Of SUV’s, Omnipotence and Depression …

Something shifted inside me the day of the car accident, when the driver of the Jeep SUV slammed into the back of my SUV. Being hit from behind unearthed, exhumed all my fears of being caught off guard, being ambushed.

That’s what it felt like each time my mother criticized me and/or as a result of the anger and rage she experienced either in response to me and my actions of events out in the world, physically punished me.

As a child you believe that your parent’s anger results from something you said or did. When your mother or father is sad, you seek to make them happy and joyful, as if you possess the almighty power and quality to do so. This is what Freudian/psychoanalytic psychology calls omnipotence.

The age at which a child holds this belief is the most pronounced fash


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I was sitting back today listening to some of the talk about the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the suicide of actor Robin Williams. As I listened to the opinions of many I started to think of a viable solution to the problem of race and class in this country and I also recognized that the wealth gap means absolutely nothing when it comes to our individual joy and happiness. A person can have all the wealth that they can amass, all the toys and all the material possessions that can be obtained but if they haven’t found that happiness and joy within themselves then it means nothing because those things, money, toys, material things, are just temporary fixes to a much larger problem.

The two deaths these human beings should be a wake up call to us all that there are problem


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All In! Life Lessons From A Pro Gambler

all in

If I gave you a 99 percent chance to win at a hand of poker, you’d take it right? What if I threw in the fact that you’d be dealt pocket aces, even better right? A few days ago World Series of Poker mainstay Connor Drinan had this very situation. What I am referring to is the WSOP‘s Big One for One Drop, a straight up challenge tournament pitting players head to head in a showdown that boasts a $1 million buy-in. (For those like me who have never played poker, that’s a fancy way of saying it costs $1 million join the fun) That sounds insane until you realize the winner gets nearly $16 million in the pot to take home!

I caught the replay on ESPN via Sports Center and was blown away. Connor Drinan was head to head with Cary Katz when both got dealt pocket aces. Here’s where it gets interest


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Unbought Leadership

GBS.Cornel West_n

Unbought, Unbound, Unafraid, Unintimidated

In my work with leaders I recognize it takes great courage to remain uncompromised in the face of business pressure. Leaders who do not bend on issues of principle or ethics often find themselves isolated, ridiculed or even marginalized. However, in my work with these courageous leaders I see they believe what they go through is worth it in the end. The primary goal for them is to only engage in business activity that aligns with their beliefs, principles and values. They commit to being unbought, unbound, unafraid and unintimidated leaders. When I discuss this concept with clients they are very clear about what these words mean to them.

Unbought leaders will not “sell out” their beliefs, principles and values. This leader is skilled at making it


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Of Rage, Addiction and Fears Made Manifest …

Fear by Wendy 2659673636_9b722a1f35_o.jpg
“Fear” by Wendy

My mother was addicted to rage. I could not see that as a child. Only now at fifty-three, am I truly able to step back and grasp a sense of the fear that dwelled within her.

Nothing but intense, immutable and raw fear can provoke such undeniable and untenable rage as that which overtook my mother usurped any possibility of experiencing safety and grounding through life and in the world.

Too many times I saw that rage directed at me, felt the heat of its fangs and flames touch upon my skin and arms, invade my psyche and soul.

My mind will never become totally free of the memories of the places it occupied within me. Nor do I want them to be.

I have worked to erase and eradicate myself of the negative thinking and self-perspectives carved into the terrain of my consciousness


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Join the youth movement

When problems arise such as those facing teens in the Central New York area (Syracuse, New York), it takes a special approach to help divert their attention while providing positive encouragement and valuable opportunities to support their growth. The Team A.N.G.E.L. (Avoid Negative Garbage Enjoy Life) mentoring program us taking a proactive approach to help our area teenagers see their potential and make better decisions. For every life that has been cussed by senseless violence, there are multiple lives and families affected. Team A.N.G.E.L. (TA) is working to prevent our community from having to mourn another life, which never reached its potential and support those who are in the healing process.

Founded in December 2010 by Mr. Eddie Mitchell, TA is more than just a program; it is a wa


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The Star Wars Guide To Mentorship


Long ago in a galaxy far far away many under 30 have no idea of the original trilogy spawned by the creative mind of George Lucas. Star Wars burst upon the scene in the late seventies and shifted multiple industries. From toys to foods, costumes to future royalties from video tapes, Star Wars turned our galaxy upside down. But it wasn’t until the release of The Empire Strikes Back that our world was introduced to the concept of Jedi training.

In May 1980 I was taken by my sister to see the second installment of Star Wars; The Empire Strikes Back. With popcorn in hand I was frozen the entire time. The story line was fast and furious, but I found myself fascinated by this exiled Jedi master named Yoda. Choosing to live on the planet Dagobah, he enjoyed his life away from civilization. When


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Greek Fraternities and Sororities: Can We Thrive or Even Survive on ‘Competitive Insults?’

(Blog Segment: Greek Fraternities and Sororities/Greek Life)


When did insults to another become things that make the insulter look good?

I’ve often asked myself this question. I understand that people used to play “The Dozens;” telling non-sexual jokes about each other’s mothers, but that was done in-person and with people you knew, all in ‘good fun.’ However…

…when did everyday people being just utterly disrespectful to another (who they don’t even know) out in public become societally fashionable? Was it when they saw famous or infamous comedians doing it as part of their show? Was it when the hit TV show “Wildin’ Out!” popped up on the scene? When did it become publicly accepted, and even now encouraged, to do this? Better yet, when did it transfer from just everyd


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Of Altruism, Old Age, and The Circle of Life …

 Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.  ~~kahlil gibran
“Generosity” by  Altaher Altabet

Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do. ~~kahlil gibran

Generosity of spirit requires trust–faith that what you give will be received and appreciated and/or conveys assistance or good, and belief that in giving you will not go lacking.

Certainly we must give within our means, not more than we can afford.

Altruism does not ask that we put ourselves at risk. To do that places us in a position to lack the ability to give in the future.

And no one wants that. And yet we cannot always wait until comfort abounds as a time to give.

Giving asks us to sacrifice doubt that we will one day wish for or need that which we gave away. It asks that we trust that the graciousness of spirit we


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Ground Floor Hustle- From Barely to Brilliance

 ground floor hustle

I saw her, often. Sometimes in my dreams and at times while fully conscious. This woman on her way to her dreams, thriving and unapologetic pertaining to success. She was unbothered and ambitious. Humble and kind. I wanted to know the secret to being more acclimated with her and all the wisdom she possessed. She had a fire about her that made me want to do better, to be better. To set myself apart. After all, that’s exactly what she did. She took my breath away. I had this yearning deep within me to be a part of her and her quest. I wanted to encounter what she had to encounter and to go where she had gone to be who she had become. Maybe if I see the things she has seen and do what she has done, I could scratch the surface on who she was. I saw her. I admired her but it wasn’t until  I a


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Disciplined for Destiny

Discipline-is-the-silent force

If we would embrace that innate sense of discipline necessary, while pursuing our destiny, our greatness would be achieved and guaranteed.
– Michelle Baynes Owens, M.Div.

It is not that greatness is the only goal.  It is the awareness that in our greatness, we have the ability to make the largest impact and influence the most people, places and things within our assigned area.

Discipline, which is different from self-control, is practiced in the pursuit of this purpose.  It is the ability to train oneself to utilize the innate tools and resources necessary to facilitate our journey.

For example, I know a man who is a thought leader.  He knows writing on paper is not the best way for him to capture his thoughts.  A year ago, I suggested he begin recording his thoughts and transcribing the


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Of Earliest Memories, Log Cabin Syrup Bottles and Acceptance …

Palace of Fine Arts by  Justin Owens--12601037234_afd3692d5d_b.jpg
“Palace of Fine Arts” by Justin Owens

My earliest memory is of interacting with my mother. I was around three or four years old and presented my mother a flower that I had placed in a glass Log Cabin syrup bottle.

My mother had been standing to the kitchen sink. She was washing dishes.

I had spent the last half hour to forty-five minutes scraping the front and back labels from the Log Cabin Bottle as I held the glass bottle under the spigot of cold water and then once clean and clear of paper searching for just the right flower to place in the bottle that I would present to my mother.

The glass Log Cabin Bottle, with the half-squares of diamonds etched in its sides was to be my vase, the yellow daffodil my ultimate gift to my mo


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