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Tuesday, March 30

To Get Something You Never Had, You Have To Do Something You Never Did

My mom and dad are notorious for sending forwards; I delete pretty much all of them upon receipt, but my mom sent me one the other day with the subject: Concentrate On This Sentence.

“Pretty compelling subject,” I thought, so I opened it.

The sentence I was being asked to focus on was, “To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” Hmmm. I read the sentence again, slouched down in my couch and let my mind wander.

For love--open your heart, give love, believe in love
For peace--strengthen your relationship with God, pray, accept what is
For happiness--stop comparing yourself to others, enjoy life’s simple pleasures and focus on making yourself a better person.
For money--remove your focus on it, give freely, work in a field you honestly enjoy.


As I looked over my own life, however, things got a little more complicated. I asked myself, “What has been evading me?” And without much hesitation, I quietly answered, “intimacy.” I’ve long been a fan of intimacy but haven’t experienced it outside of my immediate family and very close girlfriends. So, I guess I’m talking about intimacy with a male companion (that sounds so old school…but you know where I’m coming from). When I asked myself, “Candace, have you ever loved another person?” The answer was undoubtedly “yes!” Love simply happens. But when I asked myself a follow up question, “Candace, have you ever been in an intimate relationship?” the answer was no.

Then I asked myself, “Is being in an intimate relationship the same thing as being in love?” Thought about it for a few minutes and then answered no. I rationed that one person can be in love with another person, but intimacy can only happen when reciprocity exists. It requires involvement from both people. So then I asked myself if I’ve allowed myself to form a free-flowing (judgment-free), deep and honest connection with another person, a male companion :-)? And as much as I wanted to say yes…the answer was no. Ding ding ding!!!! That’s the part that I’ve never done. (But I must pause here to say that I’ve wanted to with one person in particular). So, I asked myself why I had never opened myself completely up? I’m still working on the whole answer, but a part of it deals with trust.

I will say, though, that intimacy is all encompassing, and love is only one part of intimacy. So, you can love someone and not share intimacy with him. But it’s nearly impossible to be intimate with someone and not love him.

I thought about the whole intimacy vs. love thing a little while longer, then simply resolved that I’ve got some more work to do to set my goddess free. I thanked my mom for sending me an email to get me thinking (but I'm still not a fan of forwards!)

Sunday, March 28

Goddess Zuri On The Move: World Natural Hair Show

Goddess Zuri will be a first time exhibitor at this year's World Natural Hair, Health and Beauty Show in Atlanta, GA on April 10-11 at the Georgia International Convention Center. Booth 222.

The Natural Hair Health & Beauty Show brings together the best in the industry of natural hair and skin care to provide education and training for cosmetologist and barbers as well as free informational workshops for consumers.

Other aspects of the show include an exhibitors' area featuring creative art, handcrafted jewelry, and natural skin/hair care products, as well as competitions for natural hair, braiding, barbering and weaving and a world class natural hair fashion show that keeps you wanting to see more.

Come check out Goddess Zuri's tees, earrings and rings at special show prices!!

Tuesday, March 23

Thank You Women's Empowerment

Thank you to everyone who stopped by Goddess Zuri's booth at Women's Empowerment in Raleigh, NC on Saturday.

We got positive reactions to all of the products, but especially the Royal-Tees and rings! Glad you enjoyed those.

If you're going to be at the World Natural Hair Show in Atlanta on April 10-11, please stop by our booth! In the meantime, please subscribe to Free The Goddess blog and become a Goddess Zuri fan on facebook so you can be the first to hear about sales and specials on our inventory.

Friday, March 12

I'm Good!

Wow! This is just the kind of mood I'm in.....Spring is almost here!! which means it's almost time to shed the layers of clothing (to show some skin), ride with my windows down wearing sunshades and listening to all my favorite songs, drink lemonade on the deck, take walks in the park, wear sandals and put on a bathing suit. I love it!!!!!

Thursday, March 11

Goddess Inspiration: Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, March 9

Fade To Black: A New Label For Men

Fade To Black, you've heard it before....maybe related to a theatre performance where the stage lighting decreases to complete darkness. Or maybe in Jay-Z's song, December 4th, when he says, "maybe you'll love me when I fade to black" referencing his retirement from rap.

Well, Fade To Black now has a new usage, according to the gospel of Candace. It can be used to label men who gradually remove themselves from your life after a series of let-downs, disappointments.

Here's an example of how to use the phrase (which should be used as a noun): You and your girlfriend are at dinner and she's explaining to you how the dude she's dealing with didn't come see her when he promised he would, didn't call her back to confirm whether or not he could accompany her to a show and doesn't make an effort to spend quality time with her. She mentioned that she's brought these things to his attention, but he doesn't seem to get it. You let her vent while you listen attentively like a good friend should. And when she finishes, you simply respond by telling her that the dude is a Fade To Black.

Labeling him a Fade To Black is really meant to indicate to your friend how she should deal with the dude moving forward. A drama-filled break up production equipped with angry text messages, calls and unexpected visits to inquire about why he isn't doing right isn't necessary. She simply needs to stop taking all his calls, responding to every message he sends and gradually stop entertaining her thoughts about him. And no explanation is necessary--because he probably already knows what's up.

One thing to note is that men unofficially label themselves as Fade to Blacks by their actions (or inaction). We officially label them as such when we get tire of being disappointed. Why continue dealing with a dude that can't give you what you want? I've had my share of Fade to Blacks, and the reverberating trend woven throughout my situations was that the men I chose to deal with were in life phases that prevented them from delivering the basics (time, attention, intimacy). Read my posting Casualty of War for more on that. So we weren't aligned (and alignment is necessary).

So, my advice to goddesses would be to ask matter how much you know he doesn't want to answer them. Find out what his priorities are and where you fit within those priorities. As my friend always says, "know who you're dealing with." ....And if he can't respect that, then his whole perspective is whack...maybe he'll love you when you fade him to black...

(For Nicole)

P.S.-- nine times out of ten, your Fade To Black will be back....but that's a whole 'nother post :-)

Goddess Art: Black Fireflies

Black Fireflies by Paul Goodnight

I was initially attracted to this painting because of its vivid colors. Now when I look at it, all I see is freedom--freedom to move, dance and be. So, I thought it was pretty fitting to post on a blog called Free The Goddess :-)

These ladies look completely uninhibited (from everything) and seem to be glowing from the inside out, like fireflies. We could all take a cue from them.

The artist, Paul Goodnight, has an interesting story that I want to highlight here, taken from his bio:

"Art has been Paul Goodnight's saving grace in his recovery from his traumatic experience in Vietnam when he lost his ability to speak from seeing the horrors of war. Though some thought he had lost his mind, he knew he hadn't and began to communicate with his drawings of the horrors of war. With the regaining of his voice, he enrolled in Vesper George School of Art and eventually earned a Bachelor's Degree from Massachusetts College of Art in 1976. Goodnight has developed his own unique aesthetic philosophy to document the humanity of Black people around the world. He often incorporates African themes and symbols to provide depths of history and culture....."

His story is a testament to the fact that God will use everything around us, even the not-so-good stuff, to lead us to our purpose...if we let Him.

Tuesday, March 2

Life Is Short: Hold Hands, Not Grudges

Today, I had an early morning meeting at one of my restaurants to conduct a customer service training. Since it was so early, I decided to buy the crew members coffee from Caribou Coffee located next door.

I walked in, placed my order and waited a few minutes for everything to be prepared. While I was waiting, I noticed a pamphlet on the counter that looked similar in style to something my company is producing as a take-away for our customers. So, of course, I was drawn to it and decided to pick it up.

With each page turn, I got a little bit more information about Caribou Coffee's start, where its beans come from and its philosophies. Caribou's tagline is Life is short. Stay awake for it. And as I read along, I started liking Caribou more and more. "Good marketing," I thought.

By this time, my coffee was done brewing and I was ready to go. I took the pamphlet with me, and read it again once my meeting was over.

My favorite two pages read this, Life is short. Hold hands, not grudges. Max out your passport. Grow older without growing up. Shave your head, at least once. Make time for silly. Savor every sip. Walk, don't drive. Skip, don't walk. Do it for love, not profit. Be the first to apologize. Plug the meter for someone else. Plant lots of trees. Learn to dance a jig. Listen first, talk second. Build communities, not empires. Thank a teacher. Stay awake for it.

Basically, ENJOY YOUR LIFE! Thanks Caribou, for the reminder.

Monday, March 1

Goddess Zuri On The Move: Women's Empowerment

Goddess Zuri will be a first-time vendor at this year's Women's Empowerment Expo in Raleigh, NC on March 20th!

We will be selling our inventory of tees and accessories at special show prices! We'll even have new jewelry on display and be giving away a free gift with each purchase (while supplies last.)

So, if you're going to be in the Raleigh area, please plan to check us out at Women's Empowerment!

About Women's Empowerment: Women’s Empowerment is Radio One Raleigh’s largest and most anticipated event. Year after year, thousands of African American women (and men) come to Women’s Empowerment for an entire day of education, entertainment and empowerment.

Created in 1994, in honor of Women’s History Month, Women’s Empowerment was designed to enhance the lives of African American women by addressing issues that specifically impact their “health, hearts and pocketbooks.” Throughout the day, this expo-styled event offers seminars, workshops, demonstrations, sampling, and shopping.