There: In the Light and the Darkness of the Self and of the Other

This production is taken from Lebanese-American poet, Ethel Adnan. It is a composure of self reflection. It is cool-created by Blanka Zixka and Rosa Barba with original music, music direction, and sound design by Alex Dowling! I don’t want to call it a play by our understanding of what we think plays are to be. This is a production of mirrored reflection and light.

In light it always reveals. Light always illuminates our pathway. Shinning the light on ourselves and bringing together one another in the light is a daily task. What do we see? How we work with each other has a lot to do with the light that has been shown on us in particular situations. Mirroring what we think we know and learning to ask questions beyond the surface is important!

We can’t continue to stay in darkness and thus hold on to our grudges, or our “ways.” We must use the light that is inside of us to shine on to our fellow neighbors and ourselves to be better. “Are we borrowing the here and now and if so from whom?” You aren’t going to remember every piece of the poetry? You simply aren’t. You will be able to use it as discussion within yourself and amongst your circles. In the light of understanding is how we together can be more unified instead of holding on to our comfortable dark places. In light is also change.

You will love the stage. Set on a ramp you will see the actors and actresses asking and answering and figuring out what is this light and how it reflects to life. I was amazed at how fluidity they moved. How graceful they were. I came to learn that they had a movement coach that helped them to learn to maneuver well. You definitely saw the grace that was used.

I also was impressed to find out that this production was a labor of love that took some of the actors 4 years to bring to fruition! That is amazing! The rehearsals and the actors workshops showed the energy put into this beautiful piece.

I loved the simplicity but the depth of questions. I loved how it was about entertaining but for reflection. I loved how peaceful it felt being in the theatre and trying not to overthink but listen.

This is a must see! You will feel inspired and challenged.

You have an opportunity to see There as well as engage in conversation either with the actors themselves or a panel at every performance. I’ve been to the panels at Wilma Theatre and it’s been one of the most engaging principles that always helps to allow free thinking and free speech. I always leave with more clarity after each one!

Also we need more light in today’s culture of misunderstandings and pain. If we learned to shine the light in these dark corners we might be able to get along a lot better and truly be unified!

Do yourself a favor and check out There before it ends September 22nd! You can get your tickets here! Bring a friend and leave inspired!

Thank you to Wilma Theatre for having me! Thank you to the amazing cast, directors, ensemble, and production team who made this play a beautiful reflective piece!

Also the Wilma Theatre had such a beautiful opening reception!

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Monday Motivation: How many times?

Mondays are Mondays. It’s time to reset for another week. How do you reset when you feel like you’re in constant failure mode?! It’s frustrating. You know you are supposed to keep moving but that’s easier said than done.

Failed plans feel personal. They feel like the control you were supposed to have slipped. It can be traumatic. Think about the kids in high school as they graduate. All of their friends are off to college and if you as a student didn’t get into college, had a hard time adjusting to the requirements of college, etc. it feels like everyone is passing you by!

No one wants to fail! We all want to succeed. It’s the pathway to success that brings about all kinds of emotions and trials! Waking up and feeling the pain of your failure is sometimes debilitating. This is why some people walk with the look of defeat in their face. It’s tragic but it doesn’t have to be the end of your story. If you allow it to be it can take over any potential you have inside of you. It’s waiting for you to get pass this moment to produce your greatest accomplishments. You are prolonging your next steps.

One of the things you can do to get pass that pit in your stomach of the “I’ve blown it” moment is to accept the failure. Trying to act like it didn’t happen makes it hard to work through. Own it!! It’s your story and it’s only a chapter! It’s up to you how many chapters it gets! How long will the sting last? You don’t have to beat yourself up daily. Nothing will change what you did, what you loss, who left, or how much it cost but you can learn from it. You can grow from it. You can move pass it. You can change your own narrative.

Today it’s okay to feel bummed out about failure just don’t let it control you to the point where you can’t get up and shake yourself!!

Pick yourself up and try! You got this!!

Sunday Message and Day 7 of Self Care September Challenge

I’m hoping you are taking the Self Care September journey with me. That doesn’t mean you need to start a blog and write about it if you don’t want to but maybe you can create a journal. I use my notes function on my phone during the day to write down how I’m feeling. It helps me to sort out of any issues that arises. It also helps me to remember what happened when I revisit an issue later.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I had a headache but that didn’t come until after my run. I did the PHL5K that was sponsored by American Airlines and Philadelphia International Airport. It helped raise money for Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia and the Eastwick Friends and Family Coalition. I was honored to have run knowing the run was helping in amazing causes.

Habitat for Humanity helps families who might not have the opportunity to become home owners and provides them with an affordable home option. Having the home owner assist in its build helps them appreciate all that went into the home as they take on the responsibilities. It takes financial backing to provide such a mess to the communities it services and I’m glad this run provided it!

Me with the Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia team

I got up at 530 so I could gather everything needed. Thanks to my husband aka my run husband for being there with me. He doesn’t do any of the running but he acts as a coach, motivator, post snack getter, driver and photographer. I appreciate him getting up in the morning as early as we did to be there.

We did a Zumba work out and before we knew it the run began! I finished in 36 minutes and 3 seconds. While running I couldn’t keep my time. It’s the new Fitbit but I was good with the time I ran it. This is my first of this run season and I will do about 1-2 each month until Christmas!

Sunday Message

I’ve been in many times with people who wanted a private relationship but wanted to publicly distance themselves from me. I mean this from all forms of relationships not just romantic. It taught me that one anyone who has done it we’re definitely talking about me to certain groups. They didn’t want the group to know that they were good with me because in revealing that the group would be aware of not only the things the person hanging out with me said but they would be liable for what they said as well.

I think in my journey of friendships and relationships it’s been the one thing that has hurt me. I already struggle with being close to people and to know that I’m friends or in relationship with someone who doesn’t honor that relationship in all arenas is hurtful! It’s mean and it’s isn’t right. Some have asked why I no longer entertain people who are like that? My question is what is the value? None. It’s one thing to go along and not know. Once it’s revealed I have no value in being in connection with others who don’t value me. I’m not here to help wrong people feel better in their wrong. It’s not my job.

How do you get past?

You remember the value of your friendship. If there is something that the one who devalues you have brought up that you can do better with then do it. That doesn’t mean I have to sit under their table to do so. I don’t allow those types of folks into our home. My husband and I are super clear on that. Our home should be full of peace and love and anything or anyone who disturbs it won’t be in our home.

It’s a beautiful thing to be in company with those who have the same core values. This is why you don’t link in business with folks that speak unity in public but do everything but. In the blogging world I’ve seen some cut throat things. You will have folks ask you how did you get what you get not because they want to know and learn but I’ve had some bold one say “I don’t deserve…” I stop them real quick and remind them they aren’t my checker and they don’t get to determine my value. I’ve seen folks post unity and then turn around and dis-include those who don’t look like them. One thing I know even being as old as I am karma knows your true intentions and she doesn’t miss in how she handles me and anyone else for that matter.

So your mission is to be yourself. Your mission is to treat others with respect. Your mission isn’t to get everyone to like you, support you, or be there in the bad times. Your mission is to be who you say you are at all times and be the best version of yourself. If you find the private friends, disengage with them. That energy is draining you so they can leave you empty while they attempt to knock you off your game. Never let them see you sweat but sometimes work twice as hard so when they come with the “how you get here” question you can just smile and say hard work!

Happy Sunday but weed off them private sleuths you don’t need them. If they can’t celebrate you publicly let them go. Watch for the ones who don’t clap at your success trust me that’s all you need to know in how you move forward!

Day 3 of Self Care September

Like I said I’m giving you a daily blog showcasing my day. I had someone send me a message asking why is the day delayed. It’s delayed so I give you the full day. I thought that was clear but apparently it wasn’t! So each day will be blogged the next day to give a full day! I hope that makes it clear!

Any who! Yesterday was my niece’s first day of preschool. Making sure she was already to go was everything. Right now I’m helping my sister navigate through her health! With that in mind it was so special to watch my niece run off and start her day. I also had to get my own kids ready for their first day which I’ll talk about tomorrow.

Shout out to @natural.not.nappy who always gets my oldest hair slayed and ready for 5th grade! Also it wasn’t even just about getting her hair done it was great to be able to just vent and speak openly about what’s been happening these days! Also it’s never too early for adult juice! Thank you girl and (her husband K) for that compression moment!

Let me also mention I had a run in with someone who I had a run in years ago. However I felt the first time I had words I allowed them to step a line and this time it was a straight nope!! There will be no habitual line stepping this time around. I’m all for being accountable for my actions but I can be accountable and still speak authentically to people. I think I have tried to tone down my “get back” so far to not go off on folks that I’ve allowed folks too much leverage! Balance is key so there’s going to be pop off moments and moments of calm.

Next up it was time for my son to get his cut. He was so ready and excited!

It was a busy day! Between my niece, my kids hair and back to the hospital to visit my twin I’m surprised I didn’t fall asleep right away! I ended up going to bed late because as a mom I had to label supplies, clean up, eat my own dinner separately, clean the house and I decided to relax by finding a new series on Netflix. I wanted to work out but I will take care of that today!

I had so many moments of frustration but trying to mask it until I had some quiet time to deal with it. I took note of every time I couldn’t let something go. I kept track of every time I found my voice escalating. I wanted to be clear that I didn’t just want to just get through the day but deal with my feelings. Even in the two disagreements (yup another one closer to the evening) I wanted to be sure that I understood what was my role and why. What did I want to get accomplished? I made a list while I watched Styling Hollywood!

So highs and lows and more understanding while I go through daily triggers. I’m hoping to be more aware of them to address them before they become an issue.

Also aren’t these cookies for our kids teacher gifts cute? Made by crystals_creations_!

Tuesday-Monday Motivation!

Today is the Monday after Labor Day! Most kids are back to school today! Blessings for an amazing year! My kids have later this week to go back! With that in mind traffic is a mess, folks have bad attitudes, the rudeness is at an all time high!

Take a deep breath. I’ve already had to do that this morning. Learning to maintain my cool regardless of others is a skill set. If you find you are failing it most days or moments than it’s up to you to work at it. One way is to be proactive and not reactive. This means compensate for others lack. It’s annoying but necessary. I do this often so when the time comes to turn up with a person I can do it for the right reasons.

Be prepared. You already know how the morning will be. Prepare for it! Make sure you all have things together to take the edge off of your day! The days that I’m the most unprepared is when I draw in more crazy. Cut some of it out by doing your part!

Take mental breaks. I sometimes can zone out but you can do it for a purpose. Sometimes I have take a moment to not go off or be in an aggressive state. It helps me to be able to bring myself back into subjection! It’s worth it trust me! Sometimes folks and things don’t be worth the drama.

Whatever you need today be clear in how to get it. If you are bummed out find out your why and ask yourself what do you really need to happen. Sometimes unrealistic expectations is the cause of some of the issues! Being aligned with what should or could happen can help push you through to where you really need to be!

Crush your day! Yes long weekends even if you didn’t have any thing on your plate is hard to come back to reality! However if you reset your mind you can make it through any challenge! Go and make your day that much better even if it started on the wrong foot…..

Monday: Life Hits Hard

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had an issue with triggers or depression. I’ve been able to do whatever I’ve needed to do to push through. I’m grateful! But on Sunday I had a moment hit me before an event that made me have to reset a million and one times.

The reason for me speaking openly about it is because I know I’m not the only one. I have moments when something will remind me of something in my past, a frustrating moment and it’s debilitating. It stops me from being a doting mom and forget me being a wife in that moment. As supportive as my husband is the reality is that it’s a lonely experience. He’s never going to understand it. There isn’t enough love to love me out of it sometimes! It’s sounds harsh but it’s true! It’s not something that a cup of coffee or glass of wine will fix! I experience so many mixed emotions during a bad trigger and it makes me in the moment feel extremely weak. People think that if you’re a person who experiences these lows that you can just snap out of it and that’s not the case. I’ve had people see me in these moments who have sat and discussed it. I’ve had friends of my husband know more about it than I would ever have shared outside of the blog. I’ve isolated myself from my family and friends because it feels like the most horrible feeling of being someone who can see it creep up and not be able to pull back!

I’m not alone. Anxiety and depression has many people who recognizes it’s ugliness. You feel isolated because if and when you are in a trigger you can’t formulate what you feel to someone who isn’t trained. Most times it comes with ridicule and no answers. I had that moment. I know what works for me in those moments. Sometimes retreating helps. Even in those moments it’s lonely! It’s feels angry and uncomfortable and uncontrollable! I dislike it even though I’m in a better place to push myself out of it! I’ve coped with it and extremely honest these days about it!

As someone who is a creator my mind doesn’t work like most! My mind has a thousand one creative flows. It’s a blessing and a curse. This is what I do when I get in it!

I get quiet. I may even been irritable. People don’t understand that irritability is a sign of anxiety and depression! I also sometimes in an extreme flare may need to retreat. It’s uncommon for people who have a blog, 3 kids and other responsibilities to be able to retreat but without the ability to do it I can’t manage. In those quiet moments it’s probably the hardest. I feel like I should be in a better place to have to pull back! I should be able to act like I’m fine but nope it’s okay to not be okay. I find it disheartening to hear people talk about others fighting as if just because their fight is different it’s less honorable than them. We ALL got issues.

I showed up for myself regardless! It’s how I come out! I used to spend days inside of a trigger and now I can have it flare from a few minutes to a few hours. I do everything I can to come out! If music doesn’t work, podcasts might, prayer might, a good movie might, a nap might, writing why I’m grateful might! Whatever it takes reset yourself! Reset yourself even if you are feeling alone. Reset yourself even when it hurts! Reset yourself even when you don’t feel like you are going to come out because you will!

This Monday is dedicated to those who suffer in silence. It’s dedicated to those who suffer and are worried about the ones telling you to get over it and it may not be easy to do! It may hurt! It may be stressful! Whatever it is show up! Show up and do everything you can to reset! I promise you I understand and if I could would give you the biggest hug, high five, whatever it takes to let you know I don’t judge you! Take Monday and any day you have this feeling and shake it until it falls!

I’m grateful to push through!

Sunday Message: Self Care Must Haves

I’m noticing that with all the crazy that life throws and the way this world is the only solace is making your own! You can’t get through this life without finding your own peace! If you think you can conquer bad days, depression, bad moods, crazy co workers, hectic lifestyles, or family without a self care plan something is wrong!

You need as much time to gather your thoughts as possible! As much as you would say you don’t have time or you don’t like to put in time for yourself if you don’t it will cost you! I know we live in making every second count but a few of those seconds have to be put back into your own self maintenance! How you build yourself up matters!

Here are my self care must haves! They change as my immediate needs changes. I’m the type that can enjoy an amazing dish, a magazine, a facial, flowers, whatever it takes to get in zen!

Physical activity

This is one is my go tos! Sometimes the stress is laid down on the ground as I run! I pray while I run! I sort my life out when I run! I cry when I run! Sometimes the tears or for the push of it all or often times it’s just the good cleansing tears that I need to help my soul release a few things! Sometimes running is about releasing anger or tension. Either way it’s self care! It’s therapy! It’s life!

A walk outside

Different from a run it’s just to get a little fresh air or a little sun! Being outside even for a little bit of time is refreshing. I do it often if at work to get away from coworkers or to gather my thoughts so I can go back in and perform! Either way I enjoy being outside! It’s great to people watch. I sometimes read my book. I write in my journal! I might walk and grab my favorite beverage instead of driving! Its a way to bring a few minutes of calm and breaks up my day!

Special Beverage or Dish

Having a great relationship with food has allowed me to enjoy them as self care. Sometimes a trip to my favorite coffee shop is great. Sometimes a new recipe or treat I’ve seen on social media does it too. Social media isn’t all bad! It’s a great place to see new dishes I haven’t yet tried! Once or twice a month I grab one of those dishes and it feels good. It’s warm! It’s welcoming! It’s peace and feels good to my belly!

Flowers

I love them! I try to get them weekly! I think they are the best! I went to the sunflower patch yesterday and my whole day was made. However I just got flowers a few days before so I’m starting my weeks off right! Instead of waiting for my husband to get them (and he does sometimes) getting them for me makes me feel special! They make me feel warm! They put a smile on my face. They make me glow! They are beautiful. They smell great!

A Nap

I don’t get one often but I had the best nap last Sunday and it did my week well! I felt energized! I wasn’t sleepy for the rest of the week! I didn’t have guilt about what didn’t get done! I didn’t care about a long list of to do! I just wanted to rest. I needed to rest. My body needed to replenish! Sometimes a little rest can solve a lot. It might not pay the bills but it can help to pay the bills if you’re rested! Don’t be afraid to get some rest!

Book or Magazine

I don’t always get that sit down and read moment but every time I can I take it! I keep a book in my purse at all times! This way I can read when the moment comes! I can enjoy and get lost in another world! Books make you forget about your world even for a second! I am planning on a magazine catch up! This is when I pour me something to drink (doesn’t always mean adult drinks) and read the magazines that has piled up!

15 minute Reset

As much as I love going to a spa or a massage! I also know the way my life is set up that isn’t always achievable! Sometimes a 15 minute reset where I literally get myself together is all that I have! I hear all the time how do I do it all? And I live by my 15 minute resets! I do whatever is necessary and time it! I know that within those 15 minutes life is going to happen! However 15 minutes gathers me and I take it! 15 minute isn’t a lot of time but it is enough to help me realign! It’s like an adult time out! It works for kids and more adults need to take it too!

Fun places

I love that with blogging I get invited to some pretty amazing places. I love it! I often go to these places again on my own and sometimes on my own meaning no other adult interaction because I love solitude! Now it’s important to note that when I get to these fun places that there are others there but sometimes not taking another adult with me is necessary too! So I intentionally go back to blog places to experience them outside of a blog moment!

Self Care is necessary on all fronts! I talk about it often! That’s not going to change any time soon. Why? We all need it. It doesn’t matter what lifestyle you have you need self care! So today is the perfect excuse to practice it! It should be something you do daily! Finding your center and peace even when all Hell is breaking loose is necessary!! So what will you do today? Do it well! Happy Sunday!!