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Breaking up with the NFL: Taking a Knee

There have been several times when I have had to miss watching NFL football games. A few of these days were;1) The day I was born 2) The day my 3rd child was born 3) The day I was in Germany and realized the NY Giants were not going to be shown on any tv, anywhere in the country.

This year I will be missing several games, as a matter of fact, I will be missing the entire season. I love football, I wanted to be a quarterback when I was a little girl. One of my first jobs was as a secretary at the NFL’s NYC office, then years later another job gave me the opportunity to see some of the inner workings of the league. Football is a tough sport, sometimes brutal. The men that choose to be players are almost machine like and have wills of steel that push through some unimaginable pain and injuries. For decades, domestic abuse, drug use, depression, suicide, murder, murder attempts, rape, rape allegations, etc. have plagued the NFL. The league has done a poor job as a whole helping players and their families deal with the all of the things that I’ve just mentioned. There have been owners, managers, coaches and team members that have, in back offices and in the privacy of locker rooms and homes, have tried to help players who were violent, depressed, etc.. One thing that I’ve learned about the NFL is that there is a brotherhood of sorts that has a code of silence, denial and ignoring far too many issues for the sake of image and profit. I as a fan, have ignored some of these very same issues. When I worked at the ****** I had an opportunity to ask about some of the things that troubled me over the years. I learned that the NFL is now making an honest attempt at dealing with violence, depression, drug addiction and use in earnest (mostly behind closed doors with a few public sacrificial lambs) but, the one thing that the NFL has not and is not addressing is racism. While there are a few African Americans that are part of the NFL senior leadership, the lack of diversity in this organization is just a mirror image of diversity at most Fortune 500 and large non-profit organizations (you do know that the NFL is one of the nation’s largest non-profits, right?). Many of the owners, if not all of them were alive when it was legal to suppress and oppress Black Americans. Many of these same owners can recall the days when there were virtually no Black, Latino, Asian, Bi-Racial players on the field on any given Sunday. A submissive Black man or a violent one is acceptable, a familiar false narrative for some. A Black man or a bi-racial man that speaks up against the atrocities that have been put on, done to and used against Black Americans is somehow a threat and unpatriotic. Unpatriotic?? Isn’t it unpatriotic to rape a woman, murder in cold blood? Is it not unpatriotic to value the life of a dog over that of a wife who has been beaten bloody and whose children live in fear during the off-season? Why is the NFL so taken aback by a young talented man that has exercised his right as an American to highlight the injustices in our system? Why can players like Ray Lewis and Ben Rothenburg be given second chances or get the “boys will be boys” pass and then, be sought after to be the voices of reason? Much like the people that chose the criminal on the cross over Christ, far too many are choosing to walk past their own reflection in the mirror rather than to deal with America’s racist past and present as well as, their own fears of Black Americans demanding equity, equality and safety. Violence vs. taking a knee. This should be a no-brainer but, alas… humans are messy.

I am going to sit out this upcoming NFL season and will be boycotting the sponsors all while holding onto the hope that the NY Giants can make it to the Super Bowl this year and win.  AW/ALC 10/2017

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What a Difference a Day Makes.

The passage of time is a funny thing. In my mind, there are events that seem to have taken place ‘just yesterday’ when in fact years have gone by. The way I can recall with crystal clear clarity events that happened well over 40 years ago but, can’t remember why I walked into the kitchen is often a source of silent amusement for myself.

Time and its passage, in the online spiritual community, has its own unique cadence. What happened and who said what years ago is usually only remembered by sites like Wayback and those who were the pioneers, silent witnesses and/or rebels of the moment/movement. It is the silence of the witnesses to fuckery, high turnover of the witch/wizard/worker/Baba/Iya/Sage of the moment and the newly woke that make a way for the repentant and powerless to emerge as leaders of what is not new.

Today while reading about a particular intellectual theft by an up and coming self-appointed sage and, a new spiritual position by one who has changed their ways, I was inspired to write.

The nature of God is unto God, and God alone. The beauty of being teachable and growing in one’s spiritual paths makes for life changing moments that spark growth, creativity and a deep appreciation for life. It allows God to use whatever means, be it deities, our parents, or a shell to help us develop and live our best lives possible. I am always gripped by momentary anger when I see the latest online post, book, podcast, etc. that outright steals the works/words of a priest/priestess that have dedicated their lives to following their path and, truly teaching with no expectations other than the hope that those that learn from them grow, expand and elevate. Why be an intellectual thief when we all have the capacity and capability to teach where our gifting lies? Why steal word for word, from the very same people that you have condemned as racists, radicals and/or heretics, then have the nerve to publish what you have stolen as if divinely inspired.

The Grace of God, in all traditions, allows for each of us to learn and change. Some call it repentance, others growth. But online, it can be seen as and called, who the fuck does this person think they are? The self created and inflicted drama that was stirred up years ago is oft times forgotten by the time an individual’s resurrection comes about. It is usually the disciples from the other camps that remember the fuckery and are amazed at the new found religion of the latest incarnation of he/she/it.

Do I dare call out the thief and start an online fight with their minions? Do I turn my back on those who have, through their own journey, changed? No is the answer to both of these questions. The difference that a day makes is vast. The difference is knowing how to turn your anger into fuel for teaching those that are finding their way as I once did. The difference is using grace, patience and understanding to help gently guide as well as, teach those who have found a new and better way to do things.

While my memory may be long for certain things, forgiveness will always out live the acts that so deeply offended and/or angered me. With the state of the world today, there are too many things that must be focused on and fought against to expend energy on those that opt for momentary glory as the latest ‘it Sage’. Time definitely is its own force and for those that seek to stay stuck in riverbeds of molasses while posting pictures online of yachts they have never been on, there will be true teachers/authors/priests/priestess/corner prophets out here in the world ready to welcome those that have been lied to, broken and/or ready for real change.  AW/ALC-7/15/2017

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A Father’s Silent Love

My family has a tradition of taking pictures.  Pictures, as my grandmother once told me, are the perfect way to capture a moment that time will rob the memory of.  Visit the home of any one of my relatives, you will see pictures of the living and the dead.  Whether realized or not, there isn’t one house (mine included) that places pictures of the living with the dead unless it is a group photo in which the deceased happens to be a part of.

Recently, I was in bed reading and my other half was asleep, nothing out of the ordinary except that his son “dropped in” to check on his father.  I respectfully remained quiet so that the visit between a son and his father could happen.  When my better half woke up he was in a semi-somber mood. Rather than ask what was wrong, I gave him a long hug filled with as much love as I could.   Later on that day, I went to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for dinner.  As is my habit, I passed each picture in the hallway and greeted my departed family members silently.  It wasn’t until I got to my cousin’s picture did I begin to think about my uncle.

My cousin was murdered for walking on the wrong side of the street.  My family was devastated by this loss and in some ways we are all still grieving his passing.  When a child passes, no matter what the circumstance, most people tend to think about the grieving mother.  As I stood in front of my cousin’s picture I tried to recall if anyone went to my uncle or my grandfather to comfort them.  My cousin was named after my grandfather and uncle, was born on my grandfather’s birthday and died the night before his father’s birthday.  I remembered the look of deep anguish on my grandfather’s face the day of the funeral.  My grandpa’s silent love was intertwined with his grief.  As I stood in front of my cousin’s picture, it had occurred to me that I could not recall one time in 30 years that I ever checked to see how the men in my family were coping with their grief when a loved one passed.

I stood in front of that picture for quite sometime thinking about my grandfather, uncle, lover, male friends, men whose names I only know from media accounts, etc. who probably grieved in silence, found healthy and not so healthy ways to cope with burying a child.  We live in a society that penalizes our men for displaying emotions that are deemed too feminine and for crying.  Many good men, and probably the bad ones too, suffer in silence because of societal stigmas.  This needs to change.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a reader and a medium is getting to tell someone that their loved one is okay and loves them dearly.  The majority of the time, I get to tell this to women but hopefully one day I can begin to tell more men that they were/are loved beyond measure by the child that they helped raise.  

This morning I pray and cry for all of the father and father figures that have publicly kept up appearances while trying to keep themselves from crumbling inside after they have had to bury a child.  

If you by chance are reading this, call your father/father-figure and let them know that they are loved and appreciated.  AW/ALC 2017

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Life, Death and Love

I clearly remember the first time that I saw someone die.

I was six years old it was Christmas day and it was snowing that morning.  My family did not observe Christmas as it was deemed a pagan holiday and only sinners participated in that sham of a holiday (I’ll have to write about growing up in WCG one day) but, I was a little girl that wanted to celebrate Christmas and receive gifts.  Since that was not going to happen, I woke up early and sat at the kitchen window to watch the snow fall.  If I remember correctly, it was about 7:00 am and the only one that seemed to be awake was me.  From the kitchen window in our apartment, you could see across long distances in the winter because the trees were bare and the highrisers of NYC were yet to be built.

In the distance, I could see a person dressed in dark colors walking through the snow.  What caught my attention was that this person wasn’t walking in a straight line.  As the figure got closer to the building, I could see it was a man.  He eventually made it to the apartment building and when he got close enough he looked up at the windows and called out someone’s name before collapsing into the snow.  He left behind him a trail of blood.  I remember looking at him laying in the snow and it took my young mind a solid minute to grasp that the man needed help.  I went into my parents bedroom and woke up my father and told him what I saw.   My dad jumped up and came to the window, then he yelled for my mother to call the police and he ran out of the apartment.   I was sent to my room and later that evening I was gently told by my mother that the young man had passed away.  I had known for hours that he died.  His name was Jeremy and he told me that he had been stabbed in the stomach and he had hoped to get to his mother’s house so he could get help.   It was a white and red Christmas that day and probably one of the few Christmas days that I remember every detail of.

Since that day, I have literally witnessed far too many deaths up close and personal.  Now in the year 2016, thanks to to social media and technology, I get to witness death near and far each and every single day.

I had no idea on that day that one day I would talk to spirits and deliver their messages to the living.  I had no clue that not many people could communicate with people who have passed away.  How would a 6 year old living in the projects of NYC know these things?   How would I know that this would be part of my path one day?

Over the years the one thing that remains a constant with those that have crossed over and those that are about to cross is love.  LOVE, the one thing that the living seem to forget about until it is absent or far too late.  The latest mass shooting in Orlando, FL has me feeling many things as I write this blog entry tonight.  There was hatred, fear, violence and LOVE.  Those beautiful men and women sent texts and called those that they loved one last time and, those that loved time reached out frantically with whatever means they had to find their son/daughter/friend/brother/sister/lover.

By no means am I trying to over simplify what happened this past weekend but LOVE or lack thereof, drives so many things today.  In my pain and grief over so many lives lost to violence, I wish there was more love and compassion in the world.  I wish my 6 year old self could have found out who Jeremy’s mother was and what apartment she lived in so that I could tell her that he said he loved her and said he was sorry.

I wish, I wish, I wish there was far more love in the world.  Life and Death are part of the circle of life, no one has a choice about these twins but love, love is a choice.

I choose love and I hope that whomever reads this chooses love too.  AW/ALC-9/2017