The Essence Within

Closing my eyes, I am wrapped in velvet darkness that caresses me. The darkness transforms into the light of peace, calming the storms of my mind. Racing questions, instantaneous thoughts, self deprecating feelings all wash away here in this space. Like my secret retreat. Silent tears sleigh down the hill of my cheeks as I relish in this peace and calm, closing the doors of senses, letting the world fall away. I am grateful for this space. I sit asking the Infinite for strength to continue in my mortal form with its finite intelligence. I ask him to let the peace of this place remain with me when my eyes open. I dread opening my eyes and rising from my meditation pillow before realizing that this feeling in itself is a form of Maya. So I sit a bit longer, praying fervently for me to believe in true stillness and peace of mind. I pray for greater faith in the unseen— Peace. For me, I know not of peace. Not of what it looks like, what it feels like, or how it sounds. It takes much faith for me to believe that sitting here is okay, that this moment is supposed to be okay. That each moment is perfect and peaceful as it is.
No matter how difficult it is at times, I find comfort in meditating. My most favorite places to meditate are in the shower or in the woods while it is raining — because no one can distinguish the rain from the tears falling from my face. I cry often. Gut wrenching sobs that cripple my back forcing me to my knees. I have always cried when I pray, even from a young child. I cry out of sincerity. Out of sheer will for a greater, deeper faith for that which I am praying.
Most of my mediations, I am asking for strength and fortitude to continue with life. Pleading with God to arm with me his blessings of peace and fortitude for nothing else in this world is worth having. I beg Him to equip me with whatever it is that I need to complete this mission called life. I remind Him that I am suffering in this human form and need his help. Stretching my hands to the sky on my knees with tears streaming down my cheeks, I remind God how hard the suffering is. I bare my flesh to him, exposing deep ebony skin. I cry to him, saying “Master, Infinite Creator, please remember me. Remember that I am in this black girl form. This black skin is drenched in suffering, in past pains, past hurts. Though I know I have a mission here on earth in this body to complete, please be with me. The cross of this black skin is heavy. walk with it I must. Times come when I want nothing more than to meditate on you and practice your teachings when this brown skin fails to believe. This brown skin and the pulsing blood in my veins carry with it the sorrows of a thousand slaves. This brown skin knows little of peace and trust. Lord, you know I have the faith to believe in you even though I lack the faith to believe in myself. Lord, God, please give me the love of all loves — the love of myself. For if I am able to love myself, I am able to express that love to others, as it is your will Lord.”
I pray this prayer and have been praying this prayer for as long as I can remember. Not exactly in those words. I find it difficult to meditate deeply or to enjoy life as fully as I can because my mind always seems to get the better of me. Growing up Black, I was always told, “You have to work ten times as hard as everyone else just to get half of what they get”. This philosophy became the backdrop for my life, filling it with fear and anxiety. I overworked myself to the point of exhaustion and then would get depressed when I physically couldn’t go on because to me, if I was not working like a slave, I was worthless. At work I would arrive early and leave late, working overtime even when I wasn’t paid for it. I didn’t mention any of the injustices that happened to me because I was taught that suffering injustices is the norm for my life as a black girl and that to speak up for myself would attract attention, and attention was bad because I should just feel grateful they even allowed me to be there in the first place. I was inadvertently taught to expect and accept a life as a second class citizen both in this country and in my thinking. Was I groomed and primed to hate myself?
I continued through life always trying to prove myself and denying the luxury of knowing peace. I got to a place in life where I questioned the point of any of it. I asked God why did he make me? I felt ugly, worn, and insane. I wanted to know why God was so unmerciful to people with dark skin. We were brought out of slavery only to have physical chains be replaced with mental ones. In my thinking, I was sure that physical chains could not hold a match to mental chains, for who has the key to free a man in mental chains? Oh, how I felt conned again. I felt once more like a loser as if the pains of suffering would go on forever.
After a very dark episode of depression that landed me into a mental hospital for a week and after quitting my job, I began to get heavily involved in meditation. It was through this meditation that my pain and suffering made sense. I learned about reincarnations and the purpose of this physical body. I began to believe that I was not my body nor my mind but I was an essence that was temporarily residing in the current earthly form. It gives me solace for when times are hard. For those times that the color of my skin causes me to doubt and hate myself, I remember that I am not this black skin, I am the essence within. And if God selected this particular earthly form of black skin with all of its pains and suffering for me to reside in during my mission on earth, He must have also known that my essence is already well equipped.

Supplementing My Public School Education

Becoming frustrated with life will cause you to do a total evaluation of your life. I found out several things very early in life about myself:

  1. I am horrible with money;
  2. I am controlled by my emotions meaning that I am very impulsive and reactive; and,
  3. I found it difficult to really know what I want and to make a decision.

Reflecting upon my life I noticed that I was not taught several fundamental principles in life about time, money, and self-control. For most middle class or families that fall into any class below the middle, most children spent the majority of their time and attention in a public school classroom for hours at a time. Learning. It is safe to assume that school curriculums expect parents to teach their children those precious fundamentals about time, money, and emotions. I get it. School is not meant to be all-inclusive. But what if your parents do not know themselves or what if they do not have the time to teach you those principles?

You would end up like me in life: debt-laden, impulsive, and depressed.

If you are here where I am, you will most likely need a supplement to your public school education. You will need to learn the fundamentals to go along with your academic degree elsewise your degree will be pretty much worthless. Real power is knowing how to use the knowledge you have, much less about how many degrees you have or languages you speak.

Having the fundamentals of life will prepare you to use the knowledge you gain in life to your advantage and the greater good of the world. If you are eager to begin, please start by reading one of the books from my recommended book list. I know, these books cost money but I can guarantee you that reading is one of the best ways to invest in yourself. The ROI (return on investment) will reveal itself. Besides, sometimes all it takes a show of faith in yourself, an investment. So let yourself know that you are worth the investment and get ready to take charge and change your life!



Emotion Check

Do you have issues dealing with emotions whether stemming from your own thoughts or from situations involving others? Or have you acted impulsively based on an emotion you’ve experienced?
Looking back through my life, I can see so many instances of when I have let my emotions control me. Not good. At all. I know that during those phases and places in my life prior to this very moment, others have probably labeled me as an emotionally volatile person. Unstable. Unpredictable.
To that I say, cheers to the dawn of a new day. I have since learned to tame the beast of emotion and ego that dwells in the very depths of my mind. How? Mindfulness and meditation. Those two words seem vague in and of themselves but the more you practice and read about it, the more you understand what they mean and the relationship they have with each other.
What steps can you take today to experience the difference of living in control of your emotions vs living with control of your emotions? I will give you a golden nugget to hang on to for today:
See if you catch yourself before or during the middle of an emotional episode. If you can see it, you can stop it. Once you identify it, make a pledge with yourself that no matter when you notice it such as when you can name it as being an emotional experience, that you will stop, take 3 deep breaths focusing on the breath on each inhale and exhale, and stretch your back. No matter where you are. If sitting in a straight back chair in a suit and you began to get heated with a co-worker, you can notice that you are being driven by emotion, either stop yourself mid-sentence or excuse yourself from his presence, breath deep 3 times, and stretch your back.
I know this will help you as much or maybe more as it has helped me. I spot the experiences less and less because the stronger my awareness of them become, the less they appear. One must learn to outwit the mind 😉

Brain Vomit — Seeing is Believing and other Corny Office Posters (I mean, it’s really just that one)

Seeing is Believing

If Seeing is Believing shouldn’t we change what we see?

So it’s not just a office poster of a cat meme? Seeing really is believing. How many ways can you see becomes the real test of faith. Can you see when you close your eyes? I can. There are those who have learned or are learning how to walk by faith and not by sight. They are learning to see with their eyes closed because some where in life, probably in some dingy stale-air office in a run-down brick building that seeing truly is believing.

Can I be one of those people? How can I put this to work in my own life?

You can either do this one or two ways. But there is something that must do first.

First: What Shall we SEE?

You have to find something by which you can “see”. What is something that you want or would be nice to have right now? Think about this question without thinking too hard about the money. When I did this a while ago, I said it would be nice to drive a really nice car, like a BMW or Porsche. Because well, I like to drive. Fast.

Next Step: Seeing it

Go see it for yourself. Where is it kept? Who has them? Where can you become to have one? For me, seeing it was visiting the BMW dealership. At this time in my life, I was, in laymen’s terms, the quintessence of BROKE. I was a mental wreck, in debt up to my eyeballs, and barely hanging on to my job and my life.  But even for me in my financial state, I still ventured to the Porsche dealership just to see it. I remember the salesman being a really nice older gentleman. He reminded me of the butler from Archer. When he found me, I was looking at a Porsche 911. He quite amused but very much pleased by both my selection and knowledge of said selection. Needless to say, if old dude handles fine china the way he does 60 in a curve well I’d say he’d make a rather dashing butler 😉

Did I make $1 million later on that year a buy that Porsche? No- but what did happen was that the next year my husband and I purchased a BMW. My husband is luckily also into cars and we found out that we could get a really good deal on a great car!

Yea but it’s not a porch you may say. If you said that you’d be missing out on my point. Remember that this part if only a test. Once you have shown to yourself that seeing is believing with your natural eyes even in the most conventional way of seeing, you will move on to seeing with your eyes closed as well as seeing what is not seen.

As usual, I hope you loved my brain vomit! If you think you would like to actually hear my brain vomit, let me know. I could “see” myself doing a podcast. And lastly, if you really wanna  “see” my brain vomit up close let me know, as I can also “see” myself doing a podcast in my own spot downtown. Let me know so maybe we can “see” our lives unfold together!

Poisoned By It

Firstly, it’s totes real. There’s no activity, nor device alert, nor conversation piece that escapes the mighty power of constipation. What in life is pleasant when you’re full to the brim with weallknowwhat?

That’s kinda how life can get sometimes. We fill every cavity of our body with the emotions, thoughts, and situations of everyone else without taking the proper care to release every now and again 😉

Luckily for life, the options do not smell quite as bad. Releasing comes in several forms. It is a natural urge to experience the release when it begs of us.

If you were waiting for me to get personal, I shall. Currently I am writing to an audience. The audience is you. Our destinies are linked. The stars have aligned…..or….

***For Parents or Children of “those Parents”; please stop here if you do not care for enhanced pleasurities of language. By reading further, you forfeit your right to complain or judge hereto til the end.****

For the past few weeks I experienced said life constipation. I was full of shit. I had bottled up in me years of baggage, life whatnots, emotional fragments of prior relationships, and childhood drama. But as one knows, things took a wrong turn the longer I held it in. I became poisoned by it. The husband wasn’t doing things right. My job situation was uncertain and frustrating. I would complain about both constantly, not out loud but def in the dialogue in my head.

I became so over it and knew I needed to rid myself of it. Sweet release. Here we are. You and I have met again. To dance. To sing. To laugh. To be. Such a sweet release this is to me.

What if God is a Dick?

I mean really, think about it. What if God is a complete asshole of a supreme being? How would you react?
Would you act differently? If so, what would that make you? How would it shape your perception of religion and life?
Sitting atop a pillow one day in the half lotus position, stoned as a hippie, I saw a floating image of the Mona Lisa. I saw Da Vinci and I saw the floating image of our pictured God. Oh, Mona and her smirk or smile. Is she man or woman? Oh, Da Vinci, how you teased us so! Or did he really? I read “the Da Vinci Code” a while back and found it completely fasciniating, all the secret societies and such. You know a conspiracy is exciting! I read more books after that about great artists and contemporaries of that day and noticed how they were oddly very religious and also very technical. Take Da Vinci for example and the Last Supper drawing. So much has been written and said about that famous piece. What was my take on it? And why am I mentioning this? More importantly, as the daughter of a southern preacher, why in God’s name was I even suggesting that God could even be a DICK or all things?
Please allow me to tell you. All of my tales begin and end with books, just so you know. I have a thing for knowledge and wisdom. At any rate, I developed a strong interest in religions outside of my own. I was tired of the same old church, the same old doctrine, and the same old God. God was some bearded old, wise looking white man. And Jesus was this strikingly, handsome Orlando Bloom-type, goodietwoshoes. And God, along with this young Orlando Bloom looking character were the perfect, docile, spiritual beings that were perfect and gave us salvation. They never experienced any wrong, never got mad, never had a drunk night or fight with the roommate over who left the open condom on the kitchen counter. Just two perfect, super nice dudes, who just give away stuff, and have all of these rules for salvation but didnt get mad if you broke them beacuse they are God, right?
I read more books from all religions that painted God as this completely super nice dude. I also read scripture after scripture about how we were created in his image. That struck a different cord in me. I was now so freaking confused. Wait, so we were created in God’s image to mirror and reflect him who is perfect? How could we? In the same sentence it also tells us how we were born into sin. Let’s not get too technical here for you bible scholars. So here I am in the midst of this kerfunkle, if you will. I keep repeating to myself, “we were made in the image of God. we are also sinners. We also reflect God.” If I hold a mirror to my face, will I not see my face? If I looked deeper, will  I not see both the good and the ugly in me? How can I not expect perfection if I was mirrored after an all-perfect Being. He even sent his Son here to show us that perfection was possible but we are not supposed to be perfect?
Sitting atop that pillow, frustrated as possible, staring at this image of the floating image in front of me, there can a clear question: “What if God is a complete dick?” I mean like a real asshole. You know the type– the type that has no filter and will call out whomever he pleases. The dick that so readily picks out the flaws in others will heralding himself to a higher standard of flawlessness. The dick that girls try to stay away from but cant because they are quite charasmatic and irresitable. The kind that we all love to hate. Yea, that kind of dick who gets away with the impossible and makes everything look easy. What if God’s a Dick? The more I thought about it, the more it became an actual possibility.  For instance, God seems to LOVE calling people out in church. Well, at least the church I grew up in. You could be sitting one minute listening and enjoying the sermon, the next minute God has led this minister to bring up your personal private business in the pulpit. This is called “stepping on toes” in church lingo. Dick move #1. #2 God will use a minister, another imperfect sinful being to preach to the rest of us from a sit of authority.
So what is with the floating Mona Lisa and Da Vinci? I think Da Vinci also questioned the duality of God. I think he thought God was everything and nothing, he was good and bad, pretty and ugly, the yin and the yang, the beginning and the end, He is all of it. Da Vinci best portrayed this via the Mona Lisa painting. There is so much duality in the Mona Lisa, so much room for perception and such. I think Da Vinci also must have wondered about the mirroring image of God and saw that just as there is duality in us, there must be duality in God. Everything begins and ends with God. The most important piece being that life in general is about perception. Is the Mona Lisa a smiling woman? Or a smirking man? Do you perceive God to be a dick or a perfect Saint? How does the different perceptions of God change how you approach life?
Well, we all know how people live if they perceive God to be a saint. Most people can either be frustrated and hate God because they can not relate to Him or they can try their best to emulate him and deal with the accompanying frustration of not being perfect. If you perceive that by some chance that God can also be a dick, I think I would live a bit differently. I would be less timid about life and would match God’s dickness one-for-one. Not saying that I would be a complete dick but I wouldn’t go around thinking that all of this is a rose when it isn’t. I would live more openly. I would live life in the shadows of reproach. I would worry less about losing and focus on winning. Because assuming that God could be a dick sometimes, would remind me that my mortal self, in all of my original sinness, will be okay. I will remind myself then that I am truly made in His image. And that is just fine with me.


There was a time when I longed to be an adult so I could go make my own money and buy the good cereal, so I could stay up past my bedtime reading the latest Harry Potter, or so I could skip church on wednesday nights. As I grew older however, things changed. Drastically, the grass is always greener type approach. As an adult now, I miss those youthful days of rent-free living, 3 square meals a day, and not a worry in the world. I actually came to realize that I grew tired of eating cereal for dinner even if it is the good cereal, I can barely stay awake past 8pm, and I like going to a community church once a week. Oh how things change!
Fundamentally, I experienced a shift in my expectations. I found out that life was not as cheeky and rosy as it once was. There a cold bitter truth out there waiting to nip at the bare noses of young adults, fresh out of childhood. you can probably still smell breast milk on the breath of many. This shift happened slowly over time so that one day, at almost 30, I looked around me, startled and out of breathe. I didnt recognize myself nor my mind. I think others noticed the shift sooner than I. My mom went into paranoid freak out mode all the time, fretting over the umbilical cord that was snapped almost 3 decades ago, hoping I wont up and run away into the abyss. My employers saw the change as well as my friends.
Ignorance was the change. I became aware of the fact that I was ignorant about so much in life. This may not seem like a big life changing ordeal but this is coming from a person who thought they had a pretty optimistic view on life as they knew it. What caused this awareness of ignorance? More knowledge. I, like many transitioning adults, realized that there was a MAJOR discrepancy between what I was taught growing up and the way things really are. Like a vast difference. The more I noticed this gaping difference, the more frustrated I became. Then that frustration turned to anger, like it usually does. Officially, I became the sterotypical “too smart for their own good” kind of young adult — you know the ones. The ones that always seem to have a chip on their shoulder, always screaming about the injustice in the world, always raging on about their innocent victim role. I became her. She was me. Pessimism was my new thing. Hating “the man” was in (as if it was ever not in style). And I was in full fashion. I signed petitions, wrote letters, and attended meetings with others who had realized the unfairness of life and their own ignorance. To be quite honest, it gave me zeal for awhile. The anger had an outlet. It also allowed the anger to grow and fester into the beast of arrogance and greater ignorance. Becoming an outright rebel without a cause, just like all the other rebels without causes, I failed to really do a detailed analysis of myself, study my situation, and plan an intelligent way to deal with my ignorance and the injustice. As we know with anger, it poisons you. And poison me it did. Anger sucked all the wind out of my sails. I became depressed and despondent. I hated every job I worked. I hated poor people. I hate depressed people. I hated the man. I hated black people. I hated the south. I hated white people. I hated myself.
At my wits end, swirling a cocktail of meds and whiskey in my hands, I knew I needed to make one last ditch effort to make things right before I ended it all. I could try to save myself. There must be something here worth saving. There must be some other point of life that I was missing. This last minute question of life saved me from taking my own. If I don’t have anything to lose, clearly I didnt as I was about to drown myself in a glass of cheap whiskey and OTC sleep meds, what could I stand to gain I reasoned? I didn’t know but I was willing to find out.
This would actually be a great place to insert [The End] and continue telling the story of how my life was instantly changed. I could tell you that I put that drink down, went home and started an amazing million dollar business and non-profit to save starving children and never looked back. But I would be lying. And I would be doing both you and I an incredible disservice.
What I can tell you is that I did put that drink down. I did alot more crying, alot more hair pulling, took a few more risks and although I am still not where I want to be, I am right where I need to be. Right at the intersection of “making progress and getting there”.
I can say that we all will have that moment, or several of them if you are like me, when we feel that an incredible disservice has been done to us. We may feel like life has not prepared us enough and that in itself feels like a cold hard slap in the face- an injustice. Some of us have chosen to blame our parents, our religion, our skin color, our environment or the cat. The list of the blamed are many, the list of the responsible are few. It’s easy to blame and hard to swallow the pill of responsibility but in order to progress, we must.
I wrote this blog post to encourage someone to not let ignorance fester in you, do not let your temporary frustration turn to anger- and even if it does, I am here to tell you that there is a way out should you decide to seek it. Life is not a sprint. It is a marathon. Prizes are not awarded to those who finish the fastest but to all of those who stick with it, those who make progress, those who remain resilient in the face of uncertainty and ignorance.