Sunday, May 30, 2010

Revisit the Ten Point Program - The Plan


 The Ten-Point Program

  1. We Want Freedom. We Want Power To Determine
    The Destiny Of Our Black Community.

    We believe that Black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny.
  2. We Want Full Employment For Our People.

    We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the White American businessmen will not give full employment, then the means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.
  3. We Want An End To The Robbery
    By The Capitalists Of Our Black Community.

    We believe that this racist government has robbed us, and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The Germans are now aiding the Jews in Israel for the genocide of the Jewish people. The Germans murdered six million Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over fifty million Black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand that we make.
  4. We Want Decent Housing Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings.

    We believe that if the White Landlords will not give decent housing to our Black community, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that our community, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for its people.
  5. We Want Education For Our People That Exposes
    The True Nature Of This Decadent American Society.

    We Want Education That Teaches Us Our True History
    And Our Role In The Present-Day Society.

    We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else.
  6. We Want All Black Men To Be Exempt From Military Service.

    We believe that Black people should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like Black people, are being victimized by the White racist government of America. We will protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist military, by whatever means necessary.
  7. We Want An Immediate End To
    Police Brutality And Murder Of Black People.

    We believe we can end police brutality in our Black community by organizing Black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our Black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all Black people should arm themselves for self- defense.
  8. We Want Freedom For All Black Men
    Held In Federal, State, County And City Prisons And Jails.

    We believe that all Black people should be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.
  9. We Want All Black People When Brought To Trial To Be Tried In
    Court By A Jury Of Their Peer Group Or People From Their Black
    Communities, As Defined By The Constitution Of The United States.

    We believe that the courts should follow the United States Constitution so that Black people will receive fair trials. The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives a man a right to be tried by his peer group. A peer is a person from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical and racial background. To do this the court will be forced to select a jury from the Black community from which the Black defendant came. We have been, and are being, tried by all-White juries that have no understanding of the "average reasoning man" of the Black community.
  10. We Want Land, Bread, Housing, Education,
    Clothing, Justice And Peace.

    When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Written: October 15, 1966
Source: War Against the Panthers, by Huey P. Newton, 1980
Transcription/Markup & corrections: MIM/Brian Baggins
Online Version: Marxist History Archive ( 2001


It always hurts my heart to hear women say they don't have strong female friendships. I don't know what I'd do without mine.  They love me and my quirky, moody ways.  They listen and support every whim and dream.  They share a history with me.  I love them.  Ups and downs, ins and outs, they are my sisters. 

It could be I watched the Owens women and found an understanding of sisterly love.  My 7 Dimensions of Wellness, as I call them, loved each other, fought with each other, and supported each other.  I love my friends.  

Its encouraging and comforting to know that I have a base of love out there.  I gain so much from them.  There's no jealousy.  Just acceptance.  I love it. 

Thanks to my A-team for allowing me to be free, to be me, to make mistakes, and to fly high.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dimes, Nickels, and Quarters

Watched a clip today of man criticizing Chilli from TLC and her reality show. Admittedly, I've never watched the show. We are cable-less and will remain that way but I'm familiar with the concept. She's looking for a man.  In the clip, the commentary first criticized Chilli's check list, the list of things she's needing and wanting in a man.  "Handsome, rich, and big........"  I'd agree with the clip, this is a little immature from a 39 year old woman but its a reality show. Why expect more......

The clip continues with the man telling his viewers that women need to know if they are hot or not.  We need to know and stay at our station. He let us know that men will down grade for sex so we shouldn't feel too good about ourselves (those who are not Dimes) because, as he mentioned in the clip, "look at Flava Flavs mother, someone had to get with that to get Flav".  Completely disrespectful.  But once again, we are to reminded: Not all of us are Dimes. 


He then let us know those who are no more than a SIX (on this Dime scale) should KNOW they are a SIX.  He provides a list of criteria so you will know if you're a "Hot Chick" or a "Dime". 

  1. Men buy you things and things for you without you asking.
  2. You date rich and famous men.
  3. You have haters.  Real Haters.  The Sixes tend to have imaginary haters. 
There's more but I've tried to forget this level of ignorance.

So why did I watch this clip?  The person who posted claimed this was "Real Talk".   Ok. Maybe I'm just not a part of the cool kids OR I don't know what "Real Talk" really is about.  These were women cheering this point of view along.  [deep dramatic sigh]  This was "Real Talk".  This was TRUTH.   Women should know their place.  I guess.

Its so unfortunate that with the state of black relationships, black men and women view each other in this way.  Its sad that women buy into this playground of misgivings and sexist commentary.  We cheer this on as to gain some credibility with the author of the clip, men viewing the clip, or anyone who also agrees.  What do we gain from agreeing to sexist remarks?  How do we better our relationships if we don't have respect for one another?   When will we see that this is oppressive commentary?  How do we gain a assertive voice against sexism when so many can't identify oppressive speech?

I am not a Dime.  I am not a MILF.   I am not a Cougar.  I am not to be rated and scored.

I believe so many are afraid to stand alone in fear of being criticized of championing the cause of feminism or being some extreme voice for women.  We can't be afraid.  We are powerful beyond measure.  Let your voices rise.  We can't allow there be some justification of abuse of ANY woman.  As soon as that crack in the wall occurs, the levees break.  

No Dimes. No Nickels. No Sixes or Fives......We are women.  Love us. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Gay rappers

Student Athlete Compensation

BP Oil Spill

Dildos and Lube


Love and Relationships

Workplace culture


Safer Sex Kits

Hepatitis C

Urban gardening

Dating and the lack thereof




Conversations throughout the day........
Dippin' into your fantasy
nasty as I wanna be
lick you there kiss you here
pull me close, pull me near
close your eyes
and you will see
the other side, naughty me
Pretend as you will
late at night
I'm your thrill
Cleverly I am to thee
your chocolate
sexy fantasy


"relate to you that no longer exists..."

"Often people put you in a box, relate to a you that no longer exists, a you they may have met, seen, or heard about, rightly or wrongly, years back, a you that was trying to figure out who you are. But if those kinds of people insist on not seeing you now, smile, be polite, and keep it moving as far from them as you They are imprisoned by their own minds. Do not become an inmate in their prison."—KEVIN POWELL

I could easily attach this to the blog I wrote days ago.  Its as if Kevin was reading the blog or had a similar experience; nonetheless, these confirming words speak truth.  Its very important that we determine who we are, who we want to be. Others imposing their views on who I am is as a slow death for me.  I suffer.  I still have to learn how to eloquently move away without fuss or compliant and this is ok because I accept the me to be, the me in development, the me to come.  

I also wonder if doing community work helps to build patience and understanding that all people can change. In HIV prevention work, I do all I can NOT to box people into the labels the world has put on them.  Maybe, I just expect the same for me. 


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Expectations and Disappointments - the seed of insecurity

My mirror is clear...buffed and shined
I see me
creating a situation with the seed of insecurity
watering it
drawing to me anything that will cultivate
that piece of me that desires

human touch

planting nothing more than strife and heartache



giving time and attention to nothingness
but I'm still a Goddess

able to turn around and manifest Power
removing the weeds that do nothing
but choke
and take

giving nothing to my life because its incapable of adding anything
to your own

I've expected too much
I've received nothing
but disappointments which opened a wound
that was already cut and scarred

Black Woman

blah blah blah

Seeds of Insecurity pushing through the soiled soul
harvesting heartbreak

EYES wide Open
I'll return to the Earth
pull this weed

that weed

this weed

that weed

until I plant the seed of beauty in my soul

and Harvest



Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I was at a meeting at the Indianapolis Urban League to discuss a community project focusing on girls and young women and HIV/AIDS. 

I find it refreshing to sit amongst ANYONE with ideas on how to make the world better.  Some at the table are more event driven, I tend to be more intervention focused.  It comes together.

I see people understanding the importance of community involvement again from neighborhood clean up activities, to health fairs, to mentoring being held here and there.  These things aren't being advertised.  Sometimes they are just a facebook event being sent out to anyone who will come to join the cause.

Involvement is so simple. Volunteer.  Find a cause that you care about and volunteer.  Help your neighbors.  Babysit. Cut grass. Sweep.  The simplest things are very important.

I love the community. I love people. Service is very important to me and its my purpose. I can't do anything but this.

One deed can lead to a multitude of change.  Just one.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Life changers

Charlotte- love, community, family, and love

Audre Lorde - endurance

Yolanda Askew - sisterhood and Godliness
Rashida Walker - sisterhood

Anna Wintour - decisiveness


Angela Davis - power

Prince - independence

Karen Simms - community
Professor Sally Hanley - insight

Kevin Powell -community and evolution

Sydney Bayless - love and honesty
Mark Owens - endurance 

Bell Hooks - feminism

Erykah Badu - honesty

Marguerite Owens - family

Life Changers.....people I've never met, close friends, and family who have changed my life on some level. Some will never know, some won't understand why they are there but they've had some effect on my life, how I think, and how I live.

Defining myself for myself......

"If I didn't define myself for myself, I would
be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive."
- Audre Lorde... 

Thank you Ms. Lorde. I love this quote but it is easier said than done. It is difficult for people when you reject their interpretation of who you are and your intentions for the world.  I'm finding this more and more that perceptions of who I am, how I SHOULD be, and how I should function have been developed and decided without my input.  It probably happens to many people at different times of their lives.  

This is my time. 


I can say, the friendships I've had for more than 20 years, are solid and loving. They understand me, even the things that have changed about me, they understand why those changes have occurred. I am loved by them and I appreciate them for it. 

Newer acquaintances or distant family, different story.  I'm called an community activist. I'm called a community organizer.  I'm called focused, involved, etc.  All these labels come with a perception of who I may or may not be and then comes the fall and the disappointment.  

Why disappointment?  Because, I'm a loner.  I'm distant at times.  I'm very assertive in my words and admittedly sometimes aggressive.  I'm confident and that can lead to being stubborn.  I'm caring but not always "nice".    So, I disappoint....often it seems.  I don't give the attention that some may want and need from me but I wonder why should it be expected especially from new acquaintances or from those I haven't spoken to in years? I am not CWUW.  I am not the Damien Center. I am not always community minded. Do you know me?

I believe that I have the right to choose my intimate relationships and friendships. This is uncompromising for me.  Maybe this is some level of control I need to have.....hmmmm


I'm not perfect.  I'm not superwoman. I'm the essence of Human looking for my Goddess status. :) 
I know I'm flawed but I also know that I'm GREAT as well.  I can not be put in a box and will reject any packaging of my life, my way, my being.  My feelings are valid and very connected to my spirit. I am human.  I'm pulled at so many ends that in learning to say NO, not now, not today, has been very hard but very necessary.  I have to embrace my humanity so that I can survive, so that I know that I need to take a break, and that I can not give my all to everyone at their request.  

It is unfair.  I won't except it. 


So I will be who I be for this next and the next time.  I'm evolving.  I'm growing daily. I will change again, even at the smallest level so let me just be.  Let me be Great and understand, I'm finding my way on this planet as you.  Let me live my purpose learning and growing and knowing that I will make mistakes, I may unintentionally cause pain, I may fail.....I may just be me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

because she didn't know any better
she stayed alive
among the tired and lonely
not waiting always wanting
needing a good night's rest

-- Nikki Giovanni, "Introspection"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Finding Lucidity

In the past few weeks, I've been under tremendous stress, some self imposed and some, well, God has a plan.   I tend to be the type who likes to get the solution and move past the problem very quickly. "Get to the solution!", I just reminded my daughter not but 20 minutes prior from me writing this.  This is where me and the Kid are different.  She will just be pissed off for a minute and get into her feelings and I try to move past the emotion and want to fix it.  I can't say that both are healthy but its just how we be.

use to smile.....

I don't mind writing and sharing that I'm going through a storm. Right now, life is kicking my ass.  I'm seeking solace in work which is clearly the wrong answer and I know this.  I teach others to learn to find balance and yet, I'm unable to use the same tools and resources.  Go Figure.  This is my wake up call (again).  I'm going to treat me better.  I'm sure I've blogged about this before and yes, I'm hard headed. Let this be a reminder. Rhonda, chill.

I've decided that I will return to therapy.  I need some time for me to dig deeper into my behavior. Work, work, fun.  I don't smile as much. I'm cynical.  Who wants to be around that person?

  I don't!  ;) 

I've even realized that me being slow to lose the added 20lbs is a part of this growing issue,insanity. In my twisted thoughts, that I'm sure is still seeped in the craziness of bulimia, I think that as long as I'm 20 plus lbs heavier, I don't have to deal with men.  I'm covering up.  Why?  (shrug) I can tell you, I know exactly how to completely live and be physically healthy.  The 20lbs isn't really the issue. I'm covering up and not really engaging men in my world in an intimate way. I am working out. I am eating better but I'm still very hesitant about what would come after the weight drops.

  Ah, revelation. Looking in the mirror.....and reflecting.  I wouldn't be an introvert if I didn't.

So I pray for peace.  I will continue to meditate on loving me more and giving time to myself to enjoy life.  I am great.  I have to remember it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Man In The Mirror"

I'm Gonna Make A Change,
For Once In My Life
It's Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .

As I, Turn Up The Collar On My
Favourite Winter Coat
This Wind Is Blowin' My Mind
I See The Kids In The Street,
With Not Enough To Eat
Who Am I, To Be Blind?
Pretending Not To See
Their Needs
A Summer's Disregard,
A Broken Bottle Top
And A One Man's Soul
They Follow Each Other On
The Wind Ya' Know
'Cause They Got Nowhere
To Go
That's Why I Want You To

I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change)
(Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na,
Na Nah)

I've Been A Victim Of A Selfish
Kind Of Love
It's Time That I Realize
That There Are Some With No
Home, Not A Nickel To Loan
Could It Be Really Me,
Pretending That They're Not

A Willow Deeply Scarred,
Somebody's Broken Heart
And A Washed-Out Dream
(Washed-Out Dream)
They Follow The Pattern Of
The Wind, Ya' See
Cause They Got No Place
To Be
That's Why I'm Starting With
(Starting With Me!)

I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change)

I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His
(Change His Ways-Ooh!)
And No Message Could've
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make That . . .
(Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make That . . .)

Understanding Michael Jackson

Doesn't mean I've learned how to moonwalk or that I can now sing but I'm learning the insanity of insomnia, something said to have led to MJ using various medications.

Sleep for me is a battle. Rest is a like a war.  I'm normally on the losing end of both. The lack of true rest is so unhealthy and I know this.  I've added this to the long list of "Rhonda get yo stuff right".

I can safely say that I won't be taking meds.  I'm not hallucinating.


I am grumpy.  I am snappy. I look tired.  I am tired.

So, I do understand MJs struggle for rest. I'd rather moonwalk.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Trust you, Trust me.

There are no coincidences.

I don't believe in them. If something occurs, its for my enrichment, for my edification, or for my growth.  I will admit that its very hard to feel that way, consistently.  I strife to always see some negative situations as beneficial to my growth.

One thing, I can't move past is when I lose trust and we I question intent and motives. A major flaw that I admit wholeheartedly. I give until I bleed.  I'll give and give until I can't anymore. Maybe a flaw but well, I get it from my momma.

Nonetheless, in an exchange, there is trust. Trust is golden and precious.

Lose it with me.  I'm sincerely done.

I'm fine with admitting this. I'm fine with being flawed.  Its more important to come to the revelation of who I am and this is me.

Trust. I value it. I need it like a drug.  Once its gone, my withdrawal process is not a pretty sight.



I walk into my old bedroom in my mother's house. I'm walking in to wake ME up. I shake me saying LOUDLY, "Rhonda, wake up! Rhonda, its time to get up!"

I pull the blankets back, and its me......another form, another version of me. Evil me. Demonic me.

This version of me, Screams at me saying, "NO!!!".  I back up and immediately say, "God, take this way now!!"  More interesting.....I run to my mother's room seeking her comfort. She's not there.

I WAKE UP at 2am.....with a sigh

but now I wonder have I awaken.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hard Candy

Something like a Fruit Sour Candy Ball.....

Takes a minute

but if you are skilled enough

you will reach the soft center

my soft center


Monday, May 10, 2010

Hope....what it is

Seeing your life as a spiritual journey with every meeting, every moment, every, memory as a part of God's plan to grow your character can be refreshing.  It can keep you in balance and I try to do this.

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I lived by this scripture after mom died and during my two years of unemployment. Its saved me from clinical depression.  It saved me from thinking I was being punished and it provided some hope when I couldn't hope.

I'm there again, back struggling with the concept of HOPE.

Its a spiritual battle. Its a battle of the mind. My control issues, through my OCD, its trying to find a place to rest its head but I'm trying to keep it at bay.  I'm trying not to allow my old way of coping creep back in and tell me that its ridiculous to HOPE. I'm just trying to manage what is front of me. 

Its Mental Health Awareness month and I'm always aware of what my mind is doing and what my spirit is saying.  I have to stay aware and use healthy coping skills and more importantly, remember its ok to HOPE.  Its ok to believe that greater things are to come and that I don't have to control, lead, and figure out everything in my world.  This is me working on Rhonda, continuously.

1 : to desire with expectation of obtainment

Once again, I'll put up the definition of HOPE and I'll walk in it, breathe it, and live it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

As Seen in a Facebook Status.....

Sydney Danielle: Mom ur my bff, rock & so much more. I only hope when I become older I can spread wisdom and be as understanding as u r. U have made being ur daughter the best job in the world. I hope ur mothers day is a good one, I love you!


the beauty of motherhood is appreciation. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

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.


After my last few posts.....The Four Agreements came to mind

   I think I'll work on "Don't take anything personally". 

Very hard to do but I understand this agreement fully.

Figure out Rhonda

girlfriend said to me after a conversation with me about trying to figure out everything around me, motherhood, leadership, job, dog.......

She said....."Figure out Rhonda..."

Sometimes the most simplest words mean so much.....

"Chieftess strong bitch shit"

 Is this a Chieftess Strong Bitch?

Mother's day week. I've seen my daughter go through the toughest situation she will ever have to go through, and I'm there.  I've had to help a young black woman and her family deal with her HIV positive result.  I've managed a problem child nonprofit called CWUW and got my footing  solidly back in the HIV/AIDS community after being away for 7 years.  This was my week.

I'm strong. I'm capable. I do.  Its just me. Its not a mantra that I carry around. Its how I was raised. Being a strong person is difficult and more difficult as a woman at times, when you are trying to have a voice.  

"Chieftess strong bitch shit" is what my opinion was called this week when someone made a statement that wasn't gender specific and I pointed it out.  There are times when we simply behave as humans with personal journeys and individual responses. My take was that the female in question was responding as a human, not as a woman, especially in the context of the thread. 

Without apology, I was told my "chieftess strong bitch shit"  was not needed.  I'm thinking...hmmm...and he wonders why this person responded to him in the manner she did?  

Understand, I wasn't on some female empowerment rant but the reaction to a female simply saying that defending ourselves from what we may see is a verbal attack is human, and not just an overly emotional response from a woman.

The thread grew silent after the statement was made. A series of text messages followed explaining how he felt no apology was needed.  I sat amazed, amazed that this person couldn't see the sexist, hurtful words he spewed and yet the irony is that this was the very thing he was complaining about. 

I recall saying something to someone on Twitter for being passive aggressive in their attacks on others including me.  And the wonderfully common and expected responses came, "You're too sensitive" and "this is the internet".  This person has had others, men and women,  state they are uncomfortable with his negativity but it seems I was one of the few to defend myself against his passive aggressive attacks. 

Are we being conditioned that verbal abusive language is to be tolerated at all cost? That the one spewing the language has every right to cause harm with his/her words? Are black women being shunned from identifying sexism and being vocal when we are the victims of it?

Shake the haters off...yeah yeah.

Of course, we should find ways to "shake the haters" but how about we not be haters?  How about going back to choosing our words wisely?  We should be able to have tough conversations with others without insulting which is lazy, cowardly, and weak. Words do hurt and can do serious damage to someone even if those words are spoken, once. 

In trying to make lemonade out of the lemons my "friend" decided to spew (I'm liking the word spew), I'm trying to look at his comment and try to see something positive.

There's nothing in the pattern of those words that can be deemed positive.

Strong, chieftess bitch shit?

Bitch shit strong chieftess?

Shit strong chieftess bitch?

hmmmm....i'm not feeling empowered.

I understand that we have a long road in the Black community in understanding how sexism works in our lives.  We see feminism or women's empowerment messages as negative forces that have destroyed our families and relationships.   

I'm asking for us to see sexism in our insults and assumptions.  I asking for us to see that sometimes, yes, there are female characteristics that maybe on display and so what?  There are other shared attributes between men and women and there is no need to make light of how a female responds to a situation when its about the human condition.  I'm asking for us to be kind and loving.

Rhonda is strong. I'm assertive with my words and opinions but I'm very human. My strength isn't entangled in the chaos of "strong, black woman" philosophy but from me having a life story where I've had to make decisions, struggle through situations, and to take on challenges that some may not be able to handle.  To find a man who understands and supports feminist thought, will be a blessing from the Lord above.

So my voice can't be silenced but I was stopped in my tracks by this. 

I have to admit it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I don't mind a love that's like a bad romantic comedy
developing storylines
saying no then yes to love

I don't mind a love that's like a hot summer day
sweat on your brow
the beauty of the sun overwhelms

I don't mind a love that's like a porn from 1982
with bad music
sexual tension, lust, and desire is all that matters

I don't mind a love that loves God more than me
praying morning, noon, and night
for direction, wisdom, and continue humility

I don't mind a love.....

Whatta Day, Whatta Day...

I truly can't complain about my work ethic. I work hard.  I give a lot to what I do. My return to the Damien Center has taken its toll on my a little bit. I'm rebuilding a prevention department with a current staff of five plus two at other locations. We have a major federal grant to manage and I'm looking to find more federal funding for additional programs.

I'm a little tired.  I've already blogged about CWUW and the work it takes for me to do that as well.

I can admit that somethings are slipping through the cracks, mostly with CWUW. I'm only human. With me giving my all to these two agencies, I'm still finding myself neglecting Rhonda. I sleep but don't rest. I'm always in problem solving mode even with there's no problem to solve.  I'm becoming more and more aware of ways and I need to stop it [slaps my own hand] because I know better.

Today wasn't hard but I did wake up thinking I needed to take something off my plate. I thought about just giving up on ME even.  I've been saying it for weeks and weeks. I'm tired.  Even asking for assistance is difficult because when you have family who thinks  you're Superwoman, they haven't receive instructions on how to assistance Superwoman. They missed that episode of Super Friends.

Tomorrow, I must wake up and give time to myself. I have to love Rhonda more than the community instead of seeing myself as some sacrificial lamb.  I will get back to the gym and remember to slowdown and find time for mindlessness, laughter, and fun.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Passion Fruit

Everyday, I take a sensuous bite into the fruit of my heart, CWUW.  Its my dream and my love. It drives me daily because I really want to provide an organization for women to learn, grow, and find the support they need to be healthy.  It is here. I work daily. I pray daily. I live daily for CWUW. 

But CWUW is like a troubled child....needing an extra hug but sometimes punishment. It is the hardest thing I've every done. It rides my emotions making me question my ability to do something like this but it is my passion and my love. I won't adandon CWUW.  I will go through the terrible 2's with my baby.

I'm thankful for friends to continue to push me and support me in this dream by offering information and advice.  I'm always looking for professional mentorship but its hard to find. Because I'm so focused and always working, people think that I have it all figured out but I don't.  I'm still learning and growing myself. I need direction at times to keep the path clear and for encouragement as well.  My spirit needs edification and sometimes I have to reach from within to find it. Its ok.

God has blessed me with a seed. I'm doing all that I can to nurture CWUW and provide for this growth.

I do love my little problem child. My passion. My love.

Tip Toe through the Tulips

Mnaging sanity. 

I find myself managing sanity, faith, and emotion as if I'm a beautiful adorned clown in the world wide circus of life, bring joy, accepting some tears, and being a part of the show.  I would guess that I'm able and capable to take on the changes, sweeping changes that seem to happen around me and to me since I've entered adulthood.

Still standing. 

I'm not feeling the need to provide any insight but to just reflect. I need to look back upon my existence and know my latter is greater than my former. Patience needs to find its way into my arsenal of tools to move forward, to just be.  Sometimes its not about being deep but living with what is.  No deeper meaning exists.

I'm here.

I love my life. I recall in the movie "Parenthood", the grandmother speaking of life being like a roller coaster. I am the Beast whipping and riding through this journey taking it all in and actively participating at every turn. When I stop, I'm confused and bewildered but I fall back in line for more. This is my life.

I'm riding....

Sunday, May 2, 2010