YOG02: Navigating Boundaries, Racism and the Holidays.

podcast-master

Greetings Mindful Yardie’s,

I’m beyond excited for you today because it’s our first proper Yard of Greatness podcast show! 

Today’s topic is about navigating boundaries, racism and the holidays. Most of us know that annoying person who drinks to much at this time of year, then thinks they can bring their fast self to you, asking for things that don’t belong to them (if you get my meaning smh!) Or you may have family members, pressuring you to engage in festivities you don’t like. With so many invites and celebrations to attend, it’s important to share how to practice good personal boundaries.

also talk about why I flung Santa out of my yard, and all the epic stuff I do instead. Once you’ve listened to the show, I’ve included a downloadable empowerment sheet at the bottom of this post, to help you get clear on your holiday values and build a more authentic presence whatever rituals you choose to include going forward. 

I hope you enjoy it!

June

https://bumpers.fm/e/b18hlkds6j8002p71sa0

 

 

Links mentioned in this show

My favourite Kwanzaa things. 

Kwanzaa Celebration
Defining your values

 

Confused By Racial Terminology?

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I don’t know about y’all, but I’m confused most of the time by all the racial terminology flying around. However, what I do understand is that this confusion is also an important part of how the system of racism maintains its power.  If we can’t define it for ourselves, we become vulnerable to it being defined for us to our detriment.

To get clear, i’ve created this quirky little glossary to share my thoughts and explorations of words, feelings and terms associated with racism and our empowerment. This will help us gain a deeper understanding of the behaviours of those who practice it, as well as our maladaptive responses to being victims of it. I will also be using this space to drop the blackalicious, dopeness of melanoid magnificence! We need some balance up in here right?

Keep an eye on the blog under the glossary category, as i’ll occasionally be taking some of the terms to explore them in much more detail. I’ll keep adding to this list as I create more content. Let’s begin!

Assimilation.
Under the system of racism, all non-white people are required to adopt and accept the social and psychological characteristics of white supremacy as a priority.

Black excellence.
A black s/hero committed to living in their RA state of brilliance, greatness and genius, despite living under the system of racism (white supremacy.)

Black empowerment
The practice of counter racist behaviours which reclaim our right to live, love, work, build and enjoy our culture and awesomeness in peace on this planet.

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Boltphoria.
An intense emotional state of ecstasy around witnessing the black brilliance of the fastest man on earth. Mr Usain Bolt. The world record holder for crushing both the 100 and 200 meter Olympic sprint. Boltastic!

Black Girl Magic.
Black girl magic is a term we used to celebrate the global awesomeness of melanoid shine and sistahood. We gave birth to human civilization and rock the planet in our strength, beauty, and creativity. We rise and slay in all shades despite having to deal with racism and sexism. We rock and don’t you forget it! See also melanoid magnificence.

Black self love.
When we like ourselves we can put on a nice dress, braid our happy naps and maybe slide on a little lip gloss. But when we truly love ourselves, we nurture our souls attire. After bathing in the  truth, we adorn the spirit of compassion and step into the outside world with a dignified swag of regal self- respect.

Codependency
Codependency is an unhealthy, compulsive form of self abandonment and reliance on another person. These people lose touch with their own needs and feelings, and become completely isolated from themselves. See also racial codependency.

Coon
A coon is a pejorative term which originally referred to black people whose sole purpose was to entertain white people. Today, I see black people practising ‘coonery’ as a maladaptive, fear based behaviour where they believe that playing out these racist stereotypes will protect them from being rejected inside the white supremacy structure. Black people are often unconsciously rewarded for enabling racism (white supremacy) in this manner, and punished and/or abandoned when we do not.

Counter – Racism
Counter racism is the practice of empowering behaviours which produce justice and challenge the system of racism (white supremacy.)

Cultural Appropriation
Cultural Appropriation is when our culture is stolen by white supremacy and used without any acknowledgement, or respect for its origin. An example of this is when Kim Kardashian’s hair was pictured in cornrows, but was acknowledged in the media as a new trend called ‘boxer braids.’

Discrimination
Discrimination is the unequal treatment of various social categories based on race, gender, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion etc..

Emotional abuse.
This is the neglect and mistreatment of another person or community. Emotional abuse can involve the fear or threat of being harmed, being physically harmed, isolated and/or actively ignoring our personal, cultural and/or social needs.

Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is our ability to manage our emotions, and make measured, empathetic choices in our relational interactions as a consequence.

Emotional Sobriety
Emotional sobriety is the ability to fully feel our feelings and accept this vulnerability as an important part of our humanity. See also racial sobriety.

Enmeshment.
Enmeshment occurs as a result of having weak personal boundaries. The sense of self then becomes defined by the relationship to another person or structure instead of being rooted in the interpersonal exchange of your own needs and values. This over concern for others destroys the healthy development of self identity.

Internalised racism
As we remain unconscious victims of racism (white supremacy), we will continue to absorb and accept the beliefs, ideologies and behaviours which maintain its structure. This dynamic also ensures that we continue to infect our communities and our children intergenerationally.

Intergenerational trauma.
Intergenerational trauma is the transmission of unresolved physical, spiritual, psychological  and emotional pain. It’s a legacy of maladaptive dysfunctional pathologies and behaviours recycled inside our families.  

Implicit bias.
Is the practice of unconscious racist behaviour which is generally expressed as an automatic reaction. The system of white supremacy has aggressively ingrained itself in the fabric of our society so deeply, that the majority of white people practice it unconsciously, and non white people accept and enable it through their lack of understanding of it at a psychological level.

Justice.
As defined by our brotha Neely Fuller Jr. producing justice means, ‘to guarantee that no person is mistreated and that those who need the most help, get the most constructive help.’

Melanoid Magnificence
Melanoid Magnificence is a term I use to celebrate the deliciousness of our existence on this planet. From our being the first people on earth, to our  fighting and rising despite our challenges. We honor all things African, our culture, our creativity, our features our curves and the wonder of our spiritual connection to the universe.  

Mindfulness
To look inward and feel without judgment. To consciously pay attention to each moment in the now, in on order to increase our self awareness, self reflection and incite. We cannot improve our black experience if we are detached to our presence.

Prejudice.
Prejudice is a negative judgement or attitude towards an individual or social group.

Projection
Projection is a term used in therapy to explain an unconscious defence mechanism where a person can’t hold the negative feelings they have about themselves, so dumps them onto another person. Instead of admitting and owning their own thoughts and actions, they claim that the other person is behaving in the dysfunctional way that they themselves have been behaving. An example of this is when white supremacist talk about black people being violent, when it is they that have created destruction all over this planet  through violence.

Racial Codependency
An unhealthy, compulsive reliance on those who practice or enable the system of white supremacy. See also ‘coon.’

Racial Intimacy.
Racial intimacy is our ability to be fully present inside our identity. We honour and nurture a healthy, loving relationship with our blackness without apology.

Racial Insanity.
Racial insanity is when black people believe that they can avoid being a victim of racism (white supremacy) if they keep abandoning themselves.

Racial Sobriety
Is our ability to reclaim our identity to love, honour and respect ourselves as equal members of the global human family. Sobriety is maintained through our commitment to the emotional, spiritual and intellectual journey of self knowledge whilst practicing new counter racist behaviours. See also counter racism.

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Reverse Racism
Reverse racism is the pathetic attempt by white supremacy to play the victim inside a system they created and continue to maintain with impunity.

White Fragility
White fragility is a triggered  emotional state where white people are unable to tolerate any level of racial stress. The goal of white supremacy is to restore and maintain the ‘comfortable’ white status quo which is achieved through defensive behaviours. These include silence, shaming, anger, fear, guilt and leaving the situation. So next time you see the ‘all lives matter’ white tears, you’ll understand the fragility that lies beneath it.

White Supremacy
White supremacy is a narcissistic, global white power system of exploitation and oppression over non-white people in response to their fear of white genetic annihilation. The system operates in all areas of people activity, education, economics, entertainment, labour, law, politics, religion, sex and war. There are no other functioning systems which have the power to impact the lives of any other racial group in the same manner, therefore, the only true functioning racist system, is that of white supremacy and should therefore be referred to as such.

Message me at info@yardofgreatness.com if you have any thoughts or suggestions for additions.

If you have not signed up already, join the movement here

 

Need Some Counter Racist Self Care?

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Just a quick one, I had another great session tonight on the C.O.W.S. radio programme (Concept of White Supremacy) with Gus T. Renegade. This week, we talked about the global influence of Donald Trump being elected as the new president of the USA.  As Trump and the juggernaut of racism continues to bulldoze its way through our black minds and bodies, we need to take care of ourselves more than ever so we are better equipped to practice constructive counter-racist behavior.  I have revised my ebook on managing racial stress which includes tools on how to understand your emotions, managing black rage etc. You can now download free here. I’ll upload the COWS radio show replay in the next few days.
In the meantime, love on that Melanin!
Till next time.
June

Alethiology – The Study of Truth. Are You Standing In Yours?

One of the things that keeps us trapped inside our racial pain is our disconnection from the truth, our truth. Many of us like the idea of living authentically in this regard, but it’s much harder to practice inside a system which aggressively demands the abandonment of our blackness.

Neely Fuller Jr. and Dr Francis Cress-Welsing dedicated their lives to teaching the world how this social cancer infects us in all areas of people activity; education, entertainment, economics, labour, law, politics, religion, sex, and war.

It’s aggressive nature along with the layers of intergenerational powerlessness, means that many of us have unconsciously learned to accept dishonesty as part of our daily lives. We also codependently believe that not speaking our black truth will save us from future pain.

When we are unaware of how this racist confusion is maintained, we unconsciously enable the system’s breeding, and remain vulnerable to absorbing a legacy which murders the souls of our people.

Exploring my cultural needs in the early stages of growth was a painful experience, as I separated from my internalised racist thinking and began reclaiming my true sense of self. Some mornings, I still wake up feeling like a dumb negro, and other times I remember that me and my blackness are the magnificence of Ra in human form. This racist, boomerang confusion and self awareness is part of the growth process we must face to purge ourselves of the lies of white supremacy.

The journey to black empowerment includes layered cycles of dismantling, grieving, discovering and recovering the deeper parts of ourselves. As we begin to understand our personal patterns of hiding from the truth, we can find healthy way to start living more authentically. Our brilliance will  blossom as we shed the layers of self hate, and surround ourselves with the greatness of others who mirror and remind us who we are.

Just for today, I can lower the walls of denial with kindness, by first being compassionate with myself. When I speak my truth, I manifest my power. When I live my truth, I am unstoppable.

Today’s Affirmation

As I search for my truth, the truth will find me.

I am truth.

Ashe.

In honor of today’s reflection about Alethiology (the study of truth), I have created this cool collection of attire to go with it. I’ve had lots of fun this weekend reviewing my shop for the autumn and I’m well chuffed with these simple pieces which some up everything that the Yard of Greatness is about.

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But wait….I nearly forgot that you will also get 20% off the Yardie Attire from today Oct 31st  until Nov 6th.

Use the Code: SAVE20NOW when you checkout! and tweet me a picture of you in it @yardofgreatness

Why not register to learn more about Dr Francis Cress-Welsing’s work in my book club launching next year. You can buy a copy of ‘The Isis Papers’ text beforehand by clicking on the picture below. See you next time!

5 Loving ways to manage racial stress.

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In my previous post, I shared Jesse William’s powerful speech from the BET music awards, where he shared the unapologetic truth about our black pain. Many felt empowered at being acknowledged on such a public platform, and his speech along with our appreciation went viral. However like clockwork, it didn’t take long for white supremacy to slap the hope out of our mouths, with an onslaught of black male murders, committed by racist white law enforcement. This erupted into violence, where officers were also killed in the fall out.

As I send virtual condolences to the families of the deceased, I am also deeply concerned about the impact of the video murders of Alton Sterling, and Philandro Castile on our black psyches. One of the most valuable commodities in maintaining white supremacy, is our ongoing traumatisation and emotional abuse. When we remain in this confused state, it’s much easier for us to be manipulated and controlled on mass.

I chose not to watch any of the videos, because seeing my people killed with impunity is to upsetting, and I need to be as present as possible in order to be productive. It’s hard enough that I’ve been trying to finish this post for the last 2 days, but my insomnia and the daily rise in dead bodies meant that I needed to just surrender to being human, and take some time to collect myself, before coming back with something supportive from an emotionally sober place. Now that I have refueled a bit, I’m sharing 5 simple tools to help you manage your racial stress.

Process not projection.

When we’re exposed to this trauma, we can feel powerless, angry and numb as a consequence of the initial racist abuse, and then the secondary social abandonment. Our body reacts to this emotional violence, by generating the energy which prepares us for a fight or flight response. If this is not discharged, it can end up being negatively recycled and projected unconsciously into our closest relationships. This means that our heightened state may cause more irrational responses towards our loved ones. We may also feel resentment, mistrust and anxiety around other white people in our personal and/or professional circles. These feelings are all completely normal, and if we’re able to be honest with ourselves whilst practicing the other tools, we’re less likely to act on them in a destructive way.

Discharge the energy.

Discharging this energy involves doing an activity which will help to process and move the stress outside the body. When I woke up this morning, I was exhausted from very little sleep and still feeling anxious and emotionally numb. However, after 30 mins of Jamaican style movement to some banging Afrobeats, I felt a lot more present and willing to engage the day. Other suggestions include,

  1. Punching pillows or the bed (in private). Set a timer for 1 min, and fill up the time. When I do this exercise, I also like to picture someone who represents my upset. May I appropriately suggest Donald Trump or for my UK people suffering after the rise is racist attacks after Brexit, you can use Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson. Pick what works for you and pound it out. You’ll finish exhausted, but so much lighter.
  2. Take long, deep, conscious breaths for 3 mins and visualise the negative energy leaving your body.
  3. Rage journaling is where you allow yourself to do some free flow writing about your feelings, cussin’ to the max when necessary! Finish off with some slow breaths and a gratitude entry.

Self – Soothing

Self soothing techniques can really help the recovery process, as you consciously practice behaviors which will reconnect you to yourself. This self care is about self-compassion, being gentle in the same way you would a young child. Use each of your 5 senses (vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch) and right a list of your favorite things to build a  self-soothing toolkit. You will recognise a lot of these simple techniques, but to practice them more consciously will empower you inside this system of powerlessness.    

 

Discharge (5)

Community

Community spaces, particularly at this traumatic time are incredibly important. Choose one that feels safe with people you trust to share feelings and give support. Religious organisations and culturally specific support or recovery groups can be great resources to find help and explore your feelings. Community empathy from your tribe can be very healing and great for processing our collective grief.

Boundaries

Our personal boundaries mean that we can identify and communicate clearly what is acceptable to us. At this vulnerable time, the natural reaction may be to withdraw and protect ourselves emotionally and psychologically, so understanding where the boundaries are, are an essential part of the healing. It will also help to have an honest discussion with your family about how you will deal with this, and be clear on where your boundaries are as a unit. Consider carefully where your triggers are regarding social media and take a break if needed.

In closing, Jesse Williams explained that ,‘it is not the job of the oppressed to comfort the bystander,’ so if you need to take some temporary time away from your white friendships, give yourself permission to do so. You are under no obligation to justify or engage in conversation about your boundaries with any white supremacist, ‘all lives matter,’ ‘not all white people,’ ‘what about black on black crime,’ ‘not all cops,’ ‘yeah, but he should have moved his right foot,’ rhetoric, which are clear deflections from the truth about the war on black people. It’s your pain, your choice.

Be tender with yourself, till next time

In Service

June

Jesse Williams: Humanitarian Award Acceptance Speech. 26th June 2016

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Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that.
Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.

Now, this award – this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country – the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It’s kind of basic mathematics – the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.
Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.
Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.
Now… I got more y’all – yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12 year old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.
Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money – that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.
There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us – and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.
Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.
And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little sidenote – the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.
We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.
Thank you.
Jesse Williams

The Inspirational Ali Legacy

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On the 3 June 2016, the great Muhammad Ali became an esteemed ancestor. He not only left a blaze of sporting excellence inside the boxing ring, but also a glorious legacy of truth and integrity inside the black struggle. What I adore most about the Champ, was his commitment to speaking up about racial injustice at a time when black leaders were regularly being murdered by the government for doing so. Despite this, he remained fearless and consistent in fighting to free his people.

 

It was only when I became pregnant that I really started to think seriously about legacy, and what I was doing with my life. What did I inherit? What behaviours would I teach inside our connection, and what wealth would she inherit when I pass? I thought about my slave legacy, the disastrous relationships, my financial illiteracy, and fears and vague notion of values. I knew they were not in line with what I wanted from life, or hers, and then set about writing a plan to build the internal foundation from which to build an abundant legacy my own.

 

Defining your values.

Creating a legacy requires taking consistent actions in line with your values. Values are defined as the personal principles and standards of behaviour by which you live. I found it helpful at first be really clear about what my values were, so I’ve created a worksheet for you in the next post about values, for your own clear definitions. Your life decisions will become so much clearer when you know what you stand for. Get your partner and children involved also, it will be a much more powerful exercise if you do this as a team effort.

 

Fill in the gaps.

Once you’ve completed the worksheet and are clearer about what’s important, you should be able to see any gaps, similarities or differences between the values you may or may not have with your friends and extended family. It’s OK for them to be different and neither party is right or wrong. It just means that you’re giving yourself permission to be your own person and/or family unit. You want to start taking responsibility for the new vision you have for your life.

 

Dream and execute.

Now that you have more of idea of your vision, you can start brainstorming ways to create the life and legacy you want to build. Plan and think consciously about how you can integrate your values into everyday life. Dream big, start small, but be consistent. When I did mine, I realised that I wanted to create a daily morning devotional time for spiritual connection, which honours my ancestors and African spirituality.  It took me a little while to write, and I still tweak it occasionally, but we now spend 30 minutes in the morning with a short preamble, a libation ritual, prayers, meditation, a gratitude list and affirmations to close. My daughter absolutely loves this ritual as it creates a wonderful space for intimacy, positive cultural connection and a peaceful springboard which sets us all up for the day.

 

Be unapologetic.

Before Mohammad Ali died, I was still a little anxious about sharing my black thoughts, because I regularly see successful black entrepreneurs being racially abused during live broadcasts, and none of them even talk specifically about racism. However, after seeing so much recent footage of Ali showing up in his fearless glory, I know I must do what is right and not hide inside the fear. I want my daughter to be proud of me for practicing the same depth of integrity. She also needs to be equipped with the tools to maintain her own racial wellness, so I want her to see the tangible actions I take to produce justice and not be all talk.

 

My commitment to the ongoing black struggle, is to continue to share my experience, hope and truth with a view to building a movement with tangible tools for empowerment and emotional wealth. This, I hope will liberate the individual minds of black people; to heal and build a legacy of greatness for themselves and the community.

 

Every decision you make is another opportunity to build your own legacy. Any pain underneath your why will make you unstoppable. I don’t weep for the death of Ali, I take inspiration from his shining example of what it means to really  live a life of purpose. Today he has been laid to rest and my thoughts are with his family. Rest well Champ, you will always be the greatest!