Living on Cloud Nine

(Left to Right: TyraShange, D. A. Rhodes author of The Day Hate Stood Still, Rose Brooks author of Secrets of an Abused Woman, Dr. Geraldine Johnson, author of Trois a Trois)

I’m on cloud nine and I don’t wanna come down. | Natural high, haters can’t make me calm down. | Hunting for it and I could eat it right now. | These mf’in poems ain’t gon sell theyself na. | 😂…

(Okay, I got it out of my system! I watched the entire season of Rhythm & Flow yesterday after church.)

But, if I’m being honest: That mini verse completely describes how I feel after this weekend. It was such a dope display of village love in terms of celebrations.

On Friday, I got a call from one of our partner organizations asking if I could be a panelist during their final city-wide meeting for the year. Um… yes! (Well is was more like: YAAASSSSSS.)

Then, I participated in a panel showcasing my first book, A Smothered Scripture on Saturday.

It was really cool to hear the stories of the other authors and give advice to some aspiring writers. The overall experience made me realize how little of a platform that I’ve created for myself as someone whose normally coordinating events to showcase other people’s strengths. So, of course, I learned something, too.

But—full disclosure—nothing makes me happier than when someone flips to a random page of my book and completely relates to what they’re reading. At the end of the event, books were selling (and yes, a few given away) and I’m down to my last five when one of the audiences members (with a dope story in her own right), got super geeked reading a specific line on page 31. I even had another woman report that she started reading it when she got home that evening and didn’t stop until she was done. The flutter in my heart still hasn’t left at the sound of her words.

A few of us with the mom-&-dad-to-be.
A few of my faves.

Later I got to see some of my favorite people at my best friend’s baby shower. As soon as we walked in the door, it was all love. She’s an event planner at heart so of course the venue was really cute and full of laughter.

By the time I got home, I was tired but so hyped that I designed my book cover for Soul Fed in one sitting. Now I’m focused on getting the book edited just to see what the cover will look like in real life. I have a lot of work to do. But these past few days made me realize that I need to take more time to celebrate the benchmarks that I have reached.

So my goal for the end of the year is to “leave no accomplishment uncelebrated.” I intend to live on cloud nine for the rest of the year and expect everyone around me to get comfortable up here with the same energy.

Do you have ideas that you are working on or waiting to come to fruition? What’s going to push you to check them off your list before the end of the year?

A few of my mentors and My Joy.

Note to my village: We have a new baby, November and December birthdays and family gatherings to prepare for; we are so blessed! Thank you in advance for riding this wave with me! I love y’all!

—Sincerely, Tyra

#DearSelf

#DearSelf

Honestly, I haven’t been feeling like myself lately…

Then, I remembered I’m cut from a different cloth:

I’m a Queen.

I’m genuine and caring.

I have goals achieved and that are making progress.

I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. AND, I know my purpose.

So despite everything, I was born to win.

Women like me simply do not lose.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Worth the Work

Worth the Work

Writing this post thinking of some of the ways that I have blocked my own blessings in the past:

A. By moving too fast,

B. by trusting too quickly (yes, there’s a difference between trusting people and being naive like I was),

C. by doing my own thing out of pride,

D. and by not being obedient or protecting my God-given purpose.

Now, I find myself in a waiting period—and sometimes it’s difficult.

But anything that has WORTH will require some WORK!

Never let anyone make you forget what you want for yourself.

Sincerely,

Tyra

#SincerelyTyra

#SlayTheDream

#WorthTheWorkWorthTheWait @ South Side, Chicago

Prayed Up | An Excerpt

Prayed Up | An Excerpt

She is gospel and spoken word all at once. Healing and remedies summonsed at her command. Who would dare stand in doubt about her strength? Or the length of her care? The type you pray that you stay in her prayers.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Comments on Control and Being Still

Comments on Control and Being Still

Bruh, here’s a not-so-secret secret: I struggle with being in control.

If I’m being real, I can paint a picture for you. Give me a second… Okay, so:

A. Sometimes, I roll my eyes at people who I think don’t know what they’re doing instead of helping them.

B. Although I’ll say when I’m wrong, I want things to be my way in relationships because I know best.

C. At work, my patience is only reserved for my teens—because every adult should “know better than” fill-in-the-blank.

I know, I’m highly flawed and I’m sure there are a few more examples that could be added to the list.

And yet, I’m working on it. This life gets difficult and tiresome and people don’t care and, at times, we get frustrated or ready to clap back or move before the next step of our journey has been revealed to us.

But God operates differently than we do. Just when we think we have control over the situation, there’s a turning point with the purpose of our getting closer to Him; remembering He’s the head; and that He requires our TRUST and FAITH and ACKNOWLEDGEMENT that He is in control.

Last week, I was struggling with changes at work. The week before that it was a change within my personal life. Change will always come. That’s literally how the cycle of life works. It dawned on me (mid-complaint) about one of these changes that I sounded foolish and faith-less. I literally had to stop and say to myself: “Fear or faith? You gon pick one or nah?”

In this season, God is reminding me that with our FAITH should come the desire for us to be still and allow God to take control over every situation in our lives.

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

Philippians 2:13 NLT

Praying that He continues to stretch my heart to match His desires as I wait on the way He wants me to move forward. AND that I have the sense to take each of these that I wish to control to Him in prayer.

Sincerely,

Tyra

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Yo I’m tired now that I’m actually sitting still

—BY MYSELF. Finally.

Hosted an event, facilitated class today, and an hour and a half-long admin meeting.

But God gave me the strength… This is a Gal. 6:9 moment. Just being able to sit still, alone.

Grateful for a day filled with great conversations, but I am really gracious for this moment to:

—just sit.

—reflect.

—breathe.

—collect my bearings.

—center myself.

—rest my mind.

Did I say breathe?

I love building community, but it comes with a price. I had a guy ask me out to drinks this weekend—and I said no. For a few reasons, but mainly because I’m looking forward to recouping from today and this week and the very similarly structured week ahead.

In fact, the thought of not going to church on Sunday crossed my mind, too. Now that I’ve sat in my car one Tasha Cobb song too many, I have to go and get My Joy with a smile on my face and with energy I do not have this evening.

And I wonder: How many more of us are running on fumes?

As we move into Mother’s Day Weekend, I pray that after the celebrating and the gifts that you get a moment to just breathe the sacred air found in solitude. I pray your weekend is a reflection of your actual priorities and passions and not solely those of beloved family members. I pray you get to breathe in the midst of it all.

Have a blessed weekend!

Sincerely,

Tyra

Voice and Freedom

Voice and Freedom

I used to be “the quiet one” in the family.

But my fam knew how to uplift me stoically. Voice is still only revealed or reeled in when necessary—mostly to heighten the sound of another’s. It’s tougher out here for the introverted mind that’s alerted by the time we usually tend to run out of while creatively converted rhymes creep up behind us or before us or however.

||

Never one to waste breath so I guess if I’m in front of a mic it’s my time to shed some light on a situation that needs exposing. I’m supposing the fam could be better if we all poised our voices to be a bit more righteous. We are the only ones who can write us into history. Honestly, who’s words are more powerful than our own? It’s a known fact that no one can tell your story better than you. Remember, they used to call me the quiet one, too.

#SincerelyTyra

#SlayTheDream #representationmatters #poetry #poem #community #excerpt #writing #art #artist #creative #family #introvert #design #podcast #voice #worklife

Eartha-Ntozake Mashup

Eartha-Ntozake Mashup

“From the Desk of Eartha-Ntozake:

Interesting how that works for a woman—brown-braided and radical

like myself. I can be as fragile as flower

and as submissive as a servant. And yet, it’s always been the ones that said

they want a woman

who has something to offer the world

that leave me abandoned.

So they’ll never get to see me

crumbling from the inside out, tear-stained cheek bones, low and regular as they get sometimes.

Their desire to witness that Tyra never outweighs their contempt

for my need to be a free-thinking woman, radically fragile and totally emotionally attached like I get sometimes.”

||

I wrote this on a whim.

After a long day.

Reflecting on my friendships

and past relationships.

Always been intrigued by

the dualities people have

to (by need or want)

pack into their daily lives.

Always considered the

effort it must take to

unpack those complexities

and in front of another person

at that. Can you imagine being

completely and complexly vulnerable

in front of person? I’m aghast

just thinking about it.

What if it’s thrown back in my face?

What if it warrants a lover to surrender his love to me?!

Ready to find out?

Think I could.

Asked for discernment to choose

the right man as options seem scarce

and plentiful all at once. At once, it was meantful… I mean mindful

to want to be the fun,

yet single, holdin’ it down ass mom.

Bet. Been there, done that one.

Found that was unfavorable

or at least that ONE was unfavored

by God Himself.

He crept into my heart

when I had everything and

carried each piece of me away

like a raccoon

rummaging through a dumpster. No wonder, my ravishingly simple personality

is driven by a slight disenchantment of love. I’m Eartha-Ntozake. I am nonchalant

about it all. All the while knowing,

I have been idolized in past and current lives by men who would remain temporary.

How despairing

is it that I am continent’s worth

of Queen’s pride

and nonetheless romantically deprived because it is so?”

||

(Note: It needs cleaning up, but my hand started cramping. And I’m actually not too sensitive about my work, so you can leave comments or suggestions. I’ll either use it or not. Just don’t steal it or not credit me puh-lease.)

–Sincerely, Tyra

#SincerelyTyra #SlayTheDream #poetry #spokenword #playwright #excerpt #love #poem #relationships #excuses #work

Light, Zest, Space | #GRWM

Light, Zest, Space | #GRWM

Psalm 27:4 MSG is a complete blessing.

Honestly, this whole chapter is a blessing.

So let’s start from the beginning:

“Light, space, zest!”

This whole idea that is God our light, the creator of every space, and our zest/spice of life is really special.

It’s a simple reminder that God is really everything and with Him, I should have no fears!

I mean in the NIV version it literally says WHO shall I fear? Well, whom actually, but you feel me.

This reminder that if the CREATOR OF EVERY CREATURE, the PRODUCER OF ALL LIFE has my back…

WHO gon stop me if God be for me?!

Like WHO? I’ll wait…

…And of course, there’s a responsibility to be sincere and humble. But listen, it doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life. If you are trying to live right, God is going to have your back.

I had to realize that even in the fight of my life, the battle was never mine. God, was alywad prepared and willing to take over—it was up to me to let go and give up my “control” of the situation.

Verse 2 says “when the wicked (devil’s army) advance against me to devour me” (NIV) they can’t touch me and fall flat on their faces (MSG).

Verse 3… I just need to quote this one from the Message verbatim, because chile it’s deep.

It reads: “When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool.” —Psalm 27:3 MSG

It LITERALLY says: When all hell breaks loose, I’m cool and collected!!! (I can’t wait to go back and start studying how the Hebrew translation reads and it’s meanings, but still…)

Chile, if this ain’t a life hack I don’t know what is.

Lastly, verse four goes on to say how we can remain cool as cucumber by only asking for the Lord’s presence “all the days of my life.”

This means I’m asking for God to stay with me in this life AND the next!

Can you imagine?

…Being able to gaze on the BEAUTY of the Lord?

…And then to see His temple.

…And Jesus!

I honestly can’t even!

The idea that God loves me enough to even want ME with Him after my life down here is over is too much to contemplate!

No, like seriously, me?!

But the the fact that my desire for God could never outweigh or surpass His desire for me is mind blowing and inspiring.

And if I would only trust Him and allow Him the room to live in me, I could be cool and collected and confident enough to sit back and let Him fight each battle for me.

The next few verses talk about the ways He keep us and protects us in the midst of it all. Please read/study at your leisure! But the message is to constantly seek Him and live to worship Him forever—and ever!

Now, that’s some good news!

Update: Since titling this post, I’ve included the hashtag #GRWM. Although many people across the Internet’s will say that means ‘Get Ready With Me’ as if for an outing. Yet, at SincerelyTyra.com, we are getting ourselves prepared for the coming of Jesus. So, you’ll see it as an indicator that a particular post includes a prayer or some form of Biblical commentary and study.

—Sincerely, Tyra

#JustSharing #GRWM #gospel #Bible #Psalm