Tuesday, November 29, 2016

NaBloWriMo Day 29 Advent : Season of Wishing and Waiting

I believe in Santa Claus! I love Christmas! I love the story of the birth of Jesus!

I revel in the lights on trees and candles in the windows. Sleigh bells and Angels on high! I love luminaries lining sidewalks and sparkly ornaments everywhere!

It is the season of Wishing and Waiting... Advent. The Rush Rush Rush of the season and the hush hush hush of all things not in tune with good cheer. Peace on earth. Glad tidings.

It is the the time of the year that my wishing takes center stage. The biggest of biggest dreams and wants are allowed expression. Merry Christmas! I want everything! I want every good thing.  I can feel the waiting and anticipation of the child who comes to save and care and restore our faith in God and in each other. Love is so prevalent and so patient and so giving. I feel like Mother Mary. I feel like those three Wise men traveling by the light of the moon and that North Star.

I am my most hopeful and most reverential at Advent. All things are possible in this season of light and anticipation. I know a lot of folks have a very difficult time with this time of year... Seasonal change... Darker days earlier.... And too much jolly ho ho. My heart aches for them and I try to be mindful about my good cheer heaped upon them. I am not in the convincing business. I've learned not to try to talk folks into merry merry happy happy. What I can do is allow my light to be available should someone need it.

I know what it's like to be alone and in darkness... At the bottom of the well, with no way to get out. This time of year is my way out. It is my ladder. The crisp air, bright lights and carols lift me. Prayers of peace and glad tidings lifts me. The bright moon and bright stars lighting up the heavens lifts me.

I wish for so much. I wish for every good thing. I wish for peace everywhere. I wish for more love, more joy and more dessert! I take my wishing seriously. I am purposeful in my wishing. Wishing is not some frivolous escape. Wishing are unspoken possibilities of the grandest hoped for things.

In this season of wishing and waiting, I marry my faith with my sense of whimsy. Making this time joyous and magical. God is ever present and ever listening.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 16: Time To Reinvent Me ....Next Level Of Baddass

It is time to usher in a new way of being. After all the changes in my grand life, I am always stunned when I forget that when I am in the midst of real change that it often feels like losing. And so I focus on the losing. I get caught up in the pain of not being able to work things out my way. Time and time again God has to remind me that this is not the path fool. Let go. LET GO! Let God!

I am about to upend my life for the bigger plan. The unknown terrain. It is time to walk in an entirely new direction. My life is calling for change. My situation is calling for change. God is calling me toward change. Time to reinvent me and go for the next level of Baddass!

This really is another moment of ascension to achieving my dreams. The day-to-day minutia easily distracts me from the greater goals. It is so easy to be consumed by the small bullshit of the mundane. I believe that is where failure lives... Sitting and waiting for me to get bogged down in things that serve no purpose and certainly do not move me forward.

However this time, I see the way forward much more clearly. And it's because of the circle of folks who remind me of my greatness. And yes, I mean my greatness. Their seeing my greatness, presses me to see my greatness. I am embracing this new chapter. A chapter I get to craft in celebration and joy and mystery.

I am so unafraid. I am so embracing what is next. It is time to reinvent myself yet again as I walk bravely toward the next level of my season of baddass.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 15: Let Us Begin by Lara Herscovitch

I heard Lara Herscovitch tonight at the Community Conversation hosted by my Sorority, New Haven Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. She gifted me 2 of her CDs. She is so fabulously good.

Just drink her in.

Monday, November 14, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 14: Safe Spaces to Cry

I have come to value all the safe places I have to cry in. All the places and people who open wide and let me fall into them with my tears. I have not always had that luxury. And I have never known this level of safety. It is a beautiful thing.  One that I am deeply grateful for.

In order to fall into safe spaces to cry you have to be willing to cry. You have to be willing to abandon ego, posturing, judgment and shame. I have learned in my life that I cannot hold grief, disappointment, heartache and despair in this body. Tears does a body good. I can attest to that.

Today I had a moment when I looked away from what I was doing to gaze jealously at someone else's gain. My pettiness got the better of me... All I could see was their success and my failures. As soon as I opened the door, the devil rushed in. Self doubt took over and within minutes I had reduced myself to failure, loser, stupid, and lackluster. I went in on myself like an assassin. Breaking my own spirit. Wallowing in my own self pity. I was willingly walking into despair.

My partnership with God is such that, he reminds me to call for a lifeline. Call one of the many folks I put upon your path he says. You are not alone. Call who I have sent to be of service to you. Call them. Call them and tell them you need them in these dark moments. I called.

It is always amazing to me the grace I am afforded. The friends that stand in the gaps for me. Dry my tears and feed me with their love and kindness. I could not have come this far without God's design of eclectic soul mates in my life.

The spaces I can cry in are sacred and holy and wide open for me. And believe me, I thank God all the time for that kindness.

To the safe places I am invited to dwell, I am grateful. To the divine soul mates who answer my calls when I am in despair and or celebration, I thank you so much. You make me better.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 13: Finally Accepting

I believe in the power of spell casting... Casting spells...Saying out loud under any moon this is what I want.  And believing that it shall come to pass. I just believe God has my back. I walk the earth knowing this without doubt. The Universe is conspiring to give me what I desire.

It is no secret that poetry is always dripping from my lips and good love stories are always in my heart. Love is the question and the answer. Love Is.

I remember in the early days of this blog all the lamenting over the ending of my marriage. And then the lamenting of never finding love. And then finding love. Then finding out that it wasn't love but gas-lighting and bullshit. Ugh, and all the failed love affairs and all the lessons learned thereafter.

I am squarely in my own space now... Owning my heart and mind as a grown-up woman. I am speaking kindly to myself. I am not lamenting anything. I am using my spell casting to strengthen my steps as I support others guided by the light of my smile.  I remind myself that I am a daughter of fortune... A woman of heart and mind, possessing great capacity to love and be loved.

I guess what I am saying is, I'm done with looking at what's missing in my life. Done in the sense of whatever is lacking isn't really true at all. Like today, I was out with a sorority sister all afternoon. We laughed, we talked deeply, we gossiped a bit, we had fancy cocktails and interesting beers and yummy food and we saw a beautiful film, followed by more discussion and fancy cocktails. And we laughed a great deal more. See, I need this in my life. Holy and sacred friendships that make my life better. I can no longer manage some man's expectation of me. Men who like the idea of a magical woman, but can't really abide a magical woman in their everyday practical life.

There is a great deal of peace with fully understanding what you need, want,
require and are willing to do in any relationship... I am standing in that awareness in ways I've never have before. I am making peace with aloneness. I am making peace with letting go of wasteful wishing. I am making peace with me as is.

Look for me under the super moon with fancy paper and pen in hand. Writing to my heart's content in words that heal, uplift and conjure up sacred connection. This means that I open wider to the things that are meant for me. This means that the words I speak become prayers and songs and poems; and the one who hears them will be the one they are for.  I am without question a particular kind of woman for a particular kind of soulmate. This is the truth I am now finally accepting.

Friday, November 11, 2016

NaBoPoMo Day 11: Because Day 10 Was Done

The day got away from me yesterday. I just couldn't make anything work. Well, one thing did work...A sacred conversation I had with a new Soul mate! But other than that, the day ran me!

Today was another run run run with the wolves kind of day. I ran with the day, not against it. There is a difference. Today I feel somewhat prepared... At least I stayed on mission. I had goals and I championed them. I felt accomplished with some amount of control over my destiny. Yeah, that's a lot to put on a day... But who knows what tomorrow will bring?

So, I am going to bask in this accomplishment and good feeling. Back at you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 9 My Holy Hours

I do my best thinking around 3-5:00 am. I've talked about this before. Muslims say this is the time you are closest to God. I would have to agree. I feel my most holiest then. As a matter of fact, I like making love at that hour... I feel the most holiest then. (Actually I could make love and feel holy at any time). It is the thinking and the soul searching I am trying to get at in this post.

In my part of the world well before dawn it is so quiet I can hear my heartbeat. I can hear my own breathing. That circadian rhythm is a real thing.  In these sacred hours the answers to whatever I am lamenting becomes quite clear. The truth of things, situations, and problems show up that did not exist in my waking hours.  Truth shows up with stark clarity that I can neither ignore or bypass.

Truth is the rock on which I build my life these days. I have long since given up the messiness of lies and double meanings and coyness and unavailability. I trust until I no longer can. The wee hours is nothing but a space for truth... Be it problem solving or making love. There is no room or opportunity for pretense. This is the hour of God. I fully welcome and embrace its sacredness.

For as long as I can remember I have awaken at 3:00 am. Then back to sleep at 5:00 am if I didn't have some commitment shortly after (throughout my life of studying, baby, children, briefs, campaigns, syllabus, marriage, doomed relationships, bootcamp).  It is a habit I don't want to break. It grounds me. It strengthens me. It is time  that nothing interrupts. I don't even look for comparable time in my waking hours. In the course of my day it is a sprint from pillar to post... Nonstop readiness of being here, there and everywhere.

Sometimes I get up and saunter downstairs to my desktop and write until daybreak. Sometimes I sit with a cup of fresh coffee, and on my birthday I have a glass of champagne... Decadent yes.  I am my best illuminated self in those hours. I do not try to replicate them at any other time. Yes, I am authentic in my waking hours. I am soulful and mindful and joyous. But my experiences in the early part of the day are profoundly holy in ways that aren't noticeable at any other time. I have learned this by looking for it and not finding it as sweet or as enveloping.

My holy hours are where God and I meet-up. Sometimes I pray and God listens. Sometimes I am silent and God speaks. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

NaBloMoPo Day 8: Go Easy, Baby

Tonight is the night. We are all waiting for the results. Shit could go awry and we'd all be left shaking in our boots. Wondering what the fuck just happened?... Not unlike our peeps across the pond on that crazy Brexit shit tip. I'm keeping the faith though. America manages to rise to her better angels on occasion. and now is the occasion. It is time America to play to your better valor.

I am a political junkie from way back. I've worked on some great campaigns... Even ran for public office myself, and won...Twice. Not to mention serving on high profile boards and commissions and committees and a host of cool and challenging nonprofit gigs. But that was all before the crash and burn. I no longer say the "Fall from Grace" what had happened was... I fell to God. A God that I was already intimately familiar with, but kept pushing aside. But this ain't about that life. My point is, I know my way around political shit.

Back to the election tonight... It is my whole belief that I will wake up and Hilary Clinton will be our President. Yes, I believe good trumps evil. It is the basis for every great fairy tale. It is the stuff of legends. I just feel like she has won. America does not need a Trump.

It is hard to walk easy when there is anxiety. So much on the line. The hate talk is so palpable. Just today someone walk in form of my car and then had the never to say "nigger", so I said "FUCK YOU mutherfucker". Because, what?

Invite you to walk easy, baby. I gotta steal a phrase from the Red Witch on Game of Thrones... The Night is Long and Filled with Terrors. We'll know the answer soon enough. But this is a real lesson. We've got to do elections differently. We've got to pay attention to language and rhetoric. We've got to get out front on hate speech that passes as election speech. It ain't. The mainstream press, and the right-wing press has lead the ignorant down the garden path and no one stopped it, or screamed Hey! Don't go! So we find ourselves at the precipice of a race too damn close to be real or comfortable. That's on all of us.

So I, invite you this night to walk easy, baby. I have faith that all shall be well.

Monday, November 7, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 7: The Quietness In The Storm

I have learned in my life... After standing in storms, is to find the place of peace. To center my spirit in the midst of chaos. Some chaos can be invigorating and inspiring. Causing us to reach higher, dig deeper and rise above. And some chaos is hostile, spirit breaking and crippling. I know both kinds of storms all too well and quite recently as yesterday.

The lesson isn't to wish away storms. But to find your centered quietness as the storm swirls about you. To center yourself in grace and allow what is to come thru. Grace is code for blessings. Grace is code for God's got you. I live and breathe knowing I benefit from undeserved grace. Undeserved grace is the human self wrangling with acceptance that God could be just that good. The Divinity in me knows that God is that good all the time and that I am in deed deserving.

I am in a stormy season. As is the country... As is the world. And I can see how hard and challenging it can be to find quietness in the midst of all this noise. We live out loud in our lives. Even those who are introverts can't find refuge from all the rushing about> Everyone is talking, so much talking. Everywhere we turn we are weighed down with war, discourse, family dramas, senseless violence, and reality television and an American election season, the likes we've never seen  before.  

God has put in an escape clause for the modern world. 

Nature. The great outdoors. The big wide sky. Green grass. Flowers that bloom in every season in every climate. Nature. The sheer indulgence of going outside and looking up or looking down or just looking. Seeing beyond the cars, and the hustle and bustle of people. Outside away from TVs and smart phones and all manner of connecting gadgets.

Museums. The great indoors. The Classics. The Contemporaries. The Modern. The abstract. Art that stretches the imagination. Art that centers the soul. Art that demands us to be civilized and refined and calm and eager and open.

Music. The sounds that take us back and move us forward. Music that lays us low and lifts us high. Lullaby's for rest and acid rock for head banging. Jazz for sophistication.  Music of the earth, created by the indigenous peoples of the world. Music that makes you dance and swing and sway. Music that reminds you where you've been and where you're going.

Food. The coming together to eat and to experience universal hospitality. To dig in. To ring the bell for chow! To gather together in prayer and communion. To eat.To prepare and share.

God has given us ways in which to replenish our spirits. To not only wait out the storm, but to provide us with safe passage. To find peace and quiet in the most treacherous of moments. 


Sunday, November 6, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 6: Corinne Bailey Rae - Green Aphrodisiac (Official Video)

I'm a woman of music. I believe in the power of having a  soundtrack for my life. I've been a fan of hers since the beginning. I dig this song. It is sexy and soulful and sensual. Perfect for a slow Sunday afternoon. Happy Sunday fellow bloggers! Walk easy beautiful people.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 5: Dreams Not Chasing At The Moment Or I'm always Chasing These Dreams

This is always a veiled way to tell the truth of what is in your soul without making the effort to go after those very desires. Because some dreams are just dreams... And perhaps should not be chased?

Here are a few of mine:

I'd live in Paris. Here,in any of these neighborhoods:
Montmartre. South Pigalle. Belleville-Menilmontant. Oberkampf.
Canal Saint-Martin. Haut Marais. Montorgueil. Batignolles. Bastille.

I'd own a house on Martha's Vineyard... Summers and a bit of early Fall. I'd write more there. Breathe deeper there and rest.

I'd travel to all the best wineries and vineyards in the world. Tasting and sipping and laughing and learning.

I'd dance the Argentine Tango in Argentina. (I dance the Argentine Tango here in CT) (photo is my actual Argentine Tango Teacher, he's something to watch for sure!)

Walk barefoot on the best beaches under moonlight.

Long deep kissing under moonlight with a Man who kisses back with aplomb!

Go to all of  Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Carol King, Earth Wind & Fire, Will Downing, Indie Arie, Brenda Russell, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Temptations, Gypsy Kings, Van Morrison, Freddy Cole Santana, Lizz Wright, Diana Ross, concerts anywhere in the world.

Paint in Provence. Catch the couture shows in Milan. Party all night in Prague. Wander the streets of Vienna.

Take the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul.

Live in a Riad in Morocco.

Take morning prayers at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Visit and pray in Jerusalem and

Sit outside of where the Ark of The Covenant is stored in Ethiopia.

Camp under the northern lights.

Friday, November 4, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 4: The Gift Of Retreat

As a Spiritual Director, I walk with folks on their faith journey. We notice where God shows up in our lives. I do not define God for them, they do that in their own way. I just walk along holding the lamp. When we hit unsure footing, I shine the light a little closer. Nothing is ever as scary as it seems when you put some light on it. The best Ah Ha moments happen upon illumination of thoughts, and shadows, deep stirrings of the soul. Yes, it can all be quite spiritual. But sometimes it is not.

Sometimes the noise of the world is too loud and we cannot hear our own longings. The shoulds and must do's and please please please, takes over, and we find ourselves taking on just one more thing.We hold up the world. We do it for great causes. We do it because it needs to be done and we are the ones to do it. I lived by that code for a very long time.

 It is hard to wrestle with the guilt of trying to find a moment of solitude for yourself. I know, it is a constant battle that I used to lose regularly. And by lose, I mean, I wouldn't even fight back. I just grind on until, well, I drop. Seriously, I just shut down exhausted. It wasn't until I discovered the idea of Retreat...The act of giving myself back to myself in directed solitude; a bit grander than Me Time. Real untethered time, from people, places and things. Purposeful time to rejuvenate, tap within, and replenish the spirit.

This is self-care beyond the spa, and drinks with Sister-friends. (Although that is necessary too!). I am talking about contemplative time... Quietness and prayer and meditation. Being with yourself deeply and truthfully. I have spent a great deal of time searching for answers outside of myself and finding none. Retreat time allows me to go inward and listen and explore the longings of my heart. To listen... God is still speaking. To tune out the world and tune into my inner rhythms, my breathing in and breathing out.

The gift of retreat requires that you chose yourself for a period of time. It calls you to make a plan and then go and BE HERE NOW.  It is a way to reconnect yourself to every living thing on the planet and the universe.

Give yourself back to yourself. Retreat with purpose and direction. You will feel holy. Hold yourself sacred. Be still. Be quiet. And bask in the sound of your own heartbeat.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 3: Oh, If I Were Completely Honest...

I woke up one morning and knew that I loved him. It was an odd thought, so out of the blue. I wrestled with it for days on end....Months even. No No No! I said to myself. I can't I won't I won't. And yet I do.

I love the attentiveness. The contentedness. The way in which we chat and laugh and disagree. He is way more forgiving than I. He has way more tolerance than I. He is way more patient than I.

He makes me better. He inspires me to leap higher. To slow down when slowing down is needed. He's funny. He doesn't mind me being an occasional asshole. An occasional brat. He is not moved by my pettiness or smallness. He sees me and hears me and still applauds me.

He does not know that I think of him first. First, as in when I wake up. First, as in before I close my eyes. First, as in when some good thing happens or some sorrowful thing breaks me; it is him I want to call.  He has no idea the stirrings of my heart. He has no idea the depth of my feelings for his well being and happiness.

If I could be completely honest with no regrets, I would say, I love you, marry me. Let's live happily-ever-after!  Let's kiss and build dreams upon that kiss.

But I do not possess that kind of courage. That kind of courage escapes me in this situation. I am a woman of great courage in many areas of my life. You see, his friendship sustains me, fuels me, comforts me and prepares me for upcoming battles. There is no room for this kind of truth telling of my heart. As I am committed to walking in truth, this sacred ground cannot be disturbed. I am not a school girl harboring a school girl's crush. My friendships are holy. and I hold them in the highest regards. His friendship is everything sacred to me.

If I could be completely honest with no regrets, what I would say to him with no regret? In my dreams, I say, I love you with so much passion. I love you with so much fearlessness. I love you with so much admiration. I love you with so much heart and soul.

I tell him often, that I love him. That is the truth. There is no other truth. I love him. Everything else is of no consequence. But if I could be completely honest with no regrets, I'd propose with ring in hand... With a promise to live happily-ever-after... Marry me.

NaBloPoMo November 2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 2: Brave Is My Middle Name

I am a woman of size and girth. I am 5'8' barefooted, I weigh 273 lbs. I am a Queenly woman.
I was not a fat kid growing up, but I have become a fat woman. I am never troubled by this fact until I see my doctor, or someone remembers me from my modeling days, or someone wonders how someone so pretty carries weight so well. Whatever. I have heard every veiled insult.

I was feeling frumpy and a bit worn out and not anything remotely close to sexy or having sex appeal... So I decided to reclaim my own sense of self. A Boudoir shoot. Yes, a 5 hour photo session of my scantily clad self complete with a professional makeup. If I was going to be at the mercy of a photographer, I was going to do it with all the tricks and tools of the Super Models.

There is nothing braver than prancing around in lingerie in a body that is not celebrated in lingerie.

I arrived for my photo shoot with a arm load of lingerie of every sort. Baby doll, bustier, lace, peignoirs, chandelier earrings, feather mules, strappy 6 inch stilettos. I was determined to recapture my inner vixen. Sexy was the order of the day and I do believe I delivered!

My photographer was ready for me with a fruit tray and wine. As soon as I walked in for my 10:00 am appointment she handed me a glass of champagne, pumped up the music and was ready to go. My Makeup artist was instructed to go all out sex glam!  Long eyelashes, smokey eyes, pouty lips. I didn't recognize myself. It was a stunning transformation! I was over the moon delighted!


Am I glad I did it? YES! At 53 I needed that reminder that this old Gurl is without a doubt fuckable. That was the priceless realization. My inner caught up with my outer me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 1: My Mental Health Tool Kit Break Glass In Case of Emergency

It has been a good long while since I did the annual NaBloPoMo in November! I'm back at it this year because I'm not doing NaNoWriMo... I finally completed it last year! So I don't feel a burning desire to churn out 50,000 words in 30 days! I do however like the discipline of a blog post every day for the month of November. So, this is day one and the first prompt is:
"When you're having a bad day with your mental health what do you do to help yourself?"

Over the years I have built myself a mental health survival tool kit. Things I've learned on my journey towards healing, wholeness and love. The tool kit is big and deep....I've been at this a very long time.

This blog is a direct result of trying to hold onto myself as I was going through storms! Writing out my pain, joys, growth, celebrations, sorrows, mundane shit. Writing/journaling has been the biggest tool in the tool kit.

Seeking help. I am not afraid to go and get the help I need to stay rooted and grounded on earth. I have given up the myth of be strong, go it alone. I have retired the "Strong Black Woman" tome for a much more realistic chant of I NEED HELP!

I have a hand picked tribe/squad/community/friends/sista-gurls who are all about my growth and uplift.

Sleep/Rest is prayer. When I am overextended it is because I am not rested. I make better decisions rested.

I eat well. I work to be mindful of not eating my pain away. I do not beat myself up if I do. I just start again.

I create art. I fancy myself an artist and I just set aside time to create stuff... Draw, paint, glue shit, sprinkle glitter.

I get outdoors. I take walks. I sit on my front steps.

I cry. I cry. I cry. Then I dry my eyes and fight back.

In case of emergency I know how to break the glass. I know how to get help. I know how to call someone. I notice when I am isolating. I notice when I am retreating too far away from my support.

I blog. It is immediate. It is me and the solitude of the mood.

I read. Sometimes fiction is needed. Sometimes spiritual books, devotionals. Sometimes a steamy love story. Sometimes a memoir is just the thing... Reading about someone Else's story of survival and triumph.

I am of the mindset, that I must do all that I can to secure my happiness, calm my mind and positively feed my spirit. I've seen some dark days... Some unspeakable. And yet here I am. Thriving or attempting to thrive daily.

NaBloPoMo November 2016