Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1st Things 1st

I've given up on sleeping late. It just doesn't happen for me. I went to bed at 5:30am on Monday and still my body decided 9:30 was a good time to rise and shine. So today, instead of fighting it and trying to force myself to go back to sleep, I'm awake taking advantage of a couple of hours of still and quiet. I used to wake up early intentionally so that I could have this time before my day got started, before any phone calls or text messages or emails (or twittering) to simply be.
I believe that I should honor God for all that He's given me and so by giving Him those very first moments of my day, I am letting Him know that the most important thing to me is for this day to have His imprint on it. Before I allow any other thoughts or feelings to come in to distract me, I offer up thanks for allowing me to see the new day, to read His word and hear from him with no distractions, nothing else on my mind....just soaking up the beauty of the morning's inaugural light and thinking about how blessed I am.
This early morning time is a concentrated opportunity for me to be introspective and to allow my words to flow. No stress has seeped in from challenges or issues of the anger or sadness have rolled in like dark clouds to change my forecast. Its just me, my pen and pad. In this time I am peaceful and free from whatever negative energy chased me the day before. I am open and ready to take on the day. I remind myself of who I am and why I began this journey anyway. My quiet time reinforces my strength for all the hectic hours of the day when this solace will be a memory. In the stillness, I gather my thoughts, distribute my words (writers never stop) and prepare to face whatever today may bring.
When I was a little girl, my mother would cook us oatmeal, grits (I'm Southern, ya'll), Malt o Meal or some other hot cereal before school on the cold mornings and it would make me feel all warm inside. I'd go to school and no matter what would happen throughout the day, no matter how cold it was, I swear I carried that warmth inside of me. Regardless of the day's occurrences, all I had to do was remember my mom's love and the warmth of what she gave us and it made me know that with that on the inside, I could get through anything. I'm going on 27 now and I make my own breakfast, but the investment of Mom's time and love will always be a part of me. Now, I am investing in myself. This time I'm setting aside early each day allows me an extra measure of peace and joy...internal warmth...and that stays with me all day long, just like my mommy's oatmeal....
Ciao bellas...make it a productive one!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It Would Only Be Right...

So after my rant about reading, I figured the least I could do is recommend some books for you guys. Here's a few for now:
1. Will You Die With Me? By Flores Forbes (awesome book, well written. Forbes was one of the youngest cats to ever hold a leadership position in the original Black Panther Party for Self Defense in The Town - that's Oakland back in the day)
2. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (if you don't know about this by now, you need to call in to work and spend the day reading. It absolutely changed my life and the way I think forever.)
3. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (super classic for all visionaries and deep thinkers, or those seeking to be such)
4. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (a true and very moving story)
5. If I Am Missing or Dead by Janine Latus (ladies...a must-read. Another true story. Chilling, but necessary)
6. The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson (I recommend this one to everyone...never let anyone make you think you're less than you really are. Know your worth!)
For more info on me and what I'm reading/have read, check me out at

One Time For Ya Mind

One of the things that I pledged to do in 08 was to study and learn Swahili. I have the books, the dictionary and the audio lessons. I didn't learn it completely last year, but I'm not a quitter, so I am continuing with my self-taught Swahili mission. I want to find a Swahili meet up of sorts because a key to learning new languages is to begin using the language, actually diving in and applying what you're learning.
Languages have always appealed to me. I'm fascinated with them and would like to learn as many as I can. With Swahili, in particular, I love the idea that I will be speaking a language that is of the native land of my ancestors. Swahili is spoken as a first or second language by hundreds of millions of people in the world, if not more. Languages are an art form. There's so much beauty in much variety and so many unique traits. I'd love to study many more...maybe add a few Asian dialects to my repertoire.
Anywho people, in the forever-etched-in-every-80's-baby's-memory words of Lavar Burton, "take a look, its in a book...." Expand your mind. Empower yourselves. Maybe languages aren't your thing, but go out and seek knowledge. Learn as much as you can, while you can. Young Jeezy said "the world is yours and everything in it." True, indeed, but it takes some strategy, wisdom and a plan. I cringe when I hear the "joke" about hiding something from a black man by putting it in a book...that's super ignorant. But then I'm saddened when I talk to so many people (men and women, all races) who are quick to admit that they don't read. Not because they can't, just because they choose not to do so. We cannot leave our current and future well-being in the hands of others. We must arm ourselves with knowledge and go out and make things happen ourselves. Invest some time in yourself today and read something that will fuel your mind for your journey. You really can go anywhere and do anything, let President Obama's achievements inspire you. Reading is not a privilege reserved for an elite few...exercise your right today. Learn something new....and tell me about it: May today be an enlightened one for us all...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy New Day!

I believe in new beginnings. I believe that every day that we wake up we have been given a gift. Each new day is a chance to start over. No matter what happened the day before, a new day is an opportunity to try again and get it right. We're still in New Year's Resolution season, but I don't really subscribe to all that. I believe in New Day Resolutions. The way I see it, there are 2 ways to go about this: 1. You can stew in your defeats and beat yourself up like Ike, or 2. You can embrace your new day gift and go full force into a fresh start.

It doesn't matter how many times you've tried and failed at something, all that matters is whether or not you get back up and dust yourself off and purpose in your heart that you will not allow your dreams and goals to fade away. I woke up this morning and had that (ok, I'll go with corny) phrase in my head: TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE. But as corn flaked out as the phrase may be, the message is absolute truth. My yesterdays haven't been perfect....failed attempts, missed marks and disappointing setbacks have filled them like graffiti on a subway train. But the good thing about yesterdays is that they are over. No matter how near in the past, they are still the past. I woke up today....that's a blessing, not a right. So since God found me worthy of seeing this day, how can I not make the most of it?

Maybe your yesterday wasn't so great...what will you do to make sure that today is better? If you make the decision that today will be full of love, joy and peace and that the wisdom, beauty and creativity that God has placed inside of you is a stronger force than any negativity that seeks to bring you down, then you cannot lose. Take charge of your day...thank God for it and then go and make today better than yesterday. Dream big, work hard and believe that anything is possible. I'll end this with a quote from one of the books that has undoubtedly changed my life, The Secret (my recommendation for anyone, anywhere that's looking to radically improve their lives is to read The Secret!!! Seriously, the book is amazing.): "Life can be absolutely phenomenal, and it should be, and it will be, when you start using The Secret."

May today be the beginning of something powerful for each of you...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Ok so I'll state the obvious....that's MLK Day:) but its also....drumroll please.............the premier of the new 2009 edition of 'the Sierra effect.' New blogs, new thoughts, new interviews...I appreciate all of the feedback and am super touched that you guys want more! January the words of!