In today's edition of throwback Thursday, I want to acknowledge and give respect to the beloved social and musical icon that is Nina Simone. This morning, I came across the song
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood and thought she would be a perfect example of what self love is. I grew up listening to her because she was a favorite of my mother, and her soul has always seemed so powerful.
Nina Simone was born in 1933 and was a singer, song writer, pianist, and social activist most known for music which took on elements of jazz, blues, folk, and gospel. She broke boundaries, and her career lasted over 2 decades before she passed in 2003. She sang about the true human experience: romance, relationships, heartbreak, joy, sadness, sexuality, feminism, social stratification, colorism, and even racism. With more
Her presence was unique because she heavily promoted cultural pride and self ascribed beauty, but she always included her whole audience which consisted of all backgrounds. From her afro, to the ebony hue of her skin, to reminscing on the experiences of blacks in the deep south, she wanted the world to embrace her and the black experience. She was a mirror to what healthy consciousness could look like. We could all take pride in and love ourselves, whilr being respectful and unifying one another. In the 60's and 70's she stepped out as a civil rights activist.
Yesterday I was stuck on what exactly to express in my weekly "What We Cam Learn From" edition. It was going to be centered on ESPN' anchor Steven A. Smith, and the controversy around his comments of domestic violence and "provocation" initiated by women, but my spirit wasn't ready yet. Today, I thought, which woman would I honor in Throwback Thursday? I had no idea, but this morning I listened to a sermon on "Knowing Who You Are."
The importance of identity, purpose and the confidence in both is of the highest manifestation in self love. When you know what God has made you to be; when you know who you are as a spiritual BEing of purpose; when you know who you are as a woman. ..that is a powerful place to be in life. Over the course of the day, it came to me.
No other than Tina Turner. Her spirit of strength, vitatlity, transformation and confidence is the perfect woman to emanate self love on Throwback Thursday. Yes she is still alive, but the throwback is honor of her decision to walk away from all that didn't serve her and walk into a life worth living.
Tina Turner, born Ana Mae Bullock in 1939, is a singer, author, choreographer, dancer and actress who rose to musical fame between the 50's and 70's. Her powerful career was groomed and managed by her ex-husband and fellow singer Ike Turner. Ike not only wrote for, produced, and "discovered" Tina, but he also inflicted years of emotional, mental and physical abuse on her due to his personality and lifestyle. Much of their relationship is depicted in the film, What's Love Got To Do It. The title is based off a song written and performed by Tina after her divorce and choice to transform her spirituality and career.
Thru her pain, she found Buddhism and opened her consciousness to a higher purpose and state of BEing. Tina not only left Ike, but she went from performing r&b to feeling alive thru rock & roll. She was transparent about the violence inflicted on her, and even more transparent about how it helped her understand demanding what she wanted in life, and truly practicing self love. She moved to Switzerland with her lifetime partner, away from the hectic lifestyle that epitomized the US. After being together for over 20 years, they married last year, and she is a graceful 78 years young.
Her iconic song, What's Love Got To Do With It, is a very relevant lesson for the woman of today. Many millenial women have a "by the time I'm 30" deadline. They expect life, their career and marriage to be manifested by 30. Marriage for 20 somethings has to do with love and fantasy. But when fantasy and love fade, what's left? You have people who didn't (on average) spend time getting to know themselves or really what their values and intangible desires are. Women, who look for men to complete them and fulfill their childhood dreams by getting married. Now there are few couples who really have the maturity and spiritual understanding necessary to connect to the higher purpose and functioning of marriage, but most, not so much. The missing ingredient is self love, self knowlege, self worth, and confidence. This is the major lesson that Tina Turner's life symbolized.
Her life and transformation is an ideal example of the power of self love and living confidently. When you know who you are, what you deserve, and how beautiful life can be when you trust in yourself, you open a peaceful life of possibilities. You tap into an eternal flow of blessings. Of course this doesn't prevent negative life circumstances from happening, but you build the strength to be you and live your resiliently despite circumstances. There are people who provoke life to emit negative circumstances, but most people just receive what life gives out, not knowing what role they can play in preventing such circumstances. Life is not fair but it is responsive based on how we think and feel about it. Connect to who you are, your faith, your strengths, and everything around. BE mindful of who and what you let in. Don't shame others for their unhealthy or maladaptive choices. Live your life to the best you can!
Written By:Tiffany W.
There is value in history. There is emotion in history. There are lessons in history. So from now on, I'm going to participate in my own version of Throwback Thursday. Honoring events, people, movies, music of the past that in someway or another represents the BE! core value: Self Love.
Today's feature is none other than Lady Day herself, Billie Holliday. Billie Holiday is one of the most pivotal icons in music, blues and jazz. She had an iconic voice, and graceful stage presence, always known for wearing a fresh Gardenia in her hair and was popular between the 1930's-1950's.
Billie had her challenges, as we all do, but she resonated a strength that could only come from pain and heartache. Her songs celebrated the ups & downs of love and life. She was the epitome of the Blues. In life, there's no such thing as perfection. Challenges will arise, as well as sadness, but the greatest strength is to find a reason to celebrate life, love yourself despite the imperfections, do you and BE you. When I was young, I was obsessed with her famous song, "Ain't Nobody's Business." Which is basically an ode to her living her own life, not giving 2 cents about your opinion. Whether she gave all her man her money, he beat her, she went out Saturday and to church on Sunday, her life was her prerogative. Now of course, some of the message isn't the most healthy or fully reflective a total love of one's mind, body and spirit, but the level of tenacity of understanding, accepting, and being satisfied to a certain degree with your own life decisions, is a major lesson that many of us attempt to understand. Amongst her many popular songs was also her rendition of the poem, Strange Fruit, and emotional piece of work about the lynching of a man. The soul that emanates from her voice, is nothing short of powerful. When anyone gives of themselves, to impact others, that is Love. There is no greater manifestation of love than the gifts you give to others. As many creative spirits, it was easier for the Lady to shine her heart thru her art as opposed to seeing the light in her life. She unfortunately took her own life, but her legacy and message to Love you and your life no matter what others think, is a powerful message that will never go out of style! We love you Lady Day!
Written By:Tiffany W.