Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say

I borrowed that phrase from a song on Ice-T’s 1989 LP.  It’s a short way of saying that while speech is free the consequences are not so much. We learn this at an early age. If your parents or a teacher says or does something you don’t like, even as a child no one can bridle your tongue but you. You can read your mom, dad, or Mrs. Jenkins their rights from Genesis to Revelations if you want to. I can tell you if I did that as a youngen’ I would have paid a rather painful price. Tell you something else too, the constitution wouldn’t have saved my black ass either.

And so it is in life we learn the balances and nuances of free speech. Daily we decide what we find worth saying and what is not. This doesn’t just apply for situations regarding authority. It applies to everyday life between friends, colleagues, and lovers. Wisdom teaches us that all things that can be said shouldn’t be said. Then there are times when conscious forces to say what is unpopular to the masses. Take Colin Kaepernick’s for instance. His free speech protected under the constitution does not protect him from being blackballed from the NFL.

This leads me to the controversy surrounding Missouri State Senator, Maria Chappelle Nadal.  Recently she decided to express her desire that President Trump be assassinated. Predictably she has come under fire and find herself in the cross hairs of the governor. He wants her senate seat.

I no longer reside in Missouri so I am not privy to the daily heartbeat of the area. From reading articles it seems that she is taking quite the political beating. I have gotten some feedback on social media. My African-Americans friends who have commented are unanimous in believing that she should resign. I totally understand where they are coming from. Further I resonate with WHY they believe it.

What Senator Chappelle-Nadal did was irresponsible, dangerous and childish. Someone in her position surely should know better than to post something like that on any form of social media. However, I am not sure whether I believe she should resign or be ousted. There used to be a time when common sense told us what was a fireable offence and what was perhaps cause for censure. I could go for the low hanging fruit of what was said and done to our 44th president. South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson who screamed at President Obama calling him a liar during a joint session with congress. Jan Brewer put a threatening finger in the face of President Obama. There was a T-Mobile manager who did the same to me a few weeks ago. I almost gave him a 2 piece. The police was called. Montana candidate Greg Gianforte actually assaulted a reporter shortly before he was elected to congress.

But even if we were do discount these examples, we need go no higher than the person of interest himself, president #45. He started his campaign of slander years ago questioning the citizenship and therefore legitimacy of president #44. During his official campaign he told a crowd, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

There are so many examples of malfeasance since his inauguration in January I don’t need to list them all. They have been well documented. His latest exploits have been to defend and encourage white supremacist’s to continue their barbaric behavior. American citizens have been assaulted, beaten, injured and killed. #45 has been the ringleader. Even David Duke acknowledged that he takes his ques from #45. It can be strongly argued that the blood that has been shed falls on #45’s hands.

And let’s not forget his is currently being investigated for illegal dealings with the Russian government. By all accounts there appears to be overwhelming evidence that he is an enemy of the state; a traitor to the country he is supposed to lead.

That leaves me in a quandary. Two things #45 have in common with Wilson, Brewer and Gianforte.

  1. They are Republican, while Chappelle-Nadal is a Democrat
  2. They have not been asked to leave their respective offices.

The second part is what’s most relevant here. Best believe members of the GOP are NOT giving up they’re seats of government. They are determined to keep each and every advantage through local, state, and federal politics.  Yet I am supposed to believe that Chappelle-Nadal should resign from her seat because of what she ‘hopes?’ I’m supposed to accept that it’s a righteous act to remove her from the committees she serves on? I’m not saying I know the answer quite honestly. What I am saying is that there needs to be a clearer moral compass to judge these things on. That’s unrealistic. Therefore, perhaps Democrats should stick together and be just as determined not to lose any of their seats as their GOP counterparts are. Sometimes in order to succeed, those who play the game must understand how that the game is being played, then play accordingly.

 

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Stop Hating for Five Seconds, See What We Can Learn From The Warriors – By Annie Apple

There is no such thing as a super team, unless a super team is a team that refuses to lose when it has to win. Lots of teams have talented players on their roster but aren’t winning. The term “Super team” is a low-key way of undermining what the Golden State Warriors are doing. The so-called experts gleefully fail to acknowledge that the Warriors are winning because their talented players play ego-free basketball. In an all eyes on me culture, the Warriors’ eyes are on the prize. They’re proving you get so much accomplished in life when you don’t care who gets the credit. The following are four other lessons we can all learn from this year’s Golden Warriors..

Make no time for ego

Warriors have two players in Kevin Durant and Steph Curry scoring 30 plus points each a game and either guy could be finals MVP. Yet they play selfless ball. Their team is loaded with talent, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala. But their greatest talent isn’t ball skills; their greatest talent is their ability and commitment to playing team ball. They aren’t stuck on who’s the star. The star for the Golden State Warriors is winning. That is their daily goal in practice, meetings, film studies and the results show. So whether you’re on an IT team, nonprofit, corporate, education or service staff team, focus on how you can work together to create a great product, process, service and the results will be super.

Stay unbothered

My mom told me many years ago, “Annie, when you want to accomplish anything in life, don’t look at people’s faces for approval or acceptance.” Kevin Durant left Oklahoma Thunder and never looked back. He’s been vilified, his character attacked and manhood questioned for his business decision as a free agent to join the Warriors. Yet, he stays focused and continues to be outstanding.  This team has been undermined all season. When they win, they’re supposed to win. With the so-called experts saying they’re only winning because they have KD. But at one point OKC had KD, Westbrook and Harden, but for whatever reason, the team couldn’t get it done, and Harden left, then Durant.

You can never underestimate importance of chemistry, sacrifice and teamwork. When Durant went to Golden State, it could’ve failed. With all that talent, there was no guarantee they would all gel together and make the mental sacrifices and game changes needed to win. They’re winning by shutting out the noise and focusing on exceeding their own expectations. So stop listening to what people who are not invested in your growth and success have to say. Focus on what you and your team, family, coworkers are trying to accomplish. Let the goal be the focus and the process will work.

When you put team first, you personally will win

Putting the needs of the team first in a team environment is important to personal success. When the team wins, you win. The goal isn’t personal accolades. If you get a dozen triple doubles but your team falls short, it doesn’t matter. Focus on the process and productivity of team work and you’ll all reap the benefits, individually and collectively.

Stay humble

Don’t get distracted. Don’t start believing your own hype. Don’t get sucked into the praise or criticism. Stay humble. Success can be as much a distraction as failure. Stay locked in and on task. Remember, when the goal is greatness, you will never arrived. Greatness is a process and a journey which requires patience, focus and humility.

Master Manipulator? Or Sad Girl? (From Fellow Blogger WitchyWisdoms)

A very thoughtful read!

 

Truth be told, I got the idea for this blog post by watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

And some of these women have supremely repressed issues that not only keep bubbling to the surface, but end up shaping their reality.

And it got me thinking… are the people that we think are master manipulators, puppeteers, or social chess players really that cunning? Or is fear the one running the show?

Like for instance, at the end of my infamous relationship, I called my ex boyfriend a sociopath. I was convinced that he had all of his ducks in a row and was playing a game with me in order to bleed me dry.

But upon further contemplation, I’m realizing that the moves he made that led me to believe he was psychotic were actually his feeble attempts at trying to hide his tracks. He would steal cash from my secret spot in my intimates drawer, and when I would freak out thinking I had lost money, he would suggest keeping a log of the money I put in there after a nights work or walking with me to deposit it in the ATM.

Sociopath, right? Well, not exactly.

He had an impulse, and a hunger to feed. His heroin habit was life or death, so he stole from me. In lucid moments, he would feel guilty and not want to do the things he’s done, so he would suggest honorable solutions to protect HIMSELF.

Where I thought he planned his abuse, like the reversed King of Swords who is indicative of a mastermind, I was giving him far too much credit. In actuality, he was swimming in a swirling pool of lies, depression, anxiety, and hopelessness, which is told by the Nine of Swords. His despair created the illusion of calculation.

Don’t be confused, that is not an excuse for him. Rather, a deeper understanding into the sadness that repressed emotions create and how they can shape your world. When I would ask him if he took the money, he would scream and shout and cry, much like the girls on that reality show. He was sad. And he was caught.

If you see a girl/ boy/ whomever who seems calculated, they probably don’t even realize they are doing it. They are guided by a hunger that they need to feed, and their impulse, their trauma, is creating a world in which it is the epicenter. If you’ve lost your husband and you fear so greatly that you will lose anyone else, that trauma is going to live your life for you, if not dealt with. It might show up by trying to gain someones trust by telling another persons secrets. Or giving yourself over completely to someone right away. Or isolating a specific, maybe less aware, individual so that you two become synonymous. And that is not creating a bond. That is creating codependency.

So if there is someone that you fear in your life that seems like a calculated shrew, take a closer look. There’s probably some pain there. And if this person is you, maybe it’s time to stand still and face the trauma. Stay aware, and stay witchy ( *)

WednesdayWisdoms: What Are You Grateful For? (From Guess Blogger Witchy Wisdoms)

It is easy for us to say that we are grateful for everything we have, but what does that mean? What is everything?

If we wrap up all of the intricacies into one term labeled “everything,” we minimize some of the most important aspects in our lives. So for this weeks practice, we’re going to make a list.

I want you to start out with a list of twenty things that you are grateful for. I know that sounds like a daunting number, but once you get flowing you’ll realize you have so much you never accounted for! You can start with some big ones: the fact that you’re alive, your family, that you have two legs (if you do) just to get the ball rolling. Then, slowly, get more and more personal. Is there someone in your life that makes it better? Is there a particular family heirloom that makes you smile every morning? Do you possess a skill or trait that makes your world a better place?

I wrote my list above. Look it over and see if it brings you inspiration. Then write yours out. REALLY set time aside for it. And when you’re done, post it somewhere you will see everyday. Above the kitchen sink or bathroom mirror. Somewhere super visible. Post it with a mala or your favorite crystal. Bring some light and energy into it. The more emphasis you place on this list, and the more reminders that you have to be grateful, the less space you will have in your heart for the negative.

And you are highly encouraged to KEEP ADDING! If you think of something new to be grateful for, pop that bad boy of the list and watch it add some more shine. Sprinkle it with glitter. Kiss it with lipstick. Love that list because it makes your world great.

Stay grateful, and stay witchy ( *)

The Shortest Stories

It is claimed Ernest Hemingway once wrote a six-word short story that could make people cry for a bet. The wager was ten dollars, which Hemingway won with the following:

“For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”

It’s not confirmed whether this was true or not. But it recently occurred to me that there are songs I know, with just a line or two, or a phrase; they can tell an entire story.  Here are a few that come to my mind.

“Peace after revolution.”  – Erykah Badu

“Is this the part you take my heart to wipe your feet on?” – Loose Ends

“She has a special quota to fill. He wants to buy a new Seville.” – Whispers

“Neither one of us, wants to be the first to say, ‘Goodbye’.” – Gladys Knight & The Pips

“Love is stronger than pride.” – Sade

“Until you come back to me that’s what I’m gonna do.” – Aretha Franklin

“I need you.” – Jill Scott

 

 

Are You Ready To Stop Running (Fellow Blogger Witchy Wisdom)

This is Part 2…

In last weeks exercise, we talked about being alone. I know that is a scary thing for most of us, but it is a necessary stage for growth. We spend most of our lives running from our fears, when really we need to stop and take account of where we are, so we can start running towards our dreams.

The Devil indicates smothering desires that help us run. And they work, for a bit. They say in program that it works until it doesn’t, and generally we know when that is, we’re just too afraid to stop. Taking accountability is not an easy task, especially when you’ve been running from it your whole life.

I don’t know about you, but running is exhausting. It feels great at first, because you’re getting an instant reward. But when you keep hammering the pavement and chasing the initial high that brought you so much joy from escape, and realize it never will be fulfilling, your little demons start to catch up to you. And then, running feels like life or death.

It takes a lot of Strength to stop and face those demons. To look at them in the face, accept them, and shake their hands so you can move forward. It’s not an easy task, but it is essential if you want to flourish. Otherwise you’re just trying to escape the inescapable: the truth.

The universe doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. But it takes courage to stand still. Shifting the motion from backpedaling in fear to propelling forward in desire is a thing of beauty. But there must be an instant of complete motionlessness in order to do that. Dig deep, find your bravery, stand still, and stay witchy ( *)

As a side note: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As I have shared in my blog, I am a survivor. I am hosting on my Instagram page (@witchywisdoms) an awareness challenge that asks anyone (survivor or not) to post a selfie with the hashtag #istandwithmysurvivors so that those who have been sexually assaulted will know they are believed and loved.

In addition, I have created an anonymous tumblr thread for survivors to ask me questions directly, post a thread of their own, share their story, and offer community. I will keep this thread open for as long as it is needed. I’ve also created a new tab up at the top of my page titled “Safe Space” where you can find the link. Be brave and be strong ( *)