We Teach People How To Treat Us

mirror2I’m contemplating this saying, “We teach people how to treat us.”  I’m considering my treatment and asking myself what kind of instructions am I giving.  I am surrounded by love. I am surrounded by creative, passionate, hardworking, evolving, spiritual and loving people.  I think they are reflections of who I am.

A few people, ones closest to me have really hurt me lately.  I can’t teach my parents or family how to treat me by what I allow.  I needed them before I knew about allowing.  Now that I can choose what I allow, I’m considering relationships where I’m being hurt.  I don’t feel like I’m accepting this behavior. But maybe I am.  I don’t believe in abandoning people because we are all human and I’ve definitely harmed.  I’ve definitely been inconsiderate, callous, selfish and dysfunctional.

I am grateful for all the people who stayed.  I am grateful for their forgiveness and belief in me being a better person than a moment, action or words.  I am grateful for their honesty, in speaking their expectations and allowing room and time for me to grow.  Also, I am grateful for them acknowledging and accepting me as a changed person.  Sometimes after we’ve hurt someone, all they see is how we’ve hurt them.  They don’t see how we’ve grown or how sincere we are about not hurting them, others or ourselves.

Forgiveness teaches me not to take it personal when someone hurts my feelings.  Because I’ve been forgiven and I’ve forgiven myself I enter every situation in that awareness.  We all have pasts. A lot of people are not operating in the moment. A lot of people are responding to what they are projecting… Even me. I’m projecting forgiveness.  I’m projecting compassion.

mirror3I’m projecting all the things a few people haven’t given me.  There are people who have decided to remain angry with me.  Which I’m grateful for too.  It reminds I cannot control other’s perception.  It teaches me to accept myself and walk free of my past.  It reminds me how hurt can anchor us in the past.  It reminds me how I cannot limit anyone’s growth to my experience with them, especially years ago.  It encourages me to tackle any unresolved anger.

I used to feel guilty and wish there was something I could do to smooth out the places I’ve made mistakes. Forgiveness is the only way I know to make peace with our past.  I had to forgive others before I could begin to really forgive myself.  I found when it was most difficult to forgive others it was because of what I allowed.  I wasn’t actually angry with them, but with myself for not trusting my intuition or setting good boundaries.  So whenever I see someone, who is still in a weird space regarding me, I can’t help but wonder what opportunity are they using me to avoid… Maybe I’m projecting.

I have let some people go, who showed it as their goal to be harmful and dishonest.  Like they are/were actively working towards disguising destruction and being less detectable.  I don’t speak against destructive people. I’m always hopeful they will change.  More importantly, anyone paying attention will know.  Anyone not paying attention will learn.  I also don’t speak against them, because like me, they may be different.  I believe commitments to destructive behavior is a complete lack of faith in themselves and others, so they are trying to create an optimal situation with dishonesty, destruction and harm.  I’ve found this to be a huge issue for religious people who when presented with the truth, choose a lie and call it faith.  I am always praying for all of our healing.  Black women, we have so much inherited dysfunction.

I definitely inherited hatred for my skin, my hair, my body type and even speaking my mind.  Now, I feel like I love myself.  Could I love me more? Yes.  Am I working towards that?  Every day, I love me a little bit more.

But let me be real. I don’t always stick to the diets I put myself on. I go to sleep or hang out on Facebook when I could be working out.   I stay up watching Netflix, reading, writing, drawing, researching or whatever when I should be asleep.  Then I’m exhausted and suffering the next day.  That’s not love. LOL!  I’d even argue, I’m more forgiving of others than I am of myself.  I beat myself up for being human.  I don’t write as much as I should. I don’t paint as much as I could.  There are tons of opportunities I am not following up on, and I feel that isn’t loving me… So if I had to speak for how I’m loving myself I’d say I’m a pretty shitty lover.  So there is room to grow… I can also see how others witnessing the way I break promises to myself may feel they can half ass love me too.

So where do I draw the line? What is too much? When do I end relationships with people? How do I teach people to treat me better?  Especially as I’m practicing loving me better as I write.  This is my meditation.

Note to Self: Conjure.

Love is freedom.

Love is freedom.

I remember you, wild
Freeing
‘fore you knew
You were the meaning
Of freedom.
Your being
What love looks like
Personified.
Before you realized
Before you needed to self-actualize
Before you went searching, outside
Binding yourself
Within yourself
Beyond your grasp.
Hurting, yourself
Afraid, you were not worthy.

blackbeauty2
I remember you holy
Whole
I remember you sanctified
A sanctuary for souls.
I remember you,
Your own salvation.
Prayers or spells
Before judgment
You saw no difference in them.
Conjuring.
Within yourself.
Power filled.
Humble.
As your thoughts and dreams became tangible
You believed them miracles
Taught trees grew
Without earth or roots.
You worshiped
An idol
A book named Bible
Til’ fruitless.
Longing to be planted.
Longing is,
A spell
Against yourself.
You surrendered your will.
Bid yourself to submitBaptized
To dead languages
And foreign male strangers.
Conjuring.
Shape shifter.
You became a misogynist
You called it a holy ghost dance
What you did
Before the whole congregation.
Grateful
To be baptized
And subjugated.
Conjuring.

Beckoning

Beckoning

Please,
Off your knees.
You’d have no needs
If you’d stop
Giving yourself away.
Pray
For the stars
And the moon
And the Sun
Which you are.
Conjure!
Know
Trees Are grounded!
Trees have roots
And so do you.
Take off your shoes.
Bury your heels
In the plush grass.
Your roots are vines
Of light
Reflecting the colors of your pastAncestors
Unveiling your path.
Dyed and muddied by your life
Feel the connection
Anchoring your instep
Feel your chakras align
Heal.
You, you are divine.
Conjure.
In spells and prayers.
Speak inwards
So loud
Your spirit is bound
To carry the sounds
Elevating.
You up and out
Of all the creations and manifestations
Conjured.

Speak
What spirit shows you.
Speak, like you know you.
Speak your dreams.
Speak lightening and fire
Speak your heart’s desire.
Speak.
You are the bar you are raising
You are your greatest expectation
You are a light
Beaming in the night
Leading yourself to herself
Home.
A spirit
Reckoning
With the flesh.
A mind
An ego
Reasoning against itself
A child who learned false facts
Reared to be self-destructive.
Speak nowConjuring
As a grown woman
No longer questioning
Loving herself.
Speak
Accepting yourself without exceptions
Or conditions.
Speak as one coming to fruition.
Embrace your intuition
Harness your strength
Speak with the power of your ancestors
Wield your influence
In every realm.
Speak your peace.
Speak.
You are free,
To conjure.

Anxious

This is a map of some places that existed during the Harlem Renaissance.

This is a map of some places that existed during the Harlem Renaissance.

There are so many things to do.  Feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day.  Feels like I’m always going. I tell myself let’s get organized.  Then I end up working on something in the middle of organizing.

I’m not afraid any more. I’m not anchored. I feel like I can do anything, go anywhere and be whatever I set my heart on.  It’s definitely a different feeling to see the world as an abundance of opportunities.

It’s also a spiritual struggle now, not to allow anyone to taint this view, because honestly, the world is however you say it is for the most part.  We cannot change people but we can certainly adjust ourselves to who we learn people are.  We can also apply ourselves and get focused.

I am really focused.  I have to sort and decide what needs to be done immediately. I accomplished a lot today. I’ve done a lot of editing of another writer, some reading (I finished Teryn’s poetry book), I put my map of Harlem up.  I did some research. I went to the post office. I went to FedX to get the map laminated until they told me their machine might eat the map and they wouldn’t replace it.  I went all the way to Harlem to get this map.  So, I decided to pass on them possibly ruining it.  I got some more grocery shopping in. I unpacked some.  I cleaned up.  I organized my work space.  I went to the library.

I edited my own work. Now I’m trying to figure out how I can work without a Word program on either of my laptops.

I know that things are going to get better and be amazing because I’m having so many challenges.  I won’t get into them all, but I will say that every time I look up something I need breaks.  I write to music. I’ve gone through two MP3 players and an Ipod in two months.  Neither of my laptops will allow me to access Word.  Neither of my laptops will allow me to download another writing program.  I’ve been making a lot of connections and doing a lot of business through my phone… It cuts off when it feels like it, and is slow as all get out.

Still, life keeps getting better. I don’t know.  I hope I can stay in this place of light.  Where I can focus on all the head way I’m making and not all the issues.

Sidenote, something is going on with the cursor, which I’m aware of, but it’s still annoying… Right now as I’m typing, it just goes in the middle of some random line and starts putting the keystrokes.  So I lose my place.  And have to figure out what isn’t suppose to be there… Oh, cause the letters are delayed showing up. I don’t think I type faster than my laptops… Well, not this one.  And the power in my office is doing this weird thing where it flashes like it’s going out.  I’ll be glad when I have tons of money and I can have everything state of the art, with some help to do mundane tasks so I can focus on creating.

I am writing my dreams. I am acting on my dreams.  I am speaking my dreams into reality.  Documenting my evolution…

I am also becoming really radical in my thoughts and actions.  I kind of get a rush from saying what needs to be said or doing what needs to be done. It’s a crazy space to be in.

So much love. So much freedom. So many opportunities.

Research in Harlem 8/16

Harlem_CNT_5dec12_iStock_bI chose to travel to Harlem and begin my research the day of my birthday, because I wanted to enter my new year doing what I love.  I planned to document the research through blogs.  However, after I arrived in Harlem I was so busy with researching I didn’t have time to blog. I actually wrote one blog, I am holding as a draft.  I don’t know if I will ever finish it.

When I realized I didn’t have time to write full blogs, I thought, well, I will post images and say a few words about them.  This was impossible because I used a real camera and not my phone.  Above all this, I wanted to be present. I wanted to experience rather than talk about experience.  I didn’t want to discuss the future or the past, I just wanted to be in the moment.  I think documenting the moment undermines the moment.  There were so many sunsets, buildings, people, dances, foods and dreams come true I wanted to share and at the same time I was too selfish.  I just allowed myself to be, there.

As I’m wrapping up my trip, not necessarily the research I wanted to check in.  I’ve scheduled this day as a writing day.

I also realized Harlem changed me as an artist and I wanted to share that.  Most importantly, I have a lot to say that won’t ever be in a novel or poetry collection. This is mostly about the

I’ve been a poet and painter for years.  I feel passionate about art. No matter what happens in my life I am going to write.  No matter what happens I am going to paint.  I don’t care if I ever get paid for it.  I hope I do, though.  If I could make money doing what I love, it would free me from doing things to survive and allow me more time to be creative.

I love poetry.  I love reading other poets.  I love the sharing of words in readings and performances. I also love the communion after a poetry event.  So much of the poetry experience is about the community that embraces the art.

2854I will probably be referring to the experience of meeting and speaking to Sonia Sanchez for the rest of my life.  In seeing her speak, she said that she believed poets were born. I sincerely believe this.  She also said, that poets belong to the people.  Which is why, I also think it’s important if you are a poet to tell anyone you may date you need to be open… Which means discussing them and how you evolve as a result of being in a relationship with them, publicly.  Poets are the voice of the people.  We articulate our struggles, triumphs, joys and wisdom.

Harlem changed me.  First, the idea that someone believed in my work enough to fund my research made me feel like a serious writer.  When I was applying for the grant I had to document my work and what my future projects were.  Until someone asks me who I was, I hadn’t thought about it.  I realized that I am a really hard work and I make a lot of progress. I have a lot of projects going on.  Because I don’t discuss all the projects I work on anonymously, under an alias and because I’m compelled to give energy, I don’t always take myself seriously.  To see all the things I accomplished in the past few years in writing was sobering.  It wasn’t until I was writing the grant did I start to believe I deserved it.

Once I received the grant, I learned what a planner I am.  I am very calculating, patient and driven.  Writing, requires all of those personality traits.  The planning of the trip allowed me to feel powers I take for granted. I am always in the motion of doing, not necessarily thinking about it.

Making time for research was so life altering, it was like finding a new religion.  I took off work for almost three weeks, when I’d been struggling to make time to write in my daily life.  The idea, that writing allowed me to be free to express myself was the equivalent of having a conversation with God.  Especially because I often say to myself and other writers, writing won’t make time for itself.  Not true anymore, my writing made this grant possible.  I use to say, writing, won’t demand you do it the way a spouse asks for your attention, the way a job needs you there at a certain time, the way rituals required like eating, sleeping and laundry do.  In Harlem, writing was like “get up we’ve only got so many days to be together.  We have to see this place.” Writing didn’t allow me the time to do blogs. Writing asked for an entire two weeks with me.

HarlemHarlem also reminded me I could accomplish anything.  Harlem made me feel creative, passionate, open, adventurous, aggressive, focused and determined.  I always feel like I know who I am, at the same time sometimes I feel like a shadow of myself.  Sometimes when I’m writing, I’m not sure anyone cares what I say.  Sometimes when I’m working on a project I’m not sure I’m the right person to bring it to completion.  Sometimes when I am trying to make time for writing, I feel guilty.

Harlem reminded me I’m hungry.  Everyone I ran into, every time I actually sat down to eat people on either side of me were discussing business ventures.  I started to feel like the only time people ate in restaurants was to discuss making money.  Sometimes, for me, I feel like wanting to get paid for what I’m compelled to do is wrong.  Being around other people using their gifts to live reminded me that knowing my purpose was a blessing.  More importantly, living in our purpose should free us and not be a burden or hobby.  I started to imagine a world where we all lived in our purpose.

I’M ALREADY A WRITER! Harlem made me scream this in my spirit.  If I want to write for a living I’m going to have to move in that direction with purpose.  I started to look for opportunities to grow income. I also started to think about support, friends, family and other artists.  I am now considering how I can help other artists so we can barter. It is important to pay artists. At the same time, when you aren’t established in a community.  Meaning you don’t know the best mechanic or when something breaks in your house, you pay through the nose.  When you don’t have relationships that support you, like people helping your move, paint or figure things out for daily life, you have to pay someone.  Which leaves your art shorted when you need to pay for editors, book cover designers, framers for paintings and so on…  You have to haggle over their price, even though they deserve the full price, you just don’t have the resources to pay them… Which really means you don’t have the money to invest in yourself.

I AM AN ARTIST. This does not mean I will work for free. I have bills just like you. THANK YOU, for understanding.

I AM AN ARTIST. This does not mean I will work for free. I have bills just like you. THANK YOU, for understanding.

This makes other artist hostile at times.  It makes them feel like you don’t appreciate their work.  I want to apologize, here, to all the artist who I’ve asked for discounts or a hook ups.  It’s not that I didn’t want to support you. It’s not that I don’t know you need to survive.  I think too much explaining undermines and apology. I just want to apologize for making you feel like I didn’t value your vision, being, purpose and hard work.

With that being said, I am going to start off finding artist open to bartering, who I can help.   I’m willing to answer phones, drive artist places, pick them up from the airport, help them set up events and share work space.  Because we all need each other.  I’d also love to do creative cyphers.  Mainly because a lot of our work is solitary, it’s always invigorating for me to work in the same space as someone else.  Or, in some cases do collaborations.  Some of the best work I’ve seen is when a lot of people are involved.  Also, I am going to be doing some editing and hopefully someone will edit me.  I’m also going to explore how we all can make money collectively.

This blog, is all over the place. I have a lot of thoughts. I’m going to stop here.

Love and Light

I want to thank my creator for allowing me to know even when unknowing. I am grateful to finally be following the knowing.  Even though I am struggling and arguing with my higher self or the higher spirit, I still follow.

 

The other dumbrellaay on the street, something said buy an  umbrella.  The umbrella was only $2.00.  Something said, you forgot your own umbrella. Then I noted, I couldn’t have gotten that big thing in my suitcase anyway.  Finally, I reminded myself of Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady” and told myself I need to stop accumulating things.

 

Yesterday, I was marveling at how beautiful the weather is in New York, more specifically in Harlem. It’s warm without being humid.  There is always a cool breeze. I was thinking how amazing their summer is.  I was reminding myself that it’s an island and the water may be the reason it’s so nice.  At the same, I was chastising myself for buying that umbrella.

Last night, I put out jeans and socks for my tennis shoes. I’ve been wearing flats or sandals since I arrived.  I only wear sneakers on the plane.  Cause it gets cold and I’m dragging and lifting.

 

Today I woke up to racket and wondered if it was finally confirmed that this old building is haunted.  Nope, that’s still a question.  But it was raining and it was raining hard.  I don’t know how I knew it, but I’m grateful for all the ways I was prepared for today.

I am learning to trust my knowing… Yes, I am still questioning it.  Questioning is a good place and an evolution. I use to dismiss it without a discussion.  Now, I’m actually listening and considering it.  I am grateful for this new place of being.