Whenever You Are Ready

i started writing a long blog post about finding my happy place, which then lead me to discussing my financial mistakes and I realized that I have reached a point where I need to put all of the pieces of my life, my thoughts, and my lessons together in a book. I am constantly working on so many things at one time that I put important things on the shelf to do things that are not as important. My longer blog post showed me that I am ready to look at my life from varying perspectives and dig deep to share my truth.

This blog was my therapy throughout the end of law school and while I was searching for my life as an unemployed law grad with two degrees. Although I feel obligated to keep posting and sharing, I feel that this blog has served its purpose and will remain active while I go through the process of writing my book, but will only be used if I feel the urge to get something out that is short and sweet.

Thank you to everyone who has ever subscribed, read, and commented on my blog. This has been a labor of love that I know was worth every minute and has brought me to the place I am at now. The universe is saying to me, “Whenever you are ready.” I am finally ready to respond, “I am ready.”

Be blessed. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

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Wine, Wings and Magazines

A few months ago I had this grand idea to do a huge mid-year vision board party here in Houston at a local restaurant or lounge. The idea came to me after so many things on my own vision board began to come into fruition. I wanted to share the excitement of creating a vision board and sharing the positive experiences that would come as the vision started to come to life. Due to my ability to over extend myself, I have not had the time or energy to truly focus on this project. I reached out to a place I thought would be perfect for the event and never received a returned call. I became discouraged and no longer wanted to follow through with the project.

But today I woke up and decided that I would move forward with the event on a smaller scale, send personal invites, and enjoy the moment. I am always thinking so big that I want every event I am planning to be a grand affair. Besides the cost of a grand affair, there is an extensive amount of stress that comes with big events in big places. I almost missed out on an opportunity to bond with some of my closest friends and to have conversations that are difficult to have in a crowd.

As I finalize the details for this event, I realize that we live on such a macro level that we forget that life changing moments happen on micro levels. There is more to life than events with big numbers, big names, or big bills. As I said in my last blog post, you have to continuously realign your plan with your purpose. Your word is all that you have, so be truthful when you speak and follow through always.  I am excited about this weekend and look forward to wine, wings, and magazines.

Write the vision. Make it plain. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

Your Plan versus Your Purpose

There is nothing like having your life all figured out and then a dump truck comes and unloads life all on top of your situation.  Everything that you worked through and how far you have come has suddenly fallen behind the priorities of  your dream. When you sit down and talk about where you want to be in 6 months, 1 year or even 5 years, it sounds good and even looks good on paper. What we never stop to plan for is life itself and we get discouraged when obstacles come our way.

Many times our plan is a part of our purpose, but life happens as a way to guide us and ensure that we do not lose sight of the end during the process. The distractions of society pollute our path and push us away from where we are supposed to be. Our plan starts to look more like a copy cat of someone else’s purpose instead of an original of our own. We start to want what someone else has and to be where other people are. We are no longer involved with a pure heart, but a selfish desire to prove someone wrong, get rich, or to be better than someone else.

Despite all of the twist and turns in life and the many changes to your plan, your purpose will never change. You have to continuously remind yourself of the WHY and make sure that your plan is always aligned with your purpose. The amount of time it takes you to get to the next level is determined by how many times you forget your purpose. We are here for a reason greater than our micro life. We play a bigger role in evolution and have a duty to leave this Earth better than it was when we arrived here.

Evolve. Grow. Learn. Plan. Never forget your purpose. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

What Chains Are You Breaking

There is always something keeping you from taking that big leap of faith. Is it fear, lack of faith, bills, or not remembering why you even started this work in the first place? We sing songs that say that we want to break free from our chains or that we just want to be free, but we have not identified what we want to be free from. You have to be direct about your intentions and free yourself of the bondage that may be holding you back.

I know that I can start my own successful business right now. My apprehension comes in when I start thinking about all of the money I have invested in past projects that have not reciprocated financially. Additionally, I have a large amount of student loan debt looming over my head, heart, and handwork. So when I get energized to move forward in my personal projects I forget about those things, but when I see how much I put out every month to pay my students loans, I lose that fire and start thinking of ways to work harder and not smarter.

We have to recognize situations that drain us and not allow those things to control our thoughts and actions. At the end of the day, no matter how hard I work,  I will never pay off my student loans. The only way that I can ever rid myself of the debt I incurred to get two degrees is to work smarter and not harder. I cannot let the idea of defeat resonate in my mind and drain me of all of my energy every month. I have to pay it and let go of the idea that I could use that money to build an empire. Without my education, I would not be where I am today. I may not see the full return on this investment right now, but eventually I will.

Identify the chains that need to be broken. Name them. Decide that you will no longer be controlled by the thought of these invisible strongholds. Move forward in being excellent. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

Plant the Seeds

A young lady reached out to me via social media to ask me about my journey. This broad question was asked in relation to career paths and remaining positive. We had a few hit and miss connections, but we ended up speaking last night for a few minutes and I realized then that our stories are all very unique, but they are the blue print for someone who desires to be where you are.

I fast forwarded through the dramatics of my life and focused more on how to persevere, how to stay positive, and how to plant seeds. Perseverance is not something that can be taught, but a passion or fire that makes you continue towards a goal that seems impossible. I told her how I struggled to pay for college, but no matter what came my way, I never gave up. My goal was to become a nurse, complete Howard, and work at the best hospital in the world and I did all of that because I pushed through the mess. It may not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

Remaining positive when you are not where you want to be is extremely difficult, but it is up to you to see the positive in what seems to be a negative situation. Many times the positive is not glaring you in the face and you have to search for it, but finding it helps put the pieces together that seemed to not fit together before. Another tool in remaining positive is to shut out or quickly compartmentalize any negativity that people may throw your way. You may reach a point where you are comfortable with your circumstances and here comes a negative spirit trying to analyze your situation for you. They may ask you to look around at everyone else your age, or to look at people who are where you want to be, or simply tell you that you should just abandon your dreams. Those people do not belong in your presence and you have to be strong enough to allow your peace to reign over their pessimism.

Planting seeds in life is how you give back to those who are coming behind you. I wish I could have been this introspective at 18, 20, or even 25. I explained to her that somethings in life just comes with time. I feel as if someone may have told me these things years ago, but I did not believe them because I had my own plan in my mind. Even when you feel that someone is not listening, it is still very important to drop those gems of wisdom so that when their heart is ready to listen, they will have something positive to push them through. You can only accept the truth when you have stopped your thoughts and opened your heart. Prayer and meditation is everything.

I always say that, “I am where I am supposed to be.” Even when I do not believe it, feel like it, or want to accept it. Your journey may not look like someone else’s or have a platform as large as another person’s, but you have the power to be the example of excellence for someone else. Someone wants to be where you are, even if you do not think it is the best place to be. There is a place for your voice, your wisdom, and your experiences.

Keep shining light on the good and the bad. The children are watching. Plant the seeds. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

#NoMore: When Mothers Unite, Change Will Come

When I went to protest in the streets of Houston, I did not know what to expect.  I got to the park late and had to drive to find the march that was weaving through the neighborhoods and heading towards the highway.  The police were attempting to contain and manipulate the movements of the peaceful protest in order to keep us from shutting down the highway.  We reached two pivotal points at the march that really had me emotional.  The first was when they stopped us in the middle of a neighborhood and surrounded us.  They attempted to stay stone faced but a few chatty ones commented as we stated our disgust with the system and our plans to continue protesting until our existence is acknowledged.  Seeing a large group of people herded into the middle of a street and surrounded by armed officers inspired to me to keep pushing because they were not taking us seriously.

After about 20 minutes they allowed us to march forward, but the police department had already set up a physical blockade on the next major intersection that lead to the highway.  The officers were mounted on horses along with dozens standing around watching us.  As we stood there face to face with people who have been hired to protect and serve, i began to cry on the inside.  My spirit began to scream NO MORE.  I screamed, “I went through 26 hours of labor to have my son, and I will not let you take his life away!”  I screamed, “NO MORE!”  The crowd echoed, “NO MORE!”  I began to cry because I had moved from just being passionate to being protective.  Protective of my son and his future, but also protective of an entire generation of young people who are facing aggressive and poorly trained officers everyday.

Mothers are powerful people.  When they set out on an agenda to get something done, there is little that can stand in their way to stop them.  Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded in May of 1980 and over the past 34 years this organization, started by one mother, has made a tremendous impact on legislation and awareness.  Many of the women who share the same passion against drunk driving have also been the mothers of survivors of this circumstance.  These women have united and made a difference in the lives of millions across the country.

When you see the strength and resilience of Sabrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin’s mother), Valerie Bell (Sean Bell’s mother), and now Lesley McSpadden (Michael Brown’s mother), you see that they are fighting to keep it together for their family, the public, and themselves.  Their pain is being watched and replayed over and over by the media.  They are being asked to do interviews as they shed tears and share memories of their sons.  They want to see something change, but the solutions are a work in progress because justice did not come and set a new precedent, but continued the history of “not right now.”  Seeing these three women together made me realize that they are unfortunately connected by tragedy, but powerful tools to change their tragedy into a union of mothers who want more for their children.

Black mothers are not the only ones losing their children to police brutality, guns, violence, or drugs.  Latino mothers have to explain to their sons that interactions with cops can lead to death, so they must be careful and cautious in their words or actions.  White mothers are fighting against drugs being sold in their child’s schools or bullying online.  All mothers are fighting to protect their children from the negative aspects of this world.  We must stand together and fight against the system that is setting our children up to fail.  We have to decide that this is the end.  No more.  We will no longer allow our children’s lives to be in the hands of the government.

We are ridiculed if our child breaks a bone, plays on the playground alone at age 7, if they don’t get perfect grades in school, if they have a short attention span or they get frustrated because they are trying to understand in a pressured environment.  Our children’s education, safety, and future is in our hands.  We have to declare that we know what is best for our children and the government has to work back towards allowing us to be parents and not educational wardens, teaching for a test instead of through critical thinking.  We do not want our face thrown into the public eye because of tragedy, so we must stand together and say NO MORE!

No more.  Police Brutality.  No more.  Bringing drugs in our community.  No more.  “War on Drugs.”  No more.  Guns being dumped in our communities.  No more.  Miseducation of our children.  No more.  No more.  No more.

We as mothers cannot take this any more.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

After attending college and law school, marrying a well-educated and professional man, and being surrounded by other professionals, I could easily isolate myself from reality and live in a fantasy world of perfect equality.  I could take my story and use it as a way to brow beat others who make excuses as to why they cannot succeed.  I could tell children they do not value the free education that is being provided for them and their ungratefulness is a sin in itself.  I could look at the poor and chastise them for not making better financial choices or buying things I assume they do not need.  However, I am far enough removed from poverty to help those still tangled in its complex web and close enough to know that it could be me at the drop of a dime or slip of a circumstance.

Many of us have become desensitized to the daily lives of the impoverished and oppressed.  We feel that we are above reproach because we have made progress in our personal lives.  We have detached from those who are not on our “level” and adopted an attitude of superiority to justify our disdain for others who have not made it out the struggle yet.  Some lack the social responsibility to help others as they were helped but instead to openly criticize and side with critics who generalize, exaggerate, and misconstrue data to continue the tradition of white supremacy.  You are comfortable and you are passive.  Your words are empty barrels of nothingness that are piling up around you and blocking your view of reality.  You comfort yourself with material things but as this generation takes on the task of changing the world, your words will soon be silenced by the movement around you.  You will benefit from the changes but you will not leave a legacy of power but one of fear and complacency.

It is not easy to wake up everyday and feel the burden of this world on your shoulders.  I feel as if I owe this world my life for all of the exposure, experiences, and opportunities that I have received over the past 28 years.  I truly believe that if God does not do anything else for me, He has done enough. So I sacrifice my time, energy, and any resources I have to fight for change for myself, my child, and those who have been marginalized and silenced for centuries.  Although as a Black woman I experience so much, I know that it is not only us who needs to fight.  Women in general have so much to gain.  The LGBT community has so much to fight for.  Americans who are disabled have so much to fight for.  Veterans have so much to fight for.  The mentally ill and their families have so much to fight for.  Those who have been sucked up into the prison system have so much to fight for.  The poor people in major cities and small towns across America have so much to fight for.

Right now our focus is on police brutality because there has been no progress in the legal system, policies, or practices.  We will fight for this until there is a change but we as a people, American people, have so much to fight for and none of us can sit back and just let things play themselves out.  We can no longer ask our Congressmen to discuss or contemplate our issues, but demand that they either deal with them and create change or get out of office.  We have given so much deference to those who sit in public office, in corporate positions, or tell us what we are doing wrong in the media and we have lost our sense of self.

We the people is still at the beginning of the Constitution.  We have to stand up as a people.  Black people.  Minorities.  Veterans.  Mentally ill.  LGBT.  Women.  Men.  Children.  Mothers.  Fathers.  Marginalized.  Oppressed.  Silenced.  We are going to fight until there is change, but if the rest of this country will stand up against the machine, our voices together will force the hands that are simply spinning the wheel.  It is time to break the machine, change how things are going, and create a system that benefits more that the wealthy top 3%.  I have Black power.  You may have a different power, but we must use all of our power to change tomorrow because today we have declared that enough is enough.

It is our duty to fight for freedom.

It is our duty to win.

We must love each other and support each other.

We have nothing to lose but our chains.

Assata Shakur has given us words to live by. Words to die by. Words to empower. Words to encourage. We have a choice. Either we fight, win, love and support each other or we leave this burden to the next generation.

We will fight. We will win. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

MY Plan to Change the World

Over the past few years I have been trying to hone in on the direct changes that I want to see and how I am going to make them happen.  I am very passionate about so many things and I know that I cannot change everything, but I can make a major difference somewhere.  So today I decide to write down my list and work on them constantly.  This is my plan and I do not expect anyone to join me, but I know along the way I will find kindred spirits who can help me build on this foundation.

Here are my goals:

  1. Educate the community on their legal rights. 
  2. Engage and encourage the community to participate in local politics.
  3. Support Black owned businesses that invest in their local communities and eventually build an association that has the power to control the Black spending power in America. 

Writing down your goals and plans helps the universe center the resources you need to make those things happen.  I know that everything will not happen overnight, but eventually I will find opportunities that align with my goals.  When I set my focus on something, there is little that can stop me from achieving positive results.  I cannot tell you how I am going to get it all done, but I will.

I am not asking anyone to adopt my agenda but to create one of your own that empowers, educates, and encourages a generation to be DOERS! Many hands makes for light work. We need all hands on deck at this pivotal moment in our lives.  We need everyone to use their talents, gifts, and passion to change the course of the current path we have been on for a very long time.  If you are passionate about art then take a weekend to teach some children how to express themselves artistically.  If you are into fashion, volunteer at organizations that help the less fortunate to prepare for job interviews.  If you are into math or science, find an organization to tutor with and inspire children by example.  Whatever if is that you have to give, please share with the world.  You cannot take anything with you and your talents will be better used here and now.

Fight the good fight.  Fight the power.  Power to the people.  Be you. Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Trying to Focus

When you are not settled and going through so many changes, it is hard to focus and blog.  I have started so many blog posts and had so many ideas, but I can’t find my flow or the rights words to finish them.  My best blogs have popped up in my head and flew off of my fingers, so I am slow to post ones that take a lot of energy to complete.  I am in a transitory period and I am not in touch with my balanced and centered self.  My heart is South Carolina with grandma and my soul is in Maryland holding down the fort.  The most important pieces of me are not close and that leaves me feeling very imbalanced.

This adjustment period was necessary and would have been so much harder with my son.  I needed the time and energy to make good decisions and to find a rhythm.  My son won’t be coming into chaos but a mom who is settled in at work, settled into a new apartment, and has set up his new educational experience at a center close to our house.  I hate that I cannot see my little boy and I miss him terribly, but these past few months have shown me how much he needs consistency.

I want to blog when my heart is totally in it and I can relay the message that I know is needed.  I do not have a quota to fill so I am going to focus on quality and not quantity.  When something hits me and I can put out a few hundred words I will, but bear with me until I get the pieces of me back together! I am learning so much about myself and my purpose and I cannot wait to share the lessons that have been revealed to me over this rough summer, after making a huge move, and after seeing my failing bar results.  I have grown more in the past month than I have in the past year! 2014 has been rough but I will not let any of it be in vain.

Do not force your greatness.  Do not pre-release your wisdom.  Let your lessons be a natural light.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.