Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

The Marathon

25 Feb

I wasn’t sure why because we are very different people, but I somehow felt he could understand what it’s like to be in something and be out of it at the same time. Maybe, I told him, it’s not the case for you but for me I’m reevaluating. I’m asking myself what my reasons are for being where I am. Not because I want to leave, but because I am need renewed love for it. I need to find a way to love it again.

There was a therapist colleague of mine who once said marriage is a constant renegotiation of needs. Partners had to adjust to maintain the stasis of their relationship whatever that happened to be. With me and my PhD it was the way to gain legitimacy to gain experience to gain access and insight into higher education in a way that would remain limited by a lack of formal education. Sure there are ways to excel in higher ed without a terminal degree, but those ways are the exception not the rule.

And as I’ve set new goals for myself, well only one concrete goal (to write) I wonder how my PhD will. Wetter equip me for that. Of course the obvious answer is the practicality. Writing a dissertation and going through the research and editing process is not going to be a wasted experience for someone who wants to be a writer. But what about the other stuff? Committees, conferences, presentations, proposals, facilitation and the millions of other things? They matter. But in a different way than before. Before involvement was strategic. Now involvement is more intentional. I am far more cautious of how I invest my time and energy.

The same could be said of people. I recognize the people I work with as colleagues however in a different way than I did before. Before it was about their research how they were situationing themselves in the field and now? Now it’s much more global. Who is this person and how do you connect? Is there an opportunity to connect and grow from one another. I suppose previously for me it was much more transactional and now it’s much more transformational. Is that what happens when you invest in yourself? You stop needing to barter with others.

He and I had never had a discussion about career in this way. I was sure tonight would not be the night,too. But I asked anyway. Because he’s in one of those programs that requires tenacity and endurance. And I needed to know what he told himself in mile 23.

Advertisements

Unlimited Over-Consumption

29 Jan

Passover

21 Jul

Some of us have to learn things the hard way.  Some of us choose to silently struggle because the alternative (opening our mouths, humbling our spirits, and revealing a vulnerability) is not at all appealing.  How long have you allowed yourself to struggle before you broke down and asked for help?

That old adage “a closed mouth doesn’t get fed,” has been swarming in my mind all year.  Why is it, I’ve wondered, that we find it so incredibly difficult to ask for help? We beg, plead, and pray for good friends, loving family, a strong support system and then what do we do with them? Give them front row seats to our one-man suffering show?  Why do we have these people in our lives if we do not trust them enough to allow them to help us when we need it?

To take it one step further, do you ever wonder how often someone has had access to the thing you crave, but you missed out on it due to your silence. I hear about job openings all the time because of my current position, and so I tell friends or family about the jobs and let them make the decision to apply or not. There was on friend of mine who needed a job but did not speak up and let anyone know she was unemployed.  She was starting to get behind on bills, constantly anxious about not getting interviews and depleting her savings to  pay rent.  When she finally opened up and revealed her position I was so frustrated because she knows I could have been helping her all along.  Why are we so content to get passed over?

We’re running from our own blessings because we are clinging to pride.  Clinging to this idea that we need to do things for ourselves by ourselves (where did this come from?!).  As for help, and similarly, be of help.  It gives me solace to know that sometimes I will need things from my friends, but other times they will need me and I will gladly help them in any way that I can.

If, in fact, karma is one of the highest universal powers then make it your business to incur as much good karma as you can by doing good deeds.  Do not get passed over for your blessing being overly concerned about things that do not matter.  I  know sometimes we have the ability to help someone who we may personally deem undeserving of our help.  Do it anyway.  Do it because what you do unto others has already been done unto you and you’re in the position to make things better.  You can’t pay it back, so pay it forward.

The Sum of Life

12 Jul

Life, if I had to reduce it to one word one principle one virtue, is about service.  Sometimes you are the servant and sometimes you are the recipient of service, but the cycle is continuous and never ending.  That flow of retribution is why, perhaps, every great world religion is rooted in doing good unto others, loving one another as we seek to be loved, and the overall agreement that what we give is what we receive in return.  Karma, justice, Tao, however we label it, the energy that flows between us and our fellow citizens of the world is all service.

We have all, at some point in our lives, received favor; be it a job recommendation, a letter of reference, an opportunity for advancement in our careers, or even simply a shoulder during times of despair.  During those times we feel grateful that for whatever inexplicable reason, the universe has conspired on our behalf to improve our circumstance.  It is in the instances when it is impossible to pay back our favor that we must pay it forward, creating an opportunity for others who may be in need just as we once were.

Personally… I long ago, I fell in love with service. I fell for being a vessel for good. I fell for inspiring change in people, hence my career. Professionally I have chosen to work with children on the cusp of adulthood, those ages 18-24 in a college or university setting. This, however, leaves me partially unfulfilled. You see because long ago I fell in love with myself, the black woman. Everything about me, my skin, my hair, my heritage, even the bad things-because I love to serve crow-is magnificent. And, there’s nothing that fulfills me than seeing a black woman realize her potential. Hence my service work. I work with adolescent girls as a mentor and have in many different capacities since high school. This is my giving back, which I think is important for any professional-we must invest in the youth. Much in the same way this blog is my giving back to my community, I hope that my readers find their own vessel for service.

They say that hindsight is 20/20.  I tend to agree with that, because I can look at where I am today, and name twenty hardships that directly contributed to my capacity to handle the things currently going on in my life.  Being self-aware lets me see very clearly when someone else may be headed down a path that I was also tempted by, and if I can be a source of support for that person, I feel a very strong pull to do so.  In the same breath, there are others older than I who feel the same way towards me, and I have to humble myself enough to continually accept their support and be grateful for their guidance.  I am beginning to prefer slow deliberate thinking rather than bullishly learning things the hard way.  A lesson learned by 27 years of wreckless happenstance.

What did I give today?  Making the day less about me and my needs, and about how I can contribute back to my community, my country, my generation, and my global network.  What do I have to offer the world?  It is important to know the answer to that question, to know your skills, talents, and strengths and to know how they benefit us all.  The universe is self-sufficient. The universe will take care of its own (you, me, everything).  Just as your stomach growls when you are hungry, the universe will speak to you when it needs something.  We are all supposed to be great.  Not for our own personal gain, but for the gain of the collective; the greater good. This is why we serve.  This is why it all boils down to service.  This is why service, is simply the act of love.

 

Womanifesto

2 Jul

Borrowed words from the beautifully talented Jill Scott

Womanifesto can be found on Jill's latest cd "Light of the sun"

Clearly I am not a fat ass
I am active brain
and lip smacking peach deep
sometimes too aggressive in its honesty
and heart sweet
that loves whole-ly and completely
whom it may choose
whom ever it may choose

I am not gonna lie and passify
I am arms to hold
I am lips to speak
I am a muthafucking “G”

Strong legs that stroll off the 33 bus
or out of a money green Phantom confortably
Knees that bend to pray
clean from Ajax washings
hair that is thick and soft
Thigh that be-twixt
an amazing all expense grand prize

I am eyes that sing
smile that brightens
touch that rings
and supply euphoric release
I am a Grand Dame Queen Beast

I am warm 
I am peace
From the roads of Botswana to 23rd Street
From the inside third eye
ever watching this wicked wicked system of things
I do see

I am friend to pen 
and a lover of strong women
A Diamond to men
I am curious and interested like children 
I welcome the wise to teach 
appreciator of my culture
Thick not just from bone dense and eat

I have a rhythm in my ways 
and a practice in my seek
and yes I do crave the rhythm of my space
with a man that rejoyces in God’s Grace

with faith I do hear to listen
two hands that fist 
when forced pushes to shove
and your ego won’t submit

I am gifted 
I am all of this 
and indeed the Shit

Clearly I am not just an ass

EVERYTHING from love

29 Jun

I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love, because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold—that’s ego. Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says, ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now, so I love you. Go.’ — Dr. Maya Angelou

My two favorite things are love and freedom.  I appreciate this quote so much because what I see is that they are one in the same.  I was watching Country Strong last night and at one point Gwenyth’s character Kelly said, “Don’t be afraid to fall in love, its the only thing that matters in life. Do you understand what I’m saying? Fall in love with many things.”   How novel, I thought.  To have the freedom to explore this world as thoroughly as you possibly can and to indulge the passion that calls you from each corner of existence.

The other night Deeds asked me what I believe in.  I said ‘truth’.  He said he didn’t think that ‘us’ would be apart of my answer.  I found that peculiar.  I wondered why then, if he didn’t think I believed in us, did he continue to stay with me?  He later said that it wasn’t that he didn’t think I believed in us, he simply thought that’s not how I would answer.  I think that the specifics of what I believe in may be ever changing, growing, and evolving due to my devotion to truth.  What was right for me at 21 is not right for me at 27, and what is right for me now may not be at 34.  I promise myself that I will never be too afraid to let things go that are no longer serving  to make me better.  Be it people, places, or things.

If you see me getting smaller, I’m leaving, don’t be grieving, just gotta get away from here. If you see me getting smaller, don’t worry, and no hurry, I’ve got the right to disappear.~Kelly Canter (Country Strong)

I hated what happened to Kelly in that movie.  I saw it coming.  When she spoke of the stars.  I have to say that it was excellently portrayed because I saw the longing and the romanticism of the freedom that “living on a star” promised.  I see it, I saw it in my clients, I’ve had that look myself.  I think now that I understand  life and love a little bit more I see that we don’t have to die to be free, we just have to let this world go.  Isn’t that essentially what suicide is?

So I’m learning to let go of this world.  The more I let it go the more heaven moves into my heart, and the closer I get to living on my own star.  I realize I must operate in and apart of society, but I answer and am responsible to a higher power.  One that regards love and not power (or respect or success or fame or physical stamina or sexuality etc) as the guiding light.

The more people I meet that are like me (and there have been a lot recently, I questioned aloud whether the universe was preparing for something as so many of the free have been appearing to one another, then laughed because if I felt it was true then of course it was. Of course something is coming) the more I hear “let go”.  It’s like God is sending angels that whisper to everyone, but most are too concerned with the buzz of life to hear it.  So he sent natural disasters, he sent a financial crisis, he sent famine and poverty so that we can let go of what we think we know, of what we think is important and be HERE in the now and take care of one another.  Love one another, and not in a promise, but in this now and present moment.

It’s no secret that the ocean is my healing place, and seeing as how I now reside by the sea I am excited to see why I have been called there.  What is in store for me here, and what do I have to bring to it?  Whose angel has he been preparing me to be? Do you ever ask yourself that?

Happiness is free

21 Apr

The answer to your sh*t is not more sh*t. That’s about as clear as I could get my message to the average American. All my social commentary “dirt” was kicked up when I read this post over at Peace Love and Pretty Things this morning:

Our culture is hungry for spirituality. We are beginning to understand that consumerism isn’t going to fill the emptiness inside. We can cover it up, dress it up, or ignore it, but at some point we have to address it: the things of this world are unsatisfying. Children grow up. Spouses and loved ones disappoint. Cars lose value. A chair is just a chair, and a house is not a home.

We yearn for something deeper. We yearn for something more substantive. We yearn for that which can only be whispered, never fully known. We yearn for God (Source…and to continue reading this WONDERFUL article)

Incidentally after I read this article and I was all stirred my mind went immediately to Kanye West.  I really and truly believe he is an artistic genius.  Anyway, in his song “All Falls Down” he states the following truth:

We buy our way out of jail, but we can’t buy freedom
We’ll buy a lot of clothes when we don’t really need em
Things we buy to cover up what’s inside
Cause they make us hate ourself and love they wealth
That’s why shortys hollering “where the ballas’ at?”
Drug dealer buy Jordans, crackhead buy crack
And a white man get paid off of all of that
But I ain’t even gon act holier than thou
Cause fuck it, I went to Jacob with 25 thou
Before I had a house and I’d do it again
Cause I wanna be on 106 and Park pushing a Benz
I wanna act ballerific like it’s all terrific
I got a couple past due bills, I won’t get specific
I got a problem with spending before I get it
We all self conscious I’m just the first to admit it

The conclusion I came to is that in my lifetime, if I do nothing else I want to spread the gospel that happiness is free, and it is (as I’ve been told) an inside job.  I don’t blame white people, sorry Ye, I blame all of us. We have all succumbed to the hypnotic trend of materialism and mediocrity.  No one wants to stand out, and every one wants to be great, tell me how you achieve one without the other? We are in the middle of a great spiritual war.  The “catastrophe”  that is predicted in the Mayan calendar says that in 2012 the world will endure an Apocalypse. I hope it does. Apocalypse means the veil will be lifted, literally.  Please God, let the veil be lifted and let people begin to honor the divinity within us instead of worshiping the faux deity of materialism.  I hope 2012 brings about an exorcism.  Anything for people to just wake up, be present, and not be fearful of our own greatness.  THAT is happiness.