The Shade to the Sunshine

When you are working in your craft, working in your goals, and making your dream a reality, it becomes very stressful when things are not working on your time frame. It can also become upsetting when you see people achieving the same goals that you have established yet before you did. There may be times when you question yourself “why them and not me” or “what am I doing wrong.” The first thing that you must do is to look and find the reason for the stump in your growth. Are you focus on your path like you suppose to? Are you doing the things that you are supposed to do in life to ensure that nothing goes against you? Have you made right of any wrongs that you have created? The second thing is that you should do is learn how to congratulate those who are winning while you are still working. During the path of success, you have to have a plan. You have to stay focused on your goal. You have to recognize that there is enough for everyone to win.

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Sadly no one told Joseline Hernandez this. Instead of getting the Hernandez brand back on track, she utilized her time to speak negative someone who made it to the platform. Instead of cheering for Cardi B –whether silently or loudly-accomplishing the goal, she chose to dispute her hard work into something so simple. Now all that Joseline has worked for and has attempted to salvage due to negativity she has created on her own will no longer be relevant all because she could not take seeing another person shine.

Photo credits: http://www.alamy.com: http://www.bet.com

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Balling out of Control

The Ball brothers are a hot topic in the sports world thanks to their father, Levar Ball. Their father made sure that the country (and possibly the world) knew about his sons and their athletic ability in basketball. You have his oldest son, Lonzo Ball, who is presently a rookie for the Los Angeles Lakers. You have his youngest son, LaMelo Ball who is a standout basketball player who has verbally committed to his college of choice at age thirteen. Lastly you have his middle son, LiAngelo Ball who presently plays for UCLA. Sadly that will change after the choices made by LiAngelo and his two teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hall. Instead of playing basketball against Georgia Tech in Shanghai China, these young men broke the law which could have caused major issues for them. Luckily things worked out in their favor as in not going to prison in China, but their fate in basketball is a different story. These three young men have possibly lost their chance on not only having a career in basketball but also miss the chance on gaining a college education for free. The one player who will get the most commentary about this situation is LiAngelo Ball. From this day forward, he will always be known as “the player that got caught stealing in China.” Although there were two other players that got in trouble, their names are not known as well as his. Not only is his effected by it but this will affect his brothers and his father.

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Athletes-especially those that are nationally known- have to realize that they are always under the microscope. They have to realize that when they steer on the path to do something that they should not be doing, people will never let it go. People will always have comments to say about their actions, their athletic ability and anything else that has to do with them. Now these guys may possibly never play basketball anymore or even finish their college education: all for a pair of expensive sunglasses. I do not know if these young men felt that they were untouchable because one of them was a Ball and the other two were plus ones or they just felt that since they were in another country they can do whatever they want. Regardless of their reasons, I hope that they realize that the situation could have been far worse and they should be forever grateful of the outcome. I hope that these young men are able to display humility from here on out, to become more humble about their gift, and to make better choices in the future.

Photo credits: http://www.libertynews.com, The Peer Project

 

#METOO

Recently on twitter, a hastag was created to show unity for women who have ever been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted in their life time. Surprisingly (well not surprisingly) there was a large number of women who shared the hashtag on their social media. There was an out pour of female celebrities that responded with the hashtag that various social media platforms went into a frenzy. This movement gave those who feel like they do not have a voice because of their status an opportunity to be open about what happened to them. Being a woman is a hard role. Being a woman in a male dominated industry such as sports and entertainment is twice as hard. It is twice as hard because both worlds are ran by men who ultimately hold the power of the direction of the careers. Many women in the industry have been sexually violated at all levels: rather is was an inappropriate comment or a physical violation. Women are now being able to feel comfortable to stand up and let others know that sexual inappropriateness goes on more than we want to accept and it runs deeper than we ever thought. There should never be a time where a woman feels helpless and yet cannot be heard due to someone having control of her career. A woman should not have to decide if she should go along with the plan or if she should go against it in the name of her career: let alone her life.

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Although it will take much more that a hashtag on social media to stop the harassment and bring those who are at fault up to the light, it is a way for us to start the conversation: with ourselves, with our loves one, and with each other. To those who have ever been sexually harassed or sexually violated, I hope that you understand that you did not deserve it. I hope that you did not allow your situation to stop you from reaching your goals in life. If you did, please know that that you can get back on track with the right help. Please know that you are not the only one this has happened to; #metoo

Photo credits: The Daily Beast: Yourstory

The Cardi Expereince

Two years ago, if it was announced that an up and coming reality star was going to make it to mainstream it probably would have been ignored. If it was stated that the artist would also hit the Rap and R &B charts but also the Pop charts and hit number one, it would not only be laughed at but also talked down. But when you are Cardi B, all things are possible. Now there are plenty of folks who are still in disbelief that Cardi B has risen to the top in a short amount of time. But the majority of the population, not only are saying “these are bloody shoes”, but can respect and understand the blood, sweat, and tears that have been shed for this fantasy to actually become a reality. If you are a fan of Love and Hip Hop Hollywood (or a lurker), then you know Cardi B’s story. You saw that Cardi B had to work hard (often twice as hard) to get where she was trying to get to. Despite of the multiple barriers that came her way to knock her down, Cardi B always found a way to get back on top.

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The Lesson to Learn from Cardi B

One thing that a person can learn from the Cardi B experience is that you allow nothing or no one stop you from reaching your goal. You don’t allow the insight of other people be your guide when they are not being supportive of your path. Recognize that your timing is your timing, rather it is fast or slow. Understand that when you grow, everyone cannot grow with you. During the process, you will meet people who are in place to take you where you need to go. If you have to take one thing from the Cardi Experience, let it be this: stay humble.  One thing that no one cannot state is that during all of the laughter and the outrageous gestures, Cardi B remains humble and implements where she comes from.

 

Photo credit: allhiphop.com and usatoday.com

The Last Chance

Recently I had the pleasure of watching the Netflix documentary LAST U. I was intrigued on how the athletic system of JUCOs (junior colleges) are set up. It is set up to help those who didn’t make the grade, who need to work on their athletic skill, or who got into some form of trouble at their original athletic program. It also spotlighted various players and shed light about their personal life and background that made them who they were. There were multiple times when I saw things about certain players that I felt was a red flag and not being paid any attention to. Sadly one of the former players that were featured is now facing a homicide charge.

Isaiah Wright had a promising future in football but fell to the sideline when it came to the applications of life. Isaiah was all about football. He lived, ate, and breathed football. He had the tunnel vision that he was going to make it all the way in the world of sports. Sadly, Isaiah felt that this was all that he had to live for. Isaiah, like other players, felt that if he did not have football that he would not have anything. Isaiah was one of the few that knew if he did not make it into football, that there would be trouble for him; and he was right. Not only does he not have football to cherish, but Isaiah is on his way to no longer cherish his freedom.

At the end of the day, Isaiah has to accept responsibility for his actions. No matter what our daily struggles are, we still have the responsibility of our life and accept the consequences of our choices. The only thing that I feel that Isaiah felt short of, was not having the proper guidance and accountability to ensure he knew that a positive Plan B was needed in the world of sports. Athletes need to understand that the days of playing twenty years in sports are coming to a close. They need to learn about life and that living a life of crime should not be an option. Besides making the grade and making the score, a lot of players are in need of some form of counseling and life skills training in order to be successful

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I do not know why Isaiah committed the crime and I am not writing this to pass judgment. What I do feel is that this need to be shared so that other athletes can recognize their struggle and reach out for real help for themselves.

Brandy is the owner of Brandy J. Flynn Counseling & Consulting Services. She utilizes counseling services for athletes and entertainers that may have hit a bump in the road while utilizing consulting as a prevention manner for those who are stating out.

About

I am the owner of Brandy J. Flynn Counseling & Consulting Services as a mental health counselor in the world of sports and in the entertainment industry. I am also the founder of Breaking the Barriers of the Mental Health Foundation

Source: About

Lamar Odom: The Next Chapter

When you are dealing with addiction, it is very hard to recover from it. You have to do everything in your power to stay focus and stay on track with the road to recovery. You have to recognize the triggers of your life that may be the root of your addiction and also learn how to deal with them. So many times, we feel that we have it together when we actually do not. Luckily some people recognize that they need assistance in keeping it together. Instead of waiting until they fall off the wagon, they reach out for help to be utilized as a safety net. This past week, former NBA player Lamar Odom has made a personal decision to check himself back into rehab. His emphasis for going back to rehab is to help him get his mind focused for the upcoming year. There have been so many rumors and coincidences for his reasons: divorce being finalized, the birthday of his child that died from SIDS, and even a childhood friend who is recently serving time in prison. No matter what the reason is, Lamar is taking the proper steps in his life to make sure that he is able to deal with not only his addiction but the various losses that he has encountered in his life. It is outstanding when people take it upon themselves to place prevention in their life so that they have a safety net in case something disturbs their life that would make them get side tracked. Sadly so many people in society believe that people like Lamar Odom are just not strong enough and probably fallen off already. Regardless if he has fallen off and is covering it up or he is truly utilizing this as prevention, he is still taking care of himself mentally so that he will be able to function within society. Lamar will be making a fresh start in 2017 with being a better parent and a better man.

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As a mental health counselor and a sports fan, I am truly hoping that Lamar Odom not only defeats his addiction, but also tackles his issues that have occurred in his life over time. Hopefully this will open up the much needed dialogue for those who feel that they need some form of prevention to help them stay on task during upcoming storms in their life.

Brandy J. Flynn is the owner of Brandy J. Flynn Counseling & Consulting Services. She is also the founder of Breaking the Barriers of Mental Health Foundation. She is an counselor in the entertainment and sports industry and an advocate for mental health.

Photo credit: http://www.campusheathq.com & http://www.hngn.com

The Crisis Of Kanye

When someone encounters trauma in their life, it can create some form of setback in their life. Never taking the time to face and deal with the trauma can take a toll on one’s life. Often times people feel that if they ignore a trauma, it will magically go away. Just think of what could happen to a person who encounters multiple traumatic experiences and never deal with any of them. Over the past few weeks, rap artist Kanye West has hit a breaking point with his mental health. Although the media constantly reports that Kanye is currently dealing with sleep deprivation and exhaustion, in reality, Kanye’s mental health has finally hit a brick wall. He has been the butt of a lot of jokes due to his public outbursts at his recent concerts. His outbursts are now considered a cry for help. What people fail to realize is that Kanye has yet to take time to deal with the various life altering events in his life.

Like Kanye West, many people ignore traumatic events. They think they can overcome them just by ignoring them only to realize that it will never go away. Many people feel that if you do not acknowledge the traumatic events, life will eventually get better. The fact of the matter is that these types of events can cloud our future decisions we’ll make in life and alter the road we have in front of us. We have to learn that the phrase “this too shall pass” does not mean ignore the issue, but in fact work on the issue.

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I hope this situation is an eye opener for not only Kanye West but for others who have had traumatic incidents in their life and refused to deal with them. I hope this incident demonstrates that trauma never goes away and can always attack you in disguise. Instead of saying #prayforKanye, lets also say #letshelpKanye.

Brandy J. Flynn is a mental health counselor and consultant in the entertainment  industry and the world of  sports. Follow on twitter and instagram @consultbrandy.

Photo credit. music.blog.ajc.com and livingcivil.com

#YouGoodMan

Very rarely do you hear men talk about the issues that they dealing in their life. A lot of times, they keep it to themselves and shut people out of their life. Many have kept it to themselves to the point that they have decided to take their own lives. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men die by suicide 3.5x more often than women. When hip hop artist/ actor Kid Cudi stated that he has been admitted to seek help for depression, anxiety and suicidal ideations, it opened the door for dialogue for men to not only check themselves but to check on others. Kid Cudi has dealt with various adjustment issues in his younger life that could possibly be the root of his depression and anxiety. What Kid Cudi did was more than a notification. It was a self- statement of acknowledging that he is not ok, that he does not have it together, and he is seeking help for it. It is also a conversation piece for men to start having the conversation with each about their well-being. Although men do not normally pour their heart out to their family and  friends like women usually do, they are beginning to take advantage of utilizing their friends to speak about the issues that they are dealing with. More men are even seeking professional health to help them to get a grip on their issues to help them to become a better man.

At this present time, what Kid Cudi needs is support during this process. It isn’t easy dealing with mental illness: especially when you are in the spotlight. Luckily for him, he took it upon himself to get the professional help he need instead of inquiring what he should do. So as you are ready this, think about the men in your life who may be dealing with issues in their life and simply ask “You good man”, you never know that you may possibly save a life.

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Brandy Flynn is a mental health therapist in the entertainment and sports industry. She is also the founder of Breaking the Barriers of Mental Health Foundation. If you or somebody you know is contemplating suicide, you can call The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. The hashtag #Yougoodman is used in remembrance of men to check on the fellow brothers to ensure that they are doing ok.

Photcredit: www.runhetrap.com and www.mtv.com

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