Bazinga! 39 x 39 – Day of Rae, My Blogaversary and An Announcement

Hi Loves!!

How are you?  Today is my birthday aka #Raeday!!!

Bazinga!!!!

Wooooh!  I’m thankful and excited.  I love birthdays.  It’s an honor and a privilege to see them.    *cue “Never Would Have Made It by Marvin Sapp.  It also happens to be my two-year blogaversary!!!  Which I can’t really believe.  From Rae with Love, the Little Blog that Could, is two years old.  It’s been two years!  So much has happened since I first began writing From Rae With Love.   Funny enough, I’ve only shared a handful of the stories with you.

In my very first post this time two years ago, I shared some lessons I’d learned as of my 36th birthday and then I wanted to share a few thoughts I had on turning 37.  This year, I am going to do something a little bit different.  I want to share 39 things I want to do before my 39th birthday.  Not only does the number of years I’ve spent on this earth astound me, it’s also interesting to see how others handle and deal with it as well.  I’ve been watching people who are farther(further? why worry) along on their journey.  Some of them are handling the aging process better than others.   Mostly I think many of us just weren’t mentally prepared for how the time flies.  Not to mention, according to so many others and the rhetorical bullshit that spews out of someone’s mouth, as we approach 40 that’s supposed to mean we’re old? I don’t buy into it.  I never have.  Aging and growing older (and hopefully wiser) is a beautiful process.  From what I can tell, it’s about how we each choose to see it.

I have a who shitload of stuff I want to do over the next year.   They haven’t been listed in any specific order.  Each of them is critical to me and the next year.  Without further adieu, here’s the 39 x 39:

  1. Use the mixer my mother got me last year – more..which means I’ll be baking, or making pasta, or grinding meat.
  2. Create a series of You Tube Videos.
  3. Submit these short stories for publishing in literary journals.
  4. Write the short stories I mentioned in #3.
  5. Relocate.
  6. Take more photos.
  7. Lose 20% of my current bodyweight.
  8. Purchase a DSLR camera.
  9. Create a short film.
  10. Write a script for a show treatment.
  11. Tour DC with my friends and act like a tourist.  [I’m wearing the colored protective visor and Tevas and shorts and shit]
  12. Increase my income by 50% + get a new job.
  13. Eat from 30+ new restaurants (read includes dives, mom & pop stops and food trucks – that’s where the best food is)
  14. Take a series of photos worthy for a gallery exhibit.
  15. Add 1000 new followers on twitter.
  16. Create a new series of blog posts.
  17. Bake from scratch.  [I owe a series of zucchini loaves to a very close friend]
  18. Cook 25 new dishes I’ve never cooked.
  19. Purchase and successfully meal plan around a crock pot.
  20. Journal.
  21. Buy new furniture that meets my actual home-style now.
  22. Build a home theater system.
  23. Create a logo for the website.
  24. Attend a writers workshop.
  25. Research (info, interviews etc), write and publish an article or podcast for a major publication.
  26. Get a tattoo.
  27. Participate in new twitter chats.
  28. Have a conversation with a published author I admire.
  29. Publish a series of stories on Amazon.com.
  30. Be consistently happy.
  31. Be less fearful of trying new things.
  32. Publish one blog post that scares the shit out of me.
  33. Be on a major panel as a guest.
  34. Live. Like really have more to tell you so y’all can be all up in my business.
  35. Be able to achieve certain yoga poses.
  36. Write handwritten letters and notes to my close friends and family.
  37. Sew three (3) new projects and create a few new pieces of jewelry.
  38. Him.  [Redacted No. 38 about Rae’s love life]
  39. Pray more.  Hear more.  See more. Be more. Love more.  [I cheated here but IDC]

Whew!!! There it is – my 39 x 39.  Doable?  Yes.  Now let’s see how much of it I can get done effective immediately.  It’s not just about a mad rush of checking things off of a proverbial list, it’s about living and improving my quality of life.   There are also so many other things I plan to do within this next year – like buy some skates and roll around the city!!  Which brings me to my next announcement…..

I need to take a creative hiatus (aka a creative furlough, a creative retreat).

Relax.  Don’t freak out on me and get crazy.   The blog isn’t going anywhere.  I’m not really going anywhere.  I just won’t be posting for a while.  For the record, I don’t exactly know how long a while means, however, I do know it will be through the summer.

When you have a personal blog, it becomes increasingly difficult to share certain things.  Hills, valleys, good news, life changes and events and whatever else may come along means life tends to take over.  Life has taken over which means, I need to just live.  That’s what’s most important.

I’m still going to be here.  You can still find me on twitter @fromraewithlove.  I’m on twitter daily.  Otherwise, catch me on the Facebook page for the blog or if you really need to get deep, you can email me at fromraewithlove at gmail dot com.  So see, it’s not really that bad.  I can be located.  I just won’t be blogging.

So you’re wondering what am I planning to do with all of the time I don’t spend blogging?  I still plan to write.  I have a number of writing projects I need to complete.  I have new projects that are just taking off, that I can share later this week.  I’m also on the Dr. Vibe show monthly.  A few of my blogging friends and I have started a series of Google Hangouts. In other words,  I’m still here.

I know I’ve slowed down in the last months.  That’s mostly been because I am at a crossroads as a creative, as a writer and as a woman.  I’m not in a space to post everything.   I also have so many other things planned for the blog, for my life.  So basically, it’s time to live and get some things done.  Where else do all of these wonderful posts come from?  LIFE.

As the good 39 x 39 list reflects, I have a lot of work to do, a lot of living[loving] to do and quite a bit to organize, shift and put into motion.

Check in with me.  I still need want to hear from you.  I love emails and tweets.  See info above….

BTW, I’m always watching.  Trust and believe.

Mother loves you,

Rae

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So Far In 30 in 30 and Write Like Crazy

On August 1, I decided I was going to participate in the #30in30 which is 30 blogs posts in 30 days presented by Aliya S. King.  In another space, the talented author Tayari Jones was running a challenge to “Write Like Crazy” for the month of August.  Basically, I decided to mesh them together to see what I could do.  This makes the twenty-third post and I couldn’t be more pleased with what’s been happening as a result of me writing.   On August 14th I started tweeting about a few of the things I have learned over the month:


I will say, sitting here at the kitchen table tonight, I’m thinking over everything the month has brought to me, introduced to me.  It’s been amazing.

I’m also over here bugging out because I know at the end of the month I need to be on a blogging schedule; I need to come up with topics; I need to submit query letters and finish short stories.

Just because this will end in seven days has nothing to do with what’s coming after ward.  There is so much work that has to be done!  I’m nervous and excited about it.  This month has sincerely stretched me as a creative, as a writer.  I also know tweeting, writing, working, loving and living all make for fierce competitors of one another.  At any given time there is one that seems more important.

For me it seems to be living and loving then writing.  I see work as a means to an end.  Thankful for my job and what it affords me, but I think you get the gist of what I’m saying. It’s more important for me to live, love and write.  Work… well…

This challenge has been amazing in so many ways.  The blog was even added to a list of the 127 Best Black Websites Online via United Black America.  I was in shock!!  I mean, to think I am listed with some of the heavy hitters of blogging?  Yes please.  Thank you Jesus!!  Being listed, thought of and acknowledged is something all of us want.  It was an affirmation and confirmation.

But really, for me, it’s when I hear from all of you.  When someone tweets me they enjoyed a blog post.  When I read the comments and emails.  When I talk to people and they know the blog or my friends and they tell me about a specific post they’ve read that was helpful. Those are defining moments for me.

For the last 10 years I’ve been talking about writing and publishing a book.  Now I am writing and working on the book.  It’s a process.  It will be a learning and growing experience.  But the point is I’m writing.  It’s happening in real time and I’m thankful.

I cannot even begin to tell you all how this blog and putting myself out there in full force has blessed me over the course of the summer.  I’d like to think the blog has saved me in many ways and allowed me to be open, to explore, to be fearless.

I am ever so thankful for the platform.  Like I’ve said before, what’s the point in me having to have gone through all of the foolishness I’ve seen and been through if I can’t share it and save you some time and heartache?

Wishing you soul, love and peace on this Friday evening.  I’ll be blogging or tweeting for the remainder of the night to make sure I am on target.

Love,

Rae

P.S. I have to add this because it’s what I used to watch on Friday/Saturday nights growing up in Detroit.  By the way, “Sharevari” the song that’s playing, was created by two Detroiters and is one of founding songs for techno and electronic music.  At any rate, this is how I’m feeling tonight.  80s clothes, jherri curls and all.  Yeah – that good.

Why It’s Important to Invest…In Others (and Yourself)

 

Lately I have been thinking of what it means to invest in others.

Sowing, good soil…

I cannot say this enough – it’s important for us to build relationships and connections.  It’s important to lift others up.  We should be working on this daily.  It’s not a one off situation.  It’s something happening daily.  Although we’re in a recession and many of us are short on extra cash it doesn’t  mean our resources are short or slight.  This isn’t a season of lack, it’s a season to examine the real bounty in your life and set yourself up to be in a better position.  It’s a season to be creative with the resources we’ve been given. Remember the parable of the talents?  The Master of the household gives three men the same amount and asks them to do what they will with it (Matthew 25: 14-28 NIV).

  14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

   19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

   21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

   22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

   23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

   24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

   26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

   28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

So in other words, whatever you’ve been given – work to multiply it.  Work to increase what you’ve been given.  Burying what you’ve been blessed with doesn’t do any good for you or anyone else.  Seriously.

And what about the Parable of the Sower? (Mark 4:3-9)

3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

 9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

This is the season of talents.  A season to sow.  Are your actions falling on good soil? How creative can you be?  Can you use the resources at your hands in order to make some things happen?  Of course you can.  It isn’t always about money.  So one of the things I do – and try to do it on a regular – is invest in others.  Let me tell you what this looks like:

  1. Encouragement to those around you.
  2. Being fully present and able to listen.
  3. Lack of judgment for how others are living their lives (unless of course they are on a Ricky Bobby fast-track to the invisible fire – you may want to intervene then).
  4. Cooking a favorite meal to comfort someone.
  5. Anticipating someone’s needs before they have to ask me to do something.
  6. Giving a gift without expectation of anything in return.
  7. Lightening someone’s load – this usually comes in the form of good deeds, random acts of kindness, etc.

Sowing. This is where you’re really working and cannot exactly see the pay off now, but you’re delaying gratification for a better tomorrow. Let me also say this specifically can look like all of those difficult things and tasks you have absolutely no desire to handle.  This is more like an investment in yourself.  It may also appear as investment in others at times (because investing in others is investing in yourself and your future). You have faith that by creating a storehouse you’ll be able to use it one day.  You’ll have need for it.  You are in fact creating a surplus.  Momentum.   What does sowing look like?

  1. Tackling those things that are most debilitating.  This could be dealing with your credit (amen…Lord bless my credit), this could be handling debt, clearing away clutter from your house.  In other words, all of the work I’ve been putting off – this is part of what I consider sowing.
  2. Studying and perfecting a craft or hobby and turning it into a profession, a side hustle an income winning, way-making force.  I’m writing.  So how can I improve it?  Take a seminar?  A class? Teach another person? Blog in other places? Send those pitch letters I’m scared to send? Write when I’m reaaaaallllly not in the mood? Point is, butt in chair even on the days I’m not feeling it.  It will look different for you, but it’s always the same concept.  We often think we have to “be inspired” or “feel up to it” or have those ideas.  Those are lies and foolishness.  Do the work.
  3. Saving money.
  4. Learning how to do something that you know is important for your life and the way you live it.  Ex. cooking, budgeting, being kind to older people.  Pick an area you know you need to improve in.  And you better not tell me there’s no area where you need improvement.  You do.  I do.  We all do.
  5. Putting things in order. I know this is vague, but I mean it to be broad.  This may mean re-organizing your house. Changing the people you spend time with.  What’s important – most important to you and your life? What’s most precious to you?  Order your steps accordingly.  If you don’t know, pray and ask for the Divine Inspiration to assist you.  Trust me.  You’ll realize it.
  6. Making good on your promises.  To yourself, your loved ones.
  7. Reconnecting with the right people.  Aligning yourself with the ones that are the difference makers in your life.
  8. Ability to be honest with yourself and have honest conversations about 1) where you are at this moment and 2) where you want to go.  If you have no idea what your position is, how do you know which direction you’re headed?  If you’re not sure what you want or where you’re going, it’s hard to ask for directions.

All of the things I’ve listed above are things I am trying my hardest to work on.  It’s a lot.  It’s overwhelming some days.  Some days I make no progress – or what appears to me as no progress.  But I am here to tell you some days progress is just honoring where you are, yourself and your loved ones.  Being able to be good to them.  There are different seasons in our lives and each season calls for a different way of investing.  This may be a season where you need to focus on yourself to be the best person you can for your family – to improve their lives.

The love of my life often tells me it’s important to communicate how you’re feeling (I struggle with this – getting better, but Jesus be a fence). I add this piece because people need to know where you are in your life.  Maybe you need to cut back on all of the altruistic gestures?  Maybe you should buy yourself a nice lunch, that fancy typewriter you’ve always wanted, set up a special area in your house for yourself to work, get that pedicure, take those few days off on a vacay with yourself.  I’m not an expert, but I think you get the idea.

So are you sowing this season?  Think you can live up to your own talents?

I believe you can….

Love,

Rae

(You) Make the Road by Walking

Menahan Street Band “Make the Road by Walking”

When this song was first introduced to me months ago, I knew I was going to use it.  Besides the fact that Jay-Z sampled this gem and it’s a great song, what’s even greater about this is the title.  It says everything in five words.  The song is an instrumental.  Take a listen to it.   I think of Afrobeat and blaxploitation films and afros and all the good times of the 70s  I was too young to capture.  The funny thing though, is the song was recently made.  In the last five years if I’m not mistaken.  But, that’s just a little history.

Make the Road by Walking

It means I’m on this path and the road doesn’t appear until I start walking – until I step out. It’s like the bricks, the paved road or the dirt road appears before me as I TAKE each step.  In fact, it’s like sometimes I don’t even see the road.  Can’t see the road, I can’t see ahead.  Like a foggy, rainy night.  I just have to trust there’s a road underneath me and walk (or drive) slow.  It’s a scary idea.  But truthfully, I’m mostly doing that each day right?  Although I can control my own actions,  I never have control of the factors outside of myself where it involves another living creature, the weather and elements.  There’s a lot of uncertainty out here.

Have you seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?

In the movie, Indiana Jones faces three tests in order to reach the Holy Grail.  If you know anything about the Indiana Jones series, of course the tests seem damn near impossible.  At the same time he’s about to go through these three challenges, his father (Sean Connery) has been shot and is dying.  So, no pressure right?  Right.  On the third and final challenge, Jones arrives at this cavern and needs to get to the other side.  However, there’s this big void.  You know – it’s like looking across a canyon and someone telling you that you need to cross it.  But there’s no bridge.  Jones has his father’s diary and following the instructions he steps out on faith, sticks hit foot into the void.  In other words, it looks just like he’s stepping into nothingness.   And then lo and behold there’s an invisible bridge!!!  Damn.  So Jones is smart – he throws dirt across the bridge to make sure he can see the way and steps on across.  Pretty amazing.

Cue soundtrack to my life.

Invisible bridges, canyons & voids, dirt and swashbuckling!

It speaks to faith right?  Faith in God, faith in my own ability.  Faith enough to really step out and make my road or at least trust there is a road.
I only do that by walking.  No one can walk the road for me.

How many times will I have to step out into the metaphorical void and not have a clue as to what’s about to happen?  From living these three decades and change, I can say there have been many times. From moving, to changing careers, to dating, to loving, to starting a business or pursuing a hobby that’s been a dream.  Each time has been scarier.

I’ve also come to accept God isn’t planning to bless me within my comfort zone.

It means I am going to have to take some sensible risk.  Everything that has a major blessing to it is something I wouldn’t be able to handle on my own without the help of God or those God-given talents He’s given me or the people I have been blessed with in my life.

Now of course I could just sit at home and live my life “safely.”  And frankly, some days that’s exactly what I want to do.   Be content with whatever I have.  Accept this is where I am in life. Because it is comfortable.  It’s safe.

But what if I’m not?  What if I believe there’s more out there and all I need to do is get across this void?  Then I am going to have to make the road by walking and step out in faith.

Anyway, life is about a lot of uncertainty.  I can say that for sure.  Over the last 12 years, I have learned to relax and believe things are going to have to work out.  I have purpose.  There is a plan for my life.  There is promise.  I had to become comfortable walking my own road and with my own path because it’s not like anyone else’s – if only for the fact that there are invisible bridges, canyons & voids, dirt and swashbuckling.

Know there is always risk by walking our own roads.  But no risk equals no reward right?

Make your road.

Walk it out.

Love,

Rae

Giving Up to Get Up Part II aka What’s Out the Window for 2011…Dating

“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And babe, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soul mate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”  ~ Marilyn Monroe

I wrote about giving things up a couple of weeks…ergo…months, here.  Leave it to me to be right back here to have to talk about just that.  Kinda funny how that works out right?

Le sorry for the length of time. It’s been a rough time. I don’t post in the midst of crises or very difficult periods or else I may find myself amongst those who are apologizing and trying to explain themselves on CNN days later. (Shout out to CNN!!!!)

Actually, explaining myself on CNN probably wouldn’t be bad, and I subscribe to the theory that I would rather ask forgiveness than permission.  However, being a publicity nightmare isn’t on my list of things to do.  Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind being a guest on CNN – hey Anderson and Piers! I’m not trying to end up on there for mayhem and foolishness.  But I can show up on there all day and dish! I mean, Anderson loves Nene.  I’m not boss like Nene (yet) but I will take my yellow arse right on up and through there and dish nonetheless.  My Mom would be proud.  She’d say that she always knew I had IT in me (not sure exactly what she’d also add) and she thought she had raised me right and wasn’t sure where she had went wrong.

I digress.  I always digress.  What else is new?

I’m here to discuss the shit things that we often have to give up (or not) to move ahead (or not).

Here’s the skinny (or the fatty depending on your preference) :

I am giving up dating for six months.

You read it right.

Yes…six months.

Clutch the pearls! Stop the presses!  Heavens to Mergatroid!  Oh hell naw! (hears cars screeching and record players scratching stop everywhere).  And yes, I am perfectly in my right mind.  As right for me as I’m going to be anyway.

Correct – yes, me, Rae, the one who absolutely without any shadow of a doubt would give up the Park Place real estate on her ring finger for The One.

Not dating.

Not going out with anyone.

Not accepting offers.

I am having a seat.

Not even a date with my dream guy ….

I am on lay-a-way for six months.

Yup.  This is an official sabbatical.

I’m not bitter.  Maybe a little bruised up but that tends to make the fruit sweeter right?  I’m still sweet.  I’m still excited about the possibility of love.  I still love seeing two people in love.  I support all of the people who are in love, loving, happy and all boo’d up, all of my newlyweds, those newly engaged.  I’m a lover of love.  Love didn’t put me in this place where I need a break.  Making bad choices, allowing the wrong people into my “Circle of Trust” – that’s what put me here.

I always remember:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.I Corinthians 13: 4-8

I’ve always appreciated that verse.  It tells the truth right?  I just need to make sure I’m in a place where I can receive what’s in this verse as well as provide what’s in this verse.  I find I’m not there anymore.

I am handing off the torch on this relay.

After what I like to refer to as a Lemony Snicket aka “a series of unfortunate events” in my life over the last two years, I absolutely decided and needed take a break.  I had been tossing the idea around in my head when I was reading The District Diva’s website and a challenge for a Six-Month-No-Dating Pledge.  It spoke to me.  Directly.  The sort of direct where you know the message is meant for you.

As my friends will remind me, I have mentioned doing this before.  But this year’s events alone have been enough for me to challenge myself and honor this commitment.  It may not be easy.  When is something worthwhile easy?

Sacrifice + discipline + hard work + prayer + miracles = the recipe for success.

I’m a self-proclaimed nerd and bibliophile so of course I ended up reading the book, Knight in Shining Armor by PB Wilson and the deal was sealed for me.  You can laugh at that title if you want to, but the book means business.  I mean, the sister talks about even putting a wedding on hold if you’re engaged in this book to make sure you’re in the right space and have made the right decision.  So, you know she’s speaking tough love in this book.  There were many “ouches” and “damns” while reading the book. Things I wish I’d have grasped years ago.  All of the things she speaks about in the book – well, I learned them and have the lessons to be able to teach an entire course.  I have an honorary PhD on the course.

I will also confess, I remember seeing the book some years ago, thinking it was going to be really Jesus-y – I know that’s not a word, just saying.  Now, I am a follower of Jesus and I adore Him.  I do.  Sometimes though, when you’re trying to get a breakthrough you need to know HOW and WHY these spiritual things apply things when all you think these are just rules to hold you back.  You’re not trying to hear all of these don’ts without any principal behind them.  Years ago, I was afraid the book would be “you can’t do this, you can’t do that.”  In some ways – it is.  I just wasn’t ready to give in – being the hard-headed and stubborn cuss that I am.  But honestly, from a Christian perspective, the book is breaking things down in a way I had never paid attention to before.  Lights were coming on and alarms were sounding.  Of course this means war.

When I thought about it, being alone for six months sounded amazing!  I never in a million years thought I’d feel this way, but well, the idea has grown on me.  It was time.  Given the serious nature of what it means to be married and to make a decision to spend your life with someone – what’s the rush?  It should be done in such a way where you know to the best of your ability what and who you’re getting yourself into.  You need to know yourself, what the commitment really means and the other person as much as possible.

I think I can take six months to do think things over.

The fact of the matter is when you’re finally ready to move to another level there are things you’re going to have to do, not do, give up, speak up about and get to business on.  There’s no in-between. Like Yoda said, “Try not. Do or do not.  There is no try.”

I am stepping down and officially having a seat.  Getting closer to God and having a series of conversations with Him.  Getting closer with myself.   Getting a fresh perspective.  Healing.  This is a win-win situation for everyone involved!  God gets the time He wants.  I get the time, the space and the respite I desperately need.

There comes a point when you have to realize you’re missing the mark.  Not hitting the target.  Sometimes I think God sets it up so we get to come right home to Him.  So that’s one thing I realized I needed to give up.  Get to the things I’m supposed to be focused on and should have been doing in the first place.

June Carter Cash had this to say about the relationship between her and Johnny Cash:     I chose to be Mrs. Johnny Cash in my life. I decided I’d allow him to be Moses and I’d be Moses’ brother Aaron, picking his arms up and padding along behind him.

Shouldn’t it be this way?

(has a seat)

I’m going to write about my six-month hiatus over the next few months.  I’m a few weeks in.  Already, there have been some serious changes and challenges.

I’m not sure where all of this will lead and what will happen,  but I will offer this quote by Joseph Campbell that gave me comfort I was on the right path:

If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.

Which must mean I’m on the right track.

Are you ready to move to the next level?  Is there anything you need to give up or take a break from?

*Hint: from experience, it’s normally the very thing you don’t want to give up

I’m excited about hearing your comments and thoughts!

Love you!

Rae

Giving Up to Get Up – Part I

You know I like a good blog title right?  It moves me.  See above – it’s a good title.  But it’s really serious business.

I do a lot of talking.  Less than I used to, but still talk a lot.  I try to listen more.  I’ve learned a lot that way.  But really I do a LOT of impromptu counseling and talking.  I’ve HAD a lot of impromptu counseling. Don’t judge me.  Over the years from all of the good brothers and sisters in my life – they have counseled and put me back together on the days when it was hard to make sense of it all.  My Mom & Dad have had some definite get-you-together speeches in the recent years and I love each and every one of you for it.

Since I find myself talking to people about all of the things going on in their lives I wanted to talk about something I’ve talked about often over the last year –  how much we have to give up to get up and have the life we want.

Before I even get into my thoughts on this, what do you think?  What have you given up to get what you wanted? Or do you subscribe to the theory that you can have it all?

I was talking to a good friend, a sister of mine.  She asked me, sincerely, if I thought she was crazy for wanting to have it all? Hmph. What did I tell her?

All I can say is that this life is short.  I really think you should squeeze as much out of this life as you possibly can because we don’t get another one.  It’s better to look back and know you tried than to not ever have taken any chances.  Take as many chances as you can for the life you want.  Fight for it. 

I really think God was speaking through me at that moment because it’s all I remember other than a prayer.  However, it was the best conversation.  We prayed together and then everything seemed to fall into place.  It set me on the right course too!! Note: it’s always ok to pray with or for someone you love – always!!!  We really should get into the habit of that more.  Now here’s a real ________ (insert whatever name you want to call her) for you because she cussed me out after the prayer.  I love her!!!  She said because she should have remembered to pray for me when I had called her with my own mayhem a few months earlier and I had one-upped her.  All I could do was laugh.  It was the best compliment she could have given me!!  Love you honey!  I am still laughing.

Afterwards, I had to ask myself if I had given up anything in the years.  I have. I’ve given up quite a bit.  Some things and people I had to let go.  Not because I wanted to, but as a close friend said to me – but because it was time.  I needed to grow, advance, move on.

The real questions we need to ask ourselves are:

What am I willing to give up on this path to get what I most desire?

Is there anything I am being called to walk away from to accomplish my dreams? (disclaimer for the nuts out there – this does not include children, wives, husbands, family or responsibilities or personal accountability – Regards, Management)

Is it still possible for me to have all of those things I really want – simultaneously – or am I crazy?

Or does God just set it all out for us and let us go for it – watch us fight like MMA fighters for our happiness?  (laughing).  God does have a sense of humor.  However, He’s merciful and well, I believe He has the best in mind for us.  Period.  Shalom.  Baby Jesus.  Jehovah.  Baba.  Praise Him.

I don’t have an answer to this one.  Surprise!!!  I’d like to think I can be this amazing person.  That I am a good sister.  A good friend.  That I will be a phenomenal wife and legendary mother.  That I can still accomplish those things I have in my heart.  That I will accomplish my purpose and God will actually greet me with an amazing live playlist (MJ, Bob Marley, house music and Sylvester! you name it) where I dance into Heaven in a dance line like this:

with all of my loved ones and friends from over the years…and He tells me I did a fab job!! I swear…I really think God will allow me to cross over in amazing clothes, make up and a great dance line. With all of the folks yelling “Go ‘head, Go ‘head….”  Again, don’t judge me.

(as a side note – The Scene was THE BIZNESS in Detroit when I was growing up and for all my Detroiters …you know it was.  We waited for the new show.  We skated to all of the music.  The Scene cannot be replaced)

I want to believe it.  I do.  But in the end do we sacrifice something in order to get something?  Is it possible to have it all?  Or do we have to be able to leave things behind in order to get to where we’re really supposed to be in this life?

To be continued….

Love,

Rae

aka

Management

On Bullshit, Mediocrity and Other Important Matters

I had really planned on writing long before now.  However, I have been on some shit – as sometimes is the case, and well, things get slack around here for that reason.  Hence this post.  This post is about being on some shit and realizing that and being able to call yourself out and get yourself together.  I have to tell you though, this year has been challenging.  I will have to go over a recap of events more towards the close of the year.  Right now, it’s too much to update at one time.  And truthfully – it will get better, it has gotten better, so the story is not over.

I wanted to talk about bullshit (herein referred to as BS for general purposes) today.  And how I’m tired of it.  Mostly tired of my own.  Mostly because I find I procrastinate like hell and then things turn to shit.  Do you know what I mean?  I mean, when you don’t really pay attention to things and ignore them and well, things just go wrong.   Like that parking ticket that you ignore and it doubles or a project at work that goes all wrong or that person you were meaning to call and never do and then before you know it, well, you can’t reach them. Or being late to work, or not really paying attention to the people around you that mean the most.

I really had to ask myself – What is the foundation of mediocrity? I mean, where does it come from and why is it we find ourselves settling into it? Not doing our best, not giving our best, accepting less than we should, not thinking highly of ourselves or other people?

Note: Clearly, when you even get tired of your own BS then you know a breakthrough is right there staring you in the face.

What brought me to this point?  Other people’s BS –  mostly in how they handle their lives and business.  Here I am getting upset with some of the things people do – especially when it involves me and then I had to take a look at who and what I’m allowing into my space.  In other words, I’m allowing for people and their BS to take up all of that space.  It stops.   I do control all of that right?  Sure I do.  I really had to take a deep look and get it together.  Authors note: I have also had to take a deep look and set some people straight aka the Rae-get-u-in-line-convo. More on that later.

I know now it’s really a matter of reaching the point where you can’t stand your own mess anymore.  You get tired of hearing yourself say the same things and giving the same excuses.  I also know deep down – not only do I deserve better, but I can do better.

Really, that’s what it’s about.  Getting up during the day and finding yourself in a place where you’re ready to approach things from a point of excellence and not some half-assed, half-cocked idea of just getting by.

What’s this mean?  Glad you asked (smiles at how willing you are to read further).

It means the following:

  1. If you are not actively pursuing the things you want to do, then you need to get on it.  Time flies.  No more excuses.  Aren’t we all too busy, broke, lazy, caught up, or whatever? People who are succeeding aren’t making any excuses.
  2. If you hate your job and are doing a half-assed job AT that job you hate, you should get yourself together and do better.  It’s a job. No one ever said you had to like it, but you should be good at it. If you find you can’t pull yourself together to do this, find another one.  I also give the disclaimer that you MUST should find another one before leaving.
  3. You have to be willing to look at how you’re living.  Honestly. No holds barred. Are you content?  Don’t want for anything else?  Well, then maybe you’re ok.  But if you’re constantly talking about how much more you want and aren’t making any moves, well – clearly you’re excited to be in the current state of mediocrity.  You can’t complain and not make any moves.  It’s not logical. I found myself trapped in this cycle for years.  But when I started to get honest with myself, some real work was put in and changes have been made.
  4. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  All the wishing and the intention in the world won’t get things done or make any changes for you.  You actually have to deliberately change and it means some actual work.  Better to start earlier with this than later.  It’s difficult & challenging – but not impossible, to break yourself from the hum drum mayhem.  It’s difficult to be extraordinary.  Some of it we receive as gifts.  Other things we work at.  True excellence requires hard work and time – gifts or not.
  5. Some self-defeating behaviors – may have to go or get set aside. I won’t even go into this fully.  It could be something like being late all of the time.  But if there is something you’re doing or not doing and it’s holding you back from everything else, then maybe it’s time to look at that and work on it or cut it back totally.
  6. Be prepared for the ugly.  in trying to make these changes and break free from sub-par-ness, you’re going to encounter a kick back.  Either from yourself or others.  Note from Rae: the haters will show themselves sooner or later.  Keep it moving! This is where a Rae-get-u-in-line-convo may be needed.  You’re either on my team or off the team.
  7. Hope. It’s the lack of vision or hope leading us right into a mediocre, just getting by lifestyle.  I challenge you to find it.  I always know I have hope.  It’s typically a small blue flame and not a roaring forest fire, but a blue flame is next to one of hottest right?  I’d rather have a powerful flame opposed to a lot of smoke.

I am openly challenging myself.  I challenge all of you who are reading this blog.  It’s important we come to a point where we decide how are lives are to be and we get deliberate about our business of living.

Love,

Rae