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.

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Ask Toi: My Estranged parents keep asking me to move my vow renewal date. How do I just stick to my date?

The reader for today is already married and is having a vow renewal. She has changed the date several times and the parents have made reasons to move the date…..

Well you’re estranged for a reason. That reason isn’t a push to keep your date but you should consider the why. When it comes to dates for major events I can see why you attempted to accommodate them. They are your parents. However people will attend that want to attend. If there asking to move the date isn’t about something life threatening I would sit down with your husband and pick a date and stick to it.

Depending on the vendors you can’t move it once selected. Since you are married you and your husband need to choose and unfortunately those who can be there will. As much as you want to make sure they are there the reasons that you gave that they asked you to move don’t seem valid.

Moving the date to accommodate treatment for life saving measures, someone else in the family has already secured the date, or it’s not a date you do not want are reasons to change.

You said your estranged parents want to relax on a date you have given to me to not sound justified. I don’t know the full extent of your relationship but most parents will be at their child’s wedding or vow renewal. If you have changed it and you say they just didn’t like the date, you need to go ahead select a date and move forward.

If you aren’t able to say this is our date start out with reminding them you changed it several times to accommodate them and it isn’t working. Keep in mind you could just send the invite and go from there. You are married and although you want them there it isn’t required and it doesn’t reverse the marriage you are already in.

There could be a number of reasons as to why they are avoiding the date. You can ask. Hopefully they will be forthcoming. Talk from that point. It’s unfortunate that you have this going on but know within yourself you have tried. Make your plans and enjoy the process of getting the wedding you didn’t have a chance in the beginning. Unless they are offering to pay they at this point of numerous accommodations need to attend and be supportive. I was always taught he who has the gold makes the rules. Since you and your husband are paying for it in full, speak to him and make the day about you and his love. Hopefully your parents shake their excuses and be apart or they will have to continue the estranged behavior and you can tackle the real issues outside of this renewal/celebration.

Try to get them to separate the issues before the renewal celebration from the actual day.

Good luck!

Chapter 38: Birthday Message

I’m so grateful to see my 38th year! What an honor it is. A lot of people didn’t wake up today and for that I am grateful! It’s the final day of Toibration!! My personal new year to reset and refocus!!

I’ve learned a lot about myself. My goal is to be more accepting of my life. I want to love me to the moon and back. I want to exude confidence and strength that looks past physical barriers or emotional struggles. Let’s be honest, we all have them. There are days when I wake up smiling and eager but there are other times where anxiety or just life awaits and it’s hard to push through. If I could wake up, and try I’m half way there.

I’m going to be honest I probably hear more negativity from my own voice and thoughts. Often times I judge myself harshly. You add comparison and the world and it can lead to a downward spiral. This year I have proven to master myself more. Everyday through self-care I push! I’m not going to stop working hard on my body, and mind. I’m going to keep working out even when I hear people judge every part of what they think I should be. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be like the miserable folks who sit and point from a miserable heart. I have to be sure my heart is right and I have the right response.

Relationships

I am going to make a lot of changes in how I allow others around me to move at my expense. I’ve cut back on half the things I’ve done for others because I’ve learned it’s okay to put my needs first. It’s okay to make sure my cup is full! I have learned it’s okay but to end bad vibes and people with bad intentions. I also put into perspective how I nurture those around me.

Also shout out to Marques! Another year of loving. Another year of patience! It’s been a whirlwind! I pray more strength to stand by one another!

We have had a great year filled with highs and some unforeseen lows. I’ve wondered how we were going to push through. I’ve questioned the paths we have taken but not your loyalty. I know that when I dig under your skin you still have remained vigilant in keeping the promise you made me in the car in the driveway a few years ago to work through. You took hits for me that I couldn’t!

Twin Power

I didn’t come into this word alone. My twin Tierra means the world to me. She is my first friend. Contrary to sound belief I am going to always be in her corner. If you see us fighting or arguing don’t jump in because we are liable to start fighting you! We are close. We speak daily. I am aware of most things in her life. There’s nothing that could separate that love!

Happy birthday twin!

Blog Love

Between TCP and my this blog, life has opened up! I am grateful! I’ve stepped up and become consistent. With that it’s opened up doors that I never imagined. I prayed for days like this and to walk in it is humbling. I look forward to the many opportunities that are on the horizon. I’ve had some amazing adventures this year from theatre, the zoo, amazing food and drinks and everything else in between. Thank you to each and every reader! You make this worth it!

Lifestyle Changes

I’ve made amazing choices. I’ve become vegan and it’s working for me! I am continuing to work hard on my body and goals! I am more determined to keep pushing. I also am dedicated to running more races this year! So far 2 down and 4-5 more to go! I’m not stopping. It makes me happy! It keeps me calm and relieves stress!

Mom Life

My goal as a mom is to be solid. To give them what THEY need. I pray to be more calm. To be more understanding in this 38th year. I am soon to celebrate my oldest being 10! It’s a milestone. I love my children and it’s always a pleasure to be their mom. For every trinket I make for them and every memory we create, I feel like the blessing has been all mine. They bring me joy! I pray when they look back on their childhood it was about love, fun, lessons and peace!

So many goals this year to make happen! So many goals I’m actively crushing. No one is to say what will transpire but in these last few years of my 30s, I plan to dust myself and push harder and work smarter.

I promise to rest when necessary

I promise to schedule more days of magazine reading and podcast listening

I promise to continue buying my own flowers and practicing more self care

I promise to say no without explanation

I promise to work this body so it can continue to be there for me

Year 38 I see you. Some folks didn’t make it and won’t make it but I promise no matter the choices good or bad to stand in it!

Shout out to Go Vegan Philly for the amazing shoot cake pictured below that I almost ate before getting my shots. My favorite fruit is strawberry and that frosting was almost too much to handle!  Thank you for always delivering quality tasting food and having my taste buds on a 1000!!!! I’ve said it once and I will say it again-you can Go Vegan and have amazing taste. You like what I did there? So hit them up for all of your vegan goods! They are also selling items at Martindale’s Natural Market

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Happy Birthday to me!! Let’s do this!

 

Philly Zoo: WildWorks something to flip about…

I had an amazing time at the Philadelphia Zoo! I know I’m like a resident there, but today I zip lined at WildWorks, an interactive aerial adventure for all ages.

Yes from the little kids to the big kids aka adults, not one of us left with sad faces. 34 feet off the ground of pure exhilaration is what I experienced. If you have been following the blog you know that Philadelphia Zoo has had major change ups offering more than just cute animals in their habitats but a whole shake up of encouraging patrons to be fit all the way around.

From the new eateries such as the Urban Green to WildWorks, the Philadelphia Zoo keeps everyone towards a healthy lifestyle while you learn about the animals. In alignment with a fit lifestyle, Independence Blue Cross has partnered to bring WildWorks to life. I had the honor among other media outlets to attend the grand opening of the interactive aerial exhibit.

Dan Hilferty, CEO of Independence Blue Cross

The aerial interactive park, is a great time and will get you and the kids moving and excited. All we heard from everyone is squeals of laugher! You can visit the zoo, eat great food with amazing choices, walk and get your steps and have fun with family and friends and now with WildWorks you can experience an aerial play park that is nothing you have ever seen. It makes your zoo trip that much more meaningful and definitely an upgrade from your past zoo experience.

Ribbon cutting ceremony

WildWorks is available as a separate ticket. Zoo admission is not required. Pricing for the 20-25 minute activity ranges from $4.00 to $10.00. The Zoo is also offering an unlimited attractions pass per day for $18.00 to $20.00 each. For more information, pricing and tickets, visit, WildWorks

12 Chairs

We all know how mother and daughter relationship can be. They can be super beautiful or they can be tested. Most of us know what it’s like to have the dynamic tested. It’s almost at points of reteaching yourself when you have your own daughter. 12 Chairs by John O’Hara and directed by Carly L. Bodnar tugged on the heartstrings….

12 Chairs takes you through life with all of its highs and lows and what relationships mean. What sticks to you at the end of the day. Without giving you too much detail each chair represents different aspects of life. Each aspect has a lesson that builds upon themselves even when you’re paying attention. That’s how life works too. As you move through life thinking it just happens, if you’re not careful those closest to you hold invaluable lessons that you must listen in to push through! 12 Chairs is illustrated by Marcia Ferguson and Amanda Schoonover. They switch between parts fluidity. Both actresses are able to build upon one another in the most beautiful, painful, troubled, and empathic way. All of the emotions in each scene was powerful and thoughtful.

12 Chairs will make you reflect on your own journey. It forces you to ask intimate questions about those who revolve around you. Are you too busy? Too occupied? Too self consumed?

This show is ONLY until May 12 and it makes an amazing gift to share with your mother.

Oh and if you’re like me and you dislike parking, fret not you can find free parking by the murals on Buttonwood street! Can you say all excuses taken out so you can attend. Tickets starting at $18, free parking and a nearby brewery to snag some amazing eats is a definite good time!

Purchase tickets Here

FYI this weekend the show was sold out so get your tickets early so you won’t miss the journey!

Thank you to Juniper Productions for the invite. You’re hospitality was amazing! Thank you to Marcia and Amanda for an after play discussion. You are amazing actresses. Much success to your future endeavors!

Also shout out to Love City Brewing who provided some amazing beer for the after show reception. It was my first but definitely not my last.

Oh they had Haley Quinn Food Truck which had amazing selections. You know how I feel about food trucks.

Monday Motivation: Leech of the Past

Happy Monday! Another week is upon us. I know it’s easy to complain about how tired you may be or how unhappy you may feel if you’re feeling a little unmotivated. One is the best motivation killers is when you do a mental walk back and add the energy killer of comparison.

You allow your mind and events to do a movie reel playback of all the mistakes you made and blame your current place of life on its demise. It’s true to some extent that our mistakes do play a large part in a present but it doesn’t have to define it. The movie reel of events only has the power to deter you when you stay stagnant in the credit section. At some point you have to get up right? At some point you have to live right? At some point you can’t carry all the weight and expect to fly, right?!

The past although hard, messy, painful, hindering, or true has to be left in its proper place. I’ve seen people who like me were undeserving of their “new life” push through and when something wasn’t available they created it. You don’t have to be in the best of situations or have all the necessary resources or know all the key players of the game. You do have to be able to walk away from the leech of your past and even if fear tags along, move on. Once those few steps are made fear drops off. Fear won’t have anything to move with the courage of taking the initial steps.

The leech of your past is binding and exhausting. It doesn’t have to be the end of your story.

The I can’t because….

The I don’t deserve because….

The I can’t move forward because….

All of them leeches need to be removed. You can make anything happen when instead of giving life to what you can’t do, accept your past. Own your past. Own your mistakes because in doing so no one will be able to hold it over your head. No one will be able to keep holding it over your head as bait to keep you paralyzed. You yourself need to stop holding on to it as well!!!

This Monday it cost more in life to walk out your dreams from the inside out. The cost is definitely worth it. The leeches of your past can’t stop what’s birth in you to complete. Take the sting out and move forward. You owe yourself so don’t let yourself down! You got this!

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.