Miss Bri: I had just gone into the office after being away over the weekend and noticed that one of my dear colleagues had tagged me on Facebook. Curious to see what was going on, I went over to the conversation thread and saw that someone was using a name that was quite similar to my own and planning to name their business in a fashion that was also similar to mine.
Several good friends and colleagues on the thread had already voiced confusion and even started giving outright advice that one or both names should be changed. I did not know the person whose word choices were so similar to my own but just as I started to private message them to get more information they sent me a message asking if their choices bothered me.
I answered honestly and they explained not only that they did but also why they did. The individual was kind, flexible, and willing to make changes so that his name and my name and his business name and my business name could be easily distinguished. General happiness and celebrations ensued. Several folks remarked on how easily what could have been a huge conflict and drama-rama was resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.
Brother Bri: I had just returned to my roots in a three-day period when all of this took place. After 13 years of practicing Greek-influenced Witchcraft, I met a friend and I was led to return to my roots. Little did I know I was going to be an instrument for this type of collaborative post. However, Miss Bri has already told what had happened. From my standpoint, I really never knew of Miss Bri. So when I saw the confusion, I knew something had to be done, so I went to her and we discussed it. Originally, my name was “Bri Conjure” and my future business was originally called “Conjure Roots”.
I could definitely see after having respected individuals in our Spiritual Community state their advice. I was impressed with how cool and collected Miss Bri was and respected that. Little did I know this was for the better. It’s been a long time since I was called “Brother” (back in my Pentecostal days) and never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine being able to call a business “Holy Ghost Conjure.” Miracles come when you least expect them, and never in my dreams did I ever expect a respected rootworker such as Miss Bri contact me in request to doing this post together.
As a result, we (Miss Bri and Brother Bri) have decided to work together to share this story so that it might illustrate useful guidelines for dealing with conflicts and potential conflicts in our greater spiritual communities.
1.) Know and Respect Your Associates.
Miss Bri: I would never have known that there was a problem in the first place unless one of my dear colleagues at AIRR had tagged me in the original thread. This would have been bad for me, for Brother Bri, and for our clients because there would have been a longer time of similar name use and the confusion that no doubt ensues.
Brother Bri: Not only that, but it would’ve lowered our integrity to be individuals and unique in our own “callings. Accidents and mistakes happen, and we’re human, but it’s all about respect. It truly is earned and not given.
2.) Go to the Source.
Miss Bri: Brother Bri is to be commended because he did not continue to engage in a Facebook thread where everyone and their Aunt Sally could have an opinion. Instead he messaged ME personally – I was the one who had the similar name so I was the one whose opinion would really matter.
Brother Bri: My logic was this: there is enough drama and “he said, she said” blame going on in the world today. Why contribute to it? So I went to Miss Bri because she was the one that could’ve been offended and affected the most. Her colleagues had her back, which was great because it showed me the example that I needed to follow.
3.) Assume the Best and not the Worst.
Miss Bri: This is the crux of the issue. In speaking to one another I did not assume that Brother Bri was trying to copy or imitate me. While “Bri” is not the most popular name it is by no means rare. The proposed name of his business was Conjure Roots-similar after a fashion to my own Milagro Roots-but again-the use of “roots” in our world is pretty common. I assumed it was an honest mistake that could be corrected. For his part, Brother Bri assumed that I was a reasonable person who was not accusing/blaming him for anything and that it was evident to all interested parties that this was just an honest mistake and we were both adult enough to see that.
Brother Bri: There’s really not much I can add to this, being that Miss Bri is right. Being reasonable and maintaining a positive outlook from the beginning only helps issues to be resolved more smoothly. Being accusatory, demeaning, and pessimistic will only cause one of two things: high blood pressure and a big blowout that could honestly be avoided at any given time. Either way, it’s your health and your surroundings that can be affected by how YOU react to any given situation. You may not be able to control a situation, but you can control your reaction to said situation.
4.) Speak Your Truth but Lose the Ego.
Miss Bri: Brother Bri asked me if I had a problem with the similarity in names and I admitted that I did, but I went on to explain why I did. I was not afraid that Brother Bri would “get all my clients” or that he was trying to leverage my good name for his personal gain and advancement. Rather, I explained that my biggest concern was actually for him and for the way that the similar names would be understood in our community – that is that others would make judgements about him and his motives, that I was sure were simply not true. This is a good example of speaking what is true but from a place where we are as concerned about our brothers and sisters as we are for ourselves. For his part Brother Bri spoke his truth too – explaining beautifully where the “Bri” and the idea for Conjure Roots came from and why he was working with those titles.
Brother Bri: She’s making me blush. However, there’s enough people reacting callously from the brain in the world and allowing the ego to create the “status quo”. Do we really need to contribute to increasing that and bringing more “dis-ease” into the world? I was simply amazed by her reactions because, even though she didn’t know me, she cared about me.
We truly are ALL brothers and sisters in the grand scheme of thing. Forget about race, color, creed, sexual orientation and all other man-made labels for the moment. We all have many things in common. We all are human, we all bleed the same way, we all experience emotions, we all make mistakes, we all start out as babies and grow up to adults (well, some of us), and we all rely on food and water to survive. Certainly, we can all agree that we have quite a bit more in similarity as far as human nature than we think. Sure, we all have personalities and egos, but that makes us unique. Personally, if everyone was exactly like me or exactly like Miss Bri, I think the world would get quite boring to live in after a time. We can’t change the actions or reactions of others, but we can continue to be unique in how we accept them for who they are and live and let live. Isn’t that what John Lennon talked about in his song “Imagine” when he stated “a brotherhood of man”?
5.) Be Solution Oriented.
Miss Bri: Again, Brother Bri showed his stellar sense of integrity because he immediately posed a solution to the problem that left us both feeling like we were walking away from the table happy and in good standing with each other.
Brother Bri: She’s made me blush, again. However, I think it has a lot to say about Miss Bri and I as individuals. If we wanted to complicate the problem, we could have. Instead, we both wanted each other to be happy and feel like we were able to accomplish something for the good of the other. We could’ve been greedy or selfish, however we were not. I will be honest, at first I was a bit reluctant to change because I was so excited, but sometimes by doing that, we prevent ourselves from receiving greater light and knowledge and moving forward. In the end, I was happy I made a small sacrifice because it was truly a beautiful moment to be able to realize that I was capable of so much more than what I thought I was.
6.) Put the Solution into Action.
Miss Bri: I see this a lot in our community – there are a lot of solutions talked about but few that are actually put into action. Brother Bri immediately put the changes he recommended into action on social media – thereby creating consistency in his words and actions and showing himself to be honest and sincere.
Brother Bri: I agree. Miss Bri made her suggestions and what she did that ultimately led to my decision to make the changes was by supporting me. We were able to discuss the situation and possible solutions, and then we were both willing to make the changes. I think a great change on her part was speaking to this young, 26-year old guy who had only recently returned to the roots of his spiritual path and whom she didn’t know at all.
7.) Keep it Private.
Miss Bri: I am certain that one of the biggest reasons why Brother Bri and I were able to reach an agreement easily and early on is because we had a private conversation – just the two of us. Social media can be a wonderful tool but it is really not the place to air out conflicts – especially if you really just want to resolve the conflict and move on to the next exciting part of your day. Private messaging, emailing each other, or a phone call that lasts five minutes can often allay a lot of drama, confusion, and miscommunication.
Brother Bri: Ain’t that the truth! It’s the same as airing out dirty laundry. Do you really want everyone to see all the personal items of yours that you’ve just washed, especially if they have stains or dirt on them? You know, stuff like that causes people to become judgmental really quickly. It’s not that they are bad people, but first impressions truly do count. It’s perfectly okay to post about your personal life on social media, but do it with respect to yourself and maintain your dignity. You may find that you will be happier as a result.
Miss Bri: If you are engaged with someone who seems hell bent on airing their grievances through social media it is a good idea to ask yourself what is motivating the other party and to realize that given their interests a successful resolution may not be achieved – if this is the case, then my recommendation is to disengage. I thank Brother Bri for being not only a friend in spirit and truth but also for having the maturing and wisdom to work with me directly on the situation and create an outcome that not only feels blessed but could also be used as a teaching moment!
Brother Bri: I would advise the same thing as Miss Bri. Save yourself the stress, in reality, some fights are truly not worth the effort because of the motive and intention of the person starting it. There truly are greater battles to be won. Let’s focus on those for a change. Let’s voice our opinions to end world hunger, to stop many forms of discrimination, and ultimately to make our world a better place for us and our fellowman.
Many of you may know the following poem. But ponder how it can truly help you to make for yourself a better journey as well as helping you to resolve a conflict by choosing “The Road Less Traveled” (by Robert Frost, 1920):
“TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
“Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
“And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
How can that help you with resolving conflict and making a difference? Are you ready to take a journey on the road less travelled and help making the world a better place by choosing a better path? Then join us. We can all do this if we individually make the choice to do so and work together.
Blessings from both of us!
Miss Bri (Milagro Roots) and Brother Bri (Holy Ghost Conjure)