Friday, June 1, 2018

Stress Kills!!! Keep Your Stress In Check Before It Check You!

Stress is actually the underlying issue for majority of health issues such as strokes and heart attacks. Stress kills. Stress weakens the immune and cardiovascular system. Stress offsets mental health issues which manifest into physical health issues . We have to start identifying the stressful people, events, and things and start removing them from our life. Stop living a luxurious and unstable life trying to keep up with other working class poor people. 
Let’s keep it 💯 if you aren’t connected to wealth, struggling to pay bills despite having a decent income and you are one check or incident away from are working class poor. If you are Black living in America with limited of resources, no reparations, dealing with wealth, health, and sociopolitical inequality, NOW is the time to start reassessing success, aspirations, pooling our resources together, living intergenerational, and living a simple and stable but full life. 

Don't forget to download : What We Get Wrong About Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

Friday, May 18, 2018

Colorism Is WackAF: Time to Dead #TeamLightSkin vs #TeamDarkSkin

I love my Blackness!! I know we have to deal with a lot of ish on a daily basis from folks who don't really want us to exist nor see us win due to our color and resiliency. When we have to deal with racism, bigotry, combating failure in our neighborhood on top of daily unfairness; it is tiring. However, dealing with hatred from our own folks is even more disheartening.

Being Black in America is tiring and complex. When we deal with colorism within the Black Community, we are dealing with unresolved trauma and pain that stems from slavery. We often forget that America implemented the one-drop rule in which if you have one drop of blood, you are classified as Black. We often forget that being Black in America comes in all shades, shapes, and form. We all experience some kind of oppression, racism, and downright unfairness from the outside of the family to the inside of the Black family.

 Recommended Read: Who is Black?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Why I'm Better Not Basic: My First Keynote Address

"Loyal to all, but when I look at these black girls faces,I understand why I chose to be better, not basic. So it's not, not (hard to choose)" -Rapsody, Hard To Choose

May 6th, 2018, I had delivered my first keynote address “How to Be Better in A Basic and Bitter World”! Y'all know I had to throw in my home-girl, Rapsody's Hard to Choose lyrics in this keynote address because it just set the tone for the Black girls and women in the building. I realize that we are not just setting the examples for ourselves or our communities. We have little Black girls and elders who are in need of self-forgiveness and liberation. Before going into my keynote address, I made sure to feel the energy in the room, understand my social responsibility and greet and thank people for coming out. See, part of my life's mission and assignment is to collectively get Black people to the point of collectives instead of individualism. We can achieve more things when we display our honesty, humanistic and authenticity to folks. We also have to realize that we are in the same situation, in which the systemic system fails us time and time again. No one is better than the next because we are in this thing together. 
During my keynote address, I discussed my breakups, my divorce, my bouts with bitterness and my ongoing healing journey as a Black Woman. I gave permission to every girl and woman in the room to understand how the world views us as "Bitter Black Woman" and how we don't have to answer to what we are being called. I also flipped the script and helped the actual "Bitter Black Women" to understand that healing, forgiveness, and triumph is awaiting you if you choose to work through that internal pain which is awful. We all have choices. I also mentioned three takeaways:
 1. Bitterness is an Illness and how we need to place boundaries around our bitterness. 
 2. Why we shouldn't internalize and take ownership of others feelings, words, and emptiness
 3. It is okay to be upset, a mess, and angry. You are experiencing emotions and feelings that should be coped with versus numbed. When you have the tools to navigate through hurt and pain; you are equipped to heal and bounce back from internal bondage and trauma. 

See, I have been there and done that will internally personal offenses, hence, why I had to deliver this message. Once upon a time I was bitter because I didn’t work through the hurt, shame, guilt, and unresolved issues from a major breakup of an engagement to someone I was going to marry. I found myself resistance to all hurtful feelings because I didn’t want to appear weak but I was by not working through the pain. Eventually that pain and resentment, sent me seeking holistic and unapologetic healing from a therapist, by doing the inner work and truly forgiving all parties involved! It took years to do all of this work.

Yes the F word, y’all!

See forgiveness is a revolutionary act! It is not for the faint at heart. You are a real live G if you can forgive yourself and others!

See I had to forgive myself first because I thought I wasn’t good enough because my ex and I split and he got married a few months later. I took that entire process to heart and internalized every piece of hurtful emotion possible!
I was self-sabotaging everything! Eventually, it took me time to truly move pass the hurt feelings with the help of a therapist and choosing forgiveness. I had to also remember that I had a choice to forever live in bondage or truly liberate myself and pass transgressions from my former relationship in order to grow and progress!

I’m too FLY to be unforgiving! Forgiveness is a mature act.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March Is Social Work Month: I Said Yes to Being A Social Worker

It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. -Whitney Young

Chile... I have failed many times in life, but I am not a failure. As long as you have breath within you, failure will occur continuously.  I remember being an undergraduate student majoring in Nursing, failing (my anatomy class) which is mandatory to go on to the professional phase which was the clinical stage. I thought my life was over until I realize that Nursing probably wasn't my true passion. I went into nursing because my Dad *Hey Dad* thought it was going to bring me prosperity and "status" because he worked as a surgical technician at Mass General Hospital for eons and was surrounded by medical professionals. (Insert Side-Eye)

*Disclaimer* Please parents for the love of God and life, please stop living vicariously through your children. We are under immense pressure as students, as a Native Black or whatever you identify yourself with living in Amerikkka and trying to navigate a holistic life.

Back to the Topic...

I remember my Mother consoling me because I broke all the way down and did the most epic ugly cry in Drea's history. You know that ugly cry in which you fall out, bang your head, probably have brain trauma, that ugly cry when you were delivered the awful news while grieving at the same time? Yeah, that ugly cry!  In true Josie Mae fashion aka "My Mom", she said, "Ok, get it out, keep crying but this is not the end of the world and you are not a failure." We all need a Josie Mae as Mother, friend, and Sistah-friend.

I remember sitting on the stairs in my house in full-blown tears.  My Mom suggested that I should make a list of everything I love doing, would do it for free, and fulfill my life purpose. She kept telling me to become a Writer and major in English but I passed because at the time I wanted a more "hands-on" experience with the people! *Hey Mama, thanks for sparking the BGFB Blog! *  I did not realize at the time that writing brings people and their experiences together. Writing/Blogging provides a different voice and perspective.  Did I just choose Social Worker or did Social Work choose me? Chile we are in a mutually elusive lifelong relationship. We said Yes!

Honestly, I wanted to advocate for the people, especially for the people who thought they have failed in life or someone told them that they've failed due to making a few mistakes or co-existing in a system that is designed to break your mind, body, and soul. I wanted to provide wisdom, knowledge, sustainability, and advocacy. Being a Social Worker, you have to understand that you are a warrior. You are unpopular and hated by some and adored and a hero to some. Being a Social Worker is understanding that you can navigate spaces that the average global citizens cannot because you are versatile and culturally competent.  You are the one who speak truth to power because you have an understanding and discernment that ish is crazy and dysfunctional out here in these streets and within families. Social Workers are the ones who find themselves in uncompromising situations because you know you have to go beyond the red tape and barriers to actually get the resources for your clients, community, and the world. You will have to throw on some army fatigues to go to war on a micro, mezzo, and macro level. You will have to go to war on a Macro level, such as speaking truth to power, calling out unjust, racism, toxicity, inequality in holistic care, and doing the work to change policies, and procedures at the same damn time.

Fast forward to ten years later, licensed, certified, and seasoned... I never thought Social Work would provide me with a plethora of personal and professional experiences. I don't believe that nursing would have provided me with the similar experiences. From interning at the Tuskegee VA Hospital my Senior Year at Tuskegee. I got paid in full as well. To being Miss. Social Work, Vice President of the Social Work Student Alliance to serve as a Program Coordinator as an undergrad at the Macon County YMCA to help create service projects for the youth and their families in Macon County.

I have studied abroad in Jamaica as a graduate student at The University of Southern Mississippi to be a Class Rep for the Social Work Alliance Club. I have worked as a Foster Care Social Worker, Hospice Social Worker, Advocated at the Alabama State legislation, help started an initiative for Hurricane Katrina victims in Hattiesburg, MS, spoke truth to power about racism on the campus at The University of Southern Mississippi, supervising Social Work Students, being a consultant to with non-profit agencies, Director of Social Services at a non-profit, started a holistic health business to help heal the whole person and their environment, potential Professor and more. The list continues.

Everything happened for a reason and I am certainly honored and privilege to be on this journey. I am exhilarated that I am able to serve and advocate for the people every day and all day.

I want to give a major S/O to all the Social Worker out there on the Frontline healing people, providing resources, tirelessly advocating for those who are unable to do so, being change agents and catalysts, and more. You all are the undefeated and unanimous MVPs!

Lastly, Social Workers we need to advocate for a Universal Social Work licensure exam! Some of us are International Social Workers and move around a lot. Trying to pay for a license transfer or retaking parts of the exams is utterly absurd.

Love and light to all the Social Workers!