Living My Best Life. It’s Possible!

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My current situation is that I am still a work in process. At this moment I am an unemployed teacher, single mom, artist, writer and frustrated member of this society. Now, see how I listed the ‘negative’ aspects of my life first? It wasn’t intentional. I just started listing who I am at this moment.

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This is what we do. Usually, we focus on what’s wrong in our lives instead of what’s good. As humans in this modern-day life experience, our lives have been guided by: other’s expectations, societal ‘norms’ and other outside forces. Why? We GIVE these forces outside of ourselves the power to control us. How disappointing to come into this life happy and carefree, only to conform to the unhappiness around us.

Life doesn’t have to be this way. As I sit here, pondering life in the morning light of my second mother’s house, I refuse to accept a feeling of failure. Last week, I was made aware that someone, ironically a woman who shares the same birthday as me, had been giving me bad references. I’d been on a series of interviews that seemed successful but offers of employment were being rescinded. This made me angry, frustrated and disappointed. All I’ve ever wanted to do is teach but my efforts to do so seemed to be thwarted at every turn.

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For a few days I was despondent and inconsolable. I felt like a victim, which is not a very empowering way to feel. So, now, I’m taking my power back. I know what I must do and the only way to succeed is to use the tools at my disposal.

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I’ve had the best life coaches and I found many of them online. One good thing about this digital world is that information is accessible, easy to find and shareable. Over the years I’ve followed videos by: Louise Hay, Napoleon Hill, Wayne Dyer, Earl Nightingale and others. I’ve been a member of empowerment groups, personal development groups and spiritual groups. I’ve consulted shamans and sages. Been to sweats and churches. I know what to do. So now is the time to do it…and I hope that this journey will resonate with others and inspire them to do it, too.

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Self-Empowerment is a lifestyle. A choice. A state of being. I’ve been on the train so many times and got sidetracked. I’ve found that a mixture of short term and long-term goals may be the key.

For the next thirty days, I will set daily goals that put me on a path to accomplish my long-term goal. This journey is part journal, part methodology and part following my inner guidance. I’m excited about this and look forward to successfully accomplishing what I want.

Hip Hop Strokes : Reni Candelier Paints A Picture.

The Sun rises and sets each day. We all know and accept this fact without question. Most people  view poverty or oppression the same way. We know it happens. We never ask why and we never consider the implications of a world without it.

If you’ve ever experienced poverty, the impact of a world without ‘thing’s colors your life. It seeps over into everything you do. You grow accustomed to having very little and struggling for every crumb. Even if your poverty experience was only temporary, the effects are never truly forgotten.

Rene Candelier is an artist who has known both deep poverty as well as great wealth. Her father was able to bring his family into a better financial situation but still wanted them to stay grounded and appreciate their position in life.

“I remember going to poor schools and riding the bus even though at one point we had money. My father wanted us to know his poverty.”

Art was a way to express her reaction to such a strange polarity. “At the age of fifteen I was accepted in a technical academy for art (ITESA). ITESA helped me develop and grow a lot of the skills I have today.” (Rawartist.org, 2013)

” I know that I have something to bring to the world…and I want to do that being real.”

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Reni has lived in poverty. She’s also lived in luxury. As a teenager watching Will Smith in  The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, she’d found someone whose experiences paralleled hers.
“I love his funk…and he never changed. He was walkin’ around being really cool and naive to this rich world that was stupid to him.  Throughout the whole show he never changed. He stayed true to himself.”

Will Smith opened her eyes to a world in which she found inspiration. The soundtrack of that world was Hip Hop. Reni is a child of the music and it’s culture.  She, like it, is bold and unapologetic. Her interpretation of the world is at once grimy and refined. Hip Hop teaches as well as taunts. It inspires as well insults.

“If I give you advice,” she says, “Don’t take it.”  Isn’t that what many of us have learned from Hip Hop?

If given a chance to meet any artist in history, alive or otherwise, Reni chose Keith Haring. I can see that. I can see his influence in so many of her pieces.

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Reni’s immersion and appreciation of  1980’s Pop Culture and Art is impressive considering she’s 24 years old. The amount of work she’s produced at such a young age  is phenomenal. Although born in the Dominican Republic, her grasp of artists from the US and her respect for their contributions is obvious.

As a photographer, she explores themes of fashion, politics, music and everything in between. Quirky with soft edges in some places and defiantly square jawed in others, Reni’s images express her many influences. Cindy Sherman is one she cites as a major influence.

Much like Cindy Sherman, Reni likes to present her work in themes. She is currently exploring the ideas of  home and family in the places people live.

“My new work…Most of it was done in houses. I honestly go into peoples homes. I respect their rules.”

   

“This is MASS District. Every city has it’s Art Scene…and Honestly, I’ve found mine here.”

I, for one, am glad that Reni has made MASS District and Fort Lauderdale in general, her art home. Her voice is loud and raucous and much needed in a world consumed with fake reality and lukewarm passion. As artist- in residence at Dekkkgon, her work is on display in print, on canvas and in mural form.

Check for more on Reni online at renecandelier.com, Instagram or Tumblr.

Social Networking?

     I know how  I view Facebook. To me, it should  be a meeting of the minds…a think tank. Although there are some traces of what could be interpreted as just that, it’s disappointing to know that the minds that are thinking this stuff in the tank are so…limited.

     Why do we call what most of us do on the internet Social Networking? I mean, we do network but should we really? Should cyber socializing replace the tangibility of feeling someone out? Is it better to have a hunch before learning too much of someone’s propaganda?

     So many times I’ve met people online whose ‘social network’ persona was the antithesis of what they were in Real Time. It disappointed me because I realized I’d forgotten that the digital world is just a game. It’s only a game of ‘let’s pretend’ inside a larger game of ‘this is reality as you know it’. So,I’ve observed that it’s time for me to come out of the rabbit hole and manifest some miracles in my reality, what ever that may be.

     Going off the grid can be quite exhilirating. Whenever I’ve set aside a day to just create and unplug from all of the drama in the digital world, I’ve had the most amazing experiences. Yesterday, I used a tarot deck for the first time. That was a lot for me. I am conquering my fear of the unknown. If I hadn’t pulled myself into the real world of ME, I wouldn’t have tapped into that other world of mystery. Very potent stuff for a recovering self derision specialist.

     So, I’ve decided to dedicate my Wednesdays to being digital distraction free. No internet radio, no computer time period. Just me, a pen and a pad…maybe some music on a small hand held, we’ll see. Definitely an escape from technology. My day to tune in to something higher than myself for answers.

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I want to take you to my hood, introduce you to my peeps.

I had fresh baked pita, straight out of the oven, for the first time today. So delicious! The halal market up the street from my house built a brick oven inside and ever since I’ve been in love.

I love that my hood is so international. There’s a place called The Oriental Bakery on one corner that sells delicious yummy cakes and treats. There’s a ton of Jamaican and Haitian restaurants. A little further up there’s a Trini spot that serves fresh roti…que lastima! I may have to detox again soon. lol.

I love that I can  have Cuban, Chinese, Moroccan, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, Puerto Rican and Japanese anytime of the week without driving across town. I love that today it was 97degrees when I went outside and there’s an Italian Ice stand that makes fresh stuff daily…just a hop, skip and a jump down the road. It’s urban nirvana…for foodies.

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I was in the quaqmire of emotion this morning.  Then I spotted an Abraham Hicks video that a friend posted on Facebook. I’d heard of Abraham Hicks but never read or heard anything for myself. Imagine my surprise when a woman’s voice began speaking to me.

The video talked about reality and our need to shift focus in order to attract what we want. It resonated with me. I am now a fan.

I retract my statements from earlier this morning. My focus is shifted and I am raising my vibration.

Stepping forward into my destiny. Seeing isn’t always believing. Thank You Abraham Hicks.

I’ve been hacked! …and it’s ok.

My Facebook account was hacked a couple of days ago.  I’m kind of a Facebook junkie so it could’ve been a big deal for me. But…a few days away from Facebook has actually been sorta liberating.

A couple of things that I’d put off  like creating a vision board and playing Monopoly with my eight year old, I started over the weekend. I’ve never made a vision board. It’s been fun so far! I have played Monopoly with The Little Round Head Boy and he always wins. lol. I don’t let him win either! He’s what we like to call an ‘avid investor’. Love that kid. Love his brother too.

I went to dinner with some friends last night. That was sooo much more fun than chatting online and posting  pics of things I’d LIKE to do. We ended up doing some light bar hopping. So in essence, I got a little exercise too. In my world, dancing and walking in heels counts as exercise. It does. Really.

So, I haven’t been networking for my business. I haven’t been making witty remarks and engaging my peers in intellectual debates. I have been being active in my real time life. It’s felt good.

Maybe my account will be fixed by tomorrow. Hopefully. I have my fingers crossed. But, if it isn’t, I’m sure I’ll find something to do with my time. 

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