Beyoncé. Black Madonna. Parvati. Devi. Isis. Osun.

(Unedited) After reading this article I thought this…

It’s funny how I’m not a member of the BeyHive, but I find myself “defending” Bey.

The criticism of her performance last Sunday, at the Grammys, and its allege “deepness,” oh and it not being accessible to all Black womyn or that she was both inappropriately naked and nekkid….yadda yadda yadda…I’ve chosen not to respond to it, but in my head I’ve said, “you haven’t a clue…”

With Lemonade folk been accusing her of co-opting Daughters of the Dust. As artists/creatives we re-imagine and add onto what preceded us, all the time. And. Though I still want Bey to do a stripped down acoustic record and go on an intimate tour without any bells or whistles, I still believe that Lemonade was on some next level ish!

I am a writer. I am a poet. So automatically I seek out the words and the story. And as a music lover, I seek “the pocket” and “the groove.” I am a visual artist as well, so images capture me in a way that sometimes, words cannot. Lemonade as a body of work and even elements that can stand-alone were pleasing and well done.

Lemonade is the ONLY one of her albums that I can listen to from beginning to end. Like I said, I ain’t a Bey fan like that. However, she can put on a hellavu show—seeing her live is a treat.

As for Sunday, as soon as I saw her on the stage, I saw the symbolism. A good art therapist lives in the metaphor and symbolism, and as I posted, on Facebook, then, “Beyoncé. Black Madonna. Parvati. Devi. Isis. Osun. Beyoncé.”

Black artist, especially Black womyn aren’t allowed to grow and evolve. We are placed in a singular box and if we blow the box up, we are crapped on.

Lastly, I never understood why so many expectations have been placed on Bey, she’s expected to be all things Womon/Black as if we are a monolith, or have a single narrative. We don’t. She doesn’t. We got layers. Even down to her pregnancies, let that sista live! Let her be(y).

#sheBLOOMSblack

You know where Africa is?

He asked if I knew where Africa was. I paused and asked him to repeat. He did. I asked if he was shitting me. He laughed and shared that he is from Togo. I spoke broken French, and he was smitten with my attempt. He’s a biomedical engineer wanting to earn a PhD, but not wanting the receipts, just the degree. He wants babies, the old-fashioned way. I wish him well on that journey. He is surprised I’ve chosen not to have children. He doesn’t think I have a right to make such a choice. He’s not able to wrap his brain around it, but intrigued by how my brain works. He fears 45. Scared of what he’ll do even for those who are documented. I intercede with a prayer of fearlessness. Suddenly. I’m over the exchange. I suck at small talk…and I was busy enjoying my own company.

#sheBLOOMSblack

Protected Magic: Felicia Beckett

Protecting our Black Girl Magic means existing in truth! 
Below is Felicia's truth! She's my sistafriend.

She said…

Magic is a tricky word and depending on the seeker it can mean something completely different. According to Webster, it is the use of means (as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces usually through the use of magic rites or incantations. And this definition includes “in the act of magic”. I believe this is not the only way in which magic is demonstrated or realized in one‘s life. I believe this is important to note this, because the way in which one defines magic, practices magic and the cost paid to inhabit one’s magic; determine what one does to protect it.

This may seem obvious but it defines what I will do to protect it.

So how do I define Magic?

I believe that my magic resides in my spiritual center and my ability to connect with this center and flow with its natural forces is my magic. I know to activate my magic I must trust my innate presence and purpose on this planet. To trust in the knowing that I am loved, cared and supported for by all that forces of the Universe. The enemy that comes to kill or destroy my magic isn’t always obvious. The enemies to my magic have more often than not been people close to me…sometimes it has been ME!

I need protection from my old narrative/ways of acting that are born out of thoughts of weariness, insecurity or fear. The outer enemy is often times easier to recognize. Sometimes I have underestimated or DO NOT appreciate my own magic. There have been times while in the trenches when I have overlooked my own creative energy.

When I have found myself overlooking my magic, I have created practices to help me center and get back in the flow. These practices are not linear and are ever-evolving. I believe Rituals are personal to the individual, so trying to replicate someone else may give me a form but not flow. I call these Rituals the Chrysalis Effect because it oftentimes requires inward evolution and a willingness to be hidden (alone time) during transformation/process.

I have established rituals that invite my…

Femininity with scented healing baths, massages and/or lunar meditations

Spirituality with prayers, meditation, chants (scriptures, I AM affirmations),

            or visualization

Processes to heal my Soul’s disconnections through recapitulation

            (Quantum Dynamics practices) which include deep breathing,

            mental and emotional cleansing

Reconnection of energies powerhouses to increase my flow through

            the practice of Reiki

Empowerment through learning to be flexible when shifts happen

Healing and rejuvenation to my body as well as clarity to my Crown and

            Third-eye through essential rest and sleep

Pleasure through fun and laughter

Community through soul-connections with like hearted spirits such as

            Church, writing group, counseling ministry, dinner with a friend, etc..

Sisterhood and womb-connection through Sister Circles and retreats

Joy through singing out loud, humming, or carry a melody in my heart;

            it keeps the crows (inner or outer) at bay

Humility and growth which comes through encounters with someone I may consider an irritant.

When this happens, I thank God for the opportunity to grow while praying for person and myself

            I then, travel inward to seek the answer to what this reflection/person is showing me about    me.

            It is a good practice that keeps me humble and able to grow. It also keeps me from “catching a case”.

            Enlightenment through reading books and listening teachers that feed my soul

Rootedness through the honor of my Ancestors and Elders

Humanity through service, philanthropy, and enjoying my life

Last year, I almost transitioned from this world; the Grace of God sustained me and I have learned that quality of my days bears witness to the expansion of my soul

more than the quantity of my days.

Spiritual clarity about who I am allows me to recalibrate my GPS, thereby navigating me through the rough terrains on the road of purpose.

I know that I am an “Empath” which means I feel deeply the emotions/energies of others which can become overwhelming since I work with the public;

so I always pray for covering and protection.

I have learned the value of a closed mouth; so I resign low energy talk/thoughts for prayers and journals; any good spiritual alchemist knows the powers of words.

And finally I am a student of the Universe’s natural laws. I study these laws to hone my knowledge of how to work with the Universe which weakens my resistance to flow.

So my practices/rituals support me flowing from my center and connect with me through spirit, nature and words.

These are just some of the practices I utilized to support the protection my magic.

As I evolve, I am learning new practices and eliminating others…it’s a process…

_________

Felicia Beckett is a Spiritual Alchemist whose mission is to create a safe and sacred space for women to process and facilitate their own transformational inward journey by providing navigational tools that will assist them in reclaiming their identities, voices and power. Navigational tools that include writing, the arts, music, processes for spiritual healing and the power of collective sisterhood by the guidance of the spirit and universal truths. Published Poet/Writer, Researcher, Educator, Prayer Counseling Minister, Facilitator, Trained Anti-Racist Community Organizer, Geographer, Womanist, and Co-Founder of Sister Sankofa.

felicia.beckett@gmail.com

www.linkedin.com/in/felicabeckett/

http://facebook.com/fbeckett

 

 

Lingering spirit…

(Unedited) I remember this driver. She’s picked me up before…on one of those mornings when I wanted silence and 90s r-n-b/soul sounds, all at once. She, heavy hearted, life hasn’t been kind to her. I observed but wasn’t interested in turning my “spidey senses” on to offer healing energy. (I don’t stay “on” all the time). She was an inpatient driver, and fidgety, not like drug induced, but more like trauma induced. She got me to my destination safely and told me to have a blessed day.

I remember this driver. Her energy heavy, yet resilient. She’s lingered with me and I sorta regretted not being “on,” but savior nor martyrdom are my lanes–both prevent me from being great. Lol lol. I laugh, not because it’s funny, more like, lbvs (laughing but very serious), cos when I was younger I misunderstood “supporter,” for “savior.” Misunderstood that if you deemed yourself “needing to be saved,” then that’s all about internal self-work, not external. Real talk, the only person we can save is ourselves.

Weeks later she showed up a second time. Me not feeling well, but pressing my way. We recognize each other, but neither felt like verbally acknowledging it. Don’t remember how we got there, but she disclosed that she’d swallowed a bone. I suggested bread, a ball of rice and vinegar.

Years ago my mama supported my uncle staying alive with this regiment after he’d ingested a bone.

The driver was thankful for my tips.

She then shared that in 2010 she’d been shot in her chest and the bullet exited out her back. Since it exited, that’s considered 2 shots, she explained in great detail.

She said she suffers from PTSD and the shooter, a young man who looked her in the face and she said “shoot me then…,” and he did, jus got out of jail though, she had witnesses.

She is scared.

She is being triggered by talmbout it. I redirect the conversation as to settle her nervous system and to make sure she doesn’t accelerate when she should be slowing down in traffic. I wasn’t feeling unsafe, just mindful. After redirecting her, breathing between words, staying calm and being in the moment, I quickly pulled up, in my phone, resources.

The doctor had given her an antidepressant, SSRI, but it has long stopped working. I shared places to go to get mental health support as it’s clear she is somewhere between loosing her mind and being too scared to die–hopeful by default.

She asked my age.

I tell her 42.

She says I look young and have a young spirit, but I’m wise.

I arrive at my destination safely. She thanks me, and offers me her personal cell number. She offers free, and reduced fee, rides cause I’d been so helpful and treated her like a human. Interesting choice of words, I thought. I exited her vehicle repeating her words in my head. “Treating her like a human.”

I also remember her saying that they had to put a tube through her. She said that the tube entering one side of her chest and exiting the other, hurt more than being shot. Her body and words recalled the moment–it felt like a sheet of glass going through her. Hence, not wanting to go to the hospital for the bone in her throat. She hates hospitals.

Once again her spirit lingers. Now 2 days ago and her well-being pops in my head as I practice self-care.

The more stressed out you are, the longer you should meditate.

     ©2017nj #shebloomsblack