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I lied. To myself. But, I guess it wasn’t really a lie because I was thoroughly convinced that it was the truth. I guess that’s what it takes to pull it off—a lie, to yourself, I mean. You’d have to be completely convincing so that you’d believe it. That’s the trick. It’s all a mind game. Most things are. Fear, doubt, uncertainty; they’re all lies we tell to ourselves- prove to ourselves even. And if thoughts become things then it all makes sense.

If we stop thinking in lies and start living in truth- and visiting but not dismissing the ugly parts of truth, somewhere, somewhere in there, there’s clarity. I couldn’t tell you where though. How ironic.

You know that river that flows through Egypt? Well, turns out, it’s not just a river.

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It’s so important, and yes, haste really does make waste and if you don’t know who Keisha* is, she’s probably you. I have been learning that time can help almost any situation you find yourself in. Sometimes, you just have to be still and wait, even if you don’t even know what you’re waiting on. I sometimes feel so anxious and nervous for no reason at all. I partially blame modern technology and the addiction to social media, but there’s something more. I have realized that the reason I have been feeling incomplete or that I am not where I am supposed to be is because I bought into the Disney Princess/All American Dream that by now I’d be well into my dream job and on my way to being proposed to. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I keep telling people that I feel like I am at a standstill. How can that be when God is always moving? I’m ashamed to say that I have not been as grateful as I should be lately. I have not been appreciating this moment right now. I’m constantly worried about the next moment, and then the one after that. The reality is, these moments are going to come and go with or without my help. I am not in control here. It seems like such a simple thing to say, but realizing that God is really in control unleashes a whole new sense of power. Naturally, being the control freak that I am, I never thought I’d feel so empowered by letting go of something. I have never felt more liberated. Deciding to surrender and wait on God and live in His timing instead of my own, is truly something. I mentioned to one of my mentors that I felt that I was in “limbo”. His response was, that’s because you think you know where you’re supposed to be. I don’t. I don’t know where I’m supposed to be because if I did, I’d understand that I’m already here. I’m learning to be okay with exactly where I am, right now. I have moments of doubt, which will come and go, but I will no longer allow them to OVERcome before they go. Progress is a slow process.

 

 

*Keisha: (n) One who is not taking her time through life; rushing; hastily making decisions, or not making important decisions; ignoring her intuition.

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I want it. My mother always said closed mouths don’t get fed so why won’t I ask for what I want when it comes to love? I sit here, skirting around the word. When you ask me what I’m looking for. That dreaded conversation. If I tell you what I really want you’ll run. I know you’ll run. and the worst part is you’ll say you’re staying as you lace up your shoes to run. I know it. Happened too many times before. I want love. I want you to walk down the street with me beside you. Your Nefertiri. I want you to open doors, and pull out chairs and not just for the first three dates. I want you to be kind, I want you to be firm, I want you to settle my restless spirit when it can’t find refuge in its usual spaces. I want to be able to look at you and just know it’s love. I want to like you. I want to laugh with you and cry with you and live with you and die with you and I want that so fiercely that it scares me. It scares me to think that another human being could be of such importance to my existence. Maybe that’s why I haven’t found you yet. So I’ll answer your question the same way I’ve answered with every other suitor. “Whatever pleases you.” I will bend my desires to fit your comfort level. You don’t want a girl? “Oh , nah I don’t want to be in a relationship either; I’m too young, too free,” I’ll say. All the while hoping you’ll see through the facade and say “baby, I’m yours” – the fairy tale ending. That’s all I want.  I want to know you’ll fight that fire-breathing dragon for me – but you won’t kill him because you’ll want him to carry us home- not wanting my feet to touch the rubble or hands to be cut up as we search our way through the woods- you’ll want us, to fly. Fly over the obstacles and destruction to a higher place. It’s just gotta be love.

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Hello. I haven’t written in months, but you already knew that. While I wish I had some amazing re-cap story to tell, as an explanation for my absence, I don’t. I’ve just been pre-occupied with, well, life. My head is clogged up with stuff right now, and since we are the generation of sharers, I thought I’d do just that. It’s so interesting that we have no problem sharing our inner-most feelings with the World Wide Web but many of us struggle with simple conversations with strangers on an elevator. The re-occurring theme in my life lately has been a lack of focus. I have been having trouble tuning out distractions and expectations in order to just focus on what’s right in front of me. I’ve started to believe the fairy-tale again. The Disney princess, how to make it in America, fable that we’re told as young children. I’ve started to lose my balance. I’m waiting on my big break, but I think I’m afraid of taking that leap of faith that’s necessary to get there. I see my friends and peers doing great things, but not without risk. I’ve never been a risk-taker and any time I tried to, it seemed to always back fire on me, so I just figured, that’s not for me. Over and over I hear the quote playing in my head that, “in order to get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” But, what is my something? I’m waiting for the blimp to fly over the beach in flashing lights telling me which road to take, showing me which door to open, but, that won’t happen. So what next? I think I know what’s next. I need to tap into my gift. I’ve been doing God and myself a huge disservice by pretending that God would bless me with a gift that only worked occasionally. I don’t know why I get so wrapped up in “trying to make it” that I’ve stopped writing, when that’s the only thing that keeps me sane. I should be writing every day. I should be helping people every day. I should be touching someone’s life with kind words and motivation. I shouldn’t be looking for a paycheck to pay for the blockbuster film that I want to produce. I’m never happier than when I’m helping someone. It’s what we’re put here to do. It’s what I love to do. Now, while I so desperately want to be able to provide for myself and be independent, I know that those things will come. I need to focus on prayer and being still and listening to God. He’s constantly stepping in and interceding for me – taking care of every aspect of my life, so why do I have such little faith that He has a plan for me? I have been feeling so stagnant lately but I know that what seems like forever to me is but a second to God. I have to just be still, pray and ask for guidance. I know this post was all over the place but it was more for me than anything else. I needed to get this stuff out so it can no longer clog my head. Thanks for reading.

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See my coverage of Sincerely Love below. This was my first official step off of my MANcation. Check out the video to see my interview with Kevin Carr, (“If All Men Are Dogs, then Women You Hold The Leash,) as he shares advice about post-MANcation dating.

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In my recent MANcation revelation, I discovered that I don’t have enough faith in myself and I lack belief in myself at times. This was ever so evident a few weeks ago when I actually heard myself downplaying my abilities to someone else. I was explaining my blog and a future project to someone and I said “Yes, I have a website, but it’s just a wordpress site.” It took me a second to realize that I had just made it okay for the person I was talking to not to take me seriously. I had minimized myself and my abilities out of fear that someone may make me, prove it.

Interestingly enough, the one thing I am most confident in is my ability to connect with people through my writing. Somehow, at that moment, and many moments preceding that moment, I decided that I didn’t believe in myself.

Confidence is so important. We’ve all seen someone so confident that we just expect everything they do to be magnificent only to learn that their bark is more powerful than their bite. We’ve seen people that don’t have that much talent but they excel in their fields simply because they have enough people that believe them. That’s confidence. No one will believe you if you don’t. I really thank God for these moments when I’m able to see myself as an outsider would, and take a deep look at the situations I place myself in.

I am making a conscious decision to have more confidence in myself. I think my issue is that I’m so afraid of being great at something that I’d just rather give you a mediocre answer so if I don’t deliver, you won’t be surprised. Being great, is hard work! I know that sounds pitiful and lazy,but this is a judgement-free site! I know there are tons of people out there who share my reasoning. However, that is a very weak and insecure way of thinking. If you continue to think on a small scale, you will only produce small things.

God placed you here to be great. It is an absolute insult to Him to diminish the work He has done in you by minimizing them. I’m always afraid to say good things about my capabilities for fear of appearing arrogant.

I can’t tell you how many times I read my blog and think “Seriously, Lana, who cares?,” but honestly, people do care; they enjoy my writing and testimonials and there’s nothing arrogant about accepting that. It inspires people, it encourages people and that’s a good thing. There,
I said it!

The difference between arrogance and confidence is realizing where these gifts come from and giving the praise to the Creator. It is okay to say, “I’m a great singer,” or “I’m a great writer,” etc., as long as you make sure you give the glory to the Lord for blessing you with such talent.

He has only created you for greatness. Making light of the gifts God gave you is not honorable and it just gives others permission to define you and place limits on your success.

This was definitely an eye opening experience and I thank God for it. I will no longer minimize my talents and I will only speak greatness. Care to join me?

Doubt and Uncertainty are the first cousins of Fear, and I intend to disrupt this family reunion indefinitely.

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I surrender

 

 

The human brain is an extraordinary thing. The ability to remember begins to vanish as the years grow upon us. I have just returned from visiting family in Jamaica.  I got to see family I hadn’t seen in years and I got to listen to the stories of my uncle’s youth. I think I have them all committed to memory because he told the same three stories several times. I didn’t mind though. It’s funny what the brain chooses to hold onto, what images stay with us & what memories will be embroidered into our our psyches forever. I reveled in the moment when my uncle’s eyes stared off and the story began to unfold, and a perfect smirk is tucked so sweetly in the corner of his face. He recounts the times he faced adversity, the pain he felt in his body from hard work, the recognition he received for it, & the times he received absolutely none at all. He pages back to the times that things didn’t turn out the way he wanted and he had to make those tough choices. The Choices that meant leaving money, leaving “easy”, and leaving comfort, for purpose, and for respect. “Mi’ nuh waste nuh’ time to make up mi’ mind, mi’ just do it.”

How awesome of him to share such jewels with me? Each time he told these stories I heard another lesson…another revelation.

This whole trip was another checkpoint on my Mancation journey . This journey has been devoted to eliminating distractions and finding my center. I have learned (read: am learning) to just center in and tune out the static. A lot of the nervous energy and anxiety that I feel is created and fed by me. This trip has really shown me that I just have to live for me, And for my memory. If I took a second in the midst of all of the stress and asked myself ,”Is this the memory you want to keep?”

What stories will I repeat to the generations that come to visit me in my old age? Will it be of my pain & frustration in trying to control the uncontrollable? Will my memory take “too long to get to the good part?” Or will I start living for the memory now, trusting that God has me covered. I have to become less concerned with what others think of me.

What matters is the purity of my heart, the clarity of my intent & the peacefulness of my spirit. The rest will fall where it may, I just won’t fall apart with it.

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