You are still you

Note: This is not my work! This was so timely for me. Just sharing the good energy. Enjoy!

 

Because you are aware of your awareness, you can transcend it. Not only can you see what is here and now, you can visualize the best of what can be.

If you were limited to merely reacting to events, you would be a prisoner of your circumstances. But you are not any such thing.

For you are blessed with the ability to step back from even the most intense situations. You can hold and nurture within you a vision that transcends the outer reality of any moment.

Keep that in mind the next time you become frustrated by life’s ups and downs. There is a very real and powerful part of you that exists above and beyond every frustration, setback and disappointment.

By all means live and enjoy and experience life in the universe that surrounds you. At the same time, stay connected to that essential part of you that exists independent of the outside influences.

Whatever happens or fails to happen, you are still you at the deepest, most profound level. Remember that, and you’ll find renewed confidence to step boldly forward no matter what.

— Ralph Marston

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Love & Admiration for My Girlfriends!

This post is inspired by the amazing women I call my girlfriends! I’m sure you will be able to find yourself, your friends, mothers and sisters in this as well. So today, I celebrate not only my girlfriends but amazing women across the globe!!

 

 

Big hips, no hips, thick or thin lips, kinky or straight, face made up or not. You are beautiful!

Married, single, divorced or widowed, you are desirable!

Mother of 1, mother of 5, mother of none, you are needed!

Smile through the pain or lie down to cry, you are strong!

Money in the bank or account overdrawn you are valuable!

Understanding what you do today affects your tomorrow, you are wise!

Able to see past what’s going on right now and get a glimpse of your future, you are a visionary!

You take bits and pieces of nothing and craft masterpieces of all kinds, you are resourceful and imaginative. A creator!

Living life on your own terms, comfortable in your own skin, defining success, beauty and happiness for yourself, you are free!

Stepping into the unknown with expectation and trusting God, you are full of faith!

Taking off the mask, removing the makeup, you are transparent and vulnerable!

Knowing actions speak louder than words, you live love!

Aware that dreams don’t come true until you wake up and take action, you are practical!

Never demanding more than you’re willing to give and valuing compromise, you are balanced!

Allowing for other’s mistakes, you are gracious!

Refusing to give up, you are a fighter!

Doing the right thing even when no one else sees, you are full of integrity!

Helping others achieve their goals, you are an encourager!

Shunning what’s comfortable for something new, you are a risk taker!

You are powerful!

You are great!

You are beauty!

You are love!

You are royalty!

You are fun!

You are resilient!

You are consistent!

You are courage!

You are AMAZING!

It Could Be Worse, or Better!

I hear people say it all the time. I mean, I say it all the time. I bet you do too! The famous phrase, “It could be worse”. “It” can be anything, your job, your spouse or lack thereof, your car, your house or a plethora of things. We seem to rehearse this when we find ourselves upset, frustrated and no longer content with whatever “it” is. Those words seem to give us perspective and keep self-pity in check. But, what if those words also held us prisoner? What if they are the chains that prevent us from striving for something better? Yes, it could always be worse but could it not also be better? I suggest instead of saying things could be worse that we start to think of ways we can strive to make things better. Frustrated with the relationship or marriage in? What can you do to make it better? In this economy it’s a blessing to be employed. I get that but if you’re unhappy do something about it. We should stop feeding our passions and dreams to the excuses that bind us to mediocre lives and lifestyles! Be grateful for what is good and right in your life. Remember those that are less fortunate than you but do yourself, the whole world and the Kingdom of Heaven (if you believe such things) a huge favor—live your purpose! Do the one thing or the 100 things you were born for! Not sure what that is? Try this to get you started. Or, maybe you can do a spiritual gifts test. Whatever you do, don’t continue to sleep on your dreams 🙂 Don’t let anything hinder you from experiencing a full life. Not even complacency that often disguises itself as gratitude in the famous, “it could be worse”.  Here’s to making it better!

On Living My Passions & Dreams!

So, I posted last week about why I was not celebrating 5 years of service my employer. After that, I really wanted to write about discovering and living our dreams and passions. I tried to get that post out all day and failed. Miserably! The words just wouldn’t come out the way I wanted them to. I had the ideas but the words were stuck as if my brain was filled with tacky glue! I decided I’d get back to it before this #bloglikecrazy challenge was over. So, here I am trying again.

I can’t get away from it. Everywhere I go, everything I read (ok, maybe not everything, but almost) is about using your gifts and talents. I read a blog and it’s about living your dreams so here’s what I think. I’ve got so many passions and so many dreams I don’t where to start! It felt really good to admit that J So, yeah. I’m a photographer and still learning to call myself a writer. I have a heart for my community, my people and people that struggle to get by every day. International missions is one of my first loves. In July 2009 I had the amazing privilege to travel to Cape Town, South Africa. I was there for a week and my sole purpose was to shower small children with love. I fell in love with one—Tandiswa. I’d bring her home with me today if I could!! When people that don’t know me see the picture she and I have together they ask if she’s my child 🙂 I’ve been researching my family tree and that has taken over my life! I love it! I stay up late to learn all I can. It’s such a joy. I’ve become the obnoxious kid that tells everyone they should be learning their family histories as well. I’d love to help people do that. I’ve taken on the role of accountability partner to a writer friend of mine to help ensure her books are written in a timely manner. We communicate once a week at least. In addition to helping her stay on track I’ve been doing research to help her find a publisher. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed that as well and can imagine do that for a living. I’ll stop here but there’s more. I’m embarrassed. I mean is this normal? Maybe I’m a renaissance woman!

This is so important for me because I want to leave a legacy for my son and any other child(ren) I may have. When I’ve left this earth I want my accomplishments to speak for me for generations to come. Does that make me vain? If it does, oh well. I’ll be that. I am convinced I was created to do great things and live a life of greatness. So, what’s the hold-up?

What say you? What are your passions/dreams? How do you want to remembered??

Honesty is ugly sometimes

Sitting at the table in the living room typing this post and watching Black Girls Rock on BET…this is hard y’all. Intensely sensitive but this is what’s on my heart today so I’m being honest about the ugly in my life.

We live in the same house. We eat the same food and love the same child. We never talk though. I mean, outside of what has to be said about my son and their daily needs. No, this is not a post about my partner and I. This one is about my mother and I. Things have not always been this way. I remember being in high school, getting in the car and talking a mile a minute about what happened at school that day. When I no longer lived at home we’d talk every single day. We used to be so close and then. I don’t know what happened. I would call but she’d only call me if she needed a ride to work or some money, or to run some errands. It didn’t take long for resentment to set in but I’d still do whatever she needed. Then, I got pregnant and she’d call all the time. I didn’t want to talk anymore. I tried to be sure and involve her in some of the fun stuff. I took her with me to do one of my registries and to do a little shopping for the baby. I hoped it’d break the ice and get us talking again. It didn’t. It was almost like being a cousin I’ve never met or that I’ve seen only once or twice.

This is hard. And to be honest I haven’t talked with my mom about it. I don’t want to. I feel like I’ve been robbed of a relationship with my mother. And to add to that my dad too. See, I’ve been spending months and countless hours researching my family history. I know my 3rd generation grandfather and his wife Anna Norrington lived in Morgan county Georgia. His name was Felix Norrington. Felix was a boot and shoe maker and could not read or write. I love my family. I want to know them all by name. Sounds like a contradiction. I want to know my family history but am not willing to work on relationships with the family that here with me, literally.

Thanks for reading.

How You Can Help Eradicate Poverty

What if the power to eliminate poverty rested in your hands and in the hands of your close friends and family? What if y’all could help a single family rise above poverty and attain economic independence and stability? On Tuesday millions of us will go to the polls and vote for whom we’d like to be the next president. Our current president would like to increase taxes on the people I refer to as excessively wealthy. His opponent is opposed to that idea. I don’t think either of these will help significantly decrease the number of Americans living in poverty. But, what if we as individuals in our respective communities came together to eradicate poverty one family at a time? Are we willing to use our gifts, finances and time to help those in need? Or will we remain apathetic and demand our local, state and national government provide for the needy? Could you sacrifice $30 a month for 6 months? Can you think of 10 other people that could do the same? Are you a business owner or a hiring manager that could employ one other person? Maybe, you can help tutor a GED candidate. If after a thorough screening process would you be willing to use your good name to advance someone else’s career?

We all have something we can offer to enrich someone else’s life. If we can see past our own selves, stop trying to live above our means and maybe even learn to live below our means we can collectively make one heck of a difference.  What do you think? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know what you all have to say about this. Thanks for reading!

Why I’m Not Celebrating 5 Years of Service With My Employer

“Wake up one morning you realize/your life is one big compromise/stuck in the job you swore was only temporary/feel like the world is passing you by/Never done all the things you wanted to try…You ask yourself there’s got to be something else/something more/more/more”

-Laura Izibor

I was given an award at work today to celebrate 5 years of service to my employer. It came in a shiny gold folder but it made my heart as heavy as lead. 5 years is an accomplishment, right? I mean some people can’t keep a job for 5 months let alone 5 years. So I should celebrate! The people in the room with me chimed in and testified that I had trained a number of them—including my current boss. They all agree I am good at what I do.  Before working here I was a full time student at the University of Alabama—Roll Tide!! I created and left a legacy there. As I sit here pondering the 5 years I’ve given to my employer what legacy will I leave here? I am a firm believer that when I leave a place I should have a legacy that speaks for me even if no one knows my name.

I walked away and almost cried. Where has the time gone? How did this happen? When I came here I gave it a year and a half. I had dreams and ambitions that were and still are bigger than this place. Nonetheless, I’ve been coming here doing the same job for the last 5 years.  The part that makes this milestone so difficult is that I’ve arrived here with no notable accomplishments or contributions. I come to work and complete the same mind numbing tasks every day. This has had a debilitating effect on my creativity.  I mean my world has become less and less colorful. I am an artist and creativity in my role is not celebrated or valued. I refuse to celebrate this. I will celebrate the fact that even though my dreams have been deferred they have not dried up like a raisin in the sun.

So, I will resume actively working to make Kuumba—my vision for a community art center—a reality.  I will again pick up my Rebel and capture all the moments I will never be able to recover once they’ve passed. I will continue to provide accountability, support and resources for artists who have a specific goal in mind but a need a little extra push. I will sleep with my shoes on and chase my dreams—Thanks for that @TraceySHINECEO. Here’s to knowing there’s something else, something more! Here’s to leaving a legacy even at my place of employment.  And here’s to original, productive and constructive ideas!

“Let the sun shine on your face/ don’t let your life go to waste/ Now is the time/got to make up your mind/let it shine on you/let it shine on you”

-Laura Izibor