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    An Open Letter to my Mama on her 57th birthday

      Listen and Read along  For most of my life I have dreaded mother’s day or any holiday or birthday that reminded me of my mother. I honestly didn’t believe my mother loved me. Too many times my mother had chosen men over me and my sister, that I thought loving my mother was a lost cause.  Too much trauma had occurred from being Gwen’s daughter and yet I never wanted to be anybody else’s baby.    I look back on the fifty seven years of my mother’s life and I am glad to have known her in this lifetime.  She is the stratosphere for me on what it means…

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    God Undefined

      Listen and Read along Last night I ate watermelon for dinner and it was so full and so sweet I am convinced God was in it and my grandaddy was too. And you know what he probably was. I can never not think about my grandaddy while eating watermelon, seeing the watermelon-man on the side of the road or even piled high in the pristine aisles of the grocery store. Nowadays, watermelons give me great joy, but they also make me weep. Weep because I want to go on 27th ave and pick juicy green watermelons with my grandaddy one more time.  For many of us God showed up…

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    The Power of Surrendering

    Listen and Read along Sitting at my desk all the whispers of my life are telling me it’s time.  It’s time for us to rise up and surrender from every comfort and lean into every desire. We cannot be willing participants to the merry go round and limbo that we have chosen for ourselves.  It’s time to go. Owning your power is about surrendering to the whispers of your life. The whispers of your anointing. your call. your purpose. Surrendering is like going home to yourself. It is the tightest hug, the softest kisses, a pillow to rest your head from the storm. It is getting out into the thick…

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    Birthing + Outgrowth= Recoding

    Listen and read along      Everything about me has changed.    Every single thing about me, has changed.    From the way I talk, to the way I listen, to the way I see myself in the mirror.  Every single thing about me has changed.  My intentions, my purpose, my beliefs have been cemented. More sure now than ever before. That resistance must meet me in the face. And it is now my choice to inhabit/inherit this space.   I reside here.  These growing pains are not easy. Much of this work has felt like a painful irreplaceable loss. But I know I don’t want the hurt back. I…

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    The trouble was never outside

    My daughter when you plant I hope you know it’s on fertile ground. All the pain and trauma I’ve experienced in my life I have stopped burying it long ago. It no longer takes root. I have pulled the mf weeds from all around it and put it on display.  Last week I took a vacation with my family and I was miserable to say the least. Four generations of women in my family under one roof and I was reminded of the famous Maya Angelo quote, “When people show you who you are, believe them the first time.”  My chest hurts as I write this out because the fear,…

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    My Lesson in Love is a Lesson in Lack

    PLAY AUDIO VERSION OF TEXT I remember 5/17; 817am because I caught a revelation as I cried out hung up on number 5. Number 5 of my non-negotiables in love. There is no harm in love. I got caught up, cause I knew that every time we communicated, there was no commune. That there was so much harm in this love from a lack thereof and I almost missed it from being immune. I get breathless when I think about it now, because this is the story I waited to tell. But, I kept swallowing it down.  Purposely protecting you and harming myself.  Purposely loving you and numbing myself.  Purposely showing…

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    My First Encounter with Racism.

    My first known encounter of racism was at Satilla Marsh Elementary School. I was in the 5th grade and 10 years old. A group of Black students and I were written up and damn near suspended for “bullying and beating up” a white male student on the playground. This never happened. The white boy made it up. Prior to this I had never been written up in my entire elementary school career. I had always excelled. Always the only 1 or 2 of a few Black kids in predominantly white schools in the “gifted” classes, whatever that means….I realized years later that white folks liked to make me not like…

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    How to Overcome Grief + Loss

    https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.31/6vm.f5c.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Grief-and-Loss-Tips.mov On August 28, 2019 two days before my grandfather suddenly died, I shot this video of myself for a TedxHilton talk on grief in my hotel room in Chicago while on a work trip. My mother called me frantically at 5am that Friday saying my grandfather was being rushed to the hospital and it didn’t look good. I prepped her and James to take my Mama to Miami ASAP. I got my bags together to head to the van, barely keeping my composer. I sat at one of the O’Hare restaurants and ate bacon and avocado toast as I typed the last few words of my TedxHilton app and hit…

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    A Requiem of Reckoning: Collective Grief Impact

      Play audio version of text I woke up one morning this week with the word requiem in my heart. I had heard the word requiem before, but honestly didn’t know what it meant. It took me until around 11am that wednesday morning to unbusy myself to google the word, requiem . Requiem-in the catholic tradition means a mass response to the souls of the dead.  And indeed the requiem is here.  Requiem did not come to me by accident. It was planted there. Requiem has a reckoning. A reckoning of a sound. And I knew it to be a sign of how our 2020 unfolded.  2020 did exactly what…

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