Saturday, April 2, 2011

Better Me Epiphany ~ Eulogy


Most Christians or people who have grown up in the church have heard the term "I die daily". Basically that entails us killing our flesh or dying to it and living by the spirit or the commandments of God. I must admit that I have heard the term dozens of times before. I understood it but it really never hit home with me.

Recently (a few months ago) I got Tye Tribbett's ~gospel singer~ album entitled “Fresh”. It's an interesting album to me because of the instrumentation and song structure (check it out!). Anyways he has a song on there called "Eulogy". The opening words are "I'm writing my own eulogy. Everyone's sad except me". The first time I heard it it really hit me hard. I started to think about death and the void that it can leave in our lives. When someone's gone we can't pick up the phone and call them to talk about something we are upset about, or ask them to pick us up from the store, or get their take on a certain situation. They are gone...period point blank... gone. That's when it hit me. That's what dying to ourselves is. When there are things about us that we don't like we need to write a eulogy for them. When I procrastinate and end up hating it at the last minute I need to let that part of me die. I can't depend on that part of me anymore because it's dead and gone.

So the thought came to me that we are all composed of different parts, different facets, different people. The parts that are harmful and aren't pushing us to out best selves have to be considered dead. Just like I can't call my granny for a recipe anymore I can't call "Liar Mark" for an excuse for something. I don't know if it makes sense to yall but my mind totally opened up when it hit me.

Better Me Epiphany ~ The parts of me that are not beneficial to becoming my best self must be considered dead. They are not dormant or filed away for later use, they are dead and cannot be resurrected. I will not call on them for help, coping mechanisms, or pleasure. My life and the actions in it are my responsibility and will not be left to be dealt with by corpses.


P.S.  here is the song!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Better Me Epiphany ~ Sucker Punch

Hey yall!!  Its been quite a while since I've posted anything. I got bogged down with life! Too much to do so I had to take a mini break from blogger. I have started many posts but stopped halfway through because i just couldn't give it what  it needed.... so they will come... eventually!

Over the weekend I had most of a saturday afternoon off and decided to treat myself to a movie. I gave into the hype and went to see "Sucker Punch". The cinematography was wonderful! The actual story of the movie left a little to be desired but I must admit that the movie was entertaining. I always try to see what i can learn (from movies, books, conversations...) and I almost didn't get a thing from the movie. BUT the last minute of the movie said this "we are all equiped with the tools we need".

I love the idea of this statement. It is empowering and puts the responsibility on us. We are responsible for our lives and what becomes of them. We have everything already within us to cultivate our best selves and ultimately our best life. We still need to learn some things along the way but we already have the tools. We have the ability to learn new things and apply them to ourselves.

Better Me Epiphany ~ I will take the responsibilty to make my life the best it can be. I will not blame my situation or circumstances for the condition of my life because i have everything I need inside myself to create the best me. So my tools are out and I'm ready to get to work

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rediscovered Right ~ Beautifully Human – Jill Scott


So I was going through my music list that I have been adding to for years and came across Jill Scotts second album "Words and Sounds Vol II". I love Jill Scott and this was the first album of hers that I ever got. A friend loaned-then-gave it to me. It is what made me fall in love with her. Anyways I rediscovered this album and have been listening to it like crazy for a week now! So I figured I should share it!
For those of you that don't know Jill let me introduce you. She is a sultry singer who packs every song with meaning. It's not this catchy-tune music that you sing along to but has no meaning type of music. Her music tells a story with each word and chord and nuance. I feel like I've been somewhere after I listen to her music.

tracks ~
I am not afraid – This song talks about her unwillingness to be afraid of what it means to be a woman. To feel, to create, to bear children… She even says Glutinous!!

Golden - I LOVE this song. It is all about the freedom that we all have in each of us. Harness that freedom and live each minute, second, day like it's golden... because it is

The fact is (I need You) –This is a beautifully constructed song that talks about all the ways that she is adequate - she can buy her own shoes, stain and polyurethane... everything but still she needs a man. I like it because it's a reminder that all of us our sufficient in ourselves but that sometimes we just need someone else.

Cross my mind - It talks about remembering that past love - remembering all the good things about them and it ends up remembering that they didn't work out for a reason. I think we all go through those little episodes where we look back and want to call the ex then we get that all important FLASH ~ the "oh yeah that why we aren't together flash" but it's still good to reminisce sometimes.

Bedda at home - This song is all about being faithful. She starts off describing this man she sees and all the wonderful things he is and can offer.. but realizes as good as he may seem she has something "Bedda at home"!

Talk to Me - This is my favorite song on the album. It's about the dynamic between men and women in relationships. Sometimes guys just don't talk and the women take it to mean something else. I love this song because halfway through it changes course and turns into a nice jazz song ~ Brilliant

Family Reunion - Tells the story of her family reunion. I don't know how she does it but in a 5 minute song i feel like i know her family all to well. chorus says "What can you say it's family". every family has it's flaws but we are still a part and still connected by love.

Can't explain - A song where Jill asks for forgiveness for messing up in her relationship. My favorite line is "just because you have a nightmare doesn't mean you stop dreaming" I LOVE that line. It says what we should forever say every time we get hurt or discouraged and want to give up. Sometimes nightmares come but if we stop altogether then we miss out on the sweetest dreams too.

Whatever - This is a sexy song. Jill tells the story of her previous evening with her husband and offers him "Whatever' he wants because he's earned it!!

Nothing - A sweet intro that says "nothing is more beautiful than loving you"

Rasool - This is a cause song. Jill tells the story of a young man named Rasool that was shot and killed in street when she was a teenager. It is a song imploring all of us to evaluate our decisions and how they affect our lives and the lives of others

My Petition - I love this song!! It's a political song about our governments obligations to us disguised as a love song asking for honesty. You have to hear it!

So that is a quick look at a great album!! You have to give it a listen. here is clip of her singing "My Petition" live. I just love her presence.

What have you been listening to lately?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Better Me Epiphany ~ What If?

Shadow of a Doubt - S5isShadowDoubt

So the other day i had a big case of the What If's ~ and not the good kind. You know one of those moments where doubt rushes in and hits you real hard

What if no one cares?

What if I never move forward?

What if I never become anymore than I am now?

What If I'm wasting my time?

What if none of this will ever be worth it?

Depressing right? Tell me about it! I think we all go through these little moments, but that doesn't make them any easier. I don't know where all those thoughts came from but I know it's a place that I refuse to stay. Fear has the sneakiest way of creeping in and crippling who we are and who we will be. It can be so convincing and can litterally pull you backwards in life. I believe that fear is deceit in its purest form. It takes everything in life and distorts it and has all us believing in something that isn't true. When we believe lies we act accordingly and everything is thrown off.

I decided a long time ago to enjoy my life exactly how it is right this instant. It's the only life that we have to enjoy. I may never have a blog following of 15,000. I may never right a book that ends up on the Oprah book club list. I may never have a booming business. That is ok, because those are all extraneous things. I know in the very deepest part of me that who I am is not determined by these things. My identity lies in what I choose. So each day I will continue to do the things I love, share the things I care about, and enjoy life in spite of what fear, doubt, and anything else tell me. It won't trick me.

Better Me Epiphany ~ The what ifs in life will always try to cover up what is. Every time fear trys to distort my lifes' image it is my responsibility to step back, focus, and remember the truth. Today will be the event of a lifetime every time it comes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Better Me Epiphany ~ Lose Your Grip

Closing doors (365/365), originally uploaded by JenniPenni.

These past few days have been a huge reminder of the tenacity of the human spirit. No matter what, we all have the ability to hold on. The only thing is that sometimes its time for us to just let go.

I have millions of examples... I was cruising through facebook and saw a status update of a friend declaring for the 100th time that they are so glad their ex is out of their life (they were out 3 months ago... still holding on), a friend of mine brought up a time when he was snubbed for something months ago, and ME ~ I was talking to my friend and a name was brought up. I frowned my face and my friend asked when are you going to get over all that. I responded that I was over it, but I won't forget the lesson learned. I'm wondering if I really am though. I don't ever think about that person or the situation unless it's brought up. I'm not harboring ill feelings against them... but I do have a certain perception of them because of the whole situation.

It is easy to go back . Our rearview mirror can take us so far back in an instant. It would be no problem to replay that whole scene over and over and talk about how I was right and they were wrong and I can feel justified in my attitude. But whats the point? Things in our past are over for a reason. We don't have to go back and drudge up all the old hurts, worries, and disapointments. The only thing that can do is muddy up our present. When we replay all of those things over and over we are painting our minds with them. A mind painted with hurt, disapointment, and worry (however real and valid) can only produce more of the same. So the point is to learn from it but don't relive it. We all go through things as a way of teaching us and stretching us into our best selves. So the next time I hear a certain name I don't have to turn up my face, because I won't relive that hurt. I will simply think of the lesson learned and let the rest stay in the past where it belongs.

Better Me Epiphany ~ Reliving a life that already happened is as redundant as this sentence. I won't waste my time, life, or energy focusing on a past that can't be rewritten. It happened.. I survived... I learned... and now I'm letting go and moving forward.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CREATE ~ Valentine’s Card

Hey Y’all!!  So I have been really excited about this whole card making thing! I have kind of gone crazy buying craft supplies lately! I am stopping myself… no more… for a week! Ha!  Anyways I wanted to share my latest card! Tell me what you think!


Here is the cover!



And here is the inside


Here’s another


Here is the inside with a matching envelope


What do you think?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Sophistareaders ~ Skipping Christmas


Hey Ya’ll! Well the book for December was very appropriately picked by Laura! It was called Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. It is the book that the movie Christmas with the Kranks was based off of. It was a fun read and a fun book club meeting too!


We had Japanese! I had the Fuji roll… and it was delicious!! We just sat around and discussed the book. Laura asked us if we could ever “skip Christmas” and not celebrate. Most of us decided that we couldn’t . One of the great things about Christmas and most major holidays are the family traditions that come right along with it. I don’t think I could give up waking up to a fire on Christmas morning with my family all around eating Cinnamon rolls!! Or the multitude of card games that follow. We love to play cards in my family (all of us are the worst losers too!! It makes it very interesting!!) Pus the most important thing about Christmas is the real meaning behind it. I don’t think I could go a year without stopping to be thankful for the miraculous beginning of my faith!

So Laura thanks for the great pick! and I need to order our next book! I love this little group of people called the Sophistareaders! I couldn’t ask for a better bunch!

What about you? Could you ever skip Christmas?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lunch Date Table

A Communal Table for One.............

While eating lunch ALONE today i had an idea. I was sitting in there without my "eat alone materials" ~ a book, magazine, or something to look interested in. I looked around and saw a few single person occupied tables. Then i remembered my trip to New York. While I was there i went to a little jazz club to see one of my favorite singers ( Melonie Daniels... she wasn't there though!). Anyways seating was sparse so they sat me down at a table with a few other people at it. I was a little taken back because I had never been seated with strangers before. But it turned out really nice. I met a young couple from Europe ( I can't remember which country), theey were really nice. It was a good experience fetting to know perfect strangers just because. I looked around there and saw that most of the tables were mixed together like that, with some very opposite types of people. I would've liked to hear some of those conversations!

So i say all of that to say this. I propose that restaurants have a communal table. When i walk in and say table for one they can ask if I'd like to sit there. I think it would be a great way to meet someone new.. and maybe gain a little wisdom from a perfect stranger. I know.. they have a bar for that, but nothing incites conversation like sitting across from someone. You just have to talk!.

So that's my idea for today! What do you think?

Monday, January 3, 2011

CREATE ~ Here We Go!

Hey Y’all!  I’m starting this New Year out with some creativity!!  I had today off ~ tomorrow is the big day back to BOTH jobs. I’m excited about going back to work…. it’s just been so long!! ha!  Back to the point!  Today I decided to see what I can do in the card making department. Here is what I came up with


A simple leaf card with a blank inside that I stamped myself. I even did the envelop too for a little coordination! ( I need to get a camera ~ my phone gets the job done but it doesn’t capture the color very well!)


My best friend saw that one and asked me to make one to accompany some baby gifts. A friend of ours had a little baby boy. Here’s what I came up with


I was excited about how it came out!


So I’m putting my creative juices to good this year. What about you?  What have you decided to CREATE?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Better Me Epiphany ~ A New Year

Frozen web.

We are officially in a new year! Everyone has been asking me what my New Year’s resolutions are for the upcoming year. I responded with a blank stare and a pregnant pause……  I don’t know that I have any right now. This may sound crazy because this year is the perfect time to start over ~ It is chock  full of 1’s. 1/01/11 (Doesn’t this look like a setup for everything to start over?). If you have ever read any of my old posts then you know I fiercely believe in starting over every day, hour, moment, second. We don’t need a calendar full of 1’s or even a sunrise. We have the ability to stop whatever we are doing in that moment and change. I love that idea because it means that we can literally have 86,400 chances to start over every day (that's the number of seconds in a day).

      So I say all of that not to make lightly of the New Year or the New Years resolutions ~ they are grand and wonderful and the most consistent reminder of a new start ~ but I say this all to point out that we don’t have to limit ourselves to that. So many times we resolve to do something in the new year… we mess up.. and then we quit. I put its picture of a spider web up because it is a great reminder to me about new beginnings. Every day that spider laboriously builds it’s web, and every night the dew drops, the wind blows, or a by stander haphazardly walks through it, and it is destroyed. Even the purpose of the web destroys it when a bug gets stuck in it and flails around it messes it up. The spider is continually rebuilding, redoing, and restarting. It takes a lot of dedication, but for the spider it is a matter of survival. So I challenge you and I challenge myself to do the same thing as that spider. persevere like our very survival depends on it ~ because it does. When we mess up, have a setback, walk completely in the opposite direction of where we said we would head, we will not give up. We will simply spin a new web with each new moment and build our lives and our very being into exactly what we set out to do.

Better Me Epiphany: I will remember the web. Destruction is sometimes evident, but it is never the final outcome. My life is what I make it and the chances to change course are only limited by the seconds I have in my lifetime.


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