Random Thoughts – 2020

3/12/20

4 years later. Guess who’s back. So much has happened. Things I hadn’t dreamt of or considered as I wrote my last post in 2016. Wow, even just writing that last sentence I realized HOW MUCH truly has occurred in my life since then. 

Someday I’ll share but for now, trust that I’m grateful to be physically present as of March 12, 2020, at 11:50 PM. 

Today is a strange day- the world around me/us/they/them is in turmoil. A new respiratory infectious contagion is taking over and there is a lot of uncertainty for health and livelihood. I’m awake! There were a lot of thoughts and beliefs I held entering into this new decade but now it’s all chaos and confusion. Shit I considered important…not so much now. Some things just won’t matter because of this. I don’t fear much but I do fear not being able to protect the people that I love from whatever is next. My entire blood family is 4 hours away from me in either direction. All I have right here and now is my wife and my dogs. 

It would be crazy if this journal becomes a record of survival – well that is until wifi and power are gone and we’re figuring the shit out as we go. What will it all mean in the end? What will any of it have meant? I don’t expect some people to get that paragraph^^^^. It’s the chaotic and confused mind front and center that’s speaking now…the one that half gets it and the one that doesn’t get it at all. 50-50=0. This shit ain’t fun.

I decided to break my journaling (online) hiatus to do an exercise I read today about worrying and what to do when it hits as hard as it’s hitting me right now. I’m worried as fuck and been worried as fuck for quite some time. So let’s get it out there:

I’m worried about my daughter who isn’t under the same roof during this time but she’s an adult and fine (according to her so I have to trust that and trust her). Her journey is hers and I CAN’T/WON’T always be there so it is what it is (the least anxiety approach I can take) – it just doesn’t feel good. 

I’m worried that the proverbial cheese is moving fast and I’m too distracted to focus and create new ways forward. My entire livelihood is in jeopardy from consulting and coaching in my profession. My clients are concerned and it makes sense. So I’ve been holding myself high and holding them even higher during this time.

I’m worried about the Afros & Audio Podcast Festival having to be postponed for several months because this is not going away. 

I’m worried about my parents and my grandmothers who are over 60.

Even though this is a new experience for all of us we’re going to be alright. The universe is always working on our behalf even when it feels as if it isn’t, so even though this is a serious issue with serious implications (most still unknown) we’re going to survive this and move forward. I believe that because I don’t have selective faith in Universal Law and believe in my ability to move mountains. We’re good. You good?

There’s so much to say and so much to think right now but I’ll end here.

Be peace. Be wise. Be diligent.

3/13/20

Adjust and adapt. That’s been my M.O. for as long as I can remember. That’s where my mind is now…adjust to the circumstances and adapt to the situation. The first act for me is going to be decluttering people and things. It’s time to sage and clean the spaces that keep me distracted and off center. I know a lot so I do a lot but it’s time to focus up on a few major keys. I stopped accepting new coaching clients about a year ago to focus on the Afros & Audio Podcast Festival. Worse, I haven’t created anything since 2017. No writing, no workshops, no producing, NADA. 

I have supported others in that time…published two limited edition photography books, developed scripts for audio fiction projects, facilitated workshops for orgs, and sat on so many panels now that I can sit on any stage like “what”. I’ve been in contribution of others dreams and forward movement for a solid 3 years without interruption of creating my own work. It was deliberate. I adjusted and adapted to my emotional burnout in 2016 and took 2017 and beyond to connect with people and contribute to their lives (always a mutual benefit). It’s been an amazing journey.

And now it’s time to pivot. 

I’ve always been (up until now) the type of creative who creates dope shit but never gets in front of it or promote or care what happens…as long as it’s out of me – that’s been enough. But it’s no longer enough and my good news is I’m clear AF on that.

There’s 5 people in this world who truly know me, my daughter, my wife, my twin, my mother, and my Genie. Everyone else has been given pieces of me – authentic pieces but pieces nonetheless. . .that’s not unique it’s just typical and I’m currently in a space where I’m willing to shut out the noise to focus on the light. I am changed. Things are changing. We are changing. I’ve been having some recent conversations that are testing my vulnerability flex. I can not be contained or surmised. I am both familiar and unknown. I lead with love and integrity and don’t typically GAF whether it’s what I’m going to receive in return. But I’m starting to GALLTFs. 

I’m adjusting and adapting to this current way of life and being. The disruption is real and all I’m riding for in 2020. The moves are already different. 

3/14/20

I’ve  been up since 5 AM trying to calm the threats in my head. I had a recent conversation that has led me to unpack the term “they got me fucked up”. Because as I heard my thoughts echo the sentiment, “oh shit, I think they got me fucked up.” I realized that it’s not them, it’s me. Somewhere, I miscommunicated, misled, or misguided them as to who I be and only blame myself. 

I have this ongoing issue with ego and left that self sabotaging drama ninja alone years ago. So, whenever it attempts to return, I utilize the tools and resources for life to nice and politely send it back where it came from and triage any threats that’s causing the ego to surface. (Self awareness work really does the heart and mind good – especially when you choose to apply it). 

Personally, I don’t enjoy transactional interactions, if it’s not transformative and moving me or the other person(s) forward in some way then I’d rather not. I’m a loner by nature and while I enjoy people very much, as an empath, I choose to protect my energy where possible. I’m also extremely passive and stoic around different energies because I’m out here playing chess in these streets. Unfortunately, there are times when this way of being belies my genius, creativity, super powers, disruptive nature, courage, and willingness to step up to any occasion (whether it’s survival, problem solving, or climbing a 28 ft pole in 22 degree weather so that the people below watching me scale this thing sees that anything is damn possible). 

Instead, I’ve let certain people believe that I’m a go with the flow, trusting, and winging it type cat and energy. And I AM but only when I choose it and have determined that in whatever given moment these ways of being are front and center, its because my cognitive intuition has kicked in and I’ve peeped some energy (and ego) that I want to observe a bit longer while remaining within 100% of my integrity and contribution. In translation, I don’t rise to anyone’s energy but my own so when the ego hits me in the back of the head, shouting, “they got you fucked up bro!” It’s an opportunity to note the circumstance, acknowledge what I’ve allowed up until that point, and reset. Because people getting me fucked up is on me – not them.

3/17/20

My daughter is home! I traveled to DC to pick her up today. On the ride home, we talked about shit we don’t know about when it comes to this pandemic. We sang, danced, laughed, and convinced ourselves that we would use this time together to create and level-up mentally and physically. She’s my anchor…always has been and I’m proud to be hers. “Live each day as if it could be your last,” that’s where we landed just before pulling into the garage. Here’s to Day 1 of a premature end to a semester but us back together again – holding each other accountable to living our best lives despite the uncertainty ahead.

Distraction is a helluva drug. We need to stay informed but this day of driving and listening to The Book of Night Women on the ride to DC and then my daughter’s vibes on the way back was the mental health break I needed from CNN.

When I returned home, my wife, who I later learned moved from one device to the next to stay up-to-date with Coronavirus news was in a space of anxiety and fear. “Will we have enough food? Will we have enough __________?” She had all the death and new cases data I didn’t ask for and announced the “shelter in place” mandate coming soon to a borough near us. On top of that, a friend text to misinform her that a Emergency Alert would be hitting all our phones at 6PM which had her waiting anxiously for more bad news. As she fell asleep with my arm in a death grip and let me know once again that she was afraid of unknowns I told her that CNN was clipped for tomorrow HA. Period. 

I’m a Scorpio and I reject mainstream media which are both recipes for “everyone shut the fuck up so I can focus.” We both have goals to meet during this time of wait: healing and forgiveness work as a family, community support to give, and to keep our energy and vibration high for the now 4 additional unexpected people in our house (you read that right and no you didn’t miss anything that I haven’t told you).

Her distraction is my distraction and we don’t got time. We’re going to love each other through this. Speaking of love…our 10th marriage anniversary is Thursday (3/19) and we’ll be in the house getting creative with expressions of love that are just for me and her – in a crowded room. 

Remember, “Live Every Day Like It’s Your Last” especially now. One Love

3/19/20

Do you know what today is / it’s our anniversary! Yo, 10 years ain’t no sneeze in the park. I often think about marriage and Langston Hughes most famous poem:

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
 
Well Mama, we made it. Still making it. And on this quarantined anniversary we will BE love and GIVE love in isolation with 4 extra people in the house. I’m cleaning up the Cave now for my special guest so that my lady friend can come down later and we can have us a good time. Netflixing, Eating, Chilling together and intentionally. Peace
 
3/20/20
 
Another day. Shit is still unreal…uncertain…weird AF. I can tell that so many of us are seeking to create normalcy inside of this abnormal newness. No one knows truly how to feel or how to be, we’re going with the flow and following instruction of people we don’t even respect or believe gives two fucks about us. It’s unsettling…to have no control over what happens next. 
 
This is the time where our autonomy and free thought must maintain and rise above the discomfort. I’ll be the first to admit that “I can’t call it.” Whatever will be, will be at this point. What I can manage is my peace of mind and ability to do what makes me feel alive in every moment. I’m neglecting online spaces right now. My business could be suffering because of it but I’m intentionally prioritizing my emotional and mental health. I’m exerting energy through working out and allowing space for other folks energy to do what it does. I’ve simply accepted the who, what, and where of this all. I can’t concern myself with why or when. It won’t serve or support me so fuck it.
 
I’ve been listening to mad music. 
 
I’ve been working out with our daughter.
 
I’ve been laughing at our 3-year-old niece.
 
I remain connected to my family and friends. 
 
Things are chill for the moment and I’ve been ignoring the hell out of my prophetic and intuitive notions. Those shits are scary and I’m not in the mood to fuck up the vibes.
 
Incidentally, this has been my phone screensaver for the past 3-4 years.
download
It’s time for warriors now, more than ever, we have to fortify our mind, body, and spirit to be ready for the battle ahead. We as a people are at war for our lives and liberty. My house is filled with folks that got me. How about yours? My circle is complete with folks that got me. What about yours? I Am Prepared. What about you?
 
 
3/25/20
 
Whoa, the past few days have been dope. Yesterday, I gave a fireside chat for and with my brothers at Alchemy by Mastermind Connect. We discussed 6 points I drafted for Being Intentional in Times of Uncertainty. People get to feel how they feel in this moment. One thing I’ve noted about myself is that I’m good at rising to the occasion. However, I will try to put off the “occasion” at all costs. This week is requiring me to step up in many ways that I’ve been avoiding in the past.
 
“Tomorrow will be a much bigger day.” That thought used to bring me a lot of apprehension because in my mind, I’m thinking…today was big enough, what the hell can tomorrow bring. Without fail, my tomorrow’s are consistently bigger than the next. I could say it starts with choosing but the universe is also providing in ways that I haven’t specifically chosen but have absolutely attracted and manifested. 
 
The next moves are coming in fast and furious and I’m here for it…all of it. Today is my 4 year old niece’s birthday and we FTd all of her loved ones so that they could join the 5 of us in singing her happy birthday. That’s our new way of adjusting and adapting to today but I wouldn’t call it the new normal. This ain’t it. It can’t be. I do see the future clear though. My wife and I are ready to move from this area. My daughter is (as of right now) headed to Berlin, Germany as soon as she graduates or drops out of school, whichever comes first. 
 
We’ve been spending a lot of time together but I can tell that this quarantine has the troops morale low. We’re going to have to inject some fun in this house with some game or movie nights. My brother-in-law is at work most of the week so for the most part my wife and I are holding it down, leading our household and working to make the best of a uncertain situation. 
 
I learned tonight that my wife is afraid of dying from this virus. Which makes me want to fill her up with love and connection so she doesn’t feel alone in her thoughts. I have managed to push that thought in the farthest corner of my mind. When the thought occurs that any one of us could contract Covid-19 (including me), I forcefully push it back. I don’t even have the time to consider that and living is top priority. 
 
So far, I have heard from three friends who know someone that has died from the virus. It’s sad. Personally, I don’t know of any cases and I hope that I never do. When I spoke to my Dad yesterday, he said he’s been designated an essential worker and is mad AF. The man works in a factory that BUILDS the machines that are installed in businesses that MAKE boxes. He ain’t essential by no stretch of the imagination. He went on to tell me that he was the sickest he’s ever been on March 5th with a prolonged flu and was absolutely implying that he had the virus and got over it already. It’s been known to happen and we’ll never know if this is indeed how it went down. I’m just glad the man is okay, cuz we have unfinished business for sure. Fathers…am I right?
 
Last night while my brother-in-law was at work I put together the baby’s ride-on Jeep…bruhhhhhh had it been my daughter’s surprise I would’ve packed that shit back up and acted like it never happened. I haven’t worked that hard since helping to build a Habitat for Humanity house. Jawn was complex than a mug. Her face when she got in and the battery powered on (I was stressing it) the motor, lights, and horn was priceless. Toddlers…am I right?
 
This was a ramble…not sorry. It’s 9:31 PM and tomorrow is a much bigger day. One love. 

3/27/20

This entry is inspired by my daughter who read me her gratitude journal of the day. It’s time I gave some thanks too.

I’m grateful for my family…Eryca and I took a trip to Lowe’s today. It’s the first time she had been outside in a while. My daughter and I went to the park yesterday after I walked my 3 year old niece around the hood for an hour on her new bday Jeep. Ty and I rode our skateboards around the empty ferry parking lot at Liberty State Park until our legs got tired.

Grateful for my daughter who is able to say grab your board and let’s ride. The student is now the teacher and I give thanks for our ability to disrupt each other when needed.

Eryca and I cleaned up the backyard, preparing ourselves for fresh air and relaxation while we wait out this universal time-out to end. I’ve been in a place of gratitude for home and the love since the week started. Our family has space and utilities that so many people across the world don’t have.

This week I spoke to my Mom, Dad, Grandma, and twin sister. Prioritizing my family. I want everyone to know they’re loved and thought of. My twin confirmed that my Dad def thinks he is the second coronavirus victim of Maryland. Glad he’s fine now :o]

I’m grateful for my Mastermind Connect brothers, we’re creating dope content for men.

I’m thankful that so far we’re still healthy and alive. If you are too, make it count. Grateful for life.

3/28/2020

Many, many years ago, a friend of mine who was visiting his girlfriend at the time (now his wife) in Harlem, NY from Tarboro, NC called me with a simple question. I remember picking up the phone and the voice on the other end said, “T, how quick can sugar turn to shit.” “Huh?” I responded initially, and after he repeated the question the same as the first time, I said, “In no time flat, bro.”

He was on his way from a beautiful weekend with his girl back to the airport and left his bag on the train. As quickly as it took him to stand up and walk off the train without his bag was how quick sugar turned to shit.

Airport personnel: “Do you have any bags to check sir?”

“Fuck you!” (my friend would have never said that himself but I just may have depending on if I had time to calm my nerves. I was in my 20s at the time and being a asshole was my day job.)

I say all that to say, yesterday was amazing. This morning was pretty dope too but the afternoon can go to hell. We have a water pipe break in the laundry room. Water is friggin everywhere and it’s too early to determine if there’s any damage. Yet, the show must go on and expectations of my time and talent are high and coming from every corner of life. Give thanks but also fuck!!!!!

My friends deserve attention, family and household duties stay calling, and my work is demanding. Sugar turned to shit mad fast and one can only assume that life can stay neutral and this is the worst problem I’ll have during this crisis. Or sugar can turn to shit at any given moment and everyday is anyone’s guess. I live by the concept of life being ebb and flow/peaks and valleys/being present to the good times and know that trouble don’t last always.

That’s all well and good until the dam breaks and water is fucking everywhere. Ha. The contractor is here now…give thanks. Hopefully the problem will be fixed and I can focus on the many tasks ahead.

Today, I give the official word to the public that the festival is postponed indefinitely.

I’m recentering, choosing, and managing what is in my power to manage…outside of that, I’m moving one day at a time and recommend the same for everyone because sugar can turn to shit in no time flat and it’s up to me/you on how the shit gets dealt with.

4/2/2020

It’s 1:30 AM. Sleep is off and short these days. This shit (all of it) is a strange transition and disorienting process. Relationships are challenging…I’ve always known that. Two strangers (or more if ya nasty ;o) with completely different backgrounds, perspectives, mindsets, pathologies, wants and desires attempting to mesh with one another wholistically and justly (especially with America’s socialization) is damn near impossible on a good day. Now this!

As I face the end of my comfort and normalcy, the realities of mortality, and stress of keeping calm and carrying on in this capitalist society for however number of days it’ll take to survive and arrive on the other side of this; I’m considering life choices that I’ve made. Now, in quarantined retrospect, I recognize how much I should have/could have deaded years ago for a chance at peace that only I can give to myself.

There are so many choices I’ve made that never supported me but yet I pressed on anticipating the day that it wouldn’t all be in vain. Now, I find myself feeling an impending doom that ain’t even about the virus! Up until now (in this moment) I’ve made myself wrong for my want to live free of past hurts, scarcity, and low vibes. I’ve attempted to rescue people who don’t want to be saved. I’ve ignored the fact that it’s not my fucking job to save them nor am I entitled to their salvation (whatever their journey to mental and emotional liberation looks like for them).

People get to be them. People get to choose. I get to choose and as of today, I plan to make peace with choices that I GET to make now and once this pandemic ends. I have a few responsibilities during this time that I’m going to commit 100% to and not allow anyone to knock me off my square:

Be kind and patient but not to my detriment

Be loving and supportive but not to my detriment

Protect and shield but not to my detriment

Write new stories, facilitate more connections, and focus on clearing this head clutter and getting my shit in order.

“This world done changed. Since I been conscious.” – Erykah Badu

Our current state of affairs has forced me to confront life head on and stop being passive with what it is I want. I get to have it and I will. There is both positive and negatives to this wait time we’re in. The negatives are all over CNN but the positives are in how I/we choose to journey through this to the other side. And the fact that I don’t even know if there’ll be another side for me, for us, for the people I love is scary as fuck.

Yes, even for me. Despite the work that I do, my coaching philosophy, and the “rise to the occasion” brave face I present to the world, I am extremely nuanced and complex with empath and cognitive intuitive superpowers and a Scorpio spirit. I’m a brooder with self-awareness, which means, I abhor this vexed energy that I currently sit in and I’m clear that I have no one to take that up with but me. For me, this time will mark the end of passive and nonchalant BEing. Transformation must and will occur.

I’ve accepted that what I’m experiencing as an individual and what we are dealing with as a collective is as unpredictable as it gets. So, tomorrow, I’ll begin writing my living will and ensuring that my life insurance is how I’d want it…if… But, I’ll also run, eat well, laugh, listen to music, and create. That reminds me, I actually have a interview tomorrow night that I’m looking forward to.

All is not lost but it all can be if in the end I remain the same and/or allow space for others who are close to me and therefore impact how I get to be in this world to continue as-is. Time’s up. I’m going to let this quarantine do what it do.

I’m rooting for us all. R.I.P. to the newly departed who have returned to the spirit world. I’m committed to living. I’m committed to doing what others can no longer do because their life has been cut short. That’s our duty. I’m present to that. Are you?

If you got this far…respect. This was my process for releasing what doesn’t serve, support or challenge me to think, feel, and do better.

Much love.

4/5/20

The week has finally arrived. I now know someone personally who has passed from complications of Covid-19. It seems that again and again I forget the fragility of life and that truly the last time you look a person in the eye, hold a conversation, or hug them can be the last time. It’s a sobering reminder.

As a person who venerates the dead, Aunt Mary, is now another name added to the list to speak out loud during libations. R.I.P.

I’m trying to write this post but I’m exhausted and fatigued emotionally. I feel like I’m on autopilot on a vehicle unfamiliar to me. On one hand it’s great that I don’t have to push any buttons or shift gears for movement but it’s good to be familiar and to have at least the illusion of control.

I’ll have to come back to this…the tired tears are flowing. No puedo.

4/7/20 – 4/8/20

I’m in the backyard right now, freezing my go-go off. Protecting my energy and neck. The fire in the pit went out and that’s kind of how I’ve been feeling lately…that the fire has gone out. As always (mostly from default), I’m operating from a helicopter view of this social experiment called life. Half of the shit the world places value and mandates for living our “best” lives doesn’t actually matter. The other half of the shit we do is futile, like making money and “owning” things continues to make the world go around…at least for now. Therefore, and at least for now, I’m tasked to operate as if the aforementioned matters until it doesn’t and be a cog in the machines until I’m not.

Lately (since Sunday) I’ve been spinning in a circle…so much to do…all equally important and priority. Tuesday, I chose to be still. When I spoke with Genie, she said that she has finally gotten into the rhythm of this newness.

Her words resonated, yet, I def haven’t caught the rhythm. Partially because I’ve been resisting what is. Anyone with experience in resisting realities and learning from it knows that it takes incredible effort (time and talent) and takes up a lot of emotional space. They say, the first step is awareness and acknowledgement.

So, what’s next? Choosing to move in flow. Yes, there are 6 energies in the house, including mine. No, that’s not changing anytime soon. Yes, my stream of income has taken a hard hit and it will take me creating from what I already have to generate additional sources. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done, quite a bit, and I’m up for the challenge despite battling regular depletion. It’s time to reconcile my issues with the concept of money, it’s part pathology, part anti-capitalism, and if I’m honest, it’s mostly being financially illiterate because of my choice to not make profiting important and frankly throwing my head in the sand to not deal with a lot of the lack I’ve created.

Eryca showed me an article that I had to fact check regarding a Global currency. The article came out in 2009 (that’s it – that’s the check). We’re closer to a prison industrial form of currency (goods and services) then the world sharing a dollar of the same name and value. White inferiority would never sanction that, so, moving on.

I’m starting to feel like I should include Reader notes for just how random these posts can get…for example…

Random thought 5: Today and yesterday have been interesting. There’s been a series of breakdowns inside the house and a pretty consistent theme of folks seeking counsel from me but not wanting to take the counsel provided. Most days I wish my name was Bennett so I don’t have to be in it. Afterall, I got my own business to mind as detailed in Random thought 3 (don’t try to keep up).

I started out the year with the intention to “Mind my Business 2020”. Deadass, I told everyone who needed to know that I’m like a vampire this year…you’ll have to invite me in before I enter. It’s been challenging, since support and wisdom are my superpowers. I can’t run from it. It would be like Black Panther knowing all that vibranium exists and denouncing it for brick and mortar materials. Fuck that. “I Yam, who I Yam.” –Griffin, also known as the Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison)

Fin.

4/27/20

Day whatever TF of whatever TF this social experiment is.

1st I have a confession…I have officially bitten off more than I want to chew. I’m saying yes to requests that I should really have take a number. It’s another Monday and not much has shifted in my world. I told Eryca that I didn’t get anything done today and she told me to think about all the things I did get done. Ha! That’s the funniest part. Today I woke up with a migraine and couldn’t pull myself out of my bedroom until damn near 2 PM. The migraine persisted so what happened between 2-4 is a blur except scheduling more shit for my calendar this week.

What I managed to get done: A recording session for the sports biopic that is almost complete, with the exception of all the post-production work ahead. The final version of the latest book I published is finally available on Amazon. I reviewed a fiction script that I’m supporting one of my sister friends to develop, and had a Zoom convo with Africa of Break Bred Studio that will be a part of a series by my brother Tai Allen.

In this moment, I’m being reminded of all the things left undone. Friday I pitched a virtual series to a podcast marketplace agency that I’ll reveal once the ink is signed but, shit, I forgot to follow-up with the final proposal. While I’m at it, I may as well add the rest of the To-Dos here:

Update week 2 and finalize week 3 for the Be Well – Stay Well Masterclass…in retrospect this is one of those projects that I probably should have pushed to the next quarter. There’s no turning back now but HAYZEUS it’s a lot.

Create and deliver a Podcast Abstract for a Men’s podcast

Writing Season 2 of The Fussings

Pharma work

Post Production of Biopic

It’s almost 1 AM. There’s so much more to do…meetings are already scheduled. As much as I abhor routine, I’ve got to start one just to manage time and level of effort. On any given day, I’m triaging Pharma Consulting, FWD Movement, Afros & Audio, The Vanguard Podcast Network, Mastermind Connect, family, and friends. I don’t even realize no one has asked me how I’m doing…feeling…or maintaining until someone does and it’s a shock to the system. Is there such a thing as being too busy to know?

I think I’m good. I only contemplated figuring out some way my family could get their hands on my life insurance once in the past 20 days. I’ve laughed a lot. My gratitude has waxed and waned but that can be charged to my head and not my heart. Life is as abnormally normal as it can get right now and I’m riding the wave. So far, so good is my go-to response when the rare questioning of how I’m doing hits my ears. That’s just it, isn’t it…apparently from one day to the next we can be healthy and then get sick. I’m trusting that we remain good. I believe that we will. “Wait Time” is almost up and there’s still much to self improve. Starting this week I plan to take an assessment of my workload and obligations to determine if there’s anywhere to trim the fat. Time will tell.

Thanks for reading. I’m tired AND over it, so this is all I got.

Peace

5/19/20

My fingers have been hovering the keyboard…unsure of where to start. What to reveal and what to keep to myself.

The good shit is as good a place as any to start:

  1. We’re still healthy, earning, eating, and moving forward as best as we can.
  2. This past weekend I was able to visit my family, including my 90 year old grandmother, mother, sisters, nieces and nephews. It was hella rejuvenating and restorative.
  3. Check out this and this for the reflection and peace home provided on May 17, 2020.
  4. My daughter is with my family for the next 3 weeks creating new memories and spending QT. I am consistently proud of that young woman and her commitment to her own mental health, protection of her energy and subsequent choices that prioritizes herself above and beyond anything or anyone else…she’s been raised and I trust her and that.

The SHIT: There has been an upheaval in my extended family that is waaaaaaay past due. I’m both grateful and terrified for what this will mean short or long term. Last week our nuclear family experienced an absolute breakdown to a breakthrough and this week, the chickens have come home to roost – fucking finally.

My daughter deciding to leave was the catalyst for disruption and healing. There is so much that comes with being a successful and thriving family, add to that, being a black family in this American society, and committing to the challenges, struggles, self-sabotaging, and broken individuals attempting to make a whole while yet being complete. It’s a wonder that we survive it. Any of us…Black rage, shame, and pain is real and can even destroy the very things we love, want for ourselves, and desire from others.

My wife has always been the strongest person I know and so are most of the Black women I’ve experienced in this time I’ve been on earth. It shouldn’t have to be the prototype of a Black woman though. I’m doing my part to lighten the load and be in contribution to their healing and forward movement, which, began with my own healing and awareness. I made a commitment to show up in ways that were needed and wanted beyond my needs and beyond my wants. This ability is not mutually exclusive, I am fulfilled and content with what I demand and receive. Grace for other people’s growth journey and an abundance of love and peace has sustained the hell outta my black ass.

Our women deserve so much more from us and society. Those are the facts.

Love is a verb. Make it so.

7/14/20

So it’s official…there’s no end in sight. It’s the first time in my life that things are progressing while remaining still and somewhat the same. I’ve been doing a lot of talking lately and in some ways I asked the universe for this…the opportunity to share my thoughts with a larger audience. However, as a creative and introvert it’s definitely not my top priority or need. Yet, it’s been good to flex my public speaking muscle and has absolutely stretched me beyond even what I considered possible for myself. That is to be seen, heard, and appreciated.

My great-grandmother used to say that people will do anything for you if they feel appreciated. That’s me…I am people.

You can tell a human who isn’t used to being heard or seen…often times it shows up in hypersensitivity to perceived misunderstandings, real disagreements, etc. and/or someone like me who for a long time was committed to being and remaining (face and name) invisible and content to be seen only through my creative work.

I say all that to respect and acknowledge that I’ve come along way.

2020 has been a complete shit show on many levels. The chaos and confusion of the world is real and our socialized thoughts and actions are front and center. Up until now we’ve been too busy to acknowledge the manic ways in which we respond and adapt to our world. This world is madness and I dare say that as a result we are too. Those of us willing to acknowledge that fact have a slightly better chance of survival but for the most part we’re all kinda fucked. Ha!

That can be an upsetting realization or a liberating one. Guess, which I choose? Give me Liberty or Death. Either way, I’m free. This life experience is ours to create. Mine to create. At this phase in my life, I do not take that for granted. So, I’ll continue to adjust, adapt, create, pivot, reinvent, reclaim, learn, teach, contribute, and be present because what else is there to do, really?

Currently, I’m evolving and making choices conducive to the health of my spirit, body, mind, and voice. We always leave out the voice for some reason.

What to know:

I’m writing again. Adviser to the Throne: Mastering your Royal Voice Vol. III will be my last installment of my Adviser to the Throne series and I’m shooting for the stars this time.

Afros & Audio is being led into the hands of the Black audio community. Exactly where it should be and though I’m at the helm it’s easily the least controlled of my endeavors. I look forward to more events that center Black folks. I think one of the greatest mind tricks for us has been the idea of scarcity and because one of us (specifically) has done a thing that another of us shouldn’t or can’t. Abundance should be the theme of 2020 and beyond because it breaks from the scarcity norms that we have learned from the colonizers and oppressors. We are all free people and get to act accordingly. Above all I want that for the Alkebulan diaspora.

Lastly, I am unafraid. There is nothing in this world that can frighten me back into hiding. I’ve had several extremely dope and life altering experiences over the last two weeks and all I can say is it’s go time. The things I used to say and feel about my life and my experiences no longer shame me or make me afraid to be seen. Self-ownership (thanks again bro for this understanding), is my new number one priority. My aim is not to please people but to show up fully for myself in all ways. What occurs for other people as a result is something that I’m unattached to and that is freedom.

Be peace!

FWD Movement

7/28/20

BALANCE…

I’m writing this live from my backyard in a contemplative state. This morning into the afternoon was a breakdown in communication and intent around said communication.

This resonated when I read it yesterday and manifested itself today (not for the first time).

It’s MAD annoying. However, emotional intelligence has me reflective on my contribution to this and any other “argument or breakdown” I find myself in while looking for the closest exit. There is no innocent or right or wrong here. It simply is…for now and why I’m looking to support myself and the people I love with a sense of balance that I may not be activating in this moment.

Balance is a process. For me, I have to enter into a thing before I can recognize and determine how to balance it. Admittedly, I’m doing too fucking much and self-correcting from a reactionary stand point isn’t the move. My ultimate goal is to continue to do too fucking much while prioritizing people’s feelings and giving the time and attention to interpersonal wants and needs of me. It ain’t easy…add to that – being clear that I matter too and am essentially the beginning, middle, and end of the story or result of my ability (or lack thereof) to balance my needs with others.

I’m grateful for the concept of balance and the ability to activate it as needed. It’s a work in progress. I’m not one for the chaos and confusion that is a direct result of this feeling that I haven’t properly taken the time to balance shit out. However, I give myself grace for the learning curves. Today, I acknowledge that balance is needed because the abundance of shit to do isn’t an excuse for a lack of showing up the way I want. I get to do better so that my thoughts, words, and actions are aligned and in integrity. I’ll get there and today is step 1…acknowledgement.

Thanks for reading…this is my process.

Peace

10/27/20

It’s approximately 40 minutes before my birthday (our bday) shoutout to my twin sister. I’m content. That’s big…not big because I haven’t been content prior to this day, month, year, etc. because I have been.

I feel good because this past year is the year I learned the most about myself and what I’m capable of being, doing, and having. There’s no fog or self-doubt and these days I accept compliments with grace and humility. Because I AM that fucking dude.

Random thought 1: People think I’m a nice guy and that’s what’s up but I don’t consider myself that…not that there’s anything wrong with being a nice guy…if you’re into that sort of thing. Ha. However, who I know myself to be is a person with integrity. They say integrity is doing the “right” thing even when no one is watching. I say integrity is, as my great grandmother used to say, “being a outside angel and an inside devil”, meaning, if my love, my children, or my nuclear family think I’m an asshole but the outside world thinks I’m king of the good people than I’m doing this wrong. Well, I’m happy to report that I listened to Mama Lena. She taught us well and I’m grateful.

Random thought 2: I’ve learned a lot about myself this year but the main gem happened just a few hours ago as I was editing a friend’s podcast. People (relationships), things, opportunities, stressors, etc. are temporary but the one constant throughout this one life, is me. I am the one person that will remain constant throughout it all. It took mad years for me to stop waiting for someone to save me from myself. Who will help me grow, support my dreams, liberate me financially, help me heal/forgive, or see me for who I know myself to be. Obviously, everyone knows the short answer…NO ONE.

The gotcha, gotcha is no one needs to and even if they did, it wouldn’t have been real until I became willing to do it for myself. And I did, have and will continue to until the day comes that I’m no longer capable. Fate willing and the creek don’t rise, that time is a long way off.

Random thought 3: I have a special relationship with my 90-year-old grandmother. We talk on the phone at least once a week for close to an hour. She says, “I don’t know where the time went, I can’t believe I’m 90.” Wow, as I typed that I realized I am literally half her age.

A few weeks ago, I decided to be present every day. I’m determined to not miss a thing or let this year be a blur like all the others. I want to know where my time went and I want to live it with joy, love, movement, creativity, urgency, and connected to the people I choose to have the privilege of knowing me and vice versa. I stan me.

I will not quantify that for anyone. It is what it is and I’ve come a long way baby! 5 minutes before my birthday now.

Random thought 4: My daughter and stepson are on their way back home from NY. Something, I discovered a few years back, was that, I had to prioritize my mattering to be able to afford to give them wings. I did that work and though I (we) are in a constant state of coming into being. I’ve arrived at a place of love and acceptance for my genius, my personality, and how I show up in this fucked up ass world.

My new year is going to be everything I ever dreamed and beyond because I will see to it.

This year I am recommitting to everything I SAY I WANT because if I say I want it then wtf am I doing? That’s no longer a question because I’m clear…folding on self is being left to last year’s ideas of self.

This song just hit my lil ol spirit: Random thought 5:

Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me yeah

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me
Ooh
And I’m feeling good

Fish in the sea, you know how I feel
River running free, you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don’t you know
Butterflies all havin’ fun, you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done, that’s what…

And this old world, is a new world

And a bold world for me

Stars when you shine, you know how I feel

Scent of the pine, you know how I feel

Oh freedom is mine

And I know how I feel

It’s a new dawn

It’s a new day

It’s a new life

For me

And I’m feeling good

—-The late great Nina Simone

Much love and thank you for reading…Happy Birthday to Me (Us)

11/16/20

This entry is a directive from my daughter…she also insisted I meditate which I haven’t gotten around to doing yet. Her intention is that I reflect and acknowledge what was created this weekend and so here I am…(I raised her, so, I trust her).

Well, it’s the day after Afros & Audio’s 2nd annual Podcast Festival! Wow, I’ll have to admit those words generated some mist in my eyes.

1st Random Thought/Confession:

I have a physical journal that I write in simultaneously, which gives me permission and opportunity to hold space for myself. What you read here is what you get to know about me while I intentionally learn and discover myself offline…forever in the process of coming into being.

I’m going to try to unpack the feelings that have completely overwhelmed and invoked emotion throughout the festival and as it ended.

Until a few years back, my negative worthiness and mattering self-talk kept me from the life I now experience…for a… long…ass…time! Childhood traumas conditioned me that I belonged to everyone and mattered to a few. I’ve since healed from that energy but, it lingers.

That lingering aka residual heartache and disappointment knocks me on the back of the head a lot less but still far too often. Alas, the self-work continues. Yes, the fuck I said, Alas!

SO, it’s the impact for me! As a life coach, I’ve chosen to adopt the same words I pour into my clients…Collect your evidence of what is and stop seeking info for what’s not (because you’ll find it and forsake reality to make it make sense). Telling ourselves stories that feed narratives that don’t serve, support, or challenge us to think and be different will get me/you/us nowhere – fast!

Random thought 3:

There is nothing conforming or typical about me and y’all don’t even know the HALF. TBH, I don’t know that I’ll ever be willing to “fit the mold” and I’m aware that folks might identify that as something other than what it is…(what it is:) that I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks about how I’ve chosen to show up in this world.

Random thought 4:

Take non-violent activists that some consider soft…have you ever thought about how easy it is to wreck someone’s shit and be done? Do you understand the power, certainty of self, and conviction in the long goal to withstand the threat of emotional/physical/verbal attack or harm? It’s apples to oranges baby. I’m so strong in my why that my how doesn’t need to make sense to anyone on the outside looking in.

Random thought 5:

The first time I heard Lauryn Hill’s song Guarding the Gates, I felt seen in this current state of being.

All that you could be is a spectacle
Following after every single miracle
Watch them marvel at
All the joy you have
But they’re too important to have all the joy you have
What a tragedy, you can laugh at me, you can laugh at me

But I’m in love
Yes, I’m in love
Don’t you wish you had real love
Yes, I’m in love

Tryna fix myself for society
Tryna mix myself for society
But can you tell me where is love in anxiety?
Can you tell me where is love in anxiety?

What you say to me
I don’t mind at all
What you say to me
I don’t really care at all
‘Cause I’m in love
Don’t you wish you had real love?
I know you do
Yes, I’m in love

We often create what we seek and community is my surthrival necessity. I’m IN LOVE with what we’re creating and I’m confident in my “lead with love” strategy and commitment. I’d rather win as a collective then in a silo at this point in life.

I don’t know what’s next…how can I? Since every moment beyond the one we’re in now is bogus until it occurs, let’s just say…remaining present is supporting the kid right now.

The festival was…EVERYTHING. If the numbers game ($ or # of attendees) was the objective, I guess that would be debatable but I’m not in that business. I don’t know how else to say that and could care even less if that is a believable assertion.

This year and last there was an intention that was set and both times it was met. We’re going to scale and grow…I have NO doubt about that but at this moment it’s still the PEOPLE for me.

Random thought 6:

Since I was young, I’d get misty-eyed, and at times the tears flow as a direct result of witnessing Black people’s joy and wins. It fulfills me like nothing else in this world. I checked in with the emotions I was feeling and I’m simply grateful to have the capacity to facilitate space for more of that…joy, triumph, laughter, honesty, love, respect, integrity, support…COMMUNITY. Thank you, Mama Lena!

I want people to know now what took me until recently to discover:

The possibility we see in others is the same possibility others see in us…SHOW UP. What we do is valuable because we are valuable…BELIEVE THAT. What we create for ourselves and others matters because we fucking matter. GET THAT ALREADY, DAMN.

I’m still reflecting on the weekend TBH, so all of this is surface thought while the core of it bubbles and settles. However, unlike last year when I hadn’t yet confronted and faced those two demon spawns “self-doubt” and “imposter syndrome”, I get it now…we did this…AGAIN and we get to collect that evidence and move forward stronger and ready to create bigger and better next year.

I’ll be back with more…

Thank you for reading. Peace

12/31/20

This is the last entry of the year. I can’t tell if I was more consistent this year than I have been in other years and I’m damn sure not going back to check, but it’s been real sharing a bit of this 2020 journey.

Random Thought 1: The New Year is just another fucking day! Ha. However, it’s a day that has never been experienced before. It is indeed a new day just like the last 365 days (and how ever many days you’ve been on this earth…mine has been 16,501 days). Give thanks! Life is an every day commitment to self and the people you/I choose to be in contribution to and it’s a beautiful thing.

Random Thought 2: At the start of this year I didn’t foresee the experiences I’ve had. I remember stating and feeling that 2020 was my year and then Covid-19 happened and continues to happen. Talk about salt in the game, sugar turning to shit, and WTF!

I call it the Great Pause. A time for reflection, pivots, adapting and adjusting to what is and has essentially been out of the realms of control. For some of us it has brought clarification that no other year has afforded us. We had to learn ourselves outside of external measurement and worldly identifiers. Who am I? What matters? What do I want? All existential questions as the mirror finally talked back.

Random Thought 3: I learned my capacity for life and all that it brings. No journey is linear or without its ebbs and flows. Discovering that there is space for it all and what couldn’t destroy me/you actually shapes us, and has all along is…liberating.

Random Thought 4: 3 Things I accepted about myself for the first time this year.

  • Stoic is my middle fucking name.
  • Philosophy is my game.
  • My genius knows no bounds.

I no longer apologize for any of it. My good news is not only will I benefit from choosing to live within my rights but the folks I’m in connection with will also. That’s fucking exciting.

Random Thought 5: Socialization has truly fucked us up. I wish us all independent thoughts, convictions, attitudes, and actions. This life is not a have to but a get to and as I continue to become, my plan is to learn from and contribute to as many brilliant Black folks as possible. Recognize truth over bullshit. Live urgently for what I want to experience in this lifetime and be audacious enough to do it on my terms. It’s possible!

Thanks for reading. Much love and respect!

2/3/21

This Black History Month I’m going to do something I rarely ever do but prescribe to my coaching clients often.

Celebrate my Black ass.

The last time I had the opportunity to celebrate myself, it was an exercise I was tasked with from an organization that helped to change my life for the better. It was 2017 and me and a group of folks that I now consider family were told to travel from Manhattan to the Staten Island Ferry and celebrate ourselves publicly. Needless to say, I fumbled the bag, I don’t remember all I said but mainly I focused on my daughter who had just been accepted to her first choice, Howard University. I was proud of her so I used the opp to use her as a shield from my aversion to vulnerability and deep state of imposter syndrome.

I didn’t mention that I had written my 2nd book or that I was successfully coaching clients after a long, expensive, and hard-earned certification process, or that I survived my hero’s journey of trauma, loss, and discovery only a year before. I didn’t even mention the bravery it was taking to do the work that would liberate my heart, mind, and actions for the life I’m currently experiencing. I said how proud I was of my daughter and passed the mic.

Today…baby!…I’m still proud of my daughter but let me tell you how proud I am of me. 2020 was the year that I set intentions, gave it to one of those full moons, and set out to living my best fucking life with 100% inventiveness and creativity.

There’s still room for improvement and space to grow…that’s my good news. However, the fact that you can see me now speaks for itself.

4/6/21

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes! Life’s myriad of decisions a.k.a. adulting can be terrifyingly satisfying. With that said, decisions have been made and…I’m going home! The home I used to write on every grade school paper that ever asked the name of my favorite place to visit. How could it not be my favorite place, it was a source of comfort, love, iridescent sunsets, and star filled skies. It’s where my great-grandmother brought me and my twin sister, after my mother and father split when we were less than a year old. She was my favorite but she left us in 2004. It’s where my Mississippi reared Pop-pop called home with my Grandmother after the Korean War until he transitioned into the spirit world in 2017. At 90 years old, my grandmother is now the eldest of our family and I want to be closer to preserve as much as I can before she’s gone.

I’ve been 4 to 7 hours away from my family for the past 20 years, and though it was necessary for my own growth, healing, independence, etc. it’s time to to settle back into my roots. Am I ready? I tend to rise to the occasion of most situations but I’m nervous about what might be waiting for us there. My love is ecstatic to move and she absolutely deserves the mental health break that our relocation will certainly provide – but me…I’m a little anxious.

It’s like a break-up that one gets nostalgic about, forgetting that there was a REAL reason you’re no longer together. There’s a reason I never returned…several. There’s a reason I never thought the day would come when I’d say, I’m going back home.

In 2020, my grandmother and I started a audio project where she spoke of home. A place that she and I both once knew but it’s been so long since we lived in that 2-story white house with the green roof, U-shaped sandy driveway, and acre + of vegetables, melons, and berries, equipped with a fully stocked chicken coop. Our community of brown faces supporting, bartering the daily fish catch and crops, visiting and staying for a while lifestyle is now a thing of the past. However, the sky, peace, slow-driving (this part will annoy the fuck out of me), and outdoor soundscape of cars, mosquitos and crickets remain. As of this summer, there will be no more busy and chaotic MLK Blvd for us. Good riddance; we’ve had police yellow tape so close to our house we had to level set the leasing company on rent increases Me: “Play stop playing”.

If I were an honest man, which I am, I’ll confess that I’m scared of losing my sense of urgency or the connections I’ve made. But life is what we make it so the only way it will happen is if I don’t set and keep my intentions around creating the life I want without folding or settling for less.

As of today, I’m challenging myself to release the thought that home is a place I wanted to move once I became a certain age to spend the rest of my days in peace and quiet. Thankfully, I’m not yet old enough to live a life of leisure and my spirit isn’t prepared to chill without an occasional turn-up. I’m a firm believer in not worrying about who moved my cheese and 20/21 has made the cheese almost impossible to keep up with. So, what I am ready for is setting up a source of my own cheese and creating a space and environment for us to live peacefully and sustainably. That’s the number 1 reason I am homeward bound.

25 years ago, I declared that above anything and all other things, I’d choose peace. And everyone knows, that a declaration without commitment is just some bullshit, so we out!

4/12/21

You know what I’ve discovered?

Most narcissists are raised by one or more narcists.

Over the past several years, social media certified mental health posters have combusted the understandings of society by hurling the psychological term of narcissism at people recklessly and at whim. News fucking flash: It’s actually doing more harm than good.

Especially for folks who could really use an opportunity to examine how and why they show up in the world in their lower self while posing as their highest. Some people are legit narcissists and because that is a psychological disorder and behavioral pattern it deserves awareness and support. Instead, it’s become an insult that people would rather defend than seek unbiased help.

The majority of narcissist I am in relationship with are distracted by the upset of their experience with the narcists who came before them. Thus, leaving themselves even more distant from their own need to examine their learned behaviors and patterns that don’t serve, support, or challenge them to disrupt the cycle. It’s a real tragedy to remain on a trajectory of who you aren’t rather then who you get to be.

Fun Fact: A great majority of narcissist are clueless that they are narcissistic. CLUELESS.

We all have work to do for our own peace and way forward. We all get to figure ourselves out…or not. Narcissism is real, it’s a sad existence and even sadder to witness and experience with someone who lacks awareness and shuts out/down feedback.

Moral of the story: Be easy with one another – half of us don’t know what the fuck is wrong with us and the other half are distracted analyzing, judging, critiquing others while neglecting our own work.

Worse: A lot of us have an aversion to emotional freedom and it shows.

4/27/21

“This world done changed/since Iiii been conscious” – Erykah Badu

I have discovered a lot in this journey. Life is evolving. Time is not standing still. And I’m working through some things, slowly and deliberately.

This next entry is a bit of a struggle. So, instead of analyzing my thoughts as I translate them (aka judge), I’m going to just make it plain.

In 2008, my family and I moved to Jersey City, NJ from Raleigh, NC. The decision to move was spontaneous but intentional. North Carolina was a pit stop in both of our lives. We were a young couple with a young child who wanted to create life anew with no expectations or understanding for both the possibilities and the traumas ahead.

I can tell you how my daughter learned to fly here but the rest of her perspective, experience, and truth is for her to share. I can also describe how my love grew from caterpillar to monarch (or whichever the dopest/most beautifullest butterfly in the world is) but again her life as she has experienced it is for her to tell.

What I can say, is, I became. 13 years later, I am not the same person I was when we first arrived. I don’t miss who I was either. Everything changed once New Jersey became the choice. EVERYTHING. I’m simply grateful for all that has occurred – the great, the wtf, and the debilitating. I have been shaped in ways that I could never fathom. I have become in ways that I never even desired. How could I have known?

I wanted to write. That’s all I knew. That’s all I thought myself capable of and that wasn’t even a real belief but a hope because at that point there was no evidence.

It took me over a year to get my first job here. My baby girl shared that she experienced me as depressed, which is wild because I worked hard to distance her from my fears, scarcity, self-doubt, etc. However, I must admit that she knows me better than most and loves me purely. So, I’ll take her word for it and affirm that I was fucked up! Drowning in self-doubt, deep in not mattering, scarred by past hurts, and unaware of it all.

Life began to change in 2010 when I begin to see pieces of my identity shifting. Who am I? Who do I want to be? I took care of that early. Life began for me in this city and now we’re leaving. I’m not even writing what’s on my heart because what’s there are my friends, our home of almost 12 years, and memories.

I honestly can’t pull more from myself at this moment…consider this entry incomplete…I’ll get it out. Right now I’m mourning and I’m giving myself space and grace to work through that. I have less than 3 weeks to get my energy together. Yep, just like our move from Raleigh, we decided it was time, and since there is never ANY time like the present…we out! This NJ chapter will soon be closed but this time, I’m taking with me, evidence, awareness, realities, and a circle of friends that have forever changed me. There were a lot of players involved but I can honestly say that I came, created, and conquered. I’ll come back to this. Thank you for reading.