Author Archives: liyana

Regardless of who lost the election, THIS won

I was scanning the news a while back, reading sound bytes from voters, explaining their support of Donald Trump. I was especially interested in one from a woman who shared that she supported Trump because she found him to be a “strong leader.”

A strong leader.

A strong leader?!?

A series of lights went on in my mind. I realized that the ways this woman defines strength and leadership are vastly different than how I define strength and leadership. Worlds apart. Universes apart.

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How to be happy/happier (especially this holiday season)

Here in the United States where I’m writing from, it is almost Thanksgiving.

It’s a holiday that is ideally about giving thanks. And about gathering with folks you love, to give thanks with.

However, because it’s an American holiday, and we love to mark our holidays by ingesting massive amounts of food and sweets, it is also about eating in one meal the amount you might ordinarily eat in a week. But I digress.

It’s ideally a happy, thanks-filled time of year, but for a lot of us, it’s not set up to bring us a lot of happiness. Perhaps quite the opposite.

I have something that I think will help. And bring more real sweetness and happiness to you.

It’s a short video, 5 minutes and 59 seconds, in which I walk you through the non-negotiable ingredient in joy. It’s titled, “How to be a happy woman.”

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What a goddess looks like

I’m getting old. As the mirror, endless Zoom video conferences, and my 9-year old son all like to remind me.

I’m going to turn 48 in a few weeks. And even though the life expectancy in my family is around 88, I’m still on the older side of middle age.

But must “old” be the incriminating label it is often meant to be?


Because this — at exactly this age, at precisely this weight, with every one of these gray hairs — is what a goddess looks like.

A few years after we worked together, I reached out to one of my former clients, Carey. I wanted to know how things were going for her in terms of what we had been working on — feeling comfortable in her own skin, powerful, whole, alive, and in touch with her sensuality.

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I know you care and want to help. Here’s how.

I know you care.

I know you want to help.

Here’s how.

(Please read this to the end).

“Meet anguish with action.” President Barack Obama

I am shocked, shaky. Anguished.

And I know I’m feeling only a tiny fraction of what non-white, especially Black folks are feeling.

Wobbly though I may feel, I stand.

I stand with the protesters in the USA and now the world. I stand with Black people (and Brown, Indiginous, and People of Color) who have no choice but somehow survive through this shit every day, all day long (and for the last 400+ years) — and who are affected by and dying from COVID-19 at rates 2-4 times of white folks.

I stand with the families of those killed by law enforcement and other agents of racism. I stand with folks on the ground giving real aid and help where it is so needed.

I certainly am no expert, but I want to share where I am in action, and request that you look into these options to see what you can take a strong stand for. If not these, then find others and do them.

1. Get (more) educated.

If the world sees you as white (or non-Black), then you have privilege, bias, and are likely doing massive harm all day long despite your intentions. You also have a responsibility to do better.

Learn about this. Learn more about this. Do your inner work. Wherever possible, learn from Black anti-racism educators directly.

I recommend the following folks because I have read their books, done their trainings, or heard them speak (and am going to take part in them now) AND they have trainings upcoming ASAP.

She Talks, We Talk: Race Talks for Women
30-Day Course with Catrice M. Jackson
Starts June 8.

A crash course for white women to disarm their weapons of whiteness and create anti-oppressive relationships with Black women. Catrice is a Black woman and the author of “The Becky Code.”

Seeing the Racial Water
4-hour workshop with Robin DiAngelo
June 13.

In partnership with Education for Racial Equity (an organization I volunteer for), this is a concentrated training to identify your personal complicity and to understand White Supremacy, Whiteness, White Fragility, systemic racism and the specific ways racism manifests for white progressives. Robin is the author of “White Fragility” and a white woman.

Reparative Community Consultation for White People: A Fundraiser for Somatic Abolitionism with Resmaa Menakem
90-minute training with Resmaa Menaken
June 13.

This fundraiser will address how White Body Supremacy (and racialized trauma) lives in the bodies of white people and what our jobs are to heal from it as well as help create a new culture free from it.

In partnership with Education for Racial Equity, this event will raise funds for the creation of an anti-racist certification program for K-12 educators (as well as community members, parents, and law enforcement) who work directly with Black, Brown and Indigenous babies and children.

Resmaa is a Trauma Specialist and the author of “My Grandmother’s Hands,” a Black man based in Minneapolis (where George Floyd was killed) and often works with law enforcement.

2. Donate

So many places, so much need.

* Donations to Education For Racial Equity

ERE will be hosting two different events for communities of color led by Resmaa Menakem, Erin Trent Johnson and Dr. Ken Hardy (all Black anti-racist educators).

One event will be for all people of color to attend June 27 & 28th to grieve, heal, and be held in community, together. The second event will be a healing space for Black men held by Dr. Ken Hardy and Resmaa Menakem July 25th and August 1st.

ERE would like to make these events free to the communities of color they will be serving. Therefore ERE is looking to raise 50K in the next few weeks, to make this possible. If ERE cannot raise this amount they will have to charge something for these events, to cover the cost of these world-renowned facilitators, however all money raised will go to subsidize the cost for Bodies of Culture/People of Color.
To donate you can email: or donate directly to their paypal link

All donations are tax deductible

* NYU Local has collected a short list of local and national organizations where you can donate your money and time.

* Senator Bernie Sanders, in partnership with ActBlue is calling for donations which will be split between The Bail Project, Poor      People’s Campaign, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Mijente, Color of Change Education Fund, and The Citizenship Education Fund.

3. Pass this on, ASAP.

To your friends, mailing lists if you have them, family, communities. As many folks as you can think of. Request they do their version of what you are doing.

4. Breathe.

Settle your nervous system. Care for the beautiful animal of your body and soul. And then, when you’re able — because silence is complicity — stand back up and continue putting skin in the game (pun intended).

With love and care,

P.S. Thank you for all you ARE holding and currently doing, seen and unseen.

Better for being Broken

“I don’t trust anyone whose eyes have not been opened by The Dark.”

That is a quote from my friend/sister/colleague Vera de Chalambert, from a recent interview I had with her on the wisdom of the dark times we go through and the brokenness we carry.

I’m guessing you are dedicated to being ever-more conscious, woke, and not superficial. But still, it’s likely you’ve already swallowed (and digested) the poison pill that tricks you into believing there is some shiny plan, blueprint, proven program, script, or set of rules that — if you are a diligent devotee — will ensure things will be good, painless, and all fixed up for you.

Good, painless, fixed-up times exist, sure. They just don’t last forever — or for very long, at least in my experience.

And they don’t last for long because that’s the nature of things: to change, to ebb, to shift. It’s the nature of life to include joy AND pain, light AND dark, mending AND breaking. No one escapes this, no matter how shiny the plan.

However, that poison pill likely has you convinced that it’s YOUR FAULT those times don’t last forever, that you haven’t been a diligent-enough devotee to whatever plan, blueprint, proven program, script, or set of rules.

But you are NOT the problem. Really.

better for being broken

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