Appreciation During and After Women's History Month
What are you doing to celebrate the women in your life? March is Women’s History Month. This month’s blog theme will focus on women and mindfulness practices.
I intend to encourage you to bring more attention to your abilities to recognize, appreciate, love, and work with women.
I captured the header picture of the beautiful woman in my life last weekend. She hates hiking but joined the children and me on a trail that included a beautiful stretch of beaches. I am grateful for her flexibility and willingness to spend some time with us outdoors.
Let me also take a brief moment and celebrate her CNBC article that trended as #1 last night! In the piece, she eloquently shares about our family’s transition from the States to life abroad. I could not have chosen a better life partner.
Ok, back to you.
Are you a perfect husband, sibling, or coworker? If so, please share your secrets.
I make no claims at sainthood. Without a doubt, I have challenges with understanding how to relate to women. I do my best, but I often fail.
Despite my strong listening skills, I can be impatient when my wife tells me a story that includes every detail. I have a hard time cutting off work. A writer’s mind is always thinking about the next sentence and how to revise the previous one.
In my book, Dear Brother: 82 Powerful Poems to Guide Your Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity, I write that behaviors aligned with healthy Black masculinity include expressing concerns for Black women and girls. Black boys and men's challenges with justice and other structural inequalities are also happening to girls and women. We must work for and with women to bring about changes.
Although I grew up in a home with five sisters and a mom, I haven’t always had positive relationships with women. My parents did their best to instill in me the importance of respect for women, but I didn’t always follow their rules. While I never abused the girls or women in my life, I was not honest in every intimate interaction.
On Monday, Dear Brother became available in digital and print formats; there, you will find poems that speak to my challenges and triumphs with women. Here are a couple of lines from the piece, For Black Womyn, that I wrote in my 20s and revised for the book:
This is for those who consciously stop the mourning of those dead crowns.
Shades of Black, Yellow and Browns
With one fist in the air,
proud of that nappy hair that serves as resistance to European notions of beauty,
white standards of deity, fighting for unity
Uplifting the Black Community,
That UNIA brought in 1920.
Queens, this is for you.
Who cater to your man and allow him to be the head of your household.
For Sistas who say Naw Brotha HOLD UP this our house,
we will hold our hands in partnership,
companionship, refusing to adhere to subservient positions.
For the feminists, the womanists, the sisters, mothers, daughters, nieces, queens, empresses, freedom fighters, teachers, organizers
I am writing about the complexity of black beauty, womanhood, and activism in this poem. It’s a piece that attempts to demonstrate an appreciation for the multiple complexions and hair textures of Black women. It also celebrates the contributions to freedom and egalitarianism made by women throughout history.
We have to do better about recognizing the importance of women in our lives. They are much more than sexual objects and producers of our children. From construction workers to vice-presidents, women help our society function.
Let’s not limit our acknowledgments of the women in our lives to one month.
To develop the stamina for consistent recognition, make time for meditation to improve your interactions with women. Don't overcomplicate the process. Attempt to get up a few minutes earlier or stay up later to prioritize reflection.
Make it this weekend’s goal to sit in silence for ten minutes and focus on the behaviors you can continue or begin to support your personal and professional relationships. If meditation is new to you, YouTube and multiple apps are available to provide you with the help necessary to develop a consistent practice.
Tell one woman today that you appreciate her and share this blog post with another man. To read poems and letters about love, marriage, and women's roles in activism, grab my book, Dear Brother: 82 Powerful Poems to Guide Your Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity, today!