do.be.do.

Hi curvy curlies! I pray your Sunday is blissful and full of light and life. Mine is full of work, light, and life, but I am holding gratitude in my heart.  

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a yoga clinic, hosted by Lifeaholik, in Inglewood, CA. Lifeaholik is a Los Angeles based active-living brand, founded by Fire Captain, Tyrone Davis. The Lifeaholik mission is to encourage people to tap into their unlimited potential by exploration of all things active-living and metaphysical. 

Saturday's yoga practice was led by Purusha Hickson. Purusha's approach to yoga is thoughtful, safe and thought provoking. His guided practice felt very natural, tranquil and painless enough for all levels. One of the things Purusha urged us to do throughout the class, was to be present. If you are familiar with meditation, you understand that dumping your brain and holding the moment as you follow your breathing is what brings you back to center. It is the art of being. In the being, there is some doing. When your mind wonders off, you have to do the work of bringing it back. I had to do my part and get to yoga class at 8am on a Saturday (ahem). There is a lot of doing, but the being is a gift. 

Do-Be-Do.

Life is a constant do be do, but here's my short list;

  • DO set intentions
  • BE authentic (it'll bless you when you get free)
  • DO find a space to serve (more on this in future blogs)
  • BE present
  • DO extend grace
  • BE the change you want to see (real talk)

xo

Lila

life lessons vol. III

Hey curvy curlies, it is the beginning of another week and I am ready to face it with vigor! I WILL operate out of a space of love and care for myself, first. I WILL recognize (what appears to be) animosity, consternation and/or hostility directed at me is not my problem. I WILL stay the course. 

I am able to affirm these things, because along this (lifelong) healing and transformational journey, I have learned:

  • Our time is precious. Be sure to spend it in a manner that uplifts and sustains your community (neighborhood, family, friends), nourishes your soul, and, leaves a mark on the universe. 
  • Lessons take as long as they take to learn them. We may revisit the same lesson a time or two.
  • Unpacking baggage does not happen in one sitting. 
  • We are who God says we are. Our worth is not determined by how others experience us.
  • Affirmations are self talk that encourage the spirit. Be sure to speak them daily.

xo

Lila

 

from holes to wholeness

In my opinion, the first step to restoration, is acknowledging and identifying that something requires repair.  

I recently had a health scare that had me on the edge of sanity - and I mean, by a frayed thread. My last mammogram revealed a mass (previously biopsied) had grown significantly since the last view. After a follow up ultrasound, my doctor decided to perform a lumpectomy. The surgery did not stress me as much as waiting on the pathology results. I have had PLENTY of life challenges, health and otherwise, but this one scared me. I was completely distracted. I couldn't sleep and tears were frequent. My family and friends attempted to comfort me, and I pretended to be comforted, but inside I was a hot ball of worry. The only solace I could find was in my devotion, meditation and prayer time. My prayers were focused on healing, of course, but even more than that, my focused intention was on releasing toxicity from my body, life and mind. Regardless of test results, I was (and am) determined to clear spaces to receive grace, light, and unconditional love.

Well, praises to Jehovah, pathology came back all clear! HE is the great physician! I am still recovering mentally and have a few scars, but I am so grateful. For me, this lumpectomy symbolizes the removal of masses that take up space in our lives. Masses of confusion. Masses of regret. Masses of unforgiveness. Masses of fear. Masses of pain. Masses of folks who take and don't believe in reciprocity - come on somebody. 

What I have learned is, the only way to have a successful FILL-IN-THE-BLANKectomy, is to first recognize that there is a thing (person, feeling, etc.) that may need some special attention. And I don't mean feed that thing, I mean assess it. Determine it's value or lack thereof. We cannot continue to numb those areas by ignoring how they make us feel. These things are energy zappers and space fillers. Some of these masses have been taking up space for years. Childhood trauma. Love trauma. Church trauma. Take it from me - cut that thang out! Make room for the good good. I am not suggesting the process is easy, or pain-free, but anything that does not contribute to our wholeness is literally killing us. 

I have made mistakes on this journey. I have walked in unforgiveness for years and likely without the other person(s) having a clue the level of animosity I carried. I have behaved badly - covertly and passive aggressivey to express my frustrations about something. I have hurt people with my words. Thank God I have evolved and matured into a person who can acknowledge, admit and repent for my shortcomings. Thank God for grace. 

One of the best self-care exercises is self-assessment. Sit with yourself and face your stuff. Pray about it. Journal it with authenticity and transparency. When (not if) you discover malignant masses, take the steps to remove them. On the road to recovery, fill those spaces with goodness. Find a therapist that can help you dig even deeper. Recognize that your spirit is sensitive and share energy with like-minded folks. Allow yourself to be covered, fed and led in the spirit (shout out to The Message Center). Love you enough.

xx

Lila

selfie date

I love living in Los Angeles. The weather is gorgeous, people are active, and there are too many interesting experiences to have - with ourselves! I say 'with ourselves' because I believe it is important not to miss out on any of the best moments in life, simply because someone else may not want to join. Man, I have had some of the most incredible, memorable days and evenings on selfie dates!

For instance, last evening I treated myself to my very first pop up dinner party in downtown, LA. courtesy of Dinner Party Association, hosted by Little Meats LA. Little Meats LA brings amazing people together, to have amazing food-centric experiences. They exist in a funky, creative loft space in artsy DTLA. I was introduced to the Little Meats concept, by A Toast To Artistry (another creative company that has a loft just a few steps away).  Last night's dinner was organized by Megan Ranager of Dinner Party Association. The menu was an adult spin on summer camp fare. Delicious and fun! I chatted it up with an engaging, diverse bunch of foodies. I don't know if there is an easier way to break through slightly awkward social moments, than with a bottle of wine and yummy treats. This kind of event is the best kind of selfie date because it forces you to interact and network with people who all have at least one thing in common - the appreciation of good eats.

Do yourself a favor and venture out into the unknown. Take yourself on a date. Start with something simple like a painting class, or lunch. Learning to enjoy your own company is a great gift.

xx

Lila

 

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this way is up

Hey curvy curlies! I'm writing this blog from my couch. I'm on steroids with a heating pad cradled against my neck. For the last several months, I've had moments of excruciating pain on the left side of my neck, shoulder blade and left arm.  I've ingested every over-the-counter pain killer imaginable - all with minimal results. Thankfully, I was recently diagnosed with a disc issue and treatment will begin in a few days.

I was ecstatic to finally have an understanding of what was happening, but child, it took a second to sink in because I've been walking around completely convinced that I was having a cardiac episode. Yup. Went all the way to the worst case scenario(s), even though I've been able to workout and live without any other symptoms. I had a stress test and ct scan, both ruling out coronary issues or blood clots. So what. In my mind, my GP and the specialists couldn't possibly know what they were talking about. Humph, the expertise of WebMD said what I was experiencing was indicative that death was nigh.

*sigh* 

Why is it so easy to embrace the worst case, but reject the better one? How is it that bad news is so all consuming, but the moments of grace and light, we handle with fleeting excitement? Think about it, when we have a scare of any sort, we solicit prayers but sleep with worry. We essentially fantasize about the bleakest outcome. Just look at social media. The hashtags that get the most traction are typically the ones attached to a tragedy or humor. In the vein of complete transparency as it relates to social, I have waaaay more sarcastic and shady quips that I consider posting than I actually do. I mean, I post quite a few, and dang it, I'm funny! But, as an act of my will and commitment to my brand, edification and useful nformation must outweigh the negative.

Over the next seven days, I would like to ask you to be my accountability partners. I am determined to keep my head to the sky so I am challenging myself to reside in an "attitude of gratitude" bubble. If - nope- When I get frustrated, I'm going to think about something great, and that "great" thing might be how fly my nail polish is (sometimes you have to love on the little things). I'm going to focus on it, write it down, tweet it, etc. and let it center me in my blessings. If you read anything out of pocket from me, I want you to remind me how good my/our/this life really is. 

Deal? 

xx

Lila

 

treacherous tech

Hi curvy curlies! I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday. I spent the day dancing, eating yummy bar-b-que, and playing KNOCK! (y'all don't know nothing bout that) LOL! Fun times!

Let's jump into this blog.

It dawned on me one Tuesday night - at 8pm - sitting on my couch - responding to emails - on my phone ...the constant accessibility to everyone, all the time, is killing us softly. Too often we are not present in the moment. We're missing the simple goodness of life happening around us because we're engaging in social media interactions, or playing candy crush, or scheduling a conference call, or responding to emails after hours, or ...

With technology at our fingertips, we are more and more compelled to stay engaged with people who are in other places, thereby keeping ourselves disengaged from the family, loved ones and friends who share the same space as us. It has actually gotten absurd. Will the earth stop turning if he or she doesn't get an answer to that inquiry tonight? Are we facing the apocalypse if we unplug from social for an evening? Nope! Matter of fact, how many times have you opened an email while you were trying to relax, only to fall into the throes of work correspondence that could happen in the morning? Ever gotten pulled into one of those and found the dinner you were eating is gone and you can't remember tasting it? Have you ever had your sleep disrupted because your brain is on super nova trying to solve an issue that will still be sitting there in the a.m., all because you did not give yourself the courtesy of disconnecting from work for a few hours? How about those times we find ourselves in a new social setting. It is far easier to go straight to that mobile device to connect with the familiar, than it is to have a few awkward moments getting to know/experience new people and things.

So, here are a few things to consider; Mindless/stress eating. Sleep deprivation. Irritability. Just a few consequences of being so technically savvy. Oh, and those emails you wrote, responded to, etc., they don't typically decrease your workload, I've noticed an even greater pressure to produce. And check this out, an increase in workload - extended accessibility - with no extra pay = poor quality of life. And I'm not talking about entrepreneurs who are on the constant grind as their own boss. No, I'm talking about my fellow entrepreneurs who grind in addition to the 9-5 where someone else is the boss. Where's the work/life balance?

This post is to myself first. I am guilty of every "offense" described above. As a new business owner/blogger, it is imperative that I stay connected to my followers and readers. Does that mean I cannot put down the phone and LIVE this LIFE thing? Absolutely not. I'm a work in progress, but I am more conscious of the constant compulsion to monitor my social sites. And listen, we all need a space to vent, express, and get validation from like minds, but we have to consider what we're feeding ourselves and others.  There is so much hatred, bad news, bigotry and misinformation on social media, we must be selective about what we connect with. I encourage you to do a digital detox at least one day a week. I promise you nothing bad will happen if you unplug for 24 hours.

xx

Lila

should different = discard? I think not.

What a wild couple of weeks, right?! The Charleston shootings, Dominican Republic shenanigans, SCOTUS rulings...

The common theme in all of these stories, is the notion that one thing is lesser than another. One set is superior to the other. Certain folks deserve dignities, but others don't.

Bullcrap!

It's a sick freak that decides to sit in a prayer meeting/bible study for an hour, then shoot up the place.

How dare a group of people decide that another group of people is too dark to (continue to) share the same land!

Wtf do you mean love is only love if it looks like the picture you drew in your head?! Civil, human rights should be equal. Period. And before y'all go in, God IS love, so there's that.

This blog isn't about any of those stories specifically, but mostly about how folks want to cut off/kill/toss people, relationships and things that are different and/or flawed. What a miserable, closed off, isolated existence you create for yourself when you decide everything has to be done according to your rule book. 

What I know for sure is, we are all uniquely beautiful and different. Yes there are groups of people who believe in (most of) the same things. Share (mostly) the same ideology. Move through life with similar values. It makes sense that you'd want to surround yourself with like-minded folk. But what if, from time to time, you have opposing points of view on certain issues? Is that cause for a relationship termination? Maybe through life experiences, your (you thought) tried and true belief about a thing changes and you now support a cause your inner circle doesn't. Are you now banished from the circle? 

It takes time to get to know a person. To really get to the heart of who they are. There will absolutely be things that annoy us about ANYbody, but there is also good in (almost) EVERYbody. What I have learned is, when people show us who they are - believe them. That 'believe them' part doesn't mean throw them away. It doesn't mean we cannot have enjoyable experiences with them. It means, we now know how to adjust our expectations and interactions with them. To be clear, I am not suggesting that we should continue to participate in abusive, toxic relationships. Sometimes the chord absolutely requires cutting. What I am saying is, we are all living the human experience. We all have moments of despair, sadness, and frustration and we should all experience joy, enthusiasm and generosity. Does a moment of funky human experience negate all the good of it? Not for me.

Unfortunately, everyone does not share this philosophy, and quite frankly, it's the hyper-sensitive, insecure, judgmental ass folks who perpetuate the cycle of distrust and hate. And yes, I included sensitive and judgmental in the same sentence. These folks are 'gon enclose themselves in a rigid, only-do-it-their-way, constant conflict having, unhappy, inside-looking-out bubble of misery. And here's a PSA for the bubble dwellers; you are not vacant of flaws. Here's another one; you will be in a constant state of disappointment, because you always expect what you have defined as perfection from everyone but yourselves.

Tragically, the discernment to recognize their self induced imprisonment as misery, is nonexistent. They actually think they're the cool kids. Well guess what, I don't want to sit at your table! The real cool kid's table is where diversity hangs out - where different ideas are discussed that provoke thought and change. Cool is where different embraces different and learns to walk in empathy and compassion. Cool is where you get out of your feelings and do some work. Cool is where unconditional love resides. And listen, I have not always been the progressive, independent thinker that I am today. I can describe the misery bubble, because I once inhabited it. Thank God for deliverance, liberation and revelation.

I pray y'all get free.

xo

Lila

 

 

 

 

 

funky world funk

There is a stench in the universe.

It is the foul odor of darkness. The funk of hatred. The putrid aroma of racism. Frankly, I'm tired of it. Actually, it is literally making me sick. My sleep is disrupted. My eyes are red and tired from the constant sting of tears. My head hurts and my anxiety is sky-high. I am suspicious of strangers. In my head, I am Macgyver - constantly purveying my surroundings for tools to construct weapons. Yesterday I rode the train to a live music event and as folks entered and walked by, I used my Terminator-like eye scan to assess for crazy.

*heavy sigh* This is no way to live, but this is the world we live in.

I am beyond grieved about the massacre in Charleston. Trying to reconcile how a hate-filled, racist jackhole sat in bible study for an hour then opened fire, has depleted most of my rationale. I am angry. I am despondent. I am weary. Is this what we have to look forward to until the return of Christ?! 

One of the things that really chaps my hide is the chatter from ignorant folks about how a black POTUS is, in some way, responsible for this. Oh. Y'all thought we didn't know you were having those thoughts and discussions?! We know.

Here's the thing, Obama's termS have really just pulled the masks off of you undercover, racist bastards. So, cheers to that! I'd much rather be aware, than in the dark, but I digress...

This morning in my devotion and prayer time, I asked the Creator to show His mighty hand. I asked Him for a real revelation of His power. He reminded me about the Charleston's survivors and their expressions of forgiveness. Whoa. That one little thought cracked the window and let some light in. ThAt's God, my friends. 

xo

Lila

 

every stroke counts; my aquatic adventures!

For 40+ years I was one of those girls at the backyard boogie who didn't want to get her hair wet. Summer holidays, I would wear the cute swimwear and sip on fruity drinks in the shallow end of the pool. I've gone jet skiing, fishing, paddle boarding and done some water aerobics, all without ever really learning how to swim.

This year, I was determined to be able to engage in some real (safe) water play AND exercise, so I took lessons! It might be one of the best decisions of my life.

I initially enrolled in an extension course at a local college. I highly recommend this for adult beginners. If your goal is to become comfortable in the water and learn breathing techniques, this is a great, affordable place to start. The pool is only three feet deep, so you can work on leg and arm techniques, but you can stand up anywhere in the pool.

Three sessions in, I determined I needed more of a hands-on instructing approach, so I started to research other options. This part of the journey is worth noting; It is imperative that you feel comfortable with your swim instructor's teaching style. If your teacher's communication is confusing or causes you to feel less than comfortable/confident, it will become a barrier to your learning. 

After a few inquiries and keyboard strokes, I found Conrad Cooper and Londa Parks of swimtome.com (cue heavenly choir sound effect). The lovely Londa manages the business and Conrad is the instructor - they are a great team. Their site touted amazing success stories with children and adults in five consecutive day sessions. That's right, Conrad said he could teach anyone how to swim in five days. *side eye*

So. First day of my sessions with Conrad, I was a few minutes late. I walk in and there were five ladies in the pool. As I prepare to join them, I notice a woman on the side of the pool, in tears. Like, for real crying. Terrified to get in the water. She joins us. We spend 60 minutes in the pool learning how to kick and "swim" from one side of the shallow end to other - all of us, including the curvy curly who was afraid. Hot damn, I was swimming! Then Conrad informs us that this is the last day we'll spend in the shallow end. Huh? Whatchutalkingbout Willis?! He reaffirms that we will, in fact be in the deep end moving forward. *rolls eyes*

Over the next four days, Conrad worked with us on breathing, floating, treading and arms. By Friday we were swimming from one end of the pool to the other. Victory! I was in 10 feet of water, swimming and floating, feeling weightless and free. It was not easy. The most challenging part was getting out of my head and reversing a lifetime of thinking about the "evil water". I did it though, and man listen, you get what you pay for! I will likely take more classes with Conrad to master some things, but for the first time in my life, I look forward to actually swimming at some pool parties this summer.

Thank you, Conrad and Londa!

xo

Lila

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the right coast. the right stuff. the right time.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Washington, DC for Blogger Week's UnConference. I was able to rub elbows with some amazing creatives and I made a few new blogger boos too! Springtime in the capital city offers an amazing climate and some of the most culturally rich energy in the country. I didn't want to leave!

The UnConference was several days of teleconferencing, networking and break-out sessions on topics like; building your brand, how to drive traffic, and collaborating with other bloggers. Meeting veteran bloggers, Yalanda P. Lattimore of dryerbuzz.com and Candice VanWye of browngirlbloggers.com were two of the week's highlights for me. Yalanda and Candice have the kind of online presence that I aspire to. Being able to glean nuggets from them was priceless.

I returned from Blogger Week feeling as excited and inspired as I was when I started Curvy Girls N Curls. I encourage neophytes and seasoned bloggers to attend conferences and events that put you in the same room as leaders in this arena. You will leave invigorated and nourished with nuggets from folks who thrive in the blogosphere.

Here is a big thank you shout out to Jessica Ann Mitchell for organizing a fantastic weekend with great content. Salute!

xx

Lila

#sundayhappy

Good morning curvy curlies! I hope you all have a self-care activity planned for yourself that is engergizing and relaxing at the same time. My day started with yoga and devotion. Namaste and praise the Lord!

Sundays are one of the happiest days of the week for me. I know lots of folks view them as the party's over/end of the weekend, but I see Sunday as a new beginning. Sundays give us another opportunity to start something. To dream a new dream. To plan and execute that dream - you know what I mean? Just think of all the good stuff that happens on Sundays; worship, family time, reflection, football, and Mad Men! How do you not love all of that?!

One of the things I do to care for myself on Sunday, is organize my wardrobe for the coming week. This may seem like a bit of a chore, but having your outfits prepped and ready to grab, is an essential self-care activity. It relieves early morning stress, allows for a couple more winks of shut eye, and makes me feel empowered to take on the work week. It forces me to organize my thoughts and consider my professional and social commitments. Sound corny? I dare you to try it.

Perhaps your Sunday happy comes in the form of a boozy brunch, or a good book and hot tea, or your kid's softball game. Whatever it entails, I encourage you to be present for every second of it. I'd love to hear about it!

xx

Lila

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obedience is better than sacrifice

Hi curvy curlies! I've been spring-breaking and getting some much needed rest. Thanks to all of you for your support. Your follows, likes, comments and #curygirlsncurls tags bless me real good! I love you.

I just wanted to take a second to encourage you to listen to your inner advisor. You know, that something tugging at you to make a phone call or pray for someone or pass out hugs just because. Actually, do more than listen, OBEY those spirit urgings. Even (especially) the ones that tell you to move on or disengage because a threat to your safety and/or psyche is near. 

The last couple of days I have been compelled to implore the Creator on behalf of my family, friends, followers and colleagues. I mean, I do this daily, but I have felt lead to do this in a more intimate way. It is one thing to tell someone you'll remember them in prayer, but to actually stop what you are doing and go before the throne - man, that can be life changing! Folks are walking around smiling on the outside and dying on the inside. A voice touch in prayer might be the catalyst for change. Listen. Obey. Don't miss the opportunity to be a light.

xx

Lila

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love is its own reward

  1. is kind
  2. forgives
  3. attracts more of itself
  4. strengthens (giver/receiver)
  5. transforms where it resides
  6. protects - fiercely
  7. cultivates selflessness 
  8. heals
  9. feels good
  10. is God

xx

Lila

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season of my sisters

In honor of Women's History Month, I spent the weekend celebrating ladies I admire! I am fortunate enough to know some of the flyest, most creative and wise women on the planet. I am eternally blessed to have been invited to share their energy space over the last couple of days. 

I spent Saturday getting life nuggets from Nicole Caldwell at the book signing for TODAY, her new release. TODAY is Nicole's book of affirmations, with space to journal your feelings, reflections and thoughts. I am truly inspired by Nik's quiet tenacity in manfesting this idea. This is just the latest in a long string of entrepreneurial acheivements. Nik is also the CEO and founder of Just Glam Cosmetics.

Sunday I had the pleasure of breaking bread and vocalizing dreams with one of my mentors and tech guru, Beverly Jackson. This lady lives the life I dream of. She travels the world. Encourages others. Speaks her truth in fierce confidence and her heart is as big as the world she works to change.

I wrapped the weekend with some retail therapy at Robbi Knight-Beasley's trunk show. I had to really pace myself, because I could have walked away with half of her inventory! Robbi beads more celebrity arms than I have room to list here. Her pieces are pretty, unique and they are all handcrafted with love. 

There is something about having your soul nourished by your girlfriends. I feel excited and eager about what the future (near and far) holds for us.  I claim more than the month of March, I decalre this decade as the "season of my sisters"!

xx

Lila

 

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still resolved?

Hi curvy curlies! These first two months have been an amazing start to the New Year. I have lived to celebrate another bornday, worked my eighth GRAMMYs awards show, and things are manifesting for CGNC, that I never dreamed of! The Creator is so faithful! 

I thought I would do a quick check-in with you to offer encouragement and to seek some for myself - I could really use it. I love coffee and I gave up all things caffeine on January 8. The benefits of this life change have been tremendous and swift. My body seems to be happy that I gave up that delicious, aromatic, energy stirring, warm with a shot of cream, elixir. I miss it so, but the havoc it was wreaking on my sleep patterns and hormonal spikes was BANANAS. It dawned on me, if I could give up something I enjoy this much, I can make other adjustments that will contribute to my love of self. 

I am resolved that living my best life includes the following:

  • Feeding my spirit all things LOVE.
  • Saying no, without explanation.
  • Eliminating anything in my diet that does not nourish my entire being.
  • Understanding my wanting to lose a pound or two does not diminish or negate my brand and what I stand for.

I hope you'll join me and create your own (fluid) list of self-love tactics.

xx

Lila

ftfo!

That's what Stuart Scott did until the Creator called him home last Sunday. It's remarkable how our lives can be impacted by folks in front of a television camera. 

I was (reluctantly) introduced to Stuart's charm, years ago by a male friend who insisted on watching Sports Center. After listening to his flow for a couple of minutes, I was all in! I've always been a sports lover, but listening to Stuart's blow by blow was as entertaining as any game he was recapping. The vernacular he used made me feel like I was chatting with the homie. The very cute, smart, well dressed homie. Ijs. Stu was kinda fOine, but I digress...

After learning of Stuart's health challenges, I came to admire his strength, tenacity and faith. He worked hard, loved his family hard, trained hard and fought hard. His passion for sports and determination to LIVE in the face of cancer was heroic. He said "eff cancer!" every time he picked up a jump rope or put on a boxing glove or showed up for work. The sadness I feel about his transition is palpable. I know his body is free from disease, but this hurts. 

We miss and love you, Stuart. Rest in paradise, brother. Show the angels that cooler than the other side of the pillow swag. Boo ya forever!

xx

Lila

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absolutely resolved

Happy New Year curvy curlies! I am so excited to walk into the new year with amazing spillover from the last. The creative revolutionist in me broke out in 2014. In 2015 I will continue to pursue the expression of my consciousness and I am already looking forward to realizing a HUGE dream in 2016.

I don't believe in resolutions for the new year, but I subscribe to the philosophy that everyday is another chance to think higher, start a business, try a new workout routine, read a book (or write one). To practice mindful awareness. To accept and love ourselves. To appreciate the power of prayer. To stand in the gap for our brothers and sisters. To be open to love.

I'm going to take this life thing day by day and continue to create spaces of good energy. I will embrace every opportunity to practice forgiveness. And I will  apply the lessons I receive, daily.

Let's get what's ours and enjoy the journey these next 12 months.

Love you. Mean it. 

LIla

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identity politics

The beauty of creating my own blog is having a space to express my opinions on things I adore, dislike and/or am troubled by.  The beauty of having been on this earth for four decades and having a blog, is the comfort and freedom in said expression, even when my opinions do not line up with everyone else's. This might be one of those blogs...

I've already indicated my age, so I think it’s safe to say there aren’t many personalities that I haven’t encountered; Mr. Johnny Come Lately, Mr. Know It All, Mr. Fence Straddler (aka take no stance), and Mr. Privileged (and Mrs.) run me all the way low - they move through this world in a detached, self-absorbed bubble, completely nescient to issues that do not directly touch their homes or lives – which is crazy because we are all in this thing together. BUT let me not be sidetracked.  What irks me to the core about some of these privileged folk is, so much of it is pseudo privilege anyway.  Like, you really believe you are smarter than/superior to because you have access to some things that don’t even belong to you. Child please.

Then there’s Mr. & Mrs. Culture Jacker. They love the music, the food, the energy, the "movement", etc. But listen, when the ish hits the fan, they goeS completely mute. Where's all that down for the cause, sis/bro stuff when it really matters?! And in case you don't know when it really matters, it matters, really, when our men and boys are being killed without consequence. It matters when there are calls for action that require cross cultural involvement. 

I have been sitting on these words for a couple of weeks because I was hoping to have a strategy to accompany my rant. The best I can offer is to start with me - my authentic, human loving self. I do not have an identity crisis. I stand for what is right and fair. I stand for justice for all of my brothers and sisters. I stand for civil rights. I stand for being the change I want to see. This may all sound cliché-ish, but I don't care. We all play a role in this show. This is it folks, the curtain is up!

xx

Lila

 

hair and the city - natural hair, that is

I love natural hair, I love the natural hair community, I love LA., and when all of these things collide - eureka!

Last Saturday was the grand opening of Tru Mane Beauty Supply "The Natural Spot" in Inglewood, Ca. Tru Mane offers some of the best products from local and national retailers. Los Angeles naturalistas looking for LRC, Shea Moisture, Inspired Beauty, Original Moxxie and TGIN can find them on the shelves of Tru Mane, centrally located on Market Street, in the heart of Inglewood. 

Tru Mane's grand opening, hosted by the lovely Jana'e Michelle, was a fun event where Natural hair bloggers, product founders and fashionistas came together to celebrate and network.

Angela Barnes is the visionary of Tru Mane. She credits her daughter's journey back to natural hair and the challenges in finding products as the catalyst for this dream, now realized.

Angela Barnes, we salute you! Thank you for pursuing your business goals and inspiring us to do the same!

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LRC, CGNC, Angela Barnes and Naturally Curly Kinky

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Naturally Curly Kinky & CGNC

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Naturally Curly Kinky interviewing the gentlemen of LRC

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@tightstrands @trumane_natural @fashionfatima @curvygirlsncurls & @ikedentertainment (IG)

be the change you want to see

Hi curvy curlies! I trust you are well. I've been indulging in holiday treats, buying black and decking my halls with Christmas cheer.

Over the last few days, I have had several discussions about the #fergusondecision and how "we" should respond. In the spirit of transparency, I will admit, I am conflicted on a few levels.

I believe the grand jury's decision was RIDICULOUS and another reminder of how worthless the lives of brown boys are, in this country. I comprehend the outrage demonstrated in MO, but I DO NOT condone the destruction of our businesses/communities/property. On the other hand, I do know, when a powder keg is sparked, it BLOWS!

I've seen a lot of posts and heard  chatter about boycotting "black friday" and "buying black" on cyber Monday. Come Tuesday morning, what's the plan?

Supporting small, black businesses for Christmas gifts and cute baubles is one thing, but how do we organize and strategize to (continue) recycling  our dollars and build? Build sustainable models of success that include; co-ops, academic and financial institutions, exemplary customer service, and quality goods. And to be clear, encouraging my folk to recycle dollars by investing in us, is not intrinsically anti-white. It is simply, pro-black. I want to have a real dialogue about this.

Thoughts?  

xx

Lila