Remember my NA series and all those NA Meetings I attended? Well they just now paid off in the form of good time. My release date has been adjusted from 8-9-32 to 3-7-32. I haven’t done the math, but according to DOC, that’s 155 days!
Upon receiving this good news I was also informed that I will be getting back an additional 90 days at my next review in August. All I gotta do is remain infraction free, stay in The Dog Program, and receive positive evaluations.
It feels good to be going the other way. To be earning good time rather than loosing it. To be living in harmony rather than conflict. To be progressing rather than regressing. To be making friends rather than enemies. To be focusing on the positive rather than the negative.
For almost 23 years my environment hasn’t changed. PRISON! It’s still full of misfits and misconduct. But what has changed is my attitude, perspective, outlook, and priorities. During my quest to seek knowledge and understanding I’ve learned that the mind is like a garden. Either you can intelligently Cultivate it, or neglect it and let it run wild. That’s why its crucial for me to constantly cultivate my mind by weeding out all the wrong, useless, destructive, impure thoughts. And nurturing my mind with right, useful, constructive, positive thoughts.
By constantly pursuing this process of mind evolution, I am starting to reap the rewards. Such as: I found my beautiful soulmate in Suzie, I made it to The Honor Unit, I got accepted into the dog program, I’ve met new people and have devolved new friendships, I’m no longer getting in fights or hurting people, and I’m earning back good time. Just to name a few.
For years I allowed my mind to run wild. The results were devastating! For more on the devastation you can read my ebook titled, STONE CITY : LIFE IN THE PENITENTIARY.
I was oblivious to the fact that a deeper level of consciousness existed. I was mindlessly wandering through life, and inappropriately reacting to everything life threw at me. With a neglected mind, I didn’t stand a chance. But with a new and improved cultivated mind, I have so much hope and excitement for today and the rest of my life.
If you had the power to be happier, to change your environment, and to have better relationships with friends and family, would you use that power?
Of course you would!
So why don’t you?
The power is within you.
Take the first step and read : “AS A MAN THINKETH” by James Allen. This book will teach you LAWS OF THOUGHT that cannot error. By reading this quick little 55 page book, you’ll be taking a crucial step towards intelligently cultivating your mind. I hope you feel inspired.
I have a friend in here. The more I get to know him, the more I dislike him.
His business is none of mine. I’ve tried to ignore his selfish, user & abuser ways. I’ve tried to focus on his positive qualities. But every time I see this guy, all I see is a narcissistic, insensitive, cold hearted jerk!
He’s nice to me. We get along fine. He doesn’t project his evil ways towards me. Except for the time he wouldn’t give me a single bite of a huge piece of pound cake he had. I didn’t even want a bite. I just wanted to see if he’d give me one. I wasn’t surprised when he said, “No.”
However, I was surprised when I went to empty the 12th Can (see: The 12th Can). Right before I dumped it, I saw a bunch of ripped up photos in the big trash can. I looked closer. It was my buddy, his wife, and her kids. They were all smiling, holding up pumpkins that they decorated together at a family event.
I know this because I fished out every last piece of photo. I brought them to my cell and put my puzzle working skills to the test. There were total of 3 photos. I then glued them to a large greeting card. In-between the pictures I wrote:
I love you all to pieces! Thank you so much for all your love and support. I appreciate all the sacrifices you make to come visit me. The love you bring to my world is such a blessing. I will forever cherish each and every one of you.
I then went to my buddy and said, “I have some really cool greeting cards. Would you like one to send to your wife?”
He quickly said, “No thank you. Thank you though.” The thank you’s were not sincere. They’re part of his smart-allic demeanor.
I continued, “Well let me show you the one I had in mind for you.”
He was somewhat intrigued. He followed me to my cell. I thought he might try to snatch it from my hands, so I shut the door as I showed him the card through the window. I watched his eyes read the words. His facial expression went blank. Then he looked at me and said in a sarcastic tone, “Nice Steven…real nice!”
I opened the door. I handed him the card. I asked, “Are you going to send it?”
“Nope,” he said in one word as he walked away.
I followed him to his cell and said, “Why not? She’ll love it.”
He ignored me.
I continued, “She’ll love the creativeness at how the pieces are all glued back together, and how it says “I love you to pieces.””
He just shook his head.
Is the way he treats his wife any of my business? NO!
For months I’ve watched this man mentally abuse his wife over the phone. He used to let me read his out-going emails to her. He said things like, “You’re fat and ugly and I don’t know why I ever married you. You’d never get a man like me out there. I’m the best you’ll ever get.”
He would show-off these emails like they were something to be proud of. I lost respect for this dude a long time ago.
Today, he and I aren’t as close. Like I said, he is nice to me. But I have issues with aspects of his character.
One side of me wants to grill him every time I see him. He even postpones visits because he doesn’t want to miss pancakes for dinner. Unbelievable!!!
I struggle with this dude. Not literally, but within. He challenges me. I just wanna bust his chops every time I see him. And years ago I would’ve. But today I am committed to the Lord. I am committed to the Bible. I need to stay focused on my actions.
Who am I to judge? (Matt 7:1-2)
Journal entry 12-5-08 at 8PM:
Where there’s a will there’s a way. I’m a very strong believer in that. My goal is to find a way to get released in June of 2025. I’d be 51 years and 11 months old. The only way to achieve this is to stay out of trouble and earn back all my goodtime. I’m also hoping the law will change in a way that will allow me to earn a little more goodtime.
Meanwhile, I will focus on accepting hardship as a pathway to peace. I will enjoy and appreciate all my blessings. Such as my family, friends, good health, and the fact that I will get out with plenty of life left.
No matter the situation, life is what we make of it. A strong mind can thrive and be positive through any situation. It’s all about choice. I have the power to choose my thoughts and how to respond to situations.
I have a vision of the man I want to become. That vision will dictate the choices I make from now on.
As I reflect back to this 6 years later, I realize what a journey it’s been. For years I’ve had a strong desire to do what’s right. But if my mind is not 100% right, there’s no way my actions will be 100% right.
I see so many men conform to this prison environment. I used to be one of them. But now, through trials and tribulations, I realize that I am a creative power in my life. I have the power to create situations out of which circumstances evolve.
I remember sitting in that cold cell 24/7…thinking! Thinking of all the changes I need to make in my life.
With thought comes action. I have slowly evolved and progressed.
That “hole time” was a spiritual lesson for me. I believe these lessons can be found in any circumstance. As one circumstance fades into the next, I focus on applying past lessons to the present.
It feels good to defeat unwanted character flaws. It’s a constant challenge that takes great focus and mental fortitude.
For years I tried to improve my circumstances. I failed time and time again because I was unwilling to improve myself, my thoughts, and my character.
Now that I’m willing to fix my defects, I am experiencing much progress as I rapidly pass through a succession of vicissitudes.
To all my family and friends…I love you! I will continue to strive towards redemption. I will continue to be the best I can be.
Thank you for all your love & support.
MORAL: Do not fight against circumstances. Fight against flawed thinking. When your thinking improves, so will your circumstances.
The mind must be attended to. The choices are simple, you can intelligently cultivate your mind. Or you can neglect it and allow it to run wild. Your overall circumstances in life will clearly show whether you cultivate or neglect.
Through my own actions it has been proven to me, with great accuracy, that my thought process is solely responsible for the shaping of my character, circumstances, and destiny. Thought and character are one. My thoughts actually discovered my character through my environment and circumstances. It’s all relevant. My outer appearance reflected my inner state.
My point is, everyone is where they are because of the thoughts they keep.
Let’s journey back to when I started my 7 month sanction in segregation (the hole) for getting caught with a cell phone. My thought process is responsible for this.
My 1st journal entry:
On 11-26-08 @ 3:15 pm I got caught with my beloved cell phone. I’m not nearly as sad as I should be. I mean after all, I went from the pent house to the shit house in the blink of an eye. Oh well, we live and learn. I just keep thinking about what I should’ve done. I should’ve went with my gut feeling and sold that damn thing. Someone offered me $1,000 for it. I knew my run was coming to an end! I should’ve sold it!
Yesterday I wrote 14 letters to all my girlfriends I met online. I guess now I’ll see who’s serious about keeping in touch now that I lost my cell phone.
It’s come to my attention that I’ve only taken one shower since 11-22-08. And I still smell good. Bird baths and Speed Sticks baby!
Time is going by fast in here. I’m reading 3 books. One is about football, the other is about zoology, and the 3rd is about the history of Black America. 24/7 lockdown! Nothing but books, paper, and two pencils that get dull super-fast.
I can see out my window. Some holes sandblast the windows so inmates can’t see out. Some holes don’t even have windows.
Right now it’s snowing. My cell is freezing! Since I’ve been in the hole, my feet, nose, and ears stay cold. That’s why I refuse my showers. It’s too cold! The water pressure is weak. The water is lukewarm, and the air is burrrr! But other than that, this is a lovely place.
Quote of the day, “Just tell the truth. It’ll save you every time.”
I am literally what I think. My character is the complete sum of all my thoughts.
For years I thought I was a bad ass. I thought fighting was a way to impress people. These thoughts were severely flawed. Therefore, my character severely flawed.
All of my violent actions were a direct result of my thoughts. The body follows the mind. So many times I would have a “spontaneous” reaction and respond to a situation. But really, my actions were not spontaneous at all. My actions revealed the constant thoughts in my mind.
Action is the result of thought.
When I was 13 I had a two hour surgery on my left knee. Within a few minutes of waking up from heavy anesthesia, I was cussing at doctors, nurses, and my family. For no reason!
Those were the type of thoughts I kept. They could’ve been asking me if I wanted cake, ice cream, or a brand new bike. I was too drugged to comprehend. But still, my subconscious mind revealed itself.
Now that I’m 41 years old, and have been in prison for 20 years, I realize that “act is the blossom of thought.” Joy and suffering are the results of thought. My thoughts are what makes me. For years my thoughts were vindictive and violent. And for that I have suffered. Greatly!
But now, my thoughts are of love and harmony. My thoughts are positive and productive. I’m focused on my future and success. And because my mind thinks in this manner, my life has so much joy in it.
It is true that man is made or destroyed by himself. For years my mind created the weapons I used to destroy myself. I ended up in prison with a 43 year sentence. OUCH!
In the early years of my incarceration I continued to harbor negative thoughts. My character and livelihood continued to suffer.
Today my mind fashions the tools that I use to build myself up. Today I enjoy peace, love, and true strength on a level I’ve never experienced in the past. By making the right choices and controlling my thoughts in a positive manner, I realize I can ascend to great heights.
Never again will I abuse my mind with the wrong application of thought. Never again will I descend below acceptable behavior.
Between the two extreme spectrums of the mind (good & evil) are all the grades of character. I am their maker. I am their master. Regardless of my situation or circumstances, the choice of thought is always mine. Yes. I am in prison. It sucks! But I don’t focus on that. I choose to focus on the beautiful truths pertaining to thought. And that is:
*I am the master of my thoughts. If I can’t change something, I can always change the way I think about it.
*I am the molder of my character.
*I am the maker of my conditions and environment.
*I control my destiny. My oh my, what a comforting thought.
I honestly feel in my heart that I am a being of Power, Intelligence, and Love. I am the master of my thoughts and I hold the key to every situation. I have the knowledge that I can transform myself into whatever I want. Back in my weaker and most abandoned state of mind, I still had the ability to reflect on my horrid conditions. Conditions I imposed upon myself.
Moral: I challenge all of you to control your mind. To be the powerful master of your thoughts. If I can do it in here…you can do it out there.
Peace & Love,
Love & family is the most cherished gift that life has to offer.