Thursday, November 26, 2015

Let me hydrate ya!!

Don't forget your water today!! 

Some folks (not you of course 😜😜) may be taking in a lot of salt & sugar today. So if your Granny's yams got 3 generations of diabetes in it and Uncle's fried turkey robbed the Dead Sea of its might want to try this today and everyday. Here's a reminder to flush it out. Don't sit around with that food until the new year. Keep it moving, my dear!

8am - Mornin' sexy!!!

10am - I'll drink 2 that!!
12pm - Don't fail me now!!
2pm - You ain't let me down yet!
4pm - You fancy now!!
6pm - Let me hydrate you!!
8pm - Get low, GET LOW!!
9pm - Bottoms up!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Women: The balm of Gilead

Women are the answer. We are the balm of Gilead. We are the lotus. We are the salve and the healing. Our stories are in ingredient in that balm. We mix it with some breathing, some movement, some herbs & love and we got a balm that can do something. We will tell our stories, commit to our healing and support the healing of other women. A focus on the healing of women is a focus on the healing of this world. 
We do so much. We heal so many. It's time we come home and go in and heal our own hearts minds and souls. We do so much work in small pockets. We are always working to connect. We will continue to expand. We must expand and welcome all levels and be as inclusive as possible. 
I'm done waiting for the masses to address the healing of women particularly women of color. I'm over the collective silence around ‪#‎RelishaRudd‬‪#‎ArneshaBowers‬ and the too many to name. 
We will lift these names and continue to mobilize to create change around policies that destroy us. We will connect the dots between the women doing this work around the world. We will shift this paradigm.
The beauty is that we have the tools to help each other. We have a lot to offer each other as we walk towards our personal and collective healing. Let's continue to actively share them and use them while supporting others in doing the same. 
If you know someone that can benefit from being connected to resources, articles, books, places that support and sustain healing, please share this link with them.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Brown woman facing away from camera. Profile of her face and crying.
Syrita. Victim of Police Officer Daniel Holzclaw (photo from
Enough. (Trigger warning for survivors of sexual assault. This is a lot to take in. Love, MelaniN.)
We talk about gun violence, police brutality, racism on campus, classism...we are covering a lot yet remain silent about sexual assault. If you are not talking about sexual assault/support for survivors you don't know the women in your life. PERIOD. YOU DON'T KNOW THEM.
If you are not asking about sexual assault or ACTIVELY concerned, you don't know the women in your life. You might not know your mother, your daughter, your sister, your friends, your lover or your wife. If u dismiss sexual assault or are silent about molestation/rape/incest etc., then YOU DON'T KNOW THEM. YOU KNOW OF THEM.
& you probably don't know some of the men in ur life. Actually...because of how men are so sexualized at an early age- u might not know yourself.
Sad thing is that only a case this egregious would make it to trial. Not one of these women could make this case alone. ‪#‎WeAllWeGot‬ As horrible as the ‪#‎DanielHolzclaw‬ case is - impacting so many lives in one city, it is still not being covered by the media.
Truth is cases of our mothers, daughters, sisters, lovers, friends, wives are not being covered by their own families and friends. Often, they are not told or not listened to.
This is not just Oklahoma. This is in our homes and on our block. & support to assist in the healing is needed. We all deal with sexual assault. Even if you are not a victim, chances are you know a few. If you know 5 women, 2 are probably survivors.Think of women close to u. Have u asked them if they were ever sexually assaulted? I'm not saying to ask them. Just asking have u asked?
68% of survivors don't report. 98% of rapist are not convicted. Consider this b4 saying why didn't they tell.
If u know women, you know a few survivors of sexual assault. You may think you don't but you do. You may know a lot of survivors. If you know me - you know 1 survivor & I didn't report and I am not alone.
Let that sink in...
Sometimes, I look at how that impacted me & I'm just happy to be here. Focused, intentional healing was/is the best gift I gave/give to myself. That being said, no matter what it looks like from the outside, I get up every morning and do battle with my demons and sometimes we battle it out through the night. It used to seem impossible to manage. Therapy, support, art, service, diet, exercise, meditation make it easier to win. 
Listen, with social media and the constant sharing of stories, day to day living can be a land mind for a survivor. If you or someone you know needs support in their recovery from sexual trauma, please provide them with the number to the National Sexual Assault Hotline - 800 656 4673. 
If you or someone u know are in Baltimore/Maryland & need support, I suggest contacting Turn Around.
I was going to post the article about Holtzclaw but, that's all over the place. What is not everywhere is support for survivors. Let's stop talking about the trauma without offering some tools for healing. 
If you want to ask me about what I do to support my healing, feel free. Keep in mind that I am not a trained therapist. I am not professionally trained to help you through your story and/or trauma. However, I can share some resources that have helped me TREMENDOUSLY.
If you want to support survivors, start at home. Look into ways to create a safe house and neighborhood. This is beyond Oklahoma, The Duggers, Cosby, the rhetoric of those who victim blame and shame...this is in our families. People we know and love are suffering because of sexual assault. We have to be more healing focused. 
Start to listen to the women (and men) in your life. Listen to their stories. If the time is right, ask them if they have endured a sexual assault or know someone who has. After a while, it will become clear that we are facing an epidemic of epic proportions. We have to focus on healing and supporting survivors and providing resources to their families and communities. This issue needs to be pushed to the front and discussed along with police brutality, racism, classism. We can multi-task. We always have. We can now.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The color of womanhood, amethyst and serenity.

Woke up this morning and the sky was the color of womanhood, amethyst and serenity.
Thank you, God. ‪#‎nofilter‬

Sunday, September 27, 2015

And a child shall lead them

‪#‎balloflight‬ has shown me that these little people are galaxies of their own. We think that we are here to guide them and often they are here to guide us. In the past 2 weeks she has inquired about each and every corner of myself that I didn't know she knew about and wondered how I would ever teacher her. Just after the last new moon, she found a bowl of stones/crystals and wanted to know about each one and how to clean them. This 3 year old sat down for over an hour - learning about each stone and helping me clean them. Her favorites? Amethyst and lumerian with a special liking for garnet. She was so patient with each one and even asked if she could put certain ones in the window so "the sun could touch them."
Last night, she was a model student for dance and sacred movement and then concluded the lesson by leading me through a series of yoga poses while adjusting my 3 legged downward dog pose - like a pro! After that she worked on her school projects with an impeccable discipline and focus. As usual, she led me in a simple and poignant prayer before bedtime. Something along the lines of, "I love everyone. I love life. God, bless all that I love. Amen! Ase'O!!"
This morning, she brought my waist beads into the room while I was dressing and asked if I was going to wear them today and when could she get her own. 
Dear #balloflight,
One day, you will have your own beads, gems and adornments. Time will make sure of it. These things will accent you the way light reflecting off of water adds color to the sun setting and hug you like clouds kissing a full moon rising; but, the sun is still the sun, the moon is still the moon and you little girl, are still a galaxy unto yourself. A magical part of a larger universe full of wonder and everything I seek to understand. 
I tell you this every day and I hope you never forget: you are made of the same material of stars, event horizons and galaxies that we have yet to encounter or dream of. You are magic. A supernova dipped in dark honey and ether. I touch these hips that opened to bring you here and I am humbled. I look at my jawline on your face, my grandfather's grandfather's dip in your upper lip and the concept of time is redefined. In your laugh, I hear my grandmothers singing. Every part of me and your father is woven into your smile. Each day, I am blown away by the power of blood, bones, skin and melanin. 
#balloflight, thank you. You assuage my fears. I was worried that somewhere between leaving our home with only you on my back and shifting my world into a life I came to live could possibly be the wrong for you. However, every day you teach me that it is important for mothers of daughters to rise to our best and holiest selves. It is important for us to be the dream that we have for you. Womanhood can not be outlined in speeches shoved down the mouth of preteens juggling red moons and patriarchy. Womanhood is learned through eyes, ears and every quiet moment. Becoming a woman is the art of a witness. It's easier to be what you see. Every day you remind me that I am giving you something that inspires and that the best me equals the best you. 
Little girl, thank you for blessing me. You are the closest to God that I have ever known. I love being your mother, your guide and a witness to your journey.
I love you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Flute Maker

The Flute Maker
(or how I learned to re member)
close up of man's mouth and hands while playing the flute
Photo Credit: Anton Croos (WikiCommons)

I watched him
to his liking.
Cutting them
Digging them
Ancient tree
cut into drum.
Precious metal

bent into flute.
So sweetly he would say...
Mark time for me.
Keep my harmony.
So sweetly he would say...
Look what I did for you.
How beautiful you sound!
So sweetly he would say...
Kiss these hands
that have cut you.
Love this fire
that has burned you.
I have made you
an instrument.
Hold time for me.
And the women would dance
And beat themselves
Hands hitting rings
that once told time
Rings now shined
into decorative marks
with his spit.
One keeps dancing
holding time
And beating herself.
that harnessed the energy
of the earth's poles
Now, waiting for his breathe
so she can
Another would dance
Her feet keeping time
Forgetting that
She was a tree.
Ancient and older than he.
Another would sing
When his breathe came
like the wind
Forgetting that
She was metal.
The core of earth and eternity.
I saw them forget.
I watched him
burn women
to his liking.
Cutting them down...
Digging them up...
Ancient tree
cut into drum.
Precious metal
bent into flute.
I watched them
And this
Is how I learned

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lessons From Miss Celie's Blues

Sista, you've been on my mind...Oh sista...we're two of a kind...So sister, I'm keeping my eyes on you.
It's hard to watch our sistergirls struggle.  All of us have a friend or two that really struggle with life and living.  They are beautiful, loving, amazing women.  They have done things that may leave us in awe of their capacity to love, to endure, to overcome.  They have been our heros, expanding the way we think, the way we live, and the way we love.  They have stood up for themselves on the job in ways we only dream of.  Go out on the town with them and they are the ones that ain't taking no sh!t.  They will defend you, you, and your mamma too.  They can run a household like a Fortune 500 company.  Hell, they run a Fortune500 company.   Not only do they bring home the bacon, they slaughter the pig, smoke and cure the meat, bring it home to cook it and serve it with water that they have turned into wine.  However, when it comes to love and relationships, they lose it.  They become something else.  This Dragon Goddess turns into a damsel in distress tying herself to the railroad leaving everyone with a case of shock and awe.  Now, our eyes are on her because we are worried and the person who usually saves the day needs to be saved.
I bet you think I don't know nothing...but singing the blues...Oh sister, have I got news for you...I'm something.  I hope you think that your something too.
She was the one that we looked at and said, "If our friends reflect who I am or who I have the capacity to be...then I am amazing."  Now, this woman, that we have great admiration for, looks at us and our life and our relationship in awe.  She say's that we are lucky that we found a good man where there are none.  She says, "Well, you always have it together." Completely, forgetting the days that she was the one to pick us up.  She raves about our cooking when it was her that gave us the recipe for that cake.  Now, she's calling us to bake it.  We are tempted out an APB for our real sister because CLEARLY this one has been invaded by some alien from the planet of DAMsella.  We ask her about it and she just brushes it off, "you don't get it.  Things are always perfect for you."  Really?
And this is where the story can turn.  Suddenly, she is avoiding us.  Now, she can't come out, she's tired, she's sick.  Now, your relationship is upside down.  She's mean, or forgetful.  She excludes us because we don't get she says.  We all are not on the same page any more.  And we are TICKED OFF.  She can't break up with us!  She needs to break up with that fool we say.  We tell her that she deserves better.  We bombard her with  any relationship tool that we can get our hand on.  She has to get it together because if she is lost what does that say about us?  It says the same thing.  "If our friends reflect who we are and who we have the capacity to be...then sometimes I fall apart as well.  Sometimes I forget who I am and my power, too."
Oh, scuffling, I've been up that lonesome road and I've seen a lot of suns going down.
Before we throw this relationship in the wind and our hands in the air, let's pause.  Let's go back.  We've been down.  We've had a moment or two in which we did not feel the best about ourselves.  We've settled for less when we deserved more.  In those times in spaces, we may have done some things to others and ourselves that we are not so proud of now.  The only thing that got us through were the people in our lives who loved us anyway.

Maybe it wasn't a person, it may have been an animal, a dog or cat that still was excited when you walked through the door.  Maybe it was food.  No matter how "bad" you were, it was still good.  Maybe it was sex-for a few hours...or minutes...we could run away to version of bliss.  We still may be overcoming a habit developed when we didn't feel good about ourselves.  Many of us have looked for love and care in all the wrong places.  However, most of us have had a healthy dose of being loved through our pain.  Usually, it came from family.  Our sisters, brothers, our mothers, our fathers, our cousins, our nieces and nephews that loved us anyway.  If we were lucky, it was a friend who would look at you and love you even when you were acting ugly.  But it was love that gave us the power to say, "hold up!  Wait a minute!"  I deserve better.  This is not going to work.  Somebody loves me and I'm OK if you don't. 
Oh, but trust me, no low life's gonna run me around.  So let me tell you something sista...remember your name...
It is our job, to help her remember.  It is our job to love her ugly and all.  It our job to love her so she is reminded that not only does she deserve better, she has better.  It our job to love her in a way that does not allow her to forget what love is.  It is our turn to nurture, to be ready to help clean up the mess, to run the bath, to cook the food, to listen with love.  It is our turn to be firm and say, "Let's not talk about that anymore if it's not going to change.  Let's share something else."  We may have to say, "I don't agree but,  I am here for you."  We may have to say, "I know it's frustrating to be going down this road again.  I have been here with you.  You have been here with me and we will come back until we get the lesson."  We may have to cover our eyes when she doesn't get it again.  We have to remember the times that we didn't get it and we kept falling until we learned how to truly stand. It was love that made us sturdy.  This is our time to love.
No twister's gonna steal your stuff away.  My sista, we sure ain't got whole lot of time...
Love with conviction and without judgment.  Soon, the turning point comes and she remembers, like we remembered, that usually we gave our power away.  It was not always...STOLEN.  Now there is power in that!  Once she remembers that she also can remember that she can give her power and she can take it back.  Remember that moment when we realized...THIS IS MY POWER.  Then, remember that next level when  we realized that our HIGHER POWER was our supplier of power and our access to that power is immediate and endless.  Now, we are out of this world and we are free.  That turning point can come for her.  Don't you want to be there to celebrate with her?!  Don't miss out on the party because the planning isn't fun.
Being beside a friend, that you have walked with through the storm, when they have overcome adversity is the most beautifully humbling experience ever.  Remember how amazing you felt when somebody walked you through the storm.  Remember the gratitude?  It is cause for celebration when we or the people we love are triumphant.  It is the ebb and flow of life.  It a reminder of why we do what we do when we do it.  It is testimony that we don't have to be 360 degrees of amazing all the time.  However, we can be a vehicle of Divine love and that is amazing. Now, go and scratch that out of somebody's head.
So shake your shimmy, sister...Cuz honey, this Shug is feeling fine..