Food / Fuel, LGF (Little Girl Found)

I am reading Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee right now. My 90-day fellowship is almost over, and reading Lee’s philosophy on martial arts seemed rather timely. I just wanted to leave you all with a quote that can be applied in martial arts and in life (the best kind of quote, lol):

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”  

On Being “Like Water…”

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Food / Fuel, Policy

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle…Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” -Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass on Struggle:

Quote
Food / Fuel, LGF (Little Girl Found)

13 Small Emotional Make-Overs You Can Practice Now!

1. Say a prayer or phrase that motivates, inspires, or calms you upon rising and before going to bed. You can create one yourself, get it from a book you like, or search the interwebs.

2. Try to stop moving in a rushed manner. Train coming but you’re far away? Let it go. Meditation helps to develop patience, as well as a general sense of calmness.

3. Root out your anger. When someone does something you don’t like, ask yourself why you are angry. More often than not, it is because you feel slighted. Sometimes, the other person doesn’t even know they’ve upset you. Give people the benefit of the doubt before you get mad.

4. Share something positive or uplifting with another person every day. It can be a quote, prayer, or even a smile.

5. Practice being kind. I’ve found that a lot of my foul moods are entirely subject to change based on how I respond. Even if I feel that someone else is being rotten. Just do the work on your end. It really makes a difference.

6. Eat whole foods. Nutritious foods for emotional health? –yep! Whole foods, particularly whole fruits and vegetables, can make you feel better.

7. “Hack away at the unessential.” This is from Bruce Lee. You’ll be surprised at how much more time you have, and how easier you’ll have it when you start cutting out superfluous things. Can’t go to bed early enough because of a show you’ve got to watch? Ask yourself how important it is. Is it important enough for you to wake up late and throw off your whole schedule? Important enough to zap your energy for tomorrow’s workout? Generally, the answer will be no.

8. Move your body. Take a walk, practice yoga, punch a bag–you’ll feel empowered, capable, and more confident.

9. Read a piece of fiction every day. It’s not necessary to read a whole book (unless you want to). It will inspire you and open up your right-brained, creative self. It may help you dream–we all need more whimsy, in our lives, don’t we?

10. Practice wishing everyone a life filled with love and ease. Say a few words while you commute, out taking a walk, or on a lunch break. Make this habitual.

11. Become other-obsessed, as opposed to self-obsessed. We live in a “me-first” individualistic society (Western society, in particular, facilitates this mindset) and we’re always trying to make ourselves “better”–thinner, stronger, healthier–and none of this is necessarily bad–unless you use your new-found gift for yourself. Self-improvement should ultimately extend to the people around you. You should want to be better so that you can help other people be better. Because we should see ourselves in other people.

12. Before you talk about someone else, ask yourself: “Will I be uniting or severing?” If what you say will damage or further damage the relationship, think about not saying it. Our words have power, and our words can unite us, and help us see ourselves in each other, or they can deepen the chasm that prevents us from practicing empathy.

13. Get okay with being sad or frustrated. Such is life! Tell yourself: “This is not negative or positive. It just is.” Adversity makes your soul stronger. You’re still alive, aren’t you? Then you still have work to do!

Try these things for awhile, and let me know how it goes!

VegGirl

© blacknectar, 2011-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to blacknectar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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Poetry, Policy

On History.

My students are reading Invisible Man and it’s getting to me:

 On History (For the vet.)

The buzzards crowed.
It was time
To fall into silence.

It was time
To link our limbs to the shoulders of our patrons

And have them
carry us off into caricature

Into story.

Ours is a dark continent
Filled with ghastly nothings
and the primitiveness of lost time

A savage ghost town.
Bodies made to scramble

Earth made to carve up like a glazed broken organ

It is time
To walk.

To make boundless the scars of story-telling
To cure children of their willingness to 
hug or embrace

We time killers.

We gut out mountains of talking 
And we furnish text.

We time-kill.

We lay in wait, 
carving up the stillness of making and print out blocks of words.

Cuz you understand better. Cuz this is proper talk.

Cuz making a victim out of possibility is what we do.

Cuz we do our job well.

We do our job so well

We forget the wombs we fell from,
disguise the gracefulness of our shoulders,
and read the books that we were told to make.

We weren’t supposed to read those books.

Now, what we do with the words we hold inside our mouths is of prime importance.
We have to 
stop carelessly dropping words out of our palms like they non-toxic
like they don’t cut through the justice of sound
like they don’t claw at children and bright babies and wrench away the innocence of desire

Stop dropping these words like you can’t help it.
Like you can’t help it.
Like you
can’t help it.


(2014)

© blacknectar, 2011-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to blacknectar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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Policy

Special Opportunity for all “New” Blacks! ENTER SWEEPSTAKES NOW!

These are the rules for participating the “New Black” Sweepstakes:

1. Read and agree with Pharrell’s views on race and racism (here or here.)

2. Ignore the institutional and structural racism that undergirds American policy (American policy on prison, housing, voting, education, jobs, sociality, food, etc.)

3. Ignore the fact that racism is not relegated to “rare” acts of “outlier” behavior (as evidenced by Donald Sterling, contemporary “white rights” marches and KKK rallies.)

4. Ignore the fact the large amounts of privilege empower one to make new racial categories (apparently.)

5. Ignore the fact that productively dealing with racism does not mean absolving white allies / friends / populations of any duty.

6. Dismiss the fact that you do not–actually, you can’t hate anyone if you want to engage in progressive race-work.

7. Ignore the the fact that in order to address racism, you must acknowledge that it exists.

8. Refuse to acknowledge that anyone, including new blacks, old blacks, gently-used whites, unopened Latinos, etc. who is genuinely interested in addressing racism needs to be a teacher, healer, and listener.

If selected, you will win:

  • Blindfolds for you and your loved ones
  • Noise-canceling headphones to blot out truth-telling voices (but you can still hear “Happy” while wearing!)
  • Rose-colored glasses

Enter in a 150-word essay on why you are a “new black” with your name and address and mail to:

Blinded By Privilege
See Nothing Hear Nothing Drive
Nowhereville, NB 00000

Good luck!

 

© blacknectar, 2011-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to blacknectar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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