Are you Here? Or There?
I recall being a child in a community where the duality of these concepts were frequently present. The south side of Chicago often bred both the excitement, and sometimes unfortunate hardships, of the here and now, as well as the emphasis on the future and whatever the idea of a better tomorrow looked like. What my friends and I where doing at the moment was literally everything to us. Although the overt narrative from elders of “when you grow up” and what you should have acquired by the time that happens was embedded into our psyches, that never stopped us from going all out. No risk, no reward thrived in our subconscious so much that our default was YOLO!
That was then.
But then something changed…
Slowly but steadily, our inquisitive thirst and insatiable lust for life was muted by the notion that if we only submitted to the idea of this thing called tomorrow, we would be assured a life of guarantees and the inevitable promise of prosperity. We were reminded daily by schools, parents, and the adult world moreover that we would be tucked in and told it was going to be okay, as long as we followed the rules, believed and complied.
We attempted. We struggled. We failed and succeeded time and again. This roller coaster then became…our life…sigh.
26 yrs later, with two kids, a turmoiled marriage, and after a gaggle of student loans and waking up on a gurney from Cancer surgery, I experienced a major shift. In fact, as I awoke from the anesthesia, I was gifted with a brand new little girl, who was literally born while I was being operated on.
What a blessing and affirmation that something NEEDED to change, and quickly.
Meeting my fears and questioning my mortality, all while embracing a brand new birth, was exactly the kick in the ass I needed. My newborn daughter was the reminder I needed to see the importance of returning to that precocious innocence of my unadulterated youth, only this time with a bit more wisdom and life experience that came with it. I became WILDLY excited.
My paradigm began to shift.
With time, I increasingly became hyper present. I paid attention to EVERYTHING. I missed no details. I took far less for granted. I walked slower, gazed longer, tasted my food more intently, smiled brighter, and became more and more determined by the day to live in today versus that idea of tomorrow that I had been force-fed. It was now versus then, and it became the present over the past. I became excited, and frankly addicted, with this ever giving opportunity that greeted me every morning I opened my eyes. I was deprogramming and also reprogramming all at the same time. I chose to accept that challenge, and 20 yrs later (my daughter is now 20yrs old) I am still accepting that challenge as I type this invitation for you.
This is simply my journey.
Over 30 days, beginning March 1st 2022, I welcome you to travel your mind (even turn it off at times), investigate and actualize for yourself what it means to be “Here? Or There?”
Of course, our individual journeys will look and feel different, yet the one constant is that we are embarking upon an ongoing JOURNEY, and NOT a defined destination. We will accept the inevitable changes life presents us, and strive to take any and all pressures that may accompany those changes by reminding ourselves that there is always calm in the midst of what may be perceived as storms. I personally can attest to more than a few turbulent times myself. Amazingly, the plane seems to continuously land without too much collateral damage each and every time. Therefore, I keep flying and keep sticking the landing…and so will YOU!
You may notice my intentional and consistent usage of “our” rather than “you” or “your.” This is because, in order to learn things better for myself, it is essential that I share with others. As I share with you, I too receive the blessings. This is the supreme affirmation.
We ALL benefit on this quest.
Let the journey begin…
At the top of the year, our journey will include:
-30 days of content drops in our Telegram Channel
-Live Videos (Voice & Video)
-Music Suggestions (I’m a soundbwoy at heart)
-Telegram Group Chat and Portal Access
-Personal daily testimonies
My commitment to my own presence on my journey, as well as support of ours together.
I look forward to sharing, learning and growing with you. Let’s return to more of our unadulterated selves and become even more powerful than we collectively already are. The world awaits your testimony and affirmation.
Masud "mikeflo" Asante (aka Michael Flowers) is a writer, editor, retired educator, consultant, free thought advocate, public speaker, sound shaman and professional recording artist.
mikeflo currently records solo, and as 1/2 of the duo W2TL (Welcome To The Limit). He is also the long time official tour DJ/musical director for hip hop legends 'dead prez'. His career has literally taken him all over the world and after many moons in Atlanta and Brooklyn, this Chicago native now resides in Miami.
After a bout with Cancer in 2001, Masud has dedicated himself to being a revolutionary student of life, cultural curator and a courageous voice for many of society’s voiceless. Refusing to refer to himself as a “survivor”, Masud has been determined to shift that paradigm and to continue to encourage himself and others to consider themselves as “livers”, instead of merely battling to survive.
As Masud frequently quotes, “today is the first day of the rest of your life…rejoice and be glad in it.”
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