I Used To Think…

I used to think a of of things that now seem absurd to me. One of those things was actually an unconscious thought; a thought I didn’t realise I had until the mirror of introspection was angled just right for me to see myself in it. And when I did I saw that I thought it ok to suppress me.

 

When I say “suppress” I mean it in every sense of the word – to keep in or repress; to put an end to the activities of; to do away with – every sense of the word.  I not only thought it was ok to suppress me, I consciously and unconsciously engaged in self-suppression. Now you might be wondering how on earth could someone suppress their own self? Doesn’t the self just “BE”? I would argue that it doesn’t. The self tries to just “BE” and, if left alone, it does a masterful job of it. But it is possible (and a lot easier than one may realise) for the self to be guided (or misguided rather), scolded and forced to BE something/someone else.

 

Like in my case – I was raised to be seen and not heard. Matter of fact my grandmother would have me recite that before we left the house for an outing – “children should be seen and not heard”. Of course she wasn’t trying to suppress my self, not consciously anyway; she wanted to ensure that her grandchild would be “well behaved” in front of other people and so she did with me what in all probability was done with her. But imagine the message the self receives when the mouth says “you should be seen and not heard”, especially the child self that has neither filter nor experienced reasoning to know what should be taken seriously and what should be ignored. My child self got the message that me – my ideas and thoughts and just anything within me that I might think to share – should be quiet, silenced. I got the message that it wasn’t ok to just talk… that the sound of my own voice even was only acceptable in soft tones. To this day I usually speak with a low tone and almost always hear “huh?”, “what did you say?”, “can you speak up please?”. I believe that’s, in part, due to the self-suppression that started in childhood and grew, unchecked, into adulthood.

 

And when I say it grew I don’t mean in just the “don’t speak” manifestation. It grew a sense of boundless freedom to waft into every other area of my Me-ness and settled in until self-suppression was everywhere; I suppressed my creativity; I suppressed my interests; I suppressed, ultimately, the awareness of my ME so that when needing to make a decision that presented itself as “what do you think…” or “what do you want…?” the most honest answer I could give was “I don’t know”. ME totally hidden and shadowed to the point where I was merely a mirror for others around me who hadn’t engaged in similar self suppression (or at least not to the extent I had).

 

And the major take-away of this for me has been the innerstanding that suppression births two people every time. Suppression’s first born is LIAR and her sibling is THIEF and, once born, they become your closest companions. Now I’m not saying you will outright lie to your friends or steal from your family with suppression ruling your head but you will, in the process of suppressing, lie to you (first) about who you are and why you are and then, inevitably, your suppressed, liar self, will steal the joy, blessing, unique only-you-could-bring-this-piece-of-the-puzzle-ness from your life and the lives you’ve been divinely positioned to touch.

 

Imagine folks being in your life 10, 20, 30 years knowing only the suppressed you and needing, yearning (consciously or unconsciously) for something – a word, a touch, a kick in the ass, any number of somethings, that only totally-free-to-be-you could give… and just existing, stuck or stagnant in some small or not small way because YOU haven’t shown up yet. What a theft! What a loss!

 

Now I could go on for a minute and a mile on the impact this has had on my life and how long it took for me to see the destruction of self-suppression and do something about it but I’m more inspired today to wiggle my toes in that soft, fluffy space of ME untethered. The unhinging was a process, is a process, that is as painful as it is exhilarating and every encounter of confirmation, every reminder of its ultimate blessing swells my gratitude to the inner ones guiding my BEcoming.

 

So if you do nothing more in life, as much as possible, as often as you can BE YOU, authentically so.

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365 Days of Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE! ~ IT’S MA BIRRRFDAY!

 

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I know I’m dating myself with that line but hey, I don’t care.   sticking-tongue-out

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sooo, I’ve just completed one trip around the sun and stand at the start of another. I give thanks!

So many thoughts and emotions today, all of them positive, but varied. I look at my number of completed years on a piece of paper and think “I don’t feel old enough to be this age”.

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Full of gratitude for the year just ended, with its highs and lows and myriad points in between. Looking back at it I appreciate that that year was meant to be about growth, change, healing and refocusing. These lessons persist into this new-year but at varied stages of progress. I have much to be thankful for… and I thank my honoured ancestors and the divine ones of my spiritual escort for all they have helped me accomplish, learn, and work on.

I’ve learnt how to let go of the fear of not being in control. Had no idea this fear even existed in me or that I was holding so tightly to the idea of always being in control. This past year has forced me to confront that and search out where it came from. The truth is that the experiences in my past where I completely lost control and was mistreated and taken advantage of lead me to believe that I always have to be in control in order to be safe. This past year brought me a state of almost complete lack of control…over everything! From where I lived to my movements on any given day, no matter how diligently I tried to exercise control, no matter my efforts, every experience came with the lesson – you’re not in control anymore booboo; let go of the need to control the process! It (whatever “it” was) would happen when and how it would happen, but would happen without your control-freak tentacles touching it.

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This past year, too, I was confronted with a plethora of feelings, emotions, that I’d unconsciously given home to within my body that, over years, have caused imbalance and destruction within my body temple – envy, anger, jealousy, resentment, shame, fear, guilt, worry, sense of unworthiness, weak esteem of self… so many nasty, gunky feelings and thoughts and emotions. Thankfully, this year gave the awareness, space and time to begin the work of healing and releasing. It’s been a hard, tough journey so far but I haven’t been alone. With the support of the Divine Ones, I’ve been doing the basic and necessary work of healing. And I’ve made much progress – beautiful, hard progress – and I continue to push through and work harder and progress more because, you see, there’s no way I can fully live the life I’m destined to live until I do the foundational work of cleansing and healing all of me first.

So, while it didn’t seem like it while it was unfolding throughout the year, this completed year was one of healing, of breaking down and dismantling and destroying and repairing and replacing and cleaning out…. And this work continues. Give thanks for healing!

And now, standing on the freshness of this new-year, how do I feel? What do I see? Hmmm, I feel peace! I feel overjoyed at the possibilities this life’s path has in store for me. I feel ready and eager to continue the work of healing my body, spirit and mind, of evolving into my higher self. I feel ready to love more openly and honestly that I ever have… to embrace my divine destiny, to help others on their paths by sharing the few lessons I’ve learned on mine; to open my heart and womb to the ultimate love, to create and birth people and ideas and projects that thrive and my most impossible desires and a life of abundance and prosperity doing JUST what I was born to do. I feel open!

When I close my eyes, I see me on top of a high place with nothing hindering my view; the vastness of the ocean is before me, blue and calm and constant and massive and me; the sky above shines happy and bright, there is sun, there are white clouds, there is bluest-blue sky; there is breeze, blowing and flowing wherever it wants; and I’m standing there on this land of low cut, healthy looking grass, wearing long white flowing clothes and my arms are open wide as if to give everything I see and feel a big, gigantic hug, and my face smiles as I feel the bliss of the experience; so much so that my real face, now, smiles as I take in, consciously, the reality of that vision, hold it and turn it around. THIS is how I feel at the beginning of this new year. I feel OPEN!

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© September 21, 2016

365 Days of Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE! ~ What’s the point?

 

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What’s the point behind all this energy we expend in living, sharing space on this planet we call home? Is it merely the arrive – get schooling – get job – get debt – get retired – depart playlist rotation that the dominant culture of the so-called most developed countries of the world has provided, not as an option bus as the only way to be? As the superior way to be? Is that the point behind the miraculous burst of energy that is birth? All that effort, all that time, all that risk, simply to fit into the get schooling – get job – get debt – get retired – get outta here cycle?! Surely THAT isn’t all there is! THAT can’t be the point of it all!

All the soul coming and going; all the path crossing and uncrossing, over all the years and decades we roam on Mother Earth, isn’t by accident; no big bang theory here! Intentional these relationships we create and breathe life into, within families of blood and families of heart. Whether their lives number days, months, or a lifetime, sacred and divinely meant to be they are… and only ever serve one primary function: to help us evolve into our higher, highest self. At the end of the day, THIS is the “because” of life; the why we choose to come and stay and call, welcome, fight against, run away from, embrace, receive, accept, reject the experiences that come to us while here – it all, ultimately, is for the main purpose of allowing us to grow, morph, evolve into the gooder, better, best version of ourselves we can be in this lifetime. That’s DIVINE!… and THAT’S the point!

365 Days To Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE!!! ~ Speak!

Speak!

Speak truth!!

Speak your truth!!!

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Don’t be afraid to share the wisdom of the ages that whispers to your soul. Speak it! Don’t believe the lie that it need not be said or someone else has said it, basically, already, or so-and-so can say it better, more eloquently or passionately, than you. Speak the truth that comes to your soul, because it doesn’t belong to you…not to you alone… because there may be ones who need your truth, coloured from YOUR words, from breath vocalized through YOUR lips, to caress their ears and hold counsel with their heart. And without you honouring the murmurings of your spirit, speaking truth to their path, their evolution to their best selves may halt… not out of growth’s necessity but out of fear’s triumph personified in your closed mouth.

So speak your truth, with kindness and respect… and that’s all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Aug 2016

365 Days To Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE!!! ~ I Can And I Will!

 

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“I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can’t do it. I’m never gonna say ‘maybe’. I’m never gonna say ‘I don’t think I can’. I can and I will!” – Nadiyah Hussein, Great British Bake Off winner

 

I got into watching this baking competition last winter quite by chance. It showed on PBS at night just before the two PBS series that I quickly got hooked on (first, Home Fires and then, after Home Fires had run its course, Downton Abbey). Since both Home Fires and Downton Abbey finished months ago I haven’t bothered to stay up that late so haven’t been paying much attention to the return of The Great British Bake Off… that is until a few weeks ago when I came across it, again quite by chance, and remembered why I enjoyed it so much. So I jumped back into watching it every week.

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When I resumed regular watching there were about seven contestants and what peeked my interest was that there were more people of colour than I’d ever seen before. One contestant, in particular, stood out to me. She was a Muslim woman, as evidenced by her clothing, and always seemed so distressed over her various baking projects and the judges’ assessment portion of the segments. A little worry-wart was what I dubbed her. Always… well mostly at least… her projects came out looking and/or tasting great but she wasn’t without criticism (sometimes I thought the judges were just finding fault for the sake of finding fault but that’s neither here nor there… and I admit I might have been more than a bit biased because, well, my spirit took to her as we say in Antigua & Barbuda).

Anyway, as week by week this and that contestant got eliminated the feeling I had about this Muslim woman-of-colour contestant got stronger and stronger. It was at the second episode that I’d watched, the end of it, that I said (to myself really because my husband had been bored to sleep by then, British baking shows just aren’t his thing) “she’s going to win this, you know!”. Not sure what gave me that sure conviction but I knew somehow that the worry-wart was a powerhouse to be reckoned with and week after week she proved that more and more, without ever losing her gracious disposition, respectful nature, or passion to get it right. She was judged “Star Baker” more than once and when she made it to the finals (along with two men, one a white Brit and the other an Indian) I knew Nadiyah would win and the other two (who were both really good as well… obviously) would hold on to second and third place however they chose (turns out only the winner is chosen, there’s no ranking of the “runners up”).

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Well, she did it! She won! And I literally cried happy-for-you tears at witnessing her personal accomplishment. She was shocked to tears… to the very end she thought she might not win. The quote I shared at the beginning were her first thoughts after winning the contest and I love them for their sincerity, powerful message that inspired and touched me to my core, and just because they came from such a clearly beautiful soul.

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Her words reached deep into the murky places most sentiments don’t go and rousted lingering bits of fear and self doubt within me; challenged my ephemeral dreamings with a “Well?! What the bleep are you waiting on?!”, and reminded me of the truth in Lisa Nichols’ words that YOU are the author of your own story! That 60 minutes of my life devoted to entertainment could morph into “just what I needed” makes her victory cherish-able in a deeply personal way and her words have been ricocheting between the left and right hemispheres of my brain since my ears took them in: I CAN AND I WILL!

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Augusta 15, 2016

365 Days to Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE!… Muhammad Ali

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I went to bed last night with the news that this icon was in critical condition and not expected to be in the physical much longer. I awoke this morning to the news that his separation from his physical form was complete. Can’t honestly say I was “heartbroken” or “shocked”, not because I felt/feel no connection to Muhammad Ali – his has been a face my mind recalls when it thinks of positive, strong African (black) manhood – but because I’m accepting, I think, this reality of departing souls that 2016 seems hell bent on producing.

The year started with Natalie Cole’s transition, then Dr. Cress-Welsing’s, then several others, celebrities and family members, friends of friends and family of friends. One sister friend I know has had to say goodbye to the physical form of SIX family members in the first five months of the year alone! In my family, we’ve just returned, in the last two weeks, from our grandfather’s funeral.

So you see death seems to be the dominant theme for 2016 and I can’t help but wonder what it all means (if it means anything). Do those departing know something the rest of us don’t? Or is it just their time to transition? Whatever it is, this energy of separating, departing, transitioning has settled on my mind making it difficult for me to receive news of death with the shock and dismay that would typically come.

Muhammad Ali stands out in my mind as an example of our innate greatness allowed to flow freely. I see him as outspoken, extroverted, dedicated, a man of integrity, good character, and just a beautiful soul.  His connection to el hajj Malik el Shabazz (Malcolm X) made me cherish him all the more.

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I think of what it must have been like growing up in the 60s and having the image of Ali to look up to at a time when oppression of African people was much more overt, lynchings were happening all the time without the bother of being hidden, when segregation was the rule, if not the law, and African people everywhere were routinely called “boy” and “girl”  no matter their age or status. What must the sight of a Muhammad Ali , champion boxer, “The Greatest”, have done to the psyche of a race of people existing across continents and languages! What must the sight of an Ali have done to the psyche of those determined to maintain their status quo, their terrorism-based dominance justified with lies of the inferiority of one  and the natural, divine even, superiority of the other! I can only imagine, not being alive yet at that time but my connection through blood and psychic energy allows me to feel it in a very real way too.

And so I understand the tears some confess they shed at hearing the news. I feel the sense of loss those focused on the physical share. His moving on is, for them, the ending of a greatness we could point to with pride and boast that we had. muhammad_ali_quote

But there is something else too… something that those with a broader focus can grasp.  That this man,  The Greatest, has shed his physical body and is now free from its limitations isn’t lost on them. That his powerful spirit, “a baaaaad man!”, the champ, the one who fought with fist and words, who defied the system designed to oppress him and stood, as a man, saying ‘NO! Do what you want but I won’t bow or cower or grovel or bed or stop calling you what you are’, that this spirit is now unfettered and free to truly be the greatest fighter for his people isn’t lost on some and, thankfully, not lost on me.

So with those ones I can’t help but smile gratitude as my energy focuses on the physical life of one so inspiringly great nor can I control my excitement as I direct my energy to this after-physical-life time of his and extol him to rise! Rise in power to fight continuously and always for your people against the enemies of truth, justice, righteousness, order, harmony, reciprocity, divine balance (Ma’at)! Rise in power and help us to be bold and courageous and relentless and consistent and strong and powerful! As you are!

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365 Days to Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE!!! ~ Ready?

 

Can we ever be ready for that inevitable meeting, that day, that moment, when death and we meet? Is it easier with forewarning… spying death from a distance as he travels that long road of life to your house, stopping here and there to greet others as he approaches?

When farewells are sudden and shock is all we have to hold tight to we remember the temporary-ness of life, ungrateful for death’s reminder to cherish every day, every moment. But when death takes his time to come, sending word ahead of him, and gifts us with foresight’s blessing

to prepare?

to accept?

to welcome him properly

is our meeting him different then? Can we, even with all the time in the world, ever truly be ready when death’s knock is heard?

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365 Days to Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE! ~ Mamawo na Togbuiwo

Doba Afolabi Talking to the Spirits Ancestors Here We Come

to the ones whose love is your sustenance

whose essence is your life and healing

to the ones whose power allows your breath, animates your limbs, awakens your consciousness

to those ones, never release the responsibility to feed your relationship with those ones, consistently, despite whatever and whomever else, always…

with diligence, respect, and love.

365 Days to Laugh, Learn, Love…LIVE!!! – Granny

I have three memories of my paternal grandma. Only three to carry with me, tucked safe and locked in her space in my heart. The first pained, the second confused, the third warms and strengthens.

Granny has many grandchildren; I don’t know the total number. From daddy alone she claims five and she had many more children to hook her up with grands. I’m a little odd, though. Of all her grandchildren (that I know of) only one (me) didn’t have the blessing of growing up with her.

My parents were married at a time when people allowed themselves to be weighted by many more societal taboos than we’re afflicted with today. The nothingness today of birthing children without the bother of prior nuptials was still somewhat scandalous to most “respectable” people then and did more (I think) to join my parents in holy matrimony than is openly admitted. But, for whatever reason(s), my mother and father, thankfully, married. I say thankfully for the purely selfish reason that their marriage, sticking with each other as long as they did, gave me the opportunity to appear on the scene. I was born two years into their union, two years after my brother made his debut, and while their marriage wouldn’t last much longer than that, I’m totally grateful to them for holding on long enough to get me here.  Continue reading “365 Days to Laugh, Learn, Love…LIVE!!! – Granny”

365 Days of Live, Laugh, Learn… LOVE!!! Don’t slander love

 

They say love is blind. They say a lot of things about love, actually. Things that betray, I think, their knowledge of love. Many of us boast or curse about having been in love before and profess to know it in its fullness. I won’t make that mistake. I can’t possibly know love, in all her fullness and grandeur, from the paltry experiences of my heart so far, no matter the number or depth of scars I have to show for my attempts at getting to know her. But, if experience counts for anything of substance and if years lived carry any weight, I feel I have just a little inner sight into this utterly profound thing we call love.  Continue reading “365 Days of Live, Laugh, Learn… LOVE!!! Don’t slander love”