Raising Our Voices

Happy December; today I'm grateful for this sweet partnership
with a teacher in Wisconsin because our brothers were best friends.

And, as I reflect on an appointment that didn't go so well earlier this week, it occurs to me that it'll segue into today's book recommendation, so here goes. This past month, I've been trying acupuncture, to help with some physical pain that I've been feeling, probably as a result of the three significant losses our family has endured this year. The first visit I was apprehensive, but it went pretty well. In fact, I left there feeling quite courageous at even giving it a try. The second time I didn't feel quite as good about the visit because my forehead bled a bit when the needle was extracted and it sort of freaked me out. It was explained to me that this can be a good release of heat or pressure, so I tried not to stress too much. The third visit? That's the one that I'm still trying to figure out.

Without going into too much detail, the receptionist noticed that I wasn't myself as I paid the bill, so she asked if I was ok. Holding back tears, I said that I was pretty uncomfortable, and that's when she asked me: 

"Why didn't you press the button?" 

You see, there's a call button that patients can press at any time.
If you need anything, they had told me.
But either I forgot about the button, or (and this one is more likely) 
I didn't give myself permission to press the button.
So that has me wondering why not?
Did I not have enough info for an informed decision? 
Was I trying to just press through the pain?  
Was I trying to be strong, afraid of looking weak?

Not really sure yet, but what I do know is that self-advocacy is SO important, not only in wellBEing, but in relationships, on the job, in life.

So as I reflect, I've got the perfect newcomer to pair with
this concept of pressing the button to not only get our needs met,
but also to thrive and, in turn, feel empowered to change the world.

Due out at the end of this month, this stunning anthology
of 50 Black Women who used their voices to make
music history will be a beautiful addition to your shelves.

Not only did they make music history, but they
used their talent to bring awareness to issues
like racial discrimination and inequity.

Check out an interview {here} and a review {here}.

I especially liked the Minnie Riperton story; 
remember her haunting ballad called Lovin' You?

John's favorite was the two-page spread on 

Music is SO therapeutic and healing; 
songs can take me back to places in my life
more quickly than anything else.
They can bring laughter, warmth, and tears. 
LOTS of tears.

Music has the power to transport us
to another season and time with
every note,
every beat,
every word.

And then it can gently bring us back
to the here and now. To the present.

I'm so grateful to add this incredible book to our school library
and I'm looking forward to the sequel with even more stories about
other pioneers in the music business to encourage all students
to look for, recognize, and appreciate the music
within them that needs to be expressed. 

I pray we always give ourselves permission to raise our voices
and sing our own songs from deep within our souls,
even if it means pressing the button and saying
that this isn't feeling like a good fit for me right now. 

Oh, and I'll definitely let you know how my fourth visit goes.

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!