Mixtape Poetry: Self Care

And tonight

I choose myself

Tonight I decide

I’m going to love myself

I have declared this before

Except this time I realize

Love is not a noun

There is action to be taken

Tending to my own needs

Nurturing the soil of my soul

Cultivating the ground for growth

 

Pouring into my cup

Wisdom

Pouring until it spills over

Tenderness

Tonight I choose to pay attention

To the language of my own body

What is it saying?

The foreign tongue of my emotions

What are they reflecting

About the world around me?

 

Tonight I choose me

Under the stars

I see my own reflection

In the faint light of the distant moon

I stand looking for no one

Waiting on no one

Because I am all I need

Sitting in the echoes of my essence

Basking in the ambience of my being

 

Tonight?

I choose me.

A new video is posted every Thursday for my Mixtape Poetry series! Subscribe to my Youtube channel to stay up to date with new videos! This is video 6 of 7

What I Wish I knew

I wish I knew more writers before embarking on this journey to authorship.

I wish someone would have told me the hard stuff.

Like…being a full time writer can be lonely. That spending 40 hours a week in complete solitude with you, yourself, and your thoughts is challenging for even the most extreme of introverts. That letting your thoughts run wild is scary, because you have always been told not to. That it’s so important to allow your mind to wander, for it is only then will you discover what is really inside of you. That writing is a journey into the depths of self, and self is sometimes unpleasant to observe.

I wish someone would have told me to get out the house more. To mingle. To take time to look away and do mindless activities. That using your gift so much can be draining, so extracurricular activities are a must. That your friends won’t understand what you’re going through. That people will keep asking what your life plan is as if writing is just a hobby and you need to get a “real” job. That even the people closest to you just won’t get it all the time. That your vision is not a shared experience….the only person that can see it is you. So, being your own cheerleader is a must.

Most importantly I wish they would have told me to stop caring. Immediately. Stop caring about opinions and criticism. Stop caring about the reader when you’re writing (they only matter afterwards). Stop waiting for people to celebrate milestones, because they really don’t understand your struggles. Stop caring about the outside noise. Stop caring about things that don’t matter.

I wish someone would have told me that I am the most important person in my own journey.

I wish someone would have told me to love self furiously even when I can’t stand to look at myself.

I wish I was taught earlier what it means to live an unapologetic life.

But that’s okay, because I learned. My first five months as an artist was damn hard. It was one of the most challenging moments of my life, but I am so much stronger now. I am so much wiser. I am a better version of myself, and I’m ready to continue ahead.

One step at a time. One lesson at a time.

If you are thinking of pursuing artistry full time, well…this is me telling you what was never told to me.

Misplaced

Would you do it?

Would you submit yourself to those things that are killing you?

Would you play with fire?

Would you continue seeking their attention?

Would you wear an outfit that’s barely there?

Would you inhale what’s damaging your lungs?

Would you sip the poisonous liquid?

Would you take the fruit and indulge in the forbidden?

 

Would you sit with those girls?

Would you be in competition with every woman who might have more?

Would you compare yourself?

Would you secretly tear apart yourself?

Would you pinpoint what you don’t like about your own reflection?

Would you call yourself a bad bitch?

 

Would you let him call you anything other than your name?

Would you give away pieces of yourself for free?

Would you allow him to raise his hand?

Would you cover the scars?

Would you….stay?

 

Would you hold on to the resentment?

Would you sleep with hate?

Would you live with bitterness?

Would you walk with hurt?

Would you?

 

Would you do it if you knew?

Would you use your jewels for play if you knew their value?

Where is your crown?

 

Why are you lost if the kingdom is inside of you?

Why do you delay when the promises await you?

Why are you silent when authority is within you?

Why do you accept what is given?

Why do you see but have no vision?

Where is your crown?

 

A new video is posted every Thursday for my Mixtape Poetry series! Subscribe to my Youtube channel to stay up to date with new videos!

Applause

And this is the part of my story no one claps for. Before the book is published. Before the speaking engagements are streaming in. Before a thousand people subscribe to my youtube channel. This is me.

Writing for the love of it. Working my a** off, and seeing very little get accomplished. Holding on to faith that this too shall pass. Learning to enjoy every step of my journey (even when the steps seem to take me backwards).

I am learning to love what no one can see. I am learning to celebrate every completed poem, every blog post written, every vlog posted, every project finished. I am learning to love the me before the celebrity, because it is only a matter of time before my persistence and consistency pays off.

Then, their applause won’t distract me nor validate me. Why? Because I was knew who I was before anyone else noticed.

This is She. This is me.

Journeys Back Home

I wanted to journey across the world.

I wanted to plan an escape outside the state. California, New York, New Orleans. Anywhere outside of where I stood would surely bring me happiness and contentment.

The more I planned to run away, the more I realized I was trying to escape the wrong thing. It wasn’t about where I was physically. The discontent was growing inside of me and taking roots in my mental space.

A mental prison.

I really needed to flee my thoughts. They fly back and forth. They get high on possibilities then roll around in self-doubt. They ridicule and criticize every action I take. Every word that escapes my lips get replayed and questioned. Did I say that right? Did I offend this person? Did I come off as rude? I was on a self-inflicted rollercoaster of mental abuse and self loathing.

Now I am planning a different type of journey.

I am learning what is means to be present. I am understanding the courage it takes to not mentally escape and daydream my life away. I am learning to sit in my thoughts. I am listening to what the monologue constantly playing in my mind is telling me. About myself. About the lies I have chosen to believe. I am learning to be gentle with myself. I am learning to take control over what I thought was holding me captive.

One day, I believe I will travel. I believe I will explore parts of the world I have only dreamed about. But for now? I have to sit still. That is what God is calling me to do. Sit still physically and take a journey within. Explore myself. Learn the languages spoken in my soul I find it hard to interpret. Like why do certain smells bring to the surface old memories? Or why do I like feel a pain when I hear certain songs?

I’m tired of searching for home.

I am going to establish home within myself. I am going to watch how it expands, making love materialize.

 

Labels

I saw the word: CREATE.

Who is it that I am?

CREATOR.

Hm….has a nice ring to it. I am a creator. Hm…it also sounds a bit arrogant. Let’s take a step back.

The creator of everything is who I worship. And the more I reflect, the more I realize I have not created a single thing. Not a poem. Not a story. Not a blog post. I haven’t done anything magnificent enough to call myself a creator.

A more accurate word: INTERPRETER.

I see parts of the world others cannot and I interpret what I have witnessed.

Thoughts are difficult to convey so I translate common emotions and situations.

I am not creating anything for there is nothing new under the sun. I am merely picking up the tools God placed in front of my door. And I’m having a damn good time.

Everything I Am

It all belongs to me.

Success. Authorship. Financial freedom. Homeownership. Entrepreneurship. Things to come.

But also…

Failures. Lessons learned. Wisdom. Obstacles. Fears overcome. Things of the past.

They all belong to me right now. Simultaneously. I am everything I have already gone through and everything I will be. All swirled into one moment. I am everything I have gained and everything I will ever need. My ultimate resource is within.

Too often I have looked at things I want to accomplish as if they are outside of myself. But my calling and my purpose are within. It is not a matter of reaching for something in the distance; it is more about discovering what is already inside of me. Discovering the blueprint. Discovering all that I was created to be.

What an empowering lesson. I no longer have to desperately grasp for things that don’t belong to me. Everything I need. I already have. I already am.

 

Moments

What I have learned is that my story is not going to mimic anyone else’s. There may be similarities, but ultimately my journey is unique. I cannot measure where I am by comparing my state of being to anyone around me. I cannot judge based on the opportunities others capitalize on or the methods in which they pursue their dreams. Our timelines will not be identical.

This is a common lesson always being taught, but I didn’t really understand until faced with the temptation to compare. I have a friend who already has a beautiful brand she works on during the day and funds by working at a restaurant at night. I have another friend who looks for every opportunity to perform in front of a crowd in order to build their audience. They are both gloriously pursuing their passions, and I applaud them. However, I don’t do either of these things. Is there something wrong with me? Am I lazy? Am I sluggish? Why don’t I even have a desire to explore either of these methods?

Because that is not what God is calling me to do in this moment.

I have to be honest with myself and where I am. I have to focus on placing one foot in front of the other. I have to turn my ears to intentionally hear what God has to say. Where He wants me to go. What He wants me to do. I am a poet, and I thought that meant I had to start performing at every open mic. But if I am honest with myself, I do not want to do that. Not because I am afraid of being on a stage (although it can be anxiety inducing I can push past that when necessary). I simply want to present my work through another medium and I am still learning how exactly to go about it.

What is my point in this post? Because I am beginning to ramble. Basically to remind myself not to compare myself. Or to not let the opinions of others dictate how I measure myself. Or even better….not to measure myself at all. I must only focus on being a good steward of every single moment granted to me. I must make a commitment to myself to live fully and completely in each moment. To hear the opinions of others and allow their words to flow gracefully in one ear and out the other. To fill myself with affirmations and not depend on the compliments of others. To just keep swimming. No matter what…I must only keep swimming. And take life as it comes.