must have deep pain or suffering to be drawn to the spiritual dimension.

And if it is God’s will that you transition to the other side you will still meet up with friends and family who are waiting for you there in heaven.

The Buddha on suffering

Anyone who has had even the briefest introduction to Buddhist teaching is familiar with its starting point: the inescapable truth that existence entails suffering. Buddhist psychology makes a clear distinction between pain and suffering. Pain is an unavoidable aspect of the natural world. It is physical, biological, and social, woven into our existence as night is with day, as inevitable as hard and soft, as hot and cold.

In this human incarnation we experience a continuous ebb and flow of pleasure and pain, gain and loss. Suffering is different from pain. Suffering is caused by our reaction to the inevitable pain of life. Our personal suffering can include anxiety, depression, fear, confusion, grief, anger, hurt, addiction, jealousy, and frustration. But suffering is not only personal.

Our collective suffering grows from human greed, hatred, and ignorance, bringing warfare and racism; the isolation and torture of prisoners; fueling the unnecessary hunger, sickness, and abandonment of human beings on every continent. This individual and collective suffering.

Conclusion

Pain is inevitable part of life, suffering is optional.

Thanks for tuning into this weeks episode of 5 min Fridays with coach Myrna.

Additional Resources 

The Emotional Trials and Triumphs of Cancer

Life-Changing Advice from a Navy Seal: Uncover His Secret to Beating Life’s Ambush!

Jason Redman Life Ambush

Jason Redman, retired Navy SEAL shares life changing advice to beating life’s ambush.  Jason was ambushed in battle and shot 8 times including on round to the face. Jason believes he survived this ambush by tapping into his, overcome mindset. In this episode Jason teaches the difference between:

  • a micro life ambush
  • a mini life ambush
  • a major life ambush
  • How to spot the warning signs of a life ambush
  • How to move forward after a major life ambush
  • What is situational awareness
  • How to become your own point man

Download the podcast here:

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Bio

Retired Navy SEAL Lieutenant Jason Redman electrifies audiences around the world with his high-energy presentations on leadership, failure, redemption, catastrophic injury, and his breathtaking journey to “overcome all” in the aftermath of wartime enemy ambush and in the face of what he calls life ambushes during the years that followed.

During his 21-year Navy career, Jason spent 11 years as an enlisted SEAL and 10 years as a SEAL officer leading teams in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today he puts his vast experience and expertise to work as a speaker, coach, author, and trainer, helping individuals, teams and organizations of all types and sizes to define and implement lasting change, even in the wake or face of failure, crisis and adversity.

He’s lived through it all at the highest level in his Navy SEAL career: From failures as a young leader that resulted in him almost being kicked out of the SEAL teams, to redemption and leading teams in intense combat operations in Iraq, to being shot eight times, including a round to the face, and nearly dying during an enemy ambush, Jason has lived the OVERCOME Mindset he now teaches others. He has done an incredible job of taking these lessons learned and making them relatable to teams, businesses, and organizations around the world.

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Walking into an ambush on the battle field

Myrna: Can you share your story of walking into an ambush as a Navy Seal and the, overcome mindset, you had to survive being shot several times.

Jason: I’m super blessed individual. I just could not survive that ambush that night without some kind of a miracle. We’ll talk about the, overcome mindset, and how that translates to other aspects of life later in the interview. It was an intense night, it was a night at the very end of our deployment as, Navy SEALs. One of our jobs is something we call direct action. We go after the mid-level and high level leaders across the battlefield.

That was one of our jobs, when I was in Iraq and we were tracking both outside in and through leadership across with my troops were focused on the weapon western province of Iraq. So, a lot of people are familiar with Iraq, a very dangerous place. We were actually based out of Volusia and tracking leaders.  On September 13, 2007, we went after the number one leader for the outside organization in the Anbar Province, the western province of Iraq. A pretty dangerous guy.

We’ve been tracking all deployment.  He had been responsible for and ran multiple sniper cells, IV shells, attack cells. He had shot down a Marine Corps helicopter in the fall of 2006. Killing the whole crew on board and they lost five individual and run out of the building across the street.

So, on this night we got orders that he was at this place. We got there and even though there was no one there we noticed some suspicious activity in the building a few yards away. My team leader said hey, I want you to take your team, you know, walk these individuals down let’s find out who they are in question. And make a long story short, our enemy leader had been in the first house that we were in right now.

He had moved to the house that was about 150 yards away that we were now moving on and his security detail and shut off a very, very well staged enemy ambush we estimate about 15 shooters with two large machine guns and my team and I walked right into this ambush.

Organifi Harmony
Organifi Harmony

My overcome mindset helped me survive

My medic, a fellow Navy seal, took a round of bullets right below the knee which almost took his leg off. One of our other guys ran forward to grab him and tried to move him back behind us. There was kind of a bar, there was one tree and a large like John Deere tractor tire and they pull and drag our medic and himself back.

He himself was shot three times while doing this. I was out front and I was trying to shoot and lay down fire. It was at this point I had both machine guns turned on me and I was hit eight times between my body armor and my body I took two rounds in the left elbow which in the moment I thought it shot my arm off.

I took rounds off my weapon and my right-side plates. I turned around to see what was happening with my team and that’s when I caught around in the face. That hit me right in front of the ear. Travel through my face took off my nose, blew out my right cheekbones, vaporized my oval floor, broke all the bones in my face and knocked me out. I was pinned down in front of my guys. They continue to fight the enemy. There’s this very intense gunfight occurring with me pinned down on the ground and had literally bullets traveling around me.

I came to probably we don’t know the timeline. We know the entire gunfight lasted about 40 minutes. So, when I woke up after about 10 mins, I realized that was in a really bad situation. I called out to my team leader and he realized Holy smokes, you know, Red still alive, and they started to extract me. I owe my life to my teammates. I owe my life to an Air Force aircraft called an AC 130 gunship that brought in the closest fire mission.  Meaning they brought rounds in from the aircraft to the ground at military speeds. My team leader did an amazing job coordinating this in between fire and ran forward and got me and hold me back to where they were about a tourniquet on my mangled arms really saved my life.

But the whole time this was happening. There were several things and we’ll come full circle now to a little bit of the, overcome mindset. I knew I had lost a lot of blood. I’d lost a lot of blood between my arm and my face and my injuries. And we go through a lot of, trauma medicine, and special operations training. We’re probably trained up to the level of a patient, emergency medical technician that would ride around an ambulance. I knew all the signs. I knew that I was going to what we call, hypovolemic shock, from blood loss. I was struggling to breathe.

Podmust Transform Your Mind podcast
Podmust Transform Your Mind podcast

In our last moments we think only of our loved ones

And in final moments, I was still pinned down and I started to think that I may die here, I was dying. I was I was literally bleeding out and dying. And there were several things that went through my mind when I was lying there dying but not once did I think about stuff. You know in this life we’re all focused on stuff and trust me I like stuff. You know, I love my house. I love you know some of the nice things we have. But I also recognize every day that all that stuff can be gone in an instant. The people you love are all you’re going to care about in the final moments in your life, because that’s all I thought about.

I thought about my wife and kids and how I would do anything to have another moment just to say I love you. And it was at that point that I also I called out to God. I really need help. I need strength. And that enabled me to have some strength which I can’t explain. But I will tell you this, this thought popped into my head in that moment and the thought was this. Stay awake to stay alive.

And if you’ve ever been severely injured, or something bad has happened you reach a point where physiologically your body wants to shut down and you will become extremely fatigued. And that’s what happened. I wanted to go to sleep. I wanted to just let go and go to sleep, but I know I had to stay awake to stay alive and I knew that if I made it to the military hospital, I would live.

The military emergency room. I knew the statistics, from operating overseas that if our if we got our soldiers or wounded warriors to the hospital and they still had a pulse, they had a 90% chance of making it home alive. So that was my focus. You know, stay awake, stay alive, stay awake, stay alive and this stuff there’s so many nuances and stories but the bottom line is that’s exactly what happened. My teammates managed to get me on the medivac helicopter metabolic and I survived.  My team leader helped me off and I walked 75 yards and got on the helicopter under my own power.

That is the, overcome mindset, and it is this mindset that says I’m not going to give in, I’m going to push until I succeed. I survived this vicious enemy ambush, but everybody gets ambushed in the life. It may not be the bullets and bombs in battle, but it is the bullets and bombs of life. And when you’re on the X and the X is what we talked about, point of attack, point in crisis, the point of the incident. We all feel as overwhelmed as if you are on a battle field with bullets flying all around you. You think you’re going to die because your marriage ended or your child died. And it is in those moments where we have the ability to drive forward and push ourselves a little further and get off that X, point of attack.

Transform Your Mind Amazon
Transform Your Mind Amazon

Major life Ambushes

Myrna: Wow, what a story. I had to fight back tears when you talked about lying on the ground thinking you were dying and wanting one more moment with your wife and kids. Thank you for your service to the United States of America, Jason. I heard you talk about, life ambushes, and the fact that we all have about 5 and I immediately started counting mine!  So, I want to talk about why you think first of all that we get five ambushes in life.

Jason: So the five ambushes came about from interviewing people and just kind of an informal poll.  In order to understand what is a, life ambush, we have to break them down.

There are 3 types of, life ambushes.

There are,

  • micro ambushes,
  • mini ambushes,
  • major life ambushes.

I talked about the average of five those are the, major life ambushes, and the majors are devastated. They will forever leave scars forever.  I’ll come back and we’ll come back full circle for the, major life ambushes.

The interesting thing, about the X, the point of attack, the point of an incident, the point of the crisis, it’s the point of any adversity, everybody in life, finds himself on the X at some point in life. Everyone walks on this X at some point. In battle, we were taught you have to get off the X, point of attack  as quickly as possible because the longer you sit on the X, the harder it is to move forward.

And this is true in any aspect of your life.  If it’s a, mental ambush, and you’re stuck on the action in your mind, and we all get stuck there and these are these, micro ambushes, they come every day. It’s that little voice in your head that says you’re not good enough. You’re not strong enough. You’re the wrong race, creed, color, gender, demographic, etc.

So those are my core ambushes and they come all the time. The formula is the same for all of these, you have to get off the X as quickly as possible. So, my motto I overcome and drive forward and get off that X.

The second level of Ambush is what I call a, mini ambush. And these are I find this fascinating because I meet people all the time who will they’ll use the phrase, oh, I had a bad day. And I’m fascinated with this because I’ll always say what’s the tell me about your bad day and 90% of the time when people use it. They did not really have a bad day. So, I’ve tried to erase this phrase from my vocabulary. I actually have an entire line of clothing called “No Bad days”

Myrna: What are the, major life ambushes?

Transform Your Mind Podcast Player FM
Transform Your Mind Podcast Player FM

What are major life ambushes

Jason: Sometimes many ambushes, we did it for ourselves. And now we have to navigate through the journey of figuring out how to drive forward.

  • It could be life threatening ailments or injury to you or someone you loved.
  • Sexual trauma to you or someone you love.
  • Maybe the loss of a loved one including the highest one, the loss of a child.

Most people we polled have about five of these, major life ambushes, in their lifetime. I’ve seen people with more. I know people that have had 10. I myself, I’m getting ready to turn 48, I’ve had four, major life ambushes. I’d love to get through life with no more.

Myrna: When I heard you speaking, I started counting my, major life ambushes.

Jason: But the here is the fact, the, major life ambushes, are devastating. And I tell people they will they will be permanent scars. They will leave permanent physical, mental, or emotional or the financial scars. And when we look back on those, major life ambushes, they will always hurt. The, minor life ambushes, and the, micro life ambushes, they’re in your head, they are schedule disruptions, a couple years later, you’ll barely remember them.

But here’s the amazing thing about, major life ambushes. I talked about this in the TED Talk.  The, major life ambushes, frequently are the end of something that occurred in your life. It may be the end of a relationship, it may be the end of the job, or maybe the end of your health, your innocence.  Whatever it is, oftentimes what the amazing thing is and once you develop the, overcome mindset, you’re going to figure out how to drive forward and when we figured out how to drive forward no matter how painful it is, the ones that I’ve been through, so often it becomes a new beginning.

Google Podcast Transform Your Mind
Google Podcast Transform Your Mind

Every major life ambush builds an overcome mindset

And when you get to the other side of that journey when you climb through the pain and the misery and storms and the darkness, I can tell you probably 95% of the people, get to the other side saying you know it really was hard. I do not ever want to go to the gym, but it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me because I grew and got better and, major life ambushes, build us up. Every, major life ambush, no matter how painful they are, they help build an, overcome mindset. You cannot just flip a switch and suddenly have an, overcome mindset.

So when these bad things happen. I don’t want to tell you to celebrate that they happen. I know that that’s probably a stretch, but instead just lean into it and say okay, I know I have to get to the other side. I have to overcome. I have to get off the edge. Somewhere out there, the sun still shines and I will find that sunlight once again and when I do it’s going to be a new path.

I try to explain to people with, major life ambushes, a lot of times people waste a lot of time focused on I want back what I lost. I want to repair this relationship. I want my job back; I want my business back. I lost all this money and I want it back. I want the lifestyle I had before I was severely injured like me, I want my health back. And the reality is it’s gone and never coming back. We have to focus on is how do I get to my new 100% I may not be able to fix what’s broken, I embrace the open door. But you know, so many people are focused on the past. We have to focus on the future now. And how do we shape our future? And when we do that, that becomes our new path that becomes our new 100%.

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Download on Spotify

Major life ambushes always leaves clues

Myrna: that is that is so true. We are always focused on the closed door and not the open door in front of us. So, you said that, major life ambushes, leave clues.  I can understand that a divorce leaves clues. You mentioned that when you walked in to the ambush on the battlefield, you noticed certain signs but you ignored them.  So how does that missing the clues in an ambush in the battlefield and missing the clues of a, major life ambush, in real life? Give us the correlation.

Jason: I have an online course that I teach called The Point Man For Life course. And point men are navigators and leaders in the military. They’re very talented individuals, they get us where we need to go. You have to be, the point man, and it’s for your own life. You have to be the one that sets your course that understands where you’re going.  So, these indicators are the things that many of us through normal human activity. Either choose to ignore, or, procrastinate, we do all kinds of things. I mean, I break these things down.

You know, sometimes it’s a blatant sign and I use a stop sign in my course. Like we just ignore it no different than somebody who is not paying attention. And they drive through an intersection and miss that stop sign. And they get hit by a car. Well, you know, afterwards, they’re like, yeah, you missed this stop sign. That’s, that’s a really bleak one. But it happens all the time. It happens in businesses, it happens in relationships. If your spouse is constantly saying, hey, we’ve lost our intimacy or we’re not talking as much anymore if we continue to ignore or just flat out, not pay attention to that, you are going to end up divorced. And then you say, I did not see it coming.

Myrna: Yeah, that’s one of the ones I figured out because there’s signs that the relationship is ending.

Signs of an ambush

Jason: Sometimes they’re more subtle. Sometimes they can be helped. I know a lot of people who have health issues and like, oh, this is really been bothering me, but I’m just going to ignore it. And I’m amazed by how many people will do this because they’re afraid of what could happen. And I tell people, you cannot procrastinate, deny or ignore. Those are dangerous things to do, because you’re setting yourself up for a, life ambush. I give the example of a friend who was overweight who was successful business guy, but he was overweight. He wasn’t taking care of himself physically.

The doctor was like, hey, you really need to start taking care of yourself and start working out. You need to watch your nutrition, you’re a ticking time bomb for a heart attack. And, you know, he talked to me about working out and I said, yeah, you can do this. You do that and he never really did it. And then like a year later he had a heart attack and he’s like, why did this happen? The signs were there, but no, you ignored them. And so many people do this in life.

Transform your Mind Stitcher
Transform your Mind Stitcher

How does situational awareness help in an ambush

Myrna: You also teach about, situational awareness. Tell us what that is.

Jason: So, I teach, situational awareness, in this society, that has to do with awareness and reaction time. We live in this world where we’re all stuck scrolling our cell phones and I can’t tell you how many people I have watched walking around, and they’re totally absorbed in that cell phone, which means they’re not paying attention to the world around them. I’m highly trained. I try to train other people up to a basic level. One of the things that we do in our, overcoming survive workshop is awareness and get out of that situation before it ever occurs.

So, you see things before they happen, you see the signs of the ambush. You are noticing the indicators before it ever develops into an ambush and you don’t allow yourself to get on the X, the point of attack. You don’t walk into that situation. So sometimes you can’t help it. And that’s where awareness and a little bit of training come in. I really encourage everybody out there to have some level of training for self-defense. I know that your target audience is women. I know there are a lot of women who are afraid of firearms. But I really encourage you learn to use a firearm.

We live in a country that whether you agree with it or not. A firearm can be the great equalizer if someone is coming after you and trying to break into your house or trying to rape or take your kids.  There is a level of training that needs to exist with that and I firmly believe we should get that.

Book: Point Man Planner
Book: Point Man Planner

The Point Man Planner

Tell us about your book The Point Man Planner. What you hope people to walk away with after getting this planner?

Jason: The Point Man Planner, came from the things that I’ve put in my life. They’re also things that I saw in the military and some of these things are interchangeable. I just use a military Special Operations term. So, the idea around this, is that there’s four-point man principles that everybody should follow.

  1. Relentless belief in mission: This is what makes a successful point man and what makes successful Navy Seals, but also what makes anybody successful. Mission is synonymous with purpose. I know a lot of people who don’t really know who they are. The beginning of the point man planner starts with what are your values?
  2. I mean a lot of people who don’t truly know their values, they will they will throw out the cliché values that everybody likes to throw out.  Fitness, family, spirituality but they are the individual that’s never in the gym. Now they aren’t doing much with their family, they’re sure not in church. So those aren’t really their values. Your values are what drive your decision.
  3. Have a clearly defined destination and course. Your destination is your long-term goals where do you want to go 10 years from now, where do you want to be?

What a Point Man does

Myrna: Can I interject here? That was the most one of the most beautiful things when you said that when you were in a mission, your point man pinpoints the exact location, not somewhere around a city but the exact number on the map.

Jason: Yeah, so we have to be very specific because most people are not just oh, I want to be rich. Okay, well, what does that mean? You know, I want you know, I want a big house. Okay, well, where and what is your look like? So, you must be very specific to establish because if it’s not very specific, that we can establish all the steps to get there, and that becomes our course.  The course becomes all the steps required to get to where we’re going. And this is constantly changing our lives, change our hopes, tunes, our desires.

  1. Develop the, overcome mindset: We’ve established our course, we know our mission, we have our purpose. Well, how do we avoid the ambushes or at least try and reduce them and I’m constantly checking, where are we at? Are we on course and, overcome mindset, to get off the gas because guess what? Life ambushes, are coming. I tell people you’re either in a, life ambush, you’re coming out, or there’s one on the horizon.

Conclusion

You can pick up the Point Man Planner on Amazon or you can find everything on my website www.Jasonredman.com . Follow me on social media.  Every Monday I put out a video called Monday monster and it’s just positive content on preparing for,  life ambushes.

Get 50% off 50% off the Pointman for Life Online Course: https://getoffx.com/pointman-for-life-course/?_ga=2.226718749.1473437284.1684181340-1169416450.1585072211

Additional Resources 

Life Mastery: 7 Habits to Create Success

Understanding Mental Illness: My Bipolar Life

My Bipolar Life

If you have been diagnosed with, mental illness, or, Bipolar disorder,  it means that you probably think of ending your life all the time.  In this episode, I interview Gabe Howard, who was diagnosed with, Bipolar disorder, at age 25.

Before then Gabe said that he did not know he was sick. His parents thought  he was just acting out and would punish him for his behavior. But he remembers thinking of suicide all his life, until he got treatment. No one knew he was, Bipolar.

Today GABE HOWARD is an award-winning speaker, author, and podcast host who lives with bipolar disorder. He hosts the weekly Psych Central Podcast and is the co-host of the Not Crazy podcast. He’s the author of Mental Illness is an Asshole – and Other Observations and has appeared on numerous websites, podcasts, and in many traditional media outlets

Introduction to My Bipolar Life

I was diagnosed with, Bipolar disorder, when I was when I was 25 years old. I didn’t know that I was sick. I had all of these, mental health, symptoms. They were causing me a lot of personal problems. I had a drug and alcohol problem, hyper sexuality was an issue, my relationships were just being destroyed, all because of, mental illness, but I didn’t know anything was wrong.

Then one day I ended up in a psychiatric hospital, because I was ready to end my own life. I thought about suicide as far back as I can remember.

I just thought it was normal to want to die.

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What is, Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness marked by extreme changes in mood from high to low, and from low to high. Highs are periods of mania, while lows are periods of depression. The changes in mood may even become mixed, so you might feel elated and depressed at the same time.

The problem Gabe says is that when you are in the middle is when you get the job, the girl, the promotion, get married.  You usually loose these things when you are depressed or manic;  being in the middle is where you want to be.

I became an advocate because I consider myself to be a smart person and I don’t have like some story about how my parents were awful. My parents are good people, they loved me very much. My dad was a truck driver my mom a stay-at-home mom and they did all the things right.

They were engaged, they loved me, they were present and none of us knew that I was, Bipolar, None of us got me any help. I thought wow if I didn’t know, if my family didn’t know, if all of that love and engagement and connection and caring and they just missed it. There must be other people that are in my shoes. That’s why I became a, mental health advocate.

I just wanted to talk about, Bipolar, openly so that there just wouldn’t be other people wandering around sick and scared and symptomatic. They could get help, because I was really lucky.

Podbean Transform your Mind Podcast

Podbean 

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Transform your Mind Stitcher
Transform your Mind Stitcher
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Hypnosis-Everywhere with Ines Simpson explores, dissects, discusses and opens up the world of Hypnosis. You will discover that Hypnosis is a very big world indeed. In Hypnosis-Everywhere, Ines offers you tools and answers to deal with that tricky mind of yours, and proven ways to enrich your life.

Fears, Anxieties, Phobias, PTSD, Body health, Mind Health, Spiritual Health are just some of the things Hypnosis works for. Hypnosis-Everywhere is a show about our minds and the miracles we can achieve for ourselves and each other

webpage https://hypnosis.simpsonprotocol.com/hypnosis-on-the-radio

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What is Mental Illness?

Mental Illness is an Asshole!

In his book Mental Illness is an Asshole – and Other Observations

Mental Illness is an Asshole is Gabe Howard’s first collection of articles about living with mental illness.

All the articles date from 2014 through 2018 and include his observations on reaching recovery, stigma, and living well in spite of depression, bipolar, and anxiety. Totaling over 380 pages, Gabe even shares the story of his :): logo for the first time.

For years, Gabe Howard’s entertaining articles and essays have been educating people about living with mental illness. His observations cover everything from practical advice to family relationships to the fears that people with mental illness experience.

In essays such as “Anxiety Says Everyone Hates Me,” “I Have Bipolar and I’m a Hypocrite,” and, yes, “Mental Illness Is an Asshole,” Gabe makes mental illness less scary and more understandable.

I had a suicide plan and I just happen to run into somebody that understood that understood mental illness and it she looked at me and asked me “are you planning on killing yourself?” Her training allowed her to ask that question and I said yes! She he me committed to the psychiatric hospital.

I was diagnosed with, bipolar disorder, and of course once I was diagnosed with, bipolar, to go on and lead good life. This is why I always say that I was lucky.

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Transform Your Mind iHeart Radio
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Best of all, this book does not tell you how to live your life or which goals you should have. Instead, it helps you figure it out for yourself. ..That’s what you really want—someone in your corner helping you make sense of your life, not someone with their own agenda telling you what to do.

This book is a life-changer, and I recommend you go out and get it now. The Meaning of Life: A guide to finding your life’s purpose by Nathanael Garrett Novosel. Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Books. Order today!

What is, Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, is commonly described as extreme highs to extreme lows. From suicidal depression all the way to God like mania. As a, Bipolar, you will have to battle depression where you want to die, and feel like you want to die, you feel like you want everything to end. When you are in Mania, you feel like the whole world revolves around you.

Then there is the middle. Everything is normal. That’s when you get the job, that’s when you meet the girl, that’s when you get married, buy the house, have all the friends; all the things that you lose when you become symptomatic.

Psych Meds for, Bipolar Disorder, the Good, Bad, and the Ugly

Psychiatric medications are the religion and politics of the mental health advocacy world.

In this episode, we cover the good, the bad, and the ugly surrounding medications. Like whether or not you should take them. We tackle side effects like feeling numb and sexual dysfunction and share our personal histories with medication therapy.

If you have any form of, mental illness, that you need Meds to function. Medications are amazing, they saved my life. I want to be very clear. Without my medication I cannot live the life that I live. So many people mistakenly believe that psychiatric medications are magical that you just need to take the pill and boom everything is fine and it’s simple.

It’s much bigger than that. In addition to psychiatric medication, therapy is very important, learning coping skills is very important, and going to support groups. You have to deal with the trauma of your past and all of these things matter; but all we ever hear about is psychiatric medication and I want to change that. I want to change it to, did you take your meds and did you go to therapy and did you utilize your coping skills?

 

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What is the most common cause of, bipolar disorder?

Biological traits

Hormonal problems: Hormonal imbalances might trigger or cause bipolar disorder. Environmental factors: Abuse, mental stress, a “significant loss,” or some other traumatic event may contribute to or trigger bipolar disorder.

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Mental Health Advocate for, Bipolar

Gabe is a, Mental Health Advocate. He remembers when no one knew he was sick for over 20 years.  He had a plan to end his life and luckly for him, someone asked him the question “Are you planning on hurting yourself” He answered yes and he was admitted to the Psychiatric ward in hospital.

That saved his life so now, he is a, mental health advocate, to help others suffering from, mental illness, or, bipolar disorder, receive treatment and services.

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Additional Resources for, Bipolar Disorder.

The book is a collection of Articles and all of the Articles have something to do with, mental illness, mental health, loving somebody with, mental illness, dating someone with, bipolar,

It’s almost a reference guide that you can carry around for people with, bipolar, or dealing with somebody who is living with, mental illness, and depression and anxiety, don’t just live with, bipolar, you can have just depression, you can have just anxiety. Even people with schizophrenia, they suffer from depression and anxiety as well.

Dealing with Anxiety Disorder after Addiction

http://blog.myhelps.us/understanding-and-managing-compulsive-behaviors/

http://blog.myhelps.us/9-steps-to-effective-advocacy/

 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324602.php

 

 

How to Transform your Career with Purpose

Ways to find your Purpose

For some people their, career, is closely interwoven with their, life purpose. Keshia Morris, is that person, Political Activist and Project Manager with Common Cause.

In this interview on the Transform your Mind radio hour and podcast, Life Coach and Mom Myrna Morris Young, trace the story of, Keshia Morris, as an undocumented alien, to her starting her career as a Psychologist, to getting a tug from God to transform her, career with purpose, to help with our democracy.

Listen to full interview here:

Introduction to a Career with Purpose

Keshia Morris is  the project manager for the, Census 2020, with Common Cause and is getting a lot of media attention because of the Trump’s administration efforts to add the question “Are you a Citizen” to the, Census 2020.

Keshia Morris, talks about the importance of the Census, the reason the Trump administration was trying to add this question and, Common Cause, fight for a fair democracy.

The media attention started when, Keshia Morris,   wrote an amazing article that was published in the Miami Herald that highlighted her, career, with purpose.  In this article she talked about our personal journey to becoming permanent residents in the United States and why the question on the Census asking “Are you a Citizen?” would have a negative affect on our democracy.

After that article was published, several podcasts and radio personalities wanted to interview her.

Before we could get to what God has done in Keshia’s life as far as her chosen, career, with purpose.  She chose me to be her mother. I knew from the moment she was conceived that she was born to do great things. She was conceived on my honeymoon and was born 9 months later on my 30th birthday. So even without being conscious I knew that she was born with a, life purpose.

Again without being yet conscious; but understanding the principle of generational increase,  I started my journey to becoming an American Citizen.  I believed that there were more opportunities for my children here in the USA.

Both my children are Canadian,  and maybe my  assumption was incorrect, but our perceptions become our reality.

Keshia Morris,  went through high school as an, undocumented alien. The beauty of this country is that children didn’t require papers to go to public school until higher education. Without a vision, I could have sent her back to Canada to go to college; but that was not even a consideration. I paid out of state fees for  her first 2 years of college. I could only afford one class; but she was in College.

I got married again in 2006 and my husband sponsored both of us, and we became  permanent residents or documented immigrants.

Keshia received her BA  and started out on her intended career as a  Psychologist.

How Keshia’s Became On Purpose, career coaching

One day while listening to the audio book “A long walk to Freedom,” by Nelson Mandela, she had what is called a Damascus experience. Everything that was before was no more. So this is where I want to pick up the story.

Setting Goals and purpose for your career?

I want to start off by saying that you tell my story so much better than I do. Just laying out for our listeners how I got to the moment where I decided I wanted to do something new with my career.  I had always thought that I that I was going to be a psychologist.  As a child people kept telling me that oh you know you’re great at giving people advice, so I thought  I might as well make a career out of this and try to achieve the American dream.

Psychologists make a lot of money.  I started getting into listening to audio books in my car and as I listening to Nelson Mandela’s  “A long walk to freedom”  I would say in the very first few chapters of the book,  I feel like it changed me and changed my trajectory of my life almost immediately.  It was also the time of the sequester where the government was shut down.  I interpreted this as wealthy special interests groups were getting in the way of  government and our lawmakers not being able to do their jobs.   I didn’t feel like this was right,  so I felt an extreme tug to try to do something about it.

I had already invested over 4 years as a Psychology major and started with my masters degree credits which were not inexpensive.  I had already amassed about $30,000 in student loans before  listening to Nelson Mandela’s book.  I felt an immense tug from God that becoming a political activist was my, career purpose, I wanted to help change the democracy the United States of America.

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How to look for signs that your, career, is on  Purpose

Question #2: How did you know that this was God. What were the signs?

I knew it was God because it changed the trajectory of my life in seconds.  I was now a new woman and had a firm grasp on what my, career, should be.

Things lined up for you. I was a new Life Coach at the time and you requested a coaching session. I remember it,  like it was yesterday. Because what I said out loud was not what I was thinking. I told you to go for it. To make a plan and pursue this goal.

  • You applied to schools and got into your number 1 choice, American University,
  • Before graduation you got an internship at your number 1 choice for employment, Common Cause,
  • You received a job offer with, Common Cause, immediately after graduation. So we know that you were on, career purpose, because God opened doors.

Why family support and career coaching is so important to your career

Question # 3: What advice would you give our listeners who face obstacles. No family support, not accepted to schools, kids at home etc.

I would tell them to believe in the vision that you can have it all.  Believe in yourself, believe in God and believe in their, career purpose,

Keshia Morris, you are getting National attention now as the Project Manager for  the 2020 Census at Common Cause. The Trump administration has been very unfriendly towards immigrants and, undocumented aliens, and intended to use the question “Are you a Citizen?” on the, Census 2020, to instill fear to the non-Citizens,  so as to set up, Gerrymandering.  Common Cause fought for this question to be removed from the Census and won.

Question # 4 Please explain the importance of having this question removed from the, Census 2020, and what exactly the Census does for our democracy.

Gerrymandering is  manipulating districts to give one party advantage over the other.  We have definitely seen a lot of gerrymandering being done by Republicans;  but we do absolutely know that Democrats do it as well.

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What is the Census 2020?

The Constitution mandates that a Census or accounts of all people that live within these United States be counted for apportionment purposes every ten years.  So every ten years the Census Bureau takes counts of everyone that lives here.  That is including illegal aliens, that is including children and newborns.  Everyone should get counted.

What this count does for our democracy is it apportioned the amount of seats in Congress.

There are 435 seats and the House of Representatives and those 435 seats are distributed based on population size.  Right now about each congressional district has about 700,000 people.

In a State like Florida, for example that has a population of maybe six to nine million people, but say only eight million people were counted in the, 2020 census, that means that Florida would get less congressional representation than it actually truly deserves because one million people were not counted.

The Trump administration wanted to add this last minute question “Are you a Citizen”  to the, Census 2020, I say last minute because usually each question is tested and vetted thoroughly for about three years before a question can be added to the census. It has to go through Congress and an approval processes.  The Trump administration came in and decided they were not gonna do any of that, and just announced that they were going to add this question to the,  Census 2020,

Census Bureau researchers have found that if this question were to be added to the,  Census 2020, about 6.5 million people would not answer the census form and thus insure a fair census.  So advocates like, Common Cause, but really across the board, millions of people stood up and said that this is wrong.  Common Cause, took the case all the way to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court sided with us.  They said that the Trump administration cannot add this question to the, Census 2020, they called the reason the Trump administration gave to add this question, contrived.

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TuneIn Radio

Myrna: I heard you say in one of your interviews that the data that comes from the, Census 2020, is confidential and  it’s illegal for anybody to use this information for harm to the people. I know you said that if this question was on the, Census 2020, 6.5 million people would not have answered because they might be afraid that someone will come to their door.  But what you said is that information is never presented in such a way that somebody can know who filled out the form, and if they were going to actually use information from the data, they will use the information as a collective.

I am curious as to why research shows that 6.5 million people WOULD NOT  have responded to the, Census 2020, if the question “Are you a Citizen” was on the form?

Keshia Morris: My answer to that question is twofold.

The law states that your responses on the census cannot be used to cause harm to any person.   That means that it can’t be sent to ICE to enforce immigration law.  It can’t even be sent to your landlord if you have too many people living in in your household.  However, what the Trump administration wanted to do, was to create fear.  That information isn’t always communicated correctly and even if it was, people don’t trust that the Trump administration would follow the law.

So it’s better just not to have the question on the, Census 2020, whatsoever.

The Trump administration has given up on their efforts to add the question “Are you a Citizen” on Census 2020, but they are now trying another way to get this information. President Trump has now issued an executive order to get administrative data to be collected for the purpose of redistricting.  Common Cause, is fighting for this not to be the case, and it  absolutely will be challenged through litigation.

Facts about the, Census 2020,

Section 2 of the Constitution requires a count every 10 years of every person residing in the United States—citizens and non-citizens, newborns and seniors, documented and undocumented, homeowners, renters, and the homeless. The, 2020 Census, will be in full swing during the Winter, Spring and Summer of 2020.

Counting hundreds of millions of people is an immense undertaking, and it’s critical for state legislators to start preparing now. Census data determine the allocation of more than $800 billion in annual federal funding and are often used in state and local policy-making, decision- making, and research. An inaccurate census in 2020 would jeopardize state funds for over 300 federal programs and compromise crucial supports for marginalized communities. 

Census data are also used for the reapportionment and redistricting processes and therefore vital to advancing a fair and representative democracy. Ensuring that all residents in your state are counted will require funding, coordination, and commitment from policymakers but will provide your constituents the resources and representation they deserve.

Research shows that if the question “Are you a Citizen” was on the, Census 2020, 6.5 million people would not fill in the Census thereby states would be unrepresented by millions in congress.

Myrna: From listening to all your numerous interviews I will list them. I have learned that the Census data is confidential and it is illegal for anyone to use that data to target aliens.

Unrig the System Podcast with Alex Wardlaw

Podcast Episode for Bipartisan Solutions for Ending the Prison-Industrial Complex Once and For All

Carry On Friends The Caribbean American Podcast

The Real New Network

Myrna: I have had a front row seat to your growth from a Psychology major into a political activist. I have watched you take the mike and rally a crowd. I have listened you spout very technical data about the history of our democracy with names and dates of legal documents.  As your mother, I am impressed by your transformation.

http://blog.myhelps.us/how-to-become-lifted-by-your-purpose/

How to Master career strengths

Question # 6: Take us through how you released your fear of public speaking. What did you do to get yourself from this abstract fear of speaking and communicating to what you do now?

I am still working on being an effective communicator and working past my fear.  My fear has lessened a bit,  there was a time where I mean I couldn’t get in front of people and I couldn’t say two words without my voice shaking, without saying um a hundred times, without looking completely lost. So yeah  I definitely think that I have I’ve experienced some growth and really all I can say, well the main thing I can say that got me around the corner is practice.

There’s that Malcolm Gladwell books that says you need like 10,000 hours of practicing something to be an Expert.  You just named a bunch of the interviews that I’ve done; but you know each of those interviews requests, I started off by saying NO.  because the fear is still there.  But I able to overcome the fear by resting in the fact that this is for a, life purpose, and  I am working towards the goal of having this democracy be the best that it can be.

Soundcloud Transform your mind podcast
Transform your Mind Soundcloud podcast

How to Transform your, Career, with  purpose

As we wrap up our show today, I want to leave you with these thoughts.

There is a difference between living an active life and a, purpose driven life. We all lead active lives. To be active does not mean we even have to physically do anything. We could be mentally active and be making plans and, setting goals,  etc. but not going anywhere. But when we are living a, purpose driven life, our energy and activities has a, life purpose, and meaning. Pause to reflect the purpose of your chosen, career. What is the meaning of your, career, purpose.  What is the quality of the energy you are expending. When you have a, career,  of purpose, the more energy you expend, the more renewed you are. On the other hand, when you are not on, life purpose, the energy you expend is not renewed, instead you end your day depleted and diminished.

A, purpose driven life, and, purpose driven career, alters the course of history.  I hope you all find yours.

Transform Your Mind iHeart Radio
iHeart Radio

Keshia Morris, one final question What do you want your contribution to be to God’s Kingdom?

To make this country’s democracy the best it can be, that is my, career purpose,

How can any of our listeners get in contact with common cause to support the organization, volunteer for the census or reach you for speaking engagements or interviews?

Listeners and readers can reach me at

Keshia Morris
Census & Mass Incarceration Project Manager
Common Cause
805 Fifteenth St, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005
(o) 202.736.5774 |

 Additional Resources for, Career Purpose, and Census 2020

http://blog.myhelps.us/how-to-become-lifted-by-your-purpose/

http://blog.myhelps.us/how-to-become-a-diamond-by-finding-your-purpose/

http://blog.myhelps.us/program-positive-change/

Today’s Ruling on the Census Citizenship Question Still Leaves Room for Worry

 

Ep. 116 – The Census: All the Facts & Why It is Important

 

 

 

 

You Were Born For This: Find Your Courage

Coach Myrna You Were Born For This

A lot of times we become overwhelmed with the challenges we face in our lives.  We can do one of two things; we can fold up like a flower at night or we can stand up push out our chest find our, courage, and declare. I was, born for this!

This is exactly what happened to, Queen Esther, in the, bible story.

This is her story and why she was, born for this.

Download the podcast here

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Queen Esther’s Story

King Xeroxes threw a banquet and for 6 months he celebrated with wine and food. He invited all the nobles from 127 province that he ruled over to attend this banquet.

In his drunken state he sent for his wife and demanded she appear before him in her robe and crown. He wanted to parade her around and show off her beauty to his subjects. She refused. That sent the king in a rage, and he asked his advisors what to do about her. They suggested he banish her forever from his presence because women all over the Kingdom would follow her and start to disrespect their men.

The king agreed and banished the queen, but now he needed a queen. So, they searched the country for the most beautiful virgins and brought them to the palace to be in the Kings, harem.

I have to pause here because this intrigues me.

Transform Your Mind Podcast Addict
Transform Your Mind Podcast Addict

How women were prepared before they could sleep with the King

These women were prepared for one year before they were allowed to sleep with the king. In this year their skins were rubbed with the oil of myrrh for 6 months and the next 6 months their body was perfumed. Then after a year they would be sent to the king’s bed and would not get a chance again unless he was pleased with their performance and requested them again by name!

So, in those days the women in the, king’s harem, had to be beautiful smell like a fragrant garden and also had skills!! Wow! This was, life in harem.

Anyway, moving on with the story, Esther, had what the King wanted because not only did she please him and he sent for her by name several times, but he decided to make her his queen.

Now, Esther, was a, Jew, and she never told anyone. Her family was part of the, Jews, who were displaced when King Nebuchadnezzar banished the, Jews, from their homeland.

So, when her uncle heard that Haman was planning to destroy all the, Jews, on March 7 the following year, he asked, Queen Esther, to go before the king and ask for mercy.

Transform your Mind Podcast Index
Transform your Mind Podcast Index

Queen Esther Finds Her Courage

Now, the king had a rule that anyone who appears before him in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die, unless the King holds out his golden scepter. The king had not sent for, Esther, in 30 days. Her uncle told her if she did not go to the King and beg for mercy for her people, she would be dead anyway then he added “Maybe you were, born for this!”

So, Queen Esther, found her, courage, and risking her life and appeared before the King uninvited. But when a man loves a woman, she can do no wrong.  When, Queen Esther, appeared before the king in his inner court without being invited, the king welcomed her and held out his golden scepter then asked her

“What do you want Queen Ester? What is your request? I will give it to you, even if it is half my kingdom!

So it was that, Queen Esther, was responsible for saving her people the, Jews. Her, enemy, Haman was killed by the same trap he laid for Mordecai and all his sons and family was killed.

Transform Your Mind Podcast Player FM
Transform Your Mind Podcast Player FM

You Were Born For This: Lessons from Queen Esther’s Story

The first lesson is that you were born with a, purpose, and you don’t know what it is until you know. You must find the, courage, to do it afraid because, you were born for this.

Whatever life events or circumstances that is trying to kill you, just remember, you were, born for this. Everything that you have done in your life have been training for this moment.

Esther, was born with great beauty, but, Queen Esther, was trained in how to please a man and how to ask for things from a man. She threw the King 2 banquets before she asked for her request and then she began with

“If I have found favor with the king and if it pleases the king to grant my request and do what I ask.”

Learn the, rules of engagement, Learn the, rules of negotiation, learn how to ask your husband for what you want.

Google Podcast Transform Your Mind
Google Podcast Transform Your Mind

Queen Esther defeats her enemy and saves the Jews

The second lesson we can take from this story is that the, enemy, Satan and all his people go about seeking who to kill and destroy and you don’t have to do them anything for them to come after you. They can plot to destroy you because you refuse to bow down to them and placate their ego.

All you have to do to defeat your, enemies, is keep praying to God and he will take care of your, enemies, using the same weapons they formed against you to destroy them. Haman was killed on the same pole he planned to impale Mordecai on.

The, Jews, were victorious against their, enemy, and so will you because, you were born for this.

This is coach Myrna Young and this is, 5 min with coach Myrna, until next time God Bless.

You are invited to join my private Facebook Group called Lifecoach to be inspired by hundreds of Life Coaches every day

Additional Resources

Nothing is Impossible: How to Turn Life’s Challenges Into Opportunity

Does Love have a Color: The Interracial Marriage Experience

The happiness formula

Not until after we got married Kevin confided and shared with me a few situations where family members questioned his choices and wanted to ensure he understood the challenges that come with an, interracial marriage. Ericka Augutis

I want to invite you guys all to the table. We are going to be talking on the topic the, “The Color of love, interracial marriages, in America”   my guest today is Erica Augustus.

Listen to the interview

Interracial Marriage in America

Ericka and I became friends when we worked at Office Depot for about 10 years, and we have maintained our friendship.  I decided that I wanted to get into the conversation on, interracial marriages, in America because of what’s been happening in the world and specifically in the last month or so.

It’s a very difficult place for a, black woman, married to a, white man. I think it’s even a little bit more complicated when your partner or your spouse cannot understand a lot of the times your, black experience.   I was listening to a podcast a few weeks ago and this, black woman, was talking about her experience.

She was married for 13 years to a, white man, the marriage dissolved not because of racial differences or any kind of racial problems, but she said it contributed to it, because her husband never really got into the conversation.  If she would come home and say she was discriminated against at the office, he didn’t have a response or didn’t talk about it and then the host asked her the question.

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Interracial Marriage black man white woman
Interracial Marriage black man white woman

Can a, white man, love a, black woman, and still be a racist?

And her response was, “love has nothing to do with it”, now that piqued my interest and that’s the predominant reason that I wanted to get into this conversation, and have you guys all join in the conversation and discuss, the color of love.

Interracial Marriage Interview Highlights

    1. How did you and your husband meet?
    2. How Ericka and Kevin handled the stares from Black and White people in their, interracial marriage, when they walked down the street.
    3. What are her thoughts on Systemic racism, did her husband understand her experience as a, Black woman.
    4. Love has no color. How easy is it to love someone from a different race?
    5. How does she and her husband talk to her black sons regarding the police.
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My name is Ericka Augutis, my husband  Kevin and I have been married for 18 years 19 in November.  We do have two children. One is 14 and the other is 4.

We met about 22 years ago. He worked at a local Blockbuster in my neighborhood. He was a manager and anytime I would go into the store to look at videos, he would offer to help me.  Well that’s when our relationship started.  Finally we went on our first date and I have to say it was really awkward for both of us and I thought okay I’m never doing that again. He was super quiet there was very little conversation.  A few months went by and he called again, and asked for a second date and I was going to say no, but my mom chimed in and asked me to give him another chance.  I’m so glad I did that second date because we just had the best time.

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We dated to my dismay for nearly five years,  we were engaged twice. The first proposal I  accepted I was elated.  I was excited to say yes; but a few months later we went to a party with some of our friends and I realized some of the ladies didn’t even know I was engaged. Here I was super excited and some of his circle of friends didn’t know that were engaged. So, it really hit me hard.  I felt like okay I’m really pressuring him into this, interracial  marriage. So I called off the engagement.

After that we kind of went our separate ways for a few months and then we slowly started dating again. And I have to say both of us matured during that time of separation and he proposed a second time in restaurant. He got down on one knee in front of all these people and proposed me a second time. This time he was ready! We got married like a year later.

Myrna Young Did you think that he maybe didn’t want to tell his friends he was engaged because you were a, black woman?

Ericka Augutis No, I don’t think the fact that we were contemplating an, interracial marriage, had anything to do with it, or the, color of love, because I was in his circle of friends for four years. We all vacationed together so it wasn’t that. I just felt like he wasn’t ready and I was forcing him to get married.

Myrna Young I’m going to ask you not a question as a follow-up to that.  So all the time you guys dated, five years or so, you got engaged twice you didn’t see color?  The question today is there a, color of love?  Did any of your friends treated you differently? Or said  Ericka he’s white?  None of his friends says hey Kevin why do you want to marry a, black woman? Nothing?

Ericka Augutis Not until after we got married Kevin confided and shared with me a few situations where family, maybe one or two family members, questioned his choices and wanted to ensure he understood the challenges to come with an, interracial marriage.

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So yes, from my perspective it came later as well, being a successful, black woman,  my parents and other family members wanted to know why I was  dating someone that doesn’t look like me. I really had to kind of ask myself that question as well.  I realized it’s not as if I said to myself,  I’m going to find a Caucasian man and have this, interracial marriage. I fell in love with a white man.

Myrna Young Yea Love is color blind actually, Love is an Emotion, it’s a feeling and it doesn’t see color!

Ericka Augutis There were experiences and times where we had to deal with the looks and the stairs especially when we would go into places where everyone was a little older.  I would say during that time anyone that was over age of 65 would give us those looks on both sides. It’s not just the Caucasian folks, black folks as well.

Myrna Young Did you let the stares and looks bother you?

Ericka Augutis No, Kevin was always so confident and strong and it made me just feel like I had nothing to worry about. But there was this time just after we had our son Kevin Jr,  we were having dinner in this fancy restaurant and this gentleman,  I probably shouldn’t call him a gentleman. A white man,  came over to our table and he said to Kevin, Is this your son? My husband says yes, he says well I’m going to tell you I’m a doctor that’s not your son!

You got to be kidding me!

I am not kidding.  it was such a strange experience. I mean he just came over and I think his goal was just to disturb our night and really rock and test the foundations of our, interracial marriage. That was one experience that I’ll never forget.

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Author interview Transform Your Mind Podcast

Myrna Young Okay but in your marriage of itself was there any kind of friction at all regarding race?  Was all the friction from outside people looking in and trying to disturb your harmony?  For instance as a, black woman, is it hard to go and talk to a partner that is outside your race about racism that’s been happening to you?  Because, it’s not their experience and they can’t understand it how a, black women, survive in the workplace for instance? As a, black woman, I have not been discriminated against a lot and especially growing up in Canada; but I know that if I was talking to a, black man, who had a white spouse, it would have been a totally different conversation. Because as a, black man, he would have been harassed by the police, he would have been discriminated at work, he would have experienced racism throughout his life. Racism that  his white spouse would not be able to understand or identify.

So, did any of those situations happen in your marriage where your husband couldn’t understand your black experience?

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Ericka Augutis I would say initially when we’re in the newlywed stage, there were a few situations, super minor things, nothing hardcore or anything like that; but I could tell there was an inequality in the situation.  When I  talked about it, he would always ask me why  I was so passionate? That was his word or way of saying, why are you so angry? It took me about three or four times of him saying that or using that phrase for me to get that he’s trying to ask me to express myself and make him understand.  Why was something so small making you angry?  So, once I understood what he was truly trying to say and ask me, we had a tough conversation on racism.

I explained to him  the history black people and the challenges I’ve experienced throughout my career being a, black woman.  I think in his career not everyone knows he’s married to a, black woman; so he would hear things people would say that were borderline racist and he would tell me he got it.

Myrna Young Not only did your husband not understand your black experience but as a, black woman, I didn’t understand my husband’s black experience either. My husband was a police officer and what upset him more than anything else was that he was going out there every night putting his life on the line and yet the white officers were racial against him.  Not just my husband; but they were racist against all the black officers in the department. There was no equality even when they could die together.  My husband would say we bleed the same blood, when we’re out there on the street and I am treated differently. I didn’t understand until recently when I understood the definition of a racist and the definition of racist policies.  I had to go back to him and apologize for not understanding.

That’s basically what I would I wanted to you know.  To find out from you how is the cohesiveness in an, interracial marriage, when one person has white privilege and the other person has to claw their way for everything?

So, the other question I have on here is and I think you mentioned it, people staring at you and I think you said that you felt protected because Kevin was so strong and you weren’t scared; but did it bother you psychologically?

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Ericka Augutis We’ve been married for so long,  I would say it bothered me until we had our son.  A small portion of me would wonder is it worth it?   Is it worth it, why can’t we just go out to dinner and just have a nice dinner without any stares, comments or judgment?  So I would say, yes it does bother you, it does affect you.  You just have to find a way to deal with it and ensure that your relationship is solid enough where it’s worth it.

How does Interracial Marriage affect children?

Myrna Young How does your 14-year-old son, he’s old enough to understand what’ going on right now in the world, how does he relate to having a white dad?

Ericka Augutis Oh, that’s a good question so, he’s actually okay with it. He was in Boy Scouts from the age of I think five or six until 12 years old and I remember we were on a camping trip he may have been 7 or 8 at the time and he came into our tent and I could tell something was wrong.  His face was a little flushed, so I said to him what’s wrong he said this kid asked him why is your dad white and your mom black?

I said, what did you say?  He says I said because they love each other! So I think he’s okay with what’s going on right now.  I did not know how to quite handle it when a child asked him like where is he from? If he was Spanish?  I think that’s he’s at that stage where he’s getting that question and has to figure out how he’s going to handle it and answer it.

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Is there a Color to Love? The Answer is NO.

Myrna Young It sounds like your, interracial marriage, is healthy. You guys don’t see color.  Your, color of love, is blended.  You love your kids, you show them love you don’t show them a difference and that’s definitely the way to go about it.  So your, interracial marriage,  experience has been a good one.  As a, black woman, marrying outside of your race  you still go through get the same racism and racist policies that our, black men, go through on a lesser scale.

That’s basically what I wanted to have a conversation so that we can shed a light on, interracial marriages. I mean we’re looking at black and white but, interracial marriage, can also be Spanish and black or even religion Muslim and Christian or anything that makes you different.  It causes some controversy or cause some friction.

Ericka Augutis I don’t want the podcast listeners thinking I am making, interracial marriage, sound like it’s just perfect.  Absolutely not, there are challenges don’t get me wrong.  When we get invited to parties and there’s only a sprinkle of brown and black people in room, you have to figure out how to navigate.  Do you want to be like over-the-top polished or just be yourself. When our families get together we both have to play roles.  Every day you encounter racism. If you’re dealing with the public or you go in a public space you’re dealing with those types of situations where people are looking people are asking questions so it’s a conversation that you have more often than not. When you’re in a relationship like this, it’s something that you have to deal with if you want it to work out.

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Myrna Young I thank you for coming on and having a seat at this table I appreciate it. I hope our readers and listeners learned a few things one, interracial marriages, can work. They can be successful, you just have to have love and talk about it.

I want to remind you that if you like this content, please share with your friends, subscribe on iTunes rate and leave a review.

Additional Resources and mentions

Paradigm Shifts that can Heal Racism in America

http://blog.myhelps.us/find-your-soulmate-science-of-attraction/

https://voxeu.org/article/incarceration-unemployment-and-black-white-marriage-gap-us