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