Travis Blogs and Podcast Updates

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thoughts of 2009

I feel that God has allowed my journey in Life to twist and turn to lead me to this point. There are many points of change and transition, this one hold a special place because it feels right, and nature. I do not feel forced to choose. I feel blessed and humble. I know that I can place my faith in God and trust my wife for support.

I have set my goal. Now I will enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

X Mas Eve

Today seems like the eve of a new phase of my life. A rebirth, or a dawn has come. So as I step into the future, I will follow my divine lead. I will walk and enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

Namasté,

T M. Spencer

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What Passion is ...and What Passion is not?

DAD T 122008 If you have some age on you and you have experienced several relationships in your quest for love and life, you realize that there are elements in relationships that must be in balance in order for a relationship to work. Ideally, your partner provides that balance.  Many successful relationships are due to this balance.  When this balance is not represented in a relationship, the relationship may become unhinged and it is very difficult to maintain this type of relationship.  In my life I have indulged in relationships that were based strongly on passion without any practicality.

In the past I have indulged in relationships that were more passionate than practice, I always seem to go too far.  Nothing criminal, I assure you, but the relationship just seems to dig deeply into indulgences with little or no practicality whatsoever.  Now love was there and we cared about one another deeply, but our relationship would swing from end to end.  One minute we were blissful and the next we were at each other’s throats.  The passion was out of control.  We could not last, because we did not bring an element of stability to the mix. 

I have learned in life that this does not only apply to romance.  When a person is looking for their responsibility and contribution to this life, you know that you are there if you provide a necessary element.  You position in life fit as a puzzle piece fits. 

It is a simple as that!  Look do you fit into your overall element?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On my Soapbox 12102008

If you look out the window and you see rain, you will usually prepare for the weather. Why? Because through past experiences or observations you know you must prepare or get wet.Life provides a window view, but we sometimes ignore the signs or "view". The end results are not favorable.

Namaste',

Travis M. Spencer

Meditation Journal 12/10/2008

I haven't meditated in a week now.  I haven't done yoga as well.  I am creating new habits for my work day, so I have eliminated the meditation for a week while I get my schedule running smoother. I do meditate on the bus or metro.   I think that this is a part of my transformation.  I am working hard to be a better man for myself. This progress will automatically make me a role-model and inspiration to my boys, wife, and friends.  

I am seeing a change in my thinking process due to mindfulness.  I continue to be mindful of my FEAR.   My fear manifests itself in my "need to control".   To Believe and trust people is difficult for me sometimes, but I am growing my faith overall.  I am also working on my pride and selfishness.  I used pride for a long time as means to falsely exude self confidence and high self esteem.  Pride does not build self- esteem, it mask it. You cannot build your self esteem, if you cannot see your true self.

 

Namaste'

 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Meditation Journal 11/26/2008

I am working hard on routine at this point. I have missed days of my practice. I am being mindful of this so I can make sure that I do continue. I continue to enjoy the practice. Mindfulness is the essence of my practice. This practice strengthens my cognitive skills and anchoring my emotional, spiritual, and cognitive development. Meditation provides a bridge. I am more conscious about my deeds, life, and perception. I look forward to more development.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner

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Here is a shot of Thanksgiving Dinner minus a couple dishes. My Wife Shanickwa did the sweets and the Turkey. I cook the other dishes. The Crispy Fish was the Best. Nyrere did quite a bit as the Chef assitant. He mixed the dressing and the helped with the turkey.

At Supper, we all took time to thank God. Mandela yells, "I thank God for Everything!" I thank God for all my Blessing, the good and the bad. This Year is truly a blessing.



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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meditation Journal- 11/25/2008

Meditation has been up and down, but the blessing continues to shower on me.  Meditation continues to give me that additional "me" time necessary to move forward spiritually, emotional and mentally.  I feel that this is a means to continue the inward journey to find strength, courage and love.  Strength to continue to be the man my children can emulate.  Courage to move forward even when forward seems like an impossible trek.  Love that will continue to flourish and shower all that I come in contact with in life.

Namasté

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Meditation Journal- 11/13/2008

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Meditation has been great; I feel the positive energy from the exercises. The more I do it the more I want to share it. Many don’t seem to subscribe to the benefits of meditation. They feel it is not necessary for life or salvation. I believe that it is a missing component from many lives.

image Life is a journey. We are so busy trying to get from one station to another, that we do not take the time to enjoy the trip or evaluate our vehicle or mode of transportation.

In life’s journey, here are the questions I pose to myself:

Am I equipped for the journey?

Am I traveling with right people?

Am I enjoying the actual trip and scenery?

Are those in my care prepared to continue their travels once I have reached my destination?

Life is a journey and though I have slept through parts of it, I will not sleep through the rest of it.

Jesus?

Look at these two pictures. These two visions have interesting contrast. Perception and interpretation always vary. What do you see? More importantly, why?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The I Spy Connection- Meditation Journal 11/6/2008

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My meditation practice is going well. The practice is great, and I am becoming more mindful.  The focus of my mediation is to learn from observation.  I have conditioned myself to be controlling out of fear and mistrust.

I am working on my control and trust issues. I can now look in the mirror at Travis.  I am aware of my need to control everything.  My meditation practice slows me down and allows me to focus on my goals, direction, and shortcomings.  It is impossible to do everything or control ever element of a situation, but I tried.  Meditation provides a means to examine and change the controlling behavior through mindfulness.

Instead of stopping for a quick once over, I would overlook all of the good traits and not correct the bad attributes. God provides the insight, means, and guidance to those who are open enough to accept the tools he provides. Our experiences can be likened to I SPY.  I SPY is a kid show in which the main character searches for several components to accomplish a task. The characters are told what is necessary, and they began to search specifically for those items.   The correlation is simple.  In any of our given situations, God provides clues through intellect, experience, observation and insight.  He also provides individuals to counsel and forewarning us.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We welcome history. We welcome President Obama

My trifling friends

Like the estranged father that shows up for his son's NBA draft, some of my friend are joyful about Obama, but they did note vote!
We welcome the prodigal kids, but com'on people, we need everyone to play their part. Let work toward a common goal of Life as God intended.


Namaste',

Travis M. Spencer

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Part: Front Row to History

Election Night: Get a front row seat to history

Today I will contribute to history.

This is significant because less than 50 years ago there were laws that prevent my relatives from voting. There were laws that separated the races and systematically oppressed Blacks and other minorities.  This injustice prevented community growth and equality. Less than 100 years ago, Blacks were being lynched and killed.  250 years ago African Americans were enslaved. Ancestry and Cultures wiped out. History and truth smudged or stamped out. The Black Community slowly limped forward. America slowly shuffled forward. Ignorance and self-loathing has clamped steel claws and bear trapped the Black Community, but we move slowly forward. This poison has crippled the country, but we move forward. 

So as I travel to John Adams Elementary School, I have a sense of honor and obligation. I am honored to be able to reap the fruit of righteous people. I reverence those who sacrificed to help our culture move forward. I am obligated to my children, your children, and future generations to exercise the right to contribute to my civilization. I refuse to be a brat who sucks from the tit of his mother’s hard work and does not grow. I will not sit in lethargy.

I am voting for a Blackman for President of the United States of America.

So I salute my ancestors as I vote for Barack Obama

 

 

Meditation Journal 11/4/2008

 

Over the past several days, my meditation exercises have been pretty typical.  The exercises consist of the same routine and obstacles to some degree or another.  I am learning that what I eat plays a major role in my meditation. I ate quite a bit of sugar yesterday, and it made my practice seem speedy.  It also made me a little jumpy.   I know that I should not eat before a meditation exercise. 

Self Examination:

Photo_102708_002 I am grateful for my meditation exercises.  It allows me the opportunity to learn to live in the present (slow down).  My wife and I had a conversation on Saturday. She told me that I am a very controlling person.  I denied it of course because I felt that I was not controlling, but more of a facilitator.  I was merely trying to lead her or (anyone for that matter) over to my point of view. (That’s funny!  Isn't that controlling defined?)  I never looked at myself as controlling, but as I began to examine myself I realized I am very controlling!  In my past, I always had to control the situation.  If the situation was not controlled by me, I would not want to participate or I would make my mark within the situation.   Now that I think of it, even when I was dating or I saw a girl I wanted I would devise a plan to get the woman I wanted.  I don't fly because I am not the pilot!

I am saying all of this because I am faced with the reality that before I can move forward, I must work to overcome my fear of losing control.  Fear is the issue.  It is being fueled by my ego, insecurity, and avoidance.  So in order to remove the fear, I must identify the traits, factors and situations that prompt this need to always be in control. 

I must replace the negative traits with trust and understanding.  I must let go of the ego and follow when necessary.  Mindfulness will help facilitate the change and help me get rid of FEAR

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween @ Carfax

Carfax had our halloween day last friday, but I thought I would share my co worker's costumes.
My favorite is the DEVILED EGG- Amy Parker.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Meditation Journal 10/29/08

Today I truly enjoyed my morning practice. When I began, I suffered from a sinus headache. In my readings, I read a insightful segment on pain and suffering. The book suggested that in your practice, when you are in pain take the proper medication or treatment, and if it remains, don't resist the pain, but focus and study the pain. According to this book, resistance only intensifies the pain and causes unnecessary suffering. If you make the pain one of your focal point in your meditation practice, you will discover a better means to cope. I did exactly what they suggested. The pain did not disappear, but I was able to relax and focus a little better in spite of the pain.

Once I was relaxed I found a comfortable posture and hand placement. I started with the breathing. Once my breath was relaxed, smooth and somewhat normal, I started at the top of my head and mentioned the major body parts to relax. After I was relaxed, I was able focus on my breath without counting the inhalations or exhalations. My mind did wonder a little, but I was able to bring my focus back. All and All the morning practice was excellent.

I was so happy with my morning practice that I was a little too excited to begin my afternoon practice. It was wonderful as well, but It took a little more time to focus. All and all it was a wonderful day.

Introspect:

I never realized that as humans, we sometimes spend so much time resisting, that we do not understand what and why we are in opposition. For example, the pain I experienced this morning is natural. Pain is an inevitable part of our existence. Pain is an alert system of the body. It tells us if there is something to be concerned about. It also may tell us to slow down, exercise more, or seek treatment. Next time I feel a pain, I will focus, so I can make the right decisions for relief, healing, or treatment. It will not be ignored.

Happiness is in my Mandela's Eyes

Happiness can be found in the eyes of my youngest son when I come home. He gets joy from just being. He does not need the status of “Bull-S.” that many of us think are so important. He does not need new cars, houses, or any other material things to foster his happiness. His happiness comes from his soul; his inner being. The pure joy of being alive and sharing himself with our world seems to be his fuel.
He has not been polluted by materialism or false hope or expectation from objects that cannot provide any comfort, security, or true rewards. He is not obtaining meaningless objects and grasping people, events, and memories to fulfill his life. Grasping means to attempt to hold on to a person, event or object outside its natural cycle in life. An example of grasping is attempting to recreate an event because the memory of the experience was satisfying. Grasping (at this past experience) is unhealthy because it is generally impossible to recreate; thus, you are left with feelings of disappointment and/or grief.
Happiness is not an elusive feeling. We create the wall between us and happiness. Our barrier of selfish desires and motives hinders our ability to obtain and remain happy. Selfish desires and motives create a very short–lived feeling of happiness. If we get rid of the selfish motives by sharing, we can reconnect with happiness. We can feel like my son.
Note:
You can obtain fine things in life, but do not allow material possession to define you. If your life is defined by your belongings, happiness cannot flourish is minimized or squeezed out.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meditation Journal 10/25/08

Yesterday was an interesting day. I missed my morning session. I did not place any blame or punished myself, but I did find myself in a funk of laziness for much of the day. I attempted to continue functioning throughout the day but I could tell there was a difference in my attitude and approach to daily situations. I also missed my yoga session. I think all a part of my start. It is important to provide balance, stability and mindfulness to daily routines. When an important elements are removed from the routine. The whole day seems to fall apart.

My 3pm meditation was cut short, because of mental distractions. I sat for meditation and I was not as comfortable as I wanted to be. I began the practice and I became distracted several times and my mind seems to wonder more than usual. I also began to make excuses about why I was unable to concentrate and how I need to find more focus before I begin a session. It is so funny, because I did not realize that this was my own mind play tricks on me. The mind is that powerful. I got pimped by my own mind. LOL! After 10 minutes I got up.

Introspect:

Just as every deliberate action takes a conscious decision, I must make the decision to remain faithful to my practice. Even if there are events that change my time schedule, I must adjust and continue moving forward in my day. Like a train: If a train is off of its tracks, movement forward is possible, but it will be slow, barely controllable, and consume a tremendous amount of energy. Once the train is placed back on track, it will continue its journey as it should.

All of my issues during meditation are normal, but my mind and ego fight against the journey and new direction. Our mentality sinks into our habits and builds defenses. Anything attempting to modify or change these behaviors is met with resistance. The old adage reminds me that "anything worth having is worth fighting for." Salvation, enlightenment, and happiness are worth it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Meditation Journal 10/20/2008

I decided to do this journal because I wanted to mark my progress and possibly be an inspiration to others. I realized that there are so many people who are skeptical about the need or usefulness of Meditation. This Journal will provide some insight into my growth as a result of my mindfulness and meditation. There are many difficulties that I face, but I believe that my overall quality of life is improving because of meditation. So here is my Journey

The style of meditation that I decided to explore is called the Vipassana Meditation Practice. The Vipassana Practice allows the mediator to go inwardly for complete exploration, understanding and discovery. The Meditation is design to peel away the layers of ignorance, misconceptions, and spiritual poisons. Once the layers are removed the mediator can obtain true self awareness and mindfulness.

So far the experience has been exciting. I have been meditating for almost 6 months off and on, but for about 2 months I am more consistent in my practice.

All and All this is a challenge that is worth the effort. God is allowing so much in my Life.

I am-

  • Blessed with more insight and wisdom.
  • Patient with my children
  • More supportive to my wife
  • More understand and tolerant of others


     

I am

  • accepting myself
  • Examining my arrogance
  • Acknowledging my self-righteousness.


     

Today my morning Meditation was quite challenging. In the book Mindfulness in Plain English, it explains in detail the wildness of the mind, and its inability to calm down. They call it The Monkey Mind Phenomenon. During this time the mind jumps from place to place memory, to bills, to songs, and back. I have to remind myself that this is a part of the process. My mind has never been focused in this manner, so I have to make sure I bring my mind back to my breathing.

The 3 pm practice was short. I was tried to begin my meditation differently. I was not as successful as I thought it would be. I tried to focus on my inhalation and exhalation points without the breath counting. The breath counting helps me to normalize my breath and move to my focus on Inhalations and exhalations. Next session I will not deviate from what is comfortable for me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Getting ready for the kids

I am a part of the Sales Team for Carfax. Each year we set up a trick or treat Holloween Party for the employees and their family. This year will be extra cool and the kids will enjoy this as always. Sarah, our admin, did a great job! Check out some pics.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Plan for Change: Obama!






I was thinking about the election and I am an Obama supporter. I thought I would do a quick blog about Obama and why I am honestly voting for him:

1. He’s Black! - I am not ashamed to admit that race plays a large factor in my decision to support Obama. Many people make it a point to say the opposite. (Why are we afraid of race dialogue?) They act as if race is not a factor. As a Black Man, it is my duty to give Obama a serious opportunity to win my vote based on race. It similar to a Veteran receiving extra points (Veteran Preference) on a Government Job Application because he is a veteran. If Obama’s policies were too radical and would not benefit the US as a whole, then he would not get my support or my vote. But being a Black Man provides him an opportunity to stand out and receive special consideration.
2. He has a wonderful personality. Campaign promises are limited by politics. If the promises are not approved by the House and/or the Senate, campaign promises will die. A person’s character provides more insight into the nature of man, than promises and rhetoric. Obama’s character supports his intention.

Someone said to me (I do not remember who), “As Blacks in America, we(Black Folk) have to be more or overly qualified, determined and limitless tenacity to move into the ranks of the powerful in the US.” Obama has done just that! Obama you have my vote


From Windows Live Writer

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beyond the connotation of “Christian.”

Several days ago, I spoke with a good friend about my spiritual journey. I told her that I did not consider DSC00741myself Christian anymore, (Read Journey to Enlightenment Blog to review my proclamation) and she thought I had gone to the dark side. She asked me if I was Atheist and I responded no.    I attempted to share my research and discoveries to date, but she would not openly listen to me. It seems that the mere thought of me letting go of the title "Christian" dooms me to hell.   

Note: As I began to write this blog, my ego tried over and over to dictate this blog. My Ego had me. I was thinking elitist thoughts and harboring a judgmental attitude.

. As I thought more about denouncing Christianity, I realized that I was completely wrong about denouncing my Christianity. I am learning about eastern philosophies and being feed by Yoga and Buddhism does not mean that I am not a follower of Christ. I believe that calling Me a Christian does not provide the keys to Heaven. Adhering to the word of God (Jesus) and his divine messengers throughout time will provide truth and insight, enlightenment and heaven.

As I continued my introspective examination, I began to realize that I was taking a pompous approach to my personal philosophical and spiritual discoveries. I was allowing myself to manifest an elitists attitude towards professed Christians. I felt that my journey provided me with an insight that no other person has discovered. How EGO driven is that!

I am a follower of Christ, and I am learning from the teachings of Pantanjali and the Buddha. I quite sure once I began to read the Quran I will absorb knowledge from Mohammad and Baha’u’llah. I believe more now than ever. The Lord provides his truth for all to discover and follow.

I am a Christian, but in this spiritual quest, I am learning so much now that I am moving beyond what I defined as the typical connotation of “Christian.” I am a student of God. I am absorbing teaching from Christianity, Hatha-Yoga, Baha'I, and Buddhism.

No one should follow religion blindly, and I hope my friend understands her own spirituality. Ultimately we must make sure we are living a fulfilling life and if our life is not happy, we may need to examine our spiritual path.

That's what I love about this journey for truth.  As your garden grows spiritually, you can continue nurturing and weeding out things that are not good you. Truth is the only absolute thing on this journey.

Note

Friday, September 26, 2008

My World

I am here to share myself with The World, but it begins in My World.


 

In the past, I felt that I was alone and no one understood me. As I began to search for my role in God's plan, I began to realize that my actions affect multitudes of people directly and indirectly. Now I am very mindful of my actions, because of my responsibility to The World. I want to only provide positive vibes and actions. We are all a part of one another. Once we discover our gifts and utilize those gifts as God intended we contribute fully to The World.

My gift is sharing and serving The World. I love to lend a hand to people and share my Love, Life, and Insight with The World. I am here to share myself with The World, but it begins in My World. "My World" is the portion of "The World" that I affect directly or indirectly with my actions. "The World" includes all of God's creations. I only separate the two, because "My World" gives me a direct sense of responsibility and respect for anyone who enters my world. If you entered my home, my good manners dictate that I offer a drink of knowledge, food for thought, and make you comfortable. When you enter My World, I want to make sure you have a positive experience and take a "to-go plate of Good Vibes" into Your World

Announcement- I have created a podcast for my "Real Man's Swagger" Blog. So please visit and enjoy my Podcast and please share my Love with someone in your World tell them about my website.

Thank You for allowing me to show Love to your world.


 

nʌmʌsˈte
[NAM- MAS-STAY]
"I am your humble servant"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On The Bus


I jumped on the Bus with my son today to drop him off at Ms Marva, and I began to realize that the Bus and its inhabitances had become a part of me. I spoke to the driver and smiled at the older lady and she reciprocated. Everyone knew my routine and they expected to see me and my son. As people got on the bus, I began to speak to people and smile and make small talk. I even had a lady of to give me the “eye”.
There was a man on the bus who was offended by a older lady coughing. Because of the coughing, He opened the bus window and exposed the elderly woman to the crisp morning air. She asked him to close it. He got upset and went off on her, because of the coughing and the fact that her English was thick because of her heavy accent!. Everyone look at him (including myself) with disapproval and concern. I think that our distaste for his manners affected him so badly, that he got off the bus at the next available stop. Now I understand his concern for her coughing, but disrespecting an elder is not acceptable. He should know and understand that completely.
Now after the bus ride, I got on the metro and I smiled at the same familiar faces and spoke to the same people in Vienna. I thought to myself, “Wow all of these people are a part of my life and they affect me and I affect them. A smile from them can put me in a good mood and vice versa.

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