#DearSelf

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Dear Self:

Stop trying to compact

your love in their

tiny box.

It’s too

huge; too vast;

and too much

a thing to be marvelled.

Not at all a fixture

to be hidden or revealed

by decision of

a weak ego needing

to be stroked.

–Sincerely, Tyra

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Worth the Work

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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

Comments on Control and Being Still

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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 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 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!

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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

Eartha-Ntozake Mashup

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“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

A Laying of God’s Hand

Poetry

I really have to thank God every day that I am not who I used to be on so many levels. Any girls/women in messed up/abusive relationships, I feel for you—mostly because I used to be you….

My Joy and I witnessed a domestic situation between two strangers late last night. And she’s talking about how scared she is… and why this and why that…

Eventually, I had to pull over and tell her to never let anyone talk to her like that and how I would not have let him do anything to her and ask her if she wanted me to pray over her so she wouldn’t be scared (My Joy doesnt like to pray yet, but she said yes lol). But I know from experience and witnessing other people’s experiences that it could have been more tragic.

I tell my youth all the time that “leadership is self-control” and I’m thankful that the fool who rolled up on the side of my car last night trying to get to another woman calmed down and displayed an ounce of self-control when I addressed him and had enough sense to at least apologize to my four year old watching him in a terror thinking he was trying to get to her mother.

I’m reflecting on how my own situation could have looked to my family and friends and strangers. Or how it could have looked to a child like my own. And I can only think about how we have to do better in the way of creating stronger families and villages. We have to do better in the way of how we talk and communicate with one another. We have to do better with controlling our anger and not letting it build and fester.

How do we fix this cycle of broken relationships and heal generational curses?

I’m glad I was able to calm My Joy down… but I’m still torn about a solution…

UPDATE: I named this post “A Laying of God’s Hand,” to pay tribute to the Ntozake Shange monologue of similar name from the choreopoem, “For colored girls who have considered suicide/When the rainbow is enuf.” Not only does this piece of art tackle the generational curse of abuse, but it serves as a timeless-albeit fictional-reminder of the oftentimes fatal damage that can result from toxic relationships. Additionally, it pays homage to all the people who may be in abusive relationships and are searching for a laying of peace-bearing hands. Occasionally, our abusers lay this kind of hand after the abuse. So, in essence, the title is also a soft prayer that if our significant others/abusers are not consistently laying this type of life-giving hand on us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually that we find the strength to leave them or the vulnerability to ask for help.

Please share the following resources for helping victims of abuse:

The Hotline

Our advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in more than 200 languages. All calls are free and confidential. Our advocates offer the same support through our live chat services. Click here for info about the chat or click the “Chat Now” button to start a chat. Your safety is our priority, so all phone calls and chats are completely confidential. Learn more about online privacy and safety.

ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (4453) www.childhelp.org ChildHelp can help connect survivors to counseling; residential treatment services; children’s advocacy centers; therapeutic foster care; group homes; child abuse prevention and education and training.
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We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

#HealitGod: Fear of Love

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I read somewhere that God can’t heal what you are unprepared to reveal. This is an interesting concept that requires us to do a bit of work. Mainly, if you are not in the mindset to be self-reflective and confess your flaws and sins to God, they’ll remain thorns in your side.

As my relationship grows stronger with Him, I want to be able bring every flaw to His altar. Prayerfully, my goal is just be a better mom, sister, friend, lover (to my future husband), and person, in general.

Speaking of being a better lover, it takes a certain level of vulnerability to be “in love” and a great partner. But I’m pretty sure my last relationship was ruined by my inability open up to him completely. I was worried of would happen if I became “too in love.” Before my next relationship, I’m praying and carving out time to figure how to overcome this fear.

I used to think vulnerability equaled fear. But I’ve been learning that it’s actually freedom; complete freedom to be all that you are without apology or regret. But because I aligned this concept with fear (and in many ways, weakness), I ended up building walls with someone I really cared about.

So, as God continues to work in and through me, I’ve asked Him to make me more willing to stand in my truth and allow my strength and vulnerability to complement each other. I know it will take some time… and faith… and discernment. I’m re-reading both the New International Version and The Message Bible of 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 to gain more insight.

Is this even an issue or fear within God-centered relationships? Comment below and let me know how you overcame the of fear of loving too deeply.

-Sincerely, Tyra

Free Woman

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No one wants a free woman.

They want us to be small and contained,

unopinonated and ashamed

of all our own ideas.

When I say, “Stop that. It hurts me.”

They’d rather recall how strong

I was before and parade

my wounds around like a trophy.

I just want to be a free woman,

full of melodies and melanin.

Let me be all that I am

or walk away if you can’t.

Is there a such thing as a free

woman? My womb and

my mind are empty

according to every man.

“Can I be a freed woman?”

is not a question I ever thought

I’d need to ask.

—Sincerely, Tyra

I can’t lie. When I wrote this last night, I wasn’t thinking of it being “in honor of International Women’s Day.” But God planted this poem in my heart last night in relation to some conversations and experiences that I’ve been having with various men in my life over the past week or so. So I see His timing as perfect and pray that as women we continue to grow and walk in our God-given purpose-especially in the face of men who do not recognize our talents, gifts, or authority. So let me know what you think and hit me with some ideas for a title.

–peace + love, Tyra

Bellies & Babies

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Sometimes I look at my stomach and cannot believe there used to be a living, breathing being inside of it…

at least until My Joy decides to randomly pat it and says “I used to be in Mommy’s tummy” or “I wanna be in Mommy’s tummy”

or… the most infamous one of all: “its looks like there’s a baby in there.” 🤦🏾‍♀️😩

I’m not sure if the child really thinks my stomach is a teleportation device, a time machine or if she’s trying to tell me she wants a sibling. Do other toddlers do stuff like this?

I’m so confused and can literally only take suggestions for the teleportation device idea. I rebuke any ideas of siblings in the near future. Two versions of me under the age of five—in the same house PLUS myself? …Yeah, I’ll pass. 😅

—Sincerely, Tyra

#SlayTheDream

My Joy the Mastermind

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After tub time, My Joy likes for me to pick her up and stand in the mirror and hug her—like I did when she wasn’t half my size. Last night—

My Joy: Pick me up, please.

Me: I did pick you up (literally sitting on the side of the tub with her wrapped in her towel and in my arms)

My Joy: No, you didn’t because you didn’t stand up.

Me: 🙄 and TF (in my head, of course)

I stand up.

Me: Are you a baby or a big girl?

My Joy: (looks at me in the mirror) I just wanna be ‘Mommy’s baby.’

This is mastermind-style manipulation from a four-year old, bruh. I was about to put her down and apparently she knew, hitting me dead in the heart with that line. I coo-ed and oo-ed and ahhh-ed while holding her heavy butt in my arms for at least another full minute.

#JustSharing

—Sincerely, Tyra