Shared Wisdom

I was blessed to have my grandparents in my life until I was fully grown. My paternal grandmother would advise me to “Listen, and listen good,” and proceed to share what she felt I need to know, whether or not I wanted to hear it. She often did not spare my feelings. I am eternally grateful.

“If I don’t tell you, how will you know?” ~ Hattie Pride Smith

Inhale Knowledge, Exhale Stupidity…
Inhale Information, Exhale Cluelessness…
Inhale Experience, Exhale Ignorance…
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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Traveler

My daughter always attributes her love of travel to the nomadic life she endured (maybe retrospectively even enjoyed) as the child of a military member. And because we didn’t usually live close to relatives, summer always included several long visits in the South. She usually managed to achieve her goal of being gone all summer long!

Now, she uses the perks of working in the airline industry (of course) to fly to all the places she’s never visited. And sometimes invites me to come along. I always say YES!

“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.” ~ Francis Bacon

Inhale Experience, Exhale Inaction…
Inhale Adventure, Exhale Inertia…
Inhale Participation, Exhale Isolation…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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Experience

Experience is the best teacher…”

I’ve seen some people live this saying as if they can ONLY learn through their own experienced mistakes. And while I concede those lessons tend to be the most enduring, I wonder…isn’t is possible to learn through someone else’s experience?

But then I’m reminded that life is not necessarily supposed to be smooth all the time. The life lessons gained through good and bad experiences help us get to who we’re supposed to be.

Out of the cacophony of random suffering and chaos that can mark human life, the life artist sees or creates a symphony of meaning and order. A life of wholeness does not depend on what we experience. Wholeness depends on how we experience our lives.” ~ Desmond Tutu

Inhale Experience, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale Detachment, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale Acceptance, Exhale Judgment…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Lessons

I’m a learner. I’ve course corrected many times on my life journey to incorporate the lessons learned from experience, mine and others, and the consequences of my choices, good and bad.

I’m also a helper, so I try to share those life lessons, especially when I see folks going through something similar. But I’ve learned that for some people, the only lessons retained are those learned through experience. And that is perfectly okay.

We cannot drink only of happiness or sorrow and have life remain life.” Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Inhale Experience, Exhale Ignorance…
Inhale Consequences, Exhale Confusion…
Inhale Retention, Exhale Destruction…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Wiser

What we ingest, consume, or absorb either helps us stretch and grow or keeps us stuck and stunted…guides us to wisdom or leads us to death.

What are you taking in?

Eat honey, dear child—it’s good for you—and delicacies that melt in your mouth. Likewise knowledge, and wisdom for your soul—get that and your future’s secured, your hope is on solid rock.” Proverbs 24: 13-14 MSG

Inhale Wisdom, Exhale Stagnation…
Inhale Growing, Exhale Stalled…
Inhale Maturing, Exhale Stunted…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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Being Me

Having been judged for sometimes stumbling on this life journey, I am mindful of passing judgment. Because what I understand now is that each experience, especially the ones I’ve perceived as negative at the time, was there to teach me something if I was open and sufficiently humble to learn the lesson. And if I am willing to be vulnerable and courageous, my experience can inform and influence someone else.

We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Inhale Experience, Exhale Ego…
Inhale Vulnerability, Exhale Ego…
Inhale Growth, Exhale Ego…
Just Breath…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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American Experiment: Can You Hear Me Now…?

I get it.

You tried to warn us.

You heard the outright lies…suspected Russian ties…watched the “Alt-right” rise…

You were unsettled. And you tried to warn us.

I saw it too. The “blacklash” that always comes after perceived progress by people of color in this country…

The videoed violence inflicted on bodies of the marginalized…black, brown, female, disabled…

The attack on clean water sources by energy companies intent on “digging up death” instead of investing in clean energy.

The virulent, relentless American brand of racism so reminiscent of the deep anti-Semitism that existed in pre-Nazi Germany.

I found a 40-year old copy of the George Orwell book “1984” on a visit home, started re-reading it and wondered, “Are we already there?”

The novel “1984”, portrays a dictatorship that imposes its own facts.

Now, of course, many Americans are feeling a sense of alarm.

Sales of “1984” have increased “almost 10,000 percent since the inauguration,” most notably when Kellyanne Conway appeared on Meet the Press and introduced the phrase “alternative facts”.

Actually, “alternative facts” is a very “1984” phrase, where “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.”

I suspect if the Women’s Marches that took place all over the world right after our inauguration were to happen this weekend, there would be double the participation, upwards of 5 to 6 million.

And now you’re wondering “Why couldn’t you hear and heed the warning?” and “Where were all these marchers when…” and you want to know, “Are you going to be here for the long haul?”

I get your frustration. I understand your anger. I feel your sense of betrayal.

But the majority of Americans did not vote for the person occupying the office of POTUS. Whoever can hear now, is here NOW…can space be made for the newly conscious?

And if you’ve just been awakened, educate yourself, don’t make this about yourself and try to stay engaged.

It’s not a time for cynicism, or finger pointing or embarrassment. It’s a time for Americans to come together and protect our fragile democracy. I pray it’s not too late…

Renita Alexander, Leadership Unlocked

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Resistance

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Newton’s Third Law of Motion
For every dream, there is resistance.” ~ Steven Pressfield

There will be resistance. You’ll wake up from a dream that felt real, see the vision clearly, feel the knowing intently and immediately the voice in your head will demand to know “Who. Are. You. … to think you can do this?”

It will be so loud, you’ll think it’s someone else and perhaps it WAS someone else…but you’ve internalized the voice, and now believe the thought and you’re thinking it so loud it sounds like someone is speaking.

The way to quiet the voice is to feel the fear, face the fear and pursue the dream in spite of the fear.

Because along with resistance, comes assistance. Tweet this!

It’s the money that shows up AFTER you registered for the course you weren’t sure you were going to be able to pay for. It’s getting hired for the job you almost didn’t apply for because you believed you lacked all the qualifications. It’s starting the journey.

There will be resistance to your dream. But resistance doesn’t mean can’t, stop, or don’t. Take the first step.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NIV

Inhale Action, Exhale Inaction…
Inhale Movement, Exhale Obstacles…
Inhale Assistance, Exhale Resistance…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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