365 Days of Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE! ~ IT’S MA BIRRRFDAY!

 

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I know I’m dating myself with that line but hey, I don’t care.   sticking-tongue-out

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sooo, I’ve just completed one trip around the sun and stand at the start of another. I give thanks!

So many thoughts and emotions today, all of them positive, but varied. I look at my number of completed years on a piece of paper and think “I don’t feel old enough to be this age”.

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Full of gratitude for the year just ended, with its highs and lows and myriad points in between. Looking back at it I appreciate that that year was meant to be about growth, change, healing and refocusing. These lessons persist into this new-year but at varied stages of progress. I have much to be thankful for… and I thank my honoured ancestors and the divine ones of my spiritual escort for all they have helped me accomplish, learn, and work on.

I’ve learnt how to let go of the fear of not being in control. Had no idea this fear even existed in me or that I was holding so tightly to the idea of always being in control. This past year has forced me to confront that and search out where it came from. The truth is that the experiences in my past where I completely lost control and was mistreated and taken advantage of lead me to believe that I always have to be in control in order to be safe. This past year brought me a state of almost complete lack of control…over everything! From where I lived to my movements on any given day, no matter how diligently I tried to exercise control, no matter my efforts, every experience came with the lesson – you’re not in control anymore booboo; let go of the need to control the process! It (whatever “it” was) would happen when and how it would happen, but would happen without your control-freak tentacles touching it.

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This past year, too, I was confronted with a plethora of feelings, emotions, that I’d unconsciously given home to within my body that, over years, have caused imbalance and destruction within my body temple – envy, anger, jealousy, resentment, shame, fear, guilt, worry, sense of unworthiness, weak esteem of self… so many nasty, gunky feelings and thoughts and emotions. Thankfully, this year gave the awareness, space and time to begin the work of healing and releasing. It’s been a hard, tough journey so far but I haven’t been alone. With the support of the Divine Ones, I’ve been doing the basic and necessary work of healing. And I’ve made much progress – beautiful, hard progress – and I continue to push through and work harder and progress more because, you see, there’s no way I can fully live the life I’m destined to live until I do the foundational work of cleansing and healing all of me first.

So, while it didn’t seem like it while it was unfolding throughout the year, this completed year was one of healing, of breaking down and dismantling and destroying and repairing and replacing and cleaning out…. And this work continues. Give thanks for healing!

And now, standing on the freshness of this new-year, how do I feel? What do I see? Hmmm, I feel peace! I feel overjoyed at the possibilities this life’s path has in store for me. I feel ready and eager to continue the work of healing my body, spirit and mind, of evolving into my higher self. I feel ready to love more openly and honestly that I ever have… to embrace my divine destiny, to help others on their paths by sharing the few lessons I’ve learned on mine; to open my heart and womb to the ultimate love, to create and birth people and ideas and projects that thrive and my most impossible desires and a life of abundance and prosperity doing JUST what I was born to do. I feel open!

When I close my eyes, I see me on top of a high place with nothing hindering my view; the vastness of the ocean is before me, blue and calm and constant and massive and me; the sky above shines happy and bright, there is sun, there are white clouds, there is bluest-blue sky; there is breeze, blowing and flowing wherever it wants; and I’m standing there on this land of low cut, healthy looking grass, wearing long white flowing clothes and my arms are open wide as if to give everything I see and feel a big, gigantic hug, and my face smiles as I feel the bliss of the experience; so much so that my real face, now, smiles as I take in, consciously, the reality of that vision, hold it and turn it around. THIS is how I feel at the beginning of this new year. I feel OPEN!

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© September 21, 2016

The Smell of Orange…

The smell of orange reminds me of summer in Antigua. But not just any kind of Antigua summer… the summer of my childhood. The smell of orange reminds me of 8 year old summer. All heat and no rain; days so bright you had to squint like a chiney-man just to see down the road; begging granny everyday to go to the beach even though you knew she’d always say “lawd jesus if you don’t move dis chile from in front me face!” (or some other variation of “no”). Roaming the neighbourhood with all the other children, making up games featuring the abandoned house down the road with the cassie trees overgrowing it to the point of near total reclamation. That was our castle or fortress or dungeon or lookout spot, depending on the world our play wanted us to be in. Playing with my older brother and our alter egos, Touncan and Tell, in the backyard that seemed so much larger then.

 

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Now why the smell of orange takes me there, I honestly couldn’t tell you. Its not like my childhood summers were full of oranges (if anything oranges were scarce like good gold and mangoes were plentiful). Look, summertime in Antigua equals mangoes! Mango fu bang dawg! Logic would suggest that the smell of mangoes take me back there, that way; but it doesn’t at all. Only the smell of orange does that. Only the smell of that summer-less fruit can invade my memory and flood my consciousness with 3D images of that 8 year old summer of no more school, hot days and endless fun, roaming.

 

 

Writing prompt: in ten minutes finish this sentence: The smell of orange reminds me of…

The Most Beautiful Smile I Ever Saw

 

The most beautiful smile I ever saw was attached to the face of my mother. She was cleaning the house on a Saturday morning, as she always did, and ZDK radio was playing calypso, as it always did on Saturday mornings. I was busy multitasking (or attempting to) between watching bootleg Disney channel cartoons on ABS TV and completing my assigned chore – polishing the mahogany entertainment center. At that age multitasking basically meant watching TV until mommy or granny shouted at you to do your chores. Mommy was a much better multitasker. Mommy was a much better everything actually. She would do laundry, clean the bathroom, vacuum the drawing-room carpet, sweep and mop the hallway, dining-room and kitchen floors all at the same time!… or so it seemed to me.

 

Well on this particular Saturday, a warm, typically sunny one, mommy was cleaning in an old T-shirt with faded letters on the front and the sleeves cut off, jeans cut to be almost-batty-riders, and her hair covered in a scarf converted to a head-tie. She probably wouldn’t have considered herself beautiful (she never does) but she was to me, even in her ordinary clothes. I had just looked up from the TV (she’d responded to something the DJ said on the radio and that got my attention). Seems it got the DJ’s attention too because his next remark was the perfect comeback to what mommy had said to him. So perfectly timed the comeback and so uncanny and unexpected that mommy stopped in her tracks, looked at the radio for a split second, then released the most complete belly laugh – all her teeth exposed, her eyes squinted, her cheeks raised up as if they wanted to kiss her eyelids, and the melody of her cackle was the sweetest benna. That laugh, that smile in full bloom, was the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

 

 

Writing prompt: In 10 minutes, write something, anything based on the quote:

“The Most Beautiful Smile I Ever Saw…”

 

 

365 Days of Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE! ~ What’s the point?

 

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What’s the point behind all this energy we expend in living, sharing space on this planet we call home? Is it merely the arrive – get schooling – get job – get debt – get retired – depart playlist rotation that the dominant culture of the so-called most developed countries of the world has provided, not as an option bus as the only way to be? As the superior way to be? Is that the point behind the miraculous burst of energy that is birth? All that effort, all that time, all that risk, simply to fit into the get schooling – get job – get debt – get retired – get outta here cycle?! Surely THAT isn’t all there is! THAT can’t be the point of it all!

All the soul coming and going; all the path crossing and uncrossing, over all the years and decades we roam on Mother Earth, isn’t by accident; no big bang theory here! Intentional these relationships we create and breathe life into, within families of blood and families of heart. Whether their lives number days, months, or a lifetime, sacred and divinely meant to be they are… and only ever serve one primary function: to help us evolve into our higher, highest self. At the end of the day, THIS is the “because” of life; the why we choose to come and stay and call, welcome, fight against, run away from, embrace, receive, accept, reject the experiences that come to us while here – it all, ultimately, is for the main purpose of allowing us to grow, morph, evolve into the gooder, better, best version of ourselves we can be in this lifetime. That’s DIVINE!… and THAT’S the point!

Mirror, mirror…

“Oh crap! I’m late!”, Anansha’s voice couldn’t hide her irritation. As she jumped off the bed, the sheet trailed behind her and settled precariously on the edge as if threatening to be the first fallen domino in her life. In less than 5 steps she was in the too-small-for-her-taste bathroom, cluttered with his clothes and towel. She cursed under her breath. After 3 years with Demba she still couldn’t figure out why this man found it difficult to pick his own clothes up after using the bathroom. More and more lately she’d been drifiting, slowly at first but faster of late, into a “why bother” place. Why bother working at this marriage? Why continue to give and work when Demba seemed to work at little more than adding new frustrations to her daily life?!

Turning on the tap, she heard the powerful swoosh from the showerhead and automatically felt a slither of tension ooze out her 5’ 4” frame. Water always had that soothing effect on her. Waiting for the water’s temperature to shift from brrrr to ahhhh, she leaned forward on the basin, her head in her hands. “Slow, deliberate breaths” she told herself, and willed her body to obey. It tried. One slow, choppy breath, followed by another, its exhale betraying the goal of calming her. She felt a melt down approaching and wanted to push it back under the surface. Already two tears defiantly trailed down her face. “BREATHE Nansha! BREATHE!”, she begged, as the third tear burst, the forth and fifth too close for comfort.

“Awww now, come come my dear, why tears? This room has more than enough water already!”. Startled, Anansha lifted her head, her melt down paused by her surprised curiosity. Who the hell was that?! Looking around, she confirmed for herself that she was, as she thought, alone in the bathroom, but she knew what she heard. “Oh God! On top of everything else I’m going crazy!” she said to herself out loud.

“Hahaha! At least your sense of humour is still here” the voice replied. The voice came from the mirror but, how could that be? Anansha moved closer to the mirror spying her reflection, seeing nothing unusual. It was just her. She touched her cheek and saw her image do the same. She turned her head to the right; her reflection followed suit. It was her, and only her! Then suddenly… it spoke again.

“Don’t worry child, you’re not going or coming crazy!”. Anansha’s jaw almost hit the basin as she watched her image’s mouth move while hers remained shut. “Anansha, let’s not waste time with surprised disbelief. YOU aren’t crazy and I AM speaking to you! But only because you called me. I was minding my own business you see, hoping you’d call of course but not freaking out about it either way. And you did. Well, to be technical, that 3rd tear of yours did… so here I am! And I gotta tell you sweetie, its good that you did because you look a perfectly hot mess! You see you face, child?!… I mean, lately?

“Oh close your mouth and stop panicking girl! You’re safe with me. I’m only here to help you.

Life has been rough lately, I know. It happens. But this latest blow really hit you harder than anything before, hasn’t it? And I know what you feeling now… you’re feeling trapped, like you can’t do anything other than stay married to Dumba., ooops, I mean Demba (never could get his name right) even though he hasn’t been the husband you’d hoped for. You feel like ignoring your unhappiness and making the best of a frustrating situation is the only way to move forward. You’re feeling more alone now than you ever have. I know, darling. I get it.”

“But I also know there’s more to this than you realize. I know this madness you call life right now is a testing, a training to develop some things you need but don’t yet have. This chaos is to prepare you for that next chapter of your life… I got a sneak preview of it and it’s a beautiful next chapter I might add. You don’t see it yet; you don’t feel it right now either but this is really just where you must be right now… but it won’t be for very much longer. Betta mus come mi chile! And I’m here to remind you that its coming.”

“So do me a little favour darling, dry those tears, wash your face and skin, and shave your legs too. Take your time putting on your make-up today. Don’t worry about being late, you’re already late and can’t be late twice. Better arrive stunningly you than still late and blah! Pick that other outfit you were considering , not the plain Jane one you settled on, the vibrant blue with white pinstripe, THAT’S the one for you today. Take your time, dress and make it count. Step out today knowing whatever isn’t right, whatever is uncertain, whatever is falling apart, its all coming together, even in its imperfection, for you! Okay?!”

“Now, pick that bottom lip off the good, clean basin and get on with your day… and if you need me, just know that I’m only a 3rd tear away.”

The mirror slowly started to fog over as Anansha stared at herself in astonishment. “Wait, wait, wait, don’t go yet”, she shouted as her reflection slowly faded from the mirror. “Please just tell me who you are?”

“Who am I?! Hahahaa! You mean to say you don’t know?! You call on me everyday and don’t even recognize me when I show up?! Tsk, tsk, tsk. I forgive you, this time, because I know you don’t know any better and you’ve always been a little slow. But look at me good and tell me if you really don’t recognize me.”

“Of course I recognize you” Anansha quipped “you look just like me. But…WHO…are you? I know you aren’t me…you can’t be… just tell me who you are… please?” she pleaded. A precarious silence floated through the room as the two, Nanasha and her confused, this-must-be-what-crazy-feels-like thoughts stared pleadingly with the other, or not other, Nanasha staring matter-of-factly back at her in the mirror.

“Anansha I’m the collective image of your ancestral mothers. I look like you because I AM you! And you are us! Now go, do as I’ve said, and live!”.

With that, her image disappeared completely leaving no reflection of herself for a brief minute before returning as normal, her own reflection.

Sighing a deep what-on-earth-just-happened-to-me breath, Anansha slowly turned on the basin’s faucet and splashed cool water on her face, took another deep breath and stepped into the shower, grabbing her shaver on the way in.

Foggy-Mirror-Amy-Loves-Yah-Flickr

 

 

Writing prompt challenge: in 15 minutes write about this – MIRROR MIRROR: what if your mirror started talking to you?

 

365 Days To Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE!!! ~ Speak!

Speak!

Speak truth!!

Speak your truth!!!

Aisha poetry night speaking

Don’t be afraid to share the wisdom of the ages that whispers to your soul. Speak it! Don’t believe the lie that it need not be said or someone else has said it, basically, already, or so-and-so can say it better, more eloquently or passionately, than you. Speak the truth that comes to your soul, because it doesn’t belong to you…not to you alone… because there may be ones who need your truth, coloured from YOUR words, from breath vocalized through YOUR lips, to caress their ears and hold counsel with their heart. And without you honouring the murmurings of your spirit, speaking truth to their path, their evolution to their best selves may halt… not out of growth’s necessity but out of fear’s triumph personified in your closed mouth.

So speak your truth, with kindness and respect… and that’s all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Aug 2016

365 Days To Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE!!! ~ I Can And I Will!

 

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“I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can’t do it. I’m never gonna say ‘maybe’. I’m never gonna say ‘I don’t think I can’. I can and I will!” – Nadiyah Hussein, Great British Bake Off winner

 

I got into watching this baking competition last winter quite by chance. It showed on PBS at night just before the two PBS series that I quickly got hooked on (first, Home Fires and then, after Home Fires had run its course, Downton Abbey). Since both Home Fires and Downton Abbey finished months ago I haven’t bothered to stay up that late so haven’t been paying much attention to the return of The Great British Bake Off… that is until a few weeks ago when I came across it, again quite by chance, and remembered why I enjoyed it so much. So I jumped back into watching it every week.

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When I resumed regular watching there were about seven contestants and what peeked my interest was that there were more people of colour than I’d ever seen before. One contestant, in particular, stood out to me. She was a Muslim woman, as evidenced by her clothing, and always seemed so distressed over her various baking projects and the judges’ assessment portion of the segments. A little worry-wart was what I dubbed her. Always… well mostly at least… her projects came out looking and/or tasting great but she wasn’t without criticism (sometimes I thought the judges were just finding fault for the sake of finding fault but that’s neither here nor there… and I admit I might have been more than a bit biased because, well, my spirit took to her as we say in Antigua & Barbuda).

Anyway, as week by week this and that contestant got eliminated the feeling I had about this Muslim woman-of-colour contestant got stronger and stronger. It was at the second episode that I’d watched, the end of it, that I said (to myself really because my husband had been bored to sleep by then, British baking shows just aren’t his thing) “she’s going to win this, you know!”. Not sure what gave me that sure conviction but I knew somehow that the worry-wart was a powerhouse to be reckoned with and week after week she proved that more and more, without ever losing her gracious disposition, respectful nature, or passion to get it right. She was judged “Star Baker” more than once and when she made it to the finals (along with two men, one a white Brit and the other an Indian) I knew Nadiyah would win and the other two (who were both really good as well… obviously) would hold on to second and third place however they chose (turns out only the winner is chosen, there’s no ranking of the “runners up”).

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Well, she did it! She won! And I literally cried happy-for-you tears at witnessing her personal accomplishment. She was shocked to tears… to the very end she thought she might not win. The quote I shared at the beginning were her first thoughts after winning the contest and I love them for their sincerity, powerful message that inspired and touched me to my core, and just because they came from such a clearly beautiful soul.

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Her words reached deep into the murky places most sentiments don’t go and rousted lingering bits of fear and self doubt within me; challenged my ephemeral dreamings with a “Well?! What the bleep are you waiting on?!”, and reminded me of the truth in Lisa Nichols’ words that YOU are the author of your own story! That 60 minutes of my life devoted to entertainment could morph into “just what I needed” makes her victory cherish-able in a deeply personal way and her words have been ricocheting between the left and right hemispheres of my brain since my ears took them in: I CAN AND I WILL!

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Augusta 15, 2016

Protected

portrait little black girl

 

Why call you Alone,

invested in the idea of a suspended nothingness

fodder for smiling “peace”-cloaked wolves?

Alone betrays reality; tells lies on truth.

You are many and much

yet Alone is not in their number.

 

Why call you Alone,

when grandmothers’ stand surrounded?

Stay you there at her side, a little behind

white skirts greeting the wind.

Hold tight to grandmothers’ white flapping;

feel your little head bump occasionally the backside of her thigh.

Did you not know it is here safety calls home?

 

Peer at the world with its grinning devils,

see death’s multitude faces reaching, trying to say hello,

from the cool fortress of behind grandmothers’ thighs

from the barracks of behind grandmothers’ skirts.

See fully now, no fear-filled squints

The backitive in front, all around you.

 

A sea of grandmothers ancient as the first.

Mother earth the root; Mother moon the source

Standing, a firm circle embrace of their daughter

Full-moon bright your eyes, you’ll see clearer still

That you are many and much

Yet Alone is not in their number.

art - dark roots

 

© July 2016

He is

A father…

… acknowledges the honour bestowed on him by the Divine Ones

… is mindful of the life his ejaculation awakened

Septi ultrasound

… respects the one his child calls “mother”  (whether that’s easy to do or not), always aware that she’s given him a gift no other could.

daddy and Nisut

… is committed to the rearing of little hands and feet into powerfully productive minds

… is the one who always makes it a point to be present, with or without presents

… doesn’t recklessly dismantle the child’s belief in his power to make every cut or scrape, every bruised knee or ego all better with his hug.

Nisut's first impressions in Antigua

… is the first

Protector of innocence

Creator of giggles

Model of a disciplined life

Giant with the most comfortable shoulders

Example of what a husband looks like

Wrestling partner

Blueprint for manhood

  great grandpa Albertgrandpa Maurice

… is there, through early morning wakings, missing teeth, first bikes, and first loves

… will settle your crumbling world with the touch of his hand

… protects at all costs, sacrifices whatever, whenever if necessary

… does his best, always, to nurture his seeds, whether seedlings or full bloom, with love.

uncle Eric, Kerine and Kzuri

A father is not replaceable and cannot be substituted for, even with the best of intentions from a single mother.

A father is the ultimate expression of manhood!

 

Nekia, Grandpa John, Grandma Clara

 

 

365 Days to Laugh, Learn, Love… LIVE!… Muhammad Ali

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I went to bed last night with the news that this icon was in critical condition and not expected to be in the physical much longer. I awoke this morning to the news that his separation from his physical form was complete. Can’t honestly say I was “heartbroken” or “shocked”, not because I felt/feel no connection to Muhammad Ali – his has been a face my mind recalls when it thinks of positive, strong African (black) manhood – but because I’m accepting, I think, this reality of departing souls that 2016 seems hell bent on producing.

The year started with Natalie Cole’s transition, then Dr. Cress-Welsing’s, then several others, celebrities and family members, friends of friends and family of friends. One sister friend I know has had to say goodbye to the physical form of SIX family members in the first five months of the year alone! In my family, we’ve just returned, in the last two weeks, from our grandfather’s funeral.

So you see death seems to be the dominant theme for 2016 and I can’t help but wonder what it all means (if it means anything). Do those departing know something the rest of us don’t? Or is it just their time to transition? Whatever it is, this energy of separating, departing, transitioning has settled on my mind making it difficult for me to receive news of death with the shock and dismay that would typically come.

Muhammad Ali stands out in my mind as an example of our innate greatness allowed to flow freely. I see him as outspoken, extroverted, dedicated, a man of integrity, good character, and just a beautiful soul.  His connection to el hajj Malik el Shabazz (Malcolm X) made me cherish him all the more.

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I think of what it must have been like growing up in the 60s and having the image of Ali to look up to at a time when oppression of African people was much more overt, lynchings were happening all the time without the bother of being hidden, when segregation was the rule, if not the law, and African people everywhere were routinely called “boy” and “girl”  no matter their age or status. What must the sight of a Muhammad Ali , champion boxer, “The Greatest”, have done to the psyche of a race of people existing across continents and languages! What must the sight of an Ali have done to the psyche of those determined to maintain their status quo, their terrorism-based dominance justified with lies of the inferiority of one  and the natural, divine even, superiority of the other! I can only imagine, not being alive yet at that time but my connection through blood and psychic energy allows me to feel it in a very real way too.

And so I understand the tears some confess they shed at hearing the news. I feel the sense of loss those focused on the physical share. His moving on is, for them, the ending of a greatness we could point to with pride and boast that we had. muhammad_ali_quote

But there is something else too… something that those with a broader focus can grasp.  That this man,  The Greatest, has shed his physical body and is now free from its limitations isn’t lost on them. That his powerful spirit, “a baaaaad man!”, the champ, the one who fought with fist and words, who defied the system designed to oppress him and stood, as a man, saying ‘NO! Do what you want but I won’t bow or cower or grovel or bed or stop calling you what you are’, that this spirit is now unfettered and free to truly be the greatest fighter for his people isn’t lost on some and, thankfully, not lost on me.

So with those ones I can’t help but smile gratitude as my energy focuses on the physical life of one so inspiringly great nor can I control my excitement as I direct my energy to this after-physical-life time of his and extol him to rise! Rise in power to fight continuously and always for your people against the enemies of truth, justice, righteousness, order, harmony, reciprocity, divine balance (Ma’at)! Rise in power and help us to be bold and courageous and relentless and consistent and strong and powerful! As you are!

dont-count-ali