The Revolution Has Come by Robyn C. Spencer

 Although the text is extremely well written and easy for the non-academic to read, Spencer fails to adequately discuss the most important term in its title: gender. Some attention is given to women in the BPP but the text does not give a voice to the women in the Black Panther Party. Writing the text through the lens of a Black women would have made this text applicable to disciplines such as Feminist Studies and a growing interest in Black women’s studies in local communities. With the author being a Black woman, the silencing of Black women’s voices is not only unacceptable, but depreciates the value of the text (as far as the title is concerned) and leaves the reader unsatisfied.

         As someone interested in organization development and management, texts such as The Revolution Has Come are necessary to push Black institutions’ toward a more radical and communitarian framework. For many, the Black Panther Party has served as an example of what a militant framework might look like. Robyn Spencer eloquently depicts the militant activism of the BPP by charting their historiography in Oakland, California. In her 2016 text The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland Spencer, Associate Professor of the History Department at Lehman College, utilizes manuscript collections, interviews, FBI records, and organization records to illustrate the political influence of one of Black America’s most radical organizations in the latter 20th century. With special emphasis on internationalism, Spencer argues the BPP in Oakland had a “commitment to making linkages with the revolutionaries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean [making] it one of the most effective ambassadors for Black Power” (Spencer, 3). This text also establishes the blueprint for revolutionary thought in Black political consciousness.
Spencer writes her text specifically to activists and community builders grappling with incorporating the legacy of Black Power in today’s Black Freedom Struggle. She asks her readers “What does Black Power have to offer in the context of drone warfare, deepening poverty, unemployment, immigrant detention, and a criminal justice infrastructure that is an engine of destruction in Black and Brown communities?”—all questions that can be directed to social justice organizations of the 21st century (Spencer, 5). Chapters one and two paint a geographical landscape of Oakland while providing insight to the community concerns that birth the BPP in Oakland. Spencer makes a point to highlight the academic genius of the BPP explaining the theories and world views that birth Black radicalism in the city of Oakland. From the identity crisis of the Black Panther Party of Self-Defense to the Sacramento incident, Spencer’s thorough research illustrates the developmental challenges of being a radical organization in the 1960s. By the close of these chapters, the BPP shifts in the consciousness of the reader from an all-black wearing, gun-toting troupe, to a group of Oaklanders promoting humanitarianism and dedicated to preserving their community (the complete opposite narrative most people have of the BPP).
Chapters three and four further transforms the BPP from a “local organization to a mass movement” while exploring the extremities of covert state-sanctioned harassment (Spencer, 61). These chapters dissect BPP coalitions and discuss the significance of increasing diversity in membership that ultimately, lead to political repression. These chapters also make a point to illustrate the flaws of historical figures such as Huey Newton. Readers obtain a comprehensive depiction of this Black leader and visualize him in human form. Activists and community builders can stop touting historical Black leaders and understand the importance of the good and the bad aspects of Black leadership. Lastly, chapters five and six bring the BPP into its demise revisiting the challenges of the BPP’s development. Spencer focuses on ways the BPP dictated community control—schools, health clinics, newspapers, and new relationships with the church. But, despite this hard work and short lived thrust into local politics, the BPP ended in 1982 with the close of the Oakland Community School.
Despite not digger deeper into the women of the movement, the reader does walk away with the ability to re-imagine radical organizing. Coupling this text with The Revolution Will Not Be Funded by Incite, can give readers a new and contemporary critique of ways “humanitarian” efforts have been co-opted by the non-profit industrial complex. Spencer’s text serves as a great precursor to The Revolution Will Not Be Funded because it explores the demise of the last radical organization in the Black Power Movement, the era immediately preceding the boom of the NPIC. The Revolution Has Come is extremely beneficial to the emerging field of Organization & Management Theory, as well as History, International Studies, and the Social Justice/Human Rights fields. The Revolution Has Come is also a very timely text given the current political condition of the nation. It seems as if every day, activists are being targeted for stepping outside of the boundaries of conservative advocacy. Spencer, with the evidence and history of the Black Panther Party, has given us the keys to imagine ourselves outside the realm of conservative community advocacy. Activists and community builders have the ability to learn from the mistakes and glorify the successful measures of the BPP. All we need to do as a people is follow in the footsteps of the BPP: keep the community first, create national and international coalitions, and trust in the power of unprecedented mobility.

 

Jalyn Gordon

Afrocentric Organization adviser

To order book press link below:

Spencer, Robyn C. The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.

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Sojourning for Freedom by Erik S. McDuffie

Sojourning for Freedom creates “new” history and new perspectives of Black women that epitomizes them as the trailblazers and warriors they rightfully deserve to be.

     To many African-Americans, Communism has long been associated with a domineering government, McCarthyism, and fear. Miniscule comprehensive information is given to readers regarding how Communism relates to their cultural experiences. Eric McDuffie’s Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Feminism provides a detailed account of the achievements, struggles, and significance of Black female Communist warriors and their often discounted contributions to the black liberation movement. McDuffie utilizes personal papers, civic club records, historical papers such as The New York Age, The Messenger, and the Atlanta Daily World, and interviews to argue “the Communist Left provided a theoretical and empirical template for appreciating how the international Left served as a key site where black women in the United Stated forged an innovative radical black feminist politics during the early and mid-twentieth century” (McDuffie, 3).  McDuffie’s text seeks to recover and define “Black Left Feminism” – “a brand of feminist politics that centers working-class women by combining black Nationalist and American Community Party positions on race, gender, and class with black women radicals’ own lived experiences” (McDuffie, 3). Bringing light to lesser known Black Left Feminists, such as Louise Thompson Patterson, Thyra Edwards, and Grace P. Campbell, and the triple oppression they faced from black men and members of the CPUSA, this text serves as a “conceptual framework” to the identity politics of Black Left Feminists during the twentieth century (McDuffie, 3). McDuffie has several intentions for this book. His first goal is to illustrate the Black communist woman’s relationship to Black radicalism during the Old Left Period. He also aims to define the Black communist woman and how she influenced feminists of the 1970s and 1980s. Lastly, McDuffie emphasizes the familial, mental, spiritual, and internal pains Black women endured as activists in the communist movement.
The Sojourners, the Black Left Feminists McDuffie honors in his text, not only predate, but also craft many of the ideas associated with black feminism of the 1980s. Claudia Jones’s 1949 essay “An End to the Neglect of the Problems of the Negro Woman” is a pinnacle accomplishment of Black Left Feminists that includes several arguments made by later and more known feminists groups such as the Combahee River Collective. Claudia Jones essay outlines the “triple oppression” black women face regarding race, sex, and class during the Cold War era. This triple oppression permeated majority of the grassroots efforts led by the Sojourners during the twentieth century. Through literary works such as Jones’s essay, Black Left Feminists sought to force their visibility not only to the CPUSA and the white population, but their black male counterparts as well (McDuffie, 167). Jones’s theory of triple oppression would later evolve into Kimberle Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality in the late 1900s. McDuffie characterizes the work of these specific women as “community feminism”. One can appropriately utilize Ula Taylor’s definition of community feminism to describe McDuffie’s Sojourners. Taylor contends community feminists are “women who may or may not live in a coverture relationship [. . .] their activism discerns the configuration of oppressive power relations, shatters masculinist claims of women as intellectually inferior, and seeks to empower women by expanding their roles and options” (Taylor, 64). These women continued to break barriers with their activism engaging in activities not commonly paralleled with women: from joining men in the stepladder circuit to leading “The Revolt of the Housewives” demanding the prices of meat decrease (McDuffie, 40 & 1). Through these heroic acts, Black Left Feminists served as examples of progressive leadership in their communities while disrupting power relations and demystifying gender roles. Additionally, their communities included more than the inner city of Harlem. Black Left Feminist leaders traveled internationally, broadening their scope of community to include everyone who believed in their values and were willing to fight for their cause. Trips to Spain and the Soviet Union, in some cases unsupervised, illustrates the determination of the Sojourners to expand the opportunities for women, even outside the United States.
McDuffie’s text introduces critical concepts and perspectives in the ever-evolving and fluid Feminist discourse. The integration of community feminism, black female radicalism, and “oppositional consciousness” are all relevant to current black socio-economic movements. With an increase in coverage of police brutality and focus on identity politics in the LGBTQ community, black women and their struggles are often lost in both academic and community liberation efforts. Sojourning for Freedom provides not only historical context, but action-steps black women can take in their own communities to increase political visibility and efficiency in activism. It is particularly essential that scholars utilize each other’s definitions to create consistency and validity in theories and definitions. McDuffie’s integration of Ula Taylor’s definition of community activism increases his text’s scholastic relevancy and the ability to cross-reference feminist strategies in future research. While the research for this specific text is very thorough and highlights several unknown Sojourners of the Communist movement, it leaves readers wondering what other unknown Sojourners lie in the crevices of historical movements. McDuffie suggests there is always a group of people who serve as outliers in every movement and new research must be done to bring them to the surface. This fact highlights why there are few texts on the subject of black female communism or communist movements. Black Communists Speak on Scottsboro: A Documentary History by Walter Howard brings light to a smaller subsection of this text concerning Black Communists involvement in the Scottsboro Boys case. Black Internationalist Feminism: Women Writers of the Black Left, 1945-1995 by Cheryl Higashida can serve as a complementary text to Sojourning for Freedom, however, contextually, there are few texts that focus on Black Left Feminists.
The biographical information and the level of research it took to develop the lives and work of these women for such an extensive amount of time, is much appreciated. Biographical sketches assist readers in contextualizing the actions and thinking of an individual in a much more comprehensive lens. With Feminist scholarship on the rise, McDuffie’s biographical sketches add historical context to the characteristics and work ethic of Black Feminists. Feminism does not belong to a certain ethnic or racial group, a specific portion of the world or socio-economic status.

 

Jalyn Gordon

Afrocentric Organization adviser

To purchase this book please click link below:

McDuffie, Erik S. Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011.

YSF Catering Co.

If you are looking for a good home cooked meal on the go or catering for your next big event look no further Houston. YSF Catering Co. is a Black Owned Business with quality food and customer service. YSF Catering Co. puts their heart and soul into every meal that is prepared. I have had a great experience ordering lunch from this wonderful establishment. The food is exceptional and the service is nothing short of family vibes. You have the option to pick up your food if you stay near or you can have it delivered personally to you home or work place. All forms of payment are accepted and YSF even adjust the order to fit my none pork or beef life style. All in all I support YSF 100% and look forward to ordering even more delicious food.

Immediately after graduating from Lamar University with a B.S. from the Lamar culinary program Zoia Taylor started the business with her partner Jamilah Thompkins. I have had the pleasure of attending college with this beautiful soul and order a meal or 2 myself. YSF Catering Co. will be celebrating their 1 year anniversary December 6th and they aren’t showing any signs of stopping.

For Order Vist Their Facebook Page here.

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Naturotica

 

I’ve had the pleasure of ordering from Naturotica numerous times and the consistency keeps me coming back for more. All of the products I buy are organic in every sense and I make it a point to order from businesses that are centered around just that. Naturotica and the sister brands Nene Organics and Yoni Poppin are the only brands I trust when it comes to feminine health and hygiene. The products are organic and vegan based; when shipped to you the owner Nerissa Irving provides facts about the products you purchase as well as useful tips. Naturiotica offers products such as: Yoni Steams, Yoni Eggs, PH balancing body wash, PH balancing feminine spray, Waist Beads, Skin care products, and Hair care products (locing products as well), and much more. Ordering the products online is a piece of cake and products take less than a week to arrive at your doorstep. Below I have listed the products I have purchased thus far.  

 

 

 

Traditional Waist Beads ( Click For Full Image)

Menstrual Cup ( Squeeze Drain) 

The menstrual cup I purchased allows you to drain the cup without having to remove the cup itself. The cup is  soft silicone which allows to be manipulated with ease to fit snuggle inside the vagina. The is a slight sensation when you first insert the cup however it subsides after 2 mins or less. I prefer to wear the cup over tampons or passed now because it is more sanitary. It also puts me more at ease and is comfortable to wear. The first day you have to empty frequently to prevent it overflowing however that is not an issue. It helps me stay more mindful during this time. To purchase menstrual cup, see benefits and more (click here)

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Feminine Spray

The rose water and lavender blend last majority of the day and smells really refreshing. I also noticed on extremely hot and humid days it prevents excessive sweating as well. You do notice a change in your PH balance.

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Yoni Egg ( Drilled)

The yoni egg I ordered is the African Blood Stone Crystal that holds some amazing properties and benefits. When I first used the yoni egg I was very nervous however Nerissa Irving provided me with instructions and her social media outlets carry alot of information. Since using the yoni egg and frequently doing kegels my menstrual cycle is lighter and I experience less harsh cramps sometimes none at all after the first day and a half. As of now my yoni eggs acts as a crystal more than a kegel tool. The drill is in place to add a string in case you would like to add small weights to strength your muscles.  (Click Here) for more information on yoni eggs.

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Cure Of Conformity

I grew up hearing the rich old saying, “Do as I say not as I do”; not to mention if I asked why I would hear, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!“. I am sure I’m not the only one. Often times when these things were said the adults saying them were doing the exact opposite. On the other hand, some of those following these rules interestingly enough do not know why these standards were put in place or who put them here. Yet, they follow the rules set in place because it was something passed on to them and “that’s just the way it is”. In our community it is as though we conform to just about anything; whether it makes sense or not. Some may see it as not being that serious while others make jokes about it either as venting, passing time, getting attention, likes, or whatever may have you. However, we enforce things that may be tearing down our community little by little destroying the structure and dignity that we have left; without even realizing it.

* What is conforming? What exactly are we talking about?*

Conform: comply with rules, standards, or laws.

  • Behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards.

It can be uncomfortable being the odd one out. It makes others uncomfortable as well. Often times when we make others uncomfortable it is voiced in an unpleasant manner. Sly remarks may be made followed by sarcastic questions; with little desire to want to know the truth.  There may even be a moment where we are sent on a guilt trip with all the reasons why we shouldn’t be so different. Often times we begin to conform because we “don’t want to hear anybody’s month.” We are conforming to make others comfortable again. Why is that? We may feel out of place when we are simply trying to be ourselves around other people. That is okay. The environment may not be one you prefer or the vibe is off. Perhaps we actually are out of place; maybe we aren’t meant to be around certain people. The moment we give in and conform we are suppressing a huge part of ourselves to satisfy others. How do you feel when you conform for other people? When we disown a part of who we are our personalities and attitudes towards life begin to feel forced. Almost as though we are trying to convince ourselves this false since of self is who we really are. While everyone around you loves this version of you. How do you really feel? Do we even like the person we have altered ourselves into being? Often times we are fooled into becoming someone we truly do not like. There is always a promise of more friends, business opportunities, or a better way of living. However, have we ever stopped to ask who created this standard of living and being? Many times we are forced to choose between being what others want us to be and who we truly are. Often at the expense of losing friends and “luxurious” life. And it all boils down to what makes you happy.

We are all under this impression that to have friends and make it in life we have to fit in the same box as others. However, that isn’t the case. Standing out is a good thing. Being unique is what makes us special. Each of us is created different to perform many different tasks. We are the same yet different in a variety of ways. Conforming taints the soul and suppresses who we are within; causing us to forget who we are. Creating this false sense of self to satisfy others detaches us from self; in turn forcing a part of us to die. We slowly become dependent on others to validate us. Once we need validation from other people begin to feel entitled to our space, time, energy, and personal life. We lose time to ourselves caused by others wanting a piece of us by the second. Moments to our self are filled with things we really may not be up to doing. We forget that it is okay to do somethings alone because most activities are done in a group. Having a different perspective on things may be seen as taboo or taken personal; due to others telling you how you should feel about things. Agreeing to disagree may not be a option because opposing opinions may not be heard or respected. Group thinking becomes the name of the game. We have all been told at some point the great things that come from belonging to some type of group. Often times it is suggested that we should be a part of something to: enhance our chances of being a better person, keep us motivated, create an identity, and add to our sense of self. In a sense, it is almost as though being a part of group adds value and meaning to our lives. While all of this may be true to some degree; there is always a chance of conforming to a way of life that we may end up resenting down the road.  Everyone longs to feel as though they are not the black sheep or odd man out; to have a sense of belonging.  And sometimes these feelings place us in a world of trouble in some way, shape, or fashion. We may find ourselves a part of a team, organization, group, or crew for many reasons. Is this wrong? Of course not; If we have knowledge of self-beforehand. Without knowledge of self we lack an identity; our own identity. This causes us to lack self-expression; from thinking and speaking for ourselves to lack of creativity.  We allow ourselves to become molded into what others want us to be due to the fact that we do not know who we are. Often times when we take on the persona that was given to us we begin to feel important. We then have an “image” to uphold. When we hold on to the image that was given to us we willingly throw away our intuition at the cost of being accepted. It is often easier to suppress who we are rather than to hear others talk about you.

When making an attempt to be authentic people applaud us for being brave without know how hard it truly is. Many times it means being the butt of people’s jokes, being excluded from things, or even being sent on a guilt trip.  However, knowing that others will always have something to say about you no matter what you do or say is grounds enough to be apologetically you. No one can fault you for being who you are at all times. There was a quote I ran across many months ago that keeps me grounded in my truth.

“When a person is seen freely living their truth it reminds others of their chains”

Forgetting who we are and conforming to things we truly do not understand or agree with sucks us into a world that isn’t for us. It is important to be stingy with our time, space, and energy to protect and in many cases save ourselves. Aside from physically being involved in social groups that enforce stereotypes; the very thing directing and redirecting societal norms is social media. Many if not all of us walk around with our heads down as we indulge in our many phone apps. I often call social media a blessing and a curse do to the fact that if we are not careful a single notification can rule our lives. Every now and again it is important for us to unplug ourselves from the world and tune into ourselves. If we charged our bodies mentally, physically, and spiritually as much as we charged our devices imagine how different the world would be. Social media directs the wave of what’s hot and not. We find ourselves living for the media; putting up an image for likes that we may not necessarily like. Or on the other hand going the extra mile to be something we really aren’t comfortable with. Many times we put so much of ourselves out there that we have nothing left to save for ourselves. This may be done because we feel we have to show it to prove “it”.

In all things, if something feels forced leave it. Many times there are levels in life that lead up to us conforming in some way. This happens because without realizing it we ask for things to manifest in our lives.  A little preventive care could be weighing our options to find a better way of doing things. Even if it takes a day or less to do so take that time. Another mindful practice to carry with us is asking “What resignations with me?” In this we find what makes us happy, puts us at peace, and sets our soul on fire. Seeking guidance in our everyday life leads to those moments in life where we do not have to question our next decision or if we “fit in” because; it all will feel natural.  When we stop forcing situations we will begin to flow into our destiny.

 

Peace and Blessing,
My thoughts my views, Share with me, vibe with me
– Rose 

 

Rock My Soul By Bell Hooks

THE REVIEW:

Overall, though, there is a mental health crisis in African American life. This crisis is most deeply felt around the issue of self esteem.

Rock My Soul is a must read for women and men of color. The context of this book is that of the times we currently live in today. Bell Hooks forces us to visit our past and analyse our present state. Rock My Soul gives a new way to look at self esteem that involves owning who we are and what we believe. Read Bell Hooks plants tiny seeds within us to help us grow such as:

Stay true to self.

Heal from the past.

Let go of false beliefs 

 

OVERVIEW:

Mental health is one of many issue in the African American Community that is highly ignored or overemphasized depending on the subject matter. Bell Hooks openly talks about this topic 15 years ago in The Essence Bestseller: Rock My Soul; in a time when the subject was very sensitive yet just as relevant as it is today. The author creates a parallel between mental health and self esteem forcing us to take a look not alone within but back in time as well. Shedding light on the reality many of us ignore. Whether we come come from wealth or the slums,  have several degrees or none, and a good pay job or unemployed; our self esteem as well as mental health is at risk. Bell Hooks forces us to look at ourselves in the mirror. Not only as an individual but as a community. She breaks down each political movement and institutional structure explaining how it continues damage our psyche from past and present generations. The author also shares how we play a role in the shattering of our mental health and how we can heal ourselves collectively. It is almost as though the author is challenging us to recall the things that uplifted up physically, mental, and spiritually. And to throw away the things we are clinging to. She does this by calling our attention to some key factors we may have been over looking in chapters such as; Refusing to be the victim, Spiritual Redemption, Living with integrity, and Inner Wounds just to name a few.

Peace and Blessing,
My thoughts my views, Share with me, vibe with me
– Rose 

 

By Book Here 

When Emotions Run Rampant (Checks and Balances)

Normally we see or hear the term ‘”Checks and Balance” we automatically think of our government and how the system is regulated. Checks and Balances are used to ensure that no one branch of our government has too much power. To ensure this each branch has to answer or is constrained by the other two in some way. The best example of this is our president because he/she can not make laws. He/she can pass or veto laws passed by congress. However, congress can override a veto with two-thirds vote of both houses. Also the supreme court can declare a law passed by congress unconstitutional. This system was created to ensure our government does not run rampant with crazy bills and laws to over use their power.    

* Where exactly has this gotten us in today’s society * 

What if we had a checks and balances on our emotions? Many of us (if not all) are at war with our egos. We find ourselves trying to balance between good and bad, pettiness and letting things go, following our dreams and remaining stagnate, etc. Perhaps, something is holding us back. What are you emotionally invested in? Everything we give our all to may not be worth it. We often have to be selfish with our time, energy, and space. When we start to realize certain things no longer benefit us it is okay to let it go. The question we can ask ourselves more often is, “Is it Hurting or Helping me”. When we take a step back to reflect on those things our honest answer will indicate what we truly need to do. If something cost us our peace it is too expensive. When we find ourselves in situations we can not control yet we some how end up more affected than others; our peace is at stake. This is when we should do a little checks and balancing. In creating a checks and balance we may find the very thing we were emotionally invested in is of zero importance. Some of us may dismiss the very important term,  “Where your mind goes you go.”  Thinking negatively all the time can manifest itself into our daily lives. The more we think about a situation; creating more situations in our minds that may never happen out of anger may cause us to create a bigger issue. Often times we forget we create our bad experiences with our mentality alone. Another great way we can create a checks and balance for ourselves is by simply noticing the energy you carry with you. Direct your attention periodically to your emotions and how you feel when you are completely happy in comparison to when someone or something has made you upset. When negative thoughts try to infiltrate our minds it is our job to counter balance them with a positive affirmation.Checking our emotions daily helps us to not only be accountable for feelings as well as our actions. It also allows us to compare situations and evaluate why we maybe feeling the way we are.

A practice I try to remain on top of is welcoming in all the thoughts that may fill my head. Good or bad; once something negative comes to the surface I think of the good that happened around that time. If nothing good took place I reflect on the good that came from that situation. The moment our thinking process shifts to positive reinforcement we receive positive affirmations.

*However, I am fully aware certain situations require a second party to be checked as well. *  When it comes to energy we can carry other peoples energy throughout the day, week, month, and even years depending on our connection to that person. We can transfer our energy onto others with something as simple as a comment or look. As crazy as it may sound it does not have to be as complex. When someone rubs us the wrong way they have just given us their negative energy. Once someone insults us we immediately are upset with them and offended; subconsciously we begin to examine ourselves in a negative light. The very minute we take something someone says personal we become vulnerable to that persons energy.  When we are insulted it is a choice. We do not have to take what someone says to heart; once we do so we willing taking their negative energy. We have no choice in the matter of when someone will try reflect their negative energy, misfortunes and ways of thinking on us. However, we do have a choice whether to acknowledge, process, and receive it or not to. The only thoughts we should acknowledge are our own.  When we choose to knowledge those who have insulted us it is important to ask ourselves, ” Does this deserve a remark?”  or “Is this worth my time and energy?” The best reaction is no reaction; the best response is no response. There is power and silence and stillness. Another thing we often dismiss is Universal Law. For every action this is a reaction; a chain of events will occur within the universe off of our one small misjudgment.  Overstanding that we do not always have to read someone their rights and be their instant karma because knowing the universe will work that out is a divine gift in itself. Our egos may tell us to handle it now; do not let them get away with what they have said or done to us.  However, we shouldn’t always give others the satisfaction. Is it really worth the extra baggage that may come after?

When talking about ego we are referring to what we are consciously thinking about at all times. Our ego is our sense of self, self important, and self esteem. We normally see people refer to our egos as our lower self. In hindsight that may be true; however there is only 1 whole self we merely vibrate at different frequencies. When we see or hear someone say, “your lower self or higher self” they are referring to your level of frequency you may be giving off in that moment. Our egos often times puts us in a situation that may cause us to have a low frequency moment. * Think of it as stooping to someones level* We often find ourselves in a tug of war when it comes to our emotions. Not knowing how to address something, someone, not knowing how to feel about things, and how to let go. These are battles we deal with internally between ego and soul. Often times we have to do a little ego check.  Our negative thoughts are our egos bringing up things past and present that we may have thought we were over. Putting scenarios in place and playing out how we “should” handle them. Checks and balances come in to play when we try to make the conscious effort to tame our egos and vibrate on a soul level. We begin to evaluate why we are hung up on particular things. Many times those situations may not be relevant to where we are currently. Operating on a soul level will not put our ego to death. However, it will allow us to put to death things that consumed us in a negative manner; things we obsessed over and couldn’t like without. We wouldn’t be focused on how we appeared in the eyes of others. We would have a healthy balance, knowing what truly matters to us;  how to pick and choose our battles. Also giving ourselves space and time to find out who we are. We can not put our egos to death but we can allow our souls to guide our egos. Taming the ego and feeding the soul  is a recipe for vibrating at our highest frequency daily.

Balancing the ego with the soul is acknowledging and balancing the good and the bad about ourselves. We are taking a look into who we are and deciding what is worth holding onto about ourselves and what we need to do away with. This may vary from people to habits depending on what is connected. Taming our ego is shedding light on those dark spaces within that can be used for good instead of blocking blessings. Our ego can be that thing that pushes us to be a better person when we get a handle on who we truly are. Every now and then we all need our ego stroked; by feeding our soul with positive affirmations we can live a life that puts us at peace. Once we are at peace our ego will be stroked and at rest; once aligned we will be fulfilled. Allowing our egos to drive us mad does a disservice to ourselves. Let’s do ourselves a favor and let go of our egos and become guided by your soul and allow ego to back seat ride.

Peace and Blessing,
My thoughts my views, Share with me, vibe with me
– Rose  

Who’s Who Doesn’t Define You!!!!!!!

Why has it become a taboo for people; black people in particular to support one another? This is a question I have seen floating around social media for quit some time in regards to Black Owned Businesses. However, I would like to take the question a step further. Why are we not supportive of one anothers  life endeavors period? Without turning it into a competition where everyone has to be compared. Whether it be private life, relationships, goals, etc. When someone makes an effort to do what makes them happy criticism/judgement will follow. However, it shouldn’t be from those who are considered “family”. When a person decides to follow their dreams and take an authentic path; accusing them of trying to be like someone else and down playing what they are trying to accomplish can be discouraging. Especially when it was meant to be a form of criticism to put them down. One may argue and say, ” Well if it’s something I do not agree with I’m going to let them know.” or ” Not everything deserves to be supported.” Touche!

Envy a word that doesn’t get used a lot.  Perhaps because we think, ” Who would want to be envious of me?” or ” Why would I be envious of them?”  And I agree with you; WHY?! It’s ridiculous right? In actuality we would be surprised if we knew how many people talked about us in a envious way. Many people will never admit that they are envious of someone. Today gossiping about others, sharing things people trusted you with, and making assumptions has become second nature within our community. Envy can have many faces from being shady to insecure. It can entail longing for something one may have while distancing yourself from that person do to feeling out of place. Even criticizing what you do yet wanting that very thing.  One could also be good friend while attempting to “steal their thunder”. Oftentimes you will never know that someone is envious of you until things hit the fan. Also, being envious often time has nothing to do with a person possessions, status, or looks. Some people long for a support system and/or attention. We all have come across people who either have nothing positive to say or they’re playing a game of keeping up with the Jones’s. It is as though they always find something to pick at, criticize, maybe even belittle or down play your efforts.  Meanwhile trying to “catch up”; doing what some may consider the most to receive attention or praises. Perhaps we find that we are the one of those people.

Before going to far let’s look at the definition of Envy:

a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.

desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to (someone else).
Turning ENVY into an acronym makes the word even juicier.

E.N.V.Y

EXTERNAL. NAIVE. VARIATIONAL. YEARNING

       When we are envious of someone we often times only see things from one perspective. We rarely see the hardships others go through. Envy is only based on what we see; which is why I created the acronym you see above. Viewing other live from one perspective means we don’t have the proper knowledge makes us naive in our assumptions. We truly do not know that persons reality until we take a walk in their shoes from past to present to obtain a clear understanding. The way envy looks varies depending on who each person is as well as what that person is longing for. We have all seen movies about people who we’re envious of another person. These movies may give us an idea of how some people do some pretty crazy things to get what they were yearning for or to make the other person lose all that they have. When we feel envy towards someone it is a good idea to take a look inward and ask ourselves,“What are you longing for?” Is is money that we want ultimately? Love, attention, to have an influence on peoples lives? Or to have power? Are we willing to compromise who we truly are to be like this person? Most importantly is this person a positive influence in my life? Are they of importance? We all can admit to meeting someone who seems to have it all together and admiring them. But, how do we know when that has turned to envy? When  has it gone too far? Often times we subconsciously have thoughts about a person that tear down our own self-esteem. We hold those people to a higher standard than ourselves. In doing this we may be trying to channel that persons energy; your actions become driven by  the thought of “being more like them”or better. The feeling of insecurity or inferiority fuels your fire; rather than what motivates you or makes you happy. That person whom you once admired has become your enemy, competition, and PROBLEM.* Keeping in mind competition and inspiration are two different things*
     Today it seems taboo to admire someone and have a role model due to everyone being in competition. Having someone to look to for inspiration and motivation is healthy. We frequently need motivation outside of ourselves and daily lives to pull from. However, that person should not be your only go to. Admiring someone can easily become an obsession. This may cause you to loose yourself in the blink of an eye. Our wants at times can be superficial maybe even one sided at times. We have all fallen victim of getting caught up in what we see on social media and our favorite reality shows. Subconsciously  we may find ourselves emulating what we see; some aspiring to be one of those stars. Other times we may be mimicking what we see on purpose for attention; forgetting that we are only seeing what we are allowed to see. We may have that one friend who seems to have it all. It’s almost as though she lives the life we see on social media or TV. However, we may never truly know the sacrifices that person has made or the hardships they may be facing.
There was a point in my life were I based my life on all materialistic wants. I wanted the flashy lavish lifestyle with the clothes and man to match. It got to the point where I would find myself saying, ” I have an image to uphold.” As if I had to impress everyone I encountered. Everything felt so forced; it got to a point where I asked myself what am I trying to prove. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with having nice things and looking nice. It is the intent behind it; is it for you or to keep up. I found myself stuck somewhere  in the middle. I love looking nice however at times I would feel uncomfortable; I didn’t feel like myself.  
     Let’s keep in mind this way of thinking doesn’t come over night as we sit in our dorm rooms planning outfits for the party tonight. This starts from childhood; take a look at the kids today. Everyone is watching reality TV including the youth. It is as though we are trying to live up to the standards of people we do not know. What we consume daily we do become in every way, shape, or form. As we continue to watch these shows we find ourselves wanting a piece of that that life in some way.  Maybe, we want to dress like them or have a similar life style. Think about the kids watching this and how their childhood shifts dramatically. In addition to reality TV, they attend schools where everyone wants to be the “it” person. It is as though everyone is trying to emulate who they watched the night before. Middle and high school students are being encouraged to envy one another and be in constant competition. Adults and children alike are belittling one another passing judgement as we try to all live similar superficial lives we see on TV. Everyone is accused of being a hater, copy cat, etc; as we all fall into the same trap. Granted each life style and circle is different; however it  doesn’t excuse the fact that we do not get to see what truly goes on behind the scenes.  As we move further into adulthood many people want to be known or famous for something. This leads to the question what do you want to be known for? Often times this causes the feeling of envy to creep in due to  people feeling as though they are in a competition to be the “next big thing” on scene.
    Often times we confuse envy and jealousy thinking they mean the same thing. However, they are opposites that can go  hand in hand depending on the situation. Envy is indeed wanting something another person has. Jealousy is being protective of something another person may be trying to take. This feeling is brought on when we feel threatened by someone. Yes you can be both; one feeling may bring on the other.
We may be envious of a persons personality or aura and feel they may be trying to take your friend. Your friendship in your eyes is now threatened which makes you are jealous.

Some may even argue that jealously steams from envy. Envy has no age restrictions and it is not gender specific. Anyone whether an elder or peer, boss or parent, sister or boyfriend can be envious. One can even be envious of a hobby you may have. We are emotional beings and many things can pull out vast array of emotions. We forget who we are the minute we feel we are in a competition. Who another person is may not align with who we are deep within. We find ourselves in a rat race to out do someone we may or may not know; neglecting the signs that we are in contradiction with our hearts desires. No one tells us, “just because we see someone excelling in life in one way doesn’t mean that is our purpose in life as well.” We do not have to be like someone else to be great. Yes, many people have similar passions. However, how can you turn that into something that embodies everything that you stand for? Adding our own flavor to something we love is what sets us apart. Envy is what I would call “eye begging”. We see something and then we have to have it. It helps to practice asking ourselves, “Is it for us?” Envy clouds our vision causing us to walk outside of our purpose. Follow your souls cravings; do what makes you happy putting your soul at peace. Once we defy our soul we inflict pain on ourselves. Living in chaos and confusion could be the karma we bring on ourselves walking outside of our purpose. Living the life of someone else could land us in dead in jobs that bring us little to no happiness.  And having superficial wants may bring superficial relationships as well. When we find ourselves playing catch up with another person out of envy  are we as happy as that person? What is meant for someone else may not be meant for you.

 Another person success doesn’t define our success. We are live different lives; timing is different for each of use. Success and love look different for each of us. As humans we will always feel some type of way. Remembering what is meant for us will be no matter what will bring us back each time.
Peace and Blessing,
My thoughts my views, Share with me, vibe with me
– Rose 

Free Yourself

How I Let Go? 

Truth is I am still letting go. This is a 24/7 – 365 process that comes with many lessons to learn. For starters I separated myself to allow me the time to evaluate what no longer served me. I became okay with being alone with my thoughts in pure silence. Meditating daily allowed the most high to talk to me clearly. I expressed my emotions freely through writing and verbally to cleanse myself of what I was holding on to. I let those things be once expressed and become grateful for the small victories. I  started asking myself, What is bothering me? What am I holding on to?  and Why? Can I change them? and How? I gave attention to  my strengths as well as  my weaknesses. Giving myself the time to master my strengths and  show care to my weaknesses. In this I began to face my fears; pushing myself to face challenges that I would normally over react to or avoid all together. I allowed myself to cry, to be free, and to do the unthinkable. In doing all of these things I was freeing myself.    

Holding on causes more pain than the act letting go it self. We are allowing ourselves to relive those past encounters without realizing it.The more you hold on to things the more pain your are allowing to creep in; allowing that negative energy to stick with us. In doing this we give other people our power and energy.  In return we lose our peace of mind as well as our health. All energy is connected to our bodily functions; hence why people say you will worry yourself to death. This is a true statement that is taken very lightly. Holding grudges will take a toll on you mentally, physically, and spiritually if we are not  mindful. As we hold grudges we begin to live out those emotions attracting what we believe. The minute we make the conscious decision to hold on to the past in anyway is the minute we lose ourselves. We slowly lose touch with who we truly are as we give our energy to something other than ourselves. In return we slowly become the very thing we despise.

Life is about taking the good with the bad.  At times things may seem as though they won’t let up yet something good always comes in the end. If we do not learn to let go we will find ourselves hold on to a lifetime supply of baggage as well as ailments that may effect us for the rest of our lives. When looking at the causes of not letting go of things at the base is fear. Considering that we only have 2 emotions at the core ” Love” and Fear”; all other emotions steam from one or the other. Fear of getting hurt again will effect our daily interactions crippling us as we begin to usefear as a crutch. We create situations of “what if” as the excuse for why we can’t do things. This is unconsciously allowing fear to control our lives. When holding on to anger we may experience lack of sleep as well as anxiety.  When we lose sleep our judgement can become clouded; the act of holding on to things makes that triple in effect. Limiting what we can and can not do, where we can and can not go, and perhaps creating phobias we never had. Our grudges begin to dictate our present and future. This may begin to take a toll on ones social life if we are not careful. We may being to treat others differently based on what someone else has done. We may hold something another person has done over everybody’s head. Allowing that negative energy to be transferred to others around you.  Other effects of holding on may be depression that is linked to loneliness and we run the risk of resenting others. The outcome is we hurt ourselves and possibly others as we try and protect ourselves.

Aside from the emotional damage we cause ourselves, there are physical ailments that can sneak up on us. When we are not in tune with our bodies we are unaware of how our bodies respond to stress. Our emotions have the potential of making us sick or keeping us healthy. If we find that we are often times upset or stressed we may find ourselves in the hospital for a major illness.  No matter the action or reaction it is a form of stress on the body causing it to break down. Each body part is connected to an emotions and/or stress sensor; when exhausted your body will send you a sign in the form of pain or ailment. Our immune system may break down as well when we are overwhelmed. Being cognizant of the way we react to negativity and what we focus our energy on may relieve some of the pain and subside any common colds or ailments we may have.

Here are some common ailments, pains and diseases and connections to be mindful of;

  • Elevated blood pressure
    • accumulation of emotional problems
    • stress
  • Stroke
    • not being allowed to deal with own emotions
  • Migranes
    • Fear or Stress
  • Back Pains
    • Lower Back
      • Inability to see a way out.
      • Strong feelings of guilt and self-hatred.
      • Difficulties in communicating.
    • Sacrum
      • Stubbornly holding on to old anger. Feelings of powerlessness and loss of power.
    • Tail Bone
      • Blaming oneself, holding on to that which no longer serves the self, being out of balance with oneself, “sitting on old pain.”

Honesty Hour:

Giving meditation a try guided me to the answers I may have been ignoring as well as those couldn’t find. No one else can help you find the solution to the problem but YOU. However, someone can guide you through the situations as a helping and healing hand. The truth hurts and no one likes inflicting pain on themselves; but I had to be honest with myself as I let things go. Everyone hates letting go of things that they are emotional attachmented to even if it causes pain. There was a period of my life where I was ANGRY and my body suffered do to my emotional reactions. I had to realize I was forcing myself to live in the past. In doing this I found myself back tracking to old habits and relationships that caused me emotional and internal damage * heart pains and chest discoloration*;  I even found my immune system weakening. Life is what we make it; I realizing lessons come around often to insure we have learned our lesson. Often times we need to test our growth spiritually and mentally because our reactions shape what the future holds for us. Being real with yourself involves showing yourself compassion above all because everyone makes mistakes. Yet, we must hold ourselves accountable allowing ourselves to make the necessary changes to grow. When we accept change we are able to experience all that life has to offer. This involved detaching myself from somethings to make space for what was to come. I had to set boundaries for myself to remember to put ME first. Having that alone time to recharge and think clearly; evaluating things I have done and the goals I have accomplished . In doing this I am able to merge the past, present, and future. Learning from my past insures I do not make the same mistakes. Keeping relationships with people who are growing and evolving yet setting boundaries for myself to keep myself grounded at all times and maintaining my focus. Staying in the present moment and appreciating all that takes place. Watching for the lessons that can be learned, being cognizant of signs that I have grown, and remembering to do all things in love. I try to be mindful of where I go to ensure it is an environment with the right vibes. If we view all things in a negative light; that will show in our daily activities and functions. I am in no way saying life will be all rainbows. But, we can all create our own rainbows and sunshine.

 

Peace and Blessing,
My thoughts my views, Share with me, vibe with me
– Rose