Been Gone For Too Long

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I’ve been lost lately. 

I was beginning to lose myself. I began to lose my peace of mind, that which aligned me spiritually and mentally. I wasn’t the good kind of lost like in my earlier post I was “this doesn’t seem like me” lost, “i can’t put my finger on it, but something is up” lost, “ebony, what are you doing” lost. I can assure you it’s not the greatest feeling, but it’s a huge relief when I was painfully aware of it because now I had the choice to get back on the path God has laid out for me.

Maybe that’s the thing. God doesn’t lay it out for you, but rather he helps you pave the way you see fit to fulfill his will. 

I’m not sure, but no one knows me better than myself, and I’m sure that I have existed in limbo these past couple of months.

As I’ve stuffed my face with homemade meals, slept for over eight hours each night, and drank more juice than I have water, I’ve recognized that a series of things have occurred and went missing in my life that jolted me out of place.

I attempted, ATTEMPTED to do yoga starting last February and I was getting pretty darn good at it. It helped me concentrate, to remain less anxious about graduation, and made me feel awesome. Plus my body was more toned than ever. I was on my way to becoming a stay at home stereotypical Caucasian stay-at-home-mom. I loved yoga, loved eating healthy, began making my own hair and face products, and I was spending so much time reading outside. It was great. Then I came back to school this year and all of those great habits went missing. I stopped working out, stopped eating healthy, going outside as much, reading books for leisure. It was so unlike me and I was unable to drag myself out of the rut I was in.

I lost productive time for me. I know as humans we tend to treat ourselves very harsh and forget to allow ourselves some leniency and grace. Treating myself unlike how I would want others to treat me is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve recently made. I never thought the service I was doing was good enough, I told myself that I did not have it together and it NEEDED to be together. I was going against everything I’ve told myself. I was filling my free time with worry, doubts, jealousy of others accomplishments, and stress, which was chipping away at my happiness and go-lucky persona. I usually allot time in the day to give myself pep-talks, to congratulate myself on life thus far, to affirm and validate Ebony. I stopped doing that and it began to manifest itself in being unsure of myself and becoming lost.

Lastly I was faced with one of the most difficult events to happen in my life. I was made to realize that my experience as an African American is invalid, is invisible, is not worthy of protecting and acknowledging. In October a few students on an anonymous, twitter-like app posted racist vitriol about black students at the college I attend. To be honest, I was not surprised, if anything those comments codified all of the sentiments I had towards Rhodes College. As a black female born and raised in Mississippi racism isn’t an abstract concept that occurred to my ancestors, but it is visible in many interactions I have with people and the socially unjust institutions in place. If anything it snatched the many band aids, which have covered Rhodes’ racist wounds for years and it hurt. I was angered that administration, students, and faculty initially viewed the incident as a joke, a mere ephemeral matter, but to me it was an illustration of a picture many black students in higher education face. I won’t delve deeper into my sentiments into race in America and the world (save for another post), but I know that the events that occurred at Rhodes almost broke me, almost turned my love for people into hatred.

I am still enraged, but it’s become the fuel to reignite my passions for creating mediums for people to interact and learn each other’s stories. In learning something about a stranger, it transforms something in us, reminds us that we aren’t so different after all. By saying “even if you turn a black person inside out, I still hate them” and someone did, I in no way hate them,  but I hope that they meet that one black person who transforms their outlook.

It’s taken months for me to look at my white friends, my friends that are not black and see them the same way as before. I am purposefully forcing myself to get back on track, to love how I used to, to appreciate the world as I once did. It’s just hard. It’s difficult to see the same world that justifies the massacring of black bodies as I did before, but I have to for my sake. Therefore I refuse to live in a world that sees no value in God’s creations whether it be nature, humans, life, without contributing my effort to change the world for the better. I refuse to not love with all of me in hopes that it helps fill someone who was empty so they can spread love to someone else. I refuse to let my skin color dictate who I am, what I do, and where I will go in life I’ve seen God bless me too many times to believe he’s done now.

So I’m beginning to start yoga again, create some time to cheer me on, and spend time with creatures, people, and the places which have been my anchor through this journey.

I am thankful for the sucky parts of life, like feeling lost and out of control, because they inspire me, they make me stronger, and they remind me that life is definitely a roller coaster.

So I hope that in being honest with myself and with whoever read this, you will find comfort in knowing everyone has their dark times in life, in which they have to be their own beacon of light. Stay awesome. Stay beautiful and sorry for being away for so long.

Peace and Love,

Ebony 🙂

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a daily reminder to yourself.

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I have to remind myself of this more and more.

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Don’t let the world tell you unicorns don’t exist.

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of life keep you from lingering to look at the clouds and the stars

Don’t let the perceived importance of material things discredit the invaluable nature of emotions, moments, and people that money can’t buy.

Don’t simplify yourself if the world doesn’t “get you”. Stay complex, unique, and beautifully multifaceted.

It’s that which can’t be explained or that which is so overwhelming to the soul that makes the difference.

And of course, so much more……

Peace and Love,

Ebony 🙂

In Lieu of Current Events.

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In Lieu of Current Events.

I did not write the following to side with anyone, but myself. I have much to learn and the evolution of self is still in progress….

I hope as you read this, it’s not with skepticism in your heart or denial of the truth, but know that this came from a dark and painful place that not only exists within me, but within all of my black brothers and sisters also.

To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage- James Baldwin.

One of the most powerful and life-changing events that occurred in my life was recognizing I was black. Yes, my skin is brown, I was raised in a predominantly black culture, black church, but I was also raised by whites, Indians, Haitians, Jews, Atheists, and I believed we were all the same. They were human. I am human. I did not recognize that categorized us and would attempt to limit my life chances.

Living in Mississippi I’ve experienced minor incidents of racism; however it wasn’t until I went to college did I recognize I was black. It all started with a Social Justice course, in which I was introduced to the ideology of “white privilege”. I then recognized that I was a Black Unicorn as Audre Lorde said, I was and will be the “other” in society. It is not because there is a fault in my creation, a mutation in my genes, a general consented out-casting of my skin, but the society I live in created systems to forever attempt to belittle my existence.

I began to ponder on the lives of my classmates as we would talk; their families’ possessed social clout that has grown over generations. They have access to better schooling, food, healthcare, and quality of life. I thought about the school I had access to growing up in the inner city of Jackson and realized I was being duped by racialized systems my entire life. I won’t go into detail, for in details people love to judge, offend, and take offense; however I will say that white privilege is real.

There are conscious and unconscious biases that have to be taken into account when encountering others and whether we admit it or not that includes the biases that have shaped us into the people we are today. Therefore the problem of racism is compounded for many black people have allowed negative perceptions of blackness permeate their psychological well-being. Many black people acquiesce to the same self-hate that was literally whipped and beaten into blacks during slavery. So yes, current events have eerily beamed the light on racialized crimes and injustices, but what about the thousands of deaths that occur each year due to black on black crime. We have to release ourselves from the burden of shackles and remember that we come from Kings and Queens. We are a beautiful people, a strong and resilient people, but also a people facing psychological warfare. Once you become conscious of yourself as a black human being you recognize how powerful self-affirmation is and how amazing it is to give agency to other black people. Once you become conscious you are in a state of rage for all of the stored emotional baggage, pain, and brainwashing for centuries is released and the mind is clear. The picture is clear, but that doesn’t mean it looks better. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of educating that needs to occur, a lot of empowerment needs to be given. This was a jumbled mess, but I had to get it off my chest.

So don’t ask me why I am an angry black woman, ask why society provoked me.

Peace and Love,

Ebony

Fear.

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It’s amusing that I named this fear and a month and a half  later I finally have the words,kinda, crafted to fluently get my message across. Hopefully.

In the past six months I’ve had two really close friends lose their mothers and honestly it’s hard for me to type this without tears welling in my eyes and I have to force my fingers to continue typing. There’s a gigantic fear I have of losing those I love and care about because it’s not in my control and we just love for things to be in our control. lol

I can control when I eat, when I laugh, cry, sing, but I can’t control death. No one can.  So yes, one can live a life in fear of death, but miss out on the whole purpose of living. Fear of the unknown is understandable, reasonable, but it doesn’t have to control your decisions in life.

At a young age I recognized that death was that inevitable thing that happens to kings and queens, pet frogs, old people down the street, and classmates. It happened to everyone. Therefore I always feel compelled to be present in every moment and live fully while I can.

I know people that live in fear of their mistakes, past, and future even. They cage themselves within, withholding the world from their useful ideas, love, kindness, and presence.  Fear is a powerful emotion, a powerful action that can kill you before you’re dead.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: LIVE YOUR LIFE. DON’T regret going to the concert you’ve always wanted to go to, eat at that new cool restaurant, travel the world. Don’t be scared to even change the world! You’ll never know your potential if you doubt it before tapping into it and if you fail. OH WELL. It sucks, it hurts, it stings, but you still have the opportunity to try again because you’re ALIVE. I will forever strive, claw, crawl, run, walk my way through life and over it’s mountains because each day I’m granted is another chance to live with purpose.

I accept that there are things I am in control of and things I am not in control of. There are times when days will be sunny and there are days that are going to suck BIGtime. Though I may be scared as hell I will continue to dance in the rain, dance in the sunshine, and learn from every setback because each day is a chance to become a better person, a better me.

I don’t want to die knowing I lived in fear of my fated death, but that I lived in every moment, every day and I didn’t stop trying to CHANGE the world for the better.

What fears will you let go of?

Much Love,

Ebony 🙂

I thank you all.

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I’m pretty sure I don’t know anyone who was shaped into the person they are today ALONE. That’s not how life works.

There’s a Wordsworth’s quote I remember that says:

With tranquil restoration:--feelings too                        30
      Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
      As have no slight or trivial influence
      On that best portion of a good man's life,
      His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
      Of kindness and of love

The “little,nameless, unremembered, acts of kindness and of love”   have shaped me into the person I am today. There are tons of people who have shown me love, gave a little piece of themselves to me, and I added it to the love and kindness within me to go and do the same.

Most of the time people don’t recognize their acts of kindness, their impact in shaping another human being; therefore I always attempt to be as present as I can be in every moment so that I may remember each person for as long as I can. This blog was actually triggered by the slew of UBER drivers I have met, who all have broadened my perspective of life through our short conversations to Jazz in the Gardens or Sign of the Whale for happy hour. They were strangers whose names I don’t remember, but I remember their stories and their humanity. They too have dreams, passions, families, and an incredible story, which they felt comfortable to share with me. I am grateful to them for doing such, for in learning others stories I can always put mine in perspective.

There are even those random people who smile at you if you’ve had a bad day or told you they loved your outfit who completely transformed the rest of your day. They too have helped mold you into the person you are.

Then there are the ones who you will never forget, though you have only met them for a brief time, because you both eerily connected on such a deep level so fast it seemed as though God wanted you to meet. They helped reveal something you never noticed about yourself and you the same for them. It seems they will forever be a part of you, though you may never cross paths again. For these I am especially thankful for it reminds me that you don’t have to know someone for a lifetime to feel comfortable enough to share your life goals and dearest dreams.

Of course there are those who overwhelm you with love and never cease to amaze you from the out pour of love, kindness, and compassion they easily give. They are the ones who will give their last so you can thrive, they always see the beauty in you, even when you don’t, they are a constant source of support. There are really no words that can be said to people like these, but you can hope your actions suffice to let them know how utterly grateful you are to have them to share life with.

There are so many more, so many names, so many moments, so many strangers who have made me into the person I am today. Though I’m not anywhere near perfect and am not where I want to be quite yet, I wouldn’t want it any other way. So I thank you. I thank you all for your unremembered acts of kindness and love towards me for you have helped make life worth living, you keep my passion aflame, you remind me that it’s better to love than hate, smile than frown. I am forever grateful.

I couldn’t help but to give credit to some major shapers however:

God

Momma

Sissy

Ms. Laura

South Africa (especially Paradise, Minnie,  Amanda, Busisiwe, Alton, Mustafa)

Church Family

Taylor

Michella

Rachel

Ms. Linda

Ms. Lyles

Ms. Dorothy

Linda

Landon

Dun

The Sun

The Moon

Strangers

 

With Outpouring Love for you all,

Ebony 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Reasons to Smile

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There are millions and billions of reasons to smile, but these are pretty universal reasons and by the end I hope you smile too.

1. It’s free. 

Who doesn’t like free things?! It costs nothing because there is no value that can be assigned to YOUR smile. Remember that. The Hope Diamond has nothing on your priceless smile.

 

2. Into the world you came with it and out of this world you go with it. 

Whether you believe in God, a divine figure, or nothing at all one thing’s for sure. Your smile isn’t like money, cars, houses, clothes, food. It isn’t worldly, it is so much more. A smile remains when nothing else does!

 

3. You can pair it with ANY outfit. 

Smiles are better than a good pair of jeans, your favorite dress, and your favorite MAC lipstick combined. Better than your Norts or your salmon shorts because there is no grueling decision over what to wear with it. Smiles go with everything. They will forever be in season.

 

4. Unlike a credit card, there is no limit on how many times you can smile. 

Price limits get outta here! Twitter characters be gone! In a world that attempts to stifle and limit you in many different ways a smile is a definitive way to be a rebel. There’s nothing that can keep you from your smile, no blocked door, closed window, it’s always waiting for you to bear those pearly whites to the world!

 

5. It belongs to YOU. 

No one can take you smile, steal it away, hide it UNLESS you allow them to. Smiles are a choice and you have the choice to let others, circumstances, or life keep you from the joy of a smile. I hope you decide to recognize the many blessings that exist in your life even the midst of your storms. Just like the song This Little Light of Mine “this great, big smile of mine…I’m gonna let it SHINE” 

 

6. Sets you apart. 

Conformity sucks! Your smile is unique, individual. Therefore it’s just one of the many things that sets you apart in the world. The subtleties, gaps, missing teeth make your smile unlike no other. I think we can definitely find beauty in that!

 

7.It feels good.

It just feels nice to genuinely smile. There’s so many things to smile about so there’s definitely no shortage of good vibes.

 

8. It makes other people feel good. 

I’m not making these things up. There has been many studies done on the effects of smiling upon others and the results are in. Smiling is not only contagious, but it makes other people happier, more comfortable, and less stressed. As humans we can get overwhelmingly stressed about things that happen throughout life, so it can make a world of difference if you’re that friend or stranger that bestows a contagious smile on someone else’s face. Try it. You have the superpower to transform someone’s mood!

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile <<<<< link to a post I liked about smiling’s effects on others

 

9. I WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOU. 

Have you ever recognized that you feel more drawn to people that smile? Their positive energy just radiates to you and you’re like I want that person to be my best friend. Happiness come my way! Smiling is attractive, it’s beautiful, it’s warmth. All things we as humans love in others, so who wouldn’t love a “smiler”. I know I do.

 

10. It’s a universal message that says welcome. 

Smiling is an invitation of the soul. In smiling you’re letting people know that I am willing to offer my priceless smile to you, I have something greater than material things that I want to offer. A stranger recognizes a smile, people with different cultures and languages recognize a smile. It’s like a universal hello with no words.

 

WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE? COMMENT BELOW! 

 

Ebony 🙂

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Living a Whole Life.

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Let me preface this with the following: I woke up and had the urge to write about being whole in life. Hopefully it won’t come across as a jumbled mess of words and you’ll find something meaningful within the words I’ve written.

I like being whole.

Feeling partial of oneself makes you “half-self”, ” third-self”; therefore fill your self. Not with arbitrary things, emotions, characteristics, experiences, failures, tragedies, accomplishments. Make sure they’re ones you’ll never want to live without because they have wondrously created you. Hope they craft a person full of unique beauty and the essence of being an individual.

Amusingly sometimes everything needed to make one whole lies on the shelves of one’s soul, never touched by the heart or mind. Sometimes you are whole and don’t know it and other times your wholeness is bestowed upon you by person, place, thing.

Have you ever looked at a painting and became full of awe, passion, and love for that beautiful artistry?

A beautiful day outside with fluffy white clouds, green grass, and the sun blazing makes one feel full of life. They feel unity with nature and being.

Experiencing the death of a loved one, friend, or family member can make one full of despair, depression, an overwhelming darkness.

Being whole and partial is one of the many processes of life. We’re constantly filling ourselves and giving parts of us to make others whole. It is being human.

So in being whole I know that I have been filled and am now in the position to help some else become whole. On your journey attempt to become aware of your wholeness or lack there of and carry on accordingly.

Have a beautiful Sunday and may you be filled with all of the good things in life, though the bad ones are necessary too!

Peace,
Ebony