Look at this picture.. Its absolutely stunning right?!. There is a sense of vulnerability here that I have not allowed myself to feel in years. The pregnancy of my son gave me the feeling of strength and beauty (something else I had not felt in years) and the courage to take this photo.
I feared being this open and free especially coming from a place of hurt. I feared rejection and judgment, To cope with what would soon become my new reality ( a single mother of 2) I knew i had to begin working on myself... and harder than I had ever done before. I begun to connect to the earth and realize that everything i needed to do this job was already given to me... this was no mistake.
The making of this photo took lots of reflection and planning on the back end. I approached my soror and her husband with an idea for a maternity photo shoot. Within that conversation I expressed my nervousness about becoming a new mom again and wanted to express myself and my journey through photography. She heard me and styled three looks for the shoot. Her and her husband took my vision and created this masterpiece of a photo you see here- which is one of many. I was surely nervous and everything about this process took me out of my comfort zone.
I also begin to fully understand the phrase... Energy can not be created nor destroyed, its simply transferred.
This pregnancy taught me a lot about myself. I learned how to forgive.I learned how to not entertain negative energy and only acknowledge energy that made me feel good. I didn't always get it right and its still surely a learning process. However, I also learned how to open myself up for loving me again. With everything else going on in my life I realized that I was not the same woman... and that that was okay!
Becoming pregnant with my son, my #wholebaby, was a surprise and totally unplanned. However, the universe knew I needed him to push along my healing journey. For three years there was a mixture of denial and acceptance of my broken heart and single motherhood journey, For three years I allowed another individual to dictate my happiness. I allowed this individual to transfer negative energy onto my life... So much so that I lost who I was.
When I was pregnant I felt in overwhelming sense of peace. The reality of becoming a mom of 2 (on my own) gave me the courage to confront myself and to essentially say, "Girl, your deepest fear is not that YOU are inadequate. Your deepest fear is that you are POWERFUL beyond measure. It is YOUR light, not your darkness that frightens YOU. Ask yourself Who are you to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually who are you NOT to be? You are a child of GOD. Your playing small doesn't service the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people wont feel insecure around you!"
My life has not gone the way I planned...but surely I am blessed none the less. I have 2 beautiful children and tribe/village that loves and supports me. My inner G is glowing and I am stronger and more powerful than I have ever felt.. I am beautiful. Im going into 2017 affirming all of the above.
I am moving into the new year knowing that I am enough. whether you see it or not.
I am worthy.
I am dope.
Peace out 2016.... whaddup 2017!
2016 in review
1. BlankSpace taught me a lot about business, collective economics and who is really on my team.
2. I had a wholebaby - my surprise baby. Kingston Ase
3. My style as an artist changed ... I can dig it!
4. My tribe(plus more) rode with me through the storm
5. My mother and daughter bond has never been stronger. She continues to teach me everyday. I love being a mama
6. I got my master's degree!!!!!!!! Phd coming soon
7. My daughter turned another year older, started school and just passing through these milestones- what a joy!
8. I invested in myself. Purchased a camera and expanded how I express my art
9. I had a #wholebaby it still amazes me that I didn't find out I was pregnant until I was 5 months this photo also marked the journey of @_tukam Traveling the world!" For a year
10. My daughters 3rd birthday reminded me that being a superhero is the bomb!!! Live freely without any care of judgment!!!
11. #creatingmemories with my children as we tackled the pumpkin farm!!! I have to get better at this!!
12. All in all this year had many highs and many lows... this tattoo is a constant reflection of how I plan use the past as the foundation for preparing for the future.The future is bright!!!!
On this photo I was young, a college student, artist, designer, in shape, slim, care-free spirited woman.
But for like 2 seconds I looked at this photo and wondered...If presented with an oportunity to go back to this place in time, would I. For a moment I said heck yea! But then realized how far I've come and shifted my response to a no... wanna know why? Well, This exact photo reminds me of the young girl I use to be ( but ultimately helped form who I am today). It reminded me of a lifestyle I once lived and enjoyed. You know the get up and go where ever you feel like it without lookig for a babysitter lifestye. LOL- This photo reminded me of all of that!!! Until I really looked at this photo and reflected. This girl had still had a lot of learning to do.
I was so young, filled with endless amounts of energy. I thought I had life figured out... ( I still dont but yall The reality is I’m still young, but this time I KNOW GOD's plan will always trump mines..so living day by day makes room for me to appreciate what I have count my blessings.
I remember everything about this photo, the event, the people I was with, the dude I loved at that time, the car I drove and where I lived. I remember planning for this event and not having anything to wear until I went to value village bought an old lady purple pant suit. I remember whipping out my sewing machine to transform those old lady pants to cute high waisted shorts. I remember running to Walmart to grab that shirt to go underneath the blazer. Hell even the purse was thrifted. I remember sitting with my girls til the wee hours of the morning laughing at some woman who literally wore a plastic bag to get into the hot tub...this was the night that i worked the room and smiled consistently for like 5 hours. I remember how happy I felt...which lead to me to then I remember how sometimes I miss the head space I was in!!! I miss my happiness. Do you see the glow beaming off of me?! I was a young college girl driven by her love for thrifting, art, her sorors, kicking it on the town and LIFE...I created my happiness in everything that i did.
But life happens and things change.
On this #TBT I look back at this photo in amazement of myself....I have come so far. And like wine I’m aging (for the better) with time.
As 2016 prepares to end, I use this photo as a reminder that remember that while becoming a mother changed me in many ways... it also changed how I viewed my happiness. For a long time I put my happiness on hold to ensure my child ( and now children) were taken care of. I just now welcoming the space for myself to STILL be the fun loving, thrifting, upcycling, art making, spunky mama! One thing I noticed after looking at this photo was my smile... That smile was infectious, and looking back about three years or so. I don’t smile (this hard) as much. but thats about to change.
I read a post from my girl this week that said Happiness is random. its created.
I miss when I openly, unapologetically created my own happiness. I often get so wrapped up in mamahood that I forget to appeal to my what makes me happy. I neglect my own happiness for the sake of my children. But, if i want to get back to place where my energy reflects that which is in this photo... I have to remember self-care, and while since this picture real life has kicked in I have to realize that I am still Symphony. An indivisual who is simply beautifully complex!
Now I am wiser. Curvier. older. a mama. teacher. community activist, artist, business owner... the list could go on...Im better. Different. But better
For all the mamas out there who get those photos in your time hop that make you wish for that life again.. just remember that now you are wiser and exactly where you are supposed to be.
My daughter is approaching 3 years old and to be honest it feels like so long ago. I tried to think about what I packed in my bag for her- but frankly my labor and delivery went so freakishly fast that I don't think I had a chance to even have a bag. This time around preparing for the arrival of my sun has been totally different. I am settled in my career and home and so now I have had more time to focus on bring baby home.
I have researched many perspectives of hospital bag checklists and have decided to come up with my own... While things may be added as I approached the 40 week mark...below are the essentials to the hospital and diaper bag check lists.
I am currently 34 weeks pregnant and I have about half of each list completed for each bag. I am so excited to see his face, smell and hold him.
For all my soon-to-be, first time and veteran mamas lets engage in a chat... What did you all include in your hospital bags? Cause I am sure my pregnancy brain has left something out?????
Read the article listed below:
Then watch this...
The decision to cut my hair was one that had years of back and fourth thinking. But on New Year's eve 2013 I randomly decided i was not going to wait any longer. With my bestie Shunda we traveled to the barber just as they were closing to make this a real experience.
Please note I was pregnant and hormonal and ready for some new energy. My hair felt heavy and carried a lot of spiritual weight. As my body prepared to give birth to new life I felt like my hair needed new life too.
After reading that article I must admit that shaving my head made me look at my reflection in such a way that made me re-introduce my self to my self. All my life I had a head full of hair. Long permed hair, long natural, big over the top afro, then long healthy locs. With no hair I had to begin to accept my beauty for what it really was.
I would be lying if i said rocking a bald head immediately gave me freedom. It was an adjustment. The first being i took for granted how much our hair keeps our head room. In the middle of January I realized hats would become my best friend. lol
There were days when I looked in the mirror and LOVED what I saw- short bald hair and all. Then there were other days when I refused to leave the house because i did not feel a feminine ounce of energy.
Three years later and I am back on #teamlocs. Almost shoulder length hair I KNOW that if i ever get tired of it cutting my hair is nothing. Been there. Done that.
Your perception of hair will change if and when you decided to do a big chop. While I an't promise the journey will be without its highs and lows I still very much so would encourage any woman to try it.
Im the mama of Marli Amor and Kingston Ase.