Refined and Fly

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Ladies, sistas, and friends

Here is some real talk that may shatter everything that you've been taught about who you are and your relationships to men. Some of you may not like what I'm gonna say but I'm gonna say it anyway (and if it really don't apply,let it fly)...

First let me say this:

Peace. My name is I Medina Peaceful Earth and I am a former "Miss Independent."

I grew up in a home where my mother was EVERYTHING (and to this day we are extremely close). My father was more of a weekend Dad (we'd spend time together on some weekends, he'd attend special events, but he was pretty hands off in terms of raising me). It was more than what a lot of people had but in retrospect, I know I needed more in terms of a father figure. But as I've said in a previous post, he could not give me what he did not have. I acknowledge that, have forgiven him, and love him for who he is today, and know that some of my inclinations come from him.

A few years ago, when I asked my mother what she wanted to be when she grew up, I expected a response dealing with a career aspiration. But her response surprised me. She said, "I always just wanted to be a good mother." And she was. She was a great mother. She was such a great mother that growing up, I didn't really miss not having a father in the home (they divorced when I was a baby). Quite a few of my friends adopted her as their mother too. She cooked, she cleaned, she went to my games and special events, PTA meetings. She mentored me, encouraged me, scolded me, protected me, listened to me, talked with me. She made sure I was taken care of and educated so I would grow up to be a great woman.

A lot of who I am today comes from the environment my mother created and for that I say praises due. But there is also another side. There are challenges. I came up with a "do it yourself mentality," or as the Pussycat Dolls say in one of their songs, "I don't need a man to make it happen!" Of course I had relationships with brothers, and due to how my mother raised me, I hadn't gone through too much drama because I developed somewhat of a keen insight on "how to pick em." I could see trouble, drama and all kinds of warning signs right away and I avoided those brothers like the plague (no offense fellas). I protected myself.

I did not rely on a man to do anything for me and because of that I became...

Miss Independent

Now some of you may be saying, "Well what the hell is wrong with that?!" You turned out pretty good right?

And I have. But in reality, I did not do it alone.

The term "independence" in regards to this subject matter is an illusion and dare I say unnatural.


Because the nature of the universe is not independence. It is interdependence.

The universe is a system and within that system, all living things depend upon something else to survive and thrive. We need each other. We rely upon the trees for oxygen. We rely upon the environment for food. We depend upon the sun to nurture our planet and without the water there would be no life...a perfect combination. We pay taxes so that the government can put together $700 billion bailout plans (go figure!).Men cannot produce life without women and women cannot produce life without men...period! Even entertaining the idea of artificial insemination, you still need the sperm!

Many of us raised in female headed households have struggles "listening to a man" or taking leadership from a man. Why? Because we haven't had to do it! It is something foreign to us. It is like throwing a cold pale of water in our faces. It is shocking. It sounds crazy. It is unfamiliar. It is like ploppin somebody in the middle of Russia who does not speak the language. It is dis-orienting. It is a struggle. It feels unnatural.


Many of us have never seen it up close and personal in real life. We are not used to it. It does not resonate within the fiber of our being because we have been taught and trained that a man may not be there (whether these words were spoken or not...we heard it or saw it played out in day to day life) so you gotta what...DO YOU! We were not raised with direct examples of brothers providing strength and a level of leadership in the home.

Our mothers and some of us have been doing it ourselves to survive. We have been "superwoman" because we have had to hold our families together through the devastation of our brothers falling victim to various societal plagues (racism, slavery, violence, drugs, the prison industrial complex, etc). We should be celebrated for our strength and endurance, but to me, this is not a family model to strive for because so many of our families are falling apart (and for the sisters who raised babies that turned out great without a man in the home, praises due. I just see the other side of the game every day). I know there are success stories.

Being an "independent woman" is not something I advocate because some of the joy or love, peace and happiness within that is an illusion. Some of us are fakin it until we make it.

Oftentimes, some of us are straight up frontin!


I repeat...


In my eyes, there is nothing wrong with a sister having her own job, car, resources, etc. I do not advocate being so dependent on everyone else that you don't have the ability to think and do for yourself. It ain't ever cool to "bloodsuck" somebody, not even the person you say you love. That is one of the ways of the 10%. In my way of life, the Earth rotates on her own axis as well as revolves around the Sun. To build alongside a king, you must be a Queen, and the more you develop yourself, the more you can bring to the table. You must have the ability to be self-sufficient. If you wanna be with a boss, you gotta be able to be "boss lady."

But beneath all of the strength of doin it ourselves, many of us know deep down that that ain't necessarily how we want things to be and that isn't the best thing for our children. We just deal with what IS and keep it movin. No time for drowning in sorrow or feeling sorry for ourselves. As great of a job that we sisters have been doing holdin it down with the absence of our brothers, many of our communities are in disarray.Our conditioning, life experiences and egos mask the pain. And some of us are too busy making things work to retreat within oneself and figure this shit out. Some of us are still little girls who miss our fathers and pile on accomplishment after accomplishment as a royal shield and wear it proudly.


And what can this manifest into when we are lookin at the brother we're with or a potential prospect?


Sometimes we say it plainly, and sometimes it's an underlying thought that comes out through some pretty smart ass comments delivered in a mist that one can hardly detect. It can come out as sarcasm or nitpicking.

We are like onions with lots of layers. Some of us are on the verge of imploding. We hold it all inside because we do not want anyone to think we are weak. We have to "be strong" to keep going on.

When many of us "independent" women get into relationships, there can be less cooperation and more competition. How in the world are we supposed to have healthy relationships when we are always competing with each other, trying to out do each other. How will the Black family survive?

Now don't get me wrong, we are not the only ones responsible here. Frankly, for many of us, the source of our pain is a brother who somewhere in our lives, in childhood, adolescence or adulthood, did not deliver, whether it be our fathers or our mates.

When I came into the knowledge of myself and got into the relationship I am currently in, I respected who the brother is because HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS. He does what he says he will do. I am intelligent and bring a lot to the table AND i also am able to respect his leadership because he knows more than me, has experienced more than me, and I trust and am secure with the bond we have based on knowledge, growth and development. It is based on logic. And through the knowledge and wisdom came the love, the highest form of understanding. If he did not live up to who he says he is, for a woman like me, I would not have been able to go from independence to interdependence.

I have come to know that the Black man is God...not because I have been brainwashed (and I know at least a few of you may think that...hey you're entitled to you own perspective. You don't live my life so it may be hard for you to cee). Not because I am under some "debo mind control." Not because I was forced. It is because I saw the idea manifested. The knowledge dominates with equality, not control. Brothers, with all that we are and all that many sisters have gone through in life, you simply cannot seperate theory and practice here. I am a very practical person, and if it doesn't make sense, if there is no practical application, an idea is difficult for me to entertain. I need proof. And honestly, so do a lot of women.

So brothers, you must know that if you want us to build with you, if you want us to trust your ability to be responsible, if you want us to listen to you, if you want us to learn from you, you must lead by example. You must give all that you have and all within your power to be who you say you are.

Whether it's "strong black man," "educated Black man," "king," "God," "boss," "maker," "owner" you must BE THAT. And yes, when you think about it, that is a tall order. You've got big shoes to fill. We know that this is your nature, but that nature must be nurtured so that the world can truly see the reality of who the Black man is. If she is trying to be all that she can be, and you are not, you will have problems. You will not achieve the natural level of equality, balance and homeostasis for a healthy interaction. You will have power struggles and it will not be good. It will be a royal headache for the both of you.

Some of us have 87 requirements for what we want in a man and end up "losing time searching for that which does not exist." Our "ideal" man becomes an idea that never materializes AKA who is that "mystery"man (I ain't sayin don't have standards but we gotta be reasonable too)?

I see your magnificence and know that you have it in you. And I know that as much work that sisters have to do within ourselves, brothers have also got their fair share of work to do to destroy the negative and build upon the positive. Easier said than done. There are obstacles. This wilderness of North America has dealt many of us a hell of a hand. But I know you can do this. We have to do this for our future.

So I will say this to the brothers for all of the sisters who are not ready...

For all of the "independent women" who have not yet peeled their layers to the source of their pain....

For the sisters who are trying to work on themselves, preparing themselves for a healthy relationship and have not yet found the answer...

For the sisters who are trying to love you but are going through hell building that things will turn out right...

For the sisters who are moving up the social and economic ladder achieving "success" but are having a hard time getting and keeping a man (some of you may say you don't want or need one now, but as you grow older, most of you will).

For the little girls who become teenagers who become women trying to replace the father they never had with men they are in relationships with...

For the sisters who are not ready to face thier trauma...

For the sisters who have buried their trauma so deep, they don't have a clue it exists...

For all the sisters in straight up denial...

For all the sisters lookin for love in all the wrong places...

We need you

We need you

And you know what?

You need us too is simply the nature of life itself. I never said it would be easy. It may be one of the hardest transitions you may have to make in your life. But if you can master this part of yourself, you'll reap the rewards. You will "recieve more gold for your labor."

Love, Peace and Happiness

I Medina Peaceful Earth
...newly crowned, Miss Interdependence...and lovin it :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Peace! Today's mathematics is knowledge knowledge abbt wisdom.When you assess your foundation, the information you have at your disposal and your ability to create something tangible, you are faced with choices. The choices that you have in life are based on the knowledge and experience you have obtained thus far. Therefore, the amount of choices you have are truly up to you!

I want to introduce a concept called integrative thinking.

Check out this situation...

Sometimes, I watch a show called "Entourage" on HBO. One of the main characters, Ari Gold (whose character is based on Ari Emmanuel, the high achieving brother of our new President Barack Obama's high achieving newly appointed chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel) is a talented, successful, politcally incorrect, lovable bulldog of a Hollywood agent. He runs his own agency, has his own staff and lives what some would call the American Dream (rich, powerful, and pretty much does what he wants).

In a recent show, Ari was faced with a decision. A high end Hollywood exec offered him a position as the head of a movie studio...undoubtedly a step up. Ari was being courted with expensive gifts and money and by taking the position he would have access to more money and potentially more power. But Ari likes to do things his way, his staff wants him to stay (though they are often the brunt of his rants), and by taking the job, he runs the riskof giving up his autonomy, the empire he built, and becoming a "corporate bitch." Adding another twist, if he doesn't take the job, the woman next in line to get it hates his guts and would make his, his agency, and his clients lives a living hell and potentially sink his company.

So, as my Old Earth would say, he has 6 in one hand and half a dozen in the other.

Or does he?

What would you do?

Think about it...

Think a little more...

Got it?

Of course, while watching the show, I was asked what I would do, and it turned out that what I suggested was exactly what Ari decided to do.

What was my solution?

For Ari to look within his network and identify another person to recommend for the studio position who would be an ally to his agency. Now, throughout the episode, there was a skilled woman who he had a past nefarious encounter with who was eager to be Ari's number 2 at his agency. By recommending her for the position, Ari dodged the bullet of the other woman who hates his guts, he gets to continue to run his own agency, and the woman who he recommended for the studio position will funnel movies and other opportunities his agency's way.

Hence, all is well in wonderland.

How often are we faced with situations where we only cee Option A or B and neither option looks good? Both options may have substantial risks, and within those options, serious errors can be made and one can feel trapped.

B.u.t. the solution to the above mentioned situation was an example of...

integrative thinking

Integrative thinking is a concept I came across while reading the Harvard Business Review (the magazine produced by Harvard University's Business School). It is essentially creating a another option when the options before you are not appealing. It's having the insight to obtain the best out of the choices or models in front of you and creating a new model that works for all parties involved.

"Integrative Thinking is the ability to constructively face the tensions of opposing models, and instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generating a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new model that contains elements of the individual models, but is superior to each."
Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto)

Integrative thinking is an essential quality of leadership, conflict resolution and decision making. It's what takes mediocre leaders to being great leaders. It's what makes great politicians, businesspeople, organizational leaders, etc. And this can be distilled down to day to day decisions i.e. how a person runs their home, how a person figures out how to stretch out that last dollar and put food on the table, etc.

The application of this concept is endless! It's making a way out of what seems to be no way. Oftentimes, generating an integrative solution requires more base building (your base being knowledge and exposure) and deeper thought. It's taking yourself out of panic mode and showing the creativity of the original man and woman. It's expanding your view and looking at all the pieces on the chess board...not just the king or the queen.

Some of us do this everyday, and some, like myself, need to create more of these moments. So do yourself a favor and be creative in your execution because its' all about your perspective. Integrative thinking can be the difference in your perpetual success or failure. It is one of the key factors that may determine whether you will always be sitting at someone else's table, or having a table of your own.


I Medina Peaceful Earth

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Peace. This whole campaign I was really torn between voting my conscience (Cynthia McKinney/ Rosa Clemente of the Green party), voting for Barack (who has advocated for some questionable things, hence there is an air of unpredictability if he gets in office, but he could be decent) or not voting (obviously I wouldn't vote for McCain). Now, I've voted ever since I was old enough to vote and had never seriously considered not voting. I have voted my conscience and I have voted for the lesser of 2 evils (didn't want to but thought it was the best decision). But I decided to take a chance on Barack, especially since out of the options I was considering he had the best chance of getting elected and he has some alright policy on some things. Don't get me wrong...this system is corrupt and Barack could either bring about some nominal change (after he is given the task of cleaning up all the shit first, which could take all of his first term entirely) or he could usher in a new wave of lite imperialism and he'll be pegged as the one who was able to get people to believe in the system again to pacify and get people to continue to take the blue pill.

I still don't know about this guy. But I thought of 3 things: 1) Allah (the founder of the Nation of Gods and Earths) said that this is our country and we have to make the country strong by being a strong Nation (NGE). Allah interacted with the political system and one could say was politically a reformer; 2) As revolutionary as El Hajj Malik Shabazz was (who is one of my heroes), he still organized voter education drives...he knew that the sysem was fucked up but that Black folks had human and civil rights that should be fought for AND that was a way to engage the masses to provide exposure to other ideas; and 3) I used to say that the argument that "our ancestors fought and died for us to vote" was not a good enough argument to keep voting and participating in a corrupt system. But the other day, I thought that if Black folks weren't able to vote in 2008, all those people talkin about fuck voting would be fighting for the right to vote!

So I went ahead and did it.

But the key isn't just in voting and I think we all know that. Voting is just one small thing I do for an hour (if that) every 4 years. So to me, I didn't do anything big. Maybe I was a part of somethng potentially big by my action, but for me, the day to day work that I do means much more to me. So I do the grassroots stuff and I do what some would say is my civic duty (you can do both...doing one aspect does not have to be in exclusion of the other). I still have to improve upon getting involved in local politics.

At this time, whether you love, hate or question Obama, the bottom line is that he has energized a significant portion of the population not just to believe in him, but everybody kinda sees that the country and how it currently runs is fucked up and unfair. People are open to alternatives. People are open to personal and collective change. People are awake! It truly is inspiring to see so many people engaged politically.

So now, we have a window of opportunity to really continue to push our initiatives, ideas, and alternatives before people go back to sleep. Some people may go back to sleep whether he wins or loses. Why? Cuz if he wins, then SOME people will think everything's alright and not push as hard as needed and if he loses SOME people will feel so dejected and depressed, losing interest in politics or anything related, and that depression may manifest into apathy or lack of action.

So if Barack gets in, we can be proud and celebrate the milestone (this is truly a moment in history, not gonna lie about that), but we also have to hold him accountable (as we should have been holding every White man accountable who's been in office, but can't change the past!). We've given him some passes (AIPAC speech, approval of wiretap cover up, not openly advocating for Black or working class people...he talks mostly about the middle class from what I've seen, etc) and overlooked some things in the name of, "Well he may just be doing what he has to do to get elected," or "he's not the president of Black America, he's the president of America," because we want to claim him as ours. But will he claim us is the question. But we won't really know that until he gets in office and shows us who he is FOR REAL. If he doesn't win, especially on some bullshit, maybe we will truly see how corrupt the system is and allow that to motivate all of us for pushing for real change. Either way, we gotta keep pushing.

Remember remember the 5th of November... (V for Vendetta)

I guess we'll see what happens, but regardless, be safe, be prepared, and keep fighting and organizing ON THE GROUND!
I Medina Peaceful Earth