Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Just One Good Thing…

I was chatting with a friend about 2013; and she remarked that it had been a terrible year for her family.  She lamented that nothing good that had happened this year, and she was glad the year was at end.

I gently challenged her to reframe those negative thoughts.  I assured her that she could find at least one good thing that happened this year.  I reminded her that even if the one positive thing was as minuscule as breathing, something good had indeed happened! I also told her to take that one thing to find the all the other things that she might have forgotten.

So as 2013 comes to a close, I urge you to reflect on the amazing things that have happened for you.  Count your blessings big and small and say thank you!

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.  ~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beauty from the Struggle

Since February is Black History month, I thought I would celebrate by showing a beautiful picture of my mother in her pollera.  The clothes worn by Black slave women and wet nurses during the Spanish colonial era inspired La Pollera, which is the Panamanian national costume.

This colorful dress represents so much to me of the beauty, freedom, love, and laughter of Afro-Latin American community.  It is a somewhat unnerving truth that what was once attributed to slaves and the lower class has become a symbol of pride. 

Much could be said regarding the old adage that out of every negative is a positive.  Like a butterfly, the struggle of our people has become the strength of who we are.  Our trials and tribulations have given us the fortitude to survive insurmountable odds. 
Our color has enhanced our beauty and now with time the world recognizes the splendor, richness, and grace of who we are. 
It is not our differences that divide us.  It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.  ~ Audre Lorde