All Black Everything, Health + Wellness, My Life

God and Religion

I, like most other black millennials, was brought up in the church. I was told we had to go to church every Sunday for worship, and every Wednesday for bible study. I was told I had to be in the choir until I was 18 (church rule). I was told that I had to be baptized and asked numerous questions about Jesus Christ that all the answers had to be “yes.”

When I went off to college, I still went to church because I felt obligated to. Even after college because I was living at home, it wasn’t an option. If I lived at home, I had to go to church. Most Sunday’s, I’d sit at Starbucks until church was over. I didn’t belong to the same church as my mother (for that very reason. I didn’t want her checking up on me.). When when I moved out on my own, I would still sometimes go to church. That stopped 3 years ago.

Growing up, I always had questions about church and why things were just so. If you are a black millennial, or a black person of any age, more specifically a black womanizer, you were taught to be seen and not heard, meaning you question nothing. You sit there and question nothing. That didn’t work for me. I was quite the inquirer.

Growing up, anytime you asked question that went against what you parent said, you were always hit with the “becuase I said so.” That’s not the way to raise or teach a child: to just follow what someone else says. That’s why we are all in the rat race now, following what someone else says, doing what we are told and not thinking for ourselves.

When I would sit in church and listen to the pastor, I felt there were so many holes in their stories. For one, the day “Jesus” rose, changes every single year. Why? In the Bible, Jesus is described as having hair like wool, yet he has always been depicted as this tall white man woth blonde brown hair and blue eyes. There are these 10 commandments that we must follow, which I agree with all of them, but isn’t that more so common sense of things we shouldn’t do? Isn’t that something that is expected?

Jesus was born to a virgin. Be that as it may, why is it that woman cannot bare children today without a man? It’s said that when Adam ate the fruit from the tree, Eve was punished and that’s why women have periods and are made to carry and birth a child. So god punished female animals too, becuase if I’m not mistaken, some femal animals have periods, and they birth babies.

We are told that our bodies are temples. People worship in temples. So in essence, shouldn’t I worship where my body is? It’s also said that avid is within all of us. Doesn’t that make us all God? God is everywhere, so couldn’t I worship my God wherever I choose? So if God is wherever I am, then can’t I worship and pray at home? Is my own home not a temple?

I don’t believe in religion for several reasons. All of these religions apparently worship the same God, they just use a different name. So that leads me to believe religion is man made. Also, religions have these tiles of how things should go (rest on the sabbath, can’t eat certain foods, can’t indulge in too much of this or that, you have to worship this way, you have to come to church, you have to give tithes, etc.). Isn’t religion supposed to be about living a purposeful, righteous, fulfilled life, helping others and being an upstanding person? “Suppose” being the keyword.

I believe that God is within me, therefore, I am God. Do I feel people need to worship me? Absolutely not. Another thing, God created and brings forth life. Don’t women create and bring forth light? I believe in pantheism, in that God is everywhere and is everything that is good. I believe in my ancestors and praying to them for guidance to watch over Malakhai and me. I believe in the spirituality of my history.

I’m not willing to believe in something becuase someone else said so. Most Black millennials don’t attend church and here’s an article on that.

As for the Bible, I think it has good intentions, but much gets lost in translation. It’s like trying to directly translate from Spanish to English: it just doesn’t work.

I will teach Malakhai to believe in a higher power, and that he needs to live his life as a good black man. I want to teach him to have his own mind and beliefs. To know that there is always someone watching him and watching out for him to ensure his safety. If you don’t stand and believe in something, you’ll fall for anything.

I don’t knock anyone who is religious at all. I don’t think anything less of them. I love everyone, no matter their beliefs. I think that once we all find our purpose and live in it, we will lived and lead much happier, healthier, stress free lives.

My Life

JOMO

I listen to the Minimalist Moms podcast every morning and one thing they talked about that pertains to minimalism is JOMO: the joy of missing out. I have to say that I have a severe case of this because missing out on things does not bother me. When friends cancel, I don’t fear that I missed something. I am overjoyed. When friends have a get together or when I see my friends doing so many great things or going to events on social media, I don’t have a fear that I’m missing out or that I missed out on anything.

What I’ve learned on this minimalism journey is that I don’t have to attend every event. This also reigns true for my debt free journey. There will be plenty of times where I will miss out but who cares? What’s important to others is not always important to me and vice versa.

People tend to make fun of those who are homebodies, which really comes from their lack of understanding of why someone would choose to stay at home over going out, getting drunk, gossiping, living the wild life. I prefer to only attend functions that benefit me in stimulating conversation, networking, collaborating or a means to increase and better my business. If it has nothing to do with those, count me out.

Now that I have a baby boy on the way, I’m sure my priorities and wanting to go out will change, meaning, I will be more willing to go out to the park, meet up with other moms for play dates, and when he gets older, take him to places like an indoor trampoline park. That type of going out will benefit me in a way that my son is having fun and I am spending time with him doing something that he enjoys or that we enjoy together.

Do I feel like I’m missing out because I see my friends have sleepovers and I’m not invited? Absolutely not. I didn’t even go to sleepovers as a child (maybe one or two that I rememer). I feel as though I would be awkward in that type of setting.

I think the thing is is that I haven’t found a small number of women near me that share the same interests such as veganism, children, health, politics, racial issues, the universe, meditating, spirituality, creating (blogging, business, planning), etc. I have many interests that a lot of women that I know don’t share. Nowadays it’s Love and Hip Hop, the Kardashians and other people and things that are irrelevant to my growth and life.

It’s been said that it’s not okay to not have friends. I agree to the point that it’s not okay to not have friends that share the same interests or are on the same path. It’s not oaky to have friends that bring you down and would rather see you fail than prosper. Those types of people are the ones who give me JOMO because I know that whatever activity they are partaking in, I’m not with it.

Do you have the case of the JOMO? Why or why not?

Health + Wellness, Minimalism, My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Veganism, Minimalism, and Spirituality

I was listening to a podcast the other day (Minimalist Moms) and they were talking about minimalism and spirituality. I consider myself a spiritual person and that more so came to light after my transition to being vegan. When you realize that all these animal products, processed foods and fake foods are not needed to survive, it makes you wonder what else you can live without.

I think after the first year, I began to realize that I had way too many things. I lived with my mom at the time and we lived in this big two story house that had 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an office, huge living and dining room, 3 car garage, the works. I was grateful, but I began to feel like I was drowning. That is when I decided to start giving things away. The Purple Heart would come to our house and pick up any donations we had, and every time they came, there was plenty to give away. Even my mom was giving stuff away.

Once I got ready to move into my first apartment, I had bags and bags full of stuff that I was not taking with me. Once I moved and set up my new apartment, I realized that I had so much empty space. I lived in a nearly empty apartment for 14 months. It was depressing. I rarely invited people over because I was embarrassed. I had this huge apartment and nothing to fill it with, nor was I going to fill it.

When my lease was almost up, I went on the hunt for a much smaller apartment. I was elated when I finally found the perfect one. The living room was much smaller and it had a separate dining area; the closet was half the size of the old one; the bathroom was also smaller with a smaller linen closet and smaller garden tub; and the bedroom was about the same size.

Once I had moved all of my things in, I realized I did not have enough space for everything, and again, I had to give and throw things away. Every cabinet and closet is full to the brim with necessities (which is not a lot given how small everything is). Even though I have a baby on the way, there is enough stuff for their things to go. I’m just going to have to let the grandparents and family know to keep things to a minimum.

Being vegan opens your mind to societal norms, values, and morals, and makes you see how everything we’ve ever been taught was a lie. We are told to work more so that we can buy more things. We are manipulated into wanting a bigger house to fill it with expensive things and nicer, fancier, expensive cars. We are told we need all these things to make us happy and to live the “American Dream.”

I often times think about people who are homeless or those who don’t have many or any valuables, and how many of them are happy. There are homeless people who are actually happy; one of them is a friend of mine. I watched his journey moving from Houston to New York. He lives in a homeless shelter and all of his things fit in a backpack. He is the happiest person I know and it amazes me at his spirit and joy. We have talked on several occasions, and I follow his blog, YouTube and social media.

I do plan to live in a tiny house one day soon, but we will see how things go.

Spirituality

My spirituality changed when I became vegan because like I said before, when you realize that you have been told lies all your life about food, what other lies have we been told?

I began to do my research on the history of Christianity and Jesus Christ and what I found out was disturbing. During the times of slavery, Black people were only allowed to read the bible, and only a select few at that, mainly Black men who were appointed pastor by the slave master to keep the slaves in check. The slave masters would drill these lies about Jesus Christ (a white man with blue eyes and brown straight hair, sometimes it was blond, with white skin), and how if we don’t worship him, we were going to this place called hell (funny thing is we already live in hell).

Christianity was forced upon slaves in order to keep them dependent upon the white man and the slave masters, to make them feel that they are all they have. That translates into today. Many Black people work for the white man and are dependent upon him for a paycheck. I did more research and came to the conclusion that church really wasn’t for me. When I lived with my mom, I went to church because that wasn’t an option. I first started going to her church where the pastor is a white man (oh, the irony). I quickly realized that that wasn’t the church for me. I went to two other Black churches and I felt like a slave, being brainwashed into believing the lies coming out of the pastors’ mouths.

Do these pastors not know the history behind the negro church and why only Black men are pastors? Does that not strike them as odd? When I moved out, I immediately stopped going to church and created my own altar for me to worship my ancestors, meditate and journal. It felt right, right from the beginning. I turn on my oil diffuser, meditate for about 10 minutes and then journal. It gives me a sense of peace. I do this normally every Sunday morning, and other times when I feel I need to (mainly when I’m stressed).

I’ve found that more millennials have taken this route of spirituality, letting go of Christianity and the Black church. Our parents and grandparents don’t understand, and even find it demonic or heathenist or witchcraft, but little do they know that when they pray, that is a form of witchcraft. Praying is the same thing as reciting a spell. You pray for things you want, the healing of others, love, righteousness, happiness, etc. That’s casting a spell.

Back to the minimalist side, I keep my altar fairly simple. If you would like a tour, click here. I have updated it and added a couple of new pieces. I will do another post later on with the specifics of everything and why I have everything on it.

Veganism, minimalisim and spirituality go hand in hand.