Posted in <<COMING SOON, @Berna's Book Reviews, Telling it like it 'TIS, Watercooler Chat, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

~~~Shopping While BLACK~~~My 2 cents regarding the EPIC failure of the recent filmed Starbucks and Philly incident

Humiliation personified .. A surreal scene mayhaps for those who aren’t racist ; but for those of us Black Americans and minorities who have been there or seen it’s become an every day moment reality that still reeks of ISH.. Many of us , including myself!, have sons same age as the victims .. Makes it terribly personal .. And YES I said victims .. I’ve sat in MANY Starbucks from Barnes and Noble to Target stores and just SB sites ; and had meetings , link upS or just to hang out and READ.. I’ve used their restrooms whether I purchased a product or NOT.. And not once as an American Black woman have I been arrested .. Not 1 time from coast 2 Coast.. For the record to preface I’ve got a myriad of friends of all colors , sexual orientation and genders.. IF I must state I’m not racist here it IS I’m not , but what I am is a Black American woman proud of my culture and Co- parent of 3 amazing , astounding grown Black SONS .. And to quote former POTUS Obama this could’ve been one of MINE.. Honestly, I fully support and stand behind ANY person unjustly villified .. It just is not right to judge anyone , lest alone based on color of one’s skin color . These 2 college graduates weren’t wearing hoodies ! They weren’t thugs yet they were treated like thugs .. Like CRIMINALS.. Those words @ I feared for my life… I’ve heard from my own sons breathing while Black and innocent yet targeted .. For nothing .. Which IMO is the worst type of words a parent can hear from sons they’ve birthed and raised to do the RIGHT things .. Starbucks IMO let this manager who called the police OFF lightly .. Allowed her to resign , mutual parting , pfft! Many of US would’ve been FIRED for far less .. Now Starbucks due to many of US refusing to remain paying our big bucks to them ; is taking ONE day for racial unbiased training.. 1 DAY a month in advance to roll back how many years of racial ISH? Want to impress me? Why is it planned so far in advance ? Why not teach racial non bias as part of training ; period ? WE don’t need short term 1 day so called solutions .. Truth IS they hired a racist person ..What is the long term solution to keep that from happening again and again ? And mind you this isn’t an isolated Starbucks issue.. IMO with Trump thumping racist behavior and condoning it; this is becoming more and more common… Thankfully ! this time no one was murdered .. As a collective group Black and Brown have HUGE spending power .. I will not cater to companies who don’t treat those who look like ME with great fair customer service .. Ever .. Might mean being inconvenienced or making my own coffee or whatever .. But saving lives and dignity in the long run is worth it.. IF I was on fire ! and the only water available was in a Starbucks cup of coffee I would rather burn to death .. Period .. I recall when Starbucks had to close stores during the recession due to over saturation .. If it depends on my money , and I’m a coffee lover, they’ll close many more until they stand for fairness and equality . Let’s rap…

Posted in ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

>>>Just DANCE>>>the CURE for World UNITY

I think I’m onto something here &  going with the flow..Sit back, kick your feet UP & get ready to think outside the box. Ever seen major beauty pageants? Well, I honestly don’t watch them anymore either, BUT backintheday when I used to…There was always that one beauty who when they asked her what was her lifetime goal; she’d say in her most oh-sincere-voice. ” I’d like to end World hunger & see World Peace”. Truth be told I really DO think of plausible solutions for World peace/UNITY/ending World hunger/ending World homelessness..The process has to begin somewhere & I think, I really do, I’ve got the answer to get the ball rolling. Push START..>

**What IF we lived in a world of peace, love,  harmony , freedom and justice for all. Can y’all imagine how little we’d have to stress over or be frustrated about? If you close your eyes for a minute…go ahead close your eyes(well read this part first..) …can’t you see all the smiling faces? Laughter  can be heard all day long; everywhere! Singing, children playing & giggling, NO hungry person exists, everyone has a roof over their head/clothing in inclement weather, NO racism nor prejudice exists; just total tolerance, love, joy, and peace. Lets see if I can paint a clear picture of what I see when I…dream. >

Ever been at a family reunion or group function with music, excellent food, & dancing? Notice how the music hypes everyone all up? Next thing you know there are large groups of people doing Soul Train lines(yep, we still get down like that and its fun!) and of course electric slide/wobble(woooo hooo) No one really cares who they’re dancing next to/or even who is their dance partner..the electric & excitement in the air just gets everyone all amped UP and…dancing!>

..Why can’t that feeling of togetherness-without-a-care-in-the-world carry on from the dance floor onto day-to-day life? How have we allowed ourselves to live in a society in which TRUST is so hard to come by? Someone once told me long ago I had to earn their trust..that honestly blew my hair back! Especially since I thought we were family. Isn’t it supposed to be the opposite? What happened to TRUST until someone shows you they don’t deserve your trust? (and they burn you..) When in the heck did NOT trusting , from the onset, become the norm ?! And exactly who sets these so called norm rules anyway? The majority? Count me out…I’ve no issue being different. Actually I’m quite used to it & have grown to like it>

Aren’t we all as humans sisters & brothers? Linked together forever because of that being factual? If that is the case why are there WARS? Why do we, even myself, guilty of judging/stereotyping/prejudice..does this not cause separatism? Is this something we learn-by-example? Or we born feeling this way? Or conditioned? More & most  importantly how do we STOP it from continuing to re-cycle to the next generation?>

When one dances and gets caught UP in the ebb & flow of the music …it can amp  up to a feverish pace. It IS contagious! Before you know it an entire room of people are dancing & dancing & dancing..Why can we not employ this concept to have more cohesiveness in the world. A world void of hate, wars, and people less fortunate than others. Basic needs would rightfully be taken care of; IF we all lend a helping hand to those less fortunate than ourselves. Pay-it-forward-Mentorship-Tutoring-Adoption-FeedaFamily..so many things to form ..more unity. I read alot, a great deal, and many believe world peace is no longer possible. They believe there will always be war/famine/poor/homelessness..Is this our new reality that we can no longer even dream for such things? When the ability to dream no longer exists, it takes all hope with it. I refuse..and you should also. THINK about it. And while you’re at it; there is a way to really get your creative juices flowing…JUST DANCE

Posted in "Just for fun", Positive Movement Topic

~~Can U Name That Tune? ~~Whats Your Theme Song? …

>>All day long! I couldn’t get this off my mind..Itched 2 write the idea down yet had such a non-stop busy day that I couldn’t find the time..IF you don’t have a theme song in mind for yourself; then put your thinking cap ON and..think of 1. Going to dig up the video clip or lyrics from mine(yep! I’ve got my very own theme song..) and then I’ll give this “topic” the time/attention it deserves..

*When *IS*THE*LAST*TIME*YOU*TOOTED*YOUR*OWN*HORN?* Hmmmm, well IF you don’t do it everyonceinagreatwhile; how will you teach your special ‘the ONE’..how to do it properly? Ready? Get set…Really ready? I am..

*Anyone out there realize that just as we can be our own worst enemies(used to be my own..); we can also be our best form of advertisement? Otherwise known as branding..One has to feel good about themselves from the INside out; in order to attract the same. Or least that is the way I see IT. Took me a very long time to get “it”..we truly are what we eat . Same difference as we project what we feel on the inside & without a doubt attract mirror images of self.

^Sounds like a simple enough formula, right? Yet , for some of us took many moons to truly master it. And now that I’m here; there is no turning back..Being here feels fabulous. Fits. I’ve worked hard to get here and survived alot of ‘ish! to earn a Masters in life…still working on getting my PHD in it>

Getting back to the topic at hand behind all of that..Personal theme songs. Remember the movies from backintheday? The ones when the main character walked into the screen shot; you knew they were coming because of the music. Every  single time it was time for their grand entrance into the scene; the same song was played. Their theme song..music has an awesome way of serving so many purposes. I personally don’t do much without music in my background..Poetess that I am music is a form of poetry set to tunes; so of course I’d love it. And when I’m not listening to music? I’m vibing to my own tune in my thoughts…

Which leads me to the introduction of my very own theme song…At least for the time being until my status changes from ‘single’ & almost ready to date 2 attached/involved/in love with my ‘the one’..This song perfectly captures my essence/my desires/my vibe. Could hardly believe it when I discovered it a couple months ago. I’ve played the vinyl off of it, lol. Well, I would’ve if records were still sold instead of CDs..in other words I like this song. Alot. Just fits. To a T. So without further delay here is my theme song..Have ya’ll picked one for yourselves yet? Well when you do , let your hair down, post it here so we can all check it out. Until then listen in and enjoy mine…and oh until I write /read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna (the one & only)

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*, =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 =Self Discovery=, FABulous 50 Bday anticipation..

~Brand New *Me*~very new song by Alicia Keys

I hadn’t planned on posting any music videos on my blog page..Until I ran across this one 2day..I do SO love music; there isn’t much that I do that I don’t have music on in the background..This past year or so I’ve worked diligently & very HARD on becoming as much of the person I want to B by the time I make 50..Trying to ditch the bad N keep the good foundation I feel which was established by my UPbringing..I’m still a work in progress(and I think with any /everything we should always strive to improve on it) but I’ve come a VERY long way. From my mental position to stroking my emotional/sensitive inner child to treating my body right(which takes FAR more work than it did when I was in my 20s..) I’m constantly evolving and still striving to reach the max of my God given life purpose.. This song says pretty well what I feel about myself at this point. Plus it is a brand new song by one of my fave artists on earth@Alicia Keys.   Enjoy…