Monday, June 24, 2013

The Authentic Brain

We all know the proverb, "as a man thinks in his heart so is he."  Our hearts connect our spiritual and psychological domains because scientists revealed unto us that our hearts possess a brain referred to as the heart and brain connection

The heart and brain connection consists of a two-way communication between the cranial brain and the heart.  There are 4 types of communication between the two: neurological (nervous system), biophysical (pulse wave), biochemical (hormones), and energetic (electromagnetic fields).  Our hearts' brains consist of our authentic thoughts that we hold about ourselves.  Our former education taught us that our brains hold the thoughts we possess about ourselves.  

Our focus should be to shift any negative thoughts about ourselves to positive ones.  When we learn to sustain heart-focused positive feeling states, the brain can be brought into entrainment with the heart.  This entrainment creates balance and harmony. In addition, heart-focused positive feeling states free us to be and live our authentic selves every day.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Creatively Authentic

Today's topic is short and sweet!! When it comes to the various ways we like to express our creativity, we must be authentic.  As most of you know, I love to write, whether it is poetry, articles, or journaling.  

Journaling provides a way for me to express my deepest thoughts and emotions.  This form of writing bears with it healing capacities.  Making collages serve as another way to stimulate healing through creativity.  The picture below displays a great way to marry both making collages and journaling authentically.  

An Authentic Journal

The spiral notebook with collaged covers helps me to identify where I am in my psychological and emotional domains.  It also aids me in chronicling my journals in such a creative and authentic way. Lastly, it personalizes my journals assisting me to self-author my thoughts and feelings.

Try making your collaged-journal today and tell me about your experiences below!! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Authentic People Embody Self-Determination

2nd Day/Principle of Kwanzaa

From a cultural perspective, Kwanzaa, the 7-day, principle-based celebration of family, community, and culture within the African American community, honors kujichagulia as its second principle.  Kujichagulia means self-determination in terms of having an indelible duty to bear the dignity and respect of one's culture and history.  A monumental attribute of being and living authentically embodies the inclusion of our respective cultures and their histories.

From a psychological perspective, R. M. Ryan and E. L. Deci developed the self-determination theory, which is a theory of motivation.  In the context of discovering, being, and living our authentic selves, when we live authentically we also embody self-authored and endorsed behaviors, which is another noted attribute of authenticity.   For the most part, we have displayed behaviors that either hid, guarded, protected, or defended our authentic selves.  Howbeit, we genuinely want to possess the liberty to display who we are in our natural settings at all times.  Commonly, when we be and live our authentic selves we engage in self-authored behaviors that meet our needs and align with our core values.  

When we self-determine to be and live authentically, we: 

  • Possess intrinsic motivation
  • Desire growth and development
  • Embrace our culture and its history
  • Accept other cultures and individual differences
  • Care for our total well-being, including our six domains, which are spiritual, psychological, emotional, sexual, social, and physical (Ryan and Deci, 2000); Webb, 2013).

Whether our self-determination emerges from culturally-based principles, need for autonomy, or  the core value of liberality, we fundamentally strive to discover, be, and live our authentic selves.  To successfully continue on the journey of self-discovery, let's consider eliminating pretenses through hiding, guarding, and protecting our authentic selves.

Being and Becoming Authentic: A Self-Reflective Process:

During this time of self-reflection as Be and Become our authentic selves, let's answer the following questions:  

  1. Where does my self-determination originate from?
  2. Do I possess self-dignity and respect first, then for my culture and its history?  
  3. Do I author and endorse my behaviors?  
Answering these questions may help us to discover more about our authentic selves.  Remember, two attributes of authenticity include dignity and respect for self and our culture and self-authored behaviors.

To hear more about discovering, being, and living our authentic selves, then join me every Monday at 12 noon on the Kingdom Impact Prayer Line by dialing 1.603.488.0700; Code 0462 #1.

Also, click to follow Dr. Webb on FacebookTwitter, & Pinterest.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

End Rape Culture! End Misogyny!! Part 1

This Thursday begins a mini series on the topic of misogyny.  During my time of reflection over the past few weeks, my deduction about truly ending rape culture concludes with the ending of misogyny.   But what is misogyny?  For those who do not know, let's define it.

First, the term, misogyny, comes from the Greek language.  Mis or misein means to hate and gyne means woman or queen.  Apparently, the branch of medicine, gynecology, also comes from the Greek word gyne for woman.  

One great thing that I love about the human race includes our ability to rage against anything that brings suppression or oppression.  Our survival, self-preservative instincts excel beyond our primitive state.  Not necessarily to rage against rape culture or misogyny; however, women created an international group titled, Soroptimist, which means the best for women.  The survival instinct to excel above and beyond misogyny produced an international group of female volunteers to help girls and women be the very best that they can be.

As we continue to rage against rape culture, ponder this: Are you perpetuating misogyny, by hating women, including yourself, possibly, or are you a soroptimist, in a greater sense, whom works to bring out the best in girls and women? 

Wielding, raging, and re-framing,

Dr. Latisha Webb

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mistakes Lead to Self-Discovery

As I put us On B.L.A.S.T this week, I am reminded of M.C. Maddy's (2007) grounded theory research and definition of authenticity, which is the understanding and accepting one’s personal traits.  One way that the individuals whom I interviewed have understood and accepted their personal traits came through making mistakes.  Most of us experience feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, self-criticism, etc. when we make mistakes, especially in front of others or when our mistakes impact the lives of others. 

However, let's re-frame our paradigms about mistakes.  Let's consider mistakes as moments for learning something about ourselves.  Mistakes help us to discover our authentic selves and teach us how to behave congruently with our inner selves.   According to my research findings, our authentic selves represent the little boy or little girl within each of us.  For instance, during my childhood everyone called me Tish, short for Latisha.  No one hardly called me Latisha; even so little that my grandmother thought my parents named me Tish at birth.  

Let me introduce you to Little Tish.  She likes to color in coloring books, look at family, animated movies, and eat snacks, especially  chewy fruity candy and chewy cookies.  During the times when I made huge mistakes, Little Tish, the inner self, wanted to eat snacks while watching animated movies because she feared the criticism and judgment of others.  Reflecting on those times of mistakes and the associated feelings caused me to discover that I run to food as a means to soothe my feelings and a safety covering to hide from the world. 

Being and Becoming Authentic: A Self-Reflective Process:

During this time of self-reflection as we Be and Become our authentic selves, let's answer the following questions:  

  1. What is my paradigm about making mistakes?  
  2. What feelings do I experience when I make mistakes? 
  3. What are first three things that I do when I make a mistake?  
Answering these questions may help us to discover more about our authentic selves.  Remember, we must to re-frame our paradigms and choose to believe that mistakes create moments that lead to self-discovery.

To hear more about discovering, being, and living our authentic selves, then join me every Monday at 12 noon on the Kingdom Impact Prayer Line by dialing 1.603.488.0700; Code 0462 #1.

Also, Click to follow Dr. Webb on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.

Monday, May 6, 2013

What is the Authentic Self?

We have been talking about the authentic self on On B.L.A.S.T. Mondays, but what defines the authentic self?  My doctoral dissertation research afforded me the opportunity to develop my own grounded theory titled, Discovering the Authentic Self: The Concurrent Processes of Being and Becoming, which emerged from the research participants’ reflections about their lives and their perceptions of their current selves, where they have been, and what they aspired to be. 

M. C. Maddy (2007), a doctoral student and grounded theorist who developed the theory, Maximizing Potential, defined authenticity as understanding and accepting one's personal traits. The question I pose today is how do you understand and accept your personal traits?  For instance, if you exhibit introvert-like traits rather than those of an extroverted personality type, have you accepted that about yourself? Or do you engage in inauthentic interactions causing incongruence, which evokes a myriad of adverse thoughts and feelings? 

We understand that we all have a social domain, and we inevitably have to interact with other individuals.  The old adage tells us that we are not islands unto ourselves.  Conversely, life offers meaningful vocational and leisure activities that we can enjoy single-handedly.  Candidly, we should seek to involve ourselves in activities that create opportunities for us to relate with ourselves devoid of outside influences. 

As I encourage you to discover, be, and live your authentic selves, today and everyday, I charge you to seek to understand your personal traits.  If your traits serve as hindrances to your growth and development, then make a decision to change them.  If your traits contribute to making you the only one of you that will ever be, then embrace your personal traits and live authentically, today and everyday!!

To hear more about discovering, being, and living our authentic selves, then join me every Monday at 12 noon on the Kingdom Impact Prayer Line by dialing 1-603-488-0700; Code 0462 #1.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sexual Autonomy

Autonomy, the freedom and ability to govern one's self excluding the influences of others, is one of my core values.  I developed this core value from my early childhood sexual trauma, which formed a schema of uncontrollable thoughts and impulses led by the avoidance of rejection and need for acceptance.  This bifurcated wantonness stunted my social development.  It also shackled me to its control, causing me to be easily intimidated and creating my inferiority complexes.

As I began to discover my authentic self through holistic counseling, I needed autonomous experiences for paralleled growth and development.  After experiencing strength and power through self-government, my ability to be autonomous during social interactions increased as my self-esteem, self-love, and self-respect developed.

During some of my educational presentations on leadership and being and living authentically, for example, I stress the importance of identifying personal values and when and why they were established.  Autonomy is a value that I believe should be at the core of everyone's being.  I strongly suggest for us to instill sexual autonomy, in particular, in the lives of our children in order to end rape culture. 

When boys and girls acculturate in their primary familial unit with the understanding of sexual  autonomy, they develop a consciousness around personal boundaries and the boundaries of others.  However, aspects of our society outside of the family, such as music, entertainment, and sports, must all support and convey messages of sexual autonomy or our children will follow the schemas set before them. A picture likened unto the one that reads, "my body, my choice," should be displayed in every classroom from kindergarten to 12 grade in the top right hand corner of the chalkboard next to the date, classroom instructions, and homework assignments for the day.  As Carl Jung stated, "subliminal messages are invisible roots of conscious thoughts." This subliminal message will unravel the threads of rape interwoven within the fabrics of our culture.

Wielding, raging, and re-framing,
Dr. Latisha Webb 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Power From Above to Heal

Today's B.L.A.S.T. of power, healing, and self-discovery is about how we as Christians are powerful earthen vessels with treasures from the Lord above (2 Cor 4:7)!! This power and treasures afford us innumerable opportunities to heal our psychological domains.  

Within our psychological domains lie our mental processes, conscious mind, unconscious mind, perception, social judgments, memory, and belief systems.  Everything that we have experienced from conception is stored in the unconscious, including the subliminal messages we receive daily.  

Carl Jung, a Swiss psychotherapist and psychiatrist stated, "subliminal aspects of everything that happens to us may seem to play very little part in our daily lives, but they are almost invisible roots of our conscious thoughts."

To hear more, join me, today and every Monday, on the Kingdom Impact Prayer Line at 12 noon as I reveal pearls from within my earthen vessel about the 6 Domains of the Authentic Self!!  

Dial 1-603-488-0700; Code 0462 #1 

On Being & Living my Authentic Self, Today!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Can Anything End Rape Culture?

This is the last Thursday in April 2013 for us to spread awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Another blogger by the name of Anupreet Sandhu Bhamra gave an interesting perspective about ending rape culture.  Ms. Bhamra posted an article titled, Why These 5 "Solutions" Won't End Rape Culture.  In her article, she raged against, for example, teaching self-defense classes and wearing anti-rape underwear as tips of ending rape culture.  If you are like me, then you are wondering what is anti-rape underwear and how does it end rape culture, let alone prevent sexual assault. 

Three engineering students in New Delhi, India created a GPS equipped device titled, Society Harnessing Equipment, S.H.E. 

This device possesses the capability of sending an electric current of 3,800 kilovolts that will knock down sexual perpetrators and also notify police when activated. 

I rage with Ms. Bhamra; although, the S.H.E. is a thoughtful invention that was created as an outcry from the recent gang rape and murder of a girl on a New Delhi public bus, it will never end rape culture.  Again, as we have postulated in earlier blogs, rape culture is a societal issue, not a women's issue.  The S.H.E. device 'may' prevent sexual assault, but I have a few other questions?   

  • How much does this device cost and when will it be on the international market?  
  • What about the women and girls who are being raped at home, which statistics reveal that most sexual assaults are committed by individuals who the victims know? What device will they have to prevent from being sexually assaulted?
  • How can police officials guarantee to arrive at the scene in time to prevent the assault?  
  • Will women have enough time to get away from the perp once the individual is shocked?
I rage, not because the S.H.E. device lacks the potential to prevent some sexual assaults.  I am truly impressed at the students' thoughtfulness and invention.  I rage out of anger and disappointment because I know that every woman will not be afforded the opportunity to own a S.H.E. device. I fear the reality of knowing that around this globe women and girls may still be sexually assaulted.  Why?  Because the only thing that can end rape culture is for people to stop assaulting others.  Rape dates further back than biblical times.  No device or self-defense class will prevent the sole individual decision to honor self and others by following the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  

Wielding, raging, and re-framing,

Dr. Latisha Webb

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Go viral!!

As we rage against our rape culture and spread awareness of sexual assault during the entire month of April, another way to refuse to remain silent is to go viral...

Check out this news clip from a YouTube upload of one of Nevada's Democratic Congresswoman Dina Titus:

Since our culture lusts after cell phone uploads on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for example, of intoxicated young girls being assaulted by high school football stars, as in the Steubenville case, seen below in the Fox news clip uploaded on YouTube

or as when I search 'girl fight' in YouTube that there are over 707,000 options  to choose from, which I refuse to upload and perpetuate the exploitation of women, I believe that we can use that same time, energy, and technology to make everyone aware that sexual assault, especially among girls and women needs to cease.

My suggestion, like Congresswoman Titus, is to go viral!! Go viral and rage against the rape culture in our society.  You can begin by sharing this blog post via Facebook, email, or Goggle+.  How many dare to rage with me?

Wielding, raging, and re-framing...

Dr. Latisha Webb

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I swear...

Throughout this month, I, Dr. Latisha Webb, swear never to be silent again about injury, 
victimization, or trauma against women, 
especially sexual trauma.  

As I continue to rage against our rape culture, Terri, the Founder of Operation Butterfly: Wings of Hope, also rages and swears never to be silent again. 

"The first time I swore never to be silent about my sexual trauma was in 2006 when I began therapy."--Terri, Founder of Operation Butterfly: Wings of Hope

Terri first swore never to be silent about her sexual trauma during the orientation and planning session for her doctoral program at Fielding Graduate University. She used her educational experiences to find her voice about her own trauma. Terri stated, "I used to write about my trauma through what I call the Power of the Pen (POP). I built my first website for Operation Butterfly: Wings of Hope as one of my class assignments.  I remember telling one of my female professors at Fielding, 'I just got my voice back.' I stated it with excitement, yet in a whisper."

Terri no longer whispers; she vocalizes about her sexual trauma through her outreach efforts in the prison system, in group settings, and in her writings. Not only does she share about her sexual trauma, but she discloses about her PTSD and bouts with depression. She swears to never stop taking her anti-depressants to avoid "crashing and burning," which led to her seeking therapy in the first place.  

When I asked Terri to share her swear statement in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, she declared the following four statements:

I swear never to be silent again.
I swear never to be a PSK (Professional Secret Keeper).
I swear never to blame the victim.
I swear never to be controlled by my sexual trauma.

After talking with Terri, we decided to join forces against our rape culture by wearing a white ribbon for the remainder of the month for Sexual Assault Awareness. We agreed that wearing a white ribbon may spark interest and inquiry, in hopes, to bring attention and awareness to injury, victimization, and trauma for women. We swear to speak out today, this month, and forevermore about the injury, victimization, and trauma against women.

Wielding, raging, re-framing

Dr. Latisha Webb

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Raging Against Prevention: Remembering Ms. Megan Williams

During this April, the campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) focuses on healthy sexuality and child sexual abuse prevention.  SAAM encourages people to join the conversation.  Ok, let’s start conversing.  

My recent Google search of rape culture opened my eyes to the apparent rage against prevention of victimization, trauma, and injury.  Numerous news articles, commentaries, and even YouTube videos rage against our culture’s emphasis on prevention that causes victims to be occupied with guilt and self-blame.  Remember Ms. Megan Williams, the black woman who was victimized by six white people in West Virginia in 2007? Let’s look at the YouTube video to jog our memory. 

In spite of Ms. Williams recanting her story two years after the incident made national news, I want us to ponder the idea of prevention in relation to her case.  Could Ms. Williams have prevented this horrendous act from happening to her?  What types of questions did the investigators ask her about her whereabouts and the events that led up to the kidnapping?  Was guilt and self-blame the cause of such a bizarre decision to recant her allegations in spite of the evidence, not her testimony, that proved the guilty verdicts?

Six years later, Ms. Williams' victimization, trauma, and injury, among so many others, lost its affect on us due to our society being desensitized to victimization.  Acts like the ones in Ms. Williams case seem to be a part of our culture.  Oftentimes, after the initial shock wears off we return to the regularly scheduled programming, such as Law & Order, SVU, which highlights fictitious cases of sexual victimization, mostly towards women

In commemoration of SAAM, the conversation continues.  Stop by the Commentator's Column next week to converse on rape culture within the context of healthy sexuality.

Wielding, raging, and re-framing,
Dr. Latisha Webb