i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fasting As a Way of Life

I recently completed a six-day fast. My fast consisted of no solid food. At all. Each day I drank organic juices & water, while snacking on organic nuts & fruits every other day. I've added ten minutes of daily meditation to my daily prayer rituals, which has given me confidence, insight & strength. In the interim I lost 15 pounds, which though not a goal, is a welcome benefit because I've been feeling rather bloated, fatigued & lethargic the last couple of months. I'm so proud of myself!

After reading a book entitled, "Rational Fasting," during the Kwanzza season last year, my perspective on fasting has transformed my existence: the revolution will not be televised, but it can be written. Holla! I've also incorporated some specific strategies to establish, develop & maintain a healthy life. I'm currently working with a holistic health counselor to affirm my ongoing commitment to healing. We'll talk twice a month for an hour, meet monthly for an hour, she's given me some recipes to try out in the kitchen, as well as provided other resources for my body, mind & spirit.

A couple of days ago I created a six month plan for healthy foods. I assessed the foods I eat at home, the places I eat out & the willingness to modify my unhealthy patterns. My doctor recently shared I'm at risk for diabetes & hypertension. Initially I shrugged it off with my false male pride, however the reality began to sink in when my body was wearing down this spring. At 46 & counting, among other illnesses, I live with a compromised immune system. As such, I need to care for my temple with the grace of a mother's touch. In short: I got work to do.

Working out three times a week at a local gym for an hour gives me energy, keeps the blood circulating & alievates the isolation I sometimes experience as a single Black male. Walking in & around the city from time to time gives me an opportunity to see the big apple with my spiritual eye. On some days its nice to just sit in the park, observe nature & watch children play. Playing tennis periodically has been joyful, yet I seem to get exhausted quicker than I prefer. I told my doctor about it, complaining about allergic asthma, but she quickly said I was out of shape.


Eating healthy is fun for me now: something I enjoy rather than endure. Folks impulsively say its expensive to eat healthy, yet they never talk about the price their body pays for incurring preventable illnesses. Besides, it costs money to see a doctor. I've learned to eat small portions as I've matured. My body is never as hungry as I think it is. As much as I devoured fried and/or greasy foods (buffalo wings, french fries, gyros, lamb, polish sausages, i.e.), in the past, I welcome organic & vegetarian dishes just the same. Some of the spiritual principles I practice in order to achieve my goals include courage, discipline, faith, patience & tolerance. I'm grateful for these unexpected lessons of self-love.

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