Archive | February 2011

Far Away

Man oh man and boy oh boy.  I do not fully comprehend everything that is going on in my life, but I would certainly say that it is a time of enlightenment.  I am on a journey that has me traveling at the speed of sound.  It is fun. It is exciting.  And quite frankly, the details of it are worth sharing.

As many of you are well aware I recently wrote blog entitled “What Would I Do?  Who Would I Be If I Didn’t Know You” which featured the video of the song of that same title as performed by Kindred the Family Soul.  Well, imagine my surprise when on last Thursday afternoon I see a tweet on Twitter that asks “who wants 2 tickets to go to the sold out show tonight at Blues Alley in DC?” as tweeted by @kindredthefam.  Well of course I responded with “me, me, me” and as luck would have it I actually won.

Well my friends, here is where the story really begins.  Have you ever tried to find someone to do something with you socially at the last minute? Tain’t easy!! I called/texted friends and family.  Folks are busy.  Folks have schedules.  Now if you know me at all, you know I take great joy in being unscheduled.  Having a packed calendar never qualified for me as an accomplishment.  I need my me time too much.  That being said, there were a number of people I tried to reach to attend with me;  all of whom I really desired to spend the evening with.  But, for various and sundry reasons they could not make it work with their schedules.  I was fine with attending alone but really wanted company and didn’t want the extra ticket to go to waste.  Finally, one of my twitter/Facebook buds, a fellow HBCU grad, agreed to meet me there.

I am from Baltimore.   Most of you, who don’t live in the area,  assume that people from Baltimore and DC cross city boundaries all of the time.  This is not true at all.  Many imports who live in Baltimore like to go into “the District” but  natives of the two cities tend to stick to their own home turf.  Combine this with the fact that I have never been fond of driving in DC.  Whether with friends or alone my commonly held belief when venturing into the Nation’s Capital is that I WILL get LOST.   If you’ve never driven there, this is one you will just have to take from me.  Now here’s what needs to be understood.  Though I am very technologically savvy, I still have a dumb phone and a semi smart vehicle.  Meaning that my phone makes calls, takes pics and videos and that’s about the gist of it.  My car does not have a GPS system but it can tell me the direction in which I’m headed and what the outside temperature is.  So here we go~my dumb phone, my semi-smart mini-van, and think she’s smart me headed to the concert.  Applying the Law of Attraction I’m telling myself (and I think I believe it) that I will get there and back with no problems.

Au Contraire mon frere.  I think my initial problem came from taking an incorrect exit.  But, in theory I still should have been okay.  I was on the street I needed to be on- only in MD instead of DC but headed toward the District, so all is well.  Or so I thought….until the street ran out and I didn’t know which way to go.  So I backtrack to a gas station where a cab driver tell me how to navigate this intersection and remain on the street.  Ok, back in business – in communication with my friend “be there in a few.”  I’ve got about 20 minutes to showtime.  Yeah I’m gonna be fine.  In reality DC proper is not that large.  Ok…now I’m driving and coming up on one of these dreaded circles (think DuPont Circle) etc.  (Have I mentioned yet four of my major pet peeves?  I detest being late, being lost, waiting on someone and conversely having someone wait on me)  Well my directions are not accommodating the roads that shoot off of this circle …and my “date” who I’m on the phone with is no help.

Yes, she’s trying but she can’t exactly tell where I am and I am very calmly stressing.  So I drive around some more and then kick her off the phone so I can flag down an officer (have I mentioned that the charge in my headset went out before I was out of Baltimore good and it is illegal to talk on the phone without a headset in both DC and MD?  Um yeah).  So I need to put the phone away to talk to Mr. Officer.  He’s a nice enough guy.  In addition to telling me how he doesn’t necessarily like driving in some parts of Baltimore and how I need to get a GPS  he’s telling me he will lead me to the street I need to travel down.  Sidebar:  have you ever noticed that when you are lost people like to say “well you know how to get to (insert street name or area here) right?  Well from there you just … ”  Dear sir/madame if I knew how to get to (insert street name or area here) from here would I be asking you for directions????  I’m just saying ! By now,  I’m about fried.  All I can hear in my head (playing louder than the sound of Angie’s very calming voice) is the line from Kindred’s “Far Away”- “just jump in a taxi cab, pack a bag and get away fast.”  FRIED I tell you!

I’ve neglected to say that it’s now around 9 pm (show started at 8) and there is a second 10 pm show, so we know this one is not running over.  My friend runs inside to see when they think 1st show will be over and she says to me “well do you still wanna come all the way here? ”  Um yes ma’am I do!! This task will not beat me.  I am coming there AND I’m going to the 10pm show.  Are you staying to go with me or not?  Some of you think I’m kidding but those who know me well know how very serious I am.

Well…the street Mr. Officer tells me to go down is NOT the street that he leads me to (yes, gotta love it right?).  He tells me to go down P Street but points me down Q.  And, of course, Q does not go down as far as I need it to!  Summing it all up.  I arrive at the venue at 9:30.  People are in line for the next show, BUT my friend who wasn’t going to be able to stay for the late show with me because of a prior early morning commitment had waited outside (thank GOD it was warm) for over an hour and a half for me to arrive.  This woman is a saint!!  (I did mention that this was our first face to face meeting right?)  She was so kind, so gracious, and so patient  the entire time that she talked to me as I drove around for an hour and a half lost on a Thursday Spring-like night.

Speeding up the story just a tad.  My friend, Angie, waited in line with me for a just a little bit.  I was advised that the two of us would be able to attend the later show but of course she had to leave.  The leaving did not take place, however, until we had the couple in front of us in line take pictures.  We had to have some record of this crazy evening! So now I’m inside about to be seated at a table for two a little too far back for my taste.  The hostess told me  I could move up if I was willing to share a table.  Of course I’m willing to share a table! It’s me for goodness sakes.  Miss Cup of Cheer.  A little frustrated but definitely still cheerful.  How can I be upset when someone else was willing to stand outside for that amount of time awaiting my arrival?  So I was seated with my next new friend Tynette. We introduced ourselves, had a little chat and waited for her friend to arrive.  Then another lady was brought over to sit with us.  Ms Lady advised us that we were the third table at which she had been sat.  Her seat happened to be one that backed up to two other tables in a tightly packed venue.  We slid the table out a bit, but she was uncomfortable and advised that she was leaving.

The show was uneventfully great and does not bear a lot of description.  Kindred did their thing and no one was disappointed.  They sang my song and ended with an audience sing along of “Far Away.”  Tynette and I had a ball.  Returning home, I knew where I was supposed to go to get me back on the Beltway home but yes I missed a turnoff so again I counted on my semi-smart mama van and my smart brain to get me home.  If there’s one thing I know, it’s that Baltimore is north of DC so driving north will head me home.  So though I got a little thrown off course I did not take nearly as long as I did to get there.

Now to the lessons which is the entire purpose of this particular blog.  I learned things within this experience that blew me away.

1.  When you live to spread love to others it is always returned to you.  I met two wonderful women on Thursday evening.  Angie was willing to wait 90 minutes to meet me for an event that she long realized she would not be able to attend.  She understood what had happened and admits to getting lost often in DC herself.  We still have plans for other activities we had previously discussed doing together.   Tynette, who herself is a singer, and I just met that night.  She had to rise at 5 am on Friday to prepare for her day.  Yet, she stayed awake until she knew I was home safely (1 am).   You can’t buy this type of caring, love and concern.  You can only hope to earn it from others.  Tynette’s friend wound up not being able to make it at the last minute.  There a was definitely a divine intervention to our table seating that night.  Things turned out just as they were supposed to.

2.  When there is an excess of positive energy negative energy can not co-exist.  The third lady who was seated with Tynette and me was not a happy person.  She had already found two other tables not to her liking and came to us huffing, puffing and complaining.  What she quickly found, I believe, is that she felt “uncomfortable” in our presence.  Thus, she left.  Upon her departure, we both exhaled.  There was an immediate lightening of the air and we were back to “happy.”  I have never noticed this so visibly before, but I recently read about that very thing.  This event proved positive reinforcement for me that indeed the phenomenon is real.  People who are not in alignment with your spirit will find ways to get out of your way.  How powerful is THAT?

I am seeing my life change before my eyes.  The people who I’m attracting into my space are not perfect but perfect for me at this time.  I am surrounded by good.  Everyone I meet brings me joy.  WOW!   I must be doing something right and I’m so happy that I finally “get it!”

Now more than ever I encourage you to …

Spread love…peace and blessings.

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Letting Go

At certain points in our life we come to the point where we have to let go of certain ideas/ideals.  It’s not a matter of whether they are good ideas, it is a matter of whether they are good for us.   One of the hardest things, in my experience, has been to let go of that idea which was always thought to be good and has been long-held.  Yesterday I took such a step.

I realized that an idea I was holding onto was to my detriment.  Well actually, if I’m honest I have known it for a some time now but have not been mentally prepared to do what I knew I needed to do.  Well yesterday was the day.  Somehow the significance of Valentine’s Day, with my emphasis on loving myself, gave me the incentive I needed to “get ‘er done.”

So as I sat in silence while my children’s dinner was baking I thought about it.  Really spent a few minutes meditating on whether this dream was worth maintaining.  As I became stronger and stronger in my knowledge of the truth,  I imagined this thought as having weight, matter and  I physically used my hands to shape it into a ball.  Once it was wrapped up tight, I kissed this thought, now bound  in my hands (yes physical kissed), and then I opened my hands and blew it away.  Sent it into the air.  I LET IT GO!!!

I can not begin to tell you the sense of freedom and peace that came over me.  I felt as if a weight had been lifted.  Something that  I thought was a good idea had actually been weighing me down. Perhaps because for some time the thought had not been filling me with great joy.  Well the thought of the concept filled me with joy but the reality of the concept playing out was not so joyful.  Hard to understand I know, but you have to trust me on this one.

So I ask you to take a look through your mental closet.  Are there certain thoughts, dreams, notions that you are hanging onto though their time has long passed?  Is it more comfortable to let things continue hanging there rather than face the truth.  They don’t  fit; they are out of style; you will never wear that again.   I encourage you to pull these things down and get rid of them.  They have no reason to keep taking up valuable space.  It is not easy and thinking about it is not fun.  I’m going to ask you to trust me on this one though- the results are life changing.  This will not be the last item I clean out of my mental closet but it was definitely taking up the most space.

I’m not saying I’m 100% cured, but 99% is safe to say.  So the notion is gone.  One I’ve held onto for almost half of my life.  In a sense I feel that something is missing, and quite honestly it is.  But that something is not what I need.  It serves me no good.  It makes me better in no way and obviously was not life enhancing.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with this exercise.  Please share your stories.

Spread love…peace and blessings.

The Beauty of Connecting

One of the most important things in life is being connected~ whether it be to yourself, your God or spiritual source, and to others.   Merriam Webster defines connect as: to place or establish in relationship.  It should come as no surprise that I strongly believe in being connected.  I’m learning that the order of connectivity is important – God first, self second and others last.

My primary relationship is with God.  This relationship governs how I feel about me and the means by what I govern myself.  I am learning to rely more upon my spiritual connection.  In doing so, I am less needy for validation and from others for the things that God readily provides.  I am working on not needing these things at all, but it is a process.

The happiest, most grounded people are those who have a strong relationship with their spiritual center, know who they are and what want in life,  and operate socially within that realm.  Once you have the God and me thing down pat, relating to others is a breeze.  You recognize that you can’t please everyone and that there is no need to attempt to.  What is most important is that you honor yourself and God.  Anyone who doesn’t respect or agree with that will find their way out of your life when your first two connections are strong enough.  No argument required.  More importantly though, these strong connections will allow a steady flow of people who are exactly what you want and need to enter.

As I evolve through this little thing called life I am enjoying the deepening quality of all of my relationships.  I tell you I have learned so much in the past six months about myself, life, and what life has to offer that it almost makes my head spin.  If you feel so inclined,  join me on the journey.   Let me know what you think.  Let’s compare notes and encourage each other along the way.

What Would I Do? Who Would I Be If I Didn’t Know You?

One of my best friends is a dj.  Recently he sent me a cd of one of his mixes.  Included within that mix is the song above.  I have been familiar with this song for some time but I never spent time actually pondering the meaning of it.   For the past week I have been doing just that.  Examining what would I do and who would I be if I had not been touched by the people in my life- family, friends, and others.

My family means everything to me.  Both of my parents are products of divorce so I have many sides to my family.  Both  parents are part of a large nuclear family.  Thus I grew up with many aunts, uncles and cousins. Some I saw often some not so but they all shaped my life in some way.  Where would I be without the experience of being the girl with 3 different names by age 18?  How would I have been affected by my parents not divorcing?  How much of my growth would have been stunted without the exposure to all of the “extra” sides of my family?  How would I be different if I hadn’t received love in so many forms from my family?

I have a strong network of core friends.  Through them I have learned to trust others, to be open, to be grounded and collected.  Most importantly I have learned  to not be so hard on myself,  to see myself as others see me, and to let my inner light shine as brightly as possible.  I will never forget a conversation I had about a year ago where my friend said to me “let me hold up the mirror so you can see yourself as others see you.” I cried then and I cry now thinking about it.  What would I do if I didn’t have people who thought more of me than I sometimes think of myself?

I am doubly blessed to have a few family members who are also friends.  I call them “framily.”  Other than what I have with my children, my relationship with these framily members is possibly the closest thing I have to  unconditional love.  As my one cousin says “Yeah ok, so you’re mad.  Now what?  You might as well get over it cause I ain’t going nowhere and we’re all we got.”  Who would I be if I didn’t know that come what may I have people in my life who are there for me til the grave?

I have other friends in my life who believe it or not I have yet to meet.  The internet is a powerful tool.  These are people who I have made deep connections with through either our common interests (often times music) or a deeper soulful connection.  Whatever the case may be, they get me and I get them.  Their words fuel my soul and give me alternative ways to view any given topic.  Who would I be if I weren’t open to new people and adventures?

Some of my internet friends have crossed the line.  We’ve met and now they are just “new friends.”  In a few rare instances these people are as close as family members.  Regardless of whether they are as close as family or “just” good friends, they add another dimension to my life.  What would I do if I couldn’t go to my second home of Chicago?  Where would I be if I wasn’t open to new friendships?

One of the biggest factors in making me who I am was my time spent at Florida A&M University.  I matured into adulthood surrounded by a host of really good people from all over the country.  Who would I be if I didn’t attend FAMU? I learned what a love relationship looked like.  I learned serious heartbreak.  I learned to appreciate and value the fact that people think differently depending on where they are from.  Some of my longest lasting friendships are with people I met at FAMU.

That being said, I also have lasting friendships with my high school pals.  I graduated from an all girl high school in a class of 800 (am I right ladies?) girls.  I am closer with some of these ladies today than I ever was in school and I’m so grateful.  Who would I be without people who can truly say they have seen me grow from who I was to who I have become?  I hope they are proud because I can only hope to match the phenomenal growth I have seen in them.

I could never forget my church family.  I have attended my church since I was six years old.  We are a small but mighty congregation and I have friends there whom I have known since I was six.  Where would I be without the stability of my spiritual family?

This mental exercise has been one of the most powerful things I have ever done.  It has made me look at my life and recognize that everyone you touch plays an important part.  Interestingly, even the negative events related to some people become the impetus for some of the most positive changes in your life.

So what did I discover in pondering this topic?  I learned that I would not be the loving, giving, insightful, honest, grounded, motivational, centered, collected, wonderful person that I am if I didn’t know YOU.  I have no idea where I would be, but I’m sure I wouldn’t have lived in Tallahassee, Atlanta, Boston, NJ, or back in Maryland if I didn’t know YOU.  Yes, I would live somewhere and do something.  But, I would not be the mother to the wonderful people I call my children; and I wouldn’t have had the wonderful childhood I had; and I wouldn’t be navigating the waters I’m now in if I didn’t know YOU.

There is no time for what ifs and maybes.  There is only what is. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to know you.  I thank you for the part you have played in my life.  Whether you were aware at the time or not, you have helped to shape me.

Spread love…peace and blessings