|| Let’s begin something new||

I am a little nostalgic to leave this space.

This corner of the internet has been home for me, a safe haven, a little lighthouse in the midst of some crazy dark nights.

I have poured, I have spilled, I have changed this layout a couple hundred times, I have found home here and now I suppose it is time that we grow.

I am excited to announce that after a few months passing and a lot of work put in by Green Gold productions, an amazing, diligent and gracious company. Green Gold has offered to be my sponsor, helping me with my business cards (with the beautiful gold edges), beautiful bookmarks and other promotional items coming soon! I honestly cannot thank them enough for the way they have worked with and helped me develop a brand, a vision and harness a dream. (If you’re interested in this kind of support too, find them on FB, instagram, or contact them via their website)

 

So here we go…

we’re growing up a little, spreading our wings, saying good bye and exhaling.

 

Join me?

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November Events!

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Friday November 13th @ 6pm-10pm

& Saturday November 14th 10am-6pm

Glam Camp West: Adored 

The Life Center and The Hyatt House

Registration: http://www.glamcampforgirls.org/west-coast-info/


Thursday November 19th, 2015 @7pm

This is My Brave & Depressed Cake Shop an evening of Storytelling and Cake

Harmony Gold – 7655 Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90046

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/this-is-my-brave-depressed-cake-shop-invite-you-to-an-evening-of-stories-music-cake-tickets-19051997036


Saturday November 21st 6pm-9pm

Reach for the Stars Fundraiser

Idyllwild Pines Camp

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/823333024449945/

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reach-for-the-stars-an-evening-of-entertainment-benefitting-naiya-grace-tickets-18880486042

YAY T H I R T Y!

 

 

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Wow. Thirty days! Not thirty straight days because well it got real crazy there for a second and honestly I stopped using the timer like 5 posts ago but I have been so thankful for this challenge. I feel stretched and invested in this craft more than I was before. I found the flow, I found my flow, my rhythm in the last two posts and it became less about just saying things everyday but actually sharing content that I hope has substance. I don’t ever want to just say things,I don’t want to just throw words out there because I can.

So here we are day thirty and I have thought all day about what this last post should be about. I had a couple of ideas, maybe going through another list of honest realities because that was a good start to this whole challenge.

But then… the idea of saving kept coming to mind.

I have a superwoman complex, I really do. I would stupidly be attracted to guys in hopes that I could be the Jesus they needed to see. I say yes to people when everything in me wants to say no because I feel bad. I live way too much out of obligation, out of the thought that I owe people my time, my energy, or just me in general. Who needs me, when do they need me, can I be there? Doesn’t matter, make it work. — That’s how my mind thinks on the regular. Did I say something that everyone can relate to? Were my words too singular gender focused? If people are married could they feel as if they were included in what I said? Did they impact everyone? Did I save everyone today? 

Did my words act as a life boat to everyone they encountered? 

I leave events and automatically have the thought that the words I said, the love letters I shared, just bounced off of people and against the walls turning into dense and meaningless noise. If my hands aren’t big enough to “save” everyone then maybe my words are. Everything in me has this immense desire to keep everyone from drowning, from hurting so that they don’t have to live through that (which is unrealistic because honestly those painful experiences are such necessary parts of life) but in my frail attempts to do so, I am blind to the presence of the water above my own head.

I realized not too long ago that these words are far from being for me and once I started getting into the habit of actually putting them out there, the response i have received from people has been a tremendous blessing. The texts, the emails, the messages I read all of these many times over—they are my life jackets. You aren’t saving me but daily encouraging and keeping this flame underneath me and I am so very thankful for that.

It’s not about us saving one another, it’s simply about us coming alongside the other person, slowly slipping our fingers through their own, just to give them the softest reminder that someone is here. Someone cares.

There is a story I’ve heard a few times (I believe a fictional one) of a boy who tried walking on the shore in attempts to save every starfish he came across by throwing them back into the water but was exhausted and burdened by the fact that he couldn’t. That boy is me, that boy is a lot of us. All we can do is try for one and if that succeeds, try for another and then another and then another. One at a time, slowly and one at a time.

I usually don’t share these but today I received an email from a mom who attended the last conference I did. She told me the impact that I not only had on her but on her daughter. She referred to the moment when I shared my poem at the conference and said,

“…When I looked over at her listening to you, she had tears streaming down her face.  It was the beginning … of her letting go … and beginning to allow Jesus into some of the hurting holes in her heart. “

I had tears in my eyes after reading this and had to pull myself together right before ordering a muffin at a coffee shop.

This. I thought, this is why I do this.

Not for the lights, not for the applause, not for the saving. After reading this email, I knew that this is what I needed to share for my last challenge post. A reminder for myself, a reminder for others that there is hope, you can be a hope for people. Not a savior, not a superhero but the simplest reminder that it’s okay to let go and let Jesus in– the one who can save, the one who can truly heal.

Your hands are not big enough to save everyone.

But they are big enough to hold a few people, to intertwine your own hands just to silently cheer them on. Hands big enough to hold a pen and send a few love letters.

We will grow weary and burdened with the weight of trying to do it on our own. We were built to be in relationship with one another, to walk each other home or wait there and keep the light on, but not to saveYou were not born with a cape on your back, you were born with flesh. Flesh that is a constant reminder of how much it is not your job to save people. That spine of yours is only strong enough to carry the backbone of one person not a handful.


 

The mom ended her email with these words and it left me sobbing yet again. She wrote,

“Thank you for your encouragement and the glittery mess you leave behind.  You are helping and touching many hearts through all that you are doing.”

O h. m y. h e a r t.

So I challenge you – focus less on saving and more on leaving glittery messes everywhere we go. Less on saving and more on tucking a little bit more solace in the darkest corners of peoples lives.

Saving ….honey that’s not your job. But loving, daily encouraging, rooting for people on the sidelines and being little glimpses of hope—you can do that.

I believe in you. 

Day T W E N T Y – N I N E

I am very intentional with language.

I believe that our words are weighted and valuable and we can be so loose with our “Oh I’m doing great” and “life is good” responses, most times that is not the truth of our reality.

So lately, I’ve been trying to give honest answers but saying “I’m okay” throws people off and even without that, I wear my emotions on my face like a bad actor and I am easily read by everyone. I say “I’m okay” when there are a thousand other thoughts in my head and “I’m good” is not the first to come to mind.

Last night, someone asked how I was doing and I told him honestly that I feel misplaced. I feel like I don’t have grounding or a home anywhere or with anyone. I am tight roping and juggling every job I can grab just to pay to live. Why did no one tell us that adulthood is when you are hit with the reality that everything cost money so much so that it’s as if breathing cost money. I don’t feel stable and as exciting as this whole free-lancing, “free” life is, it stresses out the type-A/ left brain in me. I told myself that I wanted to explore this year as a creative and I still mean that but while I’m in the midst of writing, memorizing, performing poetry and working on personal projects, I’m nannying, running various social media spaces for other people, styling clothing at a subscription company and getting ready to work as a barista again. And then I have a few nights out of the week where I am searching for local commercial and plus size modeling auditions. I have no grounding. I find myself overwhelmed with how much I’m passionate about and overwhelmed by the limited amount of time to do it all.

When I was younger my span of dream jobs ranged from wanting to be a teacher, to a famous singer, to actress, then to barista, to psychologist and then to Resident Director, to poet, to speaker, to both, to life coach. I feel like I have octopus reactions to things I am passionate about, if I had eight arms to get my hands in it all, I would. 

Tonight, I was thinking about what to post for the day before my last 30 day challenge post. Every time I enter this space I am convicted with the thought that I want to say something worth saying. I purposely have skipped days because just as much as I believe in showing up, I believe in saying something of value or knowing when the value necessary is silence.

Tonight I was scrolling on Facebook and came across this Ted Talk.

Watch it. Right now. Before you continue reading.

But of course, I’ll give a little summary:

Emilie Wapnick talks about her own personal journey with being passionate about various different topics and professions and feeling the taunting of finding your “one” thing. She refers to herself and others who feel this way as, Multipotentialites. She makes the statement that, “The notion of the narrowly focused life is high romantiscied in our culture. The idea of destiny or one true calling and that you need to figure out what that one thing is and devote your life to it.” But then she makes the point that “multipotentialites” feel burdened by this because they aren’t just passionate about one thing.

Our parents were told they could kind of  be what they wanted as long as they made money, their parents however weren’t really given the “do what you’re passionate about” speeches. They were told work, make money, support yourself and then your families, the end. My parents let me attend an arts school as long as I stayed focused and kept my grades up, they were supportive when I dropped a theater major and focused on psychology, they were equally supportive when I told them I was graduating and didn’t want to go to Grad School. They are my biggest supporters and their patience with my madness has been nothing but grace filled (thanks mom and dad). 

I then of course stalked Emilies website (research, I refer to it as research) and found this little excerpt:

“I want multipotentialites to stop beating themselves up about being unable to find their “one true calling” or fit into a box. I want them to see that their diverse background and insatiable curiosity isn’t some huge failing, but that there’s a very good reason for it…

Not only is your multipotentiality not a curse, but you can actually use it as fuel for your life and income.

Once you stop fighting your scanner nature and embrace it, you’ll find yourself working on projects that are deeply meaningful. You’ll feel a sense of purpose that you never thought possible.

Was I the only one who thought, WHAT. SO GOOD?!

I want to be her friend. I want her to creatively mentor me and tell me all the things. I want to ask her how she juggles the chaos and where she tells fear to go when it screams louder than her hopes. I want to have coffee tucked between our hands and ask her if the creativity keeps her up at night and how she turns off the magic to actually get some sleep.

In her post, Emilie uses a snippet of a Steve Jobs quote on creatives and the creative process, here’s the full quote:

“Creativity is just connecting things.

When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”


“Calling” is a very “religion” focused work, referenced in many scriptures and used by Jesus himself. Ephesians 4 is one of is my favorite verses and refers heavily to calling. But we associate calling with the act of doing or being one certain profession and I don’t think that’s what Jesus was “calling” us to necessarily. He was calling us to love. He was calling us to follow him whole heartedly with all that we are. He has called us to remind people that there is a Kingdom, a heaven that desperately awaits their arrival and we should — we can do that in whatever profession or passion we’ve been given because he’s created us to. 

Emilie ends her talk with the plea to “multipotentialites” that they would,

“Embrace your inner wiring.” 

This world, is a whole new world for creatives.

We are turning this place upside down one blueprint, blank canvas, photograph, poem and creatively interactive company at a time.

However, whenever something new comes charging in, the old is scared and will do everything it can to make sure things stay the same, but they can’t.

I believe every generation regardless of their age is realizing that “the arts” and “creativity” are not topics that we only use in conversations about budget cuts. We are rising a generation who who is wired creatively and is revamping what we view professionalism to be.

I believe that God himself the creator of this universe did, does that very thing, so why wouldn’t we take after the one who Made us?

Check out Emilies’ post Three thing she didn’t get to say in her TedTalk

Day T W E N T Y- E I G H T 

Sometimes…

You just have to tell the target boy that you think he’s cute.

This however, is not what I did tonight

but I thought about it.

I thought that while he was ringing up my allergy medicine and dish soap it would set a really quirky and romantic scene where I could just be like, “hey- I think you’re adorable and every time I’m in here I chicken out and never actually get in your line but alas here I am.” 

 

I think we put a lot of unrealistic restrictions and guidelines on ourselves especially when it comes to relationships. ( No this is not to say that I want a relationship with Target boy– I don’t even know target boy!) BUT what I’m saying is we let fear coach the game.  We would like to think we’re all adult and we handle it really well but we don’t. We still play games, we’re more indescive than ever because that’s what fear tells us we have to do and be in order to navigate through the weirdness of relationships. Yes, weirdness. Relationships are weird y’all. It’s two people- strange, different and barely understanding themselves attempting to navigate through the  intertwining of another human.

So of course we let fear call the shots.

We let fear tell us we don’t know how to love people when we mess up and we’re not sure how to come back from it.

Here’s the thing. The risk part– the stepping outside your comfort zone and doing what scares you, is not guaranteed the walk into the sunset happy ending.

It’s being able to walk away and not have a “what if” weigh on your shoulders – THAT’S the happy ending.

It doesn’t guarantee that you get the guy or the girl but you walk away braver, maybe with a battle would or two but don’t let those wounds paint you as the victim — let them instead trace out your courage.

This is not about relationships really at all. This is about not letting ourselves be so terrified of the but what if…

I have a chest full of words that I never said. I have a fist full of love letters that are clawing at the back of my throat but I will try my best to keep them silent. We let fear try to write our stories or erase certain chapters. That ends when we allow ourselves to tell the target guy he’s cute or tell the barista that we think her eyes are pretty.
That happens when we refuse to be crippled by fear, stopped by what ifs and haunted by the absence of happily ever afters.

This is not an easy thing to do or explore– hence why the idea of talking to target boy is a blog post and not a reality, but we have to start somewhere right?

With the belief in the potential.

With the belief to maybe try again next time.

Day T W E N T Y- SEVEN

I have always worked hard.

I was and am constantly seeking ways to do better, to be better.

My dad is a pastor so my family isn’t just a family who “does life together” we also work together and our home is a place we know doesn’t just belong to us, it belongs to those that are around us. We don’t really have an idea what a Sabbath day is because Sundays were always days that ended up with eating and then crashing on every couch in the house. I come from a bloodline of hard workers. In addition to that, I am the oldest child, so showing an example, one worth following to my siblings is something that is always recurring in the back of my head with everything I do.

Whether we want it to be the case or not, someone is always watching you. Someone wants to follow your example and I can only hope that I’m setting one worth following. I want to but someone who exudes transparency and honesty no matter how badly I want to find the nearest place to hide. I will work hard until there is no more breath in these lungs. But with our diligent pursuit to work hard — is our work ethic something to take note on as well? Or are we doing everything we can to climb the closest ladder next to us despite who’s already on it, to make it to our next agenda? Do we neglect our body and souls in the process? I’ve talked a lot about “the hustle” lately, because the hustle has been trying to wear my barely twenty-four year old self into the ground.

We celebrate, we glorify the hustle.

We look at other people’s “busy” to validate our own and convince us that it’s not “abnormal.” I have been really big lately on the concept of human being VS. Human doing. They are not simultaneous with one another. We were not created to be human doings and yet our identity is entirely wrapped around that very concept.

When people ask us who we are, we tell them what we do and that is our mentality of who we are.

It’s not that we’ve lost sight of our identity, we’ve just lost sight of who we are outside of the doing. Outside of our association with other people.

You are not solely what you do. 

You are a gallery collection of many attributes, many quirks and yes many gifts and abilities.

I was reading Hannah Brenchers blog yesterday and she posted a blog about working hard but working for a cause. She ended it with this prayer and I think it’s too good not to share. I hope that this would be my own heart beat, my own prayer when it comes to work and the hustle. The reminder that this is not about me, the world will go on when I’m no longer here but what kind of bread crumbs can I leave so that people find him in the places they search for remainders of me?

“God, make me a worker. Make me a worker who is so focused on the calling that there be no time for comparison or competition or false humility. Make me the one who bends her head towards the desk and just gives herself to the process, not the praise.

Keep me faithful. Keep me honest. Keep me real. Chip away what doesn’t help me get closer to the others.

Make me fall so hard in love with this work that I fail to see the ones who’d like to see me fall.

Make me so faithful to the direction I am going in that my life won’t be a good story but rather a map that others could use to find you for real.”

Hannah Brencher