Posted in =Self Discovery=, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, ^Encouraging Words

>U Bring Light 2 The World..Let Your Little Light Shine!>

Well…do U?  Do you light the room up when you walk in; and folks are drawn 2 your light?  Or when you enter a room; do people scatter like roaches suddenly finding a cazillion things to do..Lets rap>

For anyone out there that lives in a spot, where fireflies exist, I wish I could see them! I recall backintheday loving the way their light lit UP the night ..My bro and I fondly called them what they were@lightening bugs.(well we were little at the time & thought everyone called them that) I think as people , like moths, many of us are drawn to the light..This is true without many even knowing it; we’re drawn to light just as day’light’ affects our moods & energy levels. (affects our chronobiological system) Now that I’m living “an intentional life”; and not just letting life happen 2 me..such things interest me far more than ever before. And learning more about it has impacted my life in immeasurable positive ways, countless, and the number is still climbing…

I’m of the belief we can speak(or think)  things in or out of existence…I said this to someone recently; and being the wonderfully inquisitive person she is she asked me” Do you really believe that?!? ” My answer was/is yep, I sure do! Why? Because the mind is a trip…literally. WE can convince our selves of things no one else can! For instance, have you ever walked into an interview knowing/feeling/exhibiting like YOU are the best candidate for that position?? I don’t give a dang if there are a cazillion other candidates that applied for that ONE job..you just know & feel deep down in your bones/spirit/mind that YOU were created to do that job the BEST? Well, IF you walked in thinking the opposite; just think how that would impact your attitude thus affecting how you  interview. In a negative manner…

For the record my disclaimer & my truth I live IS..I believe every single  word my fingertips stroke here. I don’t paint a picture this vividly that I can’t see. My paintbrush is enormous! And I  am living my life in bold, bright(yep I love bright colors) fabulous colors..Just yesterday I got a double-dose of bad news..News that were I the person I usedtoB could’ve/would’ve floored me. But I’ve learned, yearn to learn more, and am learning..myself and to live an intentional life. WE all have choices in this life. With concerted effort we can overcome and ride through ANY storm. I’m relentless now and majority of days my inner light flows out effortlessly..There is a song I don’t have time to dig up for ya’ll right now; thats called “I’m gonna let my little light shine” (or something close to that..) And I believe we all have the power within US; to do just that. Can’t we be the light we want to see in the world? I think we can and I think it will make the world a much better place..if we do just that. So today , and even on days (like this day is for me…) ; when you just don’t feel like you can muster UP the strength to let your little light shine..let it shine anyway. Know why? Because someone out there that usually shines so effortlessly, like lil ole me, might just need to vibe off the warmth of your light..So just bring IT. Time to prepare for church so until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)

Posted in Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic

**U ARE HERE**

Ever think about your existence in direct relation to the rest of the universe? Or in regards to the rest of the planet? One step further..Do you often wonder how your actions can(or do they? ) impact others in your family?/in your country?/at work?/in the world? Yep, I’m IN  the midst of a wave of deep thought..and trying to ride it gracefully.

~We’re often told, by the infamous “they”, that living in the here & now is all there is…I’ll dig a little deeper. One time in my life a person, that I hardly knew, told me that I was right where ‘I’ was supposed to be at that very moment. I didn’t want to acknowledge what she was saying; because it wasn’t a very bright spot in my life journey. Last thing I wanted to believe was that it was meant to BE..but now? I see things differently, total-180-degree-type-of-differently

What is IT about humans that we’re far more prone to either ..a. re-play thoughts in our head(as well as verbally & written) about the past or b. create things in our mind about the future..i.e. fantacizing ..and sometimes even in our sleep..i.e..dreams. Not realizing at those times that doing so takes us away from the “present experience”; the now. Likewise wouldn’t this also mean when doing this we’re not fully “engaged & present” to interact with others in our life? Not fair to them when looked at that way ; especially IF they’re already fully living in the  right now..

I’ve learned living in the past and/or the future; meant I was missing out on the freedom and peace in the right now..My awareness of this is SO real now that is almost tangible. I swear somedays I can almost taste it…I think we all know by now; its far easier to learn something than it is to UNlearn something. Including ways of thinking..I literally have had to ‘force’ myself to see the pure and utter beauty in the now. I stop to smell “alot” of roses now. Alot.. And it is so far beyond liberating that even I can’t find the proper way or word to express it fully

I could see how “the past” was creating /molding my present & future…Once I became conscious of that; I chose to make another choice. I chose to forgive the past; and fully embrace the now. And quite frankly I wake UP each morning and leap, almost literally(head rush alot of times doing this; so be careful! ) in anticipation and excitement of a brand new day/beginning. Its like you wake up excited as a child on Christmas Day every morning! With the feeling of “What did I miss and if I sleep one more minute I might miss something”…which could explain why most mornings(even weekends when I’m off work) I wake at O’dark thirty. I never need to use an alarm..ever. 

I used to think life was happening “to me”; instead of “for me”. And I’m  here as a witness to say one(including you if you want to..) can totally change the way you perceive things..but it takes a great deal of work(daily and consistently) and an immense desire to wish to change. Even deeper than the old adage@Nothing changes until something changes, is, one must change their way of thinking before anything can change…I believe in this , not because I’ve heard or read it(which I have..) but because I am living it.

I think we all have a purpose we were born/created to fulfill. A God-given life purpose..for me knowing that gives life meaning. Without such beliefs I think life would be beyond dull and would probably be similar to how a gerbil feels…running around & around a wheel all day long! Day after day after day year after year after year; until death. As IF! I don’t even want to imagine that type of existence..As I reach different levels of consciousness(and I’ve still a ways to go…) through meditation, reflection, prayer, and as I interact with people from different cultures/from different countries/from different backgrounds; what is no longer in alignment with where I’m “at” (my now and my present) is falling to the wayside. Like old hurts from the past. Thus making it easier to forgive and yep, to eventually forget. That being factual inofself has been immensely beneficial for my now; and for my future.  I dig the fact that by living in the “now”; I am being all I can be right now. Not tomorrow. Not planning for when I’m going to do this or that for a rainy day. But right now. And I try very hard to remember this and it helps me to keep things in perspective. ” Whatever is happening in my current experience, on any given day or moment, was meant to BE or it wouldn’t BE”>Until I write/read ya’ll again stay uplifted & blessed. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 & only)

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 <<COMING SOON, ***DPCHALLENGE, =Self Discovery=, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, ^Encouraging Words

~MAKE Choices *or* MAKE Excuses~

This ‘write’ is inspired by..Life. And will be written from the ‘mental notes” I’ve taken along my journey>

Disclaimer: I don’t claim to know all the answers..to anything. But what I do speak on I’ve lived. Through trial & error; and this theory is what works for me. In every aspect of my life it is working; only exception is my last love relationship. Which honestly I’ve not applied the time it deserves..but the right time for that is coming. Soon. Very soon. Anyways I say all of that to say I practice what I preach. Moving right along>

Keep it moving means exactly what it implies. Stay busy reaching/striving for your goals/dreams! This is a conscious  “choice” we can make. And it is necessary; if one wants to make sound, progressive choices instead of excuses. Ever met a person that just goes on and on about would’ve , should’ve , could’ve? They’re probably also a couch potato ..as IF that will help them do some of those things they wish they could’ve done. Staying busy , productive, and progressive keeps my mind clear of unnecessary clutter and B.S.! I simply don’t have time for it..and the rest of the time I’m sleep. But still working on getting more of that. But anyways moving right along>

Kis..yep, almost just as good as kiss! Keep it simple..Choose what you want to do. List the things it will take to get the job done. And one by one knock down the things on that list..before you know it..mission accomplished! Keeping it simple allows one to NOT get distracted(or delayed) by unnecessary complications. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” Quote by Albert Einstein

I used to live by chance..Trying to do everything in a perfect manner. Wound up feeling disappointed in myself alot because..a state of perfection doesn’t exist! When I chose to grab life and my goals..by the cajones and just do IT..I’ve been a cazillion times more effective in achieving what I set out to do. And a heck of alot happier/comfy in my own skin/content 100% with my choices/decisions. Sometimes  you just have to step out on FAITH. Been there and doing it. Alot. It is never an easy walk; but waiting for others to decide my fate left me feeling unfulfilled. NO one person , nobody, can make the best choices for an adult that will leave that person feeling wonderful. But making a choice that is right for me(you); regardless of whether it fails or not..has been awesome for my soul and self-esteem. When the choice, my choice, works!..I feel like I’m walking on air/gives me more confidence to make more choices & decisions/and motivates me to strive higher. The impossible truly is possible..ya’ll will just have to trust me on that one.  Or try it for yourselves.

IF there is something about your life you’re not content with; work to change IT. We all know the type of folks who whine about this or that..yet do nothing to change it. That is their choice..however for those that truly want to make a change..just DO it. 17 months ago I took a leap of faith(for the 1st time in my life journey)  and I’ve never looked back…Change? It is possible if you want it badly enough. Even at almost 50 yrs of age.

Last but not least most of us have a very, very strong relationship with our “inner voice”. That “gut” feeling. I call mine my “vibe radar”..when I feel good vibes from a person or an environment..99.9% of the time it is spot on. Same for the vibes I get when I’m making a decision or choice. Its called intuition. With most women it is strong; problem is we don’t listen to it half as much as we should. Until we get older/wiser/stronger/BETTER..or maybe that is just how its worked out for me. Word of advice? Learn yourself. Learn what you’re skilled at. Learn what you do BEST. Strive to figure out your GOD given talents. We ALL  have them; just some of ya’ll don’t use them or don’t know what yours are.  Learn your flaws and your faults. Admit them and work on improving them. Daily..Learn your weaknesses. Try to either stay “away” from them or get stronger so they won’t be a weakness. Its my belief the more one learns themselves; the more one’s inner voice can be heard and felt. Real talk. It works if you work it. Least that is the way I see IT…Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the one & only) 

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 "Just for fun"

******If YOU came with instructions what would your label read?******

…Ever wonder what instructions you’d come with IF people came with a label? Do you think that might make getting to know a person easier? Or would it take away from the beautiful process of getting to know someone? How about IF we came with a warning label? I’ve got quite a list in mind for instructions/warnings I’d come with..One has to know themselves pretty well to do this exercise..Be honest; but have fun with it!

>My label would read= Handle with care; contents are special!  Give tons of affection and LOVE, love , love required for maximum usage. No batteries required; but sincerity/trust/communication are mandatory. Product will yield tenfold in return. Keep near water;i.e. the beach! for product’s full potential and results will be beautiful, serene, and full of laughter and warmth.> My warning label would read=IF you don’t feel like talking or listening to product talk(product even talks with their hands in animated & energetic fashion when wound UP) do NOT push the ON  button! And last but not least & highly important; owner MUST keep their own batteries re-charged..product is highly, highly energetic and full of life! If owner doesn’t require batteries for charging; eat your wheaties & vitamins… !

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, LOVE, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

>NO Surrogates Wanted^ Authenticity is Mandatory

I’ve made it no secret..I’m just about ready to open the door (& my heart) to dating..Its time and yet my self-imposed “dating” hiatus has been good for me & to me..Nevertheless, there are a few things I’d like to say before embarking upon this new journey. I know ya’ll have heard of this phrase and if not I’ll do my utmost best attempt to explain..I think many people aren’t comfy on dates. Far too often folks send in their “representative”! (this is a term Chris Rock rightfully made infamous; and its so true) Instead of coming as “they are” ; they’re too busy trying to say all the right things/do all the right things/and BE all the right things. When in reality there is no “right” way to be yourself. All one has to do is just feel free enough to just; BE. Or least that is what I desire and nothing less will suffice…

Alright I’m finally back; lets DO this. Ready to get knee-deep into this topic? Well, I am! But first just a bit of background music; so ya’ll know exactly where I’m coming from. And the state of being I’m finally ready for once again..after long last. Music is one of the great loves of my life; is there anything that isn’t better when music is added?

~You know that person you present when you go for a job interview? The one who is all set to sell themselves to the MAX;  but just might “bend” the truth a little bit? That is YOUR representative..Does the you that goes on first dates have more in common with your “rep”; than you give yourself credit for? Hmmmm I truly hope, pray!, none of my first dates wind up with the real ME; meeting someone’s “rep”..Lets see if I can briefly explain why. (I am after all still working on my brevity issue)

While I think its perfectly normal to put one’s best foot forward on a date..I encourage people to be “confident” enough to be; YOU. If the connection is “right & tight”; then it might just possibly work out for at least a 2nd date..I think we can all agree that dating is meant to be = the opportunity to spend quality time getting to know one another better. IF one or more of the pair sends their “rep” instead; the potential of there being a true connection is pretty rare..Especially if when the “real” person shows up(perhaps on date 3 or 4) ; the person who was “duped” a. might not like the real person as well as they did the “rep” b. might be so peeved they were deceived they want nothing to do with either you or your rep!

What I like the person to do that I’m on a date with IS…relax! I obviously thought there was something special about YOU(or whoever I’m on the date with) ; or I’d not be spending time with you. I’ve an allergy to wasting time..especially my precious time. And I’m respectful also to not waste anyone else’s precious time. I dig confident brothers! So what I think is really awesome on a date is; when my date lets his light shine. And let it shine naturally without being forced or faked. I can smell sincerity and I’ve a really good “vibe” radar. I almost swear I can feel good vibes radiate from a person..

At this point in my life journey I’m SO comfy in my own skin…I no longer try to fit my square peg; into round holes. I’m about as real as they come; and what you see is what you get! Well, IF I discover  my date is my “The One” that is..

I respect folks who are genuine. I dig that alot…I’ve got a knack for making people feel at ease & comfortable in my company. I love to laugh and I laugh alot! And laughter is contagious..

So what I’m hoping is that since I’m bringing “me” to my dates; my dates will be bringing the real “them”. Whether we end up as more than friends or not; I guarantee we’ll have a good time! There aren’t too many things I do socially that fun isn’t involved..I’m from New Orleans and we work hard & play hard. So ya’ll wish me luck and lets hope I don’t meet any dates’ reps. Because sooner or later(when my The One shows up on a date) I’m going to meet the man that was born to love only me…And when ,over time, its clear to me he is my The One? This is what I’ll say…

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 ***DPCHALLENGE, @Cultural, Post a Day 2013

>A *b* PLAN..MISeducation of 2days BLACK youth>Black History Month Tribute

Let me be clear..I’m PRO education. Exclamation mark. Period. Life has a way often times of getting in the way of our goals & dreams. WE also  have a way of getting in our “own” way. There is a difference. Yep, *rant alert* because I’m on 1…

“In 100 years, it won’t matter if you drove a Cadillac
or a Chevy. It will matter what we do for children.”
— Reverend Anjohnette Gibbs

**One more quote/background..then I’ll give my opinion on this topic. Bear with me because I’m digging deep. Not easy subject matter to broach; but so very important. **

“ It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
Frederick Douglass

>America is failing its young Black boys. In metropolitan ghettos, rural villages and
midsized townships across the country, schools have become holding tanks for
populations of Black boys who have a statistically higher probability of walking the
corridors of prison than the halls of college. Across America, the problem of Black male
achievement seems intractable. We fail our Black sons more than any other racial or
ethnic group.< Excerpt taken from Fall 2011 Edition of Policy Evaluation & Research Centers’ Policy Notes…

 

I’ve got many PHDs..One in Life.(including the school of hard knocks)  One in Family. One in Love Relationships/Marriage.  I’m still working on attaining my actual “paper” PHD..As  my eldest son is ,now only a few  months away,  from actually having his PHD  it brings to mind some of the many questions I’ve answered (or attempted to..)over the years regarding education. Questions from my sons and naysayers who say the time has come for Blacks to weigh whether a college education is really worth it. I could use alot of old adages to express why I feel it IS; but I won’t.  I could even post more graphs to illustrate the impact a college education has on one’s lifetime income; but I won’t. Last but not least I guess I could say what I truly feel…the price of a college education is not rising for NO reason. Is it purely based on the economy that tuition and books have skyrocketed? Or is there a very logical reason behind the madness? IF college costs keep rising at a rate of 15% in 2 years(the average from 2008 to 2010) ; it will become increasingly unaffordable for the poor or even the almost non-existent middle class…

Honestly? I can understand why the youth might ask these questions..What about ALL of the folks with degrees that are JOBless? Is a college education worth going into knee -deep debt for? Why can’t I quit college  when an excellent job with benefits comes along? How do I KNOW there will be jobs available when I’ve got my degree? What IF I’m not college material and I fail & waste all that time/money?

My stance? By whatever legal means necessary college is still worth it…nobody ever said anything worth it was going to be easy. Or without sacrifice. And these days a TON of moolah..Or good grades! to offset cost by landing a scholarship or grant. Which leads me back to where I began with this topic. Anyone out there know what the average reading level of 12th grade Black males was  in 2010? On average, Black 12th grade students read at the level of White 8th grade students; or lower. Quite impossible to gain academic scholarships with those stats..Some don’t even consider college as a viable option. Sad, isn’t it? And then we wonder why prisons are filled with Black males; and college campuses aren’t. And we all know its happening because the media posts the stats EVERYWHERE; on purpose. With a purpose..

In my opinion when ANY group of society is lacking or falling behind; ALL parts of society will be impacted by it..I’ll let you think about that for a minute before I proceed.

I’ve tried to analyze where “we” can begin to solve this major issue..First, I guess one would have to figure out where it begins. Heres a quick breakdown..In any given situation PARENTS are/or should rightfully be a child’s first teacher. Giving guidance, direction and stability, etc, etc. Why isn’t that happening with today’s Black youth? Especially young Black men..Sometimes an issue can seem so HUGE we don’t know how to tackle it. Don’t even know where to begin solving it. But that doesn’t mean don’t do anything or attempt. And I also feel that those of us who have the wherewithall & care enough about the future; have to give till it hurts! Give our ourselves, our time, our experience, our ideas for progression, mentor!, etc..It is mind boggling to me that the situation has gotten this BAD. I don’t know about you but I’m tired, no tyeeeed, of seeing the dismal statistics. How can we, with good conscience, not do our part to help? We can’t…

Bottom Line~ IF or when your children , or anyone, asks you any of the aforementioned questions..You can use my answer if you like; I’ll let you borrow it…College is ALWAYS worth it.(or some form of higher education)   My own Dad taught me long ago that one thing that could “never” be taken from me: knowledge. And in society these days that translates to a degree. A piece of paper , true!, but it is the way it is these days. A high school diploma doesn’t hold the weight it once did…In a quick minute a bachelors degree won’t even be enough to get a decent job. And that clock is ticking rapidly. A college degree isn’t a guarantee to get a job; never was! But it can open doors…and once inside that door it can lead to rapid promotion. Personally? I think high school should extend for another 2 years…An associates degree should be part of the regular public school system curriculum. But that is another topic for another time. And if saying ALL of that; doesn’t satisfy the person who asked you if college is worth it.  The very , very final answer I resort to when I’m truly desperate IS…Because I said so!

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, =Self Discovery=, @Cultural, LOVE, Motivational!, Post a Day 2013, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

~~CONFESSIONS of a Single, Sexy, Divorced Sista~~Black History Month Tribute

I make this look ALOT easier than it really “tis..Alot of my commentary about “being  single & waiting for my ‘The One’ might come across as IF it is always …A walk in the park/through rows & rows of rose petals/and full of fabulous, sunny days..While 99.9% of my days ARE full of sunshine/tons of smiles/& even more laughter; it is some of those after-hour moments that can be trying at best. Shows like ‘Sex in the City‘ & even the black casted “Girlfriends‘; didn’t always reveal the “real” scoop. …

Majority of the time I can’t/won’t lie; my vibe is right and tight. No complaints with being single & sexy other than…I’m ready to NOT be single! I am ready for my onceinalifetimeloveofalifetime. And before I dive in deeper this song will or should set the background for the foreground; that I’m getting ready to lay down. Just so there are no misinterpretations of where I’m coming from..

Now that its been established the phase of life I’m in…Its the notsofabulous moments when thoughts of temptation can creep into the crevices of my mind..Usually right before I go to sleep when I’m finally; still. Those times when the part of my inner self? has doubts>

That “trouble-making” part of self that attempts to disturb my groove of feeling hecka-fied and awesome..Asks funky questions like: What IF waiting on “the 1” is for naught?!? Where the heck is HE? Is he lost??? Is time spent going to make up for these months of waiting? Why isn’t THE time for love right now? Maybe Mr Right Now is better than waiting for Mr Right..

I don’t profess to speak for all Black women..BUT I can not be the only one going through IT. However I am so busy it isn’t often I have time to even get “that lonely feeling”. That feeling of remembrance…of how sweet love can be and IS. *sigh* Certainly I can’t be the only Sista trying to walk the walk; and talk the talk…Single by choice and actually I’m not even dating yet, lol!, BUT I’m close to being ready to date..I guess I was hoping I’d run into Mr Right and he’d be SO awesome, that I’d be forced to give up my “dating hiatus”. After all I am a dreamer; and I dream BIG and in color…

Truth be told I’ve never waited on love before..this is my very first time. There isn’t much of my adult life that I’ve spent *single and unattached*. I’m far more used to being part of a love union than..this. I don’t even know if I’m doing this right! How does one know when it is their very first time? And how much longer can I endure those late night thoughts that creep in? Not sure how many more sheep I can count..

That nagging feeling that comes when my body is tired yet..mymindisstillracing gets me SO amped up I think about the unthinkable. A long distance relationship. Ugh! Or what about joining an internet dating site? Double Ugh! But holding on the hope of all hopes that not ALL of the outstanding brothers are married..IF so where the heck are they?! I keep running smack into hot married ones on this coast. Triple Ugh! And I refuse to go down that road…Did all of the hot, outstanding ,single,   brothers move to the right coast when I relocated to the left coast?!?? OMG

The really great news? I don’t have these type of thoughts often..though honestly I’ve had them alot more than when I first decided to take a breather from dating..More fabulous news? Overall the results have far exceeded what I’d wished for. Doing ‘me’ for a minute was one of the best decisions of my life..And I know, in my heart of hearts , I’m so close to the finish line. I can feel it! I can and will overcome those “nagging” late night thoughts & temptations..because settling now would truly mean I’d wasted alot of precious time learning me/doing me/reaching for my dreams, etc etc yada yada. And the best news of all? I feel so much better after this rant and venting it all out…exhaling is necessary from timetotime. Thank you GOD for blogging ;for its served as such a sweet release. Problem solved for now…

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*, =Self Discovery=, @Cultural, Motivational!, Post a Day 2013, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

~~An Open Letter 2 My Black Sista’s~~Tribute to Black History Month*Written with love..

Had to show my Sista‘s some love during my venture of blogging Blackness during Black History Month..This letter format was inspired from Nova Giovanni..A brother whose a fellow WordPress blogger, comedian, radio personality, active philanthropist, social activist & author. The brother is busy for sure! And his site is listed in  my faves if ya’ll want to check him out..

Dearest Sista, I write this letter with the UTmost love, respect and regard..Sight unseen I know you’re beautiful! And the world does as well. How do I know? Many women from coast to coast and around the world try with all their might! to EMULATE  you. Don’t you find it odd when there are tons of stereotypes /racist , funky comments(usually behind our back …) about US; over the years in increasing numbers WE are imitated and envied. How so? From as far back as Bo Derek “others” wanted OUR  hairstyles; from braids to cornrolls! Folks pay big bucks to “tan” their skin in an attempt to gain our fabulous skin tones. Butt implants and fuller lip injections are the latest rage; attributes WE were born with naturally. And OUR Black brothers(men)? Well they’ve been desired by “others” since the beginning of time…Yet, you my Sista, were created beautiful just the way YOU are!

From the natural sashay of our curvy hips as we walk..to the way we can pull it together even during times of crisis..to the graceful way we age naturally withOUT even the many wrinkles to betray our true age…Black Women rein supreme when they’re at their BEST. When a Sista has come “into her own” she isn’t just a glowing sight to behold; she is pretty much unstoppable in achieving her dreams/goals/aspirations. She can come from the depths of poverty and abuse; to unlimited financial status. With finesse! Oprah is a perfect example of that very fact..and thus makes it possible for all of US…

But my dearest Sista, I wonder in the sincerest of ways, if YOU truly know from whence you come..Do you walk as IF  you love yourself? Is there pride in the way you carry yourself? When you look in the mirror are you proud of what you see? Do you  know that you walk on the shoulders of those who gave their lives for you to have the world at your fingertips? Are you living UP to your God given purpose? I never gave birth to the daughter I yearned for ; BUT if I’d had a daughter these are some of the things I’d have shared with her..

1. When you’re in your 20s you’ll think you know everything! When you reach your 40s..you’ll realize you didn’t know HALF as much at 20 as you’d thought you did. The lesson? Listen to your parents even when you think they’re not hip ! as you…truth IS they don’t just think they know it all. They do! As you mature gather people into your “inner circle” who can mentor you…Mentors aren’t just for college students. Choose people who have achieved goals they’ve strived for. Choose people who are already in places or careers you’d like to attain. And listen/observe every , single thing you can.

2. Choose your lovemates WISELY. Like Judge Judy says to all the whining women who complain about their misfortune with men; YOU picked him! Choose men not just based on looks or how fine he IS(although I won’t lie physical attraction IS a must) but also on his admirable traits , level of smarts, respect for his parents(important!) , his level of compassion, belief in GOD(sorry its the way I feel so I can’t leave that out) and bottom line ask yourself if he is a good person at heart..Who your mate IS is a direct reflection of YOU. Or it should be…

3. Hard as it IS sometimes remember your body is a precious temple..Treat it as such. If you take care of your body in your 20s; when you reach your 40s you won’t look like you’re 100 yrs old. Starting good physical habits in your 20s is far easier than later in life…Old habits are very, very hard to break. Consider your “precious temple” before you give it easily over to a Man..make sure he is worthy of your “essence” . Every time you give of “yourself” ; you’re giving away a piece of your essence.

4. There is NO one person who can be your everything! Nor should you need them to be..that was a hard lesson for me to learn. Just glad I finally did. A lovemate should compliment all that you are. Like ying and yang..doesn’t mean you have to be twins. And can often mean you’ll be opposites in many ways..BUT you should share core mutual interests. I’ve seen a pair of opposites work in sync for over 50 years; my parents.

5. NEVER be afraid to be different even when in a crowded room of Idontcarehowmany! NEVER be afraid to share your passions..NEVER be afraid to do your own thing. BE original. BE the first. DO YOU..you’ll find it alot more satisfying than being a follower. And more often than not folks will follow you…Let your little light shine and let it shine brightly. You only get one life/one shot to do this life.

AintIAWomanfurthertofly6. Stand FIRM in your convictions/beliefs when you feel with all your being that you’re right..but pray for discernment before doing so. However, also learn to know when to “fold” and give in ..its a thin line indeed..but it can be done. Trusting your “gut woman’s intuition” will save you many a heartache or misfortune; so learn to trust it 100%! Majority of the time our “first inclination” is totally accurate. It IS when we as women doubt ourselves we usually fall short…

7. Embrace who YOU are; Black roots included. Let NO one convince you that being Black is ugly or bad..your Blackness is a part of you that should be nutured..Learn your history and cherish it. Never , ever forget the many who died for you to go to uncharted territory they only could dream of. When you walk out of the door every , single day! you represent your ancestors, your parents, and YOU. Act like it..always..including how you dress! Translation: Cover UP your behind and breasts; unless of course you’re at the beach.

8. Strive to constantly strengthen your “spiritual being” and your FAITH in GOD. Without God you can do nothing; and with GOD you can do anything you dream of. Real talk….you never walk alone. Ever. Once you realize that the entire world/universe! will look different to you.

9. Last but not least remember always YOU were created for a reason! No child is an accident; even ones WE didn’t plan. You’re a unique creation…a one of a kind. One and only YOU. Strive to reach your God given purpose..Work always to improve “self” for we’re always a work in progress. And love, love!, LOVE your counter-part. Your Black Brothers. For even if you don’t fall in love with one..you were created to support HIM. Whether it is as your Father/Daddy/Son/friend/confidant/lover/or husband..do NOT tear him down. For if you do you’re also tearing down a part of YOU..and it is quite impossible to raise outstanding Black sons into beautiful Black MEN; without a sincere RESPECT for Black Men. It is quite simple to understand when looked at from that aspect….Whatever you do enjoy your life. Its a life full of chances to fall down , learn from mistakes!, and dust self off and keep right on moving forward. Love your life; and live the life you love. Anything less is a waste of time…DO YOU and do you to the best of your ability. If you do you’ll have little to no regrets.

 

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, LOVE, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, Post a Day 2013, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, ^Encouraging Words, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

~BLACK FATHERS:Present,INVOLVED,& Engaged..The Not*Sung*Enough*Song~

In dedicating this week’s posts to ALL things pertaining to Black America..in honor of  Black  History  Month..I’d be  remiss in not giving proper attention/adulation/RESPECT to BLACK FATHERS. I should’ve begun and ended with this topic; but I needed time to gather my thoughts  to give this topic the HIGH regard it deserves. I can only pray I give it the DUE  justice it so rightfully earns. Here is my very best attempt to stand UP and  pay homage to the Black MEN whose  positive side is notoriously ignored by the media, the paparazzi, often times by Black WOMEN themselves..

**This is a subject near & dear 2 my heart as a 4ever & very LOVED  Daddy’s Girl. I dedicate this piece as a tribute to the MAN who gave me life/has been my life-line in my darkest of days/and who has been the voice in my life journey that could instantly bring me comfort when I needed it the most/and beloved lifemate & lovemate of my Mom.. I love you always, Daddy!**

~”Mothers can not be Fathers…Fathers can not be Mothers”  EACH role is distinctly important and that is far too often disregarded by the Black community. In the same regard a FATHER’s role is CRUCIAL in a child’s development; no different than it takes both sexes to make a baby…it should rightfully take BOTH to properly raise a child. Exclamation point. Period..Nonetheless many a Black woman has HAD to take on both roles. Or in some cases , far too many, overlooked and under-mined a Father’s role in their child(rens) lives. Which, in my opinion, is a GREAT disservice to the child. Because society does its best to depict Black Fathers as UNneeded; Black Mothers/Women have got to play double -duty letting them know they’re ESSENTIAL. It is a part of our unspoken JOB even though we fall short at times doing so…

>For far too long the “rumors” that resonate as so called “facts” in American society about Black Fathers hasn’t been defended OUT LOUD by anyone…including the Black community. Harsh and sad as that sounds we all know it is true. But what is NOT true is the UNtruth that Black men don’t care /don’t want to care about their children . I’ve lived and seen quite the opposite with my own Father(aka Daddy) , my exhusband, and a host of friends who are Black Fathers/Dads/Pops!/Papa..

NOT only do Black men LOVE their children , and want to spend time with them, but many have had to go to great lengths(and expense of attorneys) to secure what should be their “right”; as a parent. Which is to participate and BE involved in their child’s life; & faced much resistance from racially/gender biased court systems. I personally witnessed a friend of mine endure this for 3 years! The entire time over $800 a month deducted from his salary monthly; yet he had to fight the courts/& child’s mother for visitation rights. Honestly, had I not witnessed it I’d not have believed such a thing could happen…What I feel needs to happen so this can cease is Black mothers have GOT to stop manipulating the court system. Why stop a well-intentioned Father from spending time with their child? And shouldn’t we ask ourselves WHY the court system would allow such a thing?!? But one only has to know the detriment to a child without their Father in their lives..just maybe the infamous “they” don’t want Black Fathers involved in their childrens lives for a reason. Nevertheless the courts would NOT be able to dictate such things; IF mothers respected the importance of the Father’s involvement. Black relationships without a doubt need a major overhaul when courts are this involved in “their” childrens lives…WE can and must do better or our childrens future will be bleak.

The positive  impact an actively engaged Father has on a child’s life is beyond priceless…#1 . Fathers have a direct impact on the well-being of their child #2. Indirectly the relationship between child’s parents will IMPACT the child for life. So even when parents split maintaining a cordial environment is MANDATORY. Just look at it as working on a mutual major project together; your child. Mature folks who love their child can manage this(and helps if you once loved each other)…#3. Children with involved, caring  Fathers have better educational outcomes. Higher IQs, better linguistic & cognitive skills(if you don’t believe me google it..) #4.Children with involved Fathers are more emotionally secure,confident to explore their surroundings, less likely to get into trouble at home , school , or anywhere!, and have better social connections/skills #5. Children with involved Fathers are far less likely to experience depression issues, less likely to exhibit disruptive behavior, MORE likely to exhibit pro -social behavior #6. LESS likely to get involved with DRUGS, gangs, or violent behavior..

I’ve personally lived out loud the benefit of having been born into an active 2 parent loving(and IN love with one another)”nuture” team..Fortunately  I no longer live over 3,000 miles from them; and loving every moment I get to spend with my parents. Parenting is a JOB that lasts for a LIFEtime. It never ends folks…. I’ve also  been part of a 2 parent parenting team with my now exhusband; and its been(and still is) an experience I’ll cherish forever. My exhusband fully understands and promotes the importance of BOTH of our roles; and I give him his much deserved DUE props on a regular basis. He’s known to say there is nothing like “mama love” ; and likewise with “Pops love” We’ve shared duties and “huddled” over major issues. Even though we’ve been divorced for years. Having watched the nuturing love he has given to our sons; has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I’ve got another treasured friend who raised his children on his own basically…never once bad mouthing his children’s mother. Just stepped UP and took the reins in  his hands and raised 3 awesome people. Single & GREAT  Black Fathers DO exist. Though they ask for no applause; the applause should be thunderous! Enough of just the negative stories about our Black Fathers being plastered across screen and newspapers..the same light should be shown on the outstanding ones. And IF this isn’t done then Black Women need to step UP and do the JOB they were created for@Be supportive of Black Men when the rest of the world is NOT…Or least that is the way I see it. Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 & only)

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..

Posted in <<COMING SOON, ***DPCHALLENGE, @Cultural, Post a Day 2013, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

COLORstruck

~Whether or not its a discussion as OLD as the hills; it is still sadly enough relevant in 2013. I’m willing to bet there isn’t a Black person in America who hasn’t been affected by the color  issue . In some form or another..and the type I’m  talking about  is Black on Black. As funky as it IS and as mind blowing it is…Colorism is alive and well amongst us. Even for those folks who “think” they aren’t colorstruck. As simple as it might seem to “others” to NIP it; it is very complex indeed. Disclaimer: As always these are merely one person’s observations/experiences/opinion. Mine. Ready? Get set! Here I go head first , again….

I recall watching my teenage heart throb(is that phrase even used nowadays? oh well, I’m old skool till the day I die…) beholder of the handsome face plastered allllll over my bedroom walls on posters; slowly MORPH into something horrific. The once beautiful brown skin with the just PERFECT wide nose and the full , luscious lips just poof! …gone. I couldn’t for the life of me understand WHY someone with so much talent could HATE their brown skin /Black features enough to do that to themselves. What happened to MY Michael??? Object of sooo many of my naive teenage dreams? Author of the OFF THE WALL album which was the BEST album of the century? How could he possibly have NOT liked himself when I and millions of others loved him so??? I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. How could anyone NOT love being BLACK?…..

So that was about the time I decided to dig a little deeper…Taking mental notes of my own personal experiences as well as reading, reading , reading about others experiences. And of course quietly observing…

Before I delve deeper let me preface by saying..I LOVE BEING BLACK. Exclamation mark. Period..and I make no apology for it. Anyone who is anyone should be proud to be who they are and what they are..and if you don’t like who you are work to change IT. However, one’s skin color should be something to be proud of for it is given to us by GOD for a reason. Or least that is how I feel about it. IF he wanted us to be any other color certainly we’d have been born that way…OR better yet IF he wanted us to all look alike he’d have done that too! But it is my inherent belief he made us different colors for a reason…but that is another topic for another time.

So one might ask if being Black is so awesome; why does colorism exist? Why are we still stuck on being COLORstruck? Haven’t we evolved enough past slavery to get past THIS ?!? And we all know it stems from slavery; doesn’t it? Hmmmm Yep, my questions bring more questions that even I can only guess the answer to; or assume. Which I hate to do! So I began listening to others experiences…the pain!(like Michael Jackson’s ..) my people have gone through due simply to the color of their skin. IF a person keeps hearing or seeing over and over and over and over again negative connotations associated with “anything”(including their skin color) what will eventually happen? And what will that person then pass on to their children???

One way to change something is to start with changing our OWN behavior…Or whatever is possible to change within our power. I recall when my sons were much smaller…People would remark about their skin color being light or lighter or whatever. And the good hair comments OMG..WE have got to let go of that also. But that is another topic for another time…My response was always the same. Do NOT bring that mess around me or my sons! I won’t allow them to even think! they’re any less Black than anyone else due to their skin tone or hair. NOR will I let anyone else plant the seeds of those thoughts into their heads..What you do or say around your children is your business; but what you say around mine is MY business. And I was serious. Also, I ‘ve had people walk straight UP to me and ask “What are you. Are you mixed?” Wth? WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? I’m just good ole fashioned BLACK. Period. That has honestly been my response when anyone is ignorant enough to ask that question…I’d never ask anyone that, jeeeeez. Black IS Black folks. I don’t care if you’re one ounce Black…still BLACK. Sometimes I wish we’d gotten stuck in a time warp in the days of ‘Black is Beautiful!”..wasn’t that the 70s?

I  once had a brother tell me, to my face!, that I wasn’t dark enough for him to date…WOW. Blew my hair back because I’d never been told that before. Least not to my face. Appreciated his honesty, but dang!, still hurt my feelings. What the heck can I do about my skin color? Not a dang thing; nor do I plan on “doing” anything about it ..except loving IT. By the way we “did” end up dating and he’s an outstanding brother(& one of my best friends in the world)  that has no regrets…

We come in many shades that run the gamut …There are expectations/judgments/so called advantages/and slights that boost one shade of brown over another..It needs to NOT only be discussed but STOPPED. Generation after generation is carrying it forward. I recall when my youngest son started dating his high school sweetheart..first thing my ex husband said was”Whew! I’m glad to see he isn’t colorstruck!” Because she was dark-skinned..and my comment was”Why would he be? We raised him to not be; didn’t we?!? ” But then we talked about it and we really had  NOT ever discussed  it with our sons per se…all we did do though was not to label people by color. I’m not really sure what the answer is to stop colorism from continuing  to re-cycle..I think one sure way to start though is by addressing it. We know it exists. And society knows it exists; google UP what Loreal did to Beyonce’s skin in an ad if you don’t believe me. We also know that it causes DIVISION, schism and contention among us as Blacks. We can either continue to just discuss it every Black History Month or whenever; and then forget about it. OR we can discuss it and act on changing our own behavior. One person at a time might start a movement to nip it..I think that just might be how major movements/CHANGE begins. Until I read/write ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)

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

*Homophobia in Black America*

IS this  fact or fiction? I’ll present my opinion and findings; and let ya’ll figure out which it is. Might as well take down one of the toughest topics first …Can we really talk about this without people getting all amped UP ,righteous,offended ,or showing a display of utter ugliness a/k/a ignorance? I  hope so & guess we’re getting ready to find out because I’m going in head first..First, let it be known. I’ve personally evolved alot on my stance regarding this topic. I’ll be the first to admit it; though majority who know me never knew my true feelings on the matter years ago or even now. This is such a “taboo” topic that I’ve not discussed alot…in public. (and thats saying ALOT because I talk ALOT)  Isn’t it something how lifes circumstances, personal growth, and knowledge on a particular subject matter can totally flip a person’s opinion?!? Or am I the only one that has happened to? Hmmmmm …And before anyone asks NO I’m not. Nor am I bi-curious. I’m as straight as an arrow and I love everything about being a woman. A woman that loves everything there is to love about MEN. However as my faith has grown so has my awareness of;things. And my love of people including different cultures has also molded my opinion on; things. As a loved child of GOD I’ve come to the realization that we are ALL loved children of GOD. Exclamation point. Period. As humans I don’t feel we can put a level of “percentage”(for lack of a better word) GOD places on sin..A sin is a sin , right? WHO are we to say who is going to be condemned or not for so called; sins? WHO are we to say what is a sin in the first place? And IF homosexuality is a sin hypothetically speaking and IF sex outside of marriage is a sin(doesn’t the Bible say it IS????) and IF adultery is a sin(“ditto”…) then who are WE to say which of those sins will have the higher percentage of winning us a spot in HELL? Truth IS none of us living folks knows…Nor do I feel we have to right to judge anyone else’s so called “sins” . (just my opinion but there are too many things listed as sins! When I found out even thoughts about “lusting but NOT touching” was a sin??? I was shocked…  *slapping forehead* )Isn’t it also in the Bible that WE aren’t to judge others? I’m going to dig myself in a little deeper..Buckle UP>

Another thing that helped me to open my eyes/ears/mind regarding homosexuality? The multiple sources(a kind word because they’re really hypocrits) that were fueling my opinion/belief. Religious leaders including priests all yelling from the rooftops how wrong it was. And then came story after story to the light about same sex (with children no less! ) incidents from the likes of Eddie Long and only God knows how many priests…From politicians to celebrities to high ranking officials incidents of “suspect behavior” became more rampant. It began to seem like the very people proclaiming the loudest about it being wrong; were actually involved in “activities”(for lack of a better word) that make them “appear” to either be …a. homosexual b. homosexual c. enjoy homosexual activities. Doesn’t that qualify as being hypocritical? I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to answer that one…Or is it called a cover? And isn’t it pretty foul to inflict such awful labels on people all the while knowing self is guilty of the SAME? To make matters worse alot of said leaders spouting the prejudice opinions; are in positions that can alter a person’s livelihood. For instance, changing laws like the don’t ask/don’t tell policy…Question. Why should what a person does in THEIR bedroom affect whether they can maintain or get a job or not??? Answer. It should not. And the fact that it ever did is WRONG

Question..Are WE a tolerant people? And this can be answered by anyone by the way; Black or White. For my Black brotha’s & sista’s don’t we want to be accepted in society and not biased against due to our skin color? Yep! Then how can we NOT understand the plight of homosexuals? For my White brothers & sisters don’t ya’ll want people to stop riding you for things that happened back in yesteryears a/k/a slavery? Is that not a form of acceptance? Then how can ya’ll not understand the plight of homosexuals? This topic is truly bugging me because as a people we’ve all got to come together. Whether Black, White, Purple!, Straight, Homosexual, or whatever…and until we drop the labels/the finger pointing/the highmightyness/the divisions based on trivial stuff; it won’t happen. For my Christian peoples out there? WE can do better…Should we not love everyone? Aren’t we all brothers & sisters? Yes, we should and yes, we are

None of my sons are homosexuals. BUT if they were I’d still love them! With all of my heart/being as I do now..I was asked that question long ago & even then I felt the same way. Yet, there are many Black parents who would struggle to answer that question…For far too long one of the worse fears was that one’s child would say they’re gay. It is my belief that the seed was planted long ago. And it goes deep..or least the theory I believe could explain why homophobia does exist in Black America. After all the Black Male’s sexuality has long been talked about/envied/admired/and lusted after by ALL..stemming at least as far back as slavery. If one studies African American  & Literature/History you might stumble upon these findings..if not you don’t believe me google it.  But, in slavery days there is evidence to suggest that young Black boys & Black men were forced to have sex with their White male slave owners…There were even plantations that existed, not for growing crops, but for the purpose of breeding BOYS, MEN, and girl slaves for sexual pleasure. I knew Black girls/women slaves were raped but I had no clue about the boys/men…James Baldwin also spoke of it past slavery in “Evidence of Things Unseen”.  Which leads me to wonder how long this was carried on beyond the years of slavery? Could this be why homophobia still exists in Black America today? I vividly recall the Black Church being very unhappy recently when President Obama stood up for same-sex marriages..and actually expected an apology from him! Yet, those very same churches said  absolutely NO  negative words against Eddie Long for his transgressions against male  children!  I’m sorry but I’ve got a major issue with anyone imposing their sexual desires on children…IF anything is a sin that has got to be HIGH  on the list. However, its my belief IF one’s homosexual desires wasn’t still considered “taboo” or “wrong” ; people wouldn’t feel they have to hunt down vulnerable , helpless prey . Like children. I’m not saying that makes it right, but I’m struggling(and I struggle badly trying to wrap my brain around this crime! against children)  for reasons why people would do such a horrific thing. People who otherwise look normal and sane…

I’m a people lover. I enjoy speaking with all people & learning different cultures/backgrounds/beliefs…I’m also a talker with a gift for gab. I’ve been known to say I can find common ground to speak to anyone & hold my own. I can and I have. From paupers to kings..I won’t say I changed my opinion on homosexuality because I’ve had/have gay friends. That isn’t the reason…the reason is because it is NOT my business what a person’s sexual orientation is. Nor is it theirs what mine is. We can chat/interact/find things in common that have nothing to do with SEX..that is called friendship. No different than I have male friends(that I’ll never have sex with) the case is the same for my gay friends. Do we agree with everything that our straight friends do in their lives? Nope. We share common ground enough to be drawn to each other as friends; but there will be differences. Even co-joined twins have differences…it is what makes us unique. I truly feel we’ve got to adopt love for everyone . Understanding and tolerance has to become the norm. We all must work harder to learn to accept things we don’t understand. We have to give what we want back in return…LOVE

 

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

^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?

 

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, =Self Discovery=, FABulous 50 Bday anticipation.., Motivational!, Post a Day 2013

*50 Fabulous Things About Turning 50* ..

1. #1 thing about turning 50 is that I learned & am living that with GOD and LOVE in your life..nothing is impossible. Absolutely nothing at all.

2. I am going to have the BIGGEST party of my entire LIFE for my 50th this summer..Couldn’t be more excited about that!

3. I’ve got far  more than 50 loved ones(including both of my parents!) /close friends/dear friends that are still living whose company I can enjoy/laugh with/hang out with/hug/kiss/talk to. NO material object on earth can compare..

4. I can recall when the majority of music involved lyrics that meant something; they just don’t make that type of GOOD music like backintheday.

5. I was around to enjoy(and then enjoy with my sons..) playing games as a family that involved the ENTIRE family. Not like the 1 or 2 player video games or internet games. Card games like Monopoly, Scrabble!, Trouble, Headache, Uno, Twister(wow what fun!) , Hopscotch, Jumprope(do little girls even do these things anymore???) Oh , how I bet parents out there wish gifts were as cheap now as backintheday…and the time spent as a family? Priceless

6. Taking to heart “my word is bond” & living by it daily. And expecting the same from those in my circle of friends/loved ones. Anything less is unacceptable. The results? Dependability rocks!

7. Focusing on things I can DO and not things that I can’t do anymore..I can still do front flips/cartwheels/the splits!/handstands/touch my toes with ease/see my toes with ease lol!

8. I’m stronger, wiser, BETTER than I’ve ever been..and ever is a very long time

9. Recall fondly the days when mobile phone meant walking around with a corded phone..and the cord was LONG enough to wrap around 4 city blocks! Dang sure didn’t have to worry about the battery running out in the middle of a steamy conversation..

10. Recall the days when leaving a cell phone at home did not  felt like leaving behind a limb! Matter of fact I’ve never left home without mine…anyone out there remember when we used to wait till we got home to discover what we didn’t buy at the store??? Today’s convenience is something I’ve grown to love but there is a certain beauty in being able to recall  the good ole days..

11. The saying about women peaking in their 40s is a LIE..I’ve yet to reach mine.

12. No chronic health issues or meds needed . No batteries either! And thanking GOD/my lucky stars/and trying to do all I can to maintain good health. If there is one word of advice for the youth that is worth gold it is.. take care of your body daily. And FLOSS after every meal..

13. I’ve no enemies..that I know of anyway! I greet even strangers like they are friends. And I treat my family & friends like GOLD. Its returned 10fold..

14. I can /and do speak my mind freely…

15. Still have most of my marbles left and no memory loss issues; or least I think so. Lol!

16. Got over the stage of thinking “I know it all”, whew! Now I’ve learned that the more I learn the more there is to learn…I’ve aligned mentors(even some that don’t know they are my mentors in any subject area I want to learn more about) Another tip for the youth= Attain mentors; you’ll need them.

17. Learned not to give unsolicited advice. Sort of…still working on fully mastering that.

18. Finally learned to be a “glass is half-full ” type of person; instead of the opposite I once used to be. And technically the glass is always FULL…unless you’re in a vacuum of space. Yep, google that one..

19. One gets OLD; when they stop playing/being playful/ or knowing how to play. I am never going to get OLD; just older & better

20. Dancing! becomes an art that when the music comes on your body just takes over & disengages from the brain. So dance, dance, dance and dance; even if it means you’ve got to dance by yourself. Dance!

21. I learned the hard way that the email “reply all” button…can yield embarrassing results IF you don’t intend to use it. Be mindful when replying to ALL emails..

22. You can learn anything at any AGE. And I’m hoping I also learn you don’t forget how to do things just because you’ve not done them in a while…more on that when I finally do IT

23. Maturity means= Even up to my 40s I took life so seriously! (especially when I was co-raising sons) Finally as I’m closing in on 50 I’m laughing more daily than ever before..

24. 50 really doesn’t feel anything like I thought 50 would feel like when I was in my 20s or even my 30s..50 doesn’t feel OLD as I thought it would at all. 50 just feels fabulous!

25. I’ve learned to drop my fears…bad things are going to happen cause life happens. But I’ve been over/under/around/and THROUGH such mindblowing, deeeeeep valleys/and just downright shiiiite and survived that its given me confidence that there isn’t much I can’t handle or live through. There is much comfort in knowing/feeling that

26. I’ve learned that sometimes NO answer is about as good as it gets. And that is just fine..I used to think life was all black and white. Or I’d just have to know the answer to the many questions I ask(I’m inquisitive by nature) But I’m learning that isn’t the case. Gray area does exist..and sometimes you just have to let things GO in order to get to the next level. And sometimes? After you let it go; the answer finally becomes clear

27. I try very, very hard to put principles BEFORE personality. This was something a very dear friend on the West Coast taught me…priceless lessons he taught me. There are times we have to interact with folks that we do NOT agree with on a consistent basis. Or something about them is so different from our beliefs/behavior…Agreeing to disagree alot works in these situations. Or in some cases just giving in works too …and this is necessary sometimes if on a team(for lack of a better word) worker towards a mutual goal. Might not be easy to understand now but when you get into situations as I’m referring to; you’ll understand

28. Small stuff DOES matter! Time spent with my parents. Priceless. Time spent doing labors of love; like a garden for my Daddy. Priceless. Time spent chatting with old friends on the West Coast. Priceless. Time spent over a quick lunch with new friends. Priceless. Laughing with new/old friends or loves ones. Priceless! Watching the sun rise. Absolutely priceless..Life is full of moments that we just have to stop to enjoy

29. Simplify. Simplify. SIMPLIFY. That IS the word of the day. Every day…

30. I’ve learned to COUNT my blessings every single day..and testify whenever possible to whoever will listen. I find myself doing this more than I ever thought I would..never thought I would actually.

31. I’ve always been a dreamer. And I dream BIG..as I near 50 I’m DOing more things I’d always said I’d DO. Living ones dreams is better than living to dream. Not getting any younger and there is NO time like the present

32. The things that yield the best results in life= Do NOT get caught up in gossip. It can be lethal…So be fair. Be HONEST. Be consistent. Be GENEROUS. Be Trustworthy. Respect others and yourself. And smile alot! It is contagious..

33. I’ve learned it is better to be KIND than RIGHT..another very close West Coast friend taught me this. And he was so right…

34. I’ve learned a broken heart can mend. Over time. Alot of time. I’m praying though I don’t have wait for mine to mend ever again though

35. Admitting you don’t know how to do something yields better results than pretending you do! The good news? Usually , or least has been the case with me, you’ll quickly find after admitting it someone will teach you what you didn’t know. I love IT when it works out that way

36. Generic store brands? Just as good as the name brand more expensive versions. Saving money is awesome!

37. Saving for a rainy day or necessity(like a new car..) just makes sense. Saving pennies or even coins does add up…Literally

38. Wear what YOU like to wear & what you feel you look best in. I never was one for following “fads”….bottom line is DO and BEing yourself just feels great. I don’t want to walk around looking like a carbon copy of everyone else..

39.Compliment. Compliment. Compliment! I always let people know I like what they’ve got on or a new hair style. Why do we think these things but don’t say them out loud? Saying them usually brings out a smile..

40. Be early. Saves alot of frustration and stress from rushing to get to places

41. Floss! I can’t say that enough…and I might say it for a 3rd time to get to the end of this 50 list

42. I’ve learned to laugh at myself. I don’t take myself near as serious as I used to…result? I stopped being my own worst critic/enemy. Discovered it was impossible to reach perfection . I stopped even reaching for perfection. Now I just do my best. At anything I do

43. Stay true to MYSELF. I don’t let anyone define who I am anymore. I like me after long last. Either accept me as I am or move on…and I’ll do the same

44. Failing at some things is normal. If we don’t fail we’re not pushing our own limits. Many people first failed at things , and yet kept striving, are now considered major success stories. Life is full of ordinary people trying to do extraordinary things..I’m one of them

45. Being on time matters. If I can’t get there early I’m at the least on time. Early bird really does get the prize…

46. Floss! Omg its harder than I thought to think of 50 things..but I refuse to not finish this list

47. Not sure when I became a “ma’am”! OMG when I first starting hearing it from strangers I’d look around to see who the heck they were talking to..I’ve finally adjusted to it. Sort of…lol

48. A good debate from time to time is still good for a “rush”; but anything other than that even closely remote to having an arguement is SO over-rated and just not necessary. I’ve grown old enough to know you can talk anything out …even when not in agreement. If I’ve got to fight with you consistently I don’t care to spend precious time with you. Period. And I mean that…I’ve no drama in my life NOR do I want any

49. IF a person judges me, or anyone else, by the type of car they drive /how much money they make/or what they own…they’re NOT the type of person I want to spend time around.

50…Wooooo hoooo I made it to 50. Keeping ones’ word is important to ME. So glad I was able to with this list. Was alot harder than I thought when I chose this topic..but nothing easy is usually worth it.

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

~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)

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

@Celebrate: Being BLACK in America@

February is Black History Month in America…The controversial question that still begs 2 be answered IS= Does America really NEED a Black History Month? And if so, why is it important? Also, is ONE month tribute ENOUGH? For those that are BLACK; aren’t ya’ll BLACK every single day? For those that aren’t Black ; do you attempt to learn anything new regarding Black History during February? One last question I’ll give my views on= IS Black History Month just a “token” given to Blacks to put a band-aid on old wounds? WHY is it so difficult to have a decent, honest, OPEN dialogue about RACE still in America today? ~~~~~ First, a brief history lesson on how Black History Month came to be. Or do ya’ll already know? Oh well , for those that don’t know it began because of the efforts of Dr. Carter G. Woodson & Rev. Jessie E. Moorland. Dr. Woodson was the former son of SLAVES and the SECOND Black person in history to receive a degree from Harvard University. Because Dr. Woodson felt preserving one’s heritage was important he urged the fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, to create ‘Negro History and Literature Week’ in 1920. He “chose” February to honor two men who had a great deal to do with altering the future of Black Americans. President Abraham Lincoln and Abolitionist Frederick Douglas(both men were born in February) Thus the creation of what we now celebrate as Black History Month in America was born…

I’ll briefly answer my own questions I posed earlier..Later, I’ll dig deeper. First of all , NO, Black History Month, isn’t a “token” given to Blacks in America for any old wounds caused by years & years & years & YEARS of slavery…As I’ve briefly explained earlier Black History Month was created by a Black man for Black American citizens to feel a sense of PRIDE about themselves..Something that was badly neeeeeeded when he first worked so diligently to have it created. Next, do I feel America still needs a Black History Month? Yes, I sure DO…Why is Black History Month important? I’ll dig deeper into that later. Aren’t Black Americans Black & proud every day and not just during Black History Month? Well , I sure AM. Every morning when my feet hit the floor and I look in the mirror I know several things for sure. I AM BLACK. I am a WOMAN. I am a loved child of GOD. Not necessarily in that order but being Black is always first…and I make no apologies for that. But later I will try to explain why. And the last question=WHY in the heck is it so very difficult to have an open & honest dialogue(among Blacks , Whites, and any other race/color/creed) about RACE in America??????! Especially when WE all know it is still very much an issue in our country….

For the naysayers, Black and White, who want to keep their heads in the sand; and think RACE issues don’t still exist in our country…Ask President Obama’s good friend Henry Louis Gates, Jr if it does. A highly! educated Black man who in recent years was reminded that NO matter how educated he was/is..he is still BLACK. Not even being the close friend of the President of the United States could save him from public humiliation. Just because WE don’t discuss race issues doesn’t meant it isn’t still an issue…And mayhaps IF we did discuss it more(in a civil fashion..) it could finally begin to solve the issue. Unless you were blind and deaf you certainly have seen RACE raise its ugly head just prior to and since President Obama became President of the United States…I don’t have enough time to list all the ways but ya’ll can google all the incidents/things said/happenings if you don’t believe me..

In my opinion , Black History Month, is necessary to educate ALL American citizens..Quiet as kept there are MANY Blacks who don’t even know their own history! For IF they did why would “some” feel Black History Month is no longer necessary? Begun by a Black man to give Blacks a sense of pride; I truly think it is still needed for that very reason..and more. Mayhaps if other races are educated about Blacks the race issues would cease! As I’ve said many times before we are ALL far more alike ; than different. And often times ignorance about a topic can cause people to have distorted beliefs/thoughts about said topic. Note to parents: IF you’re depending on the American public educational system to teach your child about being BLACK or about other races or Black History …it won’t happen! Get them books, share their family tree with them/ share with them family history stories..etc..KNOWLEDGE is POWER. My sincere hope/prayer is that people are indeed learning something new every single time Black History Month rolls around…As much as I’ve studied Black History including my own family history; I’m still learning new things my dang self. It is closed minds that will take far longer to move past the old ways of thinking…

~~As a person I love ALL people…of all races/creeds/beliefs. As a Catholic Christian I know we are ALL loved children of GOD. I don’t understand how any Christian could with good conscience call themselves a Christian and yet HATE with the level of hate I’ve seen/witnessed/experienced! ; simply based on the color of one’s skin. Matter of fact there is no one on this planet I hate. There are a handful of people I ‘ve run into that I don’t care for; real talk. But I don’t hate them. I just don’t care to spend ANY of my precious time being around them nor speaking of them. And only one of them isn’t Black.. I’m still praying on how to get past that…never said I was perfect.

Quite honestly  in recent years I’ve heard the N word used more by Blacks than anyone else..As a word of affection no less! What kind of shiiite is that?!? You can’t turn a WORD thats past is so negative that Blacks died cause they REFUSED to be called that word; into a positive word. I don’t care if it is JUST a word. I don’t allow it to be said in my surroundings . And I didn’t allow our sons to say it either…the ignorance has to stop somewhere. And I draw the line there. There is enough ignorance about what is or isn’t racism to wrap around our country a cazillion times..For the record there is a difference between racism and prejudice. Every time any of us labels a person by race, unless asked to describe someone by their race, we are exhibiting our prejudice. I’ve got my hand raised high; I’ve done it. And I try to catch myself but I’ve done it…I’m still working on that too. More proof I’m not perfect. In closing my sincere hope is that we can open up honest exchanges about RACE our country…Its past time. We’ve just TOGETHER put into office , for the 2nd time, the first ever Black man in the highest position of our country. That alone wasn’t enough to stomp out racism..Anyone who thought that was going to be enough wasn’t thinking logically. Rome wasn’t built in a day…nor can something so monumental be solved in one day or action. BUT we’re making progress…and that is wonderful! Like any good parent my DREAM is for my sons to live in a country that they are considered EQUAL…judged based not on the color of their skin..but ALLL of their years of education, their experience, their HEARTS, and all of their hard work. I co-raised my sons to LOVE all people and they do! I refused to teach them to hate..What we did do was teach them to be PROUD of who they are. Which includes embracing their Black heritage. One can’t know where the heck they’re going in life; if they don’t know who they are & where they’ve come from. And while I do have  a preference for who will be my love mate/life mate; I’m not racist. Though! I’ve had White guys who have asked me out say they felt that was racist. It isn’t . It is a preference. I just happen to be HONEST about my preference from the jump…Chalk it up to the level of highest respect I have for my highest male role model. My Father/Daddy who is Black..Little girls either are attracted to men like their Fathers or the opposite…I fall into the first category. Think about the preferences people have with who they’re attracted to??? Blondes. Women with big boobs.(even if they’re FAKE) Women with small waists & big butts. Women with small waists/big butts & big boobs! How about women who won’t date a man under 6 foot? Or won’t date anyone that isn’t fit or fyneeeee as heck. My preference just happens to involve skin color. And I absolutely LOVE chocolate skin..and the swagger of a confident brother??? Omg, no substitute for that…. Also, if anyone out there reading this has anything to add or correct me on things I’ve written; feel free. I’m ready to rap if you are…4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 & only)

 

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, Post a Day 2013

**Mardi Gras 2013**What it represents..DPChallenge*PostaDay*

Many who travel to New Orleans to party  aren’t aware of the rich culture & history that define Mardi Gras..As a 5th generation original New Orleanian(New Orleans is always HOME no matter where we reside now) I’m going to do my best to give ya’ll some background..You can take the person out of New Orleans; but can’t take New Orleans out of the person! WE are fun loving, down 2 earth, loving folks who will make you feel at HOME..and also? For sure WE know how to have a goooood time & PARTY..Isn’t life far too brief not to play just as  hard as we work?

>>What ya’ll might not know is that New Orleans is a predominatly Catholic/Christian city…Mardi Gras is a time to get “it” all out of one’s system prior to preparing for the resurrection. Easter…Mardi Gras precedes Lent. During Lent  we have 40 days of sacrifice to imitate our Lord.

During Mardi Gras much of the businesses and roads are SHUT down! It is one BIG party allll week long..People walk everywhere &  meeting new friends . Folks dressed in wild & crazy & COLORful costumes..There are parades, formal balls, and the FOOD..omg! there is NO food on earth like the food from New Orleans. The floats in the parades are beautiful ..beads and FUN galore. Kids and adults alike dance and dance

IF you want to visit a city full of LOVE and 2getherness while having a good time/IF you love to dance and dance!/IF you love gooood food and gooood people check out New Orleans during Mardi Gras! And IF you’re there next year and you see someone about 5’4 in a CUTE  costume/laughing/dancing/and probably talking Lol! then say “hello” ..because that will be ME.

 

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<

 

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, Post a Day 2013, WOW

>>BLOGGING is…<< WordPress DP Challenge*PostADay*

Blogging IS something I’ve quickly grown to love…Not only that I couldn’t have picked a better place to begin my new venture than WordPress! I’ve had an amazing 3 months here and of course I’ve got a few things to say about it. This is the way I see IT..

Deciding to BLOG isn’t an easy decision..least it wasn’t for ME. I was going to expose my most intimate and innermost thoughts/ideas/feeeeeelings. In a sort of way like being butt-naked and walking into a formal event! Can you imagine?!? Anywayz its been something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time now..for several reasons. To first & foremost share from my lifes’ journey with the youth..the good, the bad, and yep! the ugly. To nuture and share love is part of my natural DNA. However, I wasn’t quite sure how I’d be received or what I’d encounter..for I can be quite blunt and at this age say pretty much what I’m feeeeeling. Just flows off my lips and now my fingertips. And after all this is the internet! Took cajones(not literally for I’m all woman..) to join a website, with NO prior knowledge of how to even design a page(still learning; I can’t tell you from day 2 day what color my font will be lol!) and share parts of ME/my thoughts/my experiences/my original poems/my emotions  with the entire world. To be precise  I’m ONE in 60, 593,723 bloggers on WordPress. And to receive comments from even ONE person in the midst of such outstanding writers?!??? I am humbled , almost, beyond words…I’ve had people from alll over the world hit my blog page: Canada, Cambodia, Africa, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Argentina, England, France, India, and of course my country the United States. I’ve interacted on blog pages with people from all countries, all creeds, all backgrounds..pretty much the same as I do offline. I’ve invested alot of my spare time into what I share here…proof reading over and over after I let my thoughts flow freely from my fingertips. I’m always COGNIZANT that this is a permanent carbon copy of my words. Of parts of me…Who knows? My future grandchildren might one day read this! My parents read this. My church family/family members & friends read this. And recently my hair was blown back! when I discovered co-workers actually print what I’ve written here as a momento! OMG and WOW..talk about humbling. So, I say all of this to take a brief station break from posting a topic to say THANK YOU to ALL of YOU.  You’ve made my first step into the blogging world a BEAUTIFUL learning experience. And as I further work on my writing skills I aspire to reach the level so many of ya’ll here are..ya’ll keeeeep the bar raised HIGH here. I love IT. As always stay UPlifted & blessed until I read/write ya’ll again…4ever sincere Berna (the 1 n only)

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

`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…

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, Post a Day 2013, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, ^Political, ~To B Continued

~~My Interview of President Barack Obama (creatively speaking..) ~~

Last night I attended a  very classy celebration to honor  President Barack Obama(took place at a top tiered university alumni  hall here) ..Hosted by a FABULOUS group of 20 Black Women who decided to start an organization  to do THEIR part to help GET Barack Obama into the White House  the 1st time.  An amazing group of women who did what we should ALL do when we want something done..they did it themselves. They contributed over 1,800 HOURS of their own time to President Obama’s campaign this past year alone..their accomplishments are countless!(including money raised for both campaigns, voter registrative drives, starting/maintaining college scholarships, etc) Simply called themselves Club 44(President Obama is the 44th president) they’ve inspired ME to always remember that ONE person can make a difference. And in this case..20 people. I’m a  true Obama fan since the day I heard his speech at the DNC in 2004; and 2nd only to the 1st lady as his forever cheerleader! I’ve read both of his books; before he became the President of our country.  Watched hours & hours of his interviews & news clips. Often I’ve said he is one of the few people on earth that I could listen to endlessly, and BE spellbound, even if he was speaking about basket weaving!  Later on 2day I’m going to flex my imagination/my creativity/& my writing skills to enact a mock interview of President Barack Obama..I’ll ask questions I’ve always wanted to ask him & hopefully cover some you’d like to ask  him as well. The questions will all be original questions from my minds’ eye. Some of the answers will be actual words straight from President Obama’s lips.(from transcripts) Other answers will be what I “think” he’d say ;  from all that I’ve heard him say(or read) on specific topics. BEfore I dig in I’d like to say its my desire to get some little known FACTS about President Obama printed in black & white. There is MUCH thats been accomplished by his administration that the media has NOT printed.(well not on front pages…) I do hope that American citizens continue to do their own due diligence prior to voting in any election. Don’t lean on hear-say nor the media to form your opinion ..Not alone anyway. I’ve gathered information from an array of venues and I always will when voting. Voting is a right that even if I have to crawl to the voting booth; I’ll always participate .  I once ran for political office & used the slogan” YOUR vote, is YOUR voice..and to this day I still feel that way.

~~IF given the opportunity (and who knows what the future holds; NEVER count me out on anything I want to DO) to interview President Barack H. Obama II; these are the questions I’d ask~~

President Obama first I’ve GOT to say what a honor it is for me to interview you..I was your campaign “warrior” long before many knew who you were back in 2004. I joined voter registration drives in 2007 for the 1st time ever! Because you were running..I also became a 1 woman walking verbal billboard for you at that same time(and I talked to ALOT of people) So having said that , and hoping you’re comfortable here with me, my first question IS:

**Name something, not well known , you support or are in favor of? > “Allowing churches to provide welfare services . <

**Can you share with those who might not know(but by the way I know already…) the program YOUR administration designed & implemented to keep defaulting homeowners  IN their homes? >”A $75 billion dollar plan/program called , The Home Affordable Refinance Program. By July 2010 , 390,000  homeowners, had permanently re-modified their home loans. Which allowed them to avoid foreclosure and keep their homes. The program is also known as , The Obama Refi Plan. <

**Are you for or against a woman’s right to choose? >” Abortion is a woman’s right for its HER body; & her choice on what to do with her body.< Period!

**President Obama as of this moment the “average” person can’t afford to run for President of our country. I find that totally UNfair and very discouraging for today’s youth. What have you done, if anything, to change that? >”The first bill I  ever passed was the , Campaign Finance Reform bill. It was the first in a generation in Illinois. In terms of my OWN campaign, I did NOT accept monies from lobbyists nor PACs..<

**Your administration President Obama has had ALOT of firsts! I don’t think the majority know just how MUCH you/your administration has accomplished. Off the top of your head please give us ONE such example of a first you’ve acomplished while President? > ” WE launched the first-EVER National study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing. It was determined that LGBT  discrimination should be subject to a standard of ‘heightened scrutiny’. Also another first of MANY; myself & the 1st Lady led the first-EVER White House conference on bullying prevention.<

**President Obama WHY do you think your efforts at bipartianship didn’t work out as you’d wished for? >”…I think Republicans made a calculated decision which was, ‘, You know what? WE really screwed UP the economy! Obama seems popular. Our best bet is to stand on the sidelines…Because WE think the economy’s gonna get worse, and at some point, WE’LL be able to just blame Obama.'<

**As a woman I feel women should rightfully be paid the same wages as men..Of course for doing the same work-load holding the same title…How do you feel about equal pay for women? Especially considering you’ve got two young daughters…>”The very FIRST bill I signed into law on Jan, 29, 2009 was the, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It was an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964…By signing it into law it allows women to be able to challenge legally if they’re victims of pay discrimination. “<

**How do you feel about Photo I.D. requirements for voting? >”I sponsored rejecting the notion! It disenfranchises Americans. Specifically African Americans and large minority populations. “<

I’ve got just one more question President Obama. Of a personal nature…Did you get the tribute poem I wrote for you recently & sent to the White House?>”Yes, I did….I  love IT!”<

 

Posted in "Just for fun"

>STOP the Presses! AARP eligible AT 50??!? Ugh, aargh!, & NO WAY..

**With THAT sentiment being said , by me, and felt! here I go with my latest discovery..ready? Get set, here i GO!

~I’m getting to the crux of it just trying to set the background up 1st for this line of thought..~

Yep, I’m knocking on the door of becoming 50 years old..and I’m ready! Or so I thought. And then yesterday a good friend of mine was sweeeet enough to let me in on something I had NO clue about..Ready to hear it? And what my response was/IS?…

Well I was having a fabulous chat with a really good friend of mine yesterday..Array of topics but mainly how excited I am about MY upcoming 50th birthday party in July. How I’m going to have a BEAUTIFUL pink & silver cake! Ohhh and I want disco lights; maybe even a strobe light. Anyone out there remember how FUN disco dances used to be? Got an awesome DJ lined up and just putting the finishing touches on my virtual save-the-date announcements ..and then while I’m allll caught UP yapping about this my friend says(I guess he thought it was FUNNY) oh yea, now you’ll be able to be an AARP member! I was still going on and on about my party! Thought I heard him say something about AARP but..and then he said it again. Yapping, laughing, and then WHAT DID YOU SAY? And as he began to say it again I said STOP, wait..and then I fell out laughing. He said NO I’m serious you’ll be eligible at 50 for it. I said, ” I most certainly will NOT be! You have to be 65 or older to be eligible for that.” And then my USED to be gooooood friend said, ” Ok, Ms Google Queen google IT.” And that is exactly what I did…OMFG

*Sigh* I couldn’t google fast enough! Images kept popping UP and I kept searching..I’m a speeeed reader..But I could NOT find not one thing that would dispute that AARP eligibility begins at FIFTY. But, but when did THAT come about??? And what person in their right mind changes the eligibility age?? WAS IT ALWAYS 50 AND NO BODY TOLD ME??? I had a cazillion questions! all at once..I was flustered and HOT all of a sudden(thank YOU  Eve for peri-menopausal symptoms I’ve got to deal with) And then, I was suddenly irked with my friends over 50 yrs of age! HOW COME NOBODY TOLD ME THIS? Wait, I’m not even a grandmother yet! How in the heckkkk can I be eligible for AARP? I can stilllll DO soooo many things! Does this mean I can’t be FLY anymore??!  I can stilll do the splits! I can stilll do a handstand, front forward flip(not a pretty sight when I last tried a backward flip) , somersault, cartwheel, I can stillll RUN(for a little while..more of a fast walk into a full jog and then I run for a little bit), I can still bend & touch my toes! Yeaaaaaaa. I can still dance , and dance and danceeeeeee, I don’t take nor have to take ANY medications..HOW CAN I BE AARP eligible???? Here I was laughing it OFF and my friend thought my response was simply HILARIOUS..but my shock was/is sincere. Was I so caught UP living that I somehow missed this news flash? Was there a memo I missed? I kid ya’ll NOT if ONE thing comes here with MY name on it and the words AARP membership form; I will tear it UP. No, I’m going to burn IT. I refuse! I am not ready for that..Did they start this to get more members or what??? Whats next? 40! OMG I am still trying to wrap my mind around this. I was SO happy about making it to 50..and now this!

**Just like anything else in my life journey, as I’m sure anyone else’s out there , yep! I’ll deal with this reality. It IS what it IS. It is NOT going to stop me from being FLY. Not going to lose my vibe just because I’m AARP eligible..Jeeeez my fingers don’t even want to type that LOL..My birthday party is coming UP and I’m going to party like there is NO tomorrow. I’m elated about making it to 50! My 3 beautiful Black Prince sons are all flying in for my party. A host of other family/friends; and they love me for me as i AM..And because they love ME no one in my world will EVER again mention AARP to me again..Not till I’m good and ready for it!  Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. And as always count your blessings 2day and everyday. 4ever sincere, Berna(the one & ONLY)

>NO matter what age you are, or what your circumstances are, YOU are special!, and YOU have something unique to offer. Your life, because of who YOU are, has meaning~ Quote from Barbara De Angelis<

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

>Why ALPA Men Rule the/MY World..DP CHALLENGE*PostADay*Berna’s Way

>Common Alpha(Type A personality) Male Traits:  Natural born leader. Self-confident. Demonstrate strength. VERY comfortable in their own skin. Extreme competitiveness. Always composed. Physical fitness is priority. Dominant; not aggressive. Superior social skills. Witty. Driven. Problem solver. Optimistic! Exaggerated sense of urgency=time is important/precious. (love that; NEVER a dull moment…) Good communicators. Values efficiency.

THE FOUR ALPHA TYPES:

All alpha males are aggressive, competitive, and driven to achieve. They think big, aim high, and attack their goals with courage, confidence, and tenacity. But each of the four types expresses these common qualities in different ways. Think of them as spices that add flavor to the basic alpha male recipe. Understanding their nuances will give you deeper insight into yourself and the alpha males around you, enabling you to pinpoint strengths you can build upon and risks you need to address. With this more granulated view, you can home in on a specific course of action, just as a doctor can devise a better treatment plan if she knows the exact type of infection a patient has rather than only the broad category.

Here is a brief summary of each type’s primary behavior traits:

  • Commanders: Intense, magnetic leaders who set the tone, mobilize the troops and energize action with authoritative strength and passionate motivation without necessarily digging into the details.
  • Visionaries: Curious, expansive, intuitive, proactive and future-oriented, they see possibilities and opportunities that others sometimes dismiss as impractical or unlikely and inspire others with their vision.
  • Strategists: Methodical, systematic, often brilliant thinkers who are oriented toward data and facts, they have excellent analytic judgment and a sharp eye for patterns and problems.
  • Executors: Tireless, goal-oriented doers who push plans forward with an eye for detail, relentless discipline and keen oversight, surmounting all obstacles and holding everyone accountable for their commitments.

While the above makes for an interesting illustration “AlphaNESS is not something that can be attained from a bottle.Or least thats my opinion based on my experience. This is the way I see IT>

**Alpha, the 1st Greek letter of the alphabet, has become known to “signify”..the first of anything. Animal researchers use the word to denote dominance, applying it to the Leader of the Pack, who is 1st in power & importance. With people(humans) Alpha is defined as , A person tending to assume dominance in whatever they’re involved in. They also possess the qualities /attributes /social skills/confidence for leadership. Naturally, they’re strong, result-driven achievers who insist on TOP performance from themselves & others. They’re usually turned on by bold , innovative & creative ambitious goals. At their BEST , Alpha males  inspire awe and their noble leaderships skills are revered by others. I had the opportunity to partake in an upclose and personal interview of a certain very special Alpha brother who still resides in California.  Though always drawn to Alpha males it was the first time I’d ever taken time to actually ask one a few questions.(and not just based on my life long observations) It yielded   really great answers!  that I’m going to use in my wrap UP of what I feel an Alpha male is and why they rule the/MY world..And yep, President Barack Obama is an Alpha male!

**There is a long standing myth that Alpha males can’t co-exist in a committed monogamous relationship....And while that certainly is probably the case with many Alpha males; I’ve experienced quite the opposite. In fact with someone who was/is a self-proclaimed(and lived up to this proclamation in every way) Alpha of all Alpha’s ; I experienced the best love /mature/honest /committed relationship of my entire life. I’m sure 1st Lady Michelle Obama can attest to the same as well.  Real talk indeed..

**Over the course of  time I asked said Alpha an array of questions @Alpha”dom”.. This  was the sum of his answers, pretty much verbatim , of what living life as an Alpha has meant in his world: >He is used to getting what he wants(always) ; even if that means remaining patient to get it.< **

>>Mayhaps a combination of  height & nature he was quite accustomed to being given service FIRST..even if there was a line before he walked in the door. Any and everywhere! And I witnessed this myself over the course of time. Given any group of male friends HE was , without spoken words, the leader. This I also witnessed myself. He felt his aggressiveness also meant his was abrasive; I found this to be totally untrue.(except when football was on the boob tube! OMG..but that is another story for another time) VERY protective and outstanding Father/Daddy and significant other. He made it clear to all that “I” was to be looked out for(including the many times I got lost driving! yet another story for another time..) And while the “myth” about Alpha’s is that they have to be served..I can personally attest to being  absolutely spoiled(well, truth IS,  I was already spoiled but even more so…)  by said Alpha’s cooking/superb host skills/excellent social skills/high form of communication skills.   An Alpha man has a strong desire to be #1 in every way; and works effortlessly to attain that. From A – Z …

P.S. If there just happens to be an Alpha reading that has anything 2 add or dispute(I know of at least 1 reader out there…) then by ALL means please add your 2 cents..You know you want to!  Including female type A personalities. Which would actually make for an interesting addition to this piece. So hit it if you like…

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

**KARMA. **DP CHALLENGE *PostADay*Berna’s Way..

~~I’ve  decided to post a ‘Thought 4 the Week’ .  Going to jump start things by starting with one near N dear to my heart. It is my true BELIEF that what we intake (whether it is what we hear, see, or ingest into our bodies..) can and DOES have an impact on us! That includes what we see or hear from others. What we see or hear in our environment.(including what is on the BOOB tube ) It only makes sense that if one intakes alot of negativity; it can impact even the most positive of people. In a negative way! And negative vibes will seep out in some form or another. So what is Karma? This is the way I see IT…I’m currently reading two books; one of the books is a reference guide @Philosophy by Steven Law. I’ve always had an interest in the Hindu concept of Karma. I’ve learned quite a bit more about it(as well as opposing viewpoints & concepts) by reading an array of books. But, before I go further just one more quote that I feel is relevant.

>>>Karma= the Moral Capital. Karma=the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence. Karma=Effect from Cause; from one’s own actions. Karma=Whatever we do with our body, mind, or speech will have a corresponding RESULT.

*Recently I’ve found myself saying that GOD makes no mistakes; no accidents. Everything happens for a reason. Could then some of that “reason” be based on our very thoughts, our actions, and our WORDS? Of course…If one believes that such a things as “karma” exists; then they also believe that nothing happens by accident. From that line of thinking it can stand to reason that; there are cosmic influences at work that determine our lives. Thus good deeds bear sweeeet  fruit . Bad deeds bear fruit that is beyond bitter…One has to have an open mind ~N~ think far outside of the box to even begin or want to grasp this concept. Having said all of that what could it hurt to THINK, ACT and SPEAK in a positive manner? Especially when the results of doing so have such potential to yield positive things?!? Don’t we all benefit more from positive light than negative darkness? The words inof themselves@ light and dark have great meaning. Objects are ATTRACTED to light! Like a moth….Objects can not been seen in the dark.  Hmmmm. One more quote …

“In simple terms, what does karma mean? It means that whatever we do, with our body, speech, or mind, will have a corresponding result. Each action, even the smallest, is pregnant with its consequences. It is said by the masters that even a little poison can cause death, and even a tiny seed can become a huge tree. And as Buddha said: “Do not overlook negative actions merely because they are small; however small a spark may be, it can burn down a haystack as big as a mountain.” Similarly he said: “Do not overlook tiny good actions, thinking they are of no benefit; even tiny drops of water in the end will fill a huge vessel.” Karma does not decay like external things, or ever become inoperative. It cannot be destroyed “by time, fire, or water.” Its power will never disappear, until it is ripened.”~Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, @Cultural, Motivational!, ^Encouraging Words, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

EDUCATE~ENLIGHTEN~EMPOWER~DPCHALLENGE*PostADay*MLK,Jr. Tribute

**In observance of this FABULOUS holiday@ Martin Luther King, Jr day..lays ripe the opportunity to speak on a couple topics I adore. Education. Youth. Love. Before I dig in …I hope any/all out there that have this day off from work give a bit of today to say, THANK YOU, Martin Luther King, Jr. for giving US all you had(including your life..) unselfishly so that we might have the freedoms we have today. I/WE appreciate YOU. …

**The above quote @”I have decided to stick with LOVE..Hate is too great a burden to bear”..is in my belief the BEST quote I’ve ever been blessed enough to read. And with all of my BEing I’m also trying to live that out loud as well. There is a beauty in those words and in that sentiment and IF only that message can truly spread like FIRE..what a different country, world even!, this would be. Can’t WE all muster UP the love within US and share it?!? I’ve got my hand held UP high. I think WE can. YES we can!

>>Last night I happened to be in attendance at a event hosted NationWide (in 400 locations…) by a predominantly Black sorority (*round of applause for the ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY) in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr..Called a day of service for MLK,Jr. The overall message was CLEAR..Service WE must & should all be doing to educate, enlighten, and EMPOWER the youth(our future!) There was a panel(which consisted of rising Black leaders & predominant business owners/young Black CEO of a major local bank!/even a newly appointed Assistant City Manager; highly impressive panel regardless of color. Progress! There was a moderator present asking each panelist what “their” advice/suggestions/expertise based on experience was for the YOUTH and for progression for US as a community. In the audience was a group of promising youth already marked as UP and rising..I personally felt, and wished, more youth had been present. But it was a great jump start, I hope!, for the adults in the audience to GO forth and spread the message to others to reach OUT and educate, enlighten, and empower! the youth.  The fact that this exact premise was also being held concurrently(same day… ) in 400 other locations across our great Nation warmed MY heart and encouraged me to continue hoping, praying! , that WE shall overcome and continue to progress for I also(like MLK, Jr.) have a dream…

**I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when my 3 beautiful, intelligent, personable, loving , educated, artistic, athletic  BLACK sons(my Black princes!) will one day be judged based NOT on the color of their skin…but judged based on who they ARE.  Not asking for 2 much; just asking for what ANY other mother longs for her sons. I long for a day when folks don’t fear when walking past my 3 Black sons; for they’re armed with NO weapon other than their COLLEGE DEGREE‘s.  Bred & raised with nonviolence and wishing for nothing more than to aspire to their dreams!/their aspirations/their GOALS. I have a dream! I dream of a time and space in which my future grandbabies won’t be LABELED as Black, as Negro, as African-American nor have to fill out that slot on ANY form. I would love for that day to come when people are just labeled as..PEOPLE. Yes, I have a dream! On this day that just happens to also be the day when for the 2nd time in HISTORY; a Black brother is being publically sworn in as President of the United States of America..I dream that ONE day that fact won’t BE so remarkable. I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when to describe people NONE of us label each other as ..The White woman that was there OR! The Black man that was there. WE are all just people…And WE all have alot more in common than different. How beautiful it IS when we just sit and chat/or vibe over the Net/or rap face 2 face and share of ourselves…I have a dream! I dream of a time and space when WOMEN of any color are compensated at the same level as MEN. (based on what they earn & rightfully deserve) I have a dream! When love brings people 2gether. And keeeeeps people 2gether. For LOVE can over-ride any division that lays between US. LOVE can conquer even what seems impossible. I believe. I believe! And I have a dream…As always folks stay UPlifted & blessed. Remember 2 count your blessings 2day and everyday.  4ever Sincere, Berna (the 1 n only)

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, Health Matters*, Positive Movement Topic, WOW, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~To B Continued, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

~~SEX~~ DP CHALLENGE *PostADay..Berna’s Way..

~ ~One of my fave sayings IS “IF U can’t talk about it with me ; then I guarantee we’ll never have SEX!” ~Parents should rightfully B discussing SEX with their children LONG before their children have SEX~WHY  parents afraid 2 discuss SEX with their children set them UP to feel SEX is dirty for life; when it is NOT~The rule @No glove/No love should RULE these days…>>Those are just a few of the things  I feel like talking about …I’ll keep it tasteful BUT with the mindset that SEX is natural N beautiful..Are ya’ll ready  for me? Get ready. Get set…Lets rap!

>>”Sex and romance may seem inextricably linked, but the human brain clearly distinguishes between the two, according to a new study. The upshot: Love is the more powerful emotion.

The results of brain scans speak to longstanding questions of whether the pursuit of love and sex are different emotional endeavors or whether romance is just warmed over sexual arousal.

“Our findings show that the brain areas activated when someone looks at a photo of their beloved only partially overlap with the brain regions associated with sexual arousal,” said Arthur Aron of the State University of New York-Stony Brook. “Sex and romantic love involve quite different brain systems.”

 

The study, announced today, will be detailed in the July issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology.<<

**Trying to tackle this topic from several angles so bear with me as I work my way into it..

>>2  quotes  from a source I respect( & have read many of his books)  I’d like to mention here before I go further :

“~Any feeling is both mental and physical~”
Deepak Chopra, Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life’s Greatest Challenges

“Sex is always about emotions. Good sex is about free emotions; bad sex is about blocked emotions.”
Deepak Chopra

Working my way slowly into this topic, deeper N deeper ,so  hang on folks I’m getting there..

*Although far too many people think the entire importance lies between one’s legs…that simply is NOT true. Sex begins with mental seduction. When the mental seduction is mutual sex turns into making love= Real love. One of the highest of highs @ Orgasm happens between one’s ears..*In the Mind/Brain*..Am I breaking it down or what?? Moving right along so stay tuned<

Disclaimer: Anything that I say here or elsewhere on my blog site is MY opinion. Based on my beliefs N life experience including a TON of reading..>

Since 1992 California public schools have been required by law to teach HIV/AIDS education at least once during middle school and once during high school . To follow a list of guidelines including age appropriate ..BUT what is to determine what any of those guidelines actually mean?? As a parent I was never comfy “not knowing” exactly what was being taught to our sons. And even though I read the literature I requested from the school beforehand I still wasn’t comfy…yet I signed it. I felt the more info our sons had the better..In addition I discovered sex education is NOT required by law to be taught in California public schools. YET 96% of California public schools do provide sex health education classes as an option from grades K- 12..though there are NO guidelines by law until the 7th grade..Which is when I signed the consent forms for our 3 sons to take the course. When my eldest took the course I was still very, very nervous about talking about SEX to him. So I welcomed any and all information or outside sources teaching him sex education. Including my now ex-husband…By the time our youngest was in the 7th grade I was well informed N confident to teach him alot more at home myself as did my now ex-husband..We were pro’s on the topic by then & had added sex education to our very hands-on n N involved parenting style. 10 years prior I’d never have dreamed! that I’d engage or advocate giving a teenager condoms..BUT no one ever promised that parenting would be an easy job. It is by far the most “difficult” job I’ve ever held and yet by FAR the most rewarding & important! Furthermore I advocate allowing an environment in which youth can talk to their parents about ANYthing..and our sons have. (the beauty of having 2 involved parents is if they can’t talk to one about something ; they’ve got another parent to talk to ..awesome arrangement!)  I’m not yet a grandparent and all 3 of my sons are alive N healthy..One of my worst parental fears is they’d experience sex and catch something that could kill them! Or become parents before they’d reached their educational goals..Neither of those things have happened. Thanks to my mighty GOD and an outstanding co-parent/male role model. IF you truly love your child talk to them about sex very early on…And if need be give them condoms! Be thankful they could come to talk to you honestly about the topic. Provide condoms even before they do…those just-in-case-the-first-time-comes-before-prepared-with-safety-items has yielded in many teenage pregnancies..In my opinion in this day N age teenage pregnancy rates should NOT be at the high rate they’re at. Condoms are handed out like lollipops now! In California you can get them at alot of clinics for FREE…

*SEX-Positive Liberals advocate that sex BEfore marriage IS a valid choice for “nearly” everyone…or at least for 95% of Americans. Hmmm, who knew? Or , really?!? IS sexual morality truly about how long one waits? Or should it be about how one treats themselves/carries themselves/respects themselves ~N~ the people they’re with.

Question: Are long lasting love relationships made through intimacy? Is teaching the youth abstinence ONLY working out? Or are the youth STILL having sex before marriage? What is the percentage of single adult parents practicing abstinence? What leads to the most stable marriages; feminist values or traditional ones? These are some of the questions I’m going to attempt to tackle. My words/my uncensored thoughts….

>First, here are the proven benefits of  SEX..Sex releases STRESS. Boosts immunities. It helps to keep one’s heart healthy. Helps you sleep. Lowers blood pressure rates. Burns a ton of calories and is a GREAT form of exercise. Boosts self esteem. Boosts endorphins. (including aids with PMS) Makes prostrate cancer less likely(yep, google it if you don’t believe me..) Youthful glow. Lighter menstrual periods with less cramps. Cures world hunger. (Just kidding! )  Now for where I stand regarding abstinence prior to marriage or between marriages..The Moral Case 4 Abstinence Before Marriage VS. The Moral Case 4 Sex Before Marriage…>>Here is  the QUESTION of a LIFEtime that begs to be answered=

>>IS MONOGAMY A REALISTIC RELATIONSHIP GOAL? IS IT NATURAL TO BE MONOGAMOUS? IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN MONOGAMY IN A LONG-TERM LOVE RELATIONSHIP?!?

**In conclusion my bottom line is as follows: Teaching abstinence-only to today’s youth is NOT working. Exclamation point. PERIOD. As someone very dear to me & my co-parenting partner taught me years ago WE as parents must deal with reality and NOT our own fairy tale sugar coated versions of reality …and especially preaching to our youth  B-sISH that WE didn’t even practice in our youth! Yep, I was one of those parents that wanted to only teach abstinence until marriage. However, IF as parents we don’t teach children ALL options and realities; then we aren’t giving them the information/insight/ammunition they’ll need for all given situations. And as a parent that just isn’t responsible…not in my opinion. For those parents that want to teach this one-method type of way. Have at it! Your children, your right to teach them whatever you please..just don’t come crying to me or anyone else when your child winds UP with an early pregnancy they’re UNprepared for(and not mature enough for) Or worse! stricken with an STD that can take their very lives. This is our reality and it IS what it IS. On a moral level? Of course the ideal criteria is to wait to have SEX until married to someone one is IN LOVE with. And yep, as parents one often has to preach/teach things that wasn’t followed by self..Because we are to teach what is right! But for some of us less than perfect people(got my hand help UP high) teaching sons from a stance of  “learn from my mistakes” kind-of-way is working just fine…

**Maybe folks had the right line of thinking backintheday…the 60s Flower Children era. Didn’t it seem(or least from pictures I’ve seen…) that everyone was soooo FREE back then? Live N let live! Make love , not WAR. Peace signs were posted all over the place. Folks singing “What the World Needs Now, is LOVE sweeeeet LOVE…Right? So, what happened to change that mindset? What really happened that veeered the sexual  morality views in our country to be what they are in the here and NOW? Here is the way I see IT..

Way back in the 60s least majority of Americans were HONEST about how they felt SEX..Now? We’ve become a society of “closet” sex-lovers. And only GOD knows what truly goes on behind people’s closed doors..Truth is sex is a beautiful act that was created not just 2 populate but also as the BEST natural anti-depressant. Mayhaps IF more folks were having SEX ..there would be NO need 4 all of the drugs being taken to alter moods out there. Depression has become a very serious issue in our country.(another deep topic for another time..)  Pharmaceutical companies globally are  worth  an estimated  $300 BILLION ..Omg & WOW. 

In an ideal world /situation, youth, it is BEST to wait until marriage to share all of the beauty that sex was created for..Some might ask , “What if I’ve decided I don’t want to get married or have children?” Excellent question! Which is one of the reasons why the “wait for marriage theory” isn’t always a good message to preach. Except from a parental viewpoint….I feel the best way to inform the youth(or anyone..) about a topic; give them all sides. The good, the bad, & the ugly. The whole truth. Which is what I’ve tried 2 do from my perspective in my words here. I don’t believe sexual morality is about how long one waits to have sex..It is moreso about the level of respect a person has for themselves & others. How they carry themselves overall..Youth need to be aware of the dangers of sex and its consequences(which can be lifelong) In the same manner we teach youth the dangers & safety tips on how to drive a car; the same should be done in how we teach them about SEX. When we teach abstinence-only the youth are tuning us OUT..The statistics of the amount of youth having sex makes that evident. My sincere belief? I don’t feel that long-lasting love relationships are established when SEX is introduced early. In rare cases, yes. But overall in my heart of hearts I don’t think so. Yet, I do believe that long-term love relationships are for sure enhanced by sex N without a doubt can’t survive without IT..or least in my world !

Monogamy. Who in their right mind created that?!? Must not have been someone who truly enjoyed good sex…However, having expressed that, I do feel monogamy is the BEST type of long-term love relationship. And it is the only type of relationship for me..I do not feel it is a “natural” state of being though.  We’re hormonal creatures by nature. Some of us moreso than others..(hand held UP high) Men are biologically created & driven! 2 have and 2 want SEX..Lest women ever, ever forget that. (and I think sometimes we do…) So given those 2 facts alone makes it highly difficult to maintain a monogamous relationship. BUT the best things in this life aren’t easily attained nor kept. It IS worth it..True love is worth it. Maintaining the sacredness of a marriage is worth it. And it just feeeeeels right 2 know one’s love partner/mate/spouse/lover; is saving ALL of their special loving for YOU. It causes such a euphoric feeling that there is NO substitute for. Exclamation mark. Period  . I’m ending on that note yall. As always stay UPlifted N blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 n only)

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~Tribute 2 My Eldest Dr. SON~*DPPostADayCHALLENGE*~Berna’s Way..

>>I’m back ! And I’m going to wrap UP this week of leaving my carbon footprints  by giving props to my eldest son. My week began busy; ended busier. (and the upcoming weekend is JAM packed) This week is ending on such  a HIGH note for me..that I’ve GOT to blog about it. Hopefully my thoughts will help someone else out there to hold ON for the good happenings that this life holds for all of us…

**There once was a child born of a single mother. A child who never spoke the usual babbling which little babies speak. When he began to speak at almost 2 yrs old; those who hadn’t carried him in their womb for 9 months , thought something was wrong. His mother said he will speak when he has something to say! And when said child finally spoke he spoke in FULL sentences. WOW.  An  intense child and highly intellectual..from birth. Read to by his mother when still inside her womb. Loved, adored N cherished by his Mom before she ever laid eyes on him. Said son has shared his Mom’s love of reading, yea!, his entire life. Spent every summer in school since the 9th grade till now…Whose legs were so “bowed” they made his legs curve under him. He was WELL fed , lol! , and loved. Those bowed legs and lack of health insurance was the deciding factor for his Mom to leave college N join the military. As a single Mom she felt she needed a steady salary N health insurance for her son…I’m going to fast-forward through alot of this because emotions are running rampant N high this evening..

**My eldest son is the type of son that every parent DREAMS of being their eldest child! He has been N is an awesome  role model for his 2 younger brothers..Yet his humility is one of the most beautiful things about him. He has faced N handled adversity in his lifetime with grace , wit, intellect, and a very matter-of-fact manner. He just makes things look SO easy! He had a self-driven desire his entire life to attain a PHD..nothing less was going to suffice. He has gone to school including summers for 17 years(including high school) He IS an academic scholar N an academian. He’s traveled & done research to South Africa & Ireland; as well as countless cities in our country for academic conferences.   And tonight! he faced the Board at a prestigious University(and he is a PHD candidate there riding on a FULL fellowship)  in our country and defended his proposal of his dissertation for his PHD. And after 2 hours on his very FIRST attempt..passed with flying colors! What that means 2 me as his Ma..is almost to difficult to translate into words. What that means for our direct family on both sides of our family tree..is progress! Our very first Dr._____.  Proud can’t quite describe how I feeeeel tonight and have felt his entire life. This tribute is my attempt to express how I feel about my eldest son/his achievements/his humility/his love& concern for his younger 2 brothers/his remarkable REALness/his dedication of doing outreach to others considered minorities(his Masters thesis) /his love of family N his honor to his parent..his Ma..and his surrogate parents..his grandparents(my parents)

**A single parent ALWAYS worries about NOT being enough for their child. I always worried what my child was missing out on because his Father was NEVER a constant in his life ..nor has my son any recollection of what his Father even looks like. But not once has my son used that as an  excuse to fail(quite the contrary he’s always been an over-achiever/honor roll student/Who’s Who in Academia while also maintaining an active social life with an array of LIFElong  trusted friends)  nor has he expressed feeling any loss in  his life due to that being factual. His grands(my parents) stood UP and filled the gap. It has been an amazing journey..I’d like to say to ANY single parent out there the following:  IF you don’t have the physical or financial support from the other parent…reach out to others you trust in your family to fill in the gap. If that isn’t possible find & interview(and do background checks) a Big Brother/Big Sister through that organization. Reach out to trusted clergy and church members. It truly takes a VILLAGE, in my opinion, to properly raise a child . By whatever legal means necessary…

~When my son came into the world my faith in GOD was hardly apparent..I brought my son(s) to Mass wanting SO badly to believe fully in GOD; yet I didn’t. BUT I so wanted to! And as I look back on nights like this when I can hardly sit stillll because I’m SO excited/happy/content/overjoyed..I can clearly SEE how the hand of GOD was in every, single part of my life. Even long before I believed. It is ONLY by the grace of GOD and a patient GOD(that waited years for me to believe…) that I’m even around to taste the beauty of my son’s victorious achievement tonight. I give ALL the glory to GOD..I was prayed UP as my son went before the board..as well as called upon friends/loved ones from coast 2 coast to form a prayer chain.  I’d like to also  say;  single parents hold ON for as long as you do ALL you can DO with LOVE for your child..alllll the years of sacrifice! will pay off in great ways. Don’t lose hope(ever) and stand strong. And read, read, READ with and to your child..reading is truly fundamental. Try hard never to use the word never with your child. Encourage them to reach for their dreams; even if their dream seems impossible. Be their cheerleader!  I’m writing this tribute to my son tonight because he is SO humble he won’t pat himself on the back. So I am doing it for him! Years N years N years of hard work ..I’ve watched you (even from afar) with awe as you never buckled..just kept driving onward and forward. You’ve done things I dreamt for myself long ago…and now I feeeeeel like a part of me  has accomplished that dream. The part of me that is YOU. Many Congrats my Dr. Son! I love you always N always, Ma…