Monday, July 3, 2017

Losing My Choctaw Ancestry

Portrait of a Choctaw Woman

When I was around five years old I was told I was part African and part Native American. "Your ancestors were Princess and Queens and Chiefs and Kings"- this felt very good. I had no idea who I was and this was very good news to me . I was at the age where I loved to play "princess" and other games. I could easily relate to having royalty in my bloodline. I loved pictures of Africans draped in gold with regal postures, spears and chins up high. I loved paintings of Native Americans in moccasins and buckskin dresses with long black hair touching their hips. It all made sense I came from this and as I was told I should be proud and walk tall.

Later I was given  more definite information about my Native American side. My gramma Ollie was part Choctaw. The women in the family had straight hair and we had family members on the reservation on Oklahoma. I never did find out what kind of African I was, but after all my years in African dance I feel most likely I am Part Congolese and that is just based on how I feel.

Easy to Embrace my African Lineage

I often connected with my African side and very easily. It was harder to connect with my Native side. I went to Pow Wows in the Pacific Northwest but these Natives were from the salmon fishing Northwest tribes.. not where my bloodline came from . The Choctaw had walked the trail of tears from Missouri to Oklahoma. Originally they were from from a mountainous region in Missouri. I remember telling one Northwest Indian that I too was a Native. He looked at me and said   "The darker the berry the sweeter the juice"- At the time I was put off. Why did he have to say all that. I felt he was saying that I wasn't really part Native American at all. Years later I had a dream and found out, that he did indeed know exactly who and what I was . I realized how odd it was he even said that phrase which is most commonly said in the Black and African communities.  For example a friend from West Africa claims the saying comes from Africa. Yes.. that guy though.. he knew the truth, even about the original peoples of this land. The darker the berry , the sweeter the juice.  He recognized me even when I did not.

All my life I explained my nose and cheekbones as being evidence of my Choctaw ancestry. I really thought I knew who I was. I was named after my great gramma Emma Moreland..she was the one Choctaw and Cree  who married a dark Black man or so I had been told .

My Aunt did a DNA test in 2015. Apparently we are all kinds of African tribes. But according to the test we aren't  part Choctaw. This doesn't feel right. The whole family history says we are. And it's not that I care the way some people do, who think it's better to have Native Blood. I am happy to have nappy hair and an Afro you will never hear me call long or straight hair "good hair". When it came to drums and dance I always choose African. Yet and still it seemed pretty clear I was part Native. And all of sudden I was not. So who am I ?

I recently saw a video which says those DNA test are basically ASS ( garbage). That they send the same results to hundreds of people and that the markers are inaccurate and the data bases they pull from are not logically or chronologically in order, and various human migrations are factored out.

All I know is.. I'm  me. But it would be nice to really, really know who I am in regards to  my ancestry. The fact that it's so hard to trace is of course related to ills and legacy of slavery.One thing I do know is that  I am  a combination of the strongest ones, the ones who survived.

Thanks for reading  
Peace and Blessings Please
 Feel Free to share your Journey

Emily Imani Rose Quartz

"I'm Human" 
" I know who I am , But then again I am still learning"

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Rose Quartz Boutique : Did You Forget About Yourself ?

Rose Quartz Boutique : Did You Forget About Yourself ?: Peace this is a quick short blog with a simple message. Relaxing is one of the most healthful and healing things you can do for you...

Did You Forget About Yourself ?

Peace this is a quick short blog with a simple message. Relaxing is one of the most healthful and healing things you can do for yourself.  We all know that stress is bad for our health. Stress can literally kill us.  Stress is bad for our heart, kidneys, blood pressure , digestion, our nervous system, our muscles and even our ability to think clearly.

Some of the biggest hearts are dying due to stress. They are the male and female "Knights in Shining Armor"- they want to be the heroes and are passionate agents of social change. The only problem is they are so caught up in their work, they rarely take a moment to relax. In today's  world of social media where ones every action is easily shared , it's even harder for some to evaluate the pro's and con's of doing too much. Even good people doing good deeds can't help but begin to see all they do as also being  a pretty good instagram picture or a likeworthy facebook post.  I know that sounds a little crazy but let's just throw the truth out there. The motivations to overdo it or be a super caretaker of others can even be rooted in childhood issues although it may appear the over doer just wants to fix the world as much as possible during their lifetime.

Giving and doing for the community is hard work and sacrifice. You won't see any financial compensation for your deeds. You may even put yourself at risk or in danger especially if you are on the front line fighting social ills such as police brutality, racism and  sex trafficking.

The best way to thank yourself for all you do is to relax.  Make time and take time to relax. Slow down enough to check in with yourself and your own inner wars. Relaxation is one of many keys to health, happiness and longevity. You can give your heart and soul to an organization or cause. But it is always good to remember that the world will continue one way or the other even if you give a little bit a less and take more time for yourself and your peace of mind.  This brings to mind a very hard working person I know who runs an important social service agency. The only problem is decade after decade of fighting for grants shaped her reality more than taking care of her own health. She even missed out on certain family events , but most note-worthy is that she felt overdoing it would actually be worth it. She didn't trust her staff or others to take care of things. But my guess is that they  would have eventually learned how to... if  only she had given them a chance.

There are also too many of us who work forty plus hours a week at a job. I know how it goes..people rely on you for your paycheck and you can not imagine any other way of life. You don't have adequate time to plan healthy healing meals or fun , silly outings and adventures. You work your butts off for a few weeks of paid vacation and much needed sick leave..and this goes on until you are too old or too sick too return to work. Some jobs are more relaxing than others but if you are selling forty hours of your time a week to a company make sure you are  paid properly and that YOU enjoy what you are doing with your time there, because that time will  add up to the sum total of your life.  It is up to you to initiate changes and make sure that your work environment is stress free for you. Just because you have a "boss" is no excuse for you to act out of control of your whole entire life. But its very hard to really break free after spending so much time being "supervised".

That means communicating when you have a question or problem and letting others know you want to find a solution. The saddest thing is how people so quickly fall into "acting" unempowered at work. They  rapidly build up and hold onto anger, resentment and confusion. As their work load piles up, stress begins to eat away at their health. Now they are too tired or numb to seek a way out.  Fear of poverty and living under a bridge, keep people dutifully trapped, just as much as the fear of disappointing our parents ( or spouse) off to work we go. Often into stressful environments where our well being is not considered as important as our presence and productivity.

Ahh but it's still better than living under a bridge right ? And so much more comfortable than letting a parent down, if indeed we are in that group of people who still feel a need to prove ourselves to the adults that lorded over our childhood smiles. But wait a minute...take a a a plane ticket, write  or read that book while lounging on a beach..who ?  You.Yes You!

Relaxation is worth it. Every day. Find a way. Drugs  and alcohol will eventually  lead you away from your  natural ability to relax. The very products  that we rely on to calm us down , in the end keep us on a short leash..we cant seem to relax without them and in between  using those products, we are even more tense.  So it is true. Balance is the key . Don't be afraid to take care of yourself . Many people or situations may seem dependent on you. But that is very likely an illusion. Illusions are good just as visualizations are good. Both create our reality. That is why is so important to make sure the illusions are not just there to trick you into thinking the world will fall apart if you take a day off or stop donating to a certain charity.

We all like feeling like the hero, or the only one who can properly handle certain things..but often by playing the saviour role we end up stressed out and can't find a way out ..hard as it is too admit, let's admit it.. whether we are overdoing it or not.. whether we are giving too much or not..others will survive ! Life goes on. With or without you. The best we can do is offer our time, skills, gifts and abilities , in ways that honor our health. Physical, mental, spiritual. Health.

When others,whether they are friends ,family or an organization or corporation leave you feeling obligated to give up stuff  (time, money, space, energy) it may just be time for you to step back, relax and give others a chance thrive on their own. Sure their efforts may not be as great as when you were so involved ..but hey..that's ok. What about you ? Did you forget about yourself ?  If you are in a leadership position.. be a real role model and take care of yourself as well.

Peace Blessings In Joy
 Rose Quartz