We live! Claim your voice

blog quote 3

 

I will not apologize for being who I am in words, action or thought. I will not shrink, diminish, or minimize myself to make anyone comfortable & I will not adapt to foolishness as not to rustle feathers. It is not to say that I have not accommodated in the past or brushed off others crap; it is to say that the more that you do that, the easier it becomes to do.

When I thought of writing this blog, I was reminded of a situation a couple of weeks ago where someone tried to diminish my expression and defer my sense of being able to handle a situation. They were trying to rewrite my words upon me speaking them, because I don’t always communicate in a linear way. This person did not take time to adjust, see, or be present to what I was doing, but instead side coached my whole process. This was appropriate because I sound young, am a black woman, and also can stand the ability to not have a stick up my rump all the time, so I must just be chatting, must be off topic, lacking the ability to be deliberate, or connect with others, and follow rules at the same time. Right?

I recognized the undertone of a need to control what I was doing rather than be present to it and re-route later or them allowing themselves to trust my particular process, since everyone is their own person. (A bit of background: I was being coached on a specific technique and method of doing something, but I had not veered off course yet enough to be interrupted the disproportionate amount of times that I was). I am not writing this because I can’t take criticism, am being overly sensitive, or desiring to complain. My intention is to share that you do not have to let anyone make you feel inferior because they don’t understand you, don’t work the same, are trying to control you, or have insecurities.

When people are used to certain ways of expression and they think that everyone should conform to those ways, it’s disheartening because then you realize that there is such a desire within some people to control and curate others (especially women & people of color’s processes because they are not presented or expressed within a certain expected narrative, are not necessarily robotic, verbally edited to be syrupy sweet, chipper, surface, redirecting, curled at the ends, removed, or presented in a covering state that some Americans have grown to be used to expecting for others to carry as a one size fits all way to express themselves and means of accepting others.

I did not say that the instruction was helpful or nice because it wasn’t. I am not sure of the way that I put my words together anymore, but I made sure that they were not apologetic or acceptance seeking, because I knew that I was being mistreated and that the person needed to know that I knew it was not fair or amusing.

If this takes me out of certain places, those places were not for me. If it removes me from people, those were not my people. Meanwhile, the plan is that I’m going to womanifest the $#^t out of this abundant life that I’ve been given. If we live a life of plenty, we must stop believing in and exuding lack. With the lemons, make herbal tea, lemonade, lemon cake, lemon water, juice them, use them for a still life, give one away, hold one in gratitude, rub it on your skin for toner, make fire cider, liver tonic, flavor your food, or whatever you need to do, do that!

Life is too vast, rich, and precious to wallow in dissatisfaction and a downplayed self worth, lack of self respect, or a shaky self love. Breathe and walk in your purpose with all the beauty and love that you are. Some people expect you to cower in the face and expression of their fear. Show them that you are born of the most. Show yourself and them that you are encompassing, cohesive, non random, unimaginable energy just as their ego was, and that what you exude is stronger than ego because it’s rooted in innerstanding, purpose and self love.

 

An affirmation to move forward:

  • I have released anything that has served its purpose, and I blossom in the deliberate strength and purpose of my existence. I am divinely protected and attracting the bounty of life!

 

A poem Inspired by the incident:

Just because your eardrums have issues holding space for the tones vibrancy and resonant frequencies uttered through my vocal cords to translate and harmonize spirit doesn’t mean that I will allow my voice to crack break and exude a pitch that you find more pleasant.

My people are not just of the valley 

We have been here since before this realm was released

If you need to close your eyes as I walk by, do what you need to do as you await that I scurry by 

Realize I tend to move in ways akin to the dance of a baby enjoying the freedom of the womb 

I am here to disappoint your expectations and appoint myself to my highest position in frequency and physical ability 

Nurtured in sacred space

My movements are a dance to the hums of black existence 

What you may not be able to see through, is sharp, full, all encompassing..

We live this music

You close your eyes and hear it

Block your ears and see it

Can’t escape it so you wish to change it, but we flow with the change and easily adapt to furthering life

When you can’t see, all of the other senses step in to function more keenly.

We all have night vision.

That’s inner vision

Though some are afraid of the dark

You label us the minority

Though in actuality that’s primarily only a hope for you or even just a wish.

When you look at reality, oh my how the picture is vividly flipped

You are the minority among brown and Black faces indigenous 

We give you back your gods 

So that we may properly reflect and recreate our image 

We dissolve mourning our lives in your hands and have no desire to beg at your mercy

We have always created

Recreated

Remixed

Procreated

Covered

Uncovered 

Protected 

Nurtured

Somehow focus gets redirected from staring at screens and embracing dreams deferred

Redirecting

We celebrate the highs and lows of our lives breath voices skin tones and pieces of our glory in daily life stories because this is what makes us human and visible

Creates our identities 

We will not cower and mourn in the darkness because we are full enough to do so in the light

We work to re-image our brokenness to visions and plans of building instead.

Home

Who are we to be fragmented compartmentalized beings? We are the world

Since the beginning and through the endings as the sun rolls across the sky each day

To reveal a different aspect of life 

Of creation

We create

How dare we believe we must sacrifice ourselves to live

as we were born creations as gifts.

We give a home to life 

And live

We live.

Home

 

blog picture 4blog image 5

Copyright© 2018 Narelle Thomas

All rights reserved.

 

 

Advertisements

“Allow me to re-introduce myself!…”

blog image 1

 

I attended an event one of the last times I performed last year, it was a beautiful event with very gracious hosts, good people and a nice environment, but when I was introduced I was introduced as a spoken word artist with a special poem to share. I wasn’t well acquainted with the hostess very well because she was newer to what she was doing and in general I thought that I would have been introduced a little better than a talent show participant and more like the professional artist that I was/am. I was kind of disappointed.

Later I thought (because I didn’t go the extra mile to give myself a proper introduction following the poorer one) that it was my fault.

Let me explain..

In my opinion it is your responsibility first to represent yourself. No one will be a representative of you better than yourself. You must be your biggest hype-person, representative and cheerleader through words and action. You don’t have to be dramatic and overbearing, but it’s important to conduct yourself in a way that is indicative of who you are and what you’re about. They say “first impressions are everything” so it’s important to be authentic and show gratitude for what others give to you, but if someone is not representing your fullness (which only you can really do for yourself) it’s important to use the amount of time you have to really clarify what you see fit to bring to the light. If someone mispronounces your name, correctly and politely speak your name as it should be spoken because that is what others will call you. If you don’t embrace what makes you who you are then no one else can. Be confident in this because it’s necessary to be glad for who you are and what you’ve become up to this point. There is nothing wrong with sharing that. In the words of Jay-Z “allow me to re-introduce myself!..” If you don’t give yourself the proper credit, you can’t expect anyone else to, because most likely unless you have a bio that they’re reading from, or unless they follow what you’re doing, or are prepared for your performance, they won’t know and you can’t expect that your audience knows it all either. In the moment before you do anything, you are here for yourself.

I can say this because I’m on the quieter side and I’m not boastful or a diva so people probably could think that it’s okay to interact with me that way more easily or might be quicker to do so, but this post is not really about me. Sometimes I feel younger artists may deal with these types of situations too where some will underestimate you because you’re young, you look younger than your age by a great deal, or because older people may not really know how to celebrate younger artists besides by building on the fact that they’re “so young” (which is often a remarkable and celebration-worthy thing, but should not be built upon just the fact that they’re young and so they condescendingly get false praise but that’s another story).

It can also be interesting at local shows where some look at you a certain way for not being a huge artist yet. The thing I would say to that would be to keep going, because as you go, you grow! Know your amazing-ness! As you do more and more of what you love, you improve until you get to the places that you aspire to be. Everyone starts somewhere and most likely if you’re in a place to be able to share your work, there’s a reason that YOU were chosen. Reflect on that why and build with it. Whether you’re paid or not paid, being in front of a crowd (no matter the size) is an important moment of connection. It’s a beautiful opportunity to really touch others and pour your essence into your work. Introduce yourself properly and as my former director and amazing friend and inspiration Magdalena Gomez would say before shows, “Go out there to love them.” It’s not so much about them loving you. If you’re authentic, how can people not? To me it was very clear to always go out to set your intentions free. Your work is to deliver something to the people, and that is your highest form of representation, responsibility and reciprocity. Go and GIVE. This speaks even if you actually drop the ball and don’t introduce yourself as you’d like or need to, or you let someone else do it and don’t add to it re- introduce yourself. Whatever you give, you will get back in return and guess what? You’ll meet those people face to face and you can expand from there.

You may have one shot on stage to “get it right” but life is so forgiving, that when you go with your spirit and do what you feel strongest, it all works out in the end as it did for me. I wrote this because I felt unsettled a bit from that experience and wanted to share something that I learned in the process and expand upon it to include a couple other things, but my main lesson was self-representation. You can’t rely on or expect for anyone else to do your work for you. And guess what? you win some, you learn from some, and you make it out great because when you don’t feel strong in your work, it’s a place to build from. It’s a point to strengthen and reinforce. Reinforce your intention, stay focused in your purpose and see your actualization play out and then continue until what you envisioned is closer and closer. Write it, say it, believe it, see it, and know it. Go out to set your intentions free. Let them grow what you wish to receive.

Thanks for reading & Much Love to you and yours

~Narelle

 

Copyright© 2018 Narelle Thomas

All rights reserved.

blog image 2

Beautiful- A tribute to breast cancer survivors

Hi everyone,

Just a bit of background:

I wrote this piece because I was asked to perform a piece for A Breast Cancer Survivors Ball. I was very shocked at this invitation and deeply touched because I have never been through this or been around anyone closely enough to even share personal experiences, but was trusted for such an offering. I wouldn’t be able to make it so I recorded this piece and decided to share it on my site and soundcloud. The event (Pretty In Pink) was held by Gardner’s House which is an organization that helps people with Cancer to get necessities and support that they need despite circumstances. The founder is a breast cancer survivor herself. I find her story very inspiring. She is a beautiful person and full of strength. As I explored more and more stories on breast cancer survivors and their families, this is what came to me. Find out more about the dynamic and excellent work of Gardners House here: http://www.gardnershouse.org

 

Beautiful

 

They said I would not make it to see today

This morning I opened my eyes

Breathed the breath of life

And knew that there was a reason why

I give thanks

I cannot stop

 I have to try

There is a reason why

When adversity comes we must learn how to ascend

We must teach ourselves to fly

Pink is symbolic of my struggle

of my climb

of how far we have come

and that we can still have fun

It keeps me inspired to do more because there is more to come

It reminds me I have and must continue to do more than just survive

To enhance the quality of life

To be beautiful and bold enough to take the masked faces off of our fears

Embrace the tears from many nights of remembrance and dealing

 

The days to this point have not been easy

Many nights I cried myself to sleep

Heaving oxygen wondering why all of this now?

To me?

Cancer did not make me who I am, but on this journey I refused to let it break me

The reality hit when they said I have numbered days to live

That was the hardest part of the day but in acceptance of what may come I found truth

Death begins in the mind and I have more work to do

Sometimes the ugliest things in life show us the true beauty within

It breaks us down to show us what created the bonds in our foundation

 

It took me so long to see

I had been blind

Keeping up with appearances and holding onto unnecessary things

They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but what does that mean when your eyes are not seeing reality

If there is no room to see what can be

 

They said I would not make it to see today

This morning I opened my eyes

Breathed the breath of life

And knew that there was a reason why

Every night I will shine with the stars

Shine the light on visions of sunrise

Every day I will rise with the sun

Warm and brilliant

Blossoming as the flowers do

Growing through adversity

Triumphant

Spreading my wings and soaring like the birds do

Coming out of my cocoon

I am no longer in hiding or ashamed

Or to be pitied

I am a reflection of possibility

A beauty

In rare form

No longer feeling like a victim

I am a victorious woman

And I still dream

Finding blessings in each piece of every day

A kind word

A loving hug

A smile so warm

The calm of the rain

The force of the storm

The rainbow after

 

Fall came around and my hair was falling as much as the green from the trees

Preparing for the coldest winter
Waiting for the warmth of spring
Every day in the interactions and encounters

Discouraging appointments filled with sympathy
I am more than a body
No empathy
Sorry ma’am We can’t do anything
But I must do everything
And through all of this they say you’re so beautiful
Through the daily tears
Through the hair that went from blowing to gone with the wind
Beautiful
No more breasts that aspired to make me voluptuous
Beautiful
Dress clothes free
A minor touch of make-up
Beautiful
That is what they’d call me
So I asked my boyfriend one day when everything sent to me seemed to be crumbling or washed away by the tide
Why everyone thought I was so  beautiful now
He almost instinctively said that it was the determination to live
The passion to experience the ability to breathe once more
The fight to get better and become stronger every day
The optimism when the world tries to take it away and show you every reason to complain
Influencing you to give up
Redefining the conditioning we have received about beauty
Because it is something that grows within you and radiates
You are an inspiration reminding us to never give up
Emphasizing that the quality of life is one of the most valuable things in life
That it isn’t what happens to you that creates you
It is what you choose to become

They said I would not make it to see today

This morning I opened my eyes

Breathed the breath of life

And knew that there was a reason why

To be all that I can be
My full self
To not only be pretty in pink but to embrace my beauty

Our beauty

To express the spectrum inside of me

 

Copyright© 2013 Narelle Thomas

All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: