Call it prayer Call it sacred Call these words a psalm a song sing Surrender to serenity Let the ecstasy of excitement enter your heart and nourish you in places your pride won’t let you admit still hurt However, you must However, you will in the quiet blooming of the soul find your joy
I thought year thirty-three was going to be the year of wisdom.
Profundity would find me on the edge of the ocean
dipping my toes in the waters of understanding.
Clarity would embrace me like a sister
and I would smile a thousand times.
But buried under year thirty-three
naïveté found me on the edge of stupidity
and dipping my toes in the waters of doubt.
Confusion embraced me like a sister,
heartbreak like a friend,
and I felt that I could die
a thousand deaths.
Thirty-three became the year of mourning.
A scorching misery, I would pull over my head
like a hoodie, pulling against the drawstring
so it covered my face
unafraid that someone might
mistake the heart in my hand
for a weapon and kill me
like an unarmed black man.
And I did not care if they did.
I was sackcloth and ashes.
Beaten by loss-the death of a mother,
uncle, brother, and the loss of a friend.
My tongue could taste the bitter tang
of humiliation like plaque on my teeth,
and tears turned into oceans I drowned in.
I thought year thirty-three was going to be
the year of wisdom.
And, strangely, it was.
Thirty-three quieted me.
It forced my tongue to the roof of my mouth
fixed my jaw to clench shut my teeth
while cultivating me in the furnace of affliction.
Profundity did not find me
on the edge of the ocean,
and I have not dipped my toes
into the waters of some grand understanding.
Instead, the flames of truth
burned off the useless layers
on the surface of my skin.
My tears are oceans of holy olive oil
washing away the sorrow from my soul.
Seeds of fight root themselves
in the crevices of my heart
that I have pushed back into my chest
so that out of the ashes of pain
wisdom may grow
so that out of silence,
understanding will meet me here once again
on the edge of the ocean
where I am smiling
a thousand times.
Don’t forget that if you have read My Soul is a Witness I am trying to reach 20 Book Reviews before this year closes and we are two reviews away! (Update: For some reason one of my reviews were removed. Boo. So I am 3 reviews away). If you have the book (and have read it), do consider leaving an honest review on Amazon by Jan 1.
Note: This poem is not in the book. It is new for those flipping your pages wondering where it is lol.
How to Review on Amazon:
Click this link. Scroll down to ‘Write a Customer Review,’ rate and leave your thoughts on the book.
Also, I am Soul is 99cents on Kindle for a limited time.
Welcome back to another episode of No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, complain, or criticize. Now, if you are new to this blog or new to this segment please visit the first post HERE for more on what this post is all about.
The Four Agreements is one of those books I keep close to me alongside the Bible and Letters to a Young Poet. This agreement is my favorite and has been on my heart even without having anything to do with the book. You will find that you are happier when you don’t take things personally. When you know who you are, you don’t need people to tell you how good you are. When you receive praise, you don’t take that personally by letting it get to your head and start to think more highly of yourself than you should think. There is only one creator, and it’s not you. You understand that you are a vessel used for Yah’s purpose and that everything you are belongs to him.
Most importantly, when people say bad things about you or do not react in the way you expect them to, you don’t take that personally either. You learn to create healthy boundaries that allow you to cut people off who continue to disrespect you but you don’t take it personally. You know whatever they think is a result of their own belief system, opinions, and emotions. When people violate your expectations, whether that’s not calling/texting you back or not responding the way you think they should, you don’t see it as a personal attack on yourself. You’ll learn when people are happier, they respond positively but when people are not happy they respond negatively. And the good thing? That has nothing to do with you.
People who are not happy with their life will not be happy to see you happy and that’s okay. They are on their own journey. They can’t relate to you at this point in their lives. Otherwise, they would respond differently. They would be excited, motivated and charged. Why? Because they have been where you are and they know what it felt like when they had that same joy. But when things are not as joyous in their own life? They will respond differently. That’s okay. This has nothing to do with you. It’s an opinion given to you based on how they are feeling in this moment but you don’t have to accept it. The person is dealing with themselves, not you.
Taking things personally is a selfish act because you make everything about you when that’s not the case. What people do and say is not a reflection of you. It’s a reflection of their own selves.
I am officially on vacation. This means that I am doing my favorite thing: traveling. I had a ball in North Carolina and my next stop is Alabama to visit the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. I also just had a birthday. Since I turned 31, I thought of 31 life lessons I’ve learned to date. Some of them I am still working on (like my patience) but they are lessons life has taught me were important nonetheless:
Always put Yah and Yahoshua first. YAH is faithful. He can and he will.
Be yourself. People don’t have to like you and you don’t have to care.
If it doesn’t feel right that’s because it’s not right.
Remember, the more you know, the less you speak. Sometimes the loudest one in the room is also the weakest one in the room.
Watch everything. Let nothing go over your head. Listen to body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. Hear everything people don’t say in words.
Establish boundaries, let people know what those boundaries are and remind them when they have transgressed them.
No is a complete sentence. You are allowed to turn down a commitment without feeling guilty about it.
Marriage is sacred. Protect it. Remember that everything doesn’t belong on social media. Learn to experience something beautiful and tell no one.
New beginnings. It’s never too late to begin again.
Love all. Trust few.
Be patient with yourself.
Call your mother. You only get one.
Pay attention to yourself. Your actions reveal your heart.
Speak up. People don’t know how to love you if you don’t show them. If something irritates or annoys you, say it.
Never sacrifice your integrity no matter how enticing the opportunity.
Don’t chase people. If someone wants to be in your life, you’ll know.
Because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of the world has grown cold so be kind, be gentle, be considerate.
Karma is a real thing. If you don’t want it to happen to you, don’t do it to others.
“Some people say that cucumbers taste better pickle.” < See how this statement makes no sense? Just because something sounds deep, doesn’t mean that it is.
Be a fool for no one.
Friendships are sacred. Don’t go around calling everyone you friend or sister. Make them prove it.
Remember to check on your strong friends.
Assume nothing. Validate everything.
Laugh. Let joy rub off on you. One day you won’t have the privilege of being in a good mood. One day things won’t be so joyous and you’ll just have the memories of when they were.
Don’t ever look down on someone for not knowing what you know. There was a time when you didn’t know either.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
Spend time alone. Get to know yourself.
Be willing to walk alone, than with a thousand snakes.
Remember the homeless as if chained to them. Let their condition be a reminder of your humility. Your life could always be worse.
Remember that there is a way of correcting people without telling the whole world. Educate, but do not make people feel less than they are. Even if someone is wrong, give them the tools they need to be successful but leave them with their dignity.
I’ve been focusing a lot on adding value to my personal, spiritual, mental and professional life. This process has caused me to reflect on a lot of things, pay attention to my actions, my words, and my interactions with others. I’ve had to dig deep and to make decisions that were not easy to make but that were necessary for my well-being and for my mental health.
I want to encourage you to enjoy the process of writing your books and taking it through the necessary steps to get it published. I know how easy it is to stress out during this time as you anxiously anticipate the birth of your book. We are in the winter months now which can be the darkest time of the year. With the pressure of the Holidays, depression, violence, and suicide rates skyrocket. We don’t need to add to this the worry of writing.
Worrying about every aspect of the progression takes the fun out of publishing. Makes it tedious and all-consuming. We focus so much on the end goal, “the release,” that the process itself, the going from A to B, the journey, becomes a blur. A hair pulling, tear-jerking, depression-inducing blur with the only satisfaction being the hope of seeing the book in print. That’s not the kind of professional life I want for myself and that’s not the kind of professional life I want for you.
I am starting over, it seems, in many ways and I’ve realized this is not a bad thing. This is growth and it’s exciting. I feel like a newbie writer again setting out on uncharted territory. I want to take my time and I want to do this right. My goal is always to do better, to move forward and to progress a little more each day.
It is always my hope that you do well in your endeavors and whatever you set your mind to do. It is my hope that you can do what you love every day of your life and that you do so without compromising your integrity, your happiness or your love.
While I don’t participate in NaNoWriMo (too much for me), I am rooting for you, but I also hope you are not being too hard on yourself. Just enjoy the process.
Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet of nine published works including her work in progress and short inspirational guide “Keep Yourself Full.” Learn more by exploring Yecheilyah’s writing on this blog and her website at yecheilyahysrayl.com. Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) is her latest novel and is available now on Amazon.com.
Inspired by Nicole Walter’s periscope video, today’s podcast is about being excited about your accomplishments big OR SMALL. Whatever it is that may seem, in the grand scheme of things, less significant, celebrate it anyway. We tend to downplay a lot of good in our lives because of other’s expectations or perceptions (people thinking we’re doing something bad or wrong) when we should be rejoicing in everything GOOD that we achieve no matter what. Notice all growth because it’s all part of the process. Keep being excellent!
I’ve created a new page for the podcast that you can now find on the sidebar HERE. Go here anytime you want to catch up on an episode.
Episode 3 – Keep Being Excellent
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Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, criticize, or complain. Today, we focus on not complaining for a 24-hour period. If you are new to this blog or this segment, please go HEREfor our first post for a more detailed description of what this segment is all about.
Now I really wanted to share a good one today. There are many quotes and pieces of wisdom we can gain based on how important it is to laugh. But I wanted to find one that really spoke to the nature of this segment and will give us something to think about. It took some digging and there are some really good ones but the one I found that stuck out was this one:
“Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.”
In the first draft of this post, I mistakenly used wine instead of whine so that it read: “…you do not get to wine, criticize, or complain….
Good thing I went back over this. That was close. (Phew)
Laughter is everything and I believe that if you are too serious to laugh then you are too serious and your life is probably real boring. The next time you find yourself in a sour mood, try to find the humor in the situation. Of course, depending on the situation this will be harder for some than for others but if you concentrate on the positive then you will find it. It may take awhile, but you will find it.
I’m at a point in my life where I’ve come to appreciate positive affirmations and the high vibrations the universe puts out when we focus on the good instead of the negative. According to an article in Laughter is the Best Medicine, laughing really is good for your health:
Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Laughter burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.
This next one speaks to our quote:
Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.
Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.
I believe that hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.