Old Journal Entry!!!!!!!!!!!!

Right now I have a big project that I am working on for you all. I didn’t expect it to be as big of a blog post but it is what it is. I am currently editing that, coming up with some more interesting posts for you all and working on some projects. For now, I will leave you with a wonderful memory that I had.

Memory

Today was a wonderful day that the Lord has made indeed. Today I feel as if I had lived. First I had anthropology and felt the enlightenment of learning. I never had felt so delighted from learning about something since I was little and learned about the Chinese character for a cow. It was great I had a lot of a-ha moments and just enjoyed learning about what shaped and modeled our society.

 

Anyway, the most beautiful moment happened during yoga class this evening. Like any other yoga class, I started by laying down and closing my eyes giving myself some time to block out any worries from my mind.  After some warm-ups, the teacher leads us outside. Today I thought the sky and weather were perfect. We had gray clouds is some spots grayer than others. There was a spot where the clouds were clearing up and you can see some of the blue skies. At first, you can feel a little warmth from the sun. There were warm breezes that were very light yet heavy enough to move my hair. We started our outside poses with some warrior stances. We had to keep our focus out into the landscape. I decided to focus on that patch of blue sky.  When we moved from our warrior stances to poses that required us to look up north I saw the gray clouds. The sun was letting up giving the gray clouds a shine. It looked like something a very artistic photographer would have tried to capture. Our next poses were tree poses. For these poses, I had to ground myself firmly into the ground. I became one with the earth. When I finally lifted my foot off of the ground the yoga teacher told everyone to close their eyes. While my eyes were closed my senses were heightened. I felt how intimate the breeze was and the warmth of the sun.

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Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope and Inspiration to Heal

Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope album is one of my favorite albums. It played a big role in my childhood because my mother loves Janet Jackson and we had a copy of the HBO special plus the CD. Both the HBO special and the CD helped me with cultivating my soundscape and visual artistry. The Velvet Rope was sonically ahead of its time and the performances received many accolades but, the most important part of the album is the creative process that Janet went through. This was how Janet freed herself. Through recording this album, Janet was healing from her past.

This album was pivotal to the black community. It inspired many conversations such as domestic violence, STIs, sexual identity and being creatively free. As a young black woman who is very creative, I cherish this album. I want to heal and put myself in my art because of this album. The story behind this album teaches us to work on ourselves rather than try and be someone else, to heal and not care what people think.

Janet didn’t allow herself to be caged as a black sex icon and feeding the stereotype of black women being sexual objects. Through this album, she showed the humanity of black people and what we go through, specifically black women. Like she said, we are invited behind the velvet rope.

Janet also showed us that we didn’t need to be the best or perfect to get something accomplished. Janet is not the best singer but she utilized what she had and it was amazing.

In her HBO special she created an entire universe on stage. The costumes and set designs instantly transported you to another world. She didn’t let anyone stop her from giving birth to something unique.

Through creating something that was authentic she cemented herself as a legend. She was just being herself and standing in her truth.

After thinking in depth about her journey, I am reminded about “seek first the kingdom of God and then all things will be added unto you”.  What that means to me is, when we focus on our spiritual health and stop trying to live up to standards of the world or even to ourselves then and only then we will be free and realize the power is within us. No wonder God wants us to turn away from the world.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic and if you heard The Velvet Rope album. I also encourage you to watch the HBO special for the concert.

I may do a stream of the HBO special but you will need to check my Patreon for more details.

Like and Share if you care and live vividly!

If you want more content, consider donating @ Patreon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self-Care and Love (Beyond Pampering)

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Everyone wants to make videos and speak on self-care but what is it and what does it look like. Self- Care is more than just bubble baths, faces masks and detox water. Although self-care can include that, it is much more.

Self Care is making sure you are groomed even when you don’t want to shower. Cleanliness will make you feel better and you may even get a jolt of energy.

Self Care is taking time to reflect on what you did each day.  We don’t think about what we did during the day, what was accomplished or how we felt throughout the day. We don’t question why we’ve felt what we felt. I was guilty of journaling and not being conscious while I write. After I would journal, I still felt the same way I did before I journaled, but now that I reflect I feel much calmer. I also gain clarity and insight.

Self-Care is doing what is best for you. Sometimes, doing what is best for you is something that you may not want to do. You may have to read when you don’t want or to or break up with someone that you love.

Self-Care is knowing who you are. You have to realize that you are a better person than you think you are. Depression can make you feel like you aren’t resilient or a horrible person but that isn’t true. Don’t degrade yourself just forgive yourself and work on your issues. It is something that is hard and we tend to condemn ourselves but there isn’t any reason why you need to put yourself in hell. Let God be the judge and stop judging.

Self-Care is celebrating. Sometimes we don’t realize that we got a lot done in one day.  It is okay to pat yourself on the back because you deserve it.

Self-Care is not pressuring yourself. Be kind to you. Love yourself and be patient.  You are not supposed to be another person or a copy.

Self- Care is healing. Free yourself and live authenticly.

Self-Care products that I highly recommend:

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Kao MEGURISM Health Care Steam Warm Eye Mask,Made in Japan, Lavender Sage 14 Sheets

I like using the lavendar steam eye masks for the bags under my eyes or when I need to be still and calm down. The warm up very quickly and feel very soothing.

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Aura Cacia – Discover Essential Oils Kit (Packaging May Vary) | .25oz each of Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus

Aura Cacia is a brand of essential oils that I have used. I use these with their infuser but you can use any type of infuser with these or however else you want to use these. My favorite scents are Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and Bergamont.

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Earl Grey Creme Black Tea by Teavana
This is my favorite tea. It is very soothing to drink and great with milk and honey. It will pair well with a Bergamot essential oil and bubble bath.

For more blogs:https://www.patreon.com/fmaddox17

Empathy

 

Recently I read an article, “How Can You Meditate on God’s Word?” by Andy Rau. In the article, a part of the meditation process was to empathize with God. When I began to think about the desires and feelings that God has towards humanity; I see the Bible in a new perspective. Not only do I see the Bible in a new perspective, but I approach all of my relationships differently.
Now that I am learning about Empathy, I am more mindful of my thoughts and actions towards others. My relationships are more meaningful and fruitful. I learn more about myself and grow because of empathy.
Empathy for me is like the practice of saying Namaste in the beginning of Yoga class; the being inside of me recognizes the being inside of the people around me. The idea of empathy brings more depth and dimension to the Golden Rule: Love one another as you love yourself.
I encourage everyone to be mindful of empathy in their daily activities how minuscule it is.

God probably wants me to talk about this…..

Today overall was a good day. I don’t know about other people but I tend to be some what of a loner. I like being alone (I do like company every once in a while) and I really like to be alone in my room. Being in my room most of the time runs me crazy because I am mostly watching youtube videos and then being hard on myself for not being such as spiritual person but I have to remember that God does not expect me to be at perfection all in one day. God looks at my heart and my soul. He knows me. He knows me. He loves me. He looks past all the little stuff.  It just seems so hard to be receptive towards him.

On a good note I must have been receptive towards him because I have been shown favor. It has been a time of darkness but it seems like for the last couple of days the smallest stuff has made me very happy.  I got two apple pies, discounts on food, extra food and it is all wonderful. I also was able to un plug from the world and be in silence and peace.  I planned to write while I was in the coffee shop today but I was so overwhelmed with silence that I could not even pick up the pen. It all felt good. I liked just looking out into the streets with my cup of coffee (which is odd because I love tea).  I felt great and present. I was not lost and just anxious but at peace. I was not worried about the future. I did not care about what was going on. I was just happy with sitting there. I probably looked high to everyone else but I was calm.

If you ever wonder if God is there or conversing with you or going down the right path here you go:

“the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:7

Psalm 13 Meditation

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Today’s picture is of Katoomba Valley. This picture is reminder that in Australia when I was abseiling  ( in the Katoomba Valley) that I didn’t let nothing hold me back. I had no fear what so ever because I had trust that I wasn’t going to fall and die.

Psalm 13 reminds me of my relationship with God. For now it seems like I am so unsure of myself and cautious to explore. I “wrestle with my thoughts” just like the psalmist does. I question if God actually hears me or what is really going on. I wonder about what I am suppose to do such as if I should just draw  or write but I keep restricting myself because it is not up to my standards or it isn’t awesome enough or I am just not feeling it. I trust God with many things but today I never noticed that God may want me to explore with my imagination a little bit more than what I am use too. I am usually very cautious when it comes to drawing and stick to drawing faces. I may trust God with a good portion of my life but it seems like I don’t let him take the wheel when it comes to something I love to do and that is create art. It seems like he is challenging me to go beyond my boundaries and unlock my potential. To me I always have to hear from God first and lately I have been questioning if I can actually hear his voice. I ask God about if I can hear from him and what am I suppose to do. I know he has given the reigns to me as far as freedom is concerned but I keep myself from doing many things. It might be a little easier if I wasn’t so much a perfectionist.

 

Now is the time to break out of the comfort zone as far as art is concerned. Even if I may not have anyone prophesying to me or God telling me directly to do so I should go and explore it.

 

One thing that I am trying to really explore is how to worship God through different mediums. I feel like photography is one way that I can praise God for all the beauty that is around us. Photography is the easiest. Writing can also be a form of worship but it can also be a form of meditation. I find that what I’m writing now is a meditation of a certain chapter and how it applies to my life.

 

Praise and Worship is basically taking the time out of our day to appreciate what God has done for us or what we know he will do for us and for who he is. So in any medium God can get the glory and we can do so in excellence.

 

So in the end I should trust God with whatever I do even in art. I don’t need to know which direction and I should explore. God didn’t call us to be cautious but he called us to be radical and think outside of the box. After all God thought outside of the box.

Shalom and the Daily Manna

I am afraid. This is the most terrifying thing in my life that I am dealing with…..it’s called answering the calling. I know that fear is the root of sin (I wrote about it). I know that it causes separation.

 

Why am I afraid?

I never liked school. At the beginning of my college career I had to go to a summer program (I will talk about what all happened in another post but not right now) and a lot of stuff happened that affected me in the next semester. During my fall semester at the first college I had many issues such as depression and laziness. I went to all my classes, I did go to a few parties( but I didn’t drink or have drugs), I paid attention and I still failed. If I really look at it it all started from my last years in highschool (another post for another time). But anyway I am scared because of failure. I went to college and I was a business major. I was very passionate about business. I took classes on how to start your own business and went to meetings with business women. I didn’t want to work for anyone and I could never imagine myself living the regular life stuck in a office and then going home. That just wasn’t for me. Seminary school on the other hand is waaay more difficult than just regular college. Seminary school is a serious place. No music and lots of analyzation. Many people would say that it is a good fit for me because of how serious I am and analytical I can be at times. But the past prevails (and as I think of finals) I think of me being burned out and not wanting to do this. I have worried my mom till she wanted to start throwing stuff at me and said if you don’t want to do this then don’t but then it is like I do want seminary school. I want to go after this life style that I want. I can not imagine myself doing anything else and I love it. I have freedom with it and can make it work for me…plus travel opportunities and I get the best of both worlds. It is my dream life. But then I start thinking about people who are doctors and engineers…people who are heros to others or making lots of money. It really gets to me because I would feel like i’m not smart (and I am very smart…) or I am just not doing anything really because this whole thing about being a preacher is so surreal for me. I’m not even in the seminary school(yet).  

 

For me being in college and going to school for business was a comfort zone that I was forced out of. With a degree in (I was in the international business program) international business I could travel the world and have money. Now it is like I have no plan what-so-ever. The only things I know is that I want to have my own church for a while( I have it all written out from a long time ago) and the fact that the world sabbatical was just the coolest word ever (I learned about this when I was 16 working as a receptionist for a non profit).

 

Another fear is the fear of being on my own again. My best friend/ devil’s advocate(in a loving way) has brought up another fear while I was writing this. I want to be alone and away from my family. I have always wanted this and it is not because of how dysfunctional they can be. I wanted to see what the world has to offer and see different parts of America. I have been in the midwest most of my life and it is now time to just break free. My fear is of my depression and being bipolar. I’m getting so sick of that being a reason why I can’t do anything or go anywhere because people think I will be suicidal or I need medication. It pisses me off. 1. I am never EVER going to take medication again because that stuff makes me sick and drowsy.

Lately I have been thinking that I need to shut it all off. Go read the Berserk Manga finally. Get my mind off of the exciting yet very scary life change. If I continue to listen to such things I may not even go and this is something I have no real choice in.  Therefore I shall go and relax.