We all need a good vent every now and then..Some of us more than others..Having done my fair share of venting, I’ve got wagon loads of compassion for those in need of a good vent..But what about the flip side of the coin? Does the ventee walk away with a warm , fuzzy after-glow? Or is it normal for the ventee to often feel like an emotional bag of bricks was just laid on their shoulders??
First, a few facts>>
Body image is the way that someone perceives their body and assumes others perceive them. This image is often affected by family, friends, social pressure and the media
People who are unhappy with their bodies and don’t seek healthy nutrition information may develop eating disorders..Eating disorders are unhealthy relationships with food that may include fasting, constant dieting, or bingeing and purging
Body image is closely linked to self-esteem<
Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape..Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media
58% of college-age girls feel pressured to be a certain weight..58%!
Studies show that the more reality television a young girl watches, the more likely she is to find appearance important
More than 1/3 of the people who admit to “normal dieting” , will merge into pathological dieting..Roughly, 1/4 of those will suffer from a partial or full-on eating disorder
In a survey, more than 40% of women and about 20% of men agreed they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future..The stats remain relatively constant across gender, age, marital status and race..WOW
Students, especially women, who consume more mainstream media, place a greater importance on sexiness and overall appearance than those who do not consume as much
95% of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25
Only 10% of people suffering from an eating disorder will seek professional help
Only 4% of women globally consider themselves beautiful..
This topic has become personal for me as of late..First, time in my life(at 51 yrs of age no less!) I’ve realized I’ve got body image issues..Even though I’ve clawed and fought my way back from becoming overweight post-surgery & in full-blown menopause; it still isn’t enough. Even getting back into my pre-surgery sized clothes isn’t enough.. Mind you I was almost scared into keeping fibroids versus gaining weight..Who would rather risk possibly gaining Cancer over gaining a few pounds????? From the list above I’ve done it ALL with the exception of purging & cosmetic surgery..But I’m forever going on meatless week stints, gave up all juices/carbonated drinks, skipping meals, squeezing in speed walks in lieu of leisure week lunches, biking, treadmilling, weight lifting, and of course my beloved weekly raw veggie smoothie detox drinks(which I’ll probably drink for the rest of my life..
So just this weekend I found myself giving solicited advice to my bestie about losing weight..And out of my mouth came the words@ “Don’t diet. Diets don’t work for us, because we wind up feeling deprived & fall off.. Just adjust your lifestyle little by little & eating habits in increments & exercise more..Start slowly on the green raw veggie drink..” When I got home I realized I was telling her something I wasn’t practicing! I wanted her to start off in a healthy manner; yet when I want to quick drop pounds I dang near starve myself..I’m always hungry! Stomach growls seem normal..Today I caught myself trying to climb 2- 3 stairs at once(butt lifting exercise) while on my cell & almost fell..Not cool!
I decided to reach out in honesty ..Calling out all/any woman reading this..WE have got to stop this never-ending cycle of pushing for the perfect body image..I can’t imagine how this life-long behavior would’ve impacted the daughter I always yearned for , yet never birthed..Thankfully , I can sincerely say this wasn’t taught to me by my own Mom..She taught me always to love me for ME..Yet, even with constant & consistent positive reinforcement from parents/significant others/countless passerbys/friends? Still find myself pushing for something more..It was somewhat comforting to read the above statistics; for a moment. I’m not ALONE in this struggle for the perfect body. It is deeper than just being vain..But when does it stop??? When is good enough(& healthy!) , enough??
IF one can’t be honest with self in their 50s; probably won’t ever be! Naked truth exposed feels pretty liberating & hopefully admitting it can lead to positive change..Anyone out there that can relate & would like to share?
**Do we think a certain way because of the emotions we feel, or do we feel emotions because of how we think? **
Sigmund Freud believed that mental illness came from ‘repressed emotions’ in the unconscious mind. He believed that release & acceptance of these denied or repressed emotions & memories were VITAL for mental health. If this emotional energy wasn’t released , Freud noted it led to physiological symptoms and illnesses…>> Memorized this many moons ago when I studied psychology..For some reason or other , this Freudian tidbit came to mind while reflecting on why my emotions free-fell to anger after watching a video clip last night..
A friend sent me a video clip last night..My first reaction to it was anger..Not seething; but full of passion! And immediate..So much so that I didn’t finish watching the clip until much later..Curiosity forced me to finally watch it. At the time I didn’t realize why it made me feel angry..I’ve not “personally” experienced the sentiment expressed in the video clip..Yet , I took it personally. It was hard to watch and swallow..As a Black woman it hurts to feel judged & stereotyped(as a group) by everyone–especially those that we’ve stood by ALL of our lives. Black men. I later realized my feelings of anger directly translated to ; my realization of the myriad of reasons the gap is getting larger @The disconnect between Black men & women. As a single Black divorcee that makes me “feeeeeel” sad, disappointed, abandoned, a sense of betrayal and yep, angry…Briefly! We’re all freeee to do who! or whatever we choose to do..But dang, dangit & dayuum why heave us under the bus! The description @Angry Black Woman has never been applied to me as an individual; but it doesn’t mean I can’t/don’t/and won’t express and feel anger from time to time..We live in a culture that views expressing anger as taboo. My personal belief? Holding it in & denying it isn’t good for our spirit..I’m hopeful to write more on that & this topic at a later date… So anyways, that led me to ponder/reflect/wonder why we feel the emotions we do..Just wanted to give a little backstory on the prompt of the thoughts that inspired this piece ..Again I pose the question@ ** Do we think a certain way because of the emotions we feel, or do we feel emotions because of how we think?**
I’m sharing the actual clip in the spirit of seeking insight..Curious what , if any, emotions are evoked when y’all take a peek. From any perspective..As a woman. As a man. Of any race..In my experience emotion transcends all..Especially the greatest which , of course, is love! But I digress and badly.. If you feel the need to share then just know this is an emotion-friendly zone! Let it flow…
Special thanks to my friend for , again, broadening my scope of knowledge
This topic was actually prompted by a conversation with a male friend..A deep chat of sorts that reminded me how people view being single from the outside..As IF all folks that are single are lonely..I know I speak of things from a personal perspective. I’m working on that! But in the interim here is my list of reasons I think I’m still single. Actually I’m single but dating/seeing (is that even the politically correct term these days???) someone.. It took a great deal of honesty/soul-searching/reflection to size myself UP.. A great deal!
**Flashback to the aforementioned conversation** As I recall the list of qualities/characteristics my friend brought to my attention that, he feels, makes me a good catch..I’ve come to the realization a lot of those same items are also the reason I’m still single! Ironic as it seems(catch 22 mayhaps?) I believe that to be true..What I also realized as he spoke was that he’s digging me as more than just a friend..OMG when & how did that happen???? But I digress..And? If anyone else out there also desires something (whether it is a career/significant other/change in location/further education, etc etc) a reality check is a good way to purge the soul! Least it works wonders for me..On with my list>>
Reason #1 . Never learned how to play second fiddle. Yes, I bought the whole kit & caboodle I was taught as a young girl by my Daddy. That I deserve a man’s full attention. Don’t get me wrong; I can hold my OWN in a crowd. Being the social butterfly that I really am..But in a love relationship that analogy doesn’t work for me. I’ll wait for a minute to be plucked out of a crowd with my hand, figuratively, held in the air waving@ Here I am! Yet, being number 2 isn’t something I do well. I fall back if I discern that is the case. A most speedy retreat. Might even leave skid marks as I quietly depart..Confidence can be attractive but also has its disadvantages..I honestly believe I AM & should be treated as the 1 & Only
Reason #2 . I’m only attracted to my Black brothas as romantic partners..It is part of my DNA and comes as natural to me as breathing. This has caused the dating pool to be a lot smaller. Why? Because at my age a great deal of good brothas my age are married or linked up already. Heck, I never thought I’d be single divorced at 51! Just wasn’t part of the master plan I’d set out with many moons ago. Y’all know what they say about the best laid out plans though right? Yep, ish and life happens! Bottom line , without a doubt, IF I’d open myself up to date interacially I’d have been linked up long ago. If the rejected proposals are any indication..Real talk for real! Black is SO beautiful & my brothas rein in all ways>>
Reason #3 . I waited too long to get back into the dating scene..I’m so out of practice! Figured I was doing the right thing to take a breather after my Cali love & to get myself adjusted to my new location(and life as an empty nester) Isn’t regrouping a smart thing to do?? Wait, don’t answer that it is a rhetorical question..But like I recently heard Katt Williams say@ “I was single too long..Everyone is either too young or too OLD..Issues or not(don’t we all have issues of some sort at this age?) I’ve got to admit Katt has a point. Contrary to the thought process of a lot of single folks(about why they are single..) ; I don’t believe the rules of dating have changed that much. Men still crave the company of women & women still crave the company of men..Well the straight ones DO. While a great deal of brothas have expressed admiration for my self-discipline ; still has become quite clear to me I’m out of practice. I’ve grown to used to just being and doing ME . Becoming part of a duo again will take time & effort & patience…I need to tape that to my mirror so I can re-remember it daily>>
Reason #4. Began buying the hype about the to do’s and not to do’s of dating..There IS a never-ending list of lists of what to do/how to do it/WHEN to do it..And as my new guy friend pointed out? Some of those sources(ex. Steve Harvey) haven’t been IN good relationships long enough to even be reliable self-appointed love gurus! Least I didn’t buy his B.S; I mean his book..Come back and give me tips after you’ve been in a GOOD love relationship for 50 years Steve. Until then thanks be to God I’ve got parents who fit those shoes. Never in my life have I looked UP so many tips/clues/hints/suggestions on how to be in a relationship before. Jeeeez , no more..Back in the day we just let it flow. Used to trust what I felt in my spirit/soul. I’m standing firm & refuse to buy into the hype any longer>>
Reason #5. Still yearn for a guy that gets me! I can’t play ‘the game’..I don’t know how to be coy/play hard to get/LIE. I want to have conversations where not a word need be said. Believe it or not(loll yes I know I talk a lot..working on that too!) Just want someone who understands & appreciates me for me. And likewise..Girlish as it sounds I want to fall in love with my best friend. For life. I think guys have gotten so used to being duped & played; it is difficult to trust in a woman’s word. Realizing fully that sometimes I’m hard to follow! I’ve alot of pent UP energy & alot to share..Patience is a virtue and often the best things in life are worth working to learn/earn. >>
Reason #6. I have standards and principles. I believe in loyalty and committment.. I’m a one man-woman. And tough as it is for some guys to adhere to(due to natural biological cravings…yep, I read up on it to gain understanding) I believe in a monogamous relationship. I don’t know how to ‘hang out’ with a guy I’m digging. To me it IS a date. I can hang out with my girlfriends..>>
Reason # 7..I’m a giver by nature. Whether it is a friend or a lover I’ll give the shirt off my back to a person in need. Without hesitation…Problem with that is kindness can be viewed as weakness..I can’t shut off a piece of who I am just to avoid possibly being hurt. One can’t discover love holding back.>>
Exhaling! I think that is it..Enough said. Anyone out there sat & reflected on possible reasons you’re still single? Granted it is easier to just profess there is a shortage of good guys/women left..That could be part of the reason & I honestly don’t take away from that logic. The terms good & good catch are subjective..In the spirit of teach one, reach one(my only reason for blogging isn’t just to vent..) I’d love to get additional comments. Chime in! Until I read/write y’all stay UPlifted & blessed! 4ever sincere the 1 & Only, Berna
Most folks that speak on a celibate lifestyle speak on the HIGH notes…Believe it or not there are alot of highs about it..However, there is also a GREAT deal of frustration handling the realities of celibacy..Especially someone whose been in a committed relationship or married majority of their adult life. Someone SEXY and half-arse normal and considered intelligent. Someone that looks alot like ME>>
When I first chose celibacy it had little to do with my religious beliefs..It had more to do with making a conscience choice for less distraction while trying to reach a goal..I’d move cross-country and had a disciplined focus on a set amount of goals..And within a certain time frame..Adding dating to the mix would have been a MAJOR distraction..For I tend to give my all to anything I engage IN..Dating and men is certainly included..Matter of fact?
MEN = 1 of my few weaknesses…I’m not ashamed to admit I love being in love & especially love being married! On the flip side of that I’m also willing to wait (in a celibate state) for marriage before I have sex again..Now,I know most folks think certain things about celibate folks..What comes to mind is either weirdness/priests/OR a maladusted anti-sociable person..I’m NONE of the above..But I do have standards. And the longer I remain celibate; the higher my standards become. And honestly? It has become frustrating as hell!
At first? I was wearing an invisible banner waving it proudly @ I am proudly celibate , waiting and proud! 2 years later it is beginning to feel like a burden..Now it has been SO long that I wonder how much longer I can keep this UP? Not to mention I come from a highly sexed family..I’ve come to a point I don’t believe this is NORMAL..WTF was I thinking? Lawd! We are biologically created to be attracted to men and to want to have SEX..Period
The biggest downside of celibacy is the MEMORIES of how beautiful a loving relationship IS..The God created stress relieving perks that can’t be simulated. Trust me I’ve tried! There is nothing more fulfilling than a love-filled marriage..There is also nothing more aggravating than explaining to someone who doesn’t get IT that “waiting” for my The One doesn’t mean I’m pushing marriage. IF not desiring to settle for less means I’m pushing marriage; than so be it. It is not an easy walk. And definitely not for the weak hearted..But I’m standing on Faith that it is going to be well worth the wait.
Presently working on a piece, per request(sort of..), about the sometime and often masks worn in our day-to day lives..And though I’m not yet finished with it; brought to mind, this work of art I discovered and then re-discovered last year..I’d promised I would share it then & somehow never did..Anyone else out there getting that caught UP in lifes’ oh -so-busy hamster wheel??? Anywho this was written by a brother who goes by the name of Woe..He’s a semi-retired musician and also one of Esquire’s best-dressed men. He’s posted his rants and musings on a delicious website geared for Black men..I truly aspire to write from the gut plus personal experience , with my own style as he’s clearly mastered. So much of his musings I can relate to! Enjoy>>
**The Masquerade Is Over** By Woe
Every working morning, for as long as you can remember, a stranger’s face has stared back from your bathroom mirror’s reflection. Occasionally, your eyes make contact when it glances back at you. The brief cold of a ghost’s presence. A momentary acknowledgment in the rear-view mirror…as you are chauffeured along in the backseat that has become your life. Like a laugh, too loud, from the back of a movie theater. Like a telling string dangling from a magician’s sleeve. A fleeting reminder…that Everything Is Not In Its Right Place.
We commute from one social landmark to the next, like falling debris. Careening wherever the winds of opportunity take us, as pieces of ourselves are smashed against the shore. Against the waves, we are anchored by our titles. Anchored by our degrees. Secured by the weight of social status. Bound to the sense of privilege which will eventually sink us when we no longer have the will to keep up. The constant pressure to tread water. The unsubtle urge that we are not doing enough, if we aren’t doing more than those who are in the lanes next to us. The guilt of having the world on our plates, as we grow to despise it more with every force-fed bite.
On the way up the ladder, life is like a back-room card game…and we’ve been taught to wear a poker face. A mask that says: “I want what you want.“…”Everything is fine.” and “Of course. How much further backwards can I bend to help you?” with one glance. Underneath, the eyebrows furrow. The inner fists clench, and the grin begins to grimace. A voice says to you: “…you know, if you keep making that face, it’ll stay that way.“ In response, you laugh to keep from crying.
How much longer can we pretend? How much more of ourselves will we burn out, while wasting away as fuel and fumes for someone else’s engine? A slumbering leviathan; your true purpose brims below the surface. Announcing itself like a telephone that rings endlessly; stopping only when your fingers encircle themselves around the receiver. Like a recurring dream that holds the Answer to Everything. It’s silhouette slender and shrugging behind the curtain of your eyelids. Always on the verge of whispering the punch line before you awake.
For some, there is comfort in the linear life. For some, the adulation that comes with a nameplate and corner-office is sufficient sustenance. They want it so bad, they might cry. This is the prescribed and pre-arranged method to happiness. Perhaps they aren’t plagued by the ever-present sense that they were made for something better. Perhaps they are, but choose to paint within the lines nonetheless. Maybe they’ve opted to compete for the inconsolable consolation prize: a successful but unfulfilled existence.
If you’re frightened, you can be. It’s okay. But one thing becomes clearer every day. The more of ourselves we allow to be smothered, the less of us there will be when we finally come up for air. A day will come when you decide to claw your way out of the deep sleep. A day will come when you decide to stop living as a facsimile. The masquerade is over. Make sure they see your face.
Gotta preface this write by saying..ALL of us fall short of perfection..Top that with I’ve NEVER met a perfect person..And last but not least I personally feel some of the most-righteous-acting-people? In my experience they can be some of the most jacked UP folks of all…I know because I used to be one of them..Used to think I could successfully dot my Ts all the time & that my shiiiite didn’t stink..Until life experiences not only humbled me; but also I learned my most perfect attribute ? My IMperfections & that I’m so very, very human..Y’all ready for this? Diving in head first! >>
Ever say something to someone else & you realize YOU could do well to heed those very words? Recently I said something to a girlfriend and had a HUGE aha! moment..Plus I had a hot flash at the same time(danggg only negative part about my surgery!); which sort of further cemented the moment in my memory. In that very instant it became clear to me I was in need of a self-tune-up-type-of-reality-check..I used to be my own worst critic; helped me to self-motivate. These days instead I try to make sure I keep myself in check and on track..Worked too hard to get here to allow myself to lose focus, however, I am like I said before very human>>
Anyways as I was saying I was talking to a friend recently..I was beginning to say something to her & almost had to BITE my tongue off! What I was about to say was nothing NICE..It was harsh indeed. And? It was about her husband. Ugh! Mind you stopping myself mid-thought-mid-sentence is NO easy task..I can talk UP a storm! Jeeeeez however she means a great deal to me; so I some kind of way stopped myself..Then? I did something I’ve never ‘eva done before..I asked her to pretty please limit what she told me in the future about her husband. Why? Because I won’t be held responsible for what I might say in response..I don’t like him; point-blank! Bad thing? I’ve never met him. Ouch! I hate admitting that part; but its the truth. Yet? I can’t stand even thinking about sharing the same air with him..One might ask how can I not like someone I don’t know??!? Simply said my thoughts/mind has been polluted after ALL of the awful, ugly things I’ve heard about him. From his own wife..And? She IS one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Real talk for real. Am I wrong for pre-judging someone? Yep! absolutely…Nonetheless that doesn’t change how I feel about him. It does , however, cause me to pause and realize OMG that is SO UNchristian of me@pre-judging. Again, for the record let me state as I pre-stated I am so very, very human>>
Goooood grief! The list of rules, regulations, thou-shalt nots, thou-shalt can’ts IS getting longer by the day..Or? Am I just more cognizant since my Confirmation? Hmmmm But I totally didn’t like the idea I was pre-judging someone I didn’t know. Even though I trust the words of my girlfriend; I don’t like being pre-judged myself. So why am I doing it to someone else? It is after all something I’ve tried so hard never to do..Been burned earlier this very year; by not pre-judging someone based on words of a reliable source. Nevertheless judging others is something I don’t care to partake in. As a result? I find myself propelled into a self-reality check fest>>
Found myself telling someone to hush in church this morning..The yapping was messing UP my vibe from the excellent homily and the Gospel flow from our singing..Then? Bam! Hit me, figuratively speaking, square in the forehead..I’ve yapped in church before, OMG, whose vibe did I screw with at those times? Does it mean one can’t correct others when they’ve been guilty of same in the near-past? Pfft! If that was the case as parents we could never correct our offspring..I think what it means is that I, like other folks, am so very, very HUMAN. Honestly? I don’t want it to be any other way..This learning from experience stuff is getting more FUN the older I get. I think the most wonderful part is now I catch MYself mid-stroke..And I’m still learning>>
The learnings of reality checking? For me? Invaluable & priceless..When I take the time to do it forces me to reflect on reality vs. My Reality..Many folks don’t realize those two things can differ at times..Often times we “think” we’re behaving in a certain manner & yet others perceive us acting otherwise. OR one can find themselves, as I recently did, partaking in something they/I don’t care to partake in. Like judging folks..How often I’ve heard folks say they don’t like this or that celebrity. Wth? Never even met that person..And yet I did the very same thing with my friends husband..Yep, shit happens when you’re human and I suppose even when you’re not honest about it! The good news? Every day brings promise of fresh starts in every possible way..Translation? It is never too late to do a quick reality check to get back on track. That is a wrap for now folks..So until I write/read y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever Sincere, Berna(the 1 & Only)
I can almost clearly recall back-in-the-day trying my best to be a perfectionist..In ALL that I did or said..For some reason I’d convinced myself that being “perfect” was what I had to do & be..I had the perfect husband who did only perfect things & would NEVER cheat on me like other women’s husbands..Oh NO not my husband! (By the way he was a nearly perfect & fine as heck hubby; and I’m not saying that just cause he’s a reader either lol! I’m serious..) I had the perfect children who I swore be danged weren’t going to have temper tantrums like other folks kids/were going to be scholars that read & read & weren’t allowed to listen to negative rap, etc etc…I kept the perfect household that was clean enough to eat off the floor..No small achievement with 3 small sons romping about..I was a hyper ball of energy juggling a cazillion balls at a time at the pace of the energizer bunny..From the outside looking in I had it ALL..Perfection to a T. And yet it wasn’t perfect..Nothing is ever as perfect as it looks. Even when it is US viewing the given situation at hand>>
As I reflect back, briefly, on those days I realize that I’m nearest “perfection”; when I’m NOT trying to reach perfection. Took me many moons to come to that realization..First & foremost a state of perfection simply does NOT exist. In ANYTHING. Admitting that to myself was the first step to my perfectionist recovery..I was holding myself to a standard that was a set-up for failure from the onset..Hand in hand with that I was also holding my loved ones to the same unreachable standards. Perfection doesn’t exist/A state of perfection does NOT exist/Nothing in this life is perfect/I am not perfect. Over and over and over again I had to let the words rain down on me & soak into my being>>
It isn’t easy to acknowledge one’s own faults/flaws..Truly takes much self-reflection to learn what makes us tick..Learning what truly makes us; happy. I learned I don’t desire being perfect..Being perfect takes too much work! And it isn’t FUN..I’m enjoying life far more now that I’m just allowing myself to BE. In turn I was able to relay to my sons to learn from their mistakes…I think its a mistake to try to STOP children from making mistakes..That is impossible. And long ago I quit wasting time on things that weren’t realistic nor feasible>>
IF this were a perfect world & life I think it would be called something entirely different..It would be called HEAVEN. And since it isn’t? I’m just glad I’ve learned to accept me & others for who they are..Imperfections and all..It is a state of being that takes far less effort than attempting to reach perfection. This way is effortless! I’m still juggling a cazillion balls; but I’ve learned that the key isn’t making sure no balls drop. It is knowing what can bounce back if you drop it & what can’t..Or least that is the way I see it.
I struggled to think of a happy topic to leave as my last blog prior to surgery..And then it hit me! I’ll blog on a topic I’ve come to LOVE. The pursuit of happiness..>>
**Happiness is a direction, not a place** Quote by Sydney J Harris
It is my belief that happiness IS relative..I believe it is based on what OUR expectation of happiness IS..Have you thought about what your definition of happiness IS? And IF not; how can you reach a state of being that you’ve not yet defined? Hmmmm..Well I’ve thought about what my utopic state would be in all aspects. I don’t base my happiness on other folks “appearance” of being happy either..I do NOT believe that money buys happiness nor does beauty..Lets take Halle Berry for example. Voted without a doubt as one of the world’s most beautiful women. And to boot she is rich…Yet, based on some of her actions/behavior not for ALL the tea in China would I trade shoes with Halle. Lest anyone forget she had a hit & run incident in which she left a person maimed! When she showed UP in court with a band-aid on her face, and the victim bandaged from head-to-toe in a wheelchair, I didn’t see view that as a person who was HAPPY. Not as defined by my happy meter. And IF they’d tested her alcohol level that night??? I’m sure that her day in court would’ve ended totally different..For the record? I think Halle is a beautiful woman. (even sans make-up she is beautiful) But in addition I’d like to add EVEN Halle can’t pull off wearing this outfit..Pregnant or not, beautiful or not; this is ONE ugly arse outfit!!! Gets a zero on my happy meter>>
Now there are some that would have us believe that HAPPINESS is a constant state of mind..I firmly believe that is a load of poppycock! Who on this earth is happy ALL the time? I’d like to see what that type of person looks like..So IF you’re out there please hold your hand UP; and post a picture. Please..I’ve lived a long time. 50 years and counting..Thank God for that every single day..Anyways I digress..Long as I’ve lived even the happiest folks I know ; have days they’re in a FUNK. I have come to feel it is a normal part of life..The trick IS snapping ourselves out of those funk-mood-type-of-moments/days. And guess what? WE have the power to do just that. I know because I do it. And IF I can do it, anyone can. It works if you work IT..Works the opposite way as well though..We can downspiral with our thoughts/moods in the same fashion. But when one learns themselves(which I feel is the key…) can change the motion of those negative thoughts when they begin. Some of us have things that can trigger those negative thoughts & by all costs WE must nip them in the bud..I’m an expert on such things for I’ve lived it; and learned to combat it. Happiness IS a direction & that direction can be a constant forward motion>>
Riddle me this..How can any of us truly know what happiness feels like; If we’ve not lived through the opposite feeling? Known as sad moments/events/experiences…Also known as rainy days. Many who truly know me know I simply HATE rainy days! I honestly do..Having lived on the Right Coast(Cali..West Coast still RULES..) for the better part of 20 yrs I’ve not seen a lot of rain. However , I did live through some really rainy blue down days there..On the flip side of that? In my new home on the Left Coast(Ahhh but I’m growing to love it here too..) I’ve seen a TON of rain outside..Yet, because of the frame of mind I’m in now? Even walking outside on the darkest of rainy days; I’m full of laughter/smiles/and JOY..Sometimes one can dance in the rain even when they HATE the rain..It is a force-learned habit..I just refuse to let the unhappy moments take over my life ever again. And IF I can do it; anyone can>>
When is the last time you thought about what it would take for you to BE happy? What is your utopia? And what are YOU doing to make it come about? Did you know that being happy IS a choice we can make? >>
I think most of us FIGHT to be happy..IN a world full of negative images/sound clips/boob tube flicks/unheavenly things going on from America to kingdom come; we’ve NO choice but to sink or swim..We can choose to sink down into the muck & mire OR fight/claw our way on and UPward to happiness. I feel happiness though differs for all of us. Some of us might be happy as a kid in a candy store living in an 800 square foot cute Lil apartment! While others might require a 5,000 square foot house for them to be happy..But I once met folks living on skid row in Los Angeles that were full of laughter & joy & SMILES. I’d not have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes..It was a field trip my exMominLaw took me on that I’ll never forget. Taught me, humbled me!, that being happy doesn’t cost a dime. God gives us a chance at happiness every time he wakes us UP. Or so its my belief..My happiness is driven by simple things.* Being a LOVED child of God. LOVE in my life. Security. Peace in my home/Within my family/On my job. LOVE of my career. Strong Personal Relationships with my family & my extended family of friends. LOVE in my life that surrounds me & comforts me. & Peace of mind * Any/Everything else in my life is extra. Took me a long time to realize that. And I am happy. At long last..Well y’all that’s a wrap until post-surgery. I can say I’ll miss YOU all! Miss me while I’m away…Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & BLESSED. 4ever Sincere, Berna(the 1 & Only)
Don’t 4get to show me some LOVE while I’m away!!! I won’t feel like writing but trust & believe I’ll be reading
Going to try my BEST to writemywaythroughthis..feeling. IF this exercise fails; it won’t be for lack of trying. Ever had one of those days when it took all you could muster; to not free fall ? Can’t say , thankfully! , that I have days like this often…But something I text chatted to someone a little earlier this evening ; made me stop to think..And to just exhale. And! to admit to myself that OMG ..I’ve been on the MOTHER of all roller coasters ride of emotions this past 3 weeks..And this evening I finally allowed myself to CRASH. The something I said earlier in the text chat? (ended like this….)”……..I know God is watching over me n my decisions I think they call this Faith and I really do but I am still human…Very much so”>>>
Feeling a feeling that I can hardly wait to get to the other side of…I’m fighting to get to the other side of it..I’m my biggest cheerleader yet I’m not feeling like having my usual PEP rally tonight..I’ve been known to say I’m my OWN best therapist/my OWN form of self-advertisement/my OWN very best friend; yet tonight I’m wondering how the heck much my GOD thinks I can handle at one time? I mean, really!, how many balls can one person juggle before they crash? I’m just a woman, and one that is far from perfect, and so very human . No matter how much we women attempt! to play superwoman; we have to from timetotime admit to Self we just can’t handle all things by ourselves. I’m feeling that tonight, for a brief moment in time, I don’t wish to be the one holding the reins>>
Riddle me this..Whats the better scenario? Usually being in an UPlifted mood & only experiencing “funks” once-in-a-blue-moon? OR experiencing “funks” so often it comes as NO shock ? Which is easier to handle? I know which I prefer, of course I prefer usually riding on my natural HIGH; but right about now even I can’t seem to shake this monkey off my back. And I’m too! stubborn to just go to sleep to sleep it off..yet. Feeling the need to mark this moment , leave my carbon footprints, so that next time I’m feeling like this(which I pray! is a long time from NOW) that I have a momento left; on how I got through it. My OWN written how-to-get-through-a-funk ! manual…Yep, my own best therapist even for future days. Talk about taking DIY to an entire new level…>>
The odd thing about this day? The totality of IT didn’t hit me till I sat in my car leaving work earlier tonight…Suddenly it was as if my heart was going to explode. I probably shouldn’t have driven like that. I could hardly see past the tears. IF anyone saw me they’d probably thought I ‘d just heard of a death in my family or something tragic..Something earth-shattering. Something life altering. Something emotionally traumatizing. Something jeopardizing my very existence here on earth…I hadn’t just! gotten any such type of news. Not just; but over the past 3 weeks or so? I’d gotten every single bit of that; in bits & pieces..and it slowly seeped out of me on my car ride homes..the bits & pieces flowed like air from a deflating balloon. I think I hit it.. My MAX >>
Mayhaps days like this are meant to B for people like me…So that I don’t forget how blessed I truly AM. How very loved that I am. How very cherished I am. And how good God & life IS..Is that possibly why we are to endure pain? So that we might have that much sweeter days & appreciate the many beautiful moments? IF there was no comparison, what would be the measure for good vs bad moments? Would good times exist without bad times? My perplexed state has me wondering so, so many things..and probably most of them questions that can’t be answered…Just lived. Experienced. Treasured. The good for the preciousness that good in anything provides us. The bad for the meaningful lessons we learn. OR are supposed to be learning & evolving! constantly & consistently. I hate when I’m in a mood that my questions yield more questions..But here I am. Struggling to get to the other side of this feeling>>
The UPshot? Its a GREAT thing I’m single ; for IF I had a man right now..I’d be awful company for him tonight. So hooray! he gets to miss this part of the ride..And tomorrow is a brand NEW day. Tomorrow I won’t forget to bring pain pills to work, again. Tomorrow I will be back to my normal natural high laughing smiling self whose laughter out loud! causes people to say *shush, be quieter!* Tomorrow I will forget the tears I cried yesterday..a release of sorts that actually felt good for a minute. I think every once in a while we ALL could use a good cry..When every pore in our body just feels like SCREAMING; because screaming feels like the right thing , the only thing, to do at the moment. No woe is me’s for me; just don’t have time for that; not tomorrow. Because tomorrow is a brand new day..Tomorrow I’ll leap out of the bed , as usual, ready! always eagerly seeking whatever new adventure unfolds…So I had to put on my be-a-big-girl-panties-tonight..Truth be told its nights like this that I miss! having a man at my side whose loving arms I can fold myself into…I look forward to those times again..Its close! I just know it is. Its time to blow the candles out & lay this day to rest. The good news? I made it & still standing. Knees buckled for a minute, but I think that makes me human. Very much so…Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed for even on days like this WE are blessed. 4 ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)
Based on the true story(& learned lessons) which is my Life..>>What those that know me personally, that also read my blog(hugs,hugs! , & more hugs) are privy to is that at almost 50 yrs of age; I moved cross country to my parents home. I no longer live there though & have nothing but fond, loving memories from the life-altering experience. What that same group of people knows is that …very shortly I’ll be drafting my very first book. A book I’ve planned on writing for the past-longer-than-I-care-to-mention-number-of-years..Haven’t yet dreamt of the title; it won’t actually be titled, The Long Way Home…and its foundation though based on life(specifically mine..) will be to serve as a guide for other young girls/women out there on their Life Journey..Not a self-help book; but a self-DO book. But anyways I digress for I was driving home yesterday & I got lost..Which led me to the idea of this post. For you see I’ve gotten quite used! to getting lost(with a GPS that I seem to keep on off mode) ; and I think its been the BEST way for me to never forget my way to wherever the heck I was headed in the first place..Heck of a run-on but I can’t break that line of thought UP..In short while some folks feel getting lost OR being lost is a bad thing; for me? It has brought me to where I needed to be; every single time. That might not make sense to y’all ; but it makes perfect sense to me..Question. Do you know what your center IS? Took me almost 50 yrs but I know, and part of me always knew, what mine was/IS..Lets see if I can dig a little deeper & explain..>
^Your “Center”= I’m going to borrow this definition from Wiki..its FAR better than even I can write out. Afterwards I’ll move forward with this post; just want to first make sure y’all are up-to-speed .
**Within each person, there is a “center” where “you”, the essence of who you are and consider yourself to be, is located. It is not a physical place, rather it is where the certainty of your confidence is. When you are distressed, it is good to contemplate this “essence place” in order to reconnect with the calm certainty that is your self.
So “finding your center” means to understand within yourself that the distressing circumstance will pass, you will learn from it, and you will remain yourself. This is important when events make you crazy. When your world falls apart, the “center” of you reassures you that the event will pass, but you are still the same person you have always been.
In religion, this “center” is where you and your God connect. In some religions, this center can be called the soul..it is the “connecting place” between this physical plane and the Eternal. It is a place of calm, a place within you that can give great strength and resolve when you take the time to “return to your roots.” It is the place of refreshing and renewal.
So if you are in emotional distress, “find your center” reminds you that you are stronger than you realize and that you need to reconnect with your God and your essential being.** Moving right along…>>
What I’ve learned is the more in tune with Self I get..the less I give a dang!(and I mean that in the most respectful way..) of what other folks think about what I do/what I say/how I act. Who are they to say what it takes for ME to live UP to my God given potential? To be all the me I can? Its my belief when we let other folks “define” who we are; we become who they! want us to be..Think about that for a minute & let it sink in. I’ll take this line of thought one step further @ When I fully realized what my “center” was/is; the less insecure I became. And? I didn’t fully come to this realization until I came full circle and went home almost 2 years ago.. I was lost (figuratively) until I found myself and my way home…>>
So, as I was saying when I first began this post..I got lost yesterday driving home. Returning from a bruncheon at adored friends house ..and! the funny thing is I’d just, and I mean just told them, oh nooo need to worry about me I know exactly how to get home. Plus, I told them I’ve got my GPS so if all else fails I’ll finally use it..I didn’t want them to worry. Anyways, I went skipping out to my car & bam! almost immediately took the wrong route. Went North on the freeway(they call them highways here; but I refuse! to give up all my Cali terms or way of life..) instead of South. And OMG I had to go for what seemed like forever for a turn-around spot..I’d known I was lost & headed the wrong way about 10,000 miles( exaggeration but it sure seemed like that far..) before I could double back to go the right way..What heck kind of State doesn’t make a turn -around spot sooner than..as far as I’d driven? *slapping forehead* Yep, I’m still getting used to living outside of Cali..As I was driving along admiring all the green , lush(now thats ONE thing this place has over Southern dry brown Cali..) I realized how many times I’d gotten lost since moving here. Then my mind began to wander how many times I’d been lost , period, in my life journey…Times I just felt like-IF-this-or-that-I’d-be-a-little -bit-happier …times that I either still wanted something smaller or bigger..times I wanted either more or less of whatever…times I wanted my loved ones who love me dearly to love me a little bit; deeper..times , when all the world looking IN figured I was totally happy, that I just felt I neeeeeeded something “else” to be totally happy..Yet, I didn’t know quite what was missing. As my eldest son shared with me about 3 years ago; I needed to find my “center”. At the time? I didn’t even know what the heck that meant..>>
Ever feel like something is missing from your life? Feel like a gerbil running around & around & around a wheel; on a daytoday grind of routineness? Wonder what the purpose of life is? I read on a W.P. blog the other day someone said ” Contrary to what religious folks think! ; there is no purposeful meaning to our existence or life. ” WOW , reading this now blows my hair back. Why? Because there is nothing further from the truth..How sad for anyone to feel like that. Wouldn’t their life then be as boring as that gerbil running circular laps around his wheel? Until I found my way home that is how I felt..alot. My oasis in the middle of that jacked UP barren desert? My 3 beautiful Black princes. Not only did they add meaning to my life; without them life just wouldn’t be the same. True blessings from God..Also my beloved & loving parents. When God handed out parents; he gave me the BEST. My right-hand man & co-parenting partner. Actually divorced but I swear we get along better than some of the married folks I hear about..and the list goes on & on..I’ll save some keystrokes by saying my center IS..My family/Mi familia/My extended family of friends. Its them that I think of & smile! on days that I just feel I need a bright light to look forward to or I’ll explode. They are my center. Loving them & being loved by them ..and knowing that their love IS unconditional(that I never , ever have to doubt it..) keeps me grounded. Feeling loved IS the number 1 best feeling on this planet. For me. And yep, it even outranks the feeling of an orgasm. Barely..but still outranks it…>>
These days? I feel alot like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz..Everything seems SO new. Experiences. Projects. Friendships..For I look at things in a totally different manner. I believe its called , Appreciation. I no longer take things for granted. Not only that I’m quite verbal about letting the folks that I appreciate them; aware that I appreciate them. For far too many years I ASSumed folks knew how much I loved, adored, appreciated & even needed them in my life..and while actions speak volumes telling someone these things doesn’t hurt either. I feel a neeeed to express myself these days. In every/any form possible. I say all of this to say this. I am home. Not literally anymore because I’m in my own place now once again. Yep, I’m all grown UP now again. Lol, lol! But I am at home within myself. At long last & finally. And if its taking U a long way to get home? Don’t lose hope for you can get there..if you wish to. The first step will be the hardest step to take. Your feet may feel like they’re stuck in cement..but lift one after the other to step by step & day by day striving to get home. Striving to reach your Center. Striving to BE purposeful and to get the full meaning out of Life. Life might be short; but my days are long & full..Hope yours are also. Until I write/read y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)
Not sure how deep I’m going to go with this one..Its a topic in the forefront of my mind, on the tip of my tongue, and hoping my fingers can keep up with the flow of thoughts. Its personal. So hang on tight & enjoy the ride… >
“Berna, you MUST learn the art of self-preservation!”…Those were the words that my only sibling said to me some 17 .5 years ago as I was going through-IT ; a divorce that I surely thought going forward with was like cutting off a part of my body( I was so IN love with him!) and honestly figured it was going to kill my inner Spirit..>
I told a very good friend of mine just yesterday that I cherish! being “different”..I’ve no issue with standing alone(as I have before) for what I feel in my heart of hearts is right. I’ve no issue with being the 1st one to ask the question that everyone else wants to ask; but doesn’t . (which is why I always sit in the FRONT of any, and I mean any, class room) I’ve no issue with being the ONE in the group; that looks for a rung ladder before leaping off a cliff with everyone else. I am truly not a follower…All those things I’ve mastered. What I haven’t mastered is self-preservation. I give of myself and I give freely…just flows freely from my being. For a split second today I had a fleeting thought that mayhaps I give too much . Too much of me. And after that split second passed…>
…thoughts came hurdling, tumbling back into my mind of what my brother said almost 18 yrs prior. @One must know/learn! self -preservation or they just might give UP the very parts of self; that make them who they are. And that is something I refuse to do. I digressed…badly..but as I was saying earlier just yesterday I was expressing to a close friend of mine that I do not want to be like anyone else nor everyone else. I am different. And I like being ME. It took me a very long time to get here . I need no permission to be me. I make NO apologies for being me..What is clear , crystal clear, is that I, WE, have to set boundaries in any/all of our relationships. Whether its of an intimate nature or friendship(which truth be told the best intimate relationships start off as friends first..don’t y’all agree? Thats another topic for another time. Excellent blog idea! ) Today I had to draw the line with someone I care about. Someone I call/consider my friend…Perhaps I should’ve made the invisible boundary lines known from the onset. For often my kindness/my sensitive nature/my compassion; is mistaken for weakness. I may be many things but weak I am not. Not even on a bad day…>
I’ve come to believe in any relationship..intimate or friendship..we can quickly get locked down into patterns. Those patterns get habitual & routine. It becomes what defines the relationship..UNLESS a person draws a line or boundaries from the onset those patterns won’t/can’t ever be broken. As long as that relationship exists..think about that for a minute..I was sharing with someone today I feel as IF they’re taking my kindness for granted. My perception is pretty much grounded in reality of the way it actually IS. Is it cool when one is being themselves to collide with someone else being themselves in a bonded friendship..only to find out one of the pair feels taken for granted? Naw, thats not cool..which is why today I said out loud what had been building UP . Which means I should’ve already said it before..today. Why is it human nature not to want to hurt another with the blatant truth? Or is that just part of my nature? IF anyone out there can relate this is the part where you should contribute your 2 cents…>
I try to see the good in everyone. Yet I don’t choose to spend time with everyone…and when I do? I expect, unspoken demand, to get back at least an ounce of what I’m giving in return. Some of us are just natural givers..Givers of themselves. Their essence. Their love. Their friendship. It just flows naturally. I’ve got my hand held UP high on each/every one of those counts. But what I refuse to do, as anyone should, is let anyone suck me dry of those resources..Not speaking in a physical sense; but literally. Is it moreso human nature to be a giver or a taker? Are these things learned or uttered naturally from the heart. To give or to take. I’ve no clue how I got to be the way I am in that sense..It is just the way I am. And I’ve no plans to change in that aspect. Ever. For I enjoy being around folks who give freely of themselves..Have no issue letting their hair down to just; Be. I had to learn , after many moons, the art of self preservation..it doesn’t come naturally . I think it is possible to give much of oneself; yet keep some of self for self to remain self. What a silly sounding riddle, right? Makes perfect sense to me though. And I sure as heck hope its making sense to someone else out there reading this also..if so this is yet another part where your 2 cents could be interjected..>
The closer I get to 50 yrs of age; the less & less I mince words. Time is precious and its moving with more haste daily..I look UP and an entire week has passed by in a blur. Some weeks I just want to yell, STOP, as the clock seems to spin in a frantic pace. Especially during minutes of my free time after my 8 -5 weekday..Although truth be told my work days fly by as well. Without mincing words & yet not speaking harshly; I think we all owe it to ourselves to lay down those invisible/unspoken/spoken boundaries in our relationships. Agreed? For what is a friendship worth if one of the pair isn’t feeling appreciated? I usually bail pretty quickly from such situations…I’ve learned to do so to maintain self. Just don’t see the sense in continuing to give to something that isn’t fulfilling. Anyone out there have a different take on this? Or related? Well I’ve said my piece. Now its your turn. What do you think? Do you have self-preservation skills you’d like to share?
Waving to ALL..Been a couple days, the longest away since joining WordPress, and I’ve been feening! I am back. And yet..I’d be remiss in not first mentioning how VERY thankful I am right now, yesterday, and all the days to come..And IF it sounds like I’m getting ready to preach; its because I am. I don’t know exactly how to articulate what is really in my mind/my heart!/ my SOUL/my spirit at this moment..All I know is its so good I want to share it with y’all..We’ve talked about so many things here, and I’ve enjoyed! & learned & vibed..But before I get back to regular scheduled writing/reading I’d like to share a piece of my inner-most thoughts . Feels SO good that I’d like to attempt to spread this feeling>
In every language that I know & even ones I’d like to know I’ve got to say..Thank YOU my God! First for waking me UP this morning(& my parents,my sons, & alllll of my loved ones & extended family of friends from Coast TO Coast) and for helping me to move through sometimes insurmountable ODDS/for showing me that long as I BELIEVED in YOU and myself; that nothing and I mean NOTHING is impossible! YOU are so good & YOU are good ALL the time>
Yesterday, WOW, how can I put this into words? Not often I’m at a loss for words to explain /describe something but there is a first time for everything..Ever wake UP in a place that all was so shiny brand new/awesome/and yet unfamiliar because its SO brand new? That is how I awakened this morning..On a cushy oh-so-perfect brand new memory foamed bed; with just the right of firmness..perfectly tailor fit for me. I slept so good I didn’t know I was sleep/didn’t dream/just got refreshed!/renewed..After a long , full day, of moving to my new place. From 4:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. last night; I was a ball of excited! and hyper motion..WOW it was a beautiful day surrounded by beautiful people on a beautiful mission. On a mission to fulfill a plan, a destiny!, that was laid out long before I was born..The mission? For me to reach my GOD -given potential..When a plan we have falls perfectly into place & works out!; its an awesome feeling, right? What about a plan that one, like me, has NO clue IF those things are possible; yet goes forward moving one step at a time anyway? Driven by a force, by a feeling inside, unheard( God) & heard voices(my parents & my loved ones) saying ..you can, you CAN, you can. Really can’t explain it any other way folks. My walk isn’t easy at this phase of my life; BUT does it ever feel good when each step comes to fruition!
I’m in a brand new place with all brand new things; literally & figuratively & spritually..And I’m here as a witness that if YOU just hang ON through all the tough! times; have faith; not only will YOU get through it..you’ll get to better days & sunshine. Don’t ever give UP. Keep one foot moving in front of the other; EVEN on days you don’t feel like it. Keep your eyes focused on GOD/keep planning for steps onward & UPward/keep surrounding yourself with good people/Keeeeep loving! and let that LOVE begin with loving YOURself! I know, I know, I know because Ioncewasinaplacesodark I couldn’t see the light..But sure as I stand! here I promise you hanging ON is worth it..None of us know what tomorrow brings; and same as tribulation could be on the tomorrow so! could JOY..Reach, reach further than you even think your arms will reach. If WE don’t reach upward and push, push ourselves beyond the limits WE have set for ourselves; then we’ll never get to our God given potential. And what a shame that would BE. For , its my belief, that is why we were created. I believe, God helps those that help themselves..HE will help you reach any goal you set for yourself; long as YOU put in the work. Hard work, yes, but SO worth it. The feeling of seeing the results of good works is priceless. There is NO substitute for this! feeling..I’m overwhelmed by IT right now and just feel compelled to release & share it. IF I can get here; than most certainly ANYONE can. Trust & believe that. Enough said. I’ll be back later to get back to the regularly slated topics; and yep, I’ve got a couple new topics to write on. I look forward, as always , to vibing/learning with & from y’all. Until then stay UPlifted & blessed. And thank YOU for always reading me & inspiring me as well. Y’all rock! 4ever sincere , Berna(the 1 & only)
**Background & credits**..So the other night I was reading a fellow blogger’s blog site(he’s an Ordained Minister/Life Coach/Business Coach, etc..)..He’s on my fave WordPress reading list @Johnnywalkerco.wordpress.com..And as he was explaining what a Life/Business Coach IS; he asked 2 questions..^1. Looking back a year AGO, are you better off in the following areas? *Professionally. *Financially*Spiritually*Relationally*Physically^2. And if you answered NO to any, would you like to be better off a year from now?..Well I instantly considered each & every area personally & my answers surprised me>
Oddly enough I hadn’t STOPPED long enough this past year; to even ponder over that question..But, without a doubt & with utmost honesty, my answer is YES..I am better off in every one of those areas. Going to save myself some finger strokes & ya’ll some reading time; you’ll have to trust me on this one. (although I could explain INdepth how my life has improved in all of those areas) The bigger question though IS; has YOURS? And if not; do you want it to? Next question..what are YOU waiting for? Lets rap..>
Mayhaps I’ve got an unfair advantage here..I’ve had some extreme motivating factors to improve on every, single facet of my life this past year..Numero Uno reason? I’m on the precipice of turning 50 years old(its so close I can reach out & touch IT) and I am determined! to be as much of the ALL I can BE by 50 yrs of age. Its highly personal..half a century old I figure is long enough to have reached a certain point. My second reason? I moved cross country & left alot behind to reach my UTOPIA. My forever happily ever after..Pretty much since my feet hit East Coast ground; I’ve been on the move. Not letting any grass grow under my feet(but I did plant my Daddy a lovely garden lol! ) to build UP ..Me. Haven’t ya’ll discovered we often need motivating factors to push us to do the max? Whether its a promotion we’re striving for. Whether its a significant other’s heart we’re trying to win over. Whether its a sport we’re trying to get a trophy competing for. Whether its an A in an academic subject we find challenging. The list goes on & on…So again, the question IS ‘Looking back a year AGO, are YOU better off in the aforementioned areas? And if NOT, what are you prepared to do to improve in those areas? >
I’ve become a firm believer that there is NO time like the present..My worst fear? To not become all I can BE..I personally know I’m not at my max; yet. I’m close, lol. But I’ve still got a couple more balls I think I can add to my juggling act..Are you doing all that YOU could be doing to reach your God given life purpose? Or perhaps one needs to ask themselves ‘What purpose am I serving? or want to serve? If you’re not UP to your own standard of what that is; then its time to work on improving those areas. Brick by brick it can be done..the first step is the hardest. But I can personally promise ya’ll it gets easier & you get a forward momentum! Or least thats the way I see IT. Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)
^The GREATest limitations in this life; are the ones we put on ourselves^ Might sound like just a cliche ..but let it sink it for a minute.
Remember backintheday when U were a kid; that felt ANYthing was possible? That U could be ANYthing U wanted to be? U could dream it..so U could be or do it? That captured euphoric even! feeling made us feel as IF we could fly IF we stretched UP high enough? (I tried that last week just! to see if I could still do a front forward flip..yep , at almost 50 I have to self-check to make sure I still can do certain things..AND as of last week I still can! In the midst of the flip feeeeeels like I’m flying. Love it…) And yet somewhere along the way, and through the years, many(most!) of us lose that euphoric childhood feeling ; we begin to feel there are limits. Lots & lots & lots of LIMITS. The question that is just itching to be answered, conquered & defeated, IS= WhY?
Whether it is because we got tired, tyeeeed, of trying to do things & failing. Or! being told things we could NOT do. Or! having doors shut in our faces. Or! having our dreams crushed. Or! having our hearts broken..For whatever reason think of all the things we just might’ve/would’ve/could’ve/should’ve accomplished; had we kept reaching for our dreams. Raising UP on our tippy toes as IF we could almost touch the sky & achieving the impossibility of things even sometimes we don’t think we can DO. When U have mastered something U thought U couldn’t; isn’t that feeling of elation worth trying to repeat over & over & over again? It is for me..I wish I could bottle it UP and save it for rainy days.
I try not to often to think of all the things I dreamt of doing that I never did..That I never even attempted to DO..All the things I put on the back burner while I was busy raising my sons(well worth all the years of effort & sacrifice) & pleasing my then-husband. What I focus on now is being ever-hopeful. I am so VERY much a dreamer..and I dream in full living COLOR
Aiming for the moon; so I can land among the stars>That is the new motto I am practicing..Striving with all my might to reach my God-given purpose..Which I don’t know(nor do I know if we ever are supposed to know) what my full potential is..I’m still tapping into it; daily. I’ve discovered, as of late, that running out of time is MY biggest motivator. I don’t want to get to the finish line without having..tried. I’ve learned I’d much rather fail at something; than to never ever attempt to do IT. Breaking the chains that I had placed upon my own mind & self; has been beyond liberating for me. I wish, I wish! , I could express it better…I refuse to keep putting to the side or for the tomorrows that never come; the things I truly wish/dream 2 do. Think of the things we just might accomplish for the better IF we stretch UP so high …we can almost touch the sky! Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)
This topic needs NO introduction..So I’m going to dig right on in..Sounds like an easy task for an eligible man to accomplish, right? Seduce my mind; and U can have my body..for life. It is obviously anything BUT an easy task these days; or mayhaps because I’ve been in a self-inflicted & conflicted! ‘desert phase’ for far too long..What do I mean by that ya’ll might ask? Well , as usual, I’m going to do my best to try to explain; the way I see IT… >
~~Come, embrace my powers of provocation..4 this is…A very private invitation 2 my cerebral playground. A place where there is no space nor time limits; only blissful moments filled with life’s most unkept secret to forever-heartcontentment=Love~Intimate quote from Berna
The standard has been set pretty much in stone; which might very well be what is stopping me from accepting anything less! When last I was IN love, a couple moons ago now, for an entire year my mind was kept totally captive…yep! totally..by someone who never laid a hand on me until a year passed. By time I realized I’d fallen in love..I’d already been in love with him . Miles apart yet minds linked in an unspoken vow ..How does that happen? And is it TOO much to hope for it to happen again & last until the end of all time? Or am I just a hopeless romantic; being greedy! enough to hope for another chance for a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence?
with ALL ..
my Heart I believe ..
that the MIND is the BIGGest sexual organ we possess..
It was in yesteryears, it IS today, and it will be forever more. Exclamation mark. Period..So why is it so rare for it to be attempted? Is it a lost art that this generation wasn’t taught? Is it a forgotten ART that my generation got to lazy to USE? My thoughts invoke more thoughts & my questions bring on more questions..Is it only I that am stuck in a time warp of expectations & love anticipations? Accepting anything less seems like cheating myself out of the ultimate; a soulmate-lifemate-type-of-connection. It is what my soul craves. It is what my spirit yearns for. It is what my heart knows it deserves..
When in the world & how in the HELL did linking UP become acceptable instead?!? Friends with benefit for the sole benefit of sexual gratification for the now; no committment; no promised tomorrows..Wth? Is there a group of women somewhere who voted for this to BE OK? Because I didn’t get the memo..and I for one VETO that vote. Count me OUT. And please miss me with the ‘I’m just 2 OLD to be able to relate”..I can’t relate cause it makes no dang sense. It defeats the entire premise of all that good relationships are built ON.
I don’t know about ya’ll, but sometimes having convictions, can cause friction..Or least in my case at this point, lol! My mind/my brain/my sense of logic/my analytical side knows the premise of what I wish for is the right thing to wait on..My heart on the other hand is wishing I’d re-think my decision. Its getting more difficult to let “the opportunities” pass me by..But is opportunity ever really an option IF it doesn’t contain all that we desire? Some folks say , Something (a relationship we aren’t totally fulfilled in..) is better than nothing(being single..) I so totally disagree…and just maybe if linking UP for a night or two wasn’t the “new norm” ; more folks would engage in mental seduction/DATING/courting. Oldskool ways will always work out for the best final outcome…how many keystrokes will it take for this generation to get IT? Or least that’s the way I see IT
For anyone out there that lives in a spot, where fireflies exist, I wish I could see them! I recall backintheday loving the way their light lit UP the night ..My bro and I fondly called them what they were@lightening bugs.(well we were little at the time & thought everyone called them that) I think as people , like moths, many of us are drawn to the light..This is true without many even knowing it; we’re drawn to light just as day’light’ affects our moods & energy levels. (affects our chronobiological system) Now that I’m living “an intentional life”; and not just letting life happen 2 me..such things interest me far more than ever before. And learning more about it has impacted my life in immeasurable positive ways, countless, and the number is still climbing…
I’m of the belief we can speak(or think) things in or out of existence…I said this to someone recently; and being the wonderfully inquisitive person she is she asked me” Do you really believe that?!? ” My answer was/is yep, I sure do! Why? Because the mind is a trip…literally. WE can convince our selves of things no one else can! For instance, have you ever walked into an interview knowing/feeling/exhibiting like YOU are the best candidate for that position?? I don’t give a dang if there are a cazillion other candidates that applied for that ONE job..you just know & feel deep down in your bones/spirit/mind that YOU were created to do that job the BEST? Well, IF you walked in thinking the opposite; just think how that would impact your attitude thus affecting how you interview. In a negative manner…
For the record my disclaimer & my truth I live IS..I believe every single word my fingertips stroke here. I don’t paint a picture this vividly that I can’t see. My paintbrush is enormous! And I am living my life in bold, bright(yep I love bright colors) fabulous colors..Just yesterday I got a double-dose of bad news..News that were I the person I usedtoB could’ve/would’ve floored me. But I’ve learned, yearn to learn more, and am learning..myself and to live an intentional life. WE all have choices in this life. With concerted effort we can overcome and ride through ANY storm. I’m relentless now and majority of days my inner light flows out effortlessly..There is a song I don’t have time to dig up for ya’ll right now; thats called “I’m gonna let my little light shine” (or something close to that..) And I believe we all have the power within US; to do just that. Can’t we be the light we want to see in the world? I think we can and I think it will make the world a much better place..if we do just that. So today , and even on days (like this day is for me…) ; when you just don’t feel like you can muster UP the strength to let your little light shine..let it shine anyway. Know why? Because someone out there that usually shines so effortlessly, like lil ole me, might just need to vibe off the warmth of your light..So just bring IT. Time to prepare for church so until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)
Disclaimer: I don’t claim to know all the answers..to anything. But what I do speak on I’ve lived. Through trial & error; and this theory is what works for me. In every aspect of my life it is working; only exception is my last love relationship. Which honestly I’ve not applied the time it deserves..but the right time for that is coming. Soon. Very soon. Anyways I say all of that to say I practice what I preach. Moving right along>
Keep it moving means exactly what it implies. Stay busy reaching/striving for your goals/dreams! This is a conscious “choice” we can make. And it is necessary; if one wants to make sound, progressive choices instead of excuses. Ever met a person that just goes on and on about would’ve , should’ve , could’ve? They’re probably also a couch potato ..as IF that will help them do some of those things they wish they could’ve done. Staying busy , productive, and progressive keeps my mind clear of unnecessary clutter and B.S.! I simply don’t have time for it..and the rest of the time I’m sleep. But still working on getting more of that. But anyways moving right along>
Kis..yep, almost just as good as kiss! Keep it simple..Choose what you want to do. List the things it will take to get the job done. And one by one knock down the things on that list..before you know it..mission accomplished! Keeping it simple allows one to NOT get distracted(or delayed) by unnecessary complications. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” Quote by Albert Einstein
I used to live by chance..Trying to do everything in a perfect manner. Wound up feeling disappointed in myself alot because..a state of perfection doesn’t exist! When I chose to grab life and my goals..by the cajones and just do IT..I’ve been a cazillion times more effective in achieving what I set out to do. And a heck of alot happier/comfy in my own skin/content 100% with my choices/decisions. Sometimes you just have to step out on FAITH. Been there and doing it. Alot. It is never an easy walk; but waiting for others to decide my fate left me feeling unfulfilled. NO one person , nobody, can make the best choices for an adult that will leave that person feeling wonderful. But making a choice that is right for me(you); regardless of whether it fails or not..has been awesome for my soul and self-esteem. When the choice, my choice, works!..I feel like I’m walking on air/gives me more confidence to make more choices & decisions/and motivates me to strive higher. The impossible truly is possible..ya’ll will just have to trust me on that one. Or try it for yourselves.
IF there is something about your life you’re not content with; work to change IT. We all know the type of folks who whine about this or that..yet do nothing to change it. That is their choice..however for those that truly want to make a change..just DO it. 17 months ago I took a leap of faith(for the 1st time in my life journey) and I’ve never looked back…Change? It is possible if you want it badly enough. Even at almost 50 yrs of age.
Last but not least most of us have a very, very strong relationship with our “inner voice”. That “gut” feeling. I call mine my “vibe radar”..when I feel good vibes from a person or an environment..99.9% of the time it is spot on. Same for the vibes I get when I’m making a decision or choice. Its called intuition. With most women it is strong; problem is we don’t listen to it half as much as we should. Until we get older/wiser/stronger/BETTER..or maybe that is just how its worked out for me. Word of advice? Learn yourself. Learn what you’re skilled at. Learn what you do BEST. Strive to figure out your GOD given talents. We ALL have them; just some of ya’ll don’t use them or don’t know what yours are. Learn your flaws and your faults. Admit them and work on improving them. Daily..Learn your weaknesses. Try to either stay “away” from them or get stronger so they won’t be a weakness. Its my belief the more one learns themselves; the more one’s inner voice can be heard and felt. Real talk. It works if you work it. Least that is the way I see IT…Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the one & only)
This is DAY 1 of the rest of my life journey…WOW..Every , single morning when I rise at O dark thirty that is my 2nd thought. Real talk. My first thought is to thank my GOD for waking me..Inofitself, even in excellent health; that IS a blessing. I am fighting the urge to free flow this morning lyrically; but it is coming. And good news? I’ve found a poetic partner! (but thats another topic for another time & post..) Constantly during this part of my spiritual & life journey; I question the self part of moi(me). Am I the person I was created to be? Am I getting closer to my GOD given purpose? Am I who I was supposed to B along the journey? Yep, as usual my questions have questions…Am I living the answers?
I think, yes, I am becoming myself. Finally, I am the me I was supposed to B..As I strive to reach all of my goals(spiritually,physically,love relationship/career/education/personal goals..) and pushing myself to do more & more in a day; slowly but surely I’m getting closer. To? Living UP to my GOD given purpose..I’m not there yet & I just know it. I feeeeel it. Without a doubt “HE” isn’t finished with me/”HE” is still working on me/”HE” is for sure working THROUGH me..I can feel it as sure as I’m sitting here. Which inofitself is nothing short of a miracle! Even just a few years back I wasn’t feeling nor seeing “HIM”; I’d grown numb. Impossible as that seems, with as much as I possess feelings/passion!/creativity/energy/vibrance; I’d grown numb. And if that can happen to me..certainly it can happen to anyone.
I’ve learned that nothing in this lifetime is impossible. Nada. Rien. Niente. Nihilum. With GOD and a positive attitude in our lives; not even what seems out of our reach is impossible. WE and I am limited more by what we “think” we can’t accomplish; than by what is factual. I’ve lived and learned that the hard way. And now that I’m on the other side of that ephiphany?!? WOW. Not even I can truly express in it words..it just feels good. Alot. And it flows as naturally from me as the sun shining. If my words have inspired one person reading this to “reflect” on working to become self; I’ll be content. Positive vibes spread like wild fire…Pass it on. Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed! 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 and Only)
~”We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” ~ Quote by Ray Bradbury
La bella vita is an Italian phrase that simply means= A beautiful life. I made a vow to myself a few years back to do all things possible to promote beautiful moments & experiences in my life. I figure I can connect all of the beautiful moments/experiences(like connecting the dots..) together piece by piece to equal a beautiful life. I surround myself with beautiful people whose beauty comes from deep within..I’ve drastically limited the amount of stress I allow myself to endure. I laugh N laugh from the inside out N smile so hard somedays my cheeks hurt by days end! I surround myself with lovely , bright colors and I adore lush green plants for plants signify”growth in life”. I made a promise to myself to visit places I find beautiful..like the beach at dusk. The picture above is a beach near here in Clearwater; in the very near future I’ll be standing on that beach to watch nightfall come..I bounce out of bed at O dark thirty every morning eager to watch the sunrise on another day; a new beginning! The quiet, hush while all is still dark yet with the promise of a new day peaking; is so serene to me. It is at that time I feel the closest to my GOD. Beauty personified indeed! There are SO many ugly, funky things happening in the world that we can not change..That we don’t understand or can’t grasp our mind around why they occur..For a brief moment I wanted to share how I embrace and rein beauty into my life. I refuse to get sucked into the filthy muck of this life..Think about things you can do to welcome beautiful moments/experiences into your life. Before you know it the dim of the funky and ugliness going on in the world; will be so faint that it can’t disturb your positive VIBE. That is something I strive for every, single day…I can attest that it works if you stick to it. I deserve ALL the beauty that this life journey has to offer. Don’t you?
I make this look ALOT easier than it really “tis..Alot of my commentary about “being single & waiting for my ‘The One’ might come across as IF it is always …A walk in the park/through rows & rows of rose petals/and full of fabulous, sunny days..While 99.9% of my days ARE full of sunshine/tons of smiles/& even more laughter; it is some of those after-hour moments that can be trying at best. Shows like ‘Sex in the City‘ & even the black casted “Girlfriends‘; didn’t always reveal the “real” scoop. …
Majority of the time I can’t/won’t lie; my vibe is right and tight. No complaints with being single & sexy other than…I’m ready to NOT be single! I am ready for my onceinalifetimeloveofalifetime. And before I dive in deeper this song will or should set the background for the foreground; that I’m getting ready to lay down. Just so there are no misinterpretations of where I’m coming from..
Now that its been established the phase of life I’m in…Its the notsofabulous moments when thoughts of temptation can creep into the crevices of my mind..Usually right before I go to sleep when I’m finally; still. Those times when the part of my inner self? has doubts>
That “trouble-making” part of self that attempts to disturb my groove of feeling hecka-fied and awesome..Asks funky questions like: What IF waiting on “the 1” is for naught?!? Where the heck is HE? Is he lost??? Is time spent going to make up for these months of waiting? Why isn’t THE time for love right now? Maybe Mr Right Now is better than waiting for Mr Right..
I don’t profess to speak for all Black women..BUT I can not be the only one going through IT. However I am so busy it isn’t often I have time to even get “that lonely feeling”. That feeling of remembrance…of how sweet love can be and IS. *sigh* Certainly I can’t be the only Sista trying to walk the walk; and talk the talk…Single by choice and actually I’m not even dating yet, lol!, BUT I’m close to being ready to date..I guess I was hoping I’d run into Mr Right and he’d be SO awesome, that I’d be forced to give up my “dating hiatus”. After all I am a dreamer; and I dream BIG and in color…
Truth be told I’ve never waited on love before..this is my very first time. There isn’t much of my adult life that I’ve spent *single and unattached*. I’m far more used to being part of a love union than..this. I don’t even know if I’m doing this right! How does one know when it is their very first time? And how much longer can I endure those late night thoughts that creep in? Not sure how many more sheep I can count..
That nagging feeling that comes when my body is tired yet..mymindisstillracing gets me SO amped up I think about the unthinkable. A long distance relationship. Ugh! Or what about joining an internet dating site? Double Ugh! But holding on the hope of all hopes that not ALL of the outstanding brothers are married..IF so where the heck are they?! I keep running smack into hot married ones on this coast. Triple Ugh! And I refuse to go down that road…Did all of the hot, outstanding ,single, brothers move to the right coast when I relocated to the left coast?!?? OMG
The really great news? I don’t have these type of thoughts often..though honestly I’ve had them alot more than when I first decided to take a breather from dating..More fabulous news? Overall the results have far exceeded what I’d wished for. Doing ‘me’ for a minute was one of the best decisions of my life..And I know, in my heart of hearts , I’m so close to the finish line. I can feel it! I can and will overcome those “nagging” late night thoughts & temptations..because settling now would truly mean I’d wasted alot of precious time learning me/doing me/reaching for my dreams, etc etc yada yada. And the best news of all? I feel so much better after this rant and venting it all out…exhaling is necessary from timetotime. Thank you GOD for blogging ;for its served as such a sweet release. Problem solved for now…
Had to show my Sista‘s some love during my venture of blogging Blackness during Black History Month..This letter format was inspired from Nova Giovanni..A brother whose a fellow WordPress blogger, comedian, radio personality, active philanthropist, social activist & author. The brother is busy for sure! And his site is listed in my faves if ya’ll want to check him out..
Dearest Sista, I write this letter with the UTmost love, respect and regard..Sight unseen I know you’re beautiful! And the world does as well. How do I know? Many women from coast to coast and around the world try with all their might! to EMULATE you. Don’t you find it odd when there are tons of stereotypes /racist , funky comments(usually behind our back …) about US; over the years in increasing numbers WE are imitated and envied. How so? From as far back as Bo Derek “others” wanted OUR hairstyles; from braids to cornrolls! Folks pay big bucks to “tan” their skin in an attempt to gain our fabulous skin tones. Butt implants and fuller lip injections are the latest rage; attributes WE were born with naturally. And OUR Black brothers(men)? Well they’ve been desired by “others” since the beginning of time…Yet, you my Sista, were created beautiful just the way YOU are!
From the natural sashay of our curvy hips as we walk..to the way we can pull it together even during times of crisis..to the graceful way we age naturally withOUT even the many wrinkles to betray our true age…Black Women rein supreme when they’re at their BEST. When a Sista has come “into her own” she isn’t just a glowing sight to behold; she is pretty much unstoppable in achieving her dreams/goals/aspirations. She can come from the depths of poverty and abuse; to unlimited financial status. With finesse! Oprah is a perfect example of that very fact..and thus makes it possible for all of US…
But my dearest Sista, I wonder in the sincerest of ways, if YOU truly know from whence you come..Do you walk as IF you love yourself? Is there pride in the way you carry yourself? When you look in the mirror are you proud of what you see? Do you know that you walk on the shoulders of those who gave their lives for you to have the world at your fingertips? Are you living UP to your God given purpose? I never gave birth to the daughter I yearned for ; BUT if I’d had a daughter these are some of the things I’d have shared with her..
1. When you’re in your 20s you’ll think you know everything! When you reach your 40s..you’ll realize you didn’t know HALF as much at 20 as you’d thought you did. The lesson? Listen to your parents even when you think they’re not hip ! as you…truth IS they don’t just think they know it all. They do! As you mature gather people into your “inner circle” who can mentor you…Mentors aren’t just for college students. Choose people who have achieved goals they’ve strived for. Choose people who are already in places or careers you’d like to attain. And listen/observe every , single thing you can.
2. Choose your lovemates WISELY. Like Judge Judy says to all the whining women who complain about their misfortune with men; YOU picked him! Choose men not just based on looks or how fine he IS(although I won’t lie physical attraction IS a must) but also on his admirable traits , level of smarts, respect for his parents(important!) , his level of compassion, belief in GOD(sorry its the way I feel so I can’t leave that out) and bottom line ask yourself if he is a good person at heart..Who your mate IS is a direct reflection of YOU. Or it should be…
3. Hard as it IS sometimes remember your body is a precious temple..Treat it as such. If you take care of your body in your 20s; when you reach your 40s you won’t look like you’re 100 yrs old. Starting good physical habits in your 20s is far easier than later in life…Old habits are very, very hard to break. Consider your “precious temple” before you give it easily over to a Man..make sure he is worthy of your “essence” . Every time you give of “yourself” ; you’re giving away a piece of your essence.
4. There is NO one person who can be your everything! Nor should you need them to be..that was a hard lesson for me to learn. Just glad I finally did. A lovemate should compliment all that you are. Like ying and yang..doesn’t mean you have to be twins. And can often mean you’ll be opposites in many ways..BUT you should share core mutual interests. I’ve seen a pair of opposites work in sync for over 50 years; my parents.
5. NEVER be afraid to be different even when in a crowded room of Idontcarehowmany! NEVER be afraid to share your passions..NEVER be afraid to do your own thing. BE original. BE the first. DO YOU..you’ll find it alot more satisfying than being a follower. And more often than not folks will follow you…Let your little light shine and let it shine brightly. You only get one life/one shot to do this life.
6. Stand FIRM in your convictions/beliefs when you feel with all your being that you’re right..but pray for discernment before doing so. However, also learn to know when to “fold” and give in ..its a thin line indeed..but it can be done. Trusting your “gut woman’s intuition” will save you many a heartache or misfortune; so learn to trust it 100%! Majority of the time our “first inclination” is totally accurate. It IS when we as women doubt ourselves we usually fall short…
7. Embrace who YOU are; Black roots included. Let NO one convince you that being Black is ugly or bad..your Blackness is a part of you that should be nutured..Learn your history and cherish it. Never , ever forget the many who died for you to go to uncharted territory they only could dream of. When you walk out of the door every , single day! you represent your ancestors, your parents, and YOU. Act like it..always..including how you dress! Translation: Cover UP your behind and breasts; unless of course you’re at the beach.
8. Strive to constantly strengthen your “spiritual being” and your FAITH in GOD. Without God you can do nothing; and with GOD you can do anything you dream of. Real talk….you never walk alone. Ever. Once you realize that the entire world/universe! will look different to you.
9. Last but not least remember always YOU were created for a reason! No child is an accident; even ones WE didn’t plan. You’re a unique creation…a one of a kind. One and only YOU. Strive to reach your God given purpose..Work always to improve “self” for we’re always a work in progress. And love, love!, LOVE your counter-part. Your Black Brothers. For even if you don’t fall in love with one..you were created to support HIM. Whether it is as your Father/Daddy/Son/friend/confidant/lover/or husband..do NOT tear him down. For if you do you’re also tearing down a part of YOU..and it is quite impossible to raise outstanding Black sons into beautiful Black MEN; without a sincere RESPECT for Black Men. It is quite simple to understand when looked at from that aspect….Whatever you do enjoy your life. Its a life full of chances to fall down , learn from mistakes!, and dust self off and keep right on moving forward. Love your life; and live the life you love. Anything less is a waste of time…DO YOU and do you to the best of your ability. If you do you’ll have little to no regrets.
~I am NOT my hair. I am NOT this skin. I am NOT your expectations no, no. I am NOT my hair ! I am NOT this skin….I am a SOUL that lives within~Lyrics by India Aire. India Aire’s song suggests we aren’t our hair..While I can understand the point she’s making; I can’t personally relate. I do indeed feel our hair IS a reflection and self-expression of WHO we are; and whats going on inside of us. And while the Bible says that a woman’s hair is her GLORY; with BLACK women I feel it is FAR more than that. IT defines us in ways that don’t just meet the “eye”; but also reveals our ESSENCE.
First things first..For many moons I’ve said the following @ The Black hair care industry is a multi-million dollar industry; and the Black community is the LEAST to see any revenue from it! Ya’ll can google UP whose got the major control over the industry(cause I think most of us already know…); and also note the fact they’ve a. excluded non-Koreans(yep, you guessed it!) from the industry by refusing to distribute to them b. raised prices higher when distributing products to non-Koreans c. do NOT put revenue back into Black communities but INSTEAD put the revenue back into theirs….Now the question that is just begging to be answered is?!? WHY didn’t Blacks corner the market on their own hair products in the first place???? And now? Everyone has got their hands into the pot of gold regarding Black women’s hair care; except Black women. *slapping forehead* But there are alternatives…
The new hot debate is Natural vs. Relaxed or Weaves…and it can get quite heated! Not in the conversations I’ve engaged in though…Natural is the being called the New Black. I’ve even heard sista ‘s that went natural say they feel its disgusting when a sista either relaxes or wears a weave. WOW. and omg! as if we need yet another thing to divide us. Lawd! Personally I feel it is a woman’s choice to do what SHE pleases with her hair..IF she wants to wear a wolly mammoth atop her head; her business! IF she wants to pay upwards of $500 or more for really good natural fake hair; her business! If she wants to chop it all off and strut it bald; her business! And IF she wants to chemically relax her hair/hot comb it; her business! OUR hair is already scrutinized, styles stolen( Bo Derek took OUR braids to a whole new level…) and critiqued by everyone else as it is. Last thing that needs to happen now is in-fighting..so knock it off! Chill out and do your thing with YOUR hair; and respect others to do the same with theirs. Some sista’ s want to try to micro-manage everything and everybody..jeeeeez. Can’t we all just get along?!?
Here is my opinion regarding natural vs relaxed vs weaves vs bald. The bald state is an easy & quick answer. Hecks NO! I dig being versatile far too much to even consider it..Backintheday my exhusband used to say I’d be beautiful to him even if I was bald! Aww gotta love him but still NO WAY. I’ve seen beautiful Black women sport the bald look ; but not my style.
I’ve also seen beautiful sista’s rock weaves..Beyonce is NEVER without a weave. Ever…her natural hair is boy short. It is quite the norm now for anyone to go from boy short to waist long hair over night. And also quite costly. There are weaves you can’t tell aren’t real hair…Love the idea of being versatile as an option. But I like my scalp being able to breathe…I don’t even wear hats! When I want to run my hands through my scalp; I don’t want to pull back thread. Or worse; not have the freedom to run my hands through my hair. Different strokes for different folks and this just isn’t my style.
I’ve got MAD respect & regard for sista’s that sport their natural hair! The cost is lower than weaves/wigs and I hear it is very liberating….I’ve got male Black friends who will NOT date a woman who wears weaves/wigs/relaxers. They want it all natural…from head to toes.
And while the numbers of Black women who go natural is rising; the majority are still relaxing or semi-relaxing their hair. It is convenient and when maintained with natural conditioners/relaxers the hair is very healthy. I’ve been on the verge of going all natural; but I’ve not dived in with both feet yet. I’m semi there and I use double natural conditioners in my hair to keep it healthy & vibrant. Which takes more time but to me its worth it. I love my hair long…and since its naturally thick I have an awesome time being able to wear many different styles. I don’t get angry when people ask if its real….Actually I think its very amusing “others” are SO obsessed with OUR hair enough to ask such a question. Bottom line is it is our hair/ our choice. And that is the way I see it…Until I read/write ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed! 4 ever sincere, Berna(the one & only)
Been holding off on this but I’ve got 2 release…Ready? Get set! Here I GO…
I’ve not spent many Valentine Days single. Matter of fact this is the longest time frame I’ve ever been single..the real trip is its been self-imposed/necessary for my self-growth/and I’ve purposely squeezed something to DO in almost every minute of each and every day. I’m busy trying to get closer to my GOD given life purpose! And must finally admit to myself and I guess to ya’ll too since I’ve taken on this daily blog venture..THIS IS NOT AS EASY AS I MAKE IT LOOK. I’m very much a novice at this…and OMG lately I think my hormones are multiplying. Wth? I thought nearing 50 my hormones were supposed to be decreasing???!??? How old do I have to be for that to happen? Lawd! Still getting a pimple a month at 50 can’t be normal..is it? Or maybe being 50 and celibate (is causing it) isn’t normal?!? Hmmmm well my norm has never been the norm for most..So anyways moving on with the topic at hand. Ya’ll really , really ready ?
I tried to resist feeling like this as Valentines drew near..I truly did! I even decorated at work in honor of Valentines Day, day of LOVE(my fave…), even though I was/am LoverLESS/ValentineLESS/boyfriendLESS/ManLESS..jeeeez thats alot of less. Yet, I don’t feel like a “less” in so many ways…at least 99%. But that ONE percent right now is beyond frustrating to me on days like this..when I stop for a minute and realize…OMG I’m not part of a love union. How did this happen? Although I know why and its been SO good for me to take a hiatus from love for a minute I still can’t help but ask that question. In my heart of hearts I know this was the way it was designed for me. But let me state again for the record THIS IS NOT AS EASY AS I MAKE IT LOOOOK
But WHY is this one day reserved for lovers anyway?!? And do men really dig Valentines as much as women?!? Flower shops/candy shops/lingerie shops & restaurants I’m sure dig Valentines even more than women…BUT don’t ya’ll want to be LOVED every day and NOT just shown love/appreciation on one day? Well I’ve got my hand raised high for that last option. For me its mandatory…
I can’t complain and I’m struggling not to; for this is something I said I wanted. A breather..although often times we know we need things/make things happen we know we need/and still it is not a cake walk. I just make it look like it IS; until nights like this. I feel like I’m coming quite UNglued..but this too shall pass. Right? It better Lol!
I’ve had great love in my life; and I know my last GREAT love is out there…As I’ve said before I know he’s searching for me. *waving hands in the air HERE I am!* I’ve grown to know that love involves patience..and I’m just practicing for that while I remain patient while waiting on it. And when my “the one” comes strolling into my life I’ll create free time for him. I hope he is as antsy about this Valentines approaching as I am…that means he’ll find me soon! Or least that is my interpretation.
So for all of ya’ll out there who are going to be linked UP for Valentines Day; my wish is you’ll stay IN love for years to come. For me? I don’t require candy/flowers/lingerie(though truth be told I love flowers & lingerie…) for V-Day; just give me love, love , loveeeeee, LOVE 365 days of the year.
2. I am going to have the BIGGEST party of my entire LIFE for my 50th this summer..Couldn’t be more excited about that!
3. I’ve got far more than 50 loved ones(including both of my parents!) /close friends/dear friends that are still living whose company I can enjoy/laugh with/hang out with/hug/kiss/talk to. NO material object on earth can compare..
4. I can recall when the majority of music involved lyrics that meant something; they just don’t make that type of GOOD music like backintheday.
5. I was around to enjoy(and then enjoy with my sons..) playing games as a family that involved the ENTIRE family. Not like the 1 or 2 player video games or internet games. Card games like Monopoly, Scrabble!, Trouble, Headache, Uno, Twister(wow what fun!) , Hopscotch, Jumprope(do little girls even do these things anymore???) Oh , how I bet parents out there wish gifts were as cheap now as backintheday…and the time spent as a family? Priceless
7. Focusing on things I can DO and not things that I can’t do anymore..I can still do front flips/cartwheels/the splits!/handstands/touch my toes with ease/see my toes with ease lol!
8. I’m stronger, wiser, BETTER than I’ve ever been..and ever is a very long time
9. Recall fondly the days when mobile phone meant walking around with a corded phone..and the cord was LONG enough to wrap around 4 city blocks! Dang sure didn’t have to worry about the battery running out in the middle of a steamy conversation..
10. Recall the days when leaving a cell phone at home did not felt like leaving behind a limb! Matter of fact I’ve never left home without mine…anyone out there remember when we used to wait till we got home to discover what we didn’t buy at the store??? Today’s convenience is something I’ve grown to love but there is a certain beauty in being able to recall the good ole days..
12. No chronic health issues or meds needed . No batteries either! And thanking GOD/my lucky stars/and trying to do all I can to maintain good health. If there is one word of advice for the youth that is worth gold it is.. take care of your body daily. And FLOSS after every meal..
13. I’ve no enemies..that I know of anyway! I greet even strangers like they are friends. And I treat my family & friends like GOLD. Its returned 10fold..
14. I can /and do speak my mind freely…
15. Still have most of my marbles left and no memory loss issues; or least I think so. Lol!
16. Got over the stage of thinking “I know it all”, whew! Now I’ve learned that the more I learn the more there is to learn…I’ve aligned mentors(even some that don’t know they are my mentors in any subject area I want to learn more about) Another tip for the youth= Attain mentors; you’ll need them.
17. Learned not to give unsolicited advice. Sort of…still working on fully mastering that.
18. Finally learned to be a “glass is half-full ” type of person; instead of the opposite I once used to be. And technically the glass is always FULL…unless you’re in a vacuum of space. Yep, google that one..
19. One gets OLD; when they stop playing/being playful/ or knowing how to play. I am never going to get OLD; just older & better
20. Dancing! becomes an art that when the music comes on your body just takes over & disengages from the brain. So dance, dance, dance and dance; even if it means you’ve got to dance by yourself. Dance!
22. You can learn anything at any AGE. And I’m hoping I also learn you don’t forget how to do things just because you’ve not done them in a while…more on that when I finally do IT
23. Maturity means= Even up to my 40s I took life so seriously! (especially when I was co-raising sons) Finally as I’m closing in on 50 I’m laughing more daily than ever before..
24. 50 really doesn’t feel anything like I thought 50 would feel like when I was in my 20s or even my 30s..50 doesn’t feel OLD as I thought it would at all. 50 just feels fabulous!
25. I’ve learned to drop my fears…bad things are going to happen cause life happens. But I’ve been over/under/around/and THROUGH such mindblowing, deeeeeep valleys/and just downright shiiiite and survived that its given me confidence that there isn’t much I can’t handle or live through. There is much comfort in knowing/feeling that
26. I’ve learned that sometimes NO answer is about as good as it gets. And that is just fine..I used to think life was all black and white. Or I’d just have to know the answer to the many questions I ask(I’m inquisitive by nature) But I’m learning that isn’t the case. Gray area does exist..and sometimes you just have to let things GO in order to get to the next level. And sometimes? After you let it go; the answer finally becomes clear
27. I try very, very hard to put principles BEFORE personality. This was something a very dear friend on the West Coast taught me…priceless lessons he taught me. There are times we have to interact with folks that we do NOT agree with on a consistent basis. Or something about them is so different from our beliefs/behavior…Agreeing to disagree alot works in these situations. Or in some cases just giving in works too …and this is necessary sometimes if on a team(for lack of a better word) worker towards a mutual goal. Might not be easy to understand now but when you get into situations as I’m referring to; you’ll understand
28. Small stuff DOES matter! Time spent with my parents. Priceless. Time spent doing labors of love; like a garden for my Daddy. Priceless. Time spent chatting with old friends on the West Coast. Priceless. Time spent over a quick lunch with new friends. Priceless. Laughing with new/old friends or loves ones. Priceless! Watching the sun rise. Absolutely priceless..Life is full of moments that we just have to stop to enjoy
29. Simplify. Simplify. SIMPLIFY. That IS the word of the day. Every day…
30. I’ve learned to COUNT my blessings every single day..and testify whenever possible to whoever will listen. I find myself doing this more than I ever thought I would..never thought I would actually.
31. I’ve always been a dreamer. And I dream BIG..as I near 50 I’m DOing more things I’d always said I’d DO. Living ones dreams is better than living to dream. Not getting any younger and there is NO time like the present
32. The things that yield the best results in life= Do NOT get caught up in gossip. It can be lethal…So be fair. Be HONEST. Be consistent. Be GENEROUS. Be Trustworthy. Respect others and yourself. And smile alot! It is contagious..
33. I’ve learned it is better to be KIND than RIGHT..another very close West Coast friend taught me this. And he was so right…
34. I’ve learned a broken heart can mend. Over time. Alot of time. I’m praying though I don’t have wait for mine to mend ever again though
35. Admitting you don’t know how to do something yields better results than pretending you do! The good news? Usually , or least has been the case with me, you’ll quickly find after admitting it someone will teach you what you didn’t know. I love IT when it works out that way
36. Generic store brands? Just as good as the name brand more expensive versions. Saving money is awesome!
37. Saving for a rainy day or necessity(like a new car..) just makes sense. Saving pennies or even coins does add up…Literally
38. Wear what YOU like to wear & what you feel you look best in. I never was one for following “fads”….bottom line is DO and BEing yourself just feels great. I don’t want to walk around looking like a carbon copy of everyone else..
39.Compliment. Compliment. Compliment! I always let people know I like what they’ve got on or a new hair style. Why do we think these things but don’t say them out loud? Saying them usually brings out a smile..
40. Be early. Saves alot of frustration and stress from rushing to get to places
41. Floss! I can’t say that enough…and I might say it for a 3rd time to get to the end of this 50 list
42. I’ve learned to laugh at myself. I don’t take myself near as serious as I used to…result? I stopped being my own worst critic/enemy. Discovered it was impossible to reach perfection . I stopped even reaching for perfection. Now I just do my best. At anything I do
43. Stay true to MYSELF. I don’t let anyone define who I am anymore. I like me after long last. Either accept me as I am or move on…and I’ll do the same
44. Failing at some things is normal. If we don’t fail we’re not pushing our own limits. Many people first failed at things , and yet kept striving, are now considered major success stories. Life is full of ordinary people trying to do extraordinary things..I’m one of them
45. Being on time matters. If I can’t get there early I’m at the least on time. Early bird really does get the prize…
47. Not sure when I became a “ma’am”! OMG when I first starting hearing it from strangers I’d look around to see who the heck they were talking to..I’ve finally adjusted to it. Sort of…lol
48. A good debate from time to time is still good for a “rush”; but anything other than that even closely remote to having an arguement is SO over-rated and just not necessary. I’ve grown old enough to know you can talk anything out …even when not in agreement. If I’ve got to fight with you consistently I don’t care to spend precious time with you. Period. And I mean that…I’ve no drama in my life NOR do I want any
49. IF a person judges me, or anyone else, by the type of car they drive /how much money they make/or what they own…they’re NOT the type of person I want to spend time around.
50…Wooooo hoooo I made it to 50. Keeping ones’ word is important to ME. So glad I was able to with this list. Was alot harder than I thought when I chose this topic..but nothing easy is usually worth it.
~A woman’s essence is impenetrable..
~A woman’s essence is impenetrable..
~A woman’s essence is impenetrable..It IS the very definition of who she IS. Makes the she that is she..she. The true beauty of a woman stems far beyond the swell of her hips/bounce of her fanny/fullness of her lips/LOVEliness of her facial features..it is seen from in her eyes. For that is the doorway to her heart and is where love never lays dormant. As she ages the depth of her essence will flourish and evolve in ways that surprise even her. Her spirit, her soul!, will emerge from all she says and does..it can’t be dimmed nor stunted. It just flows naturally as a brook babbles..Her walk is her own and can’t be duplicated; for she owns IT. Each graceful( and sometimes clumsy) step is deliberate yet spontaneous….Passion springs from her words that come from within without prompting. When she laughs it comes from the inside out and it can hardly be muted..Laughter that was kept at bay through walking through, under, and over hurdles taller than she. A woman that embraces her inner being cherishes the flaws that make her original & unique. The one and only created by her Father to be all she can BE. She has grown to recognize she IS perfectly imperfect..If she engages in conversation she is sharing a piece of herself in every single unrehearsed word..Her light is SO bright that even the darkest of nights or surroundings can’t silence it..She simply REFUSES to be corrupted. Freeeee in her own skin that has taken years to acquire. When a woman learns her own essence it consistently shows itself in her words/her actions/her thoughts..Pure, unadulterated and totally undiluted reflections of who she IS shines through her exterior biological makeup. When she walks into a room she comes with all of her hopes and unspoken fears…A cazillion reasons for why she is there in the room; but don’t ask her. If you watch her/read her/listen to hear/feel her..you’ll experience her true beauty. Her essence can’t be denied and knows NO envy for it stands out in any crowd..the she that is SHE~
**Written by me about my OWN essence..I hope/pray for all my Sista‘s/Sisters out there ya’ll can embrace yourself, hug yourself!, know yourself /LOVE yourself..2 also write/express /recognize your own essence as well. Took me years N years N many moons to “see” mine/LOVE mine/embrace mine @ essence …4ever sincere Berna(the one & only)
**No worries..IF the phrase@The way down is the way UP doesn’t make sense to U yet; it is because you’ve NOT entered the 2nd part of your spiritual life. Least according to the author, Richard Rohr, who penned the book ‘Falling UPward’. A recommended read by one of my spiritual advisors & also one of the BEST books I’m glad to have read. Ever…and ever is a very long time. Are ya’ll ready for the way I see IT? >
**I was simply going to do a review of the book,’Falling Upward’by Richard Rohr(also penned ‘The Naked Now‘which is also on my reading list) then I decided to write my thoughts on his book. Which is SO aligned with the phase of life I’m in right now..feels as if I could’ve written it! Ever read a poem/quote/book and said ‘Dangggg I could’ve/should’ve written that first?!?
The message conveyed with the phrase@The way DOWN is the way UP is simple and clear. >A person can NOT avoid sin or making mistakes in life! I tried waybackwhenIwasstrugglingtobeaperfectionist…IF one tries too hard to NOT sin/make mistakes ; it can (and usually does..) lead to worse problems. Trip on this for a minute…cause I had an AHA moment when I read this in the book . Remember the story about the prodigal son?!? Who had done everything in his life totally wrong? And the other son had done everything totally right in his life? Who ended UP being God‘s beloved?!!!
**ONE of the best-kept secrets of the soul is this concept…One more example before I truly dig into this..Sleeping Beauty! We’ve all heard that fairy tale story told , right? Hows that for an example of LOSS and RENEWAL? She has to sleep for a hundred years! before she can receive the prince’s kiss..WOW thats a longgggg time to wait for some loving! But the question that begs to be answered is WHY is it this concept a secret of the soul?!? Or is it that we make a deliberate choice not to see it? When we see we’re heading into a down spiral we kick and scream against the flow; who wants to go down or what is perceived as backwards? Or worse at a standstill? Why do we “fear” feeling bad for a minute? Especially when in actuality “during” and once pulling out of those awful times…the clarity achieved during the seemingly “stand still ” positions is mind blowing. Or least it was for me. I knew I’d grown in major leaps and bounds when I could finally! glance back(for a brief moment) and see clearly the lessons I was supposed to GET during the awful bad times. One such case in particular my divorce so long ago. I never thought I’d EVER want to love again after that..Divorce to me then meant failure. And failure wasn’t an option for me at that point of my life. Such a perfectionist I “used” 2 be
>In a nutshell its my belief now that NOT only are we to learn from our mistakes in this life journey; we are SUPPOSED to make mistakes. It is a part of the human experience..Isn’t victory sweeeeeter after having attempted , again, after first failing? Don’t we appreciate the things in life that we did NOT take for granted? And the “suffering” periods some of us have been through..often I’ve said I had to learn the hard way alot of times. Could mayhaps that have been the only way I’d finally get “it?” I once said, after divorce, I could NOT wait to get to the “other side” of the funky feeling I felt. And felt that funky feeling for years and years..A friend quoted me on that in one of his published books. But when I finally did get to the other side?! WOW I can’t stop smiling. And smiling. And laughing..for there were a few years I’d forgotten how to laugh. I can smile and laugh because I made it through and crawled my way through alot of shiiiiite tunnels. Would life have been this sweet to me now if I hadn’t had to wade through “ish” to get here?
What I know for sure is for the past couple years I don’t have many rainy days. Maybe a handful…not because crap hasn’t happened. But because I began to change MY entire way of thinking. Entirely. One must learn to find beauty in everything. Even the bittersweet things. The good times wouldn’t be as good; IF one hadn’t also experienced and survived bad times. And that is the way I see it every single day now. From the moment we “wake” up each day we’re blessed! And in my opinion if we look at the fresh start of each day with that positive thought..the entire day can’t be all negative. We only have all bad days if we want to. The choice is ours<
^Setting UP the scene for ya’ll which brings this topic to mind: During my weekly lunch breaks I head to the Mall sometimes. 2 squeeeeeze in alot of walking( GREAT exercise) while I window shop. Sooooo on this particular day I’d walked past a DEAL I had to stop in to check out..Shoes, shoes and rows of shoes on sale for 50% OFF..OMG, my ideal of heaven!..Anywayz I was leaning down strapping on a pair of heels when I heard this voice say. ” Those compliment your legs”. I looked UP and there was the HOTTEST(his picture is probably listed on google somewhere under ‘incredibly SEXY & fineeeeee’) brother I’ve seen since moving cross country almost 14 months prior. For a minute I thought I was dreaming. ( I do alot of that lately..) I had to blink twice to make sure I was really seeing him. BUT , I wanted to remain smoooooth and composed. So I opened my mouth and said something really stupid! “How long have you been standing there watching me???” And then? Instead of giving me a sassy retort ; this brother began to “use” the very dating technique which I thought! I’d mastered..until he began to use IT. And blew my hair back with his questions. He began to interview me , right then & there, on the spot! With me, caught very OFF guard, these were my answers…
…His answer..”I’ve been watching you long enough to know I’m interested in knowing more about you”..OOooo I thought to myself, goooood answer. Then he said, ” Do you have a minute to humor me?” So I said,”I’ll give you 15 minutes as you walk me to my car because I’ve got to get back to work”..I had no clue he was getting ready to give me his own interview questions. Quickly, but he managed to get it done. Told me to answer in one word or two if possible..OMG he doesn’t know I’ve got an issue with brevity! My stomach was doing a combination of somersaults and butterflies..didn’t know if I was going to vomit or explode from nervousness. I hoped! I didn’t look as nervous as I felt and yet also very..excited N intrigued. HE was(is) different from the onset. And I truly dig different & unique..
He began with ” Are you seeking a relationship? And if so, do you know what type? ” I answered, yes/yes. “Whats your biggest pet peeve? I answered, married or taken men that hit on me. “Whats your idea of your favorite date night? ” Hmmm this will take more than 2 words. I’m picked up by my date. He has chosen the place and not told me. I love being surprised! He has planned something that is special, took forethought, and something that will involve quality time spent. “If you could have any superpower what would it be? And why? ” Ooooo good one! I wish I could magically give all hungry people food, all homeless people homes, and all people without love in their lives, love! Because love can make all things possible and I don’t feel anyone should be hungry, homeless or without experiencing love. “What is one of the most embarassing moments in your life?” Ugh, had alot of those! But one of them was the time I ran into a parked car one morning on the way to work. Longggg time ago cause I know how to drive now. VERY embarassing and I had my eldest son in the car with me…He said, “Damn that is a pretty bad one! Were you both ok?” I said, yes, how thoughtful of you to ask that…”What physical feature do you like most about yourself?” I said, my lips. “What physical feature do you hate about yourself?” I said, my oily skin. “Who is someone you wish you were closer to?” I said that is an easy one, GOD. And I’m working on that daily. “Are you high maintenance?” WOW things were rolling along SO well. We had just reached my car. This was the first time I’d paused before answering…How the heck am I supposed to answer that??!??? Especially when I think I know the answer and I’m big on this is ME take me as I am; BUT no one has ever asked me this!!!! And then I opened my mouth and told a bold faced lie. Which because I knew I was telling a lie has got to be a double whammy SIN. I couldn’t look him in the face when I answered. So I started fumbling with my keys and mumbling I had to go back to work. Danggggggg why did he have to ask that question???? *sigh* He was watching my every move and I suddenly felt like he could see every bit of me. Including my soul..I opened my mouth and said “No , I’m not high maintenance. I’m totally self-efficient” Wth was I saying?? And doing? And why?!? I don’t even know this dude. He could be a mass murderer for all I know. A stalker! A pervert. He looked down at me(talllll and fineeee) and said “That is the first time you’ve lied to me. And its good to see you don’t lie well at all…*pregnant pause* May I have your cell number?” ~~~
Fast forward to that evening…I was talking to my Mom and said I don’t think I’m high maintenance ; do you? OMG My Mom couldn’t answer fast enough! Bottom line is she said yep! you are but not in a bad way…What is that supposed to mean??? Anyways the Mall brother has called every week about twice a week since then…. He’s an attorney who is going to be relocating here from cross country. Was here briefly to survey the area to see if he wanted to take a job offer..He’s a divorced attorney with a daughter in college. Asked me if I’d go out on a date with him after he’s here & settled .(he moves end of March) I said sure if I’m still single…Now that I have admitted to myself and him this is my definition. IF high maintenance means maintaining my health, fitness, my body(including my hair, nails, toes, appearance) ..than yep! i AM. But I’m self-sufficient in all ways. I don’t need nor require a man to take care of me nor my bills. What I do need is a man that loves & cherishes me. IF high maintenance means I require the attention of my significant other. Than yep! I am. BUT I also give what I want in return. IF high maintenance means I like to communicate with my significant other. Than yep! I am. I can’t read minds nor do I pretend to…I’ll make contact with my S.O. by talking, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, smoke signal!, even send a message in a bottle if need BE. IF high maintenance means because I’m friends with my xhusband & xboyfriend. Than yep! I am. But if you have TRUST issues than you’re not the one for me anyway. IF high maintenance means I require spending time with my S.O. Than yep! I am. Quality time is a MAJOR must with me. In my minds eye it is the best gift a man can offer; his time. Likewise for me..Amount of time spent isn’t half as important to me as the content. I’m busy too…IF high maintenance means I like to know I’m thought about from time to time during the day by my S.O. Than yep! I am. Thats what texts were created for , isn’t it??? If a man is seeking a woman that is easy, doesn’t have an opinion, and won’t treat him like her King..than I’m NOT the woman for him. If a man is seeking a good woman, with a good/sincere heart!, who believes in GOD, and will treat him like the King he IS..then here I am. Take me as I am & I’ll follow suit. Because I’m…
**I’m jumping back onto the “Post a Day” DP Challenge horse’s back…Shared sentiment with another WP blogger not too long ago how difficult it truly IS to post a day..And it IS..Especially when offline obligations take priority and when catching UP on sleep becomes a MUST. I squeeeeze alot into my days..loving every minute of life..but even I had to put the breaks on some things last week. But thankfully it is a brand new day! And week! There is a song by Aaliyah, an oldie but goodie(those are the BEST) that I adore and it is called try again…
“If at first you don’t succeed
Dust yourself off and try again
You can dust it off and try again…”
*Not that I’m complaining about not having enough time 2 do all I desire doing..I really LOVE being busy/staying busy/BEing productive doing PROgressive things..I was chatting with my youngest the other day on the phone..And regarding something we were discussing he said, “Mom you know how it goes. And you taught it to us..Just keeeeeeep it moving forward!” From the mouths of babes and I dig it when it just happens to be someone I was blessed to have co-raised. Life is truly a wonderful “trip” and ride. One of the beautiful things about life is WE can all try again even when we fall short of our own goals. So! Later on 2day I’m back on the postaday challenge kick. Not yet finished having my say N telling it my way…Going to try this one “mo” time. Write/read ya’ll later on tonight.
ONE last of these type of inner-seeking/self-discovery type of posts N then? Onto what I’m ITCHING to write about..Politics! Took a break from it for a while, breather of sorts, but I always try 2 stay posted and as ALWAYS I’ve got alot 2 say. So next UP will B musings on whats going on with our guys in D.C..But for now I’ve got a question for ya’ll. Anyone out there ever feel like you’re always, always! the one in class(or any presentation scenario..) and YOU are the only 1 who raises their hand to ask a question?!? And then! after class or the presentation other people run UP to you and say thanks! for asking that because I had the sameeee question but didn’t ask..Why? Why? I am always, always the ONE to ask such questions..I sit there for a minute looking around , hoping, praying!, someone will ask. But they don’t. N then I just can’t help it I’ve got to know so UP goes my hand..Whether I’m nervous to stand UP in a crowd or thinking that folks will think it is a DUMB question I’m asking or whatever, I’ve just got 2 know…
~There are times in ones’ life when all of a sudden bam! you instantly go from NO clarity to clarity..In my lifetime it has happened twice. As if a great big fog was suddenly lifted. Recently, this past summer, was the strongest such happening for me. I literally “felt” as if I was living@I once was blind, but now I see. Honestly, I can’t explain it any other way. I didn’t see a big light bulb in my minds’ eye. I didn’t see GOD in my sleep. But what I did experience was so life-altering and beautiful..and one day I’m going to try to express it properly by writing about it. Not sure if I am capable of giving it the due justice it deserves ;yet. (but when I feel I am I’ll blog about it..) I’ll say this though : I went from BEing a wanna-be full faithful believer that was practicing Catholism by going to Mass TO a fully faithful BEliever in GOD/thirsting N thirsting to gain a closer relationship to GOD/fully immersed in involvement in my Catholic faith/church/choir. Bam! Not sure if everyone experiences such ephiphany moments; but I sure wish it was something I could bottle UP and give to everyone! It is that magnificent of an experience.
Aha! moments are a bit more common, right? These are what I truly call the “light bulb” moments…When you just know what you know because you know IT. And! you know it as it is happening..not after-the-fact. Or least this is how it has happened to me. One such moment was when I first met my exhusband. Yep! Don’t think I ever told him this(or I might have because I talk alot..) and since he reads my blog NOW he’ll know..But from the very first time I laid eyes on him I just knew he’d be my husband. Truth is he laid eyes on me first & I had NO clue he was watching me..but when I did see him I knew. And I was right. Pretty happy I had that aha! moment 🙂
Last but not least@full circle moments..I’ve only had ONE of these in this lifetime. And it has been such a beautiful yet sometimes overwhelming experience. Being an emotional person by nature I’ve had to stifle the butterflies in my tummy at times this past 16 months. Other times I’ve had to let the tears of joy just flow and flow..including during Mass .(which has been happening more to me than ever before as of late especially when I’m singing certain songs in Mass..Yep, the Holy Spirit has been moving through me alot) I think a full circle moment to me means is that I had to come back 2 where I began to complete my life journey. Instead of being a step backwards(as I felt it was when I made the journey 16 months ago..) it has become something that has enriched my life. For the 1st time in my life I know I am right where I am supposed 2 B. In every possible way…N I have literally come full circle. And it just feels right, and just!, and good.
As I started this off saying IF you find that in a room full of people you’re the ONLY one who will raise your hand to ask a question…It just means you’re NOT afraid to be different! And that even IF you are afraid on the inside(as I often times am ) you move forward/or ask that! question/or make a change for the better; thus over-riding your fears..Which takes courage and strength. I’ve been my own worst critic for the majority of my life; but what I’m trying to share with ya’ll is the hope that you’ll give yourselves credit for your great qualities(like courage/strength, etc) There will be many defining moments in our lives@ephiphany, aha!moments, full circle moments…as well as just precious moments in time. I treasure them all as I hope you do…I’ve learned to complain less & less in this lifetime. Why ? Because as we’re wasting breath complaining; there is someone somewhere taking their very last breath of life. Which would you prefer to be doing? Yep, me too! Be back tomorrow with my take on whats going on in D.C..till then stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 N only)
Ever heard the saying @From the mouths of babes?…Well, though not a baby anymore my eldest son, without knowing IT, said something 2 me about 4 years back that made me thirsty 2 find mine. My center! My core..We were chatting about something or other N he simply said, ” A person that is seeking to truly know Self; has to first find out what their center IS…” Took me another 4 years but I finally found mine & I found it by accident. Although, I kinda sorta take that back for I’ve learned in this lifetime there are NO such thing as accidents..Gathering my thoughts on this topic but I’m coming back very soon…Stay Tuned..Here i GO digging deeper into MYself and in the process driving closer 2 finding out the meaning of Life N its purpose N my God given purpose within IT.
**Quick backdrop : I began this blog(my 1st!) in an attempt 2 share of myself, of my lifes’ experiences with others..In the process though I’ve found that I’m actually also simultaneously journaling. WOW. I’ve not kept a journal since I was a very lil girl(yep, I’ve been writing a long, long time..) N yet on these pages with every single word I am marking where I was on this day..or any given day I write. I free flow. No practice. No trial run. Nothing written down..Just me at one with my thoughts and trying to type as faster, faster, FASTER as my thoughts pour from my mind . My personal touch, hopefully!, my style, who i B shining thru each every keystroke..non-rehearsed. For that is exactly how I’ve lived my life..no practice rehearsals..just doing IT. Mistakes N all..
So living IN a world that is known as a MANS world, yet, being the epitome of a WOMAN(I’m a very girly girl N yep! pink is my fave color) I’ve for SO long felt I had to mask/hide/change/cover/dull it down a part of ME that is so strong a part of me its been like trying to cut off a LIMB..all these years. Until one day about 4 years ago , bam!, I decided to no longer…Why should I kill a part of ME just to so called make IT big? Must I do that just to survive in a career in which men RULE? Is that the only way I’m going 2 reach the glass ceiling? Daily and continually NOT being who I truly AM? How jacked UP a feeeeeeeeling that is/WAS. First of all it is quite impossible to fit a square peg into a round hole..I tried! Can not do it..and it is very draining. Emotionally draining..N that is yet another reason I can’t totally give my co-sign to Steve Harvey’s “Think like a man, Act like a Lady” concept. Know why? I’ve LIVED that. Been there, done that..N I’ve got many T-shirts/emotionals scars/very hurt feeeeeeelings, etc etc, yada yada to prove having been there. The money was GREAT I can’t nor won’t lie about it, however, the COST to me personally wasn’t worth it. I’d rather B without a penny in my purse and not own a lick of material possessions(been there too…) than to NOT be true to who I am. Yep, I said it. I care less about material gain or fortune/fame..I just want to be freeeeee to B who I was created to B. There is such comfort in that. It just feeeeeels good ALL the time. It is that good 2 me N for me..and worth the sacrifices it took 2 get here. I like(love!) me now..whereas I didn’t like the me I was before. I’ve worked hard 2 get here. I give 100%! to ANYthing that I do and honestly? I worked double time to finding me..my center..my core being. If I said it was easy I’d be lying through my teeth..instantly brings tears 2 my eyes just reflecting! for this moment..on how hard it has been. But I am here. And in seeking my core being, my center, I found that it was something that has been DISCOURAGED alot of my life. Because it has been said that it can also been seen as a weakness..and yet! for those who truly know ME know I am strong. Took even me years N years N years 2 learn just how strong I was/AM.
My Core BEing/My Center revolves around=I AM emotional by nature. I AM sensitive by nature. I AM compassionate by nature. I AM kind by nature.
So everything that I am naturally wasn’t conducive for the environment I was placing myself IN. I have NO poker face! (even though I had loved ones trying to coach me on that..didn’t work!) And yep, I wear my HEART on my sleeve…which btw my own Daddy has told me since I was a very lil girl. Daddies see the core in US long before we do; or least has been my case. The freeeeeeeeeeedom I’ve felt since letting GO of the person I thought I was and embracing the person I already WAS on the inside (since birth) ..N yet had been trying to suffocate..has been beyond liberating for me. And it didn’t happen overnight either; it has happened in stages. Rome wasn’t built in a day nor does one re-learn who they are instantly..especially when they’ve been masquerading as someone else for YEARS. Anyone out there wearing a mask daily? You might not even KNOW you are..had I not done the work! it took 2 find my “center” I’d still B doing someone else also. But now thank GOD/my eldest son/& my lucky stars I am doing ME.
I’ve quite naturally started studying , Heart Vision: the hearts clarity of vision will lead you to a path towards contentment. I realized as I got closer to finding out what my center was that when I think I think WITH my heart + my mind. It happens very naturally for me. I can’t stop IT & I tried for years..Now? I’m learning to just go with the flow of it. All my life I’ve felt “vibes” from people; whether good or bad. I thought it was normal. I figured everyone could feel such vibes! N these vibes are amplified when I touch people. Even in handshakes…I know, it sounds crazy. But it is MY truth. It is also why I am a natural toucher/hugger/I even talk with my hands LOL. I say all of this 2 share, most personal thoughts, just in case anyone out there just might need/desire 2 find their “center” or “core” also. This was my process of getting there. Believe it or not as long as this is it was the condensed version!…I’m still working on brevity. Very much still a work in progress I am…Stay UPlifted N Blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 N only)
I saw this prompt on WordPress this morning N could hardly believe my eyes! A chance to write, solicited, about my journey of Faith. A journey which spans an entire lifetime, mine, N a myriad of phases. From wannaBbeliever/attending Mass all the while over the years, yet not feeeeeeeling IT/starting 2 grasp IT/seeking 2 fully believe/Believer in every bone of my body and HUNGRY to learn more N more. Going to take a few moments to gather my thoughts so that my keystrokes can relay what I’d like to share. ^2 B Continued Soon^
Where do I begin a topic such as Faith? A topic that has become so very personal 2 me that I’m excited just being about 2 write about IT. Saying that, keystroking it rather, still amazes me because a mere 5 years ago I’d not have felt such excitement over the topic of Faith. I was IN a different time N space then. A different mindset. And yet, I’ve been LED to right where I am now. The here N now. Present in the moment N oh! so content , pleased, HAPPY, to B in this moment. Any1 who has known me for a decent length of time knows that is a miracle inofitself…
I can not promise this will B a post of brevity. But I can promise it will B sincere N hope it is received as such. Never do I profess to be an expert in anything..though I’m experienced in ALOT ..I possess a PHD in life. From extreme moments of joy 2 being down in valleys so deeeeeep I didn’t think I’d make it out..alive. Real talk. There once was a time I didn’t think I’d live to see 50 yrs of age. There once was a time I did NOT want to live to see the age of 50 yrs of age. There once was a time my own actions /feelings were indicative that I didn’t like myself very much. And yet by my outward appearance people thought I loved ME. But on the inside I was lost…a part of my inner being was murdered when I was a teen. An action that even my own Daddy couldn’t *stop* from happening to ME..and yet here I stand on the brink of making IT to 50 yrs of age. I am in AWE of that and that is tough! to express to people. So I no longer try…I just AM . Trying to live UP to my GOD given purpose. Far from that goal yet I’m so very , very much closer than I ever have been in my life. And you know what? I just feeeeeeeeeeeeeel GOOD about 99% of the time! Real talk. Alive, vibrant, and leaping out of bed each day @O’dark thirty hours eager! to start each new day. I say all of this to attempt to express to ya’ll how very GOOD that my GOD is allll the time. I’d not have wasted these keystrokes to say such personal things if not trying to show you just how FAR my GOD has brought ME..through things I didn’t think I’d ever make it through. Once something I yearned to believe IN(because those I loved dearly@my parents believed so strongly…) and now? I believe so strongly that at times the feeling of goodness feeeeeels so good I get overwhelmed. Ever felt something that good? So good it scared you? And yet even that scared feeling of butterflies about to burst out of your tummy felt good?!? That is how I feel most of the time now…I can’t properly describe it any other way.
After experiencing a very unexpected spiritual awakening in a state I’d lived in & loved! since 1989..I found MYself led, guided, to move cross country. 2 beginning anew. At 48 yrs of age…I was simply put, terrified to do that! Yet everything happening was urging me/gently pushing me towards making such a bold move. I was afraid to do it. I was afraid not to do it. Hope that makes as much sense to ya’ll as it still 2 this day makes 2 me. Shortly after relocating cross country I was fortunate enough to attend my very 1st(but certainly not my last..) National Black Catholic Conference in Indianapolis with my parents & new church friends. AND MY LIFE WAS FOREVER CHANGED. Over a period of 4 days I for the 1st time in my life felt I belonged NOT just to the religion I’d been a part of since birth..but I began to feel remarkably different. I began to see things differently. I began to say things differently. It happened so suddenly! I had begun to believe in GOD fully and almost overnight. Not forced nor reaching to believe as I had my entire 40 some odd years…Bam! I believed. My life, the years past of my life/events of my life/people who had entered my life/circumstances that happened in my life/…began to rewind in my mind. Over days N days..as IF someone was playing a movie of MY life. I couldn’t STOP it..seriously thought I was losing my dang mind. I couldn’t tell anyone what was happening. Not even my Mom. Sounded far too crazy to try to explain..or did IT?
My entire outlook on things changed..Instead of feeling sorry for MYself about things I’d left behind..Stead of lamenting about people /loved ones! I couldn’t see daily(that I missed as if it were the AIR I had to breathe..) I threw myself head 1st into becoming the type of person I so admired. I began to WORK on tweaking/changing every facet of myself that I did not care for. Tough job to do at almost 50 yrs of age…I didn’t consult anyone. But I began to PRAY for guidance. I simply had a chat with GOD N asked him to please let me seeeeee the me that everyone else loves! Let me begin to love…ME. Heal me from things that happened long ago that were NOT within my control. Allow me to learn to lose the tight, oh so tight! control, I have held over my heart. Let me live life to the potential I know you’ve plotted out for me since before my conception. And then! I realized I was talking to GOD..and I fully believed he was hearing me. Just so happened the exact way I just wrote it. I became a full believer without the least amount of effort. A process of things over a lifetime brought me..here. So I’ve decided that it must’ve ALL been a part of HIS plan. That had my life happened any other way I simply wouldn’t have gotten IT. Once I was so very blind; but now I see EVERYthing so clearly. I kid you not. N I’m as serious as I’ve ever been about anything.
Now? I’m like a sponge. I am on a personal pilgrimage..Still journeying to get closer to my GOD. So much I’ve yet to learn . I don’t confess to have Bible scriptures memorized. Nor do I profess to be a perfect Christian. I am NOT a perfect anything. I am just me..the one and only creation of what my God created me to B. I don’t even long to be perfect! I think that would make me boring as heck…What am I? I am perfectly imperfect.
I’ll leave ya’ll with this final thought. Fear not if you don’t yet believe 100%…just wanting to believe is a start! WE are ALL loved children of GOD..whether we believe or not. This is what I feel. This is what I’ve come to know. And if we just stop trying to follow our OWN will N let HIS will for us B and go with the flow when we are LED by him…life gets SO much easier! I stress and worry so much less than I used 2..that is yet another miracle! inofitself. Not saying I don’t still worry about things; but its FAR less than I used to. Progress…for Rome wasn’t built in a day. And it is ridiculous to think anything, including a person, especially one almost 50 lol! would change totally overnight…but I’m getting closer. I am WISER. I am STRONGER. I am SO much better than I used 2 B. Can’t ask for much more than that. And? If it can happen to me, and I can assure you my words R true, it can/WILL happen to anyone. You if you want it 2. All you have to do is ..BELIEVE. Stay UPlifted N blessed ya’ll. N remember 2 count each and every one of your blessings 2day N every day. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 N only)
**When was the last time U did something NEW? Hmmm ..I saw that somewhere the other day and made me stop 2 think. Dang! When was the last time I did something new???? Have I become such a creature of habit that I’ve forgotten to B spontaneous from timetotime? Lawd! Is this part of what becoming part of the 50yr old club means? (asked MYself these questions but thankfully I don’t answer back!) Didn’t I decide couple years back to loosen UP with my control issues and GO with the flow more? Hope that also means trying new, exciting! things N keeeeeping life full of ELECTRIC moments..
So I’ve dug UP my mental list of new things that I’m going to DO in 2013..1 new thing a week during the year of my Fabulous 50th Bday. The year which I’ve claimed as , My Year. (for alot of things ; but thats another topic for another time)
I’m going to buy me a hula hoooop! If I can find one. Ya’ll remember the hula hoop??? Well I DO and I’m bringing IT back. Talk about fun..and now its been said its also great exercise. Go figure! I can slap my tunes in my earlobes and dance til I DROP rocking my very own PINK hoooop . And that is exactly what I’m going to do even if I have to go to every single Walmart till I find one….When I do? I’m going to blog allll about IT. Lol!
Well, I’m sure I won’t looook this good on ice skates anytime soon..but I’m dang sure doing to try. Been wanting to learn how to ice-skate all my life. And this being the year of my fabulous 50 is just the time to finally do IT. Heard there is an ice skating rink near here too. So if any of ya’ll just happens to be at the rink N you see someone who looks like me wobbling and bobbling around on the rink…catch me if I FALL. Pretty please 🙂
I’ll have on a bit more clothes than Sista girl here..but I’m going to reNEW my love of roller skating sooooon. Honestly? It has been 20 yrs since I was last literally on wheeels. BUT I’ve heard one never forgets something they love to DO..and I truly hope that is true for many reasons!(another topic for another time..) Anyways thankfully there is a roller rink near by and I will be doing this very soooon. Yet another episode for me to blog about in the future I’m sure. So stay tuned it only gets better from here..
Far too long ago I used to run track. Yep! Problem was I was far shorter than all the other runners..and one can only guess what that means. Yep! I didn’t win too many races. So then I switched over to short distance events & that wasn’t quite exciting enough for me. So then I switched over to an activity for the rest of the short petite girls..gymnastics. Perfect FIT..I can’t do back flips anymore(tried recently and wasn’t a pretty sight..) BUT I can still do front flips , splits! , and I can do a mean floor routine..Can’t hang with Gabby but I can hold my own for almost 50. But back to the topic at hand(bad digression!) I want to run a marathon. For a good cause…I don’t have to come in 1st place. And I probably won’t. But I want to start and get to the finish line.
Had many opportunities to ski. Always said NO thank you! Not trying to break a leg or freeeze my fanny off in teeth chattering cold. But on my new quest to try new things I am going to give it a try…And I am hoping I run into someone who loooooks like the brother in this pic! I’lll be ready to glide on the snowy slopes all day with him as an instructor…Lets SKI
Last but not least I am going to ride a bicycle built for 2..Anyone seen anyone on one of these lately? I recall when used to see them quite often. Don’t people DO things together anymore??? Activities that involve getting OFF the couch? Or that doesn’t involve sitting down to a meal??? When my , the ONE, discovers me this year and we go for a ride on our bicycle built for 2..I’m going to write/blog and tell ya’ll allll about IT. Hope everyone out there had a marvelous and Merry CHRISTmas..it was a beautiful love-filled day on this end. Stay blessed N UPlifted. 4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 N only)