Reflections of the Dining Room Table at My Grandparent’s House by Chellyz View

dining table

Reflections of the Dining Room Table at My Grandparent’s House by Chellyz View

I was scrolling through the gallery in my cellphone and the picture featured above held my attention.  A table.  Not just an ordinary table, but a decorated table that reminded me of one of my maternal grandmother’s tablecloths.  Some childhood memories are clear like looking through a freshly wiped window cleaned with window cleaner.  I accurately see the reflection of dinner time at my grandparent’s home.

My grandparents resided in a small modest home with a round dinner table. Dinner at my grandparent’s house was a ritual.  The main course of the day was done by 4:00 p.m.  My grandmother enjoyed working for a brief time, but life circumstances summoned her to become at stay home mom.  I admired my grandma for watching over me while my mom worked.  I am displeased with myself because I didn’t pay attention to her nor my paternal grandmother’s recipes made from scratch.  I felt cooking wasn’t my calling.  Therefore, cereal and grilled cheese sandwiches became my specialty as I grew older, but that’s another story.

Yes, the dinner table at my grandparent’s house was sacred.  Hands washed.   Fresh produce.  Homemade Ingredients.  Life was at a slower pace back in the day.  At least that is how I envision grandma’s kitchen.  I can recall the aroma of greens, black eyed peas, the snapping of peas or green beans, and sweet potato pies (no strings found).  Watching flour and yeast being rolled by hand with a wooden rolling pin then left to rise a few times before being baked in the oven left me amazed.  The scent of roast beef or a whole chicken that appeared to be roasted without the rotisserie machine contraption lingered in the air.  This was a time before anyone thought or knew the definition or lifestyle of veganism or gluten free.

The most important part of the dinner routine was setting the table.  My grandpa would become irritated at times because I would start singing at the table.  I didn’t sing on key, but I always had a song.  I don’t know if this was a habit because the food was so good or I just felt like hearing him telling me to stop all that sangin’.  I knew we were to sit down at the table together.  No eating in the room.  No preparing separate meals.  Whatever was cooked you ate or you starved. Currently, I don’t know if that would be considered unfair treatment to children or not.  Paper plates, and plastic ware was not allowed at the dinner table.  Cups made of foam, oh no!  My grandma said she felt like she was about to choke when she drank out of a foam cup.  When she did finally break down and accepted paper or plastic goods at her dinner table, you were only to purchase Chinet or some other brand that resembled resilience.

Today, I feel guilty as a mother.  Don’t get me wrong, my children don’t starve.  However, they didn’t experience the same dinner time rituals I did as a child.   I am thankful their dad has mad skills in the kitchen.  So, they always get excited when dad prepares the meals.  We don’t always consume our dinner at the same time due to work schedules or extracurricular activities.  I am known for stocking up on paper and plastic goods because it’s an “easy” way of life in my home, but I know it isn’t good for the environment.  There are times when we have carry-out meals a little too often or the frozen section in the market conveniently saves time instead of having everything freshly prepared.  Electronics such as tablets and phones are supposed to be banned at the table when we have an opportunity to dine together.  The children ask, “Why?”  I respond, “Cause my grandpa said no singing at the table.”  Also, I tell them it’s important because it gives us a chance to talk about life.

A few years ago, before I realized the impact dementia was having on my grandmother we got into an argument.  It was about the details of the dining room table.  I wasn’t folding the dinner napkins correctly.  Grandma exploded and I left the room muttering, “I ain’t having another holiday dinner over here.”  I think she felt it would be one of her last holidays preparing a home cooked meal at the sacred dinner table.  A sadness overwhelmed me because I knew grandma was changing and this portion of our lives wouldn’t be the same.  Now, she enjoys the meals my mom and aunt prepare for her. She always sit by the window in her comfy chair.  Her dinner table consists of a small foldable wooden dinner tray.  Of course, she asks what time it is throughout the day, because she never wants to eat dinner after 5:00 p.m.

As families we need to find time to gather more at the table.  Even if time doesn’t allow for it to occur every day, we should commit to making the time at least three to four times a week.  It might not even be dinner, but maybe you could enjoy preparing an evening snack or dessert together.  Have at least one “good tablecloth” and a set of nice dinnerware you can find on sale.  Maybe even splurge on the fancy paper ware but remember to recycle.  LOL, I even invite singing to the dinner table as long it is a song, we can all sing and is appropriate.  Yes, our schedules can be rigorous at times.  Yes, we often find ourselves overworked and trying to manage the bills.  However, try to find a few moments to create some reflective and comforting memories at the dinner table .

Finding Waves of Hope to Stop Drowning in Sadness

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Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

 

Finding Waves of Hope to Stop Drowning in Sadness

Your Thoughts Can cause You to Drown in Sadness

It was the evening of Sunday, June 9, 2019. I don’t know if this feeling has ever happened to you, but I felt uplifted and exhausted at the same time. It seemed I had received enough fuel to sustain me for another week, and motivation to rebuild my faith. However, for some apparent reason a wave of sadness washed over me. The weekend was biding me farewell, and I had to prepare myself for the forthcoming week.  As usual, I continued to stay optimistic about positive changes for my city in spite of the disturbing news that blasted across the airwaves.

Earlier that day, I had attended kingdom service at my home church. Later that evening, I went to a gospel concert at another church located on the east side of Detroit.   Well, after the concert, I dropped my mom off and headed home. It was around 6:30 p.m. when I drove down Conant towards the Davison Expressway. There were a sea of people standing on both sides of the street. My first thoughts were to have my car float in the other direction, but I was too tired to attempt to steer my car toward a side street. I patiently passed by a slew of individuals standing on the side or front of their cars in party mode.  Suddenly, the green light quickly flowed from green to red which caused me to stop.  At that moment, I decided to call my aunt. I informed her something was going on, but I didn’t have a clue what event was taking place. I also told her I needed to hurry and get on the expressway as soon as I could.  My soul felt disturbed. Later, I learned a car show had occurred.

As usual I started to overthink.  I headed down the Davison Expressway and connected to the Lodge Freeway, and began thinking about the crowd.  I vividly remembered seeing faces of all ages. Suddenly, I felt a rush of sadness fall upon me.  I thought, why can’t we gather in large crowds often to start a movement, spark a positive revolution, or activate a call of action to demand peace in our neighborhoods?  I wondered did any of them know they could use their footprints to walk towards building a Detroit filled with promise?  I know many citizens have taken oaths and organized rallies to battle gun violence, blight, and embrace community development. However, we need to do more.

My mind continued to think, think, and overthink.  Finally, I exited the freeway and I arrived home. Suddenly, my mind shifted, and I became consumed with other concerns. I questioned myself about how was I going to make my home better if it was destined for me to stay in Detroit?  As I turned into my driveway, I watched my 11-year old son play with the neighborhood children, and noticed he was having a disagreement with another child who lived down the street. I asked him what was the issue, and he reassured me it was resolved.

Again, I began to overthink. Is this where it all begins?  Do we participate in disputes as children that we fail to learn how to resolve in a healthy manner which leads us to become angry teens and adults? Will there be an ongoing concern with children getting along on my block and the warm days were just starting to grace our backyards? Once I got my emotions under control, I shook it off just like I shook off the wave of sadness earlier while driving through the crowd a few moments earlier.

Well, Monday, June 10, 2019 was upon my doorsteps and to my demise I clicked on a popular local news site. The heading stares at me, taunts my thoughts, and haunts my feelings leaving me feeling despaired. Four people dead, several people had been injured, and this was a result from 9 different shootings that happened throughout Detroit. Now what? Over the weekend a gun violence rally was held in Downtown Detroit. I was drowning in emotions from the feelings of yesterday of observing a crowd of people who had familiar faces, but I didn’t personally know.  Unfortunately, one of those shootings occurred in that vicinity near Conant leaving a young man dead.  It was news I didn’t want to hear, but was imprinted in my thoughts.

Continue to Believe in Hope

I was sinking in sadness from the feelings of wondering what kind of world will this be for my 15 year old daughter who anxiously awaits to live out her dreams one day in another city while aspiring to become a physician?  I didn’t want her to be attacked by unwanted tragedies.  What would be the outcome of my young son who longs to be an actor but could be disruptively placed in a horrific story as a troubled child, because he is a young African American male who loves to wear hoodies?  I don’t want to live in fear every time I see a group of people standing outside longing to enjoy life become victims of violence. I don’t want to live in sadness, fear, and anger wondering if my children will have to fight to prove their dignity when they want to just hang outside and have fun.  Neither should any innocent child, adult, or citizen.

Now what? Businesses, churches, community groups, organizations, individuals, families, parents, friends, mentors…..What can we do? What shall we do? What can be done? I know we are trying and incidents will happen that will continue to test our faith. I can’t just shake this off but I won’t hold onto all this pain either.  I will not drown in my sadness.  You must not drown in this sadness.  I will tell you what I must continue to do.  I hope you will join me, and grab your life jacket of faith and hope in this journey.  We gotta keep rebuilding and fight for our communities.   I will share hope by continuing  to write thought provoking articles, share uplifting stories, post community events, volunteer, and take mental breaks as needed.   Please share your solutions and get the crowd to join a revolution to cease the violence and unwanted pain. We will not drown in sadness.  We will strive for and believe in better days.  We will not lose our hope in Detroit!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Helping Others and Your Community Doesn’t Mean You Must Lose Your Sanity, Self, or Smile! – By Chellyz View 

 

take care of yourself

It’s amazing how our children can give us a wake-up call.  As adults we are supposed to be the ones nurturing and guiding them.  However, they are watching us even when we are not paying attention.  Last month, I hung up the phone and my son looked at me and said, “Ma, you are tired.  You are always helping other people, but you need to take care of yourself.”  I replied, “You are right.”  Then time went on as usual.  Approximately two weeks later my daughter boldly walked in my room and stated, “Ma I was looking at some old pictures of you.  I’m not saying you aren’t still pretty, but you look so tired now.  You need to stop doing so much and take care of yourself.”  Finally, last week a co-worker stopped me in the hallway and with great concern asked, “Are you alright?  You haven’t been looking like yourself lately.”  Hmmmmm, that’s when I told myself, “Chellyz, you bettah get yo life!”

I wanted to help my community, peers, peoples, loved ones, and the world SUCCEED!  I was caring and helping others so much that I was beginning to lose my sanity, self, and smile.  It was imperative for people to heal, but I was doing so at the cost of injuring me: physically, and emotionally.  In the words of my children, “Girl, you doing too much!”  Here are the top five lessons I have learned over the years, but I needed to reiterate them to myself and for those who may need a little advice too.

smile-quotes-youre-never-full-dressed-without-a-smileLesson 1

 If you say no it doesn’t mean you are the worst person ever to walk the Earth.  Having a big heart often means you spread yourself too thin.  If you stated, no the first time then you can repeat yourself by answering no again.  It doesn’t mean you are selfish, mean or uninterested.  It means you must reinforce balance in your daily activities.  Life is demanding, and why overwhelm yourself with a list of events to validate someone else’s happiness or to pacify your social media feed.  Take a mental snapshot and a break from the hustle and bustle of a hectic schedule.  It may not appear like it, but I am learning that it’s ok to choose a few good events to attend each month instead of 15.  Well, I’m exaggerating a little.

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Lesson 2

You can’t give and be a part of every cause.  On the blog’s Facebook and Instagram pages, I post many events that are occurring in the city of Detroit.  I know that I can’t attend, or can I afford to go to every program, fundraiser or good cause.  Therefore, I post the events or programs hoping that others in the community will show their support.  My latest slogan is: “I am the Village, You are the Village, We are the Village.”  Nope, it is not “Me” or “I am the Village alone.”  Collectively, there are enough of us in this village to show up or volunteer at one event per month to make a difference in this city!

heal and grow

Lesson 3

Be aware of who you befriend. Bad spirits will drain YOU. Lord knows I have learned many lessons while volunteering or helping others with their vision.  One lesson was costly!  Just because someone seems sincere doesn’t mean their heart is right.  People may utilize your gifts and talents for their own good.  Choose who you want to help wisely.  Even when we use our best judgement, we still may experience hurt.  At times, I would become angry with myself for allowing my heart to help others who caused me pain.  However, I must remember friendships, and bonds have their season.  Learn from the situation, release it, and keep things moving.  Believe me life is too precious to become consumed with people and circumstances that can’t or don’t want to change.  Use your energy for something more productive.

beauty-of-the-butterflyLesson 4

The same way you pour into others, don’t forget to pour into yourself.  Time is of the Essence.  You know you have plans, and a vision for your life.  It’s wonderful to push, encourage, motivate, and assist others when you can.  However, don’t forget to plan, prepare, cultivate, invest, dedicate, and sacrifice for what you want to achieve out of life.  Don’t lose sight of your dreams while helping others.  I have mentioned this before on many other occasions.

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Lesson 5

Detox, Defuse, and Disconnect.  Get rid of any unwanted stress or negativity that latches onto you and causes you to want to give up on everything. Over the past few months a few well known individuals have committed suicide.  People are losing hope, because they are losing their coping mechanism skills.  Social media is providing a false sense of happiness.  As for myself, my energy level was extremely low.  I was allowing depression to drive my actions.  My past was tugging at my present and weighed me down.  I was losing focus of my future.  Maybe, if I stay busy, I won’t have time to be sad.  Maybe, if I help others with their Dreams then I won’t place any effort in mine.  Therefore, I won’t have to worry about failure.  Maybe, if I give my all to the community then my environment will become an oasis.  Maybe, if I am nice to everyone, they will be nice to me.  Maybe, if I support every cause, when it’s my season they will support me.  Big announcement!!!! Quit trying to satisfy everybody, and everything.  Refuel, Replenish, and Reconnect with yourself.  Most importantly, seek professional help when you need to!!!!!!

Those are a few keys that helped me regain my sanity, self, and smile. Hopefully, they can help motivate you also.  I decided to take care of myself (again).  I have my cycles of ups and downs.  A few people even stated I’m starting to look like my old self again.  I have my moments, but I have a checklist to remind me to get back on track.  If you see me in these streets and I am having a bad day, just give me a smile and say, “Hey don’t just preach about the lessons you type but learn to live them.

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

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Developing and Recognizing Your Own Principles that will lead to Self-Improvement and Healing

Developing and Recognizing Your Own Principles that will lead to Self-Improvement and Healing

principles

After the research, What Happens Next?

After a few weeks of allowing the words I had written to rest in a notebook, I finally decided to type away and brought the post to life.  Usually, I felt a sense of accomplishment after writing and finishing a blog post. The post focused on how I did extensive research about the principles of Kwanzaa and decided to actively participate in the holiday last year. However, this time was different.  Right before deciding to publish this post, I felt it was essential to do additional research about the founder of Kwanzaa, Dr. Maulana Karenga. During my research I learned in 1971 he was convicted of torturing two women and the actions were dehumanizing and brutal.  Later, Dr. Karenga was released from prison by 1975.  People had campaigned for his release by writing letters that were sent to state officials (www.dailycaller.com/2017/12/24/reminder-kwanzaa-was-concocted-by-a-deranged-felon-who-tortured-naked-women-with-a-karate-baton-and-a-toaster).

After reading about this newfound information that others might have been aware of, I sat at my desk in a complete daze. It was Friday, January 18, 2019 at 12 am in the morning, and I was unable to move.  I wasn’t confident about publishing the post anymore.  Everything around me was a blur. I knew I needed to rest, because I had to prepare for work in a few hours.  However, I couldn’t.  Since December 26, 2018, not only had I completed research about Kwanzaa’s principles, but I had recently participated in self-reflection exercises that helped me evaluate my life over the past 25 years.  I had a multitude of questions that were dancing in the air.  Each question lingered off beat because I was trying to become in tuned with myself.  First, I asked what about Kwanzaa, because the principles were deep and what I had learned wanted me to invest more in my community.  At the same time did this newfound information change my views about the seven-day celebration and its principles, because of the founder’s past?  It is ironic because, this question led me directly to a recently published article in the Los Angles Times entitled, The dark side of Kwanzaa’s founder can’t extinguish the holiday’s beacon (www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-griffin-kwanzaa-20181223-story.html). After reading the article, I thanked the writer Chante Griffin even though she couldn’t hear me. I promise you she must have heard my thoughts, because it expressed how I felt at that moment.  Though the author indicated she didn’t celebrate Kwanzaa last year,  I had already celebrated the holiday before reading the articles and was still indecisive about the holiday’s future for myself.

Self-Reflection Should Lead You to Self-Correction

It was amazing how time was racing and it was getting closer to Friday morning, because each minute was slowly passing me by.  This blogger girl was going to be exhausted for work the next day.  I couldn’t feel the pace of my heartbeat. My whole body was heavy.  So, I asked myself the most important question.  What about the person I was and the person I had evolved into?  If people knew about all my faults, destructive behavior, failures, how I disappointed others, or my selfish actions that caused hurt and havoc, would that stop family and friends from loving me unconditionally?  Would they want to stop reading my blog, follow my You Tube channel, support my events, or believe in my visions?  So, I just sat there at my desk staring at the computer waiting for it to give me the answers I needed to move forward, to post this article, and most importantly to continue healing.

Though I can’t change the past, I can share what I learned while celebrating Kwanzaa and from the self-reflection exercises, I indulged myself in.  First, I realized that if you are sincere about becoming a better individual you must look within yourself and commit to find the tools to teach you how to heal.  Some of those tools are prayer, meditation, counseling, and connecting with people who have a positive outlook on life. Secondly, though we can learn and adapt principles from others we need to go beyond that.  We must develop and recognize our own principles that will improve ourselves and lead us to self-healing.   This is imperative if we want to have healthier homes and communities. Third, if you have strong leaders or ancestors in your life that have taught you principles about choosing what is right from wrong then don’t stray away from them. My family taught me numerous principles about life, and ensured I was spiritually rooted and grounded.  However, I am the one who drifted away from what I was taught.  I can’t blame anyone, but myself.  Don’t let others allow you to compromise your character for selfish gratification.  Fourth, learn from your past because it can shape you into becoming a better person for your future.  So, now a few days later I have a revised version of my written post.  I finally decided to press send.

Learning about the principles of Kwanzaa and the importance of self-reflection

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Kwanzaa Display at the Charles H. Wright Museum with Kinara Holder representing the Seven Principles:  Black represents the People / Red represents the Struggle / Green represents the Hope and Future that ultimately comes from the Struggle

It was another year of habit.  In the past, I had carelessly practiced the protocols of an annual celebration out of habit instead of honoring the ritual for internal growth.  Christmas was officially over and the spirit of Kwanzaa was slowly drifting in the air.  “Happy Kwanzaa,” but the celebration for me ended before it even began. I sat down and decided to evaluate the seven principles which were; Umoja – Unity, Kujichagulia – Self-Determination, Ujima – Collective Work and Responsibility, Ujamaa – Collective Economics, Nia – Purpose, Kuumba -Creativity, and Imani – Faith.  I also, decided to participate in self-reflection exercises that would help me develop my character and strengthen my own principles. It was important for me to confront my character because it needed an awakening about the principles I was taught in my life.  My family had done a phenomenal job raising me, but it was I who had failed over the years.  It was time to develop my own principles while not taking away from what I had learned as a child.  It was time for self-improvement.  It was time for healing.

Celebrating creativity in the community

performers at the musuem

Left Picture: Host Momma Sol / Picture Above Performances by Shizzmane and Band The Zoo / Picture Below Performances by Michael Elliot and The Experience

I allowed my brain to become an empty vessel that was ready to learn about Kwanzaa and developing my own principles that could enhance myself, and surroundings.  In 2019, my purpose was to enrich the lives of myself, children, and my city. Each day of Kwanzaa, I spoke the contents of every principle in the atmosphere.  In addition, I shared my personal principles and stories with my children in hopes they were retaining facts, and life lessons like a search engine on the world wide web. By the sixth day of Kwanzaa, I was determined to take my children and nephew visiting from Georgia to the Charles H. Wright Museum to celebrate Kuumba in the community.  This day represented Creativity.  Yes, I was excited, because Creativity could really be an eccentric girl like me from the D middle name.  The evening included an event hosted by Momma Sol who performed meaningful lyrics that educated the Soul.  In addition, performances were given by Malcolm Elliot and The Experience and The Zoo featuring Shizzmane.  It was enlightening to hear the vibes of young local talent who graced the stage with originality and positive vibes that grasped every creative fiber in my DNA.

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From Left to Right My Nephew, Son, Self, and Daughter at the Charles H. Wright Museum

The most memorable aspect of this day of creativity occurred when my 15-year-old nephew who stands over 6’3 admitted he was hesitant about attending the event.  He stated, “I am glad I went today.  The music was good and I will have something to listen to on the way home.”  He asked the performers for their info so he could download their tunes on Sound Cloud which is another lesson someone needs to school me on.  While driving home my nephew made a profound statement that overwhelmed my spirit with joy which was, “I learned to believe in myself and to follow my dreams.”  He then proceeded to inform me about his future endeavors.  Let me tell every individual reading this post that Chellyz almost dropped a heart full of tears, but instead I gleamed with smiles of contentment.

Welcoming Faith While Living Life

Finally, I approached the last day of Kwanzaa, Tuesday, January 1, 2019, with anticipation.  I said “Hello” to Imani which stood for Faith.  What a way to bring in the new year with one of the most challenging yet prominent principles we face in our daily lives as it relates to having faith for providing peace and comfort in our homes, working a nine to five, raising children, building a business or career, paying the bills, developing and finishing projects, maintaining relationships, exercising our spirituality and understanding the checks and balances with our physical and mental health.  Phew, and that is probably not half of the battles we face in this lifetime.  Yes, I greeted the principle with arms outstretched and decided it was time to have the Faith to succeed, to build, to grow, to learn, to overcome and to soar to greater heights in Life.

One of my personal principles I decided to concentrate on in 2019 was self-healing.  Also, implementing peace would be a guiding principle in my life.  I am finding the tools to exert peace to help demolish unwanted battles, depression, or self-distrust that could lead to my self-destruction.  Though it is difficult, I know it is time to keep evolving into a better individual, move beyond my faults, and accept the good the universe and the Holy Spirit is offering to me.

Do You Stand Behind the Principles, Proverbs, or Proclamations You State?

What principles, proverbs or proclamations are you standing by in 2019 and refuse to walk away from?  When you state, “It takes a Village” will you contribute, rebuild, and restore to the sustainability of the community?  When you chant, “Stop the Violence” will you show up for a local peace rally?  When you state, “I’m Blessed and Highly Favored” will you walk in Faith and not place all your focus on doubt?  When you shout, “I am My Brother’s or Sister’s Keeper” are you willing to make sacrifices or promises to ensure you will assist or protect them in times of distress or opposition?  When you finally tell yourself, “I’m going to develop principles to make me better,” are you willing to self-reflect and make corrections to live a more meaningful life filled with overwhelming potential?  Make a list of your own principles for self-improvement and healing, because your heart, health, family, soul, and community is depending on it.  Evaluate yourself and answers and keep your girl posted!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

References

Griffin, Chante. “The dark side of Kwanzaa’s founder can’t extinguish the holiday’s beacon.” Los Angeles Times, 23 Dec. 2018 www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-griffin- kwanzaa-20181223-story.html

 “Reminder:  Kwanzaa was concocted by a Deranged Felon Who Brutally Tortured Two Naked Women with a Karate Baton and a Toaster.”  The Daily Caller, 24 Dec. 2016 www.dailycaller.com/2017/12/24/reminder-kwanzaa-was-concocted-by-a-deranged-felon-who-tortured-naked-women-with-a-karate-baton-and-a-toaster/

“10 Facts About Kwanzaa Founder Dr. Karenga.” Woldcnewsstaff, 2012 www.woldcnews.com/978964/10-facts-about-kwanzaa-founder-dr-karenga/

“The History, Principles, and Symbols of Kwanzaa.” Interexchange, 18, Dec. 2015 www.interexchange.org/articles/career-training-usa/history-principles-and-symbols-of-kwanzaa/

 

Being Thankful while going through Progression and Experiencing Life Lessons

Being Thankful while going through Progression and Experiencing Life Lessons
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Practicing Thankfulness while wearing my favorite scarf!

I am thankful for the progress and blessings in my life.  I remember some years ago I was driving a car that would stall on me in the middle of nowhere.  Well, that is how it seemed.  One evening it was cold and the children were with me, and of course the car decided it would stop movement, since it was growing older and more tired.  I was frustrated and crying, because the children and I were stranded for a few moments on a dark and semi-secluded road. Thousands of dollars had been spent over the years to keep the car up to par.  At that moment, I could hear a few of my friends in the back of my mind telling me from previous pep talks it was time for me to step out on faith and invest in another car. Though I only had $500, and less than stellar credit without a trade-in, I went to the dealer and was able to get my new car.  After having that car for almost two years, someone ran into the back of it leaving it totaled.  I was blessed to get another car which was better than the previous car.  Most importantly, I walked away without a scratch.

On today, take a moment to be thankful for the little things.  Be Thankful for the progression you have shown even with the tears, obstacles, limited resources, fear, frustration, and confusion you have faced.  There are times when you may have just a few dollars and a dream, but if you have the heart to fulfill it, you must go forth with making that vision transpire.

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A reflection of Thankfulness (Cass Park)

Currently, I am approaching a third year with fulfilling the mission of A Heart Full of Conversations: A Detroit Blog.  I envisioned the level of growth to be at a faster pace. I wanted to have a line of products to sale with part of the proceeds going back to the community.  I thought I would have a vast amount of people reading the blog, and multiple documentaries uploaded on the You Tube Channel at this time.  However, I had to remind myself don’t rush the journey.  This walk towards progression, and success isn’t a speed race.  It reminded me of when I was frustrated about that car.  I felt stranded, and my movement was stalled.  However, I know with faith, pep talks from the people I love, determination and patience something greater than what I expect is in my future for myself, and the blog!

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am allowing myself to reflect upon my accomplishments big or small.  I am taking it easy.  I am thanking my personal Savior for all the trials, and the blessings.  I am thankful for the gifts He has bestowed upon my life and allowing them to manifest through trial and error.  I am thankful for the times when I only had a few dollars in my pocket, and how I made it through those moments.  I am thankful for my mom and aunt who loves me beyond every fault, consistently support every venture I decide to embark upon, and always being there when I need them most.  I am thankful for every single friend who doesn’t judge or belittle me and offer ongoing encouragement when I try to allow doubt to creep in my life.  I am thankful for my home, everyone who resides in this household, and their patience for dealing with me. I want them to know I always want the best for them.  I am thankful for the days filled with hope, because it helps me realize that the darkness will NOT permanently consume my personal space.  I am thankful for Every situation that tests me when I don’t have all the answers.  Those moments become testimonies after the challenge.

cake and butterfly pic

Had a slice of Red Velvet Cake for Breakfast (My daughter made it!)

So, this Thanksgiving besides acknowledging the mac and cheese, red velvet cake I will have for breakfast, turkey, dressing, yams, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pies and all the other stuff that you and I may Gobble, I want you to contemplate on gratefulness and be thankful for what you have.  Don’t let this society make you feel bad if you can’t go shopping on Black Friday.  Don’t let the pressures of this world tell you how you should celebrate the holiday which may cause you to become depressed.   If you have a moment of feeling discouraged then yell, scream, talk it out, but like I always state don’t stay in that negative place.  Practice thankfulness not because it’s designated on a calendar.  Show thankfulness while experiencing life lessons, because it will bring you peace and allow you to see the progress you made no matter the scale of it.  This is your chance to live your life to the fullest every day, and I encourage you to be thankful!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

 

Three Awful Words that are Aggravating Detroiters and Damaging their Wallets by Chellyz View

Three Awful Words that are Aggravating Detroiters and Damaging their Wallets by Chellyz View

Alright, I am about to type the three awful words that are leaving Detroiters feeling aggravated, defeated, and tormented.  Auto Insurance Rates……. Eek eek eek eek!  Did you hear that?  It’s the haunted music that is associated with those terrifying words.  I have listened to the campaigns of people vowing to address the outrageous automobile insurance rates Detroiters must pay.  I have heard the outcries of Detroiters feeling the pain of their wallets being depleted due to unfair rates.  Even if an individual is a good steward over their money, it doesn’t mean they should pay ridiculous premiums for auto insurance.  Recently, I have felt the frustration when searching for the most affordable auto insurance rate.  While trying to get my life right, something went wrong, and I allowed my insurance to lapse over a month ago.  Then my horror story began!

For the past year, I was blessed to pay one of the most affordable auto rates I ever had in a longtime.   Unfortunately, I missed a payment due to life circumstances, and was without automobile insurance for over thirty days.  I called the insurance agent and was ready to renew my policy.  However, I was informed I could no longer pay the fee monthly.  I had to pay the six months up front, because I was being penalized for not having any insurance for over thirty days.  Also, the rate had slightly increased.  So, I paused then pleaded with the agent to just give me a chance, but according to policy there wasn’t a possibility to make a deal.

I frantically called several other agents hoping to find the lowest auto insurance rate.  I also visited a few auto insurance offices in person.  Ultimately, the torture of searching for affordable auto insurance became a pain in the well you already know.  I received quotes as low as $405/mo. and as high as $937/mo.  Can you believe it?  All of these quotes were not only higher than my car note, but more than a studio apartment in the inner city with a utility included.

auto accident

Let’s discuss the fact that I didn’t have any points on my driving record, but another driver ran into the back of my former car in January 2017.  I was patiently sitting at a red light when a drunk driver ran into the car behind me, and then that car smashed into the back of my trunk.  The effect left that my car totaled.  I am forever grateful to the Holy Spirit I wasn’t injured, and only had to receive therapy for a few weeks due to slight back pain.  Also, I was thankful I had insurance at that time to cover the damages.  However, I was informed though I did not receive a ticket from that accident, my current rate would be being affected by the ordeal.  I wanted to grab my car key and throw it across the room and call out Florida Evans classic line from Good Times, “Da##! Da##! Da##!”  Michigan is a No-Fault State, but it feels as if the blame is being placed on Detroiters.

Last year, a bill was introduced to reduce rates for Detroit citizens. The proposal failed, because it was very controversial.  To reduce rates customers would have the option of deciding which package to choose for their personal injury protection (PIP).   It was stated the cost of auto rates would reduce by allowing citizens to choose their own protection plan.  However, there was no guarantee rates would drastically reduce for Detroiters.  According to an article retrieved from http://www.MLive.com entitled, “Bill to lower Michigan auto insurance rates fails in late-night vote” stated “A key part of the failed package was letting people choose their levels of personal injury protection.  A person could choose the $250,000 coverage, $500,000 to save 20 percent on the PIP portion or their coverage or unlimited coverage and save 10 percent.”  If an individual chose not to have unlimited coverage for their PIP it would have been devastating and costly.  For example, an individual who did not have unlimited pip coverage or a primary medical carrier to pay for services such as physical therapy, or chore services if care is needed on a long-term basis due to a severe auto accident, they would have to face even greater out of pocket medical expenses.

So, how are Detroiters getting by with these crazy auto insurance rates?  They are not.  Often you will see new to seasoned automobiles with major damage on these streets for two reasons.  First, people are “riding dirty” (singing in my Chamillionaire voice), because they don’t have insurance.  Another reason is people with insurance have an extremely high deductible to lower their insurance policy which is also not affordable.  Many citizens use out of state license plates and addresses to soothe their pockets of the unfair rates.  Also, people find methods to beat the system by “borrowing” someone else’s address who live in another city in Michigan.  Even the new Detroiters who are moving in upscale apartments downtown are using suburban addresses.  One article retrieved from www.michiganradio.org entitled, “Detroit sues Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock over tenant information” indicated, “As the city notes in court filings, “Some residents who reside in the city of Detroit use a suburban address of a relative or friend for purposes of obtaining lower auto insurance rates and/or for the purpose of avoiding city income tax liability.”

hopeful in my car

Unfortunately, many people even myself prayed that nothing would happen until I could rob Peter to pay Paul to renew my policy.  Some drivers would purchase a seven-day policy to renew their license and vehicle tab when it is their birthday season.  In case you didn’t know, the seven-day policy no longer exists in Michigan. Thanks, Lawmakers!  You continue to show how much you truly don’t care! Oh yeah, I was offered another auto insurance that would cover my vehicle in the case of an accident, fire, vandalism or theft.  The down payment for it was decent, but the agent told me the punchline to the joke.  The insurance is not valid in the state of MI, and if I was stopped by the police, I could be fined with a $150 ticket for invalid insurance.  In addition, I was told to contact the finance company to inquiry if they offered insurance until my policy was reinstated.  The company told me they did not offer any auto coverage.

As the story continues to unfold, one agent told me to just park the car for awhile since his quote was too costly.  Ummmm, I don’t think that is a permanent solution, but merci beaucoup for your suggestion.   The Motor City was known as an auto industry, and the much needed improvements for mass public transportation has never been a number one agenda though efforts are slowly being made.   I see the uprising of bike lanes and the usage of electric scooters increasing in the city.  Hmmmm, then again maybe I could avoid auto insurance if I didn’t utilize my car.   However, riding my beloved bike and/or attempting to ride an electric scooter every day aren’t feasible solutions due to the structure of my life i.e. being a chauffeur for my children. Anyway,  the snow will soon be covering Detroit grounds, and it would be difficult for me to maneuver on either device.  You know, I did see quite a few people last winter riding their bikes in five to several inches of snow on streets that were not plowed.  I will leave that skillful act to the experts!

on my bike

Let me say this, shopping for auto insurance is a horrible experience in Detroit.  Most agents sounded sympathetic when telling me why the rates were so high and apologized while trying to explain the justifications of the injustices of unfair auto rates.  However, I thought can’t these agents be a part of the solution and lobby against these high you know so and so rates.  Oh right, but that ain’t their issue if the money is being made.  I know one politician is stating in her commercial, “Fix the Da## Roads.”  I am yelling at the television, “Correct these Unfair Rates!”  The powers that be have given people another reason to move, but as I always tell my peeps that’s not an option for me.  This issue will be addressed, Someway, Someday, and Somehow!!!!!  It needs to be resolved, because I will have a teenage driver in the house within the next two years.  My wallet can’t handle any additional stress.

daughter.png

 

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

References

Lawler, Emily.  “Bill to lower Michigan auto insurance rates fails in late-night vote.”  Michigan News, 11/3/2017 https://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/bill_to_lower_michigan_auto_in.html Accessed 28 October 2018

Cwiek, Sarah. “Detroit sues Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock over tenant information.”  Michigan Radio, 05/14/2018                                                        http://www.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-sues-dan-gilberts-bedrock-over-tenant-information  Accessed 28 October 2018

 

My Five Main Reasons Why True Bloggers Should Never Quit Blogging

get over it gif

Get Over Your Fears and Chase Your Blogging Goals to Keep Your Soul Active

I am here to convince you that once you conquer the beginning stages of blogging, you can make it!  You just finished your first post.  Admit it!  The constant obsession with choosing the right words and perfecting each sentence deterred you from publishing it for others to read.  At least 25 drafts, and several months later you decided the post is good enough.  Again, this is your FIRST post, and failing is not an option.  Finally, you pushed the publish button.  A sigh of relief shakes the room. After ten minutes you check the stats on how many viewers or followers you have gained.  A total of 24 hours passed.  You have signed in to your site at least 50 times.

Can I share one small factor with you?  Get over all your fears, post that first post, and let it go!  The initial post is not a determining factor in how successful your blog will be.  As stated in a previous post, don’t measure your success based on what others are doing. It will take precious time, strategic marketing, and an enormous amount of networking before the blog will be noticed by a few thousands or millions of people.  Believe me chasing your dreams of being successful will keep your soul active.  Don’t become delusional that you have failed because the process of growth might be slow.  Keep writing, posting, and hit publish!

typing gif

It’s More than a Phase, It’s a Passion

I have read the above statement many, many, many, many times in various articles.  The phrase rings loud in my mind and I had to answer the call.  I loved Detroit, therefore I was determined to write about my passion.  My testimony that I declare to everyone is that it took over five years to get the courage to do so.  Be careful and don’t write about something you are not passionate about, because it’s the popular thing to do.  For example, how are you writing about fashion and you dislike shopping?  How are posting about the best restaurants and you have no desire to consume food outside of your home kitchen?  How can you educate others on how to save money, but you don’t have the sense to save a penny?  Writing should give you a sense of freedom, not pain.  Find your passion, then write until your heart is content!

Follow Dreams

The Blog Contributes Value to You and Those Who Read It

When I decided to focus on writing about Detroit, I knew I wanted to add value to my city.  Yes, I have said it before and will state it again, I am not oblivious to the trials this city faces.  However, the movement for change can start with something as simple as a blog.  Words are powerful, insightful, and motivating!  A blog should provide resources and value to enhance the life of yourself and especially others.

Hopefully, when people read your blog they will become excited.  One of the hopes of my blog is for people to feel intrigued to volunteer, don’t give up on a movement, start a movement, and for people to know that DETROIT stands for adaptability and beauty.  Remember, your blog is valuable, and you can uplift someone else or maybe the world!  You will face challenges while following and achieving your blogging dreams and goals, but don’t you dare stop trying.

winning gif

Proclaiming the Vision, You Have

When you Proclaim your vision, you are professing to yourself and others that your plans will come to fruition.  Your desire to achieve will manifest even when family, friends, and strangers doubt your efforts.  You will find yourself carrying a notebook at each given moment to jot down every fresh idea.  You will randomly text notes to yourself about the next blog you will write.  You will become unstoppable.  Your Faith will increase.  One of my favorite scriptures I live by is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  Proclaim the Vision.  Believe in your expected end to achieve what you want in life. I see You, my blogger friends!  Get started on that next post, and don’t look back!

never stop blogging gif

Your Heart Will Tell You Blogging is the Right Thing to Do

Once you have decided you will remain dedicated to blogging you will feel obligated to stay committed.  Even if you take periodic breaks from posting, you will feel guilty if you abandon your vision.  You will feel a sense of restlessness.  The pen, paper, computer, and relentless acts of typing will call your name while you are sleeping.  My Dear Blogger Comrades, I am here to enlighten and encourage you.  Access the reasons why you MUST continue to blog.  I guarantee you if blogging is something you truly want to do, then you won’t even think about quitting!  Detroit, as long as I have the strength, I will be writing about You.  Please believe, I wish all My Courageous Bloggers out there the Best of Luck!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

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Hope and Encouragement for My Detroiters Who Keep Holding On By Chellyz View

Hope and Encouragement for My Detroiters Who Keep Holding On By Chellyz View

 

Driving House 1

One of those Sweet Sunday Drives turns Bitterly Sad

So I was in one of my moods.  You know, when you are overly emotional for no apparent reason.  Maybe I did have a reason.  It was a Sunday mid-morning, and I just dropped my mom off at home after attending an amazing service at Kingdom (church).  My spirit was full, but my heart was on empty just like my gas tank.  However, that didn’t stop me from driving through my old neighborhood for a few minutes.

At some point, I knew it was time to take the drive home.  I took the familiar road towards the Davison Freeway instead of Seven Mile Road, and that’s when I had the ultimate flashback memory.  As a child, my aunt would travel on Ryan Road between McNichols (aka Six Mile) and Davison to hop on the Freeway.  Whenever she headed this way on a destination, I knew 85% of the time we would be traveling on the Davison to connect to the Lodge or Chrysler Expressway or stopping through Hamtramck.  On this Sunday, I felt sadder than usual while driving down Ryan.  The changes on this particular block were imprinted in my brain like a fingerprint etched on my fingertip.  In my childhood, this section of Ryan was filled with homes.  During that time the houses were so close in proximity you could literally shake a neighbor’s hand or pass a cup of sugar through the windows.  Yeah, this Sunday the sweet memories turned bitter.

This vibrant block is now a bleak stretch of blight.  You can count the number of houses left on both sides of the street. Often times as I drive through various neighborhoods, I see the recurring theme:  “The Homes are Missing and the People have Left.”  However, I listen to the news and my ears are ringing with the resounding message, “Detroit is the Comeback City.”  I believe in the comeback, but as I stated previously, let the Love and Promises of Progress take place in every nook and cranny of the 313.

Keep Fighting if You Want to Hold On

 

 

Some of the prime reasons neighborhoods crumbled are, because seniors, families, and dedicated homeowners lost the battle of saving their homes to overwhelming property taxes, predatory lending, and trying to keep up with the rat race of everyday life.  We all know this is nothing profound, but it’s the honest truth.  There are various programs available that offer relief to homeowners, but sometimes the guidelines aren’t feasible, there is a long waiting list, or funding has exhausted. I remember being caught up in the game of win, lose, or draw.  Our household took advantage of the Michigan First Step Program to save our home.  It took several months of phone calls, submitting and resubmitting verifications, frustration, and a few tears, but finally, we were approved.  The process wasn’t for the faint of heart.  For many homeowners, a decision must be made to let go or keep holding on.

Row of Houses 2

The main purpose of this post is to offer encouragement to those who are not quite ready to let go and want to stay in Detroit.  We need the people to rebuild and save the city without worrying about losing their homes.  Empty houses start the process of creating abandoned blocks and broken neighborhoods.   Thieves find unoccupied homes as an invitation to steal items such as hot water tanks, furnaces, and pipes which leads to the devastation of the infrastructure of solid houses.  At times the empty vessels are transformed into trap houses and depressing views for people left on the block.  My biggest plea is for the “Powers that Be” to design laws, and programs that work with the people who have the desire to save their homes.  Everyone loves the Comeback, but who cares if the people are losing and decide they ain’t never coming back.

List of Resources:

The following numbers and websites were found on www.waynecounty.com:

http://www.stepforwardmichigan.org / (866) 946-4732

Michigan Veterans Trust Fund (Wayne County) 313-224-5045

Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) 313-842-7010

City of Detroit Human Services Department Central Operations Division 313-852-5634 (Only for Detroit Homeowners)

City of Detroit Planning Commission 313-224-7887

Wayne County Treasurer 313-224-5990

Free Counseling and Legal Aid

United Community Housing Coalition 313-963-3310 (Detroit Residents Only)

Michigan Legal Services 313-964-4130 (Wayne County Residents)

Green Path Financial Wellness 313-964-4700 (Wayne County Residents)

Additional Resources:

http://www.clearcorpsdetroit.org

http://www.statheracademy.com

http://www.waynemetro.org

Detroit Blight Busters 313-255-4355

Home Repairs

Detroit Housing Grants | Pocket Sense
https://pocketsense.com/detroit-housing-grants-6001.html

MI211.org

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

THE FIVE MATTERS OF WHY BEING CONFIDENT ABOUT YOURSELF CAN HELP YOU HAVE A CONFIDENT BRAND! By Chellyz View

 Me and Blog Shirt

THE FIVE MATTERS OF WHY BEING CONFIDENT ABOUT YOURSELF CAN HELP YOU HAVE A CONFIDENT BRAND! – By Chellyz View 

 

Be Confident in Yourself First!

I simply adore this place.  I have an abundance of confidence about this environment that I will always call home.  My heart can feel the potential of growth, and possibilities flowing through my veins causing an overflow of excitement.  The moments of disappointment will not overshadow the hopefulness I carry around like a four-leaf clover.  All the optimism I confidently have for an exceptional Motor City led to my aspirations of starting a Detroit Blog known as A Heart Full of Conversations, LLC.  However, my dear fellow citizens this sistah got a problem.  I can’t be confident about promoting a prominent brand if I don’t have confidence in myself.

Find Your Path to a Favorable Outcome with Confidence

Building my brand has been a challenging task, but I had to identify the problem.  Ultimately, my dear, I realized the issue was Me! Can you believe it?  I found my confidence after searching for many years.  Guess what?  Somehow, I lost it again.  I lost my focus.  The mission of the brand became lost in the shuffle of my insecurities.  I felt like the people of Moses wondering in the wilderness.  I lost sight of what was important.  Coyness, lack of faith, and uncertainty caused me to go in circles.

I was scared to move forward, because I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle the demands of progression.  I had to realize being fearful would lead me in one direction, and that is nowhere.  Being confident doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help.  It is quite the opposite.  Praying for direction and seeking guidance from those who already traveled a familiar path can help you find your light within to shine.  The end results will direct you to the path of a favorable outcome while having a considerable amount of confidence.

Having Confidence Doesn’t Mean Being Superior to Others

Humility will attract your own self-confidence.  You must learn exuding confidence helps establish friendships and bonds with like-minded people. This will help you align yourself with individuals who will support you and your vision through your highest and lowest points.  Don’t be haughty.  Try not to convey the spirit of knowing everything.  Be confident, but modest.

Worrying Diminishes Your Confidence

Sometimes I have to say, “Calm down Chelly.”  I am certain my brain talks to me during my sleep.  I should be resting but my mind is on overdrive.  I start thinking about planning an event, but the doubt rises like the evil spirits lurking to snatch my contentment.  I begin to question myself about why I should give an event, because no one will show up. What if someone states another event was better than mine?  What if I fail and I lose credibility?  What if! What if! What if! I make myself dizzy by allowing my thoughts to spin around with all the What ifs! Just plan it already!

Ahhhh, there might be situations when the event doesn’t go quite as planned, but hey if everything was easy you wouldn’t have to put forth any effort.  Take a deep breath!  Remain confident in all you do!  Find individuals who will keep you grounded.  No matter the outcome, know with confidence you have made every attempt to plan for an amazing event.

Be Confident in YOUR Progress

I found myself being obsessed with numbers.  This is ironic, because on my nine to five I constantly preach to myself do your job with confidence.  I assure myself not to become overwhelmed with meeting quotas. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! I must laugh at myself when I analyze my blog. I began to compare the value and success of my blog with others.  I sat in awe as I heard about a blog that had 10,000 followers.  I found myself standing there with a blank look after reading an article indicating another blog had the traffic of 20,000 clicks per month.  Oh no, I felt like I was losing a number battle as I recognized one blog was able to bring in $50,000 worth of revenue in six months from advertisements and sponsorships.

Hold it! Be confident in YOUR progress.  Be Confident in Yourself. Believe in your experience.  Your testimony and steps toward advancement will be different from everyone else.  I had to remind myself of these important lessons.  I know in due time, I will have a lasting impact, and touch the lives of many individuals.  Most importantly, I must be confident in my future, and the goals I set for myself.  My biggest downfall won’t be failure, but not being aware that the Holy Spirit created me to be me, Chelly, and a Detroit Blogger who is confident in myself and what my brand stands for.

I hope these steps that matter to me will help you be confident in yourself and your vision that can become a respectable and confident brand.

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Shirt Printed By Cred:  DetroiterbyNature

Photo Cred: Me

When the Spirit of Detroit Warriors become Weary by Chellyz View

the spirit of Detroit Statue

When the Spirit of Detroit Warriors become Weary

by Chellyz View

It was Saturday, April 28, 2018, and as usual I sat on the edge of the bed.  Another typical morning where I would procrastinate and do meaningful and unmeaningful tasks which causes me to run late every day.  Sitting in one spot for thirty minutes is a daily ritual while thinking about the scheduled events that would be attended or the activities that should be completed during the day.  As time passes I decided to scroll through my phone. I found an article that stuck to my eyes like that unwanted piece of tape that continues to linger on your hand or clothes that you just can’t remove.   I was compelled to read the Detroit News article written by Robert Snell entitled, A deadly rivalry / Chapter 2:  The Seven Mile Bloods Hunt for Rivals After a Chance Meeting on Detroit’s West Side.  My heart, mind, and body couldn’t mobilize itself to function after reading the article.  I thought about a generation of young people who needed guidance.  They had the traits of being Warriors, Game Changers, World Shakers, and Productive Leaders to uplift Detroit in a positive manner.  However, the skills they possessed weren’t used to add comfort to the community.  They used their skills to survive in their neighborhoods and to fit in where they felt they had a sense of family.

Comeback, Comeback, everybody talks about the Comeback of Detroit.  However, who cares about a comeback if they ain’t experiencing the fragrance of roses and the warmth from the rays of the sun.  The brutal scent of inequality is unpleasant.  Blocks with abandoned houses, water shutoff notices, and a failing school system, but hey who really cares?  Not the people who are basking in the comeback.  Again, I just sat there asking myself, Where are the Warriors?  We need you!  Let’s come together and save our village.  Then my mind drifted to a flashback of last week.

After visiting someone who lived in a nice secluded suburban subdivision, I thought this is an oasis.  What if I packed my bags and  pushed the family outta the “D” and we disappear into the Oasis.  I shook my head to the left then to right as my internal response said, “NO.”  I realized My neighborhood in Detroit is My oasis.  Everyone can’t run.  Everyone can’t turn their backs and ignore the discomforts and disparities of the village.  Everyone can’t lose sight that, we are the change.  We ain’t Saviors but the Almighty from above did equip us with tools to save ourselves.  Most importantly, He gave us Warriors, but their spirits have become weary.  In the dictionary the synonym for Warriors are soldiers or fighters.  The Warriors are the ones who put on their armor of discipline and self-sacrifice to ensure not only their children are taken care of, but everybody’s children on the block.  The Warriors are the diligent and dedicated individuals who develop non-profits, have become vigilantes on street corners, plan community events, volunteer at recreation centers and after school programs, donate to charitable causes, and strategize protests and marches to rally against crime, violence and find missing children.  However, these Warriors are too weary.  The Warriors are the grandmammas, granddaddies, and elders on the block, but they are fading away like the illusion of an oasis.

The young people in Detroit need to know they deserve peace, love, comfort, a real sense of family that cares about their well-being.  Three months ago, I remember meeting a man who seemed to be a Mighty Warrior at a local recreation center.  I briefly told him of an event I wanted to plan for the community at the center.  He studied my intentions with a distraught look on his face.  The Warrior politely told me, “Ma’am good luck with that.”  He expressed he had been apart of community events for over 30 plus years and at times parents won’t bring their children to different programs.  However, if there’s a basketball game, the place is packed.  I felt his frustration.  I have experienced the disappointment first hand.  I also remember planning an event and trying to do almost everything with limited help and it was a partial disaster.  A fun-filled event became a chaotic moment that was showcased on the news.  I am not a Warrior, but I am an Advocate for my Motor City and felt defeated.

Small setbacks could discourage anyone ranging from a Lifelong or a Future Warrior.  What I learned is if we are serious about changing our surroundings we can’t worry about the past or setbacks.  We must learn to plan for the good, bad, and indifferent.  Be prepared that there will be the benefits of rewarding results, and the heaviness of sadness on any given day.  However, we can’t allow the deterrents of doubt, and the lash from naysayers stop our desire for progression, or we would have all given up hope for better days many years ago.  I know there are some Seasoned Warriors out there, but it is time for New Warriors to step up.  These Warriors will not come from the fictitious land of Wak…….well, I’m not going to say it.  Those individuals who choose to ignore the problems about our lost children, loss of self-worth, loss of financial stability, and loss of value don’t have meaning in the village.  Many children and adults have wandered to unforbidden territory.  They have become addicted to the rise of adrenaline caused by unwarranted actions and often criminal activity.  They need guidance from the Warriors to help them find their direction that will lead them to new beginnings.  They need to connect to the Warriors, but we must help the Warriors because they are weary and need encouragement and assistance.

The Tried and True Warriors have paid their dues and must pass the torch of saving our city to the Pristine and Eager Warriors before it entirely loses its flame.  The New Warriors must add some fuel to the flame to rekindle the momentum and keep the commitment of saving the lost souls of the village.  Who will accept the call?  Who will be willing to show compassion to those who want the help to accept change?  You may get weary, but who doesn’t?   Find your calling.  Find something you are passionate about.  These babies, our people, and Detroit needs you.  The community longs to be pampered when it feels neglected.  I don’t want to just have conversations, but I want to find solutions.  If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comment section.  My heart would love to hear from you!  Will you step up and be the next Warrior?

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!