America watched the painful slow death of George Floyd on TV. Black Americans knew he was in serious trouble when George Floyd was surrounded by and ultimately held down by multiple police. As Black Americans, we know there is a huge cost to be stopped by the police. We know you can lose your life in a matter of minutes dealing with law “enforcement.” Many of us also know of friends or family members who did not die before or during an arrest, but were mistreated after their arrest or during their stay in jail or prison. We often think of our male relative or friend who has endured the negative treatment of incarceration.
What about our female relatives or friends? Do you know of any women who have been incarcerated and have been bullied by their guards or wardens? You may have heard of a story from someone you know. Do you consider the mistreatment as a part of their just punishment or is that a separate consideration? I am not sure how to address, let alone, fix the “systemic injustice” system. However, harsh conditions within the prison system have become normal, and in some cases, expected punishment tacked on to the prisoner’s sentence. Is this a fair assessment for those who have been incarcerated? Watch Auntie Hour’s next episode to hear Freya Pearson’s experience of incarceration plus harsh treatment when faced with normal human needs.
When we were kids, there was joy all around us from the smallest thing of getting a piece of mail with your name on it to shopping for the first day of back-to-school. Getting older was a joy. We could not wait for our next birthday as we delved out our wish lists. What happens over time as we age toward our middle and upper years of 50, 60, 70 or 80? Does anyone send handmade cards anymore? Do they call and talk for hours anymore? Digital technology has swept over the more senior generations and left them behind in many cases. Again to be forgotten.
It is very noticeable after a life of decades that friends fade, and there are no more wish lists to write. Aging, albeit expected, leaves many feeling alone and forgotten. Our Auntie Hour guest Margaret Edinburgh has made it her mission NOT to forget those who have aged over 80. She celebrates mature and seasoned women and men with the honorable Senior Citizens Hall of Fame Celebration each year for her Yellow Roses (women) and Strong Oaks (men). Margaret collaborates with their families to celebrate upcoming birthdays. She inundates the recipient with an outpouring of cards and gift cards so it will bring joy into their hearts and souls. Do you have a Yellow Rose or a Strong Oak you can celebrate? If you want to know how, ask Margaret.
What's on your bucket list? Do you desire to jump out of a plane and skydive? What about floating in a hot air balloon, or walking across a glacier? Your bucket list may include all of the wild adventures that you have planned to do, but what about the unexpected adventures you never saw coming? The unexpected adventures of life offer us the opportunity to expand our horizons and remove limitations around the idea of what is fun.
Our next guest on the Auntie Hour, Linda Buckley, never thought running 26.2 mile marathons would ever be on her bucket list. She also never considered that marathons would take her to places like Bermuda or Alaska. After many conversations with her friend, she opened her mind to other possibilities of fun. She found she really enjoyed the challenge of a marathon. Her ultimate lesson was that she learned more things about her own body and how movement made it feel.
Linda's newfound perspective as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Author became more urgent after helping chronically ill patients navigate the hardships of healthcare. She knew that if they could incorporate more movement into their diet of health, their lives would improve. Linda practiced her own philosophy of words matter from her chapter "Words Matter." She implemented more positive self-talk messages throughout her training for each half marathon and other smaller races like the annual Peachtree Road Race.
Linda's unexpected adventures have helped to shape her lives and those lives who aim for a better quality of life.
Upon birth, our identities are formed. Our parents decide who we will grow up to be and set in motion all of the activities that would support that mission. Our set in stone identity not only influences our behavior and our choices, but unknowingly sets our boundaries imposing and bending its will. It becomes very difficult to change who we have been and leave behind who others know us to be.
Reinvention of oneself can be the hardest climb one could imagine when the starting point lay within the realm of the unknown and untravelled. What does it mean to start over? What does it mean not to know yourself? How does one wipe the slate clean and find solace that the light at the end of the tunnel can grow beyond belief?
Many of us deem it nearly impossible to sit still, and literally imagine a new life of redemption despite all of the trouble our humanness has created. Auntie Hour’s guest, Sandra Grace talks about her journey of one direction which changed with one decision. She used her mind to begin her long climb to escape her past to see a flicker of light that gleaned hope which helped to re-shape her self-talk and limiting beliefs to re-discover, re-image and reinvent herself.
Let’s talk about sex! S-E-X is one of the most taboo topics people have a hard time talking about yet it is one of the most popular topics people think about. Have you ever noticed that sex is mostly spoke of in the context of being with another person? Sex after a date. Sex as a one night stand. Sex on the beach with a random stranger. Watching porn. Sex, sex, sex seemed to be all about the other person. Do you wonder about sex just with yourself? Guys do it all of the time. They masturbate!
What about women? Yes, women masturbate and masturbate often! Sex Coach, Renee Yvonne encourages sexual self-care through masturbation. Renee knows first hand that masturbation is for stress relief as well as self-pleasure. Women should masturbate more often and the urge will subside to not jump into the first relationship that shows up out of desperation. Self-discovery of one’s pleasure points helps improve one’s ability to articulate to a sex partner about their needs. It is a requirement to know your own body. How else will you be able to guide someone else? No one is a mind reader. Sexual health is just a important as mental health. If you do not provide self-care of your sexual needs, you just may go crazy. All kidding aside, self-pleasure can enhance and improve your mood and change your attitude. Try it out and leave a comment on The Auntie Hour and let us know your results.
Dating expectations can be extremely difficult when the quest for love is submersed in the fairytale of fun, adventure, and companionship are not a reality. The process of dating can cause many people anxiety no matter the age. Do I swipe left or swipe right? Do I slide into their DMs? What do I do? How do I start? Questions like these come up especially after you have ‘done the dating thing’ before and now a half of century has gone by.
What happens after 25 years of marriage gone bad and the tipping point past about a few years ago? LaTrice Ross had to reboot her dating scene journey and endure all that comes with it after her divorce of 25 years and 4 grown children, now at the age of 50. Dating became an added source of stress. After a couple of blind dates and old familiar patterns, LaTrice embarked upon a different dating journey. She sought the help of a professional for mental wellness*.
Mental wellness has been a hot topic as of late, especially when the pandemic pushed many against the wall of isolation and forced self-reflection to regroup, regenerate and regain life’s power and opportunities for balance and happiness. LaTrice began to date herself and find what her interests and hobbies were. One of the most powerful lessons served as a reminder, “hurt people hurt people.” The day of mindless hurt was forced to a screeching halt.
Today, LaTrice maintains a well-balanced and peaceful state of mind. She has set boundaries for all relationship that attempt to enter her area of tolerance and well-being. She now enlightens and empowers her company and community as a Diversity and Inclusion Manager.
*Need help for mental wellness?
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255