Day Seven: Honey, Day Six is a Blur!

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Yesterday I was so busy. Busy and Tired. Just runnin’ around like a chicken with the head chopped off. My day started with Mommy Duty and ended with Mommy Pass out. I can’t even get into it. I was at the: gallery, car dealership, open house for my highschool kid and a few stops in between. I made it, though. Fell asleep watching Xena by the glow of my Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp.

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Today started with promise. I had so many grand plans! But you know what they say about the best laid plans…yep. The youngest Jabari needed to be picked up from the school clinic. He’s fine. Thank Goodness! I fell down on my bed and fell asleep for almost three hours. Upon waking, I went to the gym. It’s my habit to work out when I need to burn off excess energy or emotion. Sometimes I work out to clear my mind and I’ll take a few quick meditation breaks in the middle of yoga stretching.

 

So, now I’ve settled in for the evening. It’s been an exhausting couple of days but I’ve survived them. My short-term goal is to allow myself to relax and take it easy tonight. Long Term Goal: Manifest my Desires. That’s always the goal. To be receptive and open to my new blessings.

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Tomorrow I’ll go back to the first two days of this journey, just to make sure I’m still on track. Tonight? Time to retire for the evening. G’night!

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.

Ouch! That Hurt!

My new spirit work must’ve required a small blood sacrifice today. I slammed my finger in the door of my truck. I slammed the door in my truck after arguing all morning with a mad woman. We used to be friends.

Anyway after all of that, I decided to go to the beach and attempt sungazing. I also figured that since I’d be at the beach and that was near Whole Foods and Barnes & Noble’s, some multitasking could get done. Well…I slammed my finger in the door of my truck, Blood was everywhere. I ran back into the house    where my family took care of me.

Maybe part of the lesson was that my family is and will always be there for me, why seek outside for approval and companionship? Could be. But, I think the higher lesson is to maintain my vibration and stop lowering it to fit the situation. I also feel that I needed that painful reminder to pay attention and not take my safety for granted. I lost focus on my real goal, which is enlightenment, and sank below my evolution.

But, isn’t that what soul work does? Takes us out of our comfort zone. Shakes us up. Makes us aware of ourselves in the context of a new vantage point? I feel that is so. It must be. There’s no room for complacency in evolution.

…and that’s my interpretation of why I slammed my finger in the door this morning.Image