Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's A Lovely Saturday Morning and...

You're snug in bed. The covers are perfectly tucked and the temperature is so warm, you'd have to be insane to get up. You're not quite asleep because the hour is coming when you'll have to wake up. With a light turn of your body, you settle into a position that inevitably will lead you into a deep slumber. Your mind starts to slip away and a floating sensation sets in. Traveling into the realm of unconsciousness...

SUDDENLY A LOUD ASS DOG STARTS BARKING LIKE MAD FROM THE NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE. THE WORKERS' MACHINES ADD TO THE SYMPHONY OF DISSONANCE. THE BARKING GETS LOUDER AND LOUDER AND MORE FREQUENT AS YOU HEAR THE MACHINES GET CLOSER AND CLOSER TO YOUR WINDOW.

There's nowhere to go but "up".

Up, out of bed, out of the warmth, away from possibly sixty more minutes of the best sleep known to man. Just imagine the "The Blue Danube Waltz" playing in the background and the dog barking during the in-between spots.

"Into the bathroom (THE DOG BARKING)
And through the hallway (THE DOG BARKING)
Into the kitchen (THE DOG BARKING)
Then grabbing the gat (THE DOG BARKING)
Across the front yard (THE DOG BARKING)
Cocking the hammer (THE DOG BARKING)
And then finally silence as the cops take you away..."

Don't get me wrong, I love animals but chaining up your dog early in the morning every Saturday for three hours for months while your workers tend to the yard after receiving a complaint from the city is just not COOL!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

When a Person is Truly Wise...

They still know there is much to learn. No matter how young or how old we are, we can always better ourselves. I admire those who never stop learning and never stop listening. Listening is the greatest tool for growth and being quiet is the best way to make a loud statement. It is so easy for us to see the faults in others but the most difficult task is to see our own. Stand in the middle of a mob of criticism and let it penetrate your skin.
Look into your children's eyes and see them as teachers who can show you more about life and love.

Walk ahead and quit standing in front of yourself.

Friday, January 14, 2011

If You Don't Want To Discuss Your Spiritual Beliefs...

You have the right to say they're private. When it comes to religion or spirituality, I believe that it's up to the individual and we don't have to defend what we believe to anyone. Even though I am agnostic it doesn't mean that I don't have respect for people who are devote followers of a given faith. However, to engage in a argument about what is the truth or how one's belief is wrong or right is pointless. 

You know those friends that are very secretive about who they're dating? Well, I admire them because they truly are serious about the importance of privacy and demand others respect their wishes. They come to parties and get-togethers alone and never reveal anything about the people they're romantically involved with. Everyone is so curious to find out why it's on the DL and why they feel the need to hide their personal life. 

Whether you're Catholic, Baptist, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Jehovah's Witness, Protestant, Agnostic, Atheist, etc...if you find yourself in a heated conversation about your spirituality and feel the need to protect your beliefs, don't hesitate to let everyone know that it's a private matter.

In the end, the only thing that matters is how you feel in between the life that you're living.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"What Do You Do?" Needs To Retire...

I hate how this question is the first thing people ask upon meeting you. Although you can have fun with it if you have a knack for improvisation, most of us just say the obvious..."I'm a___" and list their profession. The thing is that professions are overrated because nowadays people have to wear many hats in order to pay the bills. Some of us are interested in loads of things so to define ourselves by the way in which we pay the cable bill is like trying to fit an elephant inside a piano. Or a gorilla inside a cello...I'm sure you get my point.  

I love the line in Batman Begins when Rachael says to Bruce, "What you do defines you." Even though, taken literally it disproves my point, I believe that if you think about it in terms of "how many pursuits one is involved in" or "what aspects of life capture one's mind and heart"  then you broaden the potential of actually getting a taste of who someone is. One suggestion is to not ask What do you do? but rather Who are you?

 Not saying that that is an easier question to answer but I think I'd feel refreshed if a stranger asked me that rather than wondering how I get my laundry and gas money.

When you are involved in multiple aspects of the arts, it's impossible to put a name on which art you identify yourself with. If you're a wife, enterpreneur, yoga teacher and graduate student - how you spend your days depends upon which environment surrounds you at the moment. If you work 9-5 at a place in which you despise only to put your kids through college or have health insurance, the last conversation you'd like to get dragged into is one about your job.

If someone asked me Who are you? I would say, "I am a woman who likes to have fun, create, laugh and ponder upon things." To me, that reveals a lot more than saying, "I'm a janitor at a local high school," or "The CEO of a Fortune 500 company." Because really when someone tells me this, you know what I really want to say after they go on a tangent about how their company's numbers were up last year or how much poopoo and peepee they clean up on a daily basis and blah blah blah blah blah...


WHO CARES!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Life Between Living - A Concept

Once upon a time (like last week) this blog was called Inkblots. I loved that name because I feel like writing is about making sense of all the chaos in my brain. On Myspace, that was the name of my blog so I just carried it over to blogspot.

When I found that I could have my own URL for this blog, I thought about the music I've been creating lately. The collection of songs that I hope this year to complete will encompass an album known as Life Between Living. Originally, it was Somewhere Between Life and Living but my mom gave me the idea to shorten it and it stuck.

Further back, I dwelled upon this concept with my brother, Naje, (click on his name if you want to check out his website) about how there are two lives: one we live and one we look at. Somehow this concept stayed with me and it's been brewing for awhile now. Now that it is slowly blossoming into more than I originally thought it would be...I don't know maybe there's more to Live Between Living.

I absolutely love the magazine, Real Simple, and I think that  my concept doesn't have to necessarily blow up into a magazine but who knows...what do you guys think?

Oh yeah, while you're pondering about it, check out my new song (#2 completed out of 11 songs) called - Hmm, I wonder? Yeah, you got it...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year's Resolutions...

The New Year is a great time to start something new. It's the perfect time to embark on improving one's self and have twelve fresh months to work at it. The sad part is that most of us begin January with a big bang and somewhere around February or March, our resolutions fizzle out and we fall back into the same hustle and bustle that we were caught up in the previous year.

I think this has to do with two things: making realistic resolutions and committing thirty days to creating (or breaking) habits. An example of a realistic resolution is working out more or thinking positively. The more broad or vague the resolution is,  I believe, the easier it is to achieve. If you say you're going to commit to working out six days a week, whereas last year you worked out none, it will be really hard to maintain this if you're a commuter or have a large amount of family and work obligations. Halfway through February, you'll feel like a failure and donuts will sound really good at this point. Aiming to get two days of working out for the first thirty days of January sounds more realistic because they say it take thirty days to create a habit. Once you get two days under your belt, you can add one more in February and then another in March. By the end of the year, you've worked your way up to five or six days. The change happened gradually and you've achieved your goal. You can use this approach to other aspects of your life.

Thinking positively is an example of giving yourself a goal that has to do with your mind. Most often times, we make goals that deal with something outside of us--quit that job, quit smoking, get out of debt--but sometimes we need to take a closer look at how we perceive things and ourselves. My goal for this year is to let myself be happy. Trust me, even at day 6 of January, I'm still struggling with this. This is because for years I've allowed myself to be sensitive and worrisome and it's only preventing me from stepping forward. There is this invisible rope around me that I must cut. The only way I can do this---truly--is to let things go and embrace my current state.

Too many times I've let the woes of others weigh me down. I was discussing this with my mom yesterday and I said, "Why is it that I feel like if something great happens, I almost feel guilty for enjoying it?" And she said she felt this way too but that it was time for us to stop feeling guilty and to enjoy all of the blessings in our lives.

When I was a little girl, there was a lot of sadness in the house I lived in. There were some happy moments but they were overshadowed by a film of dark haze that lingered in our home. I learned how to hide my happiness inside and learned how to bury laughter in my heart. I was truly afraid that I would never be able to be who I knew I was. As I got older, that part of myself burst out and the energy I felt was liberating. Every year of my life, this energy grows stronger but somewhere in my mind, that lingering film still follows me.

Whether it's a nightmare, something on TV, a conversation with my family, an old poem or song that I find--I am reminded of those times. But this year, the year where I become something greater than myself, I am choosing to not forget those times but to let them go. Let them disperse into the air and blow into the wind like leaves from the trees. My heart is bursting with love to give and shower upon my new adventure...

So in essence, this year doesn't have to be about something completely tangible--maybe you'd like to love yourself more or simply love others. Don't aim for something that has a definitive plan but something that you can work on for not only the whole year but the rest of your life. If we change the way we think and the way we see ourselves, we can change the world we live in.