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Slave Quarter Conjure: A Message from Beyond the Veil

There is so much to learn from our enslaved ancestors. If we would shift our focus from the present and simply take a moment to look back, we would find solutions to problems that cause us anxiety, worry and fear. We have become so preoccupied with further integrating with white society and pleading with a people with no moral compass, we have denigrated the power of our melanin. We believe that white is right, and the further we remove ourselves from the painful history of our enslavement, the better off we’ll be. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Most of us came here in chains and most of you came here to escape your chains. Your freedom was our slavery, and therein lies the bitter difference in the way we look at life”

John Oliver Killens


One important lesson our enslaved ancestors have taught us is that when Massa and the other white folks is distracted, that’s when you run for freedom! During the Holidays, wedding celebrations, big parties, and even catastrophes (fires, storms, etc.) proved to be the best time to run. During those times, white society’s focus was not on the slave quarters or the enslaved. And that was the best chance of escaping unnoticed. And by the time they figured out you were gone; you were well on your way and your chances of being caught were greatly diminished. Our ancestors knew that and planned their escapes during these times of golden opportunity. In fact, after making her own escape, Harriet Tubman went to get her parents at Christmas.

“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going”

Harriet Tubman


Why is this relevant today? We’re in a freaking global pandemic! While also being in the midst of one of this country’s most contentious presidential elections ever. White Society is completely distracted! They are even fighting amongst one another now and not just us. White society is more anxious, more on edge, and more worried than ever before. White society is in a state of instability. And this is our chance to escape! This is not the time to get caught up. Don’t follow suit and become just as panicked, anxious and unstable. Don’t be that house nigga that looks at Massa’s trouble and takes it on as your own. See the turmoil as the blessing it is and run with it. For our ancestors, this meant run literally.

“I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs”

Fredrick Douglass


Start your business, get that certification, create, go back to school, or apply for that position. Now is the time to fortify your energy, get grounded and centered. Now is the time to focus on your health and wellness; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Run! Escape! While they are distracted, use this time to build yourself, your family, and your community. By the time the dust settles, you’ll be so far ahead, they won’t be able to stop you. Take full advantage of your enemy’s weakness and use it to your advantage.

“The most powerful work is done in response to an opportunity, not in response to a problem”

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The Grace of Gratitude

“And one of life’s gifts is that each of us, no matter how tired and downtrodden, finds reason for thankfulness”

Unknown

My brother and I now joke about the infamous “Ungrateful” speech we would hear growing up from our mother. She would get on us whenever we demonstrated an attitude of ungratefulness. She would remind us of how blessed we were, how the things we had (material and nonmaterial) some people would never have. Not that we should ever compare what we have to what others don’t to have an attitude of gratitude, but it helps to put things in their right perspective. Those dreaded ungrateful speeches have been etched in my heart. And I’ve learned that there is always something to be grateful for.

“Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One of my favorite gospel songs is “Thank You Lord” by Walter Hawkins. Whenever life begins to weigh on me, and I begin to think of all the hardships, obstacles, pain, and the struggle. When I start to feel sorry for myself and when depression looms near. When I look at all I have lost and the past comes storming in, seemingly from nowhere I hear these lyrics:

“Tragedies are commonplace.

Economy’s down, people can’t get enough pay.

 But as for me All I can say is,

Thank you Lord, for all you’ve done for me.

It could have been me, outdoors.

With no food and no clothes

or all alone without a friend

or just another number with a tragic end.

But you didn’t see fit, to let none of these things be

and every day by your power, you keep on keeping me.

Thank you, lord, for all you’ve done for me”

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you’, that would suffice”

Meister Eckhart

I have said many times, if I never receive another blessing for the rest of my life, I’ve already received enough to say thank you over and over for the rest of my life. I’ve learned that there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Always. Breath, life, health, and strength.  (I know I sound like a Friday night testimony service). I can walk, talk, see and hear. There are some people who need someone to come and bathe them. I can hop in the shower whenever I want, and I have hot water. I have a roof over my head. I have food to eat. I have a place to rest my head. These things are more valuable than we realize. I am in my right mind. That is a huge blessing. I look at what I’ve been through and I am surprised I haven’t had a nervous breakdown. I survived what should have ended me. For that I am grateful. I don’t have as much money as I like, but my needs are always being met. A way is always made. Always. For that I am grateful.

“Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart”

Unknown

I am grateful for walks in the park with the sun shining on me. I am grateful for funny memes I see on social media that make me literally laugh out loud. I am grateful for Friday Pizza night. There is so much to be grateful for, both big and small. And I am also grateful for what didn’t happen. The car accident that almost happened, the job I didn’t get because there was a better door that was open. And then I am grateful for the protection from unseen dangers.

“If you have lived, take thankfully the past”

John Dryden

When we choose to focus on what we are grateful for, it lifts the hung down head and shoots a bolt of hope into the hurting heart. It allows us to walk though life with a grace that will cause others to look at us in wonder. How are you still smiling? The ability to stop yourself in the middle of a pity, complaining or negative party to bring the focus back to gratitude demonstrates a mastery of life and of self. It demonstrates that wisdom has sprouted in the heart and the spirit has been fortified. Life loves a grateful heart. And it will reward you for your gratitude with even more to be grateful for.

“What you send out in the world is what you get back”

There is another song by Walter Hawkins that comes to mind, “Be Grateful”. The lyrics say:

God has not promised me sunshine

That’s not the way it’s supposed to be

But a little rain mixed with God’s sunshine

A little pain, makes me appreciate the good times

Your gratitude may be mixed with tears, regret, guilt, or shame. Your gratitude may be on the lips of a “I don’t understand, but I’m still thankful, “I’m hurting but I’m still thankful”, “My life is falling apart, but I’m still thankful”. That is the grace of gratitude. It will carry you through. Because my dear, “every storm runs out of rain”.

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, gratitude”

Denis Waitley

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Defining Your Worth

“Protect your value for all its worth”

Marc Leder



There are many things we use to measure our level of value and worth in the world. Our physical and sexual attraction, body shape, health status, how we dress and what we wear, our level of education, socioeconomic status, career path, the car we drive or the neighborhood we live in. And lastly, our children. The schools they go to, the talents they possess, etc.

We can use any and all these things to send a message to the world. I am worthy. I have value. I am special. I matter. See me. Respect me. Like me. Love me. Cherish me. Accept me. Approve of me.

But what if you had none of the societal attributes we use to determine worth? Would you still be worthy? Would you still have value? I’ve been doing a lot of shadow work lately. Going within and facing the parts of myself that have been hidden, buried, and neglected. The forgotten, lost “self”. The part of me that has been socialized and parented to feel that I must earn love, acceptance, and approval by attaining and reaching certain heights. I must look a certain way, drive a certain car, have certain accomplishments, live by a certain set of standards and then maybe, just maybe I will be valued and loved.

First, I had to ask myself, “Why do I need anyone’s approval, love or acceptance?” I realized I was searching to belong to a world that was just as messed up as I was, if not more. I was looking for love and approval from loved ones, friends, and a society that didn’t even love and approve of themselves. And more than that, I didn’t need THEIR approval. I was worthy and had great value whether anyone acknowledged it or not. I did not need anyone’s approval or permission to be worthy.

“Forgive yourself for every single time you forgot your worth” Reyna Biddy



I began to see my value by the inherent intangibles that make me proud of who I am. My resilience, intensity, grace, and compassion. My ability to remain hopeful and positive in the midst of despair. My courage to seek my soul essence. My deeply intuitive connection to the spiritual world. My muthafuckin grit! My commitment to present myself to the world as the sacred gift that I am. And my heart that is just brimming with love to pour out.

“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness” Brene Brown



If I never get another degree, make a million dollars, be deemed to be attractive or stylish, I am worthy of love. I have undeniable value. I am important and special. I love and approve of myself.

Don’t overburden yourself, stress yourself out, or devalue who you are based on a set of standards that could never fully define how valuable you truly are. Seek your highest truth. Do so with pure love. You have infinite worth.

“I know my worth. I’ve paid dearly for every ounce of it” Alfa

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The Helping Hand of the Ancestors

“We might think that the confusion we experience in our daily life happens in isolation, but in reality, it has something to do with our lack of connection to our ancestors”.

Sobonfu Some

“How can I do it all” were my nagging thoughts all morning. How am I going to work, go to school, help my 4th grade daughter with online school, write, run a business, take care of my man, cook, clean, do laundry AND take care of myself. I could feel the panic and the fear of failure creeping into my energy field, ready to penetrate the force field of positivity and power I had created over the summer. Again, the question, “How”, came rushing into my mind

“You manifest your entire life. Control your thoughts. You have powers”

I thought of my ancestresses, the enslaved women whose blood runs through my veins. The women who left the magical blueprint for me to follow. The women who gifted me both their pain and power. The women who did it all. The women who didn’t have the time to ask How, they just did. I thought of the supernatural strength and resilience they possessed. The inherent feminine power and intelligence they tapped into, to be and do all they needed to be and do. If they could work them rice, cotton and tobacco fields, run Massa’s household and still nurture their husbands and children then I too could be and do what I needed. Because compared to them, I have it so easy.

“My ancestors survived the Middle Passage, Chattel Slavery and Jim Crow. I am the descedent of superhumans”

My thoughts began to shift from “How”, to “With God and the ancestors on my side, I’m going to do this. With pure love, grace, and wisdom”. My spirit began to elevate, and I felt the life force began to rise within me. I grabbed the bag of potatoes to start to prepare them for dinner. The bag was sealed with this clasp

The number 211. I went to my book of numbers and looked up the meaning of the number 211. It said the following:

“Now is the time for you to rise above any seeming problems and ensure that every word you speak, write or think is positive. You are manifesting very quickly, so you want to ensure that you focus solely upon your desired outcomes and do not dwell on any fears”.

It was no coincidence. This was a message and reminder from my ancestors. “You got it girl, you got it” (in my Drake voice). I can do this. I will succeed. I can be and do all I need to be and do. And without stress, anxiety, or fear.

“A challenge is not a threat. It simply illuminates an opportunity to improve your overall circumstances and support the expression of your power”

The ancestors are here to assist, guide, and offer the gifts of hope, reassurance and courage. They are here to give reminders, messages and nudges. When we win, they win. When we overcome, they overcome. What we end in this life, ends in all other lives. They have an invested interest in our happiness and healing.

“It is this power of the ancestors that will help us direct our lives and avoid falling into huge ditches. Ancestors can see future, past and present. They can see inside and outside of us” Sobonfu Some

“Our ancestors are not dead and gone. They are buried in every gene, every cell, and in our very own DNA”

Pull on the strength of the ancestors. Gladly and readily accept the gifts they offer. The wisdom they have is unparalleled. You are not alone.

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In the World, Not of the World: Staying Black, Light and Free in this Society

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell”

Buddha

March 16, 2020 was my last day in the office. That Friday prior was my daughter’s last day of school. COVID-19 had shut NYS down. We were encouraged to only leave the house for necessities. While it was devastating for so many, it became a blessing in disguise for me.

For the first time in 10 years, I did not have to deal with white society in any significant way. I didn’t have to put up with white people’s shit at work or at my daughter’s school. I didn’t have to rush to be somewhere in the morning, or go to bed at night with the dread that I had to do it all again in just a few short hours.  

“The most powerful work is done in response to an opportunity, not in response to a problem”

Unknown

Everyone was in panic mode, and full of fear, uncertainty, and dread. No one knew what to do about this new world we lived in. It was all over the news and it was all anyone could talk about. Above their masks, you could see the terror in everyone’s eyes. And yet I saw a way out.

“The way we see reality generates our experience of reality”

Robert Moss

Our enslaved ancestors usually panned their escape from the plantation when the slave masters would be distracted. Either at a significant event (wedding, funeral, or party), around the holidays or when there was something sudden and unexpected that caused panic or chaos (unexpected storms, fires). That was their best chance of leaving without being noticed. And when they did finally notice, it was too late and they were far gone. This was my chance to escape. This was my opportunity to be free. The white world was completely distracted with the coronavirus and it being an election year. The time was now.

No, we are no longer in physical bondage, but I can hear the click clank of the mental and spiritual chains of white supremacy. I decided that I would never again fall victim to the bullshit expectations of white society. I decided that I was not going to be pulled into the fear-based mentality and way of living that dictates so much of how people live their lives. White people complicate everything. They over think, over analyze and they get bogged down with details. They live their lives from a place of deep fear and inadequacy. Do more, have more, work more, spend more. It never ends…

That is not an African centered way of being. We are designed to thrive in the simplicity of life. We are driven by self-love, family, and community. Our connection to the Creator, the ancestors, and Mother Earth is the foundation of our existence. We understand that for every problem, there is a viable solution. There is no real need to worry or fear. Our soul is our truest oracle and we are surrounded by forces that seek to help us solve our problems. I was mastering these concepts. I felt peace and joy. I felt so light and free…

And then the world started opening back up. My daughter is back in school. I am back at work in the office and out in the field. That dread started creeping back in at night. My energy was heavy. I felt the anxiety creeping back into my thoughts. I had to brace myself to pick up the burden of being black in a white world yet again.

“A negative and a positive emotion cannot simultaneously occupy the same space. You either feel fear or you feel love”

But then I remembered. Yes, I am in this world, but I am not of this world. I have the power to determine my experience and my reality. I will not be consumed with fear or dread. I will not get on that proverbial hamster wheel of white society ever again. The first day of online school was a disaster for my daughter. We had the wrong homeroom, her iPad wasn’t working, the instructions were in three different apps. I texted a friend and I said, “I ain’t bout to let these white folks stress me out” and I meant it. They are not about to stress me out. Coronavirus, Trump, or Biden. I will focus on my health, attaining wealth, my personal growth and loving the people I hold close to my heart. The rest will work itself out. Because it always does.

I am black, my energy is light, and I am free. I am centered and grounded in an African based reality and I will live my life on my terms. I’m in this world, but my soul has no parts of it.

“No man is free who is not master of himself”

Epictetus