I Need A Bitch Nigga Rehab

So the fact that this title made some of my friends cringe is part of the reason that got me thinking I need a Bitch Nigga Rehab. In this increasingly politically correct world it has become imperative that people watch what they say in public for fear of offending others. God forbid others get offended at something you say in the heat of the moment. I mean, because all of us are these pious personas that we portray on social media, right? Yeah, OK. Now its no secret that I curse, and sometimes quite sailor-like. I feel like comedian Monique when she said, “Sometimes I just like the way it feels when the cuss words roll off my tongue.” Or like Lauryn Hill when she rapped “After all my logic and my theory, sometimes I add a mutherfucka so y’all ignorant Niggas hear me”, on Zealots. I’m a complex person, with my emotional ups and downs as well as my moments of wisdom and clarity. As humans we are allowed to be these multi-layered creatures who express ourselves in ways that are uniquely individual to each person. My form of communication happens to be peppered with colorful words such as Bitch, Nigga, Shit and sometimes even Bitch Ass Nigga, if the situation is appropriate. Nah mean?

Now I understand that these words hold negative connotations for many people, but I grew up in insensitive NYC where words roll off your back like raindrops on a duck. The normal language of New Yorkers includes cuss words from as early as elementary school. When a New Yorker wants to exclaim how serious the topic is, they say “dead ass”. I mean your parents try to teach you better but at school its a different dynamic and you must use your language to establish your dominance. The consequences of not doing so guarantees you will get tested on the regular. For example, in my case, I was always the youngest in class so I had to establish my prowess with either making you laugh or cussing you out to the point of utter embarrassment to avoid being the brunt of bullies jokes. I learned early on that words have power, and you only are affected by the power you attribute to them. That was the whole point of learning “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me”.

Words can be harmful as we know, if we let them, but we also have the power to change the meaning of the words to us so they become empowering. I believe this is the origin of embracing certain derogatory words like Bitch, Nigga or even Butch came from. In the LGBTQ community some greet each other with a hearty “Work Bitch” when someone is looking good and in the hood “You my Nigga” is a high form of flattery. Dyke and Butch started out as a derogatory titles for masculine identifying lesbians but now it’s simply a description. It’s all about the context. Yes, sometimes Bitch or Nigga are fighting words, depending upon the shade intended and the person saying it. However, those times are glaringly obvious and it is easy to know the difference when to fight or laugh.
I know people judge me based upon the seemingly limited range of my vocabulary, however, I fully embrace that me cussing is my version of letting my inner Bitter Bitch out to express herself. Cussing for most of us is only the tip of the iceberg of anger that bubbles underneath the surface of our PC everyday persona. If, as the Bible says, out of the mouth speaks the issues of the heart, hey I am obviously guilty of harboring a few issues in there.

However, in light of the more heinous things in this world like mass shootings, domestic violence and pedophilia, being committed by Bitch Ass Niggas, I feel like a little cussing literally doesn’t hurt anyone. In terms of rehab, I see we have serial rapists and predators talking about going to a rehab for sex addiction and bigots going to rehab for exactly what I don’t know, so why not a rehab for habitual cussers? Until that time though, I’m gonna continue to dap up my Niggas and Bitches and please let a Bitch breathe, in other words let me do me. I am still intelligent, Blessed and Highly favored, I just like to cuss

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Am I Missing Out on My Spiritual Inheritance?

 

  I recently received a call from one of my favorite  Kenyan cousins on how I was entitled to the inheritance of land left by my “father”.  When he passed away a few years ago, my brother was the only one still in contact with him and he handled all of the final affairs, including shipping his body back to Kenya.  I surmised that this selfless act alone entitled my brother to the full benefits of whatever was left.  He was the one that put up with his cruel words up until the day he died.
I never considered him my father because I hated him.  He legally adopted me and I carry his last name, so I guess technically I am entitled to whatever inheritance he left, by law, however emotionally I divorced myself from his family many years ago.   Although I am legally a Chege, since the gesture was not born out of love, I rejected the privilege.   Consequently, since he was so violently abusive, I pretty much wrote off a whole country for half of my adult life.
In my case, I absolutely don’t want anything from the Kenyan estate but the situation got me to thinking about this in a spiritual context.  Do we let emotions rob us of our rightful spiritual inheritance? I let my emotions and fear of rejection rob me of getting to know my Kenyan family for many years. I didn’t feel worthy of any love that I might receive from them because I openly hated the one man that was my connection to Kenya.   I think a lot of folks are like me, legally entitled to God’s spiritual inheritance but not feeling worthy enough to receive it.
 When my grandmother passed on, my Mother opted to sell the prime real estate in Trinidad that she left us as an inheritance because of her painful emotional connection to her early life.  I was so angry with her because she literally forfeited potential income of millions of dollars because of her emotions.   Her emotions caused her to leave wealth on the table that could have sustained our family for the next few generations.
Emotions can rewire your brain until you feel like everyone, even a whole country is the enemy.
 The Bible talks about there being no condemnation for those who believe in Christ’s power, yet so many Believers still feel the need to qualify themselves for a Blessing.  Feelings are so fleeting and they are one of the enemy’s best resources for making us miss out on experiencing the spiritual inheritance  God has for us.   Even if you don’t differentiate your belief in a Higher Power by denomination or even by a type of religion,  every spiritual belief system tells us that “God is Love”. We also learn that the “Universe conspires to bless us at every chance”.  However, many of us spend so much time focusing on what rules we haven’t adhered to and how far we still need to go in achieving enlightenment that we miss the power of appreciating what we have been Blessed with, in spite of what we think we deserve.
We were created in the image of God, which means we have God qualities in our DNA.  Success, joy, prosperity, peace and love are our natural inheritances.  We may not deserve them, we don’t have to feel right about accepting them but they are ours nonetheless.  Depression, ailments, and poverty may be part of our family “history” but they are NOT part of our God ordained spiritual DNA.  We can reject these things by changing our mindset and focusing on discovering our spiritual ancestral rights, our real inheritance.  It sounds impossible while we are in the throes of crisis mode but when the crisis subsides, because it always does, we need to ACTIVELY pursue spiritual growth.  When it comes to emotions, they are holographic.  They seem quite real until they fade.  Spiritual inheritances are eternal.
You know how sometimes a family member dies and leaves a will to benefit an heir but others in the family don’t think they are worthy so they contest it?  Well think of this as your life.  God left you an inheritance of peace, love and a sound mind but the enemy and all your other haters, (cause sometimes your own mind is a hater too…but that’s a whole other post), are contesting your right to receive this inheritance.  In the real world, you get a lawyer and fight this out in probate court right?  So, in the spirit world it’s even easier.  Prayer, reading the Word and simply sitting quietly and listening for God’s encouragement and instruction is the equivalent of fighting for your inheritance.  God, the Holy Spirit, Spirit, the Universe or whatever you choose to call your Higher Power is your personal lawyer.  It’s completely free and you can ask for help at any time and with as much frequency as you need.
 In 12 step programs the two things most emphasized are the Serenity Prayer and taking things One Day at a Time.   Taking hold of our spiritual inheritance means taking the Serenity Prayer literally..”God please grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference”.  You can ask for help not only one day at a time but one second at a time because sometimes the struggle is that intense.  Finally, when talking directly to the Source, there is never any judgment, only peace and encouragement to deal with your issues in the order in which they are damaging you.
So, to sum it all up, please don’t let your emotions keep you from benefitting from your spiritual inheritance.  This priceless benefit is the precursor to living a life of great faith, wisdom and prosperity.  Until next time, Be Blessed!
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Crazy How Life Changes In An Instant

Yesterday morning started out with so many good intentions.  Before falling asleep, I asked God to wake me up early, in the silent hours of the morning so I could write some memoir content.  So of course when the hour came, I ignored the purple promptings in my 3rd eye, and decided I needed another hour of sleep.  Thinking all the while that I had nothing but time yesterday.  I ran all my errands the day before and I only was obligated to hit the gym then I was free to let my creativity loose. As usual, my plans were not the Creator’s plans.
  While I was in Starbucks, getting my morning motivation, I got a text that my Brother-in-Law’s Dad was about to transition and the whole family needed to get to the hospital.  Since my niece attends college closer to my house and the hospital was on the other side of town, I decided to be a help and drive her to the hospital so she could see her grandfather before he passed.  Since I am not immediate family and I am squeamish around emotion, I had no intention of being in the hospital room.  I simply thought of myself as easing the burden on my sister and family by doing what I can do, which was drive.
Soooo, what had happened was, I pulled up to the hospital entrance, my niece jumped out and I took my time looking for parking.  I then took my time meandering through the hospital to finally arrive at the ICU, and then I even took more time just waiting outside the doors to ensure that I missed all of the emotional goings on.  Once I finally mustered up the nerve to find the room, I was welcomed in by his daughter.  She was genuinely glad I came to show support and we just hugged and stood in silence watching her Dad on the breathing machine, with the rest of the family doing the same.
 All of a sudden, the nurse comes in and says they’re ready to remove the machine.  I see her unhook the tubes and disconnect the monitors and then I realized in horror what was about to happen.  My face could have been a GIF at that moment because I was not prepared for all that transpired.  This regal man of God, that I had seen for the last 2 decades of my life was desperately gasping for air as his soul left his body.  Even though I had told myself that I wasn’t going to cry, the sobs escaped me uncontrollably because this was the most raw and painful sight I have ever experienced.  When my own Mother passed, thankfully I missed her last moments.  I don’t think I could have recovered from that sight.  I always hear people say, ‘He passed peacefully surrounded my family and friends”, and that sounds so comforting and serene.  That description is some bullshit, because this man was surrounded by family and friends but there was nothing peaceful about his labored breathing and the fact that we were all helpless to do anything.  I’m sure the process took only a few minutes but it felt like hours to me.  The expression on his face, mouth open, eyes staring blankly, will be burned on my brain forever.
What was so crazy was that prior to me going to Starbucks yesterday, I had a long conversation with my wife and another friend about grief and its lifelong effects.  I explained how I went through a period of grief from late 2009 until about mid 2013, which began with my dear friend passing, my Mother, then my sister.  Throughout the conversation I was fighting back tears but I thought that I had compartmentalized that sorrow enough that it wouldn’t pour out again in full force.  I was wrong.
The other crazy thing was that my nephew’s birthday, his grandson, was yesterday and although it was a traumatic moment physically, I feel like the spiritual mantle was passed on to him when his grandfather transitioned.  I have always noticed the physical similarities between them ever since he was born and my Mother prophesied that my nephew would be a preacher.  Time will tell.
I woke up at 4am this morning wondering why I was allowed to be privy to such an intimate, vulnerable yet spiritually charged moment.  Since he was such a noble man, I felt like I wanted to salute or stand at attention while he transitioned.  I know he was welcomed into God’s bosom with a hearty “Well Done”, because he left a legacy of integrity and strength. I thoroughly respected him because he reminded me of the  strong, West Indian men that I remember from my childhood.  I don’t know if I was there for me or for his family or out of respect for my own Mother because he was such a great confidant to her, even up until her last night on earth.  In any case, despite the tears I shed, I want to thank God for allowing me such a privilege.  After witnessing death, I am once again assured that this physical body is only a shell and I need to continue strengthening my spirit, which is all that matters in the end.

 

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YES, I AM ENOUGH!

So you know how your parents used to tell you that a hard head makes a soft ass?  Well, for me that is still sort of a mantra because I constantly get distracted and swerve into a lane God didn’t put me in.  This past week, as I was further procrastinating about getting back to the blogging, I had some conversations that sparked some much needed “Ah-hah” moments.  Basically God’s way of letting me know I had swerved out of my lane.
One conversation was with fellow blogger, Jamie Hopkins of Matters of my Heart, who reminded me that I had a gift and I wasn’t using it to the fullest. I argued that I didn’t have a product yet so I didn’t think that my blog posts were relevant enough to warrant any marketing.  She countered with the fact that my blog is my product until I have something else and people that I don’t know are waiting for me to show up with a unique perspective on questions they’ve been seeking answers for.
 It’s so crazy how I can almost instantly go from having a plan on how to encourage people with my words to not thinking what I have is good enough.  Ironically, it took the blessing of becoming a homeowner for me to forget that God is in control and He told me to write.  Once I got the call from my realtor back in July saying that our offer was accepted,  I automatically jumped into hustle mode.  All the while rationalizing that I need more income to maintain this blessing, and came up with a few ways to make money.  They all seemed legit, to me anyway, although they are things that were never in my sphere of thinking, like teaching or personal shopping.  I still surmised that this was the path I was supposed to take, because these humble opportunities  were presented to me.
 I fell into the trap like so many others of thinking that the first thing that shows up after I prayed for something is that miracle I waited for.  My experience has always been that the first thing that shows up, is a distraction.  Although my gut and that still small voice kept telling me, “Nope, I told you to write”, I busied myself preparing for what turned out to be fruitless endeavors.   I’m so hard-headed.  See, I was scared shitless of my promotion and thought that I had to do something extra to keep it because I didn’t feel deserving.  I convinced myself that I needed to do something other than what I have always done which is, ask, thank Him for it, prepare for it as best as I can and wait for it to manifest.   These damn feelings are an unreliable mess!
I guess God had to be extra to show me I was wrong.  He shut down every job opportunity I thought I had landed.  The way I knew it was God was because of the randomness and improbabilities of the shutdowns!  Things such as failing IT connectivity tests with brand new equipment and companies disappearing from my area although online they exist.  Every single opportunity dried up except for getting back to this writing.   I was so busy trying to figure out how the money was going to come instead of actually doing the task which I was assigned, simply writing to encourage others.  One of my excuses is that I always feel like the writing is not good enough, I agonize over phrases and topic choices and many times i talk myself out of writing what is on my heart completely.  So, as I was praying and thanking God for the gift of writing, I was saying “I know it’s not me Lord but your words flowing through me…and then I distinctly heard,  “If you know it’s Me and not you, why are you afraid?”  Whaaat?! I had to stop and write this down.  If my inspiration is from God and I trust God’s promptings, why do I agonize over the right words?  Blew my mind.  Which takes me back to the original point of this whole post, getting my ego out of the way and simply let Spirit lead.    So, I’m back with a renewed sense of purpose and new level of freedom to create.   I’m grateful my hard-headedness doesn’t last forever and at least you get a story out of it.
Until next time, Be Blessed.
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Things My Mama Used To Say

 

Today’s writing prompt for the #30DWCDay21 #WritingChallenge is to write about a favorite quote that has stuck in my head ever since I heard it.  Now I know there are many other profound philosophers that I can quote but sometimes the simple stuff just sticks with you.  My Mother had a knack for pulling out those good old Trini sayings at the most appropriate times.  There was something about hearing those simple bits of wisdom in that lilting, melodic accent she had that drove the point home every time.  Ms. Atlanta was quick with the wit and she could steupse with the best of them.  All my Trinis know exactly what I mean by the steupse, eh?  Anyway, I had to pay homage to her by sharing some of these sayings that have gotten me through my adult years with their basic wisdom.  Here are my top 5 favorites.

 

  • Blood Is Thicker Than Water

My mother emphasized this to me and my siblings early on to teach us always to have each other’s back. You know how when you become a teenager, sometimes even in middle school, you want to distance yourself from your siblings due to embarrassment?  She always told us that no matter how close you think you are to your friends, when it comes down to it they will choose their blood family over you and we should do the same.

  • Everyone skinnin’ and grinnin’ in your face is not your friend.

This was drilled into me time and time again because I was always the one bringing home new “friends”.  It took me awhile to get this concept but it started me on my quest for discernment of who truly meant me well.  I guess she was a good judge of character and could tell who had an agenda over who was my real friend.  This advice really came in handy when I moved overseas and had to navigate social life without any family as a safety net.  I even had this phrase ringing in my head when I entered the corporate world and had to move craftily amongst the snakes on the come up.

  • It Don’t Take Nuttin’ Off Yuh To Say Good Morning

Growing up in New York, I prided myself on giving everyone the blank face.  To me that was the NYC way, show no emotion.  Mama wasn’t having any of that.  If we came out of the house and there was someone on the elevator, she would say Good Morning or Hello.  She didn’t care that was not the norm in the big city, she decided to keep her island polite sensibilities.  If I acted like I didn’t want to speak, I would get the swift backlash in front of the stranger.  You know I complied to avoid the wrath and the embarrassment.

  • Eh Eh, I Thought Yuh Die A Natural Death

I got this every time I hadn’t spoken to my Mother in a while.  Actually, she said this about anyone she hadn’t heard from in some time.  I would always jokingly retort that the phone works both ways.  She cracked me up because we never really went any length of time without speaking, only in her mind.  She could be complaining on the phone about how no one calls and no one visits but I hear my brother in the background at the house.  I swear this is the same thing I hear from all my senior island Aunties.  Why do the old folks throw shade? LOL Gotta love them though and I sure do miss them now.

  • 2 Man Rat Cyan Live In De Same Hole

My siblings and I heard this all through our teenage years until we got put out.  Basically this is a way of saying we weren’t running anything but our mouths in Atlanta’s house.  She was the sole authority and if we didn’t want to adhere, we had to get out. Period.  I think the only one of us that didn’t get put out for a period was my youngest brother, only because she was tired by then.  Now, I never had kids but when I listen to stories from friends dealing with their teens, I can’t help but think of this phrase.  Hell, even when I had roommates I had this phrase ringing in my brain.  I eventually realized that I am not cut out for sharing my space, I need to be the boss…well now that I’m married I guess I had to relax that a bit.

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Why We Do What We Do: The Case For Faith

This month I am taking part in a writing challenge to prompt me to be more consistent with my writing.  I will be posting some topics from The Speak Write Challenge to vary my content.  I have shared the link on my FB page for anyone interested in joining the challenge.

Today’s topic is “Why We Do What We Do”.  What motivates us to be the people that we are?  I’m talking about both the good and the bad. If we are to be honest about it, at least in my own life, I find myself asking “What keeps me from doing what I should be doing”?.  I mean we all can cite reasons for being on our grind, on our search for success, spiritual connection or whatever.  Many people grind for their kids or to achieve material goals or career goals.  I think that both our motivations and lack thereof is what really completes who we are.  There is a reason why we have the Jay Zs and Bill Gates of the world and then we have the dudes who pump gas and work at the 7-11 up the street at 55 years old, right?  I would like to think that gas station dude didn’t start off life with this as his career goal, but this is how it ended up.  I am intrigued by the traits that separate the ambitious from the settlers.  Sometimes life just chews you up and spits you out and you end up barely maintaining because you are emotionally drained.  Other times though, you get your swagger back and decide to fight for your blessings.  I believe that the difference between both types of people is faith.

In terms of my motivation, I strive to use my gifts of gab and wordsmithing to inspire others before I leave this earth.  I fear dying and having to answer to God why I squandered what I was blessed with.  It might sound cliché, but for me it’s very true.  This is the anniversary of God sparing my life from a heart attack last year and I am sure I am still here because I have work left to do.  Over the past few years it has been revealed to me that I am a leader at heart and I need to stay engaged in spreading love and wisdom to be satisfied with my life.  My health has prevented me from having a conventional job in recent years, but I can contribute to society by sharing my life’s lessons through writing.  I still hesitate to call myself a “writer” but I can’t deny that this ability springs from my soul.  I have a natural curiosity about everything so I can always find some subject matter to analyze and glean wisdom from.  My other motivation is my family, especially the younger generation.  I don’t want them to always think of their Auntie as the crazy weed smoker with arthritis and no job.  I would like to inspire them to express themselves and utilize every gift and talent they have been blessed with, despite any obstacles that come their way.  I feel that I need to be an example of the qualities that I want them to have; faith, hustle, integrity, compassion, wit and wisdom.

On the flip side, my days of procrastination, depression and laziness also contribute to the sum of me.  Although I know both practically and spiritually what habits I need to let go of, I am still puzzled by my own disobedience.  I can start off my day pumped up with a workout, prayer session and a healthy breakfast but by 2pm, I have wasted hours on the couch playing video games and watching TV.  My mentor told me that this form of procrastination is based in fear of not being enough.  I had to mull that over a bit before admitting that it was true.  That old perfectionism had returned. So again, I have to tackle the fact that I need to work on the fear factor that creeps up in so many insidious ways.  This is where the faith comes into play.

The only way I see to balance what I want to do and why I don’t, is through prayer.  I am learning the true meaning of the verse, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”(John 15:5). Basically the only way to stay on the righteous path, despite me succumbing to temptation daily is by asking Jesus, The Holy Spirit and God to help me.  Constantly.  And Yes, I distinctly ask all 3.  To be honest, I don’t really get the whole Trinity thing so I just ask everybody.  Can’t hurt right?

I have found that spending time with God increases my faith.  When I slip up and let the days lapse in between my dedicated prayer and meditation time, essentially being apart from God, that’s when the depression creeps in and zaps the faith I built up.  After attending the Global Leadership Summit for the past 4 years, I have observed very prominent business, political and creative leaders share the core of their success and it is their faith.  I am sure they get discouraged at times but over the years, after building up their faith muscles, they know definitively that they will be victorious.  Since we are all unique, this faith muscle is developed differently in each of us but the key is to intentionally build it up.  Intentionality goes a long way in spiritual development.

So to bring this back around to my original reasoning for what makes me who I am, and who I would like to be.  At my core is a fierce faith that allows me to experience the highs and lows of life but still know that God’s got me.  My faith pushes me to do better and affect mankind positively.  My faith also lets me forgive myself and not be consumed by my flaws because I know God loves me unconditionally.  I may have temporary lapses, but I am not consumed.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 states that God’s plans for us are for a great future.  The passage goes on to explain that once you pray God will hear you, answer you and restore you.   When I find myself sliding too far down the dark hole, I remember this verse and get motivated all over again.  Faith is really the only way to connect who we are now with who we want to become.  I strive to become a better version of myself everyday so I will continue to intentionally seek spiritual knowledge which builds my faith muscle.   Until next time, Peace and Blessings!

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The Ghosts We Face

 

So, this morning I woke up with a need to reach way back into my Bitter Bitch bag and spill some of this vitriol from my soul.  Since I reached my half century mark a few months back, I really have zero F’s left to give about how people perceive me.  The reality is that I spent so much time giving a shit and building these emotional walls that I even masked from myself how sensitive I really am.  This is probably the reason that these episodes affect me so deeply.  Today I want to talk about this thing called “ghosting”.

For those who may be unfamiliar, “Ghosting” is when someone abruptly ends a relationship without any type of direct communication. I don’t believe this is a new phenomenon, just as with everything else, it has gotten more common because of this digital age we live in.  Since many relationships are sustained these days by social media and texting, it feels more pronounced when even this minimal form of engagement disappears.  There are a couple of types of ghosting; one is experienced after bad dates and the other happens between what were thought to be genuine friends.

Not to justify, but many of us are guilty of the first kind of ghosting, even me.  I remember I showed up for a date that I met online and shawty told me she was feminine and professional, and in person she looked like a broke Rick Ross. Umm, that was not you in the picture Sir!  I couldn’t even keep a straight face so I just left…got ghost.  I mean, I figured she knew she lied so I couldn’t even feel guilty.  When the person is a casual acquaintance or a Tinder date we feel like we don’t owe them any type of explanation because “we don’t even know them like that”.

To me, the most emotionally damaging type of ghosting is when it happens between longtime close, or so I thought, friends.  Like, whoa.  This means that I totally misjudged your character for years and you know my intimate business.  Now I’m doubting myself, wondering what event triggered this and can it be fixed.  Driving myself crazy replaying previous conversations in my head, my anxiety and obsession on full throttle.  It takes me awhile to convince myself that I need to drop the guilt.  Then I get pissed off, thinking about all the apparently fake ass conversations that took place over the course of the relationship.  I’m thinking, what red flags did I ignore?

Perfect example of this is my last ghosting experience.  I met her about 8 years ago and she pursued me for the friendship, then she disappeared suddenly after a few months of deep conversations.  It bothered me then but since I hadn’t known her that long, I let it go, but my gut was bugging me.  How do you go from texting me and calling regularly to nothing? It’s not like we were dating so it couldn’t be on some emotional shit.  After advice from a mutual friend, I decided to show compassion and no judgment when she suddenly reappeared right around Thanksgiving with a story and an apology.

This became her pattern for the next few years and it was cool with me. I understand the need to withdraw from time to time to refocus. I understand that life gets in the way and time slips away.  She reiterated our “family” status every time we spoke and would always seek me out for prayer and advice. I’m a sucker for the whole prayer thing, if you ask me to pray for you, I take that seriously. I believe this is how I got played.  I was so busy trying to be a prayer warrior that I ignored the pattern of disrespect to herself and others. I should have known that same disrespect would be aimed at me in time. Gotta watch how people move with others, it won’t be long before they move funny-style with you too.  She was always supportive of anything I was involved in so I guess I had no reason to suspect anything was awry.  Anyway, after a couple of months, I noticed that my calls and texts weren’t being returned so I took the hint.  I hadn’t unfollowed her social media though so I saw a post that my intuition told me was about me.  I was like hold up, what is this cowardly nonsense from someone who prides themselves on being so confrontational?  It’s so crazy how people are quick to do some dramatic shit like air out their grievances on Facebook but not simply confront the offender in person.  I mean picking up the phone is easy, just like you picked it up to ask for money or bend my ear asking for prayer and advice. WTF?

There are a couple of reasons why people ghost someone.  Some people think “we’re sparing the other person’s feelings because being honest would hurt them worse”.  Nah, we just want to spare ourselves the emotional drama of having to explain exactly what is “wrong” with someone else.  This is that passive-aggressive, non-confrontational, weak AF approach.  Being honest with others about what you think about them can be painful so many people simply avoid it by disappearing.  This also avoids witnessing the pain on the ghostee’s face when the rejection is experienced.

According to Psychology Today, there is a link between social rejection and the biological reaction of physical pain. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-forward/201511/is-why-ghosting-hurts-so-much) Unfortunately, this type of emotional pain is the core of many opioid addictions because rejection of any form chips away at a person’s self-esteem.  But that’s a subject for a later time…

The other reason for this immature approach is, because like Common told Ice Cube back in the day, “I see the Bitch in You”. Real Talk.  When you have built a relationship by presenting yourself to be something you are clearly not, the shame eventually gets to you and poof, you’re gone.  Once you realize that people have accepted you without judgment, you can’t believe it because you don’t deem yourself worthy.  Now you must sabotage the relationship and make the other person out to be the villain.  You are ALWAYS the victim, right?  Nah, we all do ratchet shit and the truth is you need to accept yourself as you are, just like your friends do, just like God does.  Once you realize that it’s fine to let someone know what offends you and discuss solutions without losing your value, you will no longer need to be the victim and get ghost.

Bottom line, Ghosting is the ultimate form of psychological cruelty because it leaves the Ghostee unable to determine how to process the event. When this happens between friends that you love and trust it especially feels like a deep betrayal. We all need closure but without communication we don’t even know what behavior to address.  Ghosting renders us powerless over expressing our emotions and beginning the healing process.  Despite the Ghoster thinking it’s not that deep, this act can leave deep psychological scars.  The best way to heal these scars is to go through the stages of grief over the loss of the relationship, pray for the offender, forgive them and let it go.  This process can range from days to years, everyone is unique.  I believe that everything occurs for a reason and perhaps this person was only meant to be in my life for a season.  I’m good with that.  But then the petty part of me reminds me that Karma is a Bitch and I don’t wish ill on anyone but…can’t say I wouldn’t smirk a bit if it happened. Yep, God is still working on me.   Until next time, Blessings!

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PIECES OF WISDOM FOR PROCRASTINATORS PT 1

I attended a conference this past weekend which offered practical advice on taking your business goals from dreams to reality.  One of the portions gave each panelist a chance to share a nugget of wisdom that would best convey their philosophy regarding business ethic and entrepreneurship.  These are my takeaways from the advice given and I wanted to share them with all my people.  I know that I am not the only one who may need these reminders and some of them were fresh takes on things we already know.  Enjoy…
 DON’T BE A FLAT SQUIRREL. The world is full of dead squirrels that couldn’t make up their mind while crossing the road. You know how you always see squirrels dart out in front of your car and then they suddenly change their mind and dart back to safety? Well many of those squirrels end up as roadkill because they hesitated too long to get back to safety or they decided to wait until the oncoming car was too close to stop before they ran out. This often happens in life to chronic procrastinators. Opportunities are meant to be seized and delaying taking action will make us miss those open doors. This can mean lost revenue, in the case of business, or even a lost life, when we are talking about taking care of our health. “A double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways”, is how it is stated in the Bible. (James 1:8) Even if you make a wrong decision, just make a decision and stick with it. This is far better than doing nothing or putting it off indefinitely. Don’t get caught up with Analysis Paralysis, Just Do It!

 AN EXCUSE IS A LIE DISGUISED AS A REASON. When I heard this nugget, I had to sit back and say “Whoa!” This is so true, at least in my own case. Whenever I really don’t WANT to do something, I can come up with at least 10 excuses as to why I CAN’T. They all sound legit, at least in my own mind anyway. My excuses usually mean one of two things, either I should never have committed to something in the first place or I simply don’t desire to put in the effort. For instance, if I was told they were giving away $20K and I just had to make my way out to the Eastern Shore by 8am…I would have my ass up by 3am, clutching my heart, moving my arthritic limbs and all, happily heading to collect my cash! It’s all about the motivation for real. Now, every time I start collecting the thoughts in my mind to release an excuse from my mouth, I pause and recall this statement.

 REMEMBER YOUR WHY. My gifts and purpose are not for me and therefore I have no right to procrastinate and keep people from receiving what I have been put on earth to share. Since I have already faced two of my fears, the death of my Mother and suffering a heart attack, my final fear is to die and have to answer to God why I did not fulfill my purpose. I have always known that I was blessed with being a good writer, I knew that this was God’s gift to me. What I recently learned was that this gift was placed in me to help others, not for me to hoard just to get A’s in school. So now that I have this knowledge, I am responsible to act accordingly. I have heard this statement before, “What is your why?”, but I never really was confident that the” why” I had in my gut was actually valuable. Now I know. I have no doubt that somewhere in Internet land are readers that need to hear my perspective on things and this may even save a life.

 DON’T SIT ON YOUR PASSION, GOD WILL MULTIPLY YOUR GIFTS OR TAKE THEM AWAY ALTOGETHER. Jesus told the Parable of the Talents (Matt 25:14-30) where essentially each servant was given a number of talents to be stewards of while the Master went away. Stewardship of these talents consisted of investing them wisely so they would prove profitable to the Master upon his return. All of the servants that were given multiple talents invested them wisely and were blessed with even more talents when the time came to report to the Master. However, the servant with only 1 talent was lazy and never invested his talents, therefore he never reaped a profit. The Master was furious with him, called him out on his laziness and then took the little bit of talent he had and gave it to the servant that had the most talents. The Bible is speaking of money but I am speaking of literal talents here to portray my point, it is the same principle. The longer we sit on our gifts, the greater the risk of our lives getting away from us and we never utilize these gifts for their Divinely intended purpose. The other adage that says “use it or lose it”, applies here too. Times change and abilities wane or certain talents become obsolete and opportunities are lost simply because we took too long to act.

I can’t let this be me…Don’t let it be you either! The incentive for me is the promise of multiplication of my blessings if I work with what I already have. Which is partly the reason I have a fire lit under me to push through the obstacles, both physical and emotional, to continue chronicling what goes on in Wani’s World. What gifts do you have that the world can use? If this resonates with you, please feel free to leave comments on what you will do right now to leave your mark on this earth. Until the next post, Peace and Blessings!

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THE LEADERSHIP LIFE; IT’S ALL ABOUT SERVICE

Ever since I entered the workforce as a teenager, I have known that I am supposed to be a leader in some capacity. I never wanted to lead in the military or in corporate America, partly because of fear of failure and partly because I didn’t feel comfortable conforming to such conservative standards. I have always called myself a boss, with grand visions of running my own non-profit that makes a large profit but I guess it’s not my time yet. At least judging from my current bank account. LOL. Anyway, I don’t believe that anything is sheer coincidence and after deciding to pursue my passions back in 2010, I have been gathering knowledge on becoming a boss for real.
I became aware of this Global Leadership Summit back in 2012, while attending Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia. I was intrigued because the speakers were revered leaders from all areas of business, entertainment and the spiritual community. One of the things I love about BCC is it’s commitment to community service and they encourage their attendees to get involved in service as a way of living out personal spiritual practices. I’m down with that so I volunteered to serve on the Registration Team. I love engaging with people and this is a fast paced duty where I am on my feet and never bored. The perk of serving in this capacity is that once registration is over, we get to attend the summit and soak up all of this wisdom that hundreds of people pay hundreds of dollars for. I figured that this opportunity is God preparing me for my future TED talk or whatever platform I am given to encourage others with my stories. Y’all know I got stories…so many stories. So, although I am a leader in preparation, the principles of leadership are applicable in both the preparation and implementation stages, making this #GLS event a valuable resource.
Anyway, I have learned so much over the past few years from both the BCC team and the GLS speakers. The 2015 faculty included Ed Catmull, the Academy award winning president of Pixar Animation Studios, who really inspired me to continue blogging. Catmull explained his views on how fitting art and science together through great storytelling can change and improve the world. He explained how storytellers are the world changers because stories are how we communcate with each other and how we can connect through the emotions of a great story. I had never thought of the importance of my “gift of gab” until he broke it down that way. The lightbulb came on for me as to why people get engrossed in a good book or a well crafted movie, such as Inside Out, because of the universal ability to relate to the story. This was also my turning point to think of my storytelling ability as a service to the world, not just amusement for my friends and family. He ending his session by stating a variation of words that I had been praying for many years, “Use your stories for Good”. As a child, I took pride in telling some fantastic lies, and I thrived on being a petty criminal. Once I got older and grew a conscience, I used to ask God to change me and to use my “powers” for good. I took this a confirmation that I am on the right track with Wani’s World and my current authoring goals.

This year, one of the speakers that I was impressed by was Melinda Gates. She spoke about how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation effectively serves women in developing nations from a perspective that is not really talked about, particularly in religious settings. She explained how one of the principles of leadership, especially when you are claiming to serve an underserved population, is the need to actually LISTEN to what the people want to be provided with. What is really going to serve their best interests instead of what Western thinking assumes is necessary. She learned, much to her surprise, what women in developing countries want is female centered birth control, such as Depo-provera shots. While sitting down with women in Africa and India, she learned that condoms are not effective because of the stigma attached to them. Women often cannot ask men to use condoms because of the assumption that if a condom has to be used then they will be accused of having AIDS or they think the man has AIDS. Also, in many countries women have no control over when or how they have sex, because they are considered powerless. Having control over the timing of their pregnancies by using birth control without their husbands knowing is an important part of empowerment for them. The option to not have babies back to back has improved the suvivability rate of both the mothers and children. Apparently there used to be wide access to Depo-provera shots that has been taken away in exchange for the widespread availability of condoms, to supposedly stem AIDS. This was so enlightening to me, how important it is to serve others through the lens of reality and not Western ideas of morality. Melinda Gates grew up Catholic so she explained that it was a struggle for her to even speak out for birth control and how she eventually realized that in this instance, it was God’s will for her to use her resources to serve in this way.
My final takeaway from her talk was that unfortunately, there is so much more that can be done by so many more celebrities and millionaire business owners. She mentioned how Warren Buffet was the one to give her the idea of coordinating a group of millionaires, both believers and non-believers, to fund charitable efforts that would impact the world greatly. It’s so crazy how many of us, especially in America, have a multitude of resources that we amass over a lifetime and we can’t take them with us when we die, yet we don’t even think of donating even a small portion of it to less fortunate communities. Umm, rappers and Ballers I’m looking right at you. I mean how many Jordan’s and Bugatti’s can you own, and really enjoy? We have got to do better folks. For real though. But, that’s another post, for now I am looking forward to tomorrow’s lesson at the #GLS2016. Hope your day was productive, Stay Prayed Up!

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My Diabetic Gourmet Journey Day 6

My intent today was to be transparent about my body and lifestyle transformation journey.  What God placed in my spirit was to speak about what humbling myself really looks like.  I, like many others have the habit of comparing ourselves to others when setting goals and celebrating achievements.  However, I have discovered that I can’t even compare myself to my former self.  My ego tells me that I can set these lofty standards for myself, with no real guidance, rhyme or reason and still expect to bust them out with no problem.  So, as usual, God had another plan for me.

I finally went to cardiac rehab on Tuesday morning, with my playlist and headphones all prepared to get back into full workout mode, only to be rudely awakened to the seriousness of my heart condition and my diabetes management.  I was used to eating a carb heavy breakfast before working out last year because my blood sugar would drop before the end of my session and I would end up feeling nauseated and about to pass out.  So, with this old mindset, I ate some rice and veggies for breakfast justifying it based upon my old habits.  Much to my surprise my blood sugar was 310 by the time I reached the VA.  I also found out that it is dangerous to workout with a sugar reading above 300 because apparently your body can take it either way, low or high during the workout.  Since I had driven so far they allowed me to proceed while wearing a heart monitor.  First reality check.

Next I thought that I would get back to my 25 min mile pace on the treadmill, which to me is not fast at all.  I was embarrassed to find out I could only go at 1.8 for 10 mins, 5 mins on level 0 of the recumbent stepper and 10 mins of level 1 on the bike.  Second reality check and ego blow to my soldier mentality.

Finally I found out that I can’t let my heart rate get over 110 at least right now.  This means I can only do cardio for a max of 30 mins 4 times a week.  I can’t strength train until further notice. Can’t take any supplements and basically have to be ok with the fact that I may not be able to build muscle for awhile.  I joined the 5 star nutrition challenge with the intent of purchasing some detox and protein supplements to speed up my progress, with the rationale that as long as I stayed away from fat burners I should be fine.  My cardiac nurse let me know that I needed to change my body goals to simply focus on heart health for the next few months.  I was kinda disappointed to put it mildly.

That evening in my #MediaMavericks group #TeeJMercer was teaching on running your race at your own pace and not to compare myself to others because everyone has different circumstances, and I realized that I had been comparing myself to my old person, pre heart attacks.  The realization that I really have to start from scratch set in hard.  Just because my brain is telling me I feel fine, doesn’t mean it is actually so.  Ego and pride are tricky bastards.

This little bit of depression sent me on a wagon jump off my diet regimen to irrationally devour some pound cake.  After checking my account to discover I was overdrawn because I forgot about an automatic bill coming out, my emotional tailspin continued sadly and I didn’t even feel like cooking healthy.  SMH

The lesson here was that I discovered 2 of my binge triggers, depression and broke.  Glad to say I stopped my pity party within 12 hours and got back on track.  I did manage to not eat out and I made some delicious broiled jerk salmon and Green chile baked chicken legs. Still working on cooking some veggies and a pot of beans.

The other thing I am learning is to honor my body by resting when it calls for it, even if it is in the middle of the day.  I had to admit that as much as I love being domestic by cooking gourmet meals and keeping my house spiffy, that can’t be my priority these days.  Another bit of wisdom confirmed by Coach #TeeJMercer.  I wasn’t expecting to get such consistent life wisdom from joining this group, clearly confirmation that God directed me here at the right time.

So on the way home after penning this post during a pedicure, I was reminded of my final lesson which is to continue to dwell on my successes and not my failures.  Joel Osteen was talking about having a good opinion of ourselves and I wanted to end this post by saying that I celebrate the fact that I did eat healthy low sodium, low carb meals every day this week.  I did make it to workout so far twice, I managed to write this blog post and I listened to my #MediaMavericks group chats everyday this week which has kept up my motivation.  Although I want to be transparent, I am going to find a balance between candor and celebration.  I want to motivate and not add to ways in which we beat ourselves up daily.  So, I will end this by saying that we all are works in progress and by the grace of God, and divine timing, we will run our race at our own pace with our unique anointing.  Until next time, Be Blessed!

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