So my people have been going through a storm recently. Collectively and individually it has been rough. I have been thinking of what I can say that hasn't already been said. For a while I was numb, I didn't know what to say. I was doing my best just staying engaged at my job, keeping my kids safe and surviving. But then I decided that I wanted to grieve #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastille and still have some joy. I thought about all the greatness that has been a part of my people's struggle and I smiled. I thought about the times my ancestors faced death and triumphed. I thought of the times we broke barriers by traveling, being educated, having babies, staying married, walking away from abusive marriages, choosing love and being courageous. I have chosen to be grateful for the beauty in the ashes. It takes a lot of heat and pressure to make a diamond and what I see coming from my community is pure gold. I love the embraces, smiles, fists, taps to the heart, all because of what we are going through. I've even felt closer with the majority culture that I've encountered who look at me with sympathetic eyes. #Venus #Serena #GabbyDouglas #SimoneBiles #LaurieHernandez all triumphing during one of the most difficult times in recent US history. We are all in this together and we either soar together or perish together. 

So what am I saying? How do we get through these difficult times? Focus on gratitude. Appreciating the situation that we are in and those who are walking with you everyday helps keep you grounded. No matter what situation you find yourself in there is SOMETHING to be grateful for even if it's just the air in your lungs. Every area of your life, someone else would love to trade places with you. Even if you are homeless and in the shelter, there are people on the waiting list to get in the shelter. In every situation there is something to be grateful for... Find the jewel amidst the pressure. Express your joy and gratitude to those around you. Your kids, spouse, partner, parents, grandparents, sister-friends, Pastor, Rabbi, spiritual advisor... Take this week to say thank you so much for riding with me, for having my back, for celebrating with me, for loving me through my ups and downs. And to you, the reader, you are so important to me. Without me there is no you. I love and appreciate you. We can get through this because like Hillary and Bernie say- we are stronger together. Let's make a difference!