I’ve been toying with the idea of doing more video blogs. I am on this “don’t wait, do it now” kick so here’s my latest! Here’s a lesson I’ve learned from my sofa!!! And it’s based on one of my fav TV shows, SCANDAL! Enjoy!!!
This morning I woke up and after my normal morning routine, I decided to check out Instagram. There was a hashtag that caught my eye – #SUHomecoming2013. I realized that this weekend is homecoming at my alma mater then that made me of course think to how many years it had been since I graduated college. F I F T E E N Y E A R S! O M F G! 15 years?!?!
I began to reminisce on my days at school. College was my time. It is where I truly began to come into my own. It’s where I started to express the dreams I’d always dreamed (and still carry with me to this day). But this morning I couldn’t help but review where I am in relation to where I thought I would be.
In college, I was studying psychology so I could one day work as a guidance counselor. I wanted to be like the GC’s I saw on my favorite teen shows – you know the quirky, older person advising kids on what their life steps should be and how they should pursue their dreams. When I graduated high school that’s most definitely what I thought my career would become. The good news is that when I got to college at Southern University, I most assuredly knew that would not be the life for me. I knew I’d pursue something entertainment related. I had no idea how these dreams would come true but that was my secret desire. I watched a ton of MTV and Vh1 and any shows that dealt with the behind the scenes of the industry and just knew that’s what I wanted my life to be. When I graduated in 1998, I knew for a fact that I was destined for something amazing. My first job didn’t quite live up to that as I was a middle school English, speech and drama teacher.
I started to get in the spirit of homecoming, texting friends to see who would do what and what events I needed to try and make. I couldn’t shake the thoughts of what I thought my life would be…especially as I pulled up to my job…as a middle school drama teacher. There’s a lot of in between and I won’t go into detail. The truth is while yes I have worked a ton of jobs in a ton of different places over the past 15 years, the truth is today, right now, I teach school again. And just as it felt in ’98, I lack that connection to “something amazing”.
Tonight Vh1 premiered “Crazy, Sexy, Cool” a biopic about the girl group TLC. As I watched and relived the moments, I couldn’t help but going back to my life 15 years ago when I was full of all of these dreams and goals to accomplish something “amazing”. I remembered studying their stories – how they were just some girls doing what they loved to do. I longed for that – I could never sing or dance real well and acting wasn’t my thing back then. I wanted to create things. I didn’t know what to call it then but I wanted to produce. I wanted to work with famous people and have a bit of fame myself. I wanted to write but I moreso wanted to organize and put together shows and events and things of that nature – on a big scale. I sought out opportunities to be seen and noticed. I wanted to put my work out. I wanted to be discovered. I guess I still do…
So now 15 years later, I still haven’t been “found”. No one has signed me or discovered me. And the truth is it could very well be because I haven’t put out much for their review. Most of my bosses who were the discovering type had no idea I could do anything except be their assistant. I’m not sure I shared my ambition. I’m pretty sure I did not. I was awaiting it to be discovered. Whatever my “it” was, I needed someone to come and find it. Acknowledge it. See it so I knew I wasn’t in it alone. But now 15 years later, my “it” hasn’t been found and I’ve not been so proactive in sharing. I’ve kept it to myself. Sometimes hiding it from everyone including myself.
Don’t me wrong, I shared glimpses, but in very small doses. I was protecting my “it”. Unlike 15 years ago when I’d tell any and everyone what my intentions were. I was so vocal about what I wanted that most people thought I had to be from L.A. I was fearless even in my fear and feelings of inadequacy. I knew I would make it. I just knew it.
But I didn’t make it. I haven’t made it yet. And the truth is I don’t know if I ever will.
I talked a lot about making it. I talked a lot about dreaming of it. I spent a lot of time researching it. I did a lot but there’s one thing I didn’t do…and I think I learned this in college. I haven’t worked for it.
Truth is while I’ve been working hard for the last 15 years, I have not been working wisely or in pursuit of a particular “it”. I neglected the laser like focus it takes to make it. I have hoped for it haphazardly. I have prayed for it generally. But honestly I haven’t gone for it – not really.
I’ve been waiting. And while I was waiting 15 years went by…
I don’t want to wait any longer. I can’t. I don’t want to look back another 15 years hell another 15 days and realize I just didn’t try.
I remember the times when I was waiting to be discovered.
Today was the day. Today I discovered myself.
Finally September is here! Such a great time of year!!!! So much excitement! The return of NFL Football and the official start of the season. As a New Orleanian, I’m so excited because our Saints take the field on Sunday to face off with the Atlanta Falcons. It’s the time of year when the NOLA faithful beef it up with the A-T-Liens. But where as I usually am talking crap with everyone who hails from the Peach State at this time, this week is different. While I’ll still be anti the A-T-L folk on Sunday (Sept 8), on Tuesday, Sept 10, I’ll be the first in line to support a girl from “Da A”. I can not wait to cop Atlanta native Janelle Monae’s new album “The Electric Lady” when it comes out on Tuesday of next week. I was so fortunate to attend her album listening party a few weeks ago and get an actual interview with artist herself (keep reading).
In all honesty, before attending the listening party, I was a fan of Ms. Monae for all the obvious reasons…or should I say superficial reasons. She’s clearly talented, beautiful and civic minded (I saw her repeatedly on President Obama’s campaign trail). And since I’m being honest, I always support sisters who go their own route in the industry. Since she first crossed my radar, Janelle Monae has always been so unique and intriguing. I saw her perform this year at Essence and was blown away. When I heard she’d be hosting a listening party for her new release, I knew I had to be there. The artist greeted us all with sincere appreciation that we came to hear her latest offering. The evening started with the duet “Queen” with Erykah Badu. Janelle Monae sang and danced from the middle of the floor. She then went on to explain the work that went into the album. She discussed collaborations with Prince, Solange and Miguel among others. Monae discussed the inspiration behind the music and actually brought grass that she walked across while creating the album’s songs. When she played the song, “Victory”, I knew I was hearing my new personal anthem. I instantly went to amazon.com and pre ordered “The Electric Lady”.
After the listening party, I got to chat it up with Ms. Monae about my favorite subject – people who follow their dreams. Here’s what the captivating songtress had to share. Join me in getting “The Electric Lady” which drops on Tuesday, September 10! (The one time supporting ATL during the Saints-Falcon weekend is acceptable!) Shout out to Kevin Griffin of 2KPhoto NOLA for this amazing video – he’s amazing for your photography and videography needs.
Long before I heard of “The Secret” and long before I actually moved to L.A., I would make collage posters with my goals and dreams for the future. The boards would be very general but would always display images of the life I wanted. Fast forward to when I did see “The Secret”. The book and movie address the power of the “Vision Board”. The premise of the vision board is that you put images, words and phrases on a board you see often to bring about those things into your life. “The Secret” to the vision board is to focus less on material posssessions and more on the “what” those things will bring. For example, you may place a new car on your board to represent the freedom transportation provides (as opposed to having a Mercedes so that people will think you’re “rich”). I did more research and found that the true gift of a vision board is to bring out those deep set desires that we may not always be able to verbalize.
I make vision boards pretty often but must admit, my last few vision boards did not address the feelings behind material things I wanted. They were less about my purpose and more about stuff. Lately I’ve found that it has been hard to focus on what I want. I hadn’t been meditating or checking in with the inner me. My success and failures were being measured by the “stuff” I accumulated. This was in part a result of my vision board. I had called in very strict determiners of my success. I had to have more stuff and since I had not aquired these things, I was feeling pretty bummed. It was time for a new vision. I approached the board by expressing my inner vision and not by my desires for material expressions of the vision. I pulled out my board, old mags and glue on yesterday and now have a new vision. There are no material things on this version of my vision board but rather feeligns and goals. I’m feeling good about this one!
Have you ever made or considered making a vision board? Tell me about your experience!
August is supposed to be my month of detox and triumph. I’m supposed to be learning about and releasing toxic habits, creating new and better routines, eating better and adopting a more active lifestyle. I’m supposed to be really going after my dream (to produce, write and live a creative artists life). It’s supposed to be challenging but fun and life affirming. “Supposed to’s” have always been the bane of my existence.
I felt it when I woke up this morning…actually I felt it last night when I decided to go to bed at 10pm because my body hurt and the pain was making me super tired. On Monday I did a yoga class and yesterday and today I had swim lessons. Yoga: I got these classes on Groupon – 20 bucks for 20 classes CAN NOT BEAT THAT! Normally when going to a new class, I’d start with the beginner’s (just to get a feel for the style) but I went to this intermediate class because the time works better for me (noon as opposed to 5). Well on Monday the teacher, who is the only certified SMARTFlow Yoga teacher in New Orleans, was there. She was phenominal…so awesome she wouldn’t let my poor postures slide by. Here’s the thing I’ve taken yoga off and on since the late 90s. I KNOW how to do a Cobra pose. Well apparently I USED to know how to do a Cobra pose. My shoulders have decided they don’t want to roll back. BUT since in my head I know what I’m doing I didn’t even realize it was an issue! The teacher noticed though. She made me go back to the basic step of putting my hands behind my back to feel the proper motion. It HURT so bad. Something I used to do ALL THE TIME now caused severe pain. My physical limitations have been affecting my time in the pool as well. As I learned in yoga, what is going on in my head is NOT always going on in my body. The teacher says “kick” and I think I’m going in only to come up from the water with her puzzled look and questioning, “why didn’t you kick?”. HUH? My body and mind are on two different pages. Add the spirit work I’m doing through Debbie Ford’s “21 Day Consciousness Cleanse” and there’s a third page! Mind, body and spirit are meant to coexist and work as one but today was one of those days where I realized all of my systems have separate agendas! That is frustrating. And when I get frustrated, I eat BUT I’m on this “eat clean” binge so I couldn’t get my favorite processed fast foods or alcoholic pick me ups to see me through…I just had to feel it. After swim lessons I laid across my bed. After trying aimlessly to make my legs do the proper kick motion, I decided to get up…
As worthless as I feel in my physical pursuits, I am beyond confident in my kitchen skills. I took out my carefully packaged half a pound of nitrate free ground turkey and decided it would be the star of my lunch show today. I let my phone in the other room and didn’t bother turning on the music. My mind, body and spirit were going to cook – that activity usually gets every part of my “self” back in alignment. I decided a simple turkey burger (on multi grain sandwich thins since all things white have been exiled from my house) with sweet potato fries. As I cut the potatoes and seasoned the meat, positive vibes started to creep in. Words like “it’s ok, things take time” starting to creep in and I allowed them. I felt much better about myself. I then got a text from a friend. She’s been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I was about to break down when she texted the following, “I was down but after recieving a message from The Lord, I feel like this is a part of my purpose in life now.” WHAT? Here I am about to lose it because I can’t swim (in the third lesson by the way) and this girl has every right to be down but she’s chosen to not only be upbeat but see how she can use this as an opportunity to bring light to others. Talk about motivational.
I then sat down with my fab lunch and watched the documentary “I Am”. The movie spoke about ways we can use our gifts and talents to heal or improve the world. I realized that the issues I had with swimming and yoga (and yes the squats I refuse to mention because I’m majorly sucking with those too) were not physical limitations but control issues. I’m upset and frustrated because I want to be able to control my body and make it move the way I’m being instructed. Both yoga and swimming are built on the idea of flow – your body has to flow with the water to swim and in yoga your body has to flow with your breath. Flow like how my friend has decided to flow with her illness…
I guess these multiple cleanses are working because I see the correlation between everything that’s going on. Maybe my mind, body and spirit are working together better than I had concluded! At the end of the day, life happens. Something its up. Sometimes it is down but it never stops flowing.
Saturday is my favorite day to retreat. I am not a fan of going out on Saturdays – it’s always way too many people who have waited all week to do whatever errands that need to be done. Everything is too packed. The mall – overloaded. The grocery store – stupid. Traffic – nuts. I am no fan of going out on Saturdays. Never have been. Growing up, we spent Saturdays at home. Very low key days. Lifetime Movie Network kind of days. Clean up then chill kind of days. Not go out and socialize days.
But it is August 2013 and I’m enjoying these 31 days of exploring ways to become more of who I already am. I’m working hard to break the monotinity of my life by switching my normal patterns and trying new things. So today I tried something new. My normal Sofa Saturday plans were preempted.
The day began with a green smoothie. I threw an apple, half a banana, some spinach, some kale, some almond milk and peanut butter into the blender for a healthy breakfast and headed to work. My radio show broadcast was live from a new restaurant called “Motown’s Coney Island”. It was a great live broadcast. I love doing the show and to my surprise, my friend Samantha met me there. We indulged in some chili cheese fries and girl giggles then went to our previously planned 2pm movie. We were set to see “Fruitvale Station” and were meeting my friend Vanessa there. The three of us were blown away by the amazing film and quite emotional due to the content. As we discussed the movie in the corridor near the theatre we saw New Orleans Saint Jimmy Graham rushing to see the show. (SIDENOTE: That’s Jimmy Graham the SAINT not the PREACHER as my friend Samantha thought!). I was going to go home and resume my normally scheduled sofa time but Samantha then invited me over to her family’s place for a “small” BBQ.
Being from Southern Louisiana, I have recognized there is no such thing as a “small” BBQ! It was an amazing time. For hours I ate all sorts of yummy treats. The food was accompanied by great conversation and family time. Since I’m writing about families currently, the time was well spent and super inspiring. I stopped by my favorite Mexican restaurant to meet my friend for her bday. While sitting there waiting on them to arrive, I nearly fell asleep so I knew it was time to go.
As I sit now cozy on my sofa and typing this blog, I feel rather proud of myself from breaking away from the sofa. If I’m going to get something different from life, I know I must not do the same things expecting different results. This social Saturday was a bit of a break from the norm for me and I am elated I just went with the flow of the day. I look forward to that continued fluidity in the days to come.
I’ve tried off and on to implement warm lemon water into my regimen. What better time than this 31 days! I have tried this before but usually stop after a few days because the detoxing effect breaks out my face. Supposedly if you get through that part, your skin improves as well as other parts of your life. I’m going to see this time! Today is my second day in. I’ll let you know the results at the end of the month. But here’s 10 reasons I found online why we should have warm lemon water daily. Maybe it can become a part of your day to day! 1. Boosts your immune system: Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds. They’re high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function. Potassium also helps control blood pressure.
2. Balances pH: Drink lemon water everyday and you’ll reduce your body’s overall acidity. Lemon is one of the most alkaline foods around. Yes, lemon has citric acid but it does not create acidity in the body once metabolized.
3. Helps with weight loss: Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster.
4. Aids digestion: Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials. It encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that required for digestion. Efficient digestion reduces heartburn and constipation.
5. Is a diuretic: Lemons increase the rate of urination in the body, which helps purify it. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
6. Clears skin: The vitamin C component helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well. It can actually be applied directly to scars to help reduce their appearance.
7. Freshens breath: Not only this, but it can help relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. The citric acid can erode tooth enamel, so you should monitor this.
8. Relieves respiratory problems: Warm lemon water helps get rid of chest infections and halt those pesky coughs. It’s thought to be helpful to people with asthma and allergies too.
9. Keeps you zen: Vitamin C is one of the first things depleted when you subject your mind and body to stress. As mentioned previously, lemons are chock full of vitamin C.
10. Helps kick the coffee habit: After taking a glass of warm lemon water, most people suggests of less craving for coffee in the morning.
August. 31 Days. 31 Opportunities to do things that make me a more balanced, focused and clear person. August is a great point – a few weeks ago was my birthday. Now is a perfect time to hop on this list of goals for the year ahead. And what better way find my blogging groove again than by sharing this journey?!?! I truly believe I’m at the preverbal tipping point in my life and I do believe what I do during this time will shape my future. Will I live a life trusting the things I believe or continue tethering on being faithful or fearful?
I’m going to trust and believe.
Today I did something I’ve been talking about for forever. I began swim lessons today! I am so very excited and am committed to getting swimming down pat. My swim instructor is a great swimmer I met a while ago named Fallon. Today she proved to also be a great teacher. As I was going through the motions to start the class, she reminded me to get out of my head. Then as she was teaching me to blow bubbles in the water she cautioned me to just blow everything out and let it all go. Now that was some stuff a class should teach you!
I STAY in my head. I am the queen of the over-thinkers. Paralysis of analysis I tell you! I often don’t act but just considering acting because I’m so in my head. Le sigh. And if it’s one thing I do better than over think, it is hold on to things too long. Let me tell you that that one hour in the pool was like therapy! I can’t wait to get back tomorrow!!!
if the difference between two things blurs, or if something blurs it, they become more similar, so that you are no longer sure that they are clearly different blur the line/difference/distinction between
All my life I’ve loved the idea of living in Los Angeles. The city is absolutely beautiful – there are even palm trees in the hood. The weather’s always right and there’s the beach. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of living this cool, laid back kinda life as an artist in the city of angels. I dreamed of living in some cool apartment within walking distance of Pinkberry, a grocery store and cool restaurants. I imagined waking up early and praying/meditating, wake up drink hot lemon water, write, watch tv and live this totally artistic life. My days would be filled with meaningful artist activity – like writing, watching movies/tv shows for reference, reading, acting or in acting class, congrating with other indie artists. I’d cook healthy meals and eat often with others. When I moved to L.A., I lived with an artist and that lifestyle scared the shit out of me. She was enjoying her life but from the outside looking in the lifestyle of an artist in L.A. presented too much instability. I was afraid I’d run out of money and have to come home.
I immediately started this mission to work consistently. The more I worked, the more I forgot about the idea of being an artist. I pushed my artistic desires down, promising to get back to them in the future. I focused less on being an artist and more on being an executive. The road to executive begins with being an assistant so that’s what I did. Worked hard, did everything the right way, took calculated risks and allowed them to pay off. Then I hit a road block and found myself having to start again. Los Angeles was replaced with New Orleans and even on the darkest days as the move approached, I just had this feeling it would work out.
I decided from the time I moved here that I would let this be the “future” my artistic desires had been awaiting. I vowed that it was imperative that do all the artsy things I’d neglected to make time for in LaLa land. I started with my first love. I joined a pretty awesome writer’s group. I wrote a play (took it on the road too!). I got into acting class and snagged a couple of roles. I worked just as hard here as I did there, but I consistently made time to create and be creative. Minus the beach, my current situation is not that different from my vision for my life in L.A. I love it when the Universe blurs the line between what is desired and what is.
And before the radio makes me sick of it, here’s some Motivational Monday Music!!!
Yesterday I celebrated another year of life on the planet! It was a really great birthday. I began the day by waking up in the bedroom I grew up in at my grandmother’s house. I spent some time in bed remembering my dreams and goals from a young age. Every Sunday after church, Granny has my aunts and cousins over for a light breakfast and conversation. I got to catch up with them. Later we went to have a champagne brunch at the casino. I played a little bit and came home with a little bit of money in my pocket I returned to New Orleans and attending a light for Trayvon event. We launched paper lanterns over the lake while listening to music played by one of my favorites, T-Ray the Violinist. Post the beautiful event, me and some of my friends went to Cure. I’ve been meaning to visit the establishment for some time and last night was the perfect evening to go. It was a light crowd, the music was great and conversation with my girls was pretty awesome. I was reminded of my ability to vision, manifest and inspire others. It’s happening and I’m doing that which I set out to do! That feels great.
In honor of my latest milestone in age and experience, my song of the day is GROWN WOMAN! Word to Beyonce for the latest stan anthem