Back in 1981 David Bowie and Freddie Mercury’s lyrics were so powerful and prophetic summing up this life, our lives – “Under Pressure.”
GET BACK UP!
One of my favorite spiritual guides is author Don Miguel Ruiz, and his New York Times bestseller “The Four Agreements.” I’ve read and re-read this book and it always brings me clarity and a deeper understanding of how we interact with others and view ourselves. The book is based on the teachings of ancient Toltec wisdom and serves as a refocusing of how to limit self defeating thoughts and suffering so we can enjoy a life of fulfillment and happiness.
“Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity, say only what you mean.“
Believing in yourself is where it all starts. Waking up in the morning feeling blessed and sure that something wonderful is going to happen. The mind is incredibly powerful and shapes the life we live and the world we understand.
It’s so easy to find ourselves falling into the trap of walking around complaining about the usual crap and not recognizing that we create our reality by our viewpoint and attitude towards what we experience.
“Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you.”
Surviving cancer has proven to be an amazing awakening to how I live my life. I have a new appreciation for the quote “Tomorrow is not promised” since 2015 when I was diagnosed with both Breast and Colon Cancer. Now I make it a point to relish each moment.
The 3rd Agreement is my favorite:
“Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.”
Fortunately I’d re-read “The Four Agreements” before my cancer diagnosis and Agreement Number Three – “Don’t Make Assumptions” proved to be a lifesaver; instead of freaking out upon hearing the news, I applied the principle, had faith and promised myself to live one day at a time.
“Always Do Your Best. Doing your best means enjoying the action without expecting a reward.”
I highly recommend reading “The Four Agreements” as an inspiring roadmap for living a more joyous and fulfilling life.
After watching a YouTube video of inspirational speaker Inky Johnson, I had to collect myself as tears streamed down my face in response to his incredible story. I then asked myself, how are you going to write about this amazing young man but then thought, what did Inky say? “It’s not about you but how you can be a blessing in someone else’s life.” I felt the importance of sharing Inky’s story of triumph and determination and what his experience may mean in uplifting another person’s moment of crisis.
Inquoris D. Johnson (better known as Inky Johnson) is a motivational speaker, author, and former football player for the University of Tennessee who rose from a life of adversity to becoming a shining example of the very best in us. Inky grew up in poverty surrounded by crime and drugs. But, for Inky, this hostile environment planted a seed of greatness that Inky nurtured within his spirit as he set forth in life with an unrelenting goal of making life better for his family through sheer will and commitment.
His early understanding of how the decisions we make affect everyone around us shaped his philosophy that quitting when the going gets tough or when we don’t like the situation becomes a habit which will eventually catch up with us.
From the age of 7 years, Inky trained religiously for his lifelong dream of becoming a professional football player. Starting as a child, doing extra training on the practice field late at night in the headlights of his mother’s beat up car. Her loving eyes serving as an unwavering source of inspiration and pride.
“When you work from the inside-out you understand your WHY, you understand your HOW, and you understand your WHAT.”
Inky Johnson was born on February 12, 1986 in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up in the rough Kirkwood neighborhood in a 2-bedroom house with his mother and 13 other family members. He slept on a pallet on the floor and recalls arriving at the bus stop early to shake out his backpack to make sure there were no roaches or rats inside. In true Inky Johnson fashion, when given the opportunity to transfer from his failing school to one of the top in the city, he refused noting that he wanted to be an example to his siblings on how they could make it out of their violent and drug infested neighborhood. Even then he knew it wasn’t about him but others.
Inky’s opportunity to advance out of his surroundings arose one night when a coach walking down the street came across Inky and his cousins playing. The coach signed them up to play organized sports. Inky played football and baseball.
Graduating from one of the underserved public schools in Georgia, Inky’s talents on the field earned him a college scholarship to the University of Tennessee playing football. His noticeable skills earned him a shot at making it into the NFL draft. But, to his horror, it was not to be. A life altering accident at Neyland Stadium made Inky ponder:
“When we fail to achieve our lifelong dreams, we must ask, “Am I Failing, or is God prevailing?” Inky Johnson
September 9, 2006 in a game against Air Force, Johnson went for a tackle and jammed his shoulder into the body of the Air Force running back. The hit caused permanent nerve damage in Inky’s right shoulder and left him fighting for his life. His right arm was paralyzed; ending his lifelong dream of lifting his family out of poverty as a player in the NFL. For most people this unbelievable turn of events would have brought them to their knees, but not Inky. He reached into his soul and drew on a power that had been growing in him his entire life. He saw the dream crushing accident as an opportunity to share his life experiences with others because he knew God had a plan for him.
Inky tours the country and shares his inspiring words with audiences as well as on his website, Facebook, and Twitter. Inky speaks from his soul with a compassion and strength that makes you reflect on your life and strive to be a blessing in someone else’s. Hearing Inky’s story for just a few short minutes gives you a bucket full of motivation to uplift and inspire you to do your best every day.
On his website – http://www.inkyjohnson.com/ you can download little tidbits of daily reflections and reminders of your goals.
“We Become What We Feed” is a wonderful parable spoken by Johnson infused with mellow Jazz meditation music adding to the richness of the story. He encourages you to download and “marinate on that.” Inky Johnson
“You Become What You Feed” and other Inspirations
Sharing a Thanksgiving meal with loved ones is truly a blessing. Having food on the table and a roof overhead is a luxury not everyone can afford.
As we enjoy our traditional turkey and pumpkin pie, let’s remember those without. Reaching out and sharing should be part of our consciousness as I believe we are our brother’s keeper.
As a cancer survivor I am keenly aware that tomorrow is not promised, appreciative of the fact that no matter how bleak the world may seem, we are only here as flesh and blood for a second in the Universe of time. We should not take for granted that we, as well as friends and family, will always be here.
As a child, I remember Sunday family dinners being a time to catch up on our week and just enjoy each other’s company. No TV, No Phones, but quality time to bond and appreciate these special moments.
Merely hanging out with our cohorts is a precious gift we should treasure and make time for in our busy lives. Enjoying these riches is a blessing we should value and appreciate; treating these simple but special occasions with tender loving care.
This Thanksgiving and every day, embrace each moment with mindful purpose and positive energy; understanding the importance of spending time and enjoying one another.
Let’s make it our mission to spread love and compassion. As the Dalai Lama said, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”
When we lose the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we lose touch with our humanity; devaluing the reality that just because it won’t affect us doesn’t lessen its impact on others.
Make it a point to lend a helping hand not only during the holidays but daily; praying for grace and mercy for all.
I am forever thankful and grateful to my beautiful family and friends. My cup runneth over with joy as I celebrate the blessings the Lord has given.