Since 10pm last night I’ve been fighting a huge tension knot in my back-shoulder blade region. I experienced this same irritant the other week.

It’s reared it’s ugly head again.

The more I chase the pain, more knots and aches surface. Stretching hasn’t resolved it. The back is an interesting place to carry stress, pain, sadness, worry, anger, and any other draining energy. I say this because unlike the limbs it is a region that is difficult to reach by oneself. You need help to cover this large space.

Thankfully I own a few myofascial rollers, one of which I’m using…right…now…as I chase this pain away.

I wish I could have a massage every single day. But my budget just laughs and says, “keep working and wishing girlfriend“.

Aches and pains remind me of my deferred maintenance. These knots make it clear that I’m not taking care of myself like I need to. My body will keep reminding me.

Our bodies do not remain silent. They tell us when they are tired of being ignored, overlooked, abused, overworked, and misused. Our bodies will always let us know when we aren’t doing enough to protect the very thing that we need to make our way through each day.

I’m painfully listening and complying….

I. Need. Release.

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant/Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

I proudly celebrate National Siblings Day because I’m honored to be a sister and I’m honored to have Alexandra as my sister, cuckoo-cachoo and all! We’re goofy, together and apart.

I love this woman and I always will. It’s a bond that will never be broken. It’s a love like nothing else. Sisterhood is so amazing!

~Natasha

I’m honored to share the video below of a brilliant man who is also my cousin.

Mr. Harold Wallace III is my paternal third cousin, who I knew when he was a baby and small child. We lost touch as he grew into young adulthood and manhood, but thankfully a few years ago we reconnected on Facebook.

Harold spoke at the TEDx that was held on March 27, 2018 at Pittsburgh State University (PSU) in Kansas. The theme was “Diversity in Our World“. The title of Harold’s speech is “The Everyday Struggle: Switching Codes For Survival“.

Harold shared a few nuggets of information that I already knew, like the cities where he grew up in California, that he was an intelligent child, and that he earned his MBA and is a staff member at PSU. But the bulk of what he shared about himself I did not know and apparently neither did his mother (for he apologized in the beginning for what he was now sharing publicly).

My eyes welled up with tears to hear him recall childhood memories of violence that he witnessed and experienced firsthand on the streets in L.A. County. I had no clue of the survival techniques he had to utilize to not become a negative statistic.

How in the world did he thrive in an environment created to destroy?

The only reasoning that I can come up with as to why Harold survived and thrived when so many didn’t and don’t is because:

1) God’s angels kept their hands on him and he did not resist their guidance and redirection, and

2) His family’s love and support, and

3) His love of education and learning kept his mind and heart focused on bigger and greater, and

4) Harold mastered the art and science of code-switching (which he explains in this TEDx Talk).

This recipe doesn’t always work for all people, but it clearly worked for Harold.

What Harold defines as “code-switching” is what I grew up mastering (and helped raise my sister to understand) as “mask switching“. I’ve been doing it for almost 40 years now. It’s become my way of life. Harold shared an example of another master code-switcher, former US President Barack Obama.

To hear brief examples of how Harold has had to code-switch and especially now as an adult, I teared up again. It takes a great deal of effort and energy, but he does it every single day in his attempt to bring and maintain “harmony” in every environment he enters. Please watch the video to learn more.

Something else that Harold shared that I never knew and never thought to ask him, was why he pursued a career at a university. Harold is the Assistant Director of Student Diversity Programs at PSU. To hear his reason and passion for what he does and why, I smiled brightly—because it’s similar to why I pursued and am now a college professor. You have to hear Harold tell his story in this TEDx.

I love Harold’s solution to our diversity needs and issues in the US, especially, as it relates to our current cultural climate. It’s brilliant. It’s simple, well…to a willing participant. Any person who wants to be valued and respected should try out Harold’s approach and see how it helps to change how you see and treat yourself and others.

Please watch this awesome video of Harold. I’m not just saying it’s awesome because it’s my cousin speaking. I’m saying it’s awesome because the message shared is powerful, moving, compelling, engaging, and encouraging. There is a takeaway from his message, there’s a call to action without the firm ask; there’s an indirect challenge to see if we all have it in us and are willing to L.I.E.

What’s L.I.E.? You have to watch the video to find out! After you watch it, please share this with others and feel free to comment below this post. Thank you.

~Natasha

If you recall, a few weeks ago I ordered two books online: The 21 Second Hug, written by my cousin, Pepsi Caligone, and Believe Bigger: Discover the Path to Your Life Purpose, written by my friend, Marshawn Evans Daniels.

Well, before I head out to do my workout (and challenge Pepsi’s sister and mom in our weekly Fitbit challenge) I decided to record this video. Check it out. Thank you!

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant/Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Beloved…

“Mother of the Nation”…

Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela Mandela…the western world knows as Ms. Winnie Mandela, has transitioned from her earthly body today at the age of 81.

Ms. Mandela, may you live eternally in peace.

May other women, both young and more seasoned pick up your torch, stand strong and courageously, determined to never give up or give in until freedom and equity is fully and truly achieved in every sense of their meanings.

Ms. Mandela was and is a force to be reckoned with, that propaganda machines tried to destroy, but failed to do.

Women are to be seen and only heard when called on to speak, and only allowed to say what is deemed respectable and respectful by man. And Black women have less rights than that, especially during the apartheid-era in South Africa.

Some of the culprits have even come forward and admitted their roles and explained that they had to do it to keep her from growing in power and influence; they couldn’t afford having this woman convince her then-husband, Nelson Mandela, to do and say the bold things that would’ve elevated all of South Africa to a status equal to those nations that had colonized and controlled it; they couldn’t risk the domino effect it would create throughout the African continent.

So the propaganda machine worked instead on a strategy of divide and conquer.

They divided the Mandela family. They divided Black leadership. They divided the ANC. They divided a nation. They almost turned the world against Ms. Mandela.

Almost.

Propaganda machines are fueled by and rely upon the ignorant and uninformed.

However, with every conspiracy there are always the enlightened who you will never fall for the trick and never will convert. Those of us who see clearly the deception, smoke and mirrors, and the games, also saw the plot against Ms. Mandela.

Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela Mandela, we will continue to speak up, speak out, act timely, hold accountable, and demand that all of God’s people live and die with dignity, with the same resources, advantages, and opportunities as those who once and still do oppress them.

You fought an amazing fight Ms. Mandela. You can now rest and watch over your beloved nation. 💗

Here is a snippet of a nice tribute that ABC News created for Ms. Mandela: https://twitter.com/abc/status/980870784833945602?s=21

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant

Please watch this video.

The message shared is bold, deep, poignant, and personal.

She will make you laugh and cry, want to shout and sing, and test out your lyrical skills. She will make you think about life, self, and those around you—near and far.

It’s a reminder to all of us.

You won’t be disappointed I promise you.

Listen to the words of Tramisha Poindexter and then pause to self-reflect. Make sure that you click the “like” button so that we can send this young woman a message loud and clear.

Thank you.

~Natasha