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maintaining a "m.A.i." mindset in a time of crisis

Greetings and Good Morning,

I hope everyone is doing well. I know that it has been a few weeks since I've posted, and I apologize. To be quite honest, I've been trying to process all of the things that we have been dealing with as a country lately. It is easy right now to lose sight of any positivity amid such constant negativity coming at each of us. Even though it's a struggle for everyone, I want to encourage you to maintain a "M.A.I. Mindset", something that I've had to remind myself to keep doing in this difficult time.

I nearly lost my "M.A.I Mindset"!

If you follow me on social media, then you know that everyday, I post something that is motivational, aspirational, and inspiring on my Creative Calfuray Instagram page (You can follow me on IG at @Creative_Calfuray). It's typically a quote and recently I've been creating cute daily poems to go with them. I also post things related to my books, happenings, and keep it light. With that said, I've been mostly okay with dealing with the way the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, along handling my new normal, homeschooling my six-year old son and working a full time job from home. This was until the last three weeks. The last three weeks have been a devastating blow to me as a Black woman, as a wife, and as a mother of a young Black boy. About three weeks ago I learned of the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a young black male that was heinously killed by two white males while jogging. Then a about a week and a half later, the news was flooded with the killing of Breonna Taylor as she slept in her bed, by the Louisville, Kentucky Police. On Sunday May 24, 2020, on the front page of the New York Times was the following headline, “U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss”. At the top of last week, I awoke to the story of Amy Cooper lying as she called the NYPD police on Christian Cooper, for asking her to put her dog on a leash in a public park. Finally, I watched in horror as George Floyd begged for his life as it slipped away with Derek Chauvin's knee on his neck. How could anyone with a heart and a conscious not be affected by all of this at once?

All of these things were weighing on me emotionally, and I was so overwhelmed. Last week was difficult to stand. My heart felt like it was ripped from me. I posted on Tuesday morning, that I needed to "hit pause", I needed a moment to pray for the families grieving for these losses. I was literally hurting, and I couldn't shake off these deaths, as if, it was so easy to get over because, it didn't happen to me. But, the truth of the matter is that in any one of the cases mentioned it could've been me, any one of them could've been my loved ones, my family, and/or my friends. The number of Black men and women dying in America, whether it is due to COVID-19, where our demographic is dying at a faster rate than our white counterparts, or at the hands of police, this is why "BLACK LIVES MATTER", it is not to say that all lives don't matter, but it is a statement of focus. This is, was, and always has been a real issue to me, but it had a different impact on me this time. I was filled with sorrow and grief. I found myself crying out of the blue as I worked, and I had a complete meltdown several times last week. I was grieving for Ahmaud, Breonna, George, and 100,000 COVID-19 victims. I was grieving hard for people I did not know, but my heart was broken for them not being here anymore. I Felt like I didn't have "M.A.I." in me, not right now, and that was scary to me. I felt like my emotional well-being was being attacked, and in the process I was being drained of my creativity. I need to contribute, and find a way to make a difference.

Maintaining my "M.A.I. Mindset" in a time of Crisis

Having a strong mind, with positive convictions is important right now. Reading and writing has been cathartic for me, along with listening to music. Staying ever so close and connected to my friends and family has been as equally important. The "M.A.I. Mindset" is so important right now, and can be uplifting to many. Therefore, I realized after speaking to my friends and my parents, that I can't give up. I cannot stop writing and posting, I cannot lose my voice now that we're in a crisis. My voice is what I have to make a difference, and that's what I will use. We cannot sit by idly watching in seemingly disbelief as things like this happen and destroy our communities, but return to "life as normal" a few days later. I don't live in a bubble. I don't want to grieve anymore, or ignore what's happened, until it happens to me or someone I love. Just because, it's not you this time, it doesn't mean that you're immune to it, or that it can't be you next time. We've claimed during this pandemic that, "we're in this together", but, I ask myself, are we really? So many people look on in silence, and then turn a blind eye and go on with their lives. I cannot sit by and wait to see the change that I want around me, I know that I have to be apart of the process of change. So, I am going to do what Michael "Killer Mike" Render, so eloquently stated during the unrest and rioting in Atlanta, Ga, he stated, "this is the time where we need to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.'' I plan to do so. I ask you ALL to join me. This is how we "M.otivate, A.spire, and I.nspire" a community to a better outcome. There is a better way that's more effective than rioting and looting, but I understand why it's happening. I know that what and who we're voting for in the primaries and in the general election is where we start to make this change. We have to be civically engaged together. We have to do this together. If you are willing to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize, let's do it together. Let's work together to make our communities, and this world a better place. This is how I'm going to maintain my "M.A.I. Mindset" in a time of crisis. We have two viruses to eradicate, COVID-19 and Racism, let's get to work to get rid of them both...TOGETHER!

Thank you for reading my blog this morning. Hey, do me a favor, if you like or love this post, comment on it. I’d love to hear your feedback. Also, please feel free to share it with your family and friends in the social media universe. I greatly appreciate the support.

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