Cell block society post-release master plan: 2nd calendar year post release – protecting freedom

Brookshire, Levert, III (Sékou)

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Cover Page Working Title: CellBlock Society Post-Release Master Plan Subtitle: 2nd Calendar Year Post-Release - Protecting Freedom Author: Levert Brookshire III Page Count: 23 pages Word Count: 17.5 K * Emphasis on staying disciplined and focussed on what it will take to stay out even longer than two years, and will keep me outside of Institutions, reminding myself how I made it this far along, how to last, even longer. Looking at the strategies I've used to solve my problems, recognizing why they're effective and motivated myself to continue using them. * Pointing out the formula for developing problem solving strategies. The actual system I've come to use for my personal problems. Looking at alot of the mentors who influenced my transformation of thinking and my problem solving techniques. * Going into my future plans when I'm no longer under state jurisdiction, how I'm planning to deal with the problem of being held back, limited, and chained to my past mistakes. * Future plans to form a 'legacy' around helping others to solve their problems, offering others hope, vision and opportunity. Here I am finally, making the journey for two years now. Following the plans staying the course, keeping my discipline while I'm outside of those prison walls like I've done inside of them for decades. I'm sure that it's not been easy for me to do, not with the flooding of temptations, stimulations and everything coming in all at once, trying to compete for my attention, looking to keep me off my game, distract my focus from my master plan. But my discipline and resistance to outside pressures has finally proven to be well worth the effort. It's kept me outside of prison for two calendar years now. It's the best proof I could have that supports all of my painstaking years of research, pre-calculated, pre-measured, and pre-drawn maps, charts and plans, etc. Putting in the hundreds of hours it takes to devise them all into these plans, I can depend on for guidance, recollection and support to motivate me along my journey, drive me towards my goals. It has turned out to be the best way for me to spend my time inside prison. These plans have played a key role in turning my 'institutionalized' ways of thinking around. 'Institutional' programming of our brains work for 'institutional' living. But, 'institutional' programming of our brains if not de-programmed from our brains before we get out, then it will keep our thinking wired to come back to the institutions where they were originally programmed at in the first place. Keeping us locked up in a psychological cycle. After being made aware of this programming, fighting against it, resisting it throughout my last trip through the institutions, protection for myself became using my own programming, avoiding the institution's. My own programming for my own brain was liberating and beneficial to me. Putting in the time to do research and answer questions for myself to use later on in my life was completely eye opening for me, protecting my brain from any more further programming than it had already taken in. Replaced with the well researched and deeply thought out ideas important to the "planned work" ahead of me once I was to get out of prison again. Learning about discipline as I went along, time management and protecting freedom, by keeping sole control over my mental programming content I learned the importance of planned out work. Figuring out expected problems, determining solutions, avoiding coming setbacks, documenting everything that I could, recording the findings, writing down the results, beforehand. There aren't any guarantees that everything we plan, document or predict will unfold or come to be according to the way we predicted and planned for it to be. Simply because whenever we do our research, document our plans onto paper, they're not yet tested or challenged by the pressures of reality and resistance of opposing forces. Once I take my plans with me outside of prison, that's when they are going to be put to the test, challenged by reality and proven to be sound, well researched and strong or not, once I take them off the paper, implementing them into 'real life', their credibility will be determined. While knowing that everything we plan out on paper, doesn't always guarantee that it will 'adapt' to what's in the real world either. But, it's always better for us to store our thoughts, save our ideas, keep our plans safely documented on paper, for when their time comes. Our thoughts, ideas, and even our memories from our past, should always be kept, saved, recorded and stored away somewhere safe anyways. This is what diaries, journals, captain's logs, video recorders, tape recorders, etc. were created to do for us in order for us to protect our history, secure our lifetime of memories, create our legacies, not allowing for anything to be forgotten, swept aside, or to slip away from us, not to be heard from or seen even again. Writing them down, documenting it and storing it on paper. When their time comes and their need arrives we'll know when to dust them off, pull them off the shelf, to give them a completely fresh look, reading back over our own words again to give ourselves a sense of the time we were in, a sense of the mind state that we had, and how our thinking was during the time of writing it all. Preserving my ideas, thoughts and plans on paper while being in prison not only helped to keep my mind protected against 'institutional' programming, trapping my brain to this 'institutional' way of living. I kept my mind under my own personal control and programming content throughout the entire 18 years of imprisonment. So that I may protect my freedom outside of prison by using this plan as my reference point to look back on later. I understood at the time of writing these plans and while recording these ideas and thoughts, that they would be my defense shield in prison against "institutionalization" and my 'plans' for later for myself to reference and look back on whenever necessary, as I'm outside of prison protecting my freedom, trying to hold on for dear life. Surely it's my last and final chance at having a real and fulfilling life outside of an institution ever again. At 53 years old, after this one, there will be no more chance for me to get it together. To make sure of that, I don't get it wrong, having been released from the physical bondage of prison only unshackled my body and released my body into freedom. But this wouldn't have been enough to keep me out of prison, as it's proven in my past on two separate occasions. Without having my 'mind' unchained from the prison programming that it's been receiving for 18 years, it's unlikely that I can even have a realistic chance at staying out of prison, for any serious amount of time. I decided while in prison to invest whatever it took for me to create these plans in advance, making sure that my mind too, along with my body could also set free and released together when my time finally came to walk out of prison on my day of release. How else does anyone getting out of institutional living after 18 years protect their own freedom? What many of us assume is the simple fact that our bodies have been unchained, unshackled and released. Automatically this must mean our brain has been released along with our body, since the two are together. But this isn't necessarily true at all. If I have to be truthful with anyone it's got to be with myself. We all know of case after case of ex-felons' stories who like myself have had chance after chance to be released again and again. Having our physical bodies unshackled and set free, being released from controlled institutional living, turned loose again back into civil society not once, twice, three separate times or more. Only to come back again over and over again. Sooner or later we've got to ask ourselves why? I finally did. I've asked others too. There's a million explanations, excuses, reasons for why this happens, none of which seemed good enough for me. So I set out to research my own theories. I managed to uncover some plausible and practical explanations. Some of them have led me to draw these documented conclusions for this problem. As an ex-felon who gets his freedom back, having his shackles taken off his body and set free, has proven not be enough when it comes to protecting his freedom. Whenever no efforts were made or no attention has been paid, to unchain his mind from the prisons' programming. No changes whatsoever to the ways that one thinks about life, one's values, or priorities, while sitting inside the institutions they were at. Many of them sink their minds even deeper and further into the institutionalized programming, 'clamping' down the shackles even tighter around their own minds, keeping their own minds in bondage, a self-made prison of their own doing, chaining themselves to substance abuse addictions, criminal syndicates/prison gang enterprises, tabloid entertainment, pop culture, fame seeking popularity, controlling other people, etc. The list goes on. Shackling their minds to a life of fantasy and delusions, allowing their minds to be programmed by everything else besides themselves, shaking loose all of its chains. I decided to assert authority and control over my own mental programming during my time in prison. Proving to myself, once and for all, the fact of the matter is, there's more to protecting my own freedom besides taking off shackles, unchaining my wrists and getting released again, free to roam the streets again without the confines of institutional restrictions and controls to hinder me. There's alot more to it than being released from institutional hold. Something that has been termed 'institutionalized,' has proven itself to be a very real thing for me in my past. My personal research has found that there's many different forms of this. All of them are known to be linked back to how we deal with our minds, our own brains, while we are inside the institutions. Either we work toward keeping our brains under own own personal control and programming each and every day while inside, or either give into the daily programming content, being loaded into our brains, by the institution that's surrounding us. Forming our own, self-made prison, shackling ourselves to psychological chains. The kind that can't be seen with the human eye, not the physical kind that we see around our wrists and ankles, keeping us restricted with tightly linked, closely connected chain links. But the other forms of bondage we can't see, for example. How can we protect our freedom if we never break free from the mental chains of worshipping fame, popularity or material possessions and status, idolizing things we can't afford, yet jeopardize our freedom to have. How can we expect our freedom to be safe and guarded when we're having struggles with addictions to alcohol or even chemical dependencies which keep our minds mentally shackled to misery and psychological torment, using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, unable to enjoy our freedom or enjoy all of the possibilities and opportunities that we we had to give up while inside institutions. To help me stay focussed on this way of seeing things, this theory of mine, I came up with my own form of programming and content control, not allowing for others' programming to be loaded into my brain. Like software writing or coding, I write my own personal computer codes, making sure that no malware is able to influence my thinking, protecting my mind. Managing what goes into my brain, screening the content of programming was most important. It got me thinking about what it takes to protect my freedom, to remind myself out there in society I wrote myself a short story for myself to read from time to time, as anyone should do whenever they feel their power or discipline weakening or threatened. I think about "Blue," he was a young, healthy and strong, growing male silverback gorilla, who was being raised by his other silverback gorilla family, he grew up swinging on tree branches, climbing them, playing on vines and trampling through the thick, green forest and foraging for bananas in the humid, tropical, rain soaked jungles of the deep, African Congo Jungle where zoo keepers and animal researches found him living at. They tranquilized him, put his brain to sleep and got him over to the U.S. where "Blue" came to, awakening to his new home. He was studied by researchers day in and day out. He was provided everything he needed to sustain his life, his health was monitored and given the best treatment possible. "Blue" was given the best care in every way, by his caretakers, who kept accurate logs tracking "Blue's" behavioral patterns and how he was adapting to his new, sudden change of environment. Documenting the ways in which "Blue" related to his new living environment and surroundings. This went on for almost 10 calendar years, recording thousands of hours, tracking years of records. "Blue" eventually would start to pace inside his cage. He started to do this and it would go on for hours. Just pacing back and forth inside his cramped cage that was only 20 feet by 20 feet, kept in Southern California in the San Bernardino zoo and animal research sanctuary. Eventually funds had been raised and resources got approved for an elaborately designed, very large and spacious artificial, simulated replica of his own, natural habitat where he had come from in the densely forested jungle of the Congo. It was especially designed and constructed for him to live inside, with wide open areas spread out for his freedom, spanning acres, giant trees, large branches to climb on, play and swing from, huge cliffs, boulders, waterfalls and even banana trees too. Sounds like all the freedom Blue could want. All of it surrounded with plush green vegetation and plants, replicating the exact same kind of natural habitat that he came from. Then the big day finally came, as the zoo keepers and animal researchers and scientists stood there on the sidelines, waiting, beaming with smiles and anxious excitement , eager to finally see Blue set free, get released into his own brand new, free and wide-open space, where he had more to do, many more possibilities than before, back at the institution's cage he had been confined to for so many years. Once he had been released into his sanctuary, he left everyone surprised and stunned when he didn't come running out of the cage, jumping and climbing all over the place. He never went out to take advantage of the freedom he was now able to have, he never wanted to go swinging on the branches or play on the boulders full of energy and bursting with strength and excitement. Instead Blue was instantly drawn to the attention of a cramped, isolated and damp clearing, tucked in the far corner, off to the side of the sanctuary. He retreated there and resumed what he had started to do inside that cage. He began pacing again, back and forth, circling around inside of an imaginary 20 ft. by 20 ft. area of space, back and forth, leaving impressions in the ground where he walked for hours and hours, waiting til they signaled to him for his feeding time, medical, etc. right there is where Blue remained for the remainder of life, never exploring or seeing what other areas of sanctuary could offer him, leaving every other 'possibility', unexplored and abandoned. Blue had been taken out of his own natural environment at an early age, as he was then forcefully introduced to the whole 'institutional' way of living, being programmed to the institution's structured systems, trained to repeatedly follow and go along with the exact same, ongoing, continuous routines, becoming dependent on a system of others who are there to treat us as their livestock, categorized and shuffled around as property, issued a number to replace our name. Everything from our daily meals, clothes, laundry to our health care is planned out by others and provided for by others, our movements are controlled by others and our behaviors are influenced by others as well. We are psychologically trained to surrender control over to an institutional way of life, in exchange for our needs being satisfied. Having our brains manipulated into a self-made prison, that we have voluntarily shackled ourselves to, in order to become manageable subjects, while being held inside man-made institutions, closely monitored, tightly controlled, shuffled around, our bodies contained inside very visible, imposing, cinder block walls, with obvious brick and mortar constructed prisons, comparable to the kinds of cages that Blue happened to be kept in at first, before he was released into his new freedom. Sadly though, just like Blue, many of us also find ourselves taken at young ages too, to be held in 'institutional' cages, programmed and controlled. Once we are given the chance for freedom we too retreat to the nearest corner and ignore all other possibilities around us, just to resume the same pacing back and forth cycle of familiarity that we know best, 'chaining' our own minds to a self-made prison, shackling ourselves to what we know about even if we know it's bad for us. As long as we become familiar with doing it we are drawn back to it again. This is because we've programmed our brains to keep returning to the behaviors that we feel comfortable doing, repeating what we know the outcomes to. Trapping ourselves inside a psychological prison even though our bodies may get unshackled and set free, released into freedom. Our minds haven't been unchained yet, which is why some of us have found our way back to our captors and crawled back into our 8 ft. by 10ft. cages to resume what we know best and have been programmed for, just like Blue. What first begins as a form of punishment and suffering for us eventually becomes our training and programming, keeping us dependent on the institution for our sustenance, healthcare, and life. Over the years it's no longer despised or seen as punishment to us. It becomes like an awkward relationship, between captors and captives, accepting and tolerable to each other, therefore removing any deterrents or discouragements not to return to our same old behaviors again, once we are finally set free, released into the free world, ignoring all other possibilities, never stopping to explore the other opportunities freedom has to offer, instead like Blue we too choose to go directly back to the same familiar activities and behaviors that we know best, repeating our same old patterns, just as if we too are pacing back and forth, going in circles, leaving impressions in the ground under our feet, creating our trail of criminal arrests, convictions, in and out of prison, scattering fatherless children everywhere, contributing nothing to this life of worth or value. Once we are set free again, our body is released, yet our brain is still shackled up inside its own self-made prison, programmed to an institutionalized way of living, an unconventional relationship, most won't admit to even existing. After spending so many years in such a dysfunctional relationship, many are ashamed and embarrassed to admit that after so many years of programming inside institutions they no longer need judges to sentence them to institutions, at some point we sentence ourselves to institutions where we can live out our last days on the earth, to resume pacing back and forth, doing the same thing over and over again as we've been trained to do, most of our lives, sitting in isolated, cold, 8 ft. by 10 ft. cages where our own thinking led us to be, whether we were aware of it or not. If we don't ever take a pause and search inside ourselves or take notice of our programming that's going on inside our brains we'll never know of the self-made prison being constructed in our minds. Some never take notice. Most will never pause to question their own reasoning for repeatedly returning back to the same old corners of their natural habitats once their bodies have been unshackled, and released into the wide open, spacious, far reaching, unlimited possibilities in free society. Having access to unlimited opportunities that we are given starting at our birth. Why else do we instantly turn our attention away from all of the unlimited possibilities and wide open freedoms, concentrating instead on the nearest, most limited and restricted corners of civil society and that's where we go to retreat, before long we're pacing back and forth again, leaving our proverbial markings, impressions on the ground under our feet again. Fortunately this mental prison that I had constructed around my mind has since been demolished. I was able to finally see it myself, the years and years of programming had to be deprogrammed. Studying and identifying my own patterns of behavior, learning what it meant. This is where it all started changing for me. I can't forget this, after rereading these words, once being able to remain free for two calendar years now, let these words become my reminder of what happens to me once I let those shackles go back on, to my brain. I don't want my life to end up like Blue's. This is why I've taken the steps necessary to face the truth about myself. Exploring the unexplored wilderness inside of my own self. Leaving that familiar, comfortable, isolated and safe corner. Reprogramming my brain, unchaining my mind from that self-made prison. We don't all agree with my theories, but that's perfectly okay with me. I happen to believe that our 'outcomes' and 'results' speak for themselves. Protecting my own freedom is my own personal responsibility, nobody else's. That means I'm the one who has to face the outcomes and results of keeping my brain shackled up to limited ideas, closed off spaces, and dead weight holding me down, nobody else. This makes my 2nd year of doing things right, whether you agree or not, I'm pleased to see this outcome turn out, how I planned it to be. After I was awakened to the whole theory of psychological prisons, keeping me stuck inside, a cycle of 'useless', meaningless, activities. Through the guidance tips, and insight from others that I've been fortunate to meet through some of the literature I've studied. Many experts have helped me reach my goals, and have helped me to unchain myself from my psychological prison. "How to Conquer Negative Emotions" by Roy Masters was a definite impact on my awakening. This is one of several books which I must include inside my personal library at home. "Taking the Fear out of Change" by Dennis O'Grady was another one to open my eyes. "Self Reliance and Other Essays" by Ralph Waldo Emerson, I can't forget about. In all of the books I've read none would have an impression on me like the one book written by the Jewish concentration camp detainee, "Ann Frank, in the World" by Ann Frank. With her remarkable ability to detach herself from the horrendous and deplorable conditions to transport herself someplace else in order for her to cope with her frightening circumstances was inspiring to me, reading her book, was a transformative teaching moment with life long lessons to be taken away from it. She's an example of the way our own brains can either unshackle us from our bondage and suffering or it can also be the very thing we ourselves use to 'chain' ourselves down to self-made prisons. When I made the connection between the 'brick and mortar', concrete and steel kind, and the kind that we only form inside of our brains, ones that have no brick, mortar, concrete or steel, it was her book which led me across the bridge where I was able to see this. Protecting my freedom got to start with my brain first, my thinking patterns. Now that I understand the way all this works, keeping myself in peak physical condition, following a system of strict rituals daily, while avoiding all unnecessary threats, dangers or risks to my freedom. This is now my real purpose for living, from the day I was released from prison. That means I'm making choices which are beneficial to my health and my freedom, and avoiding the choices which could possibly threaten my health or even put my freedom at risk, in any way. Now that I've finally reached the proper learning curve that it takes to comprehend everything there is, to understand about the threat of psychological imprisonment, and the scope of damage that self-made prisons in our brain can expose us to. Being aware of this now, has allowed me to use caution while re-integrating back into society, avoiding everything that could impair my judgement, leading me to make poor choices which would put my freedom at risk, has kept me out of prison for two years. In my re-programming process I've spent alot of time studying the many different ways to forfeit and lose my freedom unknowingly, which come in many different ways. One particular way of constructing my own self-prison, unwittingly, is descending into deep financial bondage or financial imprisonment, mounting debt. Becoming more and more in debt to creditors, trying to buy material things I don't need with money I don't have. Pressures that make me work harder, longer, for less money just to keep up with the debt. It's also possible that the pressures of debt could begin to motivate me towards criminal activities, in order to pay creditors off, and live up to an unrealistic lifestyle that I can't really afford. A common form of psychological bondage that chains up alot of peoples' brains, keeping them shackled to self made prisons as they stress themselves to death worrying about their financial troubles, frustrated to maintain an irresponsible way of life. About 40% of the prisoner population inside institutions are there because of property crimes, stealing or taking property, money or valuable of some kind which belong to them, jeopardizing their own personal freedom just to have it. The motivation to possess material things has always been a strong temptation for me. It's the need to feel a sense of status and worth amongst my own peers. I've always been self conscious about the way my peers had perceive me, compared to the way that I really was. I'd go to great lengths to keep up the perception that I'd created for others to think of me. This became alot of mounting psychological pressures, not wanting to disappoint or reveal the whole 'charade' this made me willing to take risk with my own life and freedom to protect it. Look where that kind of thinking has gotten me. I never ever want to allow myself to get chained up to that kind of thinking ever again. So I'm absolutely self conscious about the ways I choose to manage and spend money now. Making sure I'm able to distinguish necessary spending, from unnecessary. Limiting my debt to creditors and saving money whenever or wherever possible. Following such strict self-disciplined personal finance system will keep my mind protected from creating its own form of psychological bondage, as it's done in the past. Not having control over my own finances can threaten freedom in many forms. I've got to keep myself constantly aware of this, while I'm going through life. Never taking my attention off my own personal finances, even while getting involved in long term, romantic relationships. It's up to me, to make sure that I stay living inside my means, and I'm not allowing myself or my lady to exceed spending limits or engage in unnecessary credit purchases with my name that aren't responsible or necessary. There must be a time for myself and whomever I'm romantically involved with at the time to get together as a couple should and go over the ways in which we manage our finances. Either joint them together as a partnership or keeping them both separated, maybe 'partially' to be joined together, either way it's important that serious attention be given to how my finances are managed even while involved in a serious relationship or even marriage. There are many other ways for me to get myself chained up to 'self-made' prisons that lead to other unnecessary, risky behaviors threatening my freedom, putting me at risk of being put back inside of institutions again, something I'm not having ever again. Taking every effort to avoid putting myself into potentially unnecessary, dangerous or confrontational situations, that could provoke me into using force or violence in order to defend myself or seek retribution, either way. Because in any/or all situations where I'm forced to use aggressive responses, I'm fully aware of the long, well documented history of violent arrests and convictions that will be exposed and used against me when discussing my appropriate punishment. Judging me, will be a matter of my past, not the situation that will be in front of us at the time. Which means that effort has to be taken beforehand to prevent me from having to use aggression in the first place. I've been able to do just that for these past two years now, to make it this far, protecting freedom is more than abiding by the laws, of the land, it's more than that. Even my 'sexual' behaviors must be kept disciplined and controlled in a responsible way. Given the fact, it's so easy to throw caution to the wind and go jump in without any discretion or caution, trying to catch up for all the years I've lost, as I've done before, leaping in and out of every woman's legs I can, being sexually promiscuous and irresponsible is another form of 'self-made' confinement and shackling myself to a life threatening STD, unplanned children or a lifetime dependency on medications to keep myself alive. They are all 'life sentences' that I can sentence myself to. Without ever going into a courtroom, or seeing any judge at all. I've got to take the time out of the day, to 'think' and use my mind while making choices. What may come to some people as naturally easy to do, basic and simple to do. Everybody's different and it's not an instant, natural, automatic thing to do for everyone. I've got to re-train, re-program myself. Whenever I'm writing, I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. In this case, I'm writing now in order to protect my freedom later on in life. I want to use my time today, to create tools for myself to use later on, I've made it this far along in my journey by learning to use problem solving strategies. Training myself how to deal with several different kinds of problems, by using an efficient problem solving system of my own that has helped me to scale down the size and threat of my problems to more manageable sized problems that makes them easier to cope with instead of seeming too big for me to handle. I learned how to short circuit any worrying, organic attacks by simply planning ahead how to solve alot of life's problems, and staying seriously disciplined to carrying my plan of action. After long years of thinking about my own mistakes. I have no difficulty at all recognizing where my own problems lie at. This has helped me to clearly define everything that could pose a threatening problem to my freedom Helping me to focus my thinking on realistic solutions to solve these problems and minimize the damages and complications they can have in my life, if not solved. Reducing my stress levels, and anxiety, worrying about uncertainty all of our lives, not just ex-felons' lives are always full of problems to be figured out and solved. Everything from serious life catastrophes to the very simplified, basic hassles of our daily lives Regardless of how small or trivial the problem may be, or how major. If we ignore them, allowing for our problems to remain unsolved, they threaten everything else in our personal lives, wrecking more than has to be wrecked, if we solved it early. My strategy has been to look at the many problems I know that I will have, the moment I step foot onto the outside of prison walls into society. Taking one problem at a time not everything at once, to begin looking at it, studying it, so I can know as much about it as possible before starting o search for solutions for it. Then I moved on to the next problem, and so on, so forth. As I used my time in prison for something productive. Not always the ideal setting for problem solving but plenty of ideal, leisure time to do all of the research necessary for solving each of the coming problems ahead. While in the isolation of cramped prison cells, I'd come up with my own "structured problem solving system." Using this system was my strategy for approaching my problems without being stressed out, worried or suffer from any anxiety over them. All of which can lead to he perception of crisis or threats, that may put my freedom, health or unnecessary risks, while the problem still remain unsolved. Inside prison cells, is where I learned that writing things down often times helped me to put my problems into their proper perspective and helped me to keep an accurate record of the decisions and ideas, calculations and ifferent solutions that I've considered, plans I've ooked at are available o me, whenever they need to be referenced in thefuture. There are no perfect plans, no perfect ideas, or perfect solutioins to problems, but my own problem solving system has helped to lead me to the most effective, practical plans for action. Having a plan is better than having no plan, avoidance of making one or procrastinating to construct one. But at least I've got one. I'm not unrealistic about it either, I'm expecting there will be some things that will have to be looked at again to make some changes as I go, that's okay with me. This master plan was set up for six months ahead, timing intervals, long term goals, not set up to monitor my day to day progress. Using this master plan, I will be able to check off my goals one by one as they are achieved. Monitoring my own progress will allow me to figure out what works, and what doesn't, adapting the plans to my particular life, on that basis. Taking small steps not leaping forward. Given all of the problems that were identified and defined very clearly, as I put the time and effort into solving each and every one, by looking at each problem closely using my structured problem solving approach, as my useful strategy tool. I was able to find solutions to each and every problem posing a threat to my freedom, except for just one of these problems, I reached solutions. The one problem I still have worries over, anxiety and stress about? Because of the way it has limited the range of freedom I can have, his problem has reduced the amount of freedom that I'm able to have. Rationing freedom out to meant restricting me from having 'full' freedom that every other person or civilian gets to have in civil society. The problem that I'm talking about is having a criminal history. Even though I've already been convicted and even sentenced, served my time for the offenses already paid my debts to society, I am re-sentenced and re-punished again and again for the same offenses, over and over. Every time I'm rejected apartments to live at or denied good paying jobs, to earn a decent income for myself all because of having a criminal history attached to my legal birth name and social security number. I have this problem because of some bad choices I made in my past. The consequences of those choices is a life sentence of constant reminders whenever I'm trying to make the right choices, stay on the right side of the laws, conform to the social norms of civil society, I'm still unable to participate in all of the same opportunities as everyone else because of my past mistakes. My past choices now preclude me from the same equal freedoms the rest of society gets to exercise. There have been invisible walls constructed o keep me blocked out. I've discovered unspoken, unwritten agreements between employers, that whisper to one another they will always deny me access to certain employment and incomes which others can enjoy who don't have criminal pasts. With today's information technology everywhere, data collection, public and private records are easy to access and look into anyone's personal life. This has really stacked all the odds against me, and a target for discrimination, for as long as I'm alive. This is what led me to make the decision I did to solve this problem. Keeping the important details classified and private for obvious reasons. I've come to the conclusion that, there's only one solution to solve this problem. Make my past disappear, create an entirely new identity. Once I've reached the final days of my state supervision and I'm officially discharged from parole monitoring and tracking, that's when I'm legally authorized to exercise full, complete and total control over my own God given body. No state agency or government system will have legal authority over my body or jurisdiction over my range of freedom the moment that I'm released from state parole that should be approaching soon, within the 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 year stage of my post release. On the day I'm discharged from state parole monitoring, from that day forward I'm no longer obligated to stay within restricted geographical boundaries, or forced to keep inside strict parole conditions. I no longer have to keep using the same name and social security number for myself, legally giving myself a new start and a clean slate for myself to explore whatever opportunities I decide to seek without being held back, rejected or denied the equal and fair opportunity as everyone else, because my past mistakes limit me. I want to exercise my full freedom not the amount others decide for me. Putting hundreds of hours into my strategy, I think that I've solved he problem, without alot of insights and valuable information collected from many experts, professionals and authorities that specialize in this field I've been able to form a sound plan for myself to use, when the time comes to put it in action. With the invaluable and immeasurable assistance of such literature like "The I.D. Master Identity Change", by John Newman, and "Who Are You" by Scott French, even "Secrets of a Back Alley I.D. Man" by Sheldon Charrett, all of these were very helpful leading me towards my goals. When I finally got ahold of the four 'installments' to the "Paper Trip", this was everything I needed to finish my final plans. I'm anxious for my chance to put this plan all the way in action. While researching the legal ways to create a new identity, new social security number with a new name, I discovered there were in fact some few exceptions made for being reissued social security numbers. For example, ones that can prove they are victims of identity theft, either entered into government witness programs, etc. Details are available in the Eden Press Publications at Eden Press.com ordering at 800-338-8484, "Start Live Over" (combination) pkg.#507, $70.00. "How to Disappear in America", "The Paper Trip IV", "I.D. by mail and internet. "The Paper Trip" (combination). "The Paper Trip I, II, III and IV" combination pkg. #506, $80.00, new I.D. (combination) pkg. "The Paper Trip IV", I.D. by mail and internet, best sellers #510, $50.00 and then there's the Super Five (combination), "The Paper Trip IV, III, II, I and I.D. by mail and internet #515, $99.00, these are all the up to date systems to use for navigating the whole I.D. game, since Sept. 11, 2001. Complete details on fees, "The Real I.D. Act", laws and guidelines. There's literature on "How to Legally Obtain a Second Passport", #954, $20.00, #953, $18.00, #528, $20.00, #641, $15.00. Using the above information sources, I will be able to develop and create an entirely new identity for myself, one that won't limit my freedom restrict my opportunities. With my problem solving strategy, this is my best option for solving the problem of carrying around the lifetime social label and stigma of ex-felon, dramatically minimizing the amount of income and legal revenues I can earn, limiting the kinds of employment I can have, keeping me out of certain businesses and and professions too, because of my past criminal history. Such discrimination can even travel, threatening my freedom. Knowing this, I'm responsible for protecting my own freedom, no one else is going to do that better than me. So, I'm compelled to take advantage of every legal option that's available to do that. This literature is the perfect source of information to a new life and a new start. In order to get this far in my journey it's taken me several years of intense studying and reading everything I could find while sitting in prison cells, worried about if I could or not, make it outside of prison. Really looking at my past decision making and where that has gotten me. Consumed with anxiety, this is what motivated me to start "brainstorming" in the cells, as a way to think about doing things differently. Rather than doing things the same as before. Self-education is what led me to the whole structured problem solving system that I've learned how to use for solving problems in my life, post-release. It's been two years so far, that I've been released from prison. I've had my share of really difficult problems to challenge me out here in society. But, if I'm able to read this master plan from the outside of a prison, that could only mean one thing, that my structured problem solving system has actually been working for me. I just have to keep at it and remain disciplined, focussed and motivated. There's always going to be people around me, situations and distractions that will threaten to ruin my progress in this way of thinking. I have to be aware of that at all times, and not allowing any of it to get me 'sidetracked' from what I'm passionate about now, protecting my freedom. Keeping with the thinking that I adopted inside institutions, 'structured' and 'repetitive, continuous rituals will help me only when they're used in a productive, solution-oriented manner, that strengthens us, not weakens us. In this case, because problem solving is used for providing myself with plans to deal with either my present or future problems, I'm not focussed on my past or distant causes too much since I've already dedicated alot of time reflecting back on my past when I sat inside prison cells. All of the research and self-exploration for identifying the deep, underlying reasons for my thinking and behavior problems, were discovered and isolated, then broken down into small blocks of issues, events and traumas in my lifetime that I could look at and give the attention and care each one deserved. Now it's about the future. Structured problem solving is an easy to use system while I'm outside of institutions, the same way that I learned how to use it while inside. It's a very useful strategy for anyone who faces personal problems, they may be having difficulties dealing with. It's definitely helped me to figure out some complicated personal matters, approach some serious challenges and resolve some issues of anxiety. This isn't just a problem solving system, it's also a "structured"way to help me reach my personal goals. I've benefitted so much from creating my own problem solving "structured" system. It would become the system that I would promote to others, recommending to prisoners, ex felons, or any other disadvantaged groups of people. I'd like to begin doing some seminars and public speaking events and motivational speaking to help others learn alternative ways to solve problems and reach their goals, teaching my "structured problem solving system" with 'problem solving strategies'. Showing others exactly how they themselves can even set up their own personally designed "structured" problem solving system, best suited for themselves. This is something that I'm looking to make my life's work. I am planning to establish my legacy out of this kind of community work, spreading the word. Teaching others there is another way of thinking, seeing the world, dealing with personal problems. Offering others hope, vision and opportunity having someone else to show me a different way to think about my personal challenges and offer my an alternative approach to my problems was life changing for me. It would be fulfilling to me and satisfying to see if I can empower others with the same tools to help themselves, the way I was helped. Self empowerment means to use our own personal abilities to act in ways that produce results we desire. There are many that just lack education and the right information they need in order to approach their problem with the best, optimal solutions. So a lot of people are left with deep feelings of non control and insecurities which are major threats to decision making. By introducing others in prison, newly released ex-cons and at risk youth to my structured problem solving system, Everyone who would like to, at least experiment with their own personal problem solving "structured" system to see if it works for them, I suggest to them before setting their own personal structure, do not attempt to solve more than two problems in one brainstorming session, just starting out. Try to avoid problems that are way too difficult at the beginning, the kind of emotional and particularly longstanding ones. At least wait until you can get familiar with this new structured system. I say this to be careful about becoming too angry, frustrated or anxious while following my system's steps, making some want to walk away and quit, before finishing to see if it really works for them. I would ask people to first try it, solving their much easier matters and problems until they become more acquainted with how everything works? Also, I would recommend to others that it works better in the types of settings that they concentrate, focus and think with a clear mind. So don't try problem solving while watching T.V., engaged in any other activities or distractions, for obvious reasons. Take the whole problem solving system, very seriously. In order to set up a 'problem solving structure' and a clue in identifying what they are, also look at our own behavior. For clues, your mistaken choices, the outcomes, results or your own decisions in life, document those things you spend your days worrying about all the time. This is step one of the problem solving structure. ('Define problem'), write it down, ('brainstorm solutions'), (the more the better.) 'Explore every solution', step two of problem solving structure: ('Determine solution'), long term, short term, etc. Then step three of the problem solving structure is ('planning), (create plan of action). Conduct necessary research, designate time, expertise, tools, funds, organize resources together to get started, establish agreement with others who will be needed. Consider all outcomes, with back up plans needed. Step 4 is the (re-examination/re-evaluation) check for needed changes, whenever plans go awry, what are the alternative plans? Structured problem solvling system: 1st step: What is the problem/goal? Give thought to the problem or goal first, question yourself about it. Write down whatever specifics you can to describe what the problem or goal is? 2nd step: Document each and every possible solution? Put down every idea including the least favorite ones? (don't try to evaluate them yet). 3rd step: Weigh out each and every possible solution documented? Consider every advantage and the disadvantage of every possible solution listed. 4th step: Select the most practical and advantageous solution of all? 5th step: Start making a plan to take action towards the solution that's been selected? Start researching the information needed, collect the knowledge needed about the plan of action, write down the challenges expected to arise, consider everything that will make 'solution' difficult to carry out, write down notes for later on. Writing is the first action of any plan. 6th step: Evaluate progress as you begin to carry out the plan. Always feel good about even the least amount of progress. Concentrate on achieving one thing at a time. First, check off everything achieved and separate it from what still has to be achieved. Go down the list, 1 through 6 again, to see what else is left to be learned? Personal story. Taking them through my transformation and showing them how I became aware of my own mistaken ways of thinking. Opening my mind to others' expertise and experiences. Allowing me to see the bigger picture. The cornerstone of change is the introduction to information, knowledge and education. It doesn't matter where that introduction is made at, prisons, parole offices, group homes, transitional half-way houses, etc. I'd like to make it my personal legacy to introduce this idea to those ho are shackled to their old way of thinking, chained to the only way of thinking about problems that they've ever known. It took me literature such as "Behind Bars" by Ian J. Ross, "Survivor Personality" by Al Siegal, and "The Art of Thinking" by Allen H. Harrison and Robert M. Bramson. To help me come to understand how really important it is for me to be more involved and more aware of my own personal decision making in order to manage and control more of the results, outcomes, unfolding in my life. These happen to be some of the first books, out of hundreds that left lasting impressions on me. I'd like to give them alot of the credit that has kept me outside prison, these past 2 years. In reading "Understanding Your Potential" by Miles Munroe, with "Incredible Human Potential" by Herbert Armstrong. These authors helped me to step up my game alot, while planning to be released from prison. I used these books as my motivation for change. One book in particular which I'll always remember very well, as another life changing book, "Your Inner Child of the Past" by Hugh W. Missildine. We cannot underestimate how much of our childhood has influenced who we've become today. I'm so inspired by this book, I'm going to write about my own childhood memories and what my responses to them were. Just so, I'll be able to preserve this in writing, store it, save it, document them for years to come, as I will look at them from time to time, measure how I've come to rise above all of it when I look back on it all. Reading and re-reading "Your Inner Child of the Past" wasn't just a book to me, but a journey. MMR 07/10/2019

Author: Brookshire, Levert, III (Sékou)

Author Location: Arizona

Date: April 15, 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 25 pages

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