What My World's Like

a web of sorrow. a plea to act.

Jun
27

My heart, filled with sorrow, is heavy right now. Something about the Trayvon Martin case touched me from the beginning. I was in Nicaragua, sitting in a tree, looking at a volcano, when my sister told me about his murder. After we got off the phone, all I could do was cry. I didn’t know him, but he could’ve been anyone I knew or was related to. That recognition drew me to him and made me so sad and angry that he was killed and that the case was being ignored in the media.

Fast forward a year and some months later, Zimmerman is on trial and as much as I want to watch it, something in me draws back, scared for my sensitivity.

At the same time, Nelson Mandela is in a hospital on life support. He may not make it to see his 95th birthday, but he’s lived a very full and meaningful life. He dropped out of college to join the African Nationalist and anti-apartheid movement and eventually spent 27 years in prison for fighting for what he believed in. For being true to himself and standing with himself. Twenty-seven years.

Race is such a muddled conversation in this world, but especially in this culture where it’s implicitly acceptable in every faction of the culture, thus omnipresent, but explicitly discouraged, thus rampantly covert. A video of celebrity chef Paula Deen revealing her racism was made public and she lost her job and several corporate associations. There is no honest conversation about race happening, how it originates, permeates, recreates and flourishes; just a very public and expensive slap on the wrist.

George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin because he was suspicious of Martin, not because of any suspicious activities the boy was engaging in necessarily, but because the mere presence of black men, specifically, was a cause for suspicion, prompting the automatic belief that they were up to no good and that the situation was unsafe. This situation essentially repeated itself only months later in the same state of Florida with the 17 year-old Jordan Davis and 45 year-old Michael Dunn, who also refers to the Stand Your Ground law in support of his professed innocence. Where did these men get that idea from and how can/will we work to change that thought association?

Black people are not safe in a world with white supremacist ideology and systems. Children, born with no say over their life circumstances, are not safe. There is an assault on their bodies, minds, and spirits, so even if they aren’t physically eliminated, they are psychologically and psychically damaged.

As Mandela lays in a bed, in critical condition, I review his life and the meaning he attached to it. This man made a sacrifice and he sacrificed himself for his ethics. There are so many people who wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice 27 hours, days, or weeks to stand up for what they believe in, even when that essentially means standing up for themselves and this man sacrificed 27 years.

What are we giving? To whom? And for what?

We are worth the investment of our own time and our own lives for our own benefit. You are worth the investment of your own time and your own life for your own benefit.

Let it not be in vain. Let it not be for mere comfort and its illusion. Fill your time and your life with meaning to make a positive difference. Some are never fully given that option. Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis were completely robbed of that opportunity and if we care, then we have to do something more than sit in the comfort of our homes being outraged. We need to act and take advantage of our gift of life.

your inner world rules your outer world.

Aug
08

This was originally posted on September 4, 2010.

Life is calling you. All the time. Do this. Do that. Don’t do anything at all. There’s always a fork in the road. Sometimes you don’t even know it’s there, but it is. Sometimes you hear it, see it, feel it…this urge…this moment that comes to visit briefly. It may whisper, it may shout, but it’s always saying something. Are you listening?

The perpetual, invisible fork is the following question: how are you going to respond? To what? To everything.

We allow the outer world to control our inner world because we don’t understand that the more we control our inner world, the more we control the outer world.  It often acts the other way around, but we’re so much more effective in our lives when we understand this.  The past few weeks have proven this to be true.

Out of nowhere, my job suddenly became a place I slightly dreaded. I wasn’t even fully aware of it, but I noticed it when I realized time was my obsession. “What time is it?” and “how much longer will I be here?” Sure signs of danger. Everyone and everything was a problem and I played the victim to all the haphazard incidents and wrongdoings.

When somebody/everybody else is always the problem, maybe the problem is really you.

(more…)

raffles, energy, clarity, and consistency.

May
23

Lorra Jackson original painting
The grand prize: a painting (painted that day) by Lorra Jackson

A good example of an awesome day:

Meeting a friend for brunch and eating delicious raw lasagna. Going to a curly hair event and being surrounded by beautiful, stylish, friendly women who obviously know something about sisterhood. Feeling like you look a mess, but getting lots of compliments. Buying a raffle ticket to support Petals-N-Belles, an organization whose mission to support young women is of notable importance to me. Buying an awesome vintage purse for $10 and an African-printed bangle that makes my heart melt. Collecting a gaggle of free hair products. Building with amazing people. Winning the grand prize of said raffle.

The last time I won a raffle was when I was a kid. It was an Oliver & Company sleeping bag that my grandmother probably still has somewhere. To this day, just the mention of that movie makes me smile.

The funny thing is I wanted to win something. A tee shirt. A bag full of goodies. Something. Kind of, but not really, I was “supposed” to win something. Interestingly, right after I bought my 3 raffle tickets, my friend, Luna also bought 3 tickets. She left the event early and planned to give me her raffle tickets since she wouldn’t be there for the announcement. The grand prize was a painting that artist Lorra Jackson painted at the event. The second prize was a Huetiful Hair Steamer that I definitely wouldn’t have minded winning. The other prizes were gift baskets with assorted hair and beauty products.

My numbers were: 307975, 307976, and 307977. The winning number for the hair steamer was 307978. Whose ticket was that? It belonged to the absent Luna, or if I’d remember to get them from her, me. But I didn’t remember. So they picked another number and some other lucky woman took it home. I was genuinely happy for her, but a bit salty for me. Then, they called the number for the painting. 307976. Shock came to my face as I said, “that’s me.” I didn’t even have the tickets in my hand at this point, figuring some other number would be called–one that wasn’t mine. To my own benefit, I was wrong.

If a simple, nonspecific intention to win “something” can result in me leaving with the coveted grand prize, I need to be more aware of my intentions and energies and what I’m manifesting in my life. There’s been a general feeling of dissatisfaction looming over me recently. While appreciative for what I have, I need more of what works for me in my life and I know that the only thing in the way is me. I posit that, similarly, the most major obstacle in your way is you. Let’s get out of our own way. Let’s reflect to get clear on what we want and take consistent action to making that vision real. That’s definitely what I’m about to do. Please join me.

Your inner world rules your outer world

Sep
04

Life is calling you. All the time. Do this. Do that. Don’t do anything at all. There’s always a fork in the road. Sometimes you don’t even know it’s there, but it is. Sometimes you hear it, see it, feel it…this urge…this moment that comes to visit briefly. It may whisper, it may shout, but it’s always saying something. Are you listening?

The perpetual, invisible fork is the following question: how are you going to respond? To what? To everything.

We allow the outer world to control our inner world because we don’t understand that the more we control our inner world, the more we control the outer world.  It often acts the other way around, but we’re so much more effective in our lives when we understand this.  The past few weeks have proven this to be true.

Out of nowhere, my job suddenly became a place I slightly dreaded. I wasn’t even fully aware of it, but I noticed it when I realized time was my obsession. “What time is it?” and “how much longer will I be here?” Sure signs of danger. Everyone and everything was a problem and I played the victim to all the haphazard incidents and wrongdoings.

When somebody/everybody else is always the problem, maybe the problem is really you.

(more…)

A little bit of random: recent epiphanies/reminders

Mar
30
  • The dictionary will, unfortunately, never fully capture all the language we use. 
  • E. Badu’s video reminds me not to self-censor.
  • Additionally, allow others to be themselves.
  • Exchange energy with others intentionally.  Always go for the thank you, you’re welcome.
  • Trust yourself. If you don’t, start. If you do, keep on.
  • Just being in Whole Foods makes me happy. Celebrate the little things in life.
  • We all want what’s rare, so why do you appreciate common beauty more than uncommon beauty?
  • Note: stop comparing your uncommon beauty.
  • The internet and all of its social networks are microcosms of a microcosm. Don’t take it or yourself so seriously. It’s not real. Share space, air, and eye contact.
  • Live in love&light.

LIVE!

Mar
08

A little bit of random: lessons learned

May
15
  • The world is replete with energy vampires. Depending on your aspirations, you may have to slay them from your life.  It might not be easy, but it is critical.
  • The potential for a transformative moment always exists, even in your pain. You can find the good and end your suffering if you stop torturing yourself.
  • Life really does provide us with signs all the time. Pay attention to them and you might find yours working with a bit more ease.
  • Ego and confidence are not the same thing. Decrease one, increase the other.
  • Once again, love is a verb, not feeling alone. If your love doesn’t translate into anything, what is it, really?  Just as faith without works is dead, so, too, is love without action.
  • There will be times when you have to go at it alone…and for those times, it’s the best possible thing.  Don’t fight it.
  • Know when to let go and walk away. From addictions, arguments, situations, people, etc.
  • Clean out your life regularly. Not just in spring. But it’s spring now, so if you haven’t started, go!
  • People who make you laugh, smile, and think are heaven sent. If one person can do all three, they’re a true gem. Consider keeping them around.
  • Telling your story gives you power over it. Don’t let it hold you back.

The power of a moment

Apr
02

the-perfect-moment

The other day, I read “the greatest mistake that you can make is to be afraid of making one.”

This very moment, right now, excites me. Its power is so dynamic and immense.

If you don’t like something, change it. If your thoughts don’t serve you, change them. If the shoe doesn’t fit, find another.

There’s so much power in a moment. It’s potential energy ready to transform into kinetic energy at our will, whenever we decide to take action.

We’re trained to live passive lives like they’re something to aspire to. Don’t reach for passivity and mediocrity; if nothing else, fail to it.

For me, part of finding the good is understanding the power of a moment. Knowing that it doesn’t last forever. If it’s painful, it’ll be over soon. If it’s enjoyable, know that you should cherish it because it, too, will expire. We live in the eternal moment of now. The future is now. Einstein told us that “everything you can imagine is real.” So imagine. Dream. Experience. Celebrate. Move in the direction you want to go in. Don’t resist change; that’s constant.

Start your action now.

“The secret of the creative life is often to feel at ease with your own embarrassment. We are paid to take risks, to look silly. Some people, like racing car drivers are paid to take risks in a more concrete way. We are paid to take risks in an emotional way.

The film critic is like a medical examiner. He gets the cadaver on the table, he opens it up, and tries to figure out why it died. The filmmaker is like the pregnant mother who is simply trying to nurture this thing. You have to keep the medical examiner out of the delivery room because he will get in there and he will kill that baby.”

– Paul Schrader, interviewed by Terry Gross, Fresh Air