Friday, October 3, 2014

Let's Talk About Race


The following article is only to discuss the current face of Racism in our society today, the importance of white privilege, and personal reflections from me. Please constructively formulate comments and post them below. Any feedback is welcome and will be received in an intelligent manner.
[Spoiler Alert! I talk a little bit about the plot of 'Once Upon A Time']


Did you know that America has a tendency, in the media, to display people of color (Hispanic, East Indian, Black etc.) in a negative fashion, or not at all? If you haven't noticed, I challenge you for the next week to track stories, TV shows, and commercials and see how often people of color/minorities 

1.) Appear 2.) in a positive non-stereotypical manner, 3.) in a respectable leadership role, 4.) and does not die.

A recent example of this is the TV Show "Once Upon A Time". 
This show is unintentionally perpetuating racism and white privilege.
There are literally less than 10 minorities and they are all sub-characters. Sidney Glass (The Mirror), Rapunzel and her father, Mulan, The Dragon, Lancelot, Tamara, Bashful, Ursula, and Billy (Gus the mouse) are the only people of color that appear, besides the extras with little to no lines. Yes, they are there but not in a positive light. Sidney works for the evil Queen and deceives the main character, then takes the fall for the Queen and goes to jail. Tamara is in a similar role, she befriends the main character but has an ulterior motive. She betrays and shoots her proclaimed lover, tries to destroy the town, follows orders blindly, and then ends up getting killed. Bashful isn't seen very often, and has little to no lines. In fact this character goes mostly unnoticed. Ursula, Rapunzel and her father are not seen past the first episode or in Story Brooke, while other characters make a second, and third appearance- some even come back to life. 
Then there is Billy or Gus the Mouse. He is black, and a mechanic who works for the Queen. He is non-stereotypical in the sense. However, he is not in a leadership role... in fact, just like Sidney, he is in service to the Queen. Near the end of the show, when you start to develop feelings for him, and he finally becomes more of a spotlight character with a full range of emotions, and individual thought- he is BRUTALLY MURDERED.
Ironically, by a rich, old, white dude playing Prince Charming's Dad, the King. Some might say I am reading too much into this, but wait there is more...
What about Mulan? She's an awesome bad ass female character right? WRONG, Mulan takes on a secondary role, and follows Sleeping Beauty around protecting her.  She is in service to a white woman, yet she is a powerful soldier, but this does not turn into a positive leadership position.You can still see the stereotypical Asian woman playing out in her character. In fact, in one episode she is deceptive, makes snappy remarks, and refuses to compromise or cooperate. Not what I would expect from Mulan who is assumed to be an experienced soldier. In her solo movie she refuses her submissive female role, deceives her family, and then ends up saving China. The Mulan in this TV Show is assumed to be a more mature, wise Mulan. After all, the Disney Mulan was an intelligent quick thinker with a great sense of Humor. This Mulan tends to come across as a stuck up, hard nosed bitch.
And the other Asian character, The Dragon, who is supposed to be super powerful- gets killed by Tamara. 
I want to bring this to your attention and hope you start questioning too. 
Why was the mirror a Black character in service to the Queen? He could have been White.
Or let's focus on the more important topic of Gus the Mouse. Why is the mouse a black man in a service job? And how come the black guy always dies in the end? None of these minority characters get their happy ending.
Why is it that these characters are minorities? Where does it say in these classic stories that all the characters are white? What about allowing one of the MANY princess' to be Hispanic or Indian?
What kind of message does this send to young minority children? They end up associating bad behavior, and unfavorable out comes to the color of their skin, and the status of their ethnicity.

FOR MORE informational sources:
Media- Kids and Racial Interactions:
TOM WISE: on White Privilege
FOR MORE Opinionated readings:

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Stay Open to Self-Love

"The demands and amusements of modern life separate us from nature and its rhythms."- Seeds of Awakening, p.21

Reading this quote, I grunt, That's for sure
I sit in my living room serenaded by the chorus of electronics and the home heating/cooling system- with only my computer to keep me company. It's night and instead of enjoying the warmth of a fire with my tribe, and listening to the crickets, I am pouring over text books and filling out job applications. I become aware of all the dis-ease, disconnect, and isolation that is a result of our fast paced American society. Reflecting on this I see that as blessed as I am to have these modern comforts, I'll take the crickets.

For the last week I've been overwhelmed. The energy of the week had my cognitive cycle on spin, and my thoughts were a blur. It wasn't that I couldn't find a way to slow down; it was more that I would not allow myself too.

This is where that little voice in your head comes into play. Well, my voice (or guardian angel) whispered, quite mirthfully, "Practice what you preach". :) Not only was I doubting the internal guidance I was receiving, I was down right ignoring it. Using my issues as an excuse to wrap myself up in a blanket of my own misery. Going day to day, adding to the pile and wondering when things were going to get better?

It was about this time that I received an invitation from Krista, whom I admire and regard, to be a guest voice. I was so honored and humbled by the gesture, that I began to panic. All the "What If's" began to boil up in my mind. I doubted my own power. "what do I have to offer in my miserable state?" 
So I put it off. I thought to myself that I had "nothing to offer". 
I had wrapped myself up in a cocoon of self harm, of course I couldn't write about self love. How could I possibly write about self-love?

Oh the irony in my struggle! I was tormenting myself over writing a self love piece, when all I really needed to do was friggen love myself and the rest would come naturally!

 I had to "practice what I preach". I needed to be uncoiled. I needed to stretch and be re-connected with my inner self. 

"For if we continue to ignore our own inner wisdom, the gap between what we know about ourselves conceptually and our own experiences grows ever larger." - Seeds of Awakening, p.36

This process is vital to the dynamics of self-love.

 Stress is all around us. The world we live in pulls our attention outward. This constant pulling and assault on our senses causes us to give in to these external expectations and demands. However, when we learn to listen and honor our inner selves, We can make a choice. And I made the choice to be Open to Self-Love.


My mind, My eyes, my heart, my life
In the air, in serenity
of freedom rushing through me
my body to endure harship
my consciousness, Human hearts, the world
Prevail, preserve, persist, prevent
should be swallowed by lightened hearts
We honor the self through the choices we make, which leads to honoring ourselves, and ends in self love.
 The world has a way of shutting us down, and cramming our expansive nature into tiny categorized boxes. It is our choice to open those boxes, break free, and BE all that we can be. It is our choice to actively move from a state of misery to a state of love. Make the commitment to open up to self-love.
After all, at the end of the day, you are the only person sitting at your computer. All you have is you. Does it not make more since to Be in love with you?

My Creed- Explained

Explanation of Declaration

"My Creed"
I'm going to change my life.
Effective Immediately
Done flamboyantly
by jumping into something
way over my head
equipped with only the
confidence in myself
That I can learn, adapt, and accomplish
Anything I set my heart on.

This is my creed.
If I am depressed
I recite this
if I ever feel in need
this gives me the courage to address it myself.

This poem was something I created to encourage myself during hard times.
Usually, after a failure of some sort. I wrote this after a particular failure- an abusive relationship. It ended and I had to find myself again. I had to relearn how to BE Brianna. I had to re-teach myself to trust others with my joyful expression. I knew I had to change how I viewed myself in relation to the world. 

I will change my life.

I will overcome adversity, and strife. I can wade through the darkest parts of myself and adapt to the darkness in the world, without ever losing myself.

Effective immediately.

Why wait? Why put off til tomorrow what you can accomplish today?! Staying active, and staying in the moment increases expansion and growth.

Done Flamboyantly.

DON'T HOLD BACK. Growth is about exploration and adventure. It's the ups and downs that really make the wave well rounded. Let go of fear and BE your whole self un-apologetically.
Feel that urge to do something, but you're too shy? JUMP IN, knowing there is no one that can judge you more harshly than yourself. You may feel like you are in way over your head, but don't fear. This is were the best soul-work is done. Under pressure, the most beautiful diamonds emerge.

You will become equipped with everything you need

After putting yourself into 'situation' after 'situation' you being to develop skills, knowledge, and acquire tools that defend you against the old paradigms of thought and propel you towards new adventures.
From this experience, from this new confidence in your own skill, you build a resilient personality. One that can take on the world, take a few punches, and keep on dancing. ;)

Set your heart on a goal. 

It can be as simple as learning how to cook, to something as complicated as learning self-love. Whatever it is, fill your mind, body, and spirit with the courage to accomplish this goal no matter what obstacles stand in your way.

To conclude

Address yourself, regard yourself as a powerful being who can implement positive change and growth their lives! I use this creed to remind myself of all these things. To remind myself of all the great things I have done, and all the great things I have yet to do. I hope this helps you too.