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Friday, April 15, 2016

Be Your Family or Friends Keeper: Dealing With Mental Health

I have spoke on this particular subject once before (I Will End The Mental Illness Stigma) but it covered a broad range of mental illness and given resources for help. This time around I want to focus on a personal level. This time I want to give some helpful tips on how to help a person dealing with mental illness. The awesome organization NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a free 12 session educational program designed for families, friends, or significant others to learn how to live with someone who suffers from mental illness. It helps those individuals improve the coping and problem-solving techniques when dealing directly with their affected loved one. To check out your local NAMI location just visit their website at www.nami.org.

Many families deal with mental illness especially within the African-American community that they either choose not to address it or don't know the signs. What they dont realize is that your mental health ultimately affects your physical health. Studies have shown poor emotional health can weaken  your immune system (familydoctor.org), which is why African-Americans lead when it comes to high blood pressure. So if you love someone who deals with mental illness help them, help you, help them...I'll explain. I have a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with bipolar, so whenever I know she is doing good, I worry less. When things are in a disarray I'm usually the anxious one and its usually her that calms me down. If she's ok I'm ok, see simple. Now every case may not be the same as ours, by all means we are not the best example of a best friend relationship, but even with the illness we make it work because we have both recognized and are treating our illness. Maybe you are not sure of the signs well here are a few:

1. Withdrawl-from family and no interest doing any activities
2. Nervousness- Constant suspiciousness of even those who are close to you, always feeling nervous.
3. Sleep and appetite changes- sleeping way more than usual or not getting any sleep at all. Either not eating enough or overeating.
4. Mood changes: When their emotions are to the extreme (extreme anger, extreme sadness etc)
5. Thoughts of suicide- If you or someone you know have had these thoughts or have attempted suicide there is help. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

I try to talk to my mom sometimes, and no lie its a challenge. I think its because she knows that mental illness is present with me she just doesn't know how to respond because dealing with someone with a mental illness is very very unpredictable. That is why I strongly encourage my readers to seek out every resource possible. Until then here are a few tips that I find helpful:

1. Let them talk- Sometimes all they want to know is that they have what is called a "safety spot". Where they come to someone and they know there will be no judgement, or will not get scolded. Do what you can to gain that person's trust.

2. Some things are going to sound repetitive: Be patient because a lot of things that people with anxiety deal with is worrying about the same thing until a solution is found, and then they begin to worry if the solution will work. Be reassuring with them and sometimes you may have to repeat yourself but it makes communication much easier. Just remain calm ad cool and your energy will pass along to those who are ill.

3. Don't remind them of their illness- You want to do whatever you can to avoid it, simply because they may not even be thinking about it. That is why its so important to spend time with the person with the illness, gaining trust. Do things that will distract them from focusing on their illness. Find a spot that gives them peace and serenity and go there often. Mine is the lake in Hermann Park in Houston,TX. Water soothes me and they also have the Japanese Garden which is so beautiful and peaceful, places like that.

4. Don't you change- You can be yourself around the person. You're close to them for a reason so dont treat them as if they have the illness, remember DO NOT remind them that they are ill. Remain positive and optimistic around them and this also helps eases the illness.

5. Congratulate them when they are doing well- Let them know that you see any changes that they have made. Remind them to always stay on their treatment or if they haven't started treatment encourage them to get help. Be available if they choose to go get treatment, no one wants to feel as if they are alone in getting help. Be open to any and all suggestions that the doctors or counselors may give and follow through.

Remember you can play a major part in helping a person with mental illness.


www.psychiatry.org 
http://www.calmclinic.com
http://www.webmd.com
www.nami.org.


Peace And Blessings
Swagg P
"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and Will Not Include A Performance From Beyonce

"You will not be able to stay at home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and
Skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised"

Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron was a great African-American soul, jazz, poet, and "bluesologist" singer who created the poem and song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". As he complimented these powerful words alongside the beat or congas and bongo drums this message originally was a slogan among the 1960's  Black Power movement. It's lyrics focused on several TV shows, advertising slogans and icons of the entertainment and news coverage as examples of what "the revolution will not" be. His music also influenced the Hip-Hop and the Neo-Soul genres with his ability to both sing and rap in his songs such as in his album Pieces of a Man and also Winter in America. Which leads me to ask, will you be too caught up in the latest car commercial or anticipating the latest album from your favorite artist to realize when the revolution will be?

I've learned as a student of Communications I've learned the nuances of the underlining tools that the media tends to use when wanting the public to not focus on the bigger issues at hand. It seems these days with the power of social media a simple tweet between celebrities can distract millions from some of the world's most important issues. Now you are at the line in which you ask "Well are the celebrities really responsible for making people more socially conscious?", well I believe that will always be a question where we would have to agree to disagree. I however don't feel they are obligated but more so to be more thoughtful of how this could the shoes could be on the other foot. However one can hope and pray. Now I am not saying be so socially conscious to where you have to make everything in life a conspiracy theory, however don't let the wool go down too far over your eyes. Let's take for example the following current events: you have Beyonce stupendous Superbowl performance followed the very great performance given by Kendrick Lamar (which both are now on the Grammy winning list). Both performances were filled with racially conscious messages which me personally was expected from Kendrick from the gate he has made what I would say "consciously sound" music, but out steps Bey? Beyonce has become one of the world's biggest entertainers of our time, her music has always been universal, so her stepping into what may say in her "Alabama/Louisiana/Houston" roots kinda took me aback. I mean you have little girls of all races wanting to be her and here she was featuring her daughter Blue in her video with what a little formation of the future Destiny's Child. Then having a lineup of dancers with their afros and their Black Panther meets Michael Jackson 2010 SuperBowl influenced uniforms to shut down the halftime show (despite the almost fall that no one really caught because Beyonce is always on beat), and some of us our sitting like "Where did this come from?". By some of us I mean about 12 black people and ALLLLL of White America. Personally after a discussion with a few of my colleagues we can all agree WE WERE ALL HERE FOR IT! Now were we necessarily here for the extended promo she did at the end nah, we has a race were on a high and then BOOM by the way here is my tour. Its feels like well dang Bey can you let me black and proud and breathe this moment of Black Excellence that just took place at the most watched and paid for event EVER before you go the pockets? Now we can all agree hats off and kudos to that FABULOUS PR team, talk about the best eff'n timing on earth, however as I was watching I just wanted the moment to just last a but longer before something else was to grab our attention, hence the "distraction" tactic often used in the media and is a definitely a tool used in promotions.

Now by all means I'm now Beyonce hater but neither am I apart of the Beyhive. I am also not yet another lost soul, or coon, or sell out, or a Raven Simone as I have seen on FaceBook and Twitter whenever you say anything at all negative about Beyonce. I am black woman that realizes that it takes more than a song to fix what has been going on for at least over 100 years now. How that we have so much work and construction within our own community before we can fight any other battle. We openly and blatantly destroy our own community on a daily, whether its our black on black crime for materialistic things. When we pass up our black owned businesses because they don't have the labels of mainstream media that we feel we need to have to be accepted into society. I honestly didn't realize that society had a dress code hence the fact that your have so many different fashion designers everywhere. Maybe just maybe would it hurt to employ a black lawn service, or go support that young brother or sister trying to make a name for themselves in the fashion world. Can we not let the few bad business dealings that you have had within our community change your entire outview because wouldn't that be categorizing, which is a stigma we have been trying for years to break. I admit you have those whose antics set us back a few centuries however that is not the representative for our community, but unfortunately you have more and more souls selling to the highest bidder but that's another blog. I would just prefer and again this is just my preference to let local African-American trend more often. Beyonce has set and broken so many records and have many accolades behind her name. However what about the local man operating after school buildings out of his pocket just to offer sheild the youth from the drug infested environment they have to live in. The teacher that comes in early and stays late to ensure that her students get the most information possible in a low funded school. This is just a vision that I would like to see Let these words reside with you in love and hope, and not fault and hate.

                         





Peace And Blessings
Swagg P

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Press Release: Pink Elephant Festival Artist Spotlight: Lady BSmoove



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2016 Austin, TX




For full press release click here: http://tinyurl.com/zw72y7z

Featured Artist: Lady BSmoove

Vocalist, Songwriter, Author and Activist Lady Bsmoove has done it again! She is fervently geared up to release her 2nd debut production, Live Love Dream; an album and book project filled with Truth, Universal-Love, Power and Courage, and a little bit of her soul.



With her first self-publishing project (2nd debut album) Lady Bsmoove gives her audience the opportunity to see life through her heart, determination and movement. Working with artists like Original Soul (musician and producer), Mario “Mr. Havic” Porter (producer), Donald Story (singer and producer) and Drin Elliot (keyboardist) offered her the creative space and development to artistically cross boundaries, raise expectations and progressively speak truth throughout the art of her poetry and music.

Laby Bsmoove’s musical and inspired journey began in 2006 while hosting and performing at The Kaffe Coffee House in Dallas, Texas, alongside several phenomenal artists from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area. Since then, her poems and lyrics have been published in Voices of Poetry, Volume 4 and 5 by Regent Publishing. Her works have also been nominated for a Legacy of Success Foundation Award for Best Literary Works and a UBE Ally Award.

Since her start in this creative arts world Laby Bsmoove have shared the stage with the likes of Malcom Jamal Warner, Audacious IAM, Michael Guinn, Kevin Dupree, and many more; while featuring on stages from The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (Dallas, Texas), Dallas LGBT Pride Monthly Kick Off at City Hall and Dallas Pride Celebration (Dallas, Texas – 2012, 2013), Muse Theater (Dallas, Texas), Fahari Arts Institute (Dallas, Texas), The HeArt Series (Houston, TX), The Boys and Girls Club of Memphis (Memphis, TN) and many more. In 2010 Lady Bsmoove joined forces with poet and spoken word artist Audacious IAM and went on tour, sharing her work throughout Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia on The Southern Made Tour.




Not only is Lady Bsmoove a performance artist she was the Co-Owner and Event Coordinator of SmooveQ’s Entertainment and Catering Company in 2009 up until 2011. Throughout this journey she and her business partner produced (and collaborated) several events and productions throughout the DFW Metroplex. She also was co-host of the radio show, KEBNradio.com together with Kia D and Audacious IAM.

She released her 1st debut album, Thought You Knew (Independent Project) in October of 2008 and it was sold in stores throughout the DFW Metroplex and at shows/events from Dallas, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2012 Lady BSmoove was seen as the best candidate to host to host the 3rd Annual South Dallas AIDS Walk in Dallas, Texas. Recently she was featured in the documentary film, Beneath My Skin (June 2014) while have written the title poem. She continues to be not only an artist, but an entrepreneur and activist who continue to fight; reminding us all to Live, Love and Dream –NO MATTER WHAT.

To review more facts and knowledge about Laby Smoove and her movement you may review the following published interviews with her; Dallas Lit Monthly Magazine, Dallas Voice.

Don’t forget to follow Lady Bsmoove on
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram


www.ladybsmoove.wix.com/ladybsmoovemusic
www.cdbaby.com/ladybsmoove
www.facebook.com/ladybsmoove
www.youtube.com/ladybsmoove




                                         


















































"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

LBGT: Let's Bash Gays Together


               I come in peace I swear, but let's discuss this title and give me a chance to explain. Picture this, we have this female for the sake of the example let's call her Pamela. Pamela grew up in a single parent home, it was a house full of women. Her mother was strong, so she did everything on her own. She raised Pamela and her sibling showing them the true meaning of "Girl Power" and instilled in them a strong sense of independence. Once Pamela got older and starting to experience physical attractions, women always gave her a stronger feeling. However Pamela was raised with very religious grandparents so she always fought with the "your going to hell if your're gay" feeling. So Pamela continued to go a and date guys and be the typical teenager. When Pamela turned 16 she met a guy. Everything a 16 year old ever wanted, he was in college, car, and job and he wanted her. As time progressed the relationship turned bad, so bad that she was raped by him. After years of praying, crying, healing, therapy and soul searching Pamela felt safe again to start dating. By this time she was in adulthood, and she had then grew apart from the religion yet still spiritually grounded, and decided she would fulfill this desire and the hidden love for women. Her first girl experience was just as mind blowing and soul touching as she imagined and she then knew, this is where her happiness lies.

             Now Pamela is at a point in her life where she finally feels comfortable standing in her truth and embrace the fact that she still had a slight attraction to men. Now does that attraction outweigh her attraction to women, nope not by a long shot however, she was willing to explore this attraction just to see if this is what she really wanted. After her first encounter with the opposite sex she was sure, more confident that if she must be labeled she is now bi-sexual. After the many years of her standing firm in her lesbian title, and being open enough to admit she was once a part of the "bash the bi's" club she was now on the other side *insert Adele Hello here*. For a while Pamela battled on who to tell, no one knew about her encounter and how much she enjoyed it because her dear close friends are not only lesbians, but masculine centered lesbians. Her thoughts would consist of, what would they say? Will they stay by my side or leave immediately? Would they now place me in the horrid stigma of bi-sexual women? It ate her up inside so finally she told them. The love and embrace was everything Pamela wanted and needed. Now Pamela knows that the rest of the world may not be so acceptive for many view bi-sexuals as "confused", but she had her those that loved her for her and now Pamela wakes up every morning living her truth.

                        Unlike Pamela not many can say they can wake up and live in their truth, and I believe in the LBGT community the B and the T seem to get shamed the most. This is not just in society but unfortunately within our own community. You would think since the rest of society already outcast and continuously frown upon us that we within the community would be more caring and supportive of our own. Yet on a daily basis whether it social media or even out in public I see my fellow brothers and sisters in the community frowning, and being nasty and derogatory towards our own. Its like the famous William Shakespeare play Julius Caesar, the quote "et tu, Brute" comes to mind. Now to sit and say that some under those 2 letters don't make it easy for the derogatory terms to be allowed is truth. Those that tend to withhold important information such as true gender identity, or not being upfront with where their attraction lies tend to happen often. Right now as I type there is a transgender man/woman who is talking to someone and not telling them their true gender, however that could be with anyone. Its a married man right now telling a single young woman he is "divorced" or "getting a divorce" with absolutely no intention on doing so. It's a female right now telling some single young man that her kids are her nieces and nephews, deception is everywhere. However this can not be a label put on everyone under these letters. There are transgender men/women who let you know up front who you are getting. There are bi-sexual women and men that will tell you upfront I am bi-sexual. There are those who live in their truth DAILY. I don't believe in one person being a representation for all, that asinine. Each are their own individual living comfortably in their own skin and will not be held back by any stigma period!

                         Many may agree and feel "well this is someone's preference why let what others think of them stop them?" Because let's be honest it does affect them some way. To look to at every social media outlet, and television and constantly see the continuous misconceptions being played and discussed affects those who are currently bi-sexual or transgender or would like to come out as bi-sexual or trans mental and emotional state. Speaking on my behalf, it wasn't easy at all. I had hella insecurities and the responses to the many questions that I was about to face. To be honest I didn't have the answers Sway, because I'm still in the learning process. A wise person once said "You learn something new everyday" and that includes yourself.  It was the harsh responses of previous associates that stood in their truth that had me scared. By all means, I have visions and goals and ideas to share with the world and damn it I want to taken seriously. It is a very difficult task when people are adding to the stigma on daily. I mean who's to say this isn't the beginning of a change? Hell what if my blog is the blog that cleared the hatred within our own community so that we may stand stronger in numbers for the real battle which is society. I mean a girl can dream huh? At the end of the day I'm responsible for me and my mark that I leave in the world. Although the hippie part of me wants us the L B G and T to all be standing proudly under that flag, its just not that easy. I know that me myself (Pamela) will definitely play my part in ending the stigma.







SwaggP

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Monday, January 11, 2016

Write The Vision

" A man without a vision is a man without a future. A man without a future will always return to his past." -P.K. Bernard. As the year came to a close I have saw a few of my visions come to pass that I didn't really see coming. However, I still have work that needs to be done on a personal and career level. I tend to set goals and have visions in my mind often and I do everything with them but write them down. By the time the opportunity comes around, well everything that shouldn't have sidetracked me did and now I don't remember anything. It sucks, it's frustrating, and makes me feel that maybe that opportunity may not come back around. So one of the many changes I have decided starting the new year is what I want to call the write out. Now I'm not coming with the typical "new year new me bladah bladah bladah" but yet discipline myself today for a better tomorrow. So I ask have you written out your vision board yet?

Now some may have already heard and started or already completed your board. For a few you may not be sure on where to start. Well here are a few things to keep in mind while planning out your vision board.

1. A vision board is everything you've envisioned in plain site. When you close your eyes and daydream, or when you calculate a plan you typically in your head see how its going to turn out through your eyes. So why not print out what you see. Whether it be finishing school, traveling more, reconnecting with someone or something. Whatever it may be that puts a fire under you and fills your heart with joy. That constant thought, that is what is called your vision.

2. Nothing is too big or too small, don't minimize anything If it's Paris for summer vacation then put up all the sights you want to see when you get there. If its a BMW put up a photo of the exact car you want. You want to see the things that motivate you to do more in life. Some may say speaking it into existence (Isaiah 55:11- So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return  unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it) those fluid in faith understands this and how important it is when making your vision plain.

3. A little information is better than none. Start finding out the beginning steps to make the vision come to life. I'm currently working on a shirt line that caters to the plus size community. I have already started looking into what's needed to start this the right way, and I feel so close to this vision being complete. So whether it's a restaurant or even a non-profit organization start finding out things that you can do right now to get that started.

4. I believe that it's ok to have 2 boards, one for the parents and one for kids. Parents can then set goals for themselves outside the family. Spa Ma Days and for my single fathers Daddy's Duty-less Day. Set plans as a family such as 2 vacations this year instead of 1. To spend more time talking to each other before it gets to a point where everyone is talking at each other. For couples start making date nights more frequent. Listen to your mate as they speak in general conversations and surprise them with a creative date or the date of their dreams. At the end of the day don't forget the things that made you a family. Kids are included, start them early. Whether it's all A's throughout the first semester, or maybe being more active in school (clubs, bands, sports), or preparing for college whatever their vision is help them put it on a board. Make it a family date and everyone work on their board together.

5. When it comes to finance, print out any of the many saving challenges. Choose the one that fits perfectly with your finances, there is such a large variety that way you don't have to try to do something that is not within range. I found the most helpful one on https://www.pinterest.com/explore/savings-challenge/ 

At the end of the day a vision board is there as a reminder not to take the eyes off of the prize. Remember not to let negative energy and people around you while in the process of completing your goals. Start on the small things now like knowledge and the beginning steps, because we must crawl before we walk. But after a while the small stuff can then lead to bigger things, things that will bring you one step closer to your vision. Stay strong, stay focused, you got this!
                                   




Peace And Blessings
Swagg P
"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Sunday, December 27, 2015

End Of The Year Reaches

Well readers we are all at the wonderful time of the year where everyone with a social media account goes on an entirely long list of what they are not going to do in 2016, and now memes have made it even more convenient. Now Im not the one to say whether out not that person will or will not do so but according to Forbes approximately 8% of people actually keep their New Years Resolution, mighty dim right? You also have your closures, those that just need to clean and clear out their conscience because bringing that into the new year is not an option. Now keep in mind some people take this time of the year to "feasts on their prey" those that take their misfortunes and use them as a ploy tacit on another's weaken emotions, no, not those, they gets no love from me. Im speaking of those really in their heart committed to make a change for the better. I applaud those, the shit aint easy, especially when you cant see the wrong you did, but something in your heart just cant let them go. That person has impacted your life so much that they were one of the lucky ones to become embedded in your heart, and to cut them out, is to cut a piece of your heart. And yeah you know that time heals all wounds, but who wants to expect a wound coming? However I myself have a closure. Mine is a closure of a what was once a beautiful friendship. It was a tale of 2 misinterpreted individuals who met each others needs like no other. Whatever I needed whether it was a shopping trip or date he was the one to call (using the correct pronoun for the situation). We had dreams that we were gonna help each other to achieve and jealously and hatred reared its ugly head and next thing you know, no calls returned, no text, no nothing. Will we ever be the same if paths ever cross, I know realistically no, but just know I miss you and this open letter is for you, may God send it your way. For those who may have had a falling out with someone and you know damn well it was something you could have gotten past, let me say PRIDE will get your whole life put on the sideline. Because why put off tomorrow what can be done today. Why let something a small and dumb as pride let you loose out on a lifetime friend. Don't ever let the bad outweigh the good, because finding good in people nowadays is finding a needle in a haystack. So just something to think over let this letter inspire you..


Dear Mr. West,


Last night I had a dream man real crazy. It was a dream of deep down how I miss you so much. In my dream I was holding your trans man hand and we were talking and laughing and dancing like we used to. Holding each other oh so close like we used to. Your hearty accent chopping away at my heart like it used to. At work overnight you used to satisfy my insomnia appetite and until the sun came me and you shared our lives our hopes our failures and downfalls with each other...it don't feel right if I do it with another. Because I know somewhere deep inside there is a robe gavel and jury waiting and with you I have no doubt that when we hang up and you call back you still love me no matter what and that's a known fact. But what is unknown is where the future lies, will our paths cross again or is this the year our friendship has died. And if it is not written in Gods plans than so be it but pray for me because this lost will be particularly hard because all ever wanted was you me and our unbreakable bond under some island stars...I'm sorry...ttyl...or goodbye.




Peace and Blessings
Swagg P





"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Sunday, December 13, 2015

iGrind

iGrind because God grants me a new opportunity to do so everyday he wakes me up
iGrind because I have future generations that will be affected by my current decisions
iGrind because I never want to see another bad day if I don't have to
iGrind for those who couldn't find a better way in enough time
iGrind for those whose light was dimmed way too soon.
iGrind for those who will soon carry my namesake
iGrind for those paying with their lives for our race sake (moment of silence)
iGrind because this is what I have been taught since I was small
Either go for it all, or don't go for it at all...
iGrind



Peace and Blessings
Swagg P

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"