The battle between being SELFLESS and SELFISH rages within me and increasingly, I want selfish to emerge as the victor.

By nature, I am a loner. I was born and raised as an only child. Some of my most peaceful and joyous moments are spent within the comforts and confines of my own home or car, or mind. Solitude creates safety.

By nature, I am a giver. I will do for others, and give of my heart and talents, tirelessly, making certain that the needs and requests of others are met with thoroughness and extra special care. Giving creates vulnerability.

Therein lies the conflict.

I am a firm believer that you should not give to others, in any sense, emotionally, physically, intellectually, or monetarily, with the notion that the gesture should/will be reciprocated. You give because its what you want to do. Expectations of happy returns breed disappointment and in some cases, resentment.

Give freely, but wisely.

What I know now, is that it's not wise for me to proceed without boundaries, ALL THE TIME. When people want/need something from you, you have the power to dictate what happens next. When people want/need to project their "stuff" on you, you have the power to accept or reject.

Protect your goodness and your spirit, but don't change. Adjust.

As my internal struggle plays itself out, my hope is that I master the fine line between giving to others and giving to myself, with consideration for self as my guiding force.

Personal decree: After God, I am first.

That is all.

Happy New Year
Happy New YOU

-Maven aka Lois


A Monday Mind

It's been difficult for me to get back to the blog. It seems that people are still reading though because someone anonymously left a critical message the other day. Can't please everyone. If you're still reading, thank you for your patience and loyalty!

I am homesick. Dear Chicago, I'll be there as soon as possible, lets say Thanksgiving.

I'm settling into a new job. So far, so good. It's a new challenge and for that, I am grateful.

Football season is upon us! You know this is my favorite time of year. I've been playing fantasy football for eight years with my homeboys, but this just may be the first year I skip our league. I've agreed to play in a free league though. I draft on Sunday.

M.ichael V.ick is back, and D.onovan Mc.Nabb is still my hero. His gesture is a prime example of how black love is way deeper than the mainstream understands.

I want a beautifully landscaped backyard just like the one Kenya McQueen has in the movie Something New.

2009 is flying by, but is has proven to be so much better than my '08.

Vodka Gimlets are my new sip of choice.

I'm still on my "grow out, blow out"; wearing braids at this moment, and I've yet to reach my desired length, but I'm sticking to it. I have my days when I think that a fresh ball player's cut will do just fine, but I always talk myself out of it. I'll post a picture soon.

Speaking of plans, a P.R. certificate is on my roll call, classes begin Sept. 21st, asking for all prayers. Also, have to complete what I started with my R.E. license, pray for me on that too, please. :)

Health care for everyone. Seems like such a sensible concept. Yet, there is so much opposition, people are afraid to share, as if sharing means losing. It's shameful. I am for universal health care. The best way to achieve this? I am not sure. All I know is that I've been on both sides of the coin and while I'm blessed to be amongst the insured right now, I can tell you that sitting in a county hospital's emergency room for basic care is no walk in the park. It sucks, and no one deserves that.

I've been listening to Angela Winbush. Her voice is what's moving me these days.

I need to take my lunch everyday this week. Saves time and money.

I have not been steppin' in a very long time. My fave dance partner reached out to me the other day. If anyone can get me back on the floor, he can.

Yes, I'm still in love with our President and the lovely First Lady.

May God bless us all.



A Monday Mind

I think I have writer's block. That's what I get for thinking.

I think that Bo, the Obama's new puppy is just as cute as can be, and if I were allowed pets, I would have a cute dog too.

Its almost time for the NB.A playoffs and I am very excited. I just don't want to see any games that mirror that performance by the Ce.ltics yesterday. What was that?

Red Velvet cake is comforting.

I need to purchase a new operating system for my desktop and, dammit, I just don't want to!

I want a pair of L.A.M.B.'s in my closet when I awake tomorrow.

The hair will be braided on Wednesday. It's time.

Its also time to get rid of this lil' gut I've acquired. (See Red Velvet cake)

My garden is shaping up nicely and the flowers are blooming beautifully. This is something I am very proud of.

I love, love, love my jersey sheets.

I have a noisy neighbor, what do you think I should do? She is about 21 or 22, and I remember those days, so I try to be cool, but DAMN, she is pushing it!

I need some J. California Cooper in my life. Its time to crack open one of her books.

I was gonna buy a S.nuggie today, but once I tried it out...... eh. Not so much.

Are you happy? Content? Pleased? Overjoyed? Lovin' and livin' well? If so, isn't it a blessing? I feel extremely blessed.

I am anticipating C.hrisette's new music, May 5th, also The Lady's birthday!

When are my White Sox coming to town??? I need to check the schedule.

Happy Monday!



I'm A B

Recently, I saw a photo of a friend of a friend who was, how should I say this........packin' in her brazier. While her size was amazingly unlike anything I've EVER seen, I must admit I felt a bit envious of "freedom" and obvious confidence in the cards she was dealt.

So I happily declare......I am a B, and dammit, I like 'em! LOL!

Women and men both suffer greatly from image issues, but I am gonna deal with the ladies on this one. Fellas, I'll get at you in a separate post.

As a child and into adolescence, I was teased a great deal for being skinny. In some ways those opinions have never left me, and it manifests itself in my obsession with having a delicious boo-tay. If I had rump like Meagan Goode, Kelly Rowland or Michelle Williams (I chose them because they're tiny), then I would be batting one hundred.

The sad part in all of this, is if I surveyed ten of my friends, all would have one or two things about their bodies, face or hair, that they deemed imperfect.

There is no need to ask how we get to this point. There are endless factors that play a role, but the solution lies within! Embrace yourselves. Embrace it all; the tall, short, skinny, and plump. Claim the soft tresses, ,the weave, the tight coils, the bone straight, the kinks, the natural, the relaxed, and the short and long of it all. Celebrate the curves or the lack thereof. Love your A, B, C, D and double cups; your full or thin lips; your broad or keen nose. Have a big forehead, big feet or a chicken neck? Whatever it is, its all good, because its you!

Also, make it a point to love your sisters, regardless of race or age. We need each others approval and moral support! We must become and remain confident and strong so we're able to pass this stellar self esteem along to our lil' mamas!

Peace and Blessings,

The Maven


I Need the Game

When I began this blog, I envisioned it as a place where my spirit could breath and my mind could be free. I just knew it would be a great place for me to hone my writing skills and communicate with my core group of family and friends as well as the masses. I believe in some ways I succeeded, but feel as though I failed also. It has forced me to look DEEP (think James Earl Jones when you read) within.

As failure is often in the beholders eye, for the sake of not coming down on myself too hard, I will deem these self-perceptions as missteps. 2008 was a hell of a drug. The "F" your couch type. I was the couch and D.ave C.happelle's feet represented almighty life itself.

I do realize that I wasn't alone, but I am only speaking for self right now when I say, thank God for times past! I received a comeuppance of sorts in '08, especially towards the end. When they say, "you don't miss the water 'til your well runs dry", I believe they forgot to address it directly toward me. Suffice to say, I made it through and my gratitude overflows to those who helped me mentally, spiritually and financially; I definitely have some angelic and loving people amongst my intimates right now. But, its time for me to get back on the right track, back on the "right side of life" as I like to say (smiles to mom, The Lady).

Yes, I have a "good payin' job" (sarcasm). But, I miss the those things that I'd been living to do, the "do what you love and the money will follow" types of moves. Those closest to me understand where my passions lie. While I've always felt that the game needs me, I now completely understand, that I also need the game. Without it, I am not motivated, I feel dejected at times, out of sorts with myself and my surroundings and just downright powerless. Granted, the game wore me down at times, broke my spirit, but looking back, it wasn't so bad and had I truly focused and adjusted my plan as needed.......BINGO!

I try not to cry over spilled soy milk, so I'm taking these lessons and preparing to apply them once again to my game, THE game.

I've been pondering the idea of one doing what one loves, for a few weeks now. I've asked friends, like my boys at B2G Sports, as well as complete strangers, if they are doing what they love and would they have it any other way. The answers have come with a resounding yes from most, and I use that as wind beneath my wings, because seeing is believing and I have great examples and I know its true. I've also been reading the blogs of others, like , twentyeight30, Dallas Penn and my man FreeMan Press, who is enlightening in a very in your face kind of way. Check him out, he is not playing in these streets!

Today, I read a quote that said something to the effect of, "if you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time." So, I remind myself constantly, that is the reinforcement I must give myself. I gotta get back to all that I know and love, and that includes my sports, my literature (I'm gunnin' for the latest J. California Cooper book), my gardening and especially my writing.

I hope you come back with me, because if you missed me a little, I missed you tenfold!

The Maven


Happy Birthday, Capricorn!

From one Cap to another, I wish our First Lady a wonderful, loving and blessed birthday!

Michelle, you are a diamond!

-The Maven


Give Thanks '08

Loved Ones,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, it is that time again, time for my annual message of gratitude and appreciation. This year has presented many highs and lows, in my life and in some of yours, as well. Personally, I am experiencing a metamorphosis of sorts, and it has affected me in ways that I cannot quite explain. However, I will say, that I am meeting a new "me", and reacquainting myself with aspects of myself, I feared I had lost. For this, I say hallelujah!

Last year, I encouraged you to create a list of things you wanted to accomplish for 2008. Two-thousand eight is on its way out of here, so how did you do? I was supposed to learn to swim, in order to conquer fears that grip me when its time to take a next big step in life. Those lessons did not happen, so it will be carried over to my ’09 list. The reasons are not so important, so long as I have not given up the desire to learn. I shall swim! I have begun to face my fears in other ways though, and it’s a process but I see the good in it. It frees me up to maximize my potential and share my gifts.

The Creator will allow us to remain in spaces that are difficult and challenging, and sometimes dark, until we learn the lesson(s) for which he has presented the situation in the first place. If you ever wonder why certain things keep happening to you, look within first. It is our nature, to be hardheaded and stubborn at times, and usually, we stand in our own way. This is "blocking your blessings" and if you take a moment, and look within, you are sure to recall times when you have done this to yourself. I say, please stop. We’d be best served, I believe, to name it, claim it, and then move out the way. I'm done lecturing. :)

I am thankful this day, for my family and friends, near and far. I’ve reconnected with some childhood friends and that has been a highlight for me. Today, my parents are in Chicago, as are my Aunt Day Day, my uncles, my brother, and a host of cousins and life long friends. My Auntie Lil' Mama is in Nashville along with my cousin Bertie and other cousins. I will be spending the day with my L.A. family, and for them, I am SO grateful. They, along with my LA friends, offer a sense of belonging and normalcy.

What I love most about Thanksgiving is that it is a reminder that you are never alone. It is a chance to come together with people you like and love to relax and be comforted. We eat ourselves into oblivion and return home with a smile. It is a time to put your troubles aside and celebrate the goodness of life (and watch some games.)

Although we are living in uncertain and stressful times due to the economy, and what seems like a never-ending war, I encourage you to remain faithful, knowing that this too shall pass. We must come together, and support one another in any and all ways possible. No longer can we afford to live in our own cushy bubbles, as if the world outside, around us, is inconsequential. You see where that has gotten us.

I give endless thanks that I was here to witness the election of our first black president. I know I have not spoken much about it, and there aren't too many things that render me speechless, but this is one of them. I must admit, I am STILL soaking it in. It's a proud moment in our history and for our country, and I can't wait to take this journey with the Obama family! I could not ask for a more shining example of manhood, womanhood and family.

As always, I am honored to know you, and blessed by your presence in my life!

With Endless Love,

RSY aka The Maven