Monday, June 29, 2015

First Day of Wimbledon

Serena Williams, Wimbledon Champion
On the first day of Wimbledon fortnight, I am collecting images of Venus and Serena Williams here.

Let's celebrate these two amazing, powerful, strong and beautiful sistas who have broken so many boundaries and will ALWAYS be champions! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Review of What They Don't Want Us to Know.

What They Don't Want Us to Know
I have just received a new review of my ebook, What They Don't Want Us to Know.  You can read it below. 

I wrote What They Don't Want Us to Know several years ago and I recently updated it.  There is an urgency to this work, as more and more Black people are being killed by the police and the authorities (and, it seems, any random white person).  Plus there are many other ongoing issues which affect our communities.  For more about this, click here to download Why We Need to Heal, which is a free download.  Our communities need practical, effective solutions. 

Plus click here for your free sample chapter on Achieving Success.  

Here's the review: 

There are those in life that have a special calling, a calling that beckons us to seek out ways to enrich and improve their lives so that they may do the same for others. People such as this, with this burning desire in life, often find themselves in roles such as mentors, gurus, teachers, educators, and even parents. I myself am a parent and I have learned (be it the hard way) that in order for me to be able to be the best mother, the best sister, the best friend, the best daughter, and the best me I could be will require that I work towards improving myself in every aspect of my being.

We all want to have it all, but why does it seem so elusive and hard to obtain? Maybe it is because our whole lives, we have been living under the illusion that the key to our happiness lies in some external source, when in all actuality genuine, undying happiness sprouts forth from within.

What They Don’tWant Us to Know is a book that addresses those components of the lives of Black people - people of African heritage - that are most important in pursuing the best you. The chapters on Gratitude, Mindfulness, and Manifestation are only a few of the many nuggets of wisdom lent in this book that you can implement into your journey toward self-discovery. Learning how to release negative blockages, limiting beliefs, and fears were lessons I found to be highly beneficial to my overall wellbeing.

All of the information granted in this well-written, comprehensive guide will lead Black readers down a path towards lasting joy, peace, abundance, and prosperity in ways that are easy to implement into the busiest of lifestyles. I enjoyed the thoroughness of Zhana’s writing and the way she conveys a message of this complexity and proportion in an engaging and entertaining manner. Excellent read and I highly recommend this book to people of African heritage who strive to make positive change today for a better future tomorrow - for ourselves, for our families, for our communities and for humanity!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cancer Journals

The Cancer Journals
I was recently diagnosed with cancer and I am posting a series of blogs which I am calling "Cancer Journals", named after Audre Lorde's classic The Cancer Journals.  I'm doing this in order to process my experiences and my emotions, and I trust that it will be beneficial for you to read about my journey. 

Please leave your comments on my blog posts.  Thanks.  I have listed the first few blog posts below.  

You may also be interested in this one:  Why Are So Many of Our People Dying?

Cancer Journals

Cancer Journals

Cancer Journal 2: My Diagnosis

Cancer Journal 3:  Shopping for Green Candles.  Green is the colour of compassion, the colour of the heart, and the colour of health, growth and renewal. 

Cancer Journal 4:  Brain Freeze.  What happens when you receive a cancer diagnosis? 

Cancer Journal 5:  An Angry Life.  Black women have plenty to be angry about,  But what are some of the health consequences of carrying a lot of anger? 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Legendary Icon Anastacia

Brazilian icon Anastacia Escrava
Anastacia, known as "Anastacia Escrava", is a legendary historical figure revered in Brazil.  Having reputedly refused the advances of a white slavemaster, Anastacia was forced to wear an iron mask continuously. 

Check out this great blog post for more information. 

Just one more reason Why We Need to Heal

Monday, April 27, 2015

Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey on the Importance of History

Marcus Garvey
To quote Marcus Garvey on history, "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots".

To quote Malcolm X, History is a people's memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower animals.

We have been fed many lies and distortions about our history in order to make us forget who we are.  Our history has been marginalised, ignored and buried.  It us up to us to dig it up, uncover it and share it. 

Check out some of my recent Black history/African history blogs:

To find out about how Martin Luther Kind and Malcolm X influenced sci-fi movies, check out The Black History of the X-Men

African History Film:  Invasion 1897 - this links to some of my other African history blogs. 

Please share these with your networks.  And if you like my blog posts, please leave a comment.  Thanks. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Black History of X-Men

Wesley Snipes as Blade
As I have said many times before, I always learn something in presentations by Brother T. of London Black History Walks.  Listen below for more.  

How has Black history influenced science fiction and sci-fi movies?  Listen below. 

Check Out Books Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Zhana21 on BlogTalkRadio

Three points particularly stood out for me in this presentation.  

1) Dr. Wooter Basson - Brother T. has mentioned him in other presentations.
2) In 1999, the family of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. held a civil trial.  Did you hear about this?  I didn’t.  The mainstream media buried the story.

3) Blade was the first Marvel superhero featured in successful moviesListen below for more. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Why Conflicts Don't Get Resolved

Why Conflicts Don't Get Resolved
For more about NVC, check out my blog post:  How to Transform Your Relationships.  

I've been having a problem with this guy. This has made me so upset and so angry, although I have calmed down somewhat, thank goodness.

I am a very private person and it's important to me to maintain clear boundaries. When I think someone is trying to force himself or herself on me, I get very defensive. My barriers go up and they are not coming down! I know this because I know what I am like, and how I tend to react to this kind of situation.

I'm going to break this down. We have an NVC (Nonviolent Communication) group at the London Buddhist Centre and this guy came along. The group is for Buddhists, but we decided to open it up to include people who have done a Buddhism course. This could be anybody who has done a Buddhism course, they don't have to be Buddhists. 

This guy came along – let's call him Fred (not his real name).  I asked him if he is a Buddhist and he said he had done a vipassana meditation retreat.  So I told him we would like him to do a Buddhism course and he said, cool, he was interested in learning about Buddhism. 

A couple of weeks later, we updated the mailing list and, prior to doing a mailing, I asked Fred if he had signed up for a Buddhism course.  It transpired he hadn't.  So I said, you will be welcome once you complete a Buddhism course.

Then he started saying we were “excluding people”.  Remember, it has been clearly stated that this group is for Buddhists, and we meet at the London Buddhist Centre.

Later on, after a series of emails, Fred started saying he had done a Buddhism course. He never mentioned this before.  He also said he had done the vipassana retreat three times.

Apparently, he is now saying he did it six times.  I have stopped reading his emails and told him not to write to me again.   Of course, he continued to send me emails.  As I said, my barriers are up and they are not coming down.

The thing that pisses me off the most is that he keeps saying things like “I'm confused”, “I'm baffled”, and there's nothing confusing or baffling going on here.   My communication has been very clear.

Someone trying to argue and pressure his way into the group simply does not cut it with me.

To break this down, in NVC, we would not say something like “You are excluding people”. This is an interpretation.  We would say something along the lines of, “I am upset because I think you are excluding me”.

Also, I could say that he is lying, but this is an interpretation.   It could also be called “jackal speech”, i.e., speech that disconnects us from each other, such as blaming and labelling.  So I prefer to say, “He keeps changing his story”.

In NVC, we try to be as factual as possible.  Instead of saying, “Such-and-such happened”, we say, “I remember such-and-such happening”.  The truth is that people remember things differently.   I can only be responsible for what I remember. 
Similarly, for me to say he is “ trying to argue and pressure his way into the group” is an interpretation, not an observation.

One of the most important lessons to be learned from this is that if we want someone to respect our feelings and needs, we first need to connect with theirs – genuinely and from the heart.  If Fred had connected with my feelings and needs, I would probably have been a lot more willing to listen to his.  Instead, I just want to have nothing to do with him now. This is how conflicts go unresolved.

It takes a lot of practice to learn NVC and I am not always able to use or apply the level of skill I would like to.

As I said, I am calming down about the whole thing now.   Even if I don't receive empathy from Fred or from others, I can still give empathy to myself.   This can be a very rewarding experience.

For more about NVC, check out my blog post:  How to Transform Your Relationships.  

I welcome your comments below.