Authentik Beauty Magazine
|Posted on September 12, 2016 at 6:20 PM||comments (147)|
How to be Pretty
By, Cassandra George Sturges
What does it mean to look pretty? Looking pretty means wearing clothes, shoes, makeup, and hairstyles that honor, glorify and respect the body that you have at this precious moment in time. Some women dress for the body that they wish they had after gaining or losing weight or after having cosmetic surgery done. In this article, I will give you a few simple tips on how to feel better about your appearance and look pretty now at your current age, size, and weight.
Before we dive into a few tips on how to be pretty; first and foremost, I would like for you to look within your own spirit and define what pretty means to you; who you are trying to attract, impress, or keep.
Whenever we want something, we have an outcome in our mind that helps us acknowledge when we have accomplished our desired goal. Many young women want to be pretty because they want random men and women to find them attractive. They measure how pretty they are by how many catcalls, compliments, and stares they receive from others.
If this is the type of pretty you are aiming for—this article is not going to help you because you are seeking external validation to fill an empty void in your self-esteem. This type of “fleeting pretty” is based on social media trends of beauty, hairstyle, makeup, cosmetic surgery, and dieting. This superficial illusion of pretty will attract people in your life who will make you feel even more insecure about your body image and self-esteem.
But if you want to be the best version of yourself, just know that the accessories that adorn your body are complimenting your internal attitude of love, compassion, kindness, and gratitude.
Sometimes we are simply stuck in a fashion rut and we are looking for beauty and fashion tips to express completing high school, being a new mother, getting married, graduating from college, starting a new job. Changing our image is like making changes to our earth suit that complements our new mission that is an external validation of internal self-worth.
I think this article can give you a few old-school reminders of beauty tips on how to be pretty.
Find a hairstyle that makes you look attractive. Sometimes as women, we see a particular hairstyle on a model, actress, or celebrity and we take this picture to our beautician and ask her to style our hair to just like the picture. The best thing to do is to find a picture of a person with a hairstyle that you love; whose head and face has a similar shape as your own.
Before you commit to a haircut, buy a wig with a similar style. The hairstyle should flatter you and your lifestyle. Don’t get a haircut that would be difficult or expensive for you to keep up while working and or going to school. If you look in the mirror and you have to talk yourself into liking the hairstyle—this is not the look that you are going for. When you look at yourself—you should feel immediately “pretty.”
Go shopping for clothes by yourself and find clothing that complement the figure that you have. Sometimes well-meaning friends and family don’t want to hurt our feelings and talk us into buying clothes that deep down inside we know do not look good on us; but if you can be honest with yourself you know when an outfit does not make you feel attractive. The rule is – if you have to talk yourself into wearing it for any reason—put it back. You should feel like it was made especially for you.
Place a beautiful flower, feather or barrette in your hair. I have never seen a woman no matter her age or size that did not look graceful and beautiful with the perfect flower in her hair.
Find a neutral beige or light pink nail polish for your fingers and toes. A polished manicure and pedicure screams to the world that you take time out of your schedule to nurture your body. Make sure that you change your nail polish as soon as it starts to chip. If you have very little time for yourself, wear a clear color nail polish, but keep your nails cut and shaped neatly.
Select a sheer lip-gloss that is simple and sweet. You may find a lipstick color that compliments your skin tone, but if you want to look soft and pretty, it’s best to find a tinted lip gloss or a matte lipstick if you feel the need for color on your lips. I think that looking "pretty" is a softer look than looking beautiful. Pretty is more of an everyday look and beautiful is more of a special occasion look, in my opinion.
Wear mascara and a little eyeliner. Find a soft fragrance similar to baby power or something mild and innocent that smells clean and fresh when you walk by. Sometimes all you need is a scented body wash that will make you feel pretty and fresh all day long. Oil of Olay makes my favorite body washes; not only do they smell good, it really cleans and moisturizes my skin.
Sometimes as women, we think that we want to look like another woman whom we believe to be more physically attractive than we are. However, what we really want is to look and feel pretty in our own skin. Selecting a few of the ideas in this article can help you enhance the natural beauty that you already possess.
I spent most of my life wishing that I had bigger breasts or wishing that I could lose weight, and hating my dark skin. Now that I am in my fifties, I look back and think to myself—I would have loved myself more if I had known that it was going to be downhill from here. I know there are millions of people in this world who would give anything to have a healthy body that can see, hear, walk, and run.
One day when I am ninety-years-old, I am going to look back at my 50-year-old body and think ‘wow, those gray hairs weren’t that bad. I was smoking hot back then.’ If I am going to appreciate my body 40 years from now, I might as well appreciate it now.
|Posted on September 3, 2016 at 3:25 PM||comments (0)|
Life Hack-- Life Lesson When to Change Lanes
One life hack, Life lesson that I have learned is that when there is an obstruction in traffic, the best thing for me to do is get over as safely and quickly as possible before alerting other drivers by turning on my blinker.
Every time I turn on my blinker, an ambush of cars driving behind me get over and I find myself trapped begging to get over.
I think this is a metaphor for everyday life. In some way I think all of us, are asking for permission to get over whether it is in our relationships, dreams, or jobs.
Sometimes when I am in the opposite position, I don’t let people over because I am in a hurry to get where I am going and there is no malicious intent on my behalf. I am assuming that the majority of people feel like me—it’s not personal but letting you get in front of me slows me down.
Some people will let you over, but God-forbid you forget to thank them—but even when you do thank them—you feel like it’s not enough. They act as if you owe them your first-born son. These people represent the people who take advantage of other people’s hard work and talent. They have the, “I-made-you,” mentality.
They either say or imply—if it were not for me—you wouldn’t be where you are today. These are the people who try to make others feel like they owe them for all of eternity. Their mantra is: “Remember who’s your daddy—remember who let you in—if it weren’t for me you would be still stuck on the side of the road begging for a hand out.”
The life lesson, life hack from this scenario is: Be careful of who you allow to help you in life. How much of your soul and dignity would you be willing to sacrifice to get in the fast lane-- Yes, it may be moving faster-but would you be better off traveling in the slow lane and waiting your turn?
Sometimes we need to wait. Waiting behind the bus, may give you an opportunity to calm down and think about what you really want to say to your boss or mate. It may give you an opportunity to think about what you really want out of life. Sometimes we don’t need to rush over—we need to stay in our lanes.
I remember a few years ago, a driver wanted to pass me but I was unable to let that person get over. The driver was so angry at me, that when he had the opportunity to get over, he or she rushed pass me and flipped their car completely over landing on its hood on the side of the road. I prayed for that person with all of my heart.
The other life lesson on the opposite side of this coin is that when you help other people or let them in—just know that they don’t owe you anything. If they nod or wave their, hand to thank you it is a kind gesture-- but it is not a necessity; and it is not a reflection of their moral character. They may be on their way to work, or late for a doctor’s appointment, or maybe they just learned that they have cancer. It’s not personal. We should give people the grace and karma that we want in return.
The lesson I have learned is that sometimes, I need to look carefully and change lanes without signaling to others because it is the best way for me to accomplish my goals and dreams. Sometimes whether I have the blinker on or off, I can’t find the safe space to get over, so I search my radio for a good song that I can blast until it’s my turn.
Sometimes the grace is in waiting.
|Posted on August 29, 2016 at 12:30 AM||comments (0)|
What Men Secretly Want
“Southside with You” Movie Review
My daughter and I went to see the movie, “Southside with You” a movie about the first date with President Barack Obama and his wife, gorgeous wife, First Lady, Michelle Obama.
I thought the movie was too short. The actor Parker Sawyers who portrayed President Obama and the beautiful actress, Tika Sumpter , who portrayed First Lady Michelle Obama did an excellent job capturing the idiosyncrasies of the President and First Lady.
The dialogue in the movie is juicy, intelligent, and inspiring.
My daughter did not want to see the move but enjoyed it very much. She said that the movie made her sad because the universe does not create men like President Obama anymore--men who are willing to woo and fight for a woman’s love and trust. She said men today don’t want a challenge—they just want to sleep with you—not date you. And when you deny them sex they give up quickly to pursue the girl who will give him what he wants without a challenge.
One of the lessons that life has taught me is that what men secretly want is a challenge because they are hunters. The mightier the beast, the bigger the game, the more they have to go through to conquer and win their prey-- the deeper they fall in love with who they are as man—and this act of self-love bubbles over into everything in his life—especially the woman who helped him find and discover the greatness within himself.
Men secretly want a woman who tells him the truth no matter how much it stings because as human beings we all grow, evolve, and learn from each other’s truth.
Men secretly want a woman to decline sex early in the relationship so that his heart, his manhood, and his mind can have enough time to align with his truest intentions for you.
Men secretly want a woman who believes in her own self-worth enough to leave him if he does not prove himself to be worthy of her love. People have a tendency to abuse and misuse things that they don’t feel like they deserve.
Men secretly want a woman who honors, supports, and respects the highest version of who he is as a man regardless of the his financial status. He wants a woman to see the wealth in his character, not his bank account as this was beautifully illustrated on the first date of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in the movie “SouthSide of You.”
Men secretly want a woman to see the wealth in his character, not his bank account as this was beautifully illustrated on the first date of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in the movie “SouthSide of You.”
|Posted on May 2, 2016 at 10:30 PM||comments (0)|
By Cassandra George Sturges
My mother would always say, “People in this world will make you or break you.” When I was a know-it-all-teenager, I remember arguing with my mother about not letting people change who you are as a person.
Every time my mother said that I would cringe and say to her, “How could you let other people’s words and actions change who you are. It is so weak minded and pathetic.” My mother would say, keep living, you are still wet behind ears without a pot to piss in and window to throw it out of.”
I have always been a, what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of person. Honest to a flaw. Talk wayyyy too much. Always telling my business, my hopes, and my dreams to anybody who would listen. I never assumed for a single moment that people would try to exploit me or take my ideas. I thought these type of people only existed in movies and on television.
So I am shopping in Joann’s Fabric store—right? My favorite place in the world and the cashier checking me out asks, “So what are you making?”
I told her everything that I was working on with so much joy and enthusiasm in my voice, I sounded like Will Ferrel in the movie Elf.
After I finished, I asked her—so what are you working on and she said, “I am not telling anyone because I don’t want someone to steal my idea before I have a chance to execute it myself.” She said it as if she was appalled and disgusted by my audacity to ask her such a private and personal question.
I was stunned by her answer. This was two years ago. Since then I have copyrighted the Jungle Beauty Goddess series and artwork with the Library of Congress.
I have since stopped talking about my dreams with anyone. The people who resonant with me will find me.
The one thing that I have learned is that since I have stopped talking about my dreams to other people, I am able to accomplish more in less time. I think that the passionate energy that I would normally give away by talking too much—I now take that exuberant energy and pour it into my dreams.
And since the only other being, I am communicating with is my muse—we have developed a more profound relationship that allows me to hear and see my ideas clearer.
When people ask me, what am I working on I say… oh nothing just playing around to see what comes to me.
While meditating, I had a vision for a no sew, no glue Jungle Beauty Goddess doll clothes collection with original patterns. After the retrograde ends May 22, 2016, I will release the patterns and how to YouTube series.
Silence is golden. My mother was right. I don’t think that people break or make you into something less—I think people chisel you into unveiling the gifts inside of you-- so that you are able to un-apologetically express who you were meant to be.
|Posted on April 25, 2016 at 1:35 AM||comments (0)|
Prince Committed Suicide
By Cassandra George Sturges
Just a week or so prior to hearing of the news of Prince’s escape from his Earth suit, I told my students that unlike, Tupac Shakur, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, and Kurt Cobain—Prince was not going to be an iconic legend because he was going to live to be an old man. I made jokes using an old man voice about how Prince would be singing “Little Red Corvette” with a cane barely shuffling across the stage to an audience who barely knew who he was.
I told my students that legends die young, in order to become immortal. For example, I always thought Elizabeth Taylor was much more beautiful than Marilyn Monroe was. However, Elizabeth Taylor’s iconic beauty faded with age and by the time she died we had forgotten about how stunningly gorgeous she was. Marilyn Monroe died in her prime and time captured the essence of her beauty and made her immortal. You can see pictures of her on t-shirts, bags, and posters at most department stores as if time stood still.
I wonder if Prince’s soul overheard me making jokes about him living to be an old and forgotten super star, and he said “F—k you Cassandra. I am seizing my eternal space in time alongside the other irreplaceable iconic legends.”
I am writing this for me, so this may get a little long. So if you need to stop reading, please do so with grace. I need to tell this story.
When people die, society tells us how we are supposed to feel. Employers only pay for time off for deaths in your immediate family. God forbid you are devastated by the loss of anyone else. When someone dies, who is not a part of our immediate family—(who we are expected to and allowed to grieve over)—we have to tell stories to establish with others how much that person meant to us—otherwise people think we are faking sadness or seeking unwarranted sympathy from others.
So this is my scale of grieving: Sniffles, Cold, Flu, and Pneumonia. I have a cold. I am able to function. I am not missing sleep—but I am deeply sad—like an overcast day, a slight headache, or period cramps. I never met Prince. We have never texted. But, I love him. Always will.
Prince’s music is the soundtrack to the first quarter of my life. No body played Prince like the Detroit D-Jay the Electrifying Mo-Jo. Mo-Jo would tell his listeners to hang on and tie a knot when things got tough because he would say: “Remember ain’t Nobody Bad Like you.” Just typing this gives me chills.
I first fell in love with Prince while listening to, “I Wanna be Your Lover.” Although I think Prince was an attractive man, I never thought of him in a romantic or erotic way. Prince exuded authenticity, and raw, unapologetic, artistic self-expression—that clearly stated—“I don’t care what you think of me. I am who I am. Love it or leave it.”
In the mid 1980’s, when it was announced on the news that Prince was coming to Detroit, my brother and I immediately left to go stand in line at the Masonic Temple downtown Detroit to purchase tickets to see his concert three nights in a row. When we got there, people were already lined up around midnight and the ticket office did not open until 8 or 9 AM in the morning. My brother and I slept on the ground with other Prince fans overnight on the cement waiting to get tickets. We got tickets.
The first night when I first saw Prince, I nearly fainted. His stage performance astounded me. He was worth sleeping on the ground and standing in the long line to see him in concert. There is no other entertainer whom I have felt the least bit inspired-- to go to this length to see in concert.
While struggling to accept Prince’s death, of course, I am listening to his song, “Let’s Go Crazy” and I realize that Prince committed suicide.
In his lyrics he states,
So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything'll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby
'Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the after world
In this life
You're on your own
And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy, punch a higher floor."
Who dies in an elevator? Prince punched a higher floor—H for heaven. I believe that his Earth suit had completed its mission. He did what he came to earth to do. He gave his all and then some more.
Of course, I wish Prince was still here on Earth with me—but I understand that it was his time to go-- because Prince is an Iconic Legend who was destined to shine among the Stars.
|Posted on April 12, 2016 at 2:10 AM||comments (0)|
Ok let's be honest, it's after 2 AM and I need to go to bed and get ready to teach my 9 AM class. I have not done my taxes and today is April 12, 2016. I have 40 papers to grade and over 200 assignments to grade for my online classes. I must be insane to be writing you now.
Shonda Rhimes, I know you are not going to read this because I am not insulting gay people or protesting to save Jake's life or complaining about the plot line of Scandal.
I am assuming that you are human and between projects you surf the Internet like most somewhat normal people.
I am hoping that one night when you can't sleep you Google yourself as far back as you can before sleep take over and read this.
I just want you to know that this season of Scandal is Delicious beyond description. I have watched the episode where Liv kills ex Vice President Andrew maybe 10 times or more.
(One of my favorite episodes was when Liv asked Cyrus, "Who are you, Cyrus?" and he chants back , "I am one of the most powerful men in the world!" This reminds of a Shakespeare play. I have seen this episode too many times to count, I found it deeply inspiring.)
Back to last Thursday, night April 7, 2016, When Liv and Fitz hugged--even with the blood on her face--- my heart melted.The chemistry between them is soul-stirring.
It has come to my attention that you see an ending for Scandal and I am much to busy to grieve the devastation of this news. My family has desperatedly tried to keep this news from me because they knew I wouldn't take it well.
So, umh... I don't want you to write something that is unenjoyable for you--- but I want you to know that I have never ever ever ever loved any show the way I love Scandal.
So maybe you could write a movie each year with updates on their lives-- like Sex in the City? I hope that Olivia marries Fitz?
Anyway, I just want you to know that I love you so much and that I am so happy that I continued to watch Scandal when Olivia was captured ( I hate that season- but now I understand why.)
I think you are a beautiful and amazing woman. I thank God for your amazing gift and talent.
I really need to go to bed-- but I wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you for an amazing season of Scandal on behalf of all Scandal fans.
Cassandra George Sturges
|Posted on March 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM||comments (0)|
Fifty Shades of Grey Spiritual Lessons
By Cassandra George Sturges
Fifty Shades of Grey is probably my favorite book in the world—but not for the reasons that most people may think. Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele’s sexual relationship was mildly entertaining to me. It’s not that I am a prude—it was simply just sex—how many mammals emotionally connect and reproduce—a necessary part of the book that demonstrates their electrical chemical attraction for each other. The real magic is in the love-story and I am a love-story fanatic.
What astounded me was the self-transformational journey through the healing power of true unconditional love. Although Anastasia was financially poor, untraveled, and lacked sexual experience—she was emotionally and psychologically rich. Christian’s love gave Anastasia an opportunity to see how strong and wise she really was. On the other hand, Christian was financially wealthy, had been everywhere, owned everything—but his soul was broken and empty. Anastasia’s love allowed Christian to express his vulnerability and heal his childhood wounds.
There were several spiritual lessons that resonated with me in Fifty Shades of Grey that I want to share with you.
Fifty Shades of Grey Spiritual Lesson # 1: Wanting More is a Good Thing
Anastasia’s desire for “more” tugged at the depths of my soul. All humans have a desire for more in some area of their life. Some people want more health, more friends, more children, more fun, more love, more money, more homes, more cars, more clothes, more hit records, more business opportunities, more acting roles,— I could go on forever.
Wanting More is not a small thing. In fact, it is your soul telling you not to settle for less than you deserve. It is your soul reminding you that you are worth more; and that your current situation is not in alignment with your true value.
If you are not earning the money or respect that, you feel that you deserve on your job—you probably have a voice that is telling you every day that you deserve more. Listen to that voice. Update your resume. Start applying for a new job today.
If your More voice is begging you to go back to school to get a degree or learn a trade—take heed. This is your soul telling you that you have more to contribute to yourself and society. It is pushing you to be all that you can be.
The most important thing you can do is make sure that you define what more means for you. It means something different to every human on the planet. If you don’t know what type of More you are really looking for –you won’t recognize it when it comes.
Anastasia knew what she wanted. She didn’t want more clothes, cars, or money. She wanted Christian to open up to her. She wanted him to talk to her. She wanted to touch him. She wanted to wake up next to him. She wanted him to respect her body by not using physical force during lovemaking.
If you don’t know what your “More” is—you won’t know when you find it. I love Anastasia’s determination to never accept less than the “More” that she deserves.
Fifty Shades of Grey Spiritual Lesson # 2: We are all Virgins
Christian and Anastasia were both virgins in different ways. Christian had had sex with many women; but his heart was still a virgin. Spiritually and psychologically, in my opinion, he was more of a virgin than Anastasia. Due to the childhood abuse and neglect afflicted upon him as a young child and the sexual abuse that he experienced as a teenager, an emotional wall protected his heart.
Christian gave women material things such as money, clothes, and cars—so that he wouldn’t have to give them what really mattered—his heart. His love. His trust.
Anastasia was a goddess in waiting. She wasn’t sexually active—not because she was afraid of sex—but the exact opposite. She knew her feminine worth. She wanted intimacy on her terms, with someone that she selected—not some guy who selected her.
If Anastasia had been sexually experienced, I think, like many women, she may have been jaded about men, love, and relationships. Her innocence allowed her to see through the walls surrounding Christian’s heart. Brick by brick—she took Christian’s virginity.
In so many ways, all humans are virgins. The virginity spiritual lesson from Fifty Shades of Grey is to be very cautious about whom you give your virginity to for two reasons: you can never ever get it back; and it will shade your view of the circumstances for the rest of your life.
For example, if you have a friend that you trusted with a secret and they betrayed you—you will never quite look at friendship the same again.
Being a virgin is a spiritual gift. I am referring to all new meaningful life experiences. The secret to giving your virginity away to the right person is knowing that –no matter what the outcome is—you would never want to take that moment back. Be keenly aware of why you are participating in any activity. What do you expect to gain? What are you risking?
Fifty Shades of Grey Spiritual Lesson # 3:
Are you Sleeping Together or “Sleeping” Together
Christian admitted to Anastasia that he had “slept” with several women—but he always “slept” alone in his own bed.
We are never more vulnerable than when we are sleeping. When my children were babies, I watched them sleep. Now that my children are adults, when given the opportunity—I watch them sleep. It’s strange but I want to make sure that they are breathing. If I happen to wake up during the night, I make sure my significant other is breathing.
In many ways, actually sleeping with a person is more intimate and precious than having sexual intercourse with them. When you sleep with someone, you trust him or her to keep your deepest and darkest secrets. If you happen to say or do, something incriminating in your sleep-- you trust that that person will still love you in the morning.
You are never more vulnerable than when you are asleep; and therefore you must trust that the person lying next to you will not, rape, rob, or murder you. Right?
The spiritual lesson in Fifty Shades of Grey about sleeping with someone is that—Sometimes it may appear that a person is giving you everything—but the truth is—they are giving you nothing at all if they don’t trust you. In addition, if they don’t trust you—then what you are sharing with them is meaningless.
|Posted on March 6, 2016 at 10:00 AM||comments (0)|
Can We Really Change our Race and Gender?
This is a very delicate topic. One of things that I find difficult about the mainstream media is that they seem to force people to take extreme positions of right or wrong, as opposed to analyzing layers of truth in between.
I don’t have a problem with Bruce Jenner referring to himself as Caitlyn Jenner or Rachel Dolezal, the women who is white who is portrays herself as being African American. I don’t feel that anyone has a right to force their beliefs onto another person—but can this line go both ways.
When I was a little girl, I asked my father to paint me white. I told my father that everybody hate black people. My father cried and said, “Momma, don’t you want to look like the people who love you the most in this world?”
Back in the early 1970s, I wanted to be white because they seemed to have everything. All of my favorite television show characters were white— I loved the Brady Bunch, I had a serious crush on Bill Bixby on the courtship of Eddie’s Father. Although, I lived in a primarily black neighborhood, most of my teachers were white, my doctors were white, --and all of the people whom I interacted with some type of “authority or power”— were white.
As a dark skinned, little black girl, my cousins called me blacky. They told me that I would be much prettier if it were not for my skin color. The kids in school teased me about my dark brown skin color. I tried not to play in the sun, hoping this would lighten my skin complexion—but it didn’t.
I could not understand why my daddy couldn’t see why I needed to be painted white.
The journey of self-discovery and self-love that life inflicted upon me was the purpose of my soul’s incarnation.
My skin color is not what makes me black. What makes me black is what the world assumes about me—when they see my skin color. What makes me black is the stories my father told me about waking up in the morning in the deep south to see his family members and neighbors hanging from lynching posts that he showed me when I was a little girl. My mother telling me stories of watching the KKK march through the streets of Selma, Alabama.
My mother told me that the most hurtful thing of all was being able to recognize the voices and the shoes of the KKK members covered with sheets. She said most of the KKK members were the people they bought groceries from and other so-called respectful people in the community—who smiled in their faces and spoke to them on a daily bases.
Growing up, neighbors egged our family home and wrote on the sidewalk Niggers Go Back to Africa.
Now that I think about it—I don’t know if the white paint would have made my stay on earth more tolerable.
There is a collective experience to being white that I now understand that I could never relate to. My boyfriend of 20-years who is white has a way of interacting with the world that stills blow my mind. If a sign says: Do not walk on the grass; he will walk on the grass slowly and without guilt. While crossing the street if the light is red, he will walk across the street daring cars to hit him. He says, Sandy, “I am the Goddamn pedestrian. I have the right of way. They hit me. They go to jail.”
I feel like if someone hits me, I am dead, and no one will care—maybe even if the light was green.
I live in a world where people who share shades of my skin color are discriminated against. These experiences have shaped my worldview and self-perception beyond my comprehension.
When I read the story of how enslaved African mothers were required to nurse their master’s children and there was no milk left in their breasts to feed their own children. I sobbed in the Henry Ford Community College library. I cried myself to sleep for three nights .This made an indelible mark on my identity as a black woman. I don’t know if this story would have tugged at my soul with the same fervor if I had been born white or a man.
Nature made me a woman. She provided me with a female reproductive system that allowed me to give birth to my children, nurse them, and a monthly period. However, my gender identity and development as a little girl who grew into a woman started outside of my consciousness.
Society and my parents gave me a gender role script on how little girls are supposed to conduct themselves; what colors to wear, how to sit…etc. Unlike my two brothers, they told me that it was okay for me to cry when I hurt myself or because I was sad over a commercial. Not to mention, numerous speeches about what it means to be a “young lady as opposed to a “slut.” The gender role script of femininity is ancient, and yet still evolving-- is such a powerful paradigm of reality that defines womanhood to its victims and victors.
I yearned for the same curfew privileges as my brothers, but my parents proclaimed, “Young ladies with class should be home by a reasonable time.” My job was to fold laundry and wash the dishes. My brothers were required to do yard work and take out the garbage. I got to sit in the front seat and get a $1.50 more in allowance because I was their little sister.
I read the book, “Are you There God, It’s Me Margaret” and felt that the book was about me. I read it over and over and over again. I will never forget when my breasts first started to develop and I got my first period, and my first bra.
I don’t think it’s my hair, clothes, and lipstick that make me a woman. I don’t think it’s my skin color and hair texture that makes me African American. But I can say that… the things that I cannot change about myself have been my spiritual gifts to humanity.
I don’t know if I identify with being the female gender because I was born in a woman’s body or because I would have selected to play the role of a woman—no matter if I was born male or female. I don’t know if I would have chosen to be black or African American in a society where we have been enslaved and continue to struggle for equality.
Where am I going with this? I bet at some point Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Helen Keller wished upon a star that they could see again. Stephen Hawking probably wishes that he could walk again. What if life on this planet is not about changing our Earth Suits that our souls have chosen—but asking our souls what is the spiritual mission of this body—in this time—in this place?
|Posted on March 5, 2016 at 10:00 AM||comments (0)|
Spiritual Lessons from the Jessie Owens Biopic movie “Race”
By, Cassandra George Sturges
The movie Race gave an overview of the political, racial, and ethnic inequality issues surrounding Jesse Owen’s winning four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. What I found to be most interesting about Jesse Owens’ success was not the four gold medals that he won at the Olympics, but the personal choices he made that led to him becoming a world-class winner. In this article, I will discuss four spiritual lessons that I learned from this movie.
Spiritual Lesson # 1: Ignore the Background Noise
Some of my favorite scenes in the movie are when Jesse Owen’s character played by Stephan James is verbally attacked with racial slurs by his teammates in the locker room or on the field; his coach, Larry Snyder, played by Jason Sudeikis tells him to ignore them because it is only noise. I think even when the leader from the NAACP asked Owens not to participate in the Olympics to make a political statement against Hitler’s regime against the Jews—was just background noise. I am learning that when you are blessed with a gift or talent, your primary duty on this planet is to own, hone, and share it.
The more you listen to voices outside of your head, such as your family, teachers, friends, social media,… you become disconnected from your own truth. So, when you have an important decision to make, or people are teasing you, or trying to tell you what to do. Silence the background noise and listen to the small quiet voice within your spirit. You are the only person on this planet who knows the best course of action for your life goals.
Spiritual Lesson # 2:
Chose a Mate who Loves You with or without Money or Fame
In the movie Race, Jessie Owens had broken several records and was becoming a celebrity. One night he was out at a club with his friends and a glamorous woman whom his friends thought was out of their league; came over to the table and asked Jesse to dance with her. Of course, one thing led to another; they became a brief couple and word got back to his girlfriend after a photo of Jesse Owens and the glamorous woman together was released in the newspaper.
Before Jesse Owens became famous, he had promised his childhood girlfriend, who was also the mother of his child that he would marry her someday. When his childhood girlfriend learns about his affair with the glamorous woman, she broke off their relationship and threatened to sue him for breach of contract. Jesse ended his relationship with the glamorous woman and begged his childhood girlfriend, Minnie Ruth Solomon to marry him. They were married for 45-years until his death in 1980.
I believe that marrying his childhood girlfriend grounded his spirit because she loved him unconditionally. She loved him whether or not he won a race. She loved him with or without money. Sometimes when people acquire a certain level of success they date and marry people who would have never given them the time of day if they were not wealthy or famous. These new people—love the persona of who you have become—but not who you are. And because they don’t really know or love the real you; when it’s time to make the biggest decisions in your life their voices become a part of the background noise.
After Jesse married Ruth, he went to the Olympics and won four gold medals. But one of the reasons, I think he was able to focus on the Olympics and silence the racial hatred during this time period is because he know the real gold was already at home… his wife who had admired his since middle school.
Spiritual Lesson # 3: You are Your Actions
One of things that Jesse’s character said is that, when he was on the field running, he did not feel like his race mattered for those seconds because he felt alive. Whenever I am engaged in a task that I love, I feel immortal. I feel like I am one with creation.
When you are in alignment with your divine purpose, your race, gender, or sex will not be what people will remember for generations to come—people will remember the essence of you, the footprints of your soul on the timeline of human history.
Spiritual Lesson # 4: The Back Door is for the Brave
After Jesse Owens won the four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics, a dinner was held in his honor back home in the United States. The door attendant told Jesse that he could not allow him to enter the Hotel where the celebratory dinner was being held through the front door because he was black. Four-time Olympian Gold, Medalist, Jesse and his wife, Ruth were force to enter the hotel through the back door.
In my opinion, the front door can be over rated. It’s guarded by mainstream society’s ideals, values, and beliefs. It is symbolic of maintaining the status quo. However, the back door represents people who have found their own unique path to their dreams. Harriett Tubman took the back door all the way to the Underground Railroad.
In the movie, a young white boy, asked for Jesse’s autograph, at the back door. This could have been a Hollywood spin, but the point was that entering the backdoor did not dilute or diminish Jesse Owen’s accomplishments.
When you know who you are-- and why you are here-- take which ever door is open that will take you to your dreams.
|Posted on March 4, 2016 at 6:10 PM||comments (0)|
Shonda Rhimes Scandal is Lacking Love
By Cassandra George Sturges
Shonda Rhimes is the only person, I have ever tweeted a personal message. In fact, I learned how to tweet just so that I could tweet her an urgent, urgent message last season—I begged her not to kill Jake Ballard. I don’t think she read my tweet—but that’s not important—because Jake is still on the show. Whew!
I have never loved any show in my life, the way I love Scandal. I haven’t gone to therapy to figure out why—it just is what it is.
After watching last week’s, Scandal: Wildcard on February 25, 2016, I now understand why Scandal is not as entertaining to me as it was in the past seasons. I need 3 L’s in balance in order to be happy with a book, movie, or television series: Love, Lust, and Loyalty.
Scandal season 5 so far is saturated with Lust. Jake is fucking Olivia Pope or visa versa. Vice President Chief of Staff, Elizabeth North is banging Attorney General, David Rosen--who is giving it to, Vice President, Susan Ross. President Fitzgerald is screwing a reporter. I don’t know what the hell happened to Cyrus Beene’s husband. I don’t find just sex with a script and a political agenda entertaining. It feels hollow.
Too much lust is like too much salt. Without it the food is bland, with too much it’s not edible, the perfect amount brings out the best natural flavors in the food. For me right now, Scandal is too Salty.
Loyalty is lackluster too, so far in season 5 of Scandal. White House Chief of Staff, Cyrus Beene, who is one of my favorite characters on the show, is no longer loyal to the president. It breaks my heart after the episode where they exchanged memories of how much they loved and respected each other.
I must have played it a thousand times. Cyrus shared a story about how he picked the bananas from Fitz’s bowl of fruit because Fitz doesn’t like bananas. You know the episode where Cyrus tells Fitz that he doesn’t remember his mother’s name. Then Fitz tells Cyrus a story about how his moods were affected by whether or not he had received a letter from his mother that day…then at the end Fitz tell Cyrus… your mother’s name was “Helen.” Best writing ever!!! It still brings tears to my eyes.
Shonda Rhimes, after this episode—how could the love and loyalty between Fitz and Cyrus be so nonexistent? I would whether watch them fight—than be nothing to each other.
And what about the deep, soul-mate love that you led us to believe that was unbreakable between Fitz and Olivia? Again, I need the relationships to be rich, complex, and meaningful.I want to see them make it work with ups and downs. I want to see Fitz cry when he learns that she aborted their unborn fetus. I want to see a big screen movie of their wedding and how he almost went back to Mellie.
(My bad-- this your story not mine. I need to get to writing the Jungle Beauty Goddesses, Book 3. I am sorry.)
The relationships between the main characters are the foundation for all of the B613, Olivia Pope and Associates client’s ordeals, the elections… I don’t care about those things if the main characters do not have enough love and loyalty to glue the changing episode pieces together.
None of the characters seem really happy or passionate anymore. Lust keeps the series juicy and fun, but it is not enough to fill your spirit to continue to watch week after week, and then wait months and months for it to return between seasons… Well unless, you are a hopelessly addicted fan like myself.