Posted in LOVE, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

>>What EVERY Child Should Hear From Their Parent At Least Once In Their Lives…



There is no fail-proof manual that comes with raising children…Know why? Because no two children are alike, not even twins, let alone siblings..What I do feel IS universal is parental love..My free flow of thoughts on this near & dear topic is dedicated to my parents… These are a few things I think every child should hear from their parents at least once in their lifetime>>>

I love you always! Unconditionally. From the womb & forever..

I am proud of you!

What do you think? Or, what is your opinion? (and then listen..)

Thank you! (whenever applicable..)

I am human..(we must teach our children, at all ages, it is ok to admit fault & try again..)

Posted in ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

Defining Moments of Clarity..

What defines us to ourselves? Is it our intentions? Is it our thoughts? Is it our actions? Is it our attitude? Is it our outlook on life? Some of us don’t like to admit it(hand raised high in the air! ) but we want our existence to be remembered..I think we all want to matter..We want to define ourselves with something that is LASTING..Whether it is a published book, successful business or goodwill towards others..Some of us also pour a great deal of the best parts of ourselves into our children..I’ve very guilty of that! Why? Because they’ll be my living legacy long after I’m gone..Yet, isn’t it the little moments quilted together that define us? I believe it is..

Who we spend time with defines us>> Who we keep close are the people that will most influence us..When I close my eyes & reflect on the BEST moments of my life? More times than not those were moments that had someone else in them..Someone close..Dear ‘trusted’ friends who have been there for us in all types of weather..Family members who love us unconditionally to the very core of our being..And those we’ve loved deeply , who care for us even after seeing us at our worst..I’ve learned & am still learning to be ‘conscious’ about who I spend time with ; for they have a say in defining us..Many moons ago I used to tell my sons pick & choose your friends wisely! At 51 years of age that still remains true..Mayhaps even more so now>>

Acts of Kindness>>Corny as it sounds it can make a loved ones’ or stranger’s day! We aren’t always aware of the impact our simple presence has on others..A smile…An unexpected tip(recently happened in my world that I tipped someone whose establishment provided horrific overall service) A comforting ear..A hug..WE have the power to restore someone’s faith in humanity..

We choose our perception of the World>> I heard someone say very recently that the world is full of mostly evil people..Made me a little sad that they’d feel that way..I quickly realized I couldn’t change their mind..I think it is an individual decision we can choose to make every minute of the day..Is the world revolving around us or can we step out of ourselves & see the world from a more realistic viewpoint? If we can’t ever see the world from another’s perspective what does that say about us? There is alot to be said for that old adage@ Walk a mile in my shoes..>>

Addressing naughty habits>>I found myself saying , just today, perfection is boring..There are many things we may dislike about ourselves..None of us are above anyone else..We are human & will make mistakes..Throughout our lives we forms habits, attitudes and even addictions that can be detrimental, but to let them define us would be the greatest misfortune..We must and should strive to dust ourselves off, do better, work on self-improvement/progression and move onwards and upwards>>

What have been some of your life-defining or life-altering moments? Who have you chosen to BE?

Posted in 50s, Fabulous 50s, Quotes that softly speak to our souls.., ^^Thought Provoking^^

**Quotes that softly speak to our souls..**

Ever read something that seemed to scream off the pages & reverberate off the walls??? Mayhaps it is the phase of life I’m in..Now that I’m one year post-50/very empty nester/divorced; the words of this quote speaks volumes to me ..Ten years ago it probably wouldn’t have..Things were different then..Heck, I was different then! So when I read such deep words from someone who accomplished remarkable things that changed our world/daily life, yet died before 60 years of age..Cliche as this is going to sound; it makes me pause mid-stroke(keystroke that is..) to ponder my own truths..@Am I the person I want to become? Have I accomplished as much as possible , within means, in my life to this point? When will I switch up from thinking outside the box to actually walking outside the box?? Either life is moving faster in the Fabulous 50’s or I’ve become more cognizant of how precious time is now…

Posted in Teachable Moment, ^^Thought Provoking^^

**When a random traffic stop goes bad…**Who is right, Who is wrong?

What would you have done if you were the police? What would you have done if you were the passenger? Do you think the police were racist or following the letter of the law? How would you recommend your loved one(s) to act in a similar situation?

Posted in Watercooler Chat, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

Watercooler Chat***Is Honesty Always the Best Policy?

Conversation ice breaker of the day..Is honesty always the best policy?

You’d be surprised what the responses are when you ask someone this question!! Though an age-old cliché not everyone believes this is the best policy…What is your take on it & how has it worked out for you in your day-to-day life experiences? Later, I’ll post my thoughts but in the meantime here is a clue …

What would be even more fun is post the responses you get when you ask someone this question today..Let it flow y’all!

Honesty and keeping it all the way real…

Posted in ^^Thought Provoking^^

*Watercooler Chat* Whose Your Sounding Board?

Who are the people you can rely on for counsel or motivation? Who gives you feedback that you can put to good use? Who helps you resist the temptation to shy away from deep personal reflection and/or positive change? These are the some of the purposes that those who serve as my sounding board fulfill..My life wouldn’t be the same without them! Whether self-appointed or just fell into the role; I appreciate them to the fullest..Again and again thanks y’all for always answering my calls..

Most of us need people to give us support, advice, and motivation from time to time..Someone we can run things by or just to vent & release…Whether one’s sounding board simply just listens or offers advice/insight; they get YOU. I’m of the belief that this process has helped me to grow , in ways I wasn’t even aware I needed to change or improve..In addition knowing I’ve got folks I can confide in is highly comforting..In a world as complex as the one we live in that is a priceless!-stress relieving fix..Have you ever felt the need to release to someone who genuinely cares/appreciates you? If so ever thought about if you didn’t have them in your life? Do you have anyone you can call to say I just needed to hear the sound of your voice ? It can be almost as comforting as sitting by the waters edge..Even if you don’t feel like sharing here why not give them a call/text/email/or smoke signal to say thank you & I appreciate YOU. Alright y’all all input is welcome ..Never know whose day you might make from simply sharing your experiences. Lets rap!

Posted in ^Political, ^^Thought Provoking^^

>Reasons Why Just a Hashtag@ Bring Back Our Girls Won’t End the Nigerian Situation>

I’m feeling some type of way about the abduction of the school girls in Nigeria..Much of what I’ve read from our American newspapers has been sugar-coated and/or the bigger picture left unrevealed..What IF such antics become common place in the world? How would WE feel if it were our children snatched ( & boldly threatened to be sold into slavery) for a so-called cause? What is the real cause behind these abductions? Is it political? Religious? And what are the consequences that could filter world-wide if the Nigerian government negotiates with Boko Haram? I happened upon an article from a Nigerian historian , writer and author that is the best analysis of the entire situation>>

**
Boko Haram: six reasons why the Nigerian militant group is so powerful. Written by Max Siollun

Not long ago, few Nigerians had heard of Boko Haram. Now, the whole world is talking about the extremist group that kidnaps school girls and bombs cities. How did it become so formidable?

Six years ago, most Nigerians had not even heard of Boko Haram. Now the whole world is talking about the extremist group that has kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in the north of the country. Founded in 2002, how did it rise to become such a threat to national security in such a short period of time?

1. Political connections

It would be naive to think that this kidnap happened in a vacuum, or that the Boko Haram has no connection to the powers that be in Nigeria’s Game of Thrones-style politics. Spikes in violence and insecurity took place on a suspiciously recurring basis in the 12-18 months preceding Nigerian presidential elections: the next election is scheduled for 2015.

This tends to be the time that politicians allegedly deploy armed militia to harass, intimidate, or even assassinate their rivals.

In 2012, a senior member, Kabiru Sokoto, was found in a state governor’s house after escaping from police captivity. The year before, a Nigerian senator was arrested on suspicion of aiding the group after claims that he telephoned a militant more than 70 times in one month.

The extremist group is also automatically linked to all kidnappings, violence, and assassinations committed in northern Nigeria – even acts of armed banditry and political assassinations are attributed to it, whether the group claims responsibility for them or not, adding to its reputation and aura.

2. Imbalance between north and south

Seemingly disconnected historical events over the past 60-70 years started the slide into poverty and inequality that eventually led to the formation of Boko Haram. Before Nigeria’s independence in 1960, British colonial authorities ruled the north (where most Muslims live) and south of Nigeria (where most Christians live) separately. Western schools started by Christian missionaries flourished in the south, but Muslim leaders were reluctant to allow Christian mission schools to open in the north.

The long-term result is a massive economic and educational imbalance between the north and south which persists today. In many southern states more than 90% of women are literate. The corresponding percentage is below 5% in some states in the far north. Less than 10% of Nigerian university applicants (pdf) come from the 12 Muslim majority states in northern Nigeria (where Boko Haram’s insurgency rages). Boko Haram draws its members from the legions of uneducated, unemployed, poor and disenchanted young northern men.

3. Sharia law

An overlooked catalyst for Boko Haram’s evolution occurred in 2000 when Ahmed Yerima, the governor of Zamfara state in Nigeria’s north-west, extended the jurisdiction of Muslim sharia law to criminal cases, prescribing punishments such as stoning for adultery, amputation for theft and flogging for drinking alcohol. This became a super-charged political issue in the north, as sharia was popular among Muslims who hoped it would lead to a social and moral revival. Eight other states in northern Nigeria also enacted sharia in full and Boko Haram’s then leader, Mohammed Yusuf, anticipated it would also be implemented in his home state of Borno. They became disaffected and increasingly hostile to the government when Borno did not implement sharia in full.

4. Government crackdown

When Boko Haram clashed with police in 2009, the government responded with a military iron fist. Security forces destroyed Boko Haram’s mosque, killed hundreds of its members, and arrested, then summarily executed, its leader Yusuf and his father-in-law. The routing of Yusuf and his followers radicalised Boko Haram even more by eliminating the conciliatory faction within the group, and paving the way for its takeover by its most implacable faction led by Yusuf’s deputy, Abubakar Shekau.

5. Nigeria’s complicated ethnic and religious mix

Sensitive ethno-regional issues make it difficult to fight Boko Haram. A massive elephant in the room is that the vast majority of the army’s fighting troops have historically been recruited from ethnic groups in northern Nigeria. Such ethnic groups include the Kanuri – to which most Boko Haram members belong. Unleashing the army on militants means soldiers may be ordered to commit fratricide against communities they come from, who they are not hostile to, and leaves the army vulnerable to infiltration.

Also, an attack by Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan (a Christian from the south) on a northern Islamic group with unrestrained force in the year before a presidential election, would surely result in lost votes amid accusations of being heavy handed with people of another faith.

6. Military limitations

The Chibok schoolgirls are unlikely to be rescued in a spectacular military raid. The Nigerian army is trained for conventional warfare and peacekeeping operations. Elaborate hostage rescues are not its forte. It is having to make ad hoc adaptations to train cadets to carry out counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.

Military offensives can only buy temporary breathing space for politicians to devise permanent solutions to the problem posed by Boko Haram. Some in the military establishment acknowledge that the military alone cannot eliminate the group. Nigeria’s former chief of defence, staff General Martin Luther Agwai (who commanded the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur), said: “You can never solve any of these problems with military solutions… It is a political issue; it is a social issue; it is an economic issue, and until these issues are addressed, the military can never give you a solution.”

A likely outcome to the current stand-off is that the government will negotiate an unwieldy deal with Boko Haram that will see the girls released in instalments.

This would not be unprecedented as the Nigerian government has a history of paying off or reaching uncomfortable opaque compromises with its opponents. When militants waged an armed insurgency in the oil-producing areas of southern Nigeria to protest against economic exploitation, the government ended it by granting amnesty and cash stipends to the militants in exchange for them giving up violence. This has created a “money and amnesty for guns” precedent. Muslim leaders from northern Nigeria have urged the government to similarly negotiate with Boko Haram and to grant it amnesty. With more money and more guns, the group might become more powerful still.

Max Siollun is a Nigerian historian, writer, and author of the book Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture 1966-1976. Follow him on Twitter @maxsiollun**

>> Hopefully reading all of the above will give a bit of background about the situation..My heartstrings have been pulled since first hearing of this incident..My pen(& thoughts) are my weapon against injustice..A friend(originally from Sierra Leone) locally released a statement to urge “all” to lift our voices regarding this situation. This isn’t just Nigeria’s war on terrorists; it is the world’s fight also!

OFFICIAL STATEMENT

We Raise Our Voices on the

Abduction of School Girls in Nigeria

From: The Ivory Club of Tampa Bay

Martin Williams, President

Our “mission is to educate the public regarding the history and current affairs of African family values through cultural, educational and social activities. We provide educational scholarships and forums to increase understanding between Africa and America.”

The Ivory Club raises its voice in condemning sectarian group, Boko Haram, and the kidnappers of two hundred plus school age girls in Nigeria. We raise our voice demanding the immediate release of these children and their safe return to their families.

We appeal to all other African organizations in the US to raise your voices and be heard, condemning Boko Haram’s atrocities with these young school girls, and call for their immediate safe return.

We raise our voices in prayers with the rest of the world that the families and friends of these innocent children find comfort within themselves, as the rest of the world demand an end to their brutal captivity.

We raise our voices, calling on the Nigerian Government to use its power, and to fully cooperate with other countries that are willing to offer assistance for the safe release of these abducted school girls.

We raise our voices to all who care about the wellbeing of these young girls and support the use of social media as a means to apply pressure and continue to demand the immediate release and return of these young innocent victims to their family and friends.

The Ivory Club, an organization of African Professionals in the Tampa Bay area, encourages all to join forces at protests, marches, demonstrations and other such events to help bring an end to the wicked abduction of these innocent school girls in Nigeria.

We believe very strongly in African family values and family ties, and will raise our voices against any actions that disrupt and cause the breakdown of this cultural trait.

#BringBackOurGirls

http://www.theivorycluboftampa.org

Posted in @Cultural, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, ^^Thought Provoking^^

7 LIES We Need 2 Stop Telling About Young African-American(Black) Men by Antwaun Sargent

This is an excellent write & a piece very worthy of a re-blog.. My eldest son forwarded this piece with the simple message@ WE must change the narrative! Enjoy/Learn/Share the facts & not the dismal media & widespread societal myths, 4ever sincere Berna>> (Credit to Youtube for pictures & video clip)

Last week Long Island teenager Kwasi Enin captured national headlines after becoming part of an impressive club: high school seniors who have been accepted into all eight Ivy League schools. However, while many celebrated Enin’s achievement, a bitter minority griped that the teenager had somehow gamed the system. The racial subtext was obvious: Enin couldn’t have actually have gotten into all those schools by himself. Why? Well, because he’s black..

This type of harmful and wholly inaccurate narrative has been constructed around African-American male student achievement for years. Enin is just the latest high-profile example of how it hurts all young men, high school high achievers or not, by implying that the majority of African-American boys are hopelessly behind and may never be able to narrow the achievement gap.

There are, of course, legitimate issues that African-American male students face due to a confluence of factors. But even data that show the more dire aspects of black male achievement do not exist in a vacuum, with researchers misrepresenting or not calculating for the experiences of African-American male students.

The good news is that bright spots like Enin may help raise the profile of America’s African-American young men. However, there is a lot of work to be done, beginning with rethinking the way we use these seven common “facts.”

1. There are more African-American males in prison than college.

African-American men are grossly overrepresented in the penal system; however, there are more African-American males in college than in prison, as of 2011. Howard University professor Ivory A. Toldson found in his research that there are about 600,000 more African-American males enrolled in higher education than are in jail.

This myth has been used by education experts, the media and even the president, despite the fact that over the last decade, African-American boys have largely avoided the “school-to-prison” pipeline.

2. African-American males believe academic achievement means they are “acting white.”

African-American males are not anti-intellectual. In fact, researchers have shown that African-American boys show more positive feelings toward school than do their white counterparts. University of North Carolina professor Roslyn Arlin Mickelson found, “Many black youth and adults express a high regard for education” and that there are a multitude of factors that shape black students’ educational attitudes.

3. Less than 50% of African-American males graduate from high school.

The high school dropout rate for African-American males has actually hit a historic low. According to a 2013 Education Week study, about 62% of African-Americans completed high school in 2010 (the most recent year for which the necessary data was available), compared to 80% of white students. The increase represents a 30% narrowing of the gap between black and white high school students.

Indeed, African-American males are graduating at historic levels. According to the Schott Foundation for Public Education, “In 2009-10 the national graduation rate for black male students was 52%. The graduation rate for white, non-Latino males was 78%. This is the first year that more than half of the nation’s black males in 9th grade graduated with regular diplomas four years later.” At the same time, overall high school dropout rates have fallen steadily since 1990, and there is no indication that the rates won’t continue to fall, given the trend over the past two decades.

4. African-American males don’t go to college.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, from 1976 to 2010, “the percentage of black students [enrolled in college] rose from 9% to 14%. During the same period, the percentage of white students fell from 83% to 61%.”

The Congressional Black Caucus report “Challenge the Status Quo,” meanwhile, found that there are 12.5 million African-American adult males living in America,who make up 5.5% of the total population, and 5.5% of the students on college campuses across America are black male students. The percentage of black male students enrolled in college is proportional to the 5.5% of African-American men college-age or above living in the U.S. today.


5. African-American student-athletes graduate at higher rates than their non-athlete black peers.

Often college coaches boast about how teamwork and sportsmanship translate to academic success. However, according to a University of Pennsylvania report on black male student-athletes in NCAA Division I college sports, 50.2% of African-American male student-athletes graduate within six years, compared to 55.5% of black undergraduate students overall. And the disparity is even larger if black male student-athletes are compared to other student athletes: 66.9% of overall student-athletes graduate within the same six-year period, representing an 11.4% gap between black student-athletes and their teammates.


6. African-American male students have the same opportunities as their peers.

This is an important one, part of the narrative that allows casual racism like the kind experienced by Kwasi Enin. In fact, a recent U.S. Education Department’s 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection survey noted that the American school system treats African-American boys unfairly. African-American male students receive a disproportionate number of suspensions, detentions and call-outs, and have a much higher rate of being expelled from school. In addition, schools attended by African-American males have less access to experienced teachers and advanced placement classes, according to the survey.

At the same time, the Casey Foundation recently found that African-American students face the highest barriers to opportunities. The foundation’s researchers measured success toward 12 benchmarks, including literacy proficiency, rates of employment, income and several other factors. The report concluded that African-Americans. when compared to other racial groups using these benchmarks, fare the worst due to disparities they face from birth.

7. African-American male students are underachievers.

Coded language and misused statistics have constructed this idea that African-American male students are underachievers. But ignoring the fact that some of America’s brightest minds are African-Americans, recent research shows that a lack of critical feedback and demonstrated high expectations is stifling black confidence in the classroom.

In three double-blind randomized field experiments, researchers at the University of Texas found that African-American students improved their grades after having the assignment expectation reinforced by their teachers. These results point out that a cycle of mistrust and lower expectations is a likely culprit in cases of African-American underperformance.

Posted in @Cultural, Black History, ^^Thought Provoking^^

Feb. 8 Salute to Black History*1894 Congress Repeals the Enforcement Act*Rise & Fall of Jim Crow

**There are many reasons why I feel we must all continue to maintain our right to vote.. Many folks these days apparently think our rights can’t be revoked..I humbly suggest they READ up on the history of our country.(and etc…) **

January 8, 1894. Congress repeals the Enforcement Act, which then made it easier for some states to disenfranchise African-American voters. FACT

Once Congress passed the Enforcement acts, President Grant decreed that “insurgents were in rebellion against the authority of the United States.”Between 1870 and 1871 Congress passed the Enforcement Acts — criminal codes that protected blacks’ right to vote, hold office, serve on juries, and receive equal protection of laws. If the states failed to act, the laws allowed the federal government to intervene. The target of the acts was the Ku Klux Klan, whose members were murdering many blacks and some whites because they voted, held office, or were involved with schools.
Many states were afraid to take strong action against the Klan either because the political leaders sympathized with the Klan, were members, or because they were too weak to act. A number of Republican governors were afraid of sending black militia troops to fight the Klan for fear of triggering a race war. But once Congress passed the Enforcement Acts, the situation shifted. One of the Acts, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, made private criminal acts federal crimes; consequently, President Grant decreed that “insurgents were in rebellion against the authority of the United States.” He sent federal troops to restore law and order to many areas where violence was raging at its worst.

In nine counties of South Carolina, martial law was declared and Klansmen were tried before predominantly black juries. Much of the credit for prosecuting the Klan belonged to Amos Ackerman, Grant’s Attorney General, who did his best to make the country aware of the extent of Klan violence. As a result of his efforts, a few hundred Klansmen were tried and sent to jail. Thousands of others fled or were let off with fines or warnings. By 1872, the Klan as an organization was broken. By the time the terror ended, thousands of blacks and hundreds of whites had been massacred or driven from their homes and communities. For a moment, it seemed that peace and Republican rule was restored. Yet within a few years, the terror was reborn and Reconstruction officially ended.

And then on January 8, 1894 the Enforcement Act was repealed~(To Be Continued)

Posted in ^^Thought Provoking^^

^What Makes a Woman WIFE Material^ From an EXwife’s Perspective

..It’s NO secret I loved being married!/miss being married/and WILL be married one last time..Its also no secret I’ve been on the longest dating-marriage-hiatus I’ve ever been on..3 yrs to be exact..Its been good for me & I’ve used my time wisely to do ME..But enough is enough..For one thing this celibacy thing is NO laughing matter..It GOT real rough(I actually think I went through WITHdrawals..Ugh)..And end of September? Once I clear a few more things off my to-do list; I’m officially putting myself back on the market. I might even become a multi-dater for a quick minute; because time is precious..And? My next deadline is rapidly approaching..I said I’d be “engaged” by the end of the year I made 50 yrs old. So its time for me to get a social life & get BUSY. Y’all ready for this list of wife material stuff? >>

( These aren’t in any specific order at all..Just a list of things I learned from experiencing marriage/experience divorce UGH I do NOT ever want to go through divorce again/observing my parents marriage of 51 yrs and going strong../taking notes from my male friends.

> Ladies, do NOT ask for your significant other’s OPINION; if you really don’t want to hear the truth. Excellent friend of mine told me, ‘ Do NOT ask a question; that you really do NOT want the answer to’ For instance..That pathetic question @ Honey, do I look FAT in this dress??? OMG knowing dang full well that IF he says you DO look like a fat; you’re going to be MAD at him for the rest of the night..2nd part of this IS..Appreciate your man’s opinion for what it IS. His opinion…If you can’t appreciate/respect/and truly LISTEN to your man’s opinion? Then your man just might be with the wrong woman. Moving right along>>

ONE of guys biggest pet peeves about women IS the nagging & whining! Ladies? IF you’ve got something that you’re SO unhappy about it makes you whine & bitch & moan alll the time; work to CHANGE it. It really IS just that simple..What is funny about it is women who whine & complain? Do NOT like to be around other woman who do it..So WHY torture your man with it? I might catch some heat from women for that; but y’all know it is the TRUTH. And to piggy back on that; I’m a heterosexual woman and I get tired of being around women who NAG. OMG enough is enough..IF you feel the need to nag & correct & micromanage your man allll the time? Then you might just be with the WRONG man..Quietly agree to be just friends..IF he doesn’t figure it out first and RUN>>

Don’t “act” one way to snag your man; then change UP …Most men want you to be REAL..They’ll respect that alot more than “airs” & “fakeness”..Bottom line is it is either a match or not..And it is better to know before marriage; and not during the marriage. People evolve as it is..Part of the magic of long-term relationships is maintaining ‘the connection’; through the evolvements..BUT if you start with being a LIE; than said relationship is doomed from the onset. >>

Appreciate and RESPECT your man..IN public or alone together; men want to be respected just as women do. I hear women say often; they want to marry UP..I’ve yet to meet a man though who wants to be treated like a big, fat wallet! Times have changed; we women saw to that when we GOT the liberation we wanted..Respect & appreciate your man & he’ll spoil you forever..>>

Contrary to the rumor , from what I’ve heard, men don’t marry bitches..So forget what you heard..Men are attracted to women who are genuine and kind. It isn’t something that can be faked nor conjured up either..Just comes naturally. And when you treat your guy like a king; he’ll treat you like the queen that you are>>

I’ll be back on this topic in September when I’m back on the market..Till then happy hunting girlfriends!

Posted in ^^Thought Provoking^^

@YOUR Perception is NOT my Reality@

NO 2 people will ever perceive reality in the same way; it is IMPOSSIBLE. That is the ground level base of this topic. It’s a fact. Yet , as humans, for some reason we just can’t help trying to force things to fit. I’m beginning to believe that’s just a part of human nature that can’t be changed..

Perception= per·cep·tion
/pərˈsepSHən/
Noun

The ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.
The state of being or process of becoming aware of something in such a way.

Synonyms
realization – understanding – comprehension

…Here I go>>

Just exactly WHAT does the phrase “She/He thinks they’re ALL that” mean?!? Is it meant to be an observation of negative connotation? And how does the person professing this about another person; KNOW what the object of their comment thinks of themselves? Is it how the person they’re speaking of carries themselves? Is it how the person they’re speaking of dresses? And does such a comment become truth; simply because of someone’s perception about another? I can’t tell y’all how many times I’ve heard this remark made about me..And I also can’t tell y’all exactly how many ways I could give less than a care! Personally..I take it as a compliment. Because I really DO think I’m all that & its taken many years to feel that good about myself. Truth be told I’m just getting started! (I’m a continual work in progress..) Translation: My reality is that equals great self-esteem earned from years of blood/sweat/tears/hard work on Self. But what about the many things that folks “perceive” about one another( or situations) ; that just might not be true? >>

In the middle of having a recent conversation with younger family members..A few comments were made in observation of how they viewed others..I asked, ” Did that person tell you that’s how they feel of themselves?” “OR is that your perception?” Which led of course to a far deeper conversation..It led me to wonder how often our own opinions/perceptions become what we BELIEVE to be truth. Clearly this could lead to many misinterpretations and/or misunderstandings; and even missed opportunities>>

Our perception of anything is based on our upbringing/our beliefs/our life experiences..That I believe to be factual. Can that be changed with conscious effort? In otherwards can we change how we look at things? For instance if one is trying to understand where someone else is coming from..Is that possible IF said person has never experienced what the person is trying to express? I’ve heard the saying @ Change the way you look at things to see things differently. But aren’t some things easier said than done?>>

My perception is my reality. Your perception is your reality..Is it necessary for the 2 to align neatly all the time? I’ve come to believe that it is NOT. As humans we often times try to CHANGE another’s mind on matters..Sway them to our viewpoint. That I think is called, A Debate. I love a good debate! BUT I’ve got a way, which I’m working on(as I said I’m a consistent work in progress..) of stating things(my opinionated Alphaness! opinion..) with such conviction; its as IF its Gospel. Or least that’s how I perceive that what I state can sometimes be perceived. Take that for a riddle! Honestly I don’t proclaim to know everything. Matter of fact there is ALOT I’ve still to learn/yearn to learn/hungry to learn…Becoming cognizant about perception regarding communication has me in a highly reflective mode/mood. How many past conversations would’ve gone differently had I (or the other person..) just agreed , quickly to disagree?!? I find myself doing it faster & faster these days..Having had heated debates with very good friends/loved ones to the point of almost NO return(or least from what I perceived..) isn’t something I relish. I’m glad that the adage @ Can’t teach an old dog NEW tricks; isn’t true! My belief? My reality? My perception of this Life Journey? We are never too old to learn new things..And that is one of the beautiful things about Life. Or least that is the way I see IT. What is your perception?


Posted in ^^Thought Provoking^^

^Just For ME?!? ^

..These thoughts & this write are inspired by something beautiful, VERY, that happened to happen in my world yesterday..I think the title I’ve given it is misleading, indeed. It won’t be about anything that immediately comes to mind when reading the title. Trust and believe that>>


IF what you’re about to read doesn’t leave you with a warm & fuzzy feeling; then you’re probably DEAD. Now that I’ve got your full attention this is what happened yesterday morning; on my way to church; and totally unanticipated>>

..yesterday. Early Sunday morning..I was driving to church feeling pretty good! Was due to sing a duet with my Mom..Our very first duet! I’d admittedly practiced at home over & over & OVER..I’m sure my neighbors were sick & tired of me practicing that song. So anyways, I was driving along and then stopped at a street light. As I was approaching I saw a very young guy standing on the median..Right beside my car when I stopped at the red light. He was in his early 20s. Instead of holding up a sign that said will work for money or food; he was selling newspapers.(I think its a deal the newspaper has with homeless & gives it to them to sell instead of pan-handling) Now anyone who knows me knows I can NOT hardly walk past anyone asking for money..I’ve always been this way since way backinthedays when I first saw pan-handlers in Cali. I’m not one of those people who “assumes” they are scammers. I think the exact opposite. What IF they’re really hungry? What IF the money I give them will provide the only meal they’ll eat today???? And so whatever cash I have on me; I give . I also feel awful when I don’t have much to give. Which was the case yesterday morning! I only had 1 (one) dollar in my wallet. One rumpled UP wrinkled dollar..Plus I didn’t have alot of time to waste; I was after all at a red light. Dilemma! Do I just give him the single dollar I had? Or turn my head & act as if I didn’t see him inches away from my window?>>

I’ve got to tell y’all that red light seemed as IF it was never ‘EVA going to change to green. Lawd! It seemed like I had forever & a day to sit there trying NOT to make eye contact with him..Having an internal fight whether it would be an insult to give him my 1 rumpled , wrinkled dollar..Can’t even buy bubble gum with that anymore(can you?); let alone a meal. I began to wish I had more to give him. All of the what ifs were running through my mind. What IF that were one of my sons??? What IF it were one of my loved ones? What IF it were ME? I didn’t know what his circumstances were..Didn’t matter! Thoughts upon thoughts running rampant through my mind..Like, there are too many people in our country that neeeeed basics..FOOD isn’t a want. Shelter isn’t a want. Being needed & loved! isn’t a want..Those are needs for me; as well as any other human that exists. I had to make a choice. That frigging forever red light was forcing me to make a decision..And I wished, wished, with all my heart I had more to give than just one funky little dollar. I turned my head. I looked him square in his eyes..My heart melted. My soul cried silently..I sat there wishing I could jump, leap! out my car and give him a big hug..But I feared the light would turn green.>>

..Time seemed to stand still for a minute; as I reached into my purse. Slowly pulled my wallet out & grasped my one rumpled, wrinkled funky little dollar. Seemed like nothing..It was hardly enough! BUT it was all I had to give..I pushed my window to let it roll down..He came closer & I reached out toward him with that one buck in my hand. He reached to hand me the newspaper. I said nothing; just shook my head no. He looked shocked. I was shocked at that..Surely I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t taken the newspaper in exchange? He reached towards my outreached hand ; and; our hands touched. WE connected. For a brief moment in time..Connection with a stranger. He spoke and I realized he was shy..He said, “Is this JUST for me?” Whoa, did he mean my one little crumpled up dollar? Or did he mean the shared moment in time? Did he mean because I hadn’t taken the newspaper? So he could sell it still…I told him I wished I had more to give him! I told him I wished him all the good things he deserved. I told him stay strong for he was a loved child of God. And I was going to say so much more & then! the light changed to green>>

I truly hate to come off sounding like a cliche. Nevertheless the moral of this very true happening is..I think its better to give what little we have; than to not give at all. For what seems like so very little to us; could indeed be monumental to another in need. What IF that one simple act was enough to motivate that young man? What IF it gave him a glimpse of hope in an otherwise grey day or situation? I’d like to think that’s the case. And if that is the case then my one little crumpled UP & wrinkled dollar was worth its weight in gold… What would you have done in the same situation?


Posted in ^^Thought Provoking^^

U Talk 2 Much?!?

Its NO secret..I talk alot. I love talking/vibing with people. I am after all a people-loving-social-butterfly..And that isn’t self-professed..That is factual. Nevertheless, while its known that I talk alot..what is that in comparison TO? Folks who don’t talk alot? Folks who do not talk; enough? Whats the gauge? And whose to say which is the norm@ Those who talk too much? OR Those that talk less or not enough? Should I talk less? (Truth B told I’ve been working on brevity for a couple years now…) OR should other folks talk more? Is there such a thing as a Right or Wrong way regarding this topic?  Yep, once again my questions have questions & with good reason…>>

Question of the Day= Is it cool to size another person UP according to our own personal set of standards? AKA(also known as..) judging? Or should we just allow folks to B who they are , otherwise known as @ Live N Let Live…? ***The answer to that question is NO, its not a cool thing to do! But, as humans we do it all the time. As IF we have a right! to project what we feel is “the” way to B or act on another; is acceptable. Why is it that WE feel the need to exert our pompousNESS on other folks? I get UNsolicited running commentary quite often(2 often..) on how much I talk ..and oh! you really love talking don’t you? Or do you ever get tired of talking? My answers? Yep, I talk alot. Yep, I love! talking to people/vibing/interacting/learning about different cultures/learning what makes a person tick/learning about things, stuff! that matters to another person. Yep, sometimes I tire of talking and there is but ONE specific event in my life I don’t do much talking. But, I’ve not had the pleasure of partaking in far too long…On the flip side of that I’ve got but one question to ask. Sort of..What happened to tolerance? Is that not the IN thing anymore?>>

I’m also a people observer..I observe people when they’ve NO clue I’m doing it; they usually thinking cause I’m talking I’m not paying attention. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I’ve observed is more usual than not folks who accept the least; require the most acceptance from others themselves. Trip on that for a minute! & let that sink in…I won’t go too much deeper because y’all probably have already run into those kind of folks. Truly ironic; but it is what it is>>

I wonder if anyone ever told Oprah she talked too much …Backintheday before she became a filthy rich talk show Diva & innovator..Bet IF they did she didn’t give a hot dayum about what they felt; why? Because she knew she had a gift for gab & a dream!; and she was on a mission. A mission to be all she could B & was meant to B. I think Oprah knew long before she made it BIG; what her gift was. But what IF she’d let others judgement of her..change her? The list is very long how many people she’s touched in a positive manner; probably in the thousands. Maybe more…I’ll take that one step further..President Barack Obama might not have made it to the White House without Oprah’s backing..And what a shame that would’ve been! >>

I say all of this to say..IF theres something YOU like doing; that isn’t hurting anyone else; do IT. No one has the right, even though they’ll speculate to your face & behind your back, to tell you what you do to much of OR not enough of. Its simply not their business. Even if they take it upon themselves to act like it IS. Mayhaps they need to micro-manage their OWN lives. Real talk for real..Personally? I gives less than a care (and I sincerely mean this..) about other folks speculations on how much I talk(or anything for that matter) The ONLY expert on Bernadette IS my God. And 2nd to that is lil ole me. And I’m still learning about me(yep, even at almost 50) ; so how in the heck can another person KNOW whats right for me? They simply can’t know..So? I take it all with a grain of salt. And? I limit(seriously..) salt intake in my personal diet. So for all the talkers & gift -for-gabbers out there? Sending y’all a very BIG virtual high 5! (and that includes on my black hand side..baby boomers out there remember that phrase 🙂  ) And for all of US…next time we open our mouths to tell someone about something they do? Think FIRST..Is it productive? Is it a positive critique? Is it a necessary critique? Is it progressive for that person? Or is lack of understanding, acceptance & tolerance? Then? Look in the mirror & figure out what you need to change FIRST.  Me? I’ll be somewhere, talking about something!, to someONE..and loving every minute of IT.  Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 & only) Do YOU as only U can do*

Posted in Motivational!, ^^Thought Provoking^^

****Rose Colored View****Beauty in the Struggle^For the life-loving-lovers

**The PRELUDE**

Herstory ..

From my front row seat the view is fabulously  splendid

Huefully rose-colored in more than one way

Once a wallflower yet now having my say

Skillfully I dance upon this tight rope called Life

Hanging ON when the clouds bring with them strife

Withstanding dark days with less & less protest

Stimulates growth

Gracefully aging and feeling the most; my best..

Yet

From then to here to say the least has been..long

In

The

Making

My spirit and voice now sing a SOULful song

No longer do I feel a need to belong

For I am free to be uniquely ME

At one with myself to just..Be

Knees buckle but still I stand back UP

Not half as easy as I make this look

Chaos in the world can’t shake my beliefs~

I have arrived

Life is a journey and not just a rat race

I

Am

Far more to me than just a pretty body & face

Scratch beneath the surface

Deeper..

I was reading up on an entirely different topic recently; when I ran across this one. Odd thing IS, I’ve been accused(and rightly so..) of viewing life through rose-colored glasses/always looking for the good in people/seeing things sunny side UP/viewing the glass as half-full and not half -empty..What folks don’t know; nor do I bother taking time to explain; is this wasn’t always the case. But truthfully? Life is so much better and fulfilling in this phase of my journey..Everydangday is a party; almost. Or rather close enough>

Digging deeper..—” A University of Toronto study provides the first direct evidence that our mood literally changes the way our visual system filters our perceptual experience suggesting that seeing the world through rose-coloured glasses is more biological reality than metaphor“…

In short, is your reality different than mine based on how you view things? Or is reality a concrete concept?>

“Good and bad moods literally change the way our visual cortex operates and how we see,” says Adam Anderson, a U of T professor of psychology.  “Specifically our study shows that when in a positive mood, our visual cortex takes in more information, while negative moods result in tunnel vision. The study appears in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The U of T team used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine how our visual cortex processes sensory information when in good, bad, and neutral moods.  They found that donning the rose-coloured glasses of a good mood is less about the colour and more about the expansiveness of the view.”(Quotes taken from ScienceDaily.com)

Couldn’t this translate to not seeing things through rose-colored glasses means having a “narrow” view of things? Likewise folks who do see more of things & given situations? Whats the best view? Does the reality of the situation or the interpretation hold more weight? Haven’t studies also shown a positive attitude is good for overall health & well being? I think so because thats my reality; but I’m open to feedback on whats working for YOU..

Icanchangemymoodrosecoloreddoggoodmoodbadmood

 

Posted in =Self Discovery=, Motivational!, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^

~~WHEN..~~standing ~~STILL~~is not an option>

**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)

Posted in ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^

**Got Friends?**

I wrote on this topic a couple years back on a site that I was a group moderator..Time to pull it off the shelf and give it new life..I’ve got more friends than I can count on my fingers & toes(several times..) ; so this won’t be about NOT  having friends. Quite the opposite -N- more than likely not what you expect…

Background: I’ve never been the type of person to dislike someone; based on another’s lack of a recommendation of someone.  I’m a  hands-on being in most everything I do or am involved IN. Meaning simply I learn & experience by doing things/experiencing myself…It is my way. I don’t believe in ASSociating folks with who they associate with either. Personally, I’ve lived such a colorful life; and I know we can have an array of friends with different /unique personalities and lifestyles. I’ve been known to say my friends can have other friends; and I’m SO cool with that! Never have I been one, not even back in grade school when others were tripping on such things..to feel envy cause a friend spent time with other..friends.  Now that I’ve laid that background down; allow me to dig a bit deeper>

“In the FIRST half of life WE are pre-occupied with establishing our identity-climbing/achieving/performing. BUT those concerns will not serve us as we grow older and begin to embark on a further journey..One that involves challenges, mistakes , broader horizons, and necessary suffering that actually SHOCKS us out of our prior comfort zone. Eventually we need to SEE ourselves in a different and more life-GIVING way. This message of “falling down”..is in fact moving UPward..is the most RESISTED and counterintuitive of messages in the world’s religions, including and most especially Christianity”> I hope anyone reading this lets those words sink in for a minute..This direct quote comes from a book I read  a while back called ,”Falling Upward” by Richard Rohr. Prior to even reading the book I’d adopted this mode of thinking. I believe in and am living this out loud..a very good friend , that I highly respect, recommended I read the book. How did she know I’d benefit from reading the book? Did she know this was the phase of life I was in? How do people we “connect” with really SEE us? Do our friends view us as we ARE? Do they hear what we are saying , even when we do not say a WORD?

I’ve always had a lot of friends..There are NOT many people I encounter that I can’t find some “commonallity ” with. I can walk into a ROOM of strangers; and within minutes be totally engaged in a conversation. It is my way..folks just seem to be comfy talking to me. A friend of mine once said it is as IF you’ve got a sign on your forehead that says”Talk to ME” Whether I’m in a grocery store, pumping gas, video store(they used to exist..), the movies, the park, work , church, the Mall..I love, really dig! PEOPLE. I adore the many different things about us; that link us together. And yet, I realize that most of the time people only SHOW you a small fraction of who they are! My question that just begs to be asked is..WHY? Fear mayhaps of not being accepted? Not being interesting enough? Could that possibly be why in a social setting folks drink to engage? Ever heard the saying “She/He is the life of the party”? I am comfy being that in my OWN skin. Totally 100% sober..ALL the time. I recently told someone, this is ME..I won’t apologize for who I am. Nor will I CHANGE who I am to conform to what you want me to be…I think often times people want to BELONG so badly; they try to change themselves to fit IN..Shouldn’t it be the opposite though ? IF we are meant to fit; shouldn’t it be that we’ve revealed(to the max of our abilities) who we truly are? Otherwise when the real us or YOU does slip out(and this always happens..) ; there is a sense of disappointment or the connection will fall apart…

WHY ARE PEOPLE SO AFRAID OF SAYING WHAT THEY REALLY FEEL? AFRAID OF HURTING PEOPLE’S FEELINGS..WHEN , HONESTLY, I FIND IT QUITE FAKE! TO LIE TO SOMEONE JUST TO NOT HURT THEM…That is the phase of life I’m in and quite UNapologetically. I will not fake who I am nor what I want to say; to make anyone feel better about themselves. Why should we? Nor do I think anyone else should…I’m not saying purposely hurt people’s feelings..That simply isn’t in my heart to do that. What I’m saying is being anything other than TRUE to one’s self; is FAKE. And I don’t have time for fakeness, B.S.!, or drama. I make that very clear from jump street. I don’t bring it nor do I accept it. And those that I call friends know this ; and they’re REAL also. Like -minded folks hang together & are drawn 2gether..like birds of a feather>

Real Talk..Until recently I’d not met but 1 person in my life; that I just couldn’t find much common ground with. Now I’ve met TWO..in almost 50 yrs of age..and thats saying alot…(only 2!)  And there aren’t many people , even folks who just don’t smile alot(which i DO ), that I just don’t care to be AROUND..But this recently happened to me & though it hurt me to step off from them(because I’m a Christian) ; it got to a point that my spirit! felt awful in their company. And I listen to my inner-being, my spirit, more than I listen to any living soul on this planet. Never has my spirit led me wrong, EVER, ..if one can’t be true to themselves..they can fall for anything. Having said all of that “the experience” of having met this person taught me a valuable lesson..WE have to know when to let go of things including people in our lives. It isn’t an easy thing to do sometimes; but it IS essential . Or that is the way I see IT>

When I call someone a friend…That is more than a saying to me. I think the term “friend” is used loosely these days. Friend a person on FB…as IF one can read a person without seeing them. I’m an intuitive person by nature; I feel a person NOT just by “what” they say; but their body language also. My belief is say what you mean & mean what you say. It is what I practice and I don’t accept anything less from those I share time & space with. Actually, truthfully!, IF I feel a person’s actions aren’t in line with what they SAY, they’d not be someone I call friend. Hope that makes as much sense to ya’ll..as it does to me. With true friends we’re never alone in ANY situation. Real talk for real. But also it takes BEing a friend; to have friends. Its a 2 way street. In my heart of hearts every stranger I encounter; could be a potential new friend! That is how easy I’ve had it with getting to know people…and I love IT. I’m a people-loving social butterfly. IF we were meant to survive alone, exist alone!, we’d have been created on islands by ourselves. Or so I believe. Less time is wasted though if we just have the courage; to be who we ARE. Not just a fraction of a person…Don’t sell yourself short. A VERY good friend of mine(My Cali Black Prince) taught me that..The reason why? How do we know the part of US we aren’t revealing; is what another person needs to connect with? >

Every day is a brand NEW start..I leap! literally (gives me a head-rush sometimes but I do…) out of bed feeling that. New people to meet! New people to talk & connect with! New things to learn! New parts of our life experience to share..Life is enriched by our loved ones, our FRIENDS, and our significant others. Make it a beautiful day. I know I will. Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)

Posted in @Cultural, ^^Thought Provoking^^

>>>BLAME it on the ALCOHOL<<<

WARNING: I tend to take this topic seriously…So if you are one that gets easily offended & can’t deal with reality; U might not want 2 read any further.

Y’all ready ? The road might get a little bumpy; but I guarantee it will be worth the ride*

Urban dictionary definition = Blame it on the liquor : When a person does stupid things, later making excuses that it was the alcohol, that made him/her do so. A: ”Dude, it wasn’t me, i didn’t pee on that car!”
B: ”’Yeah, blame it on the liquor…”

While some of ya’ll reading this might NOT want to hear about the negative impact alcohol has on the body; I’m going to break it down anyway. And for the record..I used to drink socially once upon a time ago. So I’ve personally experienced quite enough to speak on this topic; and its highly personal. Back then the LAST thing I’d have wanted to hear/or read..was any of this. However,  just mayhaps some of the youth out there reading this OR grown folks who don’t really yet know..just might find this info interesting and/or life changing. >Alcohol negatively impacts one’s body in countless ways. It has adverse effects on the brain, heart, LIVER, lungs , digestive system, and the skin.(very fast way to age the skin…)

Brain: From the first sip, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches the brain. Although you won’t be aware of it, there is an impairment of brain function, which deteriorates further the more you drink.>>When I drank alcohol, I was a classic example of this happening. 2 sips into a drink I could feel the impact….from the very first time I ever had a drink. (and my sensitive body system  couldn’t handle holding even a drop of alcohol; never was there a time that by nights end I wasn’t vomiting it all up. Not a day since have I hugged the toilet like that! And I never want to again..) By end of the first drink; I was LIT. However, hardly ever was 1 drink enough. Out dancing & having fun drinking was all a part of the process..or so it was back then. Now I honestly feel I have MORE fun without drinking. Plus! I get to watch live entertainment from all the drunk folks who provide unbelievable laughs for me..and I can remember to tell them all about it the next morning.

Heart: Your pulse quickens after just one unit. Alcohol is a vasodilator – it makes the peripheral blood vessels relax to allow more blood to flow through the skin and tissues, which results in a drop in blood pressure. In order to maintain sufficient blood flow to the organs, the heart rate increases. Your breathing rate may also speed up…

Digestive system:The Government advises men to drink no more than three to four units a day and women no more than two to three, so after two pints of normal-strength beer (four units) or a large glass of red wine (3.5 units) we have already exceeded our healthy guidelines. The alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and small intestine and if you are not used to it, even small amounts of alcohol can irritate the stomach lining. This volume of alcohol also begins to block absorption of essential vitamins and minerals…

Skin: Alcohol increases bloodflow to the skin, making you feel warm and look flushed. It also dehydrates, increasing the appearance of fine lines. According to Dr Nicholas Perricone, a dermatologist, even five units will lead to an unhealthy appearance for days…So girls/ladies/chicks/women? IF at 50 yrs old(my age) you want to look like you’re 100 yrs old? Drink UP..I’m personally & sincerely ELATED that= I don’t look like what I’ve been through & done in my life. I’m truly blessed! And I thank my God & lucky stars every single day. Real talk 4 real..

Lungs:A small amount of alcohol speeds up the breathing rate. But at this level of intoxication, the stimulating effects of alcohol are replaced by an anaesthetic effect that acts as a depressant on the central nervous system. The heart rate lowers, as does blood pressure and respiration rates, possibly to risky levels – in extreme cases the effect could be fatal. During exhalation, the lungs excrete about 5 per cent of the alcohol you have consumed – it is this effect that forms the basis for the breathalyser test…

LIVER:Alcohol is metabolised in the liver and excessive alcohol use can lead to acute and chronic liver disease. As the liver breaks down alcohol, by-products such as acetaldehyde are formed, some of which are more toxic to the body than alcohol itself. It is these that can eventually attack the liver and cause cirrhosis(which is said to be an AWFUL thing to endure IF its even survived)

Now folks reading this that don’t drink might wonder..WHY in the heck would anyone ,  knowing all of the above, ever drink? Why wouldn’t they stop once they knew? But..look in the mirror and ask yourself this question. “Do I have a habit that I know isn’t good for me healthwise? ” IF the answer is NO ; then keep throwing stones and asking the above questions. Also , you’d be one of the only person  on earth,that I’ve ever heard of,   with NO bad habits. I’d actually like to see what you look like up close…Folks over-eat, folks under-eat, Folks eat junk food, Folks smoke cigs, Folks do drugs, Folks take prescription drugs, Folks do NOT exercise on a regular basis, Folks stress (and that is NOT good for health..)…the list goes on & on & on.  All the while knowing it isn’t good for them..Moving right along>

Why is any of this important? Because folks are dying at alarming rates from drunk drivers, youth from alcohol poisoning, and not to mention alcohol helps to cause people to be over-weight. And as a country we lead in obesity rates; which is NOT helping our country’s health insurance issue..(another topic for another time)

Why do people drink in the first place? Why can’t one have a funky good time withOUT needing a buzz or a high from alcohol? That is the question that just begs to be answered. BUT the only person who can answer that question..is the person who drinks to that point….

drunkbond1What is the bigger issue behind the symptom? Yep, my take on it is that drinking alcohol is a symptom..Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out..Some folks drink to forget painful memories. Some folks drink to forget stress in their lives..as IF that same stressful situation won’t be there the next day. The difference? Now they’ve got a hangover and problems to solve..not a pretty picture. Been there done that during & after my divorce..and its been so long since I quit that now? The cost of a drink is about the cost it was for a bottle back then…OMG! And last night I heard that a shot can cost over $100. For a shot! Some high priced premium drink(that I never heard of before..) ..but I was horrified at that news flash. I could buy  an entire clothing  outfit for that cost of that one shot of liquor. But we all have our priorities and our crutches to deal with this on this ride called LIFE. Is it peer pressure causing the youth to drink at younger & younger ages? Is it the fact they see their parents drink & thus think its alright? Why aren’t more folks that finally saw the light & QUIT;  standing UP to say the real deal about drinking? Shame? Denial? I’d be more ashamed IF I didn’t say this to my own sons & to anyone’s children who will listen…IF only for a minute. I’m just elated! that my soul can rest easy that I never killed anyone drinking & driving…which is part of my testimony. My God KNEW I’d not be able to live without having a tormented SOUL had I harmed someone…and I hold my hand UP high guilty for having driven after drinking backintheday. It isn’t something I’m proud of..but I’m also very happy I learned from my transgressions. And I had OUTSTANDING friends(shout-out to my Cali lifelong friends , I love ya’ll!) who learned to take my keys BEFORE we went out…First & foremost though thanks to my GOD for getting me to the other side of that phase of my life. Lesson learned and torn-apart heart completely mended…

Many reading this won’t truly appreciate what I’ve said here; until something happens to ‘force” you to look in the mirror..and make a change. There are many people that self-medicate…not just with alcohol. My belief? Once one loves themselves, totally, they don’t need vices to make them feel good anymore. Nor a crutch after a rough day or life-altering situation like divorce..

Posted in LOVE, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

**IS Your LOVE Language BEING Heard?**

**I adore this topic..A good friend of mine said it was a must read years ago & he was right. Gary Chapman’s ‘The 5 Love Languages’ is one of the BEST books I’ve ever read..Do you know your love language? Do you know that its difficult to maintain a relationship; IF your spouse/significant other doesn’t know your love language? Later in this post I’ll reveal what my love language IS..never know my future last husband might be reading this! And hopefully ya’ll will share or reflect on what yours is..

^Before I get into my informal review of the book; I’m dropping a link for ya’ll to possibly discover what your love language IS. Just in case you don’t yet know ..Simply click on the link to take a brief, fun!, quiz to figure out what your love language is>

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

~

~Many of us have relationship questions prior to entering we (I) wonder…Is there a way to know if we’re a match? Once in a relationship we(I) wonder..How is it possible to keep the love strong & solid? Falling IN love isn’t something we have control over; but it takes a concerted effort to stay IN love. Mayhaps knowing what one’s own love language is could help in countless ways; those of us who want a HOME RUN when next we fall *in love* for the last time..Lets dig a bit deeper>

Personally, I don’t know what the statistics are for couples 2 share the same love language(s). And while I do know that opposite can surely attract; I feel when opposite love languages exist it takes more than communication to overcome. Ever wonder WHY your spouse or significant other just doesn’t seem to understand what you’re communicating? Ever heard the saying that sometimes love isn’t enough to make things work out forever? Been there, done that..and thankfully we’re still great friends. However , much as I adore my wonderful friends; I’m SO ready to be *in love* one last time…I’m also ready to do what it takes to make it last 4ever…So how does one identify & learn to speak their significant other’s love language? How does one learn what their own love language is? Allow me to dig yet a little deeper>

^First, let me say(especially since I know my ex reads me here, lol!) I’ve had wonderful love relationships. In order to have closure; I had to figure out what went wrong for it to end in friendship & the love didn’t maintain itself. Honestly? I think we just didn’t understand what the other’s love language was..Thus! we loved, loved!, loved yet there were needs not being met(I’m not talking about the physical needs…) Knowing & meeting those needs is the key to long, lasting love relationships. Or so it is my belief at this phase of my life. From my experiences & from seeing, first hand, how well my own parents marriage of 51 years works. (they can communicate without a word being said out loud…amazing to watch!) Yet, there is a far greater amount of folks who love each other ; who aren’t staying connected. And it is in those situations that sincerity plus love still isn’t enough…Staying IN love takes work! So lets tackle this list down quickly and I’ll use myself as an example. Ready? I am, so lets do this>

Words of Affirmation= For some folks actions do NOT always speak louder than words…Some folks need to hear the  infamous 3 words said@ ‘I love YOU’. And they need to hear compliments, kind words, plenty of words of appreciation. Alot! Try this daily once you learn your partner needs this. IF you don’t; they’ll tend to lean towards someone who DOES. And when you’re in love with someone..this shouldn’t be a hard task at all. Personally? This is something I do naturally! Even with my loved ones, friends, coworkers. Honestly? I’d not be with someone who didn’t speak to me in this way naturally..thus, this is NOT one of my love languages. This is the  basic way I communicate  & its what I’m attracted to. My preference? ACTIONS do speak louder than words. IF you say you love me; yet don’t show me you love me then that speaks volumes to me. And I won’t stay in that relationship. Exclamation point. Period. Moving right along…

Gifts=There are some women who get off on receiving lavish gifts. There are some men who get off buying lavish gifts 4 women. Its not supposed to be mistaken for materialism; but the thought & effort behind the gift. I feel differently…so this is NOT my love language. I don’t feel my love can be bought with gifts. My love is priceless! Therefore there is no gift that can match that…Having said that I adore receiving gifts ; but I’m also just as likely to give gifts. Even something as unique as I am..like a framed poem I’ve written especially for my significant other. In my world a gift doesn’t have to be bought or purchased. A cobbler made in my honor(I loved that!) can bring a big kool-aid grin to my face.(even if I have to work out extra hours its worth it lol!) Or a handpicked bouquet of flowers can also melt my heart in an instant…it is the little things that matter more to me. Priceless! Moving right along>

Physical Touch=This is MY #1  love language. I’ll readily admit it. I’m a toucher. I even talk in an animated manner , with my hands, when I’m excited. I hug when I’m happy to see my friends/relatives/church family/coworkers even from time2time. I think one way we connect is by..touch. Otherwise we’d be robots. I think its why God gave us 2 hands; so we could touch twice as much. I love holding hands! IF I grab your hand when we take a simple walk; it means I like you alot. This , I think, stems from my Mom holding hands with us when we were younger…Or maybe I like touch so much because I was breast fed. I don’t really know “why”; I just know thats the way I’m wired. I feel most connected to my significant other; when a part of our bodies are touching one another. I learned this about myself and it is highly important to know about me. Enough on this topic because I could go on & on 4ever…

Quality Time= This is my #2 love language without a doubt. For me spending quality time 2gether makes me feel as special as I am…I dig it alot! It means you care enough about lil ole me; to give me your undivided attention. Or taking time to do something that you know matters to ME. Like reading my blog and learning more about what makes me tick. Major turn ON..A walk along the beach alone. A picnic planned for ‘us’ by my significant other. Anything that involves ‘just us time” with NO distractions. Cell phones off, no T.V.’s, no contact with the outside world. I love it and I love it alot!

Acts of Service=This love language is one in which a person likes to serve their partner…These things are done with love because one wants to please their partner by DOing for them. Its something that comes so naturally for me , that I don’t consider it as a love language of mine. My Mom is big on this one and passed it on to me..We do as an expression of our love not obligation.

Well folks thats a wrap!  Hope you enjoyed something new you can use in your relationship/future relationship. I enjoyed writing it & re-hashing the book . Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)

Posted in @Cultural, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, ^^Thought Provoking^^

>>the Are U Racist test..Hint=If U start a sentence with I’m not racist because..<<

This topic comes UP alot these days..It came up recently while I was chatting with a friend; I decided then I was going to bring it to my blog to dialogue. A taboo topic that need not be taboo IF folks could/would..speak openly & honestly about IT. Very hopeful to make that happen here as I do what only I can do; the way I do it..Sincerely & with finesse, somewhat?>

>WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Arizona, a state that has clashed repeatedly with the federal government on the issue of immigration, will be back at the Supreme Court on Monday defending a state law that requires proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in elections.

< I want to be clear before I dig into this topic. I’ve had issues with Arizona’s proposed citizenship law; since its very inception. Living in California at the time & quite in-the-know-about-politics(I once ran for office long ago..) ; I understood the law for what it was/IS. Voter suppression. Point blank. For the record there are already laws/statues in place for voter identity. (to ensure folks that vote are indeed American citizens) The proposed Arizona law desires measures in ADDITION to what the Federal law already requires(according to the National Voter Registration Act) Take into account Arizona didn’t introduce the idea for this law; until a very eligible Black American ran for President. Also take into account Arizona was one of the very last states(they held out, with New Hampshire, until they received a litany of heavy criticism) to make MLK, Jr birthday a paid state holiday.  Coincidental? I don’t think so…Lets dig a bit deeper>

We have a fear about talking about RACE ISSUES in America..Its like a dirty little secret that the ENTIRE world knows about(that our country was built, including majority of D.C., on the backs of slaves…) and yet; it’s not talked about openly in public. Because of this being factual is my belief that racism can still exist in our country. Or least that is one of the reasons .  Can’t work to erase something that “allegedly” is already dealt with…But even a blind, deaf-mute  knows that the days of racism/racist attitudes/racist beliefs/racist tendencies are  far from over>

*I could keep my head buried in the sand..Act as if racism is truly dead in a country I love..On a daily basis living as a Black American woman I’m not physically touched by racism..But our Black men, America’s Black MEN, are catching HELL..As a mother of 3 grown Black beautiful Black men I simply can’t pretend racism is dead. As an American I can’t turn a deaf ear & blind eye either. How many more Martin Trayvons, Chavis Carters, & Oscar Grants have to die for us to openly discuss race issues in our country? Very well could’ve been one of MY sons..two of whom are fond of wearing hoodies from time2time. To think the unthinkable could happen to them or ANY law-abiding citizen in our country; is more than I can bear to think. And more than enough to motivate me to use my freedom of speech to speak on IT..yet another thing I love about my country@freedom of speech & thought. I think therefore I blog>

I wonder everyonceinagreatwhile IF I weren’t Black if I’d care so much that racism still exists..IF I were privy to White privilege would I feel racist beliefs/treatment were unjust? IF I were White would I turn a blind eye to people’s freedom & lives being taken away without justified reason? I’d like to think I’d still feel the same as I do now. Matter of fact I’m almost willing to bet I would; because I’ve got an enormous heart. Wrong is wrong no matter the color of a person’s skin/ethnic background/cultural foundation/personal belief system. 

If you start a sentence with, I’m not racist because…More than likely you probably are or have racist tendencies. And for the love of God; I wish folks would stop saying I’ve got Black/White friends so I’m not racist. As IF! I’ve said it before & I’ll say it one ‘mo time; that only means you’ve got Black or White friends. I don’t try to dis-prove or UNprove anything; or least I try not to. What I attempt to do is love & accept everyone..That inofitself has been something that is an on-going process. As I’ve evolved as I’ve learned more about different cultures and life styles; my level of acceptance has broadened. I really can’t express it any other way..So read between the lines. I believe that IGNORANCE is what lies as the foundation of racism & prejudice. What folks don’t understand or know about; they often form negative opinions about. What can also feed a person’s belief system is = what they’re taught as children. Thankfully I was taught self-pride/cultural pride/LOVE. But what about children that were taught to hate from birth? I wasn’t one who thought racism would die overnight because we’d elected a Black POTUS. Rome wasn’t built in a day; and something it took many moons to create will take more than a minute to change…What I do think is that as a country WE can do better. The next 4 years will be a time of great positive change for our country..Or so its my belief based on many factors. That is another topic for another time. However having said all of that; there is NO time like the present to do what is right. I’m hoping we can do it together. *One love*

Posted in ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

**Report Card Your Friends..Do U Measure UP?

>Really good friend of mine had a novel idea he was serious about maintaining ..Still does to this day..At the time I didn’t feel it was something I needed to partake in; I was in a different space & time in my life journey than he was..But now, things are different as is my outlook on friendship. I don’t take the word lightly. Nor do I take lightly how I treat my friends; I treat them as I want to be treated. Sounds  simple enough , right? Stay tuned because it gets much better from here…And yep, I’m on 1. If you don’t know what that means; google it…

**Well, its Saturday night and I got several phone calls from friends 2day..So very appropriate for this topic, right? And they said “WHY did you leave us on a cliff-hanger since last night????! wth?” Lol, first of all thats a first!  so sorry extracurricular activities got in the way(of my finishing this post)..with my B.F.F.(how perfect for this topic also) and mad love to ya’ll for showing me love by calling. Stroked my ego for a brief moment(don’t we all need that from timetotime?) so to kick off this topic I dug UP the supreme friend song(oldskool! when music was still real) ..Before I jump knee deep & waist high into this just know this; when I call you a friend its for LIFE. Let me see if I can do my utmost to explain…Ready for me? I sure hope so cause here I go head first>

Mayhaps I should define friends 1st. From my viewpoint a friend IS: Someone who knows U through & through; & still digs you totally! A friend is someone who can hang out with U talking about nothing/doing nothing/and expects nothing in return! A friend is someone who has your back while you’re 2gether & even more so when you’re apart. A friend is someone who will let U wake them up with a call in the middle of the night; because U can’t sleep.(waving BigJack and many thanks U’s for this…) A friend is someone who loves U even over a lifetime spent 3,500 or more miles apart(mad LOVE Lizzard my forever B.F.F. I loves ya!) A friend is someone who doesn’t find a cazillion things to do when your moving day rolls around(I’ll be calling ya’ll soon for this, lol) A friend is someone whose true colors are as vibrant and beautiful as a rainbow…

IF one’s monetary worth were(and I believe it is…) measured by the type of friends they have..then I am RICH. My life simply wouldn’t be the same without the many friends I’m fortunate/blessed/dang lucky! call me their friend..Likewise IF I call you my friend its for life..My circle of friends is large indeed(from coast 2 coast & beyond..) and many in my circle I also consider extended family. I don’t have a good poker face(I show all my emotions ) nor do I fake the funk well at all..just not part of my biological make-up. IF I spend time with U /break bread with U/do things for U without provocation just because I think you’ll enjoy it or need it, or whatever; then I consider you my friend. My friendship with my B.F.F.  has lasted over 25 years! WOW..it has endured many miles apart/marriages/breakups/death of loved ones/lifes’ disappointments/lifes’ joys, joys!/laughter/LOVE/LOVE/and has transcended color lines and racial differences. We simply look at each other as sisters from another mother..There is comfort in knowing someone that long; who knows where you’ve been/where you’re at now/where you aspire to be. Somehow we can go for long periods without talking or seeing one another; yet pick up right where we left off. Its been an awesome ride & I look forward to many more years now that we finally! live on the same coast in the same city. WOW..life is full of beautiful suprises and you’re one of them Sis. I love YOU always..

There are several instances in my life that made me sincerely cognizant of the true importance of friends. One was when my then-fiance showed me a report card he had for friends to grade him as a friend. Another instance was when a friend of mine I’d lost contact with; found me after looking for me for 17yrs. I was wow’ed by that, alot, and humbled…things I’d taken for granted others considered like gold. Friendship. It changed my entire perspective on friendship. Not that I hadn’t always treated my friends very well; I just didn’t really realize till then how much it could also be worth to someone else..my friendship.

Which brings me to the punch line. I think we’ve all faced evaluations in the course of our careers. Usually once a year, right? Or moreso if promoted…When is the last time you asked your friend(s) to evaluate you as a friend? Isn’t the best way to improve anything to grade it/tweak it/work on flaws. How does one know if they’re the best friend they could possibly be? I stand guilty as charged(my hand raised high); I’ve not asked any of my friends lately IF there is room for improvement…I just ASSume I’m the best friend to them I could possibly be. I certainly feel I give it my all…but is that good enough if I don’t meet each friend’s needs. What IF they need more from me than I’m giving? Or one step further what IF theres more I’m capable of doing as a friend; that I don’t realize I could be doing…does it matter? Shouldn’t we work to maintain & improve friendships ; same as we do our love relationships? I didn’t used to think so backintheday when I hadn’t lived as much of life as I have now…things are different now. I no longer take life or any of my relationships for granted. I appreciate each and every one of my friends; and I want them to know & feel that.

In a perfect world all friendships /relationships; would not require stroking or maintenance. They’d just be as effortless as breathing…however even with love relationships we know this isn’t the case. And honestly I enjoy giving /sharing/vibing with my friends. My word IS my bond; and I try hard to keep it. Likewise I’m not drawn to folks who aren’t like minded in that regard..so with me you’ve got to mean what you say & say what you mean. There are a ton of questions I could write to create a report card for friends right here & now; but I won’t. Why not? Because I think it would be more worthwhile for you & me; to create our own report cards…Based on our own unique set of friends. Mine will be more verbal for my friends anyways; they know I love to talk, alot . lol! But even if ya’ll don’t do a report card; if nothing else, hopefully my words have made you think about how special your friends are for a minute. When is the last time you told them how much they mean to you? Everyone needs to know they’re appreciated..And for my fabulous friends?!? YOU ARE SPECIAL & I’M THANKFUL YOU’RE PART OF MY LIFE, hugs!

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, LOVE, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, ^^Thought Provoking^^

^Can Emotional Love = Making Love? <

As much as the foundation of my BEing rests on emotions(& sensitivity); I’m still quite an analytical person. Lately this topic has been heavy on my mind and I’ve been tossing it around even in my sleep. Did ya’ll know it is possible to have valid thoughts, that we remember when we wake, in our sleep? Usually it is those thoughts that are so very important to us; that we save them until we have no other distractions. While we’re sleeping…

Mayhaps this has come to my mind at a time; when if in a love relationship I’d be having IT. While I’m sleeping..Or quite possibly because my mind is justifying why the “wait” for it; is indeed worth it. Isn’t it? Our biological primal urge to have sex is one of the strongest instincts we possess. Did ya’ll know that? Google it if you don’t believe me..Nonetheless in my life journey I’ve come to believe the following: Sex without feelings is a worthless waste of time. (which is probably why I’ve never had it..) Let me take this one step further. Making love is NOT the same as having sex. At all. And an emotional love (=emotional bond) can trump making love..Can’t it?

SEX is far more than just an exchange of bodily fluids and a calisthenic marathon; YET it ranks far less than making love. But the cherry on top(no pun intended) is emotional sex..also known as emotional love or bond. < Or should I say this is the way I see IT>

Since most lists that rank anything are from worst to best..I’m going to do the opposite. Just because I dig being different. Ready? Hang on tight..

Emotional sex= Anyone heard of the term “love chemicals” that can be produced by the brain? Research has shown that the effect of “love chemicals” is 2fold: they’re released in response to your “friend” plus they bond you to him/her. Emotional sex stems from a friendship that escalates(usually without the parties being aware its happening ..) into something that feels as “real” as romantic love. Even thinking about the person can release hormones and “love chemicals’ from the brain. Thus any contact with the person can become as potent as a drug addiction. Because women produce higher amounts of oxyctocin(the bonding hormone ) ; the feeling of having met a soul-mate connection can be greatly enhanced. But I’ve got to add to this that woman’s intuition is also VERY strong; so whose to say she truly hasn’t met a soul-mate in such instances? I’m of the belief we can have more than one possible  soul-mate on the planet..

Making love is an act in which a sacred sense , close to spiritual , can be experienced in every gesture, every sensory perception and every , single action. The very act is like food to a love relationship and is mandatory that feeds and cultivates it; so it can flourish. It is the highest form of intimacy created and especially designed by God..The merging of two people in this special act of love; elevates the relationship to a deeper consciousness of love. Making love in a sense is a type of worship, honoring and celebrating the divine within us. While experiencing pleasure beyond measure; we’re lifted to a connection not only physical..but also emotional and spiritual.

Sex IS typically not thought of as a biological need; but it is. Reason it isn’t viewed as one is because it can fulfill physical & mental needs. But it is my belief that it IS necessary for the generation & maintenance of good health. It is better than going to the gym; for it works every, single muscle in your body..It is a primal urge that can be physically fought off; but can still invoke thoughts about it many, many times a day. Without provocation and quite involuntary at times. We’ve all heard about the studies done on how many times a day a man thinks about sex..I personally think women think about it even more. But don’t think it is politically correct to admit..

Having said all of the above I’ve got to add an important footnote: This isn’t the 60s anymore! Unprotected sex can cause more than a pregnancy these days; it can literally kill. When a person has sex with someone these days; you’re in essence trusting them with your life. At any age protected sex should be a given..but what about protecting one’s heart from hurt? Is it possible for women to have sex without love? Is it really possible for the new friends-with-benefits arrangement; to work without someone catching feelings? Isn’t it well known women associate sex with feelings? But don’t men also? Yes, they do…Bottom line is one has to trust the person you’re linking up with physically. And though a primal necessary biological need; I feel God created man/woman with feelings & emotions for a reason. Different from any other mammal in that sense..so that we could fall in love! Ultimate love relationship I believe combines an emotional love with making love=being in love. It doesn’t get much better than that..not on earth anyway. Until I write /read ya’ll again stay uplifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the one & only)

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~Poetry A Berna Original~, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

**I am so HIGH..**

I am so high on life..

Deliciously and naturally  smashed

*My old way of thinking/feeling/BEing?*

Cached

Somewhere far away backintheday…

Before

I

Was

Here

I’m reaching higher and higher

Called my own cease fire

From my old worst opposition

In a forever state of remission

The she that used to be me..

I am so high on life!

Stressing less & less

Useless

I confess..

Didn’t get here on my own

Even though I’m quite grown

Finally !  learned I’d never walked alone..

Before

I

Was

Here

But no more talk of days gone by & yester-years

Long forgotten past haunts ,pursuits and fears

Manipulating  A,B,Cs with my pen to the max

Vibing floetically my mental is set on: relax

Sashaying thru life while to myself staying true

Free at last! to do what only I can do as I do

So unlike..

Before

I

Was

Here

I am so high on life that I can kiss the sky

Any higher I might just think I really can fly     

Laughing out loud so much from the inside out

No longer restrained and free of self doubt

Wrapped UP in my uniqueness & originality rules

Bringing it back till its once again “in” ; even cool

My eyes lifted up to the heavens so  thankful my God is patient

HE walked beside me all the while and long before I believed..

I’ve left behind all the things I thought I knew and perceived

Before

I

Was

Here ~

High on life

 

 

 

Posted in @Cultural, FABulous 50 Bday anticipation.., LOVE, WOW, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

>I Want The Type of LOVE That Isn’t…Disposable

Single, Sexy, and very Smart..it is beginning to feel like a curse! In the love department. I’ll never get to write about fiction; because real life is FAR more exciting plus full of UNDANGbelievable moments..Hold onto your hats & wigs folks ! This might get a little raw and as always totally real..but I’m almost 50 yrs old I can say what I feel and mean & mean what I say. Right? Yep, I’m very right about alot more than I give myself credit for. Till now. Ya’ll ready for this? Ready..Get set..

 

Here i GO..This might very well come off as a rant, possibly even venting. I’d prefer to say it is a ..release of pent-UP unexpressed sentiment. Having recently relocated from the Right Coast to the Left Coast; I’ve finally! begun to like it here.  All is falling into place and I no longer(sort of..) feen for my beloved Cali. Truly dig the people here, have made FABULOUS friends here, and I love my JOB. And yet, for the 1st time in my life I seem to be attracting alot of married brothers! I don’t get it ..but I swear if ONE more approaches me , in anything-other-than-a-friendship-type-of-“thang”; I will scream! And I won’t be held responsible for what comes out of my mouth…I don’t think married guys realize the total and UTmost disrespect that is to a woman. Not to mention their wife..and on my pisstivity meter it rates a 10 out of 10.

Certainly we all know there are women who go after married men on purpose…They even see it as a personal challenge to go for unavailable and married men. Anyone who knows me knows that without a shred of doubt; I am NOT one of those women. I want, deserve!, and am patiently (trying dang hard not to fall off the wagon..) awaiting for my “the one” to find me. Maybe because this is the longest timeframe I’ve been single; I’m throwing off pheromones like crazy. Or least that is the line that someone recently used on me; as IF. I’d even go as far as to say, and I have, that I’m pretty vulnerable right about now(no matter how strong I project I am & feel I am) Nonetheless the type of love relationship I’m seeking does NOT include a married brother..and I’ll briefly attempt to explain why. >

First of all it makes me feel cheap and dirty! And I hope some of ya’ll are reading this..Mayhaps it will make ya’ll think twice about hitting hard on single women. As IF having a wife at home isn’t enough. And what the heck happened to the time when everyone WORE a wedding band?!? When I was married IF my husband had walked around without his wedding band on..it would’ve sent off a major alarm in my head. Although truth be told if your man is going to cheat; you could wrap his entire body in wedding bands & he’ll still cheat. A cheater will find a way to cheat in a locked room by themselves! Or so it is my belief…and yep I’ve got major issues with cheating-while-married. For a reason. It happened to me. Once upon a time long ago. And literally broke my heart into tiny fragmented pieces…(though we’re great friends now, forgiveness works wonders!)

Isn’t it quite unfair to dangle candy in front of a baby; and then say the baby can’t have the candy? That is exactly what it feels like to “think” someone is single; only to find out surprise! he’s charming/HOT/funny!/personality to die for but MARRIED. When in actuality that is something that should be well known from the get-go. I just feel anything less when approaching a woman is perpetuating a fraud. And one step further so are the married ones who say they’re cool with friendship..and then bam! Swooooop down and hit on a woman so hard it can quite literally take her breath away. Note: Insert the word “men” & “wife”  in the following picture..>

We all fall short of perfection. I get that; and I have my hand held UP high that I’m not perfect. I’ll say it one ‘mo time for the record. I don’t even strive to be perfect anymore. Being perfect would make me..boring. And if anyone reading this has met a perfect person; point them out I’d like to finally see what a perfect person really looks like. I say allll of that to say married folks can do whatever they please. I care less..do YOUR thing and do it well. BUT don’t include me in it. I want no parts of it. As IF I want to be next in line to be sitting at home; waiting on a husband who is working hard to get next to a single woman. Or mayhaps only I look at it from that perspective. It really does, for a minute, hurt my feelings that said married brothers would think that little of me. For a minute…then after that minute or so passes? I get MAD..especially if I felt the temptation. That leads me back again to level 10 on my pisstivity meter. I’m not there often; and I don’t like being there. Exclamation mark. Period

Someone recently said  something; and this saying is getting so OLD. I’ve tired of hearing it because I simply refuse to believe it. They said that all of the good brothers are either married; or in prison. NOT..I won’t comment on the either of those situations. What I will say is this. I exist/divorced & single & sexy, attractive & physically fit/and I’m a dang good woman. And I’ve got a couple single girl friends who are even more fabulous than I am.  So since we exist then there have GOT to be 3 HOT heckafied brothers out there also…and I know mine is looking for me. He is searching for me high & low. I can feel it in my bones. I’m thinking about getting a T -shirt that says “Here i AM baby & I waited just for U” Lol! Actually thats not a bad idea..

Bottom line is I love everyone..I truly, truly LOVE/admire/cherish/dig my brotha’s. And 99.9% of the time I get nothing but MAD, and I mean mad props, from my brothers. Including friendships that I treasure dearly..but I just had to add these thoughts as a footnote. Often times folks, including me, can do things that we don’t know offend others. I’m making it known, again, I find it highly offensive. Enough said…Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted and blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the one & only)

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, =Self Discovery=, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, ^^Thought Provoking^^

^Are U Who U Were Supposed To B?

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)

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, =Self Discovery=, Post a Day 2013, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^

~~~La Bella Vita…~~~

~’There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere — and of leaving it behind them when they go.’ ~ Quote by  Frederick Faber

~”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?

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

*Myth or Truth?* The Splintering of BLACK America..*my last* Black History Month 2013 Tribute

I’ve decided to wrap UP my series of Black History Month tribute posts for this year. Not because it is difficult to meet the post a day challenge plus write with content/passion; though it is tough! But because I refuse for my posts to just became..random. Many a blog & article already exists listing notable folks in our/America’s history; I wanted mine to be different. I’ve written on subject matter I’m passionate about..its what I do when I do what I enjoy doing. In any aspect. Ending with this topic because someone has to say IT..and it might as well be me. With love & the highest regard always for my Black brotha’s & sista’s……….Sometimes asking questions can serve as a way to reach others/open one’s 3rd eye/or provoke people to look at self to make a change for the better; IF the shoe fits. So here are a few questions I’ve contemplated. WHY do we, Black folks, continually find ways to divide ourselves? WHY do we think “we” have a right to say what BLACK enough IS? WHO in their right mind thought of the phrase, ACTING White while being BLACK? (this goes hand in hand with sounding  White..wth?! IF one more person says this to me I’ll scream!) WHY is it acting “bougie” if someone wants to get educated, do better, and progress? WHY is it anyone’s business what someone else is wearing on “their” head?! (i.e..wig, weaves) HOW many years is it going to take post-Jim Crow for Black folks to drop the good hair/bad hair/light skin/dark skin hang UPs?

hatersgonnahateDon’t ya’ll think it rather odd that when the phrase@Crabs-in-a-barrel is used; most people just KNOW its preceding a comment regarding Blacks folks?!? As a Black woman I don’t just find that odd; I think its very sad…

WHY were there ANY funky comments about Gabby Douglas’s hair last year?? And why in the HELL were those funky comments from Black folks??!??? At 16 yrs old , in front of a billion! watching people(as IF that wasn’t enough pressure…at 16!) , that young sista became the very FIRST Black woman to achieve the HIGHEST prize in gymnastics. TOP of her game/already faced much adversity in her young, young life; and then! Black folks tried to tear her down! I found that beyond disgusting and UNACCEPTABLE. What are we teaching our youth??? OMG

WHY when Oprah Winfrey has given more assistance in the form of MONEY; than any of us will even begin to imagine or possess..do Black folks continually talk smack about her?! As IF she owed any of us a brand new school ; it is HER money. Jeeeez , if she chooses to make a pile of money in her yard and set it on fire she can. It is hers! Oprah has survived a horrific childhood; and rose above like a rose among weeds…and yet! for some reason the only folks tearing her down are her OWN. (no pun intended…) Shouldn’t we be proud of her? Shouldn’t any American be? Should not she BE an example for anyone Black , or everyone!, that from any background one can reach their dreams & goals? Lawd!

And last but not least…President Barack Obama is BLACK. I’ve grown about sick & tyeeeed of the some of us; that act as IF they’re appointed governors over who IS and is not Black enough. Pfft! All of society views him as what he IS…A Black man. Mixed or not(as majority of us here are; even those of us who won’t admit it) Black IS Black. Exclamation mark. Period.

There was a time when Blacks had each others backs. There was a time when even Sista’s, but especially Brotha’s, wouldn’t walk past each other without nodding. Or something! Brotha’s still do it with one another; and with me lol! ..but why is so hard to do the same with Sista’s? Just because we don’t know one another; doesn’t mean we’ve got to act like strangers. And NO amount of money or possessions a person makes; makes you any BETTER than anyone else. Wise folks know that when you’re good to others, in sincerity!, it comes back tenfold to you. Its called helping others WIN; and in doing so you win. It is just the way it is…And isn’t the world a much better place when everyone looks out for one another?! Isn’t that the way it is supposed to BE? IF we look out for someone today; IF we need it tomorrow it will be returned. In my heart of hearts I feel when things were really, really bad for Blacks..they stuck together. Like glue. And family meant so much back then! ALL we had was  each other in those days…Look at the overall state of Black America these days. Take a long look…it has got to get better. WE can do better. I say that often; because I believe it.

Until as a whole we begin to LIVE ; what is preached at the pulpit..then matters will continue to decline. I’d like my future grandchildren to be born into a country; that Black men aren’t non-existent. I’d like my future grands to be born into a country; where the numbers of Black men in prison is less than in college. Far less…I’d like my future grands to be born into a country; where Blacks encourage each other to WIN. Help each other even after so called *making it big* themselves. Instead of stepping all over one another to get to the TOP. Its very uncool and it just isn’t right. We are one people. One race. The Human race…I’m sorry I’ve just tired of hearing the awful stats regarding US. I embrace & love ALL people; but I can’t lie I’ve a special bond/affection! for those I look like! (even THOUGH many of ya’ll keeeeep asking me what I am; I am BLACK not Puerto Rican, not Latino,etc ) We can and must do better…The good thing about this life? Where one is today; doesn’t have to be where they stay. Translation= There is still HOPE for things to change in a positive manner. But first one, or as a people, have to admit! there are issues…Nothing changes; until something changes. Exclamation mark . Period.

 

Until I write ya’ll /read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the one & only)

 

 

 

Posted in <<COMING SOON, ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, Post a Day 2013, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

*Are Bill Cosby & Oprah right? Black Kids Don’t Value EDUCATION anymore…

Or do they?…That question is just begging to be asked/discussed.  But whether it can be answered simply is yet to be seen or done. Its indeed a quite complex situation that needs direct action/solutions to change it. The finger-pointing, complaining, and blame game isn’t changing a thing… 

Ever heard the old adage @’Put your money, where your mouth is?’..And when a person DOES indeed , do just that, shouldn’t they rightfully be able to speak their mind about it? Well..when Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey..after years and years of donating tons of MONEY to inner city schools and Black colleges spoke out there was outrage from many in the Black Community. Yet, the issues they both spoke out on still exist to this day, if not moreso…

**I don’t pretend to know all of the answers to this issue or any issue I blog about..What I do intend to do is lay down some of the background/state my opinion/and pray like heck it can urge folks reading this to care enough to DO something to change things for the better. ANY generation is supposed to move to higher levels than the one before it. It is something my own Daddy taught me /practiced/and believed in since I was born…It is the same practice I practiced with my sons..And it should be what everyone is doing. I did NOT disagree with what either Bill Cosby or Oprah Winfrey have publicly said.. I’ll explain why & will also recant a conversation I had just last night with a LIFElong Black educator that has worked hands ON with inner city youth..~~

    The biggest issue I’ve got with all of the “outrage” about what Bill Cosby & Oprah have said IS..nothing has been done since to IMPROVE the situation or the statistics they spoke of. Furthermore, no one! had an issue with either of them when they poured MILLIONS of their money into Black inner city schools/areas and Black colleges. As a matter of fact, for those who recall, even as far back as when he was doing the Cosby show…Bill Cosby was donating mega bucks to education AND mentoring the youth on his show to go TO college. So no one can say he didn’t put his money where his mouth is..but when he finally got fed UP and spoke on what he saw  & felt was reality?!? Whoa! suddenly majority of folks, Black folks, forgot ALL the years & moolah he’d donated and he was instantly a “traitor/elitist/classist/ill-informed/& just downright wrong to have aired the Black community’s dirty laundry. BUT the question is’Was he wrong??’

        I can answer that for I’ve far less money and no celebrity status like Cosby(which is why I actually think folks got mad about what he said…but thats another topic for another time) and my answer is NO, he wasn’t wrong. He was so dead on that its beyond embarrassing to admit..but that doesn’t make it any less true. Here is just a tidbit of info to substantiate his stance >

How much money does one have to donate/give voluntarily before their opinion matters??? Where else was Bill Cosby or Oprah supposed to have “aired” their feelings on the matter? First of all Oprah was responding to folks “complaints” about where she spent HER money to build a school…and then folks got mad when she said what she said! *slapping forehead*

I was having a conversation last night with someone about education..He’s been an educator for the majority of his LIFE..Actually came out of retirement to mentor/teach children again..Has received lifetime achievement awards for all he’s done..and yet guess what? He said the same thing that Bill Cosby and Oprah have said. And yep, he’s Black also; just not filthy rich like them. He basically said todays’ Black youth just don’t get it! And that they take an education for granted; whereas in other countries like Africa(where Oprah opened her school..) they don’t. One of the things Oprah did say is ask kids what they want here; they’ll said an Ipad. Ask kids in Africa and they’ll say books or uniforms to go to school…which is why Oprah said she finally just stopped visiting American schools. What would you have done? I’ve even heard folks say well rich folks get a tax break for donating..which is true. BUT they didn’t ‘have ” to choose to donate to Black schools or colleges. Enough with the excuses ..we ALL know the situation is as bad as Cosby and Oprah said it was. If not worse. So why not keep it real and do something to change it? Like Oprah did..

I’m almost finished..1st a few tips/ideas/and a few things I did while co-raising my sons to promote education>

1. Don’t wait until your child is born to READ to them..Begin reading to them in the womb. Sounds insane, but it works! And you’ll actually feel them moving around in your womb more when you’re reading; if they like the book.

2. Start teaching your child about college before they can speak..They’ll hear you & they’ll remember. I preached college so much to my sons; that I’m sure they were sick of hearing it..and my neighbors probably were also. But I meant it…and my goal was to get all 3 sons into the college door. And that mission was accomplished.

3. Join PTA groups, GO to ALL parent teacher conferences for every , single report card..if you can’t get off from work then have the teacher do it over the phone. They will…they’re public servants and work for YOU..and most of them want to do their job. Alot of educators are shocked at the amount of parents NOT involved in their child’s education. It is NOT their job to do the job of teaching everything to YOUR child. It won’t work unless its a 2 party agreement. Teacher + Parents or Parent

4. Turn the boob tube OFF while kids are studying. Promote a study environment..this carries on with them for life. Take them to the library so they get used to READING and studying in a quiet environment. And censor/limit the amount of time they watch the boob tube,  period. Also censor what music they listen to. I cared less our sons could still hear it outside of our home..I was NOT going to contribute to it in our home. Its about the best a parent can do these days

5. Link up with people on school boards your child is in or run for school board positions. I learned a TON of stuff I didn’t know when I ran for/attained a position on a Catholic school board. A ton of valuable insight..

6. Talk to your kids very early on about what college they want to go to…long before they enter high school..Start the talk about mid 8th grade for the high school years will fly by!

7. Do NOT make not going to college an option..it is a MUST these days.

8. Start saving for college when they are BORN. This is one of the biggest differences between the “classes”..most of them time “us” working folks feel we can’t afford to save for our kids college funds. BUT if you’re driving a car that costs 80,000/wearing tennis that cost 200/and carrying a purse that costs 1,000…you could’ve afforded to put that money in an account or investment for your kids college fund. WE have got to get our priorities straight.

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, LOVE, Post a Day 2013, WOW, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

~MANsharing..WHY are Black Women Supporting this?!?

This topic is as REAL as it gets! I’ve got a naturally nuturing/loving spirit..To love is part of my DNA..Anyone who knows me  can attest that I’ll literally give the shirt off my back to someone in need. And I have…without being asked I’ll give. Whether its money to someone holding UP a sign @will work for food…I’m a giver. And I feel we should all share of what we have to those in need; even if we’re close to broke our dang selves. BUT one thing I will NOT share, UNequivocally, is my MAN. I expect women to look..because I’ve got excellent taste..but do NOT touch him. Ever. And ever is a very long time. So read my lips so the message is clear..I won’t participate in MANsharing. But we all know it exists…It might even be common place for some. So much so there are jokes about it & many articles written on MANsharing among Black women.  I laugh alot! Probably more than the average person..but this is no laughing matter. And I’m so serious..I’m not down with O.P.P.(is that term even used anymore??? well if not I’m bringing it back) My man is considered Private Stock(a term my ex taught me 🙂 ) so flirt if you must because he’ll be HOT… (I’m single at the moment or certainly I’d not be writing on Valentine’s  evening. So this message is for when I start dating again.  lol! ) but do NOT touch my MAN…

Some of the terms, for lack of a better word, used to describe “love triangles” these days are: Main chicks, Side Chicks, Mansharing…For anyone who watches reality tv, which I don’t!, you might have seen some of this laid out in living color(and REALness) on the show”Love and Hip Hop Atlanta”..I ran across a narrative while on a Black website; I was interacting in a group online discussion about Black Love Relationships. And first let me say , OMG! To say my hair was blown back is an understatement…I had NO idea ‘polyamourous coupling’ could be considered an IN thing these days. Or least enough to have it shown on the boob tube. Backintheday we used to called those type of arrangements; open relationships or just plain ole cheating! But seems things have changed or have they?

These days apparently many women , in accepting their rights to sexual freedom and choice, are far less ashamed of those choices…even when they’re generally seen/portrayed as indecent. What usually happens when these love triangles or mansharing accounts are heard of or discovered!(sometimes by an un-assuming wife/girlfriend) the heavier side of blame is placed on the woman involved in the arrangement. She is scorned in some cases and called every name under the sun; except a child of GOD. I know because I’ve been on the flip side of that coin myself. Yep! I was once a very, totally “UNassuming” wife who got the surprise of my life..which also broke my heart into a cazillion pieces. But moving right along….

However, as we get to “the other side of feelings”; also known as getting over a broken heart or lost love..we begin to analyze the “entire situation” and often times can understand” somewhat” how that certain situation came about…Or least those of us that want to truly heal & forgive when we’ve been hurt by someone practice this. So anyways how does a 3rd party come into a marriage or relationship? Is it always KNOWN by the 3rd party that said man is married or taken? Are there women who prey on married men and consider them a challenge? Last but not least the question that begs to be answered…Are there rising numbers of MANsharing among Black women because of the shortage of BLACK men due to high rate of Black men behind bars in our country?!? Here is the take on those answers and the way I see it..

At this point in my life I’ve grown to believe things I never thought I’d believe when I was alot younger…Grey area DOES exist! I used to think everything was either Black or White. That everything either was or wasn’t..and that simply isn’t the case. I now believe that one person can be IN love with two people. Might seem like its impossible to alot of ya’ll out there…but that is because it hasn’t yet happened to you. You’ll have to trust me on this one. Also , I think sometimes folks get into “situations” and don’t know how to get out of them. Lets call it getting caught UP. I also think sometimes people that aren’t totally “satisfied” in a relationship can easily wind UP having an affair. BUT I also think some Sista’s have been duped by Brotha’s who don’t reveal the truth from the onset…Many a woman has probably, nope has!, gotten involved not knowing the man was married. Or the infamous statement IS= He’ll say he is married; but separated…In my opinion until the ink is wet on the divorce decree you’re still MARRIED. I told this brother that once who said he’d been separated for 3 years. 3 years! And as MUCH as I was digging him I said when you’ve gotten your divorce and IF I’m still single; give me a buzz. And he did!

In my heart of hearts I just think there is a way to conduct ourselves like we respect ourselves. Like a lady. Sounds corny but I mean it..Doesn’t mean we can’t have sex appeal or even flirt. Sex appeal is as natural as the air we breathe..IF you got it , then flaunt IT. But with some amount of decency and class. IF a woman doesn’t respect or honor her OWN self/body; how the heck can we expect a man do to the same by us?!? That answer is easy to see; even for a blind person.

For folks that are into poly-relationships..as long as its all mutually agreed upon..do your thing! Its a free country and you can have at it if you like…Not my style because the one thing in life I’m selfish about is my MAN. I do not nor will I share. Not yesterday, not today, and not whenever I get into my next/last! relationship. But for the Sista’s into chasing married men…or adding notches to some sort of married belt. What is going to happen whenever ya’ll settle down & finally get married?? What IF some marriedmanchasingsista comes along and snags YOUR husband??! What will you then think about women who have no issue DOing a married man? Sometimes we should think about the flip side of things; before we do them. Having a heart helps…and also karma is a B! The good news? One can repent and regroup for their past transgressions. That is the beauty of this life journey. Having said all of that there should be a couple unspoken Sista rules when dating…Ya’ll ready for this?

Rule 1. IF he only calls you during work hours of the day and not on the weekend at all. He IS married or in a relationship. And thus not worthy. Period

Rule 2. IF he tells you he is married but separated…I don’t care how many years. He IS still married. And thus someone else’s MAN. Legally. Period

Rule 3. IF he is the ex of a friend of yours…Not worth possibly ruining your relationship with your friend. I don’t care how fine or cute he is.

Rule 4. IF he asks for your number but can’t/won’t give you his. MARRIED. Run quickly from this situation before it even becomes a situation. Period

Rule 5. IF you know he is either married or taken…Walk away or just engage in friendship. Even talking or flirting with the idea of a relationship can lead to an emotional attachment. And getting emotionally attached or falling in love! with a man that isn’t available will drain you/block your blessings/and guarantee your heart will be crushed

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, =Self Discovery=, @Cultural, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, Post a Day 2013, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

>I am NOT my HAIR….I am a SOUL that LIVES within<

~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)

 

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, Post a Day 2013, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, WOW, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

MORE Black Men in Prison; Than Were Enslaved in 1850<<

Can ya’ll believe that??? Believe it or not it is the “new”  norm..

““More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Alexander, an Ohio State law professor, recently told listeners at the Pasadena Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union….” Quote taken from article written March 2011 regarding stats in Michelle Alexander’s book>

Alexander’s seminal book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” argues that prisons have become the latest form of economic and social disenfranchisement for young folks of color, particularly black men. In it, she grapples with a central question: If crime rates have fluctuated over the years and are now at historical lows, then why have rates of incarcerated men of color skyrocketed over the past 30 years? <

~For those that are just tuning IN..I’m utilizing the month of Black History Month to talk about Black specific topics that the masses either a. On a grand scale don’t want to think/talk about because “not” being aware is easier than dealing with reality b. Far too busy with their lives to worry about the lives of the future generation c. Just don’t care d. prefer to keep their heads in the sand and just tend to “self” e. don’t READ therefore honestly miss what goes on in the world around them. f. Are aware and are raising well-grounded /well-taught children/mentoring/outreach to the at-risk community, etc g. Did I leave anyone out?  Bottom line IS there is no time like the present; especially Black History Month to talk about some of “tougher” topics regarding Black America. What better place than in an environment that receives 402 MILLION readers of 4.1 BILLION pages a month? WordPress. A site I love dearly! A site I didn’t even know  how to navigate on a mere 3 months ago when I began here…I’m cognizant with EVERY single keystroke that my words here are a carbon print that will last forever…I don’t take that lightly. Now back 2 the topic at hand. I’m going to post a few alarming statistics and attempt to give this topic the due JUSTice it deserves…

Let that sink in for a minute into every pore of your being..

**The way I see IT is pretty simple. Any time you’ve got more people IN the penal system; than IN college(or in the education system period…) that surrounding/environment/society/and in this case an ENTIRE race/class/segment of society will suffer in a negative manner. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. And I’m far from being that..nevertheless as a Black Mother/Ma/Moms/Mom myself I’m beyond concerned about this issue. Even from the viewpoint of being an American citizen, born & bred & LOVE my country ’tis of thee   I’m frightened when I see the statistics. As a former state prison employee I cried MANY a tear seeing upclose and personal the young Black youth behind bars. Just weeped uncontrollably..mayhaps because I’m aware of the atrocious things that happen in prison is yet another reason I feel as I do. IF the current trend continues 1 out of EVERY 3 Black male adults will spend some time IN prison. I’m sorry folks but I see that as a reason to be alarmed..

Did you KNOW? That when many surveys are taken   by government agencies they “exclude” the people from prison population from their research & findings?!? When they’re added back into the equation it dramatically alters the picture of the  status of ..Black America. It isn’t a pretty picture. Over half of the 2.3 million people in American prisons are; BLACK. Even on a good day folks; how can that be a good thing? Just keep in mind there are NO good days behind bars..

DISCLAIMER: I’m NOT an advocate nor user of drugs. Nor am I saying that folks who break the law shouldn’t be PUNISHED..nonetheless there is a blatant “grey area” that mayhaps needs 2 be considered. <<<<

The question that BEGS to be answered is=WHY ARE SO MANY BLACK MEN LOCKED UP IN AMERICA? Well lets consider the war on drugs for a minute. By itself; the war on drugs has affected Black communities far more than others. Would you agree? There are increased arrests of Blacks for NON-violent offenses and yet…”There is NO evidence that drug use is dramatically different by race or ethnicity; but the pattern of arrests is very different. ” Quote from Ernest Drucker. Author of ‘A Plaque of Prisons’  Let that sink in for a minute…

Is it ANY small wonder, given the above happenstances, that as of Dec. 2012 ..a whopping 72% of Black American children are being raised in SINGLE parent homes?!? The media hypes up only the parts they like & dilute(or totally delete) the background info…yet! there is no excuse with the Internet ya’ll can’t do due diligence to find out the REAL scoop behind the scoop. What can WE do to stop this cycle ? My humble opinion is quite more than is being done on a grand scale..Often times when something seems SO monumental folks don’t know how or where to begin. The way I see it one by one we can do our part in various ways..Educate, educate, educate. For the remaining parents out there link UP together to raise YOUR children! Stop letting the boob tube, the internet, or their friends raise them…It is a parents JOB to arm a child with whatever they need to become PROductive good human beings. Don’t take on the task of being a parent if you’re not going to do the JOB. It is the most important JOB on the planet. Exclamation mark. Period..Far more than brand names clothes & overpriced tennis shoes children need guidance/discipline/and TONS of love. For folks who don’t have children mentor someone else’s. Even more so these days it truly takes a VILLAGE. My eldest son, who has NO children of his own AND is wrapping up his P H D, is presently going through the Big Brother interview process..to become a Big Brother. That is on top of his terribly busy schedule and mentoring his 2 younger brothers(my sons..) IF we all took on some small part to lend a hand; certainly the change can be great. At least that is the way I see it..

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^Teaching Moment Possibilities@ BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2013^

*It would be seriously remiss of me to not write/blog regarding Black History Month. What a great opportunity to rap /teach/share on an array of topics relative to Black History. I’m going to attempt to do a topic a day; beginning tomorrow.  However, some of the topics won’t be popular ones by far. Or at least not spoken about “in the open” often at all..From reputed homophobia in the Black community to ARE Black Fathers parenting their children  to massive amount of Blacks behind bars to whether the black church is relevant or not these days to why  some Black women have issues with Black brothers that date White women …a ton of things I’ve written about and long to share here.  I do hope all that read bring an open mind and a willingness to accept that any/all of this is merely one person’s opinion. Mine. Please feel free to share any/all viewpoints . I’m ready if you are..

~To open the dialogue I’d like to say this: For all of those out there who say they’re “not” racist because they have a Black friend! or a White friend!!…That does NOT equate to anything more or less than you’ve got a Black or White friend! And?!? I always wait for the AND  part…because I’ve met people who fall into the above category who still hold racist views. Yet they don’t realize it. For instance, I’ve been in situations where people(my friends..)  will talk about Black people in a negative & racist manner; and say oh! but not YOU. Wth? Am I not BLACK? But my opinion on the matter is that with honesty anything can be discussed…There IS a discernable difference between racist views and prejudice. Likewise with stereotyping vs. racist views/feelings/beliefs vs. prejudice. I sincerely believe that until these matters are discussed openly , especially with the youth involved, there won’t be a chance for progression. And if we can’t discuss race matters/issues openly during Black History month; when can WE?

 

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~Straight, No Chaser..~

~A woman’s essence is impenetrable..

~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)

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*VIOLENCE*The New NORMAL in America?!? It will always beget VIOLENCE

Why IS our country so obsessed with guns?!? And why does NRA have SO much pull it can toss loopholes(and has…) into even the best laid out plans to fix the gun issues in America like the Brady Bill? Mind you that was yet another time in history folks got all wound UP and decided to make a change to the guns laws…due to a violent act , by gun, against James Brady(was shot by Hinckley, Jr during an assassination attempt on Ronald Regan) WHY does their (..NRA’s) say or voice matter more than OURS; aren’t WE the people the ones whose VOTE is our voice?! And WHY does it take a violent act, by gun, against groups of children or government official to inspire politicians to do the RIGHT thing? IS the NRA paying off politicians or what?!?? And THIS question truly begs to be answered: WHO are all these Americans(including NRA members) stock piling guns UP to hunt ????? Hmmm think about that for a minute…

**And I know its out of desperation to save lives BUT..what a SHAMEful day it is that has come when WE there have to be ARMED guards in American elementary schools! A very SAD day indeed when parents have to be fearful when sending their young ones off to school..*shaking my head* After I cried a river of tears over the recent incident of “babies” slaughtered; my 2nd thoughts were THANK YOU GOD my sons are grown and finished with public schools(And yet! my sons are in college and I’ve lived to see folks NUT up and go shooting sprees on college campus as well) ..Who would’ve thought an American parent would ever fear sending their young one off to LEARN? Is this still America? Land of the free and my country “tis of thee ; of milk and honey. A country that boasts proudly of being the BEST place on earth…

Should it only be the parents of innocent children SHOT that speak UP for what is right and just? How many more shootings are going to take place before WE the PEOPLE stand UP and say ENOUGH is ENOUGH..Don’t we all deserve to feel safe while doing random things?!? Like walking into a movie theater to watch a movie. Like walking into a Walmart to shop. Like sending young children off to school.  Like walking through a neighborhood wearing a HOODIE.

And then! 2 add insult to injury NATIONAL GUN DAY this year..was the very same weekend as Martin Luther King, Jr holiday. A man known for nonviolence who was himself gunned down & assassinated by a rifle. Talk about blantant-in-your-face-don’t-give-a-dayum-BOLD-moves…What did we do to try to nip it? Where was the outrage?!? Have we forgotten that multiple voices are amplified in great volume? Have we forgotten all that was accomplished during the civil rights movement by the masses?!? Has the majority just become a bunch of mute, drones going through motions of life but NOT trying to change things for the better? If things continue forward in this manner what will the next generation have to endure?

When will America wake UP? Or have we become a society that has accepted unanticipated & unprovoked violence with guns as the NORM? Do YOU feel as safe today walking about minding your own business; as you did even 5 years ago? It apparently can happen anywhere…from college campus to elementary school and anywhere in between. Land of the free? Truly home of the “brave” to walk about and feel free/secure/safe  these days..Do NOT sit out on voting and or getting involved in YOUR/OUR country; get UP and do your part. Go to City Council meetings/learn the legislative process for heaven’s sake!/write to YOUR congressman to speak your disgust! with the lack of present gun laws/MAKE THE POLITICIANS WORK FOR THE SALARY/CUSH BENEFITS WE PAY FOR!..Many great changes took place right here in America from grass root efforts. Lest WE forget that ONE voice/one person! can start a momentum rolling…It only takes one very small spark to light a fire folks. Things are so OUT of control….but one can never lose HOPE that we can’t once again make AMERICA the great country it has the potential 2 B . WE can do this. It is time to help our President change things for the better. America has become the #1 spot in the world for obesity…Get OFF the couch and keeeeep it moving. WAKE UP AMERICA your children are dying far before they’ve lived their lives…Senior citizens who worked ALL their lives have to pick & frigging choose which meds they can afford..Working class folks have to WAIT to tend to medical needs..The American Dream of owning a home has become a distant dream to MANY..WE can do better! And we must…Our children/future grandchildren are watching & depending on us to do OUR part

 

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, **RELIGIOUS**, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, =Self Discovery=, Post a Day 2013, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~To B Continued, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

^The way DOWN is the way UP?^ Makes perfect sense 2 me..*WordPress DPChallenge

**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<

 

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`PILL POPPING PIMPED PEOPLE` *DP PostaDay Challenge*

**DEEP topic ALERT** I’m going 2 do my best 2 give this topic the due justice it deserves..Are ya’ll ready for me? I’m diving IN head 1st..I hope my uncensored & deep thoughts don’t offend anyone BUT  this is the way I see IT>>

~~It is NO measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly  sick society~~Quote by Krishnamurti

We’re living in a society which now thrives on instant gratification. A wait of more than 5 minutes is far too long..I find myself guilty as charged! Can’t stand waiting in line at the supermarket. I have to distract myself by reading(thank you GOD for the magazines at the check-out stands) while I’m waiting. Can’t stand waiting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. (I’ve got a phobia after being rear ended in Cali, twice!) Even found myself impatiently waiting on text responses..OMG why haven’t they answered my question??? And its only been 15 minutes or so; THAT is ridiculous of me. (especially since I do NOT respond sometimes to texts for hours..) But hasn’t our society also become very hedonistic in nature? For I feel not only do we want things quicker! faster; WE also want things right now that make US feeeeeel good. Even if it is to know we’re SO important to someone they’d answer our texts within minutes…But , how did we get here? I don’t recall backintheday feeling as if things had to be so rushed! I remember a day(OMG I’m starting to sound like my parents..) when we’d have to wait to get home to discover we’d forgotten to buy something at the market. Long, long before the birth of cell phones or even the old-skool beepers. Backinthedays when people actually walked UPright; and not bent over walking peering into a smart phone! As IF we can’t wait to get to a stand still position to keep up with texts, news, or Facebook happenings..Jeeeeeez. Have those things really become that important to us?!? When did it come to pass that folks stopped learning how to deal naturally with bad feelings or bodily symptoms? Got a headache? Pop a Tylenol in your mouth! Got menstrual cramps? Pop a Midol in your mouth! Can’t keep an erection? Pop a Viagra in your mouth! Feeling SAD for longer than 5 minutes? Pop a Prozac in your mouth! Want to win a cazillion Olympic medals? Pop illegal pills in your mouth! Feeling moody for a day? Pop a pill ! Kids can’t keeeeeep still in school? Give them some ritalin; which I feeeeeel then gets children HOOKED onto drugs for LIFE…Real talk 

**About 20 years ago I began to see a distinct change …Prior to that I wasn’t even aware of  how many CHILDREN were being prescribed(with parental consent!) drugs. Backintheday when I was in school there were just hyper normal ACTIVE children..We had what was called recess and P.E. to run off the energy. AND our parents didn’t load us UP with all kinds of sugary foods…least mine didn’t. My bro and I used to BEG my Mom to buy pop tarts/sugar smacks cereal(do they still sell that?) and anything with tons of sugar in it. BUT she didn’t cave in..we ate cheerios, rice crispies, etc..The things I’m thankful for now; that I hated as a child. Sorry I digressed badly with that flashback. But anyways back to 20 years ago I experienced a teacher, yep!, telling me mayhaps my middle son neeeeeded “something”…Something like what? Something to help him NOT to be so active..Oh, really??? I won’t tell you what my first response was to her. Nor will I tell you what my 2nd response was. BUT I wasn’t the person I was today back then. My tongue is a lethal weapon; I’ve learned how to bite it alot these days…Back then? I’m sure till this day, if she is alive, she recalls what I said to her…

Note to parents: YOU are your children’s advocate and VOICE. No one, and I mean no one, has the right to tell you to put your children on drugs. Not even to suggest IT. And IF they do and they happen to be a public educator; you can make dang sure they’re disciplined and or FIRED. It is my sincere belief that putting children on drugs! at early ages; can get them on a path of addiction. I don’t need a study to tell me this. I’ve witnessed other people(I never let anyone prescribe mood altering drugs for my middle son or any son I’ve got) whose children later became addicts. I’ve also heard stories from addicts who feel that is how/why they became addicts. Doesn’t it make sense? First of all anything you have to wean someone OFF of gradually(which you have to do with those drugs); can’t be a goooood thing. Second of all the same results can be attained by altering a child’s diet. Give them little to NO foods with sugar or color additives..The healthier option anyway! Stop feeeding them junk food just because it is more convenient. Keep children active. Get them involved in school sports activities..All 3 of my sons were active, hormonal , NORMAL boys.  Even in a city with temps of 100 degrees plus in the summer, yep! it was hot as HELL,  we took them to the park after dark to RUN off their energy. And the school gym. And walked alot in air conditioned Malls. By whatever means necessary worked their energy OFF; with 3 young ACTIVE  sons it was also a survival tactic. Otherwise I’m sure we’d have gone bonkers!  But I had a friend whose teacher told her/her husband IF they didn’t put their child on ritalin? Said teacher was going to tie their son to a chair to keeeeeep him still…I was horrified when I heard that. Tried with all my might to talk them out of doing it. But they did ; and started years of having to alter the level of ritalin . PLUS watching that child go through all sorts of physical emotional changes..Including walking around like a drug numbed zombie. And I’m sorry , in my opinion, that is not normal for a young growing boy.

>Before I wrap this up let me preface by saying …I’m NOT speaking in regards to people who takes meds for health issues. Nor do I have the right to judge anyone who chooses medication to stay alive. What I will say in regards to that is for the youth….an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Translation: eat well, treat your body right, exercise!, drink tons of water, intake fresh veggies/fruits. I’m still doing those things even at my age..trying with all my might to “not” have to join the ranks of pill poppers for health reasons. Much as I love life though if my Doc ever says I have to…Well , hopefully I won’t have to be concerned with that decision anytime soon.

Mood enhancers. Mood -altering drugs…Are they really necessary? Can’t becoming dependent on them cause death??? As seen with my beloved Michael Jackson, Whitney and even Tina Marie. What about folks like Charlie Sheen? Talented as he is; he looks about a cazillion years older than he is. And how about the folks who get on a drug for chronic pain? And then due to side effects have to get on another drug? And another drug to get over the side effects of that one! It happens…Not only that one can become addicted to pain pills. Even with the warnings that a drug can be addictive; people still need something to dull unbearable pain. And though I wouldn’t indulge I still feel natural drugs should be made legal! Like marijuana…but that is another topic for another time. (could be one heck of an anti-depressant though couldn’t it??! ) As I stated in another post though one of the very BEST anti-depressants doesn’t cost a dime. And it is alllll natural. SEX. I won’t digress though for thats a topic I could speak on for far too long. (scroll back to the topic in my blog …) How about folks altering their state of mind instead of popping a pill??? Just say NO to drugs for mood enhancing and try the alternative of doing it naturally..Exercise is a mood lifter! It releases endorphins in the brain/reduces depression/promotes self-esteem. IF folks in our country exercised more we’d not be the leading country in OBESITY; and possibly not so hooked on anti-depressants. 2 issues solved with 1 solution=What a bargain! (anyone out there recall when that phrase was popular? lol!) Pharma companies revenue climbed more than $200 billion between 1995 and 2010. Thats alot of loot  folks..and they’re now spending 19 times more self-promoting than basic research. Now I don’t say all of this to say that there aren’t people out there with true depression issues..There are. Mental illness is a serious issue. BUT what I am saying is there are alot of people who do NOT have serious depression issues…that are on meds. Including children…In my opinion? All other natural options should be considered first. Its very easy to pop a pill. But it is VERY difficult to stop an addiction that can start with popping pills..And addictions can grow. Ask Rush Limbaugh. That IS…