Ni**gas In Paris

Yes, another song from “Watch the Throne”. I can’t help what I like. I can’t help get’s me “goin”.

This song is hot. You can try and deny it if you want. But you’d just be lying to yourself. I’ll be honest I was on my old “I just like the beat” bull- for awhile on this one. Add to that I was a little partial just because the song references Paris, and I feel some type of “extra” way about Paris because I’ve been there.

The more I listened to the song, the more I listened to the lyrics and loved it even more. Yeah, there’s a lot of trash talkin’ goin’ on…plus a little show boatin’ and gloating’. But okay, that’s bound to happen when you have two artists on an album that make more than your whole family combined. Lol! IJS! I’m not mad at them.

I am always impressed with sincere lyrical mastery. Jay-Z and Kanye really did some amazing lyrical work on this album. On this song here are 3 lines that stuck with me (in order):

  1. “Y’all don’t know that don’t sh*t phase me.”
  2. “We ain’t even ‘pose to be here.”
  3. “If you escaped what I escaped you’d be in Paris getting f* up too.”

Here’s why.

ONE I truly don’t let anything phase me. I’m like a Timex watch. I take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. I can’t think of too many things that keep be down besides a recently surgically repaired ankle tendon, and that was just physically. People’s nastiness, hardships, career detours, etc. have not stopped me, and I won’t let them start now. I have too much to offer and experience to let anything stand in my way; my feelings included. When I here Jay say this lyric, I hear: Y’all should know better. Y’all can keep trying. Y’all ain’t gonnna stop me from doing me and enjoying my life how I want. {tongue out}

TWO When I think about it, there are many people that don’t think I should be where I am. I won’t bring in to account the racist and prejudiced folk who wish ill upon Black people. (Even though I laugh at them too.) For now, let’s just think on the haters who cannot fathom how I’ve accomplished so much while being a single mother who was once on welfare. There are tons of people who feel like I should not be able to sit amongst those that I do just off of that. But I’m here! {tongue out} When I look around and see how I’ve been favored I get a little excited. Yes, I even smirk and stick my tongue out (at the haters).

THREE Look here! If you escaped my trauma and drama you’d be smiling and partying right along with me. No one knows my story better than Jesus and I. When I look back over it all I am grateful. That gratitude allows me to be excited for myself, and I express my excitement in a multitude of ways. For example: There was a time that I could only shop from thrift stores and the clearance rack. Now that I am where I am financially I can occasionally romp through Lululemon and buy a few things without batting an eye. This brings me joy. I’m not trying to show off or “stunt’. It’s a way for me to treat myself because I am so blessed. But whatever the method of expressing my excitement may be, don’t be mad! It came with a fight and I’m allowed to turn up however much I want.

 

When you put it all together “Ni**as in Paris” is a feel good, be proud and happy for your glow-up song…with a few nuggets of gold. Say what you want. But we all should feel good about our glow-ups, and feel free to show it!

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Lift Off

I heard “Lift Off” for the first time while I was creating this playlist (December 2017). Yes, I know it was released on the “Watch the Throne Album” in 2011. But I’m not a trend follower. Although I have listened to the album several times, I did not listen to the songs the public was listening to. So, it was easy for me to miss this one.

I can’t even recall how I came across it. I think I was just digging through Beyonce’s discography, and decided to take a listen. I’m glad I did because it has given me fuel for the days when I was not sure how I’d make it through all that was ahead of me.

This is clearly her song. Jay and Kanye don’t offer up too much lyrically on this track. Beyonce on the other hand is owning this song! It’s not her fault. The team (Pahrrell Williams, Mike Dean, Bruno Mars, Shaw Carter, Jeff Bhasker, Kanye West, and Seal Samuel) laced the hook and she handles it like a boss with her vocals. Now before anyone gets all whiny like I’m some Beyonce, Bey Hive junkie…I have not always been a Beyonce’ fan. As she has matured as a woman and in the industry, I have come to appreciate her work more. So, my commentary here on her should be seasoned with that in mind.

Enough about the vocals and such…let’s get to the lyrics that are motivation:

We gon’ take it to the moon, take it to the stars
How many people you know can take it this far?
I’m supercharged
I’m ’bout to take this whole thing to Mars

Now we gon’ take it to the moon, take it to the stars
You don’t know what we been through to make it this far
So many scars
‘Bout to take this whole thing to Mars

Each day I endeavor to be the best version of me that God has created. I am determined to be epic. I don’t mean this in an arrogant or haughty way. I simply want to live in such a way that God is pleased with more than He is displeased. My words, steps, and thoughts serve as a form of praise and worship. They are my daily sacrifice. Since it’s all for Him my only choice is to take all that I do past the moon, out into the stars, all the way to Mars.

By the time I make my way to my assigned duty; whether it be to teach, coach, greet customers, be a mom, etc. I’m fired up. I’m inspired by my own story. Not many people with my upbringing or just my single mom story have made it as far as I have. I am more than blessed. I have found so much favor with God that it drives me push past the ordinary ways of living, working, and serving to do the extraordinary for Him through serving those impacted by the work I am involved in.

This is one of the songs I tend to listen to as I’m pulling in the gate to my school. Yep! I full-on change the song and get my mind right. If I have time I’ll finish listening to the song in the car. If not, I’ll put in my earbuds, and finish up as I’m walking into the building.

Music fuels every part of me. This song does that, as well as reminds me of my duty, and that my scars/my past do not determine how far I can go. I do. So why not take it to the moon…to the stars…Mars?

Rise. Pray. Read. Meditate. Be epic. Repeat.

As you know, my day starts with planning the night before. However, when I realize God has granted me another day of life each day I have an agenda that starts far before my feet touch the floor.

Rise. Pray. Meditate. Be epic. Repeat.

Those of you that have been following me for at least 3 years know that this is my daily mantra. It was inspired in part by the hashtag #beepic by Dr. Steve Perry, and a post by my friend Mary about not being basic. In 2015 as I was forging through pranayama training I created a spiritual regimen to help realign my life to my dreams and hopes. When I attempted to simplify in words what I do I came up with Rise. Pray. Read. Meditate. Be epic. Repeat.

It took some time for all of this all to be a natural part of my morning regimen. I struggled at first. So, I set reminders. Yes! I set reminders in my phone. Now, some folks think that reminders are cheating; that one should be moved in such a way that reminders are not necessary. I cannot disagree more!

Reminders do not make us any less driven. They do not take away from the experience or fluidity. They in fact do the opposite. Until any routine behavior becomes natural, reminders of all kinds are very beneficial. I can’t tell you how many times I forget to take my thyroid medicine that I’ve been on for more than 10 years…and I truly need it to survive.

Don’t let a little memory issue keep you from creating and forging through any life routine you set for yourself. Create reminders in your phone. Place post-it notes throughout your house, in the car, and at work. Solicit an accountability partner even. Do whatever it takes for you to stick to your plan. Be clear and detailed as to what each step will look like. This helps you remain focused. This does not mean that you’ll never have to make adjustments. Sometimes I switch things up just to keep it all fresh.

My morning spiritual agenda is quite specific to my needs. But it can be adjusted and used however anyone sees fit. “It goes a little something like this.”

  1. Rise: This part has nothing to do with me. For 40 years and 3 months God has placed breath in my body. When I realize this blessing each day I alert myself to my surroundings and immediately move into my regimen.
  2. Pray: I pray to God in this order/manner each day.
    1. Give God thanks for life and the many blessings He has bestowed upon me.
    2. Covering and blessings over my son, family, and friends.
    3. Covering and blessings over myself for the day at hand
    4. Requests for my future.
  3. Read: I love to read. There is so much out there in reference to spirituality. But I stick to “my basics”. Choose what is best for your life’s journey.
    1. Bible verses based on specific goals and desires.
    2. Devotions based on specific goals and desires.
    3. (if time permits) Various readings from books to pattern my journey after, or that inspire me though uncertainty or affirm me. 2 of my favorites are “Little Shifts: You Can Create Change” and “The Radiance Sutras”.
  4. Meditate: This point is a blog or 2 in itself. I’ll post one eventually. So, please pardon my brevity and lack of deep detail.
    1. Silently reflect on what I read.
    2. Listen for God to show me from that what will be useful to me for the day.
    3. Sit with those words/phrases.
    4. Create a mantra or choose a single word of (daily) reflection.
    5. Use a pranayama practice to bring mental clarity and focus.
    6. Couple the mantra/word with pranayama.
    7. Sit quietly to hear direction from God.
  5. Be epic: This is my day! Once I have finished my meditation I carry on with my day. Depending on the day there are 2 options.
    1. Begin my daily routine (next post).
    2. Return to sleep.

Regardless of what my active day consists of I make a conscious choice to be epic. To me this means using every talent and resource God has given me to bring forth the blessings I desire; while being a blessing to those I am connected to through family, work, and community.

  1. Repeat: Simply put, I commit to doing all of this at the very start of every day. Often times I repeat steps 2-4 several times throughout the day.

Now, this all sounds lofty and beautiful. I must be honest though. Some days I miss some points. Some days it’s like a “working lunch”. As you can see, normally all of this takes place in my bed, meditation may move to the floor. But there are days that I oversleep. So, I pray in the shower, and read my scripture as I brush my teeth or let my phone read it to me. This may result in a silent commute to work, listening for God, and I’ll meditate when I get into my class.

No matter the situation I make it a point that each day I RISE to PRAY. READ. MEDITATE. BE EPIC. And REPEAT.

The Playlist

“MUSIC, makes the people come together.” Madonna

I was raised by sincere music lovers. My mom and dad both love music. Growing up my mom listened to everything except country and hard rock. My dad mostly listened to jazz and R&B. They framed my love for all genres of music; giving me an inclusive pallet that is still reflected in my preferences today.

I fell in love with music around the age of 7 or 8. My mom’s boyfriend at the time taught me how to keep a beat. OMG! I could not stop tapping on things. Every time I heard a song I’d tap out the beat. It drove my sisters crazy. He eventually taught me how to listen for the poly rhythms and other instrumentations. Somewhere along the way I learned how to identify an intro, verse, chorus, and bridge.

I’m sure this stemmed from always having music playing around me; whether it be in the house, in the car, on the patio, at my sisters’ concerts, or in church. Music has always been around me. Because I have such a love for music I always have a song in my head/heart. That’s why I was able to relate to Ally McBeal so much.

As a musician, vocalist, and dancer I have acquired a very unique ear for music. I have this odd ability to name a tune off of 4-6 beats. My friends love it when we’re out. I know just when to head to the dance and just when to leave.

Now, because I am competitive I know lyrics well too. My cousin and I used to have lyric battles to see who knew them better. But for a long time, I claimed myself as just a “beats girl”. If the beat was sweet I nearly could care less what the lyrics said. I grew out of this in my mid 20’s, and lyrics became very important to me. Acknowledging their relevance has been very impactful on my life. So, when I chose to make a playlist for my 40th birthday I was cognizant about choosing songs that spoke to me both rhythmically and lyrically.

I created the list along with a friend that loves music maybe more than I do. We exchanged a lot of texts I from TIDAL and Spotify to get this thing together. I contemplated putting them in some type of order. But I just could not figure out one that made any amount of sense. So, they are listed just as they are…in no order. Each one has a special meaning to me. Each one has lyrics that spark my mind, and rhythms that make me want to dance.

I plan on writing about each one in these regards over the next 20 few days. I hope you enjoy the journey through my music. Now listen, here is the link to my playlist. If you don’t have TIDAL that’s okay. Swing on over to Spotify or YouTube. You can find the songs there if you need a sound refresher. But if you’re a true music fan you need TIDAL.

BESOS!…Love & Light…Peace*

Clothes Out

I am cracking up because I created such suspense over the reinvigoration of my blog with a quick post on IG and FB with a photo including a pile of clothes with my bra placed on top. (You’ll see soon why this is a funny forecast.) The crazy marketer inside of me did that on purpose. It’s funny because as I took the picture I almost chose to restack my clothes to exclude the bra. But nah! I would not have been true to self. That would not have been authentic…and y’all and your squeamish eyes weren’t gonna have my girl LaToya looking cross eyed at me for not being authentic.

Here’s the true start to the madness that’s about to ensue…

How do I do it all? Just How? How? It all starts with preparation and intention. Each night for me is a close of the day. (I’ll dig deeper into this later.) But mostly it is a preparation for the next. It sounds silly, old fashioned, even cliché to some. But I swear by being ready the night before.

Each night set out my clothes, all the way down to my underwear. I’m so strategic, OCD maybe, that I stack my clothes in the order I put them on: (top to bottom) bra, underwear, socks, bottoms, camisole, shirt, scarf. This eliminates the confusion and closet staring that can last way too long each morning.

Side Note: I’ve oddly enough trained myself to setup my home and prepare for my day as if a disaster or tragedy took place. Like, if we lost power or I lost my sight I could manage through my home with extreme ease.

This simple act of setting out my clothes gives me more time to do the important things in the morning like pray, read, and share with my son. I make my choices based on the weather and day’s activities. If I have a wardrobe change at some point I try to make it simple. I figure out which items I can leave on to maximize my time and gear…because I don’t like laundry.

Soooo…I should mention that this is all linked to creating and adhering to a rigid laundry regimen. I’ve sucked at this in the last 2 months because I was swamped with the blessings of life. But when I’m on task these tasks set me up for utter success.

I’ve had folks laugh at me when I tell them what I do. Oh well, IDC. But let me tell you it works. Mona taught me. I hated it as a child. Then as I matriculated through college, and on to parenthood I swear by the methods below, even though I miss the mark sometimes.

  1. Choose a day to do laundry for each person in the house. This eliminates the W/D backup and fussing.
  2. Load the laundry early in the day.
  3. Do other tasks, either around the house or work/errands. This way you don’t feel like you are sitting around waiting on it to be done.
  4. Switch the laundry when those tasks are completed.
  5. DON’T LEAVE THE HOUSE. When the laundry goes to the dryer the key is to be nearby and ready to put it away. I swear no one ever remembers laundry from the dryer. NO ONE!
  6. Fold it away RIGHT AWAY! Don’t wait! You will not do it later! I personally start my sorting and folding while watching TV in the living room. I set a limit to be done by the end of a 30-minute comedy. My son usually joins me, and I enlist his help with socks. (See how I killed 2 birds with 1 stone? Family time and laundry…BAM!)
  7. Put it away RIGHT AWAY! Don’t wait! You will not do it later! Now listen, I HATE PUTTING AWAY LAUNDRY! When I do it right away, with my schedule it frees up so much of my life. It makes it easier to find the clothes…that I need to prepare for the next day.

I know somebody is rolling their eyes saying “I know I did not just waste my time for this.” That’s cool. Then this post was for the person who had an “aha” moment. Taking the time to prepare for the next with this as an anchor point is crucial. It’s no different than a teacher preparing lesson plans or a surgeon preparing a surgical procedure. You would not want either professional ill prepared for their daily tasks. So why is what you do any less important? It’s not!

Make the time right now…go! Check the weather and your calendar, and set out your clothes for tomorrow. You’ll be thankful in the morning. It only takes a few minutes. In coming posts I’ll discuss the other factors to preparing for a day of utter success.

Stop playin’! Go do it now!

Besos..Love & Light

Let the Magic Begin

Hi! Hey! Image result for iphone emoji han wave

It’s been awhile since I posted a blog. That’s partially because I was busy adjusting to my new jobs and really did not know what to say. The other part was because when I knew what I wanted to say I was concerned about what people would say.

WELP…

All that is gone! Image result for iphone emoji shrug

Late last year I had a few random people tell me how much they admired me. They wondered just how am I able to do all I do without clean losing my shit. (Yes, I cuss openly. Deal with it.) I had been contemplating for over a year on writing a series about my preparations for my day, goals, and life survival. I stopped myself. (Reread the introduction for the “why”.) But as I was approached by these people it made me realize that I have something to share that someone needs.

I wasn’t too sure as to when I would start. I wasn’t sure if it would be all blogs, or a combination of blogs and social media posts. I even struggled to decide which platforms to use. That got me all jumbled up so  I just let it sit for a few weeks.

By the time I had a plan of sorts it was nearly my 40th birthday. My plans to celebrate had failed (yet again) and I was pissed. Let me pause here and say this about birthdays:

Birthdays are legit the only days that we get to celebrate ourselves. Those close to us should make an effort to take part in that celebration if afforded the opportunity WITHOUT grumbling. It’s not your day. It’s not about you. So, show up and suck it up, or don’t. If you don’t then you have no room to complain for not being included next time or seem jealous that you weren’t there.

Instead of sulking I came up with a way to celebrate through one of my favorite forms of expression…MUSIC! I decided to create a TIDAL playlist: 40 Years to Magic. My dear friend Michael Whatley (ironic that his last name contains mine) and created a list of 40+ songs that span over the 40 years of my life. These songs are not only my favorites, but also an expression of who I am.

I “released” the playlist on my birthday and intended to share a special post about each one over the first 40 days of my 40th year of life. Well…that didn’t happen. But it too is about to happen.

Gone, gone are the days that I care what people will think. I have to live for me. “I am not here for you” so to speak. I am here to bless those that want to be blessed. If you want to judge “I am not here for you”. So here I go…

Starting today I plan on sharing a lot. My main focus will be on how I prepare internally and sometimes externally for my days, especially those that are jam packed with opportunities that I have been praying for. The other is just sharing my general internal musings that only those closest to me get to experience. They keep telling me I’m hilarious and wise…so why not. If folks don’t like it that’s not my issue.

Alright…let’s ride. Image result for iphone emoji sunglasses

13RW: I’ve Been Disappointed

Watching 13RW stirred up a lot of emotions inside of me. It brought back some memories of high school that I never wanted to relive. As I contemplated all that these characters went through it made me realize it’s so similar to stuff I have experienced as a full grown adult.

Crazy I know! But there are some very hurt, selfish, and immature people in the world who are  allowed to vote, buy liquor/cigarettes/firearms, and enlist in the armed forces (i.e. adults).

But like I said, it stirred up so many emotions. It was almost like watching my HS years float by me. It was like watching the last year of my life replay. So needless to say I was a little unsettled as I watched the series (in 3 days). It had me reflecting on many things.

I’d been feeling a multitude of emotions before watching the show. I’d NEVER do anything to harm myself. So there’s no need to put me on a suicide watch. But I sure was able to count 13+ reasons why I have had some deep feelings of frustration and disappointments some days. I, like Hannah, made a list of people that have hurt me in some awful ways. {LOL} I almost wrote a post about those people, summarizing those things.

Since I actually forgave them all, and I didn’t want to hurt another person I chose another avenue of thought to express myself and hopefully enlighten some people as to why I live and move a certain way through this world. Very few people know my whole story. (I always joke that all of my friends can never be alone together or they’ll be able to piece together my skeletons! LOL!) So, it can be hard for them to understand me. Some of that’s by design. Other portions of that come from other things: assumptions, and not taking time to get to know me.

So I thought about all of the major madness I’ve been through, and what was at the core of those hurts. And I came up with 13RW I’ve Been Disappointed:

  1. Lies- As an adult I have had people lie to me and about me on a regular. I’m not talking your run of the mill lies. I’m talking lies that I have vandalized an ex-bf’s house, an ex-bf’s car, stalked an ex-bf…Lies that have altered and could have altered my life. My favorite line is “You aint got to lie to kick it.” ~Silkk the Shocker I hate liars. Yes, HATE!
  2. Bullying- Seems like this wouldn’t happen to grown-ups. But I’ve had my phone and email account hacked, had my phone spoofed so the person could make it look like I was harassing them and an ex-bf, purposely excluded from professional activities, intimidated, etc. All in an effort to abase me and keep me from excelling in some fashion or another.
  3. Lack of Support- I don’t ask for help often. It’s not about pride. I just believe there are certain things that I should have to do (on my own). More times than not when I do I am ignored, forgotten, or not given the support I truly needed. So to avoid this altogether I simply don’t ask unless I am pushed up against the wall.
  4. Lack of Recognition- I work hard because that’s just what my family does. But let me tell you what…It would be nice every once and a while for the entities that I work for/with to recognize my efforts that benefit them beyond my required efforts. It doesn’t take much to do. A card, email, public thanks…choose 1.
  5. Assumption That I’m a Super Hero- I cannot..I repeat canNOT do all I need to alone. I am far from Wonder Woman, Super Woman, or Shera. I know that God will only give me what I can bear. But some loads are meant to be shared. So, when I don’t get support I have to figure it out on my own. When I do that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t at some type of cost to my mind, body, or spirit. It may look seamless and effortless. But trust me, it never is.
  6. Loss of “Friends”– Yeah…it’s hard losing people you thought that you were close to. I expect my friends to be loyal. I take the role seriously. But not everyone does. It’s too bad. There’s a lot more that we could accomplish if we did. Losing “friends” can be tougher than losing a mate. It’s why I keep enough to myself. I just don’t have the energy to go through those ups and downs +(see above).
  7. Other People’s Fears- My favorite personal quote is “I will not be limited by limitations you’ve placed on your life.” I don’t get scared by too much. But it sure irritates me when people try to limit me based on their fears. I have had people try to talk me out of my dreams because they would not ever do those things. Okay, that has nothing to do with me. So stop trying to stop me because you’re scared.
  8. Self-Centered People– I think this speaks for itself. Some people are so focused on them that they miss out on the blessings and opportunities around them. They often think by expending energy on other people/things will take away from their growth. But we all know that’s not true. It’s about balance. As much as I try to encourage balance some people would rather only care for self all alone.
  9. Abandonment– I’ve been set aside by various people for various reasons. There have been occasions when I thought I was not good enough to “keep”. But I love me some me, and I know that’s not true.
  10. Being Alone– Some days I hate it! It’s not like I can’t keep myself company. My mom taught me how to entertain myself as a child. After so many years of doing that; I’ve come to a place in my life that I’d rather not. I’d rather intentionally spend time with people.
  11. *Repeat Above*
  12. *Repeat Above*
  13. *Repeat Above*

So thanks 13RW! Your series made me think and come to a beautiful place of understanding about myself. It was a little painful to go through. But I am thankful because I feel fully cleansed from these issues. They have no space in my world. They’re just memories of why I’ve been disappointed in my life.

13RW: (Why) You Should Watch 13RW

Some weeks ago I saw a friend or 2 post about  Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why“. I asked about it and was told “Just watch it.” Then I began to hear more buzz about it. I’m not one to really follow trends. So, I did not start watching the series until I made significant room for it in my life (because I’m a binge watcher).

Before I decided to watch I did a little research, and was like “Whoooaa! What? Really? Okay.” I think I’ll watch. Maybe I’ll have my son watch with me. Then I saw a news segment that warned against it. So, I chose to watch it myself first, then decide what to do about my son.

So…if you aren’t hip. 13RW is a 13 episode series on Netflix that chronicles the 13 reasons why a teenage girl decides to commit suicide. After 2 episodes I wasn’t sure if I could watch all the way through. It was heart wrenching. The series is so well written and played that I fully empathized every character as they intended. But I continued to watch. As I thought I wanted to hurry it along a new issue came into play that had me thinking “How…Why…?” I really wanted to know how it could all go unnoticed? Why didn’t people speak up? Why were the adults so passive?

I don’t want to give up the entire plot. But it’s not just about teen suicide. here are so many issues addressed. If you are parent, want to be a parent, work with youth, or want to work with you in any capacity I’ve got 13 reasons why you should watch this series. I can honestly tell you as a victim of sexual assault, physical assault, and bullying that this is the best portrayal of what it’s like. It’s not fantasized or glorified. It’s real and earnest. You’ll quickly see they all did their homework to drive home a thorough message to the world.

So…Here are my 13RW you should watch 13 Reasons Why:

  1. Support a cause to address serious issues in our society that affect us all, not just our youth. -They had a goal. It’s not just art for art’s sake. They wanted to bring these issues to light so conversations and change can happen.
  2. See how harmful bullying is. -Bullying is not just kids being kids. They do not have a threshold for any of their behaviors because their brains are still developing. This too effects the impact on the victim emotionally.
  3. Get an idea of how young people formulate their thoughts and then make decisions. If you have raised a teen you know how illogical they can be. It only deepens when they are being influenced by their peers…who are not very logical all the time.
  4. Understand the emotions of a bullying victim.
  5. Recognize the value of regular adult/parental/guardian engagement. -It’s more than a quick chat or text during the day. They need us to hold them accountable on a steady basis. They need us guiding and redirecting them on a regular too, even if we feel like pests.
  6. Gain more awareness of sexual assault. -We do not talk about this enough out in the open with our young people. It happens more than we care to admit. And when it does we tend to brush it under a rug, and encourage the victim to just remain quiet.
  7. Gives you an awareness of the multi-faceted social issues teens face. -We say it with every generation and it’s true, “They’re going through things that we did not have to at their age.” So we need to be aware. And this show is brutally honest about these things.
  8. Prepares you to have open dialogue with the young people close to you about these issues.
  9. Learn more creative and thorough ways to be advocates for our young people. -It’s more than joining an organization or committee, attending a conference/workshop. There needs to be constant action and engagement.
  10. Recognize signs of mental health concerns.
  11. Witness the emotional strain on victims of sexual assault.
  12. Face the realities of the many issues our youth face every single day; either first hand or as bystanders.
  13. In the series you will find a character that you identify with, have met, or know.

Now go watch…

Being an Empath

Early this week I had a rocky day that lead to a rocky night. So I called a friend. I had some idea as to why I was out of sorts. But how in the world was I going to explain it. Would anyone understand? Believe me? Sympathize? Help?

As I started shedding she sweetly interrupted part of the way through my tears and snot, and said “It’s not easy being an empath.” I wasn’t 100% sure what she meant but I rolled with it. I mean I’m a smart lady. So I know what empathy means. So I can clearly figure what an empath is as well…

You see, I was struggling with the many emotions that came with my awareness of several situations of people close to me; none of which were positive. This information did not come by way of them telling me, but my intuition and sensing of energy in the atmosphere. I was hurting for them and self. My mind was swirling and my emotions were everywhere. I simply could not take it anymore.

I felt better after talking with my girl. But I still was unsettled. Shoot! I’ve been unsettled since then, taking each day and moment as they came. I have truly only been able to take in so much at a time. So I looked further into what an empath really is.

I quickly came across an article at “The Mind Unleashed”, and OH MY GOSH BECKY it’s even overwhelming to read let alone be one. The article said all that I needed to read to affirm that I am an empath. As I delved into the list of empath characteristics I felt like someone was reading an overview of my mind and spirit.

I knew most of this about me: knowing things without being told, sensing others’ emotions, taking on others’ physical ailments (I was stuck in the bathroom at work at the age of 15 with terrible abdominal pain when my best friend went into labor. I had no idea she was in labor either.), inability to watch violence, compassion for the “least of these”, becoming a dumping ground for others, don’t surprise easily, creative, loves nature at animals. hates clutter, and strives for truth (relentlessly in my case… I cannot help it.). But for some reason reading it affirmed me. It assured me that it’s not abnormal and I’m not unusual. It gave me a sense of relief and stability amidst the rapid flow of energy that fills my being.

I consider myself pretty aware of self. But this final statement helped me understand me even that much more:

(An empath) “Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.”

Now this makes even more sense. There are many times my life is wonderful, but I still feel out of sorts. My empath nature is why.

Now what? I’m not really sure. But the full awareness of this aspect of myself has given me some grounding near the end of a very different week. I see where I need to adjust how I expend my energy and receive that of others. It’s the only way I can take care of self, so I can take care of/hold space for others. Because with the sensing and knowing I quickly move to holding and helping (prayers, energy, devotions, readings, etc.).

In order for me to be the best me as an empath I have to make sure I am well in mind, body, and spirit first. So I shall.

 

 

Declutter to Prayers: Our Nation

Lord, our nation is at a major crossroad. We need Your order, favor, and anointing to fall fresh on our leaders. We need them to agree for the greater good of our nation.

Their unwillingness to do so in an effort to be malicious is not favorable for those relying on our government on any level. Lord, mend their hearts, and settle their minds to be mindful of those they serve.

Make way for jobs, order, and peace.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen.

Written in 2011