Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

The Soundtracks of Childhood by Angenita Williams

When one thinks of childhood, they think of school, school plays, kickball, teachers, bratty brothers, long summers outside, chores, barbecues, and an early bedtime. It’s a time where we all couldn’t wait to be adults because we had to follow so many rules that simply were not fair. (And many of us adults would like to go back to that time when things were much more simple.)

We also think of the music. What we didn’t understand was that the records that Momma and Daddy played on the stereo, or the tapes they played in the cassette player were setting a stage of memories for us to carry with us throughout our lives. And as we grew, as new artists burst into music, we added their sounds with the sounds already placed in our hearts. These tidbits of melodies etched themselves into our histories to the point where if we hear a song now, it takes us back to that moment where we fell in love with it. Don’t believe me?

Where were you when you first heard Thriller?

I was sitting in front of the stereo. My dad brought the record through the door and played the entire album. I held on to the cover. Michael was so beautiful in his white suit. I was enamored. It was 1982. I was 6.

Where were you when you first heard You Give Good Love?

I was at my house. My cousin, AJ, came down for the summer to watch my brothers and I while my mother worked. She played that song out, but it was BEAUTIFUL. I didn’t know whose voice that was at first. But then I saw the video. Whitney was so tiny, yet her voice was huge. It was 1985. I was 9.

Where were you when you first heard Purple Rain?

I was at home. Again. Dad brought this album in. I knew there was a movie for it. My friends had gone to see it. I hadn’t seen it yet though. I heard the song Purple Rain, and the guitar solo at the end caught my attention, and instantly became my favorite part of the song. It was 1984. I was 8.

These songs effect me that same way…over 30 years later. When I hear “Until the end of time, I’ll be there for you,” I’m taken back to Turrell, Arkansas, at my cousin’s house where it stayed on repeat, and it touched my heart. “Oh I wanna dance with somebody, I wanna feel the heat with somebody” brings me to my first summer in Indianapolis. “Hey pretty baby with them high heels on” takes me back to my uncle who loved that song, and made a howl every time it came on.

And as I type this, I smile.

Of course there is an astronomical list of artists that moved me at different periods of my life which includes:

Patti – If Only You Knew. Chaka – I’m Every Woman. Aretha – Pink Cadillac. Frankie Beverly – Before I let Go. Kool and the Gang – Celebration. Mtume – Juicy Fruit. Madonna – Like A Virgin. Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing. Diana Ross – Upside Down. Stevie Wonder – Ribbon in the Sky. B. B. King – Lucille. The Gap Band – Party Train. ConFunkShun – Love’s Train. Isley Jasper Isley – Caravan of Love. Janet Jackson – Control. Luther Vandross – Never Too Much. Teena Marie – Lovergirl. Rick James – Mary Jane.

And that’s not even touching the surface….

When we lose these people who contributed so much to our lives, it leaves a hole…a gaping hole…a crater in our souls. We feel hurt. Lost. And what’s really funny…I wonder if our icons really know how much they affect their fans with the words they sing. With the arrangements they make…

Prince guided me into and out of heartbreak. Whitney helped me understand heartbreak. And Michael, well, Michael gave me life after heartbreak.

Prince made me dance. Whitney made me wanna dance with somebody. Michael made me wanna dance like him.

Without these melodies, these beats, this rhythm…my childhood would be vastly different. What would trigger a great memory if it were not for our soundtracks?

Behind Whitney, Michael, Luther, Gerald, Marvin, Teena, Rick…we lost Prince too. And man…that hurts. It really hurts.

All of them played a huge part in my soundtrack….my childhood. But Prince? He gave me one of my favorite songs in the world….Adore. The lyrics mean so much more now…

“Until the end of time, I’ll be there for you. You own my heart and mind…”

I truly Adore you.

RIH Prince.

You were such an instrumental part of my childhood. Of my life. Rest Easy, Purple One.

I am Legendary… I Create My Legacy by Angenita Williams

LLCPIC2

A few months ago, I received a Facebook inbox from a young lady I’ve seen perform and host within the Indianapolis poetry scene. Her poetry is phenomenal, exquisite, demanding, commanding, and raw – just like it should be. She captivates as her voice cascades through your ears to resonate within your heart. Not only is she a poet, she is a bonafide writer. I follow her blogs. Read her sometimes page-length Facebook posts. She inspires one to be inquisitive and most of all, while her heart is definitely on her sleeve, she is a mighty, transparent, strong woman indeed. Her name: Januarie York.

However, there was another remarkable woman whose smile brought life into a building. Her poetry was outstanding, and everywhere she went, love grew by the multitude. She was surrounded by the love she so easily dispersed – She was deemed a Queen. The name absolutely fit her to a “T.” Her name: Blanche Boone-Jackson, and she was called home earlier this year.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Januarie for a Spotlight. It was a great experience to see her outside of her usual poetic self. We had a great conversation and interview, and she liked the piece I wrote on her. I was pleased.

But, when I got the inbox from her asking for my address, I was shocked. I had no idea why she wanted it, but, I didn’t hesitate. Whatever IT was, it was going to be good.

I received my puzzle pieces, which turned out to be my invitation to The Queen B Legendary Ladies Ball. Legendary ladies? Me? Legendary? Wow.

Modeled after Oprah’s Legends Ball, the event started with a Tea and Testimony, then the actual ball the next day.

The Tea and Testimony was an awesome display of women coming together to support each other – to laugh and uplift. To enjoy the company of others. I gained some sisters that day. We fellowshipped in every since of the word. I knew some from Facebook, or going to poetry. Some I didn’t know…but we were all there under one accord – to fellowship in friendship and the love of the Queen.

The ball was everything. Everyone dressed up so nicely and smiles were everywhere. The gentlemen that were there treated us all like Queens. Elle’s voice was beautiful and sweet as she sang the interlude to her speech. The soulful Bashiri Asad shared his soul with us as homage to the Queen. A young lady by the name of Essence made eyes sweat with her rendition of Take Me to the King. And the wonderful duo of Elle and Theon gave us an awesome cover of Use Somebody. SunRae Phoenix gave a sermon unlike any sermon I’d ever heard before, and made our eyes glisten underneath the dim lights of the venue. Shantell read Still I Rise, and we saluted with HELL YEAH! Tony Styxx gave us the meaning of abracadabra and advised us to “watch our wands.” And then the fabulous Januarie said to us all, “If someone loves you, let them love you or let them go.” Then, we spoke our names.

To say this was powerful is a complete understatement.

We got a ceremonial box with mementos and keys to life. Beautiful purple sand, rose petals, and water beads adorned our boxes…some we placed in a vase as a ritual of unity…some we kept to share our energies, and keep it with us.

This weekend gave me so much strength to keep doing what I do. I never once thought of myself as legendary…

I am so humbled and honored to have been invited to this event and having the chance to meet and fellowship with some amazing women.

And I really feel as if #ICreateMyLegacy.

Thank you Januarie, and thank you Queen B for bringing us all together in your spirit. Your love lives on forever…for you are the epitome of a true #LegendaryLady…

Transparent by Angenita Williams

stock-photo-clear-forest-in-glasses-on-the-background-of-blurred-forest-164665187I feel like I need to be extremely transparent right now….

About a week, well maybe not even a week ago, I was on Facebook (of course) and a woman posted a status in Relationship Soup (www.relationshipsoup.com) about where the notion of women “not needing a man” came from. Of course, I responded, and there was a really good and intense conversation about the subject. Men and women had a lot to say, and both had valid points. But, it was the originator’s comment that stuck out to me…

…I understand the joy, happiness, and peace that a man could bring to me…

I pondered that for quite a while, and it hit me…I have no clue what that feels like…I have no clue what that even looks like…and tears welled in my eyes…as if I have missed something altogether…or lost that opportunity to ever know what it feels like…and when the realization hit me…my spirit wanted to feel it…

From the start, I haven’t experienced those feelings from a man. Sure, there were some good times, fun times, love times…but overall joy? Overall happiness? Overall peace? No. And that is so sad to me…to not feel the security of a man, but his disconnect with me. Not to feel the happiness or joy of his presence, only heartache and disappointment. To know how I just wished he could get his shit together so that we could be happy…but never having it come…consistent worry about infidelity…never really knowing that I didn’t have to put up with it and not truly understanding the diamond I truly was…and how I did deserve so much better…

I wondered…was it me? Did I block it by focusing on the wrong thing, or was a hint of it even there? Was I so blinded by wanting love that I moved towards the fantasy of it and lived the nightmare from my own insecurities?

Just how deep does it go?

When I read that, and simmered on it, I decided…I want to know…I want to experience that…so I end this by saying…that all the years of me saying I don’t need a man are being thrown out the window…I realize I do need him…to show me the other side of joy, happiness…and most of all…the peace of what a companion could bring to me…I don’t have to go at life alone as I conditioned myself to believe…

But…he who findeth a wife findeth a good thing…so I’m not gonna search…I will let him find me…and in the meantime, I’ll continue to work on me, get me in order, reach higher, dream bigger, and complete my goals so I can be ready to receive everything he has to offer…

Well Done, Maya by Angenita Williams

She rose from the depths
Of what society said
She should be
Tall, black, woman

Silenced
For years
After her words killed
A violator

But still, she rose

Her stature captured nations
Civility unmatched
Humble beyond measure
Loving spirit

Wisdom…
A teacher
A motivator
A Queen

And still…

Clouds produce storms
Rainbows are the products of storms
And clouds
They happen when the sunlight reflects moisture 

In the air
At just the right time
And angle
Nature’s splendor 

And still…

Her quotes…
Made you say…
Where did she get THAT?
How was that obtained? 

And her works
Will guide
On exactly where it was
Revealed 

And Still… 

Her voice…unmistakable
Her spirit…full
Her life…of purpose
Her legacy…everlasting
Her honor…noble
Her being…marvelous

Simple, awesome…love

When I wrote the blog last October, Clouds and Rainbows, I knew that Maya Angelou was ill. She was still boisterous, funny, and full of wisdom, but her body was frail. The shell that housed her was getting weak. But in her strength…she didn’t let it be known…

The strength of this woman is unlike many I have seen. By rights, a teen mother should not be this successful and full of life. She shouldn’t have all these experiences. She should grow to be a welfare mother with a house full of children with no daddies. Stigmatized. Alienated.

But through love and guidance, THIS, teen mothers, abused women, lost and lonely girls…THIS…is what you CAN be. Life can toss you so many things, and people can give you so many excuses as to why they can’t do something. But the LIFE of Maya Angelou dispels everything that anyone can say to you to impact you negatively. Her statuesque life. Her larger than life personality. Her…spirit motivated you to want to move. A simple reading of any of her works will get you up and out your seat.

God called her home on May 28, 2014. His purpose for her shell is done.

Rest in Peace, Dr. Maya Angelou. I’m sure you have already heard this by a bigger voice than mine, but, job well done. JOB WELL DONE …

Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it…

~Maya Angelou

Roadblocks, Detours, Mishaps & Misfortunes by Delina Hill-Brooker

roadblock pix

Every living person at some point in their lifetime will experience some type of roadblock, detour, mishap, misfortune, or any other name that you can think to call it. This is even true for those who are living a ‘perfect’ life with no worries about money or things that the majority of us worry about. It’s all a part of living.

So what can we do about it? Keep throwing the same pity party and whine and complain about why things are the way they are? Do we continue to be the victim and never move on? Do we think that people should always show empathy to our unfortunate circumstance(s)? Even if we truly were the victim, and no matter how deep the pain is, we have to move on. As long as we are alive we have to keep moving.

The truth of the matter is, if we stay stuck in the place of mishaps, then we are only existing and taking up space, not living. Whatever and whoever hurt or harmed you has most likely moved on…and even if they didn’t, you still should move on. Staying stuck doesn’t hurt anyone, but you.

If you think about it there is a lesson in every trial and tribulation. Learn the lesson so that you don’t have to keep reliving the same type of things.

What’s the moral to the story? Don’t let a roadblock, detour, mishap or misfortune stop you from being the person that God meant for you to be. The past is the past and there is nothing you can do to change it. The roadblock could actually be a blessing in disguise. So, keep moving!

Dear Dr. King by Angenita Williams

MLK

Dear Dr. King,

On this twenty-seventh anniversary of celebrating your birth, I think about what you gave so that my children and I could go to school where we wanted, eat where we wanted, and be afforded the same opportunities of our Caucasian brothers and sisters. You died so future generations could live. You preached non-violence. You got things done for oppressed people. I salute you.

Dr. King, I know it was hectic for you. I know that it takes a person who is extremely strong in nature to do what you did. You fought with your words and your spirit, rather than your fists. You sacrificed the life of a quiet pastor to ensure that everyone was treated equally. You were away from your family a lot, and Coretta, Yolanda, Martin III, Dexter, and Bernice missed you. Your mother and father adored you. They were understanding in your fight; they were so unselfish to let us have you. For that, I thank them.

Dr. King, we have Black President. Yes, we do. Your work gave us a Black President. And as we celebrate your birth, he is inaugurated for a second term. There are people who really don’t like him, and they let him know it. But he believes in what he’s doing, and although I don’t always agree with him, I stand behind him.

But, Dr. King, we are in trouble. Although your work afforded us with opportunity, it’s gone awry. We have young men planting seeds and not watching them grow. We have young women more than willing to be the soil for which those seeds are planted, without the sustenance to have those seeds grow. We have children in an age where everything is given, nothing is earned. We have people dying due to violence. We have people threatening violence for something as common sense as gun control. We have leaders who basically want nothing to do with our President based on the color of his skin, instead of the content of his character. And even though you worked so hard, and you died trying to end it, racism still exists. Poverty is still rampant. The powers that be want to keep the poor at a disadvantage. They want to take the small things that the poor are given. They don’t believe it is a civic duty to assist those in need. So, Dr. King, you worked so hard, but we have so much further to go.

Your legacy is one that will never be forgotten. It will be appreciated by generations to come, although they really don’t understand the ultimate sacrifice that you made for us all. Those who wanted segregation to last didn’t get that if we all were equal, we could all strive and make something out of our lives. The better the oppressed do, the better the country does. And Dr. King, they still don’t get it.

I watch a movie dedicated to your life and your story yesterday. I discussed it with my daughter. She had a ton of questions that I tried my best to answer about you, your life, your family, and most of all the movement. We discussed you, Mr. Evers, Mr. John Kennedy, Mr. Robert Kennedy, Mr. Hoover, Mr. Connor, Mr. Wallace, Mr. Young, and Mr. Shuttlesworth. We discussed the four little girls who died. We discussed the hoses and the dogs. We talked about COINTELPRO. We talked about Mr. Ray, your assassin.

Dr. King, I know you see what’s going on. I know this is not what you had in mind. I know this probably disappoints you. But, I will try to uplift those in my community. I will try to instill the action of forgiveness and healing. Your spirit keeps us going, striving to new heights. I hope that one day, you can be overly proud of the America you worked so hard to change.

Lastly, I just want to say happy birthday.

Sincerely,

Angenita

Have We Met? By Lynn Maxwell

Déjà vu is French for “already seen”.  It is the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstance of the previous encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined. ~Wikipedia.  Although I am a double-Platinum life time membership card holder of Déjà vu (I’ve been having them every since I was a kid), it never seems to amaze me as to these experiences that I and many others have had.  But in recent years I have also been bothered with another question that piggybacks from déjà vu.  Have we been here before?  How many lives have we lived?  Are the people in your past life / lives here in your present to resolve some sort of issues that couldn’t be resolved in the others?  A while ago, I found through very detailed and almost real-like dreams, that I was a prominent mob wife that was killed execution style; this explains why all of my headaches, tension and stresses are held in the back of my head in the very spot of the bullet entry shown to me in my dreams.  But I have also noticed that those that once held prominent places in my now conscious life are no longer as affluent as others. The saying goes, “people are in your life for season”; have you ever thought of what those season were for you and any particular person?  Could it be to forgive?  Could it be to love harder?  Could it be the persistence of obtaining someone?  Could it be to heal?  Whatever the reason may be each of us do not meet by chance.  It is a divine universal privilege that we all come before each other in order to evolve as spiritual beings.  Some soul encounters may be a bit more difficult than others, as to a situation I’m finding out in my personal life – I’ll spare you the story *smile*; but nonetheless, we have something that needs to be fixed between our souls.  “Well how does Ms. Know-It-All know all this?” you may be asking.  Research and personal ties. Myself and another individual came together earlier in life, we had good times together and then it was time for us to go our separate ways, you can say we were forced apart by natural circumstances; years later we were rejoined together and it was as if we picked up where we left off, only to lose touch once more and again a couple of years later reunite.  The basis of the union has left me a bit stumped as to what we were together lives ago and what needs to be fixed in this life so we don’t have to rummage through this again in the next.  Who knows?  All we can do is continue to live life, learn and possibly get it right so that our souls can vibrate to a higher level of consciousness in efforts to help other souls do the same. 

Have we met?  I’m almost sure we have.  Good to see you again!

Gettin’ it right in this lifetime,

NLM

Playful Lessons by Venessa Bowers, MSW, LSW

There is something profound to be learned from children and the ways in which they play. They play when they’re happy, when they’re sad, when they’re grieving, and when they’re mad. And as much as we might like to think that kids have nothing to be sad, grieving, or mad about; the tragic reality is that they do. Far too often, they do.

But the lessons I have learned from working with children who have lived through more, experienced more, grieved more than many people will in their entire life is the healing power of play. I know for myself, as I ran head-long into accumulating accomplishments, degrees, searching for recognition, feeling lost by pursuits that were so often fruitless that the thing I lost or perhaps never explored because of its frivolity was playing. I don’t play games – board games, card games, games of chance, or games in relationships. The point is I just don’t play – I don’t know how.  It just was never on my list of priorities in my overly important (or so I led myself to believe) life. I was simply too busy doing and too afraid to just be.

Here’s the thing – I have seen children in the most weakened states emotionally and mentally, sometimes physically and there are many more of them that never darken my door. Regardless of the level of distress, the prolonged nature of the trauma, the lost families, and what many consider “lost childhoods” – these children are consistent in one thing. This thing transcends race, class, and gender issues. It transcends trauma. It transcends grief. That one thing is to have the sense of wonder enough to create play in at least one area of their lives.

When one is as fortunate as I am to spend the better parts of my days in the company of children, one ends up with the profound sense that the child is the smart one in the room. They’re smart because they still dream, still hope, still believe that if they play long enough with someone who loves them, or even without, that they will move through the place in which they currently inhabit. They love with their whole self and it wraps around me like a really warm blanket in some of my coldest places.

When a child laughs, and I mean REALLY laughs, it as if the brightest light ever produced in the universe shines in the room. Simultaneously, one is blinded and opened by that light.  In that moment, we have the choice to blink and shrink from the light or to let the light fill our own darkness. In this way, the healer is healed and the child within is set free.

I have learned to be silly. To make up the most outrageous stories. To hug with my whole self. To breath in the infectious scent of a child’s hair. To laugh from the gut when a kid accidently spits on me, puts paint in my hair, or throws stuffed animals at my head, just because they can. I am learning to be safe in my happy – to look for my joy in the eyes and smiles of children.  Any child.

So, let me ask you. When was the last time you laughed until you cried? When was the last time you made up a dream world to live in for a moment that was so much better than the world in which we really live? When was the last time you told a joke and didn’t care if anyone but you laughed? When was the last time you wrapped your arms around yourself when you needed unconditional love and affection? When was the last time you daydreamed just because you didn’t feel like washing the floor?

If you can’t remember the “last time” you did any of these things, do yourself a favor and make right now you new “last time.”  If you open your heart and mind to the possibility of play, you’ll never regret it. Take it from this skeptic – you will NEVER regret it.

Brightest Blessings.

Living by Angenita Williams-Childs

More than just breathing
More than existence
Feeling the presence of
Your essence
Means I’m living
No one on this planet
Will ever love me like you
Treat me like
You
Hold me like you.
You keep me living
When you guide my mind
You touch my heart
Make me see what living is.
My reason for living
What it is
It is you

Behind the Scenes Where I Am Now – by Stephanie Rice

One of the most interesting dilemmas I have been faced with over the last few weeks is the challenge of following my own advice. At the end of April I found myself in the precarious predicament of being unemployed, yet again. How I got here is not as important as the fact that I am here. I have resolved those issues, and found comfort in knowing I am free to follow my dreams uninhibited. And as expensive as this experience is, I am discovering one of the highest costs is accepting the challenge of heeding my own words of wisdom.

In 2004 I penned my first published book Welcome to the Valley (Authorhouse, http://www.welcometothevalley.com). It is a guide on effectively wading through the emotional by products of being unemployed. I wrote it in the height of my two year jobless stint with the intention of passing along some kind words of wisdom and encouragement I had gleaned in the valley of unemployment. At the time I had no idea when I would be employed again, but I knew I would be. I also didn’t know that the economy was going to crap out the way it did, or that I would find myself among the millions as yet one more in the statistic pool, again.

No problem right, I have been here before and wrote a book about it, literally. So the logical thing to do in my mind was to do an all out push on the re-release of my masterpiece. Setting up readings, branding, creating a publishing company, idea and focus groups, surrounding myself with Harvard and Cornell business minds to guide me as I sell myself has been the all consuming job I have taken up. Not to pass the time, but to follow my dreams. So the natural step that should be taken next is to reacquaint myself with my product at a more intimate level. And that is where I find myself at this moment.

No, I am not at odds with what I wrote. I believe in every single word I put on a screen, edited, and approved that now resides on a soft white page in an 8×5 format. And I even believe that I can follow the words of wisdom and advice. The problem that I find myself running into from time to time is do I want to. Do I have it in me to keep pushing and climbing and trusting in the God I believe in and serve? Do I believe in the plan that I believe is set before me, the path I willingly and excitedly embarked upon 6 short weeks ago? Do I really have what it takes to throw convention to the wind and run the opposite direction? Do I really want to venture into these uncharted waters in my life? The things that make you really say hhhmmmmm????

I got the opportunity to have a real face to face with me and my mind while reading this book, not as the author but as the reader in the purist sense. Not too many people get that opportunity. I got the chance to meet me 6 years later and earlier and have a candid conversation all at the same time. Author to reader, and reader to author. I got to encourage myself, challenge myself, bless myself, and question myself and to a very small but evident extent doubt myself all at the same time and came up with one conclusion. Well, two actually. First, my book is good and I am still amazed at the power in the pages it exudes. So all who can, go buy my book. And second, but the more important conclusion, I can. I can do this. I can get through this. I can make it. And I can break out of the box of convention and change the world, one word at a time. I grew up with the saying one monkey don’t stop no show. I am learning that I don’t need a circus to be entertained.

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