Love in All the Little Things

Ever step on a crunchy leaf on the sidewalk just for the melodious sound of the crunch? Ever tried blowing kisses to the moon? Do you walk down the street brandishing a delicately picked flower like it was a magic wand? Because I do. All the time.

I don’t think. I just do. I walk and hum these days. Just a little tune, nothing too fancy and def not your Top 40. I sing songs of love to the universe so my vibration can be felt, sensed.

Life is a complete and profound testament to love ya know. Just look. Everything is a love song. What on this earth is not fueled by love? If we look deep enough, it is all love really. Love is the universal force that pulls matter together. It’s that great energy that creates something out of nothing. It’s the place where we come from and the place we will go when we leave. It’s in us and lives through us. Love is love is love is love. All the types of love. All the ways of love.

You are here because of love. I am here because of love. No matter how you slice it. Everything has a relationship with love. Sadly sometimes things come about inversely because of love or the lack thereof. If there is a restlessness or a problem area in your life, I dare you to sprinkle a little love on it. Love is the balm of all balms. And when we learn to love with God’s love, when we learn the language of universal love for all beings, then we will know the true happiness that is to be found. As if it were ever lost is what you will say. Because when you seek and find love you will see that love was always here winking and peeping at you in the flowers, from the sky, from friendly hugs, in hands that touch, eyes that behold, and hearts that feel.

Can you feel the love?

Never Washing My Face Again — NOPE

Why Did I Chose to Experiment with Facial Products?

Cause I had mad pimples and like many of you, I started googling and self researching remedies for irritated skin and pimples. Of course I came across the usual advice: Use newer, more expensive must-have facial cleanser, astringent, toner, and creams. My mom even convinced me to visit a doctor who prescribed a topical cream to be applied twice daily.

Issues with the Solutions Presented:

(1) I was budget sensitive

(2) I hated the idea of adding more product to my already long and time consuming daily regime

(3) a;sldfjasdlkfjsdlfkdfljk —Frustration because NOTHING seem to be working and I was spending mad money, yo!

What Did I Decide to Do?

I decided that I would take matters into my own hands, quite literally. I handmade my own solutions (cause Clinique is too fancy and shawty got bills to pay). I started by combining honey and sugar as a rub and used lemon juice with it twice a week. I also decided that for a while, I would simply do nothing to my skin but let it breathe. Thinking of my skin as an organ, I figured that it had been pretty overworked as of late trying to adjust to the different products I had been using.

Results?

ARGGHHHH— PIMPLE OUTBREAK HYSTERIA!

Here is where I do not lie to you as readers. Some may refer to my “do-nothing” method as the “caveman” regime. No water, no soap, no handmade solution, no nothing to your skin. I tried this for a week and my skin rebelled. Breakouts happened all over the place. I had pimples the size of walnuts in places that one cannot dare hide (i.e, dead between my eyes. I mean, come on, people have no choice but to look at this point)

Sticking with it

Despite the crazy rebellious backlash, I held my ground, refusing to put anything on my face. About 3 weeks, in I noticed something short of a miracle — my skin cleared up. My mom noticed it before I did. Not only did my pimples disappear but my skin was much softer and appeared to be glowing. Thank Mary and Joseph! YES!

Caveat

Even though I refused to put anything on my face for a week and a half, the remaining 3 weeks I resorted to simply splashing water on my face every morning, lightly massaging the skin, and rubbing it with my fingers. Once a week I would add my homemade product of 1 parts honey, 1/2 part brown sugar, to my regime using it as a facial scrub. After scrubbing and massaging lightly with the honey sugar rub, I would lightly pat my face with lemon juice, let it dry, and then wash it off with water. THIS. WORKED. WONDERS.

* I hereby swear by it*

Ditching all of my previous facial cleaners and creams, I felt like singing the old negro spiritual, “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I’m free at last.”

BUT…..WAIT. We got too excited…..

The issue with makeup. This topic here is enough for a separate blog post in itself but I will say here that I was able to go without using skin care products to clean my skin because I was already in the habit of not using enhancing products on my face like makeup. I believe that if you put products like makeup on your face, it is most natural that you would have to put more products on your face to get it off. That’s just the nature of the game. And if you’re one of those conspiracy theory types, totally unlike myself, you would then be lead to believe that the beauty industry is intrinsically designed this way. Beauty product makers and skin care product advocates influence each other and help keep each other afloat.

Overall Takeaywas

*I am happy to have been brave enough to experiment.

*Shout outs to my husband who is secure in himself enough to not be repulsed by a wife who’s face resembles a nestle Crunch bar.

*And kudos to myself for sticking with this. I got a much needed confident boost after not dying with embarrassment or being overly self-aware of my facial maladies.

*Self-realization came about—  knowing that I am the only person in this world who can make me feel ugly.

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.