| February 2005
5 Number 2
What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...
HEALING WISE | CHILDBEARING
& MOTHERING | YOUR
WISE WOMAN WISDOM | ANTI-CANCER
LIFESTYLE | THE
GODDESS SPEAKS | FEATURED
Black Woman Thou Art GREAT!
by Lisa Bartley-Lacey,
Be not afraid of greatness, some are
born great, some achieve greatness and others have greatness
thrust upon them.
Just because a revered old poet, great though he was, made
that oft quoted empirical statement, does that make it true?
Would we be struck by lightening if we reworded it? Let's
see. What if we said: Embrace GREATNESS. All are created for
GREATNESS. Some are born with the awareness of their GREATNESS.
Some grow into awareness of their GREATNESS and others have
the awareness of their GREATNESS thrust upon them.
Black Woman thou art GREAT!
There is an inexhaustible Source of creativity and vitalizing
energy within you. You were and are Created by God to be whole,
to be happy and to be divinely successful. You are a Queen,
no matter what anyone else has said to the contrary. You are
Divine despite the pernicious machinations of popular culture
and racist/sexist American society which esteems the Black
woman, for the most part, as less than/inferior to any other
member of our society. No matter what aspersions have been
cast upon you by either yourself or by others, you were born
for GREATNESS. The Black woman is in fact the Mother of all
humanity. We are the ORIGINAL-original!
Nelson Mandela who went from being a prisoner to president,
eloquently illustrates the significance of embracing and accepting
our GREATNESS. We need to comprehend this on a much deeper
level in order to progress from survival to success to GREATNESS.
Please read and contemplate the following words which may
already be at least somewhat familiar to you:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant?"
Who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within
It is not just in some of us: it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Nelson Mandela's 1994 Inaugural Speech (fragment)
It is true. Deep within every woman alive is the seed of
the awareness of her queenhood. In her soul every woman knows
that she is infinitely more than the prime cuts of meat that
popular culture attempts to dissect females into. Indeed you
are far more than a handy set of T & A. You are Body,
Mind and Spirit. You are whole. The Creator has given you
everything you need to be absolutely brilliant. Anyone who
tells you differently, including yourself, is a liar. Decide
in this moment to really know this Truth. Know it and be FREE!
Every second you spend reading these words is blessed. I
have asked to be used. I have asked the Creator to give me
the right words. The words that would reach into your inner
self in order to access your essential beauty, grace and Divinity.
As one Black woman to another I endeavor to help you to really
perceive the inner beauty that is uniquely YOU. The aim for
me is to support your intention to place your feet firmly
on the path to your ultimate Purpose in life. What is your
ultimate Purpose? Your ultimate Purpose is to become ALL that
you might be. This is simple, yet not "easy."
Mandela has stated, our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Black
women are uniquely powerful for their struggle individually
and collectively has been uniquely fraught with obstacles,
opposition and exploitation. The white man has used us. Many
Black men have abused us and even the white woman has refuse
us our rightful place as Queens. The Black woman has struggled
in ways that others know not of. Please ask yourself if this
is not the case with you or someone you love. Together let
us feel the fear but go on to embody our GREATNESS anyway.
I am GREAT. All I had to do in order to be GREAT was just
to know that I AM. How could I not be? I did not create myself.
I was created by GREATNESS to be GREAT. So were you. Pass
it on Sista!
In order to be useful to you, I had to go through a process.
This process was very painful. In this process I might have
perished. It continues. This process is more commonly known
as "life." My demise, however, though supported
by this world, was not sanctioned by the Universe. By God
I am still here.
You could have died before reaching and reading these words,
yet you are still here. We are here! We have arrived in this
moment for a reason and with a divine Purpose. Since we have
made it this far, let us travel the road however infrequently
traveled, to GREATNESS & divine Purpose together. This
is what our Sisterhood through Inner Cosmetics is all about.
When you learn...
When you get...
-Maya Angelou, Our Grandmothers
Your potential is immeasurable. There are many women who
have some inclination of their inherent GREATNESS. There are
even a few who gracefully embody that GREATNESS at the present
time. Unfortunately, however, there are too many of us who
do not have a clue regarding the inestimable value we possess.
We are acting like sorry little slave girls and victims instead
of Queens and victors. The time has come for all of that to
change. Surely you can see it. Look at the world around you.
Do you really believe that this world can afford the loss
of your Light?
Each woman is called. You are needed. There never was nor
will there ever be one who is uniquely YOU. You exist as a
precious singularity in the vastness of the Universe. The
Creator loaded you up with Divine gifts and blessings to share
with the world. Only you can present the world with your gifts.
You must decide that you will tolerate playing small no further.
In his transformative masterpiece, Woman Thou Art Loosed,
T.D. Jakes, offers the following insight, "You often
experience success in one area and gross defeat in others.
You need a burning desire for the future, the kind of desire
that overcomes past fear and inhibitions. You will remain
chained to your past and all the secrets therein until you
decide: Enough is enough! I am telling you that when your
desire for the future peaks, you can break out of prison."
Your divine energy and bright Light is desperately needed
in today's world. If you are not illuminating your Light out
into the world it is due to feeling unworthy to do so. It
is due to fear. As Mandela states, It is our Light not our
darkness that most frightens us. You are here to be a reflection
of the Creator's Light. In that way others will be validated
in their call to do the same. This is how we change the world.
This is how we serve the world and give others the inspiration
they need to also act as conduits of GREATNESS.
The oak tree is in the acorn. GREATNESS is within you. Just
as the potential of the mighty oak is embedded in the acorn,
the potential of ever expanding GREATNESS is embedded in every
cell of your Body, every corner of your Mind and within the
internal/eternal fire of your Spirit.
When I was just a little brown baby girl hiding and cringing
in the closet listening to my mama being beaten, GREATNESS
was within me. When I was just a skinny little 15 year old
Black girl in Detroit City being physically threatened, emotionally
annihilated and spiritually devastated, GREATNESS was within
me. I was a Queen, but I did not know it yet.
When I wallowed in despair weeping as a young adult in the
wake of self-destruction and negativity, GREATNESS was within
me but I did not know it yet. When I cried alone as a poverty
stricken unwed teenaged mother, GREATNESS was within me but
I did not know it yet. As I bore the weight of being a divorced
single parent of three children thumbing through my foodstamps,
GREATNESS was within me but I did not know it yet. While lying
up under benighted males in search of love and validation
as a lost woman, GREATNESS was within me but I did not know
it yet. As I walked across the stage to collect my BA then
my MA degrees, thinking that they were legitimizing me, true
GREATNESS was within me, I thought I knew but I did not know
true GREATNESS yet.
God knew it though.
My Purpose is to proclaim the Creator's gift of GREATNESS
within YOU as I reveal it within myself. I was created for
this Purpose before the very foundations of this earth were
formed. I did not know these things for many years. Oh, but
I am beginning to get it now. I am getting it so that you
might get it. You are getting it so that others might get
it through you. You are a Queen and before today you may have
been able to excuse yourself by saying that you "just
did not know it yet." Woman thou art GREAT. Now ya know!
No one, no, nor no one million
ones dare deny me God, I go forth
alone, and stand as ten thousand.
-Maya Angelou, Our Grandmothers
I have suffered. You have suffered. Women have suffered uniquely
in patriarchal society. With women of color, the double whammy
of simultaneous sexism and racism can be particularly devastating.
Let us consider the resultant GREATNESS of women who have
gone through great trials and lessons. Everyone who has achieved
any substantive modicum of greatness has suffered in one way
or another. Our pain makes human. Overcoming our suffering
through perseverance, grace, wisdom and determination exemplifies
triumph over adversity. This is how we tap into the inexhaustible
Source. Our suffering becomes our strength. This strength
is our gift from the Creator to the rest of the world.
Our pain has shaped us physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Going through our lessons with determination and conviction
has taught us perseverance. The most profound epiphanies,
revelations and personal transformations have resulted from
the experience of persevering through pain. In The Life You
Were Born to Live by Dan Millman, he states, "Flexibility
avails us far more than either passivity or resistance; by
actively using whatever arises, embracing even the most painful
circumstances, we deal with our difficulties more effectively,
as we begin to see them as a form of spiritual training."
Just as an infant learns not to caress the fire, a woman learns
not to embrace the things, situations and people that cause
her undue suffering and pain. She kicks all scoundrels and
'hatas' to the proverbial curb. Thus, our so-called "suffering"
may also be considered "lessons" and ultimately
great blessings. How wonderful have you felt when you finally
broke loose from someone who abused, misused or confused you?
That is GREATNESS. It makes us and shapes us.
Ask yourself, "What if my suffering really was the necessary
inspiration to foster GREATNESS within me?"
"Haven't my life's greatest challenges taught me the
most and made me stronger than I would otherwise be?"
Surviving suffering to the soul, is often like rain to the
acorn. The oak tree is in the acorn. The Queen is within the
girl. By learning her life's lessons the girl ascends the
throne to her queendom. GREATNESS is within all of us...but
it just needs a lil rain to make it grow.
In his exquisitely healing, comforting and insightful book,
Legacy of the Heart, the Spiritual Advantages of a Painful
Childhood, Wayne Muller offers the following wisdom, "Accepting
the pain we are given requires us to soften our hearts and
allow the pain to break us open, to acknowledge and to grieve
the terrible sadness that comes with abandonment, loss, illness
and disappointment. In this moment we can feel most human,
in kinship with all who have felt the deep despair of a broken
heart. This is not angry resignation, born of defeat; this
is the deep, loving acceptance that what we are given that
has become our companion and our teacher, regardless of how
painful, unwelcome or unjust."
The blueprints for your ultimate identity came with you when
you emerged from Mama's womb. You were bound and born for
GREATNESS. Everything you need to succeed is already within
you. Your veins surge with the blood of Queens and Kings...though
the manufactured mores of society may brand you a "commoner".
Your Mind possesses infinitely sharper acuity and capacity
than the most advanced super-computer...even though you only
use 10% of it's power. Your Soul is as old and wise as the
ever-expanding Universe...though you may have not yet tapped
into your Divine power and destiny. Society may deem you ordinary
but the Creator of ALL esteems you EXTRAORDINARY. Which distinction
... All my life I have always known I was
born to greatness.
Woman, you were designed and specially created by God to
rule. True greatness and strength are available to all of
us. You are a Queen in the authentic sense of the word. This
is royalty that cannot be bestowed by "man", by
money, by membership among the "elite," mental exercise
by "master" degrees, by might or by any popularly
held status symbol of the modern day bourgeois. The Creator
has no use or respect for these false systems of so-called
accreditation and validation. Why should you?
Your authentic GREATNESS issues forth from the Creator.
No one here can take it from you because no one here gave
it to you. This may be foreign thinking for our society today.
That is because popular culture is heavily invested in the
illusion of your worthlessness. Women are rated by the size
of their hips, their breasts and their lips. As we grow in
Wisdom and stature we are deemed old maids, bitches and hags.
The younger and more fickle we are the more this world values
us. Is that not completely upside down? You are GREAT. Foolishness
like that is offensive to a Queen.
It is time to truly think outside the box which is really
a cage. Think differently. In The Power of Wisdom by Aman
Motwane, it says, "There is no common set of rules, laws,
characteristics, styles, principles, values, habits, agreements,
tricks or techniques that lead to a life of success and harmony.
What sets extraordinary individuals apart is not what they
do, but that they see the world in a way the rest of us don't."
It's time to reclaim your rightful inheritance. Ascend the
throne Queen. Get up!
"Your playing small doesn't serve the world."
Black Woman...THOU ART GREAT!
Lisa Bartley-Lacey, MA
Bartley-Lacey stands as an independent,
empowered exemplification of triumph over adversity. She, like
her mentor, Jonathon Edison, has evolved from the despair of
childhood poverty in Detroit, MI. to a state of empowerment
and success. Speaker. Writer. Poet. Counselor. Artist. Entrepreneur.
Bartley-Lacey endeavors to inspire others to move beyond false
limitations and claim their right to be ALL that they might
be for this is the Purpose of Life.
Bartley-Lacey has served as Special Guest Presenter for The
Connecticut Black Coalition Awards. She has as counselor at
Woman's Resource Center for Battered Women & Their Families.
Interned with Child and Family Services of Newport County. Former
Co-Editor / contributing columnist for MOSAIC Student News Magazine.
Received student driven Freshman Advocate Award as Academic
Advisor to Freshman Students at Salve Regina University due
to her unique ability to meet and work with individuals where
they are and guide through the process of self-realization,
motivation and manifestation. Bartley-Lacey has been recognized
by WHO's WHO Among American Colleges & Universities and
has received the United States Achievement Academy Award.
by Lisa Bartley-Lacey
GREAT FATHER was a Native
& GRANDMAMA a slave
Some say I'd find "redemption"
IF only I'd behave
That's why He smoked the peacepipe
That's why she cut the cane
& tis their amalgamation
Has wrought this crop of pain
I ain't gon stand at auction
At the altar
Or on the street
White Man 'proach w/caution
Ain't so sweet
I ain't gon birth Black babies
Not for nig---s to destroy
Black boys think me crazy
Cause this Bi-ch
Won't be their toy
GREAT GRANDPA reigned in Cuba
The Great Mother was an Irish Queen
Bloodline of a bastard runs
RED/ BLUE/ BLACK/ WHITE/ GREEN...
Tis why my smoke's NOT peaceful
As old mortar burns my bones
These legacies all haunt me
As I drag these chains alone
I ain't gon wait for "masters"
With bids, whips or
I'll forge my own disasters
& own up to the joy
or sh-t it brings
Cause I ain't gon fit no stereotypes
Not on paper
Or in theory
For modern men
Shall worship me--
Or fear me
by Lisa Bartley-Lacey
© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved. No
portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the
expressed written consent of the author.
Weed Wanderings herbal ezine is sponsored by www.susunweed.com
©Susun Weed -Wise Woman Center
INDEX | HEALING
WISE | CHILDBEARING & MOTHERING
| YOUR INTUITIVE DREAMS
WISE WOMAN WISDOM | ANTI-CANCER
LIFESTYLE | THE GODDESS SPEAKS | FEATURED