200 pages down.

30 Day Blog Challenge
I'm 2/3s of the way done with Pearl's book. I've been on a first name basis with her since I began this journey. Reading it makes me wonder how much wisdom gets lost because women don't share their most intimate thoughts? Either aloud or in writing? Many of us live our lives, and simply figure out the hard shit as we go along. Some read the self-help gurus say, and I'm sure there's plenty of insight to be gained by doing so. Others bond and grow through occasional talks with a close friend. But how many of us engage in a systematic effort to document (your real) life and the lessons it teaches you? Either for your own reflection and edification or for the express purpose of passing it on?…
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Truth or dare

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative
From Joshunda's interview with Pearl Cleage: A dual history of bias and internalized oppression has kept most black women from publishing their memoirs or journals, Cleage adds, for fear of emotional and economic reprisals. "After slavery ended, black women continued to put forward the idea that we were good, sexually responsible women, going up against the racist stereotypes that came out of the madness of slavery," Cleage says. "But there was still the fear of being too honest around white people. I don't feel that's a legitimate feeling for me. I'm going to tell the truth to whoever is in the room." When I read truth, I feel courageous and emboldened. Powerful. Magical. Writing the truth, however, is altogether different. But when I do, that's when folks nod. Say, I felt…
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The Drum at the Gate of Thunder and other gosho to women

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April
One of my projects-in-progress is a review of Nichiren Daishonin's gosho to women. Nichiren was a Buddhist monk who came of age in 13th century Japan, and a gosho is an honorable writing (go is an honorific prefix and sho means writings). Nichiren wrote many letters and treatises in his lifetime, and the extant among them were translated and published with background about the recipient when it was known. English versions of his writings are in two volumes published by the Soka Gakkai International: Writings of Nichiren Daishonin Vol 1 and Vol 2. Over the course of several years, I read all of the writings in volume 1 in chronological order. I thought it would be an interesting project to reread them in a new way, through a different lens.…
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The magic of “and”

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April
People are binary thinkers. They revel in the use of or. You can be smart or you can be popular. You can be a tall woman or you can be pretty. You can be masculine or you can be a good parent. It's ridiculous to consider these things mutually exclusive, although some people do. And if we think about it, we can easily access counterexamples which prove "and" is possible in these instances. I enjoyed this article by Katy Brand. In it, she addresses sexism and the people who sometimes unwittingly perpetuate it (including a man she once dated). She opens with a vignette about a wedding toast, and closes with a nod to Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the main subject of the piece: Much has been made of Australian…
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Freedom Fighters

Feminist Thought, Politics, News & Notable
Freedom fighting, creation and imagination my favorite topics to mull. Last night I was  awake past my bedtime, and a trip down the rabbit hole known as the Internet led me to this great find. It's a podcast in two main parts. The first features Angela Davis and Grace Lee Boggs speaking at the Empowering Women of Color Conference. The second features an excerpt from Daniel Rasmussen's book, American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt. The cast is from 2012, but conversations about freedom are always timely. Shout out to Renina Jarmon for the recommendation.
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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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At dusk, I’m thinking

Feminist Thought, Politics, News & Notable
It's Wednesday and the sun is setting. I'm enduring a rare headache. It has not drowned in water nor drifted away in sleep, despite my best efforts. I guess it's here to stay a bit. I'm due to stay up this evening and watch American Horror Story. I'm not normally a night owl, but I'm doing it this one time in solidarity with Sojo and Ms. Smart so we can do one of these. Just this one time though...I'm thinking about compassionate capitalism. I imagine such a thing exists. I want you to imagine it, too. I aim to find it, and write about it, as to expand our understanding about what's possible in a loving society. I'm thinking about practitioners of restorative justice, especially those in Georgia or in the south.…
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Spelman’s Wellness Revolution: Let it roll!

30 Day Blog Challenge
There are quite a few 18-year-olds walking around Spelman College in 40-year-old bodies. This and similar data pointing to a culture of "wellness illiteracy" helped Spelman President Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum launch a Wellness Revolution. Dr. Tatum spoke at the 3rd Annual Black Women's Life Balance and Wellness Conference on September 14-15, 2013. She opened with the story of a Spelman graduate turned lecturer who died at the age of 34. She was well on her way professionally, but her life came to an untimely end due to obesity related complications. Dr. Tatum then linked this experience of a former student with the lives of her current students. As entering freshmen enroll, the health center collects medical and wellness statistics so they will be prepared to meet their needs. About half…
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Other ways to serve

30 Day Blog Challenge, Politics, News & Notable
Prompt from BlogHer NaBloPoMo: Would you ever want to run for public office? Why or why not? No, I don't have interest in holding public office, much less going through the stress of running. That being said, I am interested in politics and I would consider being more involved in the political process if the opportunity arose. It's been on my mind a lot lately: What is the best way to get progressive women involved in local politics? And not just involved, but have a fighting shot? #p2 #fem2 — nicole means victory (@ndcollier) September 15, 2013 I'm not a PR person (despite my first job out of undergrad). But I do think smart, progressive women need a voice in local government. — nicole means victory (@ndcollier) September 15, 2013…
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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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