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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hush little girl...

Hush little girl...

What’s all of this fuss about? Why are you so noisy?
Always moving on and about getting into things,
stirring things up,
just stop for a minute and listen,
sit down and act like a lady,

Now hush...what’s all of this you’re going on about?
What about your dreams?
What about your goals?

Just hush and wait, have a sit, sit still and keep quiet,
there you are,
sit still and wait your turn,
you know they say that good things come to those who

keep quiet,
don’t go drawing attention to yourself.
Don’t go making a scene,
keep quiet, behave yourself.

Hush... go on now, sit and wait...where are you going?

Oh fine, alright then,
go out and make your way,
speak your mind,
live your life...

Opening Spoken Word Reading for "Smart A** B****, Open Your Mouth, Fill In Your Own Blanks and Become The Woman You Want To Be", by Trumillia Lunnie-Thomas, BA, MA

Available for purchase March, 2012
bbpco., an indie publishinghouse

Sunday, March 4, 2012

bbpco celebrates "read an ebook week" with 50% off!

bbpco., an indie publishinghouse is proud to be part of Read An Ebook Week, we’re offering Soul Powerful, Everyday Life Lessons for half off at this link: Be sure you enter the sale code REW50 to enjoy the reward! So hurry, the celebration ends March 10, 2012!

bbpco., an indie publishinghouse
Go Green! Read An Ebook!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just Can’t Wait To Be Queen!

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” —Golda Meir

When I was a young girl, I wanted to be King. Now, before you laugh, listen to my plight. When I was a young girl, still in pigtails and knee socks—I would play the Castle Game with the kids in the neighborhood, the Lockwoods. We would choose our roles; but for some reason, I always ended up being Princess So and So and the Lockwood boy would always end up being the King.

Well, I became tired of always being Princess So and So. One day, I told the Lockwood boy that it was my turn to be King. The Lockwood boy had given me a withering look and announced all knowingly that I “could not be King”.

Well, why not? I had asked. Being the King seemed to be so much more fun, so much more important, so much more interesting. Why, if you were King, you give all of the orders, you decide the rules of the Castle Game. You controlled how the game was played. In essence, if you were King, you were the Boss. If someone did not play the Castle Game according to your rules—which seemed to change every second—then they were just not “allowed” to be a part of the game.

I was told that I HAD to be the Princess. I could not—COULD NOT—be the King because I was a GIRL. Moreover, the way he said “GUURRRRL” made me want to snatch his little paper crown from atop his curly brown head and rip it to shreds.

Fine, I said, then I want to be the Queen. Queens are important; Queens have power, right? Another exasperated look as if I just did not get it. You cannot be the Queen, I was informed. You have to be married to the King, and the King would still be the boss.
What? How ridiculous was that? I got mad. I went home. I did not play the Castle Game with the Lockwood boy anymore after that. I was just not content with being the Princess and I certainly was not going to be the Queen and let the King be the boss of me “just because”.

Eventually I grew up and I went out into the world. I became employed. I made connections and to my amazement, I found that in some circles, people were still playing the Castle Game—a different variation, perhaps, and more grown up. But it was still the same game and sadly, the game seemed to have the same basic rules.

I met a lot of people who basically told me that I could not be the King, no matter how much I knew, no matter how hard I worked. No matter how many degrees I had, I was still relegated to the role of “Princess”. Never to determine my own worth in the workplace, never to be King—or Queen for that matter.

Not only were women like me put into the Princess So and So role—here’s the rub—we were reduced to having to watch Prince So and So become King while we stood in the shadows, wondering when, if ever, we would get our turn.

In addition, we should have felt “lucky” that we were “chosen” to be Princesses in this Patriarchy. What? Who were they to determine my worth for me? I woke up. I decided then to never again allow someone else to assign my worth for me, to tell me what I was worth.

The year 2010 marks a new beginning for so many people, it means the same for me. I’ve decided that I am no longer content with letting someone else decide where I should fit. This represents a new way of being for me. I cannot pretend anymore to be satisfied with being Princess So and So when I know inside that I was born to be Queen—if only in my own Queendom.

It has to start within before it can be shared with others. No one can help us begin to feel better about ourselves. In this area, we have to do the hard work for OURSELVES. Sometimes we are afraid to take that first step for fear of failing or feeling that we have to “fix” ourselves first and only then can we move forward.

My perception of myself is essential to how I will be. So is yours. If we change the way we see ourselves, we will change our lives. We have to give to ourselves what we cannot get from others. We have to make our inner voice the loudest voice that we hear. I decided that I had something to say, that I was tired of being shushed - that is how This Midlife Thing Magazine was born.
You can do what needs to be done in your life, whether you FEEL like it or not. Where would you like to be? What is your purpose? What will you do to get there? When we have a strong sense of where we are going, we can stay directed and focused.

Sometimes we will feel powerful and unstoppable. At other times, we may feel like the cartoon character mushed on the yellow line of the median. We change the way we feel by changing the way we act. Act yourself into being powerful. Practice being powerful.

Learn not to beat yourself up. It takes work—hard work—to reclaim your worth. So what if people wonder who do you think you are. I cannot remain in denial of my worth just to ‘not make waves”. I am moving on to better things, growing through courage and reclaiming the greatness that my Soul holds within her.

Feeling good about ourselves and about what our purpose is on this earth IS vitally important to determining our worth for ourselves. This process is a never-ending journey toward actualizing our GREATNESS. We can and we will get there, one step at a time. Developing real self worth requires that we love ourselves as deeply, as completely and as unconditionally as we would love another. Worth is knowing and appreciating ourselves and rediscovering our loveliness and our beauty, not just outwardly, but the beauty of our Souls.

Today, I am Queen in my own life. I consciously acknowledge my worth daily. Not because someone else has agreed that I have worth or because someone has decided that I am worthy. I decide my worth and I will never again hide my gifts. Now, has anybody seen the Lockwood boy? I’ve got a word or two for him!

Until next time, rule wisely!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's Here! This Midlife Thing Magazine

Finally! The New Magazine is here! Check it out. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Gospel According To Mick: You Can’t Always Get What You Want

2009 – A year of promise, a glittering new jewel. I was going to leap into 2009 accomplishing, doing, being, complete A new year of optimism and hope, a reconnection to things and projects forgotten or pushed aside. I was going to go into this pristine New Year kicking some serious butt…if only I could get rid of this blasted cold that had been tormenting me since Christmas.

“I’m not getting sick,” I would explain to every one and any one who would listen. It’s the weather, it’s 20 degrees one day, 65 degrees by the weekend, it’s a wonder everyone didn’t have a cold.

On Inauguration Day – my self declared “Independence Day” - I sat with a girlfriend – the only one who bravely still went out to lunch with me after I’d snapped her head off the Friday before because my head was killing me - twinkling my toes during lunch, trying to make amends for my crabby behavior.

The day would have been perfect, if it had not been for the persistent headache that dragged on for first one day, then two, breaking miraculously on the third. The snap on my two-day constant headache brought good moods all around, little did I know that by 2:00 p.m. that same afternoon, I would not be able to shut my left eye and the corner of my mouth began to droop.

What was this? Was I having a stroke? Being the midlife diva that I always have been, I keyed my symptoms into WebMD the best as I could with my shaking hands. Stroke – was I trembling and shaking? No. Aside from being scared to death, I was not. Was there any confusion? No. I could walk, talk, and think. I checked my frozen expression repeatedly, finally calling my doctor who directed me to the emergency room.

Terrified, I left the office thinking, not thinking. How could this be happening? I couldn’t have a stroke; I had a son to get through college. It was only him and me and if there was no me, what would happen to him? Oh goodness, then I still had to pick him up from the college! He was stuck there without a car or phone and if I had a relative show up to pick him up – without warning – he would panic and expect the worst. I wanted to cry, but my frozen eye would make no tears.

Want a little attention? Walk into a busy emergency room with symptoms presenting themselves as a massive stroke. You get pushed to the front of the line pretty quickly. I had barely warmed my uncomfortable waiting room chair when I was whisked to the back.

“Can I bring you a wheelchair?” I was asked for the first time. And after even more offers of wheelchair rides, I was beginning to wonder if they charged mileage on those things or what? Is this their version of car rental? Exactly how was this going to show itemized on my soon to come medical bill? Two rides in wheelchair - $300. No. I decided to avoid the wheelchairs at all cost.

Can you walk? I was asked again and this time, I wondered if maybe I should not have been able to walk. I was fine, I reasoned, after all, I had just driven myself to the hospital, after picking up The Teenage Wonder from college and enduring the everlasting traffic jam. No, I was fine; I just could not feel my face.

I saw more areas of that hospital than I could have imagined. Again, another orderly asked if I needed a wheelchair as I hopped off the hard bed to follow him. My legs were fine; it was my head that was having the problem. That made him laugh.

A quick triage exam soon turned into a six-hour ordeal as my blood pressure spiked to an all time high – even for me - of 224/125. OK, maybe I was not OK. I was asked, “how are you feeling?” more times during the six hours that followed and honestly, I was beginning to wonder – am I OK? Maybe it was a stroke. What does a stroke feel like? Would I know if I was having a stroke? I have to admit, all of the concerned looks and whispered conversations were beginning to freak me out and admittedly did not a thing to lower my blood pressure.

I was whisked away again, this time to “lay quietly” in a room to allow my blood pressure a chance to return to normal. Great. I lay in the cold room, fully dressed on the sterile cot. There was music playing in the room, supposedly to relax me.

I lay with my eyes closed when I heard the crooning of Mick Jagger coming over the speaker:

“You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
Oh baby, yeah, yeah!”

My eyes popped open and I looked around. What? Was this some kind of cosmic joke? This thing, the paralysis of my face, this was so not what I wanted! First of all, I wanted to get out of here.

Possible stroke – that was a sobering thought. What about all of the things that I had taken for granted that I might never get to do again? The things that never mattered so much before as they mattered now when I faced an uncertain reality that if I was indeed suffering a stroke, I might never get to do again.

Things like being walked by the dog. Riding my bicycle. Chasing Son from the kitchen as he devoured gobs of raw cookie dough. Looking at bugs with my six-year-old nephew. Being teased relentlessly by my nieces. Gabbing on the telephone for what seems like hours with my sisters. Looking for toads. Everyday stuff, things snuffed out by a stroke. These were the things that I wanted. Would I ever have them again?

The nurses finally allowed Son back into the ER cubicle with me, watching the two of us with puzzled expressions as I laughed as Son regaled me with stories from his short time out in the waiting room.

After spending a little quality time with the noisy CAT Scan machine, it was determined that my brain, thank God – was just fine, no clots, no tears, and no signs of damage. As the Teenage Wonder says, my squirrels were just fine.

The cute YOUNG doctor who could have been my son – had I started MUCH earlier – asked the all-important question – do you want to die? I had been prescribed medication for blood pressure that I took sometimes; there was always a reason why I didn’t take it. No excuse is a good one, I know, but there it is. His question got the Teenage Wonder’s attention.

“Nobody said anything about dying,” he had muttered, drawing his entire six foot six frame to attention.

No, it appeared that dying was not on either of our agendas.

No, it was not a stroke. I had dodged the bullet, giving the idea of having a massive stroke the stiff arm, accepting my diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy, the result of a virus from my never-ending cold, almost giddily. It was still scary but curable, survivable.

Along with the major lecture to always take care of my blood pressure, of which I had not been monitoring or medicating properly, numerous prescriptions were written, instructions ordered, follow-ups with my doctor demanded, I walked out of the hospital on my own, a happy woman, face still frozen but happy. I would get the chance to do the things that I wanted.

I wanted to skip out of the emergency room that evening and would have if it had not been for fear of breaking my neck, overloaded with a drug-induced euphoria. I had walked into that hospital, my face as solid as stone and had dodged the bullet. No, stroke but a diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy instead. I would recover. My memories remained mine and in tact. My mind, unscarred. My sense of humor dinged but on the mend. My relationships, my loves, my hopes and dreams –still attainable waiting for me to grab them with both hands and never let them go.

You don’t always get what you want. I needed something to get my attention. I may not get the whole cake, but I would savor this piece. I may not get the international readership that I craved, but I would rock this little part of my world and blog my heart out. I may never become a Poet Laureate, read for heads of state, or become a writer in residence for a university or anything like that but thank God, my hands still work, my brain is still strong and my wit is still sharp. No, you can’t always get what you want…

The Teenage Wonder stopped by my bedroom, my self-appointed nursemaid – with a glass of water for my meds. He grins at the black eye patch I have been relegated to wearing – albeit temporarily – when not working. I wave sheepishly in his direction.

“I’m still here,” I teased him. He gives me the water. “You’d better be.” He tapped me on my numbed forehead. “Matey.”

I pinched him on his way out. The Gospel According to Mick, you don’t always get what you want, but you do, if you’re lucky, get what you need.

Thanks Brother Mick for the insight.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

A young woman, beaten, crying, robbed of all that she had and all that she was, sat on the curb at the side of the road. She'd done things that she wasn't proud of simply to survive. She is unkempt, no one has cared about her for a long time and she faced her life alone, broken and destitute.

A pastor from the neighborhood church was walking down the same road. He saw her, she saw him. Dropping his eyes, he hurried past, he was already late for a meeting and didn't have time to stop. Somebody ought to do something, he thought. He passed on by.

A City Councilman, a respected leader in the community also saw the young woman. Tsking and shaking his head, he passed her by, another statistic, he thought. Something must be done. But he just didn't have time to help.
He saw her, she saw him. It's a shame, he'd thought. Somebody ought to do something. But he was already late and had no time to be bothered. He passed on by.

With her head bowed, tears burned the young woman's eyes, streaking down her dirty cheeks in muddy trails and she didn't bother to push them away this time. No one cared, no one ever did.

A beautiful woman, bedecked and bedazzled, her face shining like a glorious bronzed jewel, came by. She saw the young woman sitting on the curb, her knees drawn up into her chest, her face pressed against her dirty jeans, her hair a mess. She saw the young woman, the young woman saw her.

“My daughter, my sister,” the beautiful woman murmured, her voice like music as she knelt beside the young woman, raising her face, their eyes meeting. The beautiful woman not only stopped to see what she could do to help the young woman, but she cleaned and bound her injuries, taking her to a place she knew of nearby where she could recuperate, eat and regain her strength, leaving enough money to provide for any need she might have.

I remember as a child watching "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" with my siblings, all six of us lined up in front of the black and white. I remember thinking how cool it would be to live in that neighborhood; oh how I wished that Mr. Rogers could be my neighbor. All of the things that he'd seen, all of the places he'd been and the people he'd met in his travels. Everyone he'd met was a friend; there were no strangers in his neighborhood.

In the Bible, there is a beautiful parable about a Good Samaritan who went out of his way to help a total stranger who had been beaten and left for dead. A religious leader of that time attempted to muddy the waters by asking for clarification - who was considered his neighbor?

Who is our neighbor? Total strangers, Sisters in Spirit and In Soul. Sisters beaten down in Spirit by society, sometimes even by each other. Sisters robbed of opportunities to better themselves. Left on the side of the road all but forgotten as Life rushes by.

Who is our neighbor? The one who shows mercy. Love your neighbor as you love yourself, Jesus Christ enjoined in the scriptures. We are the beautiful women who extend the hand to our Sisters, our daughters, and our friends. Offering Love and Life. Sharing joy and compassion. Listening patiently without judging or demanding our way. Respecting each other and ourselves. Building relationships and bridges for those who follow our lead. Living serenely and fearlessly.

Extending mercy. Do this and you will live, Jesus said. Do this and we all will live. Would you be mine? Could you be mine? You could be my neighbor.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beautiful Christian Sister

by Maya Angelou

'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'

When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean livin,'
I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain...
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Pretty is as Pretty does... but beautiful is just plain beautiful!