Choosing Our Greatness – Changing Our Lives

Featured

Amie & Iyanla:  From one C.A.T. sister to another~

                                  Amie & Iyanla: From one C.A.T. sister to another~

Yes, it’s been a long time.  Over a year, in fact.  My heart hurts that I’ve been away from the site, and you, for so long, but God was doing a mighty work in me that necessitated solitude, quiet, and supreme privacy.  My prayer and hope is that you’ll understand and rejoin me on this journey.

In short, C.A.T. sisters, I’ve been healing.  Healing emotional wounds.  Healing my broken heart.  Healing my soul and my spirit.  All with God’s help and guidance, of course. ;-)  And in that (“this”, really, ‘cause it’s ongoing) time of healing, I was led to make a LOT of changes.

The cushy job I held for close to four years in southern California was eliminated.  I placed my beloved belongings in storage, shipped my car across the country, and relocated to Washington, D.C., the Mecca.  I wanted to be close to my sisters – to black people – where I could spread the message of black self-love, self-esteem, and encourage black women both young and old to be their best selves, for themselves.  I set off with a dream and a desire – a purpose.  Then things hit the fan.

Instead of the mountaintop, I fell into a valley.  Work did not appear as easily as I’d hoped.  Former friends and associates from my beloved alma mater, Howard University, were not able to rally around me for emotional support as I’d hoped.  My money ran low and my confidence went with it.  The peppy, confident Conscious, self-Actualized, Trustworthy (C.A.T.) sister who began this blog in 2012 all but disappeared, drowning in self-loathing, fear, and self-pity.  I was lost.

But, I cried internally, I’m supposed to be THAT girl!  The woman who’s always on top; the one who always has it together!  The one who speaks to hundreds of black girls and women weekly through this blog and our Facebook community, encouraging them to have hope…to live out loud…to be fierce, confident, beautiful (inside and out) and WORTHY!  Where did she go?  Was it all a lie?  Was it a manifestation of false ego?!

Self doubt cloaked every action and every thought.  And it was then that I cried out to God, “Father, save me!”  Over an amazingly short period of time, God spoke to my heart and my soul and let me know the following:  “Yes, things are hard right now.  But you are still chosen. You are my child. Your purpose is unfolding. Trust me!”,  and finally  “You are worthy!”

I realized that the work of this site was not over, but just beginning!  The fire that I was being walked through was to purify my heart, my soul, my thoughts, and my entire being to deepen my reach and my message.  It was revealed to me that, while I put on a good front, I harbored a deep sense of low-self worth and shame originating from childhood abuse and emotional neglect.  I was gorgeous on the outside, but in immense pain on the inside; hiding to all how I *really* felt about myself.

My cries for emotional help and healing continued, and as they say, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.”  After a series of synchronistic circumstances, I landed on a new reality show on OWN (Oprah’s Network) with self-help guru Iyanla Vanzant.  Amazingly enough, I’d moved from Los Angeles, the entertainment hub, to end up on a television show being filmed in Washington, D.C., mere blocks from my temporary residence!  I’d been a fan of Iyanla’s since the early 2000s when she appeared on the women’s daytime reality show “Starting Over”, and always desired to meet her.  I was also a major fan of her books, such as “Faith in the Valley” from my senior year at Howard in the late ‘90s. To meet and speak with her would be a dream come true! I *knew* she would have a healing word for me, and that her tough love was exactly what I needed to hear to end decades of hidden low self-worth.

We met on a lovely Sunday afternoon this past January, and I was poised to ask the question I’d always wanted to ask; the one I needed help with the most.  With a bold heart, I shared with Iyanla that I suffered from a childhood of invalidation – of not feeling good enough and made to feel ‘lesser than’ – and on top of that, I had a birthmark on the entire right side of my body which, for countless years, caused me to feel poorly about myself.  I wanted to know how I could rise above this internal pain and “feel good about myself and the skin I’m in.”

And sisters, let me tell you, her response was not what I expected.  She looked me dead in my eyes and shared with me that I had CHOSEN to feel unworthy.

*Dead*

But, I thought to myself, I’ve been abused!  I’ve been compared to others my whole life by my primary caregivers, and always feel short of approval! My skin is mottled and ‘different’, I’m ‘flawed’ and not as beautiful as other women, and have been made painfully aware of this my whole life!  Surely that meant something.  Surely this is why I feel the way I do about myself, and someone should take the blame,  pay for my pain, and fix it!!  Arrggghhh!!!

But, no.  The answer was simple.  Feeling worthy, and deciding NOT to feel worthy, was my choice.  One that I make every day, and in every moment.  The power was entirely mine.

I was a little hurt by her blunt delivery, but at the same time I was intrigued.  Encouraged.  EMPOWERED, even!  My life and the way I live it, as a fully functioning adult, is MY choice!!    Awesome!  Let’s make some new choices!  Lol!

So here I am.  Better, wiser, and growing more every day.  And just like I shared my story on national television – that despite my outward appearance, which some may find appealing, I don’t always feel worthy – I wanted to…NEEDED to…return to this blog and continue my work of sharing with you all.  My sisters in spirit.

I realized that I’d judged myself too harshly while writing this blog.  Surely a self empowerment writer should always feel empowered!  She should *always* feel worthy and great about herself.  But what I’ve learned through my journey through the fire, which still continues as I type (I’m still not completely settled in my new D.C. home, but know that God is able and on the move) is that I don’t have to be perfect to share my story and encourage others.  I, and we, don’t have to be flawless to be beautiful.  I, and we, don’t have to wait for others to love and affirm us before we feel loved – we can love and affirm ourselves!!  I am perfectly imperfect, and my message is both important and valid.

Sisters, my life has changed.  Iyanla is not a saint – she only served as a mouthpiece of God in that moment – but the message I received and the work God is continuing to do inside of me and in my life is astounding.  I’m grateful to him for creating the opportunity to receive the message of true self-empowerment, and for being able to share it with you all, my sisters, today.

The purpose of this blog will continue, and I’d like for you to join me on my journey of healing my *own* broken heart and empowering myself!  Sisters, I am you and you are me, and when one of us is healed, we are all healed.  I know my story is shared by so many of you:  a little black girl who felt unloved at times.  Who felt invisible and misunderstood.  Whose gifts were overlooked.  Who dealt with an emotionally unavailable father and suffered through countless unhealthy romantic relationships as a result, looking for love in all the wrong places.  Who struggles with body image issues, and with feeling like she’s not ‘enough.’  And who, in spite of it all, deeply knows that she is a loved child of God with a message and a ministry, and who is making the CHOICE in each moment to heal, empower herself, and to live the best life God has for her.

I *know* you’ll see yourself in me, and that you too will find healing.

Our kittens need it.  We need it.  Black America needs it.

So with that, I bid you a brief farewell.  While I’m still finding my way toward a new physical home, I will post twice a week to keep you all abreast of my journey and the growth and insight God places on my heart and in my spirit.  I have SO much to share, and can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Please share this post with other sisters who need to hear this word and need encouragement.  And be sure to “Like” our page on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/positivepropaganda.  We’re back, we’re authentic, we’re lovingly vulnerable, and we’re in full effect.  :-)

Thank you so much for being my sisters, and for your support.

Until next time,

Amie~

MEOW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Women & Girls: More Than Gorgeous, Curly Hair ~

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women & Girls Are So Much More Than Gorgeous Curly Hair ~

 

Hola, sistren!

I come to you now with a plea:

Can we tone down the zeal over our hair?  ;-)

No, really. 

I mean, I get it.  I soooo get #naturalhair.  I’m natural…have been for the majority of my highly eventful life.

I also must show appreciation where required and add that my mother provided the positive legacy of natural-hair-living to her daughters, who, after many (count ‘em, four each) bouts with chemically-induced textures, along with ever-changing lifestyles, imagination and imagery, bad decisions, master hair magicians, trickery, advice from countless, lively blogs, trial, error, and the requiste detours of big chops, fried locks, cooked, baked, crispy, and shaped, both, haggardly yet finally returned to “NO CHEMICALS ON OUR HAIR (not even color), EVER, and feel comfortable saying we both appreciate mom’s heads-up provided since birth.  Thanks, Mom.  :-)

Not sure how she knew.  I guess holding firm to her roots and the way she and all of her sisters grew up in the country of Lousiana, where pigtails and braids ruled the extremely warm summer days and nights, virgin hair was where it was! 

So, I get it.  My hair has been super long, super short, somewhere in the middle, straight, wavy, kinky, curly, balayage, blunt, razored, tinted, and rinsed.  I’ve personally grown and lost (to only regrow again), THREE whole heads of hair in my short 30-something years, and am currently in a new growth cycle after surgery, so trust me when I say I’m not hating.  I.  know.

I could, have, and will again, write a small pamphlet on how to grow hair long and strong, for all races, but I don’t talk about it much unless asked.

You know what I DO talk about; a lot? 

THE WELFARE AND HOLISTIC WELL-BEING OF BLACK WOMEN AND GIRLS.

That’s it. 

Eleven words.

It’s what runs me; what gives me that “zing.”  What helps me wake up in the morning.

It’s my pleahsuh!! *in my “Friday” voice*  ;-)

I love to talk about how great we are, and how we can be even better!

Let’s talk about heart health.  Mental health.  Emotional and spiritual health.  Nutritional and physical health and well-being, and let’s investigate how we’re currently (and can improve) mama-cat guarding our young girls…our kittens…to ensure they have a future worth living and can pass the baton to future generations.

Speaking of generations, do you know the Native American saying that what we do today affects seven generations of our people Sustainability.  lt’s all about sustainable living – sustainable being, breathing, and thriving (thus the swell of eco-friendly products living under the banner of “Seventh Generation or “7th Generation”)!

We must, and those of us who can, HAVE TO share the knowledge of our individual capacity to shine and connect for the benefit of all.  It’s our duty in this lifetime.

Did you also know, from a Black history standpoint, that we are in the fourth generation (that golden ”4″…I’ll break that down in another post, just for you) of enslaved Africans evolving out of the curse of slavery, and are the first to develop new foundations for wealth, current and future economic prosperity, and can both consistently and economically nurture those that both create and record the rich oral history that unceasingly binds us together as a people, our storytellers?  That’s a (responsibility-laden) gift, but as Peter Parker’s grandpa said…  ;-)

And as women, too…whew, I mean, say it again…as WOMEN, on top of all of that rich inheritance, we have supreme power in 360 full degrees, so why focus on only 10 percent…our hair?!

I’m perplexed.  Our next meme is gonna be a pic of ‘Hope the Cat’ slightly perplexed, ’cause we need to find those answers and make it happen, but it ‘ain’t gonna happen by worrying about ONLY our beauty.  We have to dig deeper.

If I hear one more skin color or hair-grade comparison for either gender, or witness any more jaw-dropping verbal or physical black-on-black crime, I’m going to lose it…and as you can so far tell, I barely have it!   As my mother also said more often that not:  “stop it; just stop it!”   LOL! 

And let’s please come together, sisters.  Outside of what we do to ourselves internally as a community, we could do so much better if we stopped all hair wars (naturals v. straights, weaves v. braids, bald v. shaved, thick v. skinny…wait…I went too far…  ;-)), and focused on joining forces against all enemies, we’d be in a stronger, truly impenetrable position on the planet, and as a people!  It’s harder to kill in a stampeding herd.  Never leave your girl to face a crowd alone.  Don’t mess with her after she calls her cousins!  Her family is no joke!! 

‘Yall feeling me? 

We need each other so much more than we can survive being torn apart.

Let’s let that pink water splash us in the face of reality, sisters, and awaken us to the need to congregate in order to get our story straight, so that we can then tell it and defend it by any peaceful means necessary!

Aren’t you ready to march for respect of black women and girls?   I am.

I see us all now, a flood of pink, black, and gold in the streets of the capitol, holding each other up and demanding that our men support, our artists listen and cooperate, our lovers protect, our children respect (and are respected), and that our futures and destinies are highly guarded and regarded.

In short, we have work to do, #sisters.

And if you wanna rock your freshest two-stand twist, your flyist box braids (maybe), your pin-curls, headdress, wash ‘n go, press ‘n curl, dippity do or God-knows-who, do you,  but support, love, desire, want more, demand more, love each other, love yourself, stop fighting, bickering, giving bad advice, telling lies, living in illusion, competing, and riding the train in the direction furthest AWAY from what we say we want for ourselves, including focusing and spending so much time, money, and attention on #hair!!

And put down the Moscato.  It’s a dessert wine anyway, and it’s silly and highly caloric to drink it all night starting sundown.  One or two glasses is ok, but after that it’s just a bad homage to a glorified song about stripping, which is neither lady-like nor pretty to glamourize.  Smooches.  ;-)

So, a little bitter with the sweet, but real.  Alll of the time. ;-)

Can you tell I’m on fire for the cause?  And so many others are too…so many of us who hear the clarion call for change…real, lasting, holistic, organic and timely change, that will touch lives beyond our capacity to envision.

Are you ready?  

Our site and movement is reaching one full year!  I admit, I must touch base more often.  How often is too much, how much too little?  As I recently heard, “you can’t start a revolution by meeting monthly” so I’ll post more.  ;-)  Today’s post was an exercise in following my weekly connection schedule, so kudos to me and high cat paws to all on that one!

I’m so in the pink flame for this, sisters!  I love you, and I want better for us all, as I know you do, too (along with all of our sis-supporters…you rock like EPMD!). 

First order on deck:  PositiveProp Pajama Parties coming to your area.  We need to converge, comfortably (maybe with woobies?) to get our feelings out and then develop and implement our ACTION STRATEGY.

We’re deciding whether to launch on the east coast or here in L.A., so stay tuned. Definitely more to say about the upcoming series next week.  Meow.

And one last thing:  if we’re gonna be obsessed with #hair, which we will to some degreee as humans and as women, let’s do it from the ownership standpoint, putting non-black haircare industries and vendors out of the game entirely and reinvest the loot into our own community. Done.

Until then, stay coiffed, but please do from a higher place, with a higher purpose, and with thoughts, words, and deeds of reunion, not division. 

Most imporantly, allow no division inside of yourself. 

Oooh…so deeepp!!  ;-)

Talk then,

Amie~

*  Whatchu say?:  @PositiveProp

 

Every Woman Needs a Woobie~

Woobies & the soft side~

Woobies & the soft side~

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women are Vulnerable~

OK…first of all I’m sitting here shocked and amazed that I’m writing this post, as it was not planned, but that’s how Spirit works.

MOVE! 

Lol!

So a sister C.A.T. has been feeling some sort of way, lately.  About life.

We’ve all been there.  It’s human.  It’s UNIVERSAL.  Yet it feels so deeply personal when the opportunity to FEEL finds you.

And we as black women have for so long run from this feeling of, well…feeling. 

The desire to let go…cry…talk…purge…giggle…laugh…and giggleandlaugh until you cry again.  And then smile.

We don’t give ourselves that “luxury” enough.  To receive that human need, enough.

Ish. hurts!!

Yeah, I said it!

Stuff happens in life that literally takes your breath away, and requires that you sit down and look it straight in the face.  And as black women, we do…more often that not, we do. 

But it’s what we don’t do enough of next that spawned this post:

We don’t STOP. 

We keep moving.  Trudging along, eyes straight ahead, being “the strong black woman” instead of doing what all of the softness of who we are REQUIRES of us - that we FEEL IT completely – walk to and through it, and heal it. 

By being soft and vulnerable, and quiet, so that afterward (and only afterward) we can smile.  And it’s over.  And we move forward to live another great experience on this spiral of life. all the sweet and the sour; sugar and mess.

We need this sisters. 

We need to let ourselves see ourselves…see REALITY…and act accordingly.  And I’ve found the best way to assist in this effort is

*drum roll*

The Woobie.

:-)

You can see one of my current woobies peeking out in the pic above (and “Hi”, C.A.T. sisters!  *waving* )  ;-)

My woobie has been through it:  good times, bad times, stains, rips, triumphs, failures, extasy and agony.  You betcha. 

Every.  woman.  needs.  a woobie.

What’s your favorite woobie?  Are they friendships?  Girlfriends? (they make the BEST woobies), your grandmother, or your mom?  Is it your puppy or your *le gasp* cat or kitten? 

Is it texting that ladyfriend whom you know will say just. the right. thing. at just. the right. time. to make it all better, and who you know knows you down to your socks and a peek of your soul?

Tell them.  Let it out! 

Is it your journal?  I also write when I’m walking through a challenge, and recently forgot about that as a passion and a release.

And then I picked up my journal (I have all of my journals…I love journaling), grabbed my favorite pen, and let it all out.  And cried.  And laughed.  Then I danced.  A lot!  And I moved on.

Onward, with a smile.

And then you can walk the land knowing and inhabitating that, as my friend Dominique strikingly said to me one day:  “wearing your heart on your sleeve doesn’t make you weak, it makes you stronger.”

Dope, and so true.  Our strength is in our sensitivity, and the ability (and the responsibility)for feeling and then fully and completely acknolwledging our feelings.

But back to woobies.  So soft.  Let’s not be afraid to be soft.  We’re WOMEN…we were created to be soft.  As I said before, ish hurts, and we feel it, but it’s the feeling part that can be the challenge, sisters (or am I out here alone “on the skinny branches” by saying that?).

I love soft things, sisters…I’m very tactile (like a cat…ha!).  I’ve recently learned to honor how much I love soft fabrics and soothing colors…blues, and soft greens and pale yellows…and cotton!  Heck, if my ancestors tended it, I’m gonna celebrate it, goshdarnit!  LOL!

Seriously, though, I love soft fabrics such as cotton and other natural textiles, and will cozy-up when need be to let the other stuff out.  And I try to make my everyday surroundings cushion me in softness and gentle luxury, ’cause I’m sensitive, darn it!

And I’m also learning to honor my sensitivity in all of my choices as well, such as who to hang around, who to let in (and stay in) my space, who to keep walking away from and for whom to give the swift & dusty boot. 

And I’m finding that the more I pay attention to the things, especially the small things, that I love, deserve, want, and need, it makes all the difference in the world.

And, a wonderful dish of whipped cream on the side, my world responds as if it’s so.

So, just from writing this, I’ve discovered that my woobies are actually, in this particular order:  my God, my angels and guides, my God voice, my blanket/cotton, my joys and wants, my family of friends and lovers, and my fur-children (past, present, and future).  Then the world, then the Universe, and back to God.

Works for me.

So, let yourselves be comforted, and live sensitively and strongly.  Sisters, we aren’t just one “strong” thing…we’re a cornucopia of ingredients that make a the pies of our lives.  Strong, sweet, soft, pink,  brown, tan, cocoa, gentile, warm, delightful, black women, sisters of Eve, Cleo’s daughters…onward and onward, and onward and upward.

Enjoy all of it, and embrace it.  Feel the other stuff, then it go.  And this includes how others think of you, speak of you, and perceive you, unless you’re hurting others and/or not being yourself, but that’s another post.  ;-)

So, this is me.  Raw.  I’m Amie, and I’m sensitively strong.  And I need a woobie every now and then.  ;-)

Know that when we talk again, I either will have just completed a kit-katting session with my girls (and/or certain homies), cried, laughed, cat-napped, become incensed, or rallied for a cause in my glasses, on my couch, with my cotton blanket woobie, and that’s OK.

We’re ok being vulnerable.  You don’t have to cover up truth, or stuff it down, or hide it, or drown it, or cloud it out, or disconnect from it, or lie about it, or stay in denial over it, or in the end have to memorize it to get your story straight…it just IS the truth.  You are.  We are.  This is how we were created, and we’re tapping into our biological inheritance to stay soft and gentle. 

Get in there and break down, sisters.  And come out refreshed.  Call in the help of your personal woobie, and step back into the spiral anew and ready for next, whatever it may be.  And we all win:  you feel better and wiser, those around you are spared your bottled-up, stopped-up wrath, and you get to remain, among many other wonderful things, soft and cuddly to all outside others, including your man.  ‘Cause you know our men who love us adore our soft sides!  *Shout out to our sis-supporters!*

So, I hope you found this helpful.  You’re not alone.  I truly do have your back, and I feel and know that you’re starting to have mine.

We’re coming quite the way.  And with our cat “Hope” (her name is Hope, like, for real) steady mascotting her way into the Community Mascot Hall of Fame, we’re ready.

I SO look forward to getting to know all of you, and you getting to know me more and better (as I continue to get to know myself…and ride the wave), and stay tuned for more sensitively strong posts and products down the line for our growing community.

I love my sisters!

A soft meow,

Amie~

*and whenever I post as ”We” I mean me and Hope; ’cause we ride hard.  :-)

Chaste Is the New Black~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women & Girls Are Proudly Chaste

Let’s talk about sex, sisters.  ;-)

I adore this picture so much!  It sat on my computer’s desktop for weeks after it was published, a captivating reminder of what I know to be true not just about Meagan Good, but of all black women and girls…

…the fact that we are worth the wait! 

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the lovely Mrs. Good (now, Franklin), refrained from intercourse with her then-fiance’ until the night of their wedding.  The couple dated for well over a year prior to the night she revealed the crown jewels.

When the news broke of their sacred agreement, the internets and blogosphere went bananas!  Folk just simply couldn’t fathom a young couple (a young black couple at that) voluntarily eschewing premarital sex; it was like they stepped out of a Victorian novel or something!

And shockingly, a good number of the incredulous comments came from other sisters!  “How can she make him wait like that!” they cried.  “Good for her, but I sho couldn’t do it!” they laughed.

I giggled along with the crowd, knowing that at times celibacy can be a struggle.  But deep inside, and later very publicly on message boards, I cheered for my sister Meagan, feeling a wee bit closer to the “friend-in-my-head” because we shared similar values, and, like me, she wasn’t afraid to speak up about them.  If only chastity was more popular, I wished.

Well, I’m here to pop out of the closet of celibacy and proclaim that chaste living probably is quite popular, and if not, it both should and can be.

Sisters, I’m here to proclaim that chaste is the new black!  *raises fist*  ;-)

Loved ones, we hold SO much power in our sexual centers.  It’s where we experience pleasure, where we bond, both physically, emotionally, and spiritually, with the one whom we adore.  It’s the center from which we create new life!  There is nothing more powerful than that capability.

We hold and own that power, yet some of us have wantonly given it away as if it were nothing more than a simple exchange for a steak dinner, or a well-worn toy. 

Now, I understand the various reasons behind not being able to own ones’ feminine power through chastity.  Whether its low self-esteem, a history of trauma, mental illness, or drug abuse, sometimes poor choices are made.  But I’m here to say that no matter the mistakes of your past, any day can be a new day to reclaim your feminine, sexual power, and refrain from giving away what should be EARNED.

It’s also my belief that in this day and age, this power – our GIFT – should only be given to the man who falls to one knee and pledges to love and care for us forever (and ever, and ever, amen). 

To keep it very real, there’s just simply too much risk to being sexually generous these days, especially for black women.  In 2009 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), reported that “black women accounted for 30% of the estimated new HIV infections among all blacks,” and most recently it was reported that “39.2% of black Americans have genital herpes (48% of black women!).”  We simply have to keep ourselves safe, sisters; for ourselves and the for the sake of our community.

Equally as important to physical safety is emotional, spiritual, and psychological safety.  Did you know that every time a woman experiences an orgasm, she releases what’s called oxytocin from her bloodstream, which is a biological chemical that emotionally bonds a woman to her sexual partner?  It’s a STRONG chemical, sisters…equal to any man-made drug, and can literally have you strung-out on a man (men) that simply are not worth your time and emotional energy! Do we really want to be lookin’ for Tyrone in the daylight with a flashlight when we aren’t even sure if we like Tyrone, but can’t help it ’cause we let him in the candy jar?  We need to keep our goodies away from Tyrone, and his cronies!  :-)

Lastly, ladies, we are just too gosh darn worthy of being courted in long-lasting, real ways than to give up our sacred bodies to any man who whispers sweet nothings in our ears and let’s us choose from the “good” side of the menu.  We deserve and NEED to engage in long, intimate conversations with our suitors; get to know them, as best as one human can know another.  See them in all four seasons, rain or shine, good times and bad, anger and sadness, before we bond on that deep of a level.  And we need to know that they will be with us come good times or bad, and let them not just tell us, but show us, and show us repeatedly.  We need to TRUST the man we gift with our chastity…our feminine power.

Take a look at the picture above of our sister Meagan and her new hubby once again.  THAT’s the look of a woman who knows she has been, and will continue to be, well cared-for, honored, and respected.  I love how they were both listening intently to the speaker at their wedding…someone who was probably imparting wise words of marital counsel and wisdom as the couple prepared to embark on their journey together.  And I bet your bottom dollar that the wisdom shared had nothing to do with “puttin’ it on him” or “lovin’ her body right…all night…’til the morning light.”  It’s not about sex, sisters.  Real, true, lasting love is more than that, and can exist with or without sex.  Let sex be the icing on the cake, not the bowl and the batter.

And in the end, you don’t want someone who “liked it so much he put a ring on it.”  Not only is that crass, tacky, and WRONG, the phrase and act that it describes devalues the woman while praising her vagina, and NO ONE marries a vagina – they marry a WOMAN.  And dear sisters, we are women; Conscious, Actualized, Trustworthy women (C.A.T.S…and cherished kittens on their way to being C.A.T.S.) whose lady parts, while important, are not the measure of our worth.

At the end of the day, you best believe it is something much deeper than good sex that will keep our sister Meagan, and many of our sisters out there, happily and lovingly dating, engaged, and married.  And if you don’t believe me when I say that chaste is the new black, check out a recent post from one of our men-folk over at the popular blog Single Black Male:  They don’t want us throwing our pearls at them either! http://madamenoire.com/188327/single-black-male-stop-giving-up-the-cookies-ladies-men-will-wait-for-sex/

So ladies, let’s join hands and agree with C.A.T sister Meagan that we will hold ourselves in high esteem, carry ourselves with poise and dignity, and keep our legs closed until our hearts are fully open and the ring is firmly on the finger (post-nuptuals).  And if you can’t wait that long (though it won’t kill you…I promise), let’s at least wait until we’re fully monogamous with our partners, in a committed, loving, trustworthy relationship.

There is nothing worth the price of our bodies, our health, or giving up our feminine power.

Chaste IS the new black.

Meow,

PositiveProp~

 

 

Death to “Bourgie”~

                                                                                                                                                  

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women & Girls Unashamedly Aspire to be the BEST!

“She’s so bourgie!”  Who she think she is, with her bourgie self!”  Walkin’ around here actin’ all bourgie!”

We’ve heard all of these sayings before; comments thrown in the faces and behind the backs of black women and girls on a routine and regular basis.  And these comments are anything but nice, when said.  From the tone and the sound of the person hurling the word, one would think the target was a horrible, wretched person.  A fake.  A fraud.  A thief, perhaps, or someone to avoid at all costs.  Witnessing this verbal assault, one would certainly not wish to ever be (shudder)  “bourgie”. 

So, what exactly does it mean?

In the black community, and according to the urban dictionary (yes, there is such a thing…smh…) to be bourgie means “to be pretentious in matters of taste or dismissive of other tastes, in a manner that follows a particular middle class mode of thinking. Generally derogatory.” 

Another, slightly less disparaging definition of “bourgie” is “aspiring to be a higher class than one is. Derived from bourgeois – meaning middle/upper class.”

Ahh…we see.  But, some would say…that’s not so bad?  What’s wrong with wanting to launch oneself to a higher station in life than one was born, or in which one finds oneself?  What’s wrong with reaching for success?  What’s wrong with being the best…with aspiring toward greatness?

And to that, my dear sisters, we say NOTHING.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with these desires…as a matter of fact everything is RIGHT with wanting more, better, best, and all of the greatness that life can offer.

Which is why we believe it’s time to pledge DEATH to “bourgie.”

Dear sisters, we’ve been so historically, horrifically mistreated and misinformed.  From the times of slavery, we’ve been trained to not want nice things; to not embrace our femininity.  To not educate ourselves or our families.  To not believe we were soft, and beautiful, tender and deserving. 

It harkens to stories from the plantation where black women, our sisters of yon, were forced to wrap their heads in tattered rags to keep themselves from looking and feeling beautiful.  When the ears of our sisters were cut off and our bodies mutilated and mistreated for transgressions of wanting freedom and liberty.  When all manner of verbal abuse was spewed our way when, even after these atrocities, we dared to hold our heads high, our shoulders back, and walk with pride:  “That haughty niggra” they’d hiss; “Somebody needs to put that gal in her place!” 

Now, fast forward to present day.  Not much has changed, except now we’ve taken the role as our own slave-masters…keeping our own people down and “in our place” whenever we, especially black women, aim to reach higher and achieve better.  And we’ve made it even easier, by taking all of the hatred, jealousy, callousness, and evil of our oppressors and shortening it into one negative word:

Bourgie.

“Always walking with her nose in the air…ole bougie chick.”  “She think she cute…bourgie broad!”  “I can’t stand her bourgie a*s.”

The hate.  The misappropriated anger.  All hurled at black women and girls who’ve dared to step outside and beyond the small box of shame and low-self worth that we’ve been conditioned to believe, and have decided to reach for something higher and better.  To be somebody.

What’s wrong with wearing nice clothes, or fixing your hair in a lovely style, or adorning yourself in lovely jewels?  Nothing.  What’s wrong with wanting a good education, reading books, learning from life and others, and soaking up all that life has to offer?  Nothing.  Where is the harm in craving fresh, healthy food, exercising your body, asking for what you want, need, and deserve?  Not a darn thing!  And where’s the harm in seeking out the best of the best in every way you can, for you, your children, your friends, and the ones you love?  Nothing.  At.  All.

Sisters, this is not “bourgie.”  This is being aspirational. This is taking by the reigns the desires of God for your life, and claiming the gifts he’s placed at your feet.

How are we ever to climb as a people if we’re too afraid to reach for the sky?  What in God’s name is wrong with wanting to look, feel, and BE your very best?  Again, we say nothing.

You know what IS wrong?  Hurling insults hidden in urban slang such as the word “bourgie” to our fellow sisters and young girls every time we witness them striving to be their best.  Our young sisters (our kittens) grow up hearing and feeling the covert negativity that we attach to those climbing and aspiring to be their best, and instead of letting their little lights shine, they dim themselves and bushel their lights out of fear and shame, so as to be accepted by their community.  They don’t want to be “bourgie.”

This is wrong, and it needs to stop.

We are gorgeous, talented, divine, beautiful women of God!  We have so much to offer ourselves, our families, and our communities.  It’s the so-called “bourgie” set that helped Michelle Obama reach the White House, and who suit-up every day to fight the good fight in corporate America to represent OUR needs and well-being, ensuring we have a voice at the tables that run our lives.  And we don’t thank them enough.  We don’t want to be LIKE them enough.  We don’t aspire enough. 

Sisters, we have to watch our tongues and check ourselves when need be.  We have to support each other and our sisters who’re brave enough to plug their ears against those who’d like to keep black women down, and uplift those who strive every day to be their absolute best (in spite of). We have to encourage our young girls to hold their heads up high, to not be afraid to shine, and to be, do, and have all that their little hearts desire.  We have to truly show solidarity and real sisterhood in this way; it’s only then that the oppressive voices from the plantation are silenced, and we all truly rise above the horrors of the past.

So again, sisters, it’s time to kill the negativity toward ourselves and each other.  Let’s uplift each other the best way we can.  If you see a beautiful sister out in the world “doing her thing” and looking fabulous, even if you can’t compliment her, don’t disparage her with the label “bourgie.”  Stay silent, search your own heart and life, and promise yourself to be and do the same.  It’s in you to be great, too!  There’s room for all of us to shine.

And when you shine, we all shine.

Death to bourgie. 

Live an aspirational, inspirational, glamorous, gorgeous, fabulous, healthy life; out loud, and with no shame. 

You deserve it.

With love,

PositiveProp~

Freeing the Scapegoat~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women & Girls Self-Define

Hello Sisters,

This post is near and dear to my heart, as the subject matter is personal on several levels. 

Have you heard of the term “scapegoat”?  Please allow me to provide a brief overview:

Classically defined, a scapegoat is “a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place”;  and ”one that bears the blame for others; one that is the object of irrational hostility.”  (Merriam-Webster).

In short-story form, in the days of old, villagers would take an innocent goat, parade it through the town, and project all of their sins, mis-deeds, lies, and tawdry secrets upon it. Afterward, they would ceremoniously lead the little goat into the wilderness and kill it, thereby absolving themselves of all things unclean and unlike God; the things they did not want to face about themselves.

This noun becomes a verb in the form of what’s termed “scapegoating”; the act of an individual or group performing the same activities described above to another individual or group, in an effort to absolve themselves of guilt, crime, sin, or wrong-doing; forcing the blame on the innocent.

Scapegoating in society was best summed up by Martiniquan psychiatrist, philosopher, and political activist, Frantz Fanon (1925–1961).  In his 1952 book titled “Black Skins, White Masks” Fanon wrote: 

“Collective guilt is borne by what is conventionally called the scapegoat. Now the scapegoat for white society–which is based on myths of progress, civilization, liberalism, education, enlightenment, refinement–will be precisely the force that opposes the expansion and the triumph of these myths. This brutal opposing force is supplied by the Negro.”

Fanon hit the proverbial nail on the head when he pointed out that black people in America bore the label of scapegoat, and still do to this day.  And as someone near and dear to me pointed out, what does a scapegoat do when mistreated and unfairly labeled?  They fight!  They rebel.  They become angry, and disgruntled…rambunctious and willful, in the attempt to shake off a label they never earned and that fits as comfortably as an itchy wool sweater in the heat of summer.

Does any of this sound familiar, dear sisters? 

It’s my hypothesis that in this day and age of supreme American narcissism, racism, classicism, and sexism, the newest scapegoat is not just black people, but black WOMEN. 

Why?  Because of our perceived vulnerability.  On the outside looking in, we’ve no one to protect us.  Our community appears irreparably divided (like no one “has our back”).  Our men appear to have abandoned us.  We’re an easy target. 

It just makes sense…the myriad articles recently penned by so-called professionals and specialists describing our perceived inferiority, our unattractiveness, castigating us as the “least desirable” of society.  What’s that about?!  And lately, the scapegoating tactics have become more subversive in the attempt to point a judgmental finger at black women, by presenting us in myriad forms of media as materialistic, uneducated, gold-digging, promiscuous savages, too wild and inappropriate to behave, function in, and contribute to society.  It’s not just entertainment, folks – it’s a full blown negative propaganda campaign.

I hear the protests now:  “but, we’re signing up for these shows/music videos/rap songs” you say, and “we do it to ourselves” you cry, and last but not least “but, there ARE some mad, ratchet, crazy, angry black women out there…lots of them!” you concede, and to that, I gently advise you to refer to the story of the scapegoat.  Again, if you’re constantly being told who you are not, what you cannot be, do and have, how you’re the least of a group, and the most unwanted, while knowing in stark contrast that you were born of God just as anyone else, and the only thing that makes you different is the color of your skin and the texture of your hair, WOULDN’T YOU FIGHT BACK TOO?

They’re LIES!  Wouldn’t you be angry if you were constantly lied to since birth?  Wouldn’t you be loud when out and about in a vain attempt to prove that you EXIST?  Wouldn’t you make every attempt known to man to make beautiful what you’re told is ugly by adorning yourself in the brightest, flashiest, most visible garb and jewelry available?  If you’re told your hair is the worst ever created, wouldn’t you buy it, trade it, sew it in, glue it down, fry it up, and slick it back, in an effort to fit in and be loved?  And lastly, if always on the bottom ledge of society, a few thousand dollars to episodically show off and show-out would be welcomed payment for both your pockets and your self esteem.

Yep, scapegoating, indeed (with a splash of exploitation). 

Now, since, per usual, we here at the site do not dwell on problems, but reveal them only to locate and provide solutions, we believe we’ve identified the way to stop this madness and redefine our roles in society, and in our own communities.

It’s time to free the scapegoat!

And how, you ask? 

We free the scapegoat by defining who we are, and placing value, emphasis, and worth on all of the beautiful, amazing, attributes we’ve been blessed to embody.  And we don’t just think it…we KNOW it, live it, walk it, talk it, and thrive as a result of our new perception of self.  We gently hammer it into our souls so deeply that nothing said or done by “them” can shake it.  We free the scapegoat.

Sisters, we have to define and re-define ourselves, for ourselves.  We cannot listen to the voices and projections of others to create our identity.  We cannot own what we’ve been told about ourselves if it’s anything less then positive and affirming, and we cannot live our lives reacting against lies.  Living in that fashion keeps us both trapped and enslaved by the thoughts and projections of others, and that is NOT the destiny prescribed by us by our creator.

We could fill this page and a thousand others with all of the amazing attributes that black women and girls possess (and we almost did, in the previous post titled “Who We Are” – check it out!), but the whole truth is that you, as an individual, must define yourself, for yourself.  YOU must take a powerful, silent inventory of all of the great things that make you, you, and firmly own all of the glorious attributes that you know, deep in your soul, God blessed you to be, do, and have.

And then you have to LIVE them, whether in cooperation with, or in contrast to, what and who surrounds you on a daily basis.  Let this quote guide you on your new journey of freedom and self-definition:

“Be committed to creating a soul-connected reality, building a new sense of self, connected to your inner core.”

Simply BE who you SAY you are!  Be tenacious.  Be unshakable.  Be demure, and graceful.  Be purposeful and loving, graceful and glamorous.  Be bold and self-assured.  Be confident and vocal. If you’re a star, BE a star!  If you’re fabulous, there’s no need to shout it to the rooftops and hammer it into the heads of others…”they” don’t matter.  Simply BE it.  You are all that you want to be, and all that God placed you here to be; you just have to reveal it to yourself and own it.  And if it helps to jump-start your self-identification process, start with knowing that in the eyes of your creator, you are simply PERFECT.  :-)

Free the scapegoat today, then after you become free, reach back and help free the minds of our other “trapped” sisters.  It’s our duty. 

I’ll see you in the pasture of self-identification and self-actualization, where the grass is indeed greener.  :-)

Love always,

PositiveProp~

Listening To Our “God Voice”

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women Are Intuitive

Good morning, sisters!

And it is.  :-)

A lot’s been going on in black America lately with the rise of negative media images such as those seen on VH1′s “Basketball Wives” (I’ll post on that soon…need to spin someting positive out of that atrocity.  Pray for us, ya’ll.  Pray), but as is the mission of this site, we’re choosing to continue focusing on the light, bright, and right. 

Which brings us to today’s timely post:  listening to, and using, our intuition.

Do you recognize the sistah at the top of this page?  She’s an American hero in my book, and I’m sure in the books of many.  Her name is Lisa Campbell, the woman whose faithful use of her intuition led to the arrest of kidnapper and convicted rapist Phillip Garrido in 2009. 

Phillip and his wife heinously kidnapped young Jaycee Dugard in 1991 and held her prisoner in the backyard of their Antioch, California home for 18 years.  Jaycee was impregnated with two girls during this traumatic time.  One can only imagine the horrors Jaycee and her children had to endure while being held captive for nearly two decades.

Lisa was working as a special events coordinator with the University of California, Berkeley police department on the fateful day that Garrido walked in with two young girls in tow.  While neither Garrido nor the two girls displayed behavior in Lisa’s office that was out of the norm, it was, acorrding to Lisa, the girls’ “nonverbal communication” that triggered a cause for alarm. 

The next day Garrido returned with the two girls and Campbell sprung into action.  She quickly alerted office-mate and police officer, Ally Jacobs:  ”This guy in my office…he’s got these two young girls…something’s not right.”

And the rest is American history.

A feeling; a whisper.  It’s routinely called intuition.  I call it our God Voice.

It’s my belief that this voice resides within the souls of black women to a great degree.  We KNOW things.  We sense them.  It’s our God Voice that allowed us to stay alive during times of slavery and entrapment; that sustained us during some of the worst atrocities known to man. 

Harriett Tubman’s God Voice led her to strike out against captivity, and risk her life seeking freedom for both herself and hundreds of other slaves.  One white abolitonist once said of Tubman:  “She spoke of “consulting with God”, and trusted that He would keep her safe. I never met with any person of any color who had more confidence in the voice of God, as spoken direct to her soul.”

What if Lisa Campbell hadn’t listened to her intuition that fateful day in 2009?  What if Harriett Tubman had been too afraid to trust her God Voice, and decided to stay “safe” on the plantation instead?  Sisters, our intuition is both our spiritual guide and our gift, and deserves to be routinely and strictly followed.

My intuition is amazingly strong – some might say I’m downright psychic – but I’ve many times more than I’d like to count not followed it out of habit, fear, laziness, or human willfulness.  And in every instance, unfortunate events occurred.

I’ve since learned to trust my God Voice.  I trust it now in the simplest of times:  like when a song comes on the radio denegrating women (you know the type), and my God Voice politely asks me to change the station or turn it off.  “You don’t need that in your spirit” it will whisper, and where I would once continue to bob my head and cry “Look Ma, no hands!”, I now take heed.  And you know what?  I feel lighter.  Lovelier.  Better about myself and my sisters.  Our God Voice loves us and wants the best for us.

In other times, my God Voice is louder; more insistent:  “Leave that man alone!” it will scream.  “Don’t go there with those people!”, it will say.  “Don’t take that trip!” it warns me.  And I listen.  Who knows if my life has been spared, or if I’ve avoided something as simple as an unpleasant experience…I’ve learned to listen, regardless of the predicted outcome.

God knows best.

Lately I’ve noticed my God Voice speaking to me in another way.  It’s saying:  “You’re so much greater than you know” and “You can be, do, and have ANYTHING you want!” (“Ask and ye shall receive”).  So many times we denigrate ourselves as black women.  We listen to popular culture that says we’re “lesser than” and “unattractive.”  That we’ll never find a mate, or that our black men have abandoned us for good. That our role in society is to neither be seen nor heard in postive ways.

I’ve since decided to no longer listen that THOSE voices.  I don’t know, nor do I trust, THEM.  But who I DO trust is God, and God – my creator, and to whom we will all return as the source of our lives – knows that I am beautiful and loved, wanted and appreciated, desired and deserving.  My gentle yet firm God Voice says that I AM that I AM and what I AM is a spark of genius..a piece of God itself in human form.

THAT’S who we are, sisters, and it’s high time we tune out the voices of others and seek the only one that matters as we enter the next evolution of our journey. 

We have a legacy to uphold.  Let us not squander the powerful gift provided to Lisa Campbell that helped save three lives and bring evil-doers to justice on that random day in 2009.  Let us not ignore the same voice that urged our sister Harriet Tubman to reach for a reality of freedom far beyond her imagination and circumstances.  I truly believe that none of us would be here today if our courageous ancestors had not followed their God Voices to safety, in one way or another. 

How are you using your God Voice today, and every day?  Are you using it to catch your man in a lie (we’re good at that!)?  How about taking that same energy and power, and asking your God Voice to lead you to a healthy realtionship with someone trustworthy and emotionally safe?  Or are you not using it at all?  Are you at a place in your life where you’ve been so beaten down and discouraged by others and difficult circumstances that  you’ve completely shut down and turned off your God Voice?  If so, know that it will never leave you and is simply waiting for your attention and obedience.  God is faithful, and will never leave you in life’s wilderness.  Ask God to reveal your next steps through your own personal intuition…your individual, unique God Voice…and then take action on the guidance you receive.

Who knows…the life you save, emotionally, physically, spiritually, or mentally, could be your own. 

Or heck, mine, ’cause as sisters you’ve got my back, right?  ;-)

With love,

PositiveProp

meow~

Calling all C.A.T.S.!

Featured

Hope the Cat

Black cat; pink, whole, love-filled heart ~

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women Are Soul Sisters

 
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!”  –Bob Marley
 
Well, good morning, ladies!

I was on one yesterday.  Actually, I LIVE on one when it comes to black women, our image/reputation, and the injustices we face daily that require our immediate attention.  So, let’s continue, shall we?

Some of you may wonder, “we see the problem, but how do we fix it?”  Great question, and honestly the road to redemption is just as dark for me as it is for you.  But I do have an inkling as to where we can begin, and we MUST begin somewhere.

As mentioned, this is not, nor can it be, a one-woman show.  We need to come together to create the level of change we so desperately need.  We need conscious, actualized, trustworthy women (sisters) to hold hands, pool our collective brainpower, and create change.  And from there, as leaders of our new community, we can not only hit the streets (and airwaves) with our message, but reach down to help others in our community (black women, specifically) who need to hear the clarion call to WAKE UP, do better, and be better.  It takes a village, and we need to help each other.

We need to be Conscious. Actualized. Trustworthy. Sisters:  C.A.T.S.

A few tidbits of infomation to tickle your brain:  did you know that cats (the real, feline version), literally walk in their own footsteps?  This knowledge was inspiring to me, since in my mind the path we’re about to tread has already been paved by courageous sisters-of-yore:  Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Phillis Wheatley, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary Church Terrell, Rosa Parks, and the list goes on and on.  These women carved footsteps in history that we must follow!   So, on we tread.

Also, all cats of today originated from domesticated African wild cats native to North Africa, and south-western Asia, AND (hold on to your church hats), a female cat, once she hits puberty, is termed a “queen.”  Perfect!  :-) 

Lastly, a cat, no matter how and from what height they are tossed, will always land on its feet.  Now if that’s not a black woman, I don’t know what is! 

OK, feline trivia aside, let’s discuss what it means to be C.A.T.S. of this community:

A woman of this community is the following:

She is Conscious: 

In other words, she’s awake, and aware.  The lies of the mainstream media and the opinions, ideas, and edicts of “them” (who are “they” anyway?  Really!?) neither influence nor orchestrate the actions, beliefs, and behaviors of a conscious woman.  She thinks for herself.  She actively searches for information unknown to aid her journey on the planet.  She remains in touch with God as her source of power and insight, and knows that, though she’s only one thread in the tightly woven fabric of humanity, her  thread must be clean, clear, and of purpose in order to live successfully.  She knows injustice and truth when she sees/hears it, and is prepared to transform wrongs into rights.  With consciousness comes courage. 

She is Actualized: 

Self-actualized women deserve to truly hold the title as “woman.”  She’s no child.  An actualized woman has taken steps in every area possible – financially, psychologically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally – to gain independence in this world.  She’s not afraid to ask for help, but does not require help to walk her path and live her life.  Her values and morals are identified and in tact, and she understands that she must stand for something in order not to fall for anything…and she does.  She lives, speaks, and acts responsibly. She is truly a woman, and has earned the right to be called such (and being called ”girl” from non-intimate others is NOT ACCEPTABLE to an actualized woman, but we’ll talk about that later).  :-)

She is Trustworthy: 

Not only trustworthy, but a woman of integrity.  She keeps her word, to herself and to all whom receive it.  A secret never escapes her lips.  Trust is offered freely to all, and only recalled if breached.  Her heart is open, because she knows that nothing and no one is against her; that every circumstance is an opportunity –  for growth, change, transformation and empowerment.  She trusts herself, others, life, and God.  She can freely give love and receive supreme goodness and love, trusting that true love is all around and of endless supply.  Trust is strength.

She understands the need for and power of Sisterhood:   

She inherently and deeply knows that all women, and especially women of color, need each other.  Beyond the petty discord and rivalry that spawns from personal insecurity (which she’s either healed, or is actively healing), she knows that what hurts one of her sisters, hurts them all, herself included. Deep in her heart lives the knowledge that if God has blessed her with the vision to see (consciousness), and the ability to communicate said knowledge (education), it’s her responsibility to speak for and with her sisters who’ve not been as fortunate.  She lives by the humble realization that “there but for the grace of God, go I” and actively searches for opportunities to lend a hand where needed.  This acknowledgment of sisterhood implores her to greet her sisters in passing, provide a warm smile, a word of encouragement, a knowing nod, or even a hug, if appropriate.  She also understands that sisterhood requires tough love, and that those blinded by ignorance and fear demand not only her empathy, but her wisdom.  She gently educates when she can; it’s her duty.  For again, she’s not heavy…she’s her sister.

So the question remains, where are the C.A.T.S?  We need each other.  Sacred truths will be revealed on these pages, and it’s our duty to first commune in this den of safety, then step lightly and swiftly in the footsteps of our ancestors to spread the word that change is afoot, and that a new day is dawning.  It’s time to spread the truth.

Calling.  All. C.A.T.S. 

We have begun gathering as an active community with a mission to live postively and on purpose at www.facebook.com/positivepropaganda.  Please join us.

Do you hear the call? 

*meow*