“9 STEPS” to the 2012 Olympic Games in London
Let me introduce you to my friend, Phobay Kutu-Akoi.When we first met in February 2008, Phobay, was trying her best to sucessfully complete her St. John’s education while running track. This beautiful young woman who had suffered much adversity in so many aspects of her life, especially during the frequently embattled civil wars in her hometown of Monrovia, Liberia. Phobay and I have worked together through the years focusing on integrating the “9 Steps” . Her jouney all culminates with a celebration of her roots as the official flag-bearer for her home country of Liberia and 100-meter dash on August 3rd and 4th. Please keep Phobay in your prayers during this special time of her life.
1) Awaken to the Spirit that resides within you.
We consist of much more than just than our daily thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and feelings. This Spirit within us can be touched through silence, meditation and other transcendent activities like communing with nature and prayer. During these moments of silent transcendence it would be wise to notice one’s deeper aspirations which can eventually manifest in our lives in the form of meaningful non-coincidences.
2) An essential life lesson to learn is to offer our attention freely.
We would benefit if we started thinking that wherever we go in life we need to bring our personal presence (i.e. care, concern, mindful attention, appreciation, compassion), leaving those we meet in a better place than when I first met them.
3) True and lasting happiness come through experiences of fulfillment.
We search all of our lives for happiness, living the delusion that it will appear during moments of personal wealth, pleasurable experiences or when our soul mate finally appears. The truth is that lasting happiness is a direct result of one’s contributions, spiritual insights, and expansion of our personal and collective consciousness.
4) Accept this present moment.
Many of us live in bondage to time; fearful of the past, anxious over tomorrow and never in the present moment. Allowing for this present moment in time is always the preferred place to be, especially since it’s the only real place one can exist in. This “presence”, coupled with learning to value: response-ability, awareness of our own feelings, and remembering that no one can really harm us emotionally unless we permit them (mentally) to do so. Your life can be determined for you or by you.
5) Notice yourself.
Observe your thoughts and behaviors. Try to avoid getting too attached to your life roles (father, wife, and son) or personal goals; the people, places and things of your life ! Practice shifting your attention towards the Spirit within through self observation (also called “getting out of your own way” )
6) Uncover your life’s purpose.
We are happiest in life when we have come to realize how best to use our life. The words of Howard Thurman reflect this truth best: “There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all your life spend your days on the end of strings that someone else pulls”
7) Be passionate about self-discovery.
“Finding Waldo” is the analogy used which stresses mindfulness and being observant of one’s thoughts and behaviors. Are you curious about Waldo? (That’s you!) Do you know that our thoughts are based on our personal belief system and that this stream of consciousness will dictate who we will become? Are you aware that the results of your actions, whether positive or negative, are all realizations granting you valuable feedback?
8) Learn to communicate effectively while positively, influencing others.
Observations of professionals across different professions have made it clear that great communicators have one thing in common: they all successfully influence in specific ways. Before we can ever effectively influence others we must become students of effective interpersonal communication. Remember, the meaning of our communication can always be measured by the response it elicits in another, regardless of our initial intent.
9) Manage your life energy by practicing Life-Balance.
Energy in the human system is multidimensional. A dynamic relationship exists between physical, emotional, mental, interpersonal and spiritual energies. Changes in any one dimension of energy affect all remaining dimensions.