#logophile

You begin your day serial snoozing your ringing alarm and now you’re late!  So you jump out bed, half asleep, and hit the floor running, frantically making a pass through the shower, rushing around the house and finally jumping in the car to drive to work through snarled traffic that really sends you over the edge.  You arrive to work exhausted, angry and frustrated…  That used to be me. But I changed all that.
I began to spend 15 minutes, right after I open my eyes, sitting quietly and becoming present in the world.  I pray, meditate, read Bible passages, or affirmations.  I celebrate that God has opened my eyes once again to see another day.  I take a breath in the quiet of a new morning to center myself in peace.  And that 15 minutes made all the difference in the world…as a matter of fact, I’d venture to say it changed my life.
To be sure, it takes making a conscious choice to leave morning mania behind to achieve it.  You may have to rise 15 minutes earlier to incorporate your new session into your morning, but trust me, it is a worthwhile investment.  Spending time with God (and myself) for a brief period before I brush my teeth or take a shower, or read emails, or ANYTHING truly grounds me.  Taking time to be grateful, or telling myself “You’ve got this, girl!” sets the tone for how the day will go – no matter what happens after that!
Think about the power of covering yourself in peace and mindfulness before anything else.  In making sure you’ve fed your gratefulness before you drink your coffee.  Self-talk and talk to God, being quiet enough to listen to what God wants you to hear and what He wants you to do  has infinite power over your ability to think positive thoughts!
Positive thinking requires self-talk.  It requires that you say positive affirmations to yourself, and sometimes you have to say them aloud.  When you have a negative thought, whether it’s about yourself or something else, go ahead and have the thought!  Let it pass right by…but immediately after, remind yourself through self-talk that the negativity has no place in your mind or your soul.  It’s a practice – success doesn’t come overnight!  You’ll have to remind yourself each and every time – the same way you talk yourself out of a cupcake or chocolate chip cookie when you know you’re on a diet.  Don’t you have to do that more than once?  I know I do, sometimes many times a day!  It’s the same with positive thinking – it requires consistent and intentional self-talk.
Tomorrow morning, set your alarm 15 minutes ahead of your usual waking time.  No matter how difficult it is, do not press the snooze button.  Do not lay there to sleep 5 more minutes, because, let’s face it – there’s really no such thing as 5 more minutes of sleep!  Get up and go to a quiet place in your house – even the bathroom – somewhere where you will not be disturbed.  Light a candle, play spiritual or meditative music, and immerse yourself in meditation, deep thought, prayer, whatever YOU call it.  Read affirmations – there are ton of daily affirmation books that will do the trick.  One of my favorites is Acts of Faith: Daily Meditations for People of Color, by Iyanla Van Zant, which contains 365 days of affirmative passages and quotes.  Get a chalkboard for your space, and write affirmations on it – for example “I Am Beautiful,” or “I Am Enough” to speak aloud to yourself.  Download an app on your mobile device that contains daily Bible verses.  Create a list of things you are grateful for and add to it or re-read it each day.
No matter the method you choose, the key is to enjoy a period of time, before the hustle and bustle of the day begins, to honor your Higher Power and yourself by doing something that brings you peace and personal fulfillment.  Fill yourself with positive energy, and I guarantee that it will set the tone for the rest of the day.  However the magic spell is created – Law of Attraction, or a superpower cape you’ve symbolically draped over your shoulders, or just God’s infinite grace – in time you’ll find this practice will change your life too.
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The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Jack Kornfield

In many of my posts, I will talk about my mother.  Mommy passed away at 90 years of age in April 2017.  In the days following her death, I spoke with numerous relatives and friends who told me great stories about my mother, and to be honest, I came to know her a little better because of it.
As the years progressed from my childhood into my young adulthood, my mother shared stories about herself, some humorous, some shocking – but listening to the stories made me realize that my mother was human.  She had fears, she had flaws, she had victories, she had strengths.  Many of us grow up viewing our parents as superhuman and immortal (or at least that’s how I viewed my parents), and I think that notion is part of the explanation why it was so devastating to me when they each passed away.
I listened to an Oprah Masterclass podcast (if you haven’t listened to any of these, you really must!) – wherein she spoke with singer/actress Vanessa Williams.  Vanessa said she’s always been open and candid with her children about her past and told the type of stories about herself most people don’t tell their children.  Her philosophy is by sharing  her experiences and what she learned from them, her children will also learn from them and/or make better informed decisions.  She is also convinced that being candid with her children helped them to better understand her.
I wonder why many parents are not honest and open with their children in this way.  Will keeping it real tarnish the parent persona?  If a parent shares that they’ve smoked marijuana in the past, will it somehow prompt their children to do so as well?  Will ‘fessing up about their past damage their children?  Or is it because they believe it’s not their business to know?
Many of the things I learned about my mother after she passed away weren’t new, and some of them were told from the perspective of the storyteller.  But it made me realize that I hadn’t asked certain questions to learn more about my mother while she was alive – things that could’ve possibly given me more insight into what made her tick.  I discovered I knew a lot, but also knew so little…and regret now that I had taken advantage of the time I thought I had.
Weeks later in a totally separate Masterclass podcast – singer Stevie Nicks mentions a similar experience – after her mother passed away, she realized there were so many things she’d never discussed with her.  Why?  Because, she too,  thought she had time.
Talk to your parents.  Think about it; aren’t there things you are curious about that you’ve never asked?  Family history isn’t reserved solely to finding out who Grandma and Grandpa was, or digging back into the family tree and learning that your great-great-great grand was a slave or grew up in Ireland or was the king or queen of some distant land.  While these facts are important, it’s also important to know the “stories” behind who they are/were; these stories are genuine threads to the intricacy of your life and who you are.
Talk to your children.  Tell your story, or at least the many parts you feel comfortable telling.  But I dare say, the true lesson lies in the parts that you feel uncomfortable about telling; those are the stories they really need to hear.  Tell your story.  Because you really don’t have time
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New York Red….

 

Welcome to my new blog — New York Red!  This is the place where I will share Musings, Thoughts & Prose on love, life, new beginnings & everything else!  Philosophy, inspiration, humor, a bit of my inside info and things I’ve learned along my journey.

 

I’m a New York girl in Atlanta, Georgia…I always tell people I’ve lived in Atlanta since 1985 and I’m told “Oh, then, you’re a Jawja peach, guhl!” – well, not exactly!  Anyone who knows a New Yorker knows that no matter how long we’ve been away from the Empire State – we still claim ourselves New Yorkers!  My East Coast (New Yawk) accent has all but faded, although it rears its head when I’m excited or angry – or just when it feels like it! Accent aside, one thing about New Yorkers, it’s really not just about how you say it, it’s the way you say it, and that about me has not faded…

 

Where did I get the name New York Red, you ask?  Well, there’s a story behind that too.  One of my friends, an Atlanta native (and you rarely meet Atlanta natives in Atlanta – go figure! *shrug*), and I would banter back and forth about the habits of New Yorkers and Southerners.  She is a true Atlanta lady, with a feisty, yet calm Southern spirit (how do they do that, these Southerners? lol) and she’d say “How come you New Yorkers always….[fill in the blank].  And I’d say “How come you Southerners always….”  Trust me, it’s all in mutual fun and giggles.  Anyhoo, she began calling me New York Red and the name stuck!  For those who don’t know, in the South if you are Black, but have a lighter complexion than a brown paper sack, you’re called RED, which is also short for redbone – phrases which, I might add,  I’d never even heard of until I moved to the South.

 

Needless to say, although I may poke fun, I LOVE Atlanta and all of its  … well… Southern-ness!  This New York girl in Atlanta celebrates the parts of her that are still very much honking yellow cabs, hot dog carts, cheesecakes, pizza, open fire hydrants in the summer, Mr. Softee ice cream trucks and skyscrapers.  But I also embrace the part of me that’s the Varsity (what’ll ya have?), Southern hospitality, inside/outside the Perimeter, shut it all  down when it snows, bless your heart, 100 streets named “Peachtree,” sweet tea and PEACHES kind of girl…

 

In all of this, I’ve learned that no matter where you came from, you pick up where you are and who you are as you go along traversing the globe.  Ella Fitzgerald said “It isn’t where you came from; it’s where you’re going that counts.”  Whether I remain in the South, or return to the East Coast or change direction altogether, where I go with all of what I’ve gained along the way is what counts.

 

New York Red….

Welcome to my blog.  Pull up a seat, take your shoes off, get a big ole glass of SWEET tea and stay awhile!

 

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