When starting Three Years to 30, the last thing I considered was the occurrence of death during that time. Well, today, my awesome Granny Baby is on my mind, as she transitioned a year ago today. I miss her dearly.
Dedicating my day to her, and honoring her in my silence. Be blessed, everyone.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Can I be honest? Ok, thanks! So, for years, my good girl friend told me I was tripping...dead wrong...misguided...confused- all of that- for thinking I couldn't accomplish my dreams and goals with a boyfriend/man/fiance/husband. I used to say, "When I knock a few goals off my list, I'll settle down." She thought that was asinine, and constantly tried to tell me that I should consider doing both- having the love I desire and succeeding in career/life. I didn't believe I could! Why?! Because when I tried, as much as I was encouraged and "supported" by my partner, I was extremely distracted. I was either in La La Land or in Pissed Off/You're About to Get Told Off World. Yeah, :-) that pretty much sums it up.
Anyway, yet and still, living life alone, that's kinda blah. It can be boring, unfulfilling. Having someone to ride this roller coaster can be fun :-) The more I grew, the more I had to think, "Well, Sam. You're going to have to learn how to balance relationship and career because a Forever Single, you are not." <---Honest thought.
It was just recently that I called my good girl friend up and I told her, I can do this. I now know that I can do this. Why now? Because after so many times going around the block of love, I learned encouragement and support has levels. You can have someone who gives some encouragement and says they support you, but when you need time to focus on your craft-that alone creative time, you get crap for it. Or you can have someone who tells you to fly, do your thing and shows you in their actions and in the way they respond to you that they are okay with who you are, the talent you have, and the investment needed to nurture your calling.
It is the DIFFERENCE between someone saying they accept all of you but really just trying to AND someone who not only actually accepts you, but gets a kick out of who you are. Like, as if being who you are brightens up their life, thrills them, and vice versa!
Sure it's rough, reaching your goals with a partner who pushes you to succeed but then ridicules you because of the energy and time it takes. But a positive partner, who is accepting, understanding, helpful- that's a partner who can accompany me on the ride of life- goals and all.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Back from vacation:
Still following my bliss and noticing that "OMG...things, wonderful things are happening with little effort from me." That was actually one of the mantras from Deepak Chopra's 21-day meditation challenge, which I've completed. I'm so thankful for "The Untethered Soul" and the meditation. I was really able to observe the happenings in my life and be grateful for everything, good, bad, annoying.
I hope that wherever you are, and however you decide to acquire it, that you find a peace that keeps you still, grateful and joyful.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The first three words are sufficient, but the entire quote is the realest thing I've ever heard and experienced for myself. Do this and watch as parts of your life fall away like autumn leaves, and other areas, new areas, spring up and bloom like the flowers, plants, and trees of May.
If you haven't tried it, I recommend it.
Have a great Thanksgiving!!
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Today is day 9 of the 21-Day Meditation Challenge with Deepak Chopra and I'm grateful for the effects it's already had on me. I'm calmer, less anxious, more peaceful and more faithful. I've let go of a few things that don't serve me well, and am envisioning my desires and am watching them manifest in my life.
Anyone can take 15 minutes to sit, listen to guided meditation, close their eyes and deep breathe. Just try it if you're looking to decrease stress, acquire more peace, joy and abundance. It's free and 81,378 people of FB like it including some of my friends. This is one those cases where I think it would be healthy to jump on the bandwagon.
Just a little stress-decreasing tip!
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
What really captivated me, though, was a section on energy. Just as much as Singer spoke about energy, he spoke about the heart. The heart is an energy center, also known as one of our many chakras. He said that as a result of fear, pain, various reasons, we close our heart and thus don't allow energy to flow through. He says as much as we're trying to protect ourselves, we're blocking goodness, what I'd consider blessings.
This reminds me of some advice a coworker gave me many years ago. I was in a constant state of "pissedivity." Yes, I totally made that up! lol Work was horrible, men were a mess, I was in pain. I would vent to her and despite the hurt I felt and how much I wanted to shield myself from anyone else inflicting anymore pain, she told me to soften my heart. I wondered how in the world would I do that. But she repeated herself over a long period of time reminding me that being hard and cold was not helping me. The solution to my problem was to soften and open my heart. Hmmmm...
It took time for me to actually implement this action item, but I have to say that my life changed considerably after that. I rekindled friendships, I forgave a man or two ...or three, I found places where I could thrive and people that I could connect with. I was not as easily angered and more understanding. I began to love myself more because I wasn't mad at myself for the "bad" choices I'd made or were to make in the future. I was more creative and overall I pulled myself out of a "pissedivity" hole, a woe-is-me cave. Life changed, energy flowed, and I can attribute it to an open heart. It takes work to keep that chakra open, that's for sure, but when you get the hang of it, I'm sure you'll feel and see the results of the shift.
The Untethered Soul is a great resource on how to open your heart and attract more positivity energy. Check it out :-) Let me know if you've found results by opening your heart.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
So, just survived Hurricane Sandy! Certainly blessed. Ultimately I'm just thankful to be alive and appreciative of the news reports and work of emergency units ensuring that folks are safe and can get help when they need it.
Still praying for those dealing with the aftermath.
Stay safe. Be blessed.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Self-discipline: correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement
There isn't much I have to say about self-discipline. It stands alone shouting, "Hey, utilize me! Just do it!" Self-discipline has transitioned me from writing every once in a while and only when I'm inspired to writing at least an hour every day whether I'm motivated or not. One hour of writing yields 500 words on a slow day. If I'm to write about 70,000 words for the next novel, how many slow days can I have? Less than 5 month's worth... The great news is that my self-discipline has pushed me past the halfway point of completing book #2. I have less the two and a half months left before I can exhale and celebrate the completion of another fulfilling project. One day at a time, staying on track, not giving up will give me the results I want. No one can do it for me just as no one can do it for you. Your dream is yours and self-discipline is necessary to reach it. Step by step, taking one day at a time, remaining on task, you'll make it to your finish line.
Hope you'll take the time to write a plan, set a schedule to do the work and produce your dream.
Go for it!
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
So I'm sitting here with a cold that had the audacity to show up on a week where work and my personal schedules are on crunch time. I'm busier than I've been in a while, which is exactly what I want, and yet a cold has come in and basically told me to "Saddown somewhere." Just when the momentum was growing and I'm implementing my new writing schedule, new workout schedule, new quality time with loved ones schedule and my cook more, eat less junk schedule, it stopped me right in my tracks. A cold, hmph...
But instead of continuing to whine and complain, I'm focusing on how to better take care of myself, how to better listen to my body and soul so that my core needs are met, and how to be still and live in the present. I do get reminders from time to time, like this cold, that it is time to sit and just be.
Today, I hope you'll find the time to just be. With only one life to live, I'm realizing that I don't want to zoom through it completing task after task after task. I'd rather take some time to be here, now, in the present and enjoy each moment for what it is.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
It's funny how the things I'm most afraid to do are things I'm actually pretty good at. Catch me before public speaking, presenting or teaching and I'm close to a mess. It scares me to talk, explain and engage other people. Before such events, my breathing is shallow, my teeth are clinched and my mind is on the “what-ifs”--what if I forget something; what if I get tongue-tied; what if my “Soufeast” comes out; what if I don't know the answer to a question?
What helps me is to think about these worst-case scenarios and answer them. It goes a little something like this: Well...I'll follow up with an email or bring it up at the end of my presentation if I forget something. If I get tongue-tied, I'll chuckle at myself (naturally) and slow down- I shouldn't be talking that fast anyway. If my “Soufeast” comes out, I’ll reel it back it and continue my “professional speech.” My accent is a part of me and will always be there, but it can be controlled. And lastly, if I don't know the answer to a question, I can always say, "I don't have that information right now. I will look into it for you and get back to you as soon as possible." See? Those big scary monsters don't seem so big and bad when you break them down and face them.
I try to do this with many big scary events or tasks I face. This comes up for writing the next books. It’s quite the task to write more novels, more stories, more plots and develop more characters. I don't always remember this fear-busting method but when I do, it relieves most, if not all, of my anxiety and leaves me feeling confident. I just take it one chapter at a time, knowing that things will work out even if it's not as I’d originally planned. It might even turn out better than I'd planned.
How do you face your fears?
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
I used to have an issue with fall. For me, it spelled the end of summer and fun, beaches and bathing suits, block parties and cookouts. But as I've grown, fall has become a positive change agent rather than a negative one. It's a time to restart, a time to reflect, a time to build and execute. This mind shift has started since I moved back to the DC area where season change is much more obvious than in Tallahassee, Fl (last home).
This particular fall, the dawn of the sky is so much more visible from my living room window, something I'd always wanted. I'll take a moment to sit and be still, watching the sky light up with colors of orange, pink, fiery yellow. It's a beautiful way to start my day, watching nature be itself, do its thing, and being in an attitude of gratitude for many things but mainly for being able to witness this every morning if I choose. It gets me going and reminds me to be natural, be myself, and to be consistent in growth and service. It's my Organic wake up call.
What's yours? What gets you going in a positive way?
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Has anyone found the happy medium for Black women and exercise? This is a very serious question I’m posing. I’m not afraid to say that sweating my hair out drives me bonkers. As a natural who wears it straight (via flat iron), any bit of a workout will throw my roots in a tizzy and I’ll be rocking a poofy semi fro. To wash it after a workout, every workout, would be too much work- wash, condition, roller set under the dryer, flat iron. As I write this, it may sound easy. Most of us know it’s not and it is time consuming for those of us who have lives. To wash my hair more often than once a week, or to just flatiron that my fluffy roots into straight submission (sounds dirty, like dirt-sweat kind of dirty) a few times in a week would be too harsh. I know what to do; I just don’t know how to do it.
Not too long ago, I took a break from working out. I just procrastinated myself into a two-month gym hiatus (sad, I know). I went to the doctor and she asked how much I weighed. I had just learned my current weight minutes before I stepped into her office. She laughed when I told her. We have that kind of relationship so she can do that. I’m laughing too but wondering what is soooo funny?! Turns out as she tells me, since our last visit 8 weeks ago, I’ve gained 6 lbs. WTH???!!! Oh that was funny alright! She said, “Sam, go back to the gym…” I just smiled and nodded at her and made the promise to myself that I’d go back. The promise was easy. Working out is even easy because I love to do it (when I’m actually doing it and not a moment before), but the hair is the hard part. I wish it wasn’t so. I really do.
So I need advice, because my jeans are saying “No, Sam, don’t even try to put us on,” my doctor’s saying, “Girl, get your butt back on the elliptical,” and my man is saying “Babe, your face is a little rounder? Have you noticed that?” O_o
Who can help?! What are you doing to make sure your hair doesn’t get in the way of your health?
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Monday, I felt a tingling in my throat. I left work with my “work” in tow, as I was going to push through and try to complete some projects. I felt horrible as I drove home with my throat and nose on fire and my eyes watering. It was the end of the summer, and here I was dealing with a cold? Ewwww. Not something I was happy about.
I did what I had planned. I got in my bed, put my laptop on my lap, and went to work after 2 tablespoons of Dayquil and an hour nap. I only felt worse as a pounding headache added itself to my list of symptoms. By the end of my workday, I had no energy and all I wanted to do was sleep.
Tuesday, still sick and feeling much worse. Wednesday, the same. All the while I’m worrying about when I’m going back to work and when I’m going to feel better so that I can resume my busy life. This mental rush-rush lasted for a little while, until I realized that as bad as I felt, this cold (virus) will just have to run its course, and that was a better deal than continuing to live my life as I was. This “running its course” gave me an opportunity to finally sit still and re-evaluate my life.
Here I was more concerned about my job than my health. Here I was about to cram two days of GRE study time and classes into a single, sick afternoon because I had missed the first class due to my illness, and felt that I would miss a second. (As if my MBA is just not good enough right now, and an MFA in creative writing is oh so necessary…right now.) Here I was realizing that writing, my outlet and first love, had taken a backseat to “life” because everything else ate up my time. I allowed it. This cold that was taking its merry little time to leave my system helped me realize that I was not focused on the right things and I could, just like it, take my time and do what I needed to do.
It started with a chat with my beau. I swear God spoke through him to me, and it was made evident that I come first. Not in any selfish kind of way, but in that way that a mother must first place her oxygen mask on first before securing her baby’s. It was about self-preservation for the purpose of being a service to others.
I decided to concentrate on rest and hydration, making myself as comfortable as possible while I’m dealing with the temporary illness. I, then, decided to cancel the GRE classes for now. I have enough degrees in this moment. The idea of going back to school and the preparation and energy that is needed is daunting. This is not the time for daunting, energy-sucking activity. This is a time for restoration, which lead me to my next decision. It was time to make an appointment to “talk” about grief. I often wonder why I’m not crawled up in a ball somewhere depressed and crying for my big sis. I have my moments, trust. But it’s time to be proactive and use the tools available to me. So I made the appointment and now feel that I’m on the road to coping better.
I was also able to refocus on relaxation, writing, and creativity- the fun stuff. The things that make my life shimmer.
There’s a blessing in having been knocked down by a cold, or anything forceful enough to stop you in your tracks. I’m just thankful I realized what it was and was able to change my life for the better. Little, yet important steps were taken. Things look brighter and really do feel lighter. Welcoming a new season J
Friday, September 21, 2012
Here it is, September 21, the last day of summer, and I'm realizing how tight-lipped I've been this whole season. Geez, I wished I would've blogged about the summer's events as they happened, but the past is the past. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. I will recap...and do better :-)
Work is busy as ever.
My mom came to visit twice. She was an awesome house guest even though she didn't cook for me every night like I'd wanted. :-P
Got a chance to hang with my bestie in New Orleans.
Spent time with my DC crew when I could.
Spent A LOT of ME time.
Read some good books from my reading list in the last post.
I didn't visit one beach. How sad is that?
Went to NY a couple of times! Super fun!
Organic Leaves is my growing baby who needed much of my attention. Still does :-)
I was ready for longterm "singlehood." I welcomed it. And then...
Love walked in...
Learned to accept help.
Realized that 3 years to 30 is now 5 months to 30. Wow!!!
Will be back next week with another post. See ya then!
Friday, June 15, 2012
So far I'm reading Toni Morrison's Tar Baby, Bishop T.D. Jakes' Promises From God For Single Women (not ashamed lol), and Organic Leaves (always rereading). I have The Alchemist on the waiting list and I Know This Much Is True. I'm ready to sit on the balcony with a nice drink (innocent stuff like tea :-D-on weekdays) and lose myself in a book.
Oh and to feed my addiction, I'm about to buy The Known World, by Pulitzer Prize winner Edward P. Jones. A fellow writer, Kimberly Shorter, wrote great things about it on her blog :-)
What's on your list?
Friday, May 18, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
I took a time out from blogging to explore, travel and just live. During this time away from blogging, I continued to ask myself “what’s the point” of my blog? I went from writing about the book and searching for an agent, to writing about personal life situations and changes, to posting journalistic activities…
Three Years to 30- I guess, I’ve done what I set out to do; talk about my life in this 3-year period. I’d like to revert back to the book, as my personal life is so new (it seems) that I don’t know how to really delve into the current happenings. I cannot remember who said this, but to paraphrase, it’s not an easy life to be a writer. For me, it’s hard to be fully present because I’m always viewing my life and many moments with the intention to one day write about them. It’s like being an actress in a film, gazing through the director’s camera. The purpose is to act, be in the moment, not always to analyze and define, then tell. #Shrugs. But if I didn’t have this issue, I doubt I’d be as good a writer. So it’s one those things in life, not bad, nor good. It just is.
See…Here I go talking about my life again! SMH Can’t help it.
Book update coming soon. Good things!! #OrganicLeaves
In the meantime, enjoy these photos of me “acting” and not directing!! Live life :-)
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Totally missing my sister today...
I'd thought I'd post what I read at her funeral service just over a month ago. It's the realest thing I've ever written.
"I wanted to sit and just observe but Michel would've thought that was odd. So here I am...
God blessed me with an amazing big sister. Ever since I can remember, I'd admired her; the way she walked, how she talked, how people were so attracted to her. I studied her as a child. Whatever charm she possessed, that inner happiness that she carried that made people want to be around her and to do things for her, I knew I'd be able to pick it up and make it my own. And I have, but I never forgot where it came from, and like her, I'd never take advantage. She was graceful and polite. People recognized her light and it made them happy to feed that- strangers, family, friends, the staff at the Dunkin Donuts and Bojangles. People know good when they see it...
If I could compare us to colors, my sister was a fire red, very hot and spicy. I started out baby pink, soft and sheltered, but as I spent time with her, and inherited some of her style, mannerisms, established a better connection with her, she added her red to my pink, and made me fuchsia- my favorite color of the rainbow. She was a teacher, a mentor, an enhancer...
I can't say enough about how wonderful Michel was, or how much we shared. If I tried, we'd be here forever. But I can say she was my cheer leader, my protector, my supporter, one of my best friends. She made any story funny, she made shopping and eating a sensual experience, and her zest for life and adventure pulled me out of my cave of artistic isolation and reminded me to live outside of my head.
I'm blessed to have had a second mother as a child, and a fun-loving, girl-talking, advice-giving best girlfriend that I called sister as an adult.
Michel and I grew up differently but our lives were so in sync it was uncanny. Our personalities are similar in moments when I least expect it- ranging from moments of giving out necessary verbal thrashings to just sitting in the sun and absorbing chi energy. She was human, but most of all she was love. She will forever be my sister."
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
So for all who know me, you know that in the past three months I’ve experienced many losses, Grandparents and sister. I thought that the initial loss was tough… Nope it’s the after effects that are really rough, the things you have to get in order that others just don’t understand, the strong person you have to be because your family needs that, the getting up to go to work when you want to just…not, the elevated intense pain and empathy you feel when another loved one is going through a hard time.
I’ve celebrated a book release, I even had a party (that I’d wished my sister was there to attend- she happened to be number one on my guest list when I was planning it, unbeknownst of what was to come), I’ve hung out, I’ve dated, I’ve had a ball, but in between all of that, I’ve been grieving, sometimes silently, other times not so silently, but always privately.
What I know is that it’s necessary to balance. Joy has to be found somewhere, somehow.
- Soooooo I put a hold on writing book number #2, which was going to be way more serious and quite darker than the first. I’ve started on book #3, lighter, more fun. I need that right now.
- I’m wearing my hair curly, in it’s natural state. I forgot how pretty it is, and perfect for the warmer weather coming soon.
- Yesterday, I bought a bright aqua blue, long sundress. It reminds me relaxing times, the sun, cool breezes and iced fruit smoothies…
Annnnnnnd I’m going to L.A….for a visit- for starters ;-)
The End :-)
What’s your joy? What makes you feel great?
Monday, March 12, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
This was weird. Never in my life did I think I'd sit and watch the movie Video Girl that keeps playing over and over again on BET. Judging by the title, I thought it to be lame, stereotypical, low low low budget and unrelateable (side note: Why isn't unrelateable a word? I think it should be.) Anywho, this weekend I decided too much going out just can't happen. I've yet to really settle into the fact that this is now my life...I'm minus a physically present sister...
So watching this movie, and the main character Lorie, played by Meagan Good, loses her sister played by her real sister, to gun violence. Of course I boo-hooed. This was her older, super pretty, fly, majorly encouraging sister who pushed Lorie to pursue her dreams. Who does that sound like? Of course, my big sis.
Lorie's character would dream about her sister and talk to her. I thought that was cool. I've only had nightmares where I was in a mess and my sister couldn't save me. That sucks.
What I liked about this movie, though, was that no matter what Lorie got herself into, her sister would always be there and her sister could always see her and advise her in the spiritual form. That's how I have to think of my sister.
I'm making major plans for the near future actually and I've only run them past God and Michel. She's egging me on, I can tell. I promised I'd bring her with me every step of the way.
Sisters are treasures and that bond is like no other. Hug and love your siblings because you just never know.
Who would've ever thought I'd be writing this in my Three Years to 30 Blog?! Never in a million years. But a lot has occurred in the 2 years that I've been writing this so far. Life...full of surprises and I'm learning to "Be Like Water."