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
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
Show me the bling, show me the ring or else! Whoa there. I know good men are scarce, rent aint cheap and bad ass kids are hard to raise by our lonesome. As women we want a man in the home so when we yell out, honey I’m home, someone besides the wall will hear. We watch Say Yes to the Dress, the Wedding Channel and read Bride with desire in our hearts and hope in our breasts. We want, no, need a man that we don’t have to share. We’ve had enough of the cheaters, schemers, womanizers and playboy extraordinaires. We want a man that we can lock down and throw away the key? Our need to throw up the deuces sign to the dating scene has made some of us teeter on the edge of despair. We’ve paid our dues and we feel entitled to our diamond bling. The desire to quit the single scene has made a man no longer an option for happily ever after but a must. We think that to make this happen we have to get aggressive. Lord you better send me someone before I have to come up there. After we’ve sent up heavenly death threats in the form of prayers we attack the marriage thing like a 5th grade science project. It’s at this point that things shift. Now, instead of dating for fun or companionship, we date potential mates with intent. Each man that comes into our lives must wear a bulletproof vest and protective gear. He doesn’t know it but he’s a target. Within seconds of meeting him we make assessments and out comes our list. Does he have a job? Check. No kids, one kid, takes care of his kids? Check. Is he packing? Check. Check. Check. Is he wack, weak, trifling or mean? Double X. Is he short, stupid, stubborn or dyslexic? X and X. Can he stroke, poke and whine his waist like a Chippendale? Check. Most importantly will his last name sing together beautifully with ours and mesh? Check and happy girl cartwheel.
Forget that we don’t like him. Disregard the fact that he may be perfect but not for us? We want that diamond and we want it now. The Super is not saying we should wait until Larenz Tate in Love Jones and Billy Dee in Lady Sings the Blues and every other black knight we’ve ever watched on television appears, but as any married or divorced woman will tell you, getting the ring is easier than waking up beside your hubby everyday with a smile on your face. Don’t give into your S & M instincts by straddling love, binding its wrist, stepping on its chest with your heels on and cracking the whip. You can’t dominate the diamond and show it who’s boss. Proposals don’t submit to force. Deny the diamondatrix within who wants to inflict pain on their relationships by pushing marriage onto every man that exists. Don’t make the men in our lives have to chose between marriage or the whip.
Are you a diamondatrix trying to get love and a ring through force?
Tags: Black Love, black women, Dating, Dominatrix, feminism, Girl Power, Love, Marriage, Men, Relationships, S & M, Sex, Strength, Super-Heroes
Masking the Truth
While most of my friends love my writing style, a few hate my Super Sistah alter ego. Evoking Sacha Fierce is not acceptable for me but fine for a celebrity like Beyoncé who’s entitled to her creativity. My friends go on to admit that they despise my Super mask and they think she, me, is a superhero wannabe. Why would a woman with education and multiple degrees aspire to be a cartoon character? They don’t get it or me. Be authentic! Is the advice I’m most given. The consensus is that I should be what I seem which is scholarly and serious with a hint of prep school superiority. There is no need to be a masked anything I’m told with condescension. ‘Your everyday face is fine… not even ugly. Why hide?’ They go on to tell me that my makeup mask is ridiculous and the concept behind my persona just plain wack. They criticize my vision, my plans and my marketing strategies. They’re my friends so I value their opinions and acknowledge without bitterness that they make some valid points. They just want the best for me, right? In the end though whether I try and fail, rise or fall, win or lose the life I lead is mine. I refuse to give a good goddamn about what anyone thinks but me.
Comedians are sad, beautiful people feel ugly inside and in the body of every big girl beats the heart of a super model. The world is filled with contradictions. We all have our personas and Super Sistah is mine. The face we present to the world is the one we want them to see. Each one of us is pretending or hiding behind a mask forged through a lifetime of conformity. We are either pretending to be more than we are or less. To get a job, stay married or keep friends we hide, we dim our light and we refuse to shine so people won’t be blinded and threatened by all that we can be. If I’m pretending then the world is pretending with me.
Those that urge me to ditch my Superman for my Clark Kent don’t really understand. I’m not in disguise. The powerful, beautiful, fierce and fabulous woman living and breathing behind the mask is my true self and the shy and slightly introverted woman is my real disguise. It takes courage and fearlessness to show the world the face that only our heart sees. It’s easier and safer to be who our friends want us to be. But as the innovator Steve Jobs once said, your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Steve advises us to Stay Hunger. Stay Foolish. With this in mind, the fool that I am who is dressed for Halloween daily will adhere to who my heart knows me to be: Super without compromise.
Are you ready to show the world the face of truth or are you hiding behind a mask of fake reality?
Tags: black women, Confidence, Identity, Masked Crusader, Masks, Steve Jobs, Strength, Super-Heroes
Fight for Your Life
If you’re like most women then there have been times when you’ve woken up in a cold sweat wondering in a daze why your life wasn’t going as you’d planned? If you are anywhere north of twenty then this has happened more than once. In those times you’ve questioned why everyone else had the luxury of ups with their downs while you had the misfortune of having only valleys with no hills in sight. In these times your ass hit asphalt so often that pebbles in your butt crack seemed customary. In your quest for relief, prayer became begging and begging turned into negotiations with the big G. You didn’t want much from him just moments of uninterrupted peace. What’s up, Lord? Can you cut me some goddamn slack! Now you’d done it. In frustration you’d used the Lord’s name in vain and now you’d earned yourself a set of Biblical roundhouse kicks. But enough was enough. You felt battered like you and Laila Ali had done a couple rounds in the ring. It was quitting time. It was over. You’d fallen way too far down to ever get back up. But as the saying goes, It’s at the precise moment that you think you can’t go on that you get your second wind. Like all the best boxers I would like to think that we can’t be beat. As women, no one can defeat us unless we choose to defeat ourselves. No man, no job, no disappointment is enough reason to throw ourselves down in the middle of a chalk outline. As long as we breathe, we can turn things around. Persistence pays off. Determination wins in a fist fight. Personal power starts from the inside. Refuse to live your life on your back looking up at the world while it looks down. Spread-eagle and unconscious doesn’t look sexy anywhere outside of a triple X movie DVD. Despite the porn reference, being on your knees isn’t a bad thing. It’s the space we exist in right before we get back on our feet.
So get up and put up your dukes. It’s time to fight! Dodge and weave your despair. Bare knuckle box your bitterness. Counter punch any obstacle that life throws your way. When you fight despair always fight to win. It’s just when you feel like giving up that you should kick box your courage into high gear.
In the ring of life does disappointment have you against the ropes? Let the fight card show that you fought for your life and won.
Tags: black women, boxing, feminism, Fighting Fear, Girl Power, Laila Ali, Personal Power, Strength, Super-Heroes
Black Girl Blues
Oprah is off the air but I remember one of the quotes from her final show. She said: The show has taught me that there is a common thread that runs through all of our pain and all of our suffering and that is unworthiness. Not feeling worthy enough to own the life you were created for. What I got from this is that sometimes life deals us some difficult cards and we get disappointed. There are times that despite our greatest effort we don’t get what we want and we get discouraged. We internalize all our setbacks and start feeling like we aren’t worthy of the life we envisioned. We start believing the discouraging people around us that tell us that we want too much and that we can never achieve all that we planned. We try blocking out all of their negative energy but some of it seeps into our pours and strengthens our doubts. As a result, we start singing the black girl blues well enough that Billy Holiday would have given us the side eye and the oh no she didn’t look. Like many of the gifted and blessed, we let depression nip at our heels and allow the spirit of defeat to settle into our souls. What we must remember is that delay is not denial and we can’t give up. If being the best at anything was easy then everyone would be living the life they dreamed. If you choose to be extraordinary then it’s going to take more than wishing on a star and a penny in the wishing well for our ambitions to be more than just fairy tales. If we can dream it then it can be achieved. Don’t give in. Don’t give up. The song of defeat isn’t sexy.
Are you committed to singing a song of success loud enough for God and his angels to hear?
Tags: black women, Careers, Confidence, Dreams, Faith, God, Oprah, Personal Power, Strength, Success, Super-Heroes
Fake Me, Real Who?
Without shame, guilt or remorse I admit that the Super does not always practice what she preaches. I’m not as positive as I seem. I’m not the best black friend everyone needs. I fall short of being the über confident and uplifting woman I claim to be. In person one might be a little surprised by my demeanor. Instead of possessing a brash and bold in your face over the top energy, the Super is quiet and serene. I do not bubble, I percolate. I do not shine, I beam. I should be an optimist but I’m firmly grounded in reality. I’m all that I claim to be and I’m a fraud. I say this now to save myself later from crying on Oprah like my pretend friend Iyanla Vanzant. I admit this now just in case Wendy Williams exposes my identity one day and sells my story to TMZ. Ah yes, delusional I know, but one can dream. My point is this, like Iyanla we all have sides we show to the world. As a millionaire mentor, writer and spiritual coach Iyanla took a terrible fall from grace. Like a lot of successful people her public persona could not hold up under the weight of her personal lie. Like myself and many others, her public face was like the Picture of Dorian Gray in the attic staying beautiful and perfect while her real self grew ugly and old. We all have ugly representatives who we use to hide the truth about our doubts, fears and the secrets that we are afraid to share. To hide, we put up a front for our friends and paper our pain with a life of fantasy. Often we make our representatives take over but we must resist. If we are growing we must grow, if we are learning we must surrender to the process with the knowledge that we are all flawed. We don’t always have to like the women we are but we must love the women we can be.
The Super does not practice what she preaches. Instead I preach and then I practice. I strive to live up to the picture of the best me. I endeavor to be as good, as smart and as special as I claim and then I do the work to make my ambitions a reality. It’s not a crime to pretend. Pretending is like dreaming. You dream one day you will be the best woman, friend, mother and daughter that you can imagine and then one day you will be. Success is about seeing yourself clearly.
Are you all that you seem or are you living a lie and pretending?
Tags: Bad Habits, Fighting Fear, Identity, Iyanla Vanzant, Oprah, Strength, Trust
Black Girl Screaming
I’m reading a book called the Purple Cow. It’s a marketing book for developing businesses, brands and standout products. The premise behind the book is that if you want to be remembered you have to do remarkable things, be extraordinary and do what it takes to separate yourself from the herd and the crowd. To attract attention you have to stand out. Being ordinary, mediocre and a basic brown cow won’t do. Halfway through the book and I’m already contemplating suicide. It asks me to do all the things I hate: namely speaking to strangers, abandoning fear and letting go of my insecurities and inhibitions. I think the author might be on the pipe or some mood altering substance. Already my hands shake, my mouth gets dry and I feel real shivers down my spine when I have to approach the unknown woman and tell her about my blog. Now I have to come out of my shell even more? I feel the beginnings of a heart attack? I feel light-headed with the mere idea of being the mouth piece behind my brand. Couldn’t I just pay the dude that sings on the train a sandwich and some Skittles to spread the word for me? My greatest desire is to write quietly and be anonymous. That’s why my Super Sistah mask suits me. I can see you but you can’t see me. The problem with my plan is that if I’m quiet, shy and laid back both my name and I will become extinct. A year, an hour or a minute from now no one will remember me. I will live a life of quiet disappointment and soundless misery. It’s not gonna work. If I want to blow the roof off the house that traps my dreams I have to be brash. So let’s get loud everyone. Split eardrums like the best Bose sound system. Rattle the walls like a Rock concert at full blast. Shout so that God can hear your dreams from the clouds.
In your life are you dying quietly or are you screaming?
Tags: Black Girl Screaming, black women, Confidence, Dreams, Purple Cow, Strength
Eat a Tiger with Little Chews
How do you eat a Tiger? With little chews. If you have ever been overwhelmed by trying to pursue your dreams then you know how daunting trying to succeed can be. Recently I had a chat with my sister. She’s trying to be Super but is struggling. I instantly gave her some encouragement. What kind of success coach would I be if I didn’t help my family? Usually when any of us start something new we are overwhelmed by the vastness of our ambitions and the energy required to scale mountains, slay dragons and banish thoughts of doubt and insecurity. We want to succeed but we think failure is a real option. Soon our doubts become our reality and we give in and give up. No can do. It’s important to understand that every day is an opportunity to succeed. No one wakes up and is miraculously sitting in the penthouse with a Bentley parked outside sipping cocktails with P.Diddy. How you grasp your dreams is by one action, step and move at a time. Every stamp licked, every bill paid, every resume sent and every class taken is a step in the right direction. Those who try to do everything at once usually find themselves frustrated and defeated.
Think of success as a dripping faucet. Every drop of water is merging with previous drops. The water line is rising until it reaches uncontrollable levels and overflows. Once the water escapes the confines of the sink it has broken through and can no longer be contained. Every day is an opportunity to burst the pipe and get the things you want and need. The sun should never set on your day without having tackled some problem, made some progress or done something (anything) that is taking you steadily in the direction you want to go. A tiger is a big animal with many parts but even the most insignificant of us can have him for a meal if we eat him diligently.
“BURPPPPPPPP………!” Excuse me everyone, how rude. Forgive me, I launched my website today(www.thesupersistah.com) and wrote this blog so still have bits of tiger between my teeth. I’m not satisfied, are you? Bon Appétit.
Tags: Careers, Confidence, Dreams, Fighting Fear, Personal Power, Self-Confidence, Strength, Success
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