Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ep. 005 - "I am loving this marathon called Life" - Stephanie Delpe


When you have the opportunity to connect with a kindred spirit, you do not brush it off. I believe that not every person we meet along our ongoing path of Awesomeness is meant to stay there. But there is certainly a great deal of worthy and enriching connections and friendships to be made and embraced along the way. 
[*Note - I'll definitely do an episode on the topic of toxic relationships as it's certainly something I want to touch on]

On this episode of the Awaken The Awesome podcast, I welcome Stephanie Delpe, New York-born Fashion & Lifestyle blogger, and a woman of many of many singular accomplishments, who got on my radar recently following a recent post that really got me thinking. 

See, as much as we talk about 'equality' and not dismissing the many victories that have happened over the course of our history as human beings, I do believe there are some things that Men will never understand about Women, and vice versa. But that should stop us from trying. Which is why, when I read this very honest and sincere account about that emotional roller-coaster that can occur when a woman chooses to cut her hair - I had questions. Lots of questions. 

The words were true and the story was heartfelt...but there was obviously something I didn't get.

"...Hair?"


Yes, hair. And so much more.

A delightful exchange of perspectives and a noteworthy learning experience for your truly. I want to thank Stephanie for her time and powerful message which I believe to be a resounding one.

You can connect with Stephanie Delpe via her blog or show some love and follow her on Instagram and/or Facebook



You can download the MP3 for this episode by right-clicking here and choosing "Save As"

I do hope you enjoy this exchange as we certainly enjoyed bringing it to you.

Remember to leave a comment and let us know how we're doing. Either on the blog of via email :
awaketheawesome [at] gmail [dot] com

#StayAwesome

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How is this a thing?

File this under the "random" file but that's usually how these little reflections of mine happen.

I was watching this short documentary on the pervasiveness of apps (read: mobile applications) in our daily lives and, even though the report was a tad bit dated, it still caught my attention as I had to compare how things had not only worsened but also the incredibly short time in which this shift had happened.

But I digress - put aside the report, one app caught my eye, as it was brought up as an umpteenth example of how we use apps for pretty much anything and how the coin phrase "there's an app for that" rang ever so true.

The app was "Note To God" and it'ls official description is available as follows:

"Note to God allows the user to enter a personal note to God. The app is non-denominational and is meant to allow anyone with any belief to communicate with his or her own higher power.
In many religions, the act of writing a letter to God is seen as a holy commitment and a legitimate way of communicating one's spiritual emotions. The Note To God app is simply a digital expression of those same honest feelings.
After the note is sent, it disappears. The user cannot recall past notes. This way, the writing of the note can be completely honest and the hitting of send is a true commitment to what's in the note.
"

Quick side note - The creator of the app, a young man by the name of Allen Wright, was hospitalized following a tragic hit-and-run that left him in a coma for 8 days. As far as my research suggests, he has since pulled through and miraculously recovered. During his ordeal, parents and family witnessed the outpouring of thoughts and well-wishes from his app's user community sending their blessings through the app.

As of this posting, the app has long since been removed from the AppStore.

I found myself pausing because, as much I did not want to sound condescending, preachy or simply cynical - it had to be said : HOW. IS THIS. A THING?

I've put this disclaimer forward before so I'll take a second to point this out one more time : I'm not your everyday Christian so I do not sit here as some form of Holier Than Thou individual...*THAT SAID* - when something seems a tad bit peculiar in my honest opinion, I have itch to point it out. Now that we've properly cleared that out, allow me if you would...

WHY - do you need - an app - to pray to God?

I mean really. It's been my very humble understanding that God is Almighty, all powerful, all being, and wouldn't you know it - all seeing...so why would I need an app to communicate with the Lord?

Call me crazy or way too naive but I believe God to be at your side anywhere and anyhow you need Him to be. You don't need an app for that. I think that what's at play here is our ever increasing need to record and have our thoughts archived somewhere for posterity. 
It's my concern that applications and modern methods of communications have certainly earned their useful place in our lives. I even use one for daily meditation. But do we really have to go as far as to need an app to pray to our individual higher power? 
I just find it a bit odd that we've come to this point where one the simplest and most sincere acts of your own personal faith has to be, yet again, subject to an electronic device or preserved via digital medium. Not to mention that the word 'anonymous' always makes me cringe when I see it - cause I don't buy it. But that's a comment for another time.

I can totally empathise with someone having the need to express, share and reflect on their thoughts and emotions as they might be dealing with issues they might not otherwise feel at ease to lay that on someone else like a relative or a friend - but God made it so simple. Why complicate things? I guess I just find that Life has become complicated enough that we shouldn't have to convince ourselves that our prayers, whether intended for own personal struggle or that of our fellow human, need be filtered or curated though an app.

I'm speaking from a position of observation and curiosity not condescension. As far as I can tell, you don't have to pull out your phone to speak to God - He's right here.

Be blessed.

#StayAwesome

Oli
   

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Get Financially CLEAN! Two Black Guys With Good Credit (podcast review)


You often meet the most interesting people when you least expect it. You don't know why, but something about the person just clicks and makes you want to connect and exchange with them on a more insightful level. This is how I can honestly describe my meeting the lovely Ms Dionne Nichols, Program Director, Researcher, and bonafide "Lady with The Facts" of the very entertaining "TWO BLACK GUYS WITH GOOD CREDIT" podcast.  
(I couldn't make up that title even if I tried - AWESOME!)

I remember when I was a young student, barely making above minimum wage, working 10-hour shifts, 4 days a week, at a shoe factory WHILE also going to college full-time. NOT a fun time. When you factor in the long bus routes, the classes, the rent, the books...AND the very expensive tuition...not the best memories.
So, the concept of being financially conscious as well as cautious was something that I kept very close to the chest.
Personal Finance and the notion of managing your money is something that I think most people and households, still to this day, do not take as seriously as they probably should. Even having witnessed, endured, and still licking our wounds from one the most horrendous financial crises in recent history.
Things were not pretty, and despite what might seem like an improvement, excuse my being so blunt but S--T is real right now!
Consumer Debt is at an all-time high. 'Hand-To-Mouth' is the new norm for the Middle Class who are now quite frankly the new poor. Interest rates are rising. Real Estate is more expensive and, if you listen to episode 3 of the podcast, funeral costs are not cheap.

This is, in my opinion, why the TWO BLACK GUYS WITH GOOD CREDIT podcast and the CLEAN financial literacy program serve as such a powerful and exemplary statement in their mission to not only educate but empower our youth through their workshops and the rest of us through their engaging episodes.
I was so moved by what this colorful group of amazing individuals was doing that I made it my daily duty to listen to the entire first season of the podcast on my morning commute.
What a treat!
With a no-nonsense, empathetic, often humorous, edgy and always knowledgeable exchange of facts, anecdotes and solid advice, hosts Shaun & Arlington, along with the rest of the awesome podcast crew, have put together what I believe to be a really fun and approachable program. 
I'm a podcast fiend. And one thing I always look for in my programs is authenticity. Whether you're talking about stamps or dog shows, show me you're authentic and that you believe in your content. 
Taken from their website, podcast described as follows :

"Two Black Guys with Good Credit is a show about two black guys from Canada living in the US for over 20 years - Arlington in Los Angeles and Shaun in Brooklyn. Both are business owners with successful track records and, of course, good credit! Each week they will bring you their ‘straight talk’ and at times humorous perspective on making, managing, and protecting your money.
Two Black Guys with Good Credit will educate, entertain, and inspire you to achieve YOUR financial goals."

Check. The passion is palpable and the mission is clear. And they deliver. I've thoroughly enjoyed the first season as they've managed to dumb-down and extract some the essential notions of personal finance and make them not only accessible but appealing to their audience. They make no apologies for their bluntness but in no way did I find their commentary off-putting or condescending. The aim is to educate and empower and I believe the team is doing a terrific job.

I do hope you'll give them a listen and show your love and support in any which way you can.

You can start by dropping them a line at: 
twoblackguysgoodcredit@financiallyclean.com 
or you can follow them on the usual platforms such as FacebookTwitter & Instagram.

Podcast episodes available directly on their website and also via iTunes or Stitcher.

Til next time dear friends, achieve your Destiny and #StayAwesome

Oli



Monday, August 29, 2016

So you wanna do a Spartan Race? Here's How (w. Ludovic Godefroy)

I can tell you I'm really excited to share this second episdoe of the Awaken The Awesome odcast with you guys. Not just because I have yet again lived to to tell the tale of yet another engaging and grueling Spartan Race, but I get to sit down and take a look back at the whole ordeal and acutally smile, not sure if it's the euphoria or the pride.
Either way, this is a special one because my brother-in-arms and fellow Spartan Racer/Teammate Ludovic Godefroy joins me as we do a Post-Mortem "What were we thinking?"-type discussion on the dos, donts, whats and watch-outs on running your first Spartan Race - which you should.
An engaging conversation that I hope will help demystify certain urban legends but also serve as measure of precaution and planning for newcomers. Empowering and engaging, we had a lot to discuss.
Ludovic is a certified kinesiologist, personal trainer, motivational speaker, father, husband and all-around awesome gent. Just listen to the audio about how he helped me conquer what I identified as my greatest obstacle for this year's course. You can follow him on Instagram as well as Twitter.
Direct link to downloading the audio version available here
(Do a 'Right-Click' - then select  "Save Link/Target As...')

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you're liking or disliking the program so far. I'm getting ready to launch some pretty nifty features within the coming weeks so every little piece of constructive feedback is a welcome one.

Go create your destiny and until next time ... #StayAwesome

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Again.

Rude awakening this morning?
It's ok.
We're human.
We're works in progress.
Now, let's get you psyched.

Rub the crust out of your eyes.
Do a few pushups.
Grab a pillow, put it against your face and scream in it. Again.
Good.
Stretch to the ceiling. Again.
Good.
Lean over to touch your toes. Again.
Good.

Now...
Take a second to breathe.
Breathe.
BREATHE, dammit!
Let the air in...hold it. Exhale.
Again.
Close your eyes and acknowledge this precipus gift that is air. This precious often overlooked, mishandled, misused, essential gift...that is gettimg you emergized, fueling ypur blood cells, purifying your body with every...single... breath.
You're breathing.
You're alive.
You exist.
You matter.

Wow.

Go impact the world, you Awesome one.

#StayAwesome

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Today

Here's a thought -

What if...today, you held back on the subtle reflex to go "...oh well..." and replace it with "Hell Yea!"?

What if...today, you looked at a stranger with a genuine smile and in you heart of hearts, wished them a good day?

What if...today, you forgave yourself for your own insecurities and shortcomings and embraced your singular traits and strenghs?

What if...today, when someone pays you a compliment, you actually hold back on the "...you're just saying that..." and actually thanked them for the kind words and bidding them words of appreciation of your own?

What if ...today, you held back on killing those precious brain cells of yours by : overthinking, overstressing, self-deprecation, complaining, whining, sighing...and instead took a second to acknowledge the subtle yet resounding fact that you're.still.here...despite it all...

What if...today, you didn't text or WhatsApp or whatever and actually called someone(there's an app for that...they usually call it <Phone>) and inquired about their day.?..you'd be surprised how that throws most people for a loop.

What if...today, you thanked the Universe/God/Lord Buddha/L Ron Hubbard...whatever you believe in...for giving you something to believe in?...I'm sorry, not too sound all metaphysical...but you gotta a pretty cocky bastard to not be amazed by the sheer magnitude of the fact that we are a bunch of living organisms on floating ball in an endless sea of stars and comets...and think that it's all just part of the natural order of things...

What if... today, you did not ask for permission but simply took action?

What if...today, you focused on your goals instead of aimlessly roaming about both physically and mentally?

What if...today, you actually chose for they day to be different?

What if...today, you applied your energy toward empowering your mind instead of intoxicating it?

What if...today, you embodied the personal truth that you seek?

What if...today, you set a course towards your own definition of Awesomeness?

What if...today, you believed?

Tell me - really...what if?

#‎StayAwesome‬

Monday, August 15, 2016

Go to your Desitny




Listen...it begs repeating...but you are not owed anything.
You are not entitled to anything.
Nobody owes you anything. You don’t have some kind of privilege beyond everybody else.
You...yes, YOU are the sole architect of your own destiny.
I have a cousin with whom I have been exchanging this thought/parting for years and, for some reason, I never truly embraced it to its fullest until some years later : "Go to your Destiny".
We don't say 'goodbye' 'ciao' 'later dayz' or whatver...just "Go to your Desitny" - In doing so, we acknowledge the incredible power and influence we have on the the Universe pulling us and guiding in the direction the we choose... You, yes YOU, have the Awesome potential to WAKE THE F--- UP and get S--- done! Enough with your sob sotries of being too tired, too broke, too stupid, too incompetent, too sad, too depressed, too disheartened, too...little...
Enough already! You are not owed anything. The Universe will only give you what you have the audacity to ask and the tenacity to earn. No exceptions. Whatever your circumstance, it is not always your fault, but it is certainly your responsibility to rise and overcome. Your destiny is yours to have, to hold, to embrace, to celebrate and replicate. Remember that 

 #StayAwesome