Take A Seat At The Table and have some Lemonade

The
world loves and hates black women. They hate us, cause they ain’t
us and they want to be us. They imitate our skin, our hair, our
style… The culture vultures have been swarming for centuries, this
is nothing new. But you can’t beat us at being us. It is organic
and intrinsic as evidenced by #BlackGirlMagic, #BlackWomanMagic,
#BlackBoyJoy and #BlackManJoy.

And the recent Black Moon’s
Black Girl/Woman Magic was a blessing courtesy of Miss Solange
(Knowles)…

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But this is not a review… I don’t do
album reviews… This is a gift.

A gift from sisters,
because of sisters…

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If you are still referring to
Solange as Beyonce’s “Little Sister” bless your poor, little
heart for you have missed the true magic of Solange. You have missed
her growth as an artist and person. You have missed the layers and
textures and depth of her music. Also, you have been weighed,
measured and been found wanting.

If you are still reveling
from Beyonce’s surprise album Lemonade, then you are not alone.
There have been a million think pieces (still being) written. There
are whole book clubs, classes, and conference panels that were
spawned by that magnum opus. I am still working through the damn
syllabus on all the things I thought I had and knew and didn’t.

Now
what does one have to do with the other besides being sisters,
nothing. Nothing because there is no besides. It is EXACTLY BECAUSE
they are sisters that this is important. It is because in their work
and I judge in their lives we have seen the sisters support each
other. We have heard the music, seen the videos, especially the
infamous elevator video. [Yes, I went there…Because I am almost
positive Lil Sis was Baby D’ing Jay for Big Sis in that elevator.] 

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Beyond that, the sisters have cultivated and nurtured
themselves as individuals, each seemingly giving the other space to
spread out and into BEing. They are in fact two different people with
two different stories about their lived experience. Isn’t that the
way of sisters (and I am sure brothers…)?

As humans and
siblings we are pieces of a puzzle and as such, how fitting it is
that Beyonce’s Lemonade and Solange’s A Seat at the Table when
fashioned together weave a beautiful, elegant, indignant, melancholy,
sanguine, tender, and enchanting tapestry.

The two pieces,
together, are an invitation…

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Inviting
us to Come, take A Seat At The Table and have some
Lemonade

And I am
fortunate to have a younger sister, Ryan aka Rainey aka Vera The
Second, who got the message and gifted you, me, us with a Playlist-
by that name- that juxtaposes the pieces to perfection.

(find it here)

Beyonce
told us to Get In Formation and Get Information and we did. We got on
line and on-line and we read, talked, cried, revealed and reveled…
Then what. We were there and waiting and in a moment of collective
sadness and she gave us a salve. Lemonade. She walked us through the
process of how to mend our brokenness (not just our romantic
relationships… But our fractured familial relationships, the pieces
we inherited) how to integrate all of the pieces of ourselves, how to
be vulnerable and strong and supple and sweet and hard. We were for
it. In. Formation.

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Solange lured us in like a siren,
singing a sweet song about and for us. She called to task everyone
and everything that dared belittle, besmirch, bedraggle us… Singing
her cusses and curses like a Southern Grandmother. You know that
blessing out, that someone may have gotten and not fully understood
because you have to be familial to understand Granny and how she can
cuss you out and offer you a piece of sweet potato pie.

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Ryan
lays one sister’s track next to the other and highlights the beauty
and rawness of the shared experience. One track will give you the
bitterness of lemon and the track on either side of it will assuage
the astringent citrus with a saturation of water and augment the sour
with a dose of sugar.

Pure water for the quenching of the soul
and pure cane sugar to help the medicine go down.

The
sisters are telling our story, not just the here and now… But the
generations. And my sister is brilliant enough to have laid it out in
sonically brilliant playlist.

Now you have your cool
refreshing drink and a place to be served… Pull up a
chair.

Enjoy.

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Ryan D. Stewart  is a HBCU graduated, D9 Greek affiliated, Sophisti-Ratchet, graphic designing, jewelry-making, bourbon drinking, shake-dancing, aspiring photographer, creative genius. A lover, not a fighter… but definitely a cusser. Originally from the Mississippi Delta transplanted to Memphis, TN in 2007. 

Her favorite things include FRamily, bacon, office supplies, and shoe-shopping.

#YoDrunkAuntie #MixinMinglinMovinAndShakin 

Follow Me:
@Crim5onViolet – Twitter
@MissRDS – IG

Adventures in BEing Sober

Hey Y’all Hey!

So it’s another week and I am not even counting the days of sobriety anymore… I know that for the immediate future I will still not be drinking… And also remaining sober…

Yes, you read that correctly. Not drinking and sobriety are different things. Not drinking, simplly means abstaining from alcohol, while being sober is about being present, aware, and clear.

Sound a little abstract and New-Agey?

Maybe it is… Maybe because when I started shedding the bullshit, I literally made room and space for me to BE and to Be Open to some clear and possibly different interpretations and impressions related to the High Power, me, and Life…

No, I still haven’t been to a meeting, but the meetings (as they were) have been coming to me. That is to say… I have been finding the messages that I needed (or rather they have found me) and the guidance and the support and then some more messages that revealed and confirmed what I needed. (Messages are soooooooooo much better than challenges on top of growth for the growth through challenges while growing through growth.)

It’s actually very straight forward and not abstract or obtuse at all… When you get clear, the path opens up for you to get and have what you need.

One of the things that I have been consistent about is drinking tea…

Yes, Tea! I have even ritualized the tea… Making it part of my daily regimen of getting started. Taking time to read those little inspirational tea tags. It’s a simple thing that sometimes has a profound effect. Maybe it gives me advice, sometimes a challenge, and always something to share. 

Another thing I have done has been to change my eating habits gradually… So over the last month, especially since detoxing, I have been returning to a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. No, not a diet… (Remember up there when I said I shed the bullshit, DIETS ARE BULLSHIT… Temporary quick fixes… and as quickly as you do it and get results, is about how quickly you’ll be back to whatever you were on before)>>>>Steps off of soap box<<<< 

So… Yeah I have just been adding more fruits and vegetables and actually eating breakfast!!! LISTEN, there are plenty of times I’ll say and stand by “FUCK WHAT YA HEARD!”

Breakfast being the most important meal of the day, is not one of those times.

Now… that we have cleared that up… 

Getting proper rest, nutrition, and some dose of something good for your spirit will set you up for success everyday. Like seriously, when things get difficult (and they will and do) trust me that being tired and hungry (undernourished physically and spiritually) will only exacerbate the issue.

So yeah, put good things in so you can get good things out. There is no specific dogma that I am a fan of or promote, just listen to yourself, what aligns with you, what feels balanced. Hell, I meditate and do yoga, sometimes while listening to trap music… What works, works  and The Truth is already there. 

My balance currently looks like revisiting Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much. I have been reading this book for about three years and this year from a space of clarity I am receiving so much gold from it and I have finally been able to retire the Title, Crown and Scepter as The Empress of Excessive Activities. Oh and not pick up some more stuff… I am BEing and not DOing. Gloooray!!! 

I am also doing real Sankofa work (click here for more info) with Mother Iyanla, going back 15 years and completing One Day My Soul Just Opened Up. Yeah, it’s work… All of the work!!! And I finally fell back in love with myself in a way that I am clear I haven’t in a long time that allows me to know that I am worth it… <<< That sounded a little corny and cliche… But shit, IT’S TRUE!!!

I am currently listening to good music, eating good food, drinking good water, getting good rest, and receiving good messages from everywhere (even the ones that don’t feel good initially)…  And I wish the same for you. 

Well, WE made it another week! Happy FriYay Y’all!!! 

To keep up with the journey daily… like the page on FB and follow on IG.

Until Next Time…

Love, Light and All The Beauty,

Adventures in…The last 28.

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But it’s
FriYAY… not WINSday, what’s this blog doing here? And who moved
your cheese? It’s here because I finally am feeling more together
and have completed 28 days of sobriety (Yep, like Rehab. But, you
know, not).

And me… I
moved your damned cheese. And for the time being Adventures In…
will be posted on FriYAYS!!!

Long story
less long… around Day 22, I realized that I had lots of gaps and
that I hadn’t posted promised blogs in like 2 or 3 weeks (but I
have posted the inspirational/spiritual things and my journey inward
consistently… so there is that) …And also around Day 22 it seemed
like everything was converging so quickly, I couldn’t find the time
or energy to write (and then I also got mad at y’all because things
were hard and I was wondering why nobody was like no Malaika… Stop…
Don’t do that shit… Chill).

By the way, I
got over my Big, Huge Mad at y’all when I realized I was really
just Big, Huge mad at me… So we still cool, right?

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Things to keep
in mind (or know if you are just now joining this adventure):

*She
was diagnosed with
General Anxiety and has been mostly on meds for the better part of 20
years.

* I was
diagnosed with Acute Social Anxiety Disorder, Bi-Polar (Manic
Depression was the official original diagnosis), Obsessive Compulsive
Disorder, and PTSD. I am med free for 15 years, self-medicating with
alcohol for 25 years.

*She
did a 3 week step
down from Effexor.

* I quit
drinking cold turkey.

*She’s
using Kava Kava.
(still experimenting)

* She
and I are detoxing
(which involves withdrawals from actually coming off of drugs and
alcohol)

* She
and I are two
women off of everything (including our rockers) living and loving and
navigating the world with diagnosed mental illnesses. What could go
wrong?

EVERRRRRRRREEEEEE
DAMN THING!!!

Seriously, I
have been a smooth mix of Zen & Grimy… Like my mantra has been…

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Things look
crazy most days… Really crazy… Highly emotional. We are both
water signs a Cancer and a Pisces (just imagine a calm sea, that
turns into that thing from Pirates of the Caribbean when Calypso is
released or The Kraken).

No, really we have both been
walking on egg shells for the past 4 weeks… And those eggs shells
are really a mine field of emotional trigger bombs… This is only
the slightest of exaggerations… Because between the nausea,
sometimes vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and dizziness, there is also
the sadness, the anger, the guilt, the shame, the passive-aggressive,
petty, and fragile. 

Towards the beginning this me on
a daily: 

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1.“Really,
nah I mean REALLY?”
2. “Gimme 5 feet”
3. “Oh My
GAWD, why?”
4. “Fuck this shit!”
and
finally 
5. “Auuuuuummmmm”

Arriving
at Day 28… Trust it’s a lot more: 

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Now that I am
on this side of the first 28 and things look a lot clearer. Let me
say… I think me, Her,
and Amy (God Bless
The Dead) should’ve taken our asses to rehab… Because we, she,
and I almost didn’t make it…

But here we are… I have
28 days and she is
counting in months now. And we are still alive.

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If
there is one thing I can say for sure from here. SELF-CARE and
SELF-LOVE are imperatives and you have to get to the point where you
love and care enough about you that you choose your good health.

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But
wait… I’m getting ahead of myself and there is so much I want to
share… Because that is what happens when you have 2 solid weeks of
notes of the crazy that has ensued… And a week of silence and
challenges and growth and challenges on top of your challenges for
your growth.

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I
won’t keep you long ( well not COGIC/Holiness/Black Church on
Pastor’s Appreciation Day long) since I plan on making this an
on-going conversation.

First
things first, there is has been hella growth over the last month for
both of us… (although I cannot speak directly for what it looks
like for her,
I can certainly share how I experienced it.)

1. She
DID
NOT drink the Kava Tea… I was mad at first, then I drank it and I
relaxed… I have several teas for relaxing… The teas don’t work
fast enough in a crisis (blow up or melt down) but overall, they are
great for unwinding at the end of the day. You have to learn some
other skills to deal otherwise Kava Kava, St. John’s Wort, a
rabbit’s foot, or four leaf clover are just doing the same thing
the drugs and alcohol do/did. They will treat the symptom, but not
cure the disease or heal the wound.

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2.
By all definitions I am a recovering alcoholic. High Functioning,
HELL YEAH! And it may come as a surprise to some but the reason why I
can “handle my liquor,” is because I have had lots of practice,
social drinking to ease my acute social anxiety, drinking to be
social (fun, the life of the party), drinking to celebrate, drinking
to ease pain (physical and emotional), drinking to feel normal and
balanced, drinking because of sadness, or out of anger… Drinking
because I have to go to school or work or because I don’t. Rest
assured I am not being extra… Before I chose sobriety (which is
different than “I quit drinking”) I was drinking an average of ½
gallon on hard liquor a week (that does not include drinks when I
went out or wine in addition to the hard liquor). So yeah… Not sure
what that means, check it out here.
Sound
familiar… Maybe should should take a look at this
And
finally you are an adult (hopefully, though I was not when I started
drinking… And thank the Gawds of Melanin I don’t look like what I
have drank or been through) I can suggest you drink responsibly, I
can tell you to get help or quit drinking or heal the wound, but
ultimately the decision is yours and I am too averse to standing on
soap boxes, so I’ll just leave this
here
in case you recognize an issue and want to do something about it…
You know something less unorthodox than your own DIY rehab/detox.

3.
If you are serious you will have to detox because it takes longer
than a week or two or 28 days to become sober. You will have quit
drinking and be triggered and or have cravings. And you may have
physical symptoms (Remember when she

was sick at work? Well before it was all over, I was sick. Shakes,
sweats, joint pain, bowel issues, fatigue…IT was ugly). I did a
detox/cleanse.

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It
was helpful in getting the shit (literally) out of my system.
In
addition you will have to detox your lifestyle and that may mean
avoiding people, places, and thing that are related to the behavior
until you get to a place where you have some skills to navigate those
spaces (and you may not have those or get those skills).  So you
might have to detoxify your relationships, social media feeds, music…

4.
I did all of that… I Feng Shuied my Facebook Feed and my home. I
created a sanctuary in my office, both a sacred and safe space for me
to retreat to… I used IG for accountability and shared my daily
meditations. And I meditated, did yoga, drank a whole jar of holy
water… No, I didn’t but I did reconcile with my love or Erykah’s
Music and  eat good and healthy food. 

This is by no means
an exhaustive list of the process. But it’s a start and as I
said….WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY up there, this will be happening FriYAYs and
I will be taking your through this with me…

To keep up
with the journey daily… like the page on FB and follow on
IG.

Until
Next Time…

Love, Light and All The Beauty,

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Long Hot Summer – SoundCloud

Hey Young World! It’s been a Long Hot Summer. We gave the summer some and it took it! Now get some back… Go check out Long Hot Summer by Dont Rush The Stage #np on #SoundCloud. When the beat drops acquire your existence and the flow remind you of the best of hip hop!

Don’t Rush The Stage is a Hip Hop duo that formed to save the world through music…Get into it.

Long Hot Summer – SoundCloud

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