Humor, Mommy Life

The Truth About Mom Sleep Deprivation

February 23, 2015

As you know, being a mom can result in a lot of awesomeness with butterfly kisses, and the wonderment of living childhood out with your little ones. It can also bring on major bouts of sleep deprivation and tiredness.

I was feeling totally exhausted the other day and I didn’t have the energy to think about what I wanted to make a video on. I diagnosed myself with MSDS. Mom Sleep Deprivation Syndrome.

But then I was like:

Dija! Make a video on feeling sleepy!

And I was like:

Dija, that’s why I like you. You are such a genius. A sleepy one but a genius indeed.

And then I was like:

Remember that weird info-graphic you saw on Nick Mom’s website about sleep?

And then I responded:

Yeah sure I do.

Then I was like:

Make a video about sleep inspired by that info-graphic.

And then this video happened…

And that ladies and gentlemen is my creative process for this week’s video!

Mom Sleep deprivation does weird things to you.

get inspired link up

Guess what? I’m going to still allow for people to link up here if they want to but I think it would be easier for people just to use the hashtag #getinspired and share whatever has inspired them this week. Don’t forget to tag me!

Twitter: @inspiredindy

IG: @theinspiredcafe

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for more inspiration directly to your mailbox!

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Crafts, DIY fashion

How to Make an easy Lace Peter Pan Collar Necklace

February 23, 2015

Peter Pan collars give a classy and lady like feel to any outfit. Recently this trend has come back in a unique way. I’ve always loved the look of peter pan collars and I’ve been loving the all of the tutorials for making peter pan necklaces.

Peter pan collar necklaces are awesome for so many reason. Most of all because you can choose to accessorize a simple t-shirt easily and remove them just as easily.

I was recently inspired to make when when I was trying to how I could reuse some lace from another top I had. This is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a Lace Peter Pan Collar. I hope you like it!

Materials:

Old Lace from a shirt I got from goodwill but you can buy lace at your local fabric store
needle and thread
scissors
Pearl embellishments from local craft store
Tacky Glue
Ribbon
felt

I tried to be as clear as I could with the instructions for this peter pan collar necklace but please feel free to comment below with any questions. I got all of my materials from either Joanne’s Fabric Store or Micheal’s.

Please subscribe and share if you like the video!

Humor, Mommy Life

Introducing the stay at home mom app

February 22, 2015

So I was talking with my friend the other day about the fact that when you go to work every day you have people giving you accolades or high fives for a job well done. In fact, she told me how at her sales job they were once rewarded with an all day spa treatment for meeting sales goals.

WHAT?

That’s sounds marvelous right now while I sit at home taking care of three sick kids.

When you are a stay at home mom…well there’s no one there to tell you that you did a good job changing that diaper or or making that nutritious meal. No one to marvel at how you cleaned that toilet or how you folded the laundry. You just kind of have to learn to cheer yourself on.

Theory: Maybe social media was really invented by a bunch of stay at home moms who wanted to connect with other people and were desperate for someone to just once tell them that they did a good job getting that poop stain out of her favorite blouse.

I also was inspired by another friend who is very positive all time and how he should have his own app that shares positive vibes on demand. These two inspirations combined resulted in me thinking what if there was a s.a.h.m app where moms could use it whenever they feel like they need a pick me up when they are feeling especially postpartumish, unappreciated, or sleep-deprived.

You know our messy buns aren’t done  just to be stylish. We don’t wear kimonos because they’re in style now.

We need encouragement as moms on this journey of raising our little ones. I came to the conclusion that whether or not I get Shark Tank to fund this app, we need to be this app for each other.

By the way…in case no one has told you this today…

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Hope you enjoyed a little dose of stay at home mom humor!

Link up your inspiring post here!

 

Beauty, Lifestyle

Shea Moisture Makeup Review and Tutorial

February 20, 2015

shea moisture cosmetics theinspiredcafe.com
shea moisture cosmetics theinspiredcafe.com
I’m so excited to share with you that one of my favorite companies has released a cosmetics line! I’m already a huge fan of their hair products and I had high expectations going into this review.
Thankfully one of my good friends told me to check it out and requested I do a review on it. So I took myself over to Target and found Shea Moisture’s new cosmetics line. In this Shea Moisture Makeup review video I share my thoughts on the products, the packaging and ingredients. Here is the video for the Shea Moisture makeup review I did of the products.

shea moisture cosmetics theinspiredcafe.com
Shea Moisture’s products have:

  • No Parabens
  • No Phthalates
  • No Paraffin
  • No Formaldehyde
  • No Propylene Glycol
  • No Mineral Oil
  • No Synthetic Fragrance
  • No Petrolatum
  • No Synthetic Color
  • No DEA
  • No Animal Testing

Pretty sweet, huh?

Shea moisture makeup review

First of all I really liked the packaging of the products. They were very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. That is a big in for me! The products did not have any type of perfumey smell which I really appreciate. My skin and nose are pretty sensitive so I welcome that lack of fragrance. The colors were very soft and beautiful.

Lip Gloss

  • Went on very smooth and the color was beautiful with my skin tone.
  • After using the brush for a while it did seem to get a little gloppy.
  • But I’m sure this can be remedied with consistent cleaning.

Powder

  •  Nice overall feel.
  • It did the job of removing shine without breaking me out.
  • Did not make my skin dry out at all. I have naturally dry skin so if you have oily skin you might have a different thought about it.

Eye Shadow

  • Was true to color and even had a little bit of an iridescent look to it when it was applied.
  • I really liked the color with my skin tone
  • I feel like I should have purchased the cases to hold the eye shadow

Mascara 

  • Did not stand out to me as being better than any other mascara.
  • It did have an interesting shape to allow for more defined application to the lashes.
  • The product did not irritate my sensitive eyes.

Lip Stick/Blush

  • This was my absolute favorite product of them all!
  • I loved the versatility of this product that you could apply it to your lips, cheeks and even eyes.
  • The color was beautiful. It offered just the right amount and could be darkened by applying more layers.
  • I also felt like I should have purchased a case for this product.

Even though I couldn’t say this product is 100% natural and organic I can say that it mostly is according to the ingredients. I could understand the majority of what was written on the back. I would definitely purchase this item again.

Want to know how I applied everything? Check out this easy makeup tutorial. And I mean easy because I’m not a makeup guru! lol!

Adventures in Allergies, Coffee Talk, Recipes

Spice Up Your Chai Tea

February 19, 2015

chai tea

Chai tea is a type of black tea created from a blend of various spices. There are many different types of Chai recipes that you can make. Chai Tea recipes date back thousands of years in India and was created with medicinal herbs intended for healing through the practice Ayurvedic Medicine. Maybe that’s why Chai Tea has been one of my favorite drinks for the past 12 years… literally.

And cause I’m half East Indian.

I have been drinking teas faithfully since I was a child. I would remember my mom (from Jamaica) creating different types of teas for our different ailments. Ginger tea for an upset stomach, mint tea…for an upset stomach or just because it was so delicious! She would grow mint leaves in her garden. We would just go pick them, wash them and boil them for some really awesome tea. Both my parents would enjoy tea the English way with boiled milk and black teas. When my grandparents from India came to visit we had tea time at 4pm every day.

Needless to say tea was a huge part of my life.

When I was in college I took a job as a barista. There I discovered the American version of Chai tea. I literally fell in love with it! In fact, when this guy I liked would come in I would give him a free cup of chai with a little vanilla and a muffin just because. Chai is pretty powerful.

That guy and I got married, had three babies and are celebrating our 13th anniversary this year.

I never was a fan of the chai tea bags and have always preferred the Oregon Chai from the box. That is until our friend Steve  changed my perspective!


I’m going to share with you Chai tea with a little twist!Boil water and steep your tea bag

1.fill the cup 2/3 of the way full
2.add sugar, stevia, or honey for your sweetener
3.add milk, almond milk, soy, whatever you like to fill up the remainder of the cup
4.sprinkle some cinnamon on top
5.stir and enjoy!

God Bless

I linked up at We are That Family

Inspiration

Finding Your Path – Working on a Dream

February 17, 2015

find your path

Working quietly on a dream…

I’ve been doing that for years. Thinking and dreaming of the day when something takes off. Sometimes an opportunity comes up and it’s absolutely wonderful. Sometimes when it passes I’m left wondering if I’m actually building anything. I wonder what I should be doing differently.

If I should be doing something differently.

Or if I should just continue the way that I’m going.

For the first time in my life I feel like I’m “on my path”. I spent a lot of my 20’s (probably all of it) wondering if I was living in the right direction. Wondering what my path was, or if I ever got on it, would I recognize it. I wondered why when I thought I saw my path it looked so narrow. It winded around through shady overgrown trees. Wild flowers lined the path. Crazy, colorful and unkempt. Rays of sunlight would peek through the trees lighting only parts of the path at a time.

But still I resisted it.

I was afraid of it I think.

Because it was so different from everyone else’s path. I just wanted to fit in with everyone else who seemed okay with getting a job and…joining the race. That race was on the wider path, that was paved, and had lot’s of people. It even had people on the sidelines who could cheer you on or give you a cold drink. Everyone knows what way to go and what the mile markers are on that path. The path has been run millions of times, there are check in points, satellite mapping, and people waiting for you at the finish line.

Not on my path. It was still dirt. It was worn down by the feet of the few willing to travel on that path, cut down the bush, pick the flowers. Smell them even.

But I kept getting drawn to that path over the years. I was eventually forced down that path when I decided to come home to take care of my three children who had a plethora of food allergies. I was forced on that path when I chose to homeschool until their allergies were less severe. I chose that path when I started using blogging and youtube as creative outlets.

Really I chose that path when I quit my engineering major and turned to my true love – theater.

But before that as a little girl I knew that I had something special inside of me that I wanted to express through story telling. I knew that I could touch the sky. I just knew that my life was going to be different.

Maybe the path chose me.

Today I’m not where I want to be but I finally know I’m on my path. That in itself is so comforting.

If you are working on finding your path you might be wondering how I discovered mine.

I discovered my calling after reading countless books, studying my personality type and studying the gifts and talents God gave me. I will admit I tried a lot of different things and I drove my husband crazy at times with my constant experimentation but I needed it to find myself.

It’s funny the long journeys some of us have to take to find ourselves.

I still struggle now wondering when things will take off and grow. I want to give up many times. But I’ve heard a saying that says right when you want to give up is when the blessing comes.

Here are somethings that I’ve been inspired by this week that I wanted to share with you.

This blog post by Erin who writes for Design for Mankind reminded me to look differently at our cold snowy days.

This podcast by Myleik Teele the creator of Curlbox reminded me that motivation is great but discipline is what makes motivation work.

This Blogging book byJoy Deangdeelert Cho from Oh Joy reminded me why I love blogging.

I hope that you guys Get Inspire(d) by checking these little nuggets out!

I’m thinking about discontinuing the weekly link up because it’s not really gaining more traction. I’m thinking it might be easier just to use instagram to post inspiring things. You can just hashtag #getinspired and tag me at @theinspiredcafe.

What do you think? Link up your inspirational post below.

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Inspiration, Mommy Life

The Butterfly Effect

February 12, 2015

Butterflies are some of the most beautiful creatures on this planet. Their life cycle is one of wonder and amazement. The metamorphosis from a squishy caterpillar to delicate and beautiful butterfly is a profound reflection of our internal growth process as well.

Earlier this week I was doing some writing and thinking about what motherhood does to women. How it changes us in so many ways and forces us to grow in all areas of our lives. I had learned about the main 4 stages of development was I was a child but I was drawn to RE researching what actually goes on inside of the cocoon. It has been more than several years since I’ve left Pittsfield Elementary School in Ypsilanti MI.

Man, the internet was just a baby back then!

So after some research on the google I found out some interesting facts:

butterfly stages gif

Stages of a Butterfly

  • The caterpillar is actually born with it’s wings and other adult body parts which remain dormant inside of it’s body because of juvenile hormones.
  • When the caterpillar is inside of the chrysalis it releases enzymes that devolves it’s tissues
  • Everything dissolves except things called discs which contain the blue print for it’s adult body
  • The caterpillar then rebuilds it’s new body until it becomes a butterfly

I was like WHAAAAAAATTTT!?

So like,  the catapillar has to be broken down completely to it’s basic parts before it can become a butterfly?

Deep right?

Much like that caterpillar which was born with what it needed to fully develop we are born with our gifts, talents and dreams. They can lay dormant inside of us until we are tested and broken down by certain things in our lives. If we choose to learn and grow from these life experiences we can find ourselves with wings. If we choose not to, then we will remain a pile of dissolved mush.

Not cute.

As moms we go through many many MANY changes. The process of being pregnant, giving birth, surviving infancy, toddlerhood, and the early school years will literally break you down at some points. The lack of sleep, the addition of worry, ear infections, tantrums, and discipline woes can cause you to tune into emotions you didn’t know existed. At the same time the cuddles, cooing, developmental growth, and smiles can take you to levels of love that you’ve never experienced before.

Motherhood is like being in that Chrysalis. Motherhood the beginning stages(when they are fully dependent on you) is for a season. I remember being so frustrated and discontent for years because I was always battling the desire to be creative and follow my dreams while having to be on 24/7 to take care of children. It took me a while to learn to embrace the season I was in. I was broken down in so many ways from my body to my perspectives on life. Everything about how I viewed life was dissolved completely down. I was forced to look at who I was at the core. My basic beliefs about myself and who I was were challenged in ways I would NEVER have imagined.

Today I am not who I used to be. My belief system has been matured, my perspectives have changed and my faith has grown. I am stronger, more focused and more sure of who I am at what my calling is because of that season of being “dissolved”.

I want you to be encouraged through this season of being “dissolved”. You might feel like a pile of caterpillar mush now but one day you will find yourself a beautiful butterfly.

I know.

Cheesy.

But true.

 

 

Be Fearless, Link up

Overcoming Fear – What are you Really Afraid of?

February 9, 2015

overcoming fear

Last week I posted a video on overcoming fear. All of those tactics are things that I’ve personally used and found them to be helpful. But I want to dive a little bit deeper into the heart of one of my own challenges with overcoming fear. To some of you this might be a silly thing to be afraid of, but it’s been bugging me for awhile now and I keep hitting a  block when I think about moving forward on this thing.

For a long time I’ve had this vision to interview other creative moms who were going after their passions and still doing the mama thing with joy. I’ve always enjoyed hearing other people’s stories and discovering thing thing that they are passionate about. I’ve always been curious about the way people go about pursuing their dreams and how they balance it with family life. However, I’ve always had this sense of anxiety come up inside of me when I think about actually conducting these interviews and I’ve never been able to put my finger on it.

This past week during a coaching session (I’m the one getting coached) I shared what I wanted to do and that I was scared. My coach’s response really convicted me. I realized that I needed to examine what in the world was making me feel this way. After some heavy thought I realized two things:

  1. This is an irrational fear
  2. This fear is really anxiety and I need to find out what I’m really afraid of.

So I began to mentally go through the process of getting the interview to see if I could identify where I was feeling anxious.

First I would need to research who I wanted to interview.

Okay no problem.

Then find their contact information.

Sure I can do that.

Contact them.

Okay, but I’m feeling a little anxious here.

Set the time and conduct the interview.

Okay I’m feeling all kinds of anxious right here.

Post and publicize the interview.

Woah, Nelly! I can’t even think this far! My anxiety level is really high now!

After reviewing the places in the process that caused my fear/anxiety level to rise, I saw that it started at the contact stage. Now I’m not afraid of talking to people I don’t know  in a casual setting but if it’s for a professional reason or I need to ask them for something…well then I start to get nervous and all sorts of things start going through my mind:

  • Are they going to get annoyed at me for asking?
  • Why would anyone want to be interviewed by me?
  • What if they say no?
  • What if they say yes?
  • How can I clearly present myself?

Enter Aha Moment!

I think this all comes down to clarity. I need to be clear on what my brand is, what I want, why I want it and how I can be a benefit to the person I’m trying to get the interview from. I think if I knew the answers to these questions I would feel more confident in my approach. I could let my passion for the topic shine through and hopefully inspire the person to join me for a quick interview. When I’m clear on my goal then I can get passionate. When I’m passionate then I feel confident. When I feel confident I won’t feel anxious.

My next thought was:

What if I got the interview? 

The questions that enter my mind aren’t what we would talk about, but all the other stuff that would have to be answered in order to do the interview.

  • What platform would be best? Blog, podcast, video?
  • How do I even do a podcast?
  • Which medium will be most effective for my audience?

I honestly don’t have an answer for these questions yet. Some ideas I’m throwing around is to ask the interviewee what they would prefer and figuring it out then. Or maybe finding a way to make it available all three ways every time.

Either way I’m pretty sure some of my hang ups are related to understanding the technologies for conducting the interview.

After going through this thought process I came to the conclusion that it’s not that I feel fearful but it’s that I feel like it’s not the right time to start. I need to do some work to lay a foundation before jumping into doing this project so I can feel confident about moving forward.

By taking myself to this process I realized that taking time to really examine your feelings behind your fears will allow you to get to the root of the issue and resolve the real problem. I don’t always get these “aha moments” but when I do I find that it relieves the blob of unidentified feelings that twist my stomach up in knots when I think about them. I’m glad that I went through this process with myself. I was kind of beating myself up for feeling afraid of something I know that I’m capable of doing. Now I know it’s a matter of preparation and timing in order to make this project a reality.

I hope that sharing some of my thought process helps you out in some way.

Now it’s your turn to share how you’ve overcome fear or how you are in the process of overcoming fear. Please feel free to share even if you are discovering that you have fear in certain areas. We all have stories to tell that can inspire someone else!

Thanks for stopping by and joining the link up!

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Coffee Talk, Inspiration

Overcome Your Fear Now

February 5, 2015

Recently the topic of fear has come up quite a bit with friends or just in general. I have a personal burden to encourage moms to pursue their passions and express themselves creatively because I was there once myself. I was afraid to do what it took to express my creative ideas but after pushing myself over the years to find comfort outside of my comfort zone I discovered that I could, in fact, over come some of my fears.

Last year I declared it my #befearless year because I was tired of feeling like I had to always censor everything I was thinking before I expressed it. Granted I do believe that there is a way that you should conduct yourself when it comes to social media and your online business but at the same time you should feel free to be who you are. The year 2014 was hands down the hardest year of my life. My family went through immense trials and testing but I truly believe that God used it to bring us closer to Him and to challenge my concept of faith!

If you want to over come your fears you have to change your perspective and understand that you CAN change. You can get out of your own way and move towards whatever it is that you want to do in life.

Overcome Fear by Getting Back Up Right Away:

If you are trying something new and you fail, get right back up. Don’t give yourself time to have negative thoughts and sabotage your efforts. For example if you are trying to eat healthy and lose weight and you miss a day of exercise. Don’t waste your time beating yourself up. Just make plans to get back to work the next day.

Overcome Fear by Getting in the Present:

Fear lives in the past and the future. You are either afraid of what happened in the past or what might happen in the future. When fear starts to rise up within you physiological reaction take place in your body. Your hands get sweaty you pupils dilate, your heart beats faster among a host of other unpleasant feelings. These are responses to get you ready to either fight or take flight. Today our responses are many times related to our thoughts. That goes to show you how much power your thoughts have over your body. Get in the present moment so you can feel calm and reduce the footprint of fear in your mind.

Overcome Fear by Reminding Yourself that You are an Overcomer

You have made it this far and to do that you had to over come something! Remind yourself of the triumphs you’ve had in your life and tell yourself that you can do it again. Every test and every challenge you over come proof that you have it in you to accomplish your goals. Talk to yourself like you would a good friend who needs encouragement.

Overcome Fear by Getting the Focus off Yourself:

Alot of time fear gets its power when we are focused in ourselves. being self-centered or overly self-conscious allows fear to grow and grow because you are basically living in your own little fear world. Start with changing your environment and your physicality. Meaning go out and volunteer, find a way to serve others, take a class, join a community! Something! Anything that will get you out of your own head and involved with positive people!

Lastly, I would say find something that you are passionate about and do that thing. Find something that gets you so excited that you can’t keep it inside anymore. Find that thing that makes you so happy to get out of bed that you are compelled to do it. For me, I have a desire to express myself through acting and one day filmmaking. I’ve also found a great passion in encouraging other moms who felt like I was years ago. I can be a shy and private person but because I’m so passionate about seeing other women be happy that it compels me to keep writing, making videos and doing whatever I have to do to make it happen.

Take the Get Inspire(d) Challenge:

Write, create, design something around the idea of overcoming fear and share it next monday at the Get Inspire(d) Link up here on the blog. This is your plat from to be an inspiration to someone or to get some much needed inspiration!

God Bless!

 

 

 

Coffee Talk, Inspiration

Thoughts on Being Happy and the Pharrell Williams Oprah Interview

February 5, 2015

I feel a sense of thickness and electricity in the air when I think about where we are as a nation in relationship to the issue of race. In this day an age it is a polarizing issue…still. I think we can all agree that there has been a lot of forward movement since the days that Martin Luther Kind Jr graced the earth. I think we can all agree that there is a lot of forward movement that still needs to happen. There is still a lack of understanding on all sides.

But to be honest we can only empathize and not fully know the struggles of someone else.

On top of it, there are more in the multi-ethnic and mixed race then ever before. When I look around and see the number of multi-ethnic individuals my heart is actually happy. I’m happy that my children don’t have to grow up feeling as alone as I did. They can look around and see other brown skinned, curly haired mixes. Maybe their generation will develop new ways of coming together outside of race.

I was very moved and inspired by an interview I saw with Pharrell Williams and Oprah the other day. Pharrell has been producing music for hugely successful musicians for decades. He has produced for Beyonce, Jay-Z, Brittney spears, among others. His songs have topped the charts and one Grammy awards numerous times. Recently Pharrell has begin making more of his own music and blowing us away. He’s latest song “Happy” created for the Despicable Me soundtrack has been heard all around the world. In his recent interview with Oprah he shared his childhood, his journey into the music industry and about his most successful year including his recent marraige. During the interview he talked about many esoteric topics from being a synthesize to what the recipe for success is as well as the mentality of race.

“The New Black doesn’t blame other races for our issues,” said Pharrell, during his interview with Oprah. “The New Black dreams and realizes that it’s not pigmentation: it’s a mentality and it’s either going to work for you or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re going to be on.”

I wonder what that stirs up inside of you when you read that?

Feminista Jones, a writer and blogger responded with this: “Acting like there is any one way to be Black is as problematic as acting like Blackness can be redefined because one celebrity says it is,” Jones explains.

I disagree. I don’t believe that Pharrell was stating that there is one way to be black. I think he was stating an idea of not blaming other races for our issues any more. Blame means to assign fault to, assign responsibility to, or attributing fault with another entity. I don’t think that anyone can say that white people didn’t create slavery in this country. I don’t think anyone is saying deny our history in any way. Believe me I have to fight the thoughts that enter my mind when:

I’m the only person of color in the room

or the only female in the room or the only first born American

or the only first born American with parents from two different countries

or the only multi-ethnic person

or the only multi-ethnic person born from parents from two different countries.

Look, I could walk into a room thinking 1 of 2 things. 1. I’m the only one. You don’t understand me. I have to make you understand me. Don’t look at me like the token black person. I have two degrees from a well known University you better RESPECT ME! blah blah blah.

Enter chip on the shoulder.

Now when I interact with these people (that don’t even know me) I will for sure give off an angry air. Which could lead to defensiveness to all parties involved. And we all know that progress doesn’t happen when walls are up and trust is a million miles away.

OR I could think:

I’m different. I know that. I know the history between our ancestors. I know who I am. I know who I’m not. Here’s a chance for you to know me and for me to  know  you. God created you and God created me. We are both humans on this journey of life. You are not better than me and I am not better than you.  Now let’s not focus on our differences but what we can bring to the table to get this project done!

Enter smile.

I will probably work with a more positive attitude and engage people with my best self. And we all know that confidence, positive, and openness usually gets more done and disarms other people’s chips on THEIR shoulders. Blame means you are literally taking up your mind’s energy and focusing it on the other person in a negative way. That is a waste of energy.

Enter the second part of his statement “The New Black dreams and realizes that it’s not pigmentation: it’s a mentality and it’s either going to work for you or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re going to be on.”

It’s going to be about mentality whether we like it or not. Mentality and thought plays a role in our world regardless if it’s positive or negative. Why not be forward thinking with your mental energy? No one said deny who you are. But it’s time for us to move forward in this country. I think there is a fear that if we stop blaming, that means we have forgotten the past. I think there is a fear of losing identity or the “blackness” that we’ve held on to since the black power movement in the 70’s if we stop blaming. After all, in order to be a rebel you must have something to push back against. Blame is fueled by anger and that anger fueled civil movement but we need to find something else to fuel our forward movement. By taking our energy away from blame and onto forward movement we can embrace who we are even MORE! I have come to the place where I love my skin, I love my heritage, I see my differences as strengths. They are my personal gateway into helping people and seeing the world with a unique perspective. I don’t have time to blame others when I focus on these other things.

With all of this in mind I would have to throw in my 2 cents and where I think the quote was lacking. I wish he had talked about forgiveness more. That is the HOW to remove blame. Now remember, I’m NOT saying there aren’t factual reasons for where black people are today. There are FACTS out there. But the problem is SO BIG and SO COMPLEX that we must make a choice to work on ourselves to move forward. The people who made blacks slaves are dead. They can’t fix the problem now. It’s up to us.

Say  you knew someone who made a choice to move across the country to Idaho to be with their boyfriend. She left everything. Her family, her network, the chance to attend college on a scholarship. EVERYTHING. After a year or so  he decided to move on and leave her. She had no money, no education, no community. She becomes depressed, unable to work and eventually homeless. What should she do? Sit in her cardboard box stewing over what her boyfriend did? He’s not thinking about her anymore. He’s moved on. He has a better life, a job, a wife kids. But she’s still stuck with the mentality of blame. Whether she knows it or not she still has options all around her. She can get help, she can still get an education, she can get counseling. It’s all there for her to go get. But she’s still stuck on this guy. The fact is she can’t go to him to fix her problem. He’s not going to. She needs mental help for her depression, financial help, information to get back into school, and  some goals and dreams for herself. She’s  got to make a decision to change her mind and FORGIVE! She has to move forward on her own. She has to or else she will stay in the box.

No one said she has to deny who she is, or what her past is, or her journey in life. But she has to change her mentality through forgiveness in order to survive and thrive.

I believe it’s the same thing for all of us. Maybe we won’t get the apology a full understanding of our struggles, but we must choose to forgive, get unstuck and thrive. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying it can happen quickly.

I’m just saying it starts with choosing to forgive.