Thursday, October 11, 2018

Follow Your Strengths: An Interview with Dr. Ariela Freedman of MavenTree Consulting


In my post, Why Do Groups Fail? Review of the Law of Triviality and Game Theory, we explored a philosophy of life as being a game, defined as social interactions. If we are the players in life's games, then who are our coaches? During my research, I met Dr. Ariela Freedman, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and owner of  MavenTree Consulting. Ariela agreed to meet for coffee and conversations at Chocolate Coffee. We discussed how strengths-based coaching enables you to fully discover and apply your innate gifts to become the best version of yourself. 

Below is our interview:
Enjoy

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Stone Mountain,Trees, and Meditation

Stone Mountain Park, Georgia - Nature's Gem

This past weekend was beautiful in some areas of the southeastern part of the United States, so my family decided to take a trip to Stone Mountain Park. Coincidentally, we were not the only ones who felt nature’s pull because the park was full of visitors of all ages. Everyone was in good spirits and enjoying the fresh air and natural scenery.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Agnes Scott College Hosts 100 Thousand Poets for Change

100 Thousand Poets for Change - 23 of the 38 Poets who read poems 


On September 29, 2018, 38 poets convened on the campus of Agnes Scott College to participate in the annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change poetry reading. Dr. Waqas A. Khwaja, a professor of English at Agnes Scott College, hosted and coordinated the program. The diverse poets covered a wide range of community concerns. The inclusive nature of the program meant that participants, from novice to professionals, could read their own works as well as works of other popular poets. Each unique voice shed light on the human condition and our authentic, yet shared experiences. The event was free and open to the community. 

Monday, September 03, 2018

2018: AJC Decatur Book Festival - A Commentary

In the United States, Labor Day is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. The celebration honors the American labor movement. The holiday is inclusive because everyone has had a job at one point in their lives even it if just included household chores. Most companies give employees the day off, but grocery stores, malls, restaurants, and gas stations usually remain open. Traditionally, families and communities honor the day with barbecues, gatherings, and parties. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a local news paper, sponsors the annual Decatur Book Festival on the Labor Day Weekend, held this year from August 31-September 2. This year Emory University presented the festival, along with various sponsors. The festivities are located at venues surrounding the Decatur square and is easily accessible by MARTA. Activities include parades, author talks, workshops, and poetry readings. Of course, there are plenty of books to buy and you may even have a chance to meet a favorite author.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Poems, Poets, and Rudy Francisco


My Rudy Francisco poetry collection

                                 
The love of Poetry was introduced to me by my seventh grade teacher, Dr. Ibrahim Bayan, before he died in a tragic boat accident. He taught me the ways poems inspire, motivate, encourage, and connect us with the world. Phenomenal Woman, by Maya Angelou, is one of my favorite poems. I heard it first while watching Poetic Justice, a movie starring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur. As I listened to the poem all I could think about was its beauty and confidence. My love for reading poetry transferred to me becoming a poet. I also enjoy writing down my thoughts and sharing with others. Great poets influence me including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Edgar Allen Poe, Gwen Russell Green, and Emily Dickinson, among others. Recently, I added a new poet to my list, Rudy Francisco.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Villains: A Case Study of Ressentiment

Why Villains are Important 

Note: For the purpose of this blog, a villain is one who opposes the goals of a hero. The person does not have to be evil like they are painted in movies. They have an agenda that conflicts with the hero. A prominent characteristic is their willingness to use graceless methods to achieve their goals. For me, they serve as tests and teachers.  Let's learn together and reveal the possibilities.

Why Study Villains and Heroes?
Heroes and villains are not just for superhero movies, they comprise the world we live in. We uncover our inner strengths and weaknesses through engaging with both the villains and heroes in our lives. This knowledge helps us uncover our shadow, Carl Jung’s term for the unconscious parts of our personality. Per Debbie Ford in her book, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, “Our shadow exist to teach us, guide us, and give us the blessing of our entire selves (Ford, page 2).” To fully benefit from what the villains are in our lives to teach us, we need to study them and learn about their motivations.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Song Critique - New Attitude by Patti LaBelle Using the Hero's Journey



What are the components that produce successful songs?  I used to believe it was only a combination of three elements: lyrics, music, and recording artist. For an example, New Attitude, a popular 80’s song, has redemptive lyrics, a techno danceable beat, and was recorded by Patti LaBelle, a well-liked R&B singer.  At the peak of its popularity, New Attitude was a staple on the air-ways, an anthem for female empowerment, and was the introductory music for the Dr. Laura radio program. Recently, after hearing it on the radio, I became aware of another layer that makes it favored by many and still popular today-the songwriters used elements of the hero’s journey to craft a universally relatable story.