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
the Super Sistah remembers Whitney Houston (Vlog)
Can marrying the wrong person ruin your life? The Masked Crusader, the Super Sistah discusses her new blog post, Death by Ex. While reflecting on the death of Whitney Houston she asks her readers whether loving the wrong man can be a woman’s downfall? Post a response here. R.I.P Whitney, we’ll miss you.
the Super Sistah on Whitney Houston
Watch this video on YouTube.
Tags: Black Love, black women, Bobby Brown, Break-ups, Dating, Death by Ex, Family, God, Marriage, Men, Spiritual, Super-Heroes, Whitney Houston death, Whitney Houston funeral
Death by Ex
Can the wrong man ruin your life? Yeah, he can! Recently Pop Diva Whitney Houston went home to meet her Lord. The lyrics, “I get so emotional, baby, every time I think of you” was set on replay when I heard. I don’t pretend to know what goes on in the personal lives of celebrities, but as far as downward spirals go, I think Whitney’s began shortly after her husband put his diamond on her left.
Tags: Black Love, black women, Bobby Brown, Break-ups, God, Marriage, Men, Music, Relationships, Spiritual, Super-Heroes, Whitney Houston death, Whitney Houston funeral
Killing Me Softly
Recently someone close to my heart went home to meet his Beloved. He was here today and then gone like a raging flame suffocated by a lack of oxygen. When precious things are taken from us we wonder about the purpose of life and whether God has a plan. We ask ourselves, is there a point to all of this and what does it all mean? We ask knowing that we’ll never know for sure. If we believe in a higher power we question whether the almighty is a naughty child with a doll with our likeness in one hand and a long piercing needle in his other fist. Are our lives a prank? Why are we here? Even as we wrestle with our doubts, most of us cling to the belief that our lives have significance. Instead of a mean spirited child we conjure images of God as a chess master devising plans and strategies too complex for mere mortals to understand? We use this image to give us comfort as we do our best to put our doubts and fears to rest.
No matter our religious philosophies, the core belief in all of us is that we are here for a reason. Some of us forget our purpose as weeks and years pass by. We slip into a coma while still standing on our two feet. We forget what we were born to do. Like the movie Inception, we must remind ourselves who we are so that we can awaken from a self-imposed sleep. Death will come to us all but while we still breathe we must live life with purpose and passion. Tomorrow may never get here. The body may return to the earth but those who die fastest are those who live life with regret and dreams unfulfilled. Look into your heart and examine your life, your pursuits and your passions. Question whether you’re on the right path. If you were to die tomorrow what impact would you have had? Would you be remembered like a star that burns bright and then disappears? Would your soul live on in the souls of others? Would only the ones closest to you remember your name minutes after the words of prayer and forgetfulness have been read over your shut eyelids?
We must all figure out why we are put on the earth. What is our purpose? We all die but few of us live. Not one of us is promised tomorrow but while we exist we must change our lives and by default our destinies.
Are you alive or are you killing yourself softly by waiting for someone to give you permission to live?
Tags: Death, Faith, Family, Fighting Fear, God, Identity, Inception, Mourning, Reinvention, Spiritual
Let the Light In
It’s been said that the Super is irreverent because I barely mention God or quote from the good book. Let it be known that the Super loves the Lord. To silence my critics I’m gonna go Biblical on y’all for a quick sec acknowledging that there are some black folks who won’t take any advice seriously unless there’s an Amen attached to it. So for my Hallelujah Amen, Bible toting sister friends, this much used quote is for you:
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh.”
Ecclesiastes had it right. But some women have decided that they will only die, only uproot, only kill, only tear down and only weep. That madness has to end. If Jesus, or Jah for my Jamaican peeps, can be reborn so can you. This is how it’s done. It starts by banishing fear. If in your life you’ve killed joy, happiness and hope it’s time to murder the things that matter. Kill confusion. No woman is truly confused. What she calls confusion is an unwillingness to come to terms with the truth. The woman who lives in confusion is a woman incapacitated by two outcomes to her problems, neither one of which she likes. To stall and allow herself to avoid making tough decision she says she’s confused. Is she really? Nah, don’t think so. When we claim confusion, what we’re really saying is that we don’t like our choices. If the choice has to do with a man then usually we are torn between what our mind says and what our heart desires. Ladies, if your so called confusion has you locked in combat with yourself then the decision comes down to them or you. Choose you. Be selfish. The black woman has not allowed herself to think of her own needs exclusively since the beginning of time. I say that it’s our turn to put ourselves first. We’ve given so much to others we’ve left ourselves only fumes to exist. No man can love a woman who is dedicated to self-sacrifice. In the end, no matter how much he loves you, he will treat you how you treat yourself, with disregard. Kill confusion and stop delaying all the tough decisions you need to make in your life. If school is calling, then ring the bell girl. If a new man is waiting, then kick the old one to the curb. If a new chapter must be written in your life, start writing baby. If you must kill the old you to be reborn, then blow out the candles girlfriend, it’s your birthday. Be your own best friend and turn things around.
Have you lived in the darkness so long that you’ve forgotten what it means to love the light?
Tags: Bad Habits, black women, Fighting Fear, hope, let the light in, Spiritual, Trust
God and I had a fist fight. God won. He and I had a disagreement about how my life should turn out and we came to blows. I thought he’d be easy to handle and benevolent being God and all, but he tricked me. Things were going beautifully and then he caught me with an uppercut and WHAM, lights out; I was down for the count.
What’s your problem, Lord? I’m ‘saved.’ I pray when I want something, when I’m in trouble, when I’m desperate and when I ‘m at the end of my rope. Every night before I go to bed I whisper a few unintelligible words of praise before I slip off into sleep. Isn’t that enough? Hell, I even go to church some days and sing like I’m Whitney before the drugs. Yeah, I wear pants instead of the required sistergirlfriend knee-length skirt, but Allah, Jehovah, Jah – when did the Prince of Peace become so nitpicky? Anyway, I didn’t come here to fight. I’m here to negotiate. Here are my terms. The last time we spoke we weren’t vibing and one of us got hurt. It ain’t happening again. I’m stronger now so if we fight you won’t win. You better recognize. I suggest a truce. Take out your note pad, this is what I want.
First, I want you to send me a husband, preferably rich, tall, dark and handsome. I want you to give me all the money I will ever need, lottery numbers only and no nine to five’s. Secondly, I want some lovely, well-mannered and incredibly smart little ones. Lord, don’t send me no bad ass kids. Make sure to keep me healthy and happy. Lastly Lord, remember that when I die I want immediate entrance to the pearly gates. I’m a VIP and if you don’t think so you better ask somebody.
If you agree to my terms I’ll give you not one, but two, prayers on Sunday– one in the morning and one at night. I will stop swearing, fighting, fornicating and wishing death to my enemies. Agreed? If no, an eclipse. If yes, a flash of lightning.
Do you fight God? Who wins?
Tags: God, Good and Evil, Personal Power, Relationships, Spiritual, Strength
It’s difficult, challenging and downright hard to be good. Being bad is easy. It requires no effort at all. Waking up in the morning spitting fire and brimstone takes no extra synapses for the brain. It’s a matter of giving into base impulses and letting it ride. Being evil, mean and nasty only requires letting loose the restraints of the tongue and temper and voila: people are wishing you a victim of a hit and run. Ouch. Evil is infectious and the more you hate the more it spreads. The easier it is to relax your moral code, the easier it is for the universe to give you all that you’ve earned: possibly an anonymous push into an oncoming train. Watch your back!
Instead of constantly standing sideways on the subway platform learn to smile, laugh and forgive. The face has to manipulate no muscles to frown. Happiness is not a birthright. It’s the product of constant and persistent study, commitment to being better and faith. It requires a continuous battle between the devil on your left shoulder and the angel on your right. Can I get an Amen? I’m preaching y’all. The Super is meditating on this message because recently I’ve felt myself being lured to the dark side. I struggle to keep my halo on straight. Some days it sports a dark ring and is cocked to the side–B-boy style. This dark angel is regularly tempted to let the evil genie inside her have full reign. It’s a struggle to resist. I do it by avoiding people who inspire me to give out bitch slaps. I want to improve but sometimes it’s hard. Like the rest of the world, The Super is a work in progress and the many times I fall are only exceeded by the times I rise. If MJ were here he’d ask me, ’Who’s Bad?’ I’d answer, I’m bad. But in a good way.
Are you bad?
Tags: Bad Habits, Good and Evil, Identity, Michael Jackson, Spiritual, Strength
Basket Full of Trouble
Some people walk around with not just baggage but a suitcase filled with trouble, trauma, bitterness and regret. There are so filled with woe and worry that Erykah Badu’s song Bag Lady is on repeat blasting away in the CD player of their minds. They can’t walk straight, their perpetually bent at the waist and don’t know how to walk with their heads held high. They’re letting the weight of their troubles hold them down. For the Hang’em Low and Hang’me High sistahs on the verge of a high building leap, I have some advice for you. It’s Biblical so go ahead and get out your tambourine and be prepared to bang it and shout Amen when the message reaches you. Wait for it. Wait for it.…Okay here we go.
Like the old children’s educational program Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, the message of the day is this: Put it in the Basket. In church a pastor said that what people do about their problems is that they pray about it and ask God deliver them but then spend years trying to deliver themselves. He said if we want release, redemption and peace then we have to surrender all our burdens and troubles to God completely. To illustrate his point he told the story of Jochebed and her son Moses. When the new mother heard that the Egyptians were coming to kill all the first-born sons of all the households, she prayed for deliverance and an answer. What her prayers revealed was that the only solution she had was to put her newborn son Moses in a fragile wicker basket and float him down the Nile unprotected. Confronted with a crisis and the emotional trauma associated with her decision she put her troubles in God’s hands and trusted that he would see her through and provide a way out. She put her baby—her troubles — in the basket and let go. Like our Biblical sister we have to approach the past the same way. We have to confess our pain to the almighty, pray for deliverance, forgive ourselves for whatever we have been beating ourselves up about and then Put it in the Basket. Let the regrets float away from you with the knowledge that all will be well. Let it go. Release it to the current, the breeze and the almighty and never think of it again. It’s dead. Killed, assassinated or drowned. You must kill the problem or confront it. If like most women you’re having man trouble, for example a cheating spouse, then the same rule applies. You have two choices only. You either confront your husband with the information with knowledge that the relationship may come to an end or you release it by forgiving him. In doing this you’re letting all the mistakes he made with his infidelities go. If you choose this option you can’t dwell, you can’t pine or have regrets. The affair is done and you’re done thinking about it. Choose. This applies to ever situation that has had a negative impact on how you live your life. Choosing to confront your problems is an act of bravery and boldness that not everyone may be ready for. If you choose to release the hurt and leave it in God’s hands then you must remember to put it in the basket. Let go. Forgive and forget and walk straight with your head facing in only one direction. Forward. Hold your head high and the next time a problem comes up that you can’t solve, pray and while you’re waiting for an answer, stay permanently away from high buildings with open windows.
Tags: Fighting Fear, God, Spiritual, Trust
Hot Pepper Hope
Hope is like hot pepper sauce, a little goes a long way. It flavors all your meals with a little kick. It changes the texture and taste of everything and transforms it into something new. An abundance of the sauce is like an explosion in your mouth that makes your eyes water, makes you take a dash for the nearest faucet and makes you dance around on one foot waiting for the sensation of heat to subside. If hope is a seasoning then that’s what it would taste like. Spicy. When it comes to experiencing life—some like it hot! I know because for some nothing is too flammable for their palate. The moment the heat dies down their off again to grab the next piece of rib, chicken wing or lamb chop. They keep coming back for more because the flavor reminds them that their alive. It’s better to feel something, even explosive emotion, than to feel nothing at all. Living life without hope is like cooking and eating the same meal everyday without the benefit of even the barest hint of flavor. Repetitive meals of this type make a person lose their appetite; they get skinny and wane and the act of consuming food becomes a laborious chore. People who live life without hope get anemic. Apathetic. Despondent. They lose the ability to taste and enjoy life. So for those on a vegan-life diet, choose to apply the hot pepper sauce to your life with a heavy hand. Spice up everything you do with dashes of happiness, pinches of gladness, sprinkles of cheer and great big splashes of love and excitement. Don’t be afraid that the fire will get too hot and burn out of control. Hope is an ingredient that has no emotional threshold. So for those of you who have forgotten to cook and live life with zest. Don’t be afraid of the fire. Burn baby, burn.
Tags: Faith, Personal Power, Spiritual, Strength
Dead but Still Breathing
Super Sistah went to church on Sunday, I won’t tell you whether my butt was physically parked in the pew or if it was parked in front of the T.V. Either way after a couple of Amen’s, I left church early. Yes, I know, I’m a heathen. Or am I really? Only the angels guarding the entry to heaven in those cute little white diaper shorts on judgment day will know for sure. What I do know is that before I dashed off to do some critical, life affirming errands (shop at Target), and right before the choir hit its first scratchy notes lead by a member clearly not Whitney, the sermon given by the preacher actually touched me. It spoke to me. It moved me. Yeah, Super Sistah had a spiritual moment. The topic on first Sunday—for the non-religious, the most spiritual Sunday of them all—was the theme: Your Life is on Loan.
What did the pastor mean? For the piously challenged I will share how he broke it down to the congregation.
Some people live like they will live forever. Some people live like tomorrow is guaranteed. Some people are kind to others but are mean and miserly to themselves. Some people take small bites out of life and eat God’s abundance with measured, stingy chews. Some people work to pay bills, pay the car note and pay the mortgage and never laugh, enjoy life or see the world in all its glory. There are people with thousands in the bank but can’t remember the last time they were happy. Like the 1995 movie with Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon, they’re Dead Man Walking. Unfortunately for these folks they’re not Hollywood actors and not vampires with diamond skin and good hair. Instead they’re flesh and blood human beings, who through deprivation and an unholy commitment to self-sacrifice have stopped breathing. The X already marks their plot site, the tombstone has already been chosen and the coffin is a custom fit. They’re dead already. They just don’t realize. They’re the living embodiments of the flick the Sixth Sense. I watch a lot of movies so what! The point that I want to make is that when I die, I will die because death is inevitable; I want to say that I have seen, done and experienced all the love and laughter that my heart and hands can hold. I want to be the greedy guest at thanksgiving and gorge myself on all that life has to offer. I rather die now then be perpetually afraid, always color within the lines and wait for a tomorrow that I may never see. To all of you who have forgotten to breathe. Exhale. Your Life is on Loan
Is your life an exercise in being joyous? Tell me, are you living life like it’s a gift?
Tags: Faith, Fighting Fear, God, Personal Power, Religion, Spiritual, Trust