Mission Update—The First National Tune-Out Week

Almost 3 months ago, I issued a challenge to you:

So, in the spirit of the annual national Turn Off The TV Week, I’m asking you to tune out neutral, low-value, and no-value Black men this week. I don’t just mean the toxic or damaged Black men. I’m talking about tuning out ALL Black men who aren’t contributing something of value to your life. This includes the neutral Black men who aren’t doing anything against you, but they’re also not doing anything for you.

These neutral Black men are not checking for you. Why are you always checking for them? Your habit of paying attention to these noncontributing, neutral Black men is blocking many of you from paying attention to the non-Black men in your environment that could (and would) benefit you. Halima, blog host of Black Women’s Interracial Relationship Circle, has done a recent post containing a link about this behavior pattern.

I want more African-American women to realize how this is completely out of touch with normal female behavior. The overall, timeless human pattern is that normal women respond only to the extent that a man looks and acts fit, willing, and able to be of some benefit to her. There’s a word for women who grin and skin at indifferent-acting, neutral men: GROUPIES.

Most of you already know how to tune out noncontributing women. But you continue checking for, and responding to, noncontributing Black men.

I understand that many of you have been conditioned to always hop and skip toward, pay attention to, and respond to any and all Black men that come your way. Regardless of these men’s indifferent (or even negative) behavior toward you. I’m asking you to take the first step to breaking the habit this week. I’m asking you to take back your peace of mind. This week I’m asking you to tune-out the Black men who contribute nothing of value to your life:

Don’t talk to noncontributing Black men this week. If you’re in a work or similar setting where it would create problems not to respond to a noncontributing Black male, keep your responses as brief as possible.

If for some reason, you must (briefly) interact with a noncontributing Black man this week, don’t look into his eyes. Instead, look at a point near the top of his forehead. The eyes are a window into the soul. Looking into someone’s eyes draws you further into the interaction.

Don’t read noncontributing Black men’s blogs this week.

Don’t read news reports about noncontributing Black men this week.

Don’t talk about the thoughts, views, or activities of noncontributing Black men this week.

Tuning out useless people helps give us time to think, read, create, and do the healthier things we never have time for. Tuning out such individuals reduces the stress in our lives. It creates room in our lives for better people, places, ideas and things.

Here are my questions for those who participated

  • After the first week of tuning out useless people, did you work to make this a permanent habit? Why or why not?
  • Have you reduced the amount of attention you give to useless people? Why or why not?
  • Or have you gravitated back to avidly following what useless people are saying and doing? Why or why not?

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48 Responses to “Mission Update—The First National Tune-Out Week”

  1. Karen says:

    I decided to do this in general about 6-7 years ago but only tuned out the tv completely last summer, so I will share my observations and try to answer your questions at the same time.

    Here are my questions for those who participated

    * After the first week of tuning out useless people, did you work to make this a permanent habit? Why or why not?
    Yes, it became a permanent habit and my life has become much more serene and has freed up a tremendous amount of time to focus on other pursuits. It has also allowed me to do quite a bit of internal work and to somewhat transform myself. I am much more at ease and enjoy the quiet.

    * Have you reduced the amount of attention you give to useless people? Why or why not?
    Yes, see above.

    * Or have you gravitated back to avidly following what useless people are saying and doing? Why or why not?

    No. To share a bit, it is very interesting how quickly by doing this, it will become apparent just how small a group the people are that really are a positive influence. The majority will very quickly become apparent as to how much of a distraction they have really been. <–This group will fade away as it becomes apparent that you are no longer invested in their drama.

    Just my small experience on this…

  2. HR Professional says:

    Hi Khadija,

    I did participate in your first tune out event. It was during a time I was really into reading no value blogs and even responding on them. After it was the tune out was over, I found myself returning less and less. I started to realize they are a drain on my psyche.

    I was so tired of trying to rationalize with people that are not rational. There are men and even women who frequent those sites and the women are the worse. They take a harsher stance than even the men, perhaps it is to prove they are not “like us”.

    I think I visited most of the blogs for the same reason I watched Fox News. I believed I wanted to know what others opinions are. At this point, I don’t really care so much. I see how irrelevant it all truly is.

  3. Hodan says:

    Q1: After the first week of tuning out useless people, did you work to make this a permanent habit? Why or why not?

    As: I try hard to follow this cardinal rule. Its easier to implemented against strangers or people outside of my family. I’m a master @ tuning out people I have no interest in associating with…even at professional setting.

    Now the problems is using the same tactics against family members. As a Muslim, we are encouraged and called upon by Allah not to terminate direct relations contact and its equated with cutting ties with our Creator. So, its a challenge to minimize and limit such contacts esp when you live at home. What I usually do is try to be as active as I can outside of the home or stay in my room with my books or laptop. God willing, I’m working on identifing all no value people in my friendships now and some of them was painful to let go.

    Q2: Have you reduced the amount of attention you give to useless people? Why or why not?

    A: define useless?…there are colleagues who are just useless, but you just do your work and minimize the impact of their incompetence. I’m also learning no one can safe anyone else who is not willing to help him/herself. In my line of work, its hard to keep that in mind when dealing with youth and desperate ppl.

    Q3: Or have you gravitated back to avidly following what useless people are saying and doing? Why or why not?

    a: I can honestly say I no longer care what anyone has to say about anything directly pertaining to me….and boy is it liberating. At the end of the day as long I’m true to myself by not harming my body, spirit and mind and serving Allah as I see fit….everyone else can get lost. It took yrs to come to this conclusion and it will take time to fully implement it.

    Lastly, its always been easier to ignore men black or otherwise, including my brothers even when I feel guilty about it. At the end of the day, if you are not making me happy or contributing some intrinsic value to me, why would I bother with you? I thank my attitude for my grandmother, mom and aunt, I come from an egalitarian, matriarchal environment, at lease growing up as a child….before religious dogma crept in.

  4. Nysee says:

    Dear Khadija,
    Thank you for advice. I realize that my spirit must be protected and even if there are non contributing Black men in the famliy, that goes for them to. We had a cousin in the family who abused substance( you know what I mean) and everyone avoid him like the plague because they knew he was toxic. So likewise I enjoy your blog and I more now discerning of things and if they are not adding value or if being treated fairly all communications cease. I enjoy and appreciate how you educated me on things of the law and just make sure I keep using my basic common sense (lol). I will contiue to spread your site and also if you are doing any podcast , please let us know we will be behind you 2000% because your words of wisdom are extremely vital to BW and it is sink or swim and I will like many to swim.
    Sorry for the long post .
    Keep up the excellent work.

  5. Joyousnerd says:

    I failed this challenge within a single week! I read a thread on a BW’s forum about some virulently anti-BW rap clown. I noticed that I did feel a bit more disheartened that day than on days when I succeeded at giving no mental energy to these creatures.

  6. Tracy says:

    This has been a blessing! I followed your instructions and the freedom is liberating!!

    I was the woman that believed that if you see someone without a smile, give em yours – only to be met with sour looks, mean little side-eyes, or complete head turns (baby, your grown tail is catching the BUS, I don’t want you, I’m just saying hi…) Why waste my time and smiles on men and people that don’t appreciate it?

    So, I went on Cold Turkey Nignore – no eye contact, no smiling, nothing. I walked right on by, and if they caught my eye, they got a quick look-away with an ever-so-subtle head toss.

    And, like so many others have noticed, these bm did not like being ignored AT ALL. Some would turn their heads, others would walk back and forth in front of me to get my attention. Get this – some would instantly learn manners and smile and address me! Imagine that..LOL!

    As for websites and reading materials by DBR’s – I will not pay someone to insult me. That’s what you are doing when you click on their sites, or even download an article or news item about them. I’d rather read something that’s going to uplift me, and truthfully, I’m spending too much time on the computer as it is. Facebook is full of dbr men “inserting” themselves into BWE conversations. The majority of us know to ignore them, but you always have one bw that has to fight.. I found that you can gain a better perspective on life by going for a walk than arguing online with nameless, faceless cowards. You’re never going to “win” (and I like winning), they are never going to come over to your side – let those fools be…

    I have also stopped being “Ann Landers” and giving free advice about weight, love and life. The folks that I was trying to help had every excuse as to why applying my methods of personal growth to their lives would not work for them. They have to follow their own paths to happiness – and truthfully, that first few miles is (and should be) a lonely trek. You can’t hear yourself if you are listening to others! Especially the wrong others…

    Annnd….I’m kind of glad that those people have rejected and dismissed me – the new me doesn’t have time to be bothered with them. It’s mean (who cares?) but, stay out of my circle. I have little patience with bw that talk, pray, dance, shout, “confess” – but don’t take action. And they don’t like to be called on the carpet by me, so it works out fine…

    Yes, life is a lot easier now that I’m free…

  7. Nathalie says:

    What I found helpful about this is it gave me a “sort function” with which to classify men and their behaviors– i.e.; either neutral; harmful or contributing. A much more interesting way to look at men than what I think of as the “rose colored magical thinking glasses” that we women have been programmed to
    view men and their behaviors through. And it made me reflect on the ways I’ve heard black men evaluate women and notice that they are very clear about what a woman contributes to their program (status, money, credit, sex, food, etc..) and make that part of the evaluation, whereas what I’ve observed of we black women’s patterns when it comes to evaluating men’s behavior and actions–in essence men’s value–is not nearly as savvy…and tends more towards the rose colored magical thinking stuff.

    I love this “sort” function and have had fun with it; it’s much less stressful to sort and eradicate or tune out, than to be irritated.

  8. Faith says:

    I’ve reevaluated any and all participation with black males period. I especially do not support the careers and livelihoods of those that are not actively uplifting black women – that includes some who may be married to a black woman but aren’t doing anything to uplift our gender as a whole. It required some research on my part and I’ve also taken note of the fact most of the men who’ve reached some prominence have chosen non-black women. All you need to do is write their name on a piece of paper and slowly cross them off one by one. I have to be mindful of my personal endeavors and relationships but I know how to disengage.

    Once you’ve disconnected the contrast is very startling especially because it becomes quite clear how many BW have made a cottage industry from being unreciprocated energy suppliers. If it’s not the EBM endangered black male argument then it’s the assumption that skin folk = kin folk.

    That is, until one of them resolves to show their misogynistic true colors and some BW declares her shock and hurt over the foul behavior of someone she called a friend. While I did pause to roll my eyes at the latest rapper criminal bust it’s just a reminder of how those who occupy the gutter are being uplifted and given accolades but still manage to blow it because they have no character. That blind support is so automatic on the part of some BW they don’t even understand but it needs to stop.

    I think they’re thinking it benefits them. I’ve had a few responses of surprise from certain black males who sought to engage me on social networking sites when they’ve expected more than a polite greeting. I’m not talking about someone who contributes but someone who wants a cookie for not behaving like a neatherdal. They really are spoiled from the unsolicited attention they automatically get.

  9. Everybody,

    There are some things that people have to see and experience for themselves by running a particular experiment.

    With the 2 posts on this topic, I didn’t want to speak in great detail about my tune-out experiences. I figured that if enough readers tried the tune-out experiment, then they would have experiences that are similar to my own tune-out experiences. So, for now, I’ll just mention the readers’ tune-out experiences that are similar to what I’ve experienced since I tuned out.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Karen said, “”Yes, it became a permanent habit and my life has become much more serene and has freed up a tremendous amount of time to focus on other pursuits. It has also allowed me to do quite a bit of internal work and to somewhat transform myself.

    …To share a bit, it is very interesting how quickly by doing this, it will become apparent just how small a group the people are that really are a positive influence. The majority will very quickly become apparent as to how much of a distraction they have really been. < –This group will fade away as it becomes apparent that you are no longer invested in their drama."

    Check. The same for me.
    __________________________________________________

    HR Professional said, “I did participate in your first tune out event. It was during a time I was really into reading no value blogs and even responding on them. After it was the tune out was over, I found myself returning less and less. I started to realize they are a drain on my psyche.

    …I think I visited most of the blogs for the same reason I watched Fox News. I believed I wanted to know what others opinions are. At this point, I don’t really care so much. I see how irrelevant it all truly is.”

    Check. The same for me.
    _____________________________________________________

    Hodan said, “…there are colleagues who are just useless, but you just do your work and minimize the impact of their incompetence. I’m also learning no one can safe anyone else who is not willing to help him/herself.”

    Check. The same for me.
    _____________________________________________________

    Nysee said, “…I realize that my spirit must be protected…”

    Check. The same for me.
    ___________________________________________________

    JoyousNerd said, “I noticed that I did feel a bit more disheartened that day than on days when I succeeded at giving no mental energy to these creatures.”

    Check. The same for me.
    _____________________________________________________

    Tracy said, “…the freedom is liberating!!”

    …So, I went on Cold Turkey Nignore – no eye contact, no smiling, nothing. I walked right on by, and if they caught my eye, they got a quick look-away with an ever-so-subtle head toss.

    And, like so many others have noticed, these bm did not like being ignored AT ALL. Some would turn their heads, others would walk back and forth in front of me to get my attention. Get this – some would instantly learn manners and smile and address me! Imagine that..LOL!

    …I found that you can gain a better perspective on life by going for a walk than arguing online with nameless, faceless cowards. You’re never going to “win” (and I like winning), they are never going to come over to your side – let those fools be…

    …I have little patience with bw that talk, pray, dance, shout, “confess” – but don’t take action. And they don’t like to be called on the carpet by me, so it works out fine…”

    Check. Check. And check. Tracy, you said, “Cold Turkey Nignore.” You know you wrong for that. {gales of laughter}
    ______________________________________________________

    Nathalie said, “it gave me a “sort function” with which to classify men and their behaviors– i.e.; either neutral; harmful or contributing. A much more interesting way to look at men than what I think of as the “rose colored magical thinking glasses” that we women have been programmed to
    view men and their behaviors through.

    …I love this “sort” function and have had fun with it; it’s much less stressful to sort and eradicate or tune out, than to be irritated.”

    Check. The same for me.

    Expect Success!

  10. Faith said,

    “I’ve reevaluated any and all participation with black males period. I especially do not support the careers and livelihoods of those that are not actively uplifting black women – that includes some who may be married to a black woman but aren’t doing anything to uplift our gender as a whole.

    …Once you’ve disconnected the contrast is very startling especially because it becomes quite clear how many BW have made a cottage industry from being unreciprocated energy suppliers. If it’s not the EBM endangered black male argument then it’s the assumption that skin folk = kin folk.”

    Check. The same for me.

    Faith went on to say, “…I’ve had a few responses of surprise from certain black males who sought to engage me on social networking sites when they’ve expected more than a polite greeting. I’m not talking about someone who contributes but someone who wants a cookie for not behaving like a neatherdal. They really are spoiled from the unsolicited attention they automatically get.”

    Check. I’m not on social sites, but I’ve seen the same dynamic play out in real life. AA women have spoiled AA men rotten, and this has turned most AA women’s interactions with BM upside-down. What I want more readers to experience for themselves is how you regain your GOD-GIVEN feminine power and serenity when you stop grinning and skinning at noncontributing BM.

    Expect Success!

  11. Truth P says:

    I did good at first and then…. well I am going to start over.

    Khadija I went to sites geared toward AAW that focused on tragedies involving aaw/aag’s.I went to these sites NOT to just read about what happened but to find out how I could do some sort of ACTION to either get justice for those involved or learn how to donate monetarily.Well some of those “neutral” black men, read:deflectors/this stuff happens to everybody not just black women folks, would be on some of those sites as well as sista soldiers and I did respond to them.I guess it was my feeling of being attacked on the “home front” that made me share a few of my thoughts with those people which just ended up with a bunch of back and forth and then I got tired and stopped and started the experiment/experience over the next day.

    I feel that it was difficult to get the full effect that some of the other women may have experienced as far as gaining PEACE of mind because for the very most part I actually was NOT
    talking to/dealing with no value black men myself but I was dealing with AAW in my own family who were experiencing hardships at the hands of low/no value black men and boys.
    Khadija I have just realized today that I have been owning other african american womens drama.I have the priviledge of not being a baby’s mama,not being in an abusive relationship with a black man,not being used by them for my money,or emotional support currently because I absolutely WILL NOT allow it but I have been hurt to the point of breaking down crying,I cried just today actually,at what other women inside and outside my family have been going through.

    So much of the drama just ain’t mine but it’s there.

    • Tracy says:

      Hey Truth!

      This has helped me in those times when I had trouble letting go and letting others handle their own problems.

      BW are sold an awful bill of goods from the start, and you may have been told that your concern is because you have a “good heart”. What you have is a good running start (you have done everything right girl!), and some folks are trying to slow you down or downright stop you from moving on…don’t let them…

      This came from an article that I read in Prevention Magazine – I couldn’t find it online tho. The author’s husband left, she had a good friend stab her in the back and she was dealing with her mother’s personal problems as well. She said that out of all the things people were trying to comfort her with, this bit of wisdom stuck with her and helped her. It has helped me too!

      “Jane Smiley wrote : “There is nothing personal going on here.”

      It was a precept, part of a Buddhist/Christian/New Age belief system that I barely understood. But this one sentence rang like a bell. “There is nothing personal going on here.”

      To understand “There is nothing personal going on here” meant that I had to grow up. I can cool off, step back and view my turmoil from a distance as long as I do not take everything personally.”

      In other words – It’s not your problem – let em go!

  12. lafemmenoir says:

    Being someone who is always evaluating relationships/friendships for merit or value, I can say that it is ~never~ a pleasant experience when you have to distance yourself from someone or ignore them all together (I have done so several times). People don’t like to be ignored and, if they have any power or believed authority, they will use it against you, somehow… I find that this is especially true of black male attention-wh*res. And most of them are attention-wh*res, whether they believe it or not.

    I remember going out to eat with a friend and her father and we encountered a group of BM around my age, but dressed like teen-thugs. These “males”, saw that we were exiting the resturant and proceeded to block the exit partially so that I would have to say something to them in order to get by. Upon exiting the resturant, my party stood on the sidewalk in front of the resturant and realized that we forgot our takeaway order and so I went back to retrieve it and the same idiots that were blocking the doorway when we were leaving, were blocking the entrance when I went back in to get the package and when I exited, again. My friends father, an older man in his 70’s, mentioned that BM no longer know how to appraoch a woman that they are interested in. He said that all they do now is strike-a-pose, and let the women come to them, instead of appraoching the woman, like men USED to do. I mentioned this because it didn’t dawn on me while I was entering and exiting that these men were intersted in me and this was their way of letting me know that they were interested. I thought that they were being jerks, not flirting! They blocked the door (using their “power” over me to try to get my attention).

    As far as black men are concerned, I am not into them anymore, so I wouldn’t be considering them for a possible relationship or to interact with outside of some professional (necessary) situation, so no real problem exists for me there. The problem I have would be with the women that I interact with who are ~~~ALWAYS~~~ checking for what black men think and want (like handmaids). I have 2 very close long-time friends who do this incessantly (pulling me in)and it grates my nerves nowadays (it didn’t in the past because I would ignore it, but seeing that I don’t find BM worthwhile anymore, it bothers me to no end now). Being aware of all of this, I know that I will have to branch out more and make new friends (dumping them), which is hard to do after you are in your 30’s (or older even), especially if you are more of an introverted-type of person (no excuses), but it is something that will need to happen, and soon. I know that moving on would be best, because I have really been trying to get them to read your blog and even offered to buy them a copy of your book, to no avail. They still seek BM validation and THAT makes me ill.

    Khadija, since reading your book my eyes have been opened and I can see with absolute clarity now. I also find that I now have much less patience for nonsensical and damaged people. In the past, I felt guilty about how I really felt (convinced that I was an elitist) and so I compensated for the guilt by tolerating certain behaviors. As I have said previously, I no longer do that.
    Your blog(book) have been transformative for me and I am very happy that I stumbled upon it. Thank you for writing about me and to me in your posts, I WAS listening and still am…

    • calpurnia says:

      your dad is right about men ‘striking poses’ men, not just black men are doing this, especially if they’re into rock and rap music. The whole premise if feminine in those genres if you ask me. Although the men sound ‘tough’, they have pierced ears and platted hair JUST LIKE WOMEN so what makes your think they would go after you, polarity attracts polarity. Gee it would be nice for men to dress in a masculine way and take his lady out

  13. Miss V says:

    Here are my questions for those who participated
    After the first week of tuning out useless people, did you work to make this a permanent habit? Why or why not?
    –Yes, it worked for a little while, until about a month ago, when a couple of sistas started topics on Facebook about being a black single mom, or how younger sistas are choosing non-black men, because the “brothas” wanted it that way.’
    I must confess. Yes I bit, and now I’ll be starting over.

    Have you reduced the amount of attention you give to useless people? Why or why not?
    –See question one.

    Or have you gravitated back to avidly following what useless people are saying and doing? Why or why not?
    –Bad habits are a challenge to break. But I REFUSE to give up. Life’s too short and too serious.

  14. Rhonda says:

    I’ve read the comments thus far. One thing I have noticed, is that some of you have a hard time staying away from “negative” websites/blogs or you’ve stated that you spend too much time on the internet. If your browser is Mozilla Firefox, something that has worked for me is the Add-On feature called LeechBlock. To add it to the Firefox browser: Click Tools, then click Add-ons. A box will appear, click Get Add-ons. If LeechBlock does not appear in the pop-up box, then you will need to click on Browse All Add-ons to find it. Bonne chance.

    LeechBlock is a simple productivity tool: an extension for the Firefox web browser designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day. (You know: the ones that rhyme with ‘Blue Cube’, ‘Pie Face’, ‘Space Hook’, ‘Hash Pot’, ‘Sticky Media’, and the like.) All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block them.

    You can specify up to six sets of sites to block, with different times and days for each set. You can block sites within fixed time periods (e.g., between 9am and 5pm), after a time limit (e.g., 10 minutes in every hour), or with a combination of time periods and time limit (e.g., 10 minutes in every hour between 9am and 5pm). With the ‘lockdown’ feature, you can block sites immediately for a specified duration. You can also set a password or random access code for LeechBlock’s options, just to slow you down in moments of weakness!

    The sites to block can be specified using wildcards (e.g., *.somesite.com) and exceptions (e.g., +allowme.somesite.com).

    LeechBlock also keeps track of the total amount of time you have spent browsing the sites in each block set.

  15. Tracy says:

    Tracy, you said, “Cold Turkey Nignore.” You know you wrong for that. {gales of laughter}

    I knew you’d like that one! :)

    This exercise and the comments that are coming forth are starting to open my eyes to another BW mystery. In my smile at everyone days, I often wondered why bw that could walk by without so much as a facial twitch were so mean – what could they possibly be going thru that they couldn’t even say hello?

    Now I understand – they were trying to keep their sanity, dignity, and femininty from bm! They weren’t “stuck up” (I’ve heard that about me lately), sidditty, or bitter, they just had more important things to do than pump up some tired bm’s ego.

    They were freeing themselves…

  16. TruthP.,

    I co-sign what Tracy said in her reply to you about other folks’ problems.
    ______________________________________________________

    Lafemmenoir,

    You said, “Being someone who is always evaluating relationships/friendships for merit or value, I can say that it is ~never~ a pleasant experience when you have to distance yourself from someone or ignore them all together (I have done so several times).

    …Being aware of all of this, I know that I will have to branch out more and make new friends (dumping them), which is hard to do after you are in your 30’s (or older even), especially if you are more of an introverted-type of person (no excuses), but it is something that will need to happen, and soon. “

    Check. I recently had to (as gracefully and gradually as possible under the circumstances) break ties with a former best friend. The whole episode was truly unpleasant, but necessary.

    You said, “My friends father, an older man in his 70’s, mentioned that BM no longer know how to appraoch a woman that they are interested in. He said that all they do now is strike-a-pose, and let the women come to them, instead of appraoching the woman, like men USED to do.”

    Check. As several BWE and BF-IRR bloggers have said, modern AA women have allowed their interactions with BM to become upside-down. Too many AA women have assumed the male role of pursuer, and AA males have assumed the feminine role of the pursued. It’s crazy and totally disempowers women.

    You said, “In the past, I felt guilty about how I really felt (convinced that I was an elitist) and so I compensated for the guilt by tolerating certain behaviors. As I have said previously, I no longer do that.”

    Check and check. That was me in the past. I’ll say my feelings the blunt way: In the past, I felt guilty about recognizing how truly defective and downright inferior too many of our people have let themselves become. I felt guilty about desiring, much less striving for, excellence and HEROIC accomplishments in my life. So, to compensate for these guilt feelings, I felt the misguided need to force myself to be patient with fools, idiots and savages.

    NO MORE. Once I woke up, I stopped making space in attention span, mind or heart for these nuts. From that point forward, they couldn’t even be “squirrels in my world,” and they dropped off my personal radar screen altogether.

    Thank you for your kind words about the book and the blog. I’m just paying it forward in gratitude to all the BWE and BF-IRR pioneer bloggers (Sara, Evia, Focused Purpose, Pioneer Valley Woman, and others) whose work helped me a great deal after I snapped out of my previous Black Nationalist trance.
    ___________________________________________________

    MissV,

    Yes, it does take time to replace bad habits with better ones. Most bad habits weren’t formed overnight, so they most likely won’t be broken overnight.
    _____________________________________________________

    Rhonda,

    Thanks for sharing the info about LeechBlock; it sounds like a great productivity tool.
    ______________________________________________________

    Tracy,

    You said, “Now I understand – they were trying to keep their sanity, dignity, and femininty from bm! They weren’t “stuck up” (I’ve heard that about me lately), sidditty, or bitter, they just had more important things to do than pump up some tired bm’s ego.

    They were freeing themselves…

    Indeed!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Everybody,

    I’m going to step back and mostly remain quiet for the rest of this conversation. So please continue to talk among yourselves.

    For the curious: (1) I’ve been doing some active contemplation and “centering” since my recent mini-gadget sabbatical. (2) I’m still mildly woozy from the paradigm-shift I had in response to several readers’ analyses from the recent conversation (“Another Look at Loyalty to Self”). And (3) I’m wondering about and researching whether there’s an emotional/meditation practice that’s similar in philosophy to what I’ve been reading of the natural exercise philosophy called “Methode Naturelle,” or in its modern form, MovNat.

    http://movnat.com/podcast-interview-with-guest-erwan-le-corre/

    Be sure to check out his natural movement videos, such as:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKGF-ErsJiI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m61t3ObnSP0&feature=related

    Expect Success!

    • Rhonda says:

      I’m wondering about and researching whether there’s an emotional/meditation practice that’s similar in philosophy to what I’ve been reading of the natural exercise philosophy called “Methode Naturelle,” or in its modern form, MovNat.

      http://shakingmedicine.com/

      “Shaking medicine is the trembling, shaking, and quaking associated with the experience of ecstatic bliss. This major transformative experience is an entry into the numinous – the mysterium tremendum et fascinans. Arguably all religions and pre-religions initially felt this ecstasy and regarded it as an awakening of the original mysteries, the most extraordinary experiences possible for a human being.

      The emergence of social institutions to house ecstatic rapture – whether as temples, ashrams, churches, synagogues, medicine societies, shaman guilds, or pagan societies – resulted in the quieting of the originating experience in exchange for uniform narrative understanding and maintenance of social hierarchy. The ecstatic experience was sacrificed for normalized belief and group conformity. This was true for shamanism as well as the major world religions.

      In the sociology of religion this social process is called the “routinization” of the founding charismatic experience. Wild ecstatic experience is replaced by standardized ritual that overturns spontaneous play and improvisation. Guided imagery, clichéd patter, and loyalty oaths overtake raw unadulterated creativity, free expression, and heightened emotions.

      The shaking traditions propose that we most deeply thirst and hunger for an ongoing immersion in ecstatic experience. The source of this shaking bliss is what the Ju/’hoan Bushmen call n/om. They wisely never give a totalizing definition of n/om, but respectfully allude to it being a mystery responsible for bringing forth life’s vitality and acknowledge that its root is open-ended limitless love. When you have n/om, it makes you shake with ecstatic delight. For members of textually constrained cultures, it is often difficult to loosen the cognitive habits and tightly constructed belief systems that inhibit fully awakened feelings….”

  17. pioneervalleywoman says:

    Greetings, Khadija!

    On occasion I used to read a non-contributing hateful black man’s blog–you know of him, and like you said, no open mike for demons!

    Long before you mentioned going cold turkey, I did so, because I realized that although it was amusing to see this character’s latest assessments of BWE blogs, I could see, as I think others did, that his response was grounded in a whole lot of misogyny towards black women in general, and after I saw his commentaries on the mental illness of Bebe Moore Cambell’s daughter (and the scary situation her mental illness got her into), that was more than enough for me. A number of his readers noted it as well.

    As for other bm, I categorize them as you suggest, neutral, no value and high value.

    High value–my older bm colleague, like an uncle to me, very helpful to the past, has been, and I expect he will be in the future, his office is next door to mine. When I see him, I say hi and chat. He does the same.

    Neutral value–potentially useful, now or in the past, but of unknown quantity, like the young bm who works at my local bank. Is he in training? I don’t know, and I have never seen him around. He gets a neutral nod. The young bm at my old bank where I went for years, and who has been helpful, my teller numerous times, he gets a neutral nod and a brief hi.

    No value–the bm on the street who might try to make eye contact, whether as passers by or as homeless guys holding cups, saying “hi, lady.” They get ignored.

    Khadija:

    Check. As several BWE and BF-IRR bloggers have said, modern AA women have allowed their interactions with BM become upside-down. Too many AA women have assumed the male role of pursuer, and AA males have assumed the feminine role of the pursued. It’s crazy and totally disempowers women.

    An observation:

    This happened once on a vacation with a female friend years ago. We were walking around Martha’s Vineyard and this guy does this in the middle of the street, stand in front of us. Our reaction: I, from a big city, am ready to walk around him–who is this crazy negro wanting to get our attention She, from small town New England, thinks this could be somebody who might have known me and who wanted to chat.

    We wind up chatting and hanging around with him and his friends…not the kind of people I would have wanted to hang around with…reinforcing my big city mentality, that certain types of negroes are to be ignored, especially those types who act like jerks.

    They are jerks, if they think that is the way to get a woman’s attention. It is a rude and blatant violation of a woman’s space.

    • Faith says:

      I concur. The behavior of hanging out at entrances to businesses is too akin to standing out in public spaces where men feel free to “holla” at any female over the age of twelve. Not to mention a security risk to businesses for potential criminal activity. While we can see these males clearly have had no male role models to demonstrate proper behavior it’s not our responsibility to teach them how to act like men. Would they even listen to any proper instruction (from other males) at this point anyway? It’s physically menacing and street harrassment. Having to explain this to one such male in his 30’s who “couldn’t” understand what was wrong with this scenario (the inhereent imbalance in power as well as the aggressiveness) is how he got put on the no-value list and I stopped conversing with him last year. He of course is very well-attuned to racial discrimination – as it pertains to affecting black males but won’t take repsonsibility for his gender prejudices. Typical! What also becomes clear is how easily people fall into the neutral/no value/low value/contributing categories once we start enacting standards. The behavior and mentality is not at all unique.

  18. CW says:

    * After the first week of tuning out useless people, did you work to make this a permanent habit? Why or why not?

    As a typical loner I’ve always been introverted and kept to myself…It really wasn’t a challenge, except there was a deeper awareness of what was going on…Ex: What a few of the other posters observed about BM trying to catch eye-contact & obstructing free movement (grrrrr),etc…In Hawaii, the Black population is small…When out and about shopping, running errands I sometimes get “eyes” searing the back of my neck, and more than likely it’s a BM…Making every effort to NOT to notice them at times is precarious…

    Tracy Remarked “…..And, like so many others have noticed, these bm did not like being ignored AT ALL. Some would turn their heads, others would walk back and forth in front of me to get my attention. Get this – some would instantly learn manners and smile and address me! Imagine that..LOL!”

    Yeah…All of the sudden :| …Knowing you weren’t even THINKING of my Black hindparts…So I know exactly what everyone thus far is speaking of….

    * Have you reduced the amount of attention you give to useless people? Why or why not?

    YES …It’s funny how useless people want to maintain relevance in your life…I have a BM married neighbor (A dirtbag IMO) who seems to always want to be in my field of vision…(Note: This really started up after my husband left on assignment)…Wants to be ‘seen’…One of those types that are always outside the front porch talking on their cells…One of those types who always need to have loud music blasting as he’s pulling in the driveway…SMH…Anywhoo, seems like whether I’m coming or going this next door neighbor is “standing around”…And if there is something to comment on, he will to make conversation…(Another Note: May I also add that NO ONE else in the community just “stands around” on their front porch…We have back yards, parks & community centers…Why do we have to be ghetto? ) ….Too late to make a long story short, but I just try and avoid him…

    * Or have you gravitated back to avidly following what useless people are saying and doing? Why or why not?

    Sometimes I check out “gossip”…But have in recent years significantly cut out the non-beneficial in many areas…And not just BM…The reality show sheeple entertainment is not on my radar….

  19. Kay says:

    Khadija,

    I know there’s not room for any additional comments from your previous post, but I just wanted to say that I am so tired of immigrants coming to the U.S. and using black people for their resources (they do not give anything back). They just take and horde for their own communities. Black people must gain some common sense and stop giving their resources to be people who don’t give a damn about them nor do they respect them. It just makes me want to get on a megaphone and scream sometimes.

    That said, it’s funny that you mention tuning out low value people, because I’ve had to do better job of doing that with the media. Everytime I go to one of those “black” celebrity blogs I come away feeling depressed, devalued, dumbed-down, dirty, and sad for black people and our hood rich mentalities. I just want it to stop. So, I’ve had to really just turn away from that kind of low value, media consumption in search for better more life affirming inputs.

    It just really hurts to watch this rapper-drug-seller-baby-momma-hood-rich culture that’s being toted and played out in black communities on a regular basis. It includes entertainers, so called thinkers like Eric Dyson, athletes, organizations (NAACP), movie producers (Tyler Perry, Lee Daniels), and so on.

    It just makes me want to say, “Why?”. It’s insidious. My goodness. My black-out already began a while back, but your post is an excellent reminder that I need to remain more vigilent on the messages I allow myself to recieve, because many of them are a snare that gain a foothold among the weak-minded and those who experience a lapse of sound judgement.

    • T says:

      Black people must gain some common sense and stop giving their resources to be people who don’t give a damn about them nor do they respect them. It just makes me want to get on a megaphone and scream sometimes.

      Couldn’t agree more. The BC have given so much of itself away, that it’s hard to tell what is “real” and what is not. That’s why you see the rampantly dysfunctional behaviors that Khadija talks about. The BC does not have anything to call its own anymore.

  20. Nathalie says:

    Hi Khadija,

    Thanks for the MovNat info–very interesting. Your question:
    “..3)I’m wondering about and researching whether there’s an emotional/meditation practice that’s similar in philosophy to what I’ve been reading of the natural exercise philosophy called “Methode Naturelle,” or in its modern form, MovNat.”

    I’m not sure, but it made me think of a few books that my health care colleagues have recommended; perhaps the emotional and meditative practices within them may be mined for something that complements MovNat on those levels.
    a.) Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress Related Diseases, and Coping by Robert M. Sapolsky
    b.) Practical Intuition by Laura Day
    c.) When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection by Gabor Maté
    d.) The Myth of Stress: Where Stress Really Comes From and How to Live a Happier and Healthier Life by Andrew Bernstein

  21. T says:

    Hello all:

    I used to catch a lot of flak for being what others call “bourgie” or “snob” because I did not give too much attention to people who contributed absolutely nothing of value to me. I was simply not interested in hanging out with zero-value people-people who were more interested in what they can get from you than what they can give. That sort of one-way traffic is why many BW in particular have so much trouble with cultivating and maintaining productive relationships. They are not assessing their own value and that of the BM in front of them in a proper way in order to determine if it’s worth their time. Instead, they entertain these fools in the hopes of either having the fantasy “happily ever after” or changing them into the type of men they want. Really? Does that ever work? Most of the time, no. The best solution is never to get involved in the first place; the stress and strain you get from the interaction is simply not worth it.

  22. Nathalie says:

    I just wanted to add that I’ve also been applying my tune-out “sort function” to people who advocate ideas that imply that the world should organize around black men’s failures, rather than BASE problem solving on holding BM accountable and demanding change in their choices and behaviors (i.e; saying the problem of black male academic failure is not having enough black male teachers, while not addressing how what black children observe of black men’s behavior patterns drives this, etc..); a dynamic that reinforces the notion that black men are helpless and incapable of addressing their role in their problems. As well as applying the Sort & Tune-out Command to any other irrational, enabling ideas about how to respond to the many crises in the black community. I have found this particular application of Sort and Tune-out helpful for clarifying who is subscribing to enabling approaches; the results are interesting, because it’s usually the people seen as most active in talking about how to improve/problem-solve re “The Crisis” and who are trusted among the black intelligentsia and its audience as sources of thought and direction. The men seem to assume that because institutional racism and oppressions are generated by whites, we can only wring hands and rearrange the deck chairs on the black Titanic (again reinforcing helplessness and a lack of control of one’s own behavior–infantalizing and animalizing concepts). The women co-signing are often the same people who will lament the dearth of functional black male partnership options but don’t see a connection between enabling (old school liberal) philosophies and “The Crisis”.

    I feel you on the wooze of paradigm shifting re “..in response to several readers’ analyses from the recent conversation (“Another Look at Loyalty to Self”)”! A little woozy myself, but it’s all for good- like the woozy part in detoxing.

  23. **Since I’m mostly stepping back during this particular conversation, please excuse me for not responding to every comment. I’ve decided to occassionally respond to what I’ll call different “thought clusters” during this conversation.**

    For example, it seems self-evident to me that most of what is being discussed by “mainstream” AAs is of NO value. The same is true of most AA women’s interactions with most BM. AA women need to tune out 90%+ of that.

    We know this. So, those readers who are still brainstorming techniques for breaking free of consuming that mess or having those kind of interactions, please KEEP talking among yourselves about that. This constitutes one “thought cluster.” Rhonda’s suggestion of using the LeechBlock program sounds like a really good idea. I have nothing more to add to that particular thought cluster.

    However, there are some other thought clusters about somewhat more subtle tune-out topics that I would greatly appreciate hearing some feedback about. There are some ideas floating around that are, for the most part, presumed to be good ideas among more sophisticated “idea consumers.” And I think there IS a lot of good to be found in these ideas. The problem (at least for me) comes with the portions of the idea(s) that I believe should be tuned-out. It’s easy to recognize poison when it’s pure poison; it’s harder when the poison is mixed in with something of great value.

    For now, I’m speaking of the minimalism idea that’s been spreading around the personal development, early retirement, and lifestyle design blogs I read. Even though I feel that he’s soaked up FAR too much of Ayn Rand’s ideology, writer Nathan Hangen perfectly expresses some of the disquiet I’ve felt in reaction to portions of the minimalist message. He’s written an essay called, “Escaping Minimalism”. He says (I edited some profanity),

    Minimalism is Selfish
    Todayʼs minimalism is yesterdayʼs Woodstock, yet instead of coming together, people are moving further apart on their own voyage of selfish exploration. Now donʼt get me wrong, thereʼs nothing wrong with mobility, or in selling your stuff or with taking control of your own life. Really, thatʼs more than admirable if youʼre doing it for the right reasons.

    But letʼs talk about the right reasons:

    A clutter free house is a clutter free life. We have lots of sh*t that we donʼt need. Fine, get rid of it…letʼs go Everything Zen.

    Reducing finances is good, especially if you canʼt pay your bills as-is.

    Reclaiming your life from the people that try to keep you from being happy, from the gatekeepers, naysayers, and critics, well…thatʼs excellent. Donʼt let anyone hold you back baby…go for your dreams and make it happen.

    But hereʼs where the path forks, and where I start to get agitated:

    Most of the minimalist “gurus” donʼt seem to be in it for the minimalism, and in fact, one could argue that they seek minimalism as an experiment in vanity, rather than an authentic desire to reach nothingness. Furthermore, minimalism is a fancy way of saying “Iʼm running from life and responsibility.” They are afraid of the commitment that comes with embracing who they were meant to become, and instead, run to the 4 winds in hope that theyʼll be blown away, never having to face their own problems.

    A minimalist seeks refuge in denying themselves responsibility, but not just to the world…to everything. And yet, in the same breath, they utter a “buy now” phrase, hoping that youʼll support their mission.

    But where is the good in that?

    Keep the Pyramid Alive
    In many ways, this mirrors the cult of blogging, where an influx of new users to the pyramid allows the others to elevate themselves. A minimalist recruits other minimalists so that they have someone to pitch their minimalism too. Without these groupies, the minimalist cult fades into nonexistence because it cannot support itself, which is precisely my reason for aggressively pursuing this case.

    In avoiding the acquisition of material goods, issues, problems, debates, and commitments, a minimalist learns to produce one thing, which is their own ego. This is not the ego obtained through mastery, but one obtained through self-serving and personal edification. This is the ego obtained through the practice of creating nothing of value, and in chastising those who do.

    …In escaping commitment, competition, and skill mastery, a minimalist embarks on a journey of exchanging non-value for non-value. In other words, they exist for nothing other than their own gratification, which really isnʼt minimalism at all, but is a fancy word for 2nd hander.

    As an example, one such minimalist pointed out that he does not want to “spoon feed” his readers, which seems like a nice way of saying: “buy my sh*t and then GTFO.”

    http://nathanhangen.com/volumes-and-manifestos/

    At the risk of what I’m trying to express sounding (totally) scatter-brained, stream-of-consciousness, and therefore unintelligle, here’s another angle to what I’ve been thinking about lately: These various levels of tune-out are all connected for me as I contemplate my mission statement for my next project. One somewhat disturbing thing I realized while meditating during my mini-sabbatical from the gadgets is how quickly things—including meditative and spiritual practices—can become stale, robotic, and inauthentic. This sensation was perfectly summed up in the quote that Rhonda gave from ShakingMedicine.com,

    In the sociology of religion this social process is called the “routinization” of the founding charismatic experience. Wild ecstatic experience is replaced by standardized ritual that overturns spontaneous play and improvisation. Guided imagery, clichéd patter, and loyalty oaths overtake raw unadulterated creativity, free expression, and heightened emotions.

    (emphasis added)

    Ritual can be comforting, calming and good. However, it’s inherently unnatural. I prefer a complete toolbox that includes natural, unregimented tools. It seems to me that all of these other things eventually turn into clichés when they’re the only tools that we use. [I will add that what is purported to be ecstatic “shouting” by many AA Protestants also often seems to have become standardized, ritualzed…done on demand…a cliché.]

    If at all possible, I would like my future projects to remain fresh. I hope all of this makes some sense. :-)

    Expect Success!

  24. lafemmenoir says:

    To start, I apologize if I “missed the vein” with my response and also, for such a long-winded response.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hangen states that: “without these “groupies” the minimalist cult fades into non-existence because it cannot support itself…”

    He goes on to state: “In avoiding the acquisition of material goods, issues, problems, debates, and commitments, a minimalist learns to produce one thing, which is their own ego.”

    Stagnancy, in one incarnation or another, threatens all movements (or cults. Lol), especially when the participants don’t really have any fresh ideas or perspectives to add to the discussion and are just rehashing old ideas and thoughts. In order to keep it fresh, one needs to ensure that the participants are continually challenged to grow their intellect and challenge their ways of thinking and behaving, and when they don’t call them to the carpet on it, keeping in mind that we are all on the same path.
    This is a difficult thing to cultivate amongst people who are not used to or ready to let go of “garbage” whether it’s in thought, deed, or emotion. As far as ego goes, I will say this- do you allow dishonest dissent from outsiders in the hopes of “keeping it fresh” or do you cultivate ideas from within?

    Also to address his statement- ‘In avoiding the acquisition of… issues, problems, debates…’

    It is human nature and in the best interest of self-preservation that people tend to avoid conflict(s). It is especially true when one feels that they are in a weakened state, like a BW who has just fled for her life from sundown town. How would she be of benefit to anyone in her state? All that she could offer is her “story” and that is only useful to people who benefit from “pain porn” (those who benefit from peddling other peoples misery to make money or advance their ideas/agenda).

    Also, experience and common sense teach us that we can’t win a battle when the person we are doing battle with won’t engage in the battle or when we know that they will not honor the Geneva Convention (fight fairly), you know? LOL.

    Hangen states: “In many ways, this mirrors the cult of blogging, where an influx of new users to the pyramid allows the others to elevate themselves. A minimalist recruits other minimalists so that they have someone to pitch their minimalism too.”

    Blogging on an ongoing basis can lead one to begin to question their real motivation for writing. Is it really self-actualization and personal growth that they desire or is it to create a vacuum where only their ideas are valid and the ideas of those who agree with them? The delicate balancing act that one must do to keep their movement pure and free of detractors while still injecting fresh and new perspectives and ideas is a difficult one and perhaps one that many fail to do with great success. Proactive, not reactive.

    Khadija you wrote: “The problem (at least for me) comes with the portions of the idea(s) that I believe should be tuned-out. It’s easy to recognize poison when it’s pure poison; it’s harder when the poison is mixed in with something of great value.”

    Yes and therein lies the rub, Khadija.

    There is a popular saying that goes, “what would the devil say that an angel would want to know?”

    Does that help?

    Hagen states: Minimalism is a fancy way of saying that “I am running from life and responsibility.”

    For “our” community and this “movement”, it’s more like I am running for my life and towards responsibility. Seriously. Not knowing much about him and where he hails from, I read his bio to get a better feel for him. On his bio I read this:

    ‘It’s the little things that count, that set you apart, and that define your contribution to the world. ‘

    IMHO, the “little” thing that sets you apart from other bloggers of similar types BWE blogs is the fact that you, IMHO, are genuinely interested and invested in BW having the best lives possible (as long as they are willing to do the work), not just in selling merchandise or feeding your ego. When you post comments to responses, you offer encouragement, reprimand, agreement, and you are not afraid to show that you too have experienced a moment of growth when you’ve run across a few posts on your blog. Narcissist & megalomaniacs’ don’t value other people and /or their experiences or opinions. Period. Also, you are not pushing “alternative” lifestyles down peoples throats (which I thank you for). This is what sets you apart and is your contribution to the world. It is not cookie cutter and I have read where people are quoting your blog on other sites.

    Khadija you wrote: “Ritual can be comforting, calming and good. However, it’s inherently unnatural. I prefer a complete toolbox that includes natural, unregimented tools. It seems to me that all of these other things eventually turn into clichés when they’re the only tools that we use.”

    Anything that we rely too heavily on can become ritual or cliche’. I agree, we need to diversify our skill sets and not rely on just a few rancid skills. This is why it is necessary for ~~~all~~~ participants to share and exchange ideas/skills (stop lurking and join in), no matter how silly we may think they are. Who knows, it might be added to someone’s “toolbox” for future use.

    Khadija you wrote: “If at all possible, I would like my future projects to remain fresh. I hope all of this makes some sense.”

    Yup. Crystal-clear. It is the only way to remain relevant; otherwise you go the way of the NAACP.

    • Lynn says:

      ITA with lafemmenoir, Khadija! Your honesty-which can be a hard, brutal pill to swallow, is refreshing. Also, the fact that the audience gets to ‘see’ your own empowerment journey, including the corrections you made along the way, shows the dedication you bring to the BWE struggle. Lafemmenoir hit all of the main points on this. I love BWE empowerment sites, but I do not frequent any as much as I do Sojouners and Muslim Bushido.

      On a different note, I’m somewhat taken back on some of the participant’s other internet and entertainment hobbies. This is obviously a very enlightened group, so why are a large portion of you still reading DBR stuff, websites, entertainment blogs denigrating the majority of Black women’s body features and intellect, etc? We here all know the damage done to psyches and quality of life with this mess. We all know the DBR BM hate us; to varying degrees. Why fuel their missions or pocketbooks? It boggles me.

      I’m very fortunate to live by myself, to be able to control my environment. Still, to willingly subject oneself to this poison is counter productive to your personal empowerment. I can’t remember when I’ve watched or listened to some semi-literate self hater DBR BM rant and rave about BW. I only hear about the latest entertainment gossip when I read other people’s comments on these websites, or when it’s blaring out at max volume when I’m in the gym. The national tune out definitely needs to start with your computer/TV. What good is it to ignore the DBR BM on the street, then come home and watch/read him on your computer?

      Another thing I admire about Khadija is her brutal honesty. I’ve served in our armed forces, so I’m used to this, while others may not be. However, I’m sometimes taken aback by some of the statements, but a dash of cold reality in our faces is just what we need to shake us out of our destructive lifestyles. Thank you, Khadija!

      • Lynn,

        You’re welcome, and thank YOU for your kind words; I truly appreciate it.

        Well, the way I speak here is the same way I speak to my clients. I clearly tell clients, “Here are my points of concern with your case, and here are the points that I believe are in your favor.” I do this because candor is what I want from my doctor, dentist, tax consultant, real estate lawyer, etc.

        It’s interesting…clients initially find my candor quite jarring, but the clients who stick with me (as opposed to seeking another attorney who will simply tell them whatever they want to hear—which may or may not be accurate) appear pleased in the end. And I prefer that prospective clients who aren’t a good fit with me take their business elsewhere—this eliminates future problems before they happen.

        Most of the situations I’ve seen where other lawyers had disciplinary board complaints lodged against them revolved around miscommunications about expectations. [Of course, there are other lawyers who are stealing from clients and doing all sorts of other overtly shady things, but I don’t “conversate” with people like that. {chuckling}]

        The same type of clients who insist upon hearing false “happy talk” get angry and then turn on the professional service provider who gave them the false happy talk. Especially when things don’t go exactly as outlined by the false “happy talk.”

        For example, from what I’ve seen, the plastic surgeon who pretends that surgical procedures are a piece of cake typically deals with more complaints than the surgeon who clearly outlines the scary, life-threatening aspects of EVERY surgical procedure. The surgeon who says the candid scary talk upfront gets fewer patients, but also fewer medical board complaints.

        To me, there are few things worse than a professional service provider who strings people along with dishonest, pacifying bs. In many situations, people’s very lives, liberty, and livelihoods are depending on an HONEST assessment of what’s going on. The same could be said about many of the issues discussed by BWE bloggers—this is literally life and death for individual BW that we’re talking about.

        When I see my doctor I want her to tell me what she actually sees going on with my health in her professional opinion. I don’t want a blast of sunshine in her diagnosis unless it’s her HONEST opinion. Well, I give the same honest assessment that I want from my own service providers. It can be unpleasant and downright stressful to hear the unvarnished truth, but that’s better than being lied to when it comes to these sorts of matters.

        About my public “course corrections”—I mention these adjustments so people can: (1) see for themselves how I came to certain conclusions; and (2) be very clear about the fact that I am NOT holding myself out to be any sort of guru. :-) I’m a fellow traveler on the road to abundant life.

        Expect Success!

  25. Lafemmenoir,

    You said, “To start, I apologize if I “missed the vein” with my response and also, for such a long-winded response.”

    Oh no, you didn’t miss the vein, and I LIKE meaty responses. Thank you, you’ve given me some food for thought that I was looking for! :-)

    You said, “Stagnancy, in one incarnation or another, threatens all movements (or cults. Lol), especially when the participants don’t really have any fresh ideas or perspectives to add to the discussion and are just rehashing old ideas and thoughts. In order to keep it fresh, one needs to ensure that the participants are continually challenged to grow their intellect and challenge their ways of thinking and behaving, and when they don’t call them to the carpet on it, keeping in mind that we are all on the same path.

    This is a difficult thing to cultivate amongst people who are not used to or ready to let go of “garbage” whether it’s in thought, deed, or emotion. As far as ego goes, I will say this- do you allow dishonest dissent from outsiders in the hopes of “keeping it fresh” or do you cultivate ideas from within?”

    This is a tricky question that I’ve been grappling with recently. One danger that I try to be mindful of is my tendency to verbally trample folks when I’m “preaching”—part of this is a work-related habit from trial work. It’s okay (and I believe good) for me to do that when dealing with the very few trolls I let through for teaching moment purposes. But, I don’t want the silent audience to feel intimidated, or God forbid, bullied by my exhortations. I also don’t want folks to feel like they need a Ph.D. or other paper credentials to contribute something of great value to these conversations. They don’t.

    Lately, I’ve been feeling that maybe I’ve been talking too much during these conversations. I feel like I should probably step back more, and let the readers talk among themselves. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do. For now, I think I’ll mix it up—continue my regular “big mouth” ways (LOL!) for some conversations, and step back for other conversations.

    I believe that the dishonest dissenters must be kept out. I’ve seen some BW bloggers try to use such saboteurs as foils to prevent the growth of an “amen corner” on their blogs. That seems incredibly naive to me. First, it’s the same fallacy that caused progressives to allow RABID, right-wing nuts to take over all public discourse.

    Anybody who is advocating abundant life for BW and girls is an insurgent. Which means that they are facing a deeply entrenched, oppressive status quo. A status quo that already commands literally millions of microphones. Why in the world would an insurgent give their ONE and ONLY microphone over to an enemy who is already broadcasting from millions of mikes? So that saboteur can obstruct the insurgent’s work from the insurgent’s platform? That makes no sense to me. There has to be another way of ensuring proper ventilation and circulation of fresh ideas.

    You said, “All that she could offer is her “story” and that is only useful to people who benefit from “pain porn” (those who benefit from peddling other peoples misery to make money or advance their ideas/agenda).”

    “Pain porn…” You called it by its right name…

    You said, “Blogging on an ongoing basis can lead one to begin to question their real motivation for writing…Proactive, not reactive.”

    The blog satisfies the same “do-gooder” urges that originally prompted me to choose trial work instead of tax law. I try to be proactive and do periodic reviews of how things are going. Like I said, lately I feel that maybe I should be more quiet during some of these conversations.

    You said, “There is a popular saying that goes, “what would the devil say that an angel would want to know?”

    That’s a very good question…I’ll keep it in mind.

    You said, “IMHO, the “little” thing that sets you apart from other bloggers of similar types BWE blogs is the fact that you, IMHO, are genuinely interested and invested in BW having the best lives possible (as long as they are willing to do the work), not just in selling merchandise or feeding your ego. When you post comments to responses, you offer encouragement, reprimand, agreement, and you are not afraid to show that you too have experienced a moment of growth when you’ve run across a few posts on your blog. “

    Thank you for your kind words; I truly appreciate it. I must mention some things:

    (1) I will be actively selling merchandise, just not here (I plan to launch some mainstream “bidness” projects early next year). From the beginning, this blog was intended to be self-supporting social activism in support of BW and girls (the book sales support the upkeep of the blog—or as I put it in the “About” page’s Sample Blog Post, 50% business & 50% social activism).

    (2) I suspect that whatever lack of narcissism on display is more about my personality quirks than any active virtue on my part. I just happen to have other preoccupations, and other sources of getting my ego properly massaged. {smile}

    (3) Whether folks realize it or not, the commenters have been having, and continue to have, HUGE impacts on me. Without commenter input and encouragement, I wouldn’t have gathered the blog essays into a book. The idea of doing this simply didn’t occur to me until readers were talking about it. There are countless other life-enriching ideas that never occurred to me until I heard them from listening to the commenters. I can’t possibly thank y’all enough. THANK YOU!

    You said, “Anything that we rely too heavily on can become ritual or cliche’. I agree, we need to diversify our skill sets and not rely on just a few rancid skills.”

    ITA.

    You said, “This is why it is necessary for ~~~all~~~ participants to share and exchange ideas/skills (stop lurking and join in), no matter how silly we may think they are. Who knows, it might be added to someone’s “toolbox” for future use.”

    I agree. However, I will note that I do take responsibility for whatever I might be doing that could be discouraging more active participation from (currently silent) readers. On the one hand, I understand that only a small percentage of any blog’s readers actively participate in conversations. This is partially because people are accustomed to silently consuming similar materials like newspapers.

    On the other hand, this blog and its subject matter is NOT part of the mainstream AA discourse. This blog is one of only a handful of Black blogs that actively and consistently have AA women’s backs. This is one of the very few places where specific, life-saving information and tips tailored to AA women’s unique predicament are being discussed. Please keep in mind that that ideas and skills that you don’t share could make the difference in another BW’s life (and that of her children).

    So, Silent Readers, I hope you’ll overlook whatever errors I’m making in how I handle this forum in order to share that sort of information.

    Expect Success!

  26. IRockIRoll says:

    I’ve tried Tune-Out Week, and I failed, miserably. In less than 24 hours I was on a blog that does nothing to uplift black women b/c I chased down a scandalous link on a friend’s page. So I’ve done a few things differently this time around. I bought the 4 – Hour Workweek that was suggested in another thread, and while both places have said “Cold Turkey”, I have been doing a gradual thing over the past few months. I know enough about myself to realize that “Cold Turkey”, isn’t a good method for me. I’ll think about whatever it is that I’m not supposed to have so the focus would still be on that item, or subject.

    I don’t watch the news first thing in the morning at home anymore. If I catch news in the morning, it is because I see it on the T.V. screen while I’m at the gym (working on being FLAWLESS, I took that post to heart).

    I don’t check a certain website anymore, because I realized that they were throwing up nonsense headlines to get pageviews, and I don’t have time for that right now. I’m rolling out on a second one as well.

    I no longer buy gossip/weekly magazines, if I want something interesting to read on the fly, I have books and dozens of magazines with INFORMATION, i.e. Foreign Policy, The Economist, National Review, etc… I’ve read several for years, but now I’m making those magazines my primary “on the fly” reading materials.

    I no longer even CHECK for the “black panel” specials on whatever new hot mess has emerged this current news cycle. PHDs are used for every other group, we get comedians. Obviously, nothing will be seriously discussed.

    I’ve curbed back my T.V. consumption (period), and I don’t watch two very popular shows due to the fact that the first episodes showed the lone black female recurring character “going off”. I don’t need to see that.

    I’ve had to check myself MORE than a few times. l admit, I was curious when friends would bring up certain topics and webposts, news events, you name it. But I use a phrase now that has helped me a lot. “Do I need to know about that?”. As in, if I had ANY more information than whatever someone’s Facebook profile/status-update had up, would it help me out, or do I just need to keep it moving? After some slip-ups and wasted hours, I realized, I DON’T need to know about whatever it was. So to save most of ya’ll that time that I personally threw away, treat certain things like certain items. If you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can’t ACTUALLY afford it, or at least not easily [ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH THE VENUE OR SOURCE]. Remember, Time is MONEY.

    Now, since I’m trying to be productive with my time, and create & finish some projects, I’ve been spending WAY more free time doing things that will in some way tie in to how I need to improve myself, my work, or my projects.

    And in tuning out other people, I would highly suggest that you all DON’T tell people what you’re doing. Get you right first, at least in your day to day interactions. Cause if certain folks think that THEY are being “tuned out”, they just may try to pull stuff to get your attention.

    Tracy & Truth P., thanks so much for those words of wisdom. “There’s nothing personal going on here”, my be my new go to mantra for drama. That whatever situation is happening with someone else’s hot mess, it is not about me. It is either human nature, or somebody else’s issues and I don’t need or have to take ownership of that. I just need to mentally remove myself from the drama, figure out what “I” need to not be involved anymore, and move on.

  27. IRockIRoll,

    I also don’t do well with “cold turkey.” The way I figure, the useless habit wasn’t built in a day, so it won’t be unbuilt in a day. Another thing I’ve learned about myself over time is that it’s essential for me to immediately replace the bad habit thing with something else. If I leave a blank space where the useless habit used to be, I’m almost certain to gravitate back to the useless habit.

    You said, “I no longer even CHECK for the “black panel” specials on whatever new hot mess has emerged this current news cycle. PHDs are used for every other group, we get comedians. Obviously, nothing will be seriously discussed. “

    “The ‘black panel’…” {chuckling} I also don’t pay any attention to the serious Black PhDs on tv—99.99% of them have only been employees. They don’t have any ACTIONABLE information to share about entrepreneurship or small business development; and that’s what I’m focused on. As a result, anything the bulk of these folks have to say is filed in the “frivolous entertainment” category for me (except for rare individuals like Dr. Claud Anderson, author of PowerNomics and Black Labor, White Wealth). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4JuBOtUSJ0

    [I’ll note that he keeps extending his projected deadline for permanent underclass status for AAs. For whatever reasons, he’s refraining from telling us that it’s already game over for most AAs.]

    You said, “And in tuning out other people, I would highly suggest that you all DON’T tell people what you’re doing. Get you right first, at least in your day to day interactions. Cause if certain folks think that THEY are being “tuned out”, they just may try to pull stuff to get your attention.”

    ITA! In fact, I would add that it’s probably best NOT to tell people about most of these self-renewal projects. At least not in the beginning, where one’s progress is still quite fragile.

    Expect Success!

  28. ak says:

    Hi

    I’ve been tuning out the neutral/stranger, and the negative DBR BM and even everybody else in those categories for quite a while now. The last time I backslid and looked at YT or a blog for ABCs was maybe in April or May and it was just for like 30 minutes or something like that. I haven’t been on Perez Hilton or TMZ for maybe a year (?)

    I should get back to some of my proper reading material that I put down back in January or whenever! LOL LOL Most of the BWE blogs are my favorite and my obsession on the internet anyway because it can be very rare to find BW who are candid about the way things really are and most of the time they are just saying what I’ve always thought or have been observing for years. Only on BWE blogs they actually admit to these things.

    I haven’t bought Essence in ages, I think it was a lot better in the 90s. I do have the habit of buying magazines occasionally or going websites dedicated to fashion and beauty though, but I think that’s a part of my personality to look at those that probably won’t ever go away.

    I don’t hold the snotty and snobby notion that beauty and or being chic, and intelligence are mutually exclusive because sometimes they can come together. I think that Cindy Crawford was valedictorian of her high school, and I read a recent interview of Naomi Campbell that said that even though she went to Italia Conti, a well known arts and drama school in London, she studied hard with the academics.

    I love brainy and deep topics of conversation about many things, I can talk for days and I used to be a total history buff but when I get tired of that I will visit the lighter, more ‘shallow’ end of things and I just oscillate back and forth, that’s just me.

    Although the gossip about D-listers and Z-listers and reality TV doesn’t interest me at all, but I do like to check out the new deal with fashion and beauty.

    • As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing wrong with keeping up with (classy and elegant) fashions, and staying abreast of the latest beauty techniques. That’s an essential part of being “flawless.” :-)

      Also, considering how much of an impact outer self-presentation has on the type and number of LIFE opportunities that are available to a woman, beauty and fashion are serious business for any Sojourner! Only modern American women (of certain ideologies and class tiers) have lost sight of this fact. Other types of women know this. Our foremothers knew this.

      Expect Success!

      • ak says:

        Thanks for understanding Khadija. Yes I love classiness and elegance, even when I was younger I was never much of a flaunting T&A girl anyway.

        I usually don’t see any young Asian woman who are overweight and badly dressed, not in the UK or in the US, so no wonder they’ve been getting on so well.

        As a woman gets older or if she has ongoing skin imperfections, like me, keeping up with beauty techniques is not a bad idea at all.

      • Rhonda says:

        Have you all ever heard of this place? The Sartorialist

        • No, I hadn’t heard of it. It looks like a very cool site. Thanks for sharing!

          Expect Success!

          • Rhonda says:

            Sometimes, I’ll post a link to a site without saying anything about it.

            The Sartorialist blog is a “man on the street” type of blog. The author/creator is a fashion magazine photographer, who lives in NYC and during his travels he takes photos of “stylish” folks whom he sees on the streets of the places where he visits, as well as folks in New York City.

            I like the blog, because it is not about folks being “fashionable,” but their being “stylish.” A very short explanation of the difference between the two (if you do not know already): When one is fashionable, one is following the dictates of what the fashion industry tells you to wear; whereas, being stylish i s you determining what clothing (and shoes and accessories, etc.) suits best your body-type and personality. A fashionable person follows the trends and often looks like every other person you see on the street; most of the modern-day Hollywood celebrities are fashionable. The stylish person will wear what is trendy, if that trend suits her; otherwise, she will listen to the beat of her own drum and dress herself with what she feels looks good on her regardless if the item is the latest fashion trend.

            One of the things that you will notice in the photos is that no one is fat. If you go back to the beginning of the blog, most of his photos were of men. If I remember correctly, it started out as a style blog for men. (I don’t mean to insult anyone: The blog never came across, to me, as a gay blog.) I find that I learn a lot, about developing my own style, from this blog. To me, a stylish person is a stylish person, so I learn from the men, too. Gosh, do not the Italian men know how to look good, to dress themselves well!

        • ak says:

          Yeah that blog’s not bad and I also love their oher blog called The Catorialist! LOL LOL

  29. CNS says:

    I am doing the tune out right now and I feel liberated. I always wanted to do it , I just felt I needed permission. I was particularly proud of myself when I was in Macy’s and I saw through my side view a tall black man. I continued to look straight ahead. I could sense him looking at me. When I was out of view I noticed that he was good looking as well. I at that moment felt really proud of myself. Maybe a year ago I would had felt disappointed, like it was a missed opportunity. I am glad that I was able to show him that not all black women are desperate for a black male.

  30. CNS,

    You said, ” I am glad that I was able to show him that not all black women are desperate for a black male.”

    Respectfully, please keep in mind that the purpose of the tune-out is NOT about “showing” BM anything . . . at all. That’s not what the tune-out is about. The tune-out isn’t about being anti-anybody, it’s about being PRO-SELF-INTEREST.

    I hope you continue to feel good about your progress, but—respectfully—the motivation that you expressed in your comment is part of the problem. At least as I see it.

    Here’s why: When you (or any other AA woman) focus on “showing” BM anything,…you’re STILL focused on BM. Whether the fixation is negative (“showing” BM something) or positive (automatically fawning over BM), this knee-jerk fixation on BM is a serious, life-damaging problem.

    The point is to stop directing attention and energy toward NON-contributing persons, places and things. The reason for doing this is NOT to “show” anybody anything. The reason is so that this same energy can be redirected toward people who are much more likely to make some worthy contribution to your life.
    ___________________________________________________

    Rhonda,

    You said, “Gosh, do not the Italian men know how to look good, to dress themselves well!”

    Yes, I noticed that also. {smile}

    Expect Success!