Monday, January 6, 2014

Detachment and Disconnection (EXPANDED)

Two nights ago, I posted the following #notetoSELF on my Instagram Page.

note to self (and everybody else): On why I'm sad

There is a difference between detachment and disconnection. When you detach, you put emotional distance between yourself and the outcome. 

When you disconnect, you put emotional distance between yourself and the process.
Disconnection=isolation and pain

Unfortunately, our inability to detach...
often leads to disconnection....
which ultimately causes the disappointment.....

(I must) fight the urge to disconnect and detach instead.


Like every other #notetoSELF, I wrote it after spending the entire day struggling with a career related personal issue. As you can see, the note discusses the difference between DETACHMENT and DISCONNECTION. However, after reading the note, I felt that there was more to be said on the topic. Why? Because in my experience, I've found that each of us experience different levels of attachment and connection depending on the circumstance.

Beyond that, many of us are driven differently, depending on the area of our lives that is in question. For example, one can be Results Driven at work and Validation Driven in one’s love life. That’s why it’s so hard to place hard and fast rules and how and when to detach or disconnect (although I would argue that disconnection is almost always isolating and painful).  I guess what’s most important is not assign judgment to the way in which we choose to express our attachment and connection. I think it’s just one of those things that vary by person, by circumstance and by ability.  Plus, I have always felt that the more I understand myself (without judgment) the better chance I have at improving on the things I want to improve (without pressure). So here is my attempt at understanding myself and the world through the lens of attachment and connection. At the end of the summaries, I have included where I think I fall in the 3 major areas of my life (career, relationships, and spirituality). I encourage you to do the same. Feel free to post your list below or wherever else you come across this blog. Happy SELF-help-ing!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Greatness [plus] Gratitude...


To order CLICK THE LINK at the TOP RIGHT!!!


Description:  A signature blended style from Next Level. This super soft hoody is available in sizes S-XL. 

Key Features:

  •  preshrunk 60% combed cotton/40% polyester baby thermal
  • 5.4 oz

This hoody is a limited quantity presale item. Orders ship on January 14, 2014. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Daily Victory: The Road to Worthiness

The idea of constantly having to prove one’s worth to the world day after day can be both exhausting and disheartening. It can feel like you can never do enough, be enough, or have enough to keep up.  Of course part of the reason why we suffer from so much anxiety and self-doubt is because we are looking outside of ourselves for validation in the first place, but the second piece of the puzzle is that we rarely give ourselves enough credit when things are going well.  If I am honest with myself, I can admit, that even in the midst of all that I have done and been blessed with this past year, I still find myself restless and unsatisfied. I ask myself, “when will it be enough for you, Kenya?”  “When will you allow yourself to be proud of you?” At this moment in time, I can’t give you a concrete answer, but what I will say is that I am committed to closing the gap between, “the me that I see” and the “me that is to be.”  Meaning that, however real and present my worthiness issues feel, I know that there are practices of gratitude and personal development that can transcend them. The key word here is practices. If this past year has taught me anything it’s that worthiness is a practice not a goal. Feel worthy requires daily effort (even if that effort is purely mental or emotional). You practice yourself into gratitude, worthiness, and eventually success.

 However, like a lot of people,  I wake up most days feeling overwhelmed. My mind spirals between what I didn't do last night and what, "I damn well better do," today. The stress of making a living, maintaining a relationship, building a business, and creating relevant content is crippling from the moment I get out of bed until I lay down at night. It’s lonely…and frustrating, and oftentimes completely paralyzing. What's worse is that I know that I am doing so much and achieving so much that I don’t even bother to factor into my “worthiness equation.” And that has to change. Transcending depression and self doubt starts with celebrating every victory, no matter how small. It starts with allowing yourself to be and feel proud for doing the little things that you would rather not do. For some simply getting out of bed is a victory, for others running a mile or eating healthy is a victory. So why not celebrate ourselves and our victories…everyday?  So, in light of all that, I am going to start a “Daily Victory” series. I want to start posting my small victories on my Instagram and Facebook page every day.   To be clear, this is not a campaign, so much as it’s a reminder… a signpost on my road to worthiness. Feel free to join me and post your own “Daily Victory,” as well.  Let’s feel better.

interACTive Self-Help: By Author Kenya Jackson

Action is required.
Interactive self help is about facilitating a conversation between one’s higher self and the mind/body. Interactive self help is designed to bring the reader into the message, by inviting them to not only read but participate in their own personal development.

Stay tuned for our first interACTive Self-Help Project: thenotetoSELFproject

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The ever-elusive nonsexual intimacy.

"You make the mistake of thinking you're special"

When I was 23, devastated about a break-up and the betrayal of a friend, I chased a bottle of pills with a bottle of Parrot Bay vodka.  The next few hours after I took the pills were a bit of a blur. My memories of that day only exist in still frames, kind of like a silent movie. It goes:

Memory 1: Arms and hands tied to hospital bed.
Memory 2: Bedpan
Memory 3: Terrified look on roommates faces.
Memory 4: (overhearing) “Her aunt and cousin are driving 4 hours from Cleveland”.
Memory 5: (being asked) “Did you know you can’t overdose on anti-depressants?”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What's New: Good News!

Hello everyone!

Long time no hear. I am so excited about all that has been going on over in the land of space and silence. The first thing I want to talk about is a new partnership/project that I am working on in conjunction with Charis Books and More. If you are not familiar, Charis is the nation's oldest independently owned feminist book store, and is located less than a mile from my house in historic Little 5 points, Atlanta,. WHOA! That's a pretty big deal right? Well, a couple of months ago, I got the courage up to ask them to carry my book and they said yes! But the good news doesn't stop there. They also agreed to let me do a Tools of the Ego workshop series there. So, for the next four months, yours truly will guest lecturing at Charis on topics related to my new book, "empty.s p a c e: Where is My Stuff?"  Since this is the first time I will actually have a chance to talk with you guys since the book has been published, I am beyond excited to sit down, share, and answer any questions.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Independently Beautiful...


It swells deep within my stomach
Acids struggling to digest it
Push it down my
So it never meets
My tongue
Or parts my lips

…I daydream of her
Wet dream of her wet walls
Against my digits, cheeks, and thigh…
And when this feeling starts
They each begin to tingle
(Subconsciously) I’m tapping the digits of her phone number on my inner thigh
(I can) hear her voice reverberate
Feel our images
Replay in the whites of eye
I struggle
To fight the impulse
Praying for it to pass
I cry.


I wrote this poem six years ago in the midst of an experience that was just as complicated, uncomfortable, and emotionally taxing as this poem suggests. I shudder every time I read it because I can still remember sitting Indian style on the floor of the apartment I shared with my girlfriend, crying my eyes out as I fought not to dial the numbers of a certain young lady I had met only weeks before. The emotion was and still is intense. So much so, that I have purposely never shared this poem with anyone other than the lady who edited my upcoming poetry book. I guess the circumstances surrounding the poem have always been somewhat embarrassing, and I never wanted to have to explain it. But today, for some reason I feel different.

Today, I am able to look at this poem from the perspective of compassion instead of judgment. Today, I am able to see that my tears were not the result of my impulse per se, but the result of my emotional inability to follow that impulse. (because I felt unnaturally guilty for an emotion that felt…well…natural).

That unnatural guilt is the subject of this post.

Independently Beautiful

Its amazing to me how open minded most people are about some things and yet how conversely close minded they are about others…especially romantic relationships. In my book, I spent quite a bit of time discussing the powerful attachment that is present in most romantic relationships, so I won’t belabor that here. What I will say however, is that the attachment and subsequent insecurity that come with most romantic relationships can often lead to a great deal of shame and in most cases unnatural guilt. I will be the first to admit that I completely understand the purpose of monogamy. I get that it’s functional and I am currently in a monogamous relationship. But even in the midst of that I am able to behold beauty almost everywhere I look. People are such intricate enigmas that something in me longs to unravel, figure out, and crack. I am so curious about what makes people tick, their stories, their hopes and dreams and so on. My curiosity often manifests itself as a very real attraction and for that attraction; I have spent more guilt-ridden sleepless nights than I care to admit. The whole thing makes me incredibly uncomfortable because I am firm believer that people can be “independently beautiful.” Meaning one person’s beauty does not compromise the beauty of another. And while I think most people can intellectually understand this, within the confines of our romantic relationship something gets lost, and this pervasive need to have the full undivided attention of your partner grows to the size of earth’s atmosphere. People get selfish, possessive and in my opinion unreasonable.  

Now, I am sure some will say that just because you are attracted to someone, it doesn't mean you should act on it….and I tend to agree. But I also think that the very nature of attraction is a desire to connect (not necessarily sexually…but to connect nonetheless).  Why then, do we subject ourselves to the mental and emotional turmoil of trying to fight so much of what comes natural to us? The simple answer is because we don’t want to hurt our partners, but the truth has more to do with (you guessed it) attachment and security.

Foiling the Fairy tale

I can’t speak for men, but most of the women I know want nothing more than to settle down, get married and have children. Most have wanted that since they were old enough to conceptualize the idea of “happily ever after.” The knight in shining armor was presented as a metaphorical savior to them and because of that, most women have spent their whole lives trying to recreate that fairy tale  As a result landing a spouse has become not only a social symbol of success but also the ultimate promise of physical and emotional security. Women want to feel chosen, loved, and safe. But just like every other social contract…in order to receive safety one must surrender some freedoms. For some that loss of freedom is unbearable and they just choose not to commit at all. For others it means making the commitment and breaking it by cheating.  I tend to favor a more realistic approach, one that allows for one to love and be committed to someONE but also makes room for the appreciation of the independent beauty of others.

My position has often been unpopular but having been on both sides of the “cheating” coin, I know firsthand that when one person beholds beauty in another is has absolutely nothing to do with anyone but the two people involved. It is not a reflection on the role, beauty, commitment or person of the partner.  People don’t like to hear that...but it’s true. In my opinion it’s an immature mistake to think that another person’s world revolves around you…at the end of the day, everyone’s world revolves around them. And more often than not, people are going to do what makes them happy, even if that means they have to lie, cheat and deceive you to do it. Call me crazy, but there are things more important to me than physical fidelity. I want to be a part of my partner’s life forever and I would much rather be a cooperative component to her happiness than the reason for her guilt.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Doing the impossible...

NOTE: This clip has been modified by the blogger who posted it for emphasis.I chose to use this one because it gives more background and context, just in case you have not seen the movie. The original movie clip is here. 

For about two weeks, my mind has been fixated on the movie clip above.  Actually it’s not so much the movie clip but the concept behind it. The original, “six impossible things” quote comes from the book, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol. The original quote (listed below) is taken from a conversation between Alice and the Queen of Hearts. Their conversation centers on the idea that what Alice has come to Wonderland to do (slay the Jabberwocky) is impossible in Alice’s eyes. The queen jokingly and a bit sarcastically teases her by saying that she herself has sometimes believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. 

“Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.'

I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

-Lewis Carrol.

As you can see, the movie makes the conversation between Alice and herself while she is on the battlefield about to face off with the evil Jabberwocky. Although the director’s portrayal is a deviation from the original context of the book, the way he chose to depict this particular this moment has been the central focus of my thoughts lately. I love it because just as Alice is about to face yet another impossible thing, she is able to recount all the other impossible things she has already done. She is knocked down a few times, but she keeps her mind focused on how she has already done the impossible, time and time again. It’s as if she understands that this time should be no different. 

Lately I feel a lot like Alice. I feel like I am being faced with the impossible on a daily basis as I seek to make a life for myself as a writer/spiritual counselor. Most days I literally have no idea what I am doing. I often feel overwhelmed by all the decisions I am supposed to make, coupled with the people I need to meet, and all the places I need to be.  The stress is only compounded by the fact that a large part of this business is well… business. It’s the business of marketing, the business of sales, and the business of networking.  But to be quite honest, I have never really had any interest in any of those things. My interest has always been truth seeking and truth sharing. More specifically, I have chiefly been interested in finding new ways to heal myself from the years of self destructive thoughts and feelings I have hoarded and inflicted on my mind and body. Once I found even the smallest way to do that, I wrote a book about my experiences to an attempt to heal others. I thought that would be enough, but lately it feels like it isn't….and that’s where the doubt creeps in.

After watching this clip, I realize that my Jabberwocky isn't really marketing or sales, it’s really worthiness.  Lack of worthiness has been a central theme in my life for a long time and some days it feels like I will never feel good enough or capable enough to have what I want. Like Alice, however, I don’t think I will ever stop trying. So as I am standing in the face of my own fear and unworthiness for the umpteenth time in my life, I decided to do a little redirection. I decided to list six impossible things that I have already accomplished in my life. Enjoy.

  1. An addict of 16 years can get clean- I started huffing when I was 12 and literally have no memory of how I managed stress before that time. Since I can’t remember life before huffing, there was a time when I couldn't imagine life after it.  In November of 2011, I quit huffing, thereby doing the impossible.

  2. A hypoglycemic [1] can run a half-marathon-Two years ago, I was so out of shape that I developed hypoglycemia. I was so tired and weak at times that I couldn't even stand at work.  On March 17, 2012, I was healthy enough to run 13.1 miles. I did the impossible.

  3. Past cheaters can get engaged- After I broke up with my ex-girlfriend in the winter of 2007, I was sure that I would never find another woman who would love and accept me for me. I thought I would be alone forever. On December 14, 2012. I got engaged. I did the impossible.

   4. I  can write and publish a book- I let my book sit in a white binder for over five years, too afraid to share it with the world. I applied for two publishing contracts and lost, before I decided to take matters into my own hands and self-publish my book. Within eight months, I finished the book secured a published and started selling my book.  I didn't think I had the patience, the money, or the discipline to do it. On March 2, 2013, I did the impossible.

  5. An Aviatophobic[2] can board an airplane without fear- In my book; I talk about how afraid I have been to fly for the last six years. Yet, I have recently been on two flights (within two months of each other) where I boarded the plane and sat through the entire flight with dry eyes and a calm spirit. I never thought I would be able to fly without being terrified again. In March and May of 2013, I did the impossible.

If the possible has already been done, why should this be any different? Today, I choose to believe it’s not. I can slay my Jabberwocky (and so can you).

   6.  A person with a lifetime of worthiness issues can learn to love herself unconditionally and walk fully in her purpose….I can do the impossible.

What are your six impossible things?

[1] Hypoglycemia is characterized by abnormally low blood sugar. Some say that it is a precursor to diabetes. Symptoms include heart palpitations, shakiness, anxiety and sweating. Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the causes.
 [2] Aviaphobia is the fear of flying