I’m Back

Though really I have written just in different places and spaces. Just went browsing down below to read my previous posts. It’s been a while. Like nearly 4 years while. In that time I have written in other spaces, the most prolonged one being my Peace Corps journals which have now vanished. Gratitude (with sarcasm and a sense of wanting to beat someone up) is given to the forces and circumstances which have led to their loss. Last August en route from Ghana to Berlin. I’m sure the customs at Tegel has enjoyed my private thoughts…fick dich (whoever) for enjoying them. Anyways, no need to get too much into that mood.

I haven’t written in ages online really. I think I’ve written a post not too long ago maybe in November of 2016 on one of my older blogs, but honestly I doubt I’ll go back to that site again. It carries too much of the past. Though my memory might not be too good, and this I do not say lightly, it truly is troubling when I’m exceptionally honest with myself, the point to which I recognize how short my memory is on things – it’s well alarming. Probably something I should look into checking while I have my health insurance before this new American regime continues it’s extermination and terrorization of my Brown existance. It’s the era of resistance. Anyways, it feels good to write actually. It really does.

Also while browsing through some emails an inspiration came to mind. I want to find a creative way to share and explore for myself my 1 year and 9 months in West Africa. A tumultuous experience really which ended in a way of being tossed away…. Perhaps a photo exhibition – with music….Ein Fotoausstellung…..something like that? Yeah? Yeah? I think I should do that….

Art and creativity heal after all, don’t they?

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Brand new Day

“Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. ”  —Native American Proverb

Last couple of days have been not easy. At all. Usually this happens a week before my period kicks in. An emotional prelude engulfs me. This time though this is not the case. I know why I am feeling this way now. The meditation really digs in and everything around just becomes that much more intense.

I embody the notion that 20’s are a time of profound self-exploration. I hope many chose to do this in their lives and not waste this precious period in their lives. I am a living proof of that. I have never been shy of recognizing my uniqueness (but nor a stranger to forgetting it at times) in that I have always sought to figure out who is it that I am and what is it that I am born to do? My purpose and personal truth in other words. The biggest change over the years has been in that I have realized that there is not only one or the other: we are made to discover ourselves and also build ourselves into the beings we want to be and are. Many of the enlightened people in this world define these things differently. Recently Paulo Cuelho’s words on Personal Legends, World’s Biggest Lie, Soul of the World, and a reminder that “when you want something all of Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” have been reinforcing the many lessons I have been learning in my life’s journey and continue to learn. I finally got around to reading The Alchemist. It is my reading companion at the moment. Something tells me that this book will be re-read by me many more times after I finish the first round.

A relationship with yourself is the core for everything. The way we love ourselves will trickle into how we love others. I am a ferocious lover who gives shamelessly while exposing myself to being vulnerable. I believe in myself at the core, my soul believes in my true self. What a blessing. I watched Oprah’s interview with Tina Turner and Patti Labelle a while back and both of them said they have always believed in themselves in spite of many trials and tribulations. I am picking up my pieces of last year’s and this year’s event.

Serenity of Lake Tana summer 2013. Bahr Dar, Ethiopia.

Serenity of Lake Tana summer 2013. Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

I do not indulge in other people’s sorrows nor do I need to use people in any way to uplift me. I hope to master the art of genuine forgiveness. I do though reach out when I need to feel the love and support. I did today. And the Universe also reached out to me too. From Germany and from America. A girl is blessed.

And it is officially November 20th. Another day live, how can I not be grateful?

I give gratitude in my “Gratitude Journal.” One of the best advice I can give you this year is to start jotting down someplace specific things you are grateful for. It is amazing for the Soul, Body, and Mind.

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Sat. Chit. Ananda. – Life in a Concious State

Yes I have to learn to sleep better. Well the night before I sort of got a bit overjoyed with dancing and watching my very cherished recorded shows. I succumb to watching very few hours of television which I have with years increasingly abandoned. I am ferociously selective about what I spend my time on watch. These days it is the OWN network, with Super Soul Sunday talks, and random but very enriching selections of shows. Conclusions from last night: I must take on dance lessons or rent a studio to simply go and dance occasionally, Ms. Patty Labelle is amazing and Black Girls and Women Rock. And most importantly I am beyond blessed to have been born a brown woman. Period. My exploration of self and femininity has been tremendously enriched by millions of daily events and happenings. I am infinitely blessed. Needless to say one thing led to another and I stayed up way too long and did not get proper sleep. Yet it was all worth it.

Then dreams were strange too, but their strangeness no longer alarms me. I have a vivid imaginations to say the least. I think there was a robbery involved, potentially a scene from my last relationship and something else. The memory is already faded. I woke up twice, hit the alarm twice more and woke up 20 minutes in time for my bus ride to work. So I thought….of course the notoriously reliable bus has left 10 or so minutes before it’s scheduled time. My day began with a bump. I got a ride to the next bus and hopped on gladly. I cherish this moment of stillness and reflection that bus rides offer. Call me strange, but I find therapy in this.

On the bus ride, there was an intense moment of feeling life in a very conscious way going on when I was caught by a little girl looking at me. We smiled at each other and felt serene. My thoughts then took me to gratitude. I sincerely felt my powerfulness in being awake to what living means. Being in the present, free from the past, and un-expecting of the future. Of course I believe in striving to and having a goal for the future, but how it unveils should not be suffocated by our expectations. I felt all that and more and some tears just dripped for a moment. My consciousness and self felt intense sense of serenity, gratitude, and humbleness by everything around. The people on the bus, the views out of the windows, the going to work, the struggles, the optimism, the gift of life and my personal greatness. I am so powerful, not in a pompous way but in a way that should be utterly acknowledged first and foremost by myself. Work began with many bumps today but at the end of the day and as I am writing with the laptop in my laps way past my bedtime; I am still eternally grateful for everything.

I should sleep now. Meditation day 4 will usher me into sleep and in a few hours my first gig as an ESOL teacher.

 

Namaste.

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Just yesterday I was thinking and I think saw the original image of “Rosie the Riveter” figure with the famous slogan ”We Can Do It!” by J. Howard Miller. And as I have become utterly intrigued, and continuously inspired by the great blog Urbanbushbabes I just moments ago stumbled upon the post in which Cipriana (what a beautiful name, isn’t it?) recreated the image and applied it towards our Natural Hair Movement! Brilliant on so many levels. I have myself been contemplating what this movement means for us  the women of color. Gorgeous in all hues with absolutely astonishingly beautifully diverse hair textures, shapes, and volumes. My beauty standards have absolutely been undergoing a really big transformation these days, I have mentioned this before and I will continue to reinforce this realization further.

I am also toying with my own hair. I took out yet another braid out yet again. And gave myself a “cut” to achieve a shorter style. If there were no monetary constraints and NYC was not a bit far and did not require about two days off from work for me, I think my hair would have been cut already. But I am awful at planning trips as they give me some sort of anxiety and the money is a little tight right now. Plus, I do admit that I am having fun cutting my “braids” off in small installments. ImageIt’s actually really fun. So I will wait for the right moment and so far I am still shooting for the first week of December to embark on my natural hair journey with a big chop. Though I think I have been transitioning for a while now without even realizing it. 

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Since I am currently floating between two households as I am readjusting to my life back in the States from Berlin and the lack of my cozy and stable room of my own there, it is always a treat to come to a room of my own. In a rare moment when I watch the television, I watched yet another episode of Super Soul Sunday on OWN. A recorded show of course. As India Arie pointed out during her interview with Oprah – “Super Soul Sunday is the best show on television.” I think that’s what she said, maybe she was referring to the entire channel – on both counts of which she is supported by me. I am absolutely convinced that Super Soul Sunday is the best television show on television because it is genuine, uplifting, raw, spiritual and very real. It is genuine in the topics…it speaks directly to my intellect and soul. I am very grateful it is here and now.

So India did say a lot of things that also spoke directly to my soul. I just love the candid conversations in this show and how the guests “go there!” to open up and share their truths.

Life is beautiful. And so are these and many other affirmations.

“I am not  your expectations, no, no,

I am not my hair.

I am not this skin.

I am a Soul that lives within”

“Be clear about your intention and the Universe will meet you wherever you are

Aside

For days now a possible posts have been brewing in my mind drafts of which have been patiently sitting in my blog’s storage. A life of a fruitfully thinking girl I suppose. The thoughts are endless and in a good way. Unfortunately, a bit of a delusion might have settled in as well with the coming cold which is attacking my immune system. If there is one “illness” I particularly unwelcome because it seems to me that it can definitely be avoided is anything related to catching the flu. But I am still well and grateful and will get better in no time. This is just a reminder to take better care of health. In the meantime I will blow my nose gently and drink plenty of fluids. Period.

This week my sister’s boyfriend and his twin brother have celebrated their 30th birthdays. I am particularly close with my sister’s boyfriend because well, he is like a big brother to me and over the years he has been a great friend even as our relationship has been undergoing rough patches at different times and even continents. Yes I fancy his kind and stubborn spirit quite a lot. Of course I have joked and teased him about the “you are so old now” fact but also someplace in there I dropped in a “this is such a blessing to get to this age in life.”

Age – such an obsessive notion sometimes, especially when focusing on the “numbers” as opposed to “wisdom, all of the treasured experiences accumulated in those years, the self-development” etc., as opposed to the physical and outwardly meaning of what an older age is. The sheer ability to get to such an age is a miracle and a blessing on their own. Especially in this world when at 13 years old you can be shot with 7 bullets piercing through your body for carrying a toy gun. Yes guns are evil in my opinion too and I will leave that discussion at rest here. May your Soul rest in Peace little Andy. Yet this is the world we live in and it is a frightening place. It is cold, it is heartless, it is frightened, it is rigid and utterly filled with people making deadly mistakes because in my humble observation they have not done soul searching to find themselves; and instead their are the living zombies. I pray in all forms for the humankind to embrace at some point in each person’s life to live a life which Dares Greatly embracing vulnerability and imperfections while living wholeheartedly and courageously. Thank you Dr. Brené Brown for bringing this vision forward and up for discussion to all of us.

And then I am back to the topic of age again. My aunt shared on facebook an article about a 90 year old phenomenal woman by the name of Phyllis Sues who embraces every bit of life and embodies what for me is an exemplary approach to living with a mantra of “There is no age, it’s living each moment to it’s fullest.” Because in reality life really is “in itself is a challenge and you can either, accept it and take action, or you can sit and do nothing. And I am also in the camp of not sitting and waiting for life to happen to me in some mysterious way and reveal itself in some unrealistic nature, no life always moves on (until we die) and then the events and happenings during our lifetimes vary with each stage accordingly. So when I read Sues say “My advice is there is only one winner: accept the challenge, take action and get on with your life no matter what age.” I accept her words wholeheartedly. But she doesn’t just stop there to be inspiring either.

“I started my own fashion label at 50, became a musician and learned Italian and French in my 70s, took tango and trapeze at 80 and walked into my first yoga class at 85. So, if you think you’re old, think again!” Limitations in the mind are trivial to our inner capacity, ability to enjoy life, and embrace our individuality I believe.

And Sues continues on with these emotional punch lines “I have realized, that anything is possible, if you like who you are and what you do. Yes, anything is possible and even probable….I admit, I’m driven but I’m driven by desire and that’s the formula. Desire is so powerful, like you are propelled as if from a canon. Desire to me is the driving force, but action is the result.

Self exploration in fact has always been and always will be a staple of my character. And when I read of the reflections of people like Phyllis who have lived life, yes lived life in all of it’s forms and fully embrace what life is all about – my mind and soul find comfort and hope that even in spite of the coldhardheartedness of our humanity one can still embrace themselves and graciously live an authentic life in the midst of it all.

Happy Birthday Misha and Boris and thank you Phyllis Sues.

Ageless Aging

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I filmed myself tonight

Tasks accomplished from the morning hours on. Finally laundry done since my return from Berlin. First time in a month, though I have been fortunate that my sister did wash up my clothes for me since I partially live on her couch as well. It was eleven 11:11 when I wrote the last sentence (Taren Guy and Hye Mi – girls this is for you both), nothing happens without a reason.

Fast forward then. I had dancing on my mind for days now. My body was craving the movement and that form of expression I think. I finally danced today, perhaps for more than an hour or so. And I filmed myself doing it. This is my intrinsic form of expression I have come to accept. Dance will always remain in my life. It was as usual glorious. Jessie Ware with Wildest Moments was the muse. The lyrics, voice, composition, and simplicity of it all made me nearly blast the song in the car all day. The rare occasions when I do have a car to drive nowadays.

I am tired now, but I want to end with this. I am grateful for everything in my life. The sea of emotions and multitude of thoughts and realizations. Contemplation, confusions, and ability to function in the midst of it all. To still love and seek and stay humbled.

I actually am an artist and a writer too; and I am building a healthy relationship with myself.

Giving sincere thanks for everything. My eyes are going shut….

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