Paste to SETTINGS -> ADVANCED -> CODE INJECTION -> HEADER-field

Hostage

I was dishonest, I admit it. I lied about something that I shouldn't have and completely disrupted my relationship to the point where I have to accept that it will probably never be the same. It was straight chaos for weeks and what I think really exacerbated the dispute was that my girlfriend never thought I could ever do anything wrong. She thought I was perfect and would make a point to tell me that almost everyday.

But that's just it, I'm not perfect. I never was. I make mistakes, a lot of mistakes. I sometimes say the wrong things at the worst times. Sometimes I forget to do things or I'm late for a date. And guess what, sometimes I even lie.

flower-370101_640I'm not proud of what I've done and I don't want this post in any way to justify me lying. My only goal is to say that we all have many sides to us. Both males and females can be equally caring and unemotional, headstrong and docile, angry and forgiving. We just need the maturity to decide when to best act on those emotions. No one person should be held hostage to being that one person all the time. We are multidimensional, emotional beings and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I still have a lot of growing to do myself. I'm slowly coming into the person I want to be but truthfully I'm not sure I'll ever get there. I may always be a work in progress, trying to balance each side of my personality while trying to consider those around me who matter most. Hopefully they're patient enough to stick with all of the "me's" long enough for me to figure things out. Guess I'll have to wait and see....

Chit Chat Turned Powerful

morning-393623_640How often can you say you've truly been moved by the words of another person. I mean truly moved to action, to change, to commit, to be a better person. I recently had one of those moments with a friend of mine through a relatively brief conversation. After some small talk in which I joked about being jealous of her living in warm weather Vancouver while we Torontonians wait in fear for another brutal Winter fighting through ice storms, we got into a deeper discussion about something that I struggle with mightily, and that's acceptance.

Acceptance really is a big deal for me because I really don't know how to get there. Something about the concept seems conciliatory, like I'm settling for something when I know there's so much more for me to do.

"But Kern, I'm not telling you to give up on any of your aspirations, all I'm saying is accept who you are now and appreciate all that you have accomplished thus far. And not just in your writing career, but look at the person you've become, look at the daughter you've helped raise, look at the life you've carved for yourself despite being a teenage parent and a high school dropout. Once you accept all of those victories, you'll elevate your mind to a different level of understanding that will guide you to the future success that you crave so badly."

Finding My Way

Acceptance...the word suddenly didn't parallel mediocrity or failure, or settling for less than what I hope to achieve. Suddenly acceptance became liberating and freed me from the uncompromising burden of not being happy until I reach some intended point of "success" that would supposedly allow my happiness to kick in. That is no longer the case. Instead, I would accept and celebrate all of my victories and be happy throughout the entire journey.boy-185195_640

I am fortunate in that I am able to wake up every day and do what I love to do. I am able to use my voice through my way with words to share thoughts, stories, points of views and life lessons with people who are connected through similar perspectives. I am not an angry person nor am I ungrateful. But it took that conversation for me to accept that it's OK to be happy without feeling guilty; OK to feel proud of my achievements so far even though I'm nowhere near where I aim to be. That conversation brought a feeling of calm over me I haven't felt since writing the first page of my novel so many years ago.

But I am thankful for those few moments. Sometimes that's all it takes to change your life. And I'm not saying that I am a completely different person today since having that conversation, but I am better than I was yesterday and I will be better tomorrow. And when tomorrow comes I will welcome it not with the fear that days are passing too fast for me to grab hold, instead I will accept that it is another chance for me to do fulfill my calling and inspire others with my words. What more can I really ask for....

Ultraviolence

Sometimes I wonder how this even makes sense. If you know me personally, you know that I am half obsessed half addicted to Lana Del Rey's music. The connection was instant and grows deeper as her catalogue of music expands. It's difficult to explain, but listening to her music engages me in the same way as reading John Milton's Paradise Lost. I relate to her perspectives just as strongly as I do with Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid Mad City. And although I listen to Lana Del Rey mostly when I'm alone (I played one of her songs to my cousin once who asked if this was opera), the emotional connection I feel to her music is powerful.

But why should this be surprising? If there is one thing social media has taught us is that we share commonalities that extend beyond borders or oceans, race or culture, gender or sexual orientation. It shows that as unique as we all are, we are more similar in ways that cause someone like me to relate completely to songs like "Sad Girl," or "Money, Power, Glory."

This is the power of art, the power of expression. The fact that the writing of a 17th Century poet moves me in the same way as a 21st century singer speaks to that power.

And we all want it. Any artist, writer, rapper, rocker, dancer who puts their expression on display does so in hopes of transcending any obstacles, including time, and touch their audience in ways that impacts them deeply on some level.

For me, I hope to accomplish this through the written word. To use my gift of writing to touch people who I otherwise would never be able to reach. It's a tall task but one that motivates me every time my fingers touch the keyboard.

My goal in a nutshell is to inspire and to impress.

So I ask, how do express yourself? What are your goals when putting your expression on display? Is it completely self-serving or do you hope to be understood?

***********************************************************

Follow this blog >>>>>>

"Thoughts of a Fractured Soul" available in print and e-book format at www.kerncarter.com

Click here to see my latest posts on Linkedin.

Dealing with Expectation

I had a tough act to follow. Playing runner up to an older brother that excelled on the classroom and on the football field, earned a full athletic scholarship to Stanford University and then went on to play four years in the NFL was no small task. I remember the first time I got caught skipping class in high school. The first thing the teacher said while she ushered me to the office was "I don't expect this type of behaviour from you, Kern."  It’s a phrase I would hear countless amounts of time during my teenage years. At first I took it as a compliment; that my defiance against how I was supposed to behave in some strange way made me cool. And in high school, who doesn't want that title?
But as I matured and the opinions of my acquaintances mattered less and less, I learned how to handle that expectation. Actually, it went beyond that; I craved that expectation. I stole those preconceived ideas of me being intelligent and talented with a gift for expression and focused all of that into my passion for writing.

"EXPECTATIONS ARE DANGEROUS ONLY IF YOU LET OTHER PEOPLE CONTROL WHAT THOSE EXPECTATIONS SHOULD BE."

Now I had new standards, and instead of worrying about fitting in, I concerned myself with meeting the enormous expectations I placed on myself. Today the standards people place on me is not based on familial affiliations. Instead they are based on the standards I created for myself. The way I carry myself, the way I speak, the quality of my writing are all expectations people instinctively (seemingly) place on me only because I have placed them on myself.

 

Reflecting back I realize that expectations are dangerous only if you let other people control what those expectations should be. If you create your own standards, your own set of beliefs, and then live everyday by those measures, people will come to expect what you already demand of yourself. Meeting those demands..well that's another post.
*******************************************************
Website: www.kerncarter.com
Click here to see more of my posts on Linkedin
My book Thoughts of a Fractured Soul is available for purchase now at www.kerncarter.com in print or e-book format.

Now What....

Last week I went to speak at a Fundraiser specifically aimed at investing in youth culture. While it was a great honour to be invited to speak, the most fulfilling part of the night came in a side conversation I had with a gentlemen who was just curious about what I did. We spoke in all for about twenty minutes, but the most memorable part of the dialogue was the question he posed: "now what?"

Only two words, but oh so powerful. To add some perspective, the conversation was geared around how we as leaders could use our voice to uplift not only youth, but different members of our community. We spoke about running different camps, doing appearances and speeches, and a bunch of different outreach projects that could possibly have a positive impact. I was kind of feeling myself, the way I do when I make a few good points that garners some head nods and rising eyebrows. But near the end of the conversation he asked me "and now what?" AND NOW WHAT?

"What are you going to do? - What is your one appearance for two hours, or your yearly summer camp for two weeks, or your one hour book reading - how is that truly going to make a difference in the day-to-day life of the people you hope to touch?"

I paused for a while and thought about some clever response about "making a lasting impression" and "if I could touch just one person" blah blah blah. But I didn't say anything, couldn't really say anything. It was too real of a moment and I felt it required contemplation rather than input.

The question is simple...And now what? And now what, Kern? What am I going to do? How will I truly make an indent on the lives of everyone that hears my voice or reads my words. How will I make my voice powerful enough so my words stay with them every single day of their lives? 

The question has stuck with me, and those of you reading to get an answer will be sadly disappointed. I am still contemplating. I haven't completely figured it out yet but I know once I do my mark will be deep.

Lessons are learned everywhere, at any time. The mind just has to be open to receive them.

Beginnings

Wow it's been such a crazy first two weeks since I launched Thoughts of a Fractured Soul. My mind and my time is completely occupied with doing everything I can to push this book as far as it can go. But I'm loving every moment of it - Every book reading, blog post, tweet, pin, email - all of it has been a blessing and I'm thankful just having the opportunity to live my dream every day. But I said before that this is only the beginning. My goal is and always will be to touch the world.

I saw a picture the other day that really inspired me. It was just a body of water with the imprint of a single drop that caused a set of ripples. Immediately I thought of the journey that lay ahead of me and that I can't take anything for granted. EVERY DROP MAKES A RIPPLE. I'm so ready.....

Subscribe to C.R.Y mailing list