Black Women…and Our Hair!!!

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via slodive.com

I think I have a photo of myself on this blog somewhere. I think I’m rather cute, but unlike many people, I get bored looking at my pics over and over again. I’d rather showcase some beautiful photography; someone else’ art. But if you’ve never seen me, I’m African-American, Caribbean on my father’s side of the family, and German waaaaaay back in the roots of things. My grandmother was Black and German, during a time where there clearly would not have been any celebrations around her birth. But…hair, is the subject of today’s rant. I inherited a lot of things from my Black mothers, but most of all, the angst, over what to do with my hair!!!!!??

I represent a long history of women of color in all parts of the globe that have a love-hate relationship with their hair. Kinky, curly, nappy, thick, fine, the long and the short; Black women (…and I can say “black”. I’m over 45. TY.) have it all. Different grades, different shades; we have it all. And no matter what we have, we always want to change it…

Speaking from the point of view of a fairly enlightened being, (haha,… but yes) I have grown into an acceptance of the state of my hair; well…somewhat. I can say that in a way, I’ve slowly made peace with my hair. I thought that I had formed a serious bond with my hair, until recently. I wore my hair very short and natural for many years and it truly suited my lifestyle, and my style, in general. Sometimes it was short and chic, sometimes short and punky, and sometimes short and kinky; but it was short, and I loved it. I paraded around like an Afro-Caribbean goddess; proud of me, proud of my heritage. I had known the pain of straightening relaxers for too many years when my hair was long. The sting, the burn, the subtle damage that chemicals can do to ethnic hair was frustrating. For a while, my hair became not just a part of me, but in some ways, a political statement…

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“Right on!” “Power to the people!” Natural hair speaks volumes in many parts of the Black community. You’ll often find many of us “naturals” hanging out together; the “fros” with “the locs”. Braids only count, if it’s all “you”, and not a weave. Yes, Chris Rock hit the nail on the head of black women and our challenges and relationships with our hair, in his movie documentary, titled, “Good Hair”. Being of a mixed cultural heritage, I was often told I had “good hair”, meaning, “fine”, “curly”, easier to manage. But it wasn’t all that good in my eyes, because I just wanted it to do, …what I wanted it to do! Now that’s “good hair”.

Now, I find myself at 47, in a place again where I am dissatisfied with my hair. I’m tired of the short and natural, and I’m looking for ways to be more creative. This summer I attempted to let it grow, until I could loc it to form “dredlocs”…

Instead, I met with frustration again. It was just too damn hot for all of that! So…back to my short, very short, and natural “do”. I sit now, in a bit of limbo, as to what I will do with my hair that gives me some more flexibility to be creative, but still honors my culture; and most importantly, does not cause damage. If I’ve learned nothing else through these years of struggling with my hair, it’s that I choose to be kind to myself, in every way possible; and that includes removing processes and chemicals from my hair program.

I’ve accomplished many things; I’m a freelance writer, professional blogger, dedicated to growing and evolving on a spiritual level, which is really every level, and I live everyday life, the way I want to live it. But,… I wonder; is there ever any conquering of my hair!!!

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photo credits photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cau_napoli/4439586106/ Cau Napoli http://creativecommons.org/licenses

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Blogging: An Eclectic Practice

Whether you are journaling, writing ideas down on old-fashioned lined paper, or typing into a blog format; moving thoughts from the grey matter to the tangible form, is quite sacred. Once you extract an idea, inspiration, or set of words, from your mind, and share them with the cosmos, you give them an aliveness they didn’t have before.

Blogging is like this; in a way, it is an eclectic type of spiritual practice. It requires some commitment, a dash of dedication, and a feeling within the blogger of purposefulness. Blogging can be an art form, if you open up the channels of your mind and toss out all the made-up rules. There is no need for rules in an art form; you are free to make it what you want it to be. Writing, journaling, blogging; is no different.

I love to blog because it expands my horizons; as a matter of fact it washes all horizons away and allows me to turn mere typed words into mantras. You can choose to be a bit detached from your work, depending on what it is, or you can choose to wipe the sweat of your brow on the computer screen. It’s really up to you, and you only. You can make your blog posts into prayers of wisdom and desire, or instructional technical matter, that speaks a plain truth…1 + 1 = 2.

Or you can utilize your blog space to inspire yourself and others to allow art to overtake you, and them…

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Speaking for those who are pretty much left/right brain balanced; the blogging format allows us to be creative in both worlds, providing technical information on how to maneuver the Internet, combined with personal posts about how we do what we do, whatever that may be.

Starting a blog is much like a spiritual practice, in that it allows you to face success and disappointments, the Light and the shadow aspects of ourselves. The art of blogging will show us where our strengths and weaknesses lie; and what things truly inspire us to open up the page once again.

Sometimes blogging can drive us into a state of whackiness because we have promised our readers a certain amount or kind of info on a regular basis, and we woke up today, and just don’t feel like our heads are screwed on correctly…

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But whatever the reason for your blogging, be easy on yourself. This too is a part of my spiritual promises to myself. Don’t judge yourself, instead, learn what your natural flow of creation is, and schedule your blogging around it. If you are creating something you love, in a way that you love to create, it will all come together like a great big pretty puzzle!

Becoming a Professional Blogger: My Tips for Working in Your PJ’s

WE LIVE IN A CRAZY TIME; WE LIVE IN A MAGICAL TIME! Since the news outlets tend to focus on the crazy, I like to focus on the magic. And one of the magical things about the time we live in, is that there are so many new career opportunities for Creatives. If you are willing to take chances, learn some new skills, and embrace a bit of uncertainty, there is plenty to do and create. I’ve always dreamed of working in my PJ’s, enjoying a cup of Joe, and risking becoming, what Oprah calls, a “schlumpadinka” who showers at 5pm. My dream has come true; but not without work, stretching my mind’s imagination, and an openness to having lucrative times, and “not so” lucrative times. I’m friends with Uncertainty, and sisters with Change; and I feel this is necessary if you want to become a professional blogger.

This is my second blog. I began this blog from a moment of spontaneous inspiration during a podcast, my soul sister and biz partner, Andie and I recorded on Blogging for Self-Development and Healing. What I call, my main blog, is the blog I write and share with Andie, http://iwondersisterhood.com. The iWonder Sisterhood blog is approximately 8 months old, and I feel that we have made tremendous strides in a short period of time. Most importantly, we are proud of the content, ideas, and blood, sweat and tears, of our lives, that have gone into this blog. iWonder is who we are. There is no other way to do this blogging thing, than to take “you”, and put it into your content. The blogging world is one place where authenticity reigns supreme. So no matter how popular you may think, “this blog”, or “that blog” is; your blog needs to be YOUR blog. This is the only way to success.

I offer you some of my best tips for those who desire to enter the world of professional blogging, which is really, “professional sharing”:

1. Authenticity is your key to the Golden Kingdom. I cannot repeat enough times, how vital it is to be yourself when creating, designing, and providing content for a blog. What people really want, is a piece of who you are; hoping to connect with that same part of themselves.

2. Be Real, and don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t create a blog that you know you will not be able to maintain. Start off with one or two pages at the most; maybe one with written content, another with photos, or brief daily or weekly tips, quotes, video sharing, music, etc.

3. Set your intention for this blog. If you know that eventually you will use ads and links for income, or sell products of your own; create your blog and its design with this intention. This works in a two-fold manner; one, you have a workable design that can easily be expanded upon, and two, you create a mental and spiritual intention for your blog, so that it develops and unfolds in the way you desire.

4. Write about what you know. Because when you write about what you know; it’s easy to continue. Sharing does not become a drudgery, instead, it becomes your way of connecting with your audience; a social meditation in many ways.

5. Read, study, learn. Always look for ways to be a better blogger, a better sharer. Listen to videos on blogging by those who are as successful as you want to be. Read other blogger’s posts. Subscribe to blogs you like. This will keep you inspired and motivated to give your best to your readers.

6. Don’t be afraid to tweak your blog. In the first six months of blogging, you will find yourself noticing things you would not have noticed in the beginning; like design issues, the need to add or delete pages, the need for changes in your theme or logo design. Have fun creating your blog, and don’t worry about how good you are, or, are not, at “branding”. If the desire is there to become a successful brand; the information is also out there to assist you in doing so.

7. Become a blog addict, putting your all into the blog!! Sounds tiring? Well, it’s not! Because if you remember tip and rule #1, you can never truly tire of being YOU!

Thank you! And Good Blogging!

Kimm, aka Spiritual Bling, Your Conscious Techno Geek xo

Don’t Let Blogging Overwhelm You! Have a Cocktail Instead…

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photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

As much as I am married to the blog, and addicted to reading other blogs; I can still get a bit overwhelmed sometimes when I think of the amount of work and commitment it takes to start and maintain a successful blog. Like most bloggers, I own more than one blog, and I have to set priorities each day; and think about which one requires my attention in the present moment.

I have developed very simple, but effective ways of keeping my blogs interesting and inviting. A lot of my decisions are based on my own uniqueness; doing things in a way that only I can do them. I have learned to release the self-judgement over my writing and my art, and to just find a way to get it all done, with wonder, and energy.

Letting go, is the number one way to keep yourself from being overwhelmed by the blog. And even that, takes a bit of work and commitment.

I offer you a few simple, but magical ways to stay married to the blog; to invoke the goddesses of creativity, and to keep it all fresh and fruity!

1. This is not English class. Throw the rules to the wind.

Your blog is your baby, and you can raise it anyway you like! You can make up words, phrases, and allow yourself to stop worrying about being judged over the proper use of words and sentence structure. I think of blogging as an art form, well, that’s how I think of life. Of course, if your blog is about proper sentence structure and perfect grammar, then by all means, continue on….

2. Use other ways to express yourself besides words.

Yes, I know it’s a blog, and most blogs contain a lot of words. But you can incorporate artwork, photos, videos, soundtracks, etc. into your posts. Think outside the octagon (see what I mean?) when it comes to how you say, what you want to say.

3. Make a ritual of it.

Light a candle, grab a glass of wine, pray to your goddess and write your post, every Sunday, just as the moon becomes visible. Well, that’s what I would do, think of what you would do!

4. Ask a friend for their opinion about some random subject, then steal it and make it your own.

This is not theft. I was raised as an honest, law-abiding citizen. This is simply expanding your scope and range of topic ideas. And if they are a real friend, they won’t mind. 🙂

5. Don’t be silly, take a break.

Ok, if you are really having a DAY! and you simply have nothing inspiring or helpful to say, then just leave it alone. Every day is not the same and every mood changes sooner or later.

For those of you who have very serious blogs with very serious content; you’ll just have to suck it up.

The End

How the Over-Sexualization of Black Women Affected This Blog Design…

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photo credit: arietcat via photopin cc

Originally posted on our blog http://iwondersisterhood.com with my soul sister @AJdwnrabbithole Andie. 

The Nutella Sandwich of friends! Andie, Me, and our other Soul Sister, Nancy!

I’m Kimm, half of the iWonder Sisters; and an African-American woman. I had an amazing mother, and an “ok” father. I was raised beautifully; taught the value of reading, art, and creativity. I was raised around many people of various cultures; from African to Russian. I feel very fortunate to have had such an experience, because it shaped me into the woman I am today. And I like her,a lot!

As I am building my new blog, MarriedToTheBlog.wordpress.com, and looking for wonderful pics and graphics; I came upon a sketch of a lady, looking beautifully nerdy, reading a book. I loved the image, so I placed it on my blog. I’m a proud techy geeky lady, and pretty darn cute too! But I began to question if my sketch should have been a black woman; maybe more representative of who I am.

This is me…I’m the Nutella

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As I went back to Google and Bing Images, I searched for a similar sketch or artist’s interpretation of a nerdy, intelligent black woman, with that techy swag; well, I still haven’t been able to find one. As a matter of fact, no matter what “search phrases” I put in, the majority of the depictions of Black women were overly sexual, which has nothing to do with my blog, or really, the essence of Kimm. I like “Sexy”, and I think for 46, I’m pretty sexy; but the essence of my sexiness is based on my authenticity, not my rear end, or any other part of my anatomy. I was disappointed to see that my “kind”, was not represented in popular image.

In my disappointment, I wondered what, or who was the blame, for the narrow-minded images of black women on the Web; is it men, is it other races, or is it the “video chick”, that too many people see, when it comes to Black women? Is it our fault as a collective? And if so, what can we do at this point to create some balance?

Granted, there are many pics of women of all races, that are overtly sexual, and some degrading; but the truth of the matter is, I seriously doubt that when most of the world, thinks of European or Asian women, that the first thing that comes to mind is a overly sexualized being. I’m sure there are many thoughts and words that would be used to describe other women; sexual, being only one.

So in a way, I am pondering, have we, as Black women gone from the mark of “the angry black woman” to the “Butt-naked Black woman”? Distressing. For me, anyway. I would desire that we be seen as all other women are seen; varied, diverse. As a Black woman, I believe I can say with truth, that we are sexy, smart, techy, nerdy, athletes, artists, doctors, lawyers, environmentalists, authors, Pagan, Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, religious, non-religious, assertive, shy, aggressive, timid, hot, cool, talkers, listeners, afro-centric, not afro-centric. We are, like all women, we are many wonderful things.

My search continues for a type of “woman of color” artistic representation of my techy, nerdy, geeky self. If not, I will be happy with the European image that I love so much, which is currently on my blog. This could be a lesson for me in many ways; that our image as Black women appears to be tainted, and that maybe I don’t need to concern myself with the “race” of my graphics on my blog. That maybe, I should look for what I feel, is truly ME.

I am an activist of all women, all races; as my mother was. I came from “activist” stock! So my concern of the over-sexualizing of women, is a very broad concern. This post was about how I, as a Black woman felt during this experienc;, when I have always found every thing I could think of in images, plentiful on the Web. Yet, I have been on a week long search, just to “see” myself, and many other Black for the diverse group of people we really are.

A Short Musing on “The Muse”

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photo credit: JulieFaith via photopin cc

The idea of a creative muse, is often thought to be a faery goddess of sorts; one that inspires you so much with their beauty, you cannot help but create a masterpiece. Surely, this could be your experience with muses. All things are possible. But all too often, we wait for that faery goddess to appear, whether in dreams, or at the coffee shop; before we begin that essay, start that poem, gather the clippings for that collage, or sing that special song. And if our perfect idea of a muse doesn’t show up in the way we think it should, we end up feeling stuck.

I’m here to share with you, this truth. And it can be your truth if you so desire. A muse can be anyone, anything, that stirs something beyond names and labels, in the soul. Ugly, painful experiences can be muses; inspiring you to crack open the darkness to expose its purpose. Things that make you angry, can be muses; they stir up emotion and get the heart racing. And YOU can be your own muse, as you gather the broken pieces of Life and use them to create mosaics!

From experience, I know this much is true; that to write, you must begin by putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. To sing, you must drop the fear of what your own voice will sound like. To create works of art, you must make friends with color, light, darkness, and blank surfaces waiting to be filled, with something purely awesome, or mediocre. To experience the fullness of creativity, sometimes, you have to draw the muse, paint the muse, piece her together from old magazine clippings, and sometimes, you just have to BE her.

Write On!

Welcome! And Other Crazy Rantings…

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photo credit: florbelas fotographix via photopin cc

I’m a blogging, bloggers, blog biz, blog creating, blog reading, addict. And there is plenty out there to feed my addiction. This makes me extremely happy. Because blogs hold within them, the passions and angst of their creators.

Blogging can serve many purposes; sometimes it’s all about sharing, and sometimes it’s all about venting, and the best times, are when the two merge.

As a professional freelancer/ghost blogger/artist, I appreciate the Internet and the space it has opened up for Creatives. The game is a bit different today than it was when I was a kid. When I was a kid, you had to wait for someone “more important” to care about what you had to say. We no longer need to aspire to catch the attention of some media guru. Of course, they usually have the money and extremely effective marketing plans; but I would rather have my freedom to create, when, where, and how, I choose to do so. And if the money happens to trail somewhere down the line behind all this passion and creativity, I’ll take it!

Because with money, comes the oohs and ahhhs of more handbags, blinged out flip-flops, crystals for my altar, oh and a brand new shiny Buddha statue altar, with the best incense ever! And I would never run out of candles, and I could purchase more lip gloss to wear while I’m chanting and doing my rituals,… and books, oh the books I could buy with all that money! I would need a new bookshelf…inside a bigger house, to hold all those books and the other stuff…

But,… the money is not really important; for me, blogging, the blog biz, is about the infinite ways I can express myself through word, symbols, and art.

So, welcome to the rantings of an ADHD creative, who lives and writes for the sake of the art.

And please check out my blogging and coaching biz with my Soul Sister Andie at iwondersisterhood.com, where we sell things too. And please buy something, because we are good people, who don’t care about any money.

Cheers Everyone!