Tuesday, December 27, 2011

See the Unseen

It can be so easy to get down about life if things aren't going as planned and you're in the midst of a challenge, IF you don't have Faith. I walk in Faith by seeking the positive or lesson in every circumstance. When I discover this I can't help but find a peace for the situation and trust that its God's hand over my life. I can then begin to see what I need to see, not what I want to see or what my small mind has assessed as true.

When you walk by Faith and not by sight, you look pass what's around you and look to the promises of God. You trust that regardless of what it looks like now that you'll come through it. You may suffer a bit but when you have Faith you know you'll get through it and just stand on patience. When you walk by Faith and not what you see, you don't give temporary circumstances or people power over you. When you begin to understand who's in your life for a reason or a season, and who's there for a lifetime you will move accordingly and give your energy to each as you ought. When you walk on Faith you believe what God says is true about you and not the lies the enemy tries to speak into you. Or even the things you've allowed yourself to believe because of temporary circumstances. When you walk by Faith and not by sight, you walk in a joy that isn't possible if you're only focused on what you can see. We're disappointed daily, hourly, by the second even, with the people and circumstances in our lives. If that's all you base your worth on and measure yourself accordingly, your value will be very limited. We weren't created to depend on man, we were created to depend on God and love and forgive man as God has done to us. We have to walk by Faith and not by everyday circumstances. Look higher than the pain in your life and see healing. Dream bigger than the opportunity in front of you and trust that you deserve it. Keep trying in spite of the numerous failed attempts. Know that a stumbling block can become a stepping stone or a breakdown can become a breakthrough if you have Faith.

There's greatness in each and everyone of us, but we have to know that God has that for us and walk in it with boldness. You have to know what God says about you and what He is promising for your life. I encourage yall to spend quiet time asking God what His promises are for you, how does He define you, what does He say about your current circumstances. Then choose to walk on Faith and no matter what it looks like right now trust that each day is a new day with a new opportunity to see things differently.

I'm grateful for the encouragers in my life and the promises I know God has for me. I want to be an encouragement to you to seek your promises. It's a world of a different color when you begin to understand your purposes. I want this feeling for everyone. Walk by Faith, Not by Sight! See the Unseen and Believe its yours!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Friday, December 23, 2011

Blessin in the Lesson

I was driving down the highway, steady reflecting on the past few months. I realized that by always saying "blessings" and how grateful I am to God it may seem that I'm walking on sunshine. While I am walking in God's light, I felt the need to clarify what blessings are to me.

I believe the ups and downs of life are gifts from God. For some of us, challenges and trials are the only way we can get stuff through our thick skulls. Actually the majority of the time when I'm talking about a blessing lately its been based around a challenge that God is bringing me through. Its not because I just won the lottery or somebody got me a really great present or anything material or insignificant in the eyes of the Lord and certainly not to brag about how wonderful my life is. Not to say He hasn't been a consistent provider but I feel so blessed to be moving to the other side of so many life lessons that I can't help but see the great in that.

I'm not knocking anyone who praises for the good stuff because we ought to say thank you. But I know that we also ought to say Thank You and Thank You for being delivered from unhealthy friendships, unGodly relationships, stressful job situations, family drama, illness, or for just simply getting a sense of conviction when we know we've done wrong and learned a lesson. I'm always grateful for the opportunities I receive but I strive towards spiritual maturity which is a never ending journey. I pray that this thick skull will soften more and more to just be obedient the first time around. I'm so glad for the Blessings in the Lessons and will continually humble myself to be a student under the wisest teacher I know. My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

My Christmas List

It's been such a busy somewhat chaotic but blessed two months that I've had very little time to do simple things. That includes blog, read anything other than a daily proverb and devotion, complete Christmas cards, clean up, and sometimes I felt I barely had time to breathe in between blessings. As Christmas approached I couldn't feel the Holiday spirit. I guess because of the lack of preparation for the earthly things that make it feel like Christmas, like shopping, xmas trees, parties, and so on. I'm so grateful to get a nudge from God that you are in the Holiday spirit and you've already been giving and receiving so open your eyes.

Instead of having a list of things I want I'll share with you the list of some things I've received even before Christmas has arrived:

- new girlfriends, Christian sisters and sincere woman who began loving me from the moment we met. They're teaching me how to love other woman in my life as they love me.

- an amazing blossoming relationship with my Baby Sis in addition to a spiritual connection with her, Praise God!

- a continuous image of the qualities my husband will and must possess by placing strong God-fearing Black men around me as examples.

- answered prayers of good reports on health with family all over and even more so an improved healthy state within me! Hallelujah!!!

- encouragement to reach for those dreams that seem unattainable by placing positive like minded creatives in my life.

- a softening heart to pause for others and pray and a desire to decrease myself and let God lead me.

- I feel so blessed to have a heart for the youth and those young people are like my children. My heart feels for each of them and its a true gift to be able to serve God through preparing our future leaders and say-sowers of the world.

- a deeper understanding of my purposes and clarity on how to fulfill them and allow God's will to be done.

- the biggest gift I received is the trust and belief I have in the Lord, they grow more everyday with each lesson and blessing. God did that, He gave me that trust by working on me even when I didn't know it and preparing my heart and mind. I'm beyond grateful to have life with Him in it and wouldn't trade it for my old life for a second.

- oh there's another gift, Salvation! The blessing of life after this one, to be re-united with my loved ones in Heaven. I believe that I will touch the face of my mother again one day and my Granny, Grandpa and Auntie too. If this life is simply preparation for a more abundant one to come, Man Oh Man, its gonna be good... GOOD!!!

Praise you God for all you've done for me and all that you are! This is already the most blessed Christmas I've known and I can't wait to see what December 25th will bring. Thank you Thank you Thank you! So ready to celebrate the bornday of Jesus Christ...if it wasn't for Him...

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

These 3 Words

Good Morning Beautiful People. I want to encourage yall to send praises today. I know some of us don't feel we know how to pray or praise God. Be encouraged that a simple "Thank You God" is the sweetest praise to Him. So if you've been blessed in anyway or trust that you're going to blessed in the future, open your mouth any day, all day, anytime and just say "Thank you God". We all have the gift of life if you're reading this among others things like the device you're using. Give God praise for all He has done for you. Amen!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hurt People

"Hurt People, Hurt Other People", this is a comment I made to a friend about a friend. Later that same day the other friend heard that message on TV and shared it with me. I thought at that moment how amazing God is with even the smallest of confirmations through coincidence. Reflecting on various situations happening in my life, I'm reminded of that comment and what to do with hurt people.

Don't give up on them and walk away, see through the pain and pray longer and stronger on their behalf. Stand in the gap of whatever their struggles may be and help them fight the enemy. I know the power of prayer as a believer, I've seen prayer work in my own life so I believe it for others too. Its even more important because sometimes hurt people don't have the strength, mindset, or clarity to fight for themselves in the midst of their trials. So how can they get over hurdles without the help of prayer warriors and sincere intercession on their souls? We should P.U.S.H. (Pray until something happens). That's one of the common phrases spoken by the Girlfriends Pray ministry and it is so true.

One more thing to keep in mind with dealing with hurt people...pray for yourself. We need to prepared, clear-minded, and suited up to go to battle for someone else. If we're in our own feelings about something a hurt person has done to us, anger and pride can easily rise up. Pray so that your response to hurtful words and actions isn't serving evil. We have to pray for peace and forgiveness immediately so that we can speak Godly words and take Christ-like actions to help a hurt person through their journey. Even if the hurt wasn't directed towards us we should still cover ourselves in prayer so the enemy has no power over our attempts to save a soul, help God heal a friend, and bring deliverance to others.

So while its true that hurt people can often try to hurt other people. We as believers or even mature minded people have to see through the pain if we desire a better life for our hurt people and for ourselves if we're the one hurting. Don't walk away, don't give up or give in... Please stay and pray longer and stronger!

Sidenote: As I began to feel overwhelmed standing in the gap for numerous folks, my great aunt spoke this to me. "You have to pray for their souls believing and trusting in God and not take on the emotion of their situation. If you take on the emotion of their situation, you won't be prepared to pray for the next person that is placed on your heart".

Peace yall and Happy Holidays!

- BJ Gianni

Friday, December 16, 2011

Setup for a Comeback

A girlfriend of mine always seems to forward these Joel Osteen messages at the appointed time in my life that I need them. Super grateful and thought I'd share.


"For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again..."(Proverbs 24:16, NIV)


Life is full of things that try to push us down. We all face disappointments and setbacks. Maybe you received some bad news about your health or perhaps a relationship didn't work out. That was a setback. It's easy to get discouraged or lose your enthusiasm or even be tempted to just settle where you are.

But if we're going to see God's best, we have to have a "bounce back" mentality. That means when you get knocked down, you don't stay down. You get back up again. You have to know that every time adversity comes against you, it's a setup for a comeback!

Remember, as a believer in Jesus, the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you. There is no challenge too difficult, no obstacle too high, no sickness, no disappointment, no person, nothing that can keep you from your God-given destiny.

If you stay in faith, then God will turn what was meant to be a stumbling block into a stepping stone, and you'll move forward in strength, full of faith and victory!


Father in heaven, thank You for setting me up for success in everything I do. I choose to trust and rely on You knowing that Your plans are for my good. I know my best days are ahead of me and look ahead to the blessings You have in store for me in Jesus' name. Amen.

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Friday, December 9, 2011

Under Construction

This establishment may be temporarily unavailable as repair and maintenance takes place. We apologize for any inconvenience along the way. Don't be alarmed by any swinging objects or things that may fall off, the necessary fixtures will be put back in place. WARNING: Be careful not to get hit by falling items on their way down, keep your eyes open and be prepared to duck. Please forgive our appearance as we are remodeling. We pray to be back up and running at the appointed time with a new and improved look and feel. All members fully invested in this establishment can assure that their membership still stands and that they may begin redeeming their rewards shortly. Thank you and God Bless!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gimme My Swag!

I don't know who took it or where it went, but Gimme Back My Swag! I'm not quite sure how I let it slip away or how I got so easily sidetracked, but Gimme Back My Swag! I've been unmotivated, content, and just plain stagnant in my passion , but you gon Gimme My Swag Back! I was never this easily defeated, this un-enthused to push forward, pursue my dreams and dream bigger. I've allowed myself to feel empty inside with no more left to give but my eyes were focused on the wrong prize and now I'm going to Snatch My Swag Back.

I'm seeing myself more clearly these days and realize that I've been allowing creative opportunities from God to just pass me by. I haven't been the self-motivator and hustler that got me to this point. Thankful that the Lord has been sustaining my career in this season I was walking through...but its time for more! Time not just for the brilliant hungry creative me to come back but time for an even greater motivated and prepared me to step on the "scene". I'm sitting down with this lackadaisical person I've become and yanking my Swag, Mojo, Umph, Desire, Passion, or whatever else you could call it back. She sure hasn't been using it and this season ahead of me is gonna need all of that to fulfill the goals ahead for me.

Staying Christ centered and Creatively Focused!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I look in the mirror and I see a different me, I feel a different me, I think like a different me and I know it's because I've surrendered so many parts of me to God. I don't think anyone can put a true date stamp on when they started their walk with God, I surely cant. I know that God had been working on me long before I knew it and slowly I began to lose the desire to do certain things. By the time I became aware that it was God nudging me in these areas, I was fully ready to surrender those habits to Him. I'm not perfect but I've been strong in turning over my filthy mouth, substance use, promiscuity and even now fornication I'm giving to Him. God has certainly helped me with turning my eyes onto myself for correction "before" judging others, which should be "instead" of judging others but I still got work to do. I'm healing from a lot of past hurts and its not always easy to release that pain but giving myself to God and letting Him work it out has been such a relief. The list of smaller surrenders are there too, but these have been the strongholds in my life.

And yet, there is one major part of my life that I have been fighting God with every inch of my being about...my relationship. I've been strolling along in my walk with God, sometimes skipping and singing and other times crying and screaming but I've been moving forward with ease. And now I hit a bump and trip to fall flat on my face, "What the heck was that hurdle in my path?". God answers, "That's you're relationship and I want that too!". I'm like, "Really? God why you gotta have that too, cant I just keep this one thing for myself? Please!". God answers, "Well, you do have free will so the choice is yours, but you'll be missing out on what I have planned for you down the road". I reply, "OUCH!!! That hurts, you mean this isn't the best that I'll know, theres a greater love than this, how could that be, I thought this was the one?". Without getting too dramatic and dragging this scene out, the point is that yes God wants this part of my life too and I have been so hesitant and stubborn in relinquishing it. God reveals so much to us through His words and the vessels He places in our lives. I'm so grateful for the friends that I've been able to trust with my experience and the encouragement they speak into me that has opened my eyes to what I need to do. It absolutely sucks to go through this life lesson during the holidays but I plan to hold to the true spirit of the holidays and not focus on the insignificant things that get us lonely on the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are about Jesus Christ and giving thanks for all that I've been brought through and will continue to grow through. I may have some sad tear-filled nights but scripture says joy comes in the morning. And I'm tempted some days to sit down and debate with God a bit more on this subject but I know that would be disobedient and while I may be a great debater here on Earth, I'm no match for Him. So let me pipe down and go ahead and be obedient.

One of my favorite gospel songs is "Give Myself Away" and it touches me every time I hear it and reminds me of what I am to do as a true student of God's word. I have to completely surrender myself to the Lord and trust that He knows best and that He's got my back through everything. I don't know what tomorrow looks like but while God has been removing this area out of my life, He has filled that void with so many Agape love relationships, true sisters and strong spiritual leaders. I have been a control freak my entire life and have always counted on forcing my way through obstacles to get my desired outcome. Shifting my desired outcomes to align with God's will has been most challenging in areas I still attempt to control. But His solutions and understanding is much greater than mine so I'm ready to take a back seat and let God take the steering wheel. I'm throwing up my hands and fully surrendering. Besides my hands are better suited up in the air anyway to praise Him for who He is. Hallelujah and Amen!

Peace yall!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Consequences of Change

If I've been selfish my whole life, I can't take offense if someone rejects my offerings now that I've changed. They maybe had to develop an unhealthy independence towards me as a result of my old ways that won't allow them to see my change. Their pride may be too strong as a result of my actions that didn't show them compassion and love. They have a "I don't need her" attitude. But that's ok, because when we change or do as God says we don't do it for show. We do it because its the Godly thing to do, its what our new heart desires to do. There will often be reminders of our old self, as we grow and gain new understanding. We can't get caught up in anger and frustration trying to make others see our change. As long as we can look in the mirror and see it for ourselves and be humbled by what we see, that's all that matters. God sees it all and if we've changed for the betterment of ourselves than we've changed for Him and shouldn't look any further for gratification or recognition of that change than from Him.

For those of you striving to change for the better. Be encouraged in your new season of life and don't allow others holding onto the old you to discourage your continued growth. This includes yourself, forgive you and don't hold onto hurts of shame because of your old ways. Seek healing from God and find joy in the lessons.

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Sunday, November 6, 2011


The fear of trying to assess the next man and know that he is of God is overwhelming. The fear of a heart hardening because of current experiences is more frightening. The fear of finally letting go of old ways and feelings to accept new understanding is absolutely terrifying. The fear of not healing from any of these, hurts more than the sum of it all and should be enough to Trust God and Fear Him!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lost in Technology

The sincere communication of relationships in our world has changed right before our eyes.

My two year old niece asked if she can text me and the 7 year old actually does text. They fight over playing Fruit Ninja on the iPad and stay glued to the screen instead of outside fighting over the ball/jump rope and at least interacting with one another.

I had a great talk with one of my teenage mentees last night about discretion and privacy. They don't have real relationships, they have cyber-lationships and don't know how to speak an honest word face to face to each other. They plaster their emotions and circumstances on their Facebook page and not only get lost in translation but invite the whole world to chime in on their relationship dramas. They paint false personas of themselves on their profile and get their feelings hurt when someone turned out to be different than what they thought (or read online).

A few weeks ago on Twitter someone posted "Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other". All the garbage on TV, the fame hungry image of Schnooky, the drama feeding Real Housewives series and the violence and pure ignorance of the Bad Girls Club and straight up foolishness that we allow ourselves to sit through. We would rather poison our thinking with that, then turn off the TV and have a real heart to heart with our spouse, our close friend, or even more troubling our children.

Let's not forget about the everyday poor communication of texting/emailing versus a phone call. Teens aren't the only ones getting lost in translation. Husbands & Wives, Grandparents & Grandchildren, Sisters & Brothers, Business Partner & Biz Partner, Father & Child. We're all allowing the technologies to make us a disconnected, insincere, non-loving world. True, God gave us the ingenuity to create these things and evolve into a smarter more efficient people. But I would imagine He still ranks spending time lifting each other up and loving on one another higher than the genius creations we've made. It's important not to get lost in it all. Seek the intimacy and true joy that comes from real interactions, no blurred confusing virtual lines or distraction of other nonsense. Reach out and literally touch someone.

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Where's the Joy in that?!?!

Ephesians 5:29 "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it..."

This scripture translates into that traditional saying "You can't make someone happy until you're happy with yourself". When thinking about relationships this should really reference joy not happiness. Joy is a mindset and a constant choice we have to make, where happiness is usually the result of temporary circumstances. So happiness is very much possible in relationships when the money is rolling in, the wining, dining and vacations are often, the gifts are frequent and the bills and life responsibilities are of no struggle. But joy is what will get you through when all those things are gone or fading.

Back to the scripture. When you read the entire chapter it talks about marriage and how the man should love the woman as he loves himself and the woman should be subject to the man. Two issues come to mind. One: if the man doesn't love himself or have his joy to hold onto than how can he love his woman the way he should? Two: if the woman is to be subject to the man but he has no joy and doesn't love himself or her sincerely, than how can she be subject to him without losing her joy, what role does she play? (Sidenote: References to man and woman can easily be swapped in these examples. The woman could lack joy or inner love and the man be the one trying to hold it down or leave.)

The first part is a no brainer, the man can't love the woman the way God says to if he doesn't love himself. He may bring her temporary happiness and may want to love her in that manner, but his lack of inner love and joy for himself will always present challenges. The second part reminds me of a comment that "the woman has to be strong in her Faith or joy and the man will follow suit". I've said it myself at times "I'll let my man be the leader when he learns how to be a leader". This mindset isn't right because even the Bible says women are subject to their men. A lot of us woman do desire a strong man to "wear the pants" in the relationship, but what about when he needs help and encouragement so he can get to that place of joy and be the man God intended him to be? Are we women simply giving up on them and walking away to have the same problems with the next man? Or are we staying and building ourselves up while we encourage our men to do the same? The grass ain't always greener and I'm sure God intended for us to stay and lift each other up or else why would divorce be so frowned upon? God would be like "Oh its cool, you don't like this husband, here let me give you another one".

My point to all this is simply that I realize that relationships can be challenging, they will be challenging. But if we're always picking up and running to the next one without stopping to heal and understand the root issues history will repeat itself. I feel if we stop and look at some of those root causes during the relationship then maybe there's hope for a Godly relationship or at least healing before we enter the next one. I do realize that both parties have to understand the definition of joy and seek it out. If its not a two way street, that woman attempting to be strong and encouraging may ware herself down taking on the responsibility. So its important to understand that we must encourage our men but not do it for them or force them. And that if the man truly desires to love himself so he can love his woman like God said than he has to appreciate his woman for the encouragement in the process and do his best. Regardless of the circumstances, it takes patience and prayer and a willingness to walk it together.

I don't claim to know everything and I'm coming to these realizations through prayer and honest talks with God and girlfriends. But I do know I will keep working on my joy so I can have that Godly love. Amen and Amen!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Of This World

I am worldly, this I do know! However, God has been revealing my roots to me and helping me heal so I can bare good fruit. I know I Tweet and Facebook all day everyday but I try to use those platforms for edification and encouragement as much as possible. I know I still have a cocktail every blue moon, but the desire is less and I'm much more aware of the importance of a sober mind. I've been promiscuous most of my life but God is showing me the downfalls of fornication and the significance of purity. I slip up occasionally and say a passionate word or two but I surprise myself most days with the love that leaves these lips. I entertain negative thoughts that drive my actions in the wrong direction but God is strengthening my understanding to renew my mindset. I'm still controlling and tempted to force things to be done my way but I relinquish more to Him everyday and just wait. I still gossip and backbite about folks but I'm learning not to judge and turn that focus to myself for correction.

It is only through my continuous prayer, teachings of the Bible, and spiritual influence around me that this progress has been possible. I just want to encourage others to know that this walk with God is a long one, a never ending lesson, but keep your eyes focused on Him and it does get easier.

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How To Book It 101

I was recently spotlighted at the acting workshop I co-lead and was asked what lesson I could share with the group. Here's my answer: "To have Faith in my talent and walk away from each audition trusting that I did my best at that moment. Would've, Could've, Should've doesn't do much justice once you leave the casting room so leave the "audition" at the door." I was later asked what exactly did I do to see more growth in my career and again I tied it back to my Faith. True, I gained more agencies which meant more auditions, but what good is an audition if you're not ready for it?

A fellow actor said to me "You have to go in as if you don't give an F***!" and he was on the right track. I think its important for us Creatives to remember that art is never complete. As actors and models we are definitely artists creating from our talents. So if its never complete and we can always do "better", why beat yourself up in the audition room. Live in the moment! On my vision wall I keep a sign that says "Show the director MY best version of the character". If you're living in the moment you are being yourself, even a very creative version of yourself. But don't put the pressure on yourself to be like someone else or be who you think the casting director wants to see. BE YOU and trust that you're talented enough to be Book It and leave the rest to the Universe.

I ended that question at workshop talking about negative energy that will sabotage you booking it. Between my Faith and reading "The Artists Way" and "The Secret" I know that what we think and say directs our path and can put the wrong energy out there. We can totally go against God's plan for us if we get in our thoughts so much that we feel we suck, we did horrible, we should've done this at the audition, and for sure when we look at the candidate next to us and start comparing.

Before auditions I'd pray this prayer and need to start doing it again, "God please let me be my very best self in this room and let me not be too hard on myself afterwards trusting that your Creativity flows through me". Try it out, see how your auditions and booking rate change when you change your mindset and live in the moment. This career is meant to be a fun one and life in general is meant to be enjoyable so quit making it so hard.

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Friday, October 21, 2011

Girlfriends Pray

I woke at 622am and as I contemplated going back to sleep I thought "Girlfriends Pray has a 7am call!". I decided to call in for the daily prayer with women all over the nation. This was probably my 4th or 5th time calling in and it always adds a blessing to my day. I also follow them on Twitter and get encouragement daily from their timeline. The spiritual leaders usually do a general prayer for common trials in the lives of women. With that being said, there are always words spoken that touch me personally and I'm confident other callers feel the same. They also take prayer request via email and on the line, allow callers to pray on the line, and read scriptures. I decided to write about the ministry today because I recognize the multiple blessings and answered prayers in the call.

The power of prayer alone is amazing whether it be face to face or via phone. But with Girlfriends Pray, I receive encouragement to lift up my girlfriends around me with encouraging words and learn how to pray for others. Early last year I began praying to God for a sincere sisterhood in my life. It's been a long journey and still going but I feel that God is still answering that prayer with this organization. They often mention their purposes for the ministry which include "bringing women closer to God through prayer" "learning discipline through prayer". Just today the facilitator closed us out by saying "Pray For Me and I'll Pray For You!". That statement stayed with me and it is so what I look for in my sisters. This is a major step for woman everywhere to be the great leaders and strong influences God has created us to be. So its important for one sister to encourage another and vice versa so we can build up our men and children. When I say sisters I mean all women not just African Americans.

Girlfriends Pray is one of the many ways God is answering my cry for a deeper understanding, a deeper connection with friends, and a new mindset to walk upright. For those of you looking for a spiritual community or a women's community, this is the call to get on. Whether you are a faithful wise daughter of God or if you're new to your walk with God, you will gain from calling in. Girlfriends Pray is surely becoming a staple in my walk, especially being 4 hours away from my church home 3 weeks out of each month. Hope they become a staple in yours as well.

Girlfriends Pray "Bringing women closer to God thru prayer." Prayer calls Mon-Fri (7a & 10p EST) & Wed @ 12p EST Call: 7124320075 Code: 128845# www.facebook.com/girlfriendspray

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Go Deeper!

I could get cancer and lose all this hair. I could get attacked and have my face scarred for life. I could become physically unable to exercise, be mobile, and keep this slim figure. My apartment could catch on fire and I'd lose all these material possessions that you see. But who cares what could be, let's focus on what is. Go Deeper!

I'm not made up of any of those things mentioned above, I'm what most people don't take time to see on the inside. The glamorous model... Nope! The brilliant actress...Nope! The somewhat trendy quirky dressed female...Nope! The multi-talented society stamped "Pretty Girl"... Nope! I'm so much more than what meets the eye and I got lots of stories to tell about what lies down under.

So who am I? I'm Crazy Bayooteefull. Don't be fooled by what you see on the outside...Go Deeper!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Friday, October 14, 2011


Just watched the movie "Five", a compilation of five short films that were connected into one feature film about Breast Cancer. The movie was directed by some well known actresses to include Demi Moore, Jenifer Aniston, and Alicia Keyes. I couldn't believe it was available online for free but there it was at 3am in the morning as I searched for a movie to put me back to sleep. It is by no coincidence that I stumbled on the movie during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During the month of October which sits between the one year mark of my mother's ceremony in Barbados and the three year mark of her passing. Five was a wonderful blessing to me tonight and reminded me of so many things to be joyful about and made me aware of fears that lay dormant in need of prayer.

The similarities of the movie and my own life were amazing. I burst into tears several times remembering how some occurrences felt when I experienced them in the past and even at the occurrences I have yet to experience but think about often. I'm grateful that I was old enough to experience my mother's illness and talk with her about her feelings. Although she was a candid person she only opened up about some of her true feelings in the last year of her life. Had I been a child like the young character, Pearl, so much of that I wouldn't have been privileged to. Although I haven't had the genetic testing done yet, I do share in the fear of Chayenne's character about the high risk associated with the gene if I do have it. Being the oldest daughter of a survivor makes my chances higher. I can certainly relate to Lili's character in deciding to take all the burden of this illness on herself and attempting to be strong by distancing others from the battle. In the first year after my mother's diagnosis she avoided cancer and acted almost as if it didn't exist. Just like the character, she eventually realized that her family was exactly what she needed. Praise God! When I reflect on the character, Mia, I see so much of my mother. Mia was positive she would die as a result of Stage 4 Breast Cancer, the highest stage. She grew bitter and mean towards others, spent money and "lived life" like there were no tomorrow. I recall my mom buying gifts and expensive gowns and acting like money was of no concern at all to her. The only difference is Mia went into remission and realized that her Faith was lacking. After 2 years she was in complete remission, so that just goes to show that Faith is such a major part of this battle and it only gets harder without a belief system and supporting family.

The character that probably touched me most is Chayenne, the 26 year old with the breast cancer gene. Wondering what my future holds because of my family history I cried hard at the end of her story to see how strong her husband grew. They had a somewhat superficial love for each other that was truly tested by her illness and in the end it proved that they had a real love and he stood by her side. Makes me think of my dad and how he was there for my mother through all of her battle and never stopped loving her even though they had been separated for years. I still remember the day my mom confessed to me that she had fallen back in love with my dad. Breast Cancer gave my family some great moments in life and this was one of them.

As I said the movie "Five" brought to light some real concerns I have about health, love, support, and my Faith in the area of Breast Cancer. But it took me back to so many great memories and blessings that my family and I received throughout my mom's walk with cancer. It's so funny because I can recall walking pass advertisements for the movie at literally every corner in NYC for at least the past month. I said "Hmmm, that seems like an interesting movie, wonder what it's about?". I thank you Lord for the blessed gift of finding this movie tonight and shedding tears of joy and feeling a bit closer to my Mommy tonight. I trust that my future is already written and bayooteefully planned by you with an abundance of love and support no matter what my story will be. I'm going to the doc next week to start the process for my second mammogram, I encourage you ladies to be pro-active and get your screenings too.

This is a must see movie for anyone touched by Breast Cancer and Women in general. Check it out at hulu.com

Peace yall!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Made "Ready to Love"

In my weekend of solitude I've been doing some deep thinking about
past romantic relationships. I came to the epiphany that I deserve to
receive a man from God "Ready to Love". Most adults, male or female,
can say that they feel they're always teaching their mate how to be a
better person, only for the next relationship to reap the reward. We
beat ourselves up and get angry about all the time and effort we put
into shaping somebody so they can give it to the next person. This has
been the story of most of my relationships. Always being the
financially stable or savvy, the first to wave the white flag, the one
to encourage better behavior (whatever that means), in a sense always
playing the mom in a relationship instead of a mate, an equal. I
didn't make these statements to say that I'm without flaw, I do come
with my bag of bullcrap. But I can honestly say that over the years I
haven't learned nearly as much as I think my past mates have learned
from all my forceful rants of how they should be a certain way. Part
of the problem is that we weren't equals and even if we started out
that way, I outgrew the relationship and tried to force them to step
up. I recall some relationships where they did change temporarily
because of my determination, only to have the relationship fail
anyway. Obviously, because history continues to repeat itself and I
continue to rise to the occasion of trying to change a man to be my
suitable partner. I even recall teachings from my father about how
relationships aren't 50/50 and that when one side is weaker the other
should be able to carry the weight, they form a team, a unit. That
weight being finances, reciprocated love, spiritual beliefs, life
goals, and anything else that is of significance to you. But when one
person is always carrying most of the weight it's time to roll or at
least do some seriously evaluating.

Today in reading, I realized that I've surely been forcing my hand and
not trusting God to bring the man meant for me. I'm asking God to
grant me patience and strength to only accept the love that He would
have me to receive into my life. To wait for Him to present the man
who is "Ready for Love". Not "Ready for Games", not "Ready to depend
on my Blessings/Stable Income/Lifestyle", not "Ready for Miss Right
Now", and especially not "Ready to be with me temporarily while he
finds himself but doesn't want to be alone in the process". Only then,
when He sends me Mister "Ready to Love" should I even consider giving
my love back. Anything less than that would be a step backwards into
history and I'm so through with the Old Me and all her insecure,
dependent, non-God trusting ways. Oh and I asked God to make me Miss
"Ready to Love" because we need to be evenly yoked for this love to
stand a chance.

Peace yall!

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Full Circle

My road trips are always a time for deep thought and reflection. The open road puts me in a trance and all sorts of things start coming to mind. I realized that in so many ways my life has come full circle one year later to the challenges I previously faced. The only difference is my Faith in God is so much stronger and comforts me as I endure these trials.

I find myself battling the fear of loneliness, which was so heavy on my heart just a year ago as I prayed everyday for God to give me a companion. But today, I know that God has inserted people and opportunities into my life to lift me up and surround me with love so I'll never be lonely if I look around me and inside me for His love.

I'm reminded that my mother has passed to a better place as I sit on the anniversary eve of her Barbados ceremony and a just few months short of the 3 year mark of her passing. This time last year was devastating for me, coming to the epiphany of just how much a maturing woman needs her mother's love. But through Faith, I know that I can talk to her spirit and that I'll see her again at the appointed time. I find strength in memories of laughter and love when she was here to console me. Although I'm not traveling to Barbados tomorrow as I had planned, I'm still close to her. Only God Knows, but maybe I'll be there in November.

Coming full circle, I'm challenged with family circumstances that weren't resolved last year this time. I stay in prayer and trust that this time, because I'm getting the Lord involved, some things are gonna change.

There are some less than desirable friendships, health concerns, inappropriate mindsets and lack of motivation that have all crept back into my world. However, God is closing doors left and right and I ain't nothing but grateful to sit back and wait on Him. He has the strength to do some things in my life that I would never do, leaning on myself. But that's why were supposed to trust His ways and not our own.

In closing, I have had a sorrow filled month or two but I'm positive for tomorrow's outcome because I'm looking at my full circle for the shape that it is. These circumstances are adding to my character and making me the well rounded being God intended. Not incomplete as in a half circle or semi perfected in His glory. But a full circle, complete and strengthened perfectly in Christ.

Blogging Is Therapy! Peace yall

- BJ Gianni

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Death of Common Sense

A dear loved one shared this email with me and I said "wow, more people need to hear this". So here ya go.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:-Knowing when to come in out of the rain; - Why the early bird gets the worm;- Life isn't always fair; - And maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies, don't spend more than you can earn and adults, not children, are in charge. His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job
that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and
criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility, and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hanging In There

You ever wonder what people really mean when they say, "I'm hanging in there"? Usually this response follows a question about our current status while experiencing some challenges. Most times we're deeply troubled or struggling with a tribulation and yet we answer with that common response that suggests we are doing just fine. This was surely my answer when one of my Pastors asked how are things going at Sunday service last week. But after the sermon was given, I had a different understanding of "Hanging In There" that stuck with me this week.

Pastor's message was about dying daily and simply hanging on the cross as Jesus did some years ago. He made comparisons between the trials Jesus endured and our daily life experiences. He encouraged us to do what Jesus did and just hang and endure the circumstances, trusting and being ever faithful in God's promises. The more Pastor illustrated this hanging on the cross, the more I realized the resemblance in my definition of Hanging In There.

To me it means, "Yes I'm going through some stuff right now but I won't complain because I'm trusting God". Therefore, when you ask how am I doing, I won't respond by bursting into tears, nagging your ear off with my struggles, and overloading you (a fellow human with no Godly powers) with my whoas. But because I'm trusting and confiding in the Lord, I know that in time He will work things out on my behalf, so I choose to simply Hang in There. Hang on, be patient and pray for peace until God's promises come to light. Hang on and keep my mouth shut when I really want to scream to anyone who listens about all the stuff that is going on in my life. Hang on and focus on the blessings I do have instead of the ones I have yet to receive.

I do internalize a lot of my pain and some close to me say I just need to let it out. But the Bible doesn't say cast your cares on every person that comes along and ask how are you. It says to cast all your cares on God. So I encourage us all to Hang In There and wait a little while as God does his work. Choose to Hang on and persevere through your current challenges, being Faith-filled and Trusting in God.

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Beyonce Life

I've never considered myself a Beyonce fan, but she's been such a presence in my mind lately. While on a shoot last week, someone mentioned that she revealed her pregnancy on the VMAs or something. It shocked me how determined I was to YouTube the video and see it for myself. I only caught a snippet of the ending where she opened her jacket, rubbed her belly, and then smiled with a glow that I can only hope to experience one day. It was also a heart wrencher to see JayZ behind the scenes overjoyed. Moving on, I randomly picked up the July Essence mag while having quiet time at home. It's the issue where Bey wrote her own story and opened up about a lot. I couldn't help but feel her joy through the article and I swear everytime she wrote the words "my husband" it did something to me. Let me rewind a bit and recall when I saw her Billboard Awards performance and she ended with "I love me some JayZ" with a grin from ear to ear. Again I felt a tingle in my body for what that love feels like. Ok so now onto today as I finally listen to her new album "4" and even more I'm touched by certain songs and just reflect on her story and how it relates to me.

I'm experiencing a bit of sadness enduring a long distance relationship. But I'm realizing that if I want a Beyonce type happy ending I have to sacrifice and focus just as she did. In her article, she talked about how her schedule wasn't her own and that she longed for free time to live life and enjoy her husband and family. But she knew that she had to be disciplined and focused if she wanted success. As I pull into NYC at quarter to midnight to get back to my hustle, I know the same is true for me. I get sad when I have to leave my love and am reminded that my family and close ones are so far away. But observing a few things about Beyonce just motivates me to get on my grind, keep my eye on the goals, and trust that God will give me that season of rest and joy on His time. If Beyonce had to put in years upon years of sacrifice surely I can do the same. My career is really just taking off, so let me not get ahead of myself and cut my success short being too eager to get the future. My Patience will help me endure this time and at the appointed time I shall reap my own "Beyonce Life".

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dear Boss...

Dear Boss,

How come you keep skipping me over for a promotion? I've worked my tail off with every project you've given me. Put in overtime several nights, worked diligently through the deserving hours of break I require. And yet, still you keep saying "Job well done but not this time!". I mean what does an employee have to do to excel in this company. You say I'm too argumentative and need to learn to follow, stop trying to fight and defend myself all the time. Ok, tried that. Humbled myself and submitted to you but now I feel overworked and underpaid. And I'm trying not to be that nagging employee that always screaming for my Equal Opportunity Rights but damn! I know... I know I get out of hand sometimes and don't display the professionalism written in your handbook. I am human, ya know. And yes I know I slack off at times and don't fulfill everything in my job requirements. But I'm a loyal employee. I could be searching for other projects that I feel better suit my capabilities but Boss when you say work with what I gave you I listen. I'm just asking for a break, please. But its cool I'll except the write-ups and visits to Human Resource, reminding me to stay focused on my job descriptions and not compare my accomplishments to the other employees. But why do they get to move to another department? Why do they get the promotion, the perks, the corner office with the friggin window view? What the hell??? And yet, you still pat me on the back and say "Good job but not yet!". I'm sick of this sh*t! I'm losing my patience and before you give me another damn pink slip, how about I pat you on the back and say "Dear Love... I QUIT!!!"

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Touch, The Feel of ...

I'm reading the chapter in "the Five Love Languages" about physical
touch and several things stand out in my mind. The book mentions how
actions like placing a hand on a loved ones shoulder in passing or a
quick hug are simple quick displays of love. I recall my Dad and how
often he does that, he could be passing by from the kitchen to the
bedroom and he'll just squeeze my shoulder and it does scream "Love"
to me. I think of times when my man and I may be busily working on the
computer or having alone time in the same space and I may walk pass
him and rub his head or kiss him on the forehead and that definitely
is an expression of love.

The chapter does get into sexual physical touches and the arguments
for and against the biological need to fulfill sexual desires and
touch. I agree with the point that Christianity places major emphasis
on sex being a gift from God to be expressed between man and woman who
are in the covenant of marriage. Although I've given into this
temptation, I do strongly agree that sex isn't just a physical itch to
be scratched and desire to do better at appreciating it as a Godly

The book also made me reflect on how I express physical love to
strangers or people I interact with very rarely compared to how I
express it to loved ones I see often. I recall numerous times I've
greeted friends or associates with a huge smile and hug from the
excitement of seeing them or even at church when greeting new members.
And yet, with my family, sisters and closest girlfriends even, I
rarely greet them with the same enthusiasm or display of physical
love. That gives me something to think about and, of course, I could
make the argument that the language of physical touch is not my
primary langauge. But the book says that physical touch isn't about
fulfilling your desires for touch, its about fulfilling the other
person's need for affection in this manner. Even more so my argument
wouldn't hold up because I've just mentioned several times when it's
second nature for me to physically love others. I'm not sure what it
is that makes me feel more comfortable within seconds to share
physical love with a stranger like a hug or double smooches on the
cheek. Maybe some folks give warning signs that it's not their love
language and the book explains that this is normal. Some people simply
don't like to be touched. But am I actually aware and choose to give
this love to some and not others? If so, why do I do this? Like I
said, it's something to think about.

The Touch, The Feel of Love... The Purpose of Our Lives!!!

Peace yall!

Sent from my iPad

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pretty Girl Confessions 8.26.11

As I lay in bed reflecting on my behavior over the past few weeks, I ponder about my insecurities. What is it that makes us females insecure? Makes us doubt something in ourselves so strongly that we act out in ugly ways in an attempt to feel better? No matter how successful we become, how "pretty" we are, or how certain we are that inner beauty is more important. We often get this little monster inside of us that says something is wrong, off balanced, or not quite as perfect as we want it to be. We proceed to compare ourselves to others, lash out at the persons whom deny us that superficial validation, or other random acts that are guaranteed to disappointment our wounded mindset.

I've been praying this week for a release of negative thoughts and feelings. To let go of the things in me that welcome this behavior, these displays of low self-worth. There may always be hints of insecurity in me, traces of that teenage girl who didn't love her image, physically or spiritually. I know for certain that I will strengthen my inner voice day by day, if I just trust God's plan. Trust that He made me perfect for His purpose and not for my limited self-serving wants. Trust that my flaws and all are so bayooteefull and that whenever I seek validation to look up. Not left, not right, not even in the mirror at my reflection because no one can diminish me but myself and I do a great job of that. Just Look Up and pray for strength to battle my darkside and see the light. Amen? Amen!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Monday, August 22, 2011

Acting Up

As the summer comes to an end I reflect on my career, the goals that
were set and accomplishments made. I've been acting up and acting out
in a good way and would like to share a bit of what I've done, in no
particular order. I've gained the confidence in myself to submit and
actually go through with auditioning for short films and student
films. I attended the Black Film Festival and although I didn't get to
perform my monologue for Bill Duke, I was prepared. Nervous as crap
and ready to puke both days but prepared and anticipating the calling
of my name to go before him. Surrounding myself with all those
positive industry folks gave me a boost of confidence to proceed. I
successfully completed my first play and am currently working on my
second role as a lead character to open in October. I received my
first callback for a film which is one step closer to booking one. I
went back to my acting coach after two years of "getting my act
together" and I impressed myself with the confidence I displayed. At
an audition, I stretched my creativity in a role I never thought I
could play because I didn't take myself serious as an actress. I
didn't get the film but I'm so proud of that growth. I'm very excited
to have finally received my first SAG waiver and believe that many
more are to come.

These may seem like normal day-to-day accomplishments to most actors
or people who understand this industry. For me, it's a testament that
I am brilliant, creative, and capable of everything I dream and more.
I couldnt have imagined being in this position two, even three, years
ago and wasn't quite sure how far this career would take me. Living in
NYC, pursuing my acting career full time and growing more each day,
supporting myself and living abundantly. I'm super grateful to God
because he is the source of my strength and joy. When I think back on
those dark days even a year ago that I was ready to walk away from all
this and give up on myself, I know it was God that brought me back. He
has shown me that not only can I survive in this industry but that I
can flourish to heights unimaginable. To non-industry folks, I've
already become a superstar and I'm humbled and thankful for all the
love and recognition. But I know this is just the beginning and with a
little diligence and a little folding of my hands i'll be soaring to
higher accomplishments. Praise God for being a presence in my life and
bringing conviction, growth, patience, knowledge, love, health, and

Peace yall!

Sent from my iPad

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Sisterhood: congenial relationship or companionship among women; mutual female esteem, concern, support, etc.

"It is always better to get the sin out of our lives through our conscience’s promptings or through the correction from a brother than to wait until God judges our actions." (taken from a pocket theology of Ron Lewis Ministries)

As I work on myself behind the scenes, I've brainstormed on this entry for a while and I'm finally ready to discuss this world of Sisterhood. I don't interact with a lot of Black women in my day to day life. I participate in multiple organizations that are primarily made up of women with diverse nationalities. Even in the acting world, the women I meet on set are of a different background than mine. My closest friends are Black, like me of course, but living up North away from them all has left me seeking new relationships or doing some work on the superficial ones I have in the big city. I've recognized this thirst for an organization or simply a regular gathering with women of color, women just like myself who I can relate to because there are certain things that only a Sistah can teach another Sistah. The quote above helped to clear up the confusion for me and I really understand now why I've been seeking true fellowship with Women of Color. As women of color, we generally spend more time breaking each other down and sizing one another up, comparing and judging, than we do loving on each other. Reflecting on my thoughts and behaviors towards other Black Women I can speak from experience that this statement is true...Guilty as charged.

As I began to take my spiritual walk I had several unwanted behaviors about myself revealed to me, especially around friendship. Part of the process to discard those behaviors in myself, meant recognizing them in the circle of ladies of which I'm surrounded. It became very apparent to me that you are the company that you keep and your company could be keeping your bad habits as well. Deciding to evaluate my definition of friendship or sisterhood meant that some relationships would end and others would fade. Let me clarify, some of my friendships have ended not only because of their actions but because I saw the errors in my friendship towards them and decided that these are ties that required severing in order for me to grow spiritually. As this process continued, I realized that the content and conversation of a lot of my relationships were gossip, backbiting, and words that don't promote growth as women but hold us back in our adolescent mindsets. I began to define my pure Friends as those who I can trust with intimate details, the ones that love and accept me with all my quirks and flaws, and certainly the ones who will tell me lovingly when I need to sit down, shut up, and get it together. Which brings me back to the opening quote. Sometimes I feel like I'm in this walk of spiritual maturity alone and that shouldn't be the case if I can truly say I have a sisterhood around me. With the exception of a very tiny group of females, I cant depend on the females in my life to speak words of sincere love and give me that much needed verbal spanking.

Let me say, I recognize that I'm a feisty individual and very strong headed which means that while some may desire to be honest with me, they may have felt it not worth the battle. Being the "Mother Hen" in my family didn't leave much room for my younger siblings to feel comfortable correcting me and I'm sure always being in a leadership role throughout my life didn't allow participants to "stand up to me" either for lack of a better phrase. Although I play the role of Miss Know It All, I don't know everything and it leaves me longing for healthy relationships of correction with my women friends. The keywords in the relationships that I desire are "healthy and loving" words of correction and growth. I've duked it out with friends before over my stubborn ways and temper but when you throw rocks you get rocks back. Not placing any blame, but if advice doesn't come from a sincere desire to help someone than it usually won't be received. All too often, we take it personal when we give advice and the person doesn't head to it. Our responsibility to loving one another is to simply sow the seeds of love, it is not our responsibility to also water, monitor, and nurture the seed for the other person.

As I mature, I'm softening my hard exterior and really do desire to have conversations with friends, ladies of color especially, that help me improve and add wisdom to my existence. I've had plenty of competition, jealousy, anger, gossiping, name calling, cat fights, and the like to last me an eternity. I'm on to the search for the real deal, the sistahs that will be by my side until the end. I'm fortunate to have a few but I really want to leave my mark on the world that I'm making an attempt to have that with every lady in my life. Now I understand it will be challenging and its a two way street, both parties in any relationship have to be willing to put their pride to the side and accept correction when its needed. Both sides also have to possess a strong foundation of love for one another to be able to correct one another, not judge, and be at peace with what the receiver decides to do with that correction. Ladies we need to learn how not to be so selfish and unwilling to help the next sister grow and then love her regardless of what action she takes for or against our advice. When we adjust our mindsets to this way of thinking, we will naturally begin to chasten one another with love and grow as a Sisterhood. If we continue to compare and judge ourselves to another and insist we always know whats best and cant nobody tell me nothing, we'll get more of what we have today. One half of the weakest race in the world in terms of love and unity.

More importantly, our souls won't grow and God will continue to do all the correction Himself and when that happens we often miss out on life's great opportunities. We have the chance, right here, right now, to help God correct our ways by helping each other and loving on each other. This is especially important with our young women growing up today, the future of our race. But that's an even longer blog so I'll end it here for now.

Peace yall!

Check Up On It

This is an entry from March that I typed and never posted. After reading it through I realized how much more I need someone to "Check Up On It" current day. Whatever was troubling me then is flowers compared to now.

A Day Back in March: I experienced some overwhelming feelings on Monday and still cant place where thy came from. I had a great first half of the day and then all of a sudden I felt sad or kind of angry and just wanted to be alone. Solitude wasn't an immediate option since I had a callback and acting workshop to attend. I put my best foot forward to complete each event and hung on by threads of patience. I know myself and I certainly know when BJ has had enough and needs to crawl into her cave and put the beast to sleep. I'm sure I ruffled some feathers with my sour demeanor and I honestly tried to push through my evening with a smile. At the close of the night I expressed to my counterparts that I preferred to walk home alone and just be quiet. We said our goodnights and went our separate ways. I went home feeling bad that I couldn't fake a pleasant attitude any longer. I gave all my energy to the workshop and callback and had nothing left for my friends at the end of the night. Bummer. I was so glad to receive a text message the next day from one that said "Thinking of You, XO". It helped to soften the lashings I gave myself for allowing them to see me on a bad day. I can be extremely hard on myself most days and I needed that follow-up text to shake me loose a bit. I'm often holding it together for the sake of others and usually the one sending a friendly text to cheer up a friend or motivate them. It was so nice to be checked up on for once. I replied tha t I was feeling much better and thanked her for checking up on me, I left it there because I'm learning not to dwell on the past. I just wanted to acknowledge that great feeling because it doenst happen often in my life that I feel like I really need someone to check up on me and it actually happens. Not to say that people arent around to support me but most days I go behind closed doors and cry about it so most folks probably don't know that I need to be checked up on.

Current Day: I'm learning to loosen up and express a bit more. Now that doesn't mean I'm gonna walk around crying everywhere or open up my personal biz to anyone. I am starting to release emotions that have built up inside of me and directing them to my man or the appropriate friends to Check Up on Them. So I guess the responsibility starts with me, if I walk around playing tough girl all day, how can I expect those closest to me to get in and love me?

Peace yall!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Suppressed Love

I sit in church some days and stand in admiration of the choir singers. They look so free and full of joy singing their praises to the Lord. I sing along with them and get a small sense of what their praise must feel like. I sing to the top of my voice but only because there is a loud band to drown out my barking. Ha Ha. I'm not much of a singer but if I were, I'd be singing to the Heavens. I am however a dancer, always have been, always will be.

I'm so full of joy that I want to get up and dance at this very moment. It's been a fruitful month in so many ways; bookings, lessons, family growth, friendship growth, youth mentoring and love. This burst of joy is so overwhelming that I find myself sitting here day dreaming about dancing in a studio and just going wherever my body takes me. I promised myself a long time ago that I'd have one empty room in my house solely for dancing. I pray one day that will be true but for now, maybe I could rent studio space and just dance? Why not? It works in my daydreams. I see myself flowing, music blasting, tears falling, toes pointing, arms waving and hair twirling from all the spins and leaps I'm sending up to God for all He has done for me. I love dancing and dancing loves me, it's a fact. How can I continue to suppress this love that God obviously meant for me to know? Yes, that's it, I must do it. Rent a studio space monthly, maybe weekly and make a playlist on my iPad and go. I may even video tape myself and share it on my blog if I get brave enough one day... Hee hee hee!

I'd dance in front of my mirror from time to time in my little apartment. But if you've been reading my blog you know my little apartment recently got smaller. I am tickled, absolutely thrilled at the idea of one big open space with mirrors and music and me. I may feel like Vivian on Fresh Prince of Bel Air after she walked out of that dance audition with the young girls. You know the one where she showed them up with her stellar performance and then passed out as soon as she hit the hallway? But that's alright, it'll be good pain because I sure aint no spring chicken. You get the point!? I Love to Dance, it just does something to me, even dreaming about dancing gets me tingling inside. Some say that unrequited love is one of the most unbareable pains. Why deny my true love a reciprocated emotion? I want to hug DANCE and squeeze her and kiss her and love her and tuck her under my pillow each night so that she's always with me. I gotta go book this studio...to be continued.

Peace y'all!

Monday, August 8, 2011


I'm reading "The Five Love Languages for Singles" and the chapter on "Gifts" has inspired me to write. In this chapter, the author mentions that if you listen closely people often talk about their interests and you can receive clues about what gifts best express love to them. After reading this I grew a bit upset because I mention flowers all too often to not have received any.

Months ago, I began purchasing flowers for my apartment weekly as part of my homework for the book "The Artist's Way". It was a loving gesture for my inner artist to tell her that I appreciate her and that she is doing great. Of course, when people see you buying yourself flowers you get some typical responses. The interested guy says "You don't have a man to buy you those flowers?"... As if his attempted pick up line wasn't obvious. The response that got a bit annoying went a bit like "What are you trying to prove or hide by buying yourself flowers?". I can only imagine that this person felt it was a reverse psychology type of thing to buy myself the flowers I wanted someone else to buy me??? Honestly when I executed this weekly ritual its sole purpose was for my inner artist.

It wasn't until I received flowers from my neighbor (thank you) after my first play instead of others closer to me that I realized something...I do want flowers from someone other than myself. I've never considered myself a girlie girl but what girl doesn't want flowers from her guy? I think there are certain universal gifts that we all can appreciate and apparently flowers is one of them for me.

The book explains that gifts of love don't have to be expensive or longlasting, just a genuine expression of love. A handwritten card, a dandelion from the field, a small giftcard to a favorite store. The memory of receiving the gift will outlast the life of the gift and sometimes the giver. This book is very eye opening to the people closest to me and how I give and receive love from them through the various languages. I won't say which of the five is my primary love language because I have much more to read. But I know I sure would like a tangible gift of love from time to time. Hee hee hee!

Gift No-Nos: 1. Purchasing a gift you assume they'd like instead of listening for the obvious clues or 2. Expecting something in return for the gift, hence making it a deal not a gift.

Peace yall!
- BJ Gianni

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sisterly Love

God has given me an abundance of work, I believe, to allow me to continue helping others. I'm laying here in bed wide awake after a long month of busy days and blessings. My only plan for this evening was sleep and more sleep. But I've been texting my Dad to get his opinion on how I just handled a situation with my temporary roommate (my sister). I awoke in the middle of the night to find her gone and I instantly grew angry and worried equally. Angry because I checked my phone and there was no message of emergency explaining why she had stepped out so late. (Sidenote: I consider stepping out after 10pm late especially once I've considered my place "locked up and secure".) Worried because she doesn't have any ties in my neighborhood, so if she ain't at work than where the heck is she? Better yet, why isn't she responding to my calls and messages.

My Dad said to express my concern with "sisterly love". Of course, he says this after I've given her a verbal lashing and pretty much put my foot down about coming in the house late. I told him that I expressed it, but probably more in a motherly way than sisterly. I don't want to treat her like a child but she needs to take this opportunity seriously so she can stack money and get on her own feet as soon as possible. Soon as possible, not solely because I'd like the serenity of my apartment back, but because I know what she can accomplish with sacrifice. I know how to put priorities ahead of friends and romantic relationships in order to focus on the end goal. I spent too many lonely nights in my NJ apartment to pursue my career and be successful. But you have cry tears of sacrifice at night, so you can enjoy the reward of discipline in the morning.

I forget often that I am me and she is she. Meaning that my path of sacrifice and diligence may not be for her. I get nervous each time I feel she is relaxing too much, but I guess she should be allowed to enjoy herself a bit. Who am I to imprison her inside of her circumstances? I'm always tough love with her but I feel its the only way. I don't want her getting sidetracked with anything, but that's probably and obviously not my decision to make. I suppose I could have expressed my concern with sisterly love. But God has placed a nurturing heart in me and I am challenged on a daily with treating folks like they my kids. It's what drives me crazy and keeps me going at the same time to be in a place to assist my loved ones in their growth.

God I pray for strength to endure our circumstances and to have my lips sealed by you when tempted to speak words to her that are not of sisterly love. Amen!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Strength of a Woman

The strength of a woman can hold her family together even if they work against her and make her the bad guy.

The strength of a woman cries at night and smiles come morning to encourage those around her with joy.

The strength of a woman will console her companion a million times before complaining about being console one time.

The strength of a woman can balance the finances, cooking, cleaning, repairing, praying and more to ensure the survival of her household.

The strength of a woman will take on the burden of many because her heart is bigger than her mind and demands love over logic.

The strength of this woman comes from Christ and brings her a joy and peace to rise each day, undefeated, and armed to battle the challenges of each season.

I'm Strong, Damn It!

Peace yall!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Joy of Burden

Some days I tell God I don't want to take on anymore burden. I don't want to help another soul, hear another person's problem, lend another piece of advice or dollar to anyone. I want someone to help my soul, hear my problems, lend me some advice or a buck. And then each time I'm presented with a friend in need of talking, a family member in need of emotional or financial support, or a stranger looking to make a friend, my spirit is moved. I give in and rise to His occasion and lend to them what God has blessed to me. My shoulders are heavy and in need of the massaging of my own burden-sitter but I press on. It down right angers me some days, most days when I think about the souls that God places in my life to minister to and the loneliness I feel most days not having someone in the flesh here to cast my cares on. Internally I get angry and bare selfish thoughts and kick and scream. Externally I bare a smile and look for the words of wisdom to speak. I worry "What about me? If I give all of me to them, what about me, what of me will be left for me at days end? What mental capacity will be there to deal with my own problems? What finances will be there to pay my bills? What joy will be left there to encourage me if I've given so much to others?"

As I type this, Patti Labelle is singing "When you've been blessed, Pass it on!" I guess that's it, it doesn't matter if I want to take on these burdens, God is telling me I need to. In being obedient to Him I rise to these challenges understanding that I'm strong enough to endure. Also that in ministering to those He inserts into my life, I'm ministering to myself. I grow, learn and strengthen my Faith as I seek wisdom, love, peace, and patience to endure it all. I'm not complaining or maybe I am but that's OK because I can be honest with God and trust that he hears my concerns. Trust that He will continue to bless me so that I can be a blessing to others.

When I step back and really pray over the circumstances I'm reminded to be grateful and I'm honored actually. I find joy in these burdens because this means that God is favoring me, He must see something in me even if I don't see it in myself. So for that I'm joyful and feel worthy to receive these challenges. Sometimes I want to cry, even as I type I want to cry but I get confused because I don't know if the tears are because I can't handle it all or because I'm honored that He believes in me and knows I can handle it. It's possible to cry tears of joy and sadness, right? Everytime I have these thoughts of selfishness and anger, I try to remember that God wouldn't place more on me that I can endure. Well He surely knows something I don't know because I'm about to break at any moment or at least that's how I feel some days. And then on the other side of each day, at the end of each successfully conquered challenge I see what He knew. So the joy of my burden is knowing that God believes in me and sees strength in me to persevere and to pass on the knowledge to others. As others cast their cares on me, I will continue to cast my cares on Him because that's what matters. If I don't have anyone else to lean on but God then I'm just fine with that because my strength is the joy of the Lord. That strength allows me to take all this in and find a joy and peace amid the circumstances.

I encourage you to turn towards the burdens God is placing on you. Believe that He has provided you strength to endure and persevere. Trust that you are able to minister to yourself and keep Faith day after day, challenge after challenge, and finish the race wiser and joyful.

Peace yall!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear Sister

Dear Sister,

I'm so proud of you and feel moved to tell you this. Your accomplishments shine brightness on your short comings of the past. Thinking back over your life, I've seen you reach goals and gain some great notches on your belt. I see an even brighter future ahead for you and know that more growth is around the corner and vital to your success. I encourage you to look at every opportunity past or present as a stepping stone to greatness. Those who love you are always willing to forgive the past and focus on the "present" which is the gift of watching you mature. I encourage you to forgive yourself of your past hurts and shortcomings and love yourself unconditionally. Allow yourself to blossom into the full grown butterfly God made you to be. Put off old ways and habits and embrace the newness of this season in your life. Look for God in everything you do even the small wonders that may seem insignificant like the monotonous job or the edifying words of a big sister. Let your words reflect your actions and vice versa. Most important, remember to stay prayed up about everything. Talk to Him everyday, all day and speak aloud or quietly to ask for His protection, forgiveness, and guidance. Stand strong in your beliefs and know that only one can judge you and only you can diminish yourself. Take responsibility for your actions and always be willing to place yourself in the next persons shoes before you speak. Although you're in a season of challenges and trials, be encourage that the reward on the other side will only make you stronger and prepared for the next trial. I'm so very proud of you for taking the necessary steps to turn your life to God so He can lift you up to your highest. Aku Cinta Kamu Sissie!

Search for Significance

"Today's success doesn't last much after midnight. Tomorrow you'll have to do it all over again." "Isn't it amazing that we turn to others who have a perspective as limited and darkened as our own to discover our worth!" - the Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee

Five days after completing the most profound and impacting class I've ever experienced, I'm stuck, unmotivated, and accomplishing much less than I planned. Each day I wake and feel this pressure to do a thousand things on my laundry list with very little motivation or awareness for how to start. I previously blogged about how business minded I tried to remain on the trip to Miami and I just knew I'd return back to NYC and be ready to roll. But perhaps not taking the trip for vacation leaves me with that classic "vacation from the vacation" feeling. I've been reading a new book "the Search for Significance" that in a nutshell talks about our need as human beings for approval. This search for approval outside of God and the fact that we will never be satisfied on that path. We follow this society opinion that we must always be in search of our next accomplishment, our next success, our next big money maker. Often, when we don't live up to society's measures we feel down and punish ourselves for the lack of accomplishment.

I'm learning that the approval I seek should come from God and my list of things-to-do as well. I wake each morning and update my board with new tasks and cross off completed ones. I get overwhelmed and begin kicking myself in the butt when nothing gets crossed off or even more so when I look at how many items are on that list. To the perfectionist of the world, "Why do we do this to ourselves?". The biggest lesson I'm learning from the book is that I'm awesome and great whether I complete my to do list or not. That my approval is not based on what "people" think but what God thinks. Understanding that some days if all I do is work on my inner being and teach her the lessons of life through God's commandments than I'm right on schedule with what I need to accomplish. See that's the thing, this "need" versus "want" mindset that we get caught up in can drive us crazy. I AM driving myself crazy attempting to be bigger and better and accomplish this and that to be successful. But what really defines my success? Is it Money? Praise from Friends and Strangers? Recognition with all the glitz and glam of a celebrity life? It shouldn't be and the more I mature spiritually the less those things define my success. Yes it is good to have goals and to strive towards something. But I see it in myself and others too often this need to keep pushing and pushing to meet some imaginary goal that only leads to another goal and we're never satisfied. Always wanting more than we have and never quite feeling accomplished and seeking outward for fulfillment. I'm at peace the most when I sit quietly and breathe and just take in the joy around me that God has provided. I get all flustered and frustrated when I'm striving to meet the deadlines I set for myself each day and miss the mark.

Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time for everything so surely there is a time to rest and time to labor. I had to tell myself this morning that's its OK to come back from 5 days away and need to rest. My goals will still be attainable and life wont end because I'm not cranking away at the computer every second. I was so mentally exhausted trying to squeeze every ounce of fruit from that boot camp experience and now I need to gather my thoughts. The best way I know how to do that is sit and pray and search for the significance of my life according to the G-O-D!

Peace yall and Go search for your significance.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

God's Black Film Festival

Do I feel like it was a wasted trip by focusing on business instead of
beaches and parties? Not really, I'm still away from home, relaxing
and enjoying the weather and that's the basis of a vacation right?
When I compare my ABFF experience of last year to this year I see the
growth. Last year I was Miss Party Animal with drinks, men, and
clubbing on my mind. Of course, I networked but it was really about
the vacation and doing what I was used to in Miami. This time around,
I just didn't have the desire to party or entertain others who weren't
here for business. I went out 2 out of 5 nights here and I did indulge
in some cocktails, but waking up that first morning with a headache
and the remnants of alcohol in my system was all I needed to get back
on track. I was so focused, maybe too focused, according to those who
endured my lack of enthusiasm for the festivities taking place. I must
confess that I indulged mostly because of my surroundings and not
really because I desired to. I kept giving myself pep talks saying
"C'mon BJ you're on vacation, loosen up a little, have a little fun".
If those aren't words of "the darkness" creeping into my Godly spirit
I don't know what it is. I've matured enough to know that having a
good time and enjoying myself isn't definitively equivalent with
drinking, sexing, flirting, walking around half naked, and running to
the club.

Moving on, the point to all this is that I'd be a fool to return to
the festival this year doing the same thing I did last year. If I'm in
God's favor and he has opened up my understanding to his wisdom than I
surely know to put off my "old man" and bring in the new. I met so
many awesomely positive business minded folks with future
opportunities already in process. My mind was so overwhelmed with the
knowledge received at the 3-day boot camp and all the potential
blessings in the makings that I couldn't think about what to eat next
let alone what club I was going to that night. Not to knock anyone
else, but I believe these are the makings of someone great versus
someone mediocre. I took the first step in the next leg of my career
by deciding to take this trip serious and grab as much fruit as
possible from this tree of opportunity. I still have to return home
and follow up with people, but I'm grateful for the discipline God
placed on my mind this week because I wouldn't have anyone to follow
up with if I was in party mode. Miami, in the past, represented
alcohol, sex, promiscuity, and foolishness. My past attempted to carry
me away but He placed stumbling blocks and jolted me back to reality.
I'm giving praise to Him for starting a new era of memories for me in
Miami full of blessings, wisdom, and fellowship. That's what this boot
camp was...a fellowship. Bill Duke opened and closed with prayer and
repeatedly made mention of the importance for a spiritual centering of
some sort in order to survive in this industry. Amen!!! Participants
was talking about GOD left and right up in that joint and I was just
smiling and thanking Him for always showing up and having a hand in
everything I do. So I know the official title of the event is the
American Black Film Festival but I'm going to unofficially change the
name to God's Black Film Festival because he had it on lock and he was
in control of me and so many other bayooteefull spirits in attendance.
Glory to God!

Peace y'all!

Sent from my iPad

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pretty Girl Confessions: Part 3

I laugh sometimes when I think about my current profession of modeling
and acting because I never thought I was beautiful growing up. So to
be immersed in an industry that is solely based on appearance is
ironic. My image of beauty was definitely shaped by my "growing up
story" and in the book "Do you think I'm beautiful?" this is the first
question asked. What's your growing up story?

I grew up with three sisters and we were always referenced as the
"Clarke" sisters, we traveled in 3s. We all had long curly pretty hair
and tanned skinned, three little Indian girls. I think everyone hears
"you're so beautiful or pretty" or something like that when you're
young. As I got older, attending elementary and middle school, I
recall becoming aware of my appearance and how I felt about it. I
still have my elementary school photo with a gap between each of my
front teeth. My siblings used it as blackmail over the years but my
gaps closed up on their own...never had braces. Moving onto high
school, I remember always covering my mouth when I laughed, guess I
developed an insecurity over the years about my teeth. (I also sucked
my thumb until a very embarrassing age so I had big ole buck teeth too
lol!) Anywho, I was always the skinny tall girl with baggy clothes who
wasn't very confident with herself and felt privileged whenever she
got attention from boys. I was a tomboy, always wore my hair in
ponytails and only wore sneakers, no dress shoes and certainly no
heels. Used to drive my mom crazy to come home with another pair of
sneakers after my dad had taken us shopping. I was very unimpressed
about what I saw in the mirror and my low self esteem often led me to
seek attention from inappropriate sources such as guys or partying.
Even at the age of 16, I was running to the club scene as an escape.
Here come the Clarke sisters every week at the 21 and under club, half
dressed and shaking our booties with all the guys. I think my sisters
and I invented the midriff top cuz although we were tomboys, you saw a
wife beater tank top tied up to expose our tummies every chance we
got, and the occasion bootie shorts accompanied them. I remember
thinking "I don't know why these girls are jealous and pick on me" in
response to the cat fights and battles throughout my adolescent. Yes,
boys would often try to flirt with me but I didn't think I was
beautiful so I couldn't understand why the boys were interested and
surely why girls always cut their eye at me. I had long thick unruly
hair, a unibrow, a slender build and I was flatter than flat-chested
and had a pancake butt. I didn't see anything about me to get excited
over. I'm not sure to this day where my low self esteem came from
other then lacking parental guidance and womanly conversations as a
teen. Well, I guess thats it...thats where it comes from. Being left
to decipher the definition of beauty for myself with no spiritual or
parental influences to base it on left me with a distorted view of my
value. I believe I had a twisted view of the intimacy of a naked body
too. My mother walked around the house butt naked everyday all day so
growing up around that de-sensitized me to appreciating the value of
leaving something to the imagination, I suppose. Some people call it
being free or comfortable, but I wonder if I would've grownup
differently if certain experiences didn't happen?

Current day, I can attest that my self-love has grown as a result of
being in such a fickle superficial industry. I had to learn to love
myself and my looks the way GOD loves me. Learn to appreciate me just
the way He created me and it made surviving in this industry possible.
My lack of self worth for my outer or inner beauty could have easily
crushed me with the rejection that is guaranteed in the modeling
world. I still look at myself in the mirror sometimes and say "yeah I
still don't get it, I got a long head, big teeth, crooked teeth, and
the signature Indian nose of my family!". But I know I'm bayooteefull
inside and out and I thank God for creating me as I am and for
strengthening my self-love each day.

Peace y'all!

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Black Film Festival Day 1

This festival is getting off to a not so great start but I'm thankful just the same. Started the morning with a swollen knee and ice pack onto hot sweaty travel to the airport. My flight to Miami was delayed 5 hours... Yes FIVE hours and I'm still not to my hotel. I was harassed by numerous cranky and energy filled kids during my extended stay at LaGuardia airport. One threw a ball that landed right on my head, another sat on my purse with chips in it and then this little girl peaked underneath my stall while I was using the toilet. She got an eye full...TMI!

On the bright side, I got a lot of reading done in preparation for my first day of the Actors Boot Camp. I completed another entry for "Pretty Girl Confessions" coming out tomorrow. I read some snippets of Iyanla Vanzant's "Faith in the Valley"...always an eye opening moment. And I managed to get maybe 30 minutes of nap in during this exhausting 12-hour day of travel.

Up next, some snoring and drooling in the hotel room and a refreshing morning on the other side. Some of the boot camp participants began greeting one another via email so this appears to be a positive group of creatives to work with over the next three days. I'm ready for my Inner Artist to get her butt kicked.

Goodnight and Peace yall!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®