Keeping it 1000

Focus.

You can only catch one chicken at a time.

and my favorite…

Jack of all trades and master of none.

A person who is multi-talented or curious is often considered to be “flighty”, “messy”, “lacking focus”, or a “dreamer.” These are your liberal arts majors in schools.  These are your subway singers. These are your “professional students.”  They are always “finding themselves.”  What I’ve noticed is these people are exhausting to their loved ones.  Are you one of the aforementioned?  Well, have you ever been asked any of the following?

So what do you want to do with that?

Oh! So you’re a _____________now?

What are you going to do for money?

The questions are fielded towards you and what do you do?  Do you get defensive because they don’t “get” you?

There isn’t much I think believe I cannot do (thought and belief are different but that’s a separate post.) I’ve tried it all.  I’ve done personal training, martial arts, I took security guard training, I played tennis, I played chess in college my freshman year (although I wasn’t very good)…you get the idea.  The only two things that have been constant in my life are music and literature.  They pacify my inner baby.  When I enter that space, I am in another world.  I am in a safe cocoon of calm.  I am invincible.  I am untouchable.  There is no high like that of creating something and seeing the effect it has on others.  That connection is remarkable.  It’s a human relationship that allows you to alleviate someone else’s pain or share in their happiness. Although those are my constants, it doesn’t mean I am not capable of doing something else.

Your ambition is your double-edged sword, Shaun.

Currently, I am in a place of self exploration.  I am taking an acting class. It is freaking amazing!  I wanted to sharpen my stage presence as a poet.  I signed up for the class and it has opened doors of opportunity that I couldn’t have imagined.  I’ve met people who have been in the industry for decades.  The networking, the experiences, the tips, the tricks, the progression I’ve made is priceless. Now, I can create monologues with my free verse poetry and I personally know actors, playwrights, and venue owners who can bring my writing to life. The excitement I feel is so juvenile.  It is a childlike hope.

It is a childlike hope.

Sometimes people say, “let me keep it 100 with you.”  That means they are going to tell you the truth.  They are giving you 100%.  When someone is really trying to bring it home they may say, “I’m gonna keep it a thousand!”

They’re keeping it real.

Well, I’m going to keep it a thousand…

Do what you do, every day, to the best of your ability and with no apologies.  If you’re a genius, no one will understand what the hell you are doing.  You may be judged.  You may be called names. God willing your loved ones will support you and love you even in a state of confusion.  You can reward them later when you are successful.  You can write in a journal so they can read your thoughts when you’re dead. Whatever you decide to do is okay as long as its authentic.   Do not use monetary value to bring legitimacy to what you do.  There are people crying in mansions.

Check out what I found randomly googling one day:

3. A jack of all trades is a master of none.

This saying got cut short as well and originally said “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” Unlike what our version would lead you to believe, having multiple interests but not being an expert in anything could actually prove advantageous.

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/7-phrases-youve-been-misquoting

If you’re good at everything…do everything!  Kick ass at it.  Bust down doors instead of waiting for them to open. Make it hard to be ignored.  Surround yourself with people who believe in you.

The only way you can fail is by second guessing yourself and listening to the voices in everyone else’s head.  You can do this.

-Shaun Liriano

 

 

 

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Give Your Wallet a Break Today!

Day 11 of the self esteem challenge :

Use today as a savings opportunity for the future you.

I work in a corporate office so I spend a lot on food daily. A sandwich from the cafeteria after chips and a bottled water can easily amount to $8-9. Add in another $6-7 for coffee and a bagel on the way to work. By the time my second break comes, I’m looking for some “happy food” to put some excitement in my day. That can be anything from apple slices with caramel  ($3.49) to a slice of pizza (don’t judge my diet.)

Today I’m gonna keep it really simple!

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I’m having cereal for my first break and my lunch.

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I caught an awesome sale. If you’ve been a follower of shutyamouthandcallmeugly.com for awhile then you know I love loyalty cards!!! I saved $2.80 at CVS today and my year to date savings is $85.91. Think of what you can do with that money. Especially with the holidays coming up! Or maybe it’s just a new hairstyle for you to start the new year off with.

If you’re drinking the recommended 60 ounces of water a day, you should feel content throughout the day. I’m not saying you’re going to feel like you ate a steak! :-p
However, you shouldn’t want to go all zombie on your co-worker and chew an arm off.

The money you would spend, you can keep in your pocket. Make a list of things you can use the money for. Look at that list when you’re tempted to break the challenge during your day.

My list:
1. Eyebrow threading- $4.00 (Sundays only…..I know I know I’m cheap!)
2. Underarm waxing-$8.00
3. Manicure and pedicure -$15.00 (Wednesdays only)
4. Gasoline -$10.00 is a half tank (4 cl vehicle.)
5. Music- Cd $10-$15 (yes I still buy cd’s) Average download  $9.99

I can keep going but you get the idea!!

Let me know how you do with this challenge today. I don’t start my work day till 3pm today but I posted earlier than normal for you guys. If you’ve already started, sacrifice McDonald’s on the way home or that Cinnabon you don’t need. Cook dinner for everyone else, you eat cereal and pack your portion for lunch tomorrow! Join me or shut your mouth and call me ugly in the comments section below. This may seem small but the point is it’s for you!!!!

P.S- If you live in the New York area and you want to know where I get some of those deals, ask in the comments section or tweet me @ShutyaMouthNow!  I reply immediately

-SMN

Cleanliness and Godliness

30 day self esteem challenge is still in motion!! Comment and/or tweet me the things you love about yourself @ShutyaMouthNow!

Day 4: What is a habit that you have that you like?

I make the beds in the home every day. I spray with linen spray. I sprinkle baby powder on the flat sheet. I come home to a comfortable slumber every night because of that.

Day 5: What is something about the way you think that you like?

I am analytical and it allows me to problem solve quickly. My resolution mode is fierce! It makes me a better parent and partner.

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Who Is the Queen in the Room?

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Do feelings of inferiority prevent you from moving to the next level? No? Are you sure? In the reverse, do you have too much confidence and fail to relate well to others? Do you have the courage to find the happy medium?

The funny thing about arrogance and low self-esteem is they are opposites but they can create the same end result.    If you think too highly of yourself you will drive others away. If you think you’re beneath others, you will drive them away because they will believe what you believe. They will accept the ideal you sold them through the demonstration of your actions. The end result is involuntary solitude.

“Alone is such a nebulous state when one is queen.”
~ Rae Carso, The Crown of Embers

Do you recognize your own regal nature? Do you accept your nobility? If you do, do you force others to recognize it also?

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood,  a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

You have the authority to change life. Whether it be yours or someone else’s, the authorization is yours. It was given to you. Conduct yourself in a regal manner. It has nothing to do with your monetary circumstances. My mom used to say, “You can’t be a king with no gold.” I beg to differ with mom a bit. Wisdom, devotion, and emotional relatability have a indispensable  unparalleled currency. I really believe that. There is something so valuable about someone you can trust, someone who is kind, and someone who is warm.

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There are different kinds of kings and queens. Choose who you want to be.

“Circumstance does not make the man;it reveals him to himself.”
~As A Man Thinketh, James Allen

When you are nervous, impatient, challenged or afraid …just ask yourself who the queen in the room is. Empower yourself and encourage yourself or Shut Ya Mouth and Call Me Ugly.

By: Shaun Nickens

If You Slack You’ll Lack

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.
-Matthew 7:15

I had someone once say to me, ” I wouldn’t lie. I am a God-fearing woman.”
I bet you can guess what happened after that! They proceeded to lie to me. Some people don’t serve the same Master you do. Some people say things like that and then pray for forgiveness because their actions are malicious and feed into a part of their nature that they thought they buried.

Know in your heart that you have fear, respect and awe for something greater than yourself. Know what you will and will not tolerate. These things are easy to say and extremely challenging to execute. People who know me are probably thinking, “Shaun says all these motivational things or poetic things but she has problems too.” They would be right!! I have tons of things I imagined differently. They will only become “problems” if I give up. I am an emotional,  sensitive, opinionated, frustrated wreck from time to time. What I will tell you is this ship doesn’t sink!

Today I went out in the sunshine and ran. While in the park following the track I was thinking. Do you remember Grimms Little Red Riding Hood? She was devoured because she strayed from her path. She was distracted by something pretty (flowers), someone seemingly harmless (the wolf) and all of a sudden she forgot what she was supposed to be doing!

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There are things you have to do to counteract anything that doesn’t coincide with your desires and the Creator’s will. You know exactly what those things are. If you slip up you will flip out! You may not have your  “crazy moment” as often as I do but it will happen. If you slack, you will lack the things you really really want in this life.

My pastor, Reverend Henry Simmons says, “God will answer all of your prayers. It is either Yes, No, or Wait.”

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That reminds me of a stop light. Don’t run that light!! The yellow isn’t “wait”  but its even better. It’s CAUTION, SLOW DOWN. Just wait for direction.
There are ramifications for being disobedient. Most of us survive those ramifications and some of us do not. Don’t take that gamble.

Recognize the fangs of wolves who have everything to gain from your loss! Finally, key into your survival instincts.

“Alonzo Harris: To protect the sheep you gotta catch the wolf, and it takes a wolf to catch a wolf.”
-Training Day

Try your best to be resilient. Some of the women in my circle are strong and superior to suffering because they refuse to be a victim! They’re tough as nails. That doesn’t mean they don’t cry or vent but they are classy and controlled at least 72% of the time!

Be aware and be courageous. Know you will have slips. Just try your best not to fall and stay down.

By:SMN

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Inspiring Documentaries I’ve Watched Over the Past 8 Days

Documentaries I’ve seen In the Past 8 Days:

  1. Food Inc. (2008) Robert Kenner 1hr 34mins
  2. Living On One Dollar (2013) Sean Leonard, Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple. 56 mins.
  3. A Story about Living Small. (2013) 62 mins. Christopher Smith, Daryl Gibson, and others.
  4. Gideon’s Army. (2013) 1 hr 36 mins Directed by Dawn Porter.
  5. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. (2010) 1 hr 37 mins. Directors: Joe Cross, Kurt Engfehr.
  6. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey (2011) 1 hr 20 mins Director: Constance A. Marks

I’m addicted!  I’m addicted to life!  I’m addicted to the events, struggles, challenges, insecurities, fears, and achievements of people.  I absolutely love that they have the balls to bleed (figuratively of course) on camera.  Some of these really weren’t that nail biting or gripping from beginning to end but there were definitely some powerful moments!  So, I’m going to tell you what I thought those moments were.

Spoiler Alert!!!!!!! 

Gideon’s Army is about Public Defenders and their personal and professional struggles.  It follows Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander, and June Hardwick who are young, urban, and driven. I really liked Travis who dressed professionally, absorbed himself in his work and fought hard for his clients whether he thought they were guilty or not.  He was committed to the job and he sacrificed time, sleep and a personal life to perform at his best.  His apartment was right next to the office!  The film delves a little into his “daddy issues” of abandonment and how he makes the attempt to resolve those issues. Brandy was a little more emotional. That disturbed me (talking to the TV the entire film) because it made her seem like the stereotypical woman who was too sensitive to toughen up for the tasks assigned. However, the film concludes with Brandy’s courtroom skills.  I had to bite my tongue and set aside all pre judgments. The emotion she had behind her work that I thought would cripple her actually helped her to win.  Brandy’s defense and her closing argument and her relationship with the defendant were touching and surprising because public defenders in the south handle over 100 cases at one time. They’re exhausted and they are like assembly line workers.  I loved it and I learned a lot. What bothered me to my core was the fact that they were BROKE!  There is a scene where Brandy is putting 3.00 of gas in her car to last her for the next two days!  These are lawyers and professionals but they are still living the “broke college life” at 30.  I felt for her because how many of us are already in our line of work but drowning in college loan debt and squeezing into small spaces?  How many of us are living check to check?  How many of us are still coming back from the recession and do not know if it is over yet?  Would you be able to do your job effectively and honorably with that kind of weight on your shoulders? 

For more information on this award winning documentary you can see the following link: http://gideonsarmythefilm.com/

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead was great simply because it can be oversimplified.  If I break down the entire film, it is about poor habits, poor decisions, and addiction.  It shows what happens to the human body/our temple when we over indulge.  I love food but I have always been off and on in terms of discipline when it comes to diet and exercise. I have also always struggled with my skin off and on. This film convinced me that the coined phrase “you are what you eat” is very true.  When I am cooking at home, exercising, drinking water, removing toxins (i.e. alcohol, sugars, etc), and getting somewhat adequate levels of sleep…I FEEL AND LOOK BETTER.  It’s very simple.  The man in the film was able to come off of his medications and lose a lot of unhealthy weight in 60 days with a juice fast. I hate fads and I am not a bandwagon jumper.  I go to my local juice bar occasionally and I also get my teas and natural deodorant from them but it’s expensive. I will definitely try juicing at home NOT EVERYDAY but as a supplement.  The processed, genetically engineered foods that are making us artificial energy addicts are also making us susceptible to illness. MY FAVORITE PART of the film is when he is using animation to explain the juice fast and its effect on the body.  He shows the example of a child who scrapes his knee.  Knees are bleeding and they have bandages on them.  He shows the child tempted to remove the bandages and pick at the wounds or scabs.  He says, “The wound will heal as long as I get out of my own way.”  I thought that was really powerful.  How many times do we prevent our own healing because we are obsessed with whether or not we are going to be healed?  How many times do we try to expedite processes that need to happen organically?  All you need to do is move out of the way and let your body heal itself, fight off disease itself, and sustain itself.

For more information on this great documentary please see the following link:  http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey was a tiny bit creepy. There have been recent child molestation allegations but if you can get passed that, it’s an inspiring story.  Kevin Clash made his first puppet when he was 10 after watching Sesame Street over and over again. He put on shows for the neighborhood kids his mother used to babysit. By the time he graduated high school, he was off to New York to work with Jim Henson, his idol. You see this man who is chronically shy but comes to life in the puppets he creates. This is kind of a zero to hero story because he doesn’t encounter much adversity.  People take him in with open arms and mentor him. The important thing to remember is he embraced every opportunity and he surpassed his expectations.  We all remember people trampling one another in shopping malls to find Tickle Me Elmo’s.  I remember how popular Elmo was even when I was in 7th and 8th grade.  This is a success story. He was a young guy from Baltimore with two loving parents who had a dream and went for it.  He was determined and he was diligent and it paid off.  He visualized what he wanted until it manifested but in the meantime he was aggressively moving towards his goals. The film took me down memory lane and made me want to head to Michaels craft store and make a puppet!

Click the link for more information:  http://beingelmo.com/about.html

 

By: Shaun Nickens

For Pete’s Sake…Lick the Bowl!

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I made this crumb cake on Wednesday!

When I was young my mother would bake from time to time.  Sometimes I would get so excited. She would give me the bowl to lick the batter while I waited for the cake to bake.  I would sit contentedly with my finger and my spoon in and out of the Tupperware.  I’d be wrapped in a pink comforter, watching a good movie,  with my bowl. Oftentimes,  by the time the cake was ready I didn’t want it anymore.  I was content with what I already received. 

The treat that was given to hold me over became better than what I anticipated.  I started to anticipate the batter and the bowl.  I started to look forward to the process more than the finished product. 
When did you stop enjoying the process? When did you become addicted to instant gratification? Don’t shake your head with that “no, not me” look. Yes, you! Why do you want the glorious rewards of your future TODAY?

What about dinner?  What about finishing the meal God has prepared to sustain you and make you stronger, before you dive into desert?  Thank Him for giving you a bowl to lick. Be thankful for the patience the process will instill in you.

Lick the bowl and enjoy it! The struggle is yours and specifically designed to give you the tasty tomorrow you are craving. 

Bless!

By:Shaun Nickens