Monday Motivation: Gather Yourself

So today I did my normal wake up in a great mode. Put on music. Wake the kids with love and a healthy dose of sarcasm while declaring a great day.  All of my intentions were in the right place, but the way life is set up….

close up of drink served on white surface

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I really almost took a mental health day. The type of day when you say oh well and you get into the bed and act like the day isn’t in full swing. These days are super necessary when you really need them. However with all that I had on my plate I had to take a few minutes to gather myself. Stop and pray, control my mouth, retract my thoughts….and still the day went left. I would love to tell you that the day just got better but it hasn’t… fully.  Will it? I am not sure it matters. It wasn’t in the gathering of myself that was going to make the day great, it was just in the press. When you attempt to keep your mind clear and your heart pure it seems as if life will just cooperate.  That  is false advertisement. Things go left and that is what it does.  We live another moment to change our perspective and make things right!

woman standing by closed shutter door

Photo by Thiago Matos on Pexels.com

Today and any other day I am still responsible for my thought patterns and my responses no matter what is going on around me. That little nugget is for those who say well my day sucks so I…. SO you what? You can spew negativity onto the world due to your disposition? NOPE. SO you can make those around you miserable? NOPE. SO you can go to work dumping your nasty attitude on others? NOPE.  You are supposed to remain in control of you at all times even when the traffic is backed up, your coffee was made with milk instead of almond work, and you get to work almost an hour late like I did. You have to remain in control with the ones in your home push indirectly their issues onto you. You have to gather yourself. I didn’t have to gather my words this morning in my house because I got to a corner, prayed, and realigned myself.  I know we all have bad Mondays but that Monday blues can be worked out. You can gather and reset in the midst of total chaos.

So if your day looks like mine did-there is hope. It doesn’t mean that gathering yourself will bring bountiful blessings in that immediate moment but you also don’t have to bring chaos to those around you until your day levels out.  Will it level out? Eventually but you can either delay that blessing with bad attitudes, bad responses, and spewing negativity on others while you wait without pressing. Press because that’s what adults do. Press because you owe it to yourself to not waste another minute on this Earth in a negative mindset. You owe yourself all the love and peace you can surround with!

I can happily report that the coffee chain that messed up my order refunded me almost double what I paid….the day is picking up and I hope yours is too! Lets do this Monday!

Advertisements

Sunday Message: Get Some Discernment

Discernment is the ability to see and hear beyond what people do and say. Discernment is necessary in dealing with others. It’s the link behind knowing when to walk away, leave a situation, proceed, or caution yourself. It’s like having the answer within you.

Discernment is the principle in making and living in healthy relationships, knowing when to make a business venture, or if you should continue in whatever goals you have on your plate. When you lack discernment often times you end up in situations that could have been avoided but it’s like you missed major cues. This is why you need it. The time and energy you save having discernment is necessary in life.

It’s like a compass and an alarm. I listen more when people talk. Discernment will slow their words down and reveal their true intentions if and only you slow yourself down to tap in. An example I was with a friend who I thought was a friend I should say. That friend suggested that we attend an event. As I listened more that friend suggested we “bump” into another friend. Had I not been listening I would have ran into an altercation. Something on the inside allowed me to not ignore the warning signs. That “friend” wanted me to help them ambush someone they were having an issue with.

Not that I couldn’t be a wingman, the issue was bigger than that. This “friend” didn’t even value me in that moment. They needed me to fight and didn’t even have sense to warn me before hand. FYI that “friend” became an immediate associate and ended up getting in trouble behind the situation. She went on pure emotions and had I been there I would have gotten in trouble too. And the higher issue had to do with a man and that I was getting cues when she kept talking but wouldn’t pinpoint why she was mad to begin with.

Discernment saved me from a situation that I might have even been blamed fully on since the non friend wasn’t the most loyal person to begin with. I attempted to use my discernment to warn the non friend but she wasn’t in the place to hear. Keep in mind you can miss cues when you’re not aligned to hear the message.

If you lack discernment, it’s in you. It’s around you. It’s within your grasp. You have to clear out some of the clutter of your mind and heart. I know people who can see other people’s issues but can’t see their own. It’s possible to live like that however discernment is mostly for you. It’s your life guide in this world. It’s the voice of reason and halt. Get you some discernment! There’s not a place that discernment can’t be applied.

Monday Motivation: Light a Fire

Light a fire today. Never let others control your outcome. We do too much complaining about things that aren’t right and not enough making moves. You don’t like your job? Light a fire……under you. Not the job! Get a new one. Have a plan. When you tired it shows in your actions. You light a fire and make things happen.

heart shaped candle

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You don’t like your weight? Light a fire. Don’t sit around talking bad to yourself. Get up and use that idle time to work out. I used to work out to Khloe Kardashian’s “Revenge Body.”  This was after dropping weight. Sometimes I would listen with my ear phones on but it motivated me to move more. It motivated to see the reasons why I gained the weight and work on the inside out. I no longer sit talking about my arms is getting big, I light the fire and work on them. If my thigh or any other part of my body is bothering me I get to work on them.

You don’t like your relationship? Work on you actively and in addition suggest couples counseling while you get personal counseling. He/she unwilling to attend, you have your answer. Faith without works is dead you can’t simply pray good behavior into another individual. Either love is worth fighting for the right way or it has to be set aside. I fail to believe that all this living to be done is meant to be spent arguing and being miserable with an individual who doesn’t mean you well.

firetwo8

I know the number one issue with lighting a fire is depression. That is why things like bad jobs, weight, relationships, and goals seem hard to achieve because you have allowed your mindset to take over. Your mind has made a nest of negativity and you don’t have the mental strength to move. Well your first light of fire needs to be a certified counselor or therapist. It will be hard. I hate when people paint happy pictures of people attending therapy. But all that bad has to come out. Often times you leave hurt. You leave empty. Its a process, but one that is worth the journey. What do you have to lose? Everything-like a fire!

Whatever you need today, light a fire. Get up off of your do nothing and take a few steps. Make a few calls. Send out a few hundred resumes but get the fire started. Every day you should be doing something to ignite fire in your life and in your soul. So light up the gifts inside of you, work on you, and make life happen. The only excuse you have is you. So stop making them. Get back into life and light a fire in your soul to make life beautiful!

Monday Motivation: She is me I am she…

Remember when Beyoncé first left Destiny’s Child and she had her alter ego named Sasha Fierce. She would reference her in that she was shy outside of performing. I think a lot of us adopted the whole alter ego, mine was Natasha.

Natasha was also an alias I used in my single days when I didn’t feel like being bothered. This was back in the day when you could curve a dude and he would just eat it. Now a days when are forced to give their rightful numbers to avoid the male ego and avoid being harmed. Men we need you to go back to the days of being okay of being curved. Women I think are getting better at attempting to be authentic too. I know men read my blogs I am not putting it all on you.

Back to Natasha, as I gotten a little older I still refer to Natasha but I realize that she is me and I am her. She is a part of me. She isn’t this imaginary alter ego that I use to be more bold. Natasha and I are one. We are both bold and quiet. We are both able to speak into the universe what we need and get it. We can read a book and turn up with a quick twerk. We both love book stores and the occasional club scene. We both know how to act in corporate America and we can respectfully fall in line in any small company atmosphere. We can be healthy and have splurges. We can be homebodies as well as out and about. We can want solitude and be okay in a crowd. We use alter egos to do the things that we are to shy to achieve not realizing that if we can call on the alter ego which is us, it was in us to do so. We can ask for a raise from that job because we have done the work. We can ask for someone’s number because we are dope individuals and want someone on our page.

We can make moves in our lives because Natasha is us and we are her. We both combined are awesome. Being older I hear from women older than me telling me not to hold back. If something is no longer serving its purpose in my life, get rid of it. Don’t wait until you are 50 to make your own choices. There is too much love and light on this Earth to allow life to simply happen to you. Regardless if you name your alter ego or not is neither here nor there. We ALL have multiple sides to us. It’s learning to allow you to fold and evolve. It’s a beautiful thing to see yourself in the mirror when you accept yourself with all the flaws and messiness you are.

woman sitting on chair beside mirror

Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com

  • Say NO more
  • Say YES more
  • Eliminate waste in all areas of your life
  • Link with other dope individuals
  • Smile More
  • Cry when necessary
  • It’s okay not to know the answer
  • It’s okay not to have it together
  • Compare yourself to you and no one else

Whatever you need your alter ego for, combine her/him with who you are and shine. Together you are all you need. Be great today!

 

“Dionysus was Such a Nice Man” by Kate Tarker; Directed by Dominique Serrand

This is a story about family dysfunction and personal trauma. With that being said let me go ahead and give a small disclaimer that some may find some of the scenes to be off base and hurtful. The play although it discusses serious topics does it in a way using humor as a way to help with self- reflection. The “same muscle used to cry is the same to help you laugh.”  It’s about a family of shepherds who live in the suburbs of Corinth learns that their adopted son Oedipus has become the King of Thebes.  The winds and turns that the story takes the audience  is definitely one for all to see.

Taking one part Greek mythology and snatching stories from current events, this production is definite at the top of must see. I laughed so hard. I know there were parts that were serious and I caught it but I laughed. It wasn’t about making light of personal trauma but seeing the audience get uncomfortable was a good thing. Sometimes we need to get uncomfortable about the events in our past that we shove under a rug, disregard, or even dismiss. From the did it happen to was it my fault are all real emotions that are explored in this play. I loved that instead of being direct it was overt in a way that you couldn’t miss the theme but you had to ask questions and pay attention.  It is also about dealing with your personal demons. The ones we want to blame others (gods). The things that we take part in, allow, are OUR fault. Self-reflection is a personal job. You can damage those around you by reckless behavior.  Be willing not only to accept but change it.

play bill

One of the best part of the night was listening to others talk about what they were seeing during intermission. I love to hear other people’s perception. Most people got it. I also loved how towards the end they had a chat with the actual actors. It was refreshing to hear their take on what they performed. I think a lot of plays should include these types of talks. This production was heavy at points but light enough not to feel burdened when you leave. The actors answered all the questions that we had. I also loved how they didn’t sugar coat the difficult parts even when one patron was so moved to leave. It’s okay to disagree. Everyone’s take isn’t going to mesh with another all the time. However the vibe was completely respectful and we can take a cue in our lives especially on social media in that regard.

bar

So my overall take is please go and see this. It will make for a wonderful evening. Be ready to think, reflect, and laugh. This was my first time at Wilma Theatre and its visually stunning. It has all that you need. A full café, bar, and ample seating on the inside as well as seating on the outside. No need to stand around you can come get comfortable and enjoy the show. Staff was amazing from will call to the ushers. I had a pleasant time and I can’t wait to go back.

“Dionysus was Such a Nice Man” will be showing until May 12. Kudos to the Director, Dominique Serrand as well as the Writer, Kate Tarker. All of the actors outdid themselves. They definitely brought the vision to light. Thank you for the chat at the end as well as the pics. I wish not only this production but your future projects continued blessings!!!

play cast.jpg

To see the show for yourself, please use this link to do so.

For more information on future shows or any other information for Wilma Theatre

 

Flavors on the Avenue: East Passyunk Food Festival

I love to eat. Don’t we all?! Since going vegan people assume that I eat lettuce and grass and that’s far from the truth. Not only have I tried new dishes, I’ve been grateful for some super amazing dishes. With that in mind I was invited to attend the East Passyunk Food Festival and was blown away.

My original plan was to attend the festival with my whole family. We got ready and was about to head out until we discovered the rain. Now to avoid the pitfall that I used to fall into where if plans changed I would just stay home; I attended the festival alone. Now this may sound crazy but great moms would understand, it made for an amazing me time adventure. No sharing, open walking, food, wine and peace!

So a food festival is all about great food, local music, great drinks as well as local artist who sell amazing finds. I was concerned initially about if I would find some good foods to match my palette and let me answer how of course there were some non vegan and vegan options.

I walked the whole length of the festival which by the way spanned several blocks to be clear on what I wanted. I was like a kid who kept getting all giddy with every food option. Walking it would help to fine tune my options and develop a plan of attack. My first stop was at The Bottle Shop. They had me a boozy pops. Starting my Sunday funday with a strawberry rosé boozy pop let me further know how the day would end. How if you like adult drinks, couldn’t find happiness in reliving a childhood favorite with a twist?!

I purchase flowers weekly for myself. To my excitement Creations by Coppola had amazing bouquets on display. It caught my attention so I had to venture over! Beautiful colors and amazing options!

Definitely check them out if you’re in the area!

I knew off the bat I had to stop at Punk Burger. They are known for amazing burgers and that includes the Impossible burger as well as other vegan options. If you follow me you remember me talking about their Girl Scouts inspired milkshakes they offered as a fund raiser for Eastern PA Girl Scouts. They had several sliders available and I had the portobello mushroom barbecue slider. If they wouldn’t have told me it wasn’t pulled pork I might not have known. It was delicious.

My next stop was none other than Barcelona Wine Bar. The title alone should let you know why. It’s no secret that although I don’t drink daily, I love wine. I love an ambiance while drinking wine as well. Barcelona Wine Bar gave me both. Shout out to Joe and Claire who made my dining experience wonderful. The second I identified that I was vegan they took the time to circle the menu and what would be appropriate. They also directed me according to my wine preferences were and made me feel super welcomed.

They not only had some amazing treats for those at at the Flavors of the Avenues, they also have amazing brunch menu. I decided to go in and have a sit down meal. When I walked in I saw a make your own mimosa bar. A full mimosa bar couldn’t be turned down and I’m always about respecting house rules so I had to indulge. Super chic and super good, make your way to Barcelona Wine Bar on that alone.

As far as wines they have a great selection of wines that you can get from 3oz selections and up. I elected to keep the Rosé theme going and I wasn’t disappointed. Also at the suggestion of my servers Joe and Claire I tried the Spinach and Chickpea Cazuela. It was filling and amazing! Oh and because I am a woman with many roles to fill in my life I was able to scout out a few things while there. It’s kid friendly although I would be the type to leave my kids home and elect to go out with my husband or girlfriends. I am seriously considering making my birthday dinner here in a few days. It was that nice of an option. Oh they also have outdoor seating. It’s important to me to have locations that are versatile in those respect!

Last but certainly not least I made my final stop to Lokal Artisan Foods. This is the must stop for French toast bites. I visited them during the Christmas Village and have been hooked ever since. Oh and they have vegan options too! I’ve always had issues eating French toast growing up. If it was the only option I would just elect out. They are the ONLY place where I not only enjoy but get sheer excitement when it comes to anything French toast inspired. I remember telling my mom would I had some during the Christmas holiday how it would make a believer out of her.

I’m super grateful that I didn’t allow the onset of rain to deter me. It turned out to be more than I could expect. I left full like the top of food where the event ended up being my breakfast and I didn’t eat again until dinner type full.

This was a family friendly event and even an event that several people brought their four legged friends! Not one time was the crowd so overwhelming that me anxiety kicked in. It was the perfect blend of socialization, food, and fun!

I’m hoping next time I give a suggestion on getting out in Philly you will take my word for it. Sunday funday was full of amazing food. Passyunk has some amazing finds from goods to foods. You might surprise yourself. Get out and get to eating!

Untitled; by Inua Ellams

No you’re not seeing a typo. Untitled is the name of the play. I love attending any production by Inis Nua because any time I am there, everyone and I mean everyone treats me with love and a sense of family. In addition it’s always great to see amazing talent bear their souls before an audience.

Untitled is a monologue about Nigerian twin brothers (played by Keith Illidge) born on Nigeria Independence Day. During their naming ritual one twin hollers out so much that after several attempts, he is unable to be named. A naming ceremony is almost in parts similar to that of a baby being christened in western culture. Names have meanings. Giving your child a name that evokes purpose is important. Having the twin not being named questions the twins’ purpose. Thus the plight begins.

It’s easy to have two separate actors play off of one another’s emotions to convey a message. It’s even harder to play two parts by the same actor that require different sets of emotion. Without giving you too much information, the twins are being raised in 2 different homes. As a twin myself I would find it hard to portray myself as well as my twin and keep the two different emotions straight without overlapping which twin is to be played by whom.

I definitely saw so much pose in Keith Illidge’s acting. I honestly think monologues help you to see the actor’s range. Untitled was engaging not just because it was written so well but because Keith single handily brought the story to life. I was engaged and the set was super alluring. FYI if you attend and you must, don’t be shy. Sit in the front. Be prepared to watch as Keith effortlessly brings the audience in as if they had rehearsed it all along. Right from the start of the show I saw the audience holding back from answering questions as Keith was performing. Keith was the teacher in a way except there weren’t students hiding from being seen. Keith’s energy pulled you in from the beginning until the end.

I like to listen to the responses at the end. I usually sit and wait as people exit. I heard most of the responses of wanting more. I also heard someone mention how incredible the set was. The set was truly amazing. Kudos to production for making the details matter.

Overall you really are doing yourself a favor by going on the Link and getting tickets for you and bringing a few friends. You don’t want to miss the opportunity as this production will last until May 12th.

While watching Untitled ask yourself the question of can your future be determined by your past, your upbringing and/or traditions alone?! Untitled is a thinking piece.

Also a special treat Inis Nua also has the work of Yemisi Ajayi, Nigerian textile artist that can be viewed before or after the show in the lobby!

Special shout out to the sponsors, production staff, playwright Inua Ellams, Honorary Producer, Louis Bluver, and Director Jerrell Henderson. I also want to shout out for the opening night spread provided by Amis Trattoria and Powers; the official whiskey of Inis Nua. I have to admit the whiskey and the food was phenomenal.