I’m Crystal Marie Fleming: 30-something writer, spiritual adventurer, reluctant-turned-enthusiastic New Yorker and sociologist of racism. This is my personal blog, which I’ve mostly neglected over the past few years as I finished writing Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France, earned tenure and began writing about race and politics elsewhere. I have random bursts of creativity that manifest as cooking, songwriting and producing whole entire books. I am proud to carry the “no-fucks-to-give” mantle of the irreverent, independent, soulful, passionate, hilarious, loving, fiery Take-No-Shit-Southern-Negro-Women in my family tree.
I’m influenced by the nondual and mystical teachings of Eckhart Tolle, Mooji, Alan Watts, Ernest Holmes, Joel Goldsmith and Thich Nhat Hanh among others. My spiritual perspective draws from Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and panentheism. It boils down to these basic tenets:
(1) Everything and everyone is a manifestation of the All-there-is / God / Universe.
(2) What is most real in life is the conscious experience of the present moment.
I don’t claim to have the answers or to have life ‘figured out”. I’m just as beautifully flawed as everybody else. I’ve used this blog as a space to share my experiences, insights and questions as I play out my time here as a manifestation of Consciousness. I invite you to share with me so we can learn together.
The title of this blog originally came from a mantra someone shared with me to help connect with the present moment. “I am aware that I am aware.” Over time, the meaning shifted to address the intersections of my twin passions: spiritual awareness and social awareness. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of very personal and, at times, political reflections blending my expertise in sociology with reflexive musings on my own experiences. I’ve only recently begun to revive the blog so we’ll have to see what new adventures come next . . .
42 thoughts on “About Me”
Thanks for stopping by our blog, Crystal! You’re so kind! And you’re always welcome to come to Paris! We’d love to welcome you! Les Studios 🙂
Maybe we’ll connect when I come to Paris this year!
hello crystal !! just came across ur blog ..im too inclined to teachings of vedanta and non duality and teachers like eckhart . ,paul hedderman..but in .trying to find something substantial from this ..i cut out from everything …do you think there is a future if one takes professional learning of vedanta …to be a teacher …il have bookmarked d page ll be going thru contents later by the way that pencil circle thing that pops up when you highlite menu bar is nice 🙂
Very glad that you found the blog – welcome! I look forward to interacting with you here
Hello Crystal You have a very nice blog here. I love your collections! Keep spreading the joy and beauty to the world, my friend.
Warm wishes to you Cyril – you are welcome here anytime!
Thanks A lot…Nice to meet here Crystal.Howz going writing and all?
Wonderful website Crystal. You have covered wide variety of topics in your blog. Its great to always find another pet lover in blogs especially kitties.
Warm thanks for your comment! Welcome and please visit often 😉
Hey friend thanks for following my blog and stuff…I sincerely enjoy exchanging thoughts with you from time to time.
Ditto, friend 🙂
Congratulations! I have nominated you for the Wonderful Team Member Award! Should you accept, you’ll need to display the image and link back to the person who nominated you. You’ll also need to nominate 14 other bloggers. See details here. http://candibeeexperiment.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/my-award/
Dear Crystal, The 7/14 blog resonates here. I learned of you because of this blog and will flow more. I notice that in my commitment to stay actively and humbly aware calls for diligence. I also notice that the path is not very rutted, it is a new route for each of us, yet familiar at times. Kind regards.
A FB friend shared your blog about our country. It moved me. Thank you.
My wife, Karla, and I are students of New Thought and view it as the field from which we can and will change this world. She is also steeped in the 8 limbs of Yoga. This fall I begin PRAC II studies in the tradition started by Ernest Holmes, although I also practice the teachings of Emma Curtis Hopkins, Joel Goldsmith et al. My heart embraces those Truths found by Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and the beloved Rinpoche that return to provide guidance for all.
Your voice is refreshing and gentle. Thank you for breaking yourself open to the compassion within. Yes, our country and kind could use growing a bigger heart. Let each of us move that along as we are able. Remain strong and steadfast, you’re a blessing. If you ever come out to Seattle …
Namasté, Alex Perlman, JD
I’m fascinated by your efforts to be a non-dualistic academic and grateful for your articulation of this struggle. Perhaps because it never occurred to me to apply the spiritual insights I gained from yoga and Tibetan Buddhism relatively late in my academic career, I was never able to achieve the sort of intellectual/ physical/ psycho-spiritual balance I craved. It’s wonderful to read abt your quest.
Hi Judith – thanks for supporting my blog and sharing your own experience in learning from Yoga and Buddhism! It is an interesting challenge trying to integrate these parts of my life pre-tenure, but I also don’t feel like I have a choice.. either I try to achieve this balance, or .. well, I’ll be miserable. I hope you’ve continued to read and will share some of the insights you’ve gained along the way 🙂
Hi Crystal, I am writing my college essay regarding racism and prejudice as an ongoing international issue and came across your blog which provided much inspiration. I was wondering if I could contact you via email to ask you a few questions regarding my paper regarding the issue of racism? Thank you!!
My body has white skin. I am at a very politically active college in Massachusetts called Hampshire College. With confusion I have to witness a never ending cycle of racism. People of color hate on white people, white people are afraid of black people and whisper hates on them…..it’s effing ridiculous! I am even told I can never truly love my friends who are of color because I am white!! I may never fully understand what it exactly like to grow up dealing with racist microagressions, but this doesn’t mean that I am racist, it just doesn’t, ok? Racism and oppression back and forth- who’s egos get to rule? Can we see people as individual’s that have their own strengths and weaknesses? Christ! I would be very angry at a CEO choosing not to hire someone because of their race, just like any of my friends would be. I am not angry at myself for being white, or angry at whoever that CEO was for whatever his skin color was- I would try to turn my anger into compassion in the light of mindfulness because that CEO obviously needs help confronting their own fears! ELLO!
Hey! I have a quick question about your blog. Could you please email me when you get a chance? Thanks!!
Hi, What’s your question?
Hello Crystal, thank you for sharing your story. I hope things will continue to improve. Stay strong and may God bless you and yours.
Thank you.. I think my posts lately somehow give the impression that things are terrible.. I have a wonderful, blessed life .. I’m just perhaps a bit more honest about the ups and downs of existence than some others 😉 Thank you for visiting and hope you’ll come back soon.
Love your posting and candid awareness of being aware. Thanks for the follow and may we meed again on these pages.
Great to meet you here!
Hi Crystal – Thanks for following my blog. Your story is quite intriguing and seems to reveal an adventurous, exploratory and experiential soul. Like you, I speak French, and am flawed 🙂 I see my life as a journey, so I’m always learning. I do look forward to exploring your blog further and reading some of your insightful posts.
Lovely to connect with you 🙂
Same here 🙂
Thank you for your presence, the beautiful expression of ‘that’…
A bit late in replying (smile) but warm thanks to you for visiting my blog and leaving this lovely message.
Hi Crystal, thank you for stopping by hgd for the follow. I love the vibe that you’ve created and I’m glad to connect with you. Def look forward to exploring more of your writing.
I’ve nominated your blog for an award. For more information, please see http://featherandfurphotography.wordpress.com/
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I knew by the title of yours that I would like it. I was right!
In appreciation of your insightful posts, I have nominated you for the *Very Inspiring Blogger” award. You will find instructions on the award here: http://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/very-inspiring-blogger-award/
Excited to be following you, Crystal! Thank you for taking time to stop by my blog and follow along with my imperfect musings of the power and art of presence. I look forward to reading more about what you have to say as a new follower. Peace and joy.
Thanks so much for following my blog and I look forward to reading more about you – blimey you sound pretty self-aware for someone who is still figuring it out. Best wishes, Gemma
You sound like a super cool girl
Beautiful mind 🙂
Namaste’. I’m glad I found your blog in a mysterious way (a Mooji search). 🙂 I just had to leave a comment, Crystal! I studied psychology, sociology, and African American studies at Temple University. When I graduated in 2009 I immersed myself in an intense spiritual search. An uncontrollable spiritual quest/longing that was recognized when I took a few eastern religions at Temple. I studied many different paths and teachers. Until last year when I met Gangaji on retreat (my first one as my circumstances have been tight). I finally saw that being human was not separate from the pristine peace of being. That this is who we truly are underneath all of our different colors, but not separate from it all. This is 8 years in a nutshell. I live near NYC currently. So your bio really resonated. 🙂 I am so glad people of color (and all beings), with the unique set of challenges we socially and generationally have, are waking up to the truth. I send blessings in all the projects you birth as they naturally are touched with the light of this universal truth we meet as. ❤