Exploring Mental Disorders



Keeping up with the #MindSetMatters movement, a movement geared towards encouraging man to dig deeper to explore matters of the heart and mental health. I caught up with Jason Shankle, a friend and Founder of Inner Self and Wisdom, LLC, a private therapy practice that focuses on couples counseling, empowering individuals, families and communities to overcome addictions, depression, and anxiety. Shankle’s practice promotes healing by increasing self-awareness, confidence, and personal growth through holistic therapy. Additionally, he uses self-care plans and coping tools for stress, addictions and mood disorders.

In this interview, we explored mental health as it pertains to the current state of our

Jason Shankle Founder of Inner Self and Wisdom, LLC

communities more specific to Bipolar Disorder, which is a serious condition that affects everyone.

However, Black communities shy away from these conversations due to the conditioning and normalization of the stigma that mental health is not a priority. The idea of therapy being perceived as a weakness or pointless is one of the biggest lies fed to our communities preventing healing.  More directly related to African American males, the idea of therapy assumes there is an issue and the core problem is feeling like you can handle it yourself.

How do you know what to talk about?

One way to open this dialogue is to be brutally honest with yourself.  We all experience feelings of anxiety, depression, stress, unhappiness and fatigue on a daily basis. When you notice you are feeling these emotions excessively to the point they are controlling your behavior and disrupting relationships it is time to get help.  The beginning stage of self-exploration is first admitting there is a problematic pattern. These are feelings that may have a cause and effect on your mental health and ability to cope. From personal experience as a black man we often self-medicate for misdiagnosed mental disorders while suppressing our feelings to uphold this image of unwavering strength and self-inflicted ego.

What are you consuming?

A mental disorder is a chemical in-balance in the brain that affects your mood, thinking patterns, and behavior. A few things directly tied to the chemicals in our brain are the things we consume from food, TV, entertainment and impulsive habits. Changing your everyday consumption can reduce the negative self-talk we internalize through music and social interactions. This will open the door of mindfulness to heal and allow the more essential nutrients our minds need to carry us to the next level as we continue to strengthen our communities.

“Bipolar Disorder is the most misdiagnosed mental disorder,” states Shankle. Jason Shankle is a professional therapist who specializes in mood disorder and explains symptoms while offering recommendations for individuals experiencing consistent signs of anxiety and/or depression. Click Here for video content: https://youtu.be/Yaq3tyDbtbM

Inner Self and Wisdom, LLC,
1633 Fillmore Street | Suite 103, | Denver, CO | 80206,
Phone: 720-651-2556 or Email: Jason@Innerselfandwisdom.com


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Almost half of millennials say that their credit scores are holding them back | Moneyish – Features, essays, videos and news about money

When Joe went to put a $2,000 down payment on his first car (which cost $11,000), he didn’t think it would be too difficult. The high school English teacher, who declined to give his last name, was 25 at the time, had been teaching for almost two years and was earning about $58,000 a year.

But the deal skid to a halt after his poor credit history emerged.

“I was told I had to put down more money than I could afford, or find a cosigner in order to be approved for a loan.” 

Read more: https://moneyish.com/splurge/almost-half-of-millennials-say-that-their-credit-scores-are-holding-them-back/

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Black Panther and Your Mindset

Reading a friends Facebook post this week asking about the release of the new Marvel Comic turned movie “Black Panther” featuring a superior all black cast. She was questioning why the date was adjusted without getting national attention, which would

Wakanda forever! Learn about Danai Gurira, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, and the rest of the Black Panther cast. Read more…

raise the eyebrow of many expecting the release of Black panther to be one of the largest opening day releases in movie history and most definitely marks a milestone for black cinema. As I read the comments one follower states, “I don’t get it… Why is there so much hype with this movie?” I could not help but whisper to myself, “if you don’t get it you are part of the problem…”

As with every basic human right we have fought to obtain in Amerikkka the fight to be a black actor/actress can not be swept under the rug like its not apart of our history, or that it didn’t set the stage for the mindsets we are battling to overcome today as a culture. Film has been one of the biggest influence-rs of how the world views us as a black-culture, which also in a way has given us a sense of definition for ourselves. Early in the 1900’s blacks were not even allowed on the big screen or to hold any kind of major role! Are you familiar with “Black-Face” yeah that was started as a way to have black people in movies without actually having black people in the movie. When we were finally represented in movies it was as monkeys, clowns or servants to the wealthy white families. As the years went on we graduated to thugs, gangsters and drug dealers which is a direct reflection of how whites see us and wanted to be sure the rest of the world saw nothing different! Don’t forget the classic “Rags to Riches” stories. Rarely have we had the opportunity to hold the spotlight for positive roles of success or had the opportunity to showcase the true culture that lies beneath all of that!

What is the hype you ask? For years we have been given the code to which we live and die by through movies music and t.v. and for years our code has evolved from big screen monkeys and syrup pouring servants (Aunt Jemima), weed smoking gangstas who hate the police to predominant unapologetic black successful business men and woman and now Protectors, Kings and Queens of an ALL BLACK NATION. Black awareness continues to grow, black consciousness continues to take a front seat, and now the driver of influence for our black culture driving black business to new levels changing our black mindset and rewriting our black history!

This film is important to so many not because its an all black cast that’s just the surface. Deep down many understand influence and that negative images of black men and women have influenced our mindsets for decades! This movie raises the level of thinking and puts into perspective what it looks like to be united protectors for our people while simultaneously giving permission to black people to live out their royal heritage that was lost many years ago! #WakandaForever

“Descendants OF Kings”


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As the morning began, I walked into the cafeteria where the Power up Mens Summit was being held. Unsure of where to sit, I grabbed the first empty table available. As I sat and scanned the room I noticed many tables with one gentleman per table and I thought, “Why do we wait until we see someone we know to engage and get comfortable? What holds us back? Why do we find it hard to relate to one another?”

Will the Real Man Get Up?

Dr. Bounce Back – Dudley Thurmond, gave a great depiction of this invisible mask everyone can see but us. He implied this is a mask men have been wearing for a lifetime. Thurmond asked us to examine ourselves and begin to peel off that mask of ego and pride, layer by layer to be able to examine our self-worth and truly begin to grow.

Thurmonds message, more like a request was loud and clear, “Mask Off” and it

Known as “Dr. Bounce Back”, Dudley Thurmond has captivated and educated audiences for years. Success may have been as close as… Read more!

resonated throughout the room.

After a panel Q&A and breakdown of Tupac’s lyrics to his 90’s hit song Keep Ya Head Up, the floor was open for discussion about the influence black men have over our communities. It became apparent of the importance of taking our mask off. We have a responsibility to our women and children to be strong, united husbands, fathers and community leaders!

Break Out or Break Through?

There was a young football player dedicated, great work ethic, disciplined and gave 100% every rep. Coach expected a lot from this young man and he delivered every time. In return, Coach promised success. Years had passed and somehow or another that promise fell to the wayside. So the question of the morning became, “As leaders, how do we fulfill our contractual obligations to one another?”

One way to allow ourselves to do that is to stay healthy. When we think of being healthy we naturally relate it to eating right, losing weight, and exercise. As black men, the mask we wear allows us to neglect the importance of our mental health. How? It’s in our everyday behavior, the things we think, what we watch listen to and talk about. We bottle up our problems and we are afraid to be vulnerable for we feel it makes us appear weak.

Get your Mind Right, was the title of Jonathan McMillan’s breakout session. Jonathan a local writer and author of: I Am Better than Average – 101 affirmations to help you build and live a better than average life.

He reminded us how the health of our mind affects the relationships within our lives with our wives and children while hindering the level of leadership we bring to our communities. Even affecting the relationship within ourselves which could lead to suicide by miscalculating your self-worth. Jonathan suggests one solid solution is to “talk with someone,” when someone ask what’s wrong, tell them! “Stop being afraid to feel good”, as Dr. Ryan Ross (ULFC) put it and also backed it by asking us to be mindful of our response when hearing of something someone is going through.

What do we do to change?

It seems that change revolves around self-care and self-reflection. If we step back from the woes of the world and take a little time to work on ourselves the world around us could slowly begin to change. Understanding that your ego is a condition of the mind will allow you to see things in a different light and peeling off the layers of your ego allows for a more honest self-evaluation. How we view ourselves is reflected on to the world we live in and influence the actions that propel us forward or hold us back. Know that it is OK to be vulnerable, open up! When you feel the pressure of life talk to someone. Preserve your mind for your families, for your friends, we are now standing at the doorsteps of change and your mindset does matter!


Do not forget to “End” you must “Begin” and getting your legacy started is the first step to completion!

I remember growing up in Park Hill selling newspapers standing on the corner of MLK and Colorado Blvd. my favorite days were Sunday the papers were a little more expensive but everybody wanted a paper that day. As a young kid my buddies and I were always looking for new ways to make some money for ourselves, after moving to TX and reconnecting with my best friend we began a neighbor hood lawn service (just 2 kids pushing a lawn mower and cutting yards) we worked on the ice cream truck with Mr. PJ and served as care takers for Mr. Becks greyhounds he raced. Picking pecans, stripping wire for copper and collecting aluminum cans for recycling… for most of us this is how we began our journey as Entrepreneurs and luckily it has stuck with us for a life time, but for many the idea of being your own boss seems scary and intimidating but that’s simply because it has not been formerly introduced.

That is why DOKs has decided to make the official introduction to those curious about becoming their own boss. This free opportunity I believe is best suited for young adults venturing out into the world, maybe they are stuck on next steps after high school and we as adults, parents and mentors naturally push for college but seldom tap into the talents and creativity it takes for our youth to begin the path of entrepreneurship.

“Leading the future, Tapping into the Mind of the Curious Entrepreneur”

If you are or know of anyone ready to get started on the road to building their legacy, be sure to attend this free event get started by filling in this 20 question survey. 




Content Power

Content is a very vital part of your online marketing and the right content drives awareness to you and your product or service. Driving a message that has a positive influence on your readers and consumers serves critical to building a strong brand. In depth content provides readers with information they didn’t even know they needed, it helps them solve problems and gives them a first hand look in to who you are as a business owner/entrepreneur and community member. Ultimately it gives them a reason to trust and respect you.


The main feature of a leader in any role is to influence. The person with the most influence has the power. Creating great content increases your influence and allows you to position your brand at the top of consumers minds, a very powerful place if the message is positive and helpful.

Lets face it! You are an entrepreneur because you love to solve problems for people and you have the imagination to resolve many of the worlds problems. With in-depth content people will find what you do useful and it proves you are an expert in your field. There is a secret to building your business many may not have heard or understand and it is not necessarily mastering the art of becoming the top sales person in your industry but being the number one resource. How helpful are you? Proving time and time again that you exist to be a helpful resource once again increases your influence and respect.

Trust. Respect. Influence…. Powerful. Helpful. Beneficial! Whatever words you choose, content writing creates the platform that brings them and you to life. By doing so you will become a leader in your market and people will think of you first when they have a problem they need solved. If you want to reach people over a long distance with your product or message, your online content is the way to help people not only in your local community but your global community as well!

A great way to increase the power of your content is through blogging. Its a perfect way to shine a light on your self and share the topics dear to your heart with your followers at the same time.

Read more:  Growing your business

Whose Got Next?

Black business has been on the rise for at least 3 years and counting, and does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. With the emergence of young, inspired entrepreneurs like

Moziah “Mo” Bridges is the 14 year old CEO of Mo’s Bows. A family owned and operated business out of Memphis TN.

Moziah “Mo” Bridges or young toy developer Ayanna Howard founder of the Zyrobotics Zumo Learning System. These young leaders along with you are helping pave our way deeper into the history books. Woman around the world like Ayanna are once again kicking ass and taking names in the business world, with growth rates 6 times higher the national average for African American business woman. Thanks to platforms like Shoppe Black founded by Shantrelle Lewis and husband Tony Lawson, we now have a visual representation of the weight patronizing black businesses could carry.

Georgia Tech Professor and founder of Zyrobotics and the Zumo Learning Systems


Does growing black business stop with the buying and selling of black owned consumer goods or services?

We also lead the way in another category. Unemployment, though down from previous years, we are still the man down when it comes to obtaining jobs leading the way by an average margin of 5.4%!

Why is that, where is the disconnect?

Surely with the growth of one the other shall follow. Blackentreprenuer.com gave 6 reasons why they thought black businesses fail within the first 5 years of existence, two of which stood out and seem to be consistent across the board after further research. Lack of delegation and a failure to plan!

What do you expect to happen with your business 10 years from now? Planning for expansion means the buck does not stop with you. In order to effectively grow and mature into the economic powerhouse we envision for ourselves, delegating work task and job duties to hired help is a must… quite simply put – we need to learn to hire more.

Pioneers are the inspiration and the fuel that drive us to new levels. Building generational wealth does not halt with bringing your big business ideas to the table nor does hiring new faces, but structured work environments are a key element to continue our business development far into the future. The goal is to bridge the gap between new business and employment rates to create the balance that it takes for steady growth over the next 7-8 years!


Are You Building a Business or a Lifestyle?

I was recently introduced to a concept by entrepreneur and author Tai Lopez called the Lifestyle Entrepreneur a phrase coined by Tim Ferris author of The 4 Hour Work Week, the phrase itself took me back. It clearly has summed up the past two years of finding my identity as an entrepreneur in 2 words and those same two words are going to serve as the catalyst that propels me to the next level of my journey.

As Tai explained in his brief introductory email titled: “What is a lifestyle Entrepreneur”?

We know that entrepreneurs are traditionally known for their willingness to work 80 hours a week to keep from working 40 hours a week at a 9-5 job. They constantly put in long hours and sacrifice a personal life with friends and family in pursuit of this dream of never having to work for someone and call the shots. Well in this fast paced and constantly changing world you have to learn to keep up and working 80 hours to be liberated is not exactly realistic or sane for that matter.

So what exactly is a Lifestyle Entrepreneur?

Let us take a look at a local startup company called FIT & NU. A dynamic sister duo out of Denver, CO. with the one goal of transforming our families’ eating habits and our ultimate health through fitness and nutrition. The two have been on a journey of self-discovery for maybe five to six years now. On this journey they found that healthier moms equal healthier families. Britney an active fitness model and personal trainer, and Joslyn a well versed nutrition coach and new mommy with a love for natures raw foods came together to help mold healthy futures for our families (Read Their Story). Their business model is simple …continue doing the things we love and influence healthy habits in the home by educating women through fitness classes and nutrition workshops. The model embodies the characteristics of the lifestyle entrepreneur concept. The idea is to have your business cater to your life style and not the other way around.

A step closer to freedom

First, we need to open up our minds to what freedom really means …for example: for the past 2 years I have been living my dream of freedom from the corporate world, which in essence translates to, too many hours worked and not much to show for my 80 hour work week. After making a few simple adjustments I was able to trim my hours from 80 hours a week to approximately 15 on a busy week and still able to yield the same results. How? Well knowledge is powerful and also for sale in most cases, I was able to take the things I’ve learned and tap into the consultant in me which opens up the door for freedom like I never imagined. This new found freedom gives me the ability to work when and where I want, lowers my overhead, and allows me to schedule work around my life while still managing my business as needed.

At the end of the day a life well lived is defined by the individual, every approach to success is different for each entrepreneur. With information right at our finger tips it opens up a whole new world of opportunities for today’s entrepreneur, so take advantage; use the tools to take your dreams to the next level. Settling for less than, should never be an option! “If we settle for ‘good enough’ we can never experience great”!

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