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A Community-Based Ecosystems Approach To Healing Our Village

Updated: May 10

People say love is blind because they do not know what love is. I say unto you, only love has eyes; other than love, everything is blind. ॐ Osho ॐ

The phrase 'it takes a village to raise a child' originates from an African proverb and conveys the message that it takes many people ('the village') to provide a safe, healthy environment for children, where children are given the security they need to develop and flourish, and to be able to realize their hopes and dreams. This requires an environment where children's voices are taken seriously ... and where multiple people (the 'villagers') including parents, siblings, extended family members, neighbors, teachers, professionals, community members and policy makers, care for a child. ☥ From 'It Takes a Village to Raise a Child: Understanding and Expanding the Concept of the 'Village''

Pluralism                                                                                                                        A state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain and develop their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization. ☥ Merriam-Webster Dictionary ☥

Why We Need A Community-Based Ecosystems Approach

In his thesis, Dr. Lesiba Baloyi “redefines psychology and psychotherapy from the viewpoint of the African experience.” He asserts that “the dominant Western paradigm of scientific knowledge in general and, psychology in particular, is anchored in a defective claim to neutrality, objectivity and universality because it obstructs Indigenous and pluriversal strategies for healing.” This assertion is crucial to accurately support the need for a community-based ecosystems approach to promoting the health, wellbeing and healing of our village.

At the Association of Black Psychologists’ 50th anniversary convention, I surveyed the work of Dr. Baloyi and other psychologists of the African diaspora. They grappled with ways to promote and share their research to facilitate healing in Black communities. As I discovered that these challenges repeatedly surfaced during Black, Indigenous and Pacific Islander convenings, I decided to infuse their research into my work with Boys and Young Men Of Color (BYMOC) populations. My enthusiasm for helping children to realize their potential began as a teen mentor. During the summer I spent tutoring a young Black male, I discovered that emotional trauma was the root cause of his academic challenges. Since that time, I have worked with BYMOC communities in various capacities, including talent recruitment, mentorship and wellness training. My collaboration with nonprofit organizations began in 2009, when I was invited to be a keynote speaker at a Transformational Leadership retreat. I created an interactive experience for the retreat called “Transformational Leadership from the Inside Out,” based on strategies (for healing the mind, body, emotions and spirit) that could be used to improve the personal and professional lives of its grantees. Although the organizers asked me to focus the presentation on nutrition, I firmly asserted that it was important to address unresolved emotional trauma and present it as a deep underlying root cause which, unless properly processed, would sabotage the success of BYMOC leaders and prevent them from thriving.

My affirmation is based on my research and personal experience. I was seven years old when I witnessed a traumatic event. Shortly thereafter, I developed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), an incurable respiratory illness. After 27 years of enduring the negative side effects of prescription medication, I discovered that true healing begins with my ability to take care of myself in between doctor visits. I began to practice an ancient Indigenous form of medicine called Ayurveda which, when translated into English, means “the science of living.” The Ayurvedic remedies prompted the processing of suppressed and repressed emotions and mental health into its healing strategies. Within three months, my 27-year bout with COPD came to an end. This experience convinced me of the need to acknowledge and diligently work to heal trauma, inspiring me to study holistic health and become an advocate for Radiant Health Strategies.

Health Promotion with Adolescent Boys and Young Men of Colour

When I met Dr. Daphne Watkins, it was as if I was speaking with my twin. We both shared a deep love for the healing and restoration of our culture, and our work was centered around reversing the effects of the all-assault attack on Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant males. We kept in touch on social media for years before we finally connected through a program that was facilitated by Johns Hopkins University. I visited the University of Michigan several times and thoroughly enjoyed presenting to and meeting her staff as well as other faculty members. She connected me with Dr. James Smith, an Australian professor, who had traveled to the US to learn more about wellness promotion for Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant males. At this point, I wondered how many twins I must have out in the world, because our missions were so aligned. Dr. Smith was spearheading a book in collaboration with Dr. Watkins at the University of Michigan and Dr. Griffith at Georgetown and invited me to contribute a chapter. After I agreed to participate, I lobbied for the inclusion of the National Compadres Network and was delighted to learn that they would be writing chapter as well. I'm thrilled to announce that the book has now published.

Health Promotion with Adolescent Boys and Young Men of Colour: Global Strategies for Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice in Context is the first global text of its kind that curates research and practice in a single volume and is appropriate for policy makers, students, practitioners and community leaders. The publisher set up a website for the book that generously offers the Table Of Contents, Abstracts and Notes from each chapter. La Cultura Cura and El Joven Noble: Culturally Rooted Theory and Practice Formulations for Healing Wounded Boys and Young Men of Colour in the United States, written by The National Compadres Network, can be found in Chapter 10 of the book.

Everyday you have to fight so that love for humanity can be transformed into concrete deeds, into acts that set an example, that mobilize. ☥ Che Guevara ☥

Journey To Radiance: A Community-Based Ecosystems Approach To Promoting The Health, Wellbeing And Healing Of Boys And Young Men Of Colour

The publishers allowed me to make my chapter available, so I created a visual report that would help to bring our years of research and practice to life. Journey To Radiance: A Community-Based Ecosystems Approach For Promoting The Health, Wellbeing And Healing Of Boys And Young Men Of Color is my pictorial redesign of Chapter 3 of the book. Please share this blog. Both projects were a labor of love for me, but needs funding to develop and sustain this healing work. Your support is greatly needed and appreciated. We often don't give because we think that our offering is too small to make a difference. Small businesses have a litany of "small" expenses that truly tax business operations. If everyone gave their version of a small amount, no one would over burden themselves and we can continue to do our work. Often times, we wait too long to give and then are saddened when a business we love ceases operations. I know how important it is to provide open-source information, but I also need your help to keep the information flowing. If we want to co-create a better world, then we have to do our part to dismantle the systems that fuel suffering and prevent the dissemination of wellness information. is my offering to the world, and it was created with vision, diligent work and the faith that those who benefit from my work will invest in and support it. I've carried the baton as far as I can on my own, but there is no without you. Please visit our Ujamaa page to support and sustain our dissemination efforts, and know that when you give from your excess, though it may show up in a variety of forms, that same energy is returned to you.

Black woman with a bullhorn

Why Dissemination Of Information Is Vital To Healing Our Village

The conquer, then continue to divide and conquer tactics designed to keep oppressed people disenfranchised have become so insidious through social programming that we are often oblivious to the many ways that it shows up in our society. The tragedy of this unfoldment of embedded psychosis is that it is based on and driven by antiquated value systems that no longer serve us. Examples of how it shows up in our society vary greatly, but I'll offer a few to help us wrap our minds around the pervasiveness of its existence so that we will take self-corrective actions in our thoughts and behaviors. The dissemination of information fuels our ability to heal ourselves, our communities and our world. It enables us to elevate in consciousness which sparks innovation in every area of our lives.

Social programming relies on the fact that we remain unaware of the invisible yet omnipresent constructs that drive how we think and act. The first and most vital step to breaking down these harmful constructs is to learn and then disseminate what we learn to as many people as quickly and accurately as possible. As we go through these examples, we may feel tempted to throw our hands up in despair because they are ubiquitous. However, we must also remember that our colonized societies are rooted and grounded in these tactics.

We can turn to liberators such Harriet Tubman for ancestral and spiritual guidance, because as we study their lives, we see that they did not allow any force to get in the way of their vision of and for freedom. Many of these freedom advocates had limited or no resources, yet their ability to disseminate information often rivals ours which speaks volumes about the power of modern day social programming.

I'll call these examples "fallacies" because a fallacy uses pieces of truth in order to substantiate and perpetuate its existence. I initially intended to end the blog before I wrote this paragraph, but as SPIRIT is moving through my fingers, I would suggest getting comfortable and grabbing those delicious healthy snacks. Although some of my digressions may seem unrelated, I invite us to hang in there through to the end of the blog so that we can better understand how these concepts are connected.

The "We Don't Support Each Other" Fallacy

Black people clapping for a Black woman

You don’t react to [fear]. You don’t repress it. You embrace it: 'What am I afraid of?' If you look deep enough with deep sincerity, you’ll see that there is a lie acting as a law in your life. But as you embrace it, that shadow becomes a gift. The lie becomes transformed, and you become gifted. The darkness transmutes itself into an activation of something that is latent within you ready to burst forward. ☥ Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith ☥

We are going to take our time examining this fallacy. If we believe in it, then we must meticulously study Red Summer, including the events that led up to the massacres that occurred across this country. When I say study, I mean gather multiple sources of information on the issue and then look for the universal pattern. Sit with the facts and meditate for clarity. The truth will reveal itself even if it is hidden within a bad source of information. Remember that colonizers dominate the curation and dissemination of most sources of information, so it is imperative that we learn how to trust our inner wisdom. If something doesn’t feel right, we must investigate until we find a resolution. It’s true that our own prejudices may be the obstacle, but if we do not investigate, how will we know? Our ability to trust ourselves and each other is strengthened as we follow through with our determination to discover the truth. I have been seeing a very disturbing pattern, but let’s not take my word as truth because I am a human with plenty of healing left to do. I don’t want to be an unwitting obstacle to the truth because of some subconscious trauma blocking my vision. This awareness keeps me in a state of relaxed alertness while I continually question my thoughts and level up my behavior. That said, the pattern seems to be that every time Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People come up with an idea that is profitable and support it, colonizers show up to water it down so that they can understand it enough to gradually take over the idea, present it as if they produced it and capitalize off of the idea while simultaneously exploiting the people who created it. The pattern is insidious and often influenced by economic factors (i.e., by putting systems in place to ensure that they are the only options we can go to for growth capital). Red Summer was obvious, so the current ways of creating the same effect is to meticulously create and sustain the illusion that Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People don't support each other. Because our attention is focused on survival and the pattern shows up in many different forms, we are continually fooled by the deception.

What is so frustrating about the pattern is that we forget how much we supported each other before the colonizer snuck in and crafted a strategic marketing plan with systems of support that manipulated our perceptions. This programming has been refined over many centuries, so it is seamlessly woven into our lifestyle to the point that we cannot recognize it without a deep level of self-awareness.

Daily social programming is designed to keep us distracted away from our inner wisdom which sustains our faulty perceptions even if it goes against our common sense. We are the common denominator in the pattern, so we are the ones who have to increase self-awareness and change our behavior in order to break the pattern.

Though this pattern seems to benefit colonizers in the short term, it is not good for them in any way. Our climate change issues are headed in a catastrophic direction. What we think of as a catastrophe may actually be the entrance of Set ☥ God Of The Chaordic. To gain a deeper understanding of why we believe in the "we don't support each other" fallacy, we'll need to understand some life lessons from Set. When Set arrives, he tears down what was no longer serving us so that we can rebuild from a solid foundation that is based on truth. Set is the Kamitian (Ancient Egyptian) God Of The Chaordic, and he is often confused with Seth who is depicted with the head of an unknown animal and can best be described with my current understanding as the God Of Defense. I need more study time with the hieroglyphs because most written sources merge Set with Seth. However, I will share my current understanding and will update this section after I’ve had more study time in Egypt. Set came to me in a meditation and led me to create an image that more accurately depicts him. He is much more than the image I provided, but what I’m sharing is what I was led to share about him for now so stay tuned. I’m just as excited to learn more as those of you who are on this adventurous journey to radiance. I got the distinct feeling that Set is more than fed up with the misrepresentation, so I did my best with pictures until I’m led to sketch.

Set is as close to his actual name as our current understanding of hieroglyphics, the study of which has been defined and manipulated by the Ancient Greeks, and the English language will allow. We must realize that no matter how much money colonizers pour into researching us objectively, they cannot know more about us than we know about ourselves. They have stolen what they believe to understand about our history, revised it to benefit them and presented it as validated truth to the world. Their validation is based on their monolithic view and definition of scientific research and is tainted by their desire to present themselves as superior. Because they control the dissemination of research and information about our history and culture, we have to access the truth using pluralistic methodologies. Set and the other Gods ☥ Goddesses have been reaching out to us through our intuition, but our unresolved trauma and social programming has prevented us from accessing the wisdom embedded within us and applying it to novel situations in order to transcend the manipulation of colonizers. If we don't acknowledge and work on our weaknesses, they will continue to be exploited by colonizers.

You need either to create something or to discover something. Either bring your potential to actuality or go inwards to find yourself, but do something with your freedom. ॐ Osho ॐ

Black woman looking at her computer screen

When I'm writing, I'm listening to something ... ☥ James Baldwin ☥

When I left the big city and moved to a rural area, I didn't realize some of the challenges I would face. I spent my childhood summers in the country with relatives and figured that it would be an ideal temporary hold up spot for writing and recovering from the injury. However, one big city comfort that is a must for me is internet access. First, I tried satellite internet, which was sort of like dial up, but slower. I ended up settling on wifi hotspots, which works fine some of the time, but there are moments that truly test every ounce of patience that I have. During one such moment, I was working on a project. First, the project wouldn't save. It kept looping through asking me to save it and then kicking me out. Then, in the middle of typing a sentence, the cursor would jump to a different paragraph and mess up the formatting, causing me to refresh the page and start over again. Just when I thought I had a handle on the problem, somehow an entire section highlighted and deleted, forcing me to restore a previous version which looped me through the save and kick me out cycle again. That is when I lost it: "SPIRIT, do you want me to do this or not?!!!? I'm up here trying to do this work, and I'm being blocked at every turn. Seriously!!!!?????" When will I learn? Of course, it got quiet for a while and then SPIRIT responded, "Why are you having such a strong reaction? Is there some hidden trauma that needs to be healed? Why are you rushing through this project? Do you have somewhere that you need to be?" I was bedridden and on crutches, so I had nowhere to be. SPIRIT continues in a very loving manner, "If this is all that it will take to cause you to give up, then what chance do you stand against the forces of colonizers who have been studying, manipulating and treating you and your ancestors like lab rats for centuries? The emotional knee-jerk reaction is a weakness that they continue to exploit because you do not recognize how easily even the most spiritually minded of you can be seduced.

This is not playtime. You are being prepared for game time, and you cannot allow knee-jerk reactions, which can show up covertly, or setbacks to throw you off your game. Drop judgment and see the love that drives your training.

In Qigong, you teach people how to be the eye of the storm, a sea of calm regardless of your surroundings. Is this all that it takes to cause you to lose your center? Your tests are becoming more subtle to match the deceptions of colonization that, until now, you have been unable to discern. You are being summoned to level up so learn, practice, then teach and repeat this process until you can 'see' the deception coming from miles away."

At this point, Set arrived into my consciousness and downloaded some deeper meanings behind the wisdom of the chaordic from a historical perspective. Our ancestors keep nudging us to grow because they have succumbed to and watched us become deceived by many forms of psychological manipulation with great sadness. One of the most damaging tactics is the manipulation of our emotions and wearing us down through fatigue. Because most of us no longer engage in meditative mind ☥ body practices such as Qigong and Yoga, our efforts can easily be derailed. Even people, such as myself, who teach these practices to others are not immune and require continuous training to stay sharp. I had to sit with this download for a long time. Set, continued to reveal that upon realizing that we were losing our freedom to the Ancient Greeks, the Kamitians had to shift their approach in order to live to fight another day. They allowed the Ancient Greeks to understand and record just enough information to help us displaced African diasporans find our way back to Kamit. We have to keep this in mind as we heal and rediscover the true essence of who we are as a people. I am to be patient while continually training to increase self-awareness and emotional balance. The internet incident was honest feedback that shined a light on a blind spot and served as a lesson in reverence for self-care so that I overstand the purpose and importance of cultivating focus. As for our stolen legacies, once we get more healed Black archeologists studying our history and culture, the picture of who we truly are will perpetually become more clear.

We cannot claim that our results are scientifically verified if our process is monolithically derived.

Black people with question mark puzzle pieces

Reverence for self-care is vitally important for us to embody as we are rediscovering the pieces of ourselves that have been suppressed and denied. Set was dropping some mad game on me during this meditation, so it will take a while to figure out how to communicate it all. I got the sense that we must readjust our perceptions of the chaordic so that we can see that it is driven by a deep love for our wellbeing and disrupts our lives by removing something toxic/dangerous that we are attracted to (like taking a grenade away from a baby). I can best describe Set as a lighter-skinned Black man with very balanced masculine ☥ feminine energy who ascended as a deity from the Northwestern region of Africa. Menkaure, who commissioned the building of the smallest Giza Pyramid, is a very dark-skinned man. We had multiple skin tones before colonization (without the self-hatred), so it is important for us to embrace a more complete and multidimensional understanding of ourselves (most of our current ideas of ourselves were marketed to us by European colonizers). Modern day Egypt has borderlines that were drawn by colonizers. What we now call "Egypt" was once a much larger geographical area called Kamit which means "Land of The Blacks." It encompassed Northern and parts of Eastern Africa including the region of the Aksumites (Ancient Ethiopians) and the Nubians of Sudan. Set ☥ God Of The Chaoridic came from the region now known as Algeria, and Seth ☥ God Of Defense came from the region now known as Mali. The history of Africa needs to be studied and shared by people of the African diaspora who have healed from the psychological manipulation of colonization. Colonizers use money, weapons and deception to force their versions of our history on the world. Set is the resistance in us who beacons us to investigate the truth for ourselves, strategically reclaim our stolen legacies and learn ancestral lessons.

I’ve seen this practice of using forced narratives to drive perceptions in every area of life. For example, if a health practitioner doesn’t know how to solve a problem, they will say that the problem cannot be solved. If you go to my Àṣẹ page, you’ll read a story about a woman who was told that, for some unknown reason, she couldn’t have children. She adopted a child and 10 years later when she met me, she became pregnant after working with me for less than 6 months. To this day, we cannot figure out how she found me because I didn’t know anyone that she knew. She said that one of my fliers ended up on her desk and she knew she had to contact me. We lived in different cities, and I didn’t send any fliers anywhere near her. That is how SPIRIT works. I share these insights because every aspect of our lives has been dominated by a people and culture that is foreign to us, but that we were forced to adopt as our own. To find the truth, we have to question all thoughts and behaviors and follow our intuitive prompts until we reach a resolution. We will know when we get there. The purpose of my research is to uncover the truth so that we can heal, even if it is painful to accept or doesn’t make me/my people look good. This practice includes continually revisiting what I believe the research is presenting based on new information and novel situations. I have no desire to present us as superior because that would keep us from seeing our blind spots and removing self-sabotaging behaviors. To become stronger as a people, we have to learn from past traumas and protect ourselves from repeating harmful patterns. The truth will help us to trust our innate knowledge over the programming that we’ve been subjected to for centuries.

Black male construction worker

Set comes to refocus us squarely on our own business. He comes when we have neglected something that we need to pay attention to, and though his presence may seem destructive, he is helping us to prevent something much worse. He is like the carpenter who remodels our home. Though we may be focused on the cosmetic appearance of an object, once it is removed, we are surprised to discover mold or some other problem. While we are focusing on the extra cost, we fail to realize that Set is helping us because if we waited any longer, that mold would have made us sick. He shows us what lies beneath the surface that we didn’t see and then behaves like the cleaning crew who carries away the rubble. Because we have emotional attachments to things that don’t or that no longer serve us, we tend to mourn and fear Set’s arrival. However, without Set, we can’t get from where we are to where we want to be because the stuff that Set comes to remove is what is standing in our way.

The behavior of colonizers puts them on a journey that leads them directly to Set. Because animals are one with nature, Set can direct them to protect, destroy or chase something or someone away from us. Set’s reach is unlimited and can include reptiles and insects. As I was searching for an example of how Set brings the chaordic, SPIRIT led me to a story about a homeowner who burned their $1.8 million dollar home to the ground in order to get rid of a snake infestation. The homeowner got the money and the house, so they thought they were in the clear until Set arrived. If I were a colonizer, I’d do a 180 degree turn in my thoughts and behaviors, because when Set comes to clean house, nothing of the old will remain. Set often shows up as the weather, and because the greed of colonizers created the climate change issues that we now face, we have to break away from their behaviors even though it may seem costly for us to do so up front. Set’s arrival enables us to discover a truth, and he can show up in a way that appears to be overtly disruptive or as a subtle realization of truth. I’ve learned to focus more on the “order” in the chaordic that Set brings. If I look deeply enough, I’ll connect with a divine intelligence that helps me to see that Set is committing a great act of love by removing something that no longer (or may never have) served me. I also learned that the removal would not be painful if I take actions WHEN SPIRIT prompts me to act. Set’s arrival can often be a last resort that occurs after many nudges, warnings and promptings from SPIRIT to change our behavior or take an inspired action. Sometimes we lose something that was for us because we didn’t take action. In those cases, it may return to us after we’ve learned the lesson brought by its removal.

Now that we have a greater understanding of the life lessons brought to us by Set ☥ God Of The Chaordic, let's examine how he works through the realization of truth to help us recognize sneaky social programs that promote the 'we don't support each other' fallacy.

The elements of earth, wind, fire and a heart-shaped sheet of music

Most people can't see beauty and love. I see our music as medicine. ☥ Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire ☥

I once heard Carlos Santana say that true musicians are shamans. I struggle to remember my existence before Earth, Wind and Fire. I remember listening to and loving their music as a child without understanding why it made me feel so much better than other music that I enjoyed. However, when corporate hip hop went south for me, I dove into the lyrics of their songs and rediscovered them as sages of love and light. In Maurice White's autobiography, My Life With Earth, Wind and Fire, he describes a phenomenon that I've seen perpetuated throughout the entertainment industry. It is a dynamic that gradually causes Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant entertainers to believe that they are only supported by white people. This fallacy is sustained as they watch their audiences become predominately white without recognizing the strategic push out (often driven by economic factors) of Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People. Maurice's words caused me to dive deeper into this dynamic and my research led me straight to colonization. I understood him to say that his audiences used to be primarily Black, but as white people learned about their music, they would quickly scoop up the concert tickets before Black folks could get the chance to buy them which often caused chaos as the shows would sell out before Black People could get their money together to buy the tickets.

Although he was thrilled that their music was reaching a wider audience, he wanted everyone to have equal access which would have meant that his audience would be greatly mixed instead of predominantly white. This mixture would have provided ample opportunities for racial healing and solidarity through music. What would be the downside to that? This is a prime example of how the psychosis embedded within the minds of colonizers nips away at our humanity. Maurice is one of the few entertainers who was self-aware enough to understand what was happening and put interventions in place to attempt to provide equal access to their shows. However, even he was not powerful enough to stop the push out and he watched his audiences become more and more white. He was overwhelmed with feedback from fans who, because of economic factors, could no longer get front row seats, and sometimes couldn't get tickets at all. Other examples that fall within this category include but are certainly not limited to:

Never be ashamed of your tears. Be proud that you are still natural. Be proud that you can express the inexpressible through your tears. ॐ. ॐ Osho ॐ

☥ Pressuring entertainers to use white people in or as a focal point of their visual

representations of their craft (live performances, music videos, etc.), often

without relevant context. The entertainers are coerced into complying in order

to appease the funders and have "breakthrough" success. However, Black and Latinx

consumer spending is projected to reach 1.8 trillion dollars in 2024. The Black

Panther movie franchise proved that Black People would support a majority Black cast

that celebrates and uplifts our culture. Yet, we see a trend of Black ☥ Indigenous ☥

Immigrant male actors who must have a white female love interest in "blockbuster

films." However, we see with TV shows, such as Sex and the City, that no such

consideration is given to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant men. At first, I blamed the

fact that I was living in New Mexico, but I soon came to realize that many Black ☥

Indigenous ☥ Immigrant men, who would practically push me out of the way in order to

chase after white women while watching these types of TV shows and listening to

music that denigrated and presented Black women as bitches and whores,

demonstrated these behaviors wherever I went. It's difficult for me to express how I

felt about Black women being branded in multimedia as whores because I watched

white women all around me/on social media throw themselves at Black ☥ Indigenous ☥

Immigrant men with reckless abandon while society celebrates and promotes their


Was I the only person who could see the psychosis? The insidiousness and pervasiveness of this behavior within our culture caused a numbness to develop within me that turned from sadness into despair. After a great deal of meditation, I no longer took it personally because, as a healer, I realized that it would be impossible for me to reduce my standards and consciousness low enough to attract any of these men.

What is worse is that if I am ever fortunate enough to date a Black ☥ Indigenous ☥

Immigrant male, I have to figure out how to communicate the fact that we will not be

able to have a healthy relationship until he cleanses himself of past relationships

(especially when it comes to sex and narcissism). And, I have to figure out how

to say all of this without shutting him down or appearing to be insensitive or angry.

Let's explore “cleansing” past relationships. Ausar had lost himself in almost every way.

Set ☥ God Of The Chaordic travelled with his son, Sobek ☥ Crocodile God Of The Nile

River, to help Ausar ascend and become the God Of Transformation. From our

perspective, the “help” may seem quite brutal, but if we look at what happened

metaphorically, we can ascertain some important lessons. Set chopped up Ausar’s

body into pieces. Sobek, then took Ausar’s penis with him to the Nile River for

cleansing. Set put the remaining pieces of Ausar into hell. If we look at the concept of a

refiner’s fire as described in the Bible, we learn that a refiner holds metal in the fire to

remove impurities. After a time, Auset ☥ Goddess Of Alchemy, descended into hell to

find and gather the pieces of Ausar. Because she is the Goddess of Alchemy, she was

able to move through hell without being infected or affected by it. Her abilities are

especially important for Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People to embody as we

move through the hell of colonization in order to heal and transcend it, and is my

primary motivation for including her in the logo. Auset finds all of

Ausar’s body parts and pulls him out of hell. She then gets his penis back from Sobek

and puts Ausar back together again.

Set, Sobek and Auset represent the wise elders of Ausar's village who collaborate to

engage in restorative practices to sustain a healthy and thriving community. Ausar

ascends and becomes the God of Transformation ☥ Our Ancestors. He teaches

us how to come back home to ourselves through the transformation of our thoughts

and actions. I’m including a bit of Ausar's journey because Sobek came to me

in a meditation and shared a deep need for the healing and cleansing of Black ☥

Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People. I spent several glorious days cruising down the Nile

River. Even with all of the modern day activity, it still felt like magical place. We will

learn more about Sobek in my sexual healing educational materials, but for now we

will focus on how he arrives to cleanse us of sexual ignorance, debility, perversion

and abuse. The bones of our ancestors will not stay silent. Ausar’s story shows us that

we have a choice in our healing process. We can continue on our path and do nothing

until Set shows up with his posse, or we can be proactive by:

☥ Questioning our thoughts

Meditating for clarity and direction

☥ Engaging in a life-long practice of self-correction

Self-correction without judgment is a path to transformation. Set ☥ Sobek ☥ Auset

represent a type of “tough love” that drives our training, but if we look at the story of

the prodigal son in the Bible, we see that SPIRIT keeps the door open so that as we

become more self-aware, we can return home to ourselves to be healed, loved and

unconditionally accepted. This transformation enables us to cultivate healthy thriving

relationships grounded in love, truth and protection from sabotage.

Insidious development of sexual debility to perversion to abuse

Young Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant males are gradually socially programmed to

fear their women and desire white women. In my multimedia research, I've found

evidence of social programming such as "I don't know why, but I just prefer women

with straight hair." Comments such as, "I wouldn't know what to say to/how to behave

with a Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant woman" are especially troubling because they

are embedded with dehumanization. If we know what to say to/how to behave with a

human, then we know what to say to/how to behave with a Black ☥ Indigenous ☥

Immigrant human. The most difficult part of conducting this research is pulling my

emotions out of reviewing the evidence so that I can objectively analyze the data. I

have more than one family member who went to prison because of a white woman,

and those women were with other Black men before my family members could get

processed and given their prison uniforms. One of those family members is now in a

committed relationship with a Black woman with whom he has several children. For

decades, I watched him chase after white females who caused him nothing but

trouble, and I didn't think he would ever snap out of the stupor. However, healing can

occur at any time.

As I mention in a previous blog, sex is not a performance and, with the cultivation of

authentic intimacy, requires no preparation and causes no anxiety. The drama around

sexual performance issues was created by narcissists, the billion dollar porn industry,

poor nutrition and lifestyle habits. The drama exists because we have watched stories

so many times, that the story became real in our perceptions. Repetition is used as a

marketing strategy to create a problem that can only be solved with a product that

you purchase with your time, money and attention. The first step in the healing

process is to recognize that, even though you may have been manipulated, you let the story in and invited it to live in your head. Repetition can also be used for healing,

which is why Bruce Lee said that he didn't fear the one who practiced 10,000 kicks, he

feared the one who practiced one kick 10,000 times. MeditationQigongYoga are

the repetitive practices that will identify ☥ protect you from mental manipulation and

slavery. Was it just me? Didn't anyone else understand why the characters from shows

such as Sex and The City struggled to co-create meaningful relationships? Their

Emmy and Golden Globe nominations prove our fascination with superficial issues in

relationships and reveal our poor communication skills, ignorance of how to cultivate

healthy relationships and the lack of self-love/awareness.

Two glasses of red wine toasting

Many webs of deception exist around Modern Day Slavery. Because I was ignorant to its prevalence and pervasiveness, I feel led to include it in this section to help us overstand the different elements that make up a toxic community ecosystem and are often hidden in plain sight. I’m learning to reduce/eliminate my resistances to the assignments that I get from SPIRIT that I don’t understand or that seems to be odd/unpleasant. One such recent task was to watch the movie Run Sweetheart Run. Though my internal resistance was quite strong, I knew there had to be a reason for watching a bloody, modern day horror film, Jordan Peele films excluded, my least favorite genre. As I watched the film, I began to think of a story that was repeatedly told to me by a family member. It helped me to see a pattern that was incredibly painful to face, but that must be healed in order to cultivate a healthy ecosystem.

First, a quick synopsis of the film. The story highlights a very clever form of sex trafficking that is hidden in plain sight. The target in the film is a Black woman, but from the many shots of flyers of missing women, we can ascertain that the primary targets are Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant women who are barely in the middle class and struggling to create affluence. The main character is a single mom who is studying to be a lawyer. She works in a law firm and is mentored by her boss who truly seems to care for her personally and for her professional development. He calls her to say that she double booked him for an appointment and she must fix the error. He then comes up with the solution that she takes his place for an important dinner meeting with a client, to which she reluctantly agrees. The dinner turns into a date. She is wined and dined by a cultured, affluent white man with a British accent, which we have been socially programmed to believe as being “safer and more polite.” During the dinner, he is emotionally triggered by a dog and his reaction was a major red flag that he managed to quickly make her forget. After the fabulous night out, he invites her in for a drink, and we don’t see what happens, but she comes running out of the mansion terrified and barefoot. This marks the beginning of a hunt in which she must run for her life. We learn later that her boss funneled unsuspecting women to this man who was extremely powerful and in control of the local authorities. Two moments in the film gave me a chilling pause. It was a moment of extreme satisfaction for the white male when he brutally murdered a Black man and when the Black woman agreed to submit to him sexually, which made me think of how colonization turns humans into parasites that feed off of pain and suffering. This is the emotional addiction that keeps colonization alive because colonizers have the economic power so the financial reasons no longer hold up.

Chief of police hat

Let’s pause here, so that I can share the story of my family member who was also a single mother. This incident happened more than 40 years ago, when the employment options for Black women with only a high school diploma were limited. She was looking for work as a secretary, which meant that the chances of her working for a white man was extremely high. She happened to know the Chief of Police who was well-known as a strong advocate for and participant in community policing. He saw her out on a date with a very affluent Black man and pulled her over to the side to inform her that the Black man was actually a pimp on the down low. His MO was to seduce naive low-income Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant women, set them up in apartments that he pays for (and that they couldn't afford) and then, after a certain amount of time, flip them into prostitutes. She was stunned, embarrassed at her ignorance and extremely grateful. The Police Chief said that he just learned about a major developer who was looking for a secretary and offered to take her to the site for an interview. She trusted him, so she excitedly agreed. When she got to the construction site, the Chief Of Police waited in the car while she went to the interview. At first, the white man was professional and friendly. Then, he looked her up and down and said, “You’ll do just fine. I’ll pay you double the minimum wage” (which was $1.45 per hour at the time). Then, he walked over to her and said, “as long as you give me what I want.” He proceeded to grab and kiss her. She pushed him off of her and ran out of the office. In shock, she ran outside to the Chief of Police who at first pretended to be surprised. Uber didn’t exist and she had no money for a cab or a way to call a cab. As he drove her back to her home, he said that she was missing out on an opportunity to make good money. The guy was harmless and just wanted to have a little fun on the side. He assured her that he would never refer her to a man who would have physically harmed her. The police chief protected her from predatory men so that he could control and manage which predatory white men would exploit her while financially profiting from the referrals. How is he different from a pimp? His entitled and unapologetic behavior evolved from the legacy of slavery. This family member said that, in those days, every white man she worked for attempted to pursue her sexually which put her in very difficult positions at work. The ways in which she was protected and exploited by Black and white men reveals the minefield that many Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant women must navigate. As I watched the film and thought of other related real-life stories that I heard, I realized that I had once again suffered from middle-class-head-in-the-sand syndrome.

A bundle of South African money

I was also led to watch Blood and Water, an incredibly well done South African TV series that showcases the many painful layers of colonization that seduces Black People into participating in the sex trafficking of their own people. What I loved about the series was that it presented multidimensional Black characters, complex examples of social programming/covert psychological manipulation and a carefully developed story which slowly revealed the white men who funded and sustained the operation (white people still control 90% of the wealth in South Africa). It was a deep dive into an array of factors that lead to and positioned Black People as the forward facing front of white-owned, operated and funded criminal activity. The Boers learned and refined these tactics from the Euro-American Slave Trade. I believe that SPIRIT put me on this assignment to reveal a truth that I didn't want to see or acknowledge: that sex trafficking is not “out there” somewhere with other people far away. As long as it was far away in my mind, I could pretend that it didn't exist. This is what we do when reality is too painful to accept. Making painful realities seem "far away" is also a tactic of colonization that keeps us from "seeing" what is right in front of us. In fact, I realized that I had a few clients, including a group of female college students in one of my workshops, who were survivors of sex trafficking and talking in code to avoid judgment. The code is so clear to me now. The power of social programming is that we can look right at it and still not see. It is pervasive and targets people who are eager to improve their lives, but their lack of exposure and education leaves them vulnerable to exploitation. However, educated and higher income people are also targeted, tricked, seduced or bullied into participation via social programming. If we analyze the patterns that emerge in these and other stories, we see that through mass incarceration, the prison industrial complex and affluent Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant males who date and marry white women to achieve the delusion of status (which also siphons money out of the Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities), the number of strong Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant men who can co-create a healthy ecosystem is greatly reduced which contributes to the vulnerability and exploitation of Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant women. The Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant men who remain and are determined to strengthen our communities, are often overburdened with responsibilities of the many systems that support our disenfranchisement while also navigating the constant distraction of continually being pursued by white women.

When we are looking at cultivating a healthy community-based ecosystem, we cannot ignore the many ways that sexual perversion shows up because sexual abuse was inseparable from the colonization of Black, Indigenous and Immigrant People. Like any other form of energy, the abuse didn’t disappear with time or legislation - it just changed into different forms that are both visible and invisible. These abuses are deeply tied to emotional addictions. Emotional addictions are no different than heroin or other drug addictions. My biggest challenge as a Health Warrior is helping people to see how emotional and mental imbalances affect every area of our personal and professional lives, yet we focus primarily on symptomatic issues as we look to solve the problems in our communities. Emotional addictions are a major root cause that we continue to, either consciously or subconsciously, avoid and ignore.

Black man looking upward

I was living and working in Boston when the Red Sox won the World Series. I remember hearing that Steven Tyler would be in town, but I couldn't recall if it was related to the

games. I saw him in person at the airport while I was running to the restroom. I wanted

to stop to say hi but was super short on time as my flight was leaving soon. I couldn't

believe how much shorter/smaller he was than me, literally petite. I thought about his

music videos and how they are shot to make him look taller. Some online sources list

him as 5' 10" which is impossible because I am a solid 6' tall. I thought of him so much

while watching the movie Tenet, that I could no longer focus on the movie. I eagerly

anticipated this film because I was so excited to see John David Washington in the

lead role. My excitement waned very quickly as I noticed a passive/aggressive energy

with the framing of his shots. His almost love interest (who was of course a white

woman) was taller than him and their scenes were shot in such a way that

diminished his presence as he looked up at her (as well as the other characters). The

differences in height were not the issue at all. It felt like his importance was being

minimized, which was consistently reflected in the framing of his scenes. It felt overt

and covert at the same time, reflecting the ingenuity of social programming. I was so

distracted by the minimization, that I couldn't enjoy the film. I don't want to believe

that the #OscarsSoWhite movement has inspired a passive/aggressive response

within the motion picture industry, and I am certainly not suggesting that the main

character cannot be shorter, but I am haunted by the many times that his presence

seemed to be minimized through the camera angles/framing and shots with his eyes

looking upward at the other characters during the film. Peter Dinklage is an actor with

a small stature, and I love the way his shots are framed because they do not minimize

his dignity as a human, power as an actor or his character's importance to the story - a

reflection of excellence in the art of cinematography that ought to be standard

practice. If John's shots were framed to match his character's significance to the plot,

the differences in height would have been inconsequential, and I would have focused

on enjoying the film.

I once went to church with a gorgeous Indian man who was married to the frumpiest,

most unloving white woman I had ever seen. It sometimes turned my stomach to

even look at them. If his wife at least pretended that she cared about him, it wouldn't

have been so painful to witness. At the time, I was young, so I was completely baffled,

but the picture is clear now. I personally knew many Indian women who were loving,

kind and beautiful. I know for a fact that he had a serious crush on a Black woman at

the church, but he felt like he had to marry a white woman. The power of psychological

manipulation uses social programming, toys with our emotional vulnerabilities and

causes us to bypass logic, common sense ... There are many underlying issues but the

bottom line, in these examples, is that colonizers want to center themselves within,

manipulate, control and dominate whatever is profitable in order to control the

narrative and prevent or slow down the self-determination, prosperity and evolution of

Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People. To accomplish this goal, they must create

racial tension between men and women in order to break up or prevent the creation of

Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant families, lower the birth rate of and siphon money +

opportunities to achieve financial stability away from Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant

women which thwart the development of a healthy community-based ecosystem.

When we consider the fact that the majority of teachers of Black ☥ Indigenous ☥

Immigrant males are white women, we can see how early and detrimental the social

programming can be. Colonizers control the entrance into the entertainment industry

and aggressively shape how it is publicly perceived. This type of monolithic control

stifles creativity, innovation and the evolution of consciousness, yet it stubbornly

persists. We go through this insanity so that they can create illusions and validate

delusions of their superiority.

Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique, incomparable. You are you, I am I. I have to contribute my potential to life; you have to contribute your potential to life. I have to discover my own being; you have to discover your own being.        ॐ Osho ॐ

Profile of a black woman

Let me tell you, never before in the history of this planet has anybody made the progress that African-Americans have made in a 30-year period, in spite of many black folks and white folks lying to one another.                                   ☥ Dick Gregory ☥

I can remember listening to the song "Brick House" throughout my childhood. Its

popularity caused its meaning to take on a life of its own in our culture. One day,

the song popped into my head, and I realized that I had never seen a performance so I

searched for a video. I was thoroughly enjoying the song until out walks a white

woman in a bikini to illustrate what is meant by a "Brick House." I was absolutely

stunned when I first saw the music video and also a different recorded live

performance (when two of the main band members walked off stage and returned

with a white woman in a G string bikini). It was a moment that I truly could not but

certainly wanted to unsee for the longest time. I didn't include any version of those

videos in this blog because I update my site periodically and don't want to accidentally

see it again, but I'm sure you can find it with a simple search if you're interested in

checking it out.

I lined my research up with the sociopolitical events during the time the song was

released, the investors who controlled the money and perceptions authored by the

music industry with current trends and events. I drew a through line that connects the

dismantling of the Black Panther Party For Self-Defense, the infusion of white people

into Black culture (including their strategic use in some Blaxploitation movies),

corporate hip hop that denigrates Black women and many levels of other forms of

social programming. We also see the promotion of blockbuster films that feature

white people portraying Indigenous people or movies that center white characters

(plot, idioms, main characters, perceptions of people, customs, etc.) in African and

other nonwhite countries.

In the year 2000, and for many years that followed, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

was the only movie that I saw that featured a culturally rich story with a 100% Asian

cast. It ended up making history as the first foreign language film to make more than

$100 million dollars in America. Then social media arrived a few years later and

changed our behaviors drastically. Although it enabled us to find long lost friends and

family members, we quickly began to communicate in a more passive/aggressive

and judgmental fashion and often used the platform to boost our ego/air dirty laundry.

What we didn't realize was how closely we were being watched and how open we left ourselves to manipulation.

When we post our personal business, opinions, ideas, pictures of our children (which

also robs them of their privacy before they are old enough to offer proper permission

or understand its implications), etc., we are providing free information to global

market researchers who use this information to sell our ideas back to us while they

keep all of the profits. Internet hacking has become such a problem that we will soon

be forced to purchase firewalls which are extremely expensive, will leave Black ☥

Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People vulnerable without the means to protect themselves

and creates another economic disparity for colonizers to exploit. Our fast-paced

lifestyle prevents us from paying attention to what is happening right in front of our

eyes. Although I was nostalgic about "Brick House," I realized that it was released

during a time when I was too young to have paid attention to the lyrics of the song,

which was obviously written by Knights and for Knights. As I reflect on my childhood

nostalgia, what pops into my head now is The Thrill Is Gone, which for me is a much

more enjoyable video to watch as it teaches me about an elder in our history and

celebrates excellence in musicianship.

Black woman writing a letter with strawberries in the foreground

White [people are] not the criteria or yardstick by which equality [or value] is measured.      ☥ Malcolm X ☥

Shortly after I wrote the section above, the Strawberry Letter #23 song popped into my head and lingered in a way that revealed a need for emotional healing, but I stubbornly refused to search for a video. My behavior surprised me because I normally only give myself six minutes to ruminate before taking action. I realized that I wasn't yet clean because I was avoiding the issue. Furthermore, I would get no peace until I investigated my strong reluctance to research this song. I loved the song as a young child. Because it is a love song with a back story based on a relationship with a Black woman, I couldn’t bring myself to look it up to see if its marketing materials replaced Black women with white women. Then, I got this inner Lioness Up Soldier! feeling from the Warrior Goddess Sekhmet who pushed me to face my hesitation and reminded me that:

☥ My value as a human is not based on factors that lie outside of myself.

☥ My worth as a woman is not determined by strategic marketing, social programming,

psychological manipulation or propaganda.

☥ My love for the song stands on its own regardless of outside factors.

☥ I must remember how often colonizers appropriate, rename and reframe our culture

so that as I put the pieces of myself and my culture back together, I’ll need to look at

the historical contexts and social programming of the time to uncover the truth.

I know all of this intellectually, but my emotional attachment to the song revealed yet another blind spot that kept me from acknowledging an unresolved trauma so that it could be healed and released. This clarity improves my ability to revisit and correct early childhood perceptions as they arise based on truth. No matter where we are on our journey to radiance, our healing work will continue to scrub away toxicity until we are clean in order to cultivate a healthy community-based ecosystem that celebrates the multidimensional talents that we bring to the world.

African drummers

Examples that fall within this category also include:

☥ Baiting participants with an authentic cultural experience, but then offering a watered

down version of that experience. I attended a wellness festival in Bali that advertised

African drummers (without including pictures of the performers). As the event was

overwhelmingly white, I was extremely excited to see these drummers. However, when

I got to the venue, I noticed that all of the drummers were white. I was shocked that at

an international event, the organizers couldn't manage to find any Black African

drummers. I studied the marketing of the event and realized that a Black ☥

Indigenous ☥ Immigrant person would have to work diligently find out about this

festival. It was covertly designed to keep the attendance of Black ☥ Indigenous ☥

Immigrant People to a minimum. So of course, the few Black ☥ Indigenous ☥

Immigrant performers who were hired for the event would be subject to a majority

white audience. I watched as the white women relentlessly pursued the Black ☥

Indigenous ☥ Immigrant male performers along with the few Black ☥ Indigenous ☥

Immigrant males who attended the festival.

I thoroughly enjoy immersing myself in culture and have no need to stand out or

dominate any events, so I will not ever understand why colonizers have such a

pressing need to be at the center of everyone's life. These tactics are out of alignment

with the evolution of our universe. It is the nature of our universe to delight in variety,

educe creativity, expand and grow. When will we get with the galactical program that

SPIRIT is beaconing us to embrace? I have been surrounded by Indian people when I

attended their tabla, dancing, singing and other artistic performances, Indigenous

Indians when I went to Pow Wows, feasts or other events, and I won't hesitate to

investigate some cultural offering of Islanders, Africans, South Americans, etc. I truly

struggle to see the upside of poverty or a monolithic society and the downside of a

world in which we all have the equal opportunity to thrive. We don't all want the same

things. Some of us love the mountains, others love the ocean. Some love the city life

and others love the country life. Yet we tend to act like everything that we want comes

from one slice of pie, and if we don't hurry up and get our slice (no matter what it

takes), they'll all be gone. There is and has always been enough for everyone. If you

doubt that the world is abundant, count the blades of grass in your front yard or the

grains of a handful of sand. There is so much hunger in the world, yet we throw

millions of pounds of food away every year in order to sustain delusions of superiority.

In order for us to enjoy abundance, we'll have to drop the emotional addictions that

lure us into jealousy and cause us to compare and compete. Our undisciplined minds

and imbalanced emotions heavily influence just about every problem that we face.

Black male boxer

I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'                   ☥ Muhammad Ali ☥

The "we don't support each other" fallacy plays out in every area of our lives. When I first started my business, mostly white people could afford to make appointments, and the businesses who were financially solvent enough to hire or bring me in for a workshop were white-owned. I had to seek out and align myself with Black organizations in order to expose them to my work which often meant that I had to volunteer my services and overcome the stigmas and social programming attached to spirituality and holistic health. Without Spiritual guidance and a military like strength of will, which emerged from many years of attempting to resolve the frustration of bumping up against resistance at every turn with the constant nudging from SPIRIT to keep going, dig deeper and push forward, I would have either given up, become bitter or walked away from my calling. This tension within me still exists and hasn't gotten any easier, but truth, evolution, freedom and the hopes and dreams of my ancestors somehow turn into that jolt of energy that I need whenever the journey becomes hard.

Courage is a love affair with the unknown.         ॐ Osho ॐ

The "Disenfranchised People Don't Know How To Help Themselves" Fallacy

I'm sure that I could fill a few volumes of books with the peculiar things that people have said to me on airplanes. During one such moment, I was speaking with a white man, who was sitting next to me and was particularly chatty. When he learned about my work, he said that he went to a village in Africa and saw how destitute the people were, but he didn't offer any money because he thought it would ruin them. His thinking was that if he exposed them to any level of affluence without them being able to attain it, he would be causing more harm than good. Why didn't I just put on my headphones as soon as I got to my seat? That would have been a better option for me. However, I took a breath and said, "Harriet Tubman had never experienced freedom, but she knew that she wanted it. Escaping enslaved people were exposed to varying levels of affluence on a daily basis as their labor enabled the wealth of the plantation owner and kept them impoverished. However, the generosity of those who participated in the Underground Railroad didn't ruin the enslaved people, who were destitute, completely vulnerable and in the midst of an arduous journey. Resources such as a few dollars, a banana and some bread and shelter for the night were small offerings that saved and liberated lives." Of course, he gave me that curious "Hmmm, she's smarter than I anticipated ... " look and before long, I was released from his attention and went on with my day.

Indeed, there is this assumption on the part of some white people, and tragically on the part of some socially programmed Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People, that those who are disenfranchised don't know what they need and are helpless or in such an impoverished state, that a little bit of help will do more harm than good. We too often respond by pouncing on them with the external forces of our savior complexes or ignoring/writing them off as dangerous/lost. I have spent a good amount of time with people in general, and Black males in particular, who have been written off by society as hopeless (along with a litany of other negative adjectives). I conducted a transformative communication exercise at an all-Black school for males. I separated everyone into groups of two and had them place their chairs in front of each other so that they would have to look into each other's eyes as they went through the exercise. Each adult was matched with a young Black male. At the end of the exercise, some people were in tears. But there was one comment that haunts me to this day. It was from one of the high level school administrators. They said, "He is so brilliant. I had no idea how brilliant he was." I didn't judge the person because I understand the power of social conditioning, but I was deeply troubled by their response because "brilliance and full of exciting, untapped potential" is how they are supposed to see him before they know anything about him.

What do we need to heal within ourselves ☥ what aspects of our behavior needs to change so that we will recognize ☥ help youth to tap into ☥ fulfill their potential?

The person's comment sat in my gut like a very heavy rock. If these ideas permeate the minds of some of the school personnel in Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant schools, how do students fare at white schools? Whenever and wherever I have lead this exercise, every adult was surprised to learn something profound from their students/youth that they are paired with. When SPIRIT directs me to release our Journey to Radiance Power Shorts, I'll share some footage that I have of these exercises so stay tuned.

Darkness is an absence of light. Ego is an absence of awareness.        ॐ Osho ॐ

In Qigong, we have the symbol called yin yang which evolved from Bat, the Kamitian (Ancient Egyptian) Goddess Of Interdependent Opposites. It has many meanings, but it represents interdependent opposites. For the purposes of this discourse, we can take it to mean that one cannot be a teacher without also being a student and vice versa. Everyone who teaches, learns and everyone who learns, teaches. This concept keeps the learning process fresh and prevents the "teacher" from getting seduced by their ego and elevating themselves over their "students." The students who participated in my exercises were disenfranchised, but they were not ignorant. They knew how they were viewed and accepted it as a painful reality that they had to live with on a daily basis without the skills required to demystify and heal their emotions. Because of socioeconomic and other factors, they may not have had the language to express it, but they knew what they needed to help them fulfill their potential. Many also had to endure the triple whammy of:

☥ the external oppression from white people who purposely put systems and structures

in place to set them up for failure;

☥ the internal oppression from Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People in their

community who either consciously pathologized them believing that they were

"protecting" or "preparing" them for the realities of a harsh world or subconsciously

pathologized them through viewing them as traumatized, troubled and hopeless

instead of full of potential and in need of deep healing; and,

☥ the constant frustration of being pathologized and preached to until they no longer

could see evidence that their voice was appreciated or important.

This dynamic often happens in Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities because many of the people in charge of these students are silently suffering from many levels of unconscious trauma that they run from by focusing their attention on helping others, while avoiding the healing of their own trauma, not realizing that they are participating in its perpetuation. However, the energy that created us and our ancestors will not rest or stop nudging us until we heal our mind ☥ body ☥ emotions. I have written many blogs that directly address these issues, so with deep reverence and respect for our individual healing journeys, I invite us to explore the blog page and the rest of this website to embrace or deepen our commitment to healing our world through healing ourselves.

I'm going to take a little time to dive a bit deeper into the concept of embracing the "art" of a thing.

When I worked in the massage clinic, I discovered that there was an "art" to relaxing the rotator cuff muscles. I attribute this insight to meditation because my study and practice caused me to develop the ability to "see without looking" which is an important Qigong concept. At some point, I noticed that my eyes would automatically close as soon as I started a massage. I could "see" congestion and build up in the muscle which made some clients think that I was a magician. At first it freaked me out a bit that I rarely opened my eyes, but I eventually relaxed into the technique and accepted it as a unique talent. I ended up focusing my study on sports injuries and would get a lot of clients with rotator cuff issues. The four muscles that make up the rotator cuff are supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. Of particular interest to me is subscapularis because it is not an easy muscle to access. It is located on the inside of the scapula which means that the only real way to get to it is through the armpit which is a tricky place to work for a number of reasons. Some people are ticklish, some people are sweaty or self-conscious, but if they are coming to me, then they are in pain. I typically would work on getting the person to relax as much as possible and would increase circulation of oxygenated blood to the surrounding muscles first. But to get to subscap, as we therapists like to call it, there needs to be a dance and an unspoken bond of trust built between practitioner and client. If I go into this muscle too quickly or with too much pressure, the person will tense up and lock me out.

There is an "art" to the technique that has to be felt, experienced and expressed. I have to ease my way in and coax the body to trust my touch and stay relaxed. Once I have accessed subscap, I have to balance between working towards the source of the pain while getting the client to breathe deeply to release the tension and gradually increasing the pressure. If the person is ticklish, I must also adjust my speed according to how sensitive they are. I noticed if I breathe slowly and deeply, I can connect in with the person and through some unknown alchemy, I just know how to proceed. Although some people that I've worked on called me a magician, I now know that I was being guided by Auset, the Goddess of Alchemy and the ultimate Body Whisperer. I've learned that in order to embrace the "art" of a thing, I must:

☥ Be self-aware and breathe deeply

☥ Guide the person to a deeper level of self-awareness, through breathing and

connecting with themselves

☥ Stay in constant communication both verbally with the person, and non-verbally with

what I'm feeling and how the client is responding

Young Black male

I noticed that these actions kept me omnipresent with whatever I was doing and allowed for the person to relax into the process while staying alert enough to provide accurate feedback. This sort of dance almost immediately creates a safe environment and cultivates trust which enables success in the work. What if we were able to apply these concepts to other interactions? Here's how this "art" has enabled me to engage in a collaborative communicative dance, which has been especially useful in my work with children and teens:

☥ Breathe, pause and connect in with myself to see how I'm doing first. Take care of any

pressing need that rises to the surface so that I can be present with the youth.

☥ Invite the youth to breathe, pause and then speak their truth. Listen intently without

interrupting. Take a few moments to consider what is said and then respond by

reflecting what I heard back to them, "I understood you to say that ..... is my

understanding correct?" If it is not correct, I may need to listen more intently and self-

correct in order to "hear" what is being said without judgment, creating meaning or

being influenced by past traumas.

☥ Stay present, maintain eye contact and ask them questions about what they are

feeling (it helps to have an emotional healing tool with me/queued up on my phone). If

they get stuck in a story, I guide them towards what actions they think they need to take

as a result of what happened.

It is important to remember that most youth have not been taught how to heal and most males have not been taught how to identify and process their emotions. By the time a person becomes a teen, they have been socially programmed to run away from pain instead of addressing and healing its root cause. To make matters worse, they have become very proficient at "faking it" so we cannot make any assumptions about what they know. We must create an environment of safety, courage and honest expression in order to cultivate trust. They will test us to attempt to ascertain if we can be trusted. Rather than forcing an issue with them, we often need to consider if we said or did something to make them feel unsafe (and immediately self-correct). It is imperative that we learn and teach the process of healing even if we think we or they already know it.

Black male with questions

The real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death.             ॐ Osho ॐ

During an event, I was sitting next to a young Black male who mentioned suicidal ideation during a group discussion. When the discussion was over, I asked him if we could take a walk and talk at some point later that day. Instead of talking him out of suicide, I dove into it with him. I asked him many questions about his concepts of suicide and his knowledge of energy. I didn't try to convince him of anything in particular. I was genuinely interested in what he thought and why he thought it. The conversation got interesting because he came to realize that he wasn't sure what he thought or why he thought it, particularly when it came to energy:

"Do you believe that energy dies?"

No. It just changes form.

If energy changes form, then where will your energy go if you kill yourself?

Wow, I had never thought of that. I guess it would go ... huh ... I don't know.

"Do you have any indication of whether it will go to a place that is better or worse than where you are right now? What will you do if it is worse than where you are right now?"

He just looked at me. I continued, "If you don't know where your energy will go, would you be willing to take some time to investigate energy? What it is? How it changes? Where it goes in this realm of reality? If you're interested, I can help you explore that. Once you tap into your energy, you will at least have enough knowledge and experience with it to make an informed decision about what you will do with your life. I support your journey, but is it a journey if you make a decision about it without a thorough investigation?"

You are being taught everything, but you are not being taught to be yourself. This is the ugliest form of society possible, because it makes everybody miserable.                                ॐ Osho ॐ

In my work as a mental health coach, I learned to never run from suicide conversations because most people make these decisions when they are not self-aware. It is not easy to be suicidal and self-aware at the same time. One of the strategic partners in my work to co-create a healthy community-based ecosystem is Dr. Alfonso Wyatt who continually asserts, "It is better to educe from the inside out, than pound from the outside in." I found this insight to be profoundly useful with youth, because we tend to talk about them and tell them what to do, but, in my experience, we don't ask enough questions, challenge them to question their thoughts, empower them to think critically or deeply listen to and reflect their ideas back to them. Our behavior prevents us from helping them to recognize and tap into their brilliance because we are "pounding from the outside in." I'm sharing these examples, because there is no cookie cutter technique to cultivating trust, authentically connecting with and supporting our youth.

It is an 'art,' meaning that each experience is different and requires that we bring self-awareness and presence to our encounters. The alchemy occurs as we work to stay present and engaged. It speaks to us through our intuition and directs our thoughts and actions. All we need to do is breathe slowly and deeply so that we can hear the direction and take actions based on our innate intelligence.

Every client I worked on had a different issue with their rotator cuff, but somehow, I knew exactly how to ease my way in and work the pain out. Similarly, I found that if I could slow down and connect with a young person, through some sort of alchemy, they would work through their challenge and come to an insight that often filled them with a sense of purpose or a new insight. Watching that happen with young people never gets old.

Hourglass with a clock

The "As Soon As I Have Time I'll ______" Fallacy

This fallacy wreaks havoc on my work as a Health Warrior because no matter what challenges a person faces, they seem to have time for just about everything except for the actions that I need for them to take in order to facilitate the process of healing. I've lost count of the many people who have approached me after one of my workshops to say, "Wow! I'm so inspired to take better care of myself, and I promise that I'll do better as soon as I get through the busy season at work." I attempted many different responses such as, "Healing and self-care that you infuse into your daily habits will make you more productive, increase mental acuity and ensure that you have the energy you need to ace your work during your busy season." However, I found that most people simply brushed those responses off or gave me that, "She's so idealistic" look. So, one day, I couldn't take hearing it anymore, and I responded, "What happens if you die in the middle of the busy season because you didn't give your body the energy and resources it needs to thrive under that kind of pressure?"

Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that’s what maturity is all about.                           ॐ Osho ॐ

Computer generated lightbulb and hand

In the book Thinking Fast and Slow, psychologist Daniel Kahneman refers to two basic types of thinking. He categorizes the first type of thinking as fast and driven by impulse, unconscious/emotional triggers, etc. The second type of thinking is slow, based on conscious awareness and is methodical, logical, etc. His work helped me to put conventional language to a Qigong concept that has been practiced for thousands of years: sometimes fast is slow and slow is fast. My first experience with this concept that I can recall happened during my high school history class. I was in an orange peeling competition. We had 60 seconds to peel the orange. The winner would be the first person who could peel the orange without destroying it. I'm not sure how it happened, but just before the competition began, I realized that it rarely took me longer than a minute to peel an orange, so once the clock started, I just peeled it the way I normally do. My opponent was highly competitive and determined to "beat" me. She tore into that orange like she was digging for gold. In less than 60 seconds, she had made a total mess. She had orange juice all over her and the floor. I had a perfectly peeled orange which I thoroughly enjoyed eating after I won the contest.

If we unpack these ideas of fast and slow, we see that fast movements can satisfy an emotional addiction to the instant gratification of feeling like we've accomplished something quickly. I have a mantra that helps me to pause and consider the consequences before succumbing to the temptation of this trap:

Refresh button

I can either do it right or do it again.

Please do not misunderstand the concept of doing something "right." I'm defining "right" as bringing our conscious awareness to the work at hand which includes taking the time to act swiftly, methodically and efficiently. Sometimes, we can do something "right" and still have to do it again, because of new information that came to us in the "doing." This is a vital part of honing our skills and perfecting our willingness to self-correct. However, in both cases, we are still acting from our conscious awareness. I'm defining the "trap" as taking actions that are triggered or driven by an emotional addiction or an unconscious unmet need. The trap causes us to knee-jerk react/act impulsively instead of from our innate wisdom.

Our emotional addictions can be driven by a number of factors that are fueled by unconscious trauma:

☥ Ego - seeking approval, power, attention, acceptance, status

☥ Retaliation - projected anger because we didn't speak up for ourselves or set and

enforce healthy boundaries

We don't know how to heal, so we seek distractions and/or traumatize others

Collage of Black dancers

My second recollection occurred when I was on a video shoot at a hospital. At the time, I worked for a health insurance company, and was getting some cutaway shots of a person being transported from the inside of an ambulance to the hospital. Everyone was moving so slow that I didn't think I could use the footage. When I asked them to speed it up a bit, one of the guys looked at me and said, "This isn't ER, this is how it gets done." Until that moment, I didn't recognize the social programming. It was as if his comment shocked me back to reality. I laughed to myself and wondered how I allowed myself to fall for it even though I knew better. "How it gets done" in reality is often overshadowed by perceptions we are repeatedly exposed to in multimedia. As a result of this programming, our concepts of time are often influenced by the fast pace of a TV show/movie. In his book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries talks about how the impact of the montage on TV shows and in the movies can affect our ability to make sound business decisions. For example, if we watch a TV show/movie about a dance competition, there is a dramatic formula:

☥ The storylines of the teams of competitors

☥ The drama of the competition

☥ The ultimate winners and losers

However, what we don't see in the TV show/movie is the long hours of planning, preparation, practice drills, etc. because it is difficult to create an action packed TV/movie scene about creating spreadsheets or repeating a drill 100 times in a row. So, this part becomes the montage scene in the TV show/movie. These montages are so common, that in real life, we forget that the montage could equate to many hours, days, weeks or years of planning the work and working the plan, in order to accomplish a personal or professional goal. That this phenomenon is common enough to show up in a popular business strategy book is an indication of its pervasiveness in our society. If we examine these examples carefully, we begin to realize that our perceptions of time - how long something can take, what we have time to do, etc. can be illogical, skewed, irrelevant, incorrect and based on many different fallacies. If our minds are running on default, we will make decisions about our lives that are driven by subconscious and unresolved emotional needs which affects all aspects of our lives. So, when I share healing strategies with people, they tend resist what I say almost as a reflex, because they believe it will take up too much of their "time." In order to overcome the time fallacies, we'll need to:

☥ Become more consciously aware of our thoughts and actions

☥ Question our thoughts and improve our behaviors

☥ Continually check in with the truest part of ourselves to assess how we are investing

our time, and if our actions are serving our highest good

Understand the process of transformation so that we have a realistic sense of the

amount of planning, effort and time it takes to accomplish a goal

☥ Actively engage in the process of mental and emotional healing to ensure that our

thoughts and actions are driven by conscious self-awareness instead of unconscious

trauma/hidden unfulfilled needs

As I've observed and worked to self-correct sabotaging behaviors within myself, I've noticed that complaining is a huge waste of time for me. Often times, the amount of time that I've spent whining about what I have to do actually takes longer than doing what I was complaining about. I've worked very diligently over the years to "catch" myself in the middle of a whining session. My goal is to give myself six minutes to get the complaining out of my system. If I notice anger/frustration arising within me, I do a short breathing and movement exercise to help me release the angst, clear my mind and get on with the work. In this way, I am acknowledging my displeasure without allowing it to derail my efforts. As I mention in my emotions blog, disruption of our plans is often how SPIRIT moves to help us level up what we are doing. If we can remember to connect with our breath, we'll calm down more quickly, and we'll be able to hear the innovative wisdom that is coming our way.