The Womanist Empowerment Network builds a “Culture of Empowerment” through Poetry and Talk. It is a philosophy founded on a belief in the power of the feminine aspect of life to restore the balance to Humanity. A vision which acknowledges the wisdom of females and The Dark Mother Leadership archetype. We empowered women to arise and take the helm of this Earth Ship, which has veered off course. We the fierce warriors of peace, women of the world who believe in a system of governance in which we can dream, imagine and build together. A recognition that over six thousand years of brutality by the current power structure has taken its’ toll on Humanity and the planet earth. The current regime has the people and earth headed for destruction. We must set sail, voices to the wind, heart engaged and feet planted in the soil, reconstruct a New Humanity.
Two types of subjugation that impede the Black Woman’s Collective Identity. Social Oppression and Self-Oppression. They both happen in the context of relationships, whether it is in rapport with one-self or with another.
There is an unspoken law that women are second to man. Subtle messages that say, “women are not good enough.” A male friend of mine said to me, and I quote, “this is the natural order of things,’ God, Man then Woman,” as if I am to tuck tail and get in line. Another unspoken rule that causes me to question all manner of authority is it seems males are in most leadership positions and make all the decisions that benefit their gender. Have you heard the expression, the man wears the pants and let him lead? What if the male is not going anywhere, he just needs to feel in control and have power over the woman? Aren’t most companies and government run by men? Some women even behave like men.
I am a substitute teacher. I walk into a school wihout any idea about how my day will go. This has been my experience for over eight years. Just recently I accepted a permanent position as a Para-professional in the classroom. The first assignment was in the Art room. This female teacher was all over me. She was constantly in my space. If I was helping a student, she would come near me and take over. Get this, my first day she wanted me to run a personal errand for her as if I was her personal servant. I told her no.
Another thing that nearly sent me over the edge was when she told a class of students if I tell you to walk around the table three times, do it, even if it is ridiculous. I walked out of the room when she said that. After being in class with her for about a month, I was dreading Monday mornings. Finally, I was moved out of her room after a clash we had. Secretly this was my prayer to get out. I was not having fun anymore. A few months earlier another teacher asked for me to be in her room.
This was my second assignment. This teaching partnership started out rocky. This teacher was loud. If the students were loud and not listening to her. She would stand a distance and start to shriek. Her body and gestures were directed towards me. I had to tell her a number of occasions not to yell in my ear.
One day she was absent and I did not have the time to print out the plans. The next day during our debriefing she became irate when I told her I did not follow her plans. The last words out of her mouth after our argument had escalated was to get out of her room and next time I had better follow her plans. Granted I have been in education for over twenty years and know how to pull together a lesson. This was an incident that landed her and me in the principal’s office. We agreed to work together. What is going on I am not sure? Why is there such a power struggle with females?
I see it all the times in my profession as an educator. I am quiet and reserved as if this is an indication to walk right over me. I am peace maker by design and Cultural Icon, one who believes that relationships are built on equality.I think a relationship is when two individuals empower, encourage and liberate each other instead, in most situations one or the other tries to dominate and control.
This becomes a failed attempt to reach outside oneself and control the other person. It is an act by the Ego because it needs to have power over and feel superior. The Ego does not see the other person as an individual, just someone to use for the glorification of one-self.
The other type of subjugation is Self-Oppression, which is thinking you are worthless and unlovable, and the constant negative self-talk. There was this story that I told myself for so long that it was hard to believe anything different. I can recall always thinking no one loved me and I would always be alone. This thought played over in my head like a tape that was stuck on rewind. I could not move forward and it was difficult to form a healthy relationship with either males or females. Most of my time was spent alone. This was a source of pain and suffering that shrouded my life. The Twenty-First Century is a time of awakening to the meaning of life. This evolution in our Humanity demands we learn to master the self.
What I have come to know is that I must learn my thoughts and my behavior. Through the practice of Mindfulness, I have come to the realization that everything is interconnected. With this idea I enter into a relationship with an openness and a willingness to meet the person right where they are. We need not fear the interaction with the other. Relationships then become the source of the greatest amount of learning. If one would see the situations with an openness to learn and allow for the other person to just be and allow an empty space for something wonderful to take place.
This becomes a meeting of souls who smile at each other and enter into the interaction without an agenda. This becomes a beautiful dance of two. Realize the person is a reflection of you. What you do not like about the other and always complain about is the one thing you must work on within yourself. Relationships are like mirrors we look into the heart of the other and see ourself.
Reconstructing a New Feminine Consciousness
As the world scrutinizes the legal lynching of Bill Cosby, 2016 rolls in like a billowing wave moving across the surface of the sea. The surge abates for a moment to reveal what riding high on the tide, it is the value of Woman’s work. I look at the times to ascertain and make sense of the world. This Cosby event looks like someone with alternative motives stripped away the covers to reveal what happens under the sheets. When did this become of national interest, something that happened decades ago.
The whole world looks with a million eyes on the Black man. Bitter-sweet images pierce the hard shell enclosing my heart. Mine is a love story that reaches back to a time in childhood when I felt protected by my father’s love. I was his favorite with all the advantages and privileges it entailed. I thought I held a special spot in his heart. A feeling I cannot totally explain.
Ours was the image of the perfect family. We took fun trips to Beach Bend Park and weekly trips to the zoo. I knew that I was loved, and it would save me. Nonetheless, when I was seven years old the last of our siblings came into my eldest sister and my bed. With her smiles and coo, Sonya soon replaced me in my dad’s heart. I still savored the moments when I would run my father’s bathwater or make his tea. I liked the way he poured his tea into his saucer so it would cool. I watched while he took small gulps, the sounds of slurp still ring in my ear. Those moments paint a picture of life lived like a characters in a story book and I was the main character.
It was not until I had reached adulthood and I let go of the story-book life to examine the source of my unhappiness. It was there that I found shame. It was the story I told myself that I was unlovable and of no value to the world. The story followed me like a shadow into adulthood. Each relationship I entered looking for a love no man could ever fulfill.
The first relationship I had was with a man five years my senior. He was twenty-one, and I was sixteen. It evolved into both a physically and sexually abusive union. One time I ran from upstairs to the living room where his mother lived. His relatives stood around and did not intervene as he kicked me while I lay on the floor. Many times his mother told me he was no good, but I did not listen. He was the only thing in my life, and I held on as if the relationship would save me.
My parents did try to intervene and save me from this abusive relationship. They sent me to Atlanta to live with an aunt. One time we stood by my father’s car and Frank threatened my father. But my father stood his ground. Frank finally walked away. There were many such moments of abuse. With the help of my step-mother, I got the courage to walk away.
As I awaken to the truth of my life and the understanding of the interdependence of all things. Life is like one continuous moment touching the next creating an unbroken chain of events.
As the plot unfolds, I realize I have always written the script. It may have been easier for me to blame my father, mother and the men I took to bed. I welcomed those actors into my story, and they became a willing part. I soon ran them away when the story wasn’t fun, and I wanted it to end. I believe I have the power to change the story at any time and write new lines that explain life as it is, not what I want it to be. I accept my life and the experiences I have lived. It has all been my choice. I am free to be in the world, not held down by the past and what I believe someone did to me.
The ego is a concept rooted in the psychology of Sigmund Freud. He developed the model to explain the self in relation to an external world. It is a view he brought to the shores of America and the beginning of what we know as Neurosis. However, the evolution of knowledge produced a more efficient way to identify the self. It is through the lens of Buddhist Psychology that we can peer into the inner workings of mind and experience.
I want to propose that we black women adopt a different view of the self-based on the “Unchanging Nature of Mind”. This view reaches beyond the limitations of the ego and advances a radically different way to be.
Two-Thousand Sixteen is well into the new century. A new century demands a new human community and a new human family demands a new way to be. Having an open mind able to accept life as it is and find the grain of truth defines a new way to be in the world that brings us close to expressing our full humanity.
Mind’s essential nature is clear, discerning, intelligent, open, and free of fixation on one idea of how life is supposed to be. With its’ home in freedom, clarity and wisdom. It is flexibility in the midst of chaos; can see through the haze, the distortions, and untruth; has an expanded view of life. Mind encompasses the whole of life and knows intuitively how to respond.
To be a new human is to know the nature of your mind. Its essence is pure and unaffected by anything that has happened in your life. It sees life as a series of event that are related that can lead you to your higher self as you determine the pain you need to heal. The experiences you have in life bring you closer to your ideal self. When you have expended all the outer layers of the self, you will uncover a genuine self. It is your nature and you will find a genuine human community.
Mindfulness is a path to freedom and happiness away from the struggles of the ego. Mindfulness leads to joy and peace of mind. On the other hand, the ego confirms its identity based on the world that is ever changing. It fixes its identity to what is happening in the outside world clinging to a concept that has its origins in child’s mind.
Put your faith in this unchanging nature of mind. It is a revolutionary way of viewing the self and the direct way to creating peace on earth
Mindfulness is a technique that one can utilize to see into the mind and find a grain of truth. This is where I stand on that tiny spot of truth. A truth that will free me from delusions and self-doubt, and I will find clarity and peace. In a disagreement with my son-in-law, I was able to disengage from the struggle and the need to be right and understand the dynamics of the relationship. I understood the nature of the battle. It was a struggle for control. Control based on the assumptions of the Ego that needs to be right.
What happened as I released the need for control was real genuine communication and respect. He stated, “We were two humans communicating,” and there was no need for a battle of the sexes.
SUPER MOON SEPTEMBER 2016
Greeting, Transformation Leaders, The new generation of women who lead through the Feminine Form. Last months Super Moon has us poised and ready to step into the Twenty-First Century with a new attitude and a new way to be. Begin to embody the feminine aspect of life and lead from a place ripe with authenticity. It is the kind of power as gentle as a breeze that blows off the ocean, as strong as a storm coming in from far off the coast. A part of nature, tied to the very earth we live on. Located in the womb. At you disposal anytime you tune in. Insync with the moon that illuminates the night.
Let us think for a moment on our bodies and the connection to the cycle of the moon. It is a thirty-day thing and you know what I mean. Each month women experience a menstrual cycle, some call it a curse, but whoever labeled it must have been a man. He got that part twisted. The release of blood from the lining of the womb is a sacred thing, a tearing away and beginning again.
First blood streams throughout, an internal cleaning; a time to renew your mind, body and soul. A release of pain and discomfort because the very thing you want to hold onto is released as bloods leaves the womb. Grow to be more in tune with your body; a greater self-awareness will be your greatest asset. Understand the source of feminine power is inside the womb. Set aside each month time to align yourself with what is going on inside your womb.
The womb holds mysterious power for the woman. Some may know of its power. Others are just realizing. The womb is a soft, warm place where life began. It is also the place where you power reside. Why do you think men want to control? They know if they control, you are at his demands. Anyway, let us get back to the cycle of the moon.
This month is a Super charged Moon? A Blood Moon it is called. It is a time for you to release a lifetime of pain and suffering. Make it your intention to heal the wounds of your heart and forgive those who have hurt you the most. Do not hold onto the pain. It will only cause more disease and heartache.
You can stop the hurt and not pass it on to your children. You can release the suffering and begin to love again. The type of love that heals. It is your Super Power. Heal and pass on the wisdom and strength of your sorrow. You have lived this life because of your desire to heal this in others. You have seen days where you may have wanted to give in. Nevertheless, you held on, you believed. This is your Super Power.
Women the nurturer, the guide, the source of power yet realized. Your life is more valuable than money or gold. To your family, your community and ultimately the world.
You Are What You love, Not Who Loves You
#Chronicle the Rise of the BlackWoman
#Building a Cultureof EmPowerment
#Interconnection & Unity
The story I told myself was no one loved me. I cannot recall when this story began. More than likely it was at a time when I was not sure of myself and attributed everything thing that went wrong as my fault. My parents never expressed love or affection. Never felt love or unloved until a Psychology course at eighteen opened my eyes to another view of life. Suddenly I thought something was wrong. I started to look at my life as a problem that needed a solution. This began my quest to discover the secret to life and my happiness.
Pregnancy and abandonment suddenly became an issue at seventeen that needed to be solved. It was as if someone was inside, taking control and I did not know how to respond. I went through the pregenancy detached because three years earlier I sat in my mother’s driveway. I was in a physically abusive relationship with my daughter’s dad. He was arguing with me, what I cannot recall. I feigned as if I was mute and could not answer. I think this was the first time I remember leaving my body. This one incident shaped my life and the life of my daughter. I continued in this abusive relationship until my stepmother Gloria intervened and helped me escape.
Away from this abusive relationship revealed that there was something that I could give all my heart. I loved learning and education and went back to school at nineteen. One day I sat at a red light in my Pinto. The first car I bought with a thousand dollars I had saved. It was like a bolt of lightning had hit me. I had nothing to give my daughter. I would have to leave motherhood to build a life. This was a hard decision, but it was the only one I had. I was a mother; I had a daughter; I needed to provide for. If I had nothing, then I would have nothing to give her.
It is the love I had for my daughter that motivated me to improve my life. Therefore, she would have a mother she could be proud of. Mothers sacrifice so their children can have a better life. I wanted to shield her from the pains of the world, but I did not do a great job. We all make mistakes that we can never take back, but we can atone for the suffering we may have caused.
This unconscious decision at sixteen to leave the pain and suffering of the body shaped my life and the life of my daughter. Only now, I am aware that everything that happened caused me to be the person I am. I am happy with my life and the wonderful experiences. I see where my life is leading me.
My daughter’s life reads like a storybook. She went through life as if an angel was looking after her. She had a few heart breaks, but the good in her life outweighs it all. She is brilliant and a great mother who breast fed all her children. She birthed each child home schools them all. It is funny they all want to be leaders, even though sometimes I want to scream and pull my hair out. It was my life and this is her life. It is the life we share. I can accept the noble and the damaging aspects of it all. As I reach back to the past, I have healed the wounds of my heart. The last thirty-five years has brought wisdom and understanding of the human condition. We all experience pain and suffering. The suffering we can release when we accept that life has a few pit falls.
It is love that heals. It is love that binds and connects. Nothing really separates a mother from her child. The loss I thought I experienced was just deception in a mind trying to explain what was happening in life. I look back at the decisions that shaped my life. There have been suffering and there has been a joy. They are both part of the human experience.
A MOMENT OF CLARITY
Break Free from the Past
This morning in the midst of chaos,
Living in someone else’s home,
Feeling beholding to a man who pays the mortgage.
Having to be silent and accept his words
Because he has the money and I do not.
In that moment of clarity.
Realizing my worth was in someone else’s hand,
That did not give a damn.
In the center of the storm
Was the place I took refuge from his torment of words.
A place where time stood still.
The mysterious wonder of the Human Mind.
Through the darkness,
Where a tiny beam of light shone through.
Resting on the edge.
The cusp of the morning
In anticipation of Day.
Feeling the Power of the Sun.
Like a shotgun blast.
That hit a bone.
Vibration starts an explosion.
Fills my entire soul.
Like a ray of sunlight.
Through the Anger and Rage.
Frustration and Pain.
Evolution from the Past.
Clarity, Wisdom and Compassion is born.
Grows in intensity.
Outside the Defense,
There is more room.
I stop to my look.
At the frame man wants me to remain.
Within the prison of his thoughts,
You would want a pawn in your game.
In this Game, I set the rules.
The time and the place I want to play.
A winner in the game in life.
The Super Power of the Black Woman
Control the game.
Set the Playbook.
Because when the Black Woman wins,
Everyone shares in her Victory.
Description: During P.E.P. Talks, you and I will explore the Seven Steps to BEcome an Empowered Woman. The course has the two basic premises, One is that there exists an authentic self which has to be discovered. Secondly, Self-Realization is an expression used in psychology, spirituality, and Eastern religions. It is defined as the “fulfillment by oneself of the possibilities of one’s character or personality Lastly. The Empowered Woman recognizes that real feminine power lies not in anger and destruction but in self-knowledge, self-reflection, understanding, and transformation.
Three daily practices are part of the POETRY EMPOWERMENT PROJECT. They will help you get in touch with the deeper aspect of your life. Do them, at least, three to four times per week. First thing in the morning, you may want to take
First thing in the morning, you may want to take fifteen minutes of solitude. Take time to tune into The Body Intelligence. This may sound like a lot. However, you are worth the time; take it and be with yourself.
During this fifteen minutes take off your shoes, loosen your belt, clench, hold and release your muscles. You can do this in the morning or at night. While you are clenching and releasing your muscles say to yourself; what do I need to realize about my current situation? Listen to the answer. It is coming from a deeper place that knows.
The next thing for you to do is take the time to write first thing in the morning. They are called, “Morning Pages.” It is exactly three pages of writing. Just write, no editing. Again, just let this writing come from a deeper part of you that knows. Strange this may come up. Do not judge, just accept them. It may bring you clarity.
The last thing for you to do is the “Walk for Clarity”. Take a walk-in nature for about thirty minutes. As you walk, pay attention to your internal dialogue. As you become more accustomed to walking, you will begin to get in touch with your true nature. This is the time to commune with nature and the place inside yourself. Honor and love the wisdom in your life.
POWERFUL WOMEN SHAPE THE FUTURE
Education was the means I would use to affect the hearts and minds of children. After attending two educational conferences at The Florida Nature and Culture Center in Florida, I was primed and ready to change the world. At the meeting, the President of my faith organization stated, the educator is the major deciding factor in shaping the hearts and minds of children. In addition, it is the teacher who can help children find meaning and create value with their life. With a renewed purpose for education, I returned to school ready to shape the future by empowering, educating and socializing children. What I discovered was, the teachers in the school I was assigned plumaged the classroom and commandeered the resources. I had none; the principle did give me a two hundred dollar budget for supplies.
I did not find a compadre among my peers. The principal assigned me the most challenging students. The saying was, “this will make or break you as a teacher.” What about the children, were they given any consideration? It was precisely what veteran teacher wanted, comfortable classrooms and easy assignments. This has created a crisis in education, which translates to a crisis in society.
Unfortunately, this crisis has not concerned the policy makers in education. Education continues to thwart the minds of children and turn them into workers for the state. What is society doing to children? We are smothering the creative minds of children with the current education agenda. Children wear uniforms as a process of conditioning and systematic control. They learn to accept the military presence both at home and abroad. Are we becoming a militarized state?
What I did observe in almost all the elementary schools I was a substitute, children acting out and an overabundance of white female teachers. These predominantly black schools are on the Southside of the city. Most children live in poverty and receive an impoverished education. Schools were not the place children received acceptance land over that empowered them to believe in education and themselves. I was disillusioned, bitter and angry. I left the educational field to pursue other interests.
I had grandiose a plan. I formed a non-profit organization, Vision for Education. I was sure I could single-handily shape this organization and empower children and the world would be a better place. I would create workshops for educator and we would gather and empower one another and co-create a shared vision for education.
This never happened. It was such a far-fetched idea, but I did receive funding from the city of Louisville, KY and also from the Kentucky Foundation for women to pursue art as a way to empower children. I found support and a group of people that worked with me.
Cyd and I planned a yearlong project at her church. The Broadway Cultural Renaissance at West Broadway United Methodist. There were write-ups in the local newspaper and over seventy-five persons from the community attended the first gathering, which included local artists and educators.
I was involved in my local community, went to most meetings and completed a nine-month program spearheaded by The Metro United Way. I met with this group. There were interactive workshops and small group discussion. We were becoming the Change Agents in our community. I was enthusiastic and thought I could help shape my community. My main problem was ignorance to think that I could change something outside myself. I would first have to deal with and heal my emotional wounds.
This second time around I am more confident that I am on the correct path. My decisions are well thought out and come from a place deep inside that longs to make a difference in the world. I have gone through fifteen years of introspection. During that time I healed my deep emotional wounds. This directly influenced the discovery of my gifts and talents which have enabled the feminine aspect of my life to flourish. Buried under the pain, shame and the guilt was a life ready to make a difference in the world.
I am a poet, writer, and educator. It is my belief that we black woman have a unique mission, to shape not only our lives but also the life of our children and the community. I created The Womanist Empowerment Series. It consists of e-books,
It consists of e-books, workshops, and seminars that help the black woman heal the wounds of her emotional body. The secondary goal is to empower the feminine aspect of life and lastly find and identify a feminine archetype for both personal and professional life. This is a direct path to empowerment centered on love, compassion, and respect for all life.
Women shape the future through our relationships with children, both our own and the ones we teach and interact within social or professional settings. When you heal you will gain a source of power from within. There will be no need to dominate the lives of the children in your life. You will learn how to empower children and help them find their place in life. In this way, you become more powerful. You will shape the world into an image that speaks to the highest calling for Human Life.