Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What I Want for Us...



Peace Queens,

As the (calendar) year comes to a close, I'd like to share my wish/dream/hope for us. These come in no particular order, but they all stem from the initial thought of "health, wealth and knowledge of self."

For my sisters,
I want you to be in-tuned with yourselves: physically, mentally, spiritually.

Take time for introspection. Figure YOU out-at this point in your life.

Make THE BEST decisions. period.

Carry (and use) your own condoms. (it had to be said.)

Find/Create your happiness.

Be purpose-full.

Be positive.

Open your mind.

Support black owned business first. (I had to splash that in here too)

Invest in your health.

Dare to dream. Don't mistake improbable for impossible...

Read more.
Learn more.
Grow more.
BE more.

..::these are for you as well as myself. I am well-aware of my perpetual "room for improvement"::..

This is not a comprehensive list. I could go on ...forever. I honestly want the absolute BEST for my people, specifically my sisters. You/me/i/we make the world ...(go 'round). I think there is SO much potential within US, our existence, our enlightenment, our collectivity, our love. We just have to wake up and have a sincere interest in ourselves, our families, our community and our legacy. I chose to post this entry now because this is a time when most people actually think about their lives: reorganize, reevalute, "reboot, refresh, restart." This is something to consider this New Year's Eve/Full Moon/ Lunar Eclipse.

..::sidenote, really quick::..You=Moon (we share a 28day cycle, do the knowledge).
Full Moon= fullest potential. Sip on that. :)


Peace & Prosperity Queens.



PostQuote: "Live your best life"

Friday, December 18, 2009

To My Queens

This is for all the Queens, Mothers of the Earth, Womb-of-men.

Just in case you need a reminder...

Monday, November 30, 2009

More on Baggage...

I just wanted to share this gem..

"[Relationships] do not cause pain and unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you" -The Power of Now


Think about this as a possibility.


..::INTROSPECTION::..

Peace.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pack light



I send greetings to all, and to all I send greetings.

I'd like to talk about the idea/issue of "baggage." What this term has come to mean? How to recognize it and how to "pack light" as the Queen Erykah Badu puts it.

WHAT IS BAGGAGE?
It's simply emotional remains/scars/prejudices that are left on a person (male or female) after a relationship or an event. It can be small and have a small impact or heavy like the physical weight of baggage and have a long lasting effect on a person and their future relationships. Some argue, that baggage is a self-defense mechanism to ensure not getting hurt by the next relationship. I vehemently disagree. There is absolutely NO room for baggage in order for a relationship to be successful.

Baggage comes in all shapes and forms, to the point where some people don't know they have it. We're only truly cognizant of our own "baggage" when we have done introspection. This takes humility, an open mind, and truth. You need to humble yourself so you can see yourself for who you REALLY are (or have become). There is no room for pride or denial in this process; otherwise, you will not learn to know the TRUE YOU. An open mind is necessary for the new information you may reveal to yourself ABOUT yourself that you're not used to seeing. And finally, being true TO and WITH yourself is the only way to self-discovery. In this case, discovering the "baggage" if any.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE BAGGAGE?
Before I answer that, the first thing that comes to mind is "all men are dogs." If this phrase is a part of your speech at any given time, THAT'S a sign of baggage. Secondly, "baby mama drama" is not baggage unless the man allows it to be. HE has t-o-t-a-l control over that situation, or should. Ok, to answer the question: whenever you feel prejudices toward men or the man you're with: THAT'S baggage. NOT ALL MEN ARE ALIKE. Some may be SIMILAR, some may REMIND you of someone else, but they are as unique as fingerprints. They are not clones. The source of the baggage is your past experiences/relationships.

..::"but I don't want to get hurt again"::..
The source of the pain is no longer in your life. You can't blame and/or punish ManX for what ManY did. ManX has done no wrong. Even if ManX REMINDS you of ManY, he (ManX) is still NOT ManY: the source of your pain.

Packing light...
My personal trick is like the grade system in school. The day you walk in, you have 100%, it's up to YOU to bring it down. That's how I treat men. They have 100% of my trust and compassion until THEY mess it up...IF they chose to do so.

You can't expect a man to KNOW you've been hurt before, and it's quite unseemly to tell him. Let your past be your past. Keep your third eye open because THERE IS a fine line between not carrying "baggage" and not being naive to situations. Resilience is also key! Stay strong, be optimistic. And finally, introspection can illuminate and eliminate. Think about it...literally.



Peace Y'al!! xoxo



"I betcha love can make it better" (love of self)


..::image courtesy of Dawn Okoro::..

Monday, November 2, 2009

Life: A Puzzle



Peace & Positivity beautiful people!

This one is just piggy-backing off the last post, in reference to puzzle pieces.

I often compare life to a puzzle. Everything we do, see, experience etc makes up the puzzle of our respective lives. Every piece in the "puzzle box" serves its purpose and makes the big picture of who/what we are: past, present and future. Furthering that, everything happens for a reason. The "creator" of the puzzle put THAT many pieces in YOUR box for you to do, see, experience etc. Also, (like fingerprints) no two people's puzzles are alike even if they were raised in the same household, born on the same day, share the same bloodline. You can see this within your closest cipher. I firmly believe in this metaphor.

Every person we meet fits into this puzzle; whether it be a life-long love or a "random" stranger on the street. Everything we experience makes up the person we are today. If we've been pampered all our lives or beaten and battered, our puzzle reflects our pieces.

Even though the "creator" of the puzzle put these pieces in our box, WE have the ability to determine whether a piece is significant or not. With that, we have to ability to create the picture that the puzzle is creating over time. Meaning we have the ability to kick some person/thing out of the main image into the "sky" part of the puzzle, where that piece is less significant and less recognizable....and vice versa.


Keep this metaphor going. I'd love to hear your perspective...

Peace

You Are Everything...and Everything is You. *side eye*

Peace Family,

There was a point in time where I wanted to be my man's "everything." I wanted him to depend on me for everything he would need. I would pride myself in being able to BE that homie, lover, friend, girlfriend, counselor, roll-dog, advisor, psychologist, Bonnie to his Clyde etc etc. I would seek to be ALL of these out of my/our nurturing nature.

Nowadays, I have to reconsider that line of thinking.

Now, I consider it a turnoff to be a man's everything. No more "You're my world" "You're my everything" "You complete me." My reply: You, my friend, need to be complete within yourself first, as I will be the same.

A man (like a woman) has specific needs that CANNOT be fulfilled by one person. You need different interactions with different people on a regular basis to be socially balanced. Your bff and/or opposite sex friend will give you different energy, different perspective, bring a different light than your mate and vice versa. Neither is better than the other, but both are necessary for a social balance.

I would MUCH rather be a piece of the puzzle (that is his life) than then ENTIRE puzzle. Being the entire puzzle is definitely a turnoff because it's a sign of dependency. Dependency is, arguably, a sign of weakness. Dependency is for children, not for grown, mature men. I think, it's much better to be wanted rather than needed. Compliment rather than complete. I'd rather deal with a "complete" man rather than "half/incomplete" man still seeking 'wholeness.'

I say all that to say, being a man's "everything" is not all it's cracked up to be when you break it down to what is really being said. A complete woman complimenting a complete man: that's LOVE.



Weigh in on this one... Your thoughts are definitely insightful and appreciated.

Peace.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Lesson I Learned from Brown Sugar

Peace my people,


LONG Time! I know! I'd love to fill you in about my whereabouts in my absence but this blog isn't about ME. Let's get to it! OK? OK.

In "the life & times" of Janine, I tend to find mini lessons in most of my daily activities and would like to share one with you.

I recently bought a bike (featured above). Her name is Brown Sugar. On one of our many adventures, we ended up on the Brooklyn Bridge. I usually ride her to the Manhattan side and then RIGHT back. The "lesson" came to me on one of our journeys.

Coming back from Manhattan is quite a task. The uphill is steeper than leaving Brooklyn. I found
the (life) lesson in that very trip.

I noticed that I HAVE to continue to pedal while riding up the steep hill otherwise I may become stagnant or even drift in the opposite direction. So I thought: the same goes for life. If I have a goal that I'd like to reach-whether big or small- there is no time for deviation from that plan, no breaks, no side-tracking from that mission.

While biking, I can stop for the beautiful view or to admire the architecture. But, in reference to my "goal" it's a waste of time. I can simply glance at the view and/or enjoy the pleasant weather while still moving forward. It is all a part/the beauty of the journey.
SIDEBAR: Months before I got Brown Sugar, I would rent bikes to go around town. One day another biker flew past me as I was "coasting" and yelled back to me "Never stop pedaling." I find this extremely relevant for this metaphor. As to say, never stop going for that goal/dream/aspiration. Keep pedaling until you achieve it.

ALSO!!
While on the bridge, there is a place for walkers and a place for bikers. These walkers don't know your beautiful struggle and probably don't/won't understand it. Their path and pace is different from yours. They take their time to reach their destination and that's their choice. You two are in two different lanes: not better or worse, just different.

I say ALL that to say (1) Never stop pedaling; and (2) Find the lessons that life reveals to you on a regular basis. The saying is "you learn something new everyday." What if that "something" is about Life or about Self?

Just food for thought.

Peace people. :)


PS: this metaphor can extend in SO many different directions. I tried to keep this short and concise. Feel free to add to the metaphor.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Your Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Peace Earths,

Listen to the original and the Queens' version.

I heard these back in college but they seem to have new meaning in my "new ears." Timeless pieces.

Enjoy.


Gil Scott-Heron- The Revolution Will Not Be Televised



Sarah Jones- Your Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Friday, August 14, 2009

Speak Positivity


Peace Wisdoms,

There is so much healing power in speaking/thinking positively. Our words-both written and spoken- have immeasurable power whether we feel it or not. There are several dogmas that subscribe to songs, spirituals, verbal chants, and/or recitations: all positive messages. Most motivational speakers encourage you to tell/feed yourself positive messages- sometimes in repetition. They know that ONE positive message can go a long way.

Positive messages create/build/maintain faith. They can create peace. Positive messages have strengthening power and have physiological AND psychological healing powers. Positive messages incite MORE positive messages. We feel better when we receive positive messages, the same goes for when we give them.

Thinking and speaking positively is most effective in times of adversity. No matter how bad the situation my seem, there is ALWAYS a positive that lies within. It can be teeny-tiny and hard to find, but it is definitely there.

I try to make a habit of discovering the "at leasts" in every seemingly bad situation. I was in a car accident last night (I'm perfectly fine btw). The accident was in no way my fault. I could have been livid based on the costs of the damage, the possible insurance premium increase, the fact that my plans were deterred. But I chose to stay positive. I even offered my step-father's services as he does auto-body work. Instead, I went down my mental list of "at leasts."

-At least...I can drive away unscathed.
-At least...the car is still drivable.
-At least...no one was hurt.
-At least...I'm still alive and well.

And this list could go on. And in some situations the ONLY at least will be "at least i'm still alive." And that's just a part of life. The purpose of this blog post is just to open your eyes to the immensely powerful "at least." Find the positive in everything you encounter. It's there! I can guarantee that!!!


Peace.


PostQuote: "When you're back's up against the wall, be happy you're standing" -Me

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Talk to HER




Peace Everyone!

Just a quickie.

I would like everyone to make it a practice of looking in the mirror and speaking to their beautiful reflection.

Tell her she is a Queen.
Tell her she is ab.so.lute.ly beautiful (inside&out).
Tell her she a kind, caring person.
Tell her how proud YOU are to BE her.
Tell her you love her dearly and unconditionally.
Tell her you appreciate everything she IS and everything she's NOT.

Tell her all the wonderful things she is. SHE/YOU deserves it.

In life we're simply GIVEN messages....SOOO many messages via tv, magazine, radio, internet etc. We hardly make time to MAKE our own messages. Check in with yourself some time. Show YOU how much you love yourself.

We usually get messages from the media that work opposite our best interests-being the best us. We see women who we're subliminally taught to envy, look up to, want to be etc. Meanwhile losing sight of the beauty that greets us every morning. There are SO many wonderful aspects of US, I think, in today's society, it's easy to get caught up in everything/everyone else.

Let us reinforce the positives about ourselves a little more often. We're definitely worthy.


Hotep family.

Monday, August 3, 2009

BIG CHOP's Big Feature


Peace Queens,

I just wanted to spread the news. I reached out to an amazing website (www.coarsehairdiary.com) to post my BC. If I have a platform to tell my story, I most definitely will. I know there is power in sharing a story so I chose to be another voice. I was so elated that there were even interested. So I'm spreading my joy by re-posting what they posted! Enjoy. If you like my blog, you'll LOVE these sistas site. Check them out.



Peace.



Thanks Belle!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Live your LIFE!!! (*whispers* "ay ay ay ay ay ay")



Peace Queens,


Simply stated: You only get ONE. Live it to the fullest. Be your absolute best, at all times. Make wise decisions. Be the best YOU possible.


Do you realize you/me/we will never again see another June 1, 2009. There will never be another February 14, 1999, or March 29, 1989, never a “yesterday”...or even 5 minutes ago. Those days have come…. and gone. NEVVVVER to return again. We have GOT to make the most of our lives in EVERY WAY POSSIBLE. After reading The Art of Happiness a few years ago, I contend that the purpose of life: find happiness. PERIOD. No matter what that means to you individually, find it, do it, BE it. Bottom line.


We can’t waste time in a job/career we detest, in a relationship with someone who “just AIN’T IT”, around “friends” who don’t have our best interest at heart, following in parent’s footsteps when we REALLY don’t want to. Basically making decisions that hurt more then help. It’s all wasting TIME! Taking away TIME that you don’t have to waste. Again, you only have ONE LIFE. You have to make the most of it-whatever that may mean in your world.


As women, we are naturally nurturing/giving. Beware not to give SO much of yourself, that you lose sight of who you are, what you want, and your happiness.



Peace Family,




PostQuote: Time can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s all about how you use/utilize it. -Me



"Regret"




Try to eliminate this word from your lexicon. I petition for an end of its usage. It’s such an ungrateful word.


I personally think that “regret” is a metaphoric “spit in the face” to whoever’s in control (God, Allah, Krishna, Creator, Universe, etc) of your life. You went through every single thing in your life ON/IN PURPOSE. From low self-esteem, promiscuity, family deaths, and that secret abortion to prom night, bible study, soccer practice and slumber parties (all are random to enforce a point). You most likely won’t know the purpose of it WHILE you go through it, but the reason will reveal itself in due time (if really want to know).


Sometimes it’s hard to “see the forest beyond the trees.” That is understandable. But regret?! It’s a meaningless pity-party. You should be grateful that you’re going through these things because it ultimately means GROWTH in the end. You are supposed to learn a lesson from everything you go through. If not, my guess, is you’ll keep experiencing similar situations until you understand the lesson beneath it all. Hindsight is always 20/20 when you are ready to receive that lesson.


I want the best for everyone reading this and wallowing in past “mistakes” is not an option. Love everything that you’ve experienced- the good the bad and the unspeakably ugly. It was a gift. Be thankful


Peace.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Randomness: "Love/Money; Love/Lust; Sex/Initimacy"




Peace Queens,

I've been absent so I feel like I owe you a few random gems I've been sitting on, thinking about over the past few weeks.

The three terms: love, money and intimacy are thrown around and in some circles, they are interchangeable (consciously or subconsciously).

I've heard that for some men Love=Sex and for some women Love=Money.

..::just think about that one before proceeding::..

For my sistas who believe this to be true (either consciously or subconsciously) please take this out of your mind/psyche.

Love DOES NOT equal money. Money DOES NOT equal Love. EVER!

Don't equate the amount/size of the gifts he gives you, the places he takes you, the size of the ring etc, to how much he loves you. It's superficial and you're worth so much more than that: YOU'RE PRICELESS. You, nor your love, has no price tag and CANNOT be bought! Learn that. Know that. It may feel good when you're basking in these things but demand more. You deserve non-monetary things that mean more and last longer (undivided attention, a warm embrace, quality time, unfiltered affection etc). And if this mean absolutely nothing to you, puh-lease take an introspective look as to why these things mean so much to you. (keep asking yourself "why" to dig deeper).


Love DOES NOT equal lust. Lust DOES NOT equal love. EVER!

This is an "oldie but a goodie." And at this point I would HOPE I would not have to add this one but I recognize that we are not all at the same place in our lives so I have no problem reiterating. Plainly put, lust is solely physical, love is spiritual, emotional, psychological,cosmic. Just because you lust after someone (relationship or not) does NOT mean you love him. To think that, is an insult to the phenomenon that is LOVE. Please never get the twain confused. One could argue that the two are mutually exclusive in that they cannot share the same space. And puh-lease take this phrase out of your colloquialisms "He can get it." I will dig deeper into this phrase at a later date. Just had to add that in right here. Quasi-relevant at this juncture.


Sex DOES NOT equal intimacy. Intimacy DOES NOT equal sex. EVER!

Another "oldie but goodie." I want this one to crystal clear to any/everyone who cares to read my blog. NEVER get sex and intimacy confused. Don't treat them as one in the same. Don't accept sex over intimacy. Don't even say them in the same sentence. They are on two opposite ends of the spectrum. Not neighbors, not cousins, not even friends. If they saw each other on the street they wouldn't even recognize each other. Enough of the metaphors. I really should say "f*cking and intimacy are not the same" just to make it that much of a contrast. Seriously, they are REALLY two totally different experiences. Sex is the male and female genitalia fitting each other like puzzle pieces, hand in glove, foot in shoe (repeatedly). Intimacy is an experience. A closeness. Affection. Care. Concern. Compassion. It does NOT have to include the act of sexual intercourse. There a million ways to be intimate, one way to have sex. (Different positions, but one technical way to DO IT). :)


That is all for now. I hope I've cleared up any misconceptions on these terms/acts/experiences. If you have any further distinctions, please share. If you disagree, do share as well.

Peace Fam.




PHOTO: Bethanie Hines, PHOTO DESIGN: Keira Chang (here)

Randomness: "Settling Down"


I don't like the phrase settling down. 'Yeah man, when I'm ready to settle down, I'll...', 'yeah, I'm about ready to settle down'


Settle ...down

Settle ...down


Settle as in to accept the conditons/options left with/remaining


Down as in lower, less, beneath, under, less than


So is this to say you accept the lower conditions u are left with? Are you just taking what's left in the barrel for keeps because that's your last resort?


I for one will no longer use the phrase for it has extremely negative connotations. Making a commitment to someone shouldn't be expressed as 'settling down.' It should be celebrated in a way to show this person's love/ commitment for another person....that he/she is mature enough to make this conscious, informed definitive decision in choosing a mate.


This phrase is a subconscious manipulation of the unity b/w man and woman. It's a complimentary unity and is supposed to be a purposeful decision, not 'picking at left-overs' of your life. I just think we should be more mindful of the diction we choose to use. Words have SO much more power for which we give them credit.



That is all


Sunday, June 14, 2009

To My Brothas, My (Hue)Men, My Kings




As "Father's Day" approaches, I am compelled to dedicate an entry to our brothers- single, married, or anywhere in betwixt the two.  As long as you're soundly productive, I have nothing but love and respect for you.  I'd like to applaud all the brothers out there who are "doing right," making moves, aspiring, growing, building foundations, keeping their word, holding things down, being a provider...and ALL the wonderful things YOU DO so well.


I am a HUGE fan of black men. There is nothing on this PLANET like them. They come in all different shapes, sizes and flavors. Their "swagga" is unmatched. They are extremely resourceful, go-getters, street smart, creative, huslter-minded (not always a bad thing). They "keep it 100."  Once they let you in, you're IN. They work hard, play hard and most of all love hard.  There is absolutely nothing like a black man in love. It's amazing to feel/see the mountains he would climb and the oceans he would swim for YOU. 


..::in the painting above, he's portrayed giving you the world::..



Note to my sistas: 


Sistas, if you have a good one on your hands, I say, grab on and hold tight. Not only that, let him know YOU KNOW you have a good man on your hands. Show and SPEAK your appreciation for who he is and what he does for you. There are SOO many hardships that come with being a black man in America- in day to day life and over time. We would NEVER know because we are not black men. These things occur in the physical and psychologically.  Try to keep this in mind the next time you want to "nag" about something insignificant. Adding annoyances: never good. SIDEBAR:I think that women of this day and age have become self-righteous; specifically, the ones who say/said they don't need a man for anything. Being independent is definitely a strength but knowing when and how to let down your guard/pride down to yield to a (worthy) man is more powerful. It speaks volumes. There is no yin without yang. Know that. 


If you happen to be lucky enough as to share a child with a black man please do EVERYthing in your power to keep that unit in tact, for the sake of the child you brought into the world. There is NOTHING like (healthy) black love and NOTHING like a (healthy) black family.



Peace.

Friday, May 29, 2009

THE BIG CHOP...LIVE

For those who don't know, I did the BC.  Here is the clip.

PS: Don't mind my amateur editing. Kiiiiiinda horrible.





(THIS VIDEO IS  NOT TO BE COPIED/DUPLICATED OR USED WITHOUT MY CONSENT) 































6-16-09 cut