Tempo

Tempo

You hit the ground running at birth

The joys of a young life to this earth.

You’re told to catch life’s pace

To hold on in this dying race;

Meek are The hearers,

Blessings to the doers;

The mountain movers.

Holding on to your chest

Trying to find inner rest

Work harder…be perfect

Do perfect

Measure up.

Throw up

Lies, heartbreak, and sudden fates.

But…hold on, carry these weights.

Fatigue

As the liquor drowns you…

Smoke Succumbs your smile

Depression invites you to just stay HERE, right here, for a while.

Mirrors reflect someone you never knew, someone you never deemed honorable to love.

Counting bodies who played under you.

Pretenses.

Brain always triggered for defensive.

The human heart, merely an organ.

At any sense, I blame the Olympian firmament.

For creating this competition that we we were never born to live forever.

A tournament of the spirit; no foot lever.

electrons and atoms…

Rhythm, electricity

All at a drum beat.

300 meters per second

Ions pacing, connecting

Beckoned from the moment we are conceived

Everything is everything and yet nothing.

-By Ashley Viewins

Host A Guest Blog: Do You Illicitly Admire Your Partner?

As I read “What Do You Secretly Admire About Your Partner?” by Psychologytoday.com, I decided to be deliberate about figuring out what I liked about my companion, I grasped that his weaknesses and strengths were all one and I would have to learn to identify and communicate exactly what I felt and work on a balance.

Recently our focus has been on a “us marriage” instead of a “you and me marriage”, identifying how our family histories inform our present behaviors, and how to navigate conflict well.  As I thought and prayed, I received a message….my spouse’s strengths and weaknesses are uniquely designed for me.

My spouse worked well under pressure, if something didn’t work he was looking to solve the problem, he’s compassionate, and can make others feel comfortable.

When I thought about his weaknesses, I completely shut down.  I knew that there was no way that I could negotiate or train away them. Dealing with flaws and strengths was a personal journey that he and I would have to make individually and then come together on one accord.  As humans, we are sure to stumble and fall, there is no such thing as a perfect person…would I be willing to take the good with the bad…could I learn to?  Marriage is inherently difficult, and we could not resent it but receive the difficulties.  Was there something in my spouse that was willing to go through the difficulties with me?

 

When the honey moon phase is over in a relationship, we in fact come to terms with who we really are and often, we find out who our spouse is.  Our strengths and weaknesses are often one and the same.  The very things that our partner fell in love with are some of the very same things that in turn could bother them.  For example, your partner may be prone to pessimism (no one likes a negative person) and always expects things to fall apart but he always has a Plan B to fix things (a positive).

In our relationships, the very things that drive us insane about our romantic partner are often associated with underlying strengths that the person has.  –psychologytoday.com

 

 

In examining myself and the different stress responses, my reaction to stressful situations or conflict is fight mode.  In fight mode, my initial reaction is fear and not love.  When overwhelmed with excessive stress, life becomes a series of short-term emergencies. I lose the ability to relax and enjoy the moment.  A “burnout” is inevitable.  My spouse on the other hand is freeze mode and flight mode.  In these moments, we find each other to be so frustrating but the positive to this is that – fighters are confrontational, but in other circumstances I am often assertive and a strong decision maker.  My spouse might tend to retreat, but in other circumstances he is very accommodating, flexible, patient, and a very strategic problem solver. 

After being in unhealthy relationships, for the first time I realized I didn’t have to fight any more.  In watching him, I saw that being confrontational was something that I didn’t have to be.  His patience with others was something that I had always admired.

My family challenges my want for control and often pushes me to shift my perspective to focus on what’s most important.  The small things can often build into mounds if not pruned but understanding that people and situations are not perfect; I see how God can use weaknesses to create something positive in others…in me.

-that was FREEING.

MINIMALISM: Be More With Less

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SIMPLE IS SMARTER.

Beginning In October, my daughter had her 8th birthday.  She loves seafood, macaroons, and her Goddie (God-mother), so we decided that her Goddie would come to town (two hours away) and we would take her out for seafood and macaroons.  My daughter frowned and looked somber the whole entire time.  I was so embarrassed at how ungrateful she became because they did not have raw oysters (yeah I know what you are thinking). Now, Christmas has past…and not ONE of the toys that was bought, was thought of a week after Christmas but a few!  She’s begging for more toys and doesn’t take care of the ones she has and doesn’t clean her room.  Granted she’s on the A/B honor roll, her concept of being entitled has got to stop.  So I have to begin with myself and then her.

WHY MINIMALISM IS BETTER.

As a child, I didn’t have tons of toys but I did not want for things to play with.  I learned the magic of venturing out doors and a love for my imagination with my cousins, my daughter, on the other hand, is entertained at the thought of watching children play with toys on YouTube; annoying right?!    She has the type of closet that you often open at your own risk.  I thought “she is  just messy” but in actuality my closet looks the exact same way today and I need to teach her how to clean her room properly and throw away things that she does not need any more and donate toys/clothes to others.  “Convenience parenting” has apps and tablets for keeping children quiet or reminding them to clean up their rooms.  I want to raise children who can retain information when told, who can complete tasks without being prompted, and who are grateful for what they do have.

As a teacher, I understand the logic and practices of what makes children thrive and as I continue to grow within my pedagogy, I realize that most children need minimalism.  Minimalism is not always cleaning up or giving away your things as charitable donations.  Minimalism is about focusing your family on what is important in life.

In pursuit to minimalize our life, I am focusing on these key concepts:

  • Choosing Gratitude:  cutting down on holiday gifts (tangible gifts).  Birthdays should be about celebrating life.  Valentines day should be about love.  Give the gift of experience.
  • Choosing Family:  making family dinner a priority 1-2 times a week for improved psychological well-being.  spending time with the children unplugged from social media.  learn a new craft/hobby.  READ.
  • Choosing Health:  choosing healthier meals.  cutting back on empty snacks.  COOK TOGETHER.
  • Choosing Outdoors: trading screen time for outdoor play. learning to respect the environment.
  • Being a Conscious Consumer: thinking before I buy.  Allowing three days to pass by before I make big purchases to make sure that the item is something I really want.  Only buying toys the children earn and do chores for.  TEACH CHILDREN YOU DONT NEED TO BUY THINGS TO BE HAPPY.img_9923

Teach Me…

As I walk further into my journey, I realize that I am learning who I really am EVERY DAY.  There is no pennical to the knowledge you attain and the many evolutions you will endure to be incarnated. As a woman, I feel as if I will be born again many times; learning how to fill my own cup…and what exactly I will fill it with.

I watched a video by Will Smith and he stated that his wife, Jada and he, realized that they were two individuals on separate individual journeys learning and choosing to share a life together. He stated that it was not his job to make Jada happy, she had to do that for herself. Jada couldn’t make him happy, he had to do that for himself.

The false pretense of romance and the “we are one” sentiment can often distort a marriage. I realized this fact one night on a dinner date with my husband.  Not many people have the fortune of being born into a perfect family.  As he made points about his up-bringing, and made the claim that “all women were the same”,  I immediately became offensive. True enough, we both come from two totally different upbringings; I had the knowledge of both my parents and even though they were never together, my mother or grandmothers were always present while my father went off to college.  My husband on the other hand, seemed much more traumatized by his estranged father and drug abused mother.  I saw that parts of his up-bringing in foster-homes were internalized and love was totally different for him.

As a woman, I’m naturally seeking how to learn to love and be more nurturing, that’s in my nature.  Although I had both my parents, I was never showed a healthy relationship, what role a man should play in my life, or what “love” is.  I learned that night that my husband didn’t know what love was, how to go about seeking to be loving, and what love actually looked like.  All my husband knew was loyalty and support and for him, that transpired into love and care. Marriage was in some way, an obligation that he owed to his children and at that moment I realized I didn’t want to be an obligation to him because I was the mother of his children.  I wanted to be in a marriage because we were irreplaceable to each other. I was furious until I realized that I could not depend on him to make me happy because some days, he just won’t. He won’t give me butterflies everyday and he won’t always say the right things.

I think that women often get romantic concepts from movies and want our love to be this magical love story.  Great sex, trips, date night, romance, and well-behaved children is not the full picture of an actual marriage.  In order for “Us” to work, I had to be able to focus on my goals and make time for me to be an individual and so did he.  As long as trust was not a question, we owed it to ourselves to figure out what makes us happy and be able to pursue it with the support of one another. We each deal with emotional wounds but learning to get beyond those and to the honest truth of our marriage will be hard work.

Our marriage is a living breathing organism.  It is vital to feed it and nurture it because “love” is a lot of work.  If I went by my husband’s “talk”, we would never make it. Instead, I use his actions to tell where his heart and mind is because he is not a natural born nurturer.  The next day after our date night, I decided to learn how to connect with him and be patient (and ladies it may take a lot of patience LOL).  If your husband is willing and trying to be the man that you need him to be, understand that you may have to teach him a few things and be willing to learn some things (even things you may not want to hear).

DON’T JUST SURVIVE IN YOUR MARRIAGE, PROSPER IN YOUR MARRIAGE.

I love reading a males perspective on marriage and finding activities to try with my partner.  I included a link below to a great article (it is a series)  that you ladies/men may find helpful!

via Pt. 1: How to Get Exactly What You Want From the Man in Your Life (Teach Me…)

Books by Black Authors That You Don’t Want to Miss This Year

If you are an African-American fiction-novel fanatic like myself, then you’re hankering for your next book-fix. In these winter months, I’d rather curl up with a hot cup of mixed berry hibiscus tea and read. I’m currently reading the great Tayari Jones An American Marriage, and it is everything I am looking for in a novel right now. In Jones’ cross-examination of race and incarceration in America, the lives of newlyweds Celestial and Roy are at a turn just 18-months after their nuptial.

Photo credit: Amazon.com

 

Cipher: A Life of Shadows

At our very first heartbeat, I believe that each of us has a predestined journey and purpose.  We don’t get to choose the parents or family that we are born into to help us grow and learn on our journey of a lifetime.  Through the miracle of birth, we are pushed through by the human vessel; although we all would like to be born into a family of perfection, that is not the way life works for many.

I grew up in a poor single-family home.  My maternal grandmother raised me.   Molested by her mother’s boyfriend and only finishing primary school; she bore five kids and my mother was the fourth born to a man she would never grow to know.  When my mother was fifteen she became pregnant with me.  I am the product of my maternal great-grand mother and grandmother’s shadows.

HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE – Just because someone hurt you, does not give you the right to hurt others.

I didn’t realize what generational karma was until my paternal grandmother told me the reason she stopped letting my paternal grandfather watch me as a young child…. I immediately connected this to a feeling that had hunted me, the reason I connected sex with love, and why promiscuity found me at a young age.  My aunts had also been sexually abused… I had no idea until she revealed her truths.  I questioned the woman that my grandmother had always been to me; STRONG.  How could she have stayed with a man who had hurt so many others; who she had never married for love?  Ironically, she had also been a victim of molestation.  Oddly, my soul felt relieved but as a young mother, I immediately became over protective; if my own loved-one could do this to me, I had to protect my daughter, I had to break the cycle.

I was 26 that day that I called my paternal grandmother just in our daily routine and she had the most honest conversation with me that she and I had ever had and probably ever will.  She had lived a life that she wasn’t proud of and had married a man she had never loved, and she put up with some horrible things and had done some terrible things.  I didn’t need an apology, she taught me the greatest lesson in that one conversation.

I thought long and hard about the pillars in my family and who I could speak to about the emotions and concerns that I had.  I spoke to my oldest uncle who told me that he had known but I could not live in the fear of shadows, learning to discern without smothering my child was best.  He and my grandmother told me stories of lessons that I needed to bare for our family, and the generations to come.  If peace and blessings were to manifest than secrets that hunted my grandmothers and our ancestors…needed to be embraced.

The shadows that hunt us are:

  • Abuse
  • Addiction
  • Violence
  • Poverty
  • Illness
  • Abandonment
  • Betrayal

These shadows create cords that can entangle us and are often repeated and practiced for generations within our families.  In a discussion with some colleagues, we talked about the infamous Amber Rose and her “slut walk”, and why some women choose to perpetuate feminism/female empowerment with “naked-ness”.   She brought up the point that many of these women have been sexually abused and find promiscuity as an outlet and have not emotionally processed their issues. I began to think of all the people who walk around with secrets and traumas from dysfunctional families.  Are we internalizing our issues/shadows each generation and they manifest into our everyday interactions and communication?

According to the United Nations (UN) Study on Violence [World Health Organization (WHO), 2006], 150 million girls and 73 million boys under the age of 18 experienced CSA worldwide in 2002. The Childhood Maltreatment Summary 2005 (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2007) estimates that 91,000 children were sexually abused in the United States in 2003.

The way we choose to handle or neglect our mental health and emotional ties today; affect our families tomorrow.  From the beginning of the destruction of the negro-family; up to this very moment, we must learn how to identify our roles, our shadows, and our truths just as often as we identify our accomplishments.

These binding ties are formed at birth and are practiced.  Generational karma/curses are real. Speak your truth, walk in faith, break cycles, embrace your shadows, and hold on to the morning LIGHT.

-Ase

…Now You’re Talking My Language

Looking back, I remember the days of dating and courting each other, lunches just because, dates regularly.  Bonding was such an important aspect of the reason we became so close so soon.  Immediately, we felt as if the loads of our day could be unloaded unto each other.  Two daughters later, our courtship is mostly conversation about administrating our marriage and the kids.  As much as I need “me time” away from the girls, I also need “adult time” with my spouse.  No phones, no children, just direct conversation about things that do not pertain to our responsibilities.  Finding new ways to provide the support for a strong foundation by rediscovering my love for my partner everyday.

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The goal of having meaningful conversation is to talk about things that keep you current and deepen your understanding of who your spouse is.  What are his or her likes, dislikes, preferences, feelings, stressors, friends and life dreams?

Drop your phones for 10 minutes and:

-put the kids to bed early

-remember to listen like it was your first date and never stop dating one another

-play adult games

-cook together

-laugh more

-cuddle

-Turn off the TV during dinner time

-Take a walk together and try conversation starters (link below)

Wifey Wednesday: 50 Conversation Starters For Couples