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T. Marie's little Soapbox


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Do You Have Dead Weight?

Over the past couple of weeks I have been watching this reality show called Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project. Its a VH1 show that is pretty cool and this amazing musician and producer Linda Perry is assisting unsigned artist get to the root and rawness of their true talent to become authentic artist. As with most reality shows similar to this one, you get sent home if you’re not meeting the mark. However, something happened in last weeks episode that truly blew me away and I wanted to share that revelation with you.

There is a group on the show, OMAR, that is made up of friends Nick and Candace. After working with the group Linda pulls Candace, the singer of the group, to the side for a one-on-one conversation. Linda expressed the potential that she saw in Candace but that Nick, the drummer, was not equipped to go to the next level with her. It was obvious that Linda was struggling with being blunt with Candace about the need to let Nick go yet the truth of Linda’s words were just as obvious in Candace tears. I honestly believe that Candace knew all along that OMAR would eventually have to split ways but her loyalty to their friendship kept them together and limited her growth. Linda knew that with guidance Candace could reach her purpose. Just like she knew that Nick lacked the capacity to keep up Candace’s growth. By the end of the episode a very difficult decision had to be made.

So how does this relate to you? Its simple, what is holding you back?

What is the dead weight in your life?

We all have the potential to be the greatest versions of ourselves if we desire. The beauty of how God has created our world is that we will cross paths with Linda’s that will see that thing that we have and pull us to the next level. Identifying the gifts and talents is not the difficult part. The difficult part is being willing to let go of our comfort zone, our friends and our old habits in order to reach that level of being our authentic self. Being who we are created to be should be our ultimate goal. Unfortunately we allow our loyalty to others, situations to stunt our growth over our loyalty to our purpose even though we have a desire for greater.

Again, OMAR was presented with the decision of Candace moving forward and working with Linda or both, Nick and Candace, returning home. A tough decision but it was refreshing and rare to see that not only did Nick see the same gifts in Candace as Linda but he was willing to step aside and encourage Candace to move on without him. Even though Nick loved his friend and wanted to be a part of her success he recognized that they had gone as far as they could go together.

In our lives we will have relationships on various levels and depths, that will stretch us but we have to recognize when that season has ended. When we have gone as far as we can in a professional or personal relationship and our growth is dependent on us moving on without others what do you do? What are you doing? Are you holding on to what is familiar out of fear or out of loyalty? Which is more important to you becoming who you were destined to be or not?

We all will come to a crossroad in our lives where there is a Linda identifying what will get us to the next level but are you strong enough to do what it takes?

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How Do You Receive?

This year I have been very intentional about my spending. Counting my dollars and taking note of what I spend the most money on. Earlier this year I started doing these survey’s on my food receipts and these little discounts and freebies are assisting me in my savings. Well the other day I had a coupon to buy one sandwich and get second one for free. I got my two sandwiches and decided that I would offer one to a relative. I knocked on their door and I am sure it was not intentional but the person had an attitude and instead of talking to me face to face instead talked snappy through the door. Not even getting up to open the door.

I was a little taken off guard because I really wanted to bless this person. Well I decided to keep my second sandwich and went on about my business. I wasn’t even mad. I do what I always do, I watch television. I was barely into the first bite of my sandwich when I started thinking about how we receive from others and more importantly how do we receive from God?

How many blessings or opportunities have we missed because of our attitude? How many times has our attitude told people that you were not mature enough for what they wanted to offer you. Even if it is as small as a sandwich or as big as a raise? How many times has God had to change the hearts of others from blessing you with that promotion, job, gift or relationship because of your attitude?

What do you think or know that you have missed out on because of your attitude?

Could you be returning your blessing back to sender without even realizing it?


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Ruby & Maya

Ruby and Maya
Two precious gems
Beacons of light
With class and distinction they lived

Lived out the promise
No tears in the night
Honored to be touched
By the purpose of their life

With our eyes we learned
To be women of grace
With our ears we learned
To put ignorance in its place

But what do we do
When the stage light goes dim
We grab their angelic shoulders
And shine from within

It is our time to ascend
To our rightful place
As our sisters end
Their earthly race

Its that son in the sky
That they seek His face
Well done Maya and Ruby
You ran a great race


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I Want to LIVE & DIE like Maya

When I heard that Dr. Maya Angelou transitioned to her (our) heavenly home I have to say that I was very happy for her. There are many people in the spotlight that I hold a special place in my heart for that I have felt truly sad upon hearing they passed. At times its been the feeling that they died too young, or that they just needed one more opportunity or if only someone could have reached them in time the outcome could have been different. However the beauty and for some curse of free will is the ability to make life choices that could bring tragedy on ones life. Yet what I am encouraged by is the way that Dr. Angelou lived her life and the trail that she has blazed and the legacy that she has left for us to follow.

As I begin to review the vast number of accomplishments of Dr. Angelou it became apparently clear to me that she lived her life with purpose. From studying dance and acting, to becoming San Francisco’s first black female cable car conductor, a civil rights activist, actress, singer as well as the literary giant that we all have come to know through her work and television appearances. I am still in awe of the guts it took to live her life in the way she did. It is the way that we all should live our lives and that is with purpose. Dr. Angelou lived purposefully. Dr. Angelou spoke purposefully. I believe that when we walk in purpose destiny opens the world up to us and we are able to touch time with our lives. Dr. Angelou’s purposed legacy will live on. Even when human existence is no more and our earth is wretched with destruction through the air will dance her words.

Thank you Marguerite for walking this walk from St. Louis and allowing your heartfelt footsteps to trample the hearts of millions in hopes for a better tomorrow.

Thank you Annie for finding your voice again and delivering it with power, passion and with a flashing light leading others to healing.

Thank you Maya for becoming a spiritual lighthouse to all of the lost ships in this sea of life, for God sent you to point the way back to Him.

~~~~~~~~~~~

To My Peers:

In the transition of our elder sister I am encouraged to live on another level of purpose. The blueprint of her life that she left behind encourages me to believe that living your purpose and being all that God has designed and destined us to be is not only attainable and possible but necessary. It is past time for us to make our imprint. We have to monitor our language concerning ourselves and others. We have to fight our fear with courage and action. We have to live our lives as though someone’s life depends on it because someone’s life does.

So where do you begin? When do you start? What should you consider?

I suggest you begin where you are, start now and you should consider the end of time and never seeing your purpose, dreams and desire come to fruition. Close your eyes and image that you are at the end of your time here on earth and God pulls you to the side and says, “what did you do with the talents that I gave you“, what is your response going to be? What is your excuse? What has been preventing you from walking out your purpose?

Let me take a little liberty and say nothing is holding you back but yourself. You are the reason. Its your fault. You are the blame, just as I have been the blame for my lack of progression in certain areas of my life. Take ownership for your failures and of putting one foot in front of the other. I have a laundry list of excuses that I could spend every moment of the day pondering on and blaming my lack of advancement on or I can get up and move towards my purpose. It takes guts to follow your purpose. It takes guts to have courage and faith in yourself. It takes guts to be different. Lastly it takes guts to leave a legacy like Dr. Angelou.

Are you that bold, fearless, courageous to step outside of yourself and begin to live the life that is waiting for you. Think of it like this….you rent a movie from redbox and its a movie you have been anticipating seeing. You get home, sit it on the dvd player and go about your day. Days, months, years pass and that dvd is still sitting there. You still want to see it but you allow other things to distract you. That dvd is your purposed life. Its already completed and ready to go however you have to put it in the dvd player and press play. Everything you need is already available to you but you have to put in the work. Get up and press play!

Remember you miss every opportunity you do not take.

Be Purposeful!

tmk


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You Are More, So Be More

This weekend I just started reading TD Jakes book, Instinct, and let me tell you it is good. There were so many pearls of wisdom that I crossed over and over again but something jumped out at me that I just had to share.

“Don’t adapt to being less than what you have become.”

Think about that one for second.

Are you currently or have you been guilty of doing that? I know I have been in the past.

It took sickness for me to finally open my eyes that I was not happy with my life. It took faith for me to choose to fight through my illness. It took a head on collision for me to realize that I was not living in my purpose. It took a God-ordained encounter for me to realize that pretty much all of my life I had been selling my self short. It took courage to face these fears and address them.

I have always had a creative and artistic mind. I do all the professional stuff that I have to do but if I could spend my time expressing myself through acting, dancing, painting, you name it I would much rather do that. Most people don’t know this but I had an opportunity to attend The Alabama School of Fine Arts for drawing but when I saw the work load and the commitment level I made a choice to not do it and blamed my youthful decision on other factors. I packed it away and moved on with my life and decided not to cry over spilt milk, especially since I was the one that poured it out. Even with my artistic mind I have always been able to take responsibility for my actions.

Now as a 34 year old I have spent the past year lining my life up with my purpose and fitting my passion in there from time to time. Once I realized I was selling my self short I had to make some scary decisions and decisions that were not always popular to others. Again the nugget of wisdom that I read was “Don’t adapt to being less than what you have become.” Lets take a moment to unpack that.

Well what have you become? I am a passionate community worker, that cares about the youth and the education that they are receiving. I am college educated with three degrees and I am a life long learner. Yet there are some many talents that I hold that I haven’t even utilized and some that I need to dust off. There is wisdom that I have acquired over the years that is not being utilized. Lets not forget all of the things God has placed on the inside of me.

Take a second and think about, what you have become.

Next thing. are you adapting? I know I did. I acquired a good position, doing good work and worked my butt off. Yet I was still adapting. I was adapting to what people thought I should do, become and strive for. I took classes and participated in things that complemented the job title that I had but I wasn’t happy. I was being a good sport and a team player but I was not connected to the work that I was doing. I wasn’t connected because I had adapted to being less than what I had become. I was selling myself short as well as not walking out my purpose.

Now what about you? Are you adapting to being less? Are you selling yourself short? Take a moment today, this week or this month and re-evaluate your life and become more. Be more of what God has designed you to be.

Blessings,

t.


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What’s That On Your Back?

One taboo topic that I do not see addressed enough, especially in the “church”, is addiction, so who am I to pass up on that opportunity. I am not really sure what the fear is or maybe people are just afraid to show their closet bones. No judgment at all. I am not going to get very deep into it but I did want to speak on it briefly.

I guess there is no better way to start than with an example from my own life. Back in 2012 I had a major surgery that left me with a C-section cut and I truly had no idea how many muscles are in that region of the body. So you can imagine the enormous amount of pain I began to feel as the days passed and I was shifted from morphine to Lortabs. I was not a happy camper. Once I felt that first onset of pain I wanted drugs immediately and actually quicker than that. I left the hospital with a gang of pills and a loaded prescription for more. In my Charlie Sheen voice, winning.

Well not for long.

Now I did need those pills to get through the pain and to be able to continue to move around like I needed to in order to regain all of the proper feeling and use back in my abdomen. So I took my pills and healed up over the summer but some months later I realized that I was still getting prescriptions filled and I wasn’t in that much pain anymore. Actually I wasn’t in any pain at all. I had become a pill popper that quick. Who knew?

I know some drug addicts, past and current users, friends and family and for me that has never been appealing. I could never fathom why people stick needles in their arms. I still don’t understand sniffing powder but that’s just me. My lack of understanding of it does not mean that I lack empathy for those that battle addiction.

Back to these pills that were creeping into my daily routine.

Thank God for Him because one day I was just going along and I grabbed a tab (as I called them), popped it in my mouth and kept on. Before I could get out of my bedroom I asked myself, why the hell am I still taking these? I had a moment. I realized that there was no longer a medical reason for me to be taking them. I am on the verge of a serious problem is what I realized and I need to stop while I still can, alone. So I shredded my prescription and threw out the rest of my pills because I knew if I went another day I would have a bigger issue on my hand than I wanted. I may not understand shooting up or snorting but I get popping pills.

Back in the day my teen church pastors, Minister Everett and Mrs. Bridgett, would always encourage us to not indulge in things that God has not ordained for us to experience. I heard them as a teen but I got it as an adult. There are things in this world that God does not want us to experience that are fighting for our separation from God and provide earthly turmoil for us. God didn’t create us to suffer but enjoy life. You cannot enjoy life bound by an addiction.

I don’t know who this post is for but I know that we don’t receive revelation in order to keep it to ourselves. If this post is for you then this is the answer that you have been looking for. God doesn’t want you in bondage and that can be whatever is attempting to get on your back. You know your struggle and it is real to you. So know that you don’t have to carry it around anymore, get it off your back. God has greater for you but you can’t access it with that on your back.

 


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Do You Know?

To me the awesome thing about God is that He usually reveals the most amazing lessons or pearls of wisdom when I am not even looking for it through the medium of entertainment. In watching this past Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy I got the biggest revelation. Since I first started watching Grey’s, way back when, Cristina Yang (portrayed by Sandra Oh) has always been my favorite character; maybe because I see a lot of similarities between the both of us.

Well if you missed it and want to see it, the episode is called “Do You Know” and I will do my best not to spoil it. If you are not a fan of Grey’s you can still get some out of this revelation that I was blessed with. In a nutshell Cristina learns that a split second decision could send a person’s life in a different direction. Throughout the episode she experiences both sides of this realization. Her revelation assists her in rethinking her choices and in the process it affects the lives of those around her. Now how often do we really think about how the decisions that we make directly affect the life of someone that we are connected to? Our decisions will not only change the outcome of our lives but the outcome of the lives of people we love.

If only making life decisions was like television and we could have a do over.

Now in the episode Cristina asks the following questions that I am presenting to you.

– Do you know who you are?
– Do you understand what has happened to you?
– Do you want to live this way?

Cristina goes on to say that it only takes one person, one moment to change your life, your perspective or to color your thinking to force you to reevaluate.

Are you thinking yet? I hope so.

The entire episode had me reflecting and I thought that overall it was so powerful that at times I had to frequently stop the dvr to allow my mind the opportunity to slow down. How often do we take the time to reflect prior to a decision and look ahead and see how that decision could possibly alter the rest of our lives and the lives that we are connected to? Let me give you an example.

I might catch some backlash from this but truth is truth. I love my father. A small funny man and I am about 100% sure that he is the reason for my sarcastic and funny sense of humor. As a child he allowed me to watch and listen to comics like Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, and Eddie Murphy and since then I have always had an adult sense of humor. My dad is a veteran and due to that status and my birthright I should be able to utilize his benefits to pursue higher education. After my parents’ divorce my father decided to live his life in a way that did not include his children. Due to addiction, anger and stubbornness he decided to not allow me to utilize his benefits. These benefits would have provided me with the opportunity to attend college. His decision to withhold that privilege, that resource that was made available complements of Uncle Sam for me placed me in a position of disadvantage. There was no college fund set up for me; I was not made aware of scholarships therefore I had to submit myself to Sallie Mae in order to pursue my studies.

Now his decision forced me to make a decision as a young adult. I had to decide how was I going to accomplish this degree thing. Therefore I took the option that was available. I have degrees now but I owe a lot of money. My educational debt is a result of his decision to prevent me from utilizing his benefits. Just think if he had decided to open that up for me I would be in a different place in my life with no educational debt. His choices changed my choices. His outcome altered my outcome.

I hope you see where I am going with this. This is just an example to get the wheels of your mind thinking. We are connected to one another and fulfill various roles in life. However the question is do you know who you are? Do you understand what has happened to you (good or bad) and do you want to live this way? Now what are you going to do about it? Are you going to make a different decision? Are you willing to make a decision that could possibly alter your life and the lives of those that you are connected to?

Now that you are thinking about your life and those questions lets not forget the last part of what Cristina said; it only takes one person, one moment to change your life, your perspective or to color your thinking to force you to reevaluate. How often do you reevaluate your life? Could you do it more? Could you be more purposeful?

All it takes is one. One is a powerful number. It took one teacher (Mrs. Lee) to encourage me to use my voice in writing. It took one woman (Ma Perri) to help me in trusting people. It took one friend (April) to remind me that laughter is usually the best medicine. It only takes one and all those individual moments can lead you to living one beautiful life.

So I hope you take time to evaluate your life, your perspective, your roles in this journey and how the decisions you make affect others. Because your one life can change the world.

Blessings 2 U!

t.