Monthly Archives: May 2012

Today Is When

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Today is when your life is happening. Now is when life’s opportunities are yours.

Within you is a dream, a longing, a purpose, a desire to experience life’s richness in your own unique way. Surrounding you is a universe filled with energy and abundance, and possibilities.

Now is when you have the opportunity to connect your most treasured dreams with that abundance, and to bring them to life. Focused, purposeful, inspired action is how you can most effectively do so.

On this day, in this moment, the possibilities are more than just intellectual curiosities. Right now, the possibilities are real.

Today you can choose, you can take action, you can make a difference and you can make real, satisfying, lasting progress. Today you have the priceless opportunity to live your life as you envision it.

The best life you can imagine is today within your grasp. So go beyond mere imagining, and live each moment in the direction of the very best you know life can be.

— Ralph Marston

The words above are one of those “right on time” posts.  An email sent to me from a friend. Although I was included as part of her daily mass email, receiving this one is like sitting in church with a thousand other people but feeling like the preacher is speaking directly to you. This goes beyond assumed fortune cookie type coincidence, not that I believe that anything is by happenstance or coincidence but this truly spoke to me.

Recently being bombarded with feelings of inadequacies and doubts I have come to the realization (again perhaps…) that I have a terrible habit of limiting myself in an attempt to avoid disappointment. I’m certain that I’m not alone in my feelings but I don’t want anyone to live according to the limitations of doubt and fear. In order to truly experience the full manifestation of the promises of God, we have to overcome our uncertainties.

Our confidence in God comes when we truly seek to live according to His will for our lives. Today, I choose…faith.

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Much Is Given

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Although gaining financial wealth has always been a driving force in prosperity, I have personally seen a recent rise in the number of people who seem to be pushing towards making a dream come true for the sake of fortune and fame.

I have found myself growing weary of supporting people I see hustling their talents for money.  Even as indie artists, it’s possible to pimp oneself just as much as industry execs.  Many who have been driven by the need to make money off of their vision without understanding the greater purpose in creating have found that their hasty efforts were in vain often rushing projects to get them in the hands of whomever they think will be interested and in turn, putting out mediocre work! 

Putting out a product, be it a CD, book, a piece of fine art or even a service without ensuring it’s your best work is not only a waste money, time and energy but can also potentially tarnish the name/brand that you worked “so hard” at establishing.  Then when the product doesn’t gain popularity as hoped, people will scream that “people don’t support their own!”  Well, who do YOU know wants to endorse mess!?

I am learning that there will always be people who are willing to support your vision.  The key is actually having a vision and not just an idea!  Many don’t know the difference between the two!!!

This behavior is especially troubling when I see it displayed by those who consider themselves to be believers of Christ.  Lord knows that the current condition of the economy has people seeking to create multiple streams of income to support themselves and their families but our inability to focus on the will of God for our gifts/talents/ministry is merely tossing our seeds about which never generates a fruitful harvest. 

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop…” Matthew 13:4-8

I have been asked me why I do so many speaking engagements/gigs for free.  The answer is simple:  I give much because much as been given TO me. My talents, time and energy all serve a purpose greater than me. I dare not do what I do with the mere goal of making money.  I seek to fulfill my God given purpose and in doing so, KNOW and EXPECT that prosperity/wealth WELL BEYOND MONEY will come to me and my family.

If your “grind” has you focused on “making it” or “making money”, you need to readjust your focus on PURPOSE.  Your gift will truly make room for you but we must “…seek ye first the Kingdom of God…”Y’all know how it goes!

One day (soon possibly), I’ll get paid for all that I do but for now, the bank of my heart is filled with gratitude that God sees fit to use ME at all!  The payoff I receive from knowing that people are blessed by my words and even my presence is greater than the checks that will come!

“For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more
.Luke 12:48

Contesting the All Men Are Dogs Theory

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“There’s no such thing as a good man! ALL men are dogs! Men only want women for one thing and it ain’t love!” I have heard my sisters’ complaints many times in my 26 years. Around kitchen tables, at the bar during happy hour and sometimes as pearls of wisdom being passed down from a mother scorned, these words, condemning all men as dogs, are at times convincing especially when followed by those testimonies of baby’s daddy drama and love lost.

 I am fortunate to say that within my three significant relationships with men those who have been so lucky to receive the title of Baby, my man or simply put, my boyfriend I have been treated with no less than the respect that my daddy (who ironically at one time in life fit the all men are dogs theory) convinced me that I deserve. There is no doubt that growing up with him during my formative years did in fact mold me into the queen I call myself today. For years, it was not enough for me to be the queen of my own world, but I took pride in ruling over the lives of those men who weren’t so blessed to be with me. Their insignificance in my life got them no title except for maybe cut buddy or that of a friend with benefits, they didn’t get the quality time of a boyfriend but they tried to buy it every first and fifteenth. It was all part of an attempt to tie down a young woman that admired her father and older brothers’ ability to love’em and leave’em.

 What fun is there in doing things considered taboo! Even in the 21st century. Those late night phone calls and managing to sneak back into the dorms, often high off of some Mexican gold and wine, before birds sang their morning song was all part of the game. And let’s not forget that bills needed to be paid, road trips to take on the weekends with my girls and hey, we needed money for gas, food and more liquor. Of all the men that were taken advantage of, they were treated kindly. At any given moment any one of them could surely be convinced that they were the only one, but I found it more honorable to be honest. Not that there was anything honorable about multiple partners to begin with, but I found peace in my wayward ways by letting each gentleman know from the beginning his place was and what the deal was.

 After about two or three years of ripping and running, something happened. I was drinking a pint of tequila in one sitting; I had about three sexual partners going at once, one being my immediate supervisor, when something began tugging at my heart. I knew deep down inside that the life I was living was not the one that I had been created for. I actually acknowledged the fact that I was hurting people the way I had seen my father and brother treat women over the years was the same lifestyle that I had adopted. Then, he came along…

 Part of my social circle involves many artists: poets, musicians, singers. At open mics, these individuals saw me at my best and at my worst sometimes as a lively host, at times in a drunken state of despair as I poured my heart out through poetry or song. For years now every Wednesday night has been my sanctuary. Whether at Club Mitty’s in Hampton or in a small record shop on Granby Ave., the sounds of rhythm and blues, jazz and rock has been the soundtrack for my evolution. And there in a band we call Fuzz was the man who turned my life around.

 For months he didn’t even know that he was being used by my creator to mold me. Jason. Singer, songwriter, drummer, middle school band director and most importantly, a man of God. He’s not just one of those types that simply attends church. This man IS the church. This man reflects the love of God GREATLY. I had had a crush on Jason for at least two years. I never said anything. I knew that this man in ALL his wonderfulness would never, could not possibly want a woman like me. He’s the nerdy, good guy type. Never raises his voice, always has a kind word. And that smile!? A slight gap hidden behind beautiful lips. It was amazing that I never thought of him sexually. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

 I felt at times that he was in fact interested. I floated on air as I watched him watch my interaction with other men. I could see his interest there, but for whatever reason, he would never express it. One evening I sat alone in my room where an autographed poster with a picture of him and his band hang trying to figure out exactly what the problem was. I knew he wasn’t gay. I knew he didn’t have a girlfriend, so what was the problem?! I KNEW I was pretty enough and the idea that maybe I wasn’t his type never crossed my mind.

That same night, somehow a mirror was placed in my face. I saw for the first time the possible solution for this all men are dogs theory. Oh, if I could just send a private memo to all the women of the world, life just might be easier than we make it. It came to meal most audibly, it was so clear. There was no way that I could possibly expect to get this good man if I wasn’t living as a good woman. What man that is truly worth having in your life would be willing to settle for a woman that carried herself the way I did? I cussed worst than any sailor ever could; I drank more than most of the men I knew and for a while. I had even taken up smoking. Even if he didn’t know my deepest darkest secrets or just how far I went with the various men he’d seen me flirting with, I’m sure he could see right through my confident façade.

 I decided that night that even if he never did claim me as his woman, I would work to become a woman of virtue, that good thing that the Bible says a man finds when he finds a wife. I always believed I was a good woman, now it was time to begin to act like it. In turn, I trust that I will one day be worthy of the blessing of one of these good men that I know exist.