Attachments. Pain. Insecurities.

I am home from picking the boys up from their Nana’s house. My Love and I are going to watch another episode, or 3, of The Handmaids Tale and I am thinking about attachments, pain, insecurities and how all of these elements intermingle to make up what we think of us as our identity — the core of who we are.  On the way home, my Love and I got into a little bit of an argument about me being of the lighter complexion and some of the ways I have felt about my skin.

When we started dating I had always thought I was “dark-skinned”and it wasn’t until we started to talk that I realized how she saw me. One time she described me as a white man.

I was insulted.

Not that there is anything wrong with being a white man. It’s just, I am not a white man.Long story short, I lashed out at her. I was determined to make my point so I got passionate, also known as loud. And I “won”.

Takia, my Love, and I have discovered some key differences in how we approach the world.She likes to feel grounded, anchored to something. It gives her a sense of security.

I, on the other hand, want to feel detached.

I have a tendency to let anger consume me. And the cure has been to surrender to life and let it flow how it will. To detach. For me, with attachments come anger, aggression; the need to defend what doesn’t need defense.I found a calm in not taking Life too serious. I began trying to look at life without labels of good, bad, positive, negative. I found a peace in not wanting Life to be anything other than it was.

Many times, this leaves me feeling open and exposed — uncertain.  But the peace makes it worth it.

And it’s moments like tonight that show me where my attachments lie.  When my peace is interrupted I know I am still attached to something.  This time it was the color of my skin. How dark it is; how light it is . . .  Somehow, I am still finding my identity in something so trivial.

It is disturbing.

I hate the feelings I have after I have protected myself. The walls go up so easy; it’s comfortable inside of my shell. So to escape the pain I run into my shell where it’s dark and no one can reach me.

Now, it is time to let go of this defense mechanism. It is time to open my heart. And keep it open even when it gets uncomfortable, dangerous.Because to cut myself off from what I perceive as the negative aspects of this Life is to cut myself from all of it.

I am grateful for these icky moments; they show where I can expand.

Expansion is the goal.

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I Want Habits

Today I’ve been thinking about habits — how we build them, how we continue to build them, how we use them, how they inform who we are.

Without even being aware of it, our identities are steeped in the habits we embody.

At work I had a thought: what if I had a habit of crushing goals?

I know I can build habits. The question is: can i build good habits?

What if we only built the habits that drove us towards the best version of ourselves? That would be something, yeah?

Going into this new year I know a lot of us are going to be setting goals and making resolutions. It’s beneficial to reflect on where we came from and what we went through, take stock of our current situation and figure out from there what needs happen — where we should go next.

It’s a part of the holiday tradition.

Refresh. Recalibrate. Reset.

This time last year I set a goal to finish my first novel. I have started a lot of novels — finished none of them. And this year was to be different.

Well . . . About that . . . I failed.

It’s cool though; I learned something valuable.

I have a terrible habit of believing the limiting thoughts that cross my mind believing them to be me. I own these thoughts, emotions, and experiences but they are no more me than the van in driveway is.

I want to create habits that erases negative thoughts and replaces them with uplifting ones. I want to be in the habit of doing what I say I’m going to do when I say I’m going to do it. I want to create habits that uncover more and more of who I am everyday.

I want habits that reveal the best me.

So I guess that is my New Years Resolution.

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Bookstore Adventures

The day before yesterday I went to the bookstore and didn’t purchase any books.

I stood in line with 2 books: Heavy by Kiese Laymon and a collection of poetry by Pablo Neruda entitled, The Poetry of Pablo Neruda.

I was indecisive about whether or not I should.

My internal dialogue was having a ball:  It’s almost Christmas and you need to buy gifts for friends and family.  You already have so many books you haven’t read.  You can never have too many books.  

I was in the middle of an argument with my Love through text and an author who I met had asked me if I was gonna buy her book.  I was feeling guilty because I was in line and was not holding a copy of her work.

Buying books didn’t feel as good as it should’ve.

Which is an oddity. Im not sure I’ve encountered a time before when I felt the purchase of books was unnecessary.

Buying books is always necessary and appropriate . . .

. . . Except for the day before yesterday.

I was standing in line with 2 books ready to commit and I realize my wallet is missing. I could feel my heart plummet into my stomach and all the worst scenarios invaded my mind. I am thinking of my credit and debit card I keep in my wallet. I even started wondering if I bumped into anyone who happened to be a pickpocket.  However, the way my account is set up, they would’ve been disappointed.

After tracing my steps i realized my wallet was in my book bag the whole. For whatever reason, that whole debacle seemed to shake me from literary induced slumber.

I put the books back and made my way out of the store as fast as i could. I hailed an uber and made my way home. I felt a sense of satisfaction at overcoming my usual knee jerk impulse to buy any and all books that might interest.

I felt it was maybe my best decision all day.

And if worst comes to worst, I can always buy those books on Amazon, yeah?

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KNOCK. KNOCK.

I am breaking.  

A couple months ago, I started having intense pain in my chest, although pain isn’t how I would describe it.  It hurts, yes. But I would call it a tightness — a massive hand gripping my heart and lungs, unrelenting.

The first time It happened, I was at work. I almost dropped to my knees in the middle of the warehouse.  

“Is this a heart attack?”  

“Am I just tired — out of shape?”

I wasn’t sure what this feeling meant.  So I went to the doctor. They asked me a few questions and then hooked me up to an EKG.  When the results came in he walked into the room and he looked at me like I had a third eye.  

He started asking more questions.  

“Do you drink…?”

“No.”

“Do you smoke…?”

“No.”

There were some other questions as well.  We spoke about depression but it was brief.  He continued to look at me like I was crazy. “Well the EKG isn’t showing us anything.  Your heart is fine. You are fine.” Then he started to advise on me how I was lifting the boxes at my job.  At this point, I was over it. I know what I’m feeling and I also know it has little nothing to do with how I am lifting boxes.  

At some point after the doctor’s appointment, I was talking to my mom and mentioned the situation.  I told her, “I think its anxiety.”

“Yea.  I used to have anxiety attacks that felt like heart attacks.”  She said.

Damn.

My anxiety has launched an offensive.  And I am losing.

It’s been about 2 months since the first time I felt it at my job.  After the visit to the doctor and the conversation with my mom, I started turning my awareness towards my heart.  I thought it was only happening at work. But I also noticed it in other high emotional places in my life.

My relationships, my job, my finances, etc.  majority of my life is fraught with uncertainty, hurt and distrust.  And i can feel everything I’ve been holding onto — bitterness, resentment, fear, rage — clawing into me.  Over the years, I have mastered the art of masking my feelings — lying. I lie about how I feel more often than not.  And I am so skilled, I fool myself often. And those lies have spawned what might be my own downfall.

You can rob Peter to pay Paul, but Peter will get his due — sooner or later.  Peter is knocking on my door.

So here I am:  Sitting on my front porch.  There is a beautiful tree across the street from me.  It has bloomed with vibrant pink flowers that sway gently in this cool breeze.  I can’t even enjoy it over the throbbing in my chest.

 

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all to find me

all to find me

    i search labyrinths

  of emotion

for any sign

  of Life.

 

all to find me

    i wander a maze

  of uncertainties

to rediscover the soul

  i lost.

 

all to find me

    i brave enemies

  new and old;

familiar adversaries

  that feel like home.

 

all to find me

    i scrape at

  walls of fear,

dark as hate

  — until i remember;

 

all i need to find me

    is stillness

  is silence

is Love

 — but until i remember;

 

i risk everything;

 

ALL TO FIND ME.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for spending some time with me and my words.  

My prayer is that it inspires you in some way.

I wanted to let you know that my first poetry collection, entitled

SHATTERED THEORIES OF I,

is scheduled to be released

on September 1,2017.

I am so excited about this and

I would be honored if you would consider

pre-ordering your signed copy!

Here is the Pre Order link

Thank you so much

for your support!

It means the world to me!

Love and Blessings!

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Wonder Woman Is OUR Hero

Wonder Woman was an amazing movie. I saw it on opening night and I plan to see it again while it’s still in theaters.

Granted, I am a massive DC Comics fan so I admit there may be some bias on my part. However, I contend that this movie is groundbreaking. A statement was made by DC with this film and I laud them for their courage.

I read and write speculative fiction for various reasons. One reason is to explore the concept of heroism.

What makes a hero?

How should heroes behave?

What qualities do heroes possess?

While watching the movie I was struck by how Wonder Woman, in this film, answers these questions.

I won’t give anything away about the movie because I hope everyone goes and sees it. But I want to talk about this movie made me feel.

It made me want to be a hero. It made me want to do what no one else was willing to do. The movie — the character of Wonder Woman was inspiring because there were moments when she would do what everyone else told her not to do — what everyone else was afraid of doing.

 

At first it sounds cliche. But it was powerful to see a woman doing it. Because women do this everyday, in every area of life. Women are holding out homes, communities, and societies together when no one else will. When everyone is talking about how hard it is to do that and how hard it is to do this, women are doing it.

Leadership is about going first and pioneering; but it’s just as much about inspiring other people come with you. It’s reminding people of their power and capability. Wonder Woman does that. She inspires the people around her to see their value and to bring that to the table.

It can be the people we overlook that have the most power. We live in a society where women are overlooked — and have been for as long as history remember. But history also remembers the numbers of women who have changed the course of the world with their accomplishments. (It makes me wonder about women that history may be hiding from us.) The strongest, most capable person in this movie was Wonder Woman. But no one was aware, initially, because no one could see her — no one chose to see her.

And as strong as she was, I was struck with another idea: We can all be heroes regardless of out religion, gender, race, etc. Because heroism isn’t about external power; heroism is about internal fortitude. Heroism is about the decisions we make because of the principles of integrity within all of us.

These are I only a few of my thoughts regarding Wonder Woman and how excellent this movie is. Please go and see it. Let me know what you think.

Wonder Woman isn’t just a woman’s hero, she is our hero.

 

 

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Some thoughts on The NBA Finals and Racism

I am not thinking about the NBA Finals. Game 1 starts tonight between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. Third year in a row and the biggest names in professional basketball on the brightest stage.

It promises to be epic.

And I feel the need to talk about racism.

About a day or so ago, Lebron James’ Los Angeles home was vandalized. They sprayed the word NIGGER on his property. I was going to say the N-word; however, I believe we need to feel it. We need to stop shying away from the realities in front of us.

Only through acceptance can we reshape our reality into what we want.

Lebron james is arguably the most recognizable athlete in the United States, if not on this whole fuckin’ planet. He is friends with presidents, CEOs, celebrities, etc. Royalty make special trips to see this man play basketball. Lebron is a budding philanthropist and businessman that is in the process of building an empire of which I am not sure anyone has seen before. He is known as the King; he is hailed as the savior of, not only the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the city as a whole.

No one is exempt.

Lebron James is not exempt.

His family is not exempt.

They have been victimized by the ills that have plagued this country since its inception. I said I wanted to talk about racism but I don’t think that’s our problem — I used to.

The problem is hate.

Here is the thing about hate: Hate doesn’t care what color your skin is. Hate doesn’t care how much money you make, who you know, or where you came from. Hate will always find something about you to hate. Fuck reason and logic. It doesn’t have to make sense; it will do what it does.

Hate is good at being hate.

…and so the saga continues.

The conversations ensue. Some are angry and some aren’t angry enough. And no one understands. Sure we understand our own perspectives but the other side (we still think there is an other side) remains obscure.
So I am done talking. I want to communicate. Talking is about me; communicating is about us — it is about WE.

Can we communicate our respective agony with one another in a way we understand each other? Can I hear the dialect of your heart over the words of your speech?

Racism is real; race is an illusion. They both are inventions of hate. And the only way we win is through Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness. We will never win as long as it’s us against them — as long as it’s us against them, we have already lost.

To The King:

Thank you, sir.

Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you allowing yourself to be the catalyst by which we can continue to have healthy conversation. It cannot be easy to be in that position. The possibility of your family being in danger of becoming victims of this hate.

I pray wholeness, light and balance on you and your family. I pray outrageous blessings and unconditional love on you and yours.

Good luck tonight and for the rest of the Finals. I am going for the Warriors but I never have been perfect. It is what it is, right?

Love you, Brother.

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The Voices

Today I envisioned myself performing on a stage.

It was a stadium, sold out, packed with screaming people. The people were screaming for me — not just me; they were screaming for my art. They were screaming for the pieces of music and poetry that I wrote. They were lost in the pure ecstasy of experiencing my words — live.

It was glorious. I wanted that. I still want that.

And then the voices began.

They never scream; they always whisper. I suspect it is because they know it would be too easy reject. Sudden movements and loud noises cause our fight or flight reflexes to engage. The voices are intelligent enough to know that I have to believe they are my friends in order for me to listen to them.

So they whisper sweet nothings into my soul. Sweet nothings that are meant to bind my wings. They make me believe that flying is impossible when I was made for the sky.

“Impossible.”

“You are too old.”

You are too ugly.”

“You aren’t talented enough.”

“There are other who are better than you.”

“Who will pay to see you.”

The voices say this; they ask me that.

Anything can be used to disqualify me from relishing in the idea of what I want to be — what I could be. It is all under the guise of being realistic. The voices are trying to protect me.

And the voices bring feelings.

You know the feelings you get in your stomach the moment you visualize yourself doing something amazing?

The vision begins to feel scary; it begins to feel too big for me. Then I ask myself am I worthy of this dream? I do not know. I do not know if I am willing to do what it takes to discover the answer. And where I am now feels better than where I want to be because where i am now is secure.

I am protected.

But there is a blurry line between protection and hinderance. In protecting myself, I could be stifling myself from blossoming into my full potential.

I can either be great or I can be safe; I am not sure I can have both.

A couple months back I posted a video on Facebook. It was J.Cole performing. It was an amazing moment because he stopped rapping his lyrics and the audience performed his whole song. They were performing for him.

It was inspiring.

I captioned it by saying, “I can’t even imagine how this feels.”

And a friend of mine commented, “Yes, you can.”

She was right.

I can imagine my greatness but I don’t believe it’s possible — I don’t believe in myself.

And it’s time for that to change.

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