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Showing posts from 2016

Why I Quit Church...

On Sunday I quit church... for the day, at least. It was the most beautiful and painfully passionate act of self-care I've ever done.   Hi. My name is Mia, and I live with an anxiety disorder.  It's 4:30 on Sunday morning. My first alarm intrudes on the three hours of sleep I've managed to acquire. I begrudgingly assess the state of my vocal cords and decide whether or not they are well enough for me to sleep another thirty minutes. I hit snooze. Minutes later, my second alarm assaults my rem cycle. I pimp-slap my iPhone and decide whether or not I'm going to steam (a process in which I stand over a pot of boiling water for fifteen minutes to lubricate my cords). I, instead, opt for the less time consuming process of making tea, buying me an extra fifteen minutes of sleep. at 5:15, my third and final alarm goes off. I roll out of bed and into the shower. As I lather, I do minor vocal warm-ups and meditate. It's 6:05. I'm clothed, tea is made, hair is done,

(The Cost of) Living My Best Life Pt. 7 - The Journey

[Read Living My Best Life Pt. 6] Angela and I A Promise This past Wednesday I cried real thug tears as I hid behind opaque sunglasses in a bus terminal in upstate New York. I couldn't believe that I had gotten to this point -- somewhere between trusting God and not knowing if I'd have to hitchhike my way back to New York City. If this fast has taught me anything, it has taught me perseverance. Several times I almost backed out of this trip due to financial constraints placed upon me by the student loan gods. ( Girl, you know Sallie Mae and 'em done wiped out my savings from now until eternity. ) Last minute planning for school paired with paying off debt left me scraping for barely enough change to get from NYC to Syracuse. Now add "Living My Best Life" to that mounting pile and you can call me broke as a joke! As I waited for my connecting bus to take me from Syracuse to Auburn, I broke down and wept ... covertly, of course. I was exhausted. I wanted to qu

Living My Best Life Pt. 6 - The Road to Reconciliation

[Read Living My Best Life Pt. 5] I've always loved bridges. There's something magical about their ability to carry you over troubled waters. There's something so necessary about their power to hold you up and connect you from one place to another. They give access to places you may not otherwise have access to. Or, they simply make it easier to get to the place you desire to be. I'm still processing the revelations of this evening. Today, I feel like God punched me in the the nicest way possible, of course. What the hell does that have to do with bridges? I realized tonight that people can be bridges...connectors that help you get from one place to the next. My girl, Crystal, is a bridge. Tonight, I was blessed to attend an event hosted by her organization,  F.L.A.W.E.D. Inc.   that brought women of color together to chat about how to love, purpose, and spiritual gifts. I was inspired and moved and in awe of the amazing sea of melanin I was swimming in

Living My Best Life Pt. 5

[Read Living My Best Life Pt. 4] My first trip to Coney Island! Ever woke up super emotional and was confused about why you were so emotional? No? K. It's not the first time I've been alone in something. My morning started out weird. Perhaps, it's because I'm extremely tired and decompressing from a whirlwind week with my godson. Maybe, I had a dream that shook me but I couldn't remember what is was about (that happens often). However, I really think the reason has to do with me surrendering to my sober self--dealing with my sober feelings. Fasting is a detoxification process. It's not just about sacrifice and abstinence; it's about cleansing and purification as well. It's amazing what clearing your channels can do. There are all of these emotions that clog up our spiritual arteries that have been contributing to the deterioration of our hearts and minds. This morning, in the midst of my brief emotional breakdown, I experienced my first moment of c

Living My Best Life Pt. 4

[Read Living My Best Life Pt. 3] What does #LivingMyBestLife mean?     Day 4 of Fasting... I left the house without eating...rookie mistake. Except, I'm not a rookie. I've done this before. Lack of preparation is probably the downfall of many plans/dreams/aspirations. "When we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail." Somebody mama said that once. I didn't fail, but I was severely challenged at the Bronx Zoo when I realized that all they had to offer was fried foods, burgers, and lunch meat sandwiches. Gratefully, I made it through to dinner. Also, being a parent this week to my 9-year old Godson doesn't help. It's extremely hard to fast when you have to care for little ones who aren't fasting, who don't understand fasting, who keep asking you why you're not eating chicken tenders with them, who demand meat with every meal so you end up having to cook two separate entrees. :rolls eyes: But he's worth it.  We were out and about

Living My Best Life Pt. 3

[Read: Living My Best Life Pt. 2] Day 3 of Fasting... I spent the day with my 9-year old Godson at Coney Island. Whew! I'm beat! Ha. Kids sure know how to wear you out. They also bring immense joy into your day/life, even on the days when you don't feel like getting out of bed, even when you want to " call out black " from work, even when your kidneys are struggling and your ovaries are screaming. Yes, I went there! The joy I felt when I saw his wide-open smile as we flew through the drizzling rain on a ride at Luna Park was the best kind of self-care a militant, angry black woman could ask for. Today, fasting wasn't difficult. There were moments when I wished I could indulge in that bag of cookies or an order of fries from Nathan's. I wearily walked past my bottle of bourbon at home with the most disgruntled and powerless expression. I still miss my vices, but I'm okay. Spending time with my Godchild helped me formulate today's expectation: I

Living My Best Life Pt. 2

[Read: Living My Best Life Pt. 1] Day 2 of Fasting... A few hours after publishing my last post, I was confronted by the despicable news of the Alton Sterling assassination by cops in Baton Rouge, LA. If you haven't been living under a rock and actually care about the state of humanity, you'll understand why this heartbreaking and gut-wrenching event halted my writing. I still prayed today, and meditated, and continued being intentional about declaring my expectations during this time of sacrifice and abstinence; however, it felt incredibly selfish and challenged my perception of self-preservation during times of national crisis.  I walked past a bottle of bourbon in my kitchen several times as I considered taking a shot or six to numb the lack of pain I felt regarding the most recent assassination. I felt kinda bad for not shedding a tear--that my heart, as much as I wanted it to, did not skip a beat while watching somebody's black father/husband/son/brother/neighbor g

Living My Best Life Pt. 1

Daniel Fast Day #1! I'm super excited about everything God has in store for me. It has been an incredible year already! I got accepted into Union Theological Seminary with a scholarship, I celebrated my 27th birthday on the shores of the Atlantic, I released a single , I booked some incredible performance opportunities that took me across country, and I got to celebrate my mom's 65th birthday with her in New Orleans! Whew!! I'm overflowing with gratitude and love! This time last year, I was overworked, overwhelmed, and felt severely under-appreciated. My validation was still connected to external forces that I had no control over (even though I thought I did). It was a rocky year full of incredible highs and earthshaking lows--amazing career moves met with the death of my best friend. I spent most of the year grieving through a grin, smiling over invisible tears. On December 30th, 2015, I woke up and decided that I was going to live my best life in 2016. When I faste

How It Feels To Fly

Here's what I did on my born day! Shoutout to one of my bff's/my ride or die chick, Jazz, for taking the flight with me! On the boat and suited up for take off. Our relationship in a nutshell. Lol I'm praying. She's posing. Smh Here we go!!!! The smile of releasing fear, ladies and gentlemen! She's still posing! Omg! Smh. Can't stand her. Jk! Nothing like kicking your head back for a good chuckle 300 ft. above the ocean. Girlfraaaannds. She's still posing.  350 ft in the air! Fear --> Faith --> FREEDOM Catching waves. Watching out for the supposed sharks. Miami Beach April 4th, 2016

Dining with Daddy & Why I Deserve More

When I was around two, my parents separated and subsequently divorced. I was too young to know what was going on and don't even remember my father ever living in the house that I grew up in. I lived with my mother from then on. My dad never missed a beat, though. Although our time together was limited, I'd see him often and would look forward to our "dates." You see, my dad and I would spend much of our time together eating out at our favorite restaurant, particularly on birthdays and special occasions. I remember getting dressed in my Sunday's best to dine with daddy: church dress, ruffled socks, some patent leather oxfords or penny loafers, and hair adorned with matching ribbons. Every year he'd ask, "Mia, where do you want to go for your birthday?" "Houston's," I'd reply with a giggle because year after year, the answer never changed. It was our spot! We'd usually start with a spinach dip and a grilled chicken salad. My dad

No Inferior Seed Shall Prosper: On Black Resilience

Back in an undergrad African American studies class at Syracuse University, I was introduced to a film entitled 400 Years Without a Comb by Willie Lee Morrow. The film spoke abut the Atlantic Slave Trade through the lens of black hair care in America. Not only were black people forced to involuntarily migrate across the Atlantic Ocean and other waters as their families were ripped apart and their indigenous spiritual practices were dismantled and ignored, they were also forced to leave behind certain items, including the long-toothed comb (resembling what we call a "pick"). Without our precious tool, our natural hair apparently became more difficult to deal with. Now, this is not an essay about black hair politics; however, I think it's important to note that black hair not being "manageable" is a phenomenon rooted in post-colonial and western European standards of beauty. This conversation goes beyond our "unmanageable" hair, an early implantation

In & Out of Grief

Last night I had a dream that I was digging up the grave of my close friend--my Leo. I always research my dreams and write them down if I can to keep track of the insanity that goes on during my slumber. I feel like I should have a dream interpreter on speed dial...or maybe I just need to visit my therapist--it's been a while. But, I digress. Halfway through the thought, "I need to call Leo," I'm reminded that this is not an option. I used to have that thought quite often after leaving an incredibly frustrating music rehearsal or randomly hearing a Diana Ross song come through my headphones (he was her biggest fan!). I still have that thought, quite often. I am, however, bombarded with the reality that I will never be able to call Leo again, that I'll never hear that voice again in this lifetime. I had a panic attack when I thought I had accidentally deleted his final voicemail to me from my phone. I'm trampled by thoughts of burying him merely two days befo

Creation is Waiting, BUT ...

...If not you, then somebody else! Hey friends! Welcome to God and Wine! Follow me on this fanciful journey as I ( finally ) step into myself over and over again. Today's Vlog God opens doors that so many of us miss because we're looking off in the other direction. Or fear and uncertainty keep us from walking through those doors. Regardless, there's a world out there waiting for you to walk through these promise-filled doors on the way to your purpose. I'm so glad I did. Not sure where it is that I'll end up, but God has promised me that it'll be great! So here's to getting the ball rolling! Today's wine Duckhorn Vinyards Varietal: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot Vintage: 2012 Winemaker Notes Both generous and graceful, this is a lovely expression of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of black raspberry, red currant, vanilla bean and milk chocolate. One the palate, firm yet sup