Motivational Monday Moment – 5/22/2017

My Motivational Monday Moment is late. I know. I apologize. I wasn’t sure what to write about. I had been thinking of what I wanted to share all week and nothing was coming to me. I wrote this during lunch. I needed inspiration/clarification.

I attended a seminar today at work and I had an Aha Moment! The seminar was pretty cool. However, the seminar reminded me of all the things that I had learned before, but it was if God was reminding me of them again today. I learned that I along with many of you have biases. It’s human nature.

I know you’re probably thinking “T, I know this or I’m not bias – I love everyone”, but I would beg to differ.  Bias as a noun is…

bias (noun)

a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned

Let me tell you how my bias reared it’s ugly head this weekend. I attended the Liver Walk this weekend and learned so much about people who had liver problems. In my naivete, I’ve always thought that the only people that had liver issues were those that suffered from Hepatitis C problems or those that drank (alcoholics) their liver to death. That’s it.

Never did I imagine how many people suffer different kinds of problems with their livers and they can happen out of nowhere. One gentleman came up to me and told me his story. He was older, maybe in his early mid-60’s and was very muscular. He explained that he was an athlete and he went to the doctor’s one day for his annual check-up and his doctor said his heart was too big. He told me that he knew that because he was an athlete and all athletes have bigger hearts. The doctor told him no, it’s too big. Tests were ordered and a diagnosis was given.  His heart and liver were failing. He was a double transplant recipient of both a heart and a liver. I was in awe of this man. He was telling me why he walks and raises awareness for both issues.

His story was so powerful. But, I know you’re wondering about what this has to do with my bias. Well, I’ll tell you…a man approached the stage to say why he was there and I was overwhelmed by his outward beauty. He was so hot!!! Very handsome man, but when he talked I paused. He was slow in his speech and I was thinking “Oh, he must be an athlete.” Well, he was an athlete, but when he told his story, I got smacked with the truth that I was being biased.

This beautiful man told us how he was playing football one day and suffered from heat exhaustion and when he woke up he was in the hospital. He suffered both kidney and liver failure. His kidneys recovered and his liver didn’t. He had to have a liver transplant. He had to learn to walk and talk again.

You see? I thought he was a “dumb jock” because of how he was speaking and this beautiful man was thanking us for walking because he was the recipient of a liver. You see how I was being biased right? I had to check myself. I was embarrassed. This beautiful soul could have lost his life and I was judging him not knowing he has a story.

My Motivational Monday Moment is about remembering that we all have a story. I judged this man on the way he spoke and had assumed that he was another dumb jock. Far from it. I was actually embarrassed by my thoughts. But, I wanted to share with you what I was reminded of today. We all have biases, but we can’t let them give us an unfavorable opinion of someone without having knowledge. I did.

No, I don’t like it when someone does it to me and here I was doing it myself. We all have biases and sometimes we need to remember when our biases are allowing us to craft a narrative of someone we don’t even know. I had to check myself. I was wrong. I know better. Sometimes you need a reminder that you’re better than your thoughts. I know I did.

Be encouraged. Be open. Be honest. Be loving.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

How Can We, As Parents, Live the Values of Martin Luther King Jr.?

Love this.

confident parents confident kids

hand shake for MLK Jr post

When we think of the civil rights movement, we may think of a country divided. But Martin Luther King Jr.’s message and the vision that galvanized so many to act bravely in the face of fear, consisted of values that any person in any corner of the world can aspire to. They are values that, when lived, have the potential to unify. So when you are talking with your children today about why we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., be sure and include those values that he articulated and modeled and that so many were able to demonstrate through their actions. Think about small ways in which you might demonstrate those values in your day-to-day life. If you do so, you will be honoring the memory of all those throughout time whose lives and livelihoods were threatened and despite that, made choices that aligned with the best of who we…

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Motivational Monday Moment – 11/28/16

Today’s the last Monday in November. My Motivational Monday Moment is about perseverance.  Let’s talk about perseverance.

perseverance (n)

1.steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc.,especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

2.Theology. continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.

Perseverance is one of the hardest things we can do. How many times have we been going through things and felt like giving up? How many times did you feel like you couldn’t take no more and you just wanted all the pain and BS to end?

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If you’re like me, you’ve experienced some rough situations and times in your life and you wondered how the heck you would make it. But you did. You persevered in spite of your circumstances and situations. You kept running.perseverance

That’s what you have to do. You have to keep running your race. I know you’re tired. I know you feel as though you can’t go on.

I know that you think you’re in the pits of hell and I can’t possibly imagine what you’re going through, but trust me I do. I understand. I feel your pain. I feel your heartache. I feel your desperation.

perserverance

I’ve been there. But, I want you to know that you can beat this. You can get through this. You just need to run on!

Keep running!

Don’t stop!

Don’t give up!

Your breakthrough is on the horizon. I will walk beside you. I will be there to comfort and encourage you. We will be stronger together if we are persistent to finish this race.

You can persevere my friend.

 

From the Mouths of Babes

My son is a good child.

Simple in his wishes.

He is six.

He can’t figure out when is Christmas.

We tell him.

He forgets.

He asks daily.

He sings Christmas carols.

He doesn’t get the lyrics quite right.

We laugh.

He told me that all he wants for Christmas is a stuffed bunny rabbit, a fire truck and a gold fish.

We are lucky.

No, we are blessed that God chose us.

In Search of More

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

Mother Teresa

Okay so I’m working on my first book which will be fiction (very loosely) based off my life and experiences. It’s weird because I’ve never intended to write fiction, just tell my story. My truth. My way. With no filter. The response to my two short stories have created a surge to write the story of a woman named Faith and her experiences with a man named Teddy.

I’m so excited because the respect and appreciation for my short stories have increased my Twitter followers, Facebook friends and followers to this blog. This means that people get me. You don’t know how wonderful that makes me feel. It is an amazing feeling and I thank you for your continued support.

That being said, I have no plans to quit my job and write full-time (primarily because I love and need my health benefits) but I just want to share this woman’s story. What makes it interesting is that I can see parts of me, my friends, family and women I’ve met on this journey into everything I write now. We all want more. Whether it be a poem or short story I feel like I’m weaving a tapestry that tells one story for everyone…the search for more. More. We don’t want to settle. We know we deserve it but oftentimes we find ourselves trapped in situations where we accept what we can get instead of pulling ourselves away from things that don’t give us more.

My search for more has opened my eyes to things that I never thought I would experience and anthems about taking back your power that I am in awe of how I’m subconsciously moving and gravitating towards my destiny without even knowing it. In other words, I’m not settling. I’m asking, no rather DEMANDING more. More for me.

I hope you do the same love.

Fat Jokes

So, last week I had the pleasure of going to drink at an establishment where my girlfriend was the bartender for the night. The bar was small, but nice. They had a comedy show whereby local comedians were featured. As I settled onto my bar stool with my drink I was immediately captivated by the talent of a black woman about my age and rocking a beautiful African head-wrap. Sister was funny. She was bringing the jokes and I was feeling the pain from laughing so hard.

But, she lost me. Why? She started to talk about how she’s 40 and never been married and doesn’t have kids. She remarked about how she is attractive and that she seems to be entering the dating field at the wrong time. For example, when skinny is in she’s considered too fat or when fat girls are in she’s considered too skinny. Apparently she had it rough (insert snarky smile). As she progressed through her routine she said that she was watching Discovery Health one day and it depressed the heck out of her. Why? Because she saw two women who were both married to attractive men with children.

The first woman had no legs and was pregnant. She mused, “I mean, why can’t I find an attractive husband and get pregnant. I have legs. What’s the problem?” She inquired. She said that a friend had told her that the legless woman can outperform her in the bedroom (too much for this post). Everyone laughed. Now disabled people are humorous? She then said there was a show about a 692 fat woman who was married to an attractive man and she couldn’t understand how she could get a husband and she can’t. What was up with that? Everyone laughed imagining this situation because the comedian couldn’t have weighed more than 160 pounds herself and was attractive.

She told a few more jokes and got off the stage. A few more comedians came up to do their act and I realized a theme forming in my brain…Fat jokes. Men and women both think that joking about fat women is funny (not even fat men). They all wondered how fat women can find attractive husbands, boyfriends or even date because we’re so busy being fat and eating.

Now, check it! I get that they were just jokes but as the only curvy sister in the establishment they were all looking at me and saying, “Not you sister” as I was giving them the side-eye that their jokes weren’t funny. I am a plus size princess, a curvy cutie and a full-figured feminist so how do the fat jokes don’t apply to me? Because I’m not big enough like the women you are referring too?

Man, kick rocks with that kind of backwards thinking. I asked my boy who was with me why did they do that? He said, “They’re just jokes. All fat women want to be skinny. Look at Monique.” Really? WTH! I was outraged at his insensitivity to the issues that big women face and I said, “Not all women want to be skinny and Monique didn’t. She wanted to be healthy and she’s not skinny.”

I guess I’m disappointed that we still can’t find humor about real-life things instead of picking on me and my plus sized sisters. I just wish that a true comedian would develop their craft by finding other topics. I mean fat girls like me like comedy shows and you just might have to spend your routine looking away when I give you the side eye when you make fat girl jokes. I’m not ashamed of my size and not everyone wants to be skinny. Just healthy.

My two cents…find other things to make us laugh such as politics, sex and religion. You would offend a lot more people instead of one group. I’m just saying.

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The Phenomenal Princess

My niece is one of the most beautiful and phenomenal young women I know.  I know I’m kind of biased, but let me tell you why I think she’s phenomenal.  Princess #1 (her nickname) is almost 16.  She’s smart, funny and talented.  It’s in her genes.


One of the things I love most about my princess is her beautiful chocolate skin color.  It’s the color of a molten lava cake.  Beautiful and dark.  She is my chocolate kiss.  As a woman I try to instill racial pride in my nieces and nephews.  Loving the skin you’re in.  You see it is hard out for our young black women and men.  Your color is the first thing people notice about you. It’s the thing that makes some folks cringe or cross the other side of the street when you walk by. Sometimes, it is the one thing that we try to change.  But, how can you change something so beautifully inherited by your parents?  

There are too many young women who are walking around with their self-esteem damaged. Many of those same women have felt the pressure to fit into society’s ideal of beauty.  To be a size two with a 42 inch waist.  However, is that really realistic?  Nope.  In an Instagram age where everyone is a model based off the number of followers and likes on their page or photos, it’s no wonder our young ladies feel the pressure to fit in.  But, at what cost are they trying to change who they are?

We need to teach our young ladies that they are perfect just the way they are.  I love the fact that New York City became the first  major city in the nation to tackle the issue of self-esteem in young girls.  They want young girls to see that their value comes from character not your appearance.  This is something that we’ve tried to do with Princess since she was a little girl. We wanted her to recognize that you are beautiful because you exist, but your character is what really determines your worth.  Character.  That is what I want her to have.  Good character. You’re already beautiful outside, why not work on the inside?

So, in light of one of my literary heroes (Maya Angelou) that passed away yesterday, I submit this poem to my niece and all the young women out there who may not know this… You are beautiful just the way you are.  You are phenomenal!

Phenomenal Woman

BY MAYA ANGELOU

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.


I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.


Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.




This is me and Princess #1 – I love me some her! Phenomenally!