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Love Sustains All

Love sustains all. Whether it’s politics, economics, or community, anything done for people must be done out of love for the people. Or else at the sign of trouble, it can be taken away, and given up on.

I see so many people saying that we need this and that for liberation, I rarely hear love. Our people are hurting, whether they’re happy or not, the affect of trauma on our Global Black people has us hurting. We need love. People are sustained by love, people are pushed by love. Being encouraged by someone who loves you can take you to the next level, where someone who falsely encouraged you couldn’t take you. Loves moves, love uplifts, and the reason we were taught to hate each other (diaspora wars, colorism, etc) was so that it would be hard to love each other. Love would lift us up faster than any politics would, and even push us towards politics that are best for us.

Everything you do, do in love.

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Rest, Love

a happy family

Hello all, Happy 2022! I know a lot of times we make plans for the new year, and rightfully so, but I think one of those plans must be rest.

I remember hearing a doctor say that rest is one of the most underrated forms of healing. When we rest, it allows our bodies to reset, it allows our immune system to power up, it actually detoxes our brains from things that have happened throughout the day. Rest also gives us strength, and my Afrikan people, I know we’ll be needing our strength more than ever. It may not be time to hit the gym, it may be time to rest and reset. I know rest also means sleep, but I’d like to introduce other forms of rest.

  • Laughter – some may say “laughter?”, let me tell you, laughter is the hearts medicine, it actually says that in Proverbs 17:22. When we enjoy and laugh and celebrate, it allows our body to destress. I even notice when I laugh or socialize while eating meals, the food digests better. Our bodies need joy, the default emotion is joy. I have studied my body, and I know joy even has helped reduce symptoms of stress related body functions. Stress is actually a number one cause of weight gain in the gut, our body holds on to all these toxins because stress keeps our bodily functions lifeless. We often think of exercise and food when it comes to a healthy body, but laughter and enjoyment are just as important. That is why many people I have known who were in the best shape, but mentally not in shape, suffered from stress related issues (ie -stroke), because they never took time to enjoy. Laughter specifically loosens up build-up in the body, that is why sometimes when you laugh hard, you feel mucous loosening in the throat, and even tears from the eyes, your body is reacting to the joy! Mucous build up in the body is one of the number one causes of holding on to diseases in the respiratory system, it’s all related, friends! According to an article I read, stress as a cause of weight gain is a mix of hormonal and psychological factors. The body has a system of hormonal checks and balances that may actually promote weight gain when you’re stressed out. The “stress hormone” cortisol is released in the body during stressful times along with the epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones that trigger the “fight or flight” response to a perceived threat. Following the stressful event, epinephrine and norepinephrine levels return to normal while cortisol levels remain elevated over a longer time period. Cortisol levels can remain persistently elevated in the body when a person is subjected to chronic stress. What is the opposite of stress? Joy! I notice after a joyful day full of laughter, I sleep better. It is important to keep people around who make you laugh and smile, your body rests better when you are in the presence of laughter and joy, you get?
  • Love – In line with laughter and joy, love is the best form of rest. Acts of love, with good intentions, can make the body rest in ways that exercise can’t. When love is present, the body feels safe, the body feels spiritually safe, and there’s not that lingering stress of worrying who is around you. I speak from spiritual perspectives as well, and let me tell you, the only time I’ve felt anxiety is when the people, places, or things around me were not good for me. I’m not talking about the anxiety you feel when you are about to perform your song or waiting to hear back from a job. I’m talking about that nagging feeling of being sad, wondering what’s wrong but not knowing what’s wrong. That, my friends, is your spirit telling you that someone or something around you is not good for you, so beware. Every time I’ve had that feeling, and I removed myself from the person, place, or thing, I ended up not having that nagging feeling anymore, instantly! This may not be something doctors will tell you; they’ll tell you, you have anxiety – but until you get rid of that friend, spouse, job, or whatever, it will never go away. When people tell me they cry all the time for no reason, it is a sign that your spirit is telling you something is wrong. Pay attention to your reactions of people, if you feel happy when they’re around, fine! If you feel anxiety when they’re around and uneasy, run! There is nothing else to figure out, it’s not anxiety from your past, it is your spirit saying “watch out for them right now”. Whether you have fears from your past or not, a person’s presence should make you feel at ease if they are genuinely good for you. When you enter love, you’ll enter rest, and it’ll feel easy. I am talking about friends, family, and romantic love. This love is also needed to make it through life, when you are surrounded by love, that can boost your chances of achieving, because that is an energy that boosts you forward, and does not hold you back
  • Living – my dear, it is good to live. Sometime people are always waiting for everything to be good to live. living means, enjoyment. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect to enjoy and live life, however, you may have to shift your perspective of what enjoyment means depending on your situation. Don’t look at Instagram and say enjoyment means what everyone else is doing, it could mean that, but it could also mean gathering some friends and dancing. If you are going through a hard time, and it is financial, you still have the right to enjoy where you can. Joy makes you feel better and achieve more. When you allow yourself to enjoy, your mind resets and even comes up with new ideas on how to handle the situation. I speak from experience, friends! No matter what, things may stress me out, but I’ll find enjoyment, and in that enjoyment, I’ll find ideas. I am a solutions based, faith-based person. I understand life comes, and life will always have challenges, however, my confidence comes from knowing that I will always find ways to overcome those challenges, whether on my own or with help; it’s all part of the process. So, if I know for a fact that I will overcome, I will not stop my joy if it doesn’t happen right away. I have too many examples of victory to worry – all I do is pray, act on solutions, and wait for the results. Don’t worry about what people will say, “oh she owes bills and is enjoying”, “she’s getting divorced and partying” so what! Because if you have a stroke when stress becomes too much, will they take care of you? Again, enjoyment may not mean a $500 concert, but it can mean a night out, an inexpensive event, or inviting friends over to eat and watch movies. I used to isolate myself until I figure things out, but with good people, I don’t need to do that, because remember what we learned in the love section, they will understand and even boost you to success. Let me explain something; stress isn’t normal, because of this society we live in, people have become individualized, chasing things that don’t matter, when in reality, a community is sustained by all the things I’m mentioning in this blog post. The best thing we can do for our loved ones in need is be love, be life, and be laughter to relieve their stress.
  • Learning – My dear, learning is one way to relax the mind. When the mind is bogged down with the same thoughts all the time, it is stressful. Sometimes escaping that cycle, learning something new, and expanding your mind is all you need. Social media exposes us to thoughts of people all day, and information can be learned, but sometimes, learning is best when it can be applied. I can learn about the news of the day, or I can learn how to plant a garden, one is useful for life, one is just passing knowledge. Our mind likes to be challenged, and there is a time for it, but don’t allow your mind to stay in the cycle of the same knowledge. Your mind feels free when you learn something new. You can even feel more aware, and inspired. All of these things the body needs to rest. It is actually a physical feeling of the mind being free. When I lived in Washington, DC, I was always at events, learning. I was partying too, but I would attend events where I can learn and engage in important dialogue, it felt so freeing to just learn – and when we feel free, we rest easy.

~Love, Live, Laugh, Learn~

Friends, I am transitioning this blog into a subscription-based blog. I will be writing more lengthy, informed blogs with references, and research, and I would love for you all to support. I will still be inspiring you all, and I will be vlogging for the most part. That would require you to subscribe to my YouTube. My YouTube will feature Vlogs and interviews that will still be free, and allow you to connect with me. DiasporAfri started as an educational blog, as you will see from the 10 years’ worth of blog posts on this site, and there is information I want to share with you all that can really transform lives. Help support me as I grow and provide you with quality content. Lookout for the transition and announcements by subscribing here, or following me on Twitter. As an empire builder, I will be using all my talents and gifts to give content in a variety of ways, please consider supporting the ones that speak to you.

Melanated Gem is still here to make you look beautiful ladies! and here to make you look handsome, sir.

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Your Words Shape Your Destiny

family preparing food in the kitchen

Only you can tell you who you are. You are free, not colonized, you are a solution, not a problem, you are your ancestor’s accomplishment, not a failure. Speak it and don’t accept anything less my beloved Africana people.

I think the oppressors whose narratives have shaped this country are very aware of how words can shape reality. When they put out statistics on populations, they speak in the future, the unknown, and people use those words to determine their destinies. “By 2021, 25% of Black men will be imprisoned”, well, how do they know? Is it their plan? Is it their way of distracting? I just know that I hear Black people say, especially when discussing their goals or their children’s goals “I don’t want to be that statistic” or “I’m not raising him to be a statistic” – they live to do everything to avoid that statistic, instead of just living their calling. The one thing I hate is when parents say, “I’m just glad he has a job, not in jail”, is jail the benchmark? Why are we bringing jail into this? Is he a great debater who can be a successful lawyer? Is he great at building things and can be a great engineer? Is he a great artist that can be a designer? I believe living in the affirmative can help people achieve their goals way more, instead of avoiding things – the benchmark should be your goals. My dad spoke in the affirmative to me, he always told me what I’m good at and what I could be based on what I’m good at. You want to know why I’m so confident? Because my dad let me explore all my talents and made sure I knew my goals were valid. He said, “you want to be a teacher? just own the school”. I wasn’t raised to not be something; I was raised to be something.

I know that no matter what, racism is there, and that no matter what I achieve, racists will be racists in a country built on racism. I am not saying that achieving your goals will eliminate racism. I am saying that keeping ourselves and our goals as the focus, not damaging narratives from a people that has historically misrepresented us, will put us in better positions to make change amongst ourselves and our communities. I am not successful to avoid jail because an oppressive statistic said my people end up in jail. I am successful because I achieve the ideas in my head and don’t worry about any other narratives. I took statistics in undergrad and grad, trust me, I don’t believe in statistics the way that others do, I know they are used to shape narratives and instill fear in many cases. In my career, statistics have been used to damage the esteem of students that I have worked with and had to defend. Example: I had a job teaching literacy to students, the corporation had a goal, and benchmarks. When the goal of students enrolled wasn’t achieved, they changed the rules. I had students that were past their grade level, but we were told that they should stay in the program anyway because “they can use help anyway” based on the population they were in that is “low-income” Black community. However, the program was for students who were struggling, and all the students knew that. When a student entered that room, it meant they couldn’t read pretty much, and other students would laugh at that. I fought it and eventually chose my morals over damaging a student’s esteem to help a company achieve a goal. Manipulating a child to make them believe they have an issue when they don’t just wasn’t on my list of things to do. I had students that would enter the program, surpass all benchmarks and still were told they needed the program. Then the company put out statistics to say they helped all these low-income students achieve their goals when in reality, a fraction of those students actually needed help. You see how the numbers game works? It’s all tied to money. “If I can make these low-income people believe that they have a problem, I can make money by solving the problem”, is essentially the model of these “statistics” that they put out.

The power of words is critical. Define yourself, lessen the noise. Challenge every teacher that tries to label your child. I was the only Black student in my kindergarten class where they tried to label me, and my dad fought it – and won. In my career I have watched parents be taken advantage of, knowing well their kids had no problem, and the parents who fight, win. I don’t care what your teacher or your family told you, those ideas in you are valid. If you have an idea it came to you for a reason. Plan out the execution of that, tell yourself you are going to do it, and be part of the statistic that says “you will achieve your goals”. It really is that easy friends.

Amen.

Join me for the Dear Black People series where I teach people strategies to achieve this very thing. You receive years’ worth of research, references, personal follow up, and password access to zoom course upon completion, you don’t want to miss it! Check out details and register here, or below.

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Stop Monetizing Human Beings

a group of people in a room with a bottle of wine and wine glasses

Humans are being monetized and that’s a problem…

“He has to be a bread winner”
“Kids cost too much”
“She’s worth spending money on”

Everyone is brought down to monetary value and I don’t like that, it’s capitalist and wrong. See humans as humans and act accordingly.

Instead say…

“He has to be stable and responsible”
“Children are an honored responsibility”
“She’s worth my love and care”

I’m telling you, words change actions more than you know.

Yesterday I told you all about your worth being more than the table, and I meant that. Not only in monetary value, but in value that you bring with your mind, body, and soul. Everything is in context, we have to remember that corporations try to get over on people as much as possible, and if you know you are being underpaid by a corporation that has millions, fight for it! When valuing people in your everyday life, leave the money out of it.

I’m going to talk more in depth about this in my educational series, but monetary value in everyday conversations decreases the interaction. I know we want ambitious people in our lives, especially if we are ambitious ourselves, but the problem becomes when we are valuing that as monetary value only instead of character. I tell you this, there’s nothing wrong with wanting it all, but I’ve had friends and dates that are high value in income, that would betray you in a minute, and have no character. I have had friends that are ambitious and may not be where they want financially, but they are loyal. I had a friend that was a stripper because it helped her get where she needed to be at the time, and she had great character. Then again I have had friends that have the money and the character. I am not saying which lifestyles are right or wrong, but I am saying that character trumps all and we can grow together. The most important thing is aligning with people who are designed for your journey. I remember when I went to church, we were wrongfully taught that the only beneficial friends we could have had to be Christian as well. I had a friend at work who was not necessarily a believer, and had a contrasting lifestyle, but was a loyal and true friend that I felt peace around, one of the last friends standing when I transitioned to my African centered lifestyle. Times and situations showed that he was loyal, more loyal than any church friend I ever had, and a very supportive friend. I said that to say, you may have an idea based on outside factors who is “good” and who is not, but character stands in the times when you need the person, not how much they make, or what they believe. Now equate beliefs to money.

Corporations pay people, they can easily say that job A is worth Z amount of dollars, it does not mean that the person who fills that position is worth Z amount of dollars, it just means that they filled the position. Is the person who works at McDonalds around hot oil and high demands lazy? No. I find it interesting that people will walk into McDonalds, order food, expect it to be ready, and insult the person who works there to say “they only work at McDonalds”. If that’s the case, cook at home! Again, character trumps all, I had to realize for myself that hardworking people are everywhere, I don’t have more value because I got a master’s, even though I’m proud of my master’s, but I have value because I treat people well, I inspire people, and people overall have had great interactions with me that they value because many have said that they are life transforming (their words not mine). That has nothing to do with money. I don’t care if you work at McDonalds or the CEO of Apple, how do you treat people? Obviously when people try to bring harm your way, and you see they are no good in terms of how they move, then you stay away and protect yourself.

When it comes to relationships, I believe the number 1 reason people cannot get it together in relationships is because they are too busy matching the person with what society says success is. What happened to growing with people? Millennials are the worst with it I think, I am a millennial, we suffer between western tradition and doing our own thing. On one hand, men want to maintain power in relationships by making money and providing, and women want the same thing; on the other hand, everyone wants to be progressive, which is really taking it back to the days before patriarchy. I notice a lot of women and men struggle with it in the actual relationship. Everyone talks a good game, but in the actual relationship they cannot separate western indoctrination from what they want. That is why we hear that the number one cause of divorce is money. I think that society plays a big part in making people feel insecure in their own relationships. When a man is not making money to take care of his family and let his wife be at home, he feels like he failed the community; if a woman makes more than her man, immediately he feels useless and intimidated that society will say he’s not a man. I think all this takes away from the idea that we can build together, and what we make is nobody’s business, be a united front! People forget, and I say this all the time, that roles vary; at home I am a wife but at work I am whatever my title is, the 2 are separate, and at home I am building with my man despite what I have done at work today. Again, as I said above, corporations pay people, what does the dollar amount someone decided to pay me have to do with who I am at home? There are many parts to relationships, security is 1, but security comes in many forms other than money. You have heard of rich people who have gone broke from spending, but a person will see their wealth as a determining factor before saying that they’re irresponsible.

I believe the bleeds into how people see children. In my generation, I hear so many people refer to children as monetary only, not people, but dollar signs. How can I be thinking of a child as a monetary burden? A young person, a reflection of me with a soul and value and purpose. Yes, in this society, to take care of children costs money, but trust me, as a teacher who has worked with young children, half of the things they have they don’t need. Spoil your kids by all means, but I have seen people sacrifice rent money with my own 2 eyes to buy their child a toy. I know in life there are problems, I am not minimizing them, but even if you don’t want children, don’t minimize their precious lives to a financial burden. Trust me, I grew up as well taken care of, but my dad made me read books, play outside, learn piano, sports, road trips, and all sorts. Not all of those things costed money but created memories. When people see their children as a monetary burden, people grow up thinking they are only worth something if they have money, or they grow up thinking they can’t ask anybody for anything because they were always seen as a burden. In fact, don’t have kids if you see them that way, wait to be healed first. Again, I know it costs money to take care of your children, but that isn’t a burden they should have to bear.

We can change our view on how we see people, then deal with them accordingly. I am willing to build a life with people who have good character, ambitious, and bring value to my life in more ways than 1. How much money they make is irrelevant, as life happens, and I find the best people have brought joy to my soul. Also, we should not assume that someone doesn’t have, or has, based on what they have on or what they own. Everyone does not hold the same values and want the same thing, get to know the people, not their things.

How do you define yourself? Well, let me help you, check out Melanated Gem and empower yourself with words that describe who you are. For example, the Beautiful Headband is a reminder that you are beautiful in all forms…