What a difference 4 years can make. In the midst of the storm … I somehow gained another strength within myself that I never knew I had. 4 years in Houston. WOW. Time flies. Let me just say that the “Grown Woman Au’Vonnie” would not be who she is now without having moved to Houston. Within that time I have fallen but gotten back up many times. Lets see… what have I been through in that time ? Well … went from a great relationship to a not so great one. (But learned to love myself A LOT more during that last little one) 2 car accidents, one which was serious. Took public transportation for a year and a half in the sun, rain, storms. Moved 3 times. Lived with rodents just so I could have somewhere to lay my head. Got my house broken into. Lived off of peanut butter and cup of noodles for months at a time. Made 5 bucks stretch in the bank accounts when deemed necessary. Had some negative bank accounts just so bills could be paid. Denied to my dream school … and then some. However, since then, the come up has gotten much better. I have gone back to school. Written a book. Begun the process of my non-profit and scholarship fund. Traveled to different states and countries. Met new friends. Lost a job but gained a “career” and honestly became a better me. A stronger me. People always tell me that it seems that I have it easy now, but don’t know what is has taken to get here. Lots and lots of tears and setbacks. I still have a long way to go to be exactly where I want to be but I am forever greatful. Greatful that after living in Orlando 5 years ago; me choosing to leave California after that; picking up and leaving everything I was comfortable with and all that I knew to start aknew; All within a span of 9 months. I still laugh at telling my parents “Yeah. I’m moving to Houston, gotta go”. Folks were so mad. That period of time was hard. Best decision I have made to date though. Being stagnant and complacent have never been me. I have always been ok with traveling alone and just up and leaving. The world has so much to offer. Life has so much to offer. I never want to be that person that looks back in years and say “I wish I would have done this or that.” I say all of that to say, seeing the growth of self is dope. Change is dope. Being scared is dope. Living life and learning is dope. I wouldn’t change my experience(s) in my life for anything in the world. It may seem hard during the times when you are going through whatever it is, but the outcome is so much greater.
I love you. Broken. Bruised. Insecure. Scared. These are the things that eventually made you who you are.
Once a blank muse and now a beautiful creation. A masterpiece if you will.
Who knew that within your years of living, you would have gone through so much to mold you into who you have become today.
It wasn’t always roses and beautiful sunsets, yet dark clouds and storms all the way around.
Cold nights and empty spaces.
Cold nights and empty heart.
Lost and confused not sure of what to do.
You made it. You’ve grown.
I love you.
I love you because you are smart. Intelligent. Important. Someone who may have fallen down 10 times, but stood up twice that.
I love you because in-spite of the negativity that may come your way, you choose to fight on. You choose to be prosperous in the middle of the storm.
Although things may not always be easy, you make a way to push through and let nothing stop you.
You are strong. You are more than a conqueror. A concrete rose if you will.
I love you, continue to fight on.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me to be a part of a Unity poem with other women and men expressing our feelings about the world and more so being an African American in it. It was an honor to come together with these talented individuals and write. To bring all of our feelings/thoughts together and become one. I hope you all enjoy. WE hope you all enjoy.
We are a nation awoken by the indifference of an adversary
The burden of corruption keeping our people deeply wary
We progress. We compromise.
but in the end WE all seem to face a demise.
Bullets… drugs… crime…
A number of issues that keep us behind
They attempt to hold us back
But we aim for the stars
Reaching… Ascending… Achieving…
Intelligence on the rise in the minds of the young
The brutal loss of an election that certainly stung
Revolution, revolution, revolution
Working together to build a solution
Do not be afraid of what the future may hold.
We have endured much more than strong winter’s cold.
We are strong, ignited and empowered
And our knowledge is power.
When will we realize we matter?
After another 48 hours of killings
Or when it’s known their pockets are getting fatter?
When will we realize we matter?
The chanting and the marching
Is a great start, but not enough for modern day slavery.
2016 lynchings hidden under labels of suicide
We matter, we matter
Oh yes we matter!
And we matter more and more as the madness intensifies.
Say his name
Say her name
Say your name
And know that you matter
We all matter
Without a hashtag.
The older I get the more I realize I am a strong black woman like Maya Angelou I rise.
It seems like war going on right in front of our eyes, some days it seems like they want us to compromise.
Compromise our dignity, compromise our way of living, compromise the way we speak for what we believe in.
But no. We stand tall. We may fall but we will continue to fight on.
Fight for justice. Fight for peace. Fight for what’s right in our communities. Fight for equality.
We will rise. We will overcome. We will fight until the battle is won’.
Standing up for rights. Standing up for those afraid to speak. Giving all we have, we chant, we just want to be free. Free of hurt, free of pain free of reliving what our ancestors had to bear. Free of seeing our brothers and sisters killed while having their hands in the air begging to have their life spared.
We have never known justice, never known liberty and simply stand and fight for human rights that were taken from WE.
Tired of fighting the same transgressions and refuse to die in the same slavery our ancestors protested
Refusing to compromise our quality of life to simply pacify a people with no conception of what’s right
We will continue to awaken our own, continue to uncover crowns that our oppressors have stole
Enlisting melanated allies to fight for more, our aboriginal powers cannot be torn or taken away
After years of oppression we still shine bright as day, being feed by the sun, glowing and growing with every ray
And we will shout
We will scream
We will cling to our dynasties
Never imagining that freedom bells were covered in love but blood
An element of war
The majesty of black lives will be restored.
A Unity poem by
Auvonnie E. Alexander, LadiRev, Tailand Scott and Viola Constance
The Art of Letting Go is a very simple but powerful process that enables you to let go of negative emotions that are holding you back from health, happiness and the accomplishment of your goals. It works on a very simple principle: I am responsible for my emotions and that I choose the thoughts that sustain my emotions.
For the most part, most of us relate to our emotional state as something we have no choice about. Events happen in our lives and it seems to us that it is the events themselves that cause us to feel what we feel. If someone has done something to offend me and I am hurt I say in effect, “You hurt me” or “You made me angry.” And unless the person “changes his ways” or perhaps apologizes then I am stuck with the negative emotion. Human beings have learned a variety of different approaches all motivated by a need to somehow deal with painful or undesirable emotions but mostly to no avail. One approach that we all know well is to suppress and repress our feelings. We believe on some level, “if I can just bury my feelings then all will be well.” But It never works. Repressing our emotions does not make them go away and these emotions continue to have an effect on our lives. They may transform themselves into physical illness and at best leave us with a low-grade unhappiness that colors every aspect of our existence.
There are hundreds of other ways that we go about trying to deal with our emotions. We see certain self destructive or self-defeating behavior in ourselves and others but mostly we are unaware of what motivates these behaviors. In most self-destructive behaviors, the motivation is typically to help us deal with certain unpleasant or painful feelings. As destructive or negative as certain behaviors are, we can always find a positive function for that behavior and that function is to help us cope with or eliminate unwanted emotions. But sooner or later we discover that certain strategies stop working.
The Art of Letting Go enables you to “step outside” of your emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and images and see them for what they are — thoughts and feelings! Thoughts and feelings are both aspects of one experience. Any experience has these components to it. There are thoughts and there are feelings or simply “thought/feelings” (coined, “thoughlings”). One doesn’t precede the other. They are simultaneous events. Many therapies help you to change your thoughts and beliefs but you may still be living your life inside that realm. Instead of trying to change your thoughts and emotions it is possible to simply let them go. You don’t need to analyze them, you don’t need to figure them out, you don’t need to do anything with them except let them go and that takes no time at all. When you can truly let go of that which brings you unhappiness, then and only then can you replace these emotions with something positive.
You are changing. The universe around you is changing. Just because something was right for you in the past doesn’t mean it still is. This could be a relationship, a job, a home, a habit, etc.
It happens to you slowly as you grow. You discover more about who you are and what you want out of life, and then you realize there are deliberate changes you need to make to keep up with the changes happening around you and within you.
The lifestyle you’ve been living no longer fits. The specific people and routines you’ve known forever no longer align with your values. So you cherish all the memories, but find yourself letting go and moving on.
If you’re currently dealing with this process you may feel a bit awkward, and that’s OK. This feeling is normal. I’ve been right there with you on more occasions than I can count.
8 REASONS TO LET GO AND MOVE ON:
- Someone’s negativity is rubbing off on you. – You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. In other words, who you spend your time with has a great impact on the person you are and the person you become. If you are around cynical and negative people all the time, you will become cynical and negative.
- You have grown apart from someone. – Sad but true, no matter what you do or how much you explain yourself, some people will gradually evolve away from your core values. As time goes on they will prove over and over again that they are committed to misunderstanding you and clashing with your needs.
- You are truly unhappy with your current circumstances. – It’s always better to be struggling at something you love than succeeding diligently at something you despise.
- Your goals and needs have changed. – What was right for you then is not necessarily right for you now. Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather realizing that you have changed, and then learning to start over with your new truth.
- Fear is holding you back. – Part of letting go and moving on is facing the fears and disappointments of the past that are binding your spirit.
- You catch yourself living in the past. – If all you do is attempt to relive something that has already happened, you’re missing out. The mental space you create by letting go of things that are already behind you gives you the ability to fill the space with something fresh and fun.
- An old grudge is still hurting you. – Holding on to the weight of anger, resentment and hatred will not only hold you back, but also block your present blessings and opportunities. You’ve just got to drop some things to move forward.
- You aren’t learning anything new. – All positive change is the end result of learning. If you aren’t learning, you’re simply dying slowly.
8 WAYS TO LET GO AND MOVE ON:
- Accept the truth and be thankful. – To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and helped you learn and grow. It’s the acceptance of everything you have, everything you once had, and the possibilities that lie ahead. It’s all about finding the strength to embrace life’s changes, to trust your intuition, to learn as you go, to realize that every experience has value, and to continue taking positive steps forward.
- Distance yourself for a while. – Sometimes you need to take several steps back in order to gain clarity on a situation. The best way to do this is to simply take a break and explore something else for a while. Why? So you can return to where you started and see things with a new set of eyes. And the people there may see you differently too. Returning where you started is entirely different than never leaving.
- Focus only on what can be changed. – Realize that not everything in life is meant to be modified or perfectly understood. Live, let go, learn what you can and don’t waste energy worrying about the things you can’t change. Focus exclusively on what you can change, and if you can’t change something you don’t like, change the way you think about it. Review your options and then re-frame what you don’t like into a starting point for achieving something better.
- Claim ownership and full control of your life. – No one else is responsible for you. You are in full control of your life so long as you claim it and own it. Through the grapevine, you may have learned that you should blame your parents, your teachers, your mentors, the education system, the government, etc., but never to blame yourself. Right? It’s never, ever your fault… WRONG! It’s always your fault, because if you want to change, if you want to let go and move on with your life, you’re the only person who can make it happen.
- Focus inward. – It’s important to make a difference in the world. Yes, it’s important to help people, but you have to start with yourself. If you’re looking outside yourself to find where you fit in or how you can create an impact, stop and look inside yourself instead. Review who you already are, the lifestyle you’re currently living, and what makes you feel alive. Then nurture these things and make positive adjustments until your current life can no longer contain them, forcing you to grow and move beyond your current circumstances.
- Change the people around you. – Some people come into your life just to strengthen you, so you can move on without them. They are supposed to be part of your memory, not your destiny. The bottom line is that when you have to start compromising your happiness and your potential for the people around you, it’s time to change the people around you. It’s time to join local meet-ups, attend conferences, network online, and find a more supportive tribe.
- Take a chance. – When life sets you up with a challenge, there’s a reason for it; it’s meant to test your courage and willingness to make a change and take a chance on something new. There’s no point in denying that things are different now, or being fearful of the next step. The challenge will not wait even if you hesitate. Life only moves in one direction – forward. This challenge is your chance to let go of the old and make way for the new. Your destiny awaits your decision.
- Focus on today. – You can decide right now that negative experiences from your past will not predict your future. Figure out what the next positive step is, no matter how small or difficult, and take it. Ultimately, the only thing you can ever really do is to keep moving forward. Take that leap without hesitation, without looking back. Simply forget the past, look straight ahead and forge toward the future.
This weekend I considered it to be “ART” weekend. I traveled around my city to see what I could find. This Beautiful Graffiti wall is located in downtown Houston Texas. What do you see when you look at this ? What is art to YOU ?
I decided to get a little creative::
“Rather than demolish an abandoned warehouse, why not just cover it with graffiti and call it art? ”