Friday, May 23, 2008

RISING UP: Onward and Upward!

Onward and upward/forward and in my own words/thats the direction for the moment/the movement rather/the light at the end of the tunnel/propels me to keep moving/Different degrees of momentum/create a sensation/to press toward/what lies ahead/beneath instead/I reach for the past/but only to remember where I've been/to grab hold of where I'm going/Now it all makes sense/Faith covered by grace/Yesterday was preparation for today/and today is nurishment for tomorrow/tomorrow is today's hope/All wrapped up in one.......Forward moving movement.

Just had to get that off and out. After two weekends of travel, I find myself able to better appreciate New York City more than before I left. That has always been apart of my love affair with New York...coming back after I leave to go somewhere else to reenter this city's greatness.

Miami was mini paradise. It's always sooo hard to leave because my family loves on me so hard. Toya couldn't have picked a better birthday destination. We had the BEST time. South Beach never dissappoints except during Memorial Day weekend when it's total pandemonium (for those of you who still make the trek to Miami for Memorial Day weekend, do your We stayed in a FAB hotel on Collins and did the regs: Wet Willies, the News Cafe and a club called the Fifth (all while wearing the STRONGER glasses!) FUN! FUN! FUN! We tried a new restaurant every night for three nights we inhabited South Florida's beauty, tanned on the beach, drank margharitas by the pool and lived life in abundance to the full, until it OVERFLOWED! I took the 5AM flight on Monday back to NY and then went straight to work. What a weekend :-) It totally served its purpose....Loungin with my loved ones.

St. Louis...hmmm. This requires a slight pause.

Now I can begin again. I spent the Memorial Day weekend in St. Louis. I can feel the puzzled look on your face. "St. Louis? Why St. Louis?"
Again, May was all about seeing and spending time with my loved ones. So the trip to St. Louis was appropriate, since I was visiting another Bestest.
But man!!! Talk about Country livin. When I got off the plane and walked to the baggage claim area, I felt like I had stepped back into time. Immediately, I felt out of place. The weekend was complete after at a house BBQ, someone I had just met called me "High Sadity." Wow! I hadn't heard that one in a long time.
Despite that minor detail, the trip was good. On a positive STL note, African Americans in their late 20 and early 30's are making great entreprenurial moves down there: car washes, event planning business and restaurants that are making waves in the Lou.' That's always encouraging to see, especially since I'm on the same path to ownership. I hope you enjoyed the long weekend and got a chance to thank a solider for protecting our country.

Speaking of ownership, The King’s Daughters™ is coming along with bright lights. The Lord is opening doors left and right in many different arenas. Graphic designers, potential investors, mentors, other business owners and opportunities are meeting my partner Candice and I the threshold of this divine call to empower the next generation of women. It's a very exciting time, especially whenever you can make your vision a reality.

My biggest vision and the core reason for this outlet is MUSIC. I start a new 8 week voice training class with a new vocal coach next week. She is endorsed by the SongHall of Fame (an org. that I am a member of) as one of the best, and her motto is to help you sing like you speak. Basically, to sing like you breathe with complete fluidity and flow. I'm so excited to take my gift to the next level and share it with you :-)
On the music note please, please, please if you haven't already...check out the Roots album. The single "Rising Up" is total fire along with the video and so is the rest of the album as to be expected.
It's been real downloading with you...
I anticipate that the next time we sing together, I'll be a year older. June 1st is fast approaching and it's carrying a number 20-something with it :-0 I'm super excited for that too!
Verse for the day: Romans 4:17 - Our words have POWER.
In Love,

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Moving at GodSpeed

Happy Humpday! Truthfully, I was not going to update this fulfilling tool of release until I got back from Miami this coming weekend, but I couldn't stay away that long. :-) While I am somewhat is great. Not that I should ever complain, but I don't have any right now.

I once read something from my pastor (Pastor Creflo Dollar) that mentioned it was better to live a life 'directed' rather than 'driven.' That seemed so foreign to me. Like, could it be possible to be ambitious, goal-oriented, passionate and not live a driven life? I began to put things into perspective. As a Christian it's vital to stay in the will of God for your life. In that place there's protection, mercy, grace and other infinite benefits. It's similar to the way the Bible describes Jesus as the vine and us as the branches. It's crucial that we stay connected to the vine because apart from the vine, the branches can do nothing. I say all that to say, in the past I have ventured off to do what I thought was cool stuff or get involved in cool projects without always heeding the voice of God. The aftermath would be weariness, confusion, eventual disinterest and then a complete failure to continue my committment. So, you live and you learn and I hope I have learned from those failures and so that now I can apply the wisdom and lessons learned to my present.

When I decided to move forward and start The King’s Daughters™ all signs and arrows pointed in the right direction. Everything really began to move into place. I took two steps and the Lord took 10. I honestly thought I would begin working on the organization somewhere later on down the line. However, the call to act on this movement was louder than NYC ambulance sirens. I have to admit that before about 12 months ago, I never really had strong entrepreneurial desires. I tossed the idea of owning my own business around, but not that seriously. I also knew that I didn't want to work for someone for the rest of my life, but I didn't formulate a plan to make that a reality either. Embarking on this mission is so exciting everyday! Laying the groundwork is even more enlightening. I read something this week that basically referred to moving to quickly, or hurriedly or in haste shows lack of wisdom. Talk about a wake up call for me. I can have a tendency to get on a roll and pick up momentum and then not know where to put on the brakes and find myself spinning out of control and then having to regroup and retreat. So now for the tough part. It has now become a daily, conscious task to take one step at a time, condition my mind, body and soul to be patient and live a directed life and not necessarily driven. My biggest hope and goal right now is to lay a solid foundation for this organization and take the necessary steps possible to build a long-lasting movement that touches many generations after me. Here goes.....

What's that you ask? Am I abandoning music? NEVER THAT. That would be like cutting off an arm or a leg. Not gonna happen. Music is here to stay and it will be a vehicle used to empower the young ladies in the organization. As a matter of fact, I performed at the Village Underground again on Sunday, Mother's Day. I sang another Jilly song, "He Loves Me." I got some good feedback and some good constructive critques. I had the priviledge of going first for the night! Wow! Day 26 was front row and so was the latest and greatest, Chrisette Michele (shout out to Michelle Renee), who also performed her *** off later that night. If you haven't seen her perform live yet, you need to. She's NEXT, period. Now back to me :-) The performance was really and last minute. Sorry for no notice. I'll do better, I promise. I have video of the performance that seems not to wanna load. :-( Big shout out to my homie Will Gordon over at Digiwaxx who taped the performance for me. Thanks so much for the love and enouragement.

Last Wednesday, I checked out the Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z concert. They are truly two of the BIGGEST BOSSES that we have seen thus far! MJB is amazing. She performs with total honesty and tranparency. Jay-Z, what can I say? It's like he invented his own arena, completely created his own space in the entertainment game and rewrote the rules for those currently playing and those to come behind him. Beyonce graced the stage for a few moments during Jay's set. Method Man joined Mary for the classic, "All I Need," Memphis Bleek paraded the stage with Jay for a few records and Diddy played Jay's hype man on one track. All in all it was the concert was a banger. For some reason that just felt really good to get to the music side of things!!

For those of you in the NYC area tomorrow night and those who just like to support good causes, The Brotherhood-SisterSol, an organization that I have been volunteering with for the past two years that empowers young African American and Latino youth is hosting their annual Voices IV benefit at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 110 West 19th Street tomorrow night at 8:00pm. Sway from MTV is hosting. Tickets are $150.00 and tax deductable. You can use this link to buy tickets or simply make a donation. I hope to see you there!

Well good people....I'm signing off for the night. I'm in Miami this weekend celebrating one of my BEST FRIENDS in the whole world's birthday. T-Double aka Toya is turning the FAB 27 on Friday. I couldn't let her celebrate alone! Well that and she called me to tell me those were the plans. LOL. Miami or BUST! MIA is always a slammin get-a-way, no matter the length of time. Gotta love it. Plus my family lives there. BONUS!

I think we're all caught up.
Be blessed and not stressed by the mess that tries to tear you down. Be encouraged daily!

Verse for the day: Hebrews 12:3
Always Empowering,

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Flowers are the result of pollination, followed by fertilization, leading to the formation and dispersal of the seeds. I believe that this is often times not an easy process. Specifically the process of growth and development. Sometimes there is a struggle, a tugging back and forth of different forces and then there is the downpour of rain, heavy rain. I think the heavier the rain, the harder the stuggle to fight against the odds of survivial. Last month in April, I had a downpour of some heavy rain. There was definitely the stuggle of forces to stay motivated, and encouraged to rise to the next level. My mental, emotional, and spiritual capacities were warring against the process of growth, healing and development. I took my eyes off of the goals for a moment and focused on the obstacles and enemies put here for my demise. Last week, the sun came out and my flowers began to bloom. All the fertilization and rain is proving to be totally worth it. My soul is rejoicing for the next level; the rise. Without growth and development, there is no next level. There's only a tapering off. I'm so happy that I stuck out the period of rain, because right around the corner were multitudes of blessings!
I just got back from Detroit Michigan yesterday from celebrating new life getting ready to be born in 30 days; a beautiful baby girl to be exact and I'm the proud Godmother! Below is a picture of my best friend Desiree and I at her baby shower in her hometown this past Sunday. It was a rejoicing good time and a great opening into another subject.
This topic is very near and dear to my heart. As a matter of fact it is most of what's in my heart. It's the subject of helping one another achieve their destiny and specifically women empowering other women. Last week, I attended VIPink hosted by the WEEN (Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network) organization founded by Valeisha Butterfield. Bryan Michael Cox performed. (In the picture above Lauren Lake (WEEN) interviewed him) This organization is bringing women together in a positive, supporting envoirnment. Something we don't see often enough. I applaud and admire organizations like WEEN and NABFEME, because they reinforce what women ought to always be doing: supporting each others visions and goals and creating an envoirnment where we can nuture one another, instead of having to rely on toxic relationships and negative envoirnments for affirmation. Which leads me to next point. (I love the way this is all flowing).
A huge part of what I want to do in this life, here on earth before I go to Heaven :-) is help this effort of empowering young women. Currently, I am starting an organization that is dedicated to doing this. My organization is called: The King’s Daughters™. My mission is to help young women identify who they are and help them develop the gifts that are inside of them. When I was younger I was not always able to articulate what I wanted to do or wanted to pursue in life. When people wanted to help me, it was hard because I couldn't give a clear picture and description. At times, I also struggled with self confidence and self esteem. My mission is also to help young women affirm who they are through Christian principles and not their outside circumstances, like the father that was never around, the bad relationship they just got out of, or the teasing that scarred them emotionally. I want to remind them of their royal heritage through Christ and their rich ancestry and change the negative images they may have formed about themselves. I am going to incorporate music, theater and of course travel! and many more elements of the arts, entertainment and of course Christian counselling. Getting ready to welcome my first Godchild into the world is a huge responsibility and joy for me. Surrogate parents have to be ready to step in at moments notice to handle parental duties and they are a vital part of the village that helps to raise that child.
As part of my month celebrating "May Flowers," I am travelling to Miami and the "Show Me State," this month to see more of my loved ones and surround my self with the people who have always been there for me, supported me and cheered me on at the finish line before I even got there. Since travelling is spiritual for me, this is also time I am using to gather inspiration for songs and ideas for my new empowerment organization that is already global! Look for more updates on The King’s Daughters™.

Just a sidenote... Today, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the world's greatest, genius, Gemini artists ever: Andre 3000 Benjamin. I'll keep the details surrounding our meeting private for now:-) However, I will say he has great energy. Very serene and peaceful, like he was back in Atlanta chillen under an oak tree enjoying the breeze. And for the ladies...what a smile. :-) It was a great ending to the perfect song (day)....

Till we sing again,
Verse for the Day: Ephesians 5:19 (Very appropriate for our conversation)