On Clearing Space and Creating Victory

Spirituality, Temple Building, Text Talk, Women's Health
Over on PhYINomenal, Sojo's self care focus for November is Elimination – time to release, remove, denounce, deny and let go. It's a great time to release that which no longer serves you and invite in affirming energy, new processes, and transformative experiences. If you've never checked out her site, today's a great day to do it. Get the self care calendar for November and see what simple things you can do to release the deadweight and bring new life. Over the years I've found myself in that place many times. One time in particular, I was stuck, stagnant and depleted. I needed something, anything, that could help me recharge my life and get inspired again. I finally realized that I didn't need to look outside myself for the answers. With…
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8 days. Now 1.

Women's Health
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="236"] It's sort of like this.[/caption] Pre-op was a week ago today. I saw my doctor and a nurse I'd never met. The nurse drew my blood so the hospital lab could, in the doctor's words, "get to know me." When she drew the blood, she also gave me a plastic wristband. It's red with a clear rectangular window for a custom label. Said label is customized with my name and birthday, my doctor's name, a bar code, and the date and time of my surgery. She told me once she fastened it, I was not to take it off until I arrived at the hospital. She looked at me and paused to let it sink in. So you'll have to keep this on over a week. I blinked, taking this…
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FDA discourages power morcellation for #fibroids

30 Day Blog Challenge, Women's Health
Last month, the New York Times blog published a piece about the dangers of laparoscopic power morcellation – a technique used to remove the uterus or uterine fibroids. The author, Jane Brody explained it this way: The technique involves insertion of a tiny instrument with a rapidly rotating blade, the morcellator, that breaks up the fibroid so that it can be sucked out through the small opening of a laparoscope. The grotesque image that comes to mind is that of a food processor. I won't elaborate, but the technique is designed to allow large tissue to be extracted through small incisions. This is ostensibly less invasive and allows for faster healing. Brody continued: As recent reports have shown, however, power morcellation can also cause serious and sometimes life-threatening complications. ... This problem is…
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Fibroids and Mojo

Personal Narrative, Women's Health
So I'm getting my mojo back! I woke up this morning and felt high on endorphins even though I had only a few hours of sleep and no exercise. Over the past few weeks, I've felt more and more myself. Since the beginning of the year, I've been seeing an acupuncturist as a first line of treatment for my fibroids. Dr. Liu is a trained medical doctor who learned Chinese medicine later. She aims to help the body achieve optimum health with the belief that it will then be able to dissolve the fibroids. She's had a lot of success with patients, and although there are no guarantees, I can definitely say I'm feeling better than I have in months. That is a huge win. In addition to my higher energy…
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One Night Only

Personal Narrative, Women's Health
Thursday I wrote about National Wear Red Day, an initiative to raise awareness for American Heart Month. Later that evening, the American Heart Association's hosted the annual Heart Truth Red Dress Collection fashion show. Held in conjunction with national sponsor Macy's, the event promised a star-studded catwalk. Celebs would include Gina Torres, Kat Graham, Alicia Quarles, and Anika Noni Rose. Anika asked me to tune in if I could. I did, so I did. The fashion show, streamed online, began fashionably late. The women sported gorgeous designer gowns, some of them strutting, dancing, and bouncing down the runway. Although the online stream played some strange techno mix, I later discovered the live audience was treated to upbeat songs. Anika shimmied and sashayed to Dreamgirls hit One Night Only. I'll admit…
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Go Red For Women

Personal Narrative, Women's Health
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and it's all pink all the time. Everything from your favorite football player to your favorite Yoplait can be spotted with a splash of pink. Despite the importance of cancer awareness initiatives, it's worth noting that heart disease is the number one killer of women. My mother is in that number. Over 10 years ago, she went to the emergency room complaining of chest pains and never made it home. The official cause of death was a brain hemorrhage, which was an unfortunate complication of her heart attack. Although she'd been slowly working to reclaim her fitness, lower her cholesterol and free herself of nicotine, time wasn't on her side. She died a few months before her 60th birthday. February is best known for…
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My Lover Kissed My Belly

Feminist Thought, Personal Narrative, Women's Health
I wrote a piece for the Body Narratives, a project founded and curated by Hana Riaz. The project creates space for women of color to reclaim and share their experiences. It's a beautiful platform, and I'm honored to have a piece included in this body of work. Here's Hana's introduction: Our bodies are often physically and emotionally tied, and yet the disconnect experienced, the gap between the two can often seem overwhelming, painful, difficult. In this moving and deeply honest piece, nicole d. collier talks about living with fibroids and the body as a site of trauma. Read the piece here.
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Lupus: Marla’s Story. Part 2.

Women's Health
You are your own best advocate. Be proactive when dealing with issues regarding your health. Ask questions and be informed. ~Marla Lupus is an autoimmune disorder most often diagnosed in people 15-45 years old. Anyone can develop lupus, but women make up 90% of cases.  According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, lupus is most common in women of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent. In this regard, Marla is representative of the 16,000 Americans who develop lupus annually. In Part 1 of this brief series, Marla shared the long road from obscure symptoms, to crisis, hospitalization, and diagnosis.  In this installment, she discusses the ways her life has changed as a result and how she is supported on her journey. [caption id="attachment_2359" align="alignleft" width="175"] Marla…
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Lupus: Marla’s Story. Part 1.

Women's Health
“Join Marla in the Fight Against Lupus.” Late last month, I checked email to find this subject line topping my inbox. I’ve known Marla, a slim, vibrant beauty from Chicago, since college. She’s always been stylish in her size zero clothes, a graceful stride in striking heels or casual kicks. Perhaps it’s the dancer in her, she’s regal, shoulders back, long neck, even when frowning about some injustice. Whether in locks or a full ‘fro, her hairdo compliments her warm countenance. [caption id="attachment_2344" align="alignright" width="339"] Marla (left) & me at Dina's wedding, 2011.[/caption] From the mid-90s until two years ago when we saw each other at a soror’s wedding, this was my enduring image of her. In 2011, she hadn’t changed a bit. And even though her life is dramatically…
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…but how do you want to feel?

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative, Productivity, Temple Building, Women's Health
I'm home, after a day of inspiration. And like I've been for the past few months, I'm tired. I'm not bone tired or weary, but I've just noticed that I'm not as energized as I used to be. There are many very specific reasons for that, but they all boil down to one: change. [caption id="attachment_639" align="alignright" width="258"] One day after work, I did handstands and cartwheels in this grass.[/caption] Over the past several months, I've changed a lot and so has my environment. From my zip code to my job responsibilities, to aspects of romantic and platonic relationships. Personal goals and professional goals have shifted. Exercise habits have changed. Food. The amount of time I spend in the sun or the ways I engage nature. The amount and type…
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