The Semantics of the Present

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I adorn my space with reminders to exist intentionally and not by accident.  My perpetual calendar this year is a reminder that happiness exists in the present. Today’s* daily inspiration resonated with me regarding the many definitions of the word present:

  • Present (adjective) – in a particular place
  • Present (noun) – the period of time now occurring
  • Present (verb) – to give, to offer
  • Present (noun) – an item given to someone as a gift

At times I find myself spending the present moment on thoughts of the past or thoughts of the future, which I know robs me of joy of this very moment.  I am working to remain present with intentional consistent activities. Check out below how I will achieve being present more often than not.

I vow to be present by:

Beginning my day and ending my day in prayer This year I started the practice of writing a morning prayer and evening prayer that I recite daily. The prayers are good for 2014 and I will write a new set of prayers in 2015.

Journaling weekly For the last several years, I’ve been good about journaling, however I haven’t journal this year thus far. (Shame on me! :o) ) Why is that you ask? – I am catching up on my beginning of the year “to do’s” – which I am way behind on.  I can’t believe in will be February in a few days.  Journaling for me is therapeutic and allows me to process and reflect on the daily events of my life.  It is also one of the communication methods I use to talk to my God – And let me tell you – at times the conversations are spirited and animated to say the least.

Reading dailyIn 2012, I got my first Kindle and I have since sold that Kindle and upgraded to the new 2014 version. Because of the Kindle, I plan to sell all my books.  Yup, you read right – I am selling my library of books. My goal is to create a simple environment around these parts.  By the way, the Kindle is the best thing since slice bread for me.  I am able to read multiple books at a time and not be burden by carrying book luggage everywhere I go. Additionally, I get more reading done with less effort.

In addition to my three vows, I will take time to pay attention to my breathing throughout the day. My presence is the best present at this very time and place.

Action of the day: What are your vows to remain present?

Quote of the day:  “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” Eckhart Tolle

*OK, I’m posting this blog entry many days late – however the sentiment remains. 
I am working on posting more consistently.

I love you. Your existence is connected to mine.

Thank you for reading my blog,

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After Midnight on Broadway Starring American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and Dulé Hill

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This 1920s-1930s Broadway musical revue gets it done right.  It is very tricky on Broadway to showcase a musical with no storyline and deliver each act to create a patchwork of musical art.  After Midnight is set to the tunes of the Duke Ellington era and takes place in Harlem at the Cotton Club. This show achieves the enjoyable for the fickle Broadway goer (i.e., Me).

Fantasia delivers on four jazz tunes that imprinted a smile on my face during each performance.  Her voice was controlled and exquisitely reminiscent of that moment in time (not that I really know as I was not born then, however I have a vivid imagination – y’all).  She puts it down on Cab Calloway’s Zaz Zuh Zaz.  I couldn’t help to think – her vocal coach needs to get a gold star.  Honey child’s scat singing was on point!  The maturity of her stage performance clobbered me with the fleeting thought of how I am blossoming in age (you got to put that positive spin on getting older) and what I expect from my Broadway experience. 

Dulé Hill was delightful and endearing serving as the emcee for the evening – making good on the delivery of his spoken words, singing and dancing.  I didn’t know the brother has levels to his talent. 

Fantasia and Dulé are surrounded by array of talent and each performance lends to this delightful musical journey. Virgil J. Gadson the hip hop acrobatic dancer trampolines through his performances with strength and agility of the greatest of yoga masters.  The talented Adriane Lenox is comical in the performance of Sippie Wallace’s “Women Be Wise”.  Adriane delivers a bolt of lightning as she concludes her number with “fuck you”.  Carmen Ruby Floyd sings the wordless tune “Creole Love Call” by Duke Ellington and delivers on sounds that are still delighting my soul. Another notable talent to mention is Jared Grimes. This tap dancing phenomenon takes you to higher heights with his flying splits and rhythmic tap dance moves.  As I think back, there were many gifted performers on stage including the Wynton Marsalis Jazz orchestra. The focal point of the set.

I give After Midnight a B R A V*  See Fantasia on Broadway before it is too late. Her last musical performance will be on Sunday, 9 February 2014.

Fine print:  The Brooks Atkinson Theater was built a million years ago consequently your knees will be in the back of the person in front of you.  There is no intermission, therefore handle your business beforehand. The bathrooms are located on the 2nd floor with the exception of a handicap toilet in the back on the ground floor.

*My Broadway rating scale consists of the letters B R A V O – The more letters present the better the show.

I love you. Your existence is connected to mine. Thank you for reading my blog,

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He is a Lover not a fighter.

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Born in North Carolina. Nurtured in the streets of Brooklyn. That is why he looks a bit on edge. Indigo the Dog is always on the lookout. His fearlessness is a cover for the tenderness of LOVE he showers on everyone he encounters.

Here is to wishing all my readers a day filled with a love so brave you set the world a flame. Be the match to the doormat flame that ignites love in everyone you encounter. The worlds needs you to be a reflection of LOVE no matter what.

 Quotes of the day:

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and LOVE—and the greatest of these is LOVE.
1 Corinthians 13

“It is LOVE that will save our world and our civilization.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Action of the Day:

Ask those you LOVE “How can I love you more?”

I love you. Your existence is connected to mine. Thank you for reading my blog,

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What does your state of mind say about you? – The Busy Drug.

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I don’t like to state to myself or to the world “I am busy.” Said a different way, I don’t like to describe myself as a “busy body”. Busy is not who I am, it is not who “I be“.

I’ve used “I am busy” to opt out of activities.  I’ve used “I am busy” in lieu of using the complete sentence NO.  I’ve used “I am busy” to feel/seem important. I’ve used “I am busy” because it has become a habitual lazy response.  I’ve used “I am busy” because I had no other way to describe my activities for the day.  I’ve used “I am busy” to mask my energies on time wasting activities. I’ve used “I am busy” to avoid making a decision.  I’ve used “I am busy” to fit-in with the crowd.

Why I am busy?  Busy is a state of mind. An “I am” statement I proclaim to myself and to the world. Busy is a belief.

I change my mind I change my inner dialogue about who “I am”.  I am no longer busy. When people try to push the busy manifesto on to me to adopt – I politely state “I am not busy” (end of sentence).  That is not who “I be”, that is no longer my story.

Now-a-days, I’m in the midst of practicing being still. I am still. I want to be filled with different things – engaging experiences of energy that resonates in the depths of my soul and elevates my spirit.

Embrace this idea today: “One’s action ought to come out of an achieved stillness: Not be a mere rushing on.” – D.H. Lawrence

Action Question: How will you change this “I am” statement? “I am busy”.

Until the next time – I adore you for reading my blog,

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Baby’s First Walking Shoes are Bronzed – I was here.

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Pictured are my first pair of shoes. My Dad couldn’t understand why I was growing so fast. So, he came up with a bright idea. He decided to cut an opening at the front of my shoes to extend the life.  After that, I got ‘mad’ wear out of the shoes.  Now you understand why (see previous post) it is not uncommon for me to walk around with ‘openings’ in my shoes for the necessary ventilation. No one likes stinky feet. Word.

What is even more interesting are the imprints that are left behind that subliminally become apart of our DNA – the fabric of our existence. Like, bronze statues that leave a marker of significance of an important point in time.

My Grandmother was ridiculed for getting my holey shoes bronzed. However, she drown out the chatter and went forth to persevere a generation of time. I wonder how many people of significance were unpopular in their day.

Thank you Grandma, I was here. Even if I am still wearing shoes with holes.

Until the next time – I adore you for reading my blog,

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Until you have ran a mile in my gym shoes…

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It is time to retire my gym shoes. I have had them for 7 years now. It became real yesterday when I couldn’t understand why my feet/socks were getting wet as I was walking to the Y. I have a tendency to wear items that I adore until they fall apart. I’m currently not motivated to go shopping nor have I financially planned for a new pair of running shoes – they ain’t cheap you know?!  So here I am at the beginning of the year to begin a new which includes a new pair of fancy footwear. Perhaps, I will bronze the sneakers pictured to remind me of the miles I’ve traveled in them and to keep me inspired with my ‘fitness flow.’

Until the next time – I adore you for reading my blog,

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Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild – Youngest Oscar Nominee

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Joy for brown babies everywhere! Quvenzhané Wallis, the 9-year-old actress who made her film debut as a fiercely brave 6-year-old in the critically-acclaimed film and Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild, has been nominated for best actress in a motion picture in the 2013 Academy Awards. Check out Rochelle’s ReviewsTM (Movie):

Beasts of the Southern Wild

★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars) Beasts of the Southern Wild is an independent film by first-time filmmaker Benh Zeitlin. Is a mystical film told and experienced through a 6 year old girl named Hushpuppy. “Once there was a Hushpuppy and she lived with her daddy in the Bathtub” turns out to be a metaphoric description of the plot. It is a tale about a young girl abandoned from her Mother and living with her ailing alcoholic father on an island cut off from the Louisiana mainland by the Katrina floodwaters. It is a movie about the innocence and strength of a young child, the perseverance of the human spirit and commitment to community. The movie depicts life uncommon to many in America today, however a reality for some. The child like wonder of the story of the ancient Aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy learns the ways of courage and love. When Hushpuppy clenches her fists and proclaims “I’M THE MAN!” you understand the relational dynamic between the father and daughter. The father’s singular mission is to ensure Hushpuppy is strong and self-suffcient to take care of herself when he is gone. Newcomer actress Quvenzhané Wallis (Hushpuppy) is a tiny force of nature. “I see that I am a little piece of a big, big universe, and that makes it right.”

The Oscar nomination makes Quvenzhané, a first-time actress, the youngest thespian to ever be nominated in the category. She will be competing with Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) and Naomi Watts (The Impossible) for the statuette and top honors in her field.

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Until the next time – I adore you for reading my blog,

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The 2013 Gratitude Jar

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My color theme for this year is red. While looking on http://www.etsy.com I came across these beautiful hand-painted Moroccan inspired vases/jars to use as my Gratitude Jar. I’m inspired by beauty so this find was such a treat for me.

Every time something wonderful happens in 2013, I have begun to write it down and put it in a Ziploc bag for now until I receive my jar. On New Year’s Eve (Tuesday, 31 December 2013) , I will open the jar and review all the gifts/Blessings/grace I received this year.

What a wonderful way to practice mindful gratitude every day.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” -William Arthur Ward

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Today was such a beautiful day in the neighborhood. For me, I would say today was support your local Asian-American business day. First, I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned. My dentist is a young Asian-American man – I’ve been going to for over a year, now. The office is clean and the technology/instruments he uses are current and not circa 1970 models, like my previous dentist. Next up, I went to get a massage in the ghetto of Chinatown tucked away in this small clean, peaceful place located in a traditional Chinese herbal pharmacy. “Linda” is the massage therapist, she is not proficient in English, however she gives a good Tui Na massage – I’ve been going to her for over 2 years now. After the massage, I walked to the “Village” experiencing the sun, sights and sounds along the way. Then I strolled to Soho to window shop and salivate over the items I want — however cannot have. I arrived home and this is what I posted to my Facebook status…

Digital Ghetto

This ‘digital ghetto’ I live in isolates me from being connected and being present
The opportunity to interact and be at hand with real people and the real world has been replaced with this new reality I’ve been sold.
Why visit with neighbors?
When being on-line with them is so much fun.
This ghetto that I live in-
Is a manufactured environment that isolates me from my community and the Sun
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I don’t know about you?
I for one, will stick with the possibilities of real life
and live in my real-life ghetto that I’ve been sold.

–Adapted from Rochelle’s thoughts 😮


Until the next time – I adore you for reading my blog,


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Ring the Alarm!

BloombergDon’t rush to blame BP over the oil disaster.”  I have to agree with this statement. As provocative as that might be, we have a responsibility for the oil spill. The United States is the largest energy consumer in terms of total use, using 100 quadrillion BTUs in 2005. (No demand No BP)  A general tendency is to resist taking any sort of personal responsibility for energy-dependency (Think of the crack/drug addict). Our drug of choice is energy consumption. We are impaired to see that a different form of life is possible with alternative renewable energy sources.  My, Your, Our – addiction to consumption is way out of control!

Growing-up I remember my dad using kerosene heaters throughout the house because he refused to pay the exorbitant cost of oil to heat the house back then (1980s). He would sit around with his parka coat and gloves on while he watched TV. I remember having the thermostat all the way up in my room and I thought he was going to have a heart attack and/or kill me! So now I am an adult and thanks to my Dad – Mama refuses to pay a lot for energy. I have a few vices (no one is perfect) however energy ain’t one of them! My friends make fun of me – Don’t visit Rochelle in the winter or the summer. In the winter, my place is a great rejuvenator to get the blood pumping with the cool burst of air that embraces you as you sit around. My remedy is usually handing out blankets to guests and/or offering hot tea. In the summer, the moist heat is sauna like and I usually do not turn on the air conditioner unless there is critical mass of about 5 or more guests. I have gone entire summer seasons without ever turning on the air conditioner. I don’t own a car or TV and the lights in my house I use minimally. At times, I laugh at myself – my appearance would never lead you to believe I have made such choices for my life. A friend said: I have a wood-stock soul with the glamour of the stars.

The truth is – Americans think they are entitled to having energy on demand. Our energy consumption is alarming. It is time to Ring the Alarm! The fact is that someday, non-renewable resources will run out. One might debate or opine about when this will happen, but there is no dispute that it will. Oil is a non-renewable resource. This means that we cannot create oil. Oil results from the decay of dead material under layers of mud, which under pressure and, transforms into a sticky, black, carbon-based fluid. In a sense, oil is cooked dead stuff.

What do we do? Here are few first steps to consider: (1) Look for local products to consume. (2) Work near where you live, or find a place to live near where you work. (3) Raise your own awareness of energy consumption and dependence. (4) Be a reflection of your beliefs in the community and if you find yourself falling into the trap of entitlement (realize that it is a selfish position), dig-out/ask for help. (5) Limit your false needs/addiction to overall consumption (this is an area of improvement for me).

It starts with you and me! Take a gander at the charts below:

Energy Consumption by Sector




Until the next time – I adore you for reading my blog,



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