21 Day Water Fast: Why, Quick Prep, and More

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Here we go! In 2013, I embarked on a 40 day water fast for a myriad of reasons and have continued to do so each year since. Beginning January 1, I will be participating in a 21 day fast with others who have asked for further information. Due to the holiday I was not able to present everything as I wanted to properly prepare everyone, but it is possible to start NOW. With that said, the following is the necessary information to begin and each day I will share information abut my fast as well as what can be expected for the next day(s). Please leave comments and questions so we can discuss as well as support each other.

PREPARE:

Today is crucial. Although you may not have started tapering off your food intake until right now, it is alright. As of this moment:

  • Increase your water intake
  • Drink all the fresh fruit and vegetable juices you like especially the dark greens.
  • Eliminate dairy products, eggs refined flour products and sweets.
  • Do not use any caffeine, alcohol, stimulants or recreational drugs.
  • Do not eat any fried foods.
  • Use mild herbal teas. One or two cups of the right herbal tea may support the purification and best possible function of your body.
  • Clean out your kitchen of all the addictive foods in the cabinets and refrigerator, if possible.

What else do you need to do?

Before you run out to buy water, clean out the kitchen, or anything else sit down with a glass of water. Yes, grab a glass of water with a piece of paper and a pen. When you sit down write down what you want to get from a water fast. Water fasting isn’t for everyone, nor is it appropriate at all times. The more toxic your body is, the more intense your discomfort will be in those early days if you haven’t properly prepared. Additionally, write down your daily schedule for bedtime, rest during the day (even if it is 10 minutes of sitting still), and other things that will allow you to be in a resting state. Writing down your purpose for fasting, what you want to see, and keeping it in mind will help you when he fast begins and you start doubting your will to continue. Remind yourself why you are doing the fast and remember that it is important.

Over the next 3 weeks I will share with you some things you might want to purchase or things that will help during this process. The first things I know you will need is a purpose statement for yourself. What is your “why?” Then, run out to get:

  • A tongue scraper: This will be an amazing life saver for you. Why? During a water fast your body Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.14.46 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.15.10 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.15.18 PMis eliminating toxins and the mouth is an orifice through which those toxins will be released. And it is not pleasant. A tongue scraper is more effective at removing toxins and bacteria from the tongue than a toothbrush. Although brushing and flossing will loosen and move debris around, they do not actually remove the bacteria. DO NOT purchase a scraper that is flavored, if you can help it. *NOTE:* I do not recommend brushing teeth with toothpaste during a fast because the taste may be unbearable. Additionally, you are detoxing and adding toothpaste is presenting toxins back into the body.
  • Gallons of Distilled Water: Water fasters are advised to consume one to two quarts per day of the purest water available or to use distilled water. (While distilled water is not good for everyday consumption, it is good during a fast for its increased ability to bind to toxins.)
  • Water Bottles: Have personal water bottles available so you can fill them. You may want to write in permanent marker on them to encourage yourself, speak to the water the words you write, and write how many ounces the bottles are so you know how much you are consuming.
  • Notebook: Why? Well, I use a notebook to write about my experiences, thoughts, and things I see about myself. Fasting is a time of slowing down that brings the opportunity to reconnect with self, passions, and realize automatic actions that you may not pay attention to at another time. Write them down. If you are adding in spiritual components write prayers, verses, gosho quotes, or whatever else encourages you in the notebook.
  • Measurements & Weight: Many of us are also going to see changes on the scale and in the fit of clothing regularly. Be sure to take your measurements today or tomorrow morning and write it in your notebook. Women and men you can go here to get measurement instructions.

You may want to watch this video from January of last year giving instruction for water fasting along with other tidbits:

I will be publishing a new post later today about the benefits of water fasting and more information. Please feel free to leave questions!

 

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If Black Women weren’t so MOUTHY & LISTENed they wouldn’t attract DEADLY drama.

Take time to read. “This is why they are told how to speak, dress, style their hair, raise their children. If the woman is controlled, discouraged to show strength, she’ll never remember she was created as a queen to rule. #EbrahimAseem”

Real News

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People say, “if black women just dropped their sassy ass mouth, cut their “mad-at-the-world” sista girl attitude, & were more obedient to men in authority, their lives would be different. Smartmouthedness leads to singleness. Sassy-as-hell will leave you dead in a jail cell.

Look at Sandra Bland. If she would’ve just said “yes sir” & did like she was told, she’d be alive right now.” If you agree with this train of thought, you are a narcissistic idiot. By: Ebrahim AseemFollow @fuel4thebody

Intelligent women who speak their mind make insecure males flaccid. #EbrahimAseem This is why Sandra Bland was arrested.

When a woman resists submitting to a narcissistic male, his inadequacies provoke him to physically assert his non-existent dominance onto her. #EbrahimAseem

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LIFE LAB 180º: Sore feet, Sweat, and Music

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 6.22.20 PM“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
William W. Purkey

LIFE CHART #18: Friday was my night. This one is going to be brief for sure. What I have to say is that there comes a time when you have to truly enjoy the things you enjoy. I have always enjoyeScreen Shot 2015-06-22 at 8.49.56 AMd dancing. When I was little I went to dance classes with my Mom. And, I remember dancing with friends in our neighborhood. In fact, there was a day when an adult in the neighborhood was going to have a dance contest at her house. I was usually at her house, but at that moment I was not. A friend came to find me and said that I was wanted for the dance contest. Of course! Dance? I’m there! I was all of about 5- years old.

There is something about dancing and singing that I love. I can’t explain it, but it just simply makes me happy. So, Friday, with two friends we met up at Sambuca to relax. When looking it up there was a band called Moving Colors, the videos were alright, and so we went with it. When we got there they proved to be way better than the videos reveal. They are amazing. So much so I will be seeing them this coming Saturday at Market Street Allen USA, along with my musical husband Michael McDonald (girl scream).

With all that said, I danced all night, sweat my hair out, and my dress what wet, but my spirit was filled. Enjoy what you enjoy. Seek it. Partake in that. Bring friends along. And, you never know what will open up for you in your life! LIVE OUT LOUD! ENJOY THE DANCE OF IT ALL.

My Little Scrapbook:

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BE WATER.

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LIFE LAB 180º: Baby Steps Are Ridiculous.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 6.22.20 PMYou don’t have to settle for baby steps all the time. Some times you need to take a long jump! -Me

Life Chart #17: I’m going to make this as brief as possible. When I was contemplating the meaning of life today, I was almost to the answer and got side tracked. I hate when that happens. What caught my attention? Great question. I have the answer.

Baby steps. Yep, that. As a concept we tell people to take “baby steps” in a process. Baby steps seem to be the way for people to give you a safety net or tell you to “be careful, Baby” without having to say it. What is interesting is that many people who choose not to take baby steps when they are looking to transform their life or circumstances often become successful quickly.

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I admit there are small steps that have to happen theoretically. However, inch worms only move slowly, baby steps are only so wide, and slow and steady can take a lifetime. Sometimes you have to be willing to take a long jump. I picture myself as kid walking in the little stream that was in our neighborhood. In there were rocks that were visible above the water some were closer together and others were further apart. To get across quickly it was rare for me to step on each rock, taking baby steps. Nope. It was jump to rocks to get across. And often that game meant looking for those that are far apart – GO FOR IT! It was a way to keep up and show myself (and others) I could do it.

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With that said, I encourage people to think strategically and be willing to take a long jump. You may not get all the way to your goal, but you will be much closer than you would have been taking baby steps – take a long jump.

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BE WATER.

*So now that I am behind on day you can count on a double dose tomorrow! I hike on Fridays, so surely there will be some Life Chart materials.

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LIFE LAB 180º: 3 Magnificent Ways to Stay on the Ride of Life

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“The people and circumstance around me do not make me what I am, they reveal who I am.”
Laura Schlessinger

 

LIFE CHART #16: Over the past week, I been overwhelmed, stressed, and simply not been myself. When this happens I sleep, its like being around someone with a form of narcolepsy. The plans I have for the next 3-6 months seem daunting and that causes me to feel that it’s too much. I have the plan, Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 3.34.01 PMbut now the execution looks like an obstacle course. Have you ever felt like that or am I alone? Circumstances are often thought to be the overwhelming factors in decisions and choices. Maybe this will be good news for some, circumstances are simply “accessory facts or details” that we often give undue credence. For me circumstances can be a source of fear or doubt. In the current “economic” state, we are bombarded with circumstances: unemployment rates, high prices, and fear of “x” happening. Right now, there are few conversations for having life be a blessing regardless of the circumstances. Those conversations are not always easy when we consider or look at circumstances. Life is just one circumstance after another, each day hands us circumstance after circumstance. How do you manage to live through them and come out as a diamond? As I step into a new phase this is the time to reflect and build anew. Maybe you too are going through a new phase, change, transformation, or are making new choices to move to a new place in life. I invite you to take these 3 actions to heart, repeat them, and enjoy the magnificent ride that is life.
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1. Relax
A few years ago, I realized that I was getting headaches and migraines more than I had been before. As I paid attention to when they came I found that I was clenching my jaws (called bruxism). Since then, I have learned to pay attention to my body, the sensations, and results. It is clear to me that these headaches and migraines are the result of circumstances more than anything. Often when we are in the middle of the storm or circumstance the tension is unbelievable, frustration is high, and it is hard to see our way out. Find a place of quiet, which may mean turning off the television, radio, cell phone, computer, and refusing company to gather your thoughts. Often times I clean, tidy up, retreat to my bedroom where I do the same, and  then simply lay on the bed with candles lit. Relaxing will allow you to let the racing in your mind to slow down, it will quiet the voices, and release any emotions that have been bottled up. I am not a crier, but I do it. It is a release it allows me to let go of the tension inside. Relaxing takes practice, it took me a while to get used to, and I still have to force myself to be. Once you allow yourself to relax you can begin to clearly create a plan of action. This month I am taking the weekend of the 26th to read A Weekend to Change Your Life. One of the exercises requires being alone, that for me is going to be hiking somewhere and sitting alone to complete some of the exercises. Consider a weekend to focus yourself, reflect, release, and create an action plan for yourself.
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2. ReGroove
ReGrooving is the process of planning to do something that is different from what you have been doing. I cannot say how many times I have done this. It takes learning about your strengths and weaknesses, skills and talents, revealing opportunities, and discovering and addressing what threatens your regroove. You have to take stock of your abilities, what talents you possess, and all of the resources at your disposal. Yes, it includes finances, people, jobs, locations, time, discipline, and the ability to focus even when emotional. The new actions you will take may be radical and unexpected; they will take courage and planning, and will move you to a new level of responsibility, freedom, joy, and peace. They will have you take stock of who you are, what and who are important, where you want to be, and seek resources to support you. This is where you begin to purge the old and produce new blossoms. As a part of this process you will begin to see all you have which will lead you into the last, but most important step.
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3. Rejoice
In hard times or in circumstances when you do not see the light at the end of the tunnel, the simple Principle of Thanks is necessary. Why rejoice last? To rejoice you have to be able to see what you already have, if you never stop to see it, you will never appreciate it enough to “be gladdened”. The word “rejoice” is a verb, which means it is active, you cannot rejoice passively. Be glad that you have the opportunity to move your life to another level, be glad that you have the people around you, be glad that you have a voice to speak, be glad that you have a mind to create, and you will be amazed at how your circumstances become a stepping stone. It is not always easy to rejoice. I have been in a position where I have had less than $20 in the bank, however, I still had a roof over my head, my son had clothes, my car had gas, and we had food. For a 6 month period I did not have a car, but I had a bike to get to the store or anywhere else I needed to go. During that time I was thankful for everything. I learned to appreciate everything from the air pump for my bike to the light in the refrigerator. December of last year (2013) I shared my experience of regrooving and the circumstances via a Youtube video. At first I was ashamed, embarrassed, and hesitant. I chose to do the video not because I thought I had “madi it”, but because I knew there were others who were going through or getting ready to go through what I had experienced and wanted to be transparent, inspire, and encourage someone else through their circumstance. Circumstances are a part of life, let them be a part of building what you want and allow them to reveal the diamond within. It is with these 3 actions and strategic planning that you can make a difference. Rejoice! Enjoy something! This weekend, I will be at a jazz club for the first time in way too many years. I am going to dress up, hang with friends, and enjoy the evening. I will rejoice in who I am, rejoice for having friends, rejoice for having a place to go, rejoice for loving my life just the way it is, and rejoice for the ride.
Please press the link and take the ride!

BE WATER.

Feel free to leave comments! I always respond.
Enjoy the ride.
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LIFE LAB 180º: The Friend Zone is Strong in Me and Here’s Why

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 6.22.20 PM“Sure, we were friends who exchanged soulful glances, friends who slept in a bed filled with sexual tension, friends who found any excuse to touch, but I worried that we’d never take that perilous leap of faith toward becoming a real couple, a permanent team.”
Emily Giffin, Something Blue

LIFE CHART #15: For the past few weeks there has been this conversation about relationships between my friends and me. We have varying perspectives on relationships from being friends to those involving intimate ties. My perspective on each comes from experience, watching, growing, choosing, and discussions. I have come to be comfortable with how I am in relationships not so much the level of comfort of the other person.

Last year, I was accused of being what I can only equate to cold-hearted because I don’t fall in love. I know. I know. For me, falling is an accident and I do my best to avoid accidents. When I leave the house it is my intention to give my focus to being safe so I can return without incident. Love is very much intentional for me. Why? It is a gift that I don’t give lightly to anyone. When it comes to relationships there are benefits to my love. That sounds arrogant when it is actually confident and self-assured.

 

When I say, “I love you” that comes with benefits not every person gets. It’s love having the gate code to a secure community, the access code to an ATM, or authorization to use a Black Card (not that one!). Like American Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 11.13.18 PMExpress says, “Membership has its privileges”. When I am in a relationship it is not just me, but we and so I approach things like with that in mind. “The Former”, as I shall refer to him, had high blood pressure. When he would have a physical for work and it indicated that the pressure was too high, I knew that meant a morning of sitting at a doctor’s office. He would call to let me know when the appointment was and we would be in the waiting room. I cannot say how many times that was the case, but it happened. He drove trucks so I often received a call 2 hours before he needed to be picked up (usually after 12am) and I was there with my son in tow. Once I am in and say, “I love you,” that is it – you get access. Membership has its privileges.

 

The big deal? It occurred to me that not every person operates this way. Some people just like to know that someone likes them, wants someone to grovel for their attention, enjoy games, or simply don’t take relationships or interactions with someone else seriously. And that is fine unless it’s not. For me, at the point I begin to sense some squirreliness and inconsideration with respect to my need for clarity or interaction my response is to reduce my interaction, think about what I want, and, then, act in that vain. That might be to reengage and it might be to disengage completely. But in some cases, where there was never a clear distinction of what is or is not going on, I am happy to place you in the Friend Zone. Yes, there.

I do Friend Zone so well I have been told to never say, “Let’s be friends” because it is known I can make that transition like flipping a light switch. See, the thing is that for me Friend Zone is not an announcement that I make it is most likely a place you find yourself. For men reading this, it is like going to the buffet with the intention of ordering the steak and potato dinner with a dessert buffet and, then, finding yourself getting the whole thing. It just happened, weren’t cognizant of it going down, you ate and ate but you are sitting looking at the multiple plates you used to manhandle that buffet. Let it be known that I rarely toss someone with whom I have great interest into The Friend Zone quickly. I make my interest known verbally, physically, and through allowing myself to be vulnerable. When that squirreliness and inconsideration rears its head and it has been addressed with no solution that is a win-win, you my friend, are zoned and you will not get a notice. And, know it will not be easy to get out once you realize you are there.

See, this conversation about being place in The Zone unfairly has to be considered from another view. You might be a good guy, good job, have a career, and all of that, but if you have shown interest in a female, become wishy-washy, do not want to discuss it, and think that it is perfectly fine let me help you out. You, my friend, have placed yourself in The Friend Zone inadvertently. You are in there legitimately so sit, watch the above .gif, and think about how you got there because that is you attempting to get out. Grab some bandages for your knees and elbows or maybe just accept it.

Just today I shared with a friend my desire to have an amazing relationship, period. No games. Fun. Interacting with all the stuff of life. Enjoying the dance and foolishness of it all. I’m pretty simple about it all. I’m pretty open. And, I’m pretty clear that life is dynamic and know how to flow with that through communication. Relationships don’t have to be hard, but they do take wisdom that overrides any sense of desperation. Desperation has people do things that are devised to bolster their self-esteem. For me to be able to have a healthy relationship we both have to have a health sense of contentment with who were are and a desire to continue to grow.

So, here it is. I am no guru, but I am learning to be content with me, what I have, what I do not have, where I have been, where I am, and where I am heading. The Friend Zone, to me, is not a holding area, but a place for people with whom I want to be friends. And, that is perfectly fine. Last, I am thankful for the wisdom that decreases any sense of desperation, but increases my sense of contentment and self-confidence.

I’m thankful f0r the 180º.

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BE WATER.

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LIFE LAB 180º: 8 Things I Have Learned in the Past 8 Days

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 6.22.20 PMLIFE CHART #14: So, I’ve been off for the past 8 days only because of life happening. I hate when that happens, but here are 8 things I learned in the past 8 days. They should cover the past 8 missed posts and, believe me, they are just the 8 I have chosen because there are more! Here we go.

1. Keep moving no matter what. I began a doctoral program in Industrial and Organizational Psychology last week. This past week was week two and I am not even close to being motivated. Not in the least. I am interested in the material, but motivated to read it is not a word I would use. There are 11 weeks in this term that seem to be moving along like molasses. Multiple times I have thought, “I should just stop”, “Why did I do this?”, “I have to much going on right now”, and no doubt have I cried. What have I learned? To keep moving no matter what it looks like.

I started with an idea in mind of what I wanted to happen at the end. And that has to remain my focus – no matter what.

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2. Choose each day. I started a cleanse weeks ago, not quite a full water fast, but close enough. As a result I have lost about 10 pounds. My goal is not just weight lost but to see clearly in my life. I have 20 more pounds to go, but with that comes paying attention to my life. That is a daily choice. Life being my goals, my relationship with my son, the way I spend money, the people with whom I communicate (or don’t), the things I eat or do not, learning to enjoy each moment, and managing my stress level(s). That is a daily choice. So, I am choosing each day and each moment how to manage what there is to manage. And, with that I am learning to enjoy everything no matter what.

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3. Just let go. I’m going to let this one bleed into #4 and you will see what I mean. So, there are plenty of things going on in my life, not unlike that of others. We are always taking on something new no matter how “settled” or “unsettled” you might be. For those who are settled, you might want a raise, new cabinets, a different color in the hallways, or to choose a new place for your vacation this year. Those who are unsettled might be figuring out how to do whatever, when is the best time, who can help, what did I do wrong, and all other sorts of things. And, let’s not forget “what am I doing?” Right? I am learning to let go of things. There are things that I know I can change, so I interact with those. For others, I am learning to let it go. For example, my son and I have this dynamic that is not something I enjoy. I say “walk” he “runs”. To be open, his grade are far below his ability and no matter what I offer he does the opposite, no matter how terrible it looks he seems not to be concerned nor motivated, and that boggled my mind. As a parent I want the best, but I have to remember that it is not my life. So, in some sense I have to let go. WOOSAH! That has to be applied to other areas in life where I simply need to just let go. Relationships that are not nurturing – just let go. Eating habits that are not healthy – just let go. Wondering how this is going to happen – just let go. Let go, some things just need to be released. Just let go.

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4. Parenting hurts if you do it right. So, letting go when you are a parent is terrible in my world. However, I am aware that letting go is going to hurt. It is the death of feeling responsible for specific outcomes and allowing a child to experience the consequences whether they are good or not. I am learning that doing parenting right is going to hurt because you invest yourself in the life of another person. I want my son to be happy, have the things he wants, and to be a productive person, but it’s not my responsibility to make him take that on. Just the other day I told him I was releasing myself from having to be the person who is responsible for his happiness. What I got, and shared with him, is that no matter what he thinks about me or how I parent my job is truly to expose him to opportunities, help guide and prepare him, and to support him. The illustration was that I prepare him for the paths that will come up, there may be one I desperately want him to take, but I can’t make him do it. There are multiple paths he can take, and I so I said that he has been given skills, experience, and tools the path he has to choose. Seeing some of his choices is not easy and does hurt, but I surmise that I am actually parenting so it is going to hurt. I guess I’m doing it right.

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5. Uncertainty is certain. I’ll make this quick. I have always thought there are things that are certain, and there are some. What I understand is that uncertainty is one of them. I walked out to my car yesterday because we were going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it did not start. I’ve never had any issue with it not starting. There are plenty of other things to complain about with it, but starting was not one of them. Usually it would make me upset, annoyed, or frustrated, I simply had to inhale and exhale. That’s all there was to do. We think things are certain when they are not. It is not a certainty that my car will start all the time. Just a reminder that nothing is certain but uncertainty. Once I can take that in and be with it, nothing that happens is a surprise or cause for an upset – it is just certain.

6. Community matters. Since my last blog, I have started a FB page for my PhD classmates and endeavored to get out more to meet people. I went hiking with two friends and found that to be a great experience, it may seem small, but for the past 4 years I have been in school and haven’t spent much time with people just enjoying their company. Community, to me, is coming together in unity for a common purpose. That purpose could be eating good food, laughing, discussing issues being faced, a night of jazz (coming soon), or hiking. Today, The Community helped check out my car, gave me a referral for it to be repaired, and yesterday it came together to allow me to use another persons vehicle to take my son to the movies. Community matters, so I’m building mine. Community Strong.

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7. Know thyself. Not that I didn’t know myself, but all I can say it that myself grows and learns. When I know what I know about my life and self, then I know myself. Being ignorant of who I am or am not, what I am facing, or who I desire to be is not acceptable. I know I was reared by a single mother, am African-American with some Native American (Cherokee & Sioux) in there, am approximately 6′ tall, have one man-child, live in Texas, am a member of Soka Gakkai International, love to cook, and am open to growth and experiences daily. Most of all the essence of who I am is what I know – I am audacious, loving, adventurous, innovative, and sometimes apprehensive at the same time. As a grown I am learning more about me. I find it less necessary to always understand others and of greater use to know myself.

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8. My Black is Beautiful. After the past few days about Rachel Dolezal and her fraudulent life a Black woman because she “consider myself to be ‘Black'” messiness, I had to remember me. Me. She claims to have grown up Black, experienced being a Black child and woman, and has given speeches about such when that is not her reality. I am reminded of the first time I knew I was unwanted by a White person was in a small town in Kentucky called Corinth. During a course in graduate school we were asked to write about the first time we fell “other than” and mine had to so with something I had no control over – my skin color. Here is an excerpt of that paper and the incident”

In 1982, our family held the family reunion in Atlanta, Georgia. My sister, brother, one cousin, aunt, and uncle took the trip from Cleveland, Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia in a motor home. At the time, I was seven not yet eight. Just outside of Lexington, Kentucky an axle broke on the motor home which caused us to find a place that could fix the motor home. The closest town with a repair shop was Corinth, Kentucky. I do not remember driving into the town or being at the repair shop; apparently, I was asleep. What I remember clearly is walking into the convenient store there. My aunt, uncle, my sister, and I walked across a small street in what seemed to be downtown Corinth, stepped up on a porch reminiscent of a building in the old West with a porch, and went in to the store. My sister and I walked through the aisles looking for a snack to take with us on the ride. At some point, someone said something that ended with “niggers”, I remember hearing it, but not assuming that it was directed at me I kept looking around for my snacks. My uncle, in a deep voice with a Southern accent, said loudly, “It’s time to go, let’s go.” At that moment I remember being upset that I did not get snack and had to leave. Upon walking out, I looked around the store and then, around at the people who were outside and realized that we were the only people of color around. What occurred to me was that what someone said in the store must have been about us.

I grew up involved with the Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University where we were taught Black/African history, surrounded my men and women who fought for us to be allowed to express ourselves and learn our history, people who did what they could to come up against anything that would be a barrier to me being a strong Black woman, and also simply hugged and loved me as I am. They knew I would come up against things they could not protect me from, but the focus what not on always avoiding those things. The focus was also on being strong enough, knowing self enough, having the knowledge, and being Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 6.18.12 PMable to stand when those things will inevitably come. And, yes, things have come. People have not always loved my braids, my dashiki-wearing-elementary-school age self, my natural hair, my skin color has not always been light or dark enough, and I have been accused of not being Black enough or wanting to be White because of how I speak. What I have never done was deny my Blackness – not that I could. What I have come to see is that everyone has beauty about them, if they look for it. Denying your ethnicity, culture, and heritage is to deny yourself, your beauty. What I have come to embrace is that MY BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL. I PLAN TO SHOW IT OFF! WATCH ME. And, all while doing the same for others what was done for me by such people as Dr . Edward Crosby, Fran Dorsey, Dr. Halim El-Dabh, Doria Daniels, Kofi Khemet, and many more around the Kent community.

WHOEVER YOU ARE EMBRACE THAT.
SHOW IT OFF.

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BE WATER.

*On to the next 19 days!

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

LIFE LAB 180º: You Can Have Mine…FOR FREE!

 Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 6.22.20 PM“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”
― Rosa Luxemburg

 

LIFE CHART #5:

I give up….you can have mine.

Give up the struggle!

I’ve been up, I’ve been down, I’ve had much, I’ve had litte, and I’ve had just about nothing. At each juncture it has always been, a struggle. There are people have what would seem to be a lot going for them, but they still struggle. Struggle seems to be heavy. For me it is the feeling of never getting ahead. Always having to plot “in order to get” what ever it is and then it’s a struggle to keep it. Struggle. Struggle. Struggle. However, what I’ve discovered is that struggle is not real. Struggle is created. And just as it is created it can be released. Struggle is just how it sounds; a fight, grappling with something, contending with something, and making “violent efforts”. That is heavy. You can have mine, I don’t want it anymore.

 

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See what I noticed was that my struggle was or is never with some force out there that is keeping me from getting what I want. There is no boogie man, big bad wolf, or other entity keeping me from what I want. The struggle is inside. When Marianne Williamson wrote that we are most afraid of being “powerful beyond measure” I find that to be true. What else would keep me from just doing it. What we tend to do is rationalize and talk ourselves out of our own brilliance, beauty, handsomeness, talent, and sheer fabulosity. Yes, fabulosity. You’ve spent years perfecting the art of struggle as to stay comfortable. And have proof of how you can’t get ahead, aren’t good enough, or whatever else you tell yourself. It’s called comfortable struggle. You can have mine. I don’t want it.

 

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For the past few years (or more) everything has felt like a struggle. And when it didn’t somehow it became one: being a part of a solid relationship (struggle), moving to another city (struggle), getting contracts (struggle), having new clients (struggle), weight loss (struggle), parenting (struggle), finishing graduate school (struggle), and often times just believing I could make my desires reality was a struggle. Struggle happens most often when I am unwilling to release my sense of control, attempt to go against the grain, or am denying my core being. What do I mean by “Core being”? Good question. I mean, I have clear talents that can be used to create opportunities. When I am afraid of unleashing them to allow for shifts to happen, it becomes a struggle and the excuses start. Struggle happens when I don’t listen to that voice that says, “Go do it NOW!” That inspired voice pushing for inspired action gets shut down and struggle, worry, anxiety, concern, fear, and all the other family members creep in joining the party.

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Give up the struggle for all things I desire and want, and allow it just happen. How? Take the actions. I have clear desires, dreams, wants, and goals. Playing small won’t cut it. We only get one chance at this life. One. It doesn’t matter where you are now in the race, it matters how you finish. Time out for struggle, excuses, hiding, holding your tongue, not sharing what you desire, being comfortable, and struggle. Step up, step out, and be powerfully you. Go for what you want. Say it, write it, define it, share it, and take action. There will be fear, it’s alright. Inhale and exhale. That’s just your comfort zone being stretched. Keep going. I WILL TOO!

 

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BE WATER.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LIFE LAB 180º: I’m Gonna Grow It Up ‘Round Here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 6.22.20 PM“If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!”
― J.M. Barrie

LIFE CHART #4: I tend to be a Sport Spice type of gal. Dressing up with heels, finger nails done, and makeup has never been my style. When necessary, I do it. My style is more sporty casual where I can wear jeans, Converse, and a cute shirt with a little makeup – that’s me. Recently, I thought I might joojoo it up and dress in what I thought would be grown up clothes along with hair styles. Thanks to the cultural expo at the Fort Worth Buddhist Center I got to work it out faster than I thought.

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Then, today, I was speaking with a friend as we lamented having to revamp our attire for clinicals and academic residency. I do not mind the change, it seems to come with this phase of my life, but I’m not totally giving up my Chucks.

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“Grown up” doesn’t have to mean “stuffy.”

Categories: Motivation | Leave a comment

LIFE LAB 180º: The Rain in Texas Edition

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 6.22.20 PM“The best laid schemes of Mice and Men
oft go awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!” -Robert Burns

LIFE CHART #3: Rain, rain go away. We don’t need anymore, not one more day! The rain strikes again. I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas where rains have taken their toll on every aspect of life. Fortunately there has been no significant personal toll, it has all been seen on the news. What I am aware of today is that I had plans. Plans. Plans. Plans. And the water has changed them.

Two friends and I were heading to Irving to attend the DFW Women’s Expo featuring speakers such as Tabatha Coffey, Melissa Gibert, Nancy Grace, and Nene Leakes. During the early morning the rain started, again. One of my friends send a text indicated she was worried about the flash flooding in her area. I texted the other to cancel. And, so the whole “Be Water” is apparent today because I had my plan that included visiting Pan African Connection to pick up clothing for a cultural expo.

 

With my doctoral program beginning, I guess the reading has to be done. I write adoption reports and have a family of 10 kids to complete, I guess that could be on the agenda. And for the expo, my partner and I are going to have to come up with something that works for Sierra Leone. Right now I’m feeling like “faith like flowing water” is a part of this all. Being consistent no matter what and continuing no matter what. For me, it seems like there is so much to be done in such a small amount of time. Reports. Expo. Class starts. Assessments. Life.

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“Faith like flowing water” is a concept I read about in the Living Buddhism magazine. Reading it has transformed my perspective in how I perceive, act, and take in what is going on. Right now, I could say I have no choice but to do “X”, but I do. Flowing water is consistent and continuous. About this topic the article reads,

The belief of some is like fire while that of others is like water. When the former listen to the teachings, their passion flares up like fire, but as time goes on, they tend to discard their faith. To have faith like water means to believe continuously without ever regressing.

 

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How do I apply that right now? I have to simply do what I know in all areas of my life. If I want good health, I need to be consistent in my choices. If I want to be financially stable, I have to make choices that are consistent with that perspective. If I want a healthy relationship, I need to be consistent in finding those qualities that are what I desire with no shame. If I want a great career, I have to be bold, confident, and consistent in that pursuit. If I desire to be spiritually fulfilled and grown, I have to pursue it “continuously without regressing“. Does “continuously without regressing” mean I don’t have days where all of this seem too much, annoying, overwhelming, and whatever else? No. To me, it means that I have the feeling, acknowledge them, and take action anyway. I invite you to read the article here, Faith like Flowing Water. I made available from my magazine so keep the snickers down at my scanning capabilities.

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“Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water, yet nothing can better overcome the hard and strong.” –Lao-Tzu

Through this process I’ll keep in mind the words of Lao-Tzu, while remembering that when I see water hit a rock and splash up I smile like it is celebrating. So, I’m going to celebrate something just because I can.

* I wrote about how I want to inspire others and be water, I invite you to read it here.

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 7.44.56 AMBE WATER.

Categories: Motivation | 2 Comments

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