It has become difficult for me to imagine. Surrounded by the million of sound bites, the eyes only resting when I am asleep. It is difficult for my mind to get clear, to create new ideas. Set in a world that demands of you an indoctrination that is the only way, the only way, so that one does not get any ideas to create a world that might just be better than theirs.
As I laid my body to rest, I practiced my imagination. I practiced visioning new stories to create, building upon the old stories that have embraced me for so long. I laid practicing, over and over, realizing that I could not imagine creating new stories in a world that tells me to hold on to the old ones, because it forces stagnation, yelling at me to remember, to hold on and to take pride in all that the ancestors have done.
I’m holding, I’m remembering, but I wish could remember how to imagine. I wish I could remember the feeling as a child when my imagination seemed so real and the adults in my life took joy in seeing my playful dance, celebrating as I twirled in the open air, with the sun putting a happy glow on my face, being free and accepted, allowing to create, making mud pies, and hearing, “that’s good baby.”
I am remembering how to imagine, I am remembering how to create, trusting to move from the “hold on” to the sound of “that’s good baby.”
I am not a writer and I’m guessing that if anyone read this, they would agree. But I hear that to become a somewhat decent writer, one need to write everyday, even when they have nothing to say. There are so many things that are happening in our world to write about, and at the same time, there is nothing to write about. Nothing new. I have heard the same news stories over and over again. It’s like recycling news from the 50’s and adding some kind of sprinkles to add a little pizazz to the story line. Trauma after trauma! Don’t we ever get freaking tired?! Or have we become so immune to the heartbreak in our world that it no longer matters? No one is coming to save us from what we have done to ourselves, right? I mean, we are not expecting ourselves to save ourselves, right?
Or can we? Save ourselves? Do we have anything to say of this? Can I save you from your worries living barely on a paycheck that does not sustain you for a week? Can you save me from my worries of aging in a society where medical bills become the talk of the day? Or we humans together?
Okay, it’s my dream. Why would I think we could all come together to save ourselves? Yep, I got nothing…..yet. But it’s still my dream!
I am somewhat lost without my favorite coffee mug. In the mornings, I look for it. I hear it calling my name from a deep dark place. When I walk in the kitchen, it is not on the counter top where I left it the day before. It awaits me every morning, ready for me to grab my hand around it’s round smooth bottom and feel the heat embracing my hands as I pour the first cup of coffee. I know! Sounds kind of a little erotic? Maybe I need help? Just kidding. Still, my mug was not on the kitchen counter this morning. I kept searching for it, following the sound of it from what sounded like a small whisper from a closed door. I opened the dishwasher and there it was. I smiled. I swear my mug smiled back at me. I rinsed the dark, dry, crumbling residue from the bottom of the mug. Yes, I saved my mug from the harmful dishwashing detergent and the extremely hot water, although she probably needed a good bath. I poured the coffee and my mug let out a breath of relief. It’s a special kind of relationship, me and my mug. Can you relate?
I am constantly trying to better myself. This gets really frustrating and quite honestly, I am really tired of trying to do all of the hoopla around self-care. Ok, yes I need to take care of all of me, I get that! Lately self-care has become a chore. Am I using the healthy powder I pour in my smoothie correctly? In my downward dog position, is my feet suppose to be flat on the floor? Because that won’t happen! Am I breathing in on the count of 2 and breathing out of the count of 10? Is my smartwatch keeping adequate data on my sleeping patterns? Because according to this, my sleeping patterns are not so great. Now, something else to worry about!
Should self-care really be this hard?!! I’m pretty sure I am not suppose to be figuring out if I am loving myself enough to the point of loving myself enough where it is getting a little chaotic? It’s like having an obsessive relationship with a person who laughs at your jokes, but is with a person you wish you could be, so you desperately find yourself putting on airs to get their attention and they just treat you like a good friend. (sigh)
Maybe that’s just it. Just be a good friend to yourself, one that is true and honest and accepts every flaw, and every decision that did not go well. A good friend is always there to share in disappointments and glory. Now about that three day retreat I can’t afford…hmmm?
I have been so busy working in my doctor of ministry program and now the new pastor of a small historic church! Yes, it is quite a lot of work, but I love it! I haven’t blogged for a long time, so here I am, trying to get back into the swing of things. Not sure even where to begin, but here I am. I must say, when we put out in the universe our dreams and hopes, and believe that we are worthy of receiving the very things we ask for, abundance pours from every direction.
The amazing Sheryl Lee Ralph, reminded me of so many wonderful blessings as I listened to her acceptance speech, winning the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy in television series, “Abbott Elementary. Ms. Ralph reminded all of us who find ourselves an “endangered species” that our voice matters and that we are not to sing a victim song. We belong! I cried last night, listening to her acceptance speech, thinking about all that I have hoped and work for, now coming into fruition.
Here I am! Beautiful, courageous and ageless. Here I am! Intelligent, compassionate and witty. Here I am! And I am good! Never give up! Know matter if you had a set back, no matter where you are in your life or what age you are in your life, never give up! Work on your gift, your purpose, because it is not for you! It is for others to see that they can, along with you, make this planet a better place to live!
Thank you! This is what I and my husband pray to God before going to sleep every night. It is a simple prayer, a reminder to us to be grateful for even the smallest of things. Our world today is up side down and often there are little reasons to see things to be appreciative of. I get it! But I also know, and yes, there’s that word, “but”…… I have the opportunity on any given day that is presented to me to be a positive force in this world. On any given day, I can raise my voice to call out hate. On any given day, I can write a letter to representatives to call out senseless gun violence. On any given day, I can choose to love my neighbor as myself. On any given day, I can choose to make a difference to build a better world. For that, we say “thank you”.
Today, say a simple prayer of “thank you”, to your Creator. Now go and bring peace to a place that so desperately needs it. They are waiting on you!
I grew up as most Christians with the belief that my soul is not worthy and is need of saving. Sitting on the pulpit on a Sunday morning, with songs of praise echoing throughout the sanctuary, I sat in wonder about my journey in ministry. My journey is leading me to a path of self discovery and I must admit that I am a little frighten of what my soul is aching to push out. I am finding that I no longer relate to a Christian thought or belief that Christianity’s main function is only to save souls for heaven, where we will all suffer no more. This thought has allowed a selfish agenda that patterns capitalistic thinking, rewarded with getting that big mansion in the sky. In this thought we have missed human relationships and connections with each other. So busy trying to change each other that we have not seen the beauty of the soul in our path. We have missed opportunities to free a world from abuse and hatred. We have missed opportunities to love. We have missed opportunities to be a better nation, all because we have deemed that somewhere we must get people in a “right” relationship with God when we have not been in “right” relationships with each other.
This change happening within my being and soul frightens me. I must admit that I am struggling to join in with Christians who preach a Gospel that is not of love but instead of one that seeks opportunities to preach that we are all sinful and unworthy. Don’t get me wrong, of course there is evil, white supremacy, sinful systems that deny people their fundamental rights, these are the things we must preach against. These are the things that must be eradicated. Yes, this change happening within my being and soul frightens me, but oh so much of it is also beautiful and freeing. Of course, I am only sharing my new discovery on my journey in this space, because I feel safe to do so.
I wonder have any of you experience the beauty of your soul yet? Is there something about your faith that has led you to a place of enlightenment that steers you to know there is more than waiting to get to a heavenly place, and that God uses us to bring heavenly places here on earth? I believe in God. I believe that Jesus shows us and has provided examples to us how to love each other. There is a change that is happening within my being and soul and I am embracing it. I am a Christian. I am a Christian who loves myself and my neighbors. I am a Christian who stands for the rights of others, that be a woman right to choose, a right to marry who you love. I am a Christian. I am a Christian who believes that everyone should have housing. I am a Christian. I am a Christian who believes that there must be equal pay for all and $15 as minimum pay is not even enough. I am a Christian. I am a Christian who takes care of the environment because God trusted us enough to do so. I am a Christian and I believe your soul is beautiful.
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine is bold and pleasantly frightening. Sue Monk Kidd questioning her spiritual journey and wondering if her Christian faith actually recognizes her womanhood and speaks to her directly, is a question I believe many women have asked, including myself, and what is so surprising is this memoir written over 25 years ago, is still very relevant today. Sue Kid Monk’s tenacity to deal with the question is one of bravery and begins the process to heal what she calls, “feminine wounds.”
In all honesty, reading this book was difficult because it tugged in those neglected spaces women usually just settle for, and at the same time, there is liberation taking place. Kidd gently forces women to truly focus on what roles they play in their faith journey and reminds us not to just accept the status quo as is, but that it is quite alright to search for a place that includes you and includes your worth. This book is for women who are ready to heal wounds caused by a Christian faith tradition that has stifled the voices of the feminine sacred divine. This book is for women who are searching for a rebirth in becoming who their authentic, beautiful and holy selves truly are.
There is a warning though that comes when you begin to open your mind to the The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. Don’t be surprised as you read Kidd’s memoir, that you soon remember a moment when listening to a sermon you didn’t agree with and secretly screamed out loud but kept the facade of a smile on your face to show your loyalty, or when participating in a women’s conference that somehow managed to include Adam’s rib into their description of women, and yet you kept that silly grin on your face, that you as well have participated in patriarch oppressive systems. You will come to the realization that you too might be ready to start a faith journey you can claim your own, but be further warned, with that comes labor pains that may take longer than expected, but the stretch marks will soon tell the story of a journey worth taking.
God Is a Black Woman, written by Christina Cleveland, PhD., is witty, courageous and empowering to Black women who are searching for the image of God that is within herself. Dr. Cleveland is a social psychologist, activist and theologian who has provided to us permission to experience God on our own terms. In her memoir she shares her stories of her struggle growing up in a Christian culture dominated white male patriarchy system, “whitemalegod,” that refuses to comfort her and love her unconditionally but soon discovers the Sacred Black Feminine that identifies with all of her being.
God Is a Black Woman is real and raw, setting you on a spiritual journey, to walk along with Dr. Cleveland, experiencing sometimes discomfort but making your way to a place of wholeness. Dr. Cleveland’s ability to express her childhood memories growing up in a faith riddle with an oppressive theology that is controlling, unkind and unloving, and then as an adult working with white organizations, seeking to eradicate racism, but instead reverting to status quo, Dr. Cleveland finds a way to break free, with no apologies, through the power of several Black Madonnas.
God Is a Black Woman is brave and bold, speaking up against the power and authority of established patriarchal systems and institutions. Dr. Cleveland invites Black women, and all women, to find their liberation and I am here for all of it! God Is a Black Woman is a must read that will have you crying, rejoicing and hugging the very essence of your Sacred Black Feminine.
I like to dance. I am not good at it, but there is a freedom that overtakes me when I move my body to the music of 70’s funk. I dance to release stress and it is also a means of exercise for me now since the weather is cold and snow is on the ground. One day as I was dancing across the room, my arms rising in the air, my hips swaying, my knees aching and my face gleaming with joy of content, I realized that I was not alone. Present with me in the dance was Katie, Pearl, Yvette, Millie and Eliza. All women who are gone from this earth. These beautiful souls who touched me in ways that instill the person who I have become and who I am becoming. I felt their whispers in my ear, saying to me, “Close your eyes and dance until you get every worry, every disappointment, every sadness, out of your soul and mind. Dance until your feet can’t move any more. Then know, that everything is alright.” Y’all, I closed my eyes and danced until the sweat of insecurities, sweat of exhaustion from trying to be so many things for others, sweat of doubt, dripped heavily on the floor. And I didn’t even try to clean up the mess. I left it there to evaporate.