Blogging is such a great tool for rehabilitation. That is one reason why Suzie and I created Stone City Blog. We want all inmates to have access to this new and effective rehabilitative tool.
I’d like to encourage everyone who reads Stone City Blog, to reach out to the bloggers, and prompt them. Ask them critical questions that will inspire deeper thought and self reflection. By doing so, you could be that one thing that inspires great change within an inmate and his rehabilitative efforts. Stone City Blog gives you access to over 1,000 posts written by over 100 inmates. All of these inmates can be contacted via email (JPay).
In this post I will respond to THREE PROMPTS from Sandra Rogers.
PROMPT #1) How will you achieve a balance between redemption and rehabilitation?
This prompt is awesome. It brings a whole new dimension to my thought process. Until now, I’ve never ever even considered such a question. Redemption and rehabilitation go hand in hand. For me personally, I can’t achieve one without the other.
My rehabilitation efforts are a daily process. Everyday I’m focused on love, compassion, and understanding as I live in an environment full of hate, conflict, and turmoil. It’s my job to rehabilitate myself while in the belly of the beast surrounded by demons. I do not react to negativity with negativity. Instead, I remain focused on my goals and dreams as I use my energy in a positive productive manner.
On a scale of 1-10, if my Rehabilitation is at a 8, well then my Redemption has to be at least a 4. Because Rehabilitation is Redemption to some degree. 4 and 8 is not balanced. Therefore, I need to get my Redemption up by at least 4 points. I can do so by contributing to society in a positive way. Such as saving dogs and doing volunteer work. Hey, I do that.
PROMPT #2) How will you find a balance between Selflessness and Selfishness?
By keeping in close contact with mentors I trust and respect. Such as Suzie, Alana, Sandra, and maybe even professional counselors. They will help show me the way and keep me focused. They will prompt me to a deeper level of consciousness and self awareness.
If it is brought to my attention that a segment of my life is unbalanced, then I will do whatever it takes to balance it out. To simply answer this question: I will seek the advice of all those who are educated, and those who have great perspective and insight.
Meanwhile, in here I enjoy great balance between working out, eating healthy, watching football, and reading & writing. (Selfishness)
And then (Selflessness), helping others, sharing, and volunteering.
PROMPT #3) What are the markers of the above mentioned kind of balance?
Happiness. The ultimate marker is happiness. When my life is truly balanced, I’m at my happiest. Regardless of my environment. When aspects of my life fall out of balance, my happiness is the first to suffer.
Another great marker is the opinions and perspectives of my mentors and the people I love, and how THEY view me. If they are happy with me and proud of me, that is a great indication that I’m achieving a high degree of balance in my life.
Thank you Sandra for such thought provoking prompts. The insight and self analyzation that it takes in order to answer these questions are very valuable. Your on-going prompts have taught me more about life and myself. They invoke deep thinking and self reflection that is critical to any type of rehabilitation.
It is my prayer and hope that everyone can recognize the significant value that is hidden within inmate bloggers and critical thought-provoking prompts.
I am so grateful for my wife and all that she does. I wish I could be out there helping her right by her side. I love and appreciate her with all my heart. She truly is a blessing.
I had such a sheltered and spoiled background. I breezed through my childhood so fast that it’s hard to remember it. I wanted so badly to grow up and be an adult, a wife, and a mother.
I had a pretty awesome upbringing with loving parents, a big wholesome family, a kind religious community, and I was even a Girl Scout. But is it possible that sometimes things can be too perfect that you miss out on living and experiencing?
I have Stone City Blog on my mind right now. It is a collection of blogs written by men in prison, which I manage. Honestly, I’ve struggled with putting in all those hours helping men who couldn’t give me much in return.
I help men in prison share their voice with the world. At first, I choked on my own voice when telling people this. It wasn’t something I wanted to brag…
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Now that I’m learning a little about Occupational Therapy, I feel like it’s giving me a deeper, richer, more thorough understanding of life in general. I reflect back to my days of crime and misconduct, and I see direct parallels to the fact that I had zero to very little meaningful activities in my life.
Today I engage in several meaningful activities. And as a result, I live a healthy lifestyle full of love, compassion, excitement, and happiness. It’s so clear to see that the healthy lifestyle came AFTER I started to engage in meaningful activities.
Early in my incarceration I had a desire to live a healthy lifestyle. I told myself on numerous occasions, “It’s time. Let’s do it!” But time and time again, I’d fail. Why? Because I wasn’t engaging in meaningful activities. The ONLY way to achieve a healthy lifestyle IS to engage in meaningful activities. There’s no other way to do it!
I’m so glad I’m learning this stuff. In addition to the clarity it brings me, it also teaches me effective ways to articulate my journey when mentoring and helping others.
I feel like I’ve done a lot of this work on my own. And just now, I’m starting to learn about it from a clinical standpoint. Which is great! Because the principles and philosophies have been validated before they were recognized.
Now it’s time to continue to learn and build as I use Occupational Therapy (Wikipedia definition). That in itself is a meaningful activity that is essential to a healthy lifestyle.
I’ve learned that in Occupational Therapy there are 7 areas of occupation that people engage in. Some are self explanatory. Some are not. But I feel they are all important to know. By knowing them, I can achieve a better balance in my life. I can do a self evaluation and determine if I’m lacking or over compensating in a specific area. The 7 occupations are:
#1) Activities of Daily Living (ADL) – This refers to basic needs such as eating, showering, hygiene, clothing, sex, etc.
I’m definitely lacking in the sex department. So this is something I need to address in my life. And address it I shall…in March 2017!…EFV’s with my wife, Suzie. 🙂
#2) Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL’s) – This is the act of caring for my environment, such as ordering my commissary, cleaning my cell, helping my disabled celly, taking care of my dog, turning off the water that people deliberately leave on, etc.
I feel balanced with this one. However, I can do more. A lot of guys don’t clean up after themselves. Therefore, the sink and microwave area is always a mess. From now on, whenever I see a mess, I’ll take 30 seconds and clean it up. Why not? It’ll be good for me.
#3) Education – Participating in a learning environment or learning activities.
I could definitely use more of this. And now that its been brought to my attention, I will actively seek opportunities to engaged in more educational activities. I currently engage in two educational activities: NA Meetings and the Sustainability In Prison lectures.
#4) Leisure – A non-obligatory activity that is engeged in during discretionary time.
I have plenty of leisure activities, such as: blogging, writing Real Love Letters to the love of my life, working out, taking my dog for a walk, reading, etc.
#5) Work – Employment. Making money. Getting paid! Also, volunteer activities.
I do both. Freedom Tails is all volunteer work. And I find it way more rewarding than my actual job. If I had to choose between my “Remunerative Work” and my “Volunteer Work” I would sacrifice my pay and choose my Volunteer work. This just goes to show how rewarding volunteer work really is.
#6) Play – Any activity that provides enjoyment, entertainment, amusement, or diversion.
This is interesting. Because what happens when these adjectives can be applied to work, volunteer, and leisure? All of a sudden, play becomes a dominant meaningful activities in my life. I like that! I’m going to make it happen.
#7) Social Participation – Activities associated with patterns of behavior within a given social system.
Prison is a social system. A lot of misconduct goes on in here. So I’m better off engaging in anti-social participation when it comes to the prison social system as a whole. Another word for “Social Participation” in prison would be “Institutionalized”. This is just one perspective. My reality is: there are sub societies within the overall predominant prison social system.
By conducting myself in a positive, productive manner, and observing The Law of Attraction, I find my self socially participating in a positive mini sub-division within a predominant negative social system. The social participation that I engage in, is strong enough to give me strength to navigate through the negative prison social system without getting caught up in the current of negativity.
1. ORDER – Keep everything in its place. Dedicate adequate time to all significant affairs, both personal & business.
2. TEMPERANCE – Eat in moderation, total abstinence from alcohol.
3. CLEANLINESS – Keep everything clean. Especially body, hair, clothes, and home.
4. BALANCE – Avoid extremes. Work, play, exercise, and rest. Be happy. Express anger appropriately.
5. SILENCE – Speak words that benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversations. Do not argue. Otherwise, be silent.
6. FRUGALITY – Waste nothing. Every expense serves well yourself and others.
7. RESOLUTION – Always finish what you start. Perform without fail.
8. JUSTICE – Always do the right thing.
9. TRANQUILITY – Do not be disturbed by common accidents, or by unavoidable insignificant events.
10. HUMILITY – Live by the teachings of Jesus. Love & respect everyone.
The Universe is perfectly balanced. Everything is out there….the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The quality of your life depends on what you choose to focus on. For me, I choose love and understanding. If something doesn’t serve me well, I ignore it. By doing so, I have more energy to focus on love, peace, and harmony.
I will never know the nature of good if I’m constantly dissecting the nature of evil. So why do it? I’ve seen evil. I’ve lived evil. I’m done with it!
Knowledge and wisdom simply don’t see eye to eye with ignorance. That’s why arguments break out. Well guess what? I win all those arguments because I don’t participate in them.
Nothing is going to derail me from love and kindness. When people say mean things, I’ll use it as an opportunity to display maturity and strength. I’ll turn a negative into a positive. I’ll get stronger from that which was intended to break me down.
“Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1
For those who lack understanding, I humbly offer a glimpse of my perception. A perception that I know to be true, based on the history of my life. No matter what I do, one thing remains the same. And that is: I ALWAYS REAP WHAT I SOW.
When my thoughts projected judgment, criticism, and condemnation, there was always some form of consequence to follow. This proves that life WILL inevitably return to us the manifestation of our motives, thoughts, and desires. So be mindful when using these powers.
For years I thought I had a happy outlook on life. I thought I knew it all. I knew NOTHING! I was so lost! How can one truly be happy when they are constantly judging, criticizing, and condemning?
The happy outlook on life is always positive and constructive. The understanding heart is filled with love, compassion, and helpfulness towards all. An evolved soul does not judge or condemn.
Peace, love, and happiness, eludes the person who continuously lives in a state of condemnation. They may say they’re happy…but their actions and attitudes reveal the truth.
This blog is a blessing and every comment serves a purpose as it teaches a lesson.
I thank EVERYONE for following and contributing. We are all on the same road of experience, seeking, and living.
Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before dispute breaks out. Proverbs 17:14
Out of all 28 verses in chapter 17, this one stands out the most. I’ve been in so many fist fights its pitiful. And they all started due to a quarrel that I was unable to drop. I just kept on and on…until it came to blows. How I Lost My EFV’s For 5 Years, is a perfect example of that.
Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom. Proverbs 17:16
After I re-read a post I wrote (With Every Hardship Comes An Equal Seed Of Opportunity), I realized that some of my priorities are out of order. Paragraph five of that post is evident of that, it reads: My passion to make millions has now become a healthy obsession. It’s the main topic of my conversations, thoughts, and dreams. It has consumed me in a healthy, positive way. It sets the bar of balance high. When I achieve financial success, I expect all my other personal characteristics, morals, and attributes to elevate along with it.
What a foolish way to think!
First and foremost, I need wisdom. The kind of wisdom that can only be acquired through the teachings of Jesus Christ. That is what sets the bar of balance high. That is what will elevate all my other personal characteristics, attributes, and financial gain.
Today my passion is in the word of God. My healthy obsession is to live each day in accordance to the scriptures. The topics of my conversations come across with love, understanding and respect.
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22
Hey! I found a wife. I found love. I’ve found what is good. And I receive favor from the Lord. AND I’M IN PRISON. The Lord knows no boundaries.
Thank you for reading.