My personal Experience of doing a 30 day Supported Juice Cleanse

A few facts about me. I’m a certified Health Coach and Vegan Chef (retired). But my love of food remains and cooking just for me brings me a tremendous amount of joy. I was vegetarian/vegan for about 18 years and at the time I write this blog… I’m 48 years old.

28 days into this supported Juice cleanse, yes I’ve lost weight, 12 pounds in 28 days and it feels good to have dropped some fat. And I am fucking STARVING!!!!!

Now, I could end there and say how awesome cleansing is and try and sell you some health coaching using the cleanse as a marketing tool.

But I’m gonna tell you the truth.

My friends, in reality according to science and medical studies Juice cleanses don’t work. According to Dr. Arlene Youdim of Cedars-Sinai juice (and several friends of mine who are physicians) cleanses are a waste of time and can be a waste of money. Dr Youdim says, “Our bodies have their own elaborate, elegant detoxification system, called the liver, intestines and kidneys. It’s foolish to think the body can’t detox on it’s own.”

In my experience working for 5 years as a vegan chef in one of NYC’s top vegan cafes… there are a lot of women using juice cleanses, and the vegan and raw food eating styles, to cover their eating disorders.

Of course, as with every experience, there are many women who do just fine with these eating styles and have no problems at all and if juicing works for you then great!

If juicing works for you, do what makes you feel good and brings you joy.

But, if you are someone looking at the dramatic weight loss photos of folks after they complete a juice cleanse and think that losing that weight will make you a better person, I highly recommend you ask more questions.

First, I’ll share my experience of doing, not a complete juice cleanse…but a supported Juice Cleanse, then I’ll share with you 8 side effects of juice cleansing.

MY EXPERIENCE:

So, I don’t do juice cleanses. But some new friends of mine who I really admire, were starting a 30 day juice cleanse and sharing their progress with their instagram followers. I decided to do my own version and to share my recipes on my instagram thread @rhythmtherapyj9. I also, coincidentally, had just bought a new Kuving’s Juicer and was super excited to put it to good use.

DAY 1-5
The first three days of a juice cleanse are the most difficult. My body goes into shock/freak out mode and starts to eat itself. I have to drink a ton of electrolyte water so I can function and not want to stab people in the face. Seriously. I get hangry when I don’t eat, and that hanger cranks up 200% when I’m doing a “cleanse”. When I was a vegan chef, I was super skinny and I also had some serious mood swings. I didn’t realize it then, but people I worked with, hated me because I would snap at people. I was hangry.

My plan with a supported juice cleanse was to drink 36 oz of juice a day with either a plant based/vegan soup, salad or plant based vegan protein smoothie and grass-fed beef bone broth. I planned to just drink a lot of water without creating a set amount of water to drink every day. I allowed nuts, beans and quinoa as my main source of protein. I also cranked down my workout program doing hot yoga class every day I was in NYC and vinyasa flow yoga when I was traveling.

I noticed the shift in my energy immediately. Hot yoga was hell. It felt hotter and took everything I had to make it through the classes. I’d leave depleted, dehydrated, exhausted and hangry.

DAY 6-15

These are the air head days. I drink more electrolyte water to control the headaches and I do my mindfulness practices and meditations so that I don’t snap out at people in hanger but I now have challenges forming sentences and remembering where I put things. I even missed a day. I spent the entire day thinking it was Sunday, only to find out it was Saturday when I showed up for my swim class and no one else was there. I go to the front desk at my health club and the folks at the desk are like…”Umm…it’s Saturday”. I have to make sure that I really keep myself in check when dealing with other people, drink water and go to sleep so that I’m not falling asleep in the middle of the day.

DAY 16-30

People literally look like food to me. I’m so hungry. I have to admit, I had to take two pause days during this process and eat some organic animal protein. And DAMN that animal protein tasted good and I immediately. I drank warm organic grass-fed beef bone broth throughout the supported cleanse and could literally feel that beautiful liquid just melt into my body and bring me energy. I must say, my skin looks great, I lost some weight and my period was a moderate blood flow, with very few blood clots, and I had no cramps at all and minimal back pain. I must meditate and really think before I speak or send emails. I hurt some folks feelings by some blunt emails sent while in a hanger fury and end a couple of relationships with acquaintances.

So yes I lost a good amount of weight in a reasonable amount of time while hopefully protecting my joints and not losing muscle tone. But here’s the thing, I’m healthy I don’t have diabetes or heart disease and I’m not on any medications that may be effected by juicing. And, I met with my doctor to get his okay before trying this experiment on myself. I’ll be happy on Friday when I can go back to eating mostly plants and real food in moderation with a ton of water.

6 SIDE EFFECTS OF JUICING YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN

1. You may get food poising.

Fresh juice is unpasteurized for taste and preservation of nutrients. But when you don’t heat juice to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes to kill germs the juice becomes vulnerable to bacteria like listeria, and salmonella. Even if you make your juice at home, if you leave it out on the counter unrefrigerated over night it can make you sick.

2. If you have prediabetes, you could develop full blown diabetes

Green juice can taste bitter, so many recipes call for fruit to cut the bitter taste. But if you are prediabetic and you drink one or more servings a day of grape, apple, orange or any other high sugar fruit juice you can increase your chance of getting type 2 diabetes by 21% . I read this info in a Harvard University study back in 2010. When you eat fruit without the fiber you’re getting straight up sugar which can spike your blood sugar levels. When you eat fruit in it’s natural state, the fiber in fruit slows down the fruit sugar in your bloodstream, allowing your body time to naturally process the sugar.

3. Serious drug interactions.

Kale and spinach are high in vitamin K which, if you are on blood thinning medication, can be life threatening and lead to blood clots which cause strokes and death. If you are taking medicine to lower cholesterol, citrus fruit blocks this enzyme in the intestine that controls the body’s ability to absorb drugs. Also if you drink grapefruit juice while on these drugs you risk, pain in your joints, muscles, liver and kidney damage. You can also be messing with high blood pressure medication, allergies, anxiety and a host of other ailments.

4. You could mess with your thyroid glands

Cauliflower, spinach, kale, book chop are rich in something called glucose plates, which form goitrin which is a compound that is associated with hypothyroidism. When the thyroid is out of balance it can cause all kinds of hidden challenges when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight and nourishing your metabolism.

5. You ain’t gettin’ no fiber

Fiber makes your colon do the work it needs to do to stay healthy and strong. Fiber helps you poop!! Fiber also helps to regulate blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol. And fiber keeps you full longer.

6. Too Much Potassium can harm your kidneys and where’s the protein?

Bananas and kale have high amounts of potassium which are dangerous if you have kidney issues, have high blood pressure.

Eight ounces of kale juice has tons of vitamins but only 2-8grams of protein. An 130 pound woman needs 65 grams of protein daily to repair cells and regenerate new ones.Protein also builds lean muscle and helps to burn calories. Fruit and most veggies are not great sources of protein.

As with everything juice in moderation. If you’ve gained some weight, while you eat more plants and start exercising more, consider looking into doing the emotional work of why you chose to fill yourself with food instead of turning to extreme weight loss strategies that may do more harm than good. Just because a body is thin, does not mean that body is being nourished and fed.

ASE

J9

Follow me on social media @visableblackwoman And @rhythmtherapyj9

PS

If you’re interested in tuning into discovering what foods your body needs to nourish yourself join me for my annual Rhythm Therapy Wellness Healthy Thru the Holidays wellness program.

Instead of binging on food during the holidays then binging on unsustainable diets in January join me on a journey of wellness discovery using mindfulness dance yoga and cooking real food made with love to get through the mosey stressful time of the year in peace.

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Worth it

I am on tour. The photo above is of me in my hotel room. I’m working in Colorado later this week so I came out early got a hotel for two days and am doing my writing from here.

I got up did yoga and then went to practice my swimming.

I wrote a show and I’ve been hired to use my skills as an artist for good. I am being paid a fair wage to do the work I went to college to do. I am being paid a fair living wage for the work I’m doing.

Right now. I have enough income to pay my rent, my monthly debt payments, pay for my health club membership and save for the future.

Worth it.

America is based on worth and value. Supply and demand. It’s capitalism. In my working life on this planet, in my skin as a dark skinned black woman, the system has always valued me as a sale item. The truth is that most consumers are willing to pay less for my services and expect me to give 150%.

Oh yes….as black folks have shared our experiences of having to be more skilled at our crafts in order to get a fair wage the wealth based majority has been listening.

The system says, “oh it’s how you are manifesting in the world. It’s the energy you put out”. Perhaps that’s true and at the same time, Perhaps the system is so accustomed to Black women giving 150 percent and receiving 62 cents on every dollar that a white man makes…that Americans are happy with buying Black Women’s services on the discount rack.

I’ve worked my ass off as a chef and got paid less. When I was a health coach and private chef the wealthy liberal white and black people who wanted to barter for the work I do for them.

Will that barter pay for my health insurance?

Will that work exchange pay into my pension so that when I can no longer work…I’ll have the resources to take care of myself?

One of the many reasons why I left the majority white liberal female yoga, conscious dance and diversity awareness training programs is because liberal white women did not pay me my worth.

I’d do these conscious dance classes and white and black women, with college degrees and husbands who took care of their basic needs would take my class and then expect me to coach them on how to do what I do.

They would ask me to share my playlists. To tell them where I got my props. Always asking me to take care of them…..for free. I would offer packages and coaching sessions and they would look at me as if I were totally insane. How dare I not share with them!?!!! I was uppity! I was ungrateful.

I knew my worth and refused to be taken advantage of. So I made very little money and eventually I left those industries.

But….when I left it opened the door for those who do see me for my worth to step through.

Slowly the tide is shifting

I recently reached out to a liberal white female friend from the conscious dance world because I’m ready to heal our old implicit bias based trauma from the past. I miss her as a friend and she is open to do the work…on her own and with me in order to grow.

Through the grapevine one of the white women who I used to know from conscious dance heard I was “back” o got a text from her. Asking me to sub for her class. No mention of payment. No request to see how I was. I haven’t spoken to this person or heard from her in over 3 years….and she asks me to take care of her.

I deleted the message, blocked the number and deleted the number from my phone.

Everywhere I turn in the world society tells Black Women we are worthless. We’re ignored. We’re disrespected. We are made fun of, objectified. On the other end our bodies are used as testing grounds or commodities. We’re given the worst tables in restaurants told were loud and expected to always serve. There’s this constant clawing at our hair our skin our bodies as being for the consumption of others.

I say fuck that. Fuck all of that.

Reside with people who know your worth and honor it.

When I was a kid my parents would tell me I was smart. They’d tell me I was beautiful and I could be anything I wanted in this world. The. I’d go to school and be called a nigger by the white kids who lived in the trailer park, be ridiculed by the rich white and black kids who lives in the suburbs. I held on to what my parents told me and held on to my truth and held my head up high.

Those years of duality prepared me for being a black woman in America connected to her true worth. We are precious jewels and our lives depend on us caring for ourselves first.

We are worth it

Ase

J9

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Radical expression

I love my regular asana practice. Asana are the physical poses of yoga.

Many people don’t realize that yoga is much more than the physical practice. There are, depending on the practice 7 to 9 limbs of yoga which includes how we treat other people and much more.

I also love freestyle conscious dance. I use conscious dance as a tool in my work as a movement based theater actor.

People often ask me if I teach yoga or if I make the fan veils I dance with.

Why can’t I just be a person who loves yoga? And with years of practice some poses I am in this moment able to execute skillfully.

Why can’t I be a person who just loves to dance and uses dance as a vehicle to bring people together?

Our culture trains us to expect to be sold to. To expect to be able to consume to buy to take to own.

This week thousands of people will come together for a festival in the desert of Reno Nevada called Burning man. A festival where once you get in there is no exchange of western money for anything. People have to bring everything and it’s a gifting society. Sharing gifts.

It’s radical beautiful annoying and freeing.

I’ve been to the Burning Amanda festival twice 8 years ago. It shifted my perspective.

I love consuming as any average American does and at the Alsace time I appreciate the power of gifting…sharing beyond currency.

I can’t tell you how many people ask me if I teach yoga or if I make the fan veils I dance with.

What if more of us could let go of the idea that we have to sell what we love to do?

What if we did physical practices just because they made us feel…good?

Now I am extremely lucky because right now I am getting paid to do one of the things I love to do for a living. And as I am able to take care of myself….I’m doing my yoga and other hobbies and with time comes skill. As I become more skilled the pressure of should arises from well meaning people who see and love what I’m doing.

Some say they live vicariously through the photos they see of me online. Sometimes they send unsolicited advice.

They “should” on me.

“You should teach yoga”

“You should sell those flags”

10 years ago I would listen to this unsolicited advice and the venture would fail.

I’ve finally learned to JSU’s smile and nod beyond the you shoulds and ground into my freedom.

I know what I should be doing and I’m doing it. And I’m so busy doing what I gotta do I don’t even think to give unsolicited advice to others.

I’m too busy taking care of me.

Liberated. Joyous and…free.

Ase

J9

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I am not your social justice Mammy.

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About 4 years ago, after an experience at a training I was assisting a former liberal white female friend who was leading a training (where I was one of perhaps 3 Black Women out of the hundreds of women who were actually in the yoga retreat center that weekend), where, after I shared some racially insensitive moments I endured with her in an attempt to just release tension…she said to me… “Yes. I know. I know because, you know I have had past lives and in one of them I know, I mean I really know that I was a black woman enslaved on a slave ship in one of my past lives.” And then she proceeded to tell me some long drawn out story about herself and the challenges she faces as a woman in America based on that alleged past life experience. It was late at night. I was beyond uncomfortable and so I excused myself and went to bed.

At the time, I had known this woman for several years and had let several small racially insensitive interactions with her go without ever even mentioning them. When I’d try to call her out on her liberal racism, she would just discount what I was saying and use some spiritual mumbo-jumbo to justify her bad actions. I’ve grown up around white people and have been the one black person in the room for most of my life so I became accustomed to letting a lot of shit go and just working on the friendship beyond race.

I didn’t know it then, but I realize now… I…was…a social justice Mammy!

I would be the one black friend in a group of white friends at a dinner party who would be the impromptu “race educator”during the Obama Administration.  Defending whatever was going on politically while explaining the plight of African Americans for my liberal white feminist friends.  Even though race wasn’t the focus of the gatherings… I was there and I was black and I, was one of the good ones.  So if a liberal white female friend was having a challenge with a black woman at work or had a question about anything to do with race… they felt comfortable talking to me about it.  I saw myself as someone who could bring the races together so I would have the difficult conversations. (Ha ha)  I mean I was a corporate diversity awareness trainer in the early 00’s!

What I didn’t realize was that I was being in service as the liberal white woman’s emotional Mammy, but really…that’s what was happening.

That “past live slave ship conversation” was my Ah-Ha moment. I had to stop being the one Black woman in the room and I had to stop taking emotional care of liberal white women.

I completed the assisting the workshop, and removed myself from that woman’s trainings and that entire majority white, liberal, feminist, yoga/dance community.

Once I cut that chord I felt an overwhelming freedom.   Once I cut that chord there were no more white women calling me to mine me of my wisdom, my joy, to appropriate my ideas without wanting to pay me my worth. Once I cut that chord, phenomenal African American Women started appearing in my life.   Once I cut that chord Awesome White women who were clued in started coming into my life.   I call all these women my Abolitionists.

The African American  Abolitionists who appeared in my life valued me and without hesitation, paid me well for my services and…were authentic friends unconditionally.  The White liberal Abolitionists were there for me without needing me to be their emotional crutch or their “one black friend to help them believe that they were not racist.”

And… the drama, the feelings of discomfort, the trying to fit and not fitting in, the feeling that I wasn’t being understood, respected or heard that had been a part of my friendships and relationships in NYC were gone.

Once I realized I was being a social Justice Mammy and stopped taking emotional care of white women and my heart started to heal, my mind became clear and I could more easily connect to my authentic joy.

Then, we got a new president.

And Charlottesville happened and systemic racism and blatant bigotry are now front and center in our culture and liberal white folks are freaking the fuck out.

I’ve been getting texts or even live phone messages from many of the former white friends I stopped initiating connections with.

The calls or messages start with “you’ve been on my mind”.

By the way…
America was built by white people forcing Black People to take care of them and pretending that black people love to nurture.  This country is designed to  pound white supremacy into it’s white children so that the expectation of, particularly white women, to be automatically nurtured by black women, particularly dark skinned black women, is just how the  white world works.

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Okay back to my point…

As these former friends call to reconnect and seek some sort of comfort from their one legitimate like black, black former friend, and when they speak with me, and when they say the stupid subtle racist shit they have always said to me, and I call them out directly on the stupid subtle racist shit, they have a rude awakening and are shocked! They call me angry and rude. They wonder what happened to their friend who was so nurturing?

And when I speak with them, I feel not the anger they immediately push on me when I’m direct, I feel that mix of discomfort, that dealing with having to do the mental gymnastics it takes to care for the fragile white Liberal female ego. Because, you see, these types of personalities always find ways to make every conversation about their experience and their “trauma”.

That mix of discomfort that comes from having to care for the fragile white ego is what is distracting Black people from taking care of ourselves.  That weight of having to be extra whatever in order for the white person to feel comfortable around a black person is, I strongly believe, the seed of many illnesses that are killing African Americans young.

I was having a good old time today at Sweetgreen eating my favorite salad sitting on a bench outside in the sunshine when I got a message from a former liberal white female feminist friend I’ve not called saying I was on her mind.

As our conversation escalated I took a breath and did an emotional mind body scan.

As she was talking I thought… does this situation feel good? Am I feeling nurtured? Is this a relationship that will make me a better person? What do I feel in my body?

I noticed I felt all tingly around my sinuses and there was a pounding in the base of my skull where my skull balances on my spine.  My heart was pounding, I was clutching my hands and my brow was furrowing.  And when I spoke back to her I was really loud.

In the middle her doing the white girl thing she (and other) white liberal female friends have done to me dozens of times before in our friendship, attempting to justify the micro aggression I had called her out on, I decided to interrupt her and opt out of the relationship.  I thanked her for her help and friendship in the past.  Said I loved her, because I do love everyone, and said the friendship was over.  We hung up and I deleted and blocked her number. (This action is more for my own sake because I’m a wussy and often time second guess myself and call people and apologize.  Blocking the number and deleting the interaction forces me to stand with my decision)

Once I took those actions, I immediately felt a wave of calm wash over my mind body and I felt at peace. I felt light.  I went back to enjoying the sunshine…and my salad.

If my friends of any race, can’t take me as I am,  they aren’t really friends and we can  move on without wasting any more time.

This call today hasn’t been the first time a former white liberal friend from my past has reached out to get their old social justice Mammy to soothe their discomfort. I’m grateful she called me today because this call inspired me to just go public and announce to the world that social justice Mammy has been working out.  She’s lost all that fat and is now fit and focused on nurturing herself first, then her immediate family then the black women and girls in her community.

White people need to stop looking to Black Women to nurture, lead and educate them.  Our resources are depleted we need to revitalize. Please, don’t waste our time with your white guilt.  Get on google and find the resources you need to learn whatever you need to learn about your whiteness and systemic racism. Once you do your work and evolve to the level of Abolitionist…then we can start having some conversations.

Social Justice Mammy is dead.

And the Black Woman who has replaced her is laser  focused, particularly now, on nurturing Black Women and Girls and our communities.

Ase

J9

P.S.

These are just two of the many situations where white folks I used to know have “reached out” to me to soothe their white guilt.

The liberal white former friend who I assisted did a reach out via email to me earlier this summer to find out why our relationship ended.  When I was direct with her about her “past life experience as an enslaved African woman”,  comments, she tried to do some “whitesplaning” and fell in line with the behavior I mentioned above, so I clearly cut the chord and ended the friendship for good.

Our lifetimes are short.  African Americans are dying at the average age of 65.  We need to care for ourselves better, we can’t always be doing the heavy lifting for the benefit of other groups.

Resources/ Workshops & Courses for White Women who want to educate themselves on systemic racism:

Off the Mat and into the world

CTZN Well

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Be the friend who is actually there.

Suicide is grounded in a feeling of isolation.

We live in a society where the cowardice of social grace is the norm.

Our culture celebrates the illusion of happiness and avoids reality by any means necessary.

Youth, beauty and wealth are considered to be the highest form of success in our culture.

Suicide happens because we ignore people.

When we are so wrapped up in our individual families that we don’t check up on our friends… we are contributors.

It’s so sad to me to think that our culture has gotten to a place where if someone is feeling like they must end their lives they only have a suicide hotline to call.

Where are their friends who will later say…she died so young

Or

He was troubled

Or

They seemed so happy.

If you are the friend who is present and if you are the friend who will do whatever you can to help and a suicide still happens then yes you can validly say it’s a shame.

If you didn’t step up then deal with your guilt and be a better friend in the future.

When I considered suicide in 2014 none of my “friends” were around. Why? Because the friends I attracted were nice people but they weren’t my people.

And….

Because I wasn’t able to be there for any of them, because I was so focused on trying to save my personal relationship with my ex and I had nothing left to give to anyone else.

I didn’t work to be there for my friends at that time so how could I possibly expect them to be there…for me.

The thing I feared most was being single middle aged and broke in NYC and I settled for someone who did not love me in fear and when he rejected me I broke down.

I’m sure my friends saw this…perhaps they didn’t because they were engrossed in their own lives…but either way neither of us invested in our relationship to be there for one another when a real crisis happened.

We must do the work of investing in our friendships even when people are a total fucking pain in the ass.

And people are a fucking pain in the ass.

We need to be the friend who sends a random text to say hi

Checks in unconditionally

The friend who listens

Be the friend who listens without having an answer.

And give hugs. Go for a walk. Yes we are always busy and yes there is always time.

That first Christmas after my breakup with my ex I was lying on my floor crying an infinite river of tears…I had the oven open with towels under all of the vents and doors in my studio apartment.

For whatever reason I googled a suicide hotline because I had tried calling several friends and none of them answered

The hotline picked up and I poured out my story…the breakup the financial fear my biological clock it all came out in this wave of guilt and shame.

It all came out and I was silent. There was a pause…then the guy on the phone he sounded like a brother, the brother s said” damn! umm yo like that’s deep but ummm you know uh it’s my first day…I gotta put you on hold and get my supervisor ”

First I was stunned. Then I started laughing. It was hilarious! I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt my belly aches and I remembered my joy. I remembered my live on this planet does have a purpose.

I decided to not end this sentence and continue my story.

New friendships blossomed where the others had disappeared and I’m finding my people.

And we live

Ase

J9

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Don’t Follow Black Women…Nourish Us. Please.

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The phrase “follow Black Women” should be modified to “Nourish Black Women”.  Women of African descent were brought to this country to work alongside our men, doing the work of men.

The tradition of African American Women has not been self care…it’s been forced nurturing of others in order to strive to just get the basic needs for our families. Our value, was defined by how well we produced while we were in forced servitude.

The African American community is having a 21st century online renaissance. Black women are at the forefront. For some white liberals, the phrase “Follow Black Women” has become a kind of anthem.

At the same time, Black women are dying young and more often from ailments grounded in constant stress. Now more than ever Black Women need nourishment.  We are not superhuman to be put on pedastals we are not magical. We break. We cry. We die.  (134 Black Women die EVERY DAY of heart disease. Every. Damn. Day.)

We African American women need to choose authentic joy.  Remember your joy, and those of you who are not African American woman also need you to choose authentic joy and focus on not following or depleting us, you need to PLEASE focus on unconditionally nurturing Black Women and Girls.

It can be as easy as saying “hello” in passing.  Saying “Thank you” and “Please”. Even simple actions like making kind eye contact and smiling are actions of unconditional nurturing.

It’s spring and the chakra of the season is called Manipura aka the Solar Plexus Chakra.  I imagine the sun activating the radiance of the Solar Plexus Chakra awakening during spring and growing during summer. What I love about the Sacral Chakra is the warrior energy.  Warm weather encourages vitality and a yearning to achieve and attract.  The other side of spring and summer energy is the servant energy.  Being constantly busy doing wears us out. Folks can possibly deplete themselves attempting to please other people in person AND on social media just for affirmations that we just sometimes can’t seem to give ourselves.

As spring rises on 2018 join the community of sustaining members of VisableBlackwoman productions and welcome art, music, creative writing and theater into your life as a daily personal practice of self-care.   I share recipes, Rhythm Therapy Rooftop video immersion mini sessions and more.  Your support enables me to create productions that make Black Women’s stories visible to preserve our legacies.  Because nobody can tell our stories like we can.

Every month I host a writing for self care 5 day online experience… RT Journal 2.

The focus in May is Joy.
It’s $8.00 for one course which lasts 5 days or you can enjoy once a month if you become a sustaining member of VisABleblackwoman productions.

CLICK HERE for RT Journal 2 Joy

CLICK HERE to join our community and support VisAbleblackwoman Productions.

Ashe.

J9

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Black Women in Service? Well first…

Since the election results in the Alabama race, these mantras are repeated among liberal progressives…”Let Black Women Lead” or “Follow Black Women”

The world of politics is the world of service.

Black Women in Amerikkka are always expected to serve.

Black women make 65 cents to every dollar that white men make. Even with that of that 65 cent to a dollar ratio, Black Women are continually expected by other groups and in our own communities to give money to help others.

I am a single child free single woman, I live in NY city and there are days where the only men who speak to me…are asking me for money.

From the homeless man on the street, to the clean air guy to the guy trying to get me to get my eyebrows threaded… I am seen as a resource.

Well, I am not a work horse to be used up until the stress of a life of services pushes me into an early grave. Hell no.

The way to our black Women first? Support our businesses. Invest in us. If you know a Black Woman who is fabulous; and know she is looking to be in a relationship; and you know eligible single men; don’t assume she isn’t dating; talk to her and see if she’d be interested in a blind date.

Allow Black Women opportunities to practice self care. Acknowledge our presence. Be kind. If a Black Woman is the only Black Women man in a room full of white people and you are white… say hello. Smile.

Wealth is created with community support. Think of ways you can personally support a Black Woman. And don’t ask her how to “support” her. Figure it out by being a friend.

When we invest in women globally, we see how communities thrive. Why not invest in Black Women Locally… and work with us to live the change we wanna se in this country.

Ashe

J9

Posted in #blackgirlhealing, community, gender & race, Year of Yes | Leave a comment

When You Believe in the Power of Imagination

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Once a month on Sundays when I’m in NYC, I try to make it to meditation class.   One of my favorite meditation teachers is Kadam Morten Clausen.  Kadam Morten is the  Resident Teacher at KMC-NYC, Eastern US National Spiritual Director for the New Kadampa Tradition.

The current meditation series Kadam Morten is leading is an introduction to Tantra.  Everything begins in the imagination.  Tantra in simple terms uses meditation to imagine the possible.  I’m really super simplyfiying here.

Reality is and always will be challenging.  Yes, we gotta face reality and at the same time allow ourselves time to create the future in our imagination.

For me, theater, dance meditation and music are vehicles I use for transformation on literally, a personal daily basis.

This week has been relentless and I’ve really had to work hard to remember to believe.  Just when my mind was just pounding me with fear, doubt and shame,  Lena Horne popped into my head.  I remembered Lena Horne as Glinda the good in the Wiz, singing to Dorothy…”If you believe”  with all those little babies dangling uncomfortably around her.

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The Wiz is spiritual.  Seriously!!!  Think about it.  Dorthy always looked outside herself to get home when in reality, she had the power all along, it took her friends, her community to help her find her way back to believing in the power of her own imagination.  The world she believed in was the world she was able to create.

It seems really simple, it’s not.  Transformation never is.  A belief can transform a fact into a different reality.  We see this happening every day…why not use that simple logic to create good in our lives.

Bohemoth corporations and systems all began as thoughts in someone’s mind.  Remember the superhero that lives in your imagination who believes.   If you need a little inspiration…. Click Here and experience Miss Diana Ross from the 1978 movie version of The Wiz…sharing the power of belief.

visAbleblackwoman productions officially launches Friday December 1, 2017…BELIEVE!!!

Ashe

J9

 

Posted in community, Year of Yes | Leave a comment

The power of Active Silence and Embracing that the Problem…is always Me.

 

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I was a runner.  My Mom has always been a spanker.  Because of my inability to be silent in the face of perceived injustice…as a kid, I got spankings several times a week.  My older brother would come home from high school track practice when I was in elementary school and greet me with, “Hey Jeanine! How many beatin’s did you get today?”   I shared a room with my sister, who was also in high school when I was in elementary school, and she would regularly tell my mother whatever “bad” thing I had done and get her justice immediately.

My Mom would make me go pick a switch from a tree..or fetch my Dad’s thick leather belt and expected me to lay across this round white hassock to receive my spankings.

But I would not stay still and accept my punishment. I was a runner. My mom would chase me…and the rest of my family would laugh, and I’ve always remembered this injustice and a bit of me has always held anger in my heart toward my family for those experiences.

My parents 60’th anniversary was last Saturday. All they asked of me was to come to dinner with my siblings, sister in law and nephews.  the last time we were all together in one roof was about 4 years ago

My family is loud. Particularly the men.  In a world where the voices of black men are silenced, at home…they shout. Usually I debate the men in my family, I challenge them… and my black female voice creates chaos in the entire family system.  A woman with a voice in a conservative Christian family is a dangerous entity.  When I speak up, even defending the women in my family…the women in my family usually side with the men and everyone thinks the problem…is me.

This is an example of how religion provides the perfect platform for the patriarchy to thrive.  Women nurturing, listening,  cooking and cleaning, agreeing, while the menfolk pontificate loudly on the events of the world.

To avoid all of this I usually spend time away from my family of origin.  I go to Friendsgivings where  I go where I feel free.  But in my world, the imprint of my family is strong.  I pontificate passionately, I am loud, can be melodramatic, selfrighteous and in many circumstances have become the one who people run away from.

As I grow older, I see the value of time more clearly.  Each moment on this planet is limited. I’m at the age where my peers are going through their parents dying. I see the years on my parents bodies and I can no longer run.  I’ve lived long enough to be broken down by bad relationships, and when I lost everything, my Mother, Sister and Father were there to help me rebuild.  Now, my father did what men do, when I was at my lowest point, but my Mother and my Sister didn’t kick me when I was down, they raised me up. The women who are closest to me, never said “I told you so.”  During my low time, most of friends I chose in NYC were absent. It was my Mom, Sister, Dad and my mentor in NYC who is also a black woman who I could turn to for help. Black women, did not run when I needed a hand and I will always remember this.

This  non-Thanksgiving, I showed up away from my beloved NYC at my favorite time of year,  to be with my family of origin.  I made a promise to myself to practice mini vippasana meditations (vippasana meditation is a practice of seeing things as they realy are) when conversations occur that will turn into an argument if I choose to use my voice.  I decided to check my right to free speech at the door and find the times to be…quiet.

I did it. I did it, and it sucked for me.  There were times where I literally got out of my seat and left the room.

No one noticed, they all had a great time.

I returned to the room, stayed silent, helped with the cooking, accepted the compliments, cleared the table and washed the dishes while the men talked at each other and over the women.  I listened as they interrupted, laughed at the expense of others, cut off, shouted at the football game.  And as my siblings and their families were leaving, they all commented how great the day was…no arguements.

This was my gift to my family…my silence.    This one day of peace was a good one.

The next morning….

My brother, who is 10 years older than me, stopped by to pick up some left overs his family had left behind.  He works a night shift so my mom made him breakfast and as I was getting dressed I heard them talking.

I said good morning and got ready for the gym.  I procrastinated getting my things together slowly just taking my time.

When my brother was leaving, as he said goodbye  he joked…” I can’t leave without a good arguement with Jeanine!”  and he started to “tease ” me.  I don’t eat before I workout.  And I haddn’t eaten or even brushed my teeth yet, and here my brother was… “teasing” me, poking the tender protected parts that only family can agitate.  I responded and eventually we ended up in a literal yelling match.  All the work I had done to prepare for this trip, to make it through the day with family without a fight evaporated in this moment of anger.  My brother doesn’t fight fair and he said mean things that I will never be able to unhear and I sunk down to his level and did the same.  My mother of course tried to silence me and I heard my father from his easy chair chime in…. “Jeanine’s right!”  I out shouted my brother and this time, he was the one who ran.  COWARD!! I know you hear me COWARD  go ahead…run!!  I shouted at the empty space my brother had just occupied.  I looked at my elderly mother with anger as she looked back at me with disappointment and I thought “this is why I never wanted to have children”

In this house, with this family, I will always be the youngest daughter expected to be cute and quiet while the men are allowed to lead to be big, be bold be charasmatic. Yes, we love each other, but I not longer expect my family to ever understand or know the person I am. In this man run society where the value of a person is judged by how much money they make, until they may not see me excelling at my field in the way they view success…I may never be “big” in their eyes.

Untile I learn co-exist with the patriarcy in my family, anger will make me weak and destroy my relationship with them.  I have to get to the point where I authentically don’t have to prove anything to my family or seek their admiration.

I have to accept that the problem is never them.  The problem is ALWAYS me.

The simple act of my Mom Sister and Dad helping me when I was really down, forced me to appreciate that I have a solid family. No family is ever perfect.  A facet of maturity is knowing the impact of ones actions before reacting and allowing oneself to step back and be mindful, to think before speaking, instead of pushing forward to prove a point.

In hindsight I look back at the situation and say…okay the problem is me… I can see what I could have done instead of grounding in to my anger, taking the bait and getting into a fight.

My plan was to have gone to the 8:30am class at the gym.  If I had gotten my ass up and out the door and been at the gym… instead of procrastinating…you get the idea?  Instead I shot verbal daggers at my brother’s heart and sucuessfully deflated his male ego.

The words I allowed into the world that day,  will leave a lasting negative impact on my entire family of orgin.  I can’t take any of it back.

We live in a time where mean words and bombastic egos are splattered on our consicousness like rotten tomatoes on a clean wall.  Left unchecked it all stinks and rots.

As I work daily to resist this corrupt political system of things, I realize it all starts at home.  The first work to be done for me, is to be able to get along with my family of orgin without running.

I love and respect my family deeply and at the same time disagree with them on many things greatly.  My  ability to control my own mind and my reactions to ideas that piss me off will make me stronger.

What are my tools to live peacefully with my family of origin?
Meditation
Daily Exercise
Mindful Silence
Embracing that the problem is always gonna be me.i

I lay here in bed at 6:00 pm exhausted.  I reflect on what went wrong and think about how I can be better in the future. I celebrate the fact that for one day, my parents were able to see their children, grandchildren, and the spouses of their children, under the same roof sharing a meal in peace.  My silence contributed to the happiness of the moment.  If I can practice patience with myself when dealing with my family… I can practice active mindfulness with my family, I can do it everywhere in my life.

And for better or worse…I did not run.

Ashe

J9

 

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Oxygen Masks…Cutting cords

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135 Black Women die every day of heart disease.

Scores of  black men women and children are shot yearly by police.

Black Women, Men and Children coexist with systemic racism each day of our lives in America.

Our ancestors were brutalized, terrorized, raped, without consequence.

Some of us are forced to go to schools named after Confederate sadists who raped, tortured, terrorized, whipped, lynched our ancestors.

Brilliant Black women create a Black Lives Matter, The movement is called terrorist by a President.

June 2017…. a jury acquits the police officer who murdered Philando Casile and a group of artists decide to organize a March  in Washington for Racial Justice.  Observent Jewish people…protest because..of the date.  The Observant Jewish people rush to protest.

September 30, 1919 was a horrible day. 237 black men, women and children were lynched. The date of the March for Racial Justice was chosen for many reasons one of them was as as a day of reverence to honor the ancestors of these lost souls, these sharecroppers,  were murdered because they spoke up and requested…just requested their fair share.

Since the election the media has been focused on…

jobs in the rust belt

the opioid addiction in the flyover states

how the Democrats lost poor white voters.

And now…since the KKK rally everyone is focused on educating white people on race relations.

I decided a couple of years ago to stop trying to educate white people and focus on the health, wellness and building support networks for Black women and girls.

With this Charlottesville White Liberal racism exists “awakening”  all kinds of white people from my past have been “reaching out”.

Please stop reaching out.

Your former one black friend cannot be your white guilt eradicator.

I don’t have time to, nor do I want to, take care of your white guilt.

As always…black lives are at stake.

Black communities have always taken care of one another.

Mary McLeod Bethune created a University in order to educate black boys and girls.  She said ” The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.”

Black Lives Matter.  We are in the 21st century and we STILL have to say it.

If a plane is going to crash, you put your oxygen mask on first.

The expectation for people of color… is for us to just be of service, to educate to help.  Our resources are mined, stolen…appropriated while we are left with nothing.

If white people REALLY want to be allies stop being so fragile around race get over your guilt and take action.

I mean white folks are constantly figuring out how to Hack systems to find efficient ways of doing things and appropriating cultures, why not put your creative intelligence towards learning compassion and authentically disrupting systems of whiteness that oppress the black and brown.

When I see a liberal white person posting something like that stupid Tina Fey cake shit…and laughing about it on social media… I unfriend and block that person.  I have no time for that energy.  You can apologize sure. But I am not your mother’s civil rights activist.  And I am not a christian.  So I’m not gonna internalize the trauma you caused me with your ignorance, pray to “black Jesus” eat something fried get cancer and die before I’m 50 because of all the stress.

Hell no.  I see what you post and cut the chord.   Chord cutting is a powerful practice.  And I’m not gonna lie to you…it’s not easy.  I get tempted to just work with and keep the conversation going…but doing that… I’m missing out healing the wounds within black communities that need to be healed to strengthen us.

No no.  Can’t be distracted.

If a liberal white person is intellectualizing about getting rid of “identity politics” and all focusing on the “real issues”… I cast a protective spell around myself and walk away.

I am not here to support white women who have black husbands or boyfriends with bi-racial children who don’t know how to comb their kids hair.  Do not ask me. And NO I cannot recommend a hairdresser.

I am not here to be the expert on race in a room full of white Americans who have lived in this country and benefitted from systemic whiteness their entire lives.

I am not here to nurture your fragile white ego and prove to white liberals that they aren’t racist.  Why? Because Racism is connected to power and privilege. Even the poorest white person has privilege because of the color of their skin. If a white person cannot even admit that fact…I have no space in my realm for that energy.

I am not that black person.  I do not coddle.  My mission…the people who need my nurturing and compassion…are my fellow African Americans.

135 Black women die of heart disease every day.

My goal is to turn that number….to 0.

Seriously.

J9

P.S. Black Americans are SPECTACULAR  we are of the future and we will always be here.  We know how to not only survive…we thrive.

Just Take in some images of our Black Badassary

 

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