Thursday, March 21, 2019

When Spirituality Meets Style

I've gotten a lot of compliments lately about my outward appearance. I've been hearing everything from "your make up is wonderful" to, "you look younger".  I typically give a broad appreciative smile and say thank you!!
I know it was just a matter of months ago I wrote a post titled, Could I Ever Be Vegan, Probably Not.
If you remember that blog post. I harped on the fact that I could probably never become vegan due to my love affair with ribs. Okay so they got me!!
That's right no dairy, no eggs or honey and yesssss... No meat! That includes the afore mentioned ribs.
Well they say there are only two things that are constant in life death and taxes. So I'm excited to say I've officially been vegan for over to months now. The changes mentally, physically and spiritually have been nothing short of amazing.
I made the change literally overnight. One day I was eating meat, the next day eating everything  but meat, eggs, dairy or honey.
Stop making that face!!! 😝
Once I got over my perspective of what a vegan diet consisted of it has been extremely easy transition.  There's so much to my eating that I can honestly say that I have not missed meat at all.  I also have the great vegan restaurants in my area, you have not lived until you have had the potpie from Dixie Dharma! 
I would bet my favorite tie dyed t-shirt on it...stop it, you know good and well I don't own a tie dye shirt (yet?!?.
So I know you are probably wondering what exactly pushed me over the edge to a vegan lifestyle. Honestly, it is primarily health related. My family background has cancer, diabetes, stroke and heart disease. In order to lessen my propensity to these diseases I decided a vegan diet is the most conducive. Best decision ever!!!
Since its onset almost three months ago I've increased in energy during the day and sleep better at night.  My skin is smoother and clearer, hence being told I look younger.  My hair has grown and I have far less shedding than previously.  I do have to warn you though.  Just like any other lifestyle, everything in moderation.  There is pretty much a vegan version of EVERYTHING.  Cake, cookies, ice cream, cheese, fast food, Asian food.  Vegan options can be super calorie laden.  But I am happy to say the vegan lifestyle just works for me, so I have lost some weight as well.

I was challenged in the beginning of the year to come up with one word that describes myself for 2019.  Immediately, i heard BLOOM!!  I intransigently felt in this year I would be in a season of Spiritual Bloom.


A byproduct of this is an increased sense of style.  Playing with colors and patterns, hats, headscarves, contacts, funky glasses, and makeup. It's like my personal style is in bloom too!!
Embracing of who I am as a child of God and feeling empowered to express the woman I enjoy being. 


Spirituality and Style have collided!!

My challenge to you is to find your One Word for the rest of the year.  Then take that thing you've always wanted to do and water the heck out of it!!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

BLACK is BLACK


Black History Month is celebrated in February, the shortest month of the year (that is a different topic).  This year my local performing arts center offered a 3-week series entitled, Arts Legacy Remix, Black Artists Film Series. 
Week one was the screening of the movie, Rosewood.  Rosewood is a movie based on the true story of a Florida town burned down and many, many African Americans killed over the accusations of a white woman towards a black man.  Not a new story but because it happened in a state I was born and raised it hit closer to home for me.
Week three was an intimate evening with Poet Laureate James Tokley Sr.   Attendees were able to view short films featuring his poetry and listen as he recited some of his work.  When I hear this man speak, it is nothing less than music.  His articulation and flow are akin to listening to a symphony orchestra underneath a starry night.
Now, week two was just as interesting but in a much different way.  Week two was a showing of 1943’s Stormy Weather starring Lena Horne and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.  I had previously watched this movie at home on Turner Classic Movies but viewing the movie in this environment and audience helped me to view it with new eyes.
First, let me say.... I love Lena Horne.  When looking up the word grace in Webster’s dictionary, there should be an 8x10 picture of Lena Horne.  She has an aura about her that makes her appear to float across the screen.  I dare you to picture anyone else playing her role as Glenda the Good Witch in The Wiz.  She is just plain ole beautiful!! 
Then, who can forget Bill “Bojangles” Robinson tap-dancing up and down the stairs with Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel.  He made tap look effortless.  I have trouble keeping the beat tapping my foot while listening to good music but Bill tip-tapped as if it was second nature to him. 
They were both spectacular.
Although I really enjoyed both the singing and dancing of Stormy Weather, it is a movie of colorism at its best. 
Colorism is discrimination based on not just race but the hue of skin tone.  For the African American community, this stems from slavery.  Typically, slaves of darker tones did hard labor out in the fields, while slaves that were lighter were used in the house.  Even though being in the house afforded those who worked there a few more luxuries, they were still slaves which meant those luxuries came with problems of their own.  Darker skinned slaves were not given many luxuries and the hard, sweaty, tedious field work was both physically and mentally exhausting.
Although, the practice of colorism has gotten significantly better over the decades unfortunately it can still be seen even today. 
In the Stormy Weather movie, the ugliness of colorism can be seen in several places.  Firstly, none and I do mean none, of the actresses and female dancers has skin tones darker than beach sand.  The irony is that was not the case for the men.  The male cast did consist of at least a few dark-skinned men.  Another noticeable example of colorism is when two light-skinned male characters put on black face.  While in black face they were portrayed as mentally slow giving the implication that “real” black people were uneducated.  Finally, during a scene dancing the cake walk female dancers in flower costumes turned around to reveal black face painted on the center of the flower.  Although there were other areas in the film related to skin tone discrimination those were the most blatant and sparked quite a few question and comments during the panel discussion after the movie ended.  The conversation was at times uncomfortable but also informed, intelligent and needed.  The saying, “Those who do not know their history is doomed to repeat it” leads credence to why these types of events are needed.  Needed, not only during the twenty-eight days of February but year-round in workshops, conferences, homes and especially schools.  We need to educate children to love all cultures, races, and skin-tones.  They also need to know that all black is beautiful from Lupita to Beyoncé and everyone in between!! 

Including yours truly,
Beautyful Dark-Skin Girl

Now go Netflix or download Stormy Weather and let me know your thoughts.



Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Am I Ready For Marriage??


My favorite guilty pleasure TV shows is “Married At First Sight”. 
The premise of the show is experts in spirituality, sexuality, and relationships meet with groups of men and women who have volunteered to be a part of the show.  The experts then, based on a series of interviews and interactions, match the couples to be married sight unseen. 
The matched couple goes through the process of planning their nuptials by buying a gown, tuxedo, and rings.  They select bridesmaids and groomsmen.  They also go through the process of writing marital vows.  But they never lay eyes on each other until the day they meet at the altar.    
Of course, arranged marriages are as old as time itself.  Adam and Eve were totally set up by God (the ultimate matchmaker) and were married as soon as Adam “woke up”!!  Yes, there were some things Adam and Eve had to work through.  Eve was not a good listener and maybe a bit bossy.  Adam was an intellectual (He did name all the animals) but he was also a push over instead of being the head of the household. 
So, in watching this show every week, I questioned if I would be able to marry a stranger at first sight.  After some thought, my answer would be absolutely! 
Some things I learned from going through a divorce, is firstly, we go THROUGH it.  There is an end to the stress and emotions experienced when divorcing.  It does not last forever.  Secondly, it is possible to actually live with someone and not really know them even after years.  Thirdly, and my most important lesson learned is I survived.  During the process, I did not believe I would but when I reached the end, there I was standing strong.  No conqueror knows they are a conqueror until the fight is over. 
It’s learning those lessons that leads me to believe I could marry someone through an arranged marriage process.  Just as couples can marry and grow out of love, they can marry and grow in love.
So, don’t be surprised if one day my blog post is, “Guess what everyone?!? I’s married now (in my best Sug Avery voice)”.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Change IS Going to Come!!



Here we are again, mid January, and another social media challenge has risen.  If you are not a user of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (please move from under the rock J) and are not aware the challenge is the #10yearchallenge. 
The challenge is stimulating everyone to post a picture collage on a social media outlet that reflects a photo from ten years ago (2009) and one from this year. The test is to see how much or how little you have changed over that ten-year time frame.  This got me to thinking……
What exactly is wrong with change?
When I run into someone I haven’t seen in while and they say Wow you have changed!!  I say, “Thank You”!!  I consider it a large compliment.
We should always want to be growing and improving ourselves, this involves change.
Years ago, when the Oprah Winfrey Show was running.  She had a show where this couple had not changed their hairstyle in over twenty years.  They were still sporting their big metal band rocker styles from high school.  All their friends and family were in mutual agreement that change was needed.  But the couple themselves were very content with remaining the way they looked when had combination lockers and dressed out for P.E.  It took them being summoned to Oprah and seeing the audience’s tremendous reaction to understand change can be good!
Ten years ago, I was going through a horrendous divorce which caused a large depressive episode.  I was sad and not taking care of my mind, body, or spirit.  Thank God for change!!
Fast forward ten years to what can surely be called one of the happiest times in my life.  Healthy in body, mind and spirt.  Discovering, learning, growing and blooming into a woman who in capable of love and being loved.  Basically, as Lil Duval says, “Living my best life”!  All due to embracing the ability to change.
So, my challenge to you is to go ahead and pull out those ten-year-old pictures but instead of comparing how little change has occurred, I challenge you to discover how MUCH change has taken place!!

Fine, Fine!!  Just to keep you quiet, you can see how much I have changed! J

2009

2019