Magical Women

Believe it or not this is a wonderful time to be a Black Woman. Now there are times when it won’t feel like it and honestly it should always be a wonderful time to be yourself, but there has been some beauty in the horizons. Starting with the Emmys Viola Davis’ amazing speech last week made it very clear that we are doing some amazing things in areas Black Women were never taken seriously. We may not be doing everything that we wish we were or have climbed to the top of the game as we would like to but we definitely are making some major moves and have started to be recognized for our achievements. This demonstrates one very important thing- Our voice is starting to be noticed.

As black women our voices have been smothered, silenced, and even beaten out of us. Remember when Celie decided to leave Albert in Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”- ” Who you think you is? You can curse nobody. Look at you. Your black, you’re poor, you’re ugly, you’re a woman, you’re nothing at all!”  As I’ve gotten older I realized how much emphasis he put in that statement and that her being a woman was the worst on that list and her blackness was the first of her nothingness. How many times have any of us experienced this type of labeling just because we are black women? We see it in the media, in the workplace, even in our families and intimate relationships. We have even seen it amongst other women. But the beauty in this scene in the movie was no matter what Albert said to Celie he couldn’t undo her realization that she too was a magical woman she no longer stayed stuck in the box that others had put her in her entire life. Like Celie many of us get boxed in we are just little girls.

This weekend I had the pleasure of seeing Black Girl: Linguistic Play by Camille A. Brown and Dancers at the Joyce Theater in New York City that focused on just that us being girls. The show celebrated the magical power of being a being a black girl from the games we play, the bonds we make, through our discovery of self with the rhythms and gestures of childhood. It was a wonderful demonstration how we grow, play, and evolve into something bold and unstoppable with our voices only growing louder and more powerful where we can longer be ignored.

Advertisements

Monday Motivation: Who are you vs. Who you are suppose to be…

Recently I have thinking about how many of us me included have or have had a really hard time during our lives trying to differentiate who we are compared to who we are suppose to be. It’s one of the those internal struggles that one can often get lost in and even defeated by. When I was younger I really struggled with: Who was I suppose to be? What was suppose to do? How am I suppose to act? Even, How am I suppose to look? Really, who decides these things? We do!

I have to realize after I got older that it was not anyone else’s opinion about who I suppose to be or even who I was it was mine. In getting to the who we are suppose to be we first must examine who we are and understand that it in order to get to who we are “meant to be” is a growth process. Understanding who we are as individuals is how we develop into our destined selves. Truth is the entire concept of “who are you suppose to be” is nothing more that a distraction.

Most of the time if we are trying to do what we think or what someone else told us we were suppose to do we are just on a mission to please someone else family, partners, teachers, spiritual leaders, or even God. I got to the point where I believed that I was suppose to be what other’s wanted me to be and my own innate skills and interest were wrong. Once I got older and started to embark on a journey where I worked and developed my skills, interest, and gifts I realized that I wasn’t meant to be what other’s wanted me to be. I was meant to be what God had created me to be (why do you think he gave us those gifts). But what was really important, I realized that it was truly all about the journey.

During that journey of chasing all of the wrong outlets, people, and careers was how I realized that I was already “who” I was suppose to be and “where” I suppose to be. So though I may not always enjoy the journey I understand it has allowed embrace that who I was “meant” to be was always in me the entire time.

Enjoy the journey,

Lou Hargrove

Birthday Randomness and annoucement…

Today is my birthday so what better way to begin my day than with a random little blog post to celebrate Red Butterfly Chronicles 1st year as well. I started this blog last year as part of my turning 35 journey. Now 35 has come and gone but the journey of life and writing will still continue for me. I must admit it has been a very blessed year and I have grown so much both personally and professionally. It has been amazing!

Recently I have been doing a lot of think about beginnings, newness, and especially new years. Though the calender changes and a new year begins for everyone, birthdays are our official personal restart date. This year it shocks me when I think about how much I have changed in the last 12 months, how I think differently and want different thinks. Life has a beautiful way of opening our eyes even if we don’t think its so beautiful at the time of reveal. However, I see myself much differently than I have before. I have closed a lot of doors, ended some unhealthy relationships, began new projects, published my first book, and began to brand Red Butterfly Publishing. I’ve a long way and still have a long way to go on my continuing journey.

As we all know we always have to let go of something to allow something else to grow, so I have decided to let go of redbuttaflydiva.com. It was my first blog and my baby but I am just now feeling it anymore, and honestly it’s not getting any attention anymore. So this will now be my only blog and I have a good feeling about it.

Lastly I would like to thank everyone that has been here from day one to my last subscriber and reader. I really appreciate the time you take to read this blog.

Lou Hargrove

Bringing sexy back

Last week I made a post and I mentioned getting my swag back. For some reason I didn’t take into consideration that I was self-publishing and actually had to go out and promote. I had gotten so comfortable in my tights and sweats now that tax season is over, it took me off guard when it was time to reach into my bag of tricks and bring it together for press, promotional pictures, open mic events, and interviews. I actually had that moment of “I don’t feel like it”. It had been awhile since I had gotten dressed to go anywhere other than work or rehearsal, and with working and trying to finish the book it was just way too much to do more than shower and jump into some clothes to go about my day. However, once I started spending more than 10 minutes in the mirror I remembered how nice it was to actually take the time to slip into something pretty and sexy. Taking that few extra minutes in the mirror does a lot to add a little boost to my confidence as a woman. Now don’t get me wrong I wasn’t necessarily feeling a lack of confidence, to be honest I had been working so much over the last year or so feeling feminine and sexy just was no longer a priority. There was so much on my plate that I ignored myself as a sacrifice to get things done. I was surviving on 2-hrs of sleep a day and as much as I needed make up to hide the bags under my eyes I just didn’t have time, not to mention trying to maintain my natural hair I wore a turban or a bun any chance I could just to make sure I would be out the door as fast as possible. (Isn’t amazing what part of ourselves we give up to make ends meet.)

Thankfully those time are not behind me and while I am still in the midst of an extremely busy schedule I am also forced to look at myself twice in the mirror, especially now that I have to be conscious of my brand and I want to be seen. Now I know it’s nothing wrong with being lacks at times but now when it doesn’t feel natural and most times I was too tired and worn out to feel feminine or sexy. But today is new day and I know that it is never too late to create change and why not start in the spring where everything is fresh new and beautiful. So I will be keeping in touch with a few new purchases, hair, nails and even an occasional OOTD or OOTF. I can’t wait to see how my own progress will move into the summer months.

See you Soon,

Lou Hargrove

Monday Motivation: The Greatest Love Is Self Love!

Please take the time to read these lyrics and if you can listen to the song while reading this post:

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed at least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity

Because the greatest love of all is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all inside of me
The greatest love of all is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed at least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity

Because the greatest love of all is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all inside of me
The greatest love of all is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all

And if by chance that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love

-Whitney Houston

I know that this is a little late in the day for a Monday motivation post but I still felt as though it was important to post this today. For some reason I have heard this song a few times over this weekend. The first time I was hanging out with a friend and the song began to plan and each person in the group we were in began to sing. Everyone there new the song because it has been the graduation song here for a number of years. But it reminded me of those positive messages and affirmations that this song possesses I remember walking across the stage feeling like I could conquer anything. I think song was essential to my generation in our you.
Then yesterday I was listening to Whitney Houston and I heard it again. And suddenly it carried a different meaning a stronger connotation, especially looking at myself 20yrs later. All the messages and affirmations that made this song to beautiful to me as a teenager become even more powerful after living though the struggles and finally realizing that all the love I spent so many years looking outward for what way deep inside of me and all I had to do was nurture and feed it and it would grow. And as I’ve discussed before placed myself on a journey to improve who I was and take better care of me in the process.
Yesterday listening to this song I couldn’t help but to wonder about Whitney’s own person journey and how sadly her life ended. Wondering had she ever found that point in her life when she found peace, freedom, and love in herself that she had been so blessed to share with others. But it reminds of the responsibility that we have to inspire and lift each other up not just youth but adults as well. Sometimes people need a little extra push towards their dreams an believing in themselves.
So today if you see anyone who is down and need a little extra assist, give kind words it could be saving a life.IMG_1791.JPG