For my sisters in the midst of making change:
"A warrior is a hunter. She calculates everything. That's control. Once her calculations are over, she acts. She lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push her. No one can make her do things against herself or against her better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and she survives in the best of all possible fashions."
--adapted by Tia Hall from Carlos Castaneda
I got shoes.
You got shoes.
All God’s children got shoes….
I was talking to Salaama today about a loved one who, we think, is missing a great opportunity. Why is he hesitating over a prospect that seems so ideal, we wondered? Was it fear? Ego? Wisdom? We don’t know—we can’t know—what keeps him from making a move. All we know is that he is a grown man, making his own choices. He must have his reasons, we reminded ourselves.
“I guess I could afford to put myself in his shoes,” Salaama said, wisely. We agreed that doing so was a sure way to conjure up compassion and push judgment aside.
Periodically, my girl Marva will send me a "brilliant carat" newsletter from business and life coach Simon T. Bailey.
More than a month ago, she sent me this one
—which I forwarded to firestarter Danielle
. For some reason (kismet?), D sent it back to me today. Clearly I was meant to read it again. It was good the first time, but a lot can change in a month. Today I'm "standing in a different river" and this message struck me in a way that it hadn't before.
Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It makes you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm
I was flipping channels one late night and landed on a live performance by a woman I’d never heard of. I put down the remote, intending to have her sing background music as I worked. But this song captured me. I Googled it and I've been listening to it over and over.
Little Bitty's aunt once gave her a book called The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza.
As I recall, the old school version has the hen running after the other farm inhabitants in search of some assistance with harvesting wheat and grinding it into flour to make a loaf of bread. In this updated version (retold by Philemon Sturgis and illustrated with cunning cut-paper collages by Amy Walrod), our chick has moved to the city and has a hankering for a pie with the works. But her urban friends are no more helpful than the ones down on the farm.
"What can the world learn from different kinds of minds?"
This weekend I listened to a fascinating series on NPR's TED Radio Hour on "mental illness." I put the term in quotes here, because these brilliant people are reframing what it means to have a mind that works differently.
How can someone with severe schizoprhenic episodes graduate from Yale Law? Elyn Saks,legal scholar and author ofThe Center Cannot Hold, talks about her experience.
Humorist Joshua Walters examines the difference between mental illness and "mental skillness.
This amazing piece fromCrunk Feminist Collective
speaks to the effect that relentless stress and "doing too much" takes on us—physically and emotionally.
While the focus here is on the impact of stress on our bodies, it acknowledges that it also brings us down emotionally. That's just as bad...and the two work together for our detriment.
Here's a quote:
"It is a problem when caretaking (taking care) becomes something we do for other people and not ourselves.
What happens when a person who loves God and respects the church finds his self-identity clashing with his religion?
He can "implode and experience depression," according to a source in
Simon’srecent piece on The Grio
. The article focuses on gay men
and their relationship to the church— addressing the
inner conflict that arises when a Black man finds his sexuality at odds with his spirituality.
in fact, Simon hits on a number of issues that relate to men and women, gay and
straight, when it comes to seeking mental health care in their spiritual
I’ve tried and tried. Been to
retreats; done it at church; practiced it walking, sitting, chanting, silent.
I’ve made a place to “sit” at home. But meditation does not come easy for me.
I believe mindfulness
meditation can have benefits. And so do other folks: According to arecent
post in the New York Times’ “Well” blog, “researchers report that
those who meditated for about 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable
changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain associated with memory,
sense of self, empathy and stress.
I know blue.
Thick, smudged blue, like ink oozing from the spine of a broken pen. Like a vat of indigo, tipped, sloshing,
splashing, running in fast rivulets then sighing into dry earth. Like the atmosphere at midnight,
swelling to squeeze out even the tiniest prick of light from the stars. Blue I know.
My grief is gray.
All the color, even blue, has drained away. I feel like a faded photo in which my
features are unclear, my face in shadow, hardly identifiable.