Cutting the Cable Cord…

Image courtesy of Discarded Television by artur84, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Image courtesy of Discarded Television by artur84, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

I’m a 1980s baby, grew up in the MTV, in the cable television era. My parents always had cable television. So, I, too had cable TV in my own home. There were brief moments in my early twenties when I couldn’t scrounge up enough cable bill money to pay on a regular basis. But, I always factored the high cost of cable in my monthly budget and rarely went without it.

Well, all that ends now. After receiving yet another $175 bill from Uverse for my cable and internet, I had enough. The high cost of cable was a drain on my monthly budget and on my life. I decided it was time to consider letting cable go.

I went to Facebook to ask for insight from folks who cut the cord long ago. Many wondered why I hadn’t done this a long time ago. Others sympathized and admitted they missed their cable from time to time. Overall, I got a sense many felt more liberated and certainly their pocketbooks were fatter from not spending so much on this expense.

As a writer, television is a killjoy and I already know this. But, there’s something so satisfying about going home from a stressful job and escaping into television world. Instead of reading books and writing, I was watching TV, and lots of it. The only way I could change was not making it so easy to watch my television shows.

I called Uverse to remove cable and was told if I did, I would be charged a $165 early termination fee, regardless if I kept my internet with them. I was pissed off at Uverse, but mostly myself. I could have cut cable off last month, but I had to lock myself into yet another contract. I had finally talked myself into disconnecting cable, only to be faced with another decision. Do I just keep basic cable until next June or pay the outrageous early termination fee?

I decided to drop to basic cable and when I’m ready to stomach paying the early termination fee, I would. Fortunately, the fee goes down $15 every month. My plans to go cold turkey on my cable addiction didn’t go quite as planned. The plus side to having basic cable is I still get to watch a beloved local morning show, Good Day Sacramento for a little while longer.

I feel foolish paying all that money for so many years. Now I know better. I fantasize about how my life would be richer without cable and I instantly feel lighter and happier.

I was shopping in Walmart and a Direct TV sales rep asked me who was my cable provider. I said, “It was Uverse.” He asked me what I was paying then asked who I was going to go with now. I told him I am eliminating cable and using only the internet to watch TV, when I had time. He shrank back to his table and raised his hands in surrender. I almost asked him who he had for cable, but kept pushing my cart to the checkout lines. I already knew the answer. He wasn’t a sucker for cable anymore, either!

As I write this, none of my favorite shows are on and I’ve been writing away at my computer. I’ve only been away from cable for almost a week, but I’m not missing it.

What I learned through this experience is I saw what looked like a problem – high cable bills – and turned it into a way to connect with others, to enhance my life by finding creative ways to get entertained, while also finding balance. I found there is more time for meditation and reflection. And, I got a lower cable bill after all.

I am more abundant now than when I was paying the highest cost of cheap entertainment. Sometimes it takes a ridiculously high cable bill to demonstrate what needs to be adjusted in one’s life, and for that I am grateful.

~Your Curator of All Things Abundant, Kimberly Jo Cooley

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I Am In a Supportive Universe

Image courtesy of Universe by duron123, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Universe by duron123, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

I am in a supportive Universe and ALL my needs are absolutely met. 

I am in a supportive Universe… is one of my most favorite, powerful affirmations I say on a daily basis.

When you say (and believe) you are in a supportive Universe, you are activating all that will support that claim.

The Universe supports you in helping you to be the fullest expression of who you are. When you shine your light, in only the way you can bring forth the Light, the Universe expands and grows. Others are moved by your expansion. It is your love of life that pushes the folds of time and space to the edges of eternity. Your natural, curious, loving self is connected to the Universal Flow. Your raised vibrational energy helps to heighten our Collective Consciousness. It is vital to us all for you to have all you need to reveal more of your authentic self.

It is important to know that not only do you benefit from the Universe’s support, the Universe depends on you to be who it is you were brought here to be. The Universe will surround you with people and things to support you and your vision. Universal support is always there, always shaping and molding matter into what it is you need and want, directed by your thoughts.

Miracles happen all the time, why not be a recipient of all that is available to you? In order to receive, you have to first believe you are worthy, then you have to allow what it is that is trying to get to you. To feel worthy is to void all feelings of inadequacy and undeserving emotions, and instead filling up with self-love.

We tend to forget we have already inherited God’s gifts of life, love, and liberty. We wrongly believe there’s separation between ourselves and God or ourselves and that which we want. It is this perceived separation that causes our suffering. Old church doctrines of God being vengeful is where it likely started. This perceived separation is further fed by guilt and shame we hold towards ourselves. We suffer when we forget God dwells in and around us, not in some heaven mothership. We suffer when we focus on lack, instead of abundance and sustenance. We suffer when we forget to align our thoughts with gratitude, appreciation and thanksgiving.

You will get to a point in your manifestational journey when you recognize every thought is answered, every desire birthed and fulfilled. You will understand that all thoughts are creative and influential and will be careful on what you decide to focus on.

Even through your discontent and contrast (of not having what you want), there is a support from the Universe to bring you closer to contentment. You will get to a place of trusting in the Universe and God to provide ALL you need in abundant supply. Abundant supply in health, love, family, friendship, happiness, peace, and joy.

Tools to deepen your understanding:

Podcasts:

  • Think, Believe, and Manifest Show. Constance’s April 24, 2015 show with her guest Minista Jazz, titled, “Turning Your Test Into a Testimony.”
  • Everyday Attraction. Show date June 19, 2015, “Why Are You Going It Alone When Source Is Whispering in Your Ear?”
  • Everyday Attraction. Show date June 26, 2015, “Can You Let Yourself Have It All?”
  • Receive Your Life. Show date, June 25, 2015, “Deliberately Growing Your Faith Thoughts.”

Affirmation:

The church I attend, Center for Spiritual Awareness of West Sacramento provides weekly affirmation cards. When you find yourself feeling less abundant, shift your thoughts to the following message:

I live in an unlimited Universe. Unlimited in love, in money, in forgiveness, in next steps, and unlimited in connections with others. I am never alone because the Presence of God is within everyone I meet.

How do you know you are in a supportive Universe?

~Your Curator of All Things Affirmative and Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

I’m Pin(n)ing For…Natural Hair!

I’m going back to my roots, y’all! I want to see and touch my natural tresses all the time. Below is a curated list of favorite Pinterest natural hair photos that inspire me.

I love seeing both of my parents’ hair textures in my own strands…something I haven’t seen since I was a little girl. I’ve cut most of the heat damaged ends and I’ve long since let the relaxers (chemically straightening hair) go. I have at least three different curl patterns, and I’m excited about that, too. I used to only value super straight strands, but now I can’t stop touching my varied curls.

For me, this is not just a trend, but a way of being. We are so blessed to live in the Information Age where we can turn to the internet for inspiration and tips on how to manage and nurture our hair. I’m forever grateful to the vloggers and bloggers out there, showing the masses how to enjoy the hair we’ve got (thank you!). I now see more women with natural hair and I love seeing our beautiful hair!

It is not always an easy journey, but what has helped me is surrendering and letting go of my own, dated constructs of beauty. The old constructs are relics of our past – straightened hair. There was a time and place for straight hair. Now is the season for my natural, curly, coily hair. Only this feels long lasting and so satisfying. Life long, even.

I built a personal hair routine I could manage in my hectic life. Clips, bobby pins, and scarves helped on days when I didn’t feel like doing anything to my hair or taking out my twists. Lately, I’ve fallen in love with wash and go’s and my routine is even easier than when my hair was straight. Yesterday, I literally rolled out of bed and into my flip flops, in search of some Cajun seasonings. I did not fret over my hair, I rocked a big ‘fro style. Once upon a time, that would not have happened. I’ve come a long way from always flatironing my hair before leaving the house. And, it feels amazing.

Check out my natural hair Pinterest page at https://www.pinterest.com/syryn22/naturalista-all-her-glory/ for more inspiration and tips.

One of my hair crushes, Tracee Ellis Ross. Image courtesy of Fashionbellus at http://fashionbellus.tumblr.com/post/37266608968/i-love-me-some-her

Her skin is aglow and her regal afro is giving us life. Image courtesy of Curly Girl Revolution Tumbler page at http://curlygirlrevolution.tumblr.com/

Her curls go on for days, wild and free. Image courtesy of http://www.strawberricurls.com/natural-hair-guide-for-beginners/

Sassy afro + red lips = sexy. Image courtesy of Precious Henshaw’s Blog at http://www.precioushenshaw.com/post/81710284899/urbanna-love-my-micky-mouse-shades

Her whole look is funky, yet sexy. I love the hair color. Image courtesy of Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/pin/51439620720762434/.

Tapered, curly, edgy yet beautiful. Image courtesy of The stylenewsnetwork.com, from http://thestylenewsnetwork.com/2015/02/19/2015-spring-summer-natural-hairstyles-black-women/.

Behold this captivating beauty’s regal crown. Image courtesy of http://www.shorthaircutsforblackwomen.com/how-to-transition-from-relaxed-to-natural-hair/.

  ~Your Curator of All Things Bold and Beautiful, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Revisit: Thank you Mr. Mandela, for Teaching the Cycle of Forgiveness

I originally wrote this blog post following Nelson Mandela’s death in December 2013 and I needed a refresher on the subject of forgiveness and resentment. This post deals with forgiveness in love relationships, but it really speaks to all situations that is calling for  forgiveness and letting go of resentment. My 2015 self made some edits to my 2013 post :-).

Image courtesy of "Lonely Tree" by Evgeni Dinev, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of “Lonely Tree” by Evgeni Dinev, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

“As I walked out the door toward my freedom I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

-Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela passed away today, at the age of 95. Nelson Mandela’s life – long, fruitful, inspirational, fraught with pain and struggle, triumph and victory – is something we all should aspire to be. I thank him for all the teaching moments his life brought to my life and his spirit and legacy lives on forever.

Below is a question posed to me on the subject of forgiveness and my response:

Q. Can you share your thoughts about forgiveness? I’ve always heard how people chose to forgive someone who hurt them deeply in one way or another in order to help them move on. What does that mean and how do you accomplish it?

Letting go. Time truly heals many wounds but in the meantime, how can one work on letting go of a situation? Is it best to force yourself to not think about it, i.e. whenever the thought crosses your mind, change the subject so to speak? Or do you try to keep busy and occupy yourself so as to distract you?

How does one remain hopeful of love and marriage? Is there really truly somebody for everybody?

A. Forgiveness. Such a heavy proposition, isn’t it? Why should we have to forgive those who trespass us?

It’s just as much about you as it is the person whose being forgiven, if not more about you. Not forgiving holds us back, dims and dulls our life’s experiences, and drags us down.

Nelson Mandela’s first quote above is not talking about the brick and mortar prison he sat in for 27 years for anti-Apartheid activities. He’s talking about the prison of our minds – the bondage of holding in resentment. His quote can help us better understand the notion of forgiveness in relationships and how it is necessary for moving on to bigger and better love. If we cannot let go of the pain, bitterness, anger, and resentment, then we will never fully move into the present of the here and now. The here and now is freedom to love.

Resentment comes from a misunderstanding many of us have about a situation or person. We believe they have wronged us and we come to hate a person. Remember that you called this person into your life, or at the very least allowed that person to enter your sphere. Think about the reasons why they were in your life. Acknowledge and appreciate their good qualities you loved about them. And, thank God for showing you the qualities in them that you could very much live without. It is especially the parts of a person that hurt you that has the most to offer you – the relationship is gone and over, but you now learned a little more about yourself in terms of what you want and don’t want in a relationship.

Nelson Mandela had several loves in his life, including three wives. Each of those wives, he loved deeply and considered them partners and soul mates. Two of the three marriages ended in divorce. Winnie Mandela allegedly cheated on Mr. Mandela and was emotionally neglectful to him– yet, he found love again at the age of 77, and died a happily married man at the age of 95. I read that in divorce court, Nelson Mandela smiled at his soon to be former wife, Winnie, but she turned away. He was sorrowful and humbled during the divorce proceedings and he spoke of his love and appreciation for his wife. He knew there was no hope for their relationship, but he chose to not be mired in pain and resentment towards his ex-wife.

Mr. Mandela’s story tells us that soul mates can come in many different forms and times in our lives. There are some loves in your life greater than others because of the chemistry or attachment you have to a person. As many times as you believe your soul mate is out there, is as many times your soul mate is forming and finding their way to you. Many people have great loves in their lives, not just one.

Allow yourself a little time to mourn the demise of a relationship, but write a reminder somewhere you can refer to that says when you’re ready and open, love is available to you. Dwelling in sadness only delays the recovery and the rediscovery of yourself in this life and of future loves to come. Don’t let unforgiveness of the person you once was in a relationship with slow down your momentum to a loving state of being with yourself, someone new, and old connections.

If you’ve ever tried to not think about something, then you likely know that it is almost impossible not to think about that very thing you’re trying to avoid thinking about. Deal with the feelings early and head on. Wallow, watch bad romantic comedies, cry, talk it out with friends and write in a journal. When you spend a little time mourning, remember there is a season for sadness and there is a season for moving. Take a trip, pick up a new hobby, or set up a regular volunteer activity to help move you into your new season of life and love. Don’t ignore your feelings, but don’t let them rule you or your life. Give yourself a break and have fun! Dating and making new friends is an adventure – the hunt for the love(s) of your life should be a good time, with a little contrast here and there. Isn’t that why we signed up for this thing called love and life anyway?

Finally, BE forgiveness. One of the qualities we want in our mates is the ability to forgive and humility. If those are qualities you want in others, make sure it’s something you have inside yourself as well. As a matter of fact, any trait you’d like to see in your partner, bring that energy into your own being right here, right now. BE the forgiveness. Appreciate – even if all you can think of is the negative in a person or situation. The negativity or adversity is only clarifying what it is you really want in your life, so have compassion for yourself and that person. Bless yourself and the other person by praying for you and them to be love and peace.

In relationships, there will be transgressions, arguments, and disagreements. A person who can quickly regroup and forgive is one that will succeed in life and love.

The cycle of forgiveness is necessary to keep mankind in love and in check. The moment you truly forgive, is the moment you are free from the prison of resentment. Forgiveness sets us all free, both the forgiven and the forgiving. The moment each of us wholeheartedly takes part in this beautiful cycle, the moment love blooms and dwells freely inside all of us.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley