Self-Awareness for the African American Male in the Urban Cultural Construct

When African American men are given the tools to succeed, as history has shown, they can be strong examples of the sons, fathers, employers, employees, leaders, and positive role models that they need to be in their communities.  

The focus for creating an urban cultural construct must be on their intrinsic and inherent self which maximizes their strengths and improves responses to treatment and supervision. It all begins with self-awareness which will enable African American men to make thoughtful decisions and empowering decisions. A new world of positive opportunities and fulfilling experiences should follow. This self-awareness can be measured as they begin to understand themselves and other men on the same journey. 

You can download Urban Cultural Construct 2 by Mike Williams, BSC, CSAC, LSW here.

Urban Cultural Construct 2

The Thinker representing trauma theraphy

Why Trauma Therapy is For Everyone

“The question isn’t whether or not we’ve experienced trauma. The question is, ‘What is my trauma, and how does it affect my life now?'” This is one of those life-defining quotes you stumble upon every once in a great while, and it comes from Ryan Soave – trauma therapist, breathworker, and Director of Program Development at All Points North Lodge, a luxury rehab and treatment facility in Colorado.

When we take on dysfunctional habits in ourselves or our clients, it’s easy to fight for symptom reduction and behavior modification. After all, those outcomes will keep them sober, clean, regulated, and out of legal trouble. The issue, though, is that behavior modification only takes you so far. Sure, it produces tangible temporary change. But if we only modify the behavior, that habit change is only as strong as our client’s ability to withstand triggers. When circumstances change and life pokes at the underlying issues, the dysfunction returns – relapse.

Enter: trauma therapy. Though its definition will vary a bit from practice to practice, trauma therapy hinges on three concepts:

We all face some sort of trauma.
Unresolved trauma creates dysfunction.
Our dysfunction can heal when we address our traumas.

The term trauma often provokes a mental image of war, sexual assault, or some extreme violence. These events would qualify as what we’ll call “Big T” traumas. But trauma isn’t exclusive to this type. Other negative experiences or even “perceptions” or “threats” of negative experiences throughout childhood and even adulthood can change the way we understand and interact with the world. We call these “little t” traumas. Maybe we grew up with an absent parent, couldn’t live up to our older sibling’s example, served as a vessel for a parent to live vicariously through, watched a loved one battle cancer, or experienced repeated harsh criticism in an intimate relationship. While these experiences might not bring on a condition as severe PTSD, they can certainly leave a lasting mark – sometimes one that’s even harder to identify.

Trauma therapy targets these underlying issues in our lives to bring a fuller, more sustainable type of healing and change. It heals deep-set hurt, helps us rewire our brain, and leads us to identify when a stressor provokes a trauma response, so we can choose a better way.

Yes, fight for behavior modification. But dig deeper. Consider EMDR, deep meditation, DBT, psychodrama, and other methods. Take dysfunction out at the source.

Anna Mason, Senior Writer
All Points North Lodge
Edwards, Colorado

Anna Mason, Senior Writer, All Points North Lodge

Lighthouse beacon

Taking Full Responsibility

Do you love lists, check boxes, and schedules? Sure, it keeps us on track with the detailed stuff in our lives. But does it mean that we have giant ozone sized holes where the important things are concerned?

Lists keep us organized and they are attractive because it is a logical and analytical way of tackling the job at hand. They are nice, neat, and efficient because they are linear. You can track progress and it feels oh so satisfying when we check each item off.

But what if that’s distracting you from the big stuff? The kind of stuff that involves emotions and is messy, disorganized, and never truly gets completed?

Self-help guru Jack Canfield tell us:
If you want to be successful, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything that you experience in your life. This includes the level of your achievements, the results you produce, the quality of your relationships, the state of your health and physical fitness, your income, your debts, your feelings—everything! This is not easy.

I’m guessing there’s no list for that. But I can offer some solutions. Start by listening to the voices in your head. Pay special attention to the negative thoughts and for two days simply write down where you feel deficient. For example, notice when you think you’re not smart enough, not thin enough, will never be successful at… The key is to not judge or criticize yourself. Be an impartial observer.

I know this takes discipline, but it is a crucial first step to taking responsibility for your thinking, which ultimately reflects your real life experiences. As you do this, you are going to notice themes which generally fall under family/relationships, health/physical appearance, and wealth/success. Next, start naming these voices. Mine are called Ms. Controlling, Woe-Is-Me, and I even have a Mario Andretti one that hates to be stuck behind slower cars.
Each time I catch my inner critical voice emerge, I stop, acknowledge it, and simply invite it into my heart. I don’t try to change it. I don’t pretend that I didn’t have that thought or justify myself for thinking it. It’s simply one voice (aspect) in my head. In other words, it’s not all of me. I let it become all of me if I give into it, or worse, try to fight it. Then I’ve followed it down that rabbit hole and I may not emerge for days, and sometimes even years!

And finally, the more you love yourself, the greater your capacity to see others with compassion.

Naheed Oberfeld is an EFT practitioner, coach, and speaker based out of Germantown, Maryland. She uses EFT and the Law of Attraction to help her clients live their full potential by releasing patterns of behavior that keep them stuck. She has helped her Tramadol online clients grow their business, reach their career goals, and mend broken relationships, all while creating a life of ease, joy, and passion.

If life is a journey, Naheed helps you enjoy the ride! She can be reached at Her website is

lighthouse beacon of hope

Be the Beacon you were BORN to Be!

As we survey the present COVID-19 landscape, one thing is clear; the most vulnerable are once again being disproportionately affected. So many of us work and serve people who struggle to cope under the best of times, and during this time of social isolation they may spiral downward. In addition to this, the news feeds us a cycle of fear and uncertainty and we are bombarded by the emotional energy of everyone around us.

If you’re having trouble maintaining your own balance let alone helping your clients, I don’t blame you! But I’m here to share an important message for you, regardless of whether you feel confident in your ability to cope, you are ready for this!

You may not realize it, but you have been preparing for times like this for a very long while. How? You have created the inner resilience you need either by using conventional therapeutic principles or relying on faith-based processes (or both).

As practitioners, counselors, and faith-based leaders, we are being called to put into practice all that we have learned. The secret to tapping into this resilience is knowing that you possess it. We create our lives based on our intention and attention. If you feel unsure and think you need to seek more answers, you create experiences in which you feel a lack of clarity. On the other hand if you remind yourself the answers are within and trust that you have them, you will be guided and nudged in the right direction.
Personally, I strive to be an integrated self-actualized person and during trying times I ask myself, how would someone Tramadol for sale who is self-actualized act? The answer is never from fear, self-doubt, or lack of faith. In addition, I’m reminded that the answers are often revealed when I focus only on the next step, and not the entire route.

When you feel that being a beacon of hope feels too hard, remember this quote from Sheila Gillette (, “fear and faith ask the same thing of us; to believe in the unseen.” Which do you choose? I believe that you have the resilience that will guide you to the other side.

Naheed can be reached at
Want to learn more about how to step into your full potential? Check out her website at

Letter of Appreciation

A Letter of Appreciation…

…to all the amazing counselors, therapists, mentors and guides out there.

In the short span of 6 months that I’ve been writing these posts, I’ve heard from many of you all over the country. Some of you come from correctional facilities, others from faith-based organizations, and still others from community centers. In addition, you work with a wide variety of age groups and issues, but there is one thing in common, and that’s your deep desire to help those you work with lead a productive and fulfilling life.

All your attention and focus is on those you serve. Today I would like to put the focus on you.

I often connect with deeper truths and clarity during my walk through the woods and around a picture-perfect lake. In my latest hike, I wondered how I, one person, could make a dent in the suffering that I see all around me. And even more depressing, does anything ever change? As I walked, I saw the dead of winter all around me, no leaves on the trees, most of the creatures hibernating, and no signs of life anywhere. It occurred to me that the forest goes through this cycle every year (as we go through ours), but not once does a tree question if spring would arrive this year. Would it be early, or late? Will I survive or not? There is an implicit understanding that at just the right time, the earth will awaken and will bring with it all that is needed for life, nourishment, and wellbeing.

Which led to my next thought, despite what appears at the surface, what if unseen forces are working deep underground that I’m not even aware of? For example, are new seeds taking root? Are trees at the cusp of their leaves bursting forth? In short, is there a physical and metaphysical bias supporting life and well-being that we are blind to?

As I contemplate the change in seasons and how they transition from one to another, I realize there is no stress or struggle. Nature never questions or doubts itself. It simply is. Is there a message in nature that we can implement in our lives? For example, how much have we stressed and struggled alongside our clients in the belief that more effort is needed?

Are we so focused on their external situations that we can’t see the unseen forces of nature at play in their lives? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could release that responsibility Valium pharmacy , which was never ours to begin with? And instead recognize that everything that is required for everyone to thrive is right here. The next steps just show up, we simply have to open our eyes to possibilities instead of only focusing on the fear, usually of failing others, or ourselves.

I’ll leave you with a quote by my favorite master teacher, Abraham Hicks:

“The more you effort, the more you are holding yourself in a vibration that doesn’t let [well-being] come.”

Are you ready to let go and trust that things are working out, especially when it doesn’t appear to be?

Naheed Oberfeld is an EFT practitioner, coach, and speaker based out of Germantown Maryland. She uses EFT and the Law of Attraction to help her clients live their full potential by releasing patterns of behavior that keep them stuck. She has helped her clients grow their business, reach their career goals, and mend broken relationships, all while creating a life of ease, joy, and passion.

If life is a journey, Naheed helps you enjoy the ride! She can be reached at Her website is

water falling down stream

Shift Your Thinking From Upstream To Downstream

Do you have clients who are struggling? Are they feeling lost and confused and cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel? These deep emotions of hopelessness or helplessness create damaging cycles of disappointment, blame and anger. How can we help them to stop digging their hole and lift their head to see the light?

The key is to help them realize they are paddling upstream. Ask them to imagine for a moment that they are on a swift river. The current is moving at a brisk pace and they are in a boat paddling as hard as they can – except that the boat is pointed upstream. Instead of going with the flow, they are struggling as hard as they can.

That’s ridiculous or stupid, they may say. But the truth is all of us have trained ourselves to exert maximum amount of effort, when all we need to do is to flow with the current of well-being. It’s there for everyone. In fact, it’s our divine birthright, no matter how poorly we judge ourselves, our past behaviors, or conditions and circumstances.

An interesting thought experiment I ask my clients is what would life look like if your emotional and physical well-being is found downstream? How would you behave if your sobriety, joy and passion are downstream? In other words, what if there is nothing to “do” except to choose going downstream? What stress and struggle in the form of trying to make yourself a better person, trying to figure it out, or blaming others for your life circumstances could you let go of?

The more important question is, are you ready to shift your boat downstream? Downstream is where you will find your passion, joy, clarity, creativity and your best self-expression. It’s the place that you allow the connection with your divinity and all the good feelings that come with it. Upstream is where physical and mental exhaustion resides. In this state you feel blame, anger, judgment and confusion, which lead to fear.

But that’s not all. The best part of being downstream is that once the choice is made, a powerful momentum that we call God, source energy or the universe, literally rearranges situations and circumstances to accommodate your choice. Without any effort or you having to figuring it out, things improve. You’ll first notice a shift in how you feel. There will be breaks in the fog of confusion and fear and you’ll  notice episodes of stillness in the chaos. Next will be the outward shifts; some will appear as magical moments of synchronicity and others will be more mundane. None of it is coincidental or accidental. As you shift downstream, you are allowing the stream of well-being to serve your highest and best good without your constant intervention, work, or mental energy.

But as soon as change is evident, do you immediately shift into upstream thinking and sabotage yourself?

Naheed Oberfeld is an EFT practitioner, coach, and speaker based out of Germantown Maryland. She uses EFT and the Law of Attraction to help her clients live their full potential by releasing patterns of behavior that keep them stuck. She has helped her clients grow their business, reach their career goals, and mend broken relationships, all while creating a life of ease, joy, and passion.

If life is a journey, Naheed helps you enjoy the ride! She can be reached at Her website is

Police car responding to a drug deal gone bad

Success In Failure

At the dawn of the New Year, we wish each other much happiness and success.

It’s no surprise why there’s much to love about success. To most of us, success is synonymous with happiness and living our full potential.

Clients love it because it means they are making progress.

Counselors, coaches, and therapists love it because it demonstrates they are making a positive difference. And it creates great feel good stories for the rest of us. The truth, however, is that we rarely learn during successful times. Our greatest learning opportunities come from our perceived failures.
I’d like to tell you about a story about a young woman by the name of Katrina. She was in her early 20s and she came into the criminal justice system because of her drug usage. Her counselor saw something in her that made him really want to help her. She was young, smart, and filled with life. She embodied his hopes and dreams for recovery and rehabilitation; noble feelings, to be sure.

Katrina responded positively to the treatment and expressed her desire to turn her life. Her seemly upward trajectory, coupled with her counselor’s good intentions made him emotionally invested in her recovery. He really wanted her to succeed, and as a result, extended a different level of care.

Unfortunately, when that happens we are too immersed in the situation and don’t see it for what it is, and instead we see it the way we would like it to be. Which is why it came as a great shock when Katrina quit the group, violated the terms of her probation and returned to active drug using. Three weeks later, a local news story buy Xanax bars reported a drug deal gone bad and Katrina was dead. The counselor was devastated, he questioned every decision, every comment; was he too hard, too soft, should he have done something differently? All of us have had these experiences and each of us have grown tremendously as result of them.

It is generally only during these most trying times that we take a good hard look inside of us. First and foremost, it’s important to realize there is nothing wrong with us. No matter how bad the situation looks, and as tempting as it is to immediately blame ourselves, we are perfect in our own imperfections. We bring our own experiences and understanding to the counseling process, anything less and we become robots, which doesn’t help anyone.

Second, we learn we are not responsible for our clients’ successes or failures. This simple statement frees us from the heavy burden of responsibility counselors often times pick up, and strange to say, it frees our clients from having to meet commitments they aren’t able or willing to make. Our clients subtly pick up on our strong desires, and if they’re not ready, it can cause them to sabotage their treatment.

The sting of losing a client lasts with us long after the incident, but no matter how hard we try, we cannot be more committed to their well-being then they are. A hard learned lesson, to be sure, but understanding that is the true success in a story that the counselor felt was a failure.

Choke the addiction cycle

Can We Choke the Addiction Cycle by DE-emphasizing it?

In general there are no shortages of triggering events that effect people dealing with addiction and self-sabotaging behavior. However, the holiday season is particularly fraught with them.

As addiction counselors we have our work cut out for us: help steer someone down a narrow and difficult path. However, have you considered that our continual attention to our client’s addiction, success, and at times failures may feed their addiction cycle?

Consider this for a moment. When we talk to our clients, there is a huge focus on the negative impact of addiction, not only to themselves, but also their families. As enticement, we may even discuss the positive aspect of living without addiction. Notice, however, our emphasis continues to be on addiction. This in turn feeds the powerful momentum in the minds of our clients that continues to revolve around addictive thinking, fantasizing, and behavior. And strange as it may seem, it’s not their fault!

That’s the power of the Law of Attraction. Not only does each thought attract another like it, the next thought has a greater level of momentum, or intensity. Therefore a simple conversation about overcoming addiction may actually be a trigger for many people. Ever tried going on a diet and NOT thinking about food? It’s the same principle.

Ernest Holmes, teacher and author of The Science of Mind reminds us that “life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” With that in mind, how do we help our clients release their momentum on one subject and develop it on another if we can’t even talk about the subject?
Start by changing their focus. For example, instead of building your process around overcoming addiction (notice the focus is still on addiction), emphasize the joy of living a life filled with freedom, self-fulfillment and excitement. In other words, place the emphasis in the area that you want to build momentum in – joy, well-being, self-care. Why is this important? Nobody relapses when they are only focused on the momentum of their well-being. Just like you cannot put your car in reverse and drive forward! Unfortunately, many people have split energy as they also focus on their addiction and when triggered, can relapse.

It’s important to recognize that this process takes time as they have already built up a powerful momentum in one direction and we are asking them to shift course mind stream. I find Phentermine online that explaining how momentum works as evidence of their powerful thoughts fills my clients with much needed confidence and a feeling of control over their lives. For many this is a new and unfamiliar feeling.

Next month I’ll discuss how momentum from your thoughts and beliefs impact your clients’ recovery.

Naheed Oberfeld is an EFT practitioner, coach, and speaker based out of Germantown Maryland. She uses EFT and the Law of Attraction to help her clients live their full potential by releasing patterns of behavior that keep them stuck. She has helped her clients grow their business, reach their career goals, and mend broken relationships, all while creating a life of ease, joy, and passion.

If life is a journey, Naheed helps you enjoy the ride! She can be reached at Her website is

Visualizing Your Way Out Using Your Emotional Guidance System

Last month I talked about the 3 step system to help you move yourself up the emotional ladder.

Hicks Emotional ScaleStep one starts with acknowledging how you feel right now. Step two, which can be the hardest, is to accept yourself as you are. When I was deep in my depression and feeling a lot of self-disgust, I had to believe that I was worthy of a better life, even though I had no external evidence for it. This is the juice you need to fire your engine and get out of your behavior cycles. And finally, step three is reaching for the next higher feeling.

After reading my article last month, a reader asked how do we move from the lower levels of guilt and shame to living a healthier and self-affirming life? This is the focus of this month’s article.

It starts with an understanding of the Law of Attraction – your life is a giant mirror and your outer world faithfully reflects your inner emotions about yourself, the world, and your place in it.

Are you in a situation where your past or present behavior makes you feel guilty, shameful, undeserving of love? If so, you are experiencing the lowest vibration (emotion) on Abraham Hicks’ Emotional Guidance Scale. Click here for the full sized scale. What you may not realize is that the more you focus on these emotions, the more you recreate them in your life. The goal is to reach for the next higher level emotion inside of you.

Start by taking 15 minutes daily and thinking about one aspect about yourself that you can appreciate. For example, with my weight loss clients who claim they hate everything about their body, I ask, even your eyes? How about your fingers? If you have trouble with it, go back to childhood. Perhaps you were a curious child, or was imaginative, full of live? Reconnect with that piece of you, no matter how long ago that was.

As you focus on this part of you that you appreciate, what feelings come up? Can you feel any positive emotion for that part of you, no matter how trivial it may be? Take deep, full breaths and allow these feelings to penetrate every cell in your body. How does it feel? Does it make you feel light? See if you intensify the physical feelings and emotions. As you focus on these feelings, ask yourself if there is one positive situation that you feel you deserve today. It does not have to be big. It could be a smile from a stranger, or maybe a word of kindness or appreciation. But it does have to be something that you do not emotionally reject because you feel undeserving.

Regardless of what your life looks like now, it is important to realize that our current circumstances do not need to define our future reality. Every sports star has to first visualize order Phentermine herself as a winner many years prior to the first competition. As you spend time visualizing appreciating yourself, the Law of Attraction will do the heavy lifting for you. It will bring you the next thought of appreciation, which will be matched by another. Soon you will experience people responding to you in positive ways and circumstances and situations will literally rearrange themselves to match your thoughts and emotions. That’s the power of the Law of Attraction! All it requires is spending a few minutes sending kind thoughts your way.

“The Law of Attraction is responding to your thought, not to your current reality. When you change the thought, your reality must follow suit. If things are going well for you, then focusing upon what is happening now will cause the well-being to continue, but if there are things happening now that are not pleasing, you must find a way of taking your attention away from those unwanted things.” – Abraham Hicks (Money & the Law of Attraction)

By doing this exercise you have the ability to quickly change your patterns of thought, and eventually your life experience. You can read more about it in The Astonishing Power of Emotions: Let Your Feelings Be Your Guide by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

Naheed Oberfeld is an EFT practitioner, coach, and speaker based out of Germantown Maryland. She uses EFT and the Law of Attraction to help her clients live their full potential by releasing patterns of behavior that keep them stuck. She has helped her clients grow their business, reach their career goals, and mend broken relationships, all while creating a life of ease, joy, and passion.

If life is a journey, Naheed helps you enjoy the ride! She can be reached at Her website is

Emotional Guidance System

Three Steps to Using Your Emotional Guidance System to Feel Your Way to an Empowered Life

I was driving home after attending a networking meeting when for no particular reason I had the urge to shift lanes. The right lane meant slower traffic, which I generally avoided. On this day I followed the impulse. No sooner than I did, I saw the speed trap; a cop parked behind some bushes. This time I heeded that still, small voice. Too many times I ignored it. Sounds familiar?

When we are in the throes of addiction we disconnect ourselves from that inner voice that always guides us back home to self-love.

According to master teacher Abraham Hicks, by training yourself to move up your Emotional Guidance Scale you regain that voice, which is key to overcoming addiction. The emotional scale is a list of incrementally better feeling emotions that you slide in and out of, but when used deliberately, can be a very powerful tool.

Use this simple three step process. Experiment with it and make it yours!

Step 1: How do you feel this very moment?
Take a moment and list the top three emotions you feel right now. Most of us avoid confronting the bad feeling stuff inside of us. It’s easier to suppress rather than acknowledge it. We are even taught to stay focused on the positive and ignore the rest. This inner conflict in your emotions creates an energy imbalance which you experience as addictions and self-defeating behavior.

Step 2: Choose to accept yourself anyway!
Our self worth can quickly spiral downward when we fail either ourselves or those who love and trust us. As tough as it may be, acknowledge that who you are as a person (deserving of love) is separate and independent of the behavior. Without this realization you will feel stuck in a downward cycle of unworthiness which you “prove” to yourself by continuing to commit harmful and illegal acts, which further convinces you of your unworthiness.

Step 3: Reach for the next highest feeling emotion
Our greatest success comes one step at a time. You will either never start on the road to recovery or slide back down if you try to make a leap that is too big because you are not emotionally aligned with the goal. Start by finding yourself on the emotional scale and see what the next level up looks like.
For example, if you are feeling stuck at depression and despair, don’t try to reach for happy and joyful. As improbable as it may seem, feeling guilty is an improvement in the Valium Canada vibration of your emotions. Once you consistently feel guilty, you may find yourself slipping into revenge or even anger. Celebrate that as progress! Crazy, I know, but acknowledge and celebrate every moment spent in a better feeling emotion.

The goal is not to stay stuck on the lower emotions, but rather to use it a guide to see what small, incremental changes you can make to move up one rung on the ladder. I’ll talk more about how to shift to the next higher emotion in the next article.

The beauty of this system is that it allows you to uncover exactly where you are moment by moment. We do not live our lives moving in one smooth direction, either upward or downward. Instead our emotions are constantly jumping around. However, by being aware of them you can intentionally lift yourself up rather than unwittingly spiral downward.

Emotional Guidance Scale

  1. Fear/grief/depression/despair/powerlessness
  2. Insecurity/guilt/unworthiness
  3. Jealousy
  4. Hatred/rage
  5. Revenge
  6. Anger
  7. Discouragement
  8. Blame
  9. Worry
  10. Doubt
  11. Disappointment
  12. Overwhelming
  13. Frustration/irritation/impatience
  14. Pessimism
  15. Boredom
  16. Contentment
  17. Hopefulness
  18. Optimism
  19. Positive expectations/beliefs
  20. Enthusiasm/eagerness/happiness
  21. Passion
  22. Joy/appreciation/empowered/freedom/love

Naheed Oberfeld is an EFT practitioner, coach, and speaker based out of Germantown Maryland. She uses EFT and the Law of Attraction to help her clients live their full potential by releasing patterns of behavior that keep them stuck. She has helped her clients grow their business, reach their career goals, and mend broken relationships, all while creating a life of ease, joy, and passion.

If life is a journey, Naheed helps you enjoy the ride! She can be reached at for a no-obligation, complimentary coaching session. Her website is

"An approach to the treatment of offenders which emphasizes the role of altering thinking patterns in bringing about change in an offender's life."