I Don’t Like All Black People…

Black or White, the movie

Happy Monday!

I saw the Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer’s movie “Black or White” (2014), which is based on a true story, over the weekend with my mum. And yes, we enjoyed it!

In case, you’re planning on checking it out. I will include no plot spoilers. However, there are several scenes that I found particularly interesting, and I would like to share one of them with you.

Let’s start with just a little information about the key players:

  • Elliot Anderson is a heartbroken father and husband who has lost both his daughter and his beloved wife and who is grandfather to a biracial seven-year girl Eloise.
  • Grandma Wee-wee (Rowena Jeffers) is the delusional and ever hopeful mother of the pointless arseclown who spread his seed willy nilly and who is the worthless other 50% of why Eloise is here.
  • Jeremiah Jeffers is a highly educated and successful attorney and brother to Grandma Wee-wee and, much to his chagrin, uncle to the worthless arseclown.

They are in court, because the arseclown’s mother, Grandma Wee-wee, is suing for custody of Eloise after the death of her maternal grandmother. Elliot is on the stand and Jeremiah throws out THE question:

Jeremiah Jeffers: Do you dislike black people?

Elliot Anderson: Not all of them.

I don’t like all black people either.

The beauty of this scene is in the way Elliot answered the question: direct, simple, honest — no hemming, no hawing. Just the TRUTH, so help him God. There is a fabulous court scene monologue that follows, but you’ll have to watch the movie for that. I’m not revealing anymore.

Here’s the thing: Eliot is a white man. I am a black woman. And my response IS exactly the same, especially… when it comes to a pointless, drug addled, irresponsible, festering crap-egg of a black “man” who knocks up a teenage girl, and then discards her and the baby with little or no thought. What a cliché!

Truth is,  I’m inhaling and exhaling deeply and rolling my eyes as I write this post just as I did during the movie, because it pains me to think that anyone, especially an “educated” lawyer — in real life, would stoop so low as to ask this flawed but kind and loving man this illogical question in light of the facts.

Fact is — this wasn’t about black or white. It was about right or wrong.

As I said earlier, I enjoyed this film and I would recommend it. It is rich with so many important realities about the misconceptions and truths each race can have of the other. Plus, there’s just so much humanness: sadness, sweetness, sacrifice, love, stupidity, and humor. And I think it did an imperfectly decent job of handling this emotionally charged race issue even-handedly. Bravo.

P.S. Quite frankly, I still don’t understand why any girl (or woman) would be even remotely attracted to a “man” who flirts with her by referring to himself as “her street nigger.” Mm-hmm.

Call to action: Tell me in the comments below do you like Elliot’s honesty as much as I do? Do you dare call a spade a spade regardless of race?

Are You a Cheap Value Meal?!

If a guy wants you for your breasts, thighs, and legs, send him to KFC. You're a lady, not a cheap value meal.

Happy Thursday!

Surprise!

This week is a rough one for me, and today… Let’s not even go there.

But I just came across this pin on Pinterest. And for the first time today, I smiled BIG and against my will. So, of course, how could I deny you this.

However, I would like to add: I’m also not my hair or a shade of skin colour or a colouring book or a backdoor or a piece of arse. In other words, I am a soul with a heart, not a damn fetish supply.

Have a happy weekend!

 

 

Face-off: Men vs. Women

man and woman divided

Happy Monday!

Recently, I had an experience that has been gnawing and gnawing at me. And, you know what happens when that happens. Yes, that means something needs to be said, has to be said.

OK, picture this: My mum and I were out enjoying a beautiful Saturday afternoon — you know, the kind of day that had us looking pretty and feeling hopeful. We were at the local Trader’s Joe in the checkout lane, checking out our little goodies with the cashier,  a very pleasant man of a certain age.

So after he packed our goodies into a bag, he and I both grabbed the bag at the same time to place it into the cart. Immediately, he started apologizing all over himself for offending me.

I was a lot flummoxed and so I asked him, “Offend me how?” He said, “Well, I know women today like to help themselves.” So I smiled and said, “I’m not one of those ‘women.'”

I am not.

We’ve Got an Ugly Problem

Feminism is a multifaceted movement to define and to establish equal political, economic, educational, and social rights for women under the law.

While I believe in the movement as stated above and I know that men can be more than a little dense, I am not interested in being labeled a feminist. Why? Because I cannot sanction the lost of clarity and anger it carries around like a badge today.

Please for goodness sake, how did we go from feminism as defined above to the stupidity and confusion that now exists between men and women in the arena today?! Yes, the arena.

How does a man opening a door for a woman reduce her humanity and obscure her equality?

How does a man pulling out a chair for a woman at a restaurant or allowing her to be presented with her meal first diminish her power?

Why is who picks up the check relevant to what can happen between a good  man and a good woman — who love each other or could potentially love each other? (Please note the use of the word “good” twice.)

How is a man helping me with my bag of groceries offensive?!

Why does she bringing home the “bacon” and getting equal pay have to divide two beloveds when they turn the lights down low and go up stairs?

There is no doubt that men had it wrong — again. It was right and true and good for women to seek equal opportunity and to demand recognition of their value. Yes, we were then as we are now equally valuable as any man — whether we choose to work outside or inside the home. What we bring to this world and to life as women is immeasurable! Immeasurable!

But I believe the feminist movement has lost its focus along the way and picked up a shit load of anger, bitterness, and confusion. And I am not interested in wasting one second of my puny life examining why or placing blame or carrying around that kind of poop. We’ve danced around in the ring, trying to sucker punch each other long enough. Can’t we just stop the madness and grow up?!

The good fight for political, social, educational, and economic equality should never have entered the bedroom. Ladies, we are so much smarter than the way it was and the way it is. It should not have become personal. It should not have become the dividing, destructive force that pits one gender against the other.

Here’s the Thing

Men and women are NOT the same. We are NOT. There’s a yin (feminine) and yang (masculine) — soft and hard, protected and protecting; both are essential to the balance and sweetness of life. It is nature’s design.

The issue of feminism and its effects on gender relationships is complicated, complicated, complicated. But being recognized and valued as a fully functioning human being and being treated like a woman by the man who cherishes her are two entirely different things to my mind. That is, we are multidimensional. We are both: a human being and a woman or a man.

It is good when a woman can take care of herself and be all that she can be, and she should be proud of that, but it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t need him OR he, her in a myriad of ways that cannot be quantified and counted and that have nothing to do with politics, society, or economics.

Our relationships, especially those involving love or the possibility of love, should not be diminished to childish games of one-upmanship. Let me say it again: Grow up.

Ladies and gentlemen, if we are totally honest, this hot, hot mess that we have today is not what we wanted either. In obtaining one essential thing we lost another. I think Blanche Devereaux put it best:

Blanche: Oh Jerry, I don’t want to be treated as your equal.
Jerry: You don’t?
Blanche: Why no! I want to be treated a lot better than you — like a goddess.
~ The Golden Girls, “Commitments” episode, Season 7

Blanche, I couldn’t agree more.

Call to action: Do you think we can fix the hot, hot mess that currently exists between men and women? Can we undo the damage?

Check out this related article by Allison Hatfield on the Daily Worth website. I particularly loved the comment made by Sara Robinson, a wise and generous woman.

You Must Create

trees in early spring

Happy Monday!

I can imagine the roads lined with cherry trees, dogwood trees, crape myrtle trees dressed to impress with pink buds… white buds… new life… new possibilities. I can almost inhale the sweet smell of fragrant blossoms wafting through the air, tickling my nose. I can feel the gentle fingers of a cool breeze lightly caressing my bare shoulders and arms like a new lover.

Yes, there is still a chill in the air, but it’s almost here. And I — oh wait a minute while I …. achoo, achoo — can’t wait to welcome spring with wide open arms and shed these layers and layers of clothes! (Plus, you know it is also such a perfect season to fall into love too.)

Anyhoo, I’ve been sharing pieces of my  heart  with you for a few months now; and it occurred to me just yesterday that the onset of the season of rebirth and growth would be a perfect time to pause, inhale, and take stock on why we should create in whatever form that thrills us.

Currently, my form of creating is sharing my inner world through the words I share on this blog. And because our motivations and intentions are so crucial to living an examined life, I would like to share why I write with you. So here it goes:

I write to share my dreams of life and love, because I can’t bear the way it really is.

I write my thoughts and feelings, because I hope that maybe one person will find refuge or value in them as I have in the writings of others.

I write because you shouldn’t have to be famous or rich or notorious to feel your voice has value.

I write because I hope… I hope… that there are others out there just like me and that we’ll find each other.

I write because some things need to be said, have to be said.

I write because I hope… I hope… that there are others out there just like me and that we’ll find each other.

Lastly, I write because my mum has pleaded with me to do so for years, so I finally said, “Yes.” Because I want her to be happy and so proud.

A creator to my mind is someone who expresses his inner world outwardly — you could be an originator of words; or paint or photograph visual orgasms; or compose music that soothes, connects, or transports; or play an instrument; or dance as a way to embrace life; or bake sweet confections and share; or thoughtfully dress uniquely your way; or…

Our world today is starving more than ever for more of us to take up the grail and become creators of love, of beauty, of good, of peaceful expression.

So I would urge you to join me: Stop, pause, and ask yourself: “What can I create?”

Call to action: In the comments below, if you are a creator, share with us what and why you create. And if you haven’t yet begun to create, share why not, and then, be brave and share something you yearn to express outwardly. Talk to me!

This post is inspired by Leo’s post Finding Your Voice. My favorite line from his post is: “I write of simplicity in a world that’s needlessly complicated.”

No, I Don’t Understand How It Is

stormy seas

Happy Friday!

Brother: It’s good to hear your voice. It’s been a minute.
Sister: It’s been more than a minute. It’s been four years.
Brother: Really?! Well, you know how it is?!
Sister: No, I don’t know how it is.

Sigh! Sigh! Two or three more meaningless exchanges — and click! Sister wanted to scream!

This was not a happy conversation.

1,460 days; 35,040 hours; 2,102,400 minutes ago, sister told brother she had a brain tumor. A brain tumor.

For split seconds, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, terror was sister’s constant companion and relentless tormentor.

Every. day. for months, terror kicked her hard in the gut and kept on doing it. All. Day. Every. Day. Sometimes, still…

At the most unexpected moments, terror would sucker punched sister hard, knocking her to the floor and leaving her there for an eternity — bone chilling cold and simultaneously moist with sweat, quivering, curled up like a helpless fetus still in her mother’s womb.

Brother left. Brother had disappeared. Brother had abandoned sister during a time in her life when she was broken, impoverished!

Sister and brother used to talk for hours on the phone. Satisfying hours. And do lunch.

Brother lived just one town over. One town over and 30 minutes away. 30 minutes.

Much later, sister heard that brother had found a new lover or two. Sister supposes that brother pursued these women ardently or semi-ardently with phone calls and dates and attention until they succumbed to his dubitable charms. He even traveled on at least one occasion… all the way to Canada. Canada. Brother even found time to reproduce — a baby girl.

Life is turbulent in the best of times. And other times, the waters are deeper than deep and the giant tidal waves of adversity can crush and swallow.

And still brother did not call…

I tell you this story to say this: Life is turbulent in the best of times. And other times, the waters are deeper than deep and the giant tidal waves of adversity can crush and swallow.

It is only by love showing up on bad days, ordinary or extraordinary, that we have any hope of making it through to some semblance of smoother sailing.

That brother may say he cares. But did he? Does he? I think not. Because if he had, he would have showed up not just for his sister’s sake but for his own. He would have wanted not only to be a “life jacket” for her during this raging storm, but also he would had a desperate need to know for his own sake the “why,” the “what,” and the “where” of someone he really valued.

So, I will say this to you: If you care — really care — show up! Do. Not. let someone you profess to love or care about flounder and drown alone.

Call to action: Can you feel me on this? If so, share your experiences with showing up or not in the comments below.

Love Is Magic #4

Happy Wednesday!

Ah, this is the last week in February, and today, the last Wednesday. And so these will be my last official quoted images on love. Can you believe how super fast this month went by?!

Anyhoo, here are four more of my absolute favorite quotes on love:

The bottom line in love is not whether someone loves you, but whether someone chooses you.

Call me greedy —- I want BOTH! Not only should we be loved beyond reason, but we must be chosen too. I deserve it, and so do you!

I've earned him. He's such a good person.

DO. NOT. Do not believe any of that rubbish about unconditional love. Love by its very nature is discriminatory and conditional. If not, what’s the point?! Honestly, do you want to be loved in general terms; or do you want to be loved specifically and precisely for your unique details? The things that are true of you and no one else. Real love, romantic or platonic, is earned — and it is this very fact that shelters us in this life. The value of love is in the earning.

He is like a tree. He shelters me. I lie in his shade.

When the violent, raging wild fires of reality and disappointment sweep in and threaten to annihilate to a black, burnt up crisp every hope and dream we’ve ever had, love shelters.

What is the one thing a person can do do destroy a relationship without fail? Nothing.

The act of loving isn’t hard labor — it should be approached as one would joyous work. Approach actively loving someone with the right attitude: To express love is to give joy and to feel joy.

Well, it has been great fun thinking and writing about love. It has been fun making these lovely quoted images. I hope you’ve enjoyed them (and my posts) and I hope they have made you really look at and expand your definition of love…

Happy loving…

Call to action: Shelter someone, won’t you.?!

I’m pretty proud of this post, so check it out: Who’s your sweetie?!

Who’s Your Sweetie?!

mother and son

Happy Monday!

Mother: How come you didn’t call me on Valentine’s Day?
Son: Are you my sweetie?

Ouch.

Ouch!

Yes, this actually happened! And he wasn’t joking! I hope that you are as incredulous as I was. I hope.

Let’s begin with the standard definition of romance as defined by Merriam-Webster. (Read that? Good. Now, let’s move on.)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found too many dictionary definitions to be circular — unclear; too layered — too many disjointed meanings; or incomplete — not nuanced enough or too shallow.

For me, romance is one of those words desperately crying out for an added layer of meaning.

At this point, if you’ve read my earlier posts for this month, it is no secret that I am a huge, huge fan of romantic love as it is often imagined between lovers. To me, it is, well, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Really, it is fantastic!

BUT…

But, sadly, most of us aren’t gonna to win the romantic love lottery in this lifetime; and even if we do, it is often fleeting, fraught with disappointment and/or oh so bittersweet. Let’s face it, romantic love may as well be a pipe dream buried deep under all the other realities of life: eating, sleeping, working, pretending, … eating, sleeping, working, pretending… dying.

It is rare and it is tenuous! In other words, its track record: SUCKS! But just because that is true does not mean we cannot choose to infuse our lives with romance.

Little acts of romance can happen every day if we expand the definition by making it more inclusive of all the people we love, and then finding tiny ways to weave it through the everyday fabric of our lives and the lives of our beloveds. For example:

  • Maybe you present your mum with the most showy or simple bouquet of her favorite flowers on YOUR birthday;
  • Maybe you send the cutest cards, each carefully chosen, to your best friend forever (BFF) every week for months, because you know she’s struggling;
  • Maybe you call your elderly father every morning and every evening without fail, so he knows that someone still cares;
  • Maybe you write the sweetest love poem to your BFF on her birthday because you really love that girl or guy; and
  • Maybe, heaven forbid, you even call your loving mum on Valentine’s Day, because she IS your sweetie.

Make no mistake. These are romantic gestures too. No, the recipients aren’t lovers, but we love them, right?! And at the very heart of romance is the desire to express love and deep affection for someone.

Plus, these acts of romance are for the people who are likely to always be there for you. In fact, these people are the very ones that prop you up when romantic love abandons you again! So why would you want to starve them of a little romance?!

For goodness sake, I cannot. I will not. I do not accept that big love is limited to just lovers.

After all, if our lives and all of our relationships are not infused with romance, all we have is just so much bookkeeping.

So to the son mentioned in the opening lines: Yes. Yes. Yes. She is your sweetie — your very first.

Call to action: Am I cuckoo? If you think so, tell me why in the comments below. And if you see it my way, please share how you infuse your life with romance.

Rumi loves, love too!

moonlit lovers

Happy Friday!

EXCEPT that I am really not so very happy. This forever-ness of bleak, bitter coldness has bitten not only my ears, fingers and toes but also chilled me to the core and numbed my heart. And I am left feeling, well, nothing, but C-O-L-D.

So, today, I will leave you with one of the most beautiful love poems ever. It was written by Rumi, who was a 13th century poet, jurist, Islāmic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. (Whew, busy, busy, busy man. However, did he find time to dream, dreams of love?!)

I wish you a very good weekend and I will try my best to warm up for Monday.

Be nourished by love!

**

I am your moon and your moonlight too.
I am your flower garden and your water too.
I have come all this way eager for you,
without shoes or shawl.
I want you to laugh, to kill all your worries,
to love you, to nourish you.
On sweet bitterness, I will soothe you and heal you.
I will bring you roses.
I too have been covered with thorns.

~ Rumi

Call to action: How has love healed you? Or have you healed someone with your love? Share in the comments below and inspire us all.

And if you feeling like exploring more on love, check out my earlier posts: Are you in love?Love Is Radiant, True, HopefulI’m finally in love–with my daddyFall in Love, the 11th Commandment; and Mommy, I love you!

Love Is Magic #3

Happy Wednesday!

There is only one happiness: Love. Every thing else: Bookkeeping.

There is only one happiness: to love and be loved.

Today, too much of what is called love smacks of convenience. People shouldn’t be “loved” because they are convenient.

You love someone for their details -- the things that are true of them and only them.

Pledging your love to each other should create something so much more than a sum.

Love requires a new math: We are more than one and less than two.

And finally, love does not conquer all, but it does trump it all!

I don't know if life is more than death, but Love is more than either.

Call to action: Are you loving? I want you to think hard about the act of loving. Today, more than any other time in history, we live in a cesspool of discontent, stupid excuses for not showing up, and downright evil. Yes, a cesspool! And the only thing that can save us is: Love. Love in all its glorious, healing and life-affirming forms. So I ask again: Are you truly loving?

I’m talking about love for the entire month of February. If you love, love as much as I do, check out my earlier posts: Are you in love?Love Is Magic #1Love Is Radiant, True, HopefulI’m finally in love–with my daddyLove Is Magic #2; Fall in Love, the 11th Commandment; and Mommy, I love you!

Mommy, I love you!

I believe in love at first sight, because I've been loving my mom since I opened my eyes.

Happy Monday!

I wrote this poem to honor the woman who I admire most and who has been my rock in this turbulence we call life.

She is my heart. She is my center. She is everything to me. I love her. I love her. I love you, mommy. And that’s all there is to it.

I was not coaxed easily from the safety and
warmth of your womb, my first home
I was blissfully curled up in the darkness and
silence and solitude
And an unknown part of me knew I just wanted
to stay snuggled up close
To who would become my second heart

As I’ve stumble through life, you’ve been my
dearest friend
You know my best; you’ve lived my worst
And when your child comes home,
bruised and battered from life and love
You hold me near, cocoon me with your love
And whisper, “My girl, you’re above this all”

But mostly, you’ve been my champion
Protecting me from the inner beast
Who sometimes roars and calls me names
And when it comes gnawing at my soul
You roll your eyes and suck your teeth
And roar right back: “I don’t want to hear it
Not one more lie about my child”
And the beast shrinks back
In the presence of a mother’s love

Words can say a lot
But sometimes not enough
So I’ll just simply say,
“Mommy, I love you
Mommy, I love you
I really do”

Call to action: Do you believe in love at first sight? Who did you fall in love with at first sight?

I’m talking about love for the entire month of February. If you missed my earlier posts, check them out: Are you in love?Love Is Magic #1Love Is Radiant, True, HopefulI’m finally in love–with my daddyLove Is Magic #2; and Fall in Love, the 11th Commandment.

Fall in Love, the 11th Commandment

It should b a crime against God to deny yourself love. It should be the 11th commandment.

Happy Friday!

Really, is there anything more delicious than being love?! Let me answer that for you? No!

Today, I’m reminded of a charming movie from 1949 called The Lady Takes a Sailor, starring Jane Wyman and the very delicious Dennis Morgan.

OK, it begins with the typical, impossible 40’s meet cute. He is a top naval engineer working on a top-secret, government mission. She is the trustworthy head of a very serious institute that is in need of more funding to keep its doors open.

She goes out sailing, a terrible storms comes, and she almost drowns. Of course, he rescues her from certain death. But by saving her, he compromises the secrecy of his mission.

To protect his mission, he lies to her, drugs her, and then ditches her on shore. (See what I mean about impossible.)

When she awakes, she tells her story. But everyone thinks she’s gone cuckoo. Her career and credibility is in ruins. So she spends the rest of the movie trying to get the evidence to save her reputation.

After much madcap craziness, she has it! She has the evidence she needs to vindicate herself. But she realizes as she walks the floors of her big, beautiful, empty house on the lake with only the company of her BFF: She loves him.

Yes, it is a moment of choice: Career/Public opinion — or Love.

As she vacillates, her BFF, played by the delightful, wise-cracking Eve Arden, hits her with the 11th commandment: “Come a REAL cold night — and the biggest business in the world is just so much bookkeeping.”

BAM! Different words but still the 11th commandment.

So I ask you, which will it be? “Bookkeeping” or butterflies? “Bookkeeping” or the ardor of a lover’s embrace? “Bookkeeping” or being flung into the heavens and your every day reality pulverized? “Bookkeeping” or feeling high in love?

I know which one I would choose — what about you?

Call to action: Share your experiences with the 11th commandment in the comments below. I would love to live vicariously through them.

And if you enjoyed this post, check out: I’m finally in love — with my daddy; Love is Radiant, True, Hopeful; and Are you in love?

Love Is Magic #2

Happy Wednesday!

Frankly, I have never given a rat’s behind about Valentine’s Day. It is a cleverly made up “holiday” by very smart marketers who prey on our dreams of and yearnings for love by turning “love” into a commodity that greases the wheel of economy.

Here’s what I think. If you’re my man, every day better be Valentine’s Day. Every. Day. And my man should expect the same from me. Seriously, life is just too short for anything else.

In fact, we should regularly do little acts of love and attention to show those we care for — including daddies, mommies, brothers, sisters, and BFFs — that they complete us too.

With that said, I’m in love with love and February 14, Valentine’s Day, is just a couple of days away. So today, let me fill up your heart with a few of my favorite words on love:

Yes, Yes, Yes, Carrie. I’ll have what you’re having.

I'm looking for real love. Real love. Ridiculous. Inconvenient. Consuming. Can't live without each other love.

 

Helen Keller may have been blind, but she saw deeply into life and what truly matters.

The best adn most beautiful things cannot be seen or even touched; they must be felt with the heart.

And finally, I gotta quote Sex and the City again, because life is just too short to settle for anything less than…

Some people are settling down; some people are settling; and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.

Call to action: Enjoy thinking about love…

Here are my other posts on love: I’m finally in love… with my daddyLove Is True, Radiant, Hopeful; and Are you in love?

I’m finally in love — with my daddy…

Happy Monday!

It all started with my daddy.

two images: daughter hugging her daddy and a son walking with his daddy hand in hand

If you are lucky, you know who your daddy is.

If you are luckier, he was a constant in your life, preferably in the same home.

If you are luckier still, he was deserving of your love and your adoration — your heart.

Because for a girl, her daddy should be the first man she falls completely and madly in love with and he with her. Daddy should be a shining example for the future of what she absolutely deserves and what she absolutely will not tolerate in a man.

And for a boy, daddy should be the model of what a really good man talks like and acts like and how to treat every woman like the awesome being she is. (After all, it is woman who receives, carries, gives birth to life, and then sustains it with milk of her body.) In other words, a son should always be able to look up, look up to his hero, Daddy.

The simple truth is that daddies often sets the direction, or at least the very tone, of their little girls’ romantic life. And for boys, daddies are the force that can save thousands of broken hearts and shattered lives.

I knew who my daddy was. We “lived” in the same house. And he loved me. And I loved him. But it wasn’t until I was age 47 and he was 78 that I was finally able to fall in love with him.

Call to action: In the comments below share your thoughts about daddy. What impact, good or bad or indifferent, did or has your daddy had in your life?

If you enjoyed this post, check out my earlier posts: Are you in love? and Love Is Radiant, True, Hopeful.

Are you in love?

Happy Monday!

I love questions. And without a doubt, my favorite has to be “Are you in love?”

Question: Are you in love?

With the misery of world affairs, the price of gas, and the constant striving to keep a roof over our heads and our tummies full. It may seem like a frivolous question. But I don’t care. It is NOT frivolous! It is of the utmost. Because love is the only thing with the power to transform Life from grayscale to Technicolor.

Plus, the question “Are you in love?” is so much more interesting than the tiresome and trite “What do you do?” — unless what you do is work of the heart.

Maybe a few of you out there have actually won the love lottery. Yes, you were in the right place at the right time, your beloved was there too, the stars aligned, your eyes met across space and time, and you were blessed with Love’s salvation.

Well, congratulations — and I hate you. No, not really. Well, just a tad bit. But mostly, I envy you. I envy you.

However, if you’re like me, you are either still hoping desperately that one day real love will find you and wrap you up in its warm embrace and keep you, or you’ve given up entirely on yet another “silly” dream.

But it’s February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so I want to revel in the magic and explore the many faces of love… with you.

Won’t you join me?

Call to action: In the comments below, share your story: Are you in love? And if not, what are or were your dreams of love?

Are Your Standards Solid?

Happy Monday!

LLJ is resolute. I have known her for over 30-something years! And I repeat, she is resolute. She knows who she is, what she believes, what she will tolerate, and what she finds intolerable. Her clarity is stunning. She is solid. She is fearless as she stands steadfast.

image of a rocky peak overlooking ocean

It is her steadfastness, along with her intense sense of loyalty, that I love and admire most about her.

Now, if you are beginning to think, LLJ sounds like an insufferable know-it-all. I must state that you would be absolutely wrong.

She listens and observes quietly. Then, she deliberates carefully. Next, she chooses a course of action that makes sense to her and is true to who she wants to be in this world. Once her mind is set, she does not waver unless presented with some damn good evidence to change her mind.

To me, LLJ is like a fierce, intrepid heroine. And best of all, you are never in the dark where you stand with her. You know. You know you can trust her. And in this day and age, honestly, how many trustworthy souls do you know?!

Today, most of us wobble back and forth between yes, maybe, no… no, maybe, yes… maybe, no, yes… with feeble attempts to avoid pissing anyone off. (Stop! I’m dizzy!) This is not strength. It is weakness. Because it takes inner courage to say definitively, “This is what I believe today” or  “This is what I will stand for today,” or “I believed that yesterday, but today I totally don’t.”

So let us all STOP the wobbling. I encourage us to deliberate and decide with great care what we will stand for, what we believe to be acceptable and unacceptable. Deliberate and decide with all the fairness, compassion, and empathy we can muster. Then, like my friend LLJ, let us stand steadfast and do not waver unless we’ve been presented with some damn good evidence.

Call to action: In the comment section below, I urge you to give tribute to a steadfast person in your life or to ask yourself: Am I courageous enough to stand steadfast?

If you enjoyed this post, check out Why You Should Say “No?” and Scandalous Redefined… My Way.

Where did wonderful go?!

Happy Friday!

Can you believe it?! We are already nearing the end of the first month of 2015. Crazy!

But we still have time to get busy and get down to the real business of making this year — 2015 — a scandalous success in whatever way you’ve decided that means to you.

Unfortunately, along the way, life will throw a bucket full of marbles in your path to slip you up and land you flat on your arse — deflated, discouraged, and defeated! Truth is, I have already had three such instances this month alone where I threw my hands up in the air and fell to the floor in a sobbing heap of hopelessness. Why is life so freaking hard?!

So when times get tough and it seems that life is “like a mountain railroad,” we all need to be encouraged and remember this nugget from an Unknown Wise Person:

something-wonderful

One of the reasons I started this blog was as way to keep these kind of thoughts at the forefront of my mind and heart everyday. Every. Day. I try to remember that something wonderful could happen. It could! And I look for it. It might be the tiniest of events, like an impromptu encounter of understanding with another soul or being unexpectedly in the presence of a beautiful, curious child.

In our busy, bigger is better world, these seem like inconsequential things, I know. But when you stop and think about it, isn’t it these little things that add wonder and beauty to life — (dramatic pause) if we let them?!

So when you feel battered by the vicissitudes of life, hold on to this thought: Tomorrow, or even later today, something wonderful could happen!

Call to action: How do you plan to re-design your life so that the belief in this possibility is permanently written in your heart and on the pre-frontal cortex of your brain no matter how hard life slaps you down? Please, share your strategy in the comments below.

Isn’t she ravishing?!

hot pink peony

Happy Wednesday!

Peonies are a ravishing flower. R-A-V-I-S-H-I-N-G!

My first encounter with this luscious, sexy flower was one hot, miserable day on 42nd Street in New York City (NYC). Too much concrete and asphalt. Too much sun. Too many cars and honking horns. Too many people. Too much everything. Too much…

In my desperate rush to escape the madness that is NYC city streets and get back to the quiet haven of my hotel room, the beauty of this flower stopped me stone, cold dead in my tracks. I was transfixed — yes, transfixed by the stunning beauty of this flower.

I still am. It is undoubtedly my favorite flower. And it reminded me then and reminds now that beauty is everywhere if we slow down and look, even outside a little grocery store on a corner of 42nd Street in NYC.

Call to Action: Tell us where or when you have chanced upon unexpected beauty? What impact did it have in your life?