Universal Laws That Govern The World

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Once we have made the decision to improve ourselves and our lives, changes must be made within ourselves and our lives to accomplish this goal. One of the issues that I have identified with the black community is that we do not take the time to educate ourselves about how the world works. We know that there are obstacles that stand in our way because of issues beyond our Circle of Influences (reference to Steven R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People), however, we should never let obstacles or fears stand in our way of pursuing the lives we want for ourselves. The universal law affects us all. Instead of holding on to the victim mentality, it is necessary for us to change our mindsets and focus on what we want rather than on the things we do not want. After all, focusing on the things that we do not want is a sure way of getting those very things because we get what we focus on.

Here are some universal laws that we should all get to know because these laws govern the way the universe works. Life balances itself because there are principles and laws built into the creation of the universe. And if we really start to pay attention, we will begin to see that these laws really do exist and have direct impacts on our circumstances. The universal laws are not based in religion but have existed since the beginning of time. The black community tends to focus on the things we lack because human mindset is skewered towards the negative and also because we have been conditioned by slave ideologies to focus on a scarcity mindset. ...

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When God Talks to Us

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“And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.”

1 Samuel 3: 10 KJV

When I was a child, God was this person that everyone around me prayed to. As most Christian children are told, we should pray to God but never quite knowing why or who this person was. I had my first personal encounter with God when I was 19 years old. I remember having dreams of a voice calling to me; the voice was always quiet but somehow powerful enough to take up the space all around me. It happened a few times enough that I was nervous and shared with my mom. That first exposure to God was the first of many personal interactions with God. But like many people who hears God’s voice for the first time, I felt that I was not ready because of all the things in my past that I was sure to be punished for. I tried to stay put but I must admit that I got scared. And when things started falling apart in my life, well the newest member in my life who was supposed to be powerful was most definitely to blame for it.

But like many people who hears God’s voice for the first time, I felt that I was not ready Click To Tweet

I ran from God for a few years. I was sure that He had forgotten about me because I felt that I was never hearing from Him. I went back and forth with reading and praying, but altogether avoided going to church. About two years, His presence started becoming stronger in my life. I started feeling closer to Him, but I could never figure out why. I still felt that He had not been talking to me, but more and more I felt the need to start praying more, to become stricter about reading the Word, and finally to incorporate fasting in my life. I still felt that He was not talking to me, but I found myself feeling burdened by certain things; I started feeling like a weight was just laying on me, sometimes I felt like I was being followed around by certain topics. ...

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Mental Health and Spirituality

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Mental health and spirituality are factors that affect our daily lives. Our community has longed viewed spirituality and a relationship to God as the sole answer for dealing with difficult times. However, I am a firm believer that faith without works is dead. Mental health and spirituality share a close relationship. Hence, the push in recent years to include spirituality in therapy. Clinicians are ethically bound to address cultural concerns that affect clients. Spirituality does not relate to religion – which is institution based – but focuses on the broader understanding that humans are spiritual beings and possess a soul that is connected to the larger universe.

Spirituality

In the Black community, spirituality has long been a crucial part of our lives. Our spirituality connects us to our ancestors and to God. Spirituality has helped past generations overcome severe traumas. Our connections with God have been used as reasons as to why we do not need to seek any further assistance. However, spirituality is a holistic experience that should factor into all areas of our lives as it affects how we view ourselves, and our connections to others and the world-at-large. In addition, it is not that our ancestors did not have mental health issues, these issues would be undiagnosed due to past mental health misconceptions as well as lack of access to supportive services.

It is not that our ancestors did not have mental health issues, these issues would be undiagnosed due to past mental health misconceptions Click To Tweet

Spirituality operates on faith. Faith in something bigger than ourselves. Faith in understanding that much of life is built on unseen principles that govern our world. It is easy to just rely on faith for changes and just as easy to say that God is not present in our lives when we don’t get our desired results. This removes any control from us personally and places it solely on God. But belief in the principle of connectedness highlights that each person has a place and a contribution to make. God gives us freewill to make choices about our lives. These principles demonstrate that God wants us to play an active role in our own lives and we cannot do this solely by faith. ...

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5 Reasons Why You Need A Mental Health Checklist

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I created a Mental Health Checklist for the Gray Matthews Project that can aid in our overall journey to become our best selves. Before I get to why you need this checklist, let me clarify what a checklist is and what a mental health checklist is.

Checklist: A checklist is simply a list of tasks or in this case, responsibilities to be checked off or monitored.

Mental Health Checklist: A mental health checklist is a list of items that can be monitored or referred to, to ensure that we are utilizing healthy practices to holistically care for ourselves.

These are five great reasons why we can all benefit from the use of a mental health checklist. Click To Tweet

Okay, now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, here are 5 reasons why you need a Mental Health Checklist.

  1. Having a checklist clearly identifies the tasks or responsibilities that need to be done. This creates an easy and simple system of staying on top of our tasks.
  2. A mental health checklist should encompass all areas of our lives, that means, emotional health, behavioral health, spiritual health, physical health, and relational health because mental health affects our whole lives.
  3. A mental health checklist can help us organize our lives. If the checklist is as holistic as it should be, it will include all areas of our lives. As we do the necessary work of going through the checklist and making changes accordingly, to bring ourselves closer to our best selves, we will find that our lives will shed a lot of unnecessary things, such as relationships, habits, emotions, and behaviors.
  4. A mental health checklist can assist us with getting to know ourselves. We may not realize it, but many people walking around have no idea who they are. Many of us are so uncomfortable in our skins, we do not want to take the time to get to know ourselves because we may not like what we see. A checklist can be utilized subjectively, so the reader can go through the checklist at the reader’s pace. But the reader has to commit to completing the checklist for it to beneficial.
  5. This brings me to my last point of healing. As we work through the checklist and make the changes, we begin to get to know ourselves better. We begin to identify areas of past hurts and vulnerabilities, we begin to find areas for improvement. As we learn about these areas, we can begin the necessary work of healing ourselves and our wounds so that we can become the whole persons that we were meant to be. Being healthier individuals allow us to feel more confident in ourselves and our environments, we begin to feel comfortable in our skins, and we can begin to develop healthier relationships that will us maintain the positivity that we have learnt.

These are five great reasons why we can all benefit from the use of a mental health checklist. Of course, there are more reasons and benefits that manifest themselves as we do the work on ourselves. We must be willing to do the work and we must be willing to be honest with ourselves about what we learn to really benefit from this tool.

The Mental Health Checklist by the Gray Matthews Project is simple yet comprehensive and user-friendly. It is not a test nor a tool for diagnosis. It is a tool to help us learn about ourselves and our decisions; it helps us learn how we can stop making unconscious choices and develop awareness to help us make better choices for ourselves and our lives. Subscribe now and get the Gray Matthews Project’s Mental Health Checklist and begin your journey of self-discovery. ...

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Our Gifts from God

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“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”

I Corinthians 12:7 KJV

As I have been fasting, God has been focusing me on learning about the gifts that He has given to me. He has tasked me with being accountable to Him about how I steward my gifts. Honestly, prior to starting my spiritual journey, I had never thought of what God wanted me to do. I developed a love of therapy at a young age and decided that I would become a therapist. Throughout the last few weeks, I have been praying about goals that I have set for myself and focusing on the steps to achieve the goals.

But I have found that I keep coming back to stewarding spiritual gifts. If we desire to be aligned with God and His purposes for us, we must first determine what He wants. To do this, we must spend time talking to Him and listening for His responses. His responses may not always be immediate, nor may they come as a direct answer; sometimes, they the responses can be from a friend, and when this happens to me, I find that confirmations of the responses are not far behind.

If we desire to be aligned with God and His purposes for us, we must first determine what He wants. Click To Tweet

In getting to know God as you would any friend, you must take the time to understand how He will speak to you. For me, this has become one of the most awesome things about God. He demonstrates to us how much He knows us by communicating with us in the ways that we each need. I also believe that He does this often so that you begin to recognize His responses. ...

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How Awesome Is Our God?

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This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.”

Isaiah 43:21 KJV

I was reading a devotional (I forget which day it was) and after reading it, I just felt amazed. Sometimes, we are so busy with our lives and distractions, we just forget that God really is good all the time. The service that I went to this past Sunday also reinforced those thoughts that I had. We get bogged down with complaining about everything that we never take the chance to just relish all the small and daily miracles that God gives. It rained for two days this weekend and I’m sure everyone, including me, was complaining, and saying…enough of the rain. Then, I was watching the weather and the meteorologists was reporting how much we needed the rain.

I know that sometimes we are just so focused on our lives, and the issues that we are having within them, it is hard to lift our head and minds out of the fog and look at the big picture. So, this post was my reflection to God on his small mercies that I take for granted. Small mercies such as, having a car, having a working car, having a few days of 60-degree weather in the middle of winter, waking up excited about the work that I am doing, and the list goes on and on.

These thoughts were especially on my mind as Lent started today (February 14th). I have seen a lot of the posts on social media that are either using Lent as a joke or social media trend and that just really me of the importance of remembering why we celebrate these holidays in the first place. ...

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