My Tears Are The Ink


my tears are the ink

 

I’ve often heard it said that those who are hurting, or who have endured great pain, create the most beautiful masterpieces. What causes one’s heart to hurt, that is where one’s passion lies.

For too long my voice was silent about who I was. That is no longer true. My ‘voice’ is through my writing. And there is so much inside me that is pouring out.

Tears cleanse and heal. They are the ink that bring my inner self to life.

No matter if your ‘voice’ is music, writing, painting, acting, caregiving, or any other creative endeavor, let the world hear you. Give yourself permission to embrace who you are, give yourself permission to freely express yourself without fear or judgment.

We need you.

For those who have inspired me, you know who you are. I thank you for being an example of courage and strength, I thank you for giving ME permission to be me.

A Culinary Treat: Chocolate Hemp Waffles


I love social media. No, wait, love is so blasé, I ADORE social media! It’s a place where we go to discover and share new ideas, new friends, become empowered, and find awesome life hacks! Life hacks…I also love this phrase.

Imagine my delight when this morning my friend, Dulani Moore, shared a video showing the different treats that could be made in minutes with a waffle iron.

 

 

Isn’t that wonderful? Of course, since I’m the Hemp Queen, I’m including a hemp waffle recipe that I discovered that is sure to please your taste buds!

Chocolate Hemp Waffles with Strawberry Compote

Erin Bronner | Delicious Living

  • Serves: 6 people

 

These are over-the-top good, with an airy, crispy texture and subtle cocoa flavor. The compote is delicious, but you could omit it and serve the waffles with fresh bananas or berries instead. I make a whole bunch of these waffles and freeze them; on weekdays when my husband is looking for a quick breakfast, he takes one out and reheats it in seconds.

Directions
  1. Make compote: In a medium saucepan, bring strawberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and syrup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thick, 10–20 minutes. Set aside. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)
  2. In a large bowl, combine spelt flour, hemp flour or protein powder, cocoa, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, melted coconut oil, and vanilla; beat until well mixed. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until just blended.
  3. Preheat waffle iron to medium heat. Brush with melted coconut oil. Pour just enough batter to cover each waffle insert. Cook for about 3 minutes or until crisp. Serve warm with strawberry compote, garnished with hemp nuts and whipped cream, if desired.

 

PER SERVING (with 1/4 cup compote): 369 cal, 13g fat (2g mono, 1g poly, 10g sat), 49mg chol, 9g protein, 57g carb, 6g fiber, 247mg sodium

~

Happy waffling!

“Your Kind Isn’t Welcome Here…”


“Your kind isn’t welcome here…” This has got to be one of the most offensive phrases I’ve seen. And yet, in this day and age, in the year 2014, IT STILL EXISTS!

A couple nights ago, James Gordon, a friend of mine who happens to be African American, was at a dining establishment doing some work. This is the exchange that he posted on Facebook:

“The owner of Jubilee Grill and Juice on Halsted and Randolph said he did not want my kind in his place.
I said,”You mean award-winning, best-selling gorgeous m’fers?”
He then called the police.
Oh boy.
Thank goodness, didn’t think they would ever get here.”

 James Gordon, G.P.A.

The next morning, I posted my thoughts and feelings on racism and discrimination. Here is my response:

“I am shocked and saddened that this phrase even exists and is being used in this day and age: “We don’t want your kind in this place.” (I have a feeling that this particular business will experience some negative backlash and reduced clientele.)

What’s even more difficult and painful is knowing that those who I love, admire, work with, and who are some of my best friends have to live with this ugliness on a daily basis, and even in some places have to tread carefully BECAUSE OF THEIR SKIN COLOR. I admit, this is a trigger issue for me, and my heart hurts for the pain this ugliness causes.”

Every person on this planet, regardless of skin color, nationality, sexual orientation, shape, size, ability, or economic status, should have EQUAL ACCESS to every human right that exists. PERIOD. This is almost 2015! And yet, it feels like the dark ages in some respects!

This morning I came across an article, Sony Hack Re-ignites Questions about Michael Jackson’s Banned Song.” In the article, Michael Jackson’s Prison Version of “They Don’t Care About Us” was embedded in the article. (It had previously been banned in the U.S.) And, here is my response:

“When a huge shift is about to happen, we often see those who want the darkness to remain fighting their hardest in one last attempt to survive and hang onto their old, sometimes ugly, dark controlling reality; and for the oppressed it is often darkest before the dawn.

I feel like we are in that moment. As earth’s energy rises to a new, higher vibration, those who refuse to change or participate in healing are experiencing their last gasp. Watching this video reminded me of just that. Oppressors will either have to rise with the rest of us, or they will eventually just be gone.

The oppressed will experience empowerment, and they will walk beside the rest of us, will join us in the new earth that will see more acceptance, more peace, more love, and more union.

We are seeing many revelations recently, and we are seeing the fall of the dark ones. Michael’s video in this article, in my opinion, is the heaviest yet strongest one he had ever done.”

I know that racism and discrimination aren’t going to suddenly die off tomorrow, and I know that much has to be done to eradicate that nonsense. But I also feel that the tipping point is on the near horizon, and acceptance will be the norm. Embracing others who are different will be the norm. Equal rights and opportunities will be the norm.

This world would be a pretty dull place if we were all the same; I look forward to the day when EVERYONE embraces diversity.

One Love. ❤

Embrace The Curves!


Last night one of my friends, who is African American, experienced racism directed toward him (I’ll have more about that in a future post).

In my Facebook post I ranted about discrimination in general, and then I detailed the discrimination I had experienced because of my size. One person I was in a relationship with wasn’t always kind, but I know he did want me to be healthy. However, many of the words directed toward me were not empowering but DISempowering. My self esteem had plummeted. It was a vicious cycle: feel bad about myself, don’t receive validation or emotional support, medicate by eating, feel bad about myself…and on and on.

I looked for validation, acceptance, empowerment from a significant other, but I didn’t realize that I needed to give that to MYSELF. I hated the way I looked, I shriveled up inside. I became weak, dependent, and destroyed all barriers that would have protected my self worth. I accepted actions and words that tore me down; I allowed it because any attention was better than no attention.

I became a prisoner. It got to the point where I was nervous walking out the door. Of course, I had to, but it was difficult. I could only see myself through someone else’s eyes, and that someone didn’t see me for the goddess I was/am, the strong woman that I am. That person was a dirty mirror; my reflection was distorted and unreal.

I recall a day when I went to the grocery store. It was very warm, so I wore a pair of long’ish shorts, a nice blouse, and sandals. I got out of the car, walked through the parking lot, and headed to the front door.

I was a bit thinner than I am now, but still thick and curvy. I looked fine for being out in public (of course, it’s my body, my life, no one should dictate what I can wear or not wear, EVER). A man watched me walk to the door, rolled his eyes at me, shook his head, said, “JESUS CHRIST!” then glared at me as I walked through the entry. He acted like I had no business showing my legs! Needless to say, I was shattered.

And then another incident:

Years ago I was to meet a man in Seattle. It was a networking meeting over coffee after I had dropped my daughter off to meet with her grandmother. I was wearing black slacks, casual shoes, a white blouse and a sweater; my hair was done nicely and I was wearing a little makeup. I walked into the establishment. Now, I had talked with the guy on social media and via email, and I knew what he looked like. I had also spoken with him on the phone. He was situated in a spot where he could see me walk in the door, and after I entered, it took a moment for me to see him. I walked up to him, held out my hand, spoke his name, and smiled…he gave me a once-over, head to toe and back up again, shook his head, shuttered his eyes, turned his back to me and ignored me. Ok, so, maybe his intentions were less than genuine and I didn’t know it. It took me a moment to recover as I stood there and looked at him. The more I looked, the tenser he became. I held my head up, proudly walked out, got into my car, drove around the block, stopped at a gas station parking lot, and burst into tears.

As humans, we all want to be loved, to be valued, to be cherished. We want to be supported, empowered, and want to hold our heads high. As a heavy, curvy woman, it took decades to accept myself. I had to remember that this is MY journey, and every step, every connection, every pound, every opportunity for personal evolution is perfection, no matter what any other person on this planet has to say about it.

The media has had a huge hand in our perception of beauty, and for the most part it has been an ugly hand. For a long time beauty has been defined only as thin, tall, toned, waifish, and even skeletal. Thick, curvy women were ignored, or even ostracized. Yes, it goes on daily.

Now, we all have our preferences, and that is perfectly fine. However, the time is now to get past the single definition of beauty and embrace our wholeness. It’s time to love every pound, every curve, every roll, every dimple, every wrinkle, every stretch mark, EVERY delicious part. We can stand strong in the knowledge that we are perfection. We are all brilliant beings with a purpose and design, and it is a very selfish act to hide ourselves behind a curtain.

Soon after I posted my discrimination rant, I saw that Khari had put up a link for his new book, Curvy and Confident: Inspiring Women to Love Themselves.”

Curvy and Confident

I’ve been a fan of Khari’s for a while, and yes, even spent a few lonely nights curled up in a ball, in tears, listening to his beautiful music, wishing that I had someone to say those things to me, and MEAN it. So I can tell you with utter honesty, when I saw this book link my first thought was, “FINALLY.” He has been instrumental in lifting women up and allowing them to give themselves permission to be confident, to be free, and to love themselves no matter what, and to know that they are appreciated more than they can imagine.

It’s a beautiful thing when an admirer, partner, friend, or lover appreciates the entire package…body, mind, and soul. For those who have experienced discrimination because of size, let me tell you this: Those who can’t appreciate the ALL-NESS of you are missing out on something wonderful. It’s ok, let them stay in their small, little world. There are others who are waiting to embrace your luscious curves, who are wanting to experience your strength, confidence, and your brilliant self. Don’t believe what you see when you look into the dirty mirrors; see your reflection in those who have wiped away judgment and who love you for YOU.

Hemp Batteries – The Power Source of the (not so distant) Future?


 

hemp battery

Late this summer (yes, you can see I’ve fallen behind on my newsworthy visual concoctions) NBC News and other news outlets reported that hemp could be a viable component in super-conductors. Now, my own personal knowledge of the technical aspects is quite limited, and my own language and understanding would probably take away from the message. So, instead of me trying to mumble my way through the technical specs, facts, and data, let me share with a a blurb and a link.

This certainly isn’t a surprise to me, because let’s face it, hemp is so durable and has so many uses that I can’t think of anything it CAN’T do (well, within reason, of course)! Without further ado, here is the article you’ve been waiting for:

“A team led by David Mitlin, an engineering professor at Clarkson University, heated up hemp fibers to create carbon nanosheets that can be used as electrodes for supercapacitors. Compared with graphene, the hemp-derived carbon is “a little bit better, but it’s 1,000 times cheaper,” Mitlin told NBC News.

“Supercaps” are often characterized as the super-battery of the future, but Mitlin said the technology is actually more complementary to next-generation batteries.”

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovation/far-out-hemp-could-power-better-super-batteries-n178741

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/doug-fine/hemp-is-on-its-way-to-you_b_6017068.html

http://www.alternet.org/environment/cannabis-based-batteries-could-charge-your-phone-seconds-and-change-way-we-store-energy

Still Dreaming


As children, daydreaming is a normal pastime. Do you still dream? Are your dreams coming true? Greg Marshall talks about his dreams, and how he never gave up. A truly inspirational read!

From the Mind of G Man

follow your dreams

When I was a very young kid I used to dream all the time. I used to dream of stuff like being an inventor or a scientist. I took things apart just to figure out how they worked. Later on I dreamed of being rich and owning my own company. My dream was to own my own company and never work for anyone. Well, somewhere along the way that part of the dream got a little sidetracked. Eventually I founded my own company with loyal employees. That company just happened to be on the wrong side of the law. Satan was my CEO and all my employees were hired straight off the streets of my gang infested neighborhood. That business turned into a nightmare destined for hell. Several years later, a few stints in prison and five gunshots sent me back to the drawing board.

In April of ’07 I…

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Patience


Here are some very good words about patience and faith!

From the Mind of G Man

 one step at a time

 Every dream comes from your subconscious mind. Every thought comes from your conscious mind. Every vision starts with the two. It takes an effort to manifest your dreams. Everything in life has a beginning, just like learning how to walk, one step at a time. Writing my first book started with one word back in April of ’07. That led to one sentence which led to one paragraph. At that moment completing my book seemed almost impossible. Keep in mind that I was writing with one finger on my left hand.

I accepted the fact that it wasn’t going to be easy. I’d already overcome such great odds already so quitting was not an option. The more I observed the success of others the more I realized that I could do the same. That’s when my FAITH kicked in. The people that were the closest to me were the…

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DEPRESSION ~ Real Men DO Cry


As someone who has experienced depression, I can relate to this post deeply. Depression isn’t just sadness, it’s an all-encompassing experience that often is felt physically as well as emotionally. Everyone has difficult times, but sometimes it takes all that one has to climb out of this deep darkness, even to the point of needing some extra help via counseling or medications.

Please take the time to read my friend’s post, reblog, share, and if you feel led, talk about it. The more we talk about it, the less mysterious it is.

From the Mind of G Man

depressed

I couldn’t live the rest of my life in pain and sadness. I reached over to the nightstand and put every pill I saw into the glass of 7-Up. The clear liquid had turned a murky blue from the coating on the Lorcet pain pills. I tried not to think about my family. Committing suicide would be considered a selfish act on my part, but they weren’t walking in my shoes.

pills

Jay was already waiting for me. I should have been with him anyway. The tears were flowing so hard I could barely see the contents in the glass. I picked it up and swirled the glass around then set it down. All I needed now was the straw.

The television was the only source of light. I glanced down and spotted a single straw on the carpet. It was a huge degree of difficulty, but I could reach it…

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I’ve Gone Shampoo-Free and I’ll Never Go Back!


August 7 No Shampoo Experiment

 

A few days ago I started a ‘no shampoo’ experiment…for a few reasons.

 

First, I didn’t like spending a lot of money on shampoo. Second, cheap shampoos stripped my hair so badly and made it dry and frizzy, then I’d have to finish with conditioner or creme rinse or detangler so that I could run a brush through it when I was finished. Third, I wasn’t pleased with all the chemicals that were going on my hair, my body, and into the septic/drain field. So, I started washing my scalp with a mixture of baking soda and water (1 part baking soda to 4 parts water). I didn’t worry about the rest of my hair, because when rinsing, the solution would have covered it anyway. I do a quick scalp massage, then rinse. Next, I do a rinse with organic apple cider vinegar (1 part vinegar to 4 parts water). And then the finishing touch: a cool water rinse.

 

All I can say is, WOW! My hair feels softer, more supple, and I do NOT need conditioner or detangler afterward. The natural oils keep it moisturized. My hair feels healthier, stronger, and more supple (which is great for me, since I’ve long hair and plan on growing it longer)! If you have gone shampoo free, or plan on trying it, please let me know your results. If you want, send a photo and I’ll post it in a follow up blog!

 

Namasté

 

Afterthought: If you are concerned about smelling like a freshly made salad vinaigrette, don’t worry! The faint vinegar scent dissipates in a few minutes and then all you are left with is hair that smells clean and fresh!

 

 

In Spite Of…


From the Mind of G Man

mountain

I took a moment today to reflect on my past. I used to be public enemy #1. I’ve committed some serious crimes against harmless, innocent citizens. I still can’t believe some of the stuff I did. I must’ve been crazy. I was pistol whipping and robbing people at 16 years old.

That was just the beginning of my criminal career. But it all caught up with me and I almost paid the ultimate cost. I also took a long look at my current life. Redemption was the only goal I had in mind the day I decided to write my book.

I had no clue just how hard it was going to be, but I was ready for whatever. What a journey it has been. I made the decision to quit hustling. I was always a few days from being homeless after that. Times got so hard for me…

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