In this life, we choose paths that will serve consequences and or a response; some call it karma and others call it fate. However, not making decisions permits results as well. If we want to ensure that life will bring us the happiness we seek, we should solidify our intentions regarding our choices.
This past weekend I attended the “Rising Above” LA Live Film Festival with Meredith O’Connor and Summer Moore, these two women are passionate and intentional about their choices in creating film and music. It is empowering to see women in the arts making a difference for a cause. Meredith is the Celebrity Youth Leader at The United Nations, Anti-Bullying spokesperson, and singer-songwriter. Summer Moore is an Award-Winning writer for her short film Karma of Happiness, producer, and actress. I spoke with these two ladies, and this is what they had to say:
The ridiculousness of the president of the United States of America calling NFL players Sons of A B**** because they are expressing their right to freedom of speech is TRUMDICULOUSNESS AT ITS FINEST. Well, this is pretty low and Mr. 45 just insulted players and their mothers. Why? Is he trying to create a distraction?
What are we really arguing? Is it the flag or is it plain old cognitive dissonance? Whenever someone has a belief system that becomes upset and or contradicts another belief system, the mind begins to try to find a way to stabilize a belief. The ego attempts to find a way to make an excuse for the contradiction. Cognitive dissonance allows you to formulate a narrative that will cause ease for the mental anxiety
I remember the first time I sat down and had a conversation with this young man; he expressed his passion for creating opportunities for urban authors to showcase their literary works. Well, that was nearly three years ago, and Mr. Jeff Cheatham II has turned that idea into what we now call the Seattle Urban Book Expo! He did it! He made his dream come true for others.
Mr. Cheatham started to write when he was just five years old. However, his passion for becoming an author really sparked one day after visiting a book store with his daughter. He states, “My daughter wanted a dinosaur book, but I couldn't find a dinosaur book with black or brown girls, so I decided to write one for her myself.” That day in the book store pushed Jeff to write, now he has two published books titled, The Family Jones and The Eggs of Rex and Why is Jane So Mad?
The Seattle Urban Book Expo is in its second year, and it is going to take place at Washington Hall on Saturday, August 26 from 1-5 pm. There is going to be a full line up of 20 authors, that means there will be various genres of books available for everyone. This event will include activities for children such as face painting as well as a snack and coloring room. Food vendors include Hidmo, Catfish Corner, and Chef Dwane Butler will be serving up Island style food. There will be music, lots of books for purchase, and so much more! SUBE is pleased to announce that they will collaborate with the Seattle Public Library for this literary event. Some of the authors of SUBE will also conduct a Q & A, as well as a meet and greet with the community at the Renton Library.
I attended the book expo last year as an author, and it was inspiring to experience the overwhelming support of the community for their local urban authors. Trust me you do not want to miss this event! This event is going to be amazing!
Here are some truths about Charleena Lyles, she was a daughter, pregnant mother of 3 children, a cousin, and friend to many. “Leena” as her family calls her was adventurous with a smile as bright as the sun they say; she was willing to give anything to anyone they proclaim! I am told by her cousin Nakeya Isabell, as she recalls spending time with her cousin that she and Leena would make adventures out of everything when they spent time at their grandmother’s house together as young children. The pain in her voice is evident that she is truly hurt by the death of her cousin Charleena Lyles. She was loved by her family and friends. She will be missed.
I love to see fathers in motion! Fatherhood requires accountability and taking responsibility for moving their children forward in this life. Paying child support and the occasional visit from dad is only part of fathering. However, being a consistent active participant in a child’s life is what will propel children forward into their purpose and destiny.
According to National Fatherhood Initiative @ www.fatherhood.org, “There is a father absence crisis in America.” Also, the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that 24 million children, 1 out of 3, live without their biological father in the home. Consequently, there is a fatherless factor in nearly all social ills facing America today.
I was just 14 years old when I wanted someone to care; I longed to be loved and accepted by anyone. What I was unaware of at the time was, I needed someone to teach me that I was valuable. In search of love, I looked for it in all the wrong places because I felt inadequate. I did not know that I was worthy of anyone’s love. The downloads I received as a child were one of pain; the pain was all I knew and I somehow mistakenly took pain as love. The dysfunction and abuse I was raised around taught me to accept less in relationships. Healthy relationships were not portrayed in front of me, and this caused me to seek after the same dysfunctional relationships I experienced growing up. These toxic downloads that I received gave me a negative self-value system of beliefs concerning my identity and self-worth. In my search for true love and acceptance, I gravitated to unhealthy individuals. I stayed in what I considered to be at that time “love relationships” with anyone who would show me some sign that they wanted me. My desperation for love kept me in toxic relationships, and I wound up pregnant at the age of 14.
We are celebrating Women’s History Month, and I can’t think of a better way to do that other than highlighting a “Woman on the Rise,” Mrs. KaKela Hall. She is the CEO and Co-Founder KD Hall Foundation. Her passion is to be fearless about pursuing women’s rights of equity. She brings together women of all background and influences to motivate them to use their voice, teach strategic communications skills, and activate them for their greatness! KD Hall Foundation is growing and expanding locally in Washington state where her organization hosts women’s leadership conferences and workshops.
Her true story of overcoming some poor choices she made has inspired me to keep moving forward. We need more women who are willing to be transparent with their life challenges. I have learned that when we share how we overcome, it gives power to others to do the same. Well, Mrs. Hall has done this. She rose to the call of a greater path and because of that many women will grow with her! Often, we think that our story is not good enough, that everyone has a story, and or no one will want to hear your story. Well, our stories are important! Kela has proven how our stories can help transform lives by the work she is doing in her community. So, today we salute you!
I will leave you with one of her favorite quotes by Maya Angelou:
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise” from And Still I Rise
Please connect with Kela @
Let Freedom Ring. Let Freedom Speak.
Freedom should be allowed to speak! If we silence the words that encompass the ability to activate people to fight for freedom, then we are not Letting Freedom Ring! It is our right to speak, and those who try to silence the truth have something to hide. Let freedom ring you say? Freedom is precious beyond belief, but which of us has indeed acquired freedoms reign? Even today, liberty is a priceless possession that many have not obtained in what we like to call, “the land of the free and home of the brave.” How could this possibly be? The possibilities of freedom for all become non-existent when we do not take responsibility for the most basic human rights of others.
Freedom does not ring when you have the ability to stop illegal and unjust treatment of another but do nothing. #cleanwaterforflint
Freedom does not ring when you stand by and watch people suffer because you want to possess money and control. #notodakotapipline
Freedom does not ring when murder is justified because of “who they are.” #noneedtohashtagnamesweknowwhotheyare
Freedom does not ring for any of us when we are silent bystanders and inactive participants in the inhumane treatment of another life.
Freedom does not ring when your neighbor’s fundamental rights to SPEAK TRUTH is threatened with silence, yet there is no outcry for justice among those who hold the greatest power.
Freedom does not ring when those who do not look like you are persecuted without cause, and you do nothing on your watch!
I just came to say, that FREEDOM WILL NOT RING until we ALL stand against those who use their positions of authority to spew divisive, evil, racist, and biased agendas. #holdthemaccountable
When does freedom ring?
Freedom says we will Not re-elect those officials back in office who do not stand for the will of the people.
Freedom rings when all of us stand up for each other’s basic human rights.
Freedom rings when we hold ourselves accountable for our neighbors, fathers, mothers, sisters, and distant cousins.
Freedom rings when we are no longer silent to the abuse of others.
Freedom rings when we stand up for JUSTICE and LIBERTY for ALL.
We are influential people, to say the least, we are the miracles that God created to live in this universe, and we are wonderful beyond our imagination. We are here to spew the anger of injustices and to bring healing for the wounds of our neighbor's existence. In Unity, we are the New Force You Must Reckon with. We will turn our pain into purpose, and we shall incite justice and humanity for all. Let Freedom Ring!
Here is my personal mental detox..
I cannot pretend not to feel what I feel. I am angry, pissed, and sad because of stance of our nations leaders!
However, now that I am acknowledging what I feel and processing the why's of my mental state. My emotions do not get to dictate my ENTIRE DAY!
So, I choose to re-focuse my energy. I choose faith, hope, and peace over terror and distress.
I will rest in my father's arms, to him I cry out and release what ails me. Now, I can walk in the freedom that he has awakened me too.
Today, I detox from the negativity that I feel. Letting go.
Dreams deferred can feel like someone is ripping all hope and faith away from you if you allow toxic emotions to detour you from hope and faith.
A dream deferred can keep you hoping and doubting at the same time. The patience and faith that must accompany dreaming require persistence.
DO YOU HAVE PATIENCE, I ASK?
Do you have the wherewithal to sustain the doubt that would come to kill every unfulfilled dream that lays dormant in your mind?
You know those dreams that you told God about, and now you have made excuses for the reality that they have not yet come to pass.What about those dreams that you wouldn’t dare telling anyone about because you don’t even believe in them yourself?They were but mere fleeting thoughts that passed through your mind, and when you ponder on them, you feel exceedingly joyful and your stomach begins to turn because of the tiny possibility that your thoughts could become a reality.
But then, the thought passes and the reality of the day sets in; you begin to feel the pressure of bills, work, and family gnawing at the base of your neck, and so you resign that fleeting thought and return to the familiarity of your ordinary preplanned life.
Yes, you know what I’m referring to because just as I’ve explained it, you remembered that moment in time where the thought of something amazing quickly left your mind.
I know that I’ve buried more than one dream in my lifetime. I have ordered the
flowers and orchestrated the guest list for the service; I made sure to invite my will, emotions, and my faith to these funeral processions so that they too will know that some things are just not possible.
My doubt had become greater than the reality of my true identity and because of that, I put my dreams to rest! “RIP Dreams!” was always what I wrote on the tablet of my mind. My only will was to one day wake up to the fact that just because I’ve buried my dreams doesn’t mean that they will not happen. Just because I’d given up on waiting for some things to materialize doesn’t mean that they weren’t going to come.
For me to resurrect the faith of my dead dreams, I had to believe again.
I had to know who I was for real this time. Not because people told me who I was, but because I know who I am.
I have a spectacular life to fulfill: one that encompasses peace and joy. I’m talking about real joy, that states to a dream deferred, “you will come to pass!”
Have you had situations when you were in doubt? How did you fight this feeling? Let me know in the comments below.