Posted in @Cultural, Black History

ASALH*Association for the Study of African-American Life and HISTORY*Black History Month Salute

Little known Black History fact is that ASALH still exists..It IS a totally different organization from NACCP..Although the founder, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, was involved in both organizations..Did you know that Woodson’s dream was that there would NOT always be a need for a Negro History Week(the father of Black History Month)? Well, if you didn’t know please don’t feel too bad. I didn’t know either! As I’ve said before Black History Month is still mandatory; for all Americans can stand to learn more. Including moi>>

ASALH was founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson..Its mission is to create and disseminate knowledge about Black History, to be, in short, the nexus between the Ivory Tower and the global public..The Association for the Study of African-American Life and History was created in direct response to the lack of information on the accomplishments of African – Americans..Much of which HAS either been purposely left OUT of History books or diluted down to just the accomplishments of a few..I used to ask why?? These days though I don’t waste time asking why anymore..There is far too much I(we) can read offline or online to discover the accomplishments and achievements Blacks have had since the beginning of civilization..And it is? ALOT. In my hearts of hearts I feel it is mandatory this information is readily available..It is highly necessary for Black youth to know they’ve got much to be proud of ..I’ve no problem in admitting that is my primary reason for promoting Black History Month. Hell, I’m still learning at 50 years of age(and not shamed to admit it) All I dream of now is a day when our history is so well imbedded in American History; that racism rightfully DIES. Black folks built much of what is now America! It takes more than big cojones to try to snuff that history out..

I had the opportunity to attend an event yesterday hosted by ASALH..It was an awesome! story ‘sung’ of the history and journey of songs created by Blacks here in America..From spirituals which then graduated in later years to Gospel and Blues and Jazz and R & B and etc etc …What an emotional and moving hour it was! I learned after that ASALH has a calendar of year-long events and programs..We’ve got a local chapter of ASALH that is very active..I also learned that the National chapter is alive and well..They’re bring our story to life! And I wanted to bring it here to share with you..Anyways, until I write/read y’all again stay blessed and surrounded by love. 4ever Sincere , Berna(the 1 & Only)

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Posted in =Self Discovery=, Positive Movement Topic

**PERFECTLY Managing My IMperfections** Are U?

I can almost clearly recall back-in-the-day trying my best to be a perfectionist..In ALL that I did or said..For some reason I’d convinced myself that being “perfect” was what I had to do & be..I had the perfect husband who did only perfect things & would NEVER cheat on me like other women’s husbands..Oh NO not my husband! (By the way he was a nearly perfect & fine as heck hubby; and I’m not saying that just cause he’s a reader either lol! I’m serious..) I had the perfect children who I swore be danged weren’t going to have temper tantrums like other folks kids/were going to be scholars that read & read & weren’t allowed to listen to negative rap, etc etc…I kept the perfect household that was clean enough to eat off the floor..No small achievement with 3 small sons romping about..I was a hyper ball of energy juggling a cazillion balls at a time at the pace of the energizer bunny..From the outside looking in I had it ALL..Perfection to a T. And yet it wasn’t perfect..Nothing is ever as perfect as it looks. Even when it is US viewing the given situation at hand>>

As I reflect back, briefly, on those days I realize that I’m nearest “perfection”; when I’m NOT trying to reach perfection. Took me many moons to come to that realization..First & foremost a state of perfection simply does NOT exist. In ANYTHING. Admitting that to myself was the first step to my perfectionist recovery..I was holding myself to a standard that was a set-up for failure from the onset..Hand in hand with that I was also holding my loved ones to the same unreachable standards. Perfection doesn’t exist/A state of perfection does NOT exist/Nothing in this life is perfect/I am not perfect. Over and over and over again I had to let the words rain down on me & soak into my being>>

It isn’t easy to acknowledge one’s own faults/flaws..Truly takes much self-reflection to learn what makes us tick..Learning what truly makes us; happy. I learned I don’t desire being perfect..Being perfect takes too much work! And it isn’t FUN..I’m enjoying life far more now that I’m just allowing myself to BE. In turn I was able to relay to my sons to learn from their mistakes…I think its a mistake to try to STOP children from making mistakes..That is impossible. And long ago I quit wasting time on things that weren’t realistic nor feasible>>

IF this were a perfect world & life I think it would be called something entirely different..It would be called HEAVEN. And since it isn’t? I’m just glad I’ve learned to accept me & others for who they are..Imperfections and all..It is a state of being that takes far less effort than attempting to reach perfection. This way is effortless! I’m still juggling a cazillion balls; but I’ve learned that the key isn’t making sure no balls drop. It is knowing what can bounce back if you drop it & what can’t..Or least that is the way I see it.

Posted in ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

**WORST case Scenario**Facing Fear Head ON

As I sit perched on the verge of jumping back into the dating scene, after a couple of years voluntary hiatus, I can’t decide which emotion will take front seat. Fear Or excitement? Both emotions are wrestling to over-ride the other..I’m fighting to keep my emotions at bay; especially my fears. Brings to mind a trick I taught my youngest son when he’s struggling with fears, stress or angst..I’ve taught him to picture in his mind the worst-case scenario. Picture it vividly. And then? Imagine how or IF you can deal with it…>>

When I picture the worst-case scenario regarding jumping back into dating( at 50!) or NOT? For me that would be to wind UP never marrying again and riding solo for the rest of my Life Journey..A close girl friend of mine & I discussed the fears of dating again/linking up with a perfect stranger for first date/giving a guy our phone number for the first time..These are scary times we live in these days! But in my heart of hearts what I fear even more so? Not falling IN love one more time…Real talk for real!>>

Fear of wasting my time dating a loser/Fear of discovering an otherwise sane date or potential is a complete psycho/Fear of getting involved with someone only to later discover he’s married! /Fear of giving my heart to someone who is NOT worthy/Fear of my love not being appreciated…I mean the list of fears goes on & on & on & ON..Until I realize IF I continue to think of ALL the things I fear I’ll never take the first step and dip my toe back in the water>>

Truth BE told? I don’t ever recall a time when dating caused me any angst..Just enjoyed it & went with the flow..Mayhaps one of the only disadvantages of turning 50? THINKING THINGS OUT BEFOREHAND..Ugh & dang!>>

In my heart of hearts I’m hoping & praying that my fears will be quickly put to rest once the ice is broken on my dating adventure..Truly I wish for nothing more than to be able to say @ Whew! All that worry & fear was for nothing..Taking the first step is always the most difficult in anything. I used to just leap into things caught UP in spontaneous passion & excitement! Yet now all grown up I find myself pausing before opening the door to possible romantic bliss..Doing so is very foreign & unfamiliar to me. New territory indeed..>>

Thinking back I can recall many times pushing past FEAR & riding through/over/under/around it..No harm, no foul & always felt better AFTER I’d faced it head on..Like the time I rapelled down a structure so high UP in the military; that people below looked like ants! I was beyond terrified..I had a strong FEAR of heights..But in order to pass basic training I had, just had, to rapel off this structure..I tried to “appear” brave in front of all my fellow female cadets..But my knees were trembling/I was sweating bricks!/& little did any of them know I begged /pleaded with the Drill Sgt that was up there with me..I begged him to please NOT let go of me & make me rapel down! Then I begged him not to tell anyone I’d begged & cried & prayed..And when I figured out there was NO way out; except down…I closed my eyes & stepped off. True Private Benjamin I was in all ways..When I got down to the bottom? OMG I was so proud of myself & ready to do it again /again/again/AGAIN..I stood there in disbelief that I’d been so very afraid just a few moments before..So tonight as I fight fear & excitement over dating at 50? My focus is letting the knot of fears go & let the exciting butterflies in my tummy fly freely! And I’ll simply close my eyes, open my heart, and step OFF>>

Posted in =Self Discovery=, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

*The Long Way Home..*

longestwayhomeBased on the true story(& learned lessons)   which is my Life..>>What those that know me personally, that also read my blog(hugs,hugs! , & more hugs) are privy to is that at almost 50 yrs of age; I moved cross country to my parents home. I no longer live there though & have nothing but fond, loving memories from the life-altering experience.  What that same group of people knows is that …very shortly I’ll be drafting my very first book. A book I’ve planned on writing for the past-longer-than-I-care-to-mention-number-of-years..Haven’t yet dreamt of the title; it won’t actually be titled, The Long Way Home…and its foundation though based on life(specifically mine..) will be to serve as a guide for other young girls/women out there on their Life Journey..Not a self-help book; but a self-DO book. But anyways I digress for I was driving home yesterday & I got lost..Which led me to the idea of this post. For you see I’ve gotten quite used! to getting lost(with a GPS that I seem to keep on off mode) ; and I think its been the BEST way for me to never forget my way to wherever the heck I was headed in the first place..Heck of a run-on but I can’t break that line of thought UP..In short while some folks feel getting lost OR being lost is a bad thing; for me? It has brought me to where I needed to be; every single time. That might not make sense to y’all ; but it makes perfect sense to me..Question. Do you know what your center IS? Took  me almost 50 yrs but I know, and part of me always knew, what mine was/IS..Lets see if I can dig a little deeper & explain..>

^Your “Center”= I’m going to borrow this definition from Wiki..its FAR better than even I can write out. Afterwards I’ll move forward with this post; just want to first make sure y’all are up-to-speed .

**Within each person, there is a “center” where “you”, the essence of who you are and consider yourself to be, is located. It is not a physical place, rather it is where the certainty of your confidence is. When you are distressed, it is good to contemplate this “essence place” in order to reconnect with the calm certainty that is your self.

So “finding your center” means to understand within yourself that the distressing circumstance will pass, you will learn from it, and you will remain yourself. This is important when events make you crazy. When your world falls apart, the “center” of you reassures you that the event will pass, but you are still the same person you have always been.

In religion, this “center” is where you and your God connect. In some religions, this center can be called the soul..it is the “connecting place” between this physical plane and the Eternal. It is a place of calm, a place within you that can give great strength and resolve when you take the time to “return to your roots.” It is the place of refreshing and renewal.

So if you are in emotional distress, “find your center” reminds you that you are stronger than you realize and that you need to reconnect with your God and your essential being.** Moving right along…>>

What I’ve learned is the more in tune with Self I get..the less I give a dang!(and I mean that in the most respectful way..) of what other folks think about what I do/what I say/how I act. Who are they to say what it takes for ME to live UP to my God given potential? To be all the me I can? Its my belief when we let other folks “define” who we are; we become who they! want us to be..Think about that for a minute & let it sink in. I’ll take this line of thought one step further @ When I fully realized what my “center” was/is; the less insecure I became. And? I didn’t fully come to this realization until I came full circle and  went home almost 2 years ago.. I was lost (figuratively) until I found myself and my way home…>>

So, as I was saying when I first began this post..I got lost yesterday driving home. Returning from a bruncheon at adored friends house ..and! the funny thing is I’d just, and I mean just told them, oh nooo need to worry about me I know exactly how to get home. Plus, I told them I’ve got my GPS so if all else fails I’ll finally use it..I didn’t want them to worry. Anyways, I went skipping out to my car & bam! almost immediately took the wrong route. Went North on the freeway(they call them highways here; but I refuse! to give up all my Cali terms or way of life..) instead of South. And OMG I had to go for what seemed like forever for a turn-around spot..I’d known I was lost & headed the wrong way about 10,000 miles( exaggeration but it sure seemed like that far..)  before I could double back to go the right way..What heck kind of State doesn’t make a turn -around spot sooner than..as far as I’d driven? *slapping forehead* Yep, I’m still getting used to living outside of Cali..As I was driving along admiring all the green , lush(now thats ONE thing this place has over Southern dry brown Cali..) I realized how many times I’d gotten lost since moving here. Then my mind began to wander how many times I’d been lost , period, in my life journey…Times I just felt like-IF-this-or-that-I’d-be-a-little -bit-happier …times that I either still wanted something smaller or bigger..times I wanted either more or less of whatever…times I wanted my loved ones who love me dearly to love me a little bit; deeper..times , when all the world looking IN figured I was totally happy, that I just felt I neeeeeeded something “else” to be totally happy..Yet, I didn’t know quite what was missing. As my eldest son shared with me about 3  years ago; I needed to find my “center”. At the time? I didn’t even know what the heck that meant..>>

Ever feel like something is missing from your life? Feel like a gerbil running around & around & around a wheel; on a daytoday grind of routineness? Wonder what the purpose of life is? I read on a W.P. blog the other day someone said ” Contrary to what religious folks think! ; there is no purposeful meaning to our existence or life. ” WOW , reading this now blows my hair back. Why? Because there is nothing further from the truth..How sad for anyone to feel like that. Wouldn’t their life then be as boring as that gerbil running circular laps around his wheel? Until I found my way home that is how I felt..alot. My oasis in the middle of that jacked UP barren desert? My 3 beautiful Black princes. Not only did they add meaning to my life; without them life just wouldn’t be the same. True blessings from God..Also my beloved & loving parents. When God handed out parents; he gave me the BEST. My right-hand man & co-parenting partner. Actually divorced but I swear we get along better than some of the married folks I hear about..and the list goes on & on..I’ll save some keystrokes by saying my center IS..My family/Mi familia/My extended family of friends. Its them that I think of & smile! on days that I just feel I need a bright light to look forward to or I’ll explode. They are my center. Loving them & being loved by them ..and knowing that their love IS unconditional(that I never , ever have to doubt it..) keeps me grounded. Feeling loved IS the number 1 best feeling on this planet. For me. And yep, it even outranks the feeling of an orgasm. Barely..but still outranks it…>>

These days? I feel alot like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz..Everything seems SO new. Experiences. Projects. Friendships..For I look at things in a totally different manner. I believe its called , Appreciation. I no longer take things for granted. Not only that I’m quite verbal about letting the folks that I appreciate them; aware that I appreciate them. For far too many years I ASSumed folks knew how much I loved, adored, appreciated & even needed them in my life..and while actions speak volumes telling someone these things doesn’t hurt either. I feel a neeeed to express myself these days. In every/any form possible. I say all of this to say this. I am home. Not literally anymore because I’m in my own place now once again. Yep, I’m all grown UP now again. Lol, lol! But I am at home within myself. At long last & finally. And if its taking U a long way to get home? Don’t lose hope for you can get there..if you wish to. The first step will be the hardest step to take. Your feet may feel like they’re stuck in cement..but lift one after the other to step by step & day by day striving to get home. Striving to reach your Center. Striving to BE purposeful and to get the full meaning out of Life. Life might be short; but my days are long  & full..Hope yours are also. Until I write/read y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)

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)