Archive for January, 2010

More Than Just A Month

January 30, 2010

Black History Month, started in February of 1926, by Carter G. Woodson is so much more than a month.  Yes, it is nice to take a moment (or in this year’s case 28 days) to recognize  the contributions of Black people the world over, but Black History is so much more than a month.

It is more than watching a few PBS specials, or listening to a recording of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.  Black History, for Black people, is about making that history every day.  It is about showing up, 100% of the time, in everything you do.  It is about loving your Black self (without hating anybody else) and others that look like you. It’s about looking for the best in Black people and not being so quick to judge our mistakes and shortcomings.  Black History is about taking the time to make a difference in the lives of Black people. 

So this Black History Month, make it more than a 28 day celebration.  Make it a way of life.  Take the time to smile and greet a Black person on the street.  Stop talking about Black people, those you know and those you don’t, behind their backs.  Say something encouraging to a Black child (yes, that includes teenagers.) Live in such a way that inspires the VERY BEST in Black people.  Make it a point to support Black businesses and entrepreneurs!   Take some time to think about the legacy YOU will leave behind.

You don’t have to sing like Aretha or hold down the court like LeBron to make a difference.  Just do what you do, in only the way you can….and before you know it, YOU’LL BE MAKING BLACK HISTORY!

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What’s In A Name?

January 24, 2010

This entry started in my mind and journal as one that talked about the power of names; naming ourselves; what we allow others to call us and why.  I thought about asking us to investigate the titles we hold tightly as if our every breath was dependent upon what’s written on a plastic name tag.  Then I thought about asking what we might call ourselves if we named ourselves to fit our character; our habits, our desires.  I was thinking about challenging us to consider what others call us and whether we ought to allow them to continue.  Then I nixed those  ideas and made room for something else…..here it is:

Got a new name today.  One that speaks to who I am.  One that reminds me of the brilliance placed inside of me even before my Mama knew I was nestled in the cradle of her womb.

Got a new name today.  One that makes me stand up straight and walk with the stride of African queens; dark and regal.

Got a new name today.  One that helps me dry the tears of the broken-hearted and laugh out loud without worrying about what others might think.

Got a new name today.  One that humbles me with every breath and coats my tongue with gratitude.

What’s your name?

Say It Today

January 17, 2010

 In less than twenty days into this new year, I’ve attended a memorial service for my aunt where people spoke….and she couldn’t hear and an incredible retirement celebration for my husband where he was able to smell his flowers….SO

Say It Today.  You know that thing you’ve always wanted to say.  That thing you always felt like you’ll have time to say.  That thing that is burning inside you.  Say It Today.  Don’t wait another minute. 

Don’t worry about saying it the “right” way.  Say it today.  Don’t worry about what people will think of you after you say it.  Don’t waste another moment fearful that someone will stop liking you if you say it.  You haven’t got the time to think about whether or not you’ll be misunderstood or if people will “get it.”  Just say it today!

One of my favorite Bible verses says, “I tell you,” he replied, “If they keep quiet the rocks will cry out.” (Luke 19:40).  What this says to me is that “it” has to be spoken. 

Someone is waiting to hear what you have to say.  The someone might even be YOU( yes, talking to yourself is allowed.)  Don’t take for granted that people know how you feel.  SAY IT TODAY! 

Now, don’t get it twisted.  I’m not talking about going around getting folks told off.  I’m talking about taking the time to share those things in your heart, from your heart, that if today were your last day, you would want said.  Get it?

So, why are you still reading?  SAY IT TODAY!

Re-Write

January 9, 2010

You are writing your future each day; so make it the BEST story  possible. 

I just shared this thought in an email to my 10 year old grandGodson (my Godson’s son) and it began to resonate with me.

So many times we spend time admiring the accomplishments of others or wondering at their failures.  Many of us are still punishing ourselves for past transgressions that God has forgiven and others have forgotten.  It is becoming clearer to me each day that all we really have is this very moment.  Before you rush past that thought, go back, take a deep breath and read it again…all we have is this very moment. 

With each thought and deed we are writing the story of our lives.  Our thoughts define our internal lives – the way we think, what we believe is true; while our deeds show up in the lives we live in the world with others.  It’s not Mama’s story or Daddy’s story.  It has nothing to do with your husband, wife, lover, friend or ex.  YOU are the main character.  It is YOUR story. 

You might be asking yourself how you end up in such a story?  Before you start making a list of all the people, situations and circumstances you think are responsible for your current reality, take a minute to consider what you’ve written.  How are you living each day?

Do you have your own “pen” or have you allowed someone else to do the writing for you?  Have you become a footnote in your own life?  I don’t know about you, but I’ve often overlooked the footnotes when reading.  It’s something about their place and size that make them seem less important than the title of the book.

Take this moment to decide YOU are worth being the main character in a story YOU write for yourself.  Before you get carried away, it isn’t about thinking the world revolves around you.  It is about understanding your own self-worth in relation to others and recognizing you aren’t worth much to anyone else, if you’re not worth much to yourself. (SPECIAL NOTE TO MOMS:  I know we’ve been encouraged and supported in putting our children first.  This statement goes for us as well.  You can’t be the best mom, if you’re not the best YOU.  I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this at another time.)

Here’s a little something for us to do together:  I love those exercises that have you write your own obituary or memorial tribute.  In the next few days write yours.   It doesn’t have to go on for pages and pages; a paragraph or two will do just fine.  Read it to someone who knows you AND isn’t afraid to tell you the truth and see if they agree.

If you don’t like how yours is coming out, that’s what this moment is all about, remember?  Begin the RE-WRITE!