31 Years, 31 Life Lessons

Me having fun in Raleigh North Carolina #Travels

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:

  1. Always put Yah and Yahoshua first. YAH is faithful. He can and he will.
  2. Be yourself. People don’t have to like you and you don’t have to care.
  3.  If it doesn’t feel right that’s because it’s not right.
  4. Remember, the more you know, the less you speak. Sometimes the loudest one in the room is also the weakest one in the room.
  5. 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.
  6. Establish boundaries, let people know what those boundaries are and remind them when they have transgressed them.
  7. No is a complete sentence. You are allowed to turn down a commitment without feeling guilty about it.
  8. Marriage is sacred. Protect it. Remember that everything doesn’t belong on social media. Learn to experience something beautiful and tell no one.
  9. New beginnings. It’s never too late to begin again.
  10. Love all. Trust few.
  11. Be patient with yourself.
  12. Call your mother. You only get one.
  13. Pay attention to yourself. Your actions reveal your heart.
  14. Speak up. People don’t know how to love you if you don’t show them. If something irritates or annoys you, say it.
  15. Never sacrifice your integrity no matter how enticing the opportunity.
  16. Don’t chase people. If someone wants to be in your life, you’ll know.
  17. Because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of the world has grown cold so be kind, be gentle, be considerate.
  18. Karma is a real thing. If you don’t want it to happen to you, don’t do it to others.
  19. 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.
  20. Be a fool for no one.
  21. Friendships are sacred. Don’t go around calling everyone you friend or sister. Make them prove it.
  22. Remember to check on your strong friends.
  23. Assume nothing. Validate everything.
  24. 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.
  25. Make memories.
  26. Don’t ever look down on someone for not knowing what you know. There was a time when you didn’t know either.
  27. You don’t know what you don’t know.
  28. Spend time alone. Get to know yourself.
  29. Be willing to walk alone, than with a thousand snakes.
  30. Remember the homeless as if chained to them. Let their condition be a reminder of your humility. Your life could always be worse.
  31. 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.
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Patience is Clarity

I’ve learned to make more moves and less announcements. To not announce my plans or to declare anything before it is done. To listen and to watch. To grow silently.  I’ve learned that there is movement in stillness and that  patience is clarity.

The Layers of You

Your strength is in your mind(1)

Every new level of your life will require a different version of you. Not a new version, just a different version. A version that was always there but that you were not ready or mature enough to see. A part that possibly, before now, you would not have understood.

Whenever you are going through something that seems unfair and difficult to cope with remember that another, perhaps much stronger, version of yourself is being unveiled and that process is not easy. It’s not easy because growth often requires pain or at the very least a certain level of discomfort. No one wanted to have pimples all over their face or have to deal with cramps, menstrual cycles (for women) or the emotional ups and downs of puberty but these changes were necessary as we transitioned from childhood to adulthood.

We are layers of an onion shedding one version of ourselves for another as we journey through life. I cannot now drink milk from a bottle. That version of me is gone. I cannot now sit on a rug in Kindergarten or at a desk in first grade and I cannot go back to High School. It is not even appropriate for me to go back to the past year, that version of me, these versions of me, are long gone. I must seek now an understanding of what this moment requires of me. This layer of me. This version of me.

These are the layers of you.


Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet of nine published works including her soon-to-be released 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.

The Seed

It’s not always easy to endure, but may today be different. May the seeds of goodness root themselves in your souls. For without seeds the earth is barren land. Do not worry then if things do not start out as tree stumps, for even it started first as a seed. From there the seed grows roots and they lock and load themselves into position, like protest hands before the face of Civil Disobedience, we shall not be moved. Roots are the key, for once the roots have super glued themselves in good soil a seed gives birth and a tiny plant eventually breaks through. When this happens, we say that a seed has sprouted. And so, today, may your seed sprout. May it become one with the soil in which you’ve planted it, and may it root itself. Understand that it must first start off as a seed. Tiny. Unnoticeable. Fragile. Weak. With my fingers, I can crush a seed. Do not worry then if things shake up a bit. If you trial. If you struggle. If you go unnoticed. If you feel at first small, insignificant, and delicate, for once the tree was. And now, see how it towers above us.

No Whining Wednesday – Wait It Out

It’s that time of the week again. Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday. The only day of the week where you do not get to whine, criticize, or complain. If you’re new to this blog or new to this segment, please visit the first post HERE for more on what this is about. For those of you who’ve been rocking with us since we started, I hope that you’ve settled into a no complaining routine! OK well, at least on Wednesdays!

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

Today’s motivational quote for not complaining:

“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.”

~ Brian Adams

I almost complained this morning and the day just started. In fact, I almost complained putting this post together about complaining. Here’s how I stopped myself: I waited to see if I could solve the problem before getting upset.

I don’t know if this will help you but it helped and has helped me on more than one occassion, today being one of them. Sometimes you have to just wait and see what happens. I literally tell myself: “OK, let me try and do this real quick and then I’ll panic.” Well, it works because I usually figure it out and by then the moment has passed.

I came home from out of town one day and couldn’t find an important USB with work on it to which I had not backed up. Worst case scenario is that I’d lost some critical documents. But I decided this day that I didn’t feel like worrying about it (worrying drains your energy too!) so I literally put off looking for a few days.

On the day I decided I needed to find it, I thought about where I seen it last before I panicked. It worked. I found it.

Today, have a little patience. Wait it out and see what happens.

Endurance

Black woman sitting with eyes closed outdoors

Endurance, the prominence, comes like a splashing dose of faith. Like scars praising the scarlet letters on my skin. As if strength poured forth from the sky and left its prophecies etched on the calcium of my bones. It’s courage far braver than purple hearts or bleeding pens on the white paper of a soldier’s goodbye. Like a car accident that knocks me off my feet but does not kill me, I get it. Nineteen years later the irony of life and death finds itself a home in this house of poetry.

Between Books – When the Blog Comes in Handy

This isn't my PC but this is how it looks. I have sticky notes everywhere! Uhh.
Google Images Pic.

Only a writer would be folding clothes at twelve o’clock at night and contemplating whether they should make a batch of coffee to spend just a few more hours writing, all of this while the History Channel recaps an episode of Pearl Harbor as background noise. It was then that this post was conceived. In fact, I still have a pair of pants under my arm as I am drafting this. What can I say, gotta write when the spirit moves.

As I took a break from my work to finish laundry that could have waited until morning for normal people, I thought about how much this blog has helped to fill in the gaps during my “Between books” stage (thanks for your support BTW!). I like to think I write at a decent speed (six months to complete the first draft) but after that things tend to slow way down as the revision and editing process kicks in. I thus find myself in the waiting room watching as an author after author fangirls over their new release while I’m in chill mode, waiting for my name to be called. It will be awhile before my book is ready. This is when blogging (among other things) helps a great deal.

It helps because while I am in limbo I can keep up with learning new things, reading new books, and keeping myself in tuned with my readers and supporters until the next book is due. It almost feels like teaching but being off for the summer. Some teachers volunteer to teach summer school for some extra funds while others take advantage of the free time. Blogging for me is like a writing summer school, a way to stay active between books. This also helps me to brainstorm on other ways to expand my business beyond the book itself and into other areas of product.

I do admit it’s a challenge to produce blog posts, engage with other bloggers, share content, engage in social media and keep my ear to the Indie Publishing ground all while writing a novel and there are days where I must turn the phone off. It’s either that or pull my hair out. However, I see it all as part of the work and it’s also a lot of fun to me. I’m a worker bee which means that I HAVE to be doing something and while the blog is still a small part of my life in the full scope of things, it does help to keep me active in more ways than one. I guess that’s sort of the point of this post.

It’s important to continue to produce material and sometimes that will take time. The Blog (and the email list) is the answer to how to stay engaged while you wait. Or at least it is for me. The ability to schedule blog posts is a huge time saver and I could sit my butt in the chair and finish what I’d been putting off. Patience truly is a virtue and I am quite pleased with the revelations I’ve been given so far. I can only hope for increased growth. #HWPO is something I try to keep at the back of my mind. That is, hard work pays off. Let’s hope so.

Now, I should probably go ahead and publish this post and get back to these clothes. It is after 1am my time after all. I’m pretty sure I’m somewhere in dreamland when you’re reading this…or not (shout out to my night-owls with the tiny light under the covers scrolling through blog posts).

 

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Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the YA, Historical Fiction author of The Stella Trilogy, Blogger, and Poet. She is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story” about a young black woman who dreams of being a writer in The Harlem Renaissance movement and her parent’s struggle to accept their traumatic past in the Jim Crow south. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” is due for release spring, 2017. For updates on this project, sneak peeks of chapters, the pending book cover release, and full blurb for this series, be sure to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.