Instead of tackling my resolutions all at once, I’m implementing them into by life by embracing the changes in 21 day increments. Here’s the first of many videos to share my revelations discovered on 21 day journeys! This one is great for anyone slightly interested in green smoothies or eating clean.
Ever wake up with a song in your head? I do a lot! Sometimes these songs are pretty ratchet but other days they are just super inspiring! I always attribute the song in my head to my dreams the night before. I can’t remember the dream, but I know that I’m so excited today. I don’t feel the usual “OMG why do I have to go to work!” or the “when is it going to be MY time”. But not today. TODAY I know that there’s so much life ahead. I KNOW that while some people run at the first sign of stormy weather, that I do not. I BELIEVE in me today and while the rainbow ahead may be hard to see, I know I just haven’t finished yet. I have no regrets. LOL if you’ve seen “The Five Heartbeats” you should know where I’m going with this! So with that enjoy the Motivational Monday Music below!!!! (And if you have seen the movie, sing it with me!!!! And this time let the lyrics vibrate!!!)
I had attended law school in Houston, Texas and got the opportunity to intern at Music World Entertainment during the first semester of my second year. I was stoked. I just knew I’d meet and impress Mr. Knowles and he’d connect me to someone in L.A. and I’d get an intern in Cali the following summer and somehow this would all get me closer to Charles King and my plan to work with him.
It was perfect timing. Destiny’s Child was wrapping up a world tour, Mr. Knowles was managing some up and coming groups, Solange’s solo album had dropped and rumors were swirling a new Beyonce album would be out soon. I was overwhelmed that I was an intern at this moment in time. (Always have been a sucker for wanting to be on the scene before the “it” happened.) Anywho, my plans were cut short when someone I thought was close to the Knowles’ gave me the poor advice of letting it be known I knew her and someone else VERY close to the Knowles didn’t like that I had and I found myself fired from an internship (yeah fired from a non paying job). My ego was bruised but I knew it was my fault for following that advice so I never took it out on the Knowles or Music World. I figured I would be right and Beyonce would become a huge star. I still had Music World on my resume and figured one day it would pay off. It did and I always felt really good about the fact I had a small affiliation with Beyonce.
Fast forward a couple of years. I had graduated from law school and was living in L.A. – yes my plan to intern that summer after my 2L year had paid off (the job was impressed I interned at Music World too!). I was a huge fan of Beyonce by then and was really getting into seeing live shows. The was the year I was to turn 30. I planned my first huge party. My friends and I met up in Miami. One of my gifts?!?! A trip to London in September to see JAY Z’s BLACK ALBUM TOUR!!!!!!!!! Little ole me from Plaquemine, Louisiana was going all the way to London Town to see JIGGA! Finally Summer turned to Fall and the time for the trip arrived. After an amazing day and a half being all European, it was SHOWTIME! A young (one album in) Lupe Fiasco opened and then it was time for the main event. Jay-Z graced the stage. I was elated when he brought out Nas. And then he introduced us all to BEYONCE.
Now up until this point, like I said I liked Beyonce (a lot) but I didn’t really ROCK with Beyonce because I have an anti clause of “perfect” girls. I’ve never been a fan of people who are so just all around good girls – call it my own ish but my idea of good people have had some flaws. At this point, I just saw the perfect image of Beyonce. Well, it all changed at Wimbledon that night. There was something different about Beyonce’s stage presence. She was a little more engaging and spontaneous. Still ridicioulsly amazing, but she was not the same. I knew the difference all too well – Beyonce had shown up to work tipsy! I knew it so well because at that point in my life, I knew exactly what a few drinks looked like! She wasn’t falling down drunk but she was definitely somewhat inebriated! In that moment this goodie good Beyonce was just a perfect regular girl like all the cool ass girls I know from Houston – they kick it hard but work harder all while looking super fresh and they all love to dance and drink and not give a f how people not interested in a good time view them which of course is why I love my girls from Houston.
I instantly became a stan. Over the next few days the picture to to left was on all the blogs. My thoughts were confirmed – in my head these drunk Bey pictures proved my theory her night had began before she went out on stage. So I fell in love with Beyonce when she delivered a stellar performance with a little bit of a buzz! I returned to Los Angeles after that show and began a fierce two year career run (during that time I worked on an Oscar campaign, film release for Oscar winner, transitioned to a high profile management company, read for an actor that will likely get an Oscar nomination THIS year, got my first film credit, worked with my idol Charles King and found a church in L.A.).
Fast forward to 1:37am as I type this blog. I’m currently waiting on videos to download from Beyonce’s latest release. She released a visual album comprised of 14 songs and 17 videos for $15.99 tonight on iTunes with no pre promotion. She just put it on her blog. This a couple days after announcing her 2014 world tour. If it’s one thing I appreciate more than a girl who knows how to hold her liquor, it’s a hard worker business woman. In all my days I have never heard of an album from a top artist like a Beyonce dropping on ANY platform with NO promotion! I feel like the night I got back to my apartment after the London trip. I could not believe my good fortune and the connections I had made since moving there just a year prior. I was scared. It was time to leave a job that had been so good to my growth. But I knew I could do it. After all, this black girl from Houston was doing it like no other black girls were at the time. And if she can do why can’t I…
I got an idea for a project last night…I called my closest creative collaborators and I began to put it together. I focused all day on the things working for me right now. And just as I was getting ready for bed, I got news of this album from Ms. Beyonce. And as I anticipated viewing her work, I couldn’t help but contemplate my own.
Thank you Bey!
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.