Monday, June 30, 2008

Center of Wellness for Urban Women....CWUW

CWUW is my love, my other kid that takes up most of my time outside of mommyhood. This weekend as I worked on some program stuff, I was really rejuvenated. We've had some changes in the board that sort of through me off for a second but change is good.

We're working on a research project that I'm excited about. I just hate going throught the IRB process. Its so slow or its just IUPUI.

I'm starting to see how God is working this out. As I go through my own journey in dealing with my health (bulimia), CWUW progresses. As I move to live a more centered life, CWUW grows. I'll never want to go through what I did with Woman to Woman. I was so connected to the program that I couldn't separate myself from the program. I WAS W2W and when stuff started to crumble, I couldn't separate me from what was occurring (blessings to a fabulous co-worker who helped me through).

I'm so thankful for W2W though. I LOVED what we were able to accomplish in HIV and with women in the community. It was a great experience and prepared me for CWUW. I needed for W2W to die (so to speak) for CWUW to come alive. I know that I've had some fear about stepping completely out to do CWUW. I don't care to be in the front. I don't care for titles and all of that BUT I have to step out. Generally, let me do the work and I'll let someone else be the face. I don't need that but I can see with CWUW....ugh...I'll have to do a lot of it. No fear. I just hate it. I really don't like networking. Its a necessary evil. Here I go.

I just want to thank God for letting have stewardship over this plan. WOW....its exciting. I see the doors and I'm ready to bust through them all. I just have to know, some doors are only for me to walk through and others, I can bring some folks with me.

Got my doc martens on....bustin' down them doors, ya heard.

Here comes CWUW......

http://cwuw.blogspot.com
http://www.cwuwonline.org
http://www.myspace.com/cwuw

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Principles of Spiritual Activism

Principles of Spiritual Activism

The following principles emerged from several years' work with social change leaders in Satyana's Leading with Spirit program. We offer these not as definitive truths, but rather as key learnings and guidelines that, taken together, comprise a useful framework for "spiritual activism."

1. Transformation of motivation from anger/fear/despair to compassion/love/purpose. This is a vital challenge for today's social change movement. This is not to deny the noble emotion of appropriate anger or outrage in the face of social injustice. Rather, this entails a crucial shift from fighting against evil to working for love, and the long-term results are very different, even if the outer activities appear virtually identical. Action follows Being, as the Sufi saying goes. Thus "a positive future cannot emerge from the mind of anger and despair" (Dalai Lama).

2. Non-attachment to outcome. This is difficult to put into practice, yet to the extent that we are attached to the results of our work, we rise and fall with our successes and failures—a sure path to burnout. Hold a clear intention, and let go of the outcome—recognizing that a larger wisdom is always operating. As Gandhi said, "the victory is in the doing," not the results. Also, remain flexible in the face of changing circumstances: "Planning is invaluable, but plans are useless."(Churchill)

3. Integrity is your protection. If your work has integrity, this will tend to protect you from negative energy and circumstances. You can often sidestep negative energy from others by becoming "transparent" to it, allowing it to pass through you with no adverse effect upon you. This is a consciousness practice that might be called "psychic aikido."

4. Integrity in means and ends. Integrity in means cultivates integrity in the fruit of one's work. A noble goal cannot be achieved utilizing ignoble means.

5. Don't demonize your adversaries. It makes them more defensive and less receptive to your views. People respond to arrogance with their own arrogance, creating rigid polarization. Be a perpetual learner, and constantly challenge your own views.

6. You are unique. Find and fulfill your true calling. "It is better to tread your own path, however humbly, than that of another, however successfully." (Bhagavad Gita)

7. Love thy enemy. Or at least, have compassion for them. This is a vital challenge for our times. This does not mean indulging falsehood or corruption. It means moving from "us/them" thinking to "we" consciousness, from separation to cooperation, recognizing that we human beings are ultimately far more alike than we are different. This is challenging in situations with people whose views are radically opposed to yours. Be hard on the issues, soft on the people.

8. Your work is for the world, not for you. In doing service work, you are working for others. The full harvest of your work may not take place in your lifetime, yet your efforts now are making possible a better life for future generations. Let your fulfillment come in gratitude for being called to do this work, and from doing it with as much compassion, authenticity, fortitude, and forgiveness as you can muster.

9. Selfless service is a myth. In serving others, we serve our true selves. "It is in giving that we receive." We are sustained by those we serve, just as we are blessed when we forgive others. As Gandhi says, the practice of satyagraha ("clinging to truth") confers a "matchless and universal power" upon those who practice it. Service work is enlightened self-interest, because it cultivates an expanded sense of self that includes all others.

10. Do not insulate yourself from the pain of the world. Shielding yourself from heartbreak prevents transformation. Let your heart break open, and learn to move in the world with a broken heart. As Gibran says, "Your pain is the medicine by which the physician within heals thyself." When we open ourselves to the pain of the world, we become the medicine that heals the world. This is what Gandhi understood so deeply in his principles of ahimsa and satyagraha. A broken heart becomes an open heart, and genuine transformation begins.

11. What you attend to, you become. Your essence is pliable, and ultimately you become that which you most deeply focus your attention upon. You reap what you sow, so choose your actions carefully. If you constantly engage in battles, you become embattled yourself. If you constantly give love, you become love itself.

12. Rely on faith, and let go of having to figure it all out. There are larger 'divine' forces at work that we can trust completely without knowing their precise workings or agendas. Faith means trusting the unknown, and offering yourself as a vehicle for the intrinsic benevolence of the cosmos. "The first step to wisdom is silence. The second is listening." If you genuinely ask inwardly and listen for guidance, and then follow it carefully—you are working in accord with these larger forces, and you become the instrument for their music.

13. Love creates the form. Not the other way around. The heart crosses the abyss that the mind creates, and operates at depths unknown to the mind. Don't get trapped by "pessimism concerning human nature that is not balanced by an optimism concerning divine nature, or you will overlook the cure of grace." (Martin Luther King) Let your heart's love infuse your work and you cannot fail, though your dreams may manifest in ways different from what you imagine.

Eyes Wide Shut

May 19, 2008 - Monday


Lost in the rhythm of my heart

Forest for the trees, i can't not see

Blind daily by thoughts and misunderstandings

Twists and turns and mistakes and misgivings

The drumbeat of my heart continues

to deafen the melodic sounds

my ears should be hearing

disillusioned in my passions

I can recognize

the rabbit hole

Alice in her wonderment

confused by pandora's box

Fairy tales without the happy

ending

Close my eyes to see fantasies

and rainbows

and pleasure

and love

refusing to open

refusing

reality

refusing

me

Trippy

December 5, 2007


Psychedelic waves bouncing through my head

blues and reds form mystical visions

of things unsaid

feeling trippy

feeling fine

feeling good

all the time

peace my brotha

everything is swell

tree huggin' fools

secrets they do tell

be good to the animals

Peta will not have a say

ahhhhhhhhh the sunrise

its time to play

running through the fields

rainbows and ribbons

dance through my mind

feelin' trippy

feelin' good

feelin' fine

my mind is seeks not

altering vibes

weed, mushrooms

take away my good time

come join my journey

be a part of my parade

this good feelin'

leads to an orgasmic

tirade.

feelin' trippy

feelin fine

hypnotic, psychedelic joy ride

March 15, 2008 - Saturday


transparent
seeing through my
bullshit
my rhetoric
me trying to be slick
me trying to hide
what I feel about
me
about
you
about
him

ya let me know
my words speak
magnified
but do you know
when I speak
when its about
me
about
you
about
him

confused

you
truly
be
working through my
transparency

my crush
him
my rock
you
and
I
am
clear.

Art by Kortez




I've always surrounded myself with artsy people.
I like their vibes but damn, ya'll some moody, temperamental creatures.
I say that with love...lol.


My very, very dear friend is an artist and DJ in New Jersey
and he breaks the mold. He is so cool and focused.

Kortez isn't full of angst and he's on his grind with his art
and music and the struggle to make it happen.
He is very peaceful. I LOVE talking with him.

On a visit, I watched him paint and it was AMAZING.




He painted three items for me. The collage (above) was painted in honor of my Mom. He used her birth certificate, pics and other items to make this collage. Its a great way to honor her.





The other painting was inspired by some art he had already painted.
Kortez' art is cool because he uses things like doors, frames, wood paneling, etc to create his beautiful work.


When this finally came in the mail, I lost it.
He actually painted while ago when I was there but it took a minute for him to get it to me.

I've posted his stuff before on my Myspace page. He's a great talent and a very dear friend. I've always appreciated how supportive he is of my dreams and goals. I know artistry sometimes keeps you a little self involved (Rashida has taught me this) but Kortez is very selfless and its always refreshing to talk with him. I'll ask about
U before he will tell you the first thing about himself.

He's allowed me to post some of his art.
Visit him at:

http://www.myspace.com/esotericurbanism














Saturday, June 28, 2008

Blogs, poems and such....


Just repostin' some stuff from my Myspace blog over the past couple of years.

I'm not THAT moved by stuff lately...(gigglin')..ok...yeah maybe.
Thanks for the many messages ya'll.

So many folks send me private notes and emails to my blogs. I'm blessed for the encouragement, the support and the sharing of your stories as well. Its a blessing to be able to share ME with the world without fear of criticism. Not bothered with another person's opinion of me, my life and journey. Its all about God and me. Through my past work in the community, I know that giving a little of yourself can be such a blessing. I wish I could share some of the touching messages I get. Awesome.

My writings can be about a number of people and situations or very much my own personal experiences. Ya neva know.

I'm happy to encourage others to Journal. You don't have to be as public as I am but journaling can be a powerful tool.

I'm thankful to friends who have allowed me to share their stories as well.
:)

I am.....

I am.....

Charged with providing love to
the disenfranchised
hugs to the lonely
Walking through the doors of
the crack house to help
a mother change her life

I am evil


Kisses to the person
living with HIV who has forgotten
the touch of another
Let me sit with you
so your pimp doesn't
beat you again
again
again

I am offensive


Let me lose mother, job, home
car, phone, and family
and still praise the Most High
for loving me
Let family turn away
and brother
abuse is sister


I am faithless


My little sisters, black, white
and Asian
Come under my wings as I teach you my
wisdom, my love for God's people.
Sit with me daily and I will share
and love you as I do my own
I embrace all who you will become



I am racist

Dissatisfaction




I'm so affected by my friends and just my surroundings. Its the introvert in me. I listen. I analyze and over analyze too. The running theme this week was dissatisfaction with various aspects of life, from jobs, to friendships, relationships, politics, etc. I think I've talked with someone about each these things this week; most of the time just listening.

Why do we get dissatisfied? To me, its no more than a push to move and do something. Piss or get off the pot. Do something. Move. Make a decision. But so many, including myself at times, do nothing. Nothing makes it worse, really. What REALLY happens is that we become fearful? We know we are dissatisfied but trying to make a decision to move to action is just overwhelming, scary so we just stay in dissatisfaction.

So many are dissatisfied with our schools but do nothing. Some are dissatisfied with their jobs (mirror, mirror on the wall) and do nothing (doin' something though). I've dealt with dissatisfaction in a relationship and did nothing (stayed thinking it would get better...nope) when I knew my spirit wanted me to walk out the door. We make the DECISION, the choice to stay in dissatisfaction sometimes. I do believe that feeling, discomfort is no more than a prompt to do something, say something; respond.

I know I've learned to move and respond and I've tried my best to teach the Kid not to stay in dissatisfaction too long but use it as motivation to make positive changes in herself and in her community. The worse thing we can do is STAY in dissatisfaction and then try to drag others into our funk. I remember talking with a friend about her boyfriend being dissatisfied with his life and making her life miserable all because of his fear to make a move. That's unfair. Its unfair to stay on a job you hate, its unfair complain about your community and do nothing and its unfair to stay in a relationship you're unfulfilled with. Its unfair to my kid when I don't move on my dreams and goals because it directly effects her life. Piss or get off the pot. Yanno.

Dissatisfaction can lead to depression, bitterness and anger. I know that I'm still abhorring some anger with my ex when I made the decision to stay in my dissatisfaction. That's actually unfair to him. I still have to take responsibility for myself and my own happiness but I realize that sometimes we have to be shoved HARD to move to decision making or we make the decision that seems the easiest. Being shoved sucks though. Its normally God saying ok, I've let you try this your way, now its My turn. God's way sometimes ain't too fun. Or when we don't really heed to the decisions we need to make and choose the otha path like when Sarah had Moses go to lay with Hagar. It seemed like the easier path. Nah....

Another friend had me so preplexed. From the first meeting, he had some "discomfort" in a relationship. I would listen. I could tell he really was into this chick but damn. She wasn't that into him or something was up. He had a checklist: smart, check; well read; check; traveler, check; earthy vibe, check. She was fitting his list of must haves but kept finding himself dissatisfied. I'm still thinkin'....uh...well, checklist don't work but I would just listen. He didn't heed to that little thing in his stomach saying this isn't it. Yeah, there were times when they had a good time. He would tell how they are workin' it out. I'm like....hmmm...ok. The next week....dissatisfaction would creep back up. He was soooooooooo smitten with her that he ignored his need for more. I told him one day, "GO FOR IT!". He was confused but I figured if he gave it 100% that he would have NO regrets when this thing fell on its face. He went for it and it fell apart. You hate to be right but you could hear his troubles from the beginning. He was rarely satisfied even though she fit his vision of perfection.

I hate to see my friends and loved ones be troubled by this. When we start harming ourselves (depression, bitterness) and others (drawing people into the drama), its ungodly. Its damaging.

Watch and Pray.


Dissatisfaction can be VERY good for the spirit...its that motivtation to MOVE!!


Its simple. Dissatisfaction is that urge....Take the piss.

Oh My




Oh my Oh my

the thickness of my thighs
imagining my lips dripping with
well
Oh my Oh my
its not all physical you see
strength, insight and drive
becomes all of me
Oh my Oh my
confused you are
this is nothing new
I'm a door, a possibility
for you to walk through
Oh my Oh my
perfect combination
Love and Lust
allowing your spirit
to break free

when its all said and done

I'm just being me
Oh my Oh my

no responsibility do I take
for what your mind whispers of me
in your late night quake
Oh my Oh my
what do you do

nothing is seems
just do you
and I'll be
authentically me

God Bless the Freaks

God Bless the Freaks.....(ODE to Dex)

Ring!!

yes, this is me.....who you be

You wanna what? yeah.....uh....yeah...ok...well....where do you wanna do that?

yeah..i'm down....11pm...ok

(hmmmm......that dress....nothing underneath....)

Doorbell.......ringggggggggg

Hey U...its me.....ahhhhhhhhhh.....got the music playing.....prince.....how cute

C'mere....touch me....yeah.....there.....let me...lick you....mmmmm...there

yes....condoms.......let me.....yeah.....i have some skills.....Look..no hands....hahaha.....

Lustful desires, Locs interwined.......choke me.....pull my hair......wheeeww lawd...yes..........sweat from your brow...onto my chest.....ahhhhhhhhhh yes....

Well......thanks......uh....yeah....just call me in the morning.......ok...oh...I'll make it home aight......mwahhhh.....

Ringgggggggggggg.....damn who is this

Oh...yeah .....hey U....what am I doin'....well....uh....driving home...where are you......u wanna meet me? Tonight......uh....well......new...tricks....lick what?

Ok....uhmmmmm.....I'll be right there....

Simply in Love




August 17, 2007 - Friday


Simply in love with the essence of you

I'm consumed with the possibilities of forever and the certainties of today

Heated passions, common ground are shared without strife, moving us into another level, another vibe, another thing

Nameless it remains as we find peace in this nameless connection

Simply in love with the way it is, the way its done and the way .....the way....the way

Touches unlock hidden secrets, confessions are made about pasts loves and hurts and leading us to lay down, lay down those things that hinder us from feeling this

Simply in love a with friendship that defies reason, space and time

just simply in love and its ok.....

simply in love with you


nobody knows
that which time must confess
all of lifes trials
born across your chest

your strength is like freedom
designed to set me free
speakin words of wisdom
speakin Rhonda Rhonda b

b it baby maybe always
that we preserve the memory
these words the pearls of truth
uttered so freely by decree

you I can tell are beauty sideways
sound barrier honey honesty
you gave me shelter from the swelter
the one n only Rhonda b

b it never should I recover
it wont matter no not to me
cause I am now a better body
better for knowin Rhondab

Written for me by Shausler of the Org after we spoke following the death of his mother last year.

Love ya Shausler!!

Simplicity of Love

July 29, 2007 - Sunday

How simple is it to love....ah no....ah yes..ha ha ha maybe

How simple is it to express it.....ah yes..ah no...ha ha ha maybe

My eyes tell you, my words move you, ah the simplicity of love when you know it, feel it and damn it, exist in it

How simple is it to live in it ....ah maybe....ah no...ha ha ha yes

hearts beating, hearts beating, hearts beating....in time....in motion....eyes fixed and bodies in harmony....are we one? My soul connects so deeply and yet I am me and you are you, and we are we...

How simple is it to realize that you've found the one, thinks like you, vibes with you, supports all that you are and all that you desire to be....ah no.....ah yes......ha ha ha maybe

Love me, love me love me....ah yes....ah...yes.....no more no....no more maybe. there you be. there you.....be....there.....you be. Come to me.

How simple is it to realize that my eyes no longer need to wander? How simple is it to realize that I need not take anymore offers?

No thank you....the Universe has answered the call.....karma has responded to my positivity....the harvest has come....you are here.....the blessing.

ha ha ha......

Moth to a Flame



August 20, 2007 - Monday

Fire and passion blaze through

into my veins, burning sensation rushes

intensity, desire to love me, desire to need me

longing for all that you've offered so freely to my spirit

fear sets in to remind me of a past thing, a thing that had me confused

had me lost, had me wandering, looking for the love promised to me

Can a heart be too open, too willing to love as if a noose is slowly being draped so eloquently around my neck.....

The provision of my heart can't be passed out so freely.....

I must guard my heart to guard my peace...peace of mind and my soul

The warmth of your soul keeps me drawn unto your flame....but impatient words burns at every touch.

let me be. let you be. Let me desire something deeper than an online fantasy with twisted words. You shun friendship as if its the greater evil but its the greatest gift I can offer you....

I release you to find the frantic love you seek....as I look for deeper meaning...in stability and patience......

I'm thankful for the chance to touch the flame....to walk on coals....to feel the heat of your passion and I'm blessed for the wisdom its taken to know that this is too dangerous for me to continue.....


repost from myspace blog
Inspired by a long time friend

Wake Up

Wake up Wake up
with all lucidity
it is still possible
to think as if
insanity has set in
Wake up Wake up
No dumber than he or she is me
it is all so transparent
close my eyes
blinded in my imagination
reality once my friend
my enemy it seems
by my own selection
Wake up Wake
my journey continues
with the brightness of midday
sky
pretending nothing anymore
guided by the Power of Yeshua
moved my the Spirit of Wisdom
Wake Up Wake Up
Awaken I've always been
and now I rise
returning no more to foolish
ways
My worth as precious
as any costly stone
recognizing only a few
can pay such a fee
to love, respect and be with me
Awoke.

June 28, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Little Sister Rashida.....




Back in 1998 when I was the Program Director for a HIV prevention program called Woman to Woman, I needed another assistant. The program was growing so I began a search. A co-worker spoke with a friend about her daughter needing a gig. I told him to have her call me. Understand, nonprofits can be lazy in their hiring practices. It costs too much to advertise so, its about the hook up. So, she called. You could see her smile through the phone. She was hyped. She had no idea what was in store for her with W2W...lol.


She shows up with braces, long ass hair, almost to her booty and this GRIN. This was Rashida, at 19. I was 29 at the time. Rashida was willing to do whatever we asked and she did it with a smile. She loved working in HIV (she'd probably say something differently now) and she LOVED our participants. I remember giving her two projects: 1) develop our outreach packets, 2) learn how to put a condom on with your mouth. LOL..... I think the latter was our bonding moment. I made her sit in my office and practice until she knew how to do it. Why? That's for another blog but let's just say us W2W staff knew all the tricks so we could be effective educators.


From that moment, Rashida was growing to be a good friend soon becoming my sister. Me and this chick have been through AT LOT together. From jobs, boyfriend stuff, money, cars, kids...whatever, me and Rashida have been through it. We give tough love when needed and we just want the best for it other. Rashida isn't gonna "yes" me. If I'm full of shit, she'll tell me. I LOVE honest people and she is all about being 100% Rashida and being real. I think the funniest thing about me and Rashida is that we speak each others language. Just today, I walked to her desk and started dancin' really hard, she just turned around and started dancing with me as we were talking. LOVE HER.


I can see how I've had some influence on her and she's definitely had a major influence on me. I'm so blessed to have her as my little sister.

Pimp Game

Written September 30, 2007 - Sunday

Confident in my looks, my charm, my
thang...you know....that thang
Seeking out more words to filll the
void that says I need you to love me
so I play games and send notes,
tidbits to move you
Charming muthafucka that I am, I
touch your inner being
caressing your soul, drawning you
unto me

Let me look at you, hold your hand
Let me kiss your lips as if I'm lost
inside of you
Let me say these three words, "I Love you!" with meaning and deepth
Let the secret be kept
that its all
bullshit

You see, I need you to need me
I need you to see me, desire me, long for me
I will chase you until I know
that you can see no other
but me
me
only me

Once you say, "I need you"
in my twisted way, I pretend to be
confused
You need me?
oh see, we are just...friends.
We are just buddies.
I don't want you.
Give me your body. Give me your time.
Give me. Give me. Give me.
Let me take the essence of your spirit
Let me manipulate and twist the secrets you've shared
Let me think of me.
Me.

My looks, my charm....my thang
it is my fig leaf
it hides my insecure self
it hides that if I don't have you longing for me
then who am I?
who will I be if I am not drawning you unto me?
I believe the bullshit
don't you?

Yes it is foolish of me to think you will not figure this out
Its shows my turn lack of concern but you'll be aight, right?
The unanswered calls, messages left to silence because you do not
deserve my attention
I don't want YOU....(sinister laugh)
This is about me, remember....

I've hidden the mirrors, no reflection
can I see
so until then
"I love you!"

Uncle Mark.."FA"

Uncle Mark; Check the "GREEN CUP", Mom's Coca Cola cup. It went EVERYWHERE she went.

Dad and Uncle Mark back in the day...."Fa's" shirt was very Princely, huh?

Uncle Mark with his son, Mark at Christmas



This has been a week of a lot of reflection. It'll be a heavy bloggin' weekend probably but whatever.

I was thinking about my uncle Mark this week. He was on my mind alot mainly because he's grandson is going to be a father. My cousin is 18 and has dropped out of high school. I'm sure my uncle isn't too happy with that situation. My uncle passed away in 2005, a year after mom. He was also my mother's best friend so his death was very hard for me as my mom's death was very hard for him. My uncle pulled me aside after mom's death and apologized to me for not calling me and talking with me very much. He said I reminded him of her too much. That was so hard for me. My uncle was the family member I could vent to about mom. When she was driving me a little nutty (funny that I'm becoming just like her in this area), I could talk with him. He was so cool.

My uncle had muscular dystrophy and lived a very long life with the disease. My uncle died at 60 and yet was told he would be dead by the age of 15. He lived by the philosophy of "Why not me?". He never had an issue about his disability unlike his brother who also had the illness. He made lemonade out of lemons. The one thing that anyone would say about my uncle was that he was HILARIOUS. My uncle could find humor in any situation. I remember when I was in the 8th grade and I got an F in English. That doesn't even sound right huh? I did and the family made a big deal of it. My uncle would draw pictures of the letter "F". He would say, "Hey Rhonda" and I would turn around and he would hold up a pic of the letter and laugh his butt off. He was a big teaser. He was a funny, funny dude.

He also gave us "kids" our nicknames. Mine was "Silly" because he said I was silly little girl. Sydney's nickname was "Faces" because she would weird faces as a baby AND because I met her dad at Faces nightclub...lol. My aunts still call Syd, "Faces". We all had some sort of name, "tiger", "pretty", "dice", "somebody", "queen", etc. etc. He used to call my grandmother, "BIG BLUE" because she use to wear a blue uniform daily. She hated it but it was funny.

He also was a GREAT cook. Between him and my aunt Addie, we would have the most fabulous food. Sometimes you would have to ask, "What is this?" because they would watch the Food Network and get way too hyped on cooking some weird stuff. No matter what they would try, it was unbelievable what they could do in that kitchen. If you were there in the house, you were helping to cook. Uncle Mark would need someone to get the ingredients, get the food out of the oven, etc. etc. You became his assistant and it was cool. I was also impressed with his wealth of knowledge. He was well read and could speak on any topic. He was impressive.

I miss my uncle. He was so important to our family. We CELEBRATED each one of his birthday's like it was a holiday. We understood how blessed we where to have him. On the way to the hospital, the afternoon of his death, my cousin was riding in the ambulance with him. She was crying and upset. He was having heart failure, something that happens with those living with muscular dystrophy. He told her, "Don't cry. I've been blessed. Its just my time."

Some WEIRD stuff happened that day. I got the call he was on his way to the hospital. I didn't have a car so I was stuck home. Maybe an hour later, my cousin calls me up after an hour of being at the hospital. She's now at my brother's house and she's crying so hard. I'm talking with her and then (the weird part) I hear, "Charlotte is there". Ok, I believe in hearing the voice of God and all of that but there are times I get FREAKED out by it. Just saying. It's WEIRD but I knew Who was saying it so I told her that Mom is there with him and she's coming to get her brother. YEP..i said it. Sounds nutty but God can be a little nutty....yanno. I told her to have my brother to get her to the hospital IMMEDIATELY.

My brother drops her off and goes to park the car. She's in the room with her dad and brother. My uncle begins to complain about the oxygen mask. He doesn't want it on his face. He says, "Charlotte, make them take it off." He continues to talk with my mother. My cousin keeps telling him that her aunt isn't there but my uncle doesn't listen. He continues to talk with her about the oxygen mask. I just remember Tracy saying how confused she was with it all.

Ok.....it gets even more WEIRD. My brother says he walked in to the room (not knowing anything about the oxygen mask stuff) and he SEES our mother laying in the bed with my uncle. He freaks out. Hmmmmm.......well, my uncle was talking to her, right? My brother isn't the most spiritual dude in he world so........WEIRD.

Shortly after. I get a call. My uncle passed away. :(

God is orderly because my mother HAD to pass away before my uncle. She would have been INSANE at the death of her brother.

The family was so drained already. We were still missing mom and now FA is gone.

We didn't know one year later, Aunt Addie would go to be with them too.

Miss YOU Uncle Mark.

Silly.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

blah....

Deep thoughts of all that I can be
and maybe even who I am
Overtaken at times with
moving at a steady pace
being controlled by
this demonic force
pulling me into
my own demise
Wake up to a new day
deep thoughts
move to deep
meditations
tapping into the Divine
and allowing my spirit
to be lifted
Mom, can u see?
I'm well
The kid is fine
Yeah, I know, everything will be alright.

The Grind.....

Got busy again....good thing I guess.

Work is really WORK. I have no love for writing grants. Its 100% about developing a skill set. I've really had enough but I have to be strategic about my next move. Time for me to get back into executive status and run some shit. I miss being involved in the community, working with clients and seeing the outcome of my work. MISS IT!! I'm ready to go higher.

Me and the kid have started to look for scholarships. YAY for her focus this summer because I was worried and getting pissy. She has a gig, her permit and is back playing basketball. She's getting the focus back. No slacking. If I'm grinding, then she has to as well. We have a college visit next month at Ball State and we need to schedule a couple more. Need to also get her into a SAT prep course. I need an assistant. The kid is ready for her next step. Exciting!!

CWUW. I've had major changes in my board which is cool but frustrating. I have to spend this weekend writing the program design for the org. UGH. I love this stuff when I finally get moving. Good thing is that the blog is going well, working with a fab grad student on a research project so CWUW will have some data to work with and I'm getting major love from folks. The grind doesn't stop though. I continue to pray over the Org. Its not mine anyway. I've just been given stewarship. CWUW will happen in a big way. I'm so ready to serve.

Me. Well with the kid, work and CWUW, I do fight for Rhonda time. My brain goes 100% on taking care of us and our future that I have to still think about ME. I use to LOVE getting pedicures. I've had one in 6 months. I was getting massages regularly since I carry so much tension in my back. I stopped them and what happened....my back went out. I still take my alone time. I'll make myself watch a move or sit on the balcony and chill. I keep feeling that God needs me to chill even more. I don't have the time....lol. Chillin' takes time yanno. I have a sense of urgency about everything. Stuff needs to happen yesterday but it doesn't. God has it all in control and I just have to remind myself all the time. He is guiding my steps. All things are possible with him.

and the grind continues.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Being Rhonda


(Trying to get in the mood to work.....) Today I was talking with someone about being yourself. I think that was easier for folks from my generation (generation x'ers) because it was all about being different. Prince, Boy George, Madonna, etc all trying to establish their own thing. Nowadays, its about looking JUST like the next. But anyway. As a kid, I remember just wanting to be ME. I literally shopped in my parents closet, painted my 4 inch fingernails black, shaved my head or weaved it up....whatever I wanted. I struggled with people who thought I was shy as a teen. I wasn't shy. I was actually goofy but just not around family as much. Family has a way of putting you into a box and its just easier to be there at times. I was developing a self-confidence that sometimes you couldn't easily see. Nonetheless, I was Rhonda. I just did me whatever that meant for the moment. Then I met my ex boyfriend. He was going through some stuff so that meant the world had to go through it with him. He didn't like my hair when I met him. He didn't like my clothes. He was a conservative dresser and I wasn't. I had a dream to start my own organization a long time ago. The interesting thing about the ex is that he was cool with the idea of me doing that but it had to be secondary to his dreams and visions. I lost me in him. I changed my hair and my clothes. I stopped listening to music for the most part mainly because our lives were full of chaos. I had a little kid and a big kid.

He was always full of ideas. I did like that about him. He did teach me many things about business. I think he appreciated my drive and my approach to any project. When it came to business, we were partners. He started a mortgage company, we had a candle store, he owned a sandwich shoppe. I developled logos, filed documents with the state, learned how to make candles, etc. etc. Notice I didn't mention anything about my org, right? I'm a supportive chick. I'm in your corner. I'm will making phone calls, flyers, file reports or whatever. I'm there 100% but I had a dream and vision. Anytime I would think about what I wanted, he would tell me, "oh that's great" but when I tried to actually get started, well....
I lost me completely. I became whatever he needed me to be for the moment. His focus was my focus. God has a way to make you wake up though. I slowly began to gather info for my org. I had meetings with folks but wouldn't tell the ex. Some people are dream killers and don't know it and he was. BELIEVE me, he would have a completely different version to this story. He would remember himself giving advice on starting my own org, and he did. He just would forget him also doggin' many of my ideas. My mother would look at me like I was nuts. LOL... she wondered what happened to her kid. Her kid is back in full effect. Lesson learned. I've been single for a while mainly because of Mom's death and the old job situation but I sometimes I wonder if I'm afraid that I'll have to give up being ME again. Maybe there's some fear? I'll always be the supportive type. Its in my DNA. I'm in your corner 100% BUT I don't have to lose me to do it. I also can't be afraid my partner will leave because I'm not fitting into his plan or that he can't deal with me having my own thing. I'm just not going to change me to fit. The square peg maybe just doesn't go in the circle, yanno. STEP! We can be friends or enemies but I'm not changing ME for anyone anymore. (This isn't about compromise. I'm for compromise and partnership but trying to make me be something I'm not.) I actually shake with the thought of returning to anything that resembles that relationship at times. We were always really good at being friends but AWFUL in a relationship. I like Rhonda. I like how I'm being restored spiritually and mentally. This blog was less about being ready for the next relationship but celebrating me for just who I am and not givng ME up for anyone. I'm fly, I'm funny, I'm focused. (giggle) I like being a little weird, neurotic, and I'm learning to like being a little chucky....lol...sorta. RHONDA is awesome. Some see it and some don't and so what. I'm always just gonna be me. Now, time to edit this stupid ass grant.

Children and Education

I was watching the HBO documentary, "Hard Times at Douglass High" on Monday evening and it truly upset me on so many different levels. As someone who very community minded and believes we are to help one another to achieve our goals, I couldn't believe the lack of resources in the Baltimore school system. Children shouldn't have to share books or wonder if there will be a teacher present on any give day. The "No child left behind" policy doesn't more than leave children behind. Nothing wrong in having standards for schools especially for teachers but solely using quantitative data just doesn't work in the school setting.

We have to pay more attention to our children. "Our" meaning the kids down the street, your cousin's kids, the kids in another school district with less resources, etc. Yep, let's be cliche.....Be the village...yanno.

At the same time, I'm both an advocate of community involvement but also personal responsibility. No matter the situation, you still can be empowered, even if its limited empowerment. I remember when I was in the 7th grade and we had an awful 7th grade Social Studies teacher. He rarely taught and just criticized the school and its students daily. I told my mother that I didn't know how I was going to get a good grade in this class. All my mom said was, "make it happen." She was from the thought that no matter how awful the teacher was, you can still learn something so get what you can get. Limited empowerment, personal responsibility. No matter how awful the resources were, I still had to do my part.

Poverty doesn't excuse anyone from morality, civility, and lawfulness. Yes, I understand trying to get over, get by and get through. I understand stealing cough medicine when your baby is sick and you don't have any money. Oh, I do understand the need to survive but as tough as that fight can be, there's a way to fight the good fight of survival. A parents lack of education doesn't excuse the parent pushing their own children to value education. Benjamin Carson, top neuro pediatric surgeon at John Hopkins, is the result of a mother who couldn't read but pushed her children to excel. Its a value system.

How do we change this value system? Personally, I don't think some children get to see the benefits of an education until its too late. The entertainment industry has a great influence on our community. This isn't about hip hop but celebrity. Celebrity just reinforces the materialism that has over taken our community. No one speaks of Jodie Foster putting her acting career on hold to receive her education from Yale or Kim Fields taking time to get her degree from Pepperdine University. Do the kids know that David Banner has his college education? Probably not. They know that Kanye dropped out though.

Our children watch more televsion that other group. Why? What is wrong with turning off the televsion and requiring our children to study? What time do our children go to bed at night?

Is it our own laziness as parents AND as a community?

I know I'm jumping all over the place but bottomline is there needs to be a shift towards valuing education again regardless of your economic status and those with the resources, need to share the resources. In the US, education isn't suppose to be just for the rich. Or maybe this is the problem? If we had to pay to send our children to school, would that make a difference? There are children literally dying to go to school in other countries and our children could careless. Value.

If Knowledge is power, we are becoming a powerless people.

I'll add more later....I'll edit and kill rambling too....lol

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Real Love

Tempted to make my passions manifest
my imagination becomes my enemy
thinking of how I can move my body
closer to yours
Spirits intertwined
blossoming love
let me hold back
the physical lust
that righteously belongs
to me
Growing in a deeper love
that lips, thighs, tongues
can't ever know
I breathe you
I love you


inspired by a conversation with a friend today.

If I was your girlfriend

Yeah, another Prince discussion. This man has saved my soul through the years. A follow Prince fan always refers to Prince as the ultimate "pimp". He speaks of how smooooooth Prince is lyrically.

I came across the video for "If I Was Your Girlfriend," taken from the Sign of the times film. I started gigglin'. Prince IS a pimp. So clever. Witty. Smooth. Just runnin' game but damn, I'd fall for it.

The title alone would get me.....

IF I WAS UR GIRLFRIEND - PRINCE

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thirst


November 27, 2007 - Tuesday

thirst

I single you out of the need to quench

that inner desire for more

never have you seen such a sight

or vision

Creatively expressing deeper thoughts

unsaid

can't verbalize what is moving me

to think of visions

of perfected beauty

dreamed of

wished for

beggin' for some attention

let me leave

this for you

"my queen"

"my love"

"my light"

One note

two note

three note

four note

pulsating

blood

rushing

threw

my vein

The sunset can't compare....damn...uh... black princess

no poetic words

come to me

desperation

feenin"



the physical condition resulting from need.......
thirst

SonShine

Let the Sonshine through my soul
as the Son provides hope in the dark times
when my mind wants only to see
negativity
Let the Son capture
my heart again
I smile only at the possibilities of
things to come
as my present is unclear
there is hope
Let me push through my
confusion
and Let the Son
nourish my spirit
fill me with passion, love and hope
show me how to continue to love
those who harm my soul
and bruise my heart
Shine on me
Shine on me
Shine on me
Let the Sonshine

6/8/2008

Prince: NAACP Performance

One of my favorite Prince performances.

Just wanted to share.


NAACP Awards - Prince

Thinking of a Master Plan

I've been talking with a few friends about plans, mainly planning for the future. I know I'm in planning mode. I have a kid going off to college next year, I have an org I want to kick off, I want to move in a year, I want to get my money right, I want to look for a new gig, etc. etc. etc.

Plans surround me. I'm just at a time in my life where spontaneity isn't so spontanteous. Its planned. There's nothing wrong with planning but we also have let God in on the plan as well. We sometimes forget that its really about Him and His plan FOR us.

For me, I think God is trying to get me to unplan some things and let him handle it. The moment I started stressing about college and money, BAM, I found out Syd's tuition will be paid for. When I started to plan how and when I would get a car, BAM, here comes a car. CWUW sometimes stresses me out and he keeps reminding that the org isn't about me anyway. Just let it all unfold and happen. Faith without works is dead so we do need to work towards the goal but without stress and anxiety which so many of my friends are filled with right now. Its like we all think everything is urgent. I'm guilty of this and has probably has gotten worse after the years in the Valley. God has a way of restoring and renewing us. He will open new doors, provide new opportunities, new partnerships and we won't even realized time has passed.

I'm ready for ALL the good things to come my way and for the bad. Romans 8:28, tells me that ALL things work together for my good. Trials will come but its our attitudes in the midst of the trial that gets us through. I WORKED that scripture daily in the Valley. It lets me know that God is always watching and is very aware of my circumstances. So yeah, we need to plan, we need to watch and pray and we need to tap into God's plan for our lives and then just ride the waves.

I'm learning how to ride the waves.

Its new for me but I'm willing to learn.

Friday, June 20, 2008

look at me





Let your eyes speak

as your words
shall not reach me
Let your gaze
touch the deepest
corners of my being
as your words
hold no real meaning
Let the lamp of your soul
reveal the true love in your heart
as your words
are limited by the present circumstance
Just look at me.

Testimony: Hope, the Journey and Mary

Thursday, June 19th was a GREAT day. I was already hyped about hanging with my girlfriend Rashida at the Black Sheep show. Rashida is awesome because she speaks "Rhonda" and we just bug out and do US. Anyway, my great day actually started earlier in the week with Rashida getting her dream car, VW Beetle. She was on the hunt for this car and found it. She asked me to go with her to get the car. Of course, I went so I could share in her happiness. She was HYPED. There it was. Shiny and Pretty. As we started to get into Rashida's new whip, I noticed this Cadillac CTS, my dream car. I'm not really a car person. I'm not into makes and models and what they do. I just care if it runs but I've always loved the look of the CTS.

I walked over and just drooled. The salesperson asked if I was interested in buying a car and I immediately said, "Nah". I had a plan. Pay off the Saturn (paid off 6/19), get another car next year and give the Kid this Saturn. That's the plan. The salesperson suggested that I complete an application and I guess my attitude was sorta like, ok whatever. I really didn't give the car another thought because that wasn't my plan. The following day, I get a call from the dealership. I quickly tell her not I'm interested. Its not a part of my plan, remember. She said, "Hmmm....are you sure?" I asked her what did I get approved for. She said both the Cadillac CTS and the Chrysler 300.

Mouth open. Sucked in all types of air.

Wha?

She said "Yeah, you might wanna come take a look."

Thursday.

I get to the dealership and she quickly takes me to the cars. I sit in the Chrysler and begin to laugh uncontrollably. She just looked at me with a huge smile. I kept saying, "God, are you serious?" The car was tricked out. I knew that wasn't my car though. It was too big but damn, it was beautiful. I moved over to the Cadillac and when I sat in the car, I knew it. This was MY CAR.

Ok, this is how this really is an ol' school, church, fall on the alter, Lawd, thank ya Jesus, testimony. When I was unemployed, my battle was a lack of HOPE. I mean I wouldn't wish for anything to happen. My attitude was that God was in control and whatever he wants is cool. I wouldn't ask for ANYTHING specific. I wouldn't hope for a new pair of shoes especially anything specific. I felt beat down on some level. Lost my gig, two months later mom dies, my brother comes back and more hell, me and the kid legally evicted (even though we never had to move); for some months, no phone, no car, no cable, no computer. Forget about hoping for anything NICE. I just wanted to survive and I was fine with that but God wanted me to find my HOPE in him again. I literally looked up the definition in both the Bible and in the dictionary. I had it all over my apartment. I needed to figure it out. I needed to get there because I was looking for a gig and I needed it. Well, I'm better than I was but I'm still battling this. I'm hopeful only for things I KNOW God has promised like CWUW. You can't tell me that CWUW won't happen and change lives. I know it will and I have HOPE in that. I'm lame right. Whatever. Its the way I survive. So back to the car....

I test drive the Cadillac and I'm in LOVE. I'm driving and I'm talking with God saying, "ARE YOU SERIOUS?" Remember, I don't tend to care about cars. Makes and models....blah, blah, blah. Does it run? This car was a wish, a hope for one day. But then it gets interesting. We start talking about the Saturn. I asked how much for the Saturn. What's the trade in? He said, "do you want the Saturn?" I thought the dude was buggin'. I'm like, ya'll don't want it? He said, "Do YOU want the Saturn?" I said, yeah, I wanna keep the Saturn.

My mouth dropped open. Wha?

So my plan did happen. Just one year sooner. Even the young woman that was helping me earlier was like, "What? She keeps the Saturn?"

I'm driving the car to work as they complete my paperwork and I started crying. I can't tell you how HARD its been for me and Syd. The stuff we had to endure just to get back on our feet has been a climb. Sydney was just reminding me how we would have to walk to use the phone at the bar down the street or walk to the grocery store. We are proud of ourselves for not giving up. We always knew God would provide and turn it around. We are still being turned around. I wanted to tell the Kid that she would have a car. When I got home, she looked at the Cadillac and was hyped. She said, "Mom, we're making a comeback." When I told her that she would have a car this summer, the smile on her face was so joyful and thankful.

This isn't about bragging about a new car but my journey with God. I always tell people that I know God loves me. The Valley proved it to me that he knows I can take a hit and keep praising him. He knows others would have died, spiritually, under the same pressure. I'm loved BUT I needed to know that God does provide GOOD things for his children. I can continue to be Hopeful. I can know that in time, all things will be new again.

This week has been one of the best in my life. I've been able to successfully close some doors that were hindering my progress. Good deal. Took me a minute to do that because one is a good friend BUT I had to change that friend. I'm becoming more at peace with my body. Its been a good body image week. YAY!!

I live for God. I don't live for Sydney, my job, CWUW or even Rhonda. I still have my battles. Bulimia. Ugh. Getting better. Control issues. Ugh. Getting better. Naughty Rhonda. Well, not a battle. She's controlled but its about who gets to have access to her is the issue. At this point, no one really has the right to her but I've open the door for some to access her. Need to close the door until a deserving person comes along. God is aware it all and loves me anyway. That is so cool, right?

I'm doing good. I'm all smiles.

This is what the whip looks like: "Mary" - yeah, plain but it was good enough for Jesus' momma so....Her name is Mary.



Rashida said something to me I thought was interesting. She said that I'm driving a car that matches the worlds perception of me. That's a blog for another day.