I Define Me

Defining others based on our own experiences creates a comfortable sense of familiarity…we think we know them. But whether we’re identifying with or judging another person, our preconceived definitions sometimes prevent us from knowing others truly, deeply and authentically.

Inhale Authenticity, Exhale Misunderstanding…
Inhale Open Mindedness, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale Present Moment Awareness, Exhale Pre-conceived Idea…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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I’m Black and I’m Proud

I am a black woman living in America. Therefore, my experience, whatever it might be, is a black experience.

It might not be your black experience…it might not mirror the experience of many or any black people in America, but it is a black experience … ‘cause I’m black.

Blackity, black, black…

Black.

“Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud!” ~ James Brown and Alfred James Ellis, songwriters

Inhale Experience, Exhale Exclusion…
Inhale Similarities, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Differences, Exhale Division…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Otherism

There is no universal black experience in America, no one way of being black, yet black people STAY tryna revoke folks’ black cards, trade those who have transgressed or deny other people’s blackness based on …
the familiarity of their lived experiences…
the amount of melanin in their skin…
the ingredients in their potato salad…
the political party with whom they identify…
how they speak English…
the race of their significant other …
their perceived level of “wokeness”… etc. etc.

My question…how does any one thing become the signifier of blackness?

“I am because we are.” ~ Ubuntu Philosophy

Inhale Experience, Exhale Exclusion…
Inhale Similarities, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Differences, Exhale Division…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Colorism

Some strain of colorism exists in every colonized country. And as bad as it is in America, from what I understand it is much worse in countries with a rigid caste system.

But it’s pretty bad in America. And though black Americans didn’t invent colorism, we seem committed to see each other through its filter… which can prevent us from recognizing the magnificent humanity in all of us, regardless of our color.

Until we see each other, and ourselves, we do not exist.

“Sawu bona (I see you)” “Ngikhona” (I Am Here)” ~ Zulu greeting and response

Inhale The Rich Spectrum of Blackness, Exhale Colorism…
Inhale Acceptance, Exhale Colorism…
Inhale Humanity, Exhale Colorism…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Bi-Racial

I have always understood that most black Americans have some European DNA but I recently read a study which reported essentially ALL black American descendants of enslaved Africans have European ancestry.

Hmmm … so, basically errbody.

That means whether the introduction of European genes in your black gene pool was limited to the rape of an enslaved ancestor by a white male (a frequent occurrence after the transatlantic slave trade was halted), or your DNA reflects a more recent and/or consensual ingress of white DNA…it’s in there.

And I think that is a good reason to dispense with the “blacker than thou” dismissal of our more obviously mixed race brothers and sisters who claim their blackness.

Inhale Inclusion, Exhale Exclusion…
Inhale Unity, Exhale Division…
Inhale Humanity, Exhale Separation…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Poverty Shaming

I was surprised to see a former military leader suggest the presence of robots at a fast food restaurant was the result of workers demanding an increase in the minimum wage.

There was no blame for the housing industry which has made it difficult for a person with one minimum wage job to afford a place to live or energy companies which are enjoying record setting profits while charging record-setting prices or any other entity which has contributed to a higher cost of living in this country.

Nope. All blame was directed at workers trying to keep their heads above water.

I guess I just expected a little more compassion…

The income-inequality trajectory observed in the United States is largely due to massive educational inequalities, combined with a tax system that grew less progressive…” ~ Beatrice Dupuy, Newsweek

Inhale Compassion, Exhale Inequality…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Greed…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Excess…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Just Breathe…

Iyanla Vanzant used “Inhale, Exhale” in a tweet and I created an entire story around why I would no longer be able to use the phrase …

I talked myself off the edge by taking some deep breaths…and remembering that using our breath to create a sense of calm is as old as breathing, and yet it might still be new to the people I’m called to share it with.

And that “Just Breathe” is my God-given gift to act on regardless of what others might be doing.

“What God has for me, it is for me…” Lyrics by Joy Lavonne Brown Cooper

Inhale God’s Promises, Exhale Panic…
Inhale Faith, Exhale Fear…
Inhale, Exhale…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe

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Tell It…

One of my clients was reluctant to share the details of the childhood trauma that stunted her personal and professional growth in a speech.

So I reminded her that her truth could be inspirational to an audience … and that it’s only in the telling that a test can become a testimony.

“Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.” James 1:12 MSG

Inhale Test, Exhale Stuck…
Inhale Truth, Exhale Shame…
Inhale Testimony, Exhale Silence…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Rooted in Fear

At the root of all of the reasons you’re not doing what you need to do is fear …
Fear that someone will say no.
Fear that the people currently in your life will no longer be in your life.
Fear that someone will feel inconvenienced or disappointed and the relationship will be damaged.
Fear that those you expect assistance from won’t offer it.
Fear that you will build it and they won’t come.
Fear that pursuing your dreams won’t sustain you.

“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Inhale Action, Exhale Inertia…
Inhale Assured, Exhale Doubtful…
Inhale Achievement, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Distractions…

I am within my self-imposed time frame for organizing my first book. Why do I keep finding other things to do?

“Procrastination is the enemy of progress.” ~ Francisco Alvarez

Inhale Dream, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Do It Now, Exhale Procrastination…
Inhale Purpose, Exhale Perfection…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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