Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Picpoetry: The Tree That Grew In Brooklyn

A tree grew in Brooklyn
with so much love all around to tickle the ivories
standing tall with all its strength and confidence
escalating to a higher level when the sun attention beamed.
In a flirtatious manner it would sway in the wind
and its unique beauty went echoing through the hills
gaining strength from surrender to the sparkles in the sky
and the ribbons of air that would scatter its leaves to fields.
Engaged in the moment when coming across its path
and burnished brown leaves from its arms fall short of your door
but when Sandy firmly squeezed it by its neck out of the ground
its breathless charm became no more.
With every ounce of strength, Sandy forced it to its defeat
the radiant tree that once grew in Brooklyn now journeying to heaven in the sky
and while falling claiming lives, breaking cars and trapping folks in homes
became the perfect time to hear Keely Smith singing her blues soliloquy.
For even though the storm is over and the rains and winds have passed away
up on the mound where the tree in Brooklyn grew is now just emptiness
and its sparkle loses glitter while the crowds draw near trying to own its history
for to walk away from Sandy's winds that made the tree fall, echoes miracles; blessed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

PicPoetry: Putting Clouds to Music

Day three's photo challenge was to take a picture of clouds. I decided to attach a poem to it to define the image that I saw. And here it is, my picture and my poem entitled,
Putting Clouds to Music
Clouds were strewn across the sky
thicker than the stacked sounds
of an orchestra behind a blues singer,
whose voice pierces through
like windy rains of Battery Park,
to the ears of a lovely listener.
Even without the sun in the sky
the beauty of autumn's nature still appears
like the heart bursts of soulful pain
that the crooner marionettes
the rhythm of the falling leaves you can’t forget
that freshly starts when clouds bring rain to rainbows.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 2: A Different Song For A Different Caricature

Day two’s photo challenge focuses on what you wore today.

So sweet are the stanzas of the climactic poetry of the morning star that comes to brighten the moon tailored sky with its beautiful song of radiance and life. We often flourish under pressure when we realize, it’s Monday morning and time to get ourselves together for whatever it is we have to do.

The questions arise; what will I wear? Do I have everything I need? How much time do I have? Will he, she, or they be okay? What am I going to cook tonight? Where did I put my keys and my metrocard? Are all the burners on the stove off? Do I have any bills due today? Can I leave my car parked where it is right now?

How hard can it be to exist in the present moment of the first day of the week back to work or school when we are still in the quiet mood that lax zone allowed. That very star is what helps us to alter our moods, attitudes and styles to respond to the call of our duties.

When I was a kid, I used to be very impressed by labels. If the clothing on my back did not have a brand name signed across it, most likely, I would not want to wear it. I was also impressed seeing my beautiful mother walking with all her gracefulness and royal essence with her sharp suits and high heels. I always had it in my mind that I would one day run to catch a portion of her fever.

I have to admit, I am not an everyday suit person but I like them a lot and often find the desire to wear them for work. Dresses are nice also. I love shoes as well and you might catch me in a pair of beautiful heels every now and then, but not everday. My feet can't handle them all the time.

I have to say I reinvented myself a bit this year. I started 2012 with a bit of a challenge. All of a sudden, all the clothes that fit me in a span of a month were no longer my size. To stand on the field of remembrance and attach to it feelings is to feel a surge of disappointment at seeing yourself so gone from who you are and so much more of who you are not, that the green lawns of Prospect Park couldn’t even wrinkle a smile on your face. I was still an amazing woman, but not where I wanted to be in life.  

The adrenaline rush of change came bubbling over. Life became a different song for a different day. I started bending all my thoughts towards tailoring my life and the experience accommodated to my needs. And now the same things that no longer fit me are now a little big on me.  I have to say that I am appreciating the differences.

What did I wear today?  A suit jacket and a dress; and it felt good to see and feel that it is a little big on me now. 26 pounds later! Makes a difference I think. It made even more of a difference that I wore it with my Uggs.
Aah! Pure comfort. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Photography Challenge Day 1: Self-Portrait

I came across a photography challenge while browsing through Pinterest which I think is pretty cool because I love using the camera to capture different things and thought, that would be a different angle to writing from; and so, here is the first challenge: a self-portrait!

I know. I am a little behind in this challenge because I’ve seen many people participating in it months ago, but never too late to try something different. Pinterest actually has loads of things on their site that have caught my interest and put me into a place where I have been trying lots of different things from exercises, food choices, beauty tips and more.

The saying goes that if you are not willing to change, nothing will ever change.

I have been having a hard time keeping my hair together ever since I began working out on a regular basis. I am usually the one at the salon every weekend getting my hair done up for the week ahead, but then once I set foot into the gym on Monday morning, the beauty of the hair I just got done starts to change. The once pretty silkiness becomes dry and then I wonder why I even got my hair done.
Lately it has been unmanageable and in not so good condition, even after putting good treatments in it that I used to apply to my hair before.

This week was no different. I was set to get my hair done and it was a draw between getting my usual wash and set style or to get my hair braided.  I was so tempted to keep it the same but considering that nothing ever changes unless I change it, I decided to change it.

Not so bad I have to say.  My hair won’t sweat out after my first workout of the work week.  And I have a different look which is a good thing. A little change goes a long way.  Here is the picture!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Story Mile To Climb Scrapers

Events often influence our lives, like mine was when I needed a new dress for an upcoming show and I saw the dress size that actually fit me was larger than I ever thought I could ever expand to.  If size was like money in the wallet, I would have been a rich woman with how big I had let myself go without even realizing it. 

Should I have allowed it to be an accepted way? I guess on the lighter side of the situation, I was never ashamed of the person I was. I learned how to find some sort of comfort in myself whether I had the world on my shoulders or a not so heavy load. Life is life and we ought to roll with the punches if we are meant to see the rainbows that stand before us with our own eyes.

We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all.
– Dorothy Day

In life, we have a plethora of options. There is no one-sized fits all solution. Everybody is different and what is for one person may not be for the other. I decided to turn my focus to what matters most which was my own welfare. In order for a person to stand as tall as a tree with all their individuality growing out of the uniqueness of their branches, they must use true common sense which in fact is not always common.

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself” - Mark Caine

It was a good time for me to embrace change and give my health the proper weight it deserved. I had already decided to change my lifestyle for one that exemplifies more of God and then I heard news of a fitness challenge that had commenced. That is the day I decided to join the gym and to also participate in the challenge with a few friends that had the common interest of doing something beneficial for themselves. Together we formed a team.

We were challenged to complete many different tasks individually and also in a group setting. One of the challenges was to walk up 13 flights of steps to the top of the building. They say the sky is the limit but I was not looking forward to climbing the heights of it because I thought it would be hard. But whenever we put ourselves to the test, it is a new height that we’ve gained. So I left it up to chance and in a short while, my team did it and we added climbing flights to the accomplished tasks list.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

Maybe the challenge has left me with some kind of newness, always feeling like it is a good time for me to workout. It could have actually been walking 10.5 miles from lower Manhattan to Kensington, Brooklyn or quite possibly, it could have truly been climbing the steps that made the difference.

Now that was just 13 flights of stairs, I can‘t imagine how those challenged today in the story by story climb must have felt after climbing the 42 flights of 1411 Broadway located in Midtown, NY on the corner of W. 39th Street and Broadway.

My challenge was for a good cause because it was to help me to achieve balance in my own life, but the climbers challenge was for a great cause which was to raise money to stop domestic violence. Hundreds were gathered ready to climb from one cliff edge to another and make it all the way to the roof on Thursday evening, October 12th, 2012.

The website indicates that each participant was to raise $100 in order to be a part of the fundraising event.  I also heard announced that One Equity Partners Challenge which included Ernst & Young and KBMG, offered to donate $5000 towards domestic violence for anyone who beat their team in the race.

The climb was from 7 PM and all runners and walkers were to be done by 9 PM. It was like any of the other fundraising walks but only this one was a walk or run up steps; climbing to end domestic violence.

I have to say that I am left very inspired about taking the stairs as opposed to getting on to the elevator to get to where I have to be after finding out that the climbers would be making their way up 42 stories. Though I am an elevator person and may or may not ever walk up 42 flights of stairs, cheers to them for being part of such a worthy charity event. They truly will make me consider using the steps instead of the elevator every now and then. Getting me out of my lazy and stubborn ways is truly a challenge in its own self. 23 pounds lighter than I was 2 1/2 months ago,  I can honestly say that I am learning to overcome it more and more now though which is a wonderful thing. Find out more about this charity event and the organization that puts it all together at http://storybystory.inmotiononline.org/about-story-by-story

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Poem: Past Sweet Confusion

In the midst of the rustling of the trees
Newness falls into my green grass on the other side to be
Seizing new opportunities that brings a need to be twice as bold
Powerless against the currents that come to define the folds
Inspired to dance to the final drop of sand emptying from the hour glass
Rhythm never grows tired when I feel it deep down in my craft
Even past the limits of the melody that flows beyond the red door
Dance to bluebirds in the spring like these things I love that make me more
The cluttered mind just seems to move past sweet confusion
Oh so far away from witnesses a cool crisp wind of change comes conclusions
Breezing through the morning feeling more motivated to unfold
Even more do I see the light of this unique craft of God’s mold
My world, my life and who I truly am is a story not yet told
Elevated and ready to seize new opportunities and the future hold
Mere words as desires to believe in something as this
Out into the sun where heights of heaven can be kissed
Today is where it all begins, the revelation of beauty
Iron out the truths to let the doubts be freed from me
Visions of cruising through the whole sky keep me alive
Along the lines of destiny and balance makes things alright
Time never felt so right to keep focus on heaven’s masterpiece
Especially at this moment, more inspired and motivated to be  
Defined as a child of God now even more faithful to believe
The cluttered mind just seems to move past sweet confusion
Oh so far away from witnesses a cool crisp wind of change comes conclusions
Breezing through the morning feeling more motivated to unfold
Even more do I see the light of this unique craft of God’s mold
My world, my life and who I truly am is a story not yet told
Elevated and ready to seize new opportunities and the future hold

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rainbow Deluxe, A Poem

Time will only tell if there’ll be a moment for bliss
Every day I live for it as if destiny wrote it into the mix
Rhythm never felt so good until the thundering became a part of it

Energy you spark like lightning strikes that burns for a taste of fizz
Nothing can compare to the tickle felt when the colors of the rainbow shine
Crazy to think but if only to see the reflection in a desert, like water that brings life
Even if it were to only know sunshine after rain exist in this world, it makes my spirit smile.

The Globetrotters at Brooklyn's Own Barclay Center

Two things happened today that I haven’t experienced before but I heard so much about; I visited Brooklyn’s newest installment, the Barclay Center and also saw the Harlem Globetrotters live for the first time.

I was invited to go with my sister as part of one of her blogging community's events and had a great time with my family. 

Now living in Brooklyn, sometimes I don’t realize how rapidly it changes all the time, but I think I am really happy to see that directly across the street from the Barclay Center is a brand new entrance/exit to the train station, which means you can come all the way from Long Island on the LIRR or take the B, D, F, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, or 5 train and get off directly across the street. How cool is that?

The Barclay center is beautiful. When you look at it, you will feel amazed at all the excitement that the building holds even just from outside of the place with all the advertisements that are featured; Times Square style but only in Brooklyn. 

Inside, it is spacious, nice and truly refreshing. We even got a chance to check out the 40/40 club that is inside of the center. The staff was polite, the air was regulated well and the bathrooms were clean. What more could a person ask for? I didn’t expect to have such a good time but I did.

Not only was the place really cool but the Globetrotters did some magic on the courts that had men, women and children of all ages laughing, excited and having a good time together. And wow, nice to see the first woman to ever be a part of the Globetrotters doing her magic on the floor also. Was pretty cool. I can see why I heard so much talk about both.

Here are just a few pictures so you can share the experience.

Good stuff!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Finding Balance Through Exercise

I found the gym to be a place to hideaway and get away from the normalcies of the day and it has helped me mentally, physically and emotionally to find the balance I need to find peace within my own life and happiness about the very person I am.

Lately, I’ve been starting each day off with some type of cardio workout whether it is on the stationary bike, elliptical machine or the treadmill and it gives me energy to boost me up at least for a portion of the morning. Since I gave up coffee and still get those withdrawal pangs, the burst of energy from trying to reach my target heart rate is so necessary for me; even beneficial.

Then during lunchtime I am one of the many that crowds the floor of the group exercise room to do whatever class is being offered. Today, the class that was listed on the schedule was kickboxing.

It has been a minute since I’ve taken a kickboxing class. I enjoy throwing punches, kicks and also toning up my arms and legs in that class. At least that is what my memory held of that class from when I used to take it years ago; but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be humming a different tune.

So my friend and I walked in and we saw that each person taking the class had a pair of weights and a floor mat.  I didn’t remember using weights in kickboxing class before but I thought, maybe her methods are different and so I just weathered the storm to see what else would be part of the class.

Turns out, we didn’t do any punching or kicking at all. Instead, we lifted weights, we did squats, we did burpees, we did planked jumping jacks, push-ups and some other intense things that even though I was not ready for it,  I am glad the mistake for the class was made because my body felt great at the end. I could have bowed out gracefully pretending to be disoriented and unable to do some of the crazy moves that I’ve only seen before in the workout DVD known as the Insanity. Actually most of the routine were moves I’ve seen in the aforementioned program.

So I got curious at the end after I sweated out my clothes, used up all my breath and was practically gulping for air and had sore muscles. I said to the instructor, “this was kickboxing class?” She actually forgot the schedule had changed and told me the class was circuit training. Not that I am going to take anything away from a class that I haven’t taken in what seems to be a century, but I am actually happy with her mistake because the circuit training class was awesome and the instructor really worked us today.  What a great workout!

I actually believe that exercising has changed my life. I am in my third month of working out consistently since August 1st and lost 20 pounds.  This newness I’ve found has truly built some excitement in me and more importantly, change.