Pressure Cooker People
If you’re a plumber then you know firsthand that it’s pressure that bursts pipes. It does the same for people. The type A folks with the powerful will to succeed know exactly what this means. They know everything about the terrible P. Pressure. Forget the expectations of the world, parents and friends, no one’s expectations are as high as the ones they’ve set for themselves. Like many of us, they’re the cortisol queens and stress is a drug that is flowing freely through their blood stream. They envy the folks that walk around with constant smiles and looks of serenity and peace. For those gifted with a Zen outlook, burn their houses down and they’ll say, I’ll get another one. Fire them from their jobs and they’ll reply, it wasn’t the job for me. Have their boyfriends run off with strippers and they’ll tell you, she can have him. His bed action was horrible and his breath stinks. Give them a terminal illness and they’ll say, won’t the Lord be happy to see me? Arghhhhh. All this positivity makes us want to scream and…reflect. What do these pinnacles of peace know that we don’t? What have they learned in the downward dog position in yoga class that life hasn’t taught you or me? What do they tell themselves between self-reflecting breaths in meditation class? What does the pastor tell them at church that makes their tears of disappointment dry up and cease?
What they‘ve learned I suspect is this:
- Control won’t stop chaos. Trying to run your life with an iron fist won’t stop the shit from hitting the fan. It will just change the trajectory.
- You can’t control the outcome of anything; you can only control your reaction to it.
- The devil and his minions are real. Let them into your head and they’ll buy real estate and start watching illegal cable on your TV.
- Faith and trust are beliefs that must be eaten with breakfast daily.
- You can surround yourself with positive people but it means nothing if you can’t find some positive emotions for yourself.
- You can’t change the world or people so live by Mahatma Gandhi’s motto which says to Be the change you want to see.
- Love is a cure all. It makes any difficult task easy.
Why do the Zen Specialist and Meditation Mavens among us make inner peace look so simple? Is popping our lids and a lack of serenity inevitable for those classified as Pressure Cooker People?
Tags: Confidence, Faith, God, Personal Power, Spiritual, Strength, Stress
The Karma Curse
What is Karma? The notion behind this Indian religious concept is the belief that a person’s actions determines his or her destiny. Now, I’m not up in this piece chiming any tinkling bells or rubbing baby Buddha’s big belly, but to put it biblically for my denominational folks, karma means that you reap what you sow. It’s the idea that our fates and our destinies are determined by our good or bad deeds. It’s the idea that nothing we do is a secret from our inner selves or the higher power. It’s the belief that the universe is watching our every action and we must eventually pay the penalty or accept the reward. In everyday terms for those of us navigating the big bad world of men, marriage and relationships, it means that we must resist the urge to be less than our very best selves. When examining the motivates behind our actions, we should assess whether we are gaining our happiness off the backs of others. We must hold ourselves accountable when we do or say things that hurt or harm individuals that cross our paths.
Wrapping positivity around us is not always easy. There are times when we want to let our dark angel out and let her have free reign. In the instances when we feel, as women, that we’ve been taken advantage of, hurt or humiliated, adhering to this concept becomes very challenging. For the ladies that spell revenge with a capital R. It means they must refrain from keying their ex’s car, slashing his tires or calling the IRS to report his fraudulent tax return. It means having a long talk with their sinner self that wants to paper his office lobby with pictures of his privates. It means doing battle with the bad girl that wants to take center stage. Slap her silly and don’t let her out. When we do bad things we either pay now or pay later. Whether we are good or bad, Karma always collects. Remember what goes around comes around. Sow seeds of power and positivity. Avoid the negative Karma curse and embrace a destiny filled with positive energy.
Our friend fate is on our side, are we on his?
Tags: Dating, God, Good and Evil, Karma, Relationships, Spiritual, Strength
Mind Magick ~ Culture Freedom Radio Interviews the Super Sistah
Tags: Black Love, black women, Dating, Love, Marriage, Men, Relationships
Lady Love Interviews Stephanie Small aka the Super SistahRead More
Tags: Black Love, black women, blogtalkradio, Dating, Love, Marriage, Men, Podcasts, Radio Shows, Relationships
Birthday Cake Blues
Operator: 911 what is your emergency?
Caller: My birthday cake is on fire.
Operator: Ma’am, stop calling here.
Tomorrow is my birthday. When my friends asked me how I felt about yet another year added to my age, I answered: I ain’t dead yet. I didn’t say greaatttttt, like cereal box Tony the Tiger. I didn’t happily clap my hands like an excited 10 year old. I didn’t answer with anything resembling enthusiasm. I wasn’t a toddler with a cake adorned with 2 little twinkling lights signaling a life that is fresh and new. Lighting my candles was borderline arson that threatened to burn my house down around my ears. With my luck the fire department would send Fire Marshall Bill to extinguish the blaze. Yeehaa, it’s my birthday. (Mouth formed in a hard line of sarcasm)
Apparently, I’m far from ecstatic. What is the source of this discontent you’re wondering? For people in hospital rooms fighting for life and breath, my attitude is borderline sacrilege. I have my health, a career and people who love me, what in God’s name did I have to complain about? What was with the discontent? Why was I both pouty and perturbed? I didn’t want to celebrate. Like Valentine’s Day for girls who are perpetually single, I just wanted it to be over. Be gone, Birthday! Be gone!
What was at the heart of this gloom that had fallen over my head and left my spirits in eternal mist? I investigated the source and the answer was right there. I didn’t feel like I had everything. Sure I had a book, a career and friends. But where the heck was the white picket fence; the impossibly tall husband with the broad chest? Where was the house full of kids that all looked curiously like the Jacksons? Janet, baby, go back to sleep, mama will be there soon. I wanted it all, deserved it all and boy was I tired of waiting. In a fit of pique I fired off an emotional text to The Most High.
From: the Super Sistah
To: The Lord – Almighty
Subject: It’s my Birthday – WHAT THE HELL!
I hope this text finds you well. That’s it for small talk! Yesterday, last year, five years ago and when I was sixteen, I prayed and asked you to send me a family. Where they at, Lord! Where? I’m tired of waiting. You are supposed to be the almighty, right? Grab some clay and build me something. Trust in me? I’ve been done trusting. I’m tired and I’m fed up. Why you keep sending me these knuckleheads with issues, father? If we attract what we are, what you trying to say, Lord? I know I ain’t crazy.
Look up Stephanie in the dictionary and under my pic it says, she who is anointed and blessed. So stop playing. I’m your daughter and I’m sick and tired of these antics.
Real talk? I’m giving you another year, two tops, and then I might have to build some things my own damn self. Yes, I ‘m blaspheming. SO what!
Don’t respond, G.O.D. It’s my birthday. I gotta go and cry into my cake so I can extinguish the candles.
Peace out, Jehovah, Prince of Peace. AKA – Lil’ Dove.
Signed, the Super Sistah
BTW – I ain’t dead yet. Thanks for that. Deuces!
Sent from SS iPhone –– 3/28/2013
Is our happiness based on what we don’t have or lack instead of what we’ve been given with grace? Does the birthday card of life deserve to be signed with a sad face?
Tags: Age, Birthdays, black women, God, Identity, Self-Confidence
In the Army Now: Sergeants & Soldiers
“Black women naturally have flavor. We’re spicy like a scorching pot of gumbo simmering on the stove with the flame turned up too high.” Quote from the book: Don’t Let The White Girl Win: Dating, Relationship & Self-Help for Single Sisters
Mom is the Sergeant and General in many families and her kids are her dutiful soldiers. This woman in authority barks out orders and expects to be immediately obeyed. She lays down the law as the primary caregiver and will not tolerate any disobedience. As is common with powerful women, we fear and revere her. We understand without being told that she’s the HNIC – Head Negro in Charge. She’s the squadron chief and the official team leader. Like the most terrifying drill sergeant, mom is not to be messed with. In single-parent households this woman of steel is our only role model so by default many women grow up mimicking their mom’s ways. While her leadership style may be effective in rearing kids, it doesn’t go over so well in relationships. Trying to get your significant other to be about it, do what he’s told and ask how high when we say leap, probably won’t get us married. Strangely, it’s the women who have mastered the art of subtly that most often get the ring. These are the ladies who lead in absentia. Translation? They are the women that lead but make their men feel like they’re the captain of the ship. Masterful or manipulative? Can’t really say, you decide. For the rest of us who haven’t grasped the art of subterfuge, the absence of male role models and healthy examples of cooperative relationships, make us naturally want to take charge. We’ve been taught to be independent and we’re often unwilling to relinquish control. When we get into relationships we discover to our horror that love isn’t a dictatorship; it’s a democracy. Holy hell! What the heck. What now? Give him the wheel and see if he knows how to steer. Practice makes perfect.
Evidence suggests that no matter how capable, self-sufficient and independent we are as women, men are not interested in sleeping with the Master and Chief. In a battle with an enemy or worthy opponent (life), most men will choose to have a dedicated soldier by their side over even the most decorated General. Instinctively men want to protect and nurture us. For experimental purposes we’ll let them and see if the journey ends at the altar.
Have women of today forgotten who’s in charge? As Sergeants in the Army of Life can we demote ourselves to Soldiers and let love lead?
Tags: Army, Bad Habits, Battle, Black Love, black women, Dating, Let Love Lead, Love, Marriage, Master and Chief, Relationships, Soldiers
Scaredy Cat ~ Are You a Fear-Fighter or a Fraud?
The world is a big bad place and it’s frightening. Everything we want to do as human beings requires a courageous spirit that many of us do not have. To get up in the morning and face the world requires a brave face. To get the things we want, we have to fight and do battle with the fear inside of us that tells us we’re not up to the task. There is an insidious voice that whispers in our ears that we can’t do it, won’t do it and if we fail to do it, people with ridicule our attempts and laugh. The fear of derision, disapproval and humiliation keeps us fixed in the same spot in our lives year after year. We cannot move forward because the fear of failure holds us in its terrible grasp. Fight free!
In our personal lives many of us have had some devastating setbacks. I for one know firsthand what a worthy adversary terror can be. Anxiety and I are lovers entwined in a forbidden dance. We are enemies at an impasse. Fear and I fight on a daily basis, and more times than not, fear has the last laugh. Everything I do, I do it scared but one quote speaks to me: Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.
As a self-proclaimed fear-fighter, to admit to any type of insecurity means that I’m a fake, a phony and a fraud. Are any of us as fearless as we pretend to be? I say no. Instead, we all wear a mask of invulnerability. Life has taught us to live with the knot in our stomachs every time we try to conquer a new task. Experience has taught us to swallow past the lump in our throats. The lumps that form when we’re faced with the debilitating awareness that we may not succeed. Pride has made us hide our hands behind our backs every time they start to shake. Determination has taught us to project a calm that we do not feel. Sheer stubbornness has made us accept that we cannot make fear define us. We learn to accept that the most fearful people are the most critical. They will work the hardest to tear our ambitions down. Courageous people use fear as a driving force because they refuse to let anxiety hold them back.
Are you a frightened feline who can’t make progress because fear is holding you back? Are you a fear-fighter or a Scaredy Cat?
Tags: Confidence, courage, Fighting Fear, Personal Power, Self-Confidence, Strength, Success
Desperately Seeking Someone
Valentine’s Day recently passed and that has caused some women to turn the depression dial up to full blast. Sitting at home night after night dateless and isolated from the opposite sex has caused some women to lose it – snap. I’m not surprised. The Bible says: it’s not good that man should be alone. I, for one, never argue with anything the good book says. Some overly independent women claim to enjoy their alone time and vigorously debate anyone who dares to question whether they truly enjoy spending that much time by themselves. Personally, I don’t question their sincerity, if a woman claims to love being alone, I’m not here to say nay. I do contend, however; that at a basic level all people crave some form of human and emotional contact. When the desire is lacking or has been extinguished, then what we see are people who are hardened, brittle and cold. Not a good look.
On the flip though, there are instances when that very human need for male companionship turns self-destructive. There are times when the need to be desired and loved leads some of us down some potentially dangerous paths. In these instances, common sense takes a back seat, the internal dialogue of truth goes on a hiatus and the voice of God is drowned out by the cries for a man’s taste and touch. As women, we get desperate when it seems that Mr. Marry Me won’t appear. Is he late or lost? Did he take a wrong turn? Waiting for the one, seems counter-intuitive and impractical so we decide to take things into our own hands. We grow desperate and begin an all-out campaign to find someone, anyone, to fill the void, the emptiness, and to occupy the empty relationship space. In this mindset of desperation, we chose men who are inappropriate, unavailable and/or uninterested. We try to make the booty call brother into the ideal mate, we try to save marriages that cannot be saved, and we try to make the unmarriageable into the man of our dreams. It can’t be done. To get spiritual on my readers, trust me when I say that God has a plan. He has a strategy, a blueprint and schematic with our lives mapped out. If things have gone haywire and swerved off course, that’s because we didn’t take Carrie Underwood’s advice and let Jesus, Take The Wheel. We decided instead to steer that bad boy ourselves. Sometimes we have to Let Go and Let God.
Producing the man worthy of a lifetime of our love may seem to take an eternity but it’s our job to live with a spirit of expectation. We must prepare our mind and body to receive. Stop watching the train and the bus for the man we were promised. He will appear. He may not be around the corner but he’s down the street. God gifts the heart with all it desires when that heart is ready to receive. Don’t be desperate. Be selective and let God steer.
Are you lonely, unloved and so tired of waiting for the one that you’re ready to call it quits? Is desperately seeking someone to fill the void making you love sick?
Tags: Black Love, black women, Dating, Faith, God, Lonely, Love, Marriage, Men, Relationships, spirituality
Love By Due Date
To hear Tina Turner tell the story, love is just a second-hand emotion. But is it? If love is played out, old school and for the birds, then why all the Valentine’s Day fuss? Why do women hold their breath every February 14th with the hope that the man they love will go down on bended knee, will appear at the house with a bouquet of flowers or will whisper those three little words destined to make them wild and wet? Why do men get dumped, kicked to the curb, dismissed and dissed on V-day more than any other day of the year?
Riddle me this, would Valentine’s Day have as much significance if women were getting the love they think they deserve throughout the year? Me thinks not. The importance of the day is amplified when women are the recipients of lukewarm or tepid demonstrations of love for the remaining 364 days. If women are dissatisfied and discontented in their relationship, then come February, the brother they profess to love better come with. There better be the kick ass restaurant with the violinist playing a love ballad slightly off key. There better be a small box wrapped and left on the bed with something spectacular that blinks and sparkles between the tissue paper folds. There better be more than an edible thong and flavored condoms awaiting the lady in question when she steps through the front door of her home. Death and destruction awaits any man who hasn’t done his job for the past couple of months and thinks a Hallmark card and a box of chocolate hearts will do.
Granted, the dudes have it rough. Valentine’s Day is enough to make the average man sweat. At his wife’s job, he has to outdo the co-worker whose man sent her two dozen roses, the guy from the 2nd floor who bathed the kids and sent his lady to the spa; he has to refrain from beating to death his neighbor who chose the 14th as the perfect day to propose. If he wants to even have a prayer of seeing any bed action, his behavior on a single day has to inspire envy and awe from one and all. It’s tough.
In this writer’s humble opinion, love cannot be scheduled. I think couples shouldn’t wait for Valentine’s Day to demonstrate their affection. In the middle of November, let the love bell ring. In January, anticipate words of rapture from your man straight out of the Love Jones script. In May, expect to be delighted and excited by flowers beautiful enough to put roses in your cheeks. Love can never be past due.
Should love be measured by the tick of the clock or by stop watch? Does the calendar make love great? Should love have a due by date?
Tags: Black Love, Break-ups, Dating, Love, Marriage, Men, Relationships, Valentine's Day
Live Author Reading of the Book: Don’t Let The White Girl Win
The Don’t Let The White Girl Win book launch in Toronto, Ontario was an amazing success. Stephanie Small did a live reading onstage in front of an engaged and lively crowd. Reading from her self-help guide for single sisters, the excerpt wowed the crowd. Drawing from her own personal experience, the book which is part memoir, part satire and part cultural analysis, the Super Sistah proves why her self-help guide is just what black women need to find love, find success and find their way back to happiness.
Check out the video here:
Tags: Betrayal, Black Love, black women, Break-ups, Dating, Love, Relationships, Self-Confidence
New Year – New Attitude
Looking back on 2012 it has been a good year. I haven’t scaled any mountains, rescued any kids, adopted any dogs or run for office, but I’ve accomplished some things I never thought that I could. In 12 months I’ve:
- Established my own publishing company and published my first book which is fulfilling a dream I’ve had since I was 16
- Written 29 blog posts this year (probably should have written more)
- Been a guest on 5 book promotion blog talk radio shows
- Celebrated a successful book launch
- Lost some real, Twitter and Facebook friends but I have gained so many more
- Worked off 10 stubborn pounds. The holiday lasagna and red velvet cake has only made me gain back 2. Whew!
- Visited 3 different countries and in doing so reconnected with family and friends
- Inched closer to accepting who and what I am with the Lord’s help
All is good. In the past, always wanting an expecting more has led to a sense of dissatisfaction no matter what I’ve managed to accomplish. This year, I’m just giving thanks. I’m thankful that unlike parents in Connecticut, I haven’t lost a child. Like some soldiers in Afghanistan, I haven’t lost hope or a limb. I’m grateful that unlike some of the homeless wandering the streets, I have a roof over my head. When the New Year comes to an end, as human beings, we lament about all the things we should have accomplished but didn’t. All the things we tried to do but failed. All the goals we wanted to reach but fell short. This year I’m trying something new. I’m practicing gratitude. I’m living with a spirit of expectation and thanks. I’m loving with an open heart and participating in life on a day-by-day basis knowing that hard days will come, but that I’ve been blessed. It’s easy to remember the bad things that have happened in 2012 but can you list and remember the good?
Despite the Mayan doomsday prophecy, we’re all still here. Despite scary hockey mask Jason, the number 13 can still mean something good. Whether you’re in church clapping your hands or in the club raising your glass for cheers, will you remember all the things you should be grateful for in the last year? Do you believe that a good New Year is dependent on a New Attitude?
Wishing all the Super fans, both old and new, a prosperous and happy 2013!
Tags: 2013, Celebration, New Year's, Resolutions, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, Success
Little Black Book
Super, congratulations on your new book but I must confess that I object to your book title on all levels. Signed your friend … Anonymous
It’s happened. It’s started already. Because of the title of my newly released book: Don’t Let the White Girl Win, some folks are accusing me of being a hater. Others, the more polite ones, dig the title but ask me in hushed tones, are you sure you want to call your book that? People won’t understand. You know the P.C. police are going to eat your ass alive. I stand by my book and its contents and to those who challenge me I say, mi nuh tek back nuh talk, that’s patois for yeah that’s my book title so what?
That said, to satisfy the curious as well as the furious, let me give you a peek into the table of contents of my mind. First of all folks, the book isn’t about hate or intolerance. It’s about winning and succeeding. It’s about helping black women abandon failed techniques and strategies for improving their lives. It’s about competition and truth. It’s about empowering women to be the best versions of themselves. I use white women in this book for comparative analysis. Although I speak of the other girl in real life terms, ultimately, she symbolizes any object, person or thing that women of color perceive as an obstacle to their happiness. They are not defiled or reviled in this book. What would be the point? Who has the time or the energy to spend 194 pages complaining, blaming and whining? I don’t. While I don’t downplay or dismiss the reality of some black men quitting the Negro Love League to play for the other team, the focus of the guide is not on white women. Instead, it’s where it should be, which is on helping black women win at everything that their minds and hearts can imagine or conceive. If some readers haven’t discovered this, then that’s because they haven’t taken the time to read past chapter one. There is more to this book besides its outrageous cover.
So to the naysayers, the Negative Nancy’s and the quick to judge: Bitter Black Girl books are written for and by Bitter Black Girls. Super Sistah books are written for Better Black Girls, Beautiful Black Girls and Black Girls that Rock.
My Little Black Book has resulted in controversy with bouts of serious comedy. Don’t Let The White Girl Win has turned some readers on while scaring others off. Have you judged this little black book by its cover without reading what’s inside?
Tags: african-american literature, Black Girls Rock, Black Love, Books, Dating, Interracial, Love, Marriage, Men, non-fiction, Reading, Relationships