My America Too

My TL around Veteran’s day was full of posts from Vets, some of whom I didn’t know had served, and families of vets honoring loved ones. Included was a post from a woman I respect, discouraging people of color from joining the military to serve this country, which does not always honor us.

And while I get the sentiment, it also made me sad. Because there are many ways to effect change in America to include changing its institutions from the inside. Because since integration in 1948, the American military has often been at the forefront of social innovation. Because now is not the time to separate, now is the time to take a stand, to look America in the eye and declare… “It’s my America.”

“What one does realize is that when you try to stand up and look the world in the face like you had a right to be here … you have attacked the entire power structure of the Western world.” ~ James Baldwin

Inhale Knowledge, Exhale Cynicism…
Inhale Stand Up, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Involvement, Exhale Absence…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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My Community

I don’t usually miss the Chicago Marathon. If I’m in town, I’m usually on the east side of Michigan Ave, between 13th and 14th streets, rooting for anyone I know, calling out the runners with names pasted on their shirts, and reminding them there is less than half a mile to the finish line. I’ve seen sweet proposals, runners supporting other runners who are just trying to finish and efficient emergency response when needed.

This year I stood next to a family from Iowa as they waited patiently for their runner, pride streaming down their faces when they spotted her. I cheered for Brittney too, and for the husband who spotted his wife standing next to me and detoured to get some love.

I felt the energy of my fellow Chicagoans standing next to strangers and encouraging other strangers to FINISH…and it felt good.

“People are hard to hate close-up. Move in.” Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness

Inhale Community, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Connection, Exhale Distance…
Inhale Civility, Exhale Disinterest…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Why Am I Talking…

The acronym WAIT (Why Am I Talking) is a coaching tool I learned from a fellow coach that I use when I find myself talking instead of listening.

I use it while coaching and it’s also helpful in personal conversations about difficult subjects, or when I find myself trying to control the conversation or in a conversation competition with the other person.

I think it’s a tool American’s could really use right now.

“They didn’t notice the gracious pause he’d take after someone would finish a sentence, the way he’d give folks the chance to take air back into their lungs, before he’d fill the space up with his own breath and words.” ~ Cynthia Bond, Author Ruby

Inhale Listening, Exhale Speaking…
Inhale Intuition, Exhale Preconceptions…
Inhale Connection, Exhale Separation…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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American Religion

White American Evangelicals would have you believe Jesus is white, white American males are oppressed and the only terrorists in this country are of Muslim ancestry. And that they, individually and institutionally, are not the direct beneficiaries of “talents” stolen from black and brown bodies…

I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning. When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody. Go home and wash up. Clean up your act. Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don’t have to look at them any longer. Say no to wrong. Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless.” Isaiah 1: 14-17, MSG

Inhale Love, Exhale Religion…
Inhale Love, Exhale Hypocrisy…
Inhale Love, Exhale Separation…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Interdependence Day*

Just because you think you’re not being impacted by oppression in this country, doesn’t mean you’re not being impacted by oppression in this country. The privileged in this country are complicit in and culpable for the continuation of racist institutions that systemically oppress the less privileged.

Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave.” ‭‭John‬ ‭8:34-38‬ ‭MSG

Inhale Interdependence, Exhale Independence…
Inhale Connection, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Enslavement…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#MyAmerica
Reflections With Renita

*Interdependence Day coined by Reesheda Graham Washington

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Space for Grace

I didn’t really become an Oprah Winfrey fan until I retired and started working from home. At the time, I was surprised at how spiritual she was because I recalled people questioning her beliefs, her faith, her Christianity.

Since she launched her OWN network, I have come to realize the questioning was and is because her worship looks different, because she honors others’ beliefs … because she lives authentically and offers space and grace for others to do the same.

It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” ~ John 4: 23-24, MSG

Inhale Love, Exhale Suspicion…
Inhale Love, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Love, Exhale Segregation…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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