Fitness and Healthy Crying

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, June 23, 2012

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I haven't written on this blog since March. Does that mean I'm incredibly neglectful, or since I use writing as a outlet...perhaps, I haven't wanted to confront my emotions.  I tend to think of myself as a logical person. On occasion, I am overturn by my egotistical emotions...but I'd like to think I'm of a sound mind capable of making sound decisions.  

What's she saying?!?! You may ask....well, I've been on this fitness kick for almost a month now.  I have revamped the way I eat, am working out 5 times a week, more water, less sugar and definitely less salt.  I am seeing major results and if you want my regimen, I'll share that on a later post.

Last week I woke up completely surrounded by negative thoughts. Hurt and upset at a few things I decided to go for a walk at Kenneth Hahn park after I dropped my little one off at school. I got to the park and watched as each hill somehow morphed into a personal life challenge--and of a sudden my leisure walk turned into a full out combat...and....I ran. I kept running. I could hear the beat of my heart and the coming and going of oxygen into my lungs take over the natural noises of the park and the distant traffic from La Cienega Blvd.  My calfs screamed at me, my head pounded away--yet I kept running.  I ran over the hills on the trail...down the slopes, and up a hill that I thought was never going to stop. I heard encouraging words of, "go girl" each time I passed another runner.  I wanted to say thank you, but I was stuck--a prisoner at war within my own body.  I ran so hard that when I finally got to a small opening my body literally gave out and I collapsed.  I laid on the grass and stared up at the sky...listening to my heart creating it's own rhythm--no headphones needed. I laid there shocked at what I had just done. Almost an hour of complete torture...and then I cried.

I cried for the drama I have been going through with my daughter. I cried for the man I had given my heart to and he let shatter into a million pieces. I cried for my little brother in juvenile hall, I cried for the health of my grandmother, I cried for the spiritual strength of my mother...I cried, hiccuped, and cried again.  Then all of a sudden like how the world stands still for the passing of an ambulance, I was at peace. Through my sobs I heard birds chirping, felt a small breeze from the wings of a butterfly and heard, "get up"...I rolled over onto my stomach and sat up. I wiped my face with the back of my sleeve and sat there. Stunned by the mechanics of my body...and my emotional outcry I whispered, "thank you, God for this breakthrough." I hadn't realized that I kept so many things bottled in, tucked away. And sometimes to be a good mother, I hide the things I go through, so that I'm strong for my 5-year-old.  Healthy? No...but the irony in this post is that while I was focused on being a better steward over my body--eating right and working out; emotionally I was unhealthy.

I stood up, stretched for a little bit and thanked God for this revelation.  To be a better me means confronting things, addressing problems. A healthier me starts internally.  "Lord, you could have just said, 'let's talk'" instead of allowing me to almost kill myself running." I said jokingly. But one thing that I've learned is that God will supply all of our needs. He is the ultimate redeemer, counselor, healer...and if God--the very reason why I am here, is capable of resurrecting a dead body, capable of creating man kind and the very world we exist in--He is more than capable of healing a broken heart and offering wisdom to any situation. 

As I limped away to my car, with sweat pouring down my body, I felt at peace with a better and clearer understanding of what it truly means to be healthy.

When Nightmares Have Wings

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2012

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Did you know that the word "fear" can be both a verb and a noun?  It can describe a sensation induced by a perceived threat or being afraid of someone or something.

Some people say that fear is a good thing...that it's the ability to recognize danger--our basic survival instinct. Perhaps fear is indistinguishable against anxiety? Fear is frequently related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance whereas anxiety is the result of threats that cannot be avoided or controlled. Fear, whatever its source, can become a controlling factor in a person's life.  H.P. Lovecraft says its "the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind." Can't leave out our favorite furry friend, Yoda "Fear is the path to the dark side.  Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hare. Hate leads to suffering."

I think we ought to do a better job in controlling our worst thoughts--the things that lock us into a state of shuddering disbelief.  Could it be possible to clip the wings from our controlling nightmares and get back to living?

The bible says, "we are more than a conqueror" but what is a conqueror? A conqueror is someone who has defeated something by force. I'd like to believe that if our book of law says we are more than conquerors, we most certainly posses traits that raises us up another level in the game of life.  We possess equalities that of love, of grace, and of mercy.  Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Leave those nightmares, that inexplicable doubt, and fear alone!  Walk into your purpose!  Robert Alden says, "there is not enough darkness in all the world to put the light out of even one small candle." And I say, "You are more than a conqueror, you are capable of mending nations."


Lyrics of an Under Cover Agent

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012

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Yesterday I posted on my facebook wall Erykah Badu's lyric "I'm a recovering undercover over-lover" from her song Out My Mind, Just in Time--A song off her album, New Amerykah Part 2 which dropped on March 30th two years ago.  I covered it in this blog here: Welcome back Badu

Based on my facebook post, I received a request asking me what I thought about that line...well here goes....

How many of us can identify with being an over-lover? Someone like Erykah croons about dying for, lying for, praying for, and even crocheting for...makes me want to shutter in remembrance. I think what got me is her word play--as she often does in her neosoul melodies. She admits being undercover agent for that somewhat undying love.  How often do we all hide the amazing lengths we are willing to go for that special someone who has unlocked the secrets to our hearts?

Moving back says she's in recovery MEANING she has yet to let go.  Like a caner in remission, that love that was once pure has become poisonous. Not poisonous to kill us, just enough to hurt madly...to where the hurt almost becomes an identifiable marker where it's hard to exist without pain...so we go back. Because we can't identify with happiness...that makes us uneasy. Some people can't exist without drama because drama to them runs parallel with passion which is the questionable theory of happiness.

I'm a recovering undercover over-lover...the first step is admittance.  

In Memory of A Preacher's Wife: RIP Whitney Houston

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in , , , , | Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2012

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Much like the rest of the world, we are shocked and in disbelief at the passing of several influential people within these last weeks. Today, Whitney Houston, a voice ranging in effortless scale, rooted in the black church, paralleled by none, was found dead in the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  Her untimely death comes as a surprise to black audiences and music lovers alike on the eve of the music industry’s biggest night’s—the Grammy Awards—a night of which her success used to reign supreme.

At her peak, Houston was the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world's best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with her stage presence, appearance, and miraculous vocals.  Houston’s talents carried her over the threshold from music industry into the film industry.  Known for roles as “The Body Guard,” “Waiting to Exhale” and most popular within the black church, “The Preacher’s Wife” of which she starred opposite Denzel Washington.



The Rev. Al Sharpton said he would call for a national prayer Sunday morning during a service at Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles. "The morning of the Grammys, the world should pause and pray for the memory of a gifted songbird," Sharpton said in a written statement.

We will continue to try and perfect the “Houston” run’s…slave away to compete with songs like, “I love the Lord” or the Gospel medley she held down with Cece Winans and Shirley Caesar.  It is true that death cannot kill what cannot die.  Whitney Houston’s memory will live on within the hearts of many through her music, her movies, and her trailblazing feats.  Rest in Peace, Ms. Houston.

John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

SOPA? How about NOPA!

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2012

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Such leading websites as Google, Wikipedia, Reddit and Boing Boing have either shut down, or delayed their load in time in an attempt to protest congressional antipiracy bills they say amount to censorship.
SOPA and PIPA seemed to have the right intent to stop piracy and phishing online, however reports say their methodology is flawed. According to the LA Times, already three major co-sponsors of SOPA and PIPA antipiracy bills have publicly withdrawn their support due to the weight of  heavy protests.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)  says on his facebook page:
 ”Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences.”
Wikipedia, Reddit and about 10,000 other websites blacked out their pages Wednesday with messages warning of the dangers of the legislation and urging people to contact their congressional representatives. Dan Weiser, a spokesman for the House office of the chief administrative officer says,
“Due to the black outs, there has been a manageable increase to House member websites”
I thought censorship was unAmerican?!
To read more on the bills, click here: End Piracy, Not Liberty

An Observance on Martin Luther King Day

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012

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While 56% of American’s have the day off, 44% of Americans, under employers’ ideals somewhat synonymous with Jesse Helms and Ronald Reagan, are in their offices today answering phones, and scheduling meetings—another manic Monday. But how should we honor a man who wanted to overturn the entire edifice so that ALL PEOPLE could practice justice and love toward one another?

Vincent Harding, one of King’s colleagues, once said, “A dangerous Negro, now a national hero. How shall we work with that?" In 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. was called the most dangerous Negro in the United States because he posed a threat to the very precious ideals that, unfortunately, continue to underwrite our socio-economic and political culture.

A national observance of Martin Luther King Day today leaves me feeling Shakespeare-like—to work or not to work? If we take the day off, are we observing King for the man he was and the amazing lengths he went for equality or by taking the day off are we domesticating his radical message?

Most people who live under a time of influence of a natural leader, trailblazer, and hero—do not realize it until articles and books are published posthumously. While we contemplate the above statement, “If we take the day off, are we observing King for the man he was and the amazing lengths he went for equality or by taking the day off are we domesticating his radical message?” I would like us all to consider what a conversation would be like between Bishop Charles E. Blake, President BarakObama, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be.

Let’s honor our leaders while they still inhale and exhale precious air.  Pray for our leaders and support them the best way we can. Mark 6:4 says, “But Jesus said tothem, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his ownrelatives, and in his own house.” Could it be possible to speak well of our leaders and honor them now? To marvel at the legacies they still create?

Today is not just another manic Monday.

Frail Bodies Pt. 1

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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The human species or better yet, homo sapiens is latin for "wise man" or "knowing man." Us, being the "wiser" of the species have a highly developed brain and are capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, and problem-solving.  We are bilateral beings,  sensitive to body language, self-expression and the exchange of ideas.  All powerful are we? hmmmm...indeed.

We are the movers and shakers of this earth...from civilization, to trade and economics, architecture, and science and health...our additions to the earth, (and subtractions as well) make us the kings and queens of the land.

Yet, what I find ironic is in all our "splendor" "awe" and "amazement," how incredibly frail our bodies are.  We have no outer layers of protection, no scales, no exoskeleton, disguising attributes, (weaves and make up do not play here!), no venom...all we have is skin.  Yes, our skin protects us against pathogens, excessive water loss and other things...but we are naturally and literally defenseless.

As God created us in His image and likeness...I would like to assume that he also created us to physically depend on Him.  He knew what abilities He was going to mold us to have, what things were capable of and how impactful we would be on this world. But yet and still...our natural physical makeup causes us to be dependent on Him. To cover us, pick us up least we cast a foot on a stone, as He promises that no weapon forged against us will prosper.

Our frail bodies, and God our Preserver.

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