Another Cycle Around the Sun!

I have entered level 42 today and the lessons of the last 20 years have prepared me for today. I woke up thinking about drafting a knit pattern for pants. Also, the thoughts of how my experiences have shaped me as a person. It’s amazing how the most humble and empathetic people on the planet have endured and survived a variety of disappointment, abuse, betrayal…

Pain has a way of bringing the simplistic reality of life to the forefront of our consciousness. Amazingly, in the midst of that pain we have the ability to learn, grow, and teach through our experiences. Growth opens us to new levels of being, new energetic vibrations that attract individuals to us. Harmonious vibrations bring harmonious interactions and in my new year I want to be more conscious and intentional about my personal vibrations.

Over these last 6 months I have become more intentional about what I create with my hands. Crafting with love, being aware of the energy I craft into my projects. And being intentional about making time for myself. As a gift to myself, I have knitted a sweater and a matching Beret. One, because I wanted a new sweater and two, I wanted to prove to myself that I could successfully knit a Beret. I have done it and what a wonderful way to begin my new level, knowing without doubt that our biggest obstacle in life is mastering our minds and the thoughts we allow into it.

Knitted Beret and matching Sweater

Take this moment to reflect on the thoughts you allow daily and whether they help you or distract you. Then decide how you want to proceed. What would you accomplish with the mastery of your mind?

Quiet Inflection

It has been several months since I last posted. I am still learning about me. It’s a scary journey looking into the dark corners of myself, but necessary for my growth. Usually when I go into retrospective mode my pen comes alive and the words flow like a beautiful river but not this time. My river bank of poetry was dry. I started to panic. And then I grabbed my crochet hook…

Amongus Mini Crewmate pattern by Why Yet

Years ago I taught myself to crochet and to knit using kits I’d found at my local Wal-Mart. Learning these skills was a challenge as the patterns were written in a language I didn’t understand and I knew no one who could teach me. I understood the basic crochet and knit stitches and mastered how to make knit scarves and crocheted hats. Patterns for baby outfits and clothing terrified me because my understanding of both languages was limited. So I allowed my fear to stop my progress.

Here I am, almost 20 years later, reading patterns, following patterns and crocheting and knitting garments freehanded with less fear (the fear hasn’t gone away completely). What I learned is that my perception of my ability to learn and understand the language of knitting and crocheting blocked my growth. Making mistakes is how we learn. Mistakes, when acknowledged and learned from, is how we grow.

Chunky-Knit Cardigan pattern by Ashley Lillis

I have been inspired these last couple of months to grow through needlecrafts instead of poetry. At first, I was nervous but with each project I’ve completed and shared, I have gained confidence in my understanding of the language. I have realized that other areas of my life are no different, complete one project at a time and learn from any/every mistake made to grow in confidence. I plan to challenge my fears one at a time and hope this helps someone remember that we are not expected to know it all. Enjoy the process. Today is yesterday’s tomorrow, be great today.

Chunky-Knit Sweater Dress pattern by Why Yet

Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway!

When the pandemic shut the world down last year I felt angry and relieved at the same time. I was angry because I was drafting a plan to cross a few travel plans off of my bucket list. I was relieved because I was challenged to interact more on social media via video. I felt (at the time) that since the world was shutting down, everyone’s forced to stay inside, so nope, can’t do it.

That was my fear speaking loud and clear. Fear had my full attention. The world (as we knew it) was ending, people were stockpiling bleach, toilet paper, soap, spaghetti noodles (but no sauce) and microwavable dinners from the freezer section of the market. 🤦🏾 But fear had me gripped, worrying about whether or not the world was heading into Book of Eli/Mad Max territory. So, streaming live on social media was the least of my concerns… or so I thought.

Chatting on line with a friend about the current state we were in, they casually said “How about you go live and read some of your poetry?” *insert record scratch* What now? In the middle of a pandemic? Read my poetry, on camera? I was shaking in my pajamas at the thought of it. I immediately started to panic. I hadn’t performed any of my poetry live since 2018 and that was at a church’s open mic night event in my neighborhood.

I started to say as much but instead replied with “that scares me.” I hought that would be enough to back them up until I received these words that stuck in my mind like Gorilla Glue, “Face the fear and do it anyway.” A few days after that, I took a deep breath (I was considered an essential worker and still had to report in) and started live streaming during my morning commute. I did this for about 16 weeks before I stopped as I was receiving static from work. Smh.

But as I think back, I had fun. It was scary but I did it anyway. In this digital age I know I will have to return to it, but until then, should there be anyone considering jumping into the live streaming pool (no matter what social platform), give this article a read Learn To Live Stream , you’ll be glad you did. And if this helps, drop a comment below!

Another Solar Return

Today, I am grateful. Blessed to see another solar return and on the heels of a powerful full moon no less. A celebration of my birth, thank you mom for delivering me into the world 💜. For many years my birthday was a time of excitement, anxiety and depression all mixed together because I yearned for acknowledgement from my father that I would never receive. Friends, family and loved ones wished me well, but my attention (even when I desperately tried not to) was focused on my father’s lack of attention.

Acknowledging that feeling I harbored used to encourage anger, sadness and shame. It took many years of deep reflection (meaning I was still running from myself, lol) to recognize why I still held onto the pain. As much as I hated to admit it, it was easier to hold onto the hurt, anger and pain than it was to let it go.

That thought was my *aha!* moment. It was easier to hold on and stay stuck, than to let go and be free. I still love my father, and always will. But my father has chosen not to get to know me as a person. Not like I’d hoped. It is an opportunity lost to him – not me. I do not say this out of malice. I have finally moved beyond that. I no longer hold onto the entrapment of my perception that without his acknowledgement I cannot grow or be loved or be deemed valuable. I have already proven myself wrong on that – and gladly so!

My solar return is a celebration of my growth and my acceptance of me – as I am as well as a challenge for me to achieve who I strive to become. I am ready to conquer my next round of growth. Happy birthday to me! 👑💖

♒Aquarian♒

Financial Fridays – Life Insurance

Many people are suspicious when they hear life insurance. Images of sheisty salesmen similar to the car salesman that will sell you junk at a high price comes to mind more often than not. Before I dispel some of that information I want to share that it’s Life Insurance Awareness Month. I just found out it’s a thing yesterday.

I’m glad it is a thing because we need the facts on life insurance so we can make educated decisions when (not if) we purchase life insurance. Note to the hecklers, life insurance is least expensive when you’re young and healthy.

Many people mistakenly purchase life insurance believing they only need enough for burial. When the idea of life insurance came about there was no such thing as funeral expenses. Life insurance was created as an income replacement in the event the husband died unexpectedly. The widow left behind doesn’t have to work and can still manage the household and child(ren) without becoming destitute.

How many of you have insurance on your electronic devices? Why do you insure objects? For those of you with some life insurance: are you fully covered or covered enough to get buried? Would you underinsure your home? Would you underinsure your car? Why would you feel ok with underinsuring your life with too little or no life insurance?

To find out more or to schedule a free consultation comment with your email address.

The Countdown Has Begun…

I have set a release date for my new collection of poetry, Reflections: Past, Present, Future. This collection is scheduled for June, 2018 and I am nervous and excited.

In this new collection I explore the underlying influences that led to my relationship experiences that I wrote about in my first collection, Entangled Hearts.

Many women are tired of falling for the wrong guy time and again. Falling in love with the potential of who he can become instead of looking at who he is. Ignoring our instincts when they warn us that something is wrong. What we don’t do, many times, is stop and reflect on WHY we ignore those warnings. WHY do we fall in love with potential rather than investigate the facts?

In Reflections I stop and do just that. Reflect. What is the underlying reason why I allowed sub-par love into my life? Why was I willing to give 1000% in exchange for a luke-warm 25% at best? One day I woke up and stopped trying to adjust the math.

As women, we are the cornerstone of civilization. Fellas you’re not being discounted – keep reading. Ladies, we have the biggest influence over life, it grows within us. Life flows out of us. We are designed for it. It is time we sat down in a quiet place, grabbed our tea or coffee and reflect on why we allow the negative relationships in our lives. Once we understand the WHY we can create a correction plan.

The countdown to Reflections has begun. Are you ready?

The 7 Things I Wish I Would Have Known About Adulthood…

You ever have one of those days where you want to check out of adulthood and go back to childhood? Today was one of those days for me. But I started thinking about what I could do differently, given the chance to advise my younger self. So I created this of seven things I would tell my younger self.

  1. Trust your gut. Your instinct will keep you alive because it’s the universe sending you signals. Trust the vibe the universe sends your way. Your gut instinct will direct you to (or away from) anything meant to help (or harm) you.
  2. Laugh often. Laughter is healthy. Your laugh is unique to you, when you relax and be yourself.
  3. You ARE beautiful. Hurt people hurt people. You can’t stop them from hurting, only they can decide when they’ve been hurt enough. Don’t allow anyone to dampen your shine.
  4. Being intelligent is good. Having a love for learning and wanting more knowledge is not a bad thing to be punished for. Wanting to understand the world around you is the most beautiful thing. Keep learning.
  5. Don’t give up. For anything that sparks your soul and gives you joy, hold on to it!
  6. Get plenty of rest. You can’t enjoy life if you’re exhausted. Let tomorrow’s worries care for themselves… I’ve read that somewhere and it makes sense.
  7. When you discover your true love, hold on with all of your might. It’s not often that people connect on multiple levels in a synchrony that mimics a musical dance, so when you do – make the most memories for as long as you can…

If you could go back and advise your younger self, what would you say?

A Mother’s Job…

01-11-23-280__180Well, I have been fighting back tears all day today. Happy tears. Tears of joy and acceptance. My little girl is on the road to growing up and growing independent of me. She has started preschool today. Gone are the innocent days of her looking solely to me for her answers. Newly arrived are the days of testing the rules and challenging her limits (more than she already does).

I dropped my daughter off to school this morning half hoping for, but not really, some resemblance of her yehudi first day of preschool1wanting to miss me. Not a screaming fit or anything like that but just some sign that she would miss me during the time that she would be at school. I received a good bye hug and kiss and off she ran to play with her new school mates. Not a glance back was had. Not a ‘mommy don’t go’ like some of the other kids. In a way I guess that means I have raised her to be independent so far and that’s good – right? Could it mean that she couldn’t wait to get away from me and school is a welcomed reprieve? A mother wonders sometimes.

I believe she is courageously independent and well adjusted for a three year old. More wise than her years and in her wisdom, did not cry when I arrived to pick her up this afternoon. She was excited to return home and when I asked about her day she told of some of her adventures with excitement in her eyes and laughter in her voice. She yehudi finished first day of preschoolrecalled that she had meatloaf for lunch and a banana with her breakfast! She told me that a little boy took a red ball from her and the teacher said to him, “Give Yehudi back that red ball!”

Yehudi is asleep now. She is eager to wake up and go back to her school so she can play with her friends some more. She is excited to sing the alphabet song with her peers and to recite the story time rules we have here at home:

  • rule #1 – sit down quietly
  •  rule #2 – put your hands in your lap
  •  rule #3 – listen and enjoy the story

How can you not enjoy story time with easy to remember rules like those? Then on twitter this afternoon I found this inspirational quote to cheer me up. inspirational quotes about daughtersWell, it’s time for me to pick out her school clothes for tomorrow and begin to plan toddler activities for Chava for this school year. He’s one now but he’ll be three and headed to preschool before I can blink!

5 Goals For 2016

I recognized this morning

that I must change how I perceive life around me in order to change life around me. I’ve read it on websites and heard people say it, but when I woke up this morning it clicked. Like a long awaited answer to an irritating problem. So I started writing down things I want to do in 2016 that will help me grow as a person and as a writer.
1) Attend the Writer’s Digest Philadelphia Writing Workshop on April 9, 2016
2) Attend the AAMBC Awards, June 10-12, 2016 in Atlanta, Ga.
3) Attend the annual Roots Picnic concert in July 2016 in Philadelphia, PA
4) Attend the Harlem Book Fair in Harlem, NY in July 2016
5) Attend the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, LA in July 2016.

Just writing this list gave me butterflies so I know I can accomplish this.