New Adventures Begin With You

Have you ever had an opportunity to do something or go somewhere and missed it because you froze in fear? It’s okay, because it happens to the best of us. I’ve had my moments. How I have been getting through some of those moments is asking myself, “How will I feel about myself passing up this opportunity?” Usually the answer to this question spurs me to make a decision and I am usually pleased with the outcome.

This past weekend was one of those moments. I’d found out about the Sistahs In Business Expo, in Philadelphia, on Thursday and according to the ticket site Eventbrite, Friday was the last day to purchase tickets. I was on the fence since the expo was Saturday. Then I saw Vivica Fox was going to be the keynote speaker! I knew not going would bother me like when I missed Gabrielle Union’s AND Jenifer Lewis’ book signings earlier this year. Bam! Decision made. I was going and bringing the little ones with me. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

So many entrepreneurs were in the building! It was beautiful and the energy was electric! My children didn’t fully understand the beauty they were submerged in, but as they get older and wiser they will. One of our highlights was not only getting a signed copy of Ms. Vivica A. Fox’s book but pictures with her as well!

Never give up on goals and aspirations you have for yourself. Your future self will thank you for it!

Self-Acceptance

The beginnings of July. The seventh month. For those who watch the celestial rotations, this month is powerful. Many believe the planetary alignments influence our behaviors and our beliefs.

I believe that subconsciously that could be true as I feel a pull on my spirit sometimes during full moons. I also feel the energy of a room when I walk into it letting me know if something or someone is “off”.

My greatest challenge is to listen when my spirit “pulls” at me. It is for my protection. Accepting that I can feel that pull is a sign that my intuition can be fine-tuned a little more enough for me to accept and utilize it. Self-acceptance is the key this decade. I am who I am.

Emotional Adjustments

My daughter graduated from kindergarten two days ago. I am a proud momma. It’s taken me two days to re-contain my emotions before I could write about it.

She’s my only daughter and the reality that she’s not a baby anymore is not lost on me. I look in her face and I see her infant face but I also see a younger version of myself.

She’s courageous and open-minded, curious about the world she lives in and (in a few ways) more bold than I ever was in speaking up and out about what’s going on around her. I don’t want to smother her or block her from exploring her own potential. The only way to grow into that is for me to explore my own potential more fully so as not to stifle hers. She is me 2.0. The upgrade. She’s in beta mode and I want to ensure she has every opportunity accessible to her.

So, I have quite a few emotional adjustments to make to myself. Recognizing the maturity in her (it’s a battle sometimes when my Aquarius clash with her Leo) is hard because I don’t want her to grow up too fast. *grabs tissue* She just left preschool last year and now she’s a first grader. Sigh…

Finding My Rhythm

I am still working on finding my rhythm here in WordPress land. I looked up my original blog, Poetically Wyld, and realized how laid back and carefree it was to maintain that writing rhythm. I wasn’t concerned about tags and SEO or anything. I just wanted to write and share.

That’s where I am attempting to return to with Why Yet’s Words. A place where I can write and share. Words are powerful things, crafters of energy, encapsulating emotions that are sometimes indescribable and I love the feelings they elicit.

Those feelings come to me in free form poetry and the fluidity of those feelings is pure emotion. Like that warm breeze blowing across your face as you stare out at the water.

That rhythm tempted me and I answered when I penned my new poetry collection, Reflections: Past, Present, Future which is available for pre-order here.

The poems I selected for Reflections are a part of my rhythm, a part of finding my rhythm and by sharing I hope to help someone else find their rhythm.

Why Yet’s Words

Life’s Gifts

I am a volunteer tax preparer for a non profit organization during tax season. This is my second season doing this. I absolutely love it. I help people, I learn new things and I experience a part of Philadelphia that I would not have ever experienced otherwise. Suburban Station. Milkhouse Grilled Cheese & Milkshakes. A Lebron James look alike. A Mike Epps look alike. Despair, hope, grief, sadness, joy and excitement.

I recognize it’s the small things in life that give the greatest joy. Today a woman confided in me that she has stage 4 colon cancer. Her hair was up in an opened top head wrap and the style was beautiful. When she handed me her driver’s license as I began to prepare her income tax return she said with sadness in her voice, “That’s when I had beautiful, long hair.”

I looked at her and said, “You’re still beautiful and don’t you let anyone tell you different.” Her eyes watered as she told me how she no longer feels beautiful. I understood her feelings completely. A few months ago I had three wisdom teeth and two molars extracted. No big whoop except two of the molars were on the same side as one of the wisdom teeth leaving a gap in the back of my mouth. For two weeks I cried everytime I looked in the mirror. I felt ugly without all of my teeth. I didn’t want to smile. I didn’t want to look at myself. I saw the same feelings in this woman’s eyes. So I shared my experience with her and reminded her that she is still beautiful.

She was very grateful for the encouragement. Once her tax return was completed she gave my colleague and I the biggest hugs and it felt good to help her smile.

See, so many people are stuck on the island of ME that they don’t acknowledge others until they need something and that’s the real tragedy of life. Because they miss out on experiencing the joy of being genuine to someone else, of being genuine for themselves. I had nothing to gain by sharing my story. Empathy costs us nothing but gives much.

I hope I see her fully recovered this time next year so I can give her another hug because by encouraging her, I encouraged myself. Thank you.

Transitions in Life

sunnyclouds

My youngest child started preschool today. My last born, my last first day of school and I didn’t cry. The reality that my son’s external educational journey has begun is stirring up mixed emotions in me. We’ve waited a long time for this day but now that it’s here I don’t want my baby boy growing up too fast. 

And that’s what it is. Today marks the end of his baby days. The hugs, kisses and snuggles will soon be traded for friends, toys and school crushes. I’m not ready, but I’m preparing. My daughter, who’s going into kindergarten this year, is already writing love letters to some boy from her class last year. Surprisingly, I didn’t react. I listened as she read her letter. I observed my daughter and then reflected on my personality at her age. Damn. She is like me, but bolder. She’s a lot more gutsy than I was at five years old. I feel like time is getting away from me.

This is a very different mental space for me. My children are growing, my parents are aging and I’m in the middle of life’s upward escalator unable to backtrack. Transitions. These moments kind of sneak up on you unexpectedly. But they are necessary. I don’t always like them, but I understand they are catalysts for growth and change. And we all know that change is the only constant.

5 Reasons Why Reading is Fundamental

I read a blog post last month by Allie D that caught my attention. She listed 50 of the Best Preschool Books that she has read to her boys. I instantly wanted to read her post because I love books and I was curious to see what books she recommended. Also, because I have a preschooler and a kindergarten-er who enjoy books also. After reading her post I discovered that quite a few of her books were favorites of my children. One reason I thought Allie’s post was awesome is the reading. I have been a reader since I learned the magic of reading back in the early 80’s. That is something I pass on to my children because – reading is fundamental. Anything on this planet you want to know about, you must read something.

Why I love reading – because of all the interesting stories and characters I discover. I am a romance fiction fan but I also enjoy adventure, science fiction and the occasional biography. I gravitate towards books with a conversational writing style where I can become the main character and transition through the book. Reading is fundamental for me because:

  1. It is how I honor my ancestors who were unable to learn to read because of the color of their skin. Every book I read is for my grandparents who couldn’t.
  2. It is how I learn new things and comprehend what I learn.
  3. Knowledge is powerful. How you wield that power shows what type of person you are.
  4. I love being able to help others using what I have learned through reading.
  5. I love hearing my children laugh when I read to them.

I enjoy reading also because based on the statistics of the neighborhood I grew up in, I shouldn’t be any good at it – but I love proving people wrong when assumptions are made about me.

According to an article by Lauren Gelman for Reader’s Digest (www.rd.com/health/wellness/benefits-of-reading/), reading is good for you for other reasons:

  1. Reading can protect your brain from Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Reading can melt away stress.
  3. Reading boosts your vocabulary.
  4. Reading improves empathy.
  5. Reading can encourage life goals.

But don’t just take my word for it. Read the article for yourself and then comment with a good book you would recommend for me. I’ll look over the comments and add those books to my list. I’ll start with a couple of recommendations of my own.