Thursday, January 27, 2011

I am ME

I've been dreaming, dreaming out loud or awake i should say. Imagining myself as the brilliant prolific actress i proclaimed in my morning pages. I'm working through my doubts and fears and will come out on the other side ready to truly be who I'm meant to be. Im a dancer, an actor, an entertainer, a performer, i have personality, character, charm, wit, knowledge and experiences, I'm passionate, adventurous, bold, daring, courageous, sincere. I have the ability to do drama just as easy as comedy and be believable. I am recognizable and requested by name. I am always growing and learning in my craft, surprising even myself with what I can accomplish. I CAN accomplish! I CAN excel! I CAN exist and compete! I am ME!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Four Eyes

If were lucky, were all born with a pair of eyes. Eyes to see the world in front of us, around us, and everywhere. We see people, we see actions, we see objects, we see the sky, the trees, and we see life. For now, let's call these civilian eyes, I'll explain later. At some point, if were fortunate, we grow another set of eyes. Spiritual eyes. These eyes still see people, objects, actions and so on but they see much more. Spiritual eyes observe a person and looks inside them for the goodness in their heart. A goodness that may not appear to be there with your other eyes. These spiritual eyes see objects, trees, the sky, mountains, a car, and every other material and immaterial thing. But they are viewed as the man made and impossibly man made things that can only be possible through a God. I say even the man made things because at some point we have to accept that our divine creation as human beings with a brain brilliant enough to invent surely comes from a God. Our civilian eyes may take these sights for granted but once you grow spiritual eyes you see the God in everything. Spiritual eyes can see deep into the soul of its owner and see a beauty, a strength, a creature deserving of everything and anything. Civilian eyes can only see the surface and tends to get caught up in what may look like imperfections. Spiritual eyes can hold firm to the intangible and grasp it with belief. Civilian eyes can quite process the intangible because they mostly look with their minds and not with their hearts.

"Look for the God in everything", my Auntie tells me. When you start to look at the world, at people, at life through spiritual eyes you can see the God in everything. You can find peace where you once felt anger or bitterness. You find yourself giving where you never thought to before. You can finally understand why some things just are and even until you get that greater understanding, you can give love to a situation and be patient until you understand. You find yourself smiling when you least expected it.

In the Bible, it is referenced numerous times about the armour of God. There's a breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. So I look at us believers as soldiers for God's purpose and if you're not a soldier you're a civilian, hence civilian eyes. To seal that armour we need spiritual eyes to see life in a Godly way and spread love, light, and joy to all.

Put on your spiritual eyes.

Peace yall!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Monday, January 24, 2011

The 3 Ps

The 3 Ps: Patience, Perseverance, and Privacy. These are the keys, so I'm finding, to a successful relationship. Pateince, first and foremost, because it's so simple to just walk away when the lovey dovey googly eyes stop winking at you. You need patience to get through the tough days if it's a relationship worth fighting for. And then perseverance, because if its worth fighting for than you have to actually fight for it. To be persevere means to be persistent and keep at it, especially when its challenging, so maybe the second "P" is interchangeable. Privacy is probably the most important out of the three because you can attempt to be patient and try to persevere, but if you let Jackee and Juanita done the street know everything that's going on behind closed doors you will see just how much patience and perseverance you really have. Or don't have once they get their gossiping paws on your stuff. So why even test your relationship with peoples insignificant opinions entering your thought process. I mean, It's nice to have a confirming conversation with a friend but be very selective with whom you choose. Actually the more i think about it, its really not that comforting. Most of the time you end of doing your own thing anyway so grow up and make decisions without the girls feedback. Im sure you've heard someone say don't ask your single girlfriends for advice or even girlfriends that are in bitter broken relationships. They often will misguide you or probably want your man or some crap like that i believe I've heard. But here's a good rule of thumb that a friend posted and if you must share your business... "Never take advice from someone you wouldn't trade places with". If you wouldn't trade places with that person you're sharing private business with, more than likely you don't value their opinion or trust them enough or have seem some less than desirable qualities in them. Do you really think that person can: 1. Offer you any advice you should really be using? and 2. Keep your private business that you couldnt even keep private, PRIVATE? Think about it.

So on my journey to make this relationship the best and the last relationship, im working on living by the 3 Ps. Lord knows Ive tried living by plenty other letters, so lets see where these get me.

Peace y'all!

Sent from my iPad

Sunday, January 23, 2011

You're nasty!

Oh my gosh, in the early hours of the night my brain won't let me sleep so I need to get this out. I've been home sick for a week and I've gone mad, literally bonkers! This is a vent and here it goes...

To all the snouty nosed kids and the parents of those kids: grab a tissue and use some sanitizer, its hanging on the wall of nearly every public place for crying out loud. USE IT and teach lil Bobby to quit touching everything. You're nasty!

To that woman I tweeted about last week that sneezed into the aisle on the bus without covering your're nasty! Your husband next to you covered his so what's your problem? Just nasty!

To my dear nieces who sneeze and cough in Auntie's face and get me sick everytime I leave you... You're nasty! Well only one of you cuz the other covers her mouth, thx Lia, Tianni, you're nasty! But Auntie still loves you :-)

To all the friends and strangers alike who recommend a drink and say "here you can taste mine"...You're nasty! That's how people share germs...duh! But I've done this too, so I guess I'm nasty (maybe I should remove this one?)

Moving on...

To the person who sneezed years ago and I can't quite remember who it was. I do, however, remember seeing all the particles fly out of your mouth called GERMS!!! You Are NASTY! Cover your mouth.

Oooooh! Oh! To all the co-workers, men, and rugrats that use the restroom, have the audacity to head straight for the exit and didn't wash your hands...YOU are the worst kind of nasty, just disgusting!!!

Oh my lanta! To all the employees in the public service industry. You are undeniably nasty if you scratch your head, face, neck or any other body part and then proceed to touch things. Note: "Employees MUST wash hands before returning to work." <----- have ya seen this sign buddy? You're nasty!!!

This is my petpeeve----> To all of you who bumped into a friend at a restaurant and linger over the table holding a conversation while they are clearly eating... You're RUDE and nasty! Your nose hairs, deodorant flakes, and maybe some dandruff have all just fell into my main course. Keep it moving and don't try to shake my hand, I'm eating...NASTY!!!!!!

I didn't apologize in advance for this vent because I'm deliriously sleepy and up way too early because I went to bed at 9pm and woke up at 3am because sick people cant help but sleep at 9pm. Their immune systems need rest and now I'm up typing this entry that only a lunatic would write. But its all true so if this offends you in anyway, I mean even the slightest, guess what???


Peace yall!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Monkey Brain

Hi! My name is BJ and ... well I have a monkey brain. I feel like I need a 12 step program to check-in my thoughts. If I were addicted to anything it would have be random, dangerously random thoughts that swing all over the place. Swinging limb to limb or subject to subject and tossing around things like if I do this than this will happen but if that happens than this will happen so let me not think that, but... So I try to focus on one solid thought and even chant something to stay focused on it. Like when I'm trying to sleep and I just want my brain to be quiet and relax. If the last vision I had was of a flickering candle, than I'll repeat "flickering candle, flickering candle, flickering candle" in the hopes that I'll wake up the next morning refreshed. But its as if a banana just walked into the room swaying back and forth in front of my monkey mind and just like that I'm swinging from limb to limb AGAIN. And even faster now because I'm irritated on top of frustrated that my brain just won't shut up. Its like my thoughts are outside of my head now, jumping on my head or picking off bugs in my hair with really sharp fingers, very annoying. I wanna yell at myself like my mom used to do and say "Knock it off, BJ!!!". I get quiet... And then back at it again. Its kind of funny actually this idea of monkey brain or monkey mind. I first heard about it when I was reading "Eat, Pray, Love" and I thought "Jenkies!", that's what I have. I think the only time my brain is quiet is when I pray and even then random thoughts try to sneak in but I push and push them away and sometimes have to race to the finish line to get a prayer out before my thoughts pop in. Isn't that crazy? I suppose I could walk around praying every second of everyday which I pretty much do already but its exhausting. My thoughts, that is, not the prayers.

Did you know some studies show that people with higher IQs can think more thoughts at once? I must be pretty darn smart. HA, not really. They also say that these are myriad thoughts, because us humans can really only think about four solid things at once. So I guess mine are some sort of half ass not well planned out thoughts??? Hmmmmm? I'll close on that note.

Understanding that my thoughts are my conscious and sub-conscious awareness or emotions I shouldn't put too much value into them all. Sometimes I'm just venting to myself but quietly inside my head, nothing wrong with that... Right? Sometimes I am deeply disturbed by something and it just won't get out of my head or even deeply joyful and don't want to stop thinking about it. I know every thought is not a genius one and some I shouldn't entertain at all. Like the evil ones about that girl with the way too tight pants on and her... Well ok you get the picture. But while I don't think I'm crazy I do need to find a way to tame this monkey brain of mine. I want to meditate more to get closer to God but we won't even start with what those sessions are like. Random Thought: I wonder if I eat a banana while thinking will cure my monkey brain???

Just playing, peace yall!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Peace Prayer

Peace Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness; light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

(taken from "A book of prayers" provided by Sacred Heart League in Walls, Mississippi)

Peace y'all!

Sent from my iPad

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Birth of Love

I get impatient some days and want the benefits of the full term without the wait time it requires, but i know the side effects of pre-mature love so I wait. Patience is key.

I want the joy of feeling the nudges and movements that connect us but understand that it may come with the pain and tears i have to bare to receive you.

I want to tell all my friends and family about you but i want to be sure you're really there so i wait for a trimester to pass.

I don't want others to have access and taint you or corrupt you or turn you against me. I move very cautious with my surroundings as you grow.

I want to kiss you and hug you and squeeze you so tight and never let you go. Sing you lullabies and tell you stories of all the wonderful times we'll share together.

I want to promise you that i will always be around and that i won't let anything happen to you because you're my "baby" and thats so special to me.

Loving you is like birthing a baby. One of the most bayooteefull experiences life can offer.

Peace y'all

Sent from my iPad

Sunday, January 9, 2011

More Faith. Less Fear.

"Know your worth and don't let anyone take advantage of you. Don't be fooled into thinking you need anyone or anything because you cant get it on your own. More Faith. Less Fear." - BJ Gianni

Working in the entertainment industry will surely test your will power and faith. It's an industry that welcomes in little and kicks out many. People willing to sacrifice any and every bit of themselves to make it to the big stage or to get a buck. An industry of hustlers, which does require a certain amount of sacrifice but to what end?

I've been battling a dilemma for the past few months and praying for a solution. But sometimes even when the signs are there, they can get covered up by fear, doubt, and anxiety. I've been very fortunate over the past few years to work with an organization I consider family. I've been blessed to work with them repeatedly over the years and receive an income that has allowed me to be comfortable in my lifestyle. Recently, there has been some disagreement about our working terms and I feel it's a sure sign that has come after months of my deliberation. Although I have been blessed with this ongoing opportunity, I feel its time to take my career to the next phase. I wont be negative about the organization because it has definitely been a flexible and understanding position that anyone would be grateful to have. However, now that were down to negotiating and cant seem to agree i have to evaluate some things. As I said, Ive been praying for an answer because I felt my time with this organization was coming to an end anyhow. As it stands now, some of the negotiated terms just don't sit well with me and I cant agree to them. So I've been asking myself what reasons are there to continue with this organization and other than money I just cant seem to find one. I'm in a different mindset these days and the atmosphere and drama that I allow into my world just ain't worth the money. Not to mention the travel back and forth that takes me away from NYC where my passion breathes life. So if the only reason I'm holding onto this position now is because I'm afraid to let go of the financial stability it provides than I gotta let that thang go. I know my worth and talent will take me far above in compensation than this opportunity ever has or will. I believe that God has been answering my prayers in presenting these ridiculous contract terms and providing other financial blessings to take the pressure off. So I guess it should be a done deal. I have more Faith in myself that I will succeed without this contract, than the Fear that my bills wont get paid as a result of losing this contract.

Peace yall!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Behind Closed Doors

I recalled an argument me and one of my besties had while living together years ago. She told me that i didn't know how to speak to people or really that i didn't know how to speak to her. I would come home from work exhausted and all I wanted to do was sit and be still and not breathe a word to anyone. She took this personal and probably felt i was a horrible friend and roommate. Ultimately our behavior behind closed doors led to us going our separate ways because our public behavior was completely different or mine was i should say. I recalled countless arguments with an ex-boyfriend about never making time for him and perking up when i get a phone call from a business person or friend and then right back to being a cold b***h when the call was done. He never got the same joyful person that the public got when i was out and about, networking and mingling.

As i recall certain things about myself, i remember feeling this way about my mother. Before she passed i took on the role of her care giver and road manager for her singing gigs. Needless to say we spent a lot of time together. Her audience loved her and anyone who had the pleasure of seeing her more than once would always share their thoughts. They'd come to me, delighted to meet Tia's daughter, and say we love your mom so much, she has such a wonderful spirit and she is so sweet and nice and giving. Internally, i was thinking "No she ain't" and it wasn't coming from a place of jealousy it was just that the Tia i often saw behind closed doors was very different than the jazz singer everyone else saw. Thinking back even further, my grandmother was the same way. She was very involved in the community and her church, but her grandkids didn't share the same views on her wonderful personality as the kids in the neighborhood. So why is it that three generations of woman display two different personas when interacting with loved ones and strangers? Why do strangers get the love that the loved ones should be receiving? I could say it's because we are products of our environment, that i watched my momma do it so it became habit for me. I could make excuses that a friend or boyfriend should know that i care about them so i dont have to show my love everyday, all the time, and then history will just continue to repeat itself. Or I can appreciate the greatness in this flashback and vow to make a change.

We're all guilty of this behavior. You're on the phone gossiping with your girlfriend and laughing, but you pause to yell at your child to say "sit down and shut up". You're mate wants you to come home for some quality time and dinner but you decline because you and the coworkers have happy hour plans. You're house has been a wreck all week long but your momma or an old friend is coming to visit and you break your neck to make the place look spotless. Your husband is looking at you like you're crazy, as you hang from the chandelier to dust it. How about when you got yelled at, as a kid, for acting a certain way because you have company or you accidentally used one of your mommas glasses that you know is only for guests, "Thats the good stuff".

Simple things that you may not be aware of that you give way too much attention to, attempting to please a stranger or someone less significant in your life than the ones at home that you should be pleasing. Trust and believe that the loved one at home recognizes these eager attempts especially when they get the watered down, worn out "you" at the end of each day. Leaving them to settle for the scraps of "you" and who wants to stick around for the garbage of any relationship. Husbands or boyfriends will lose interest, children will resent you and project onto others, and friendships will fade.

Iyanla Vanzant has a great quote and if we apply it to our everyday actions maybe our loved ones will receive a fair share of us and the balancing act wont be so challenging. "I treat everyone like Company."

This entry was inspired by Iyanla's book "Faith in the Valley"

Peace y'all!

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Repeat Offenses

When you know yourself you trust yourself. I'm realizing that I'm still learning myself as i transition from a young lady to a woman. This transition can bring all sort of doubts into existence, even doubts about stuff i was once sure about. Through my ever-growing Faith and determination to give positive energy in every situation i should find trust in myself. But as humans, we can trick ourselves into doubt, especially when life seems really good or really bad. We tell ourselves that this is too good to be true or during dark moments that this couldn't possibly be happening to me. Either way, we fool ourselves into not accepting reality and make all sorts of excuses and rationalizations to feed the doubt. For me, time and time again i hit a dark spot or a rough patch and always work my way through it...i persevere. So why is it that i still question how something will work out, when is this going to end, or why is this happening again? If i tap into my past and remember previous struggles or doubts or great successes that tricked me into self-sabotage, i should have learned to hold strong and not give up. My past holds the answers to current challenges and I'm sure if you really get quiet with yourself you can tap into past experiences as well. Most of the things we do as humans are repeat offenses or habits. Habits that can be traced back and reveal either an answer if we handled it appropriately or at least a possible solution that didn't work out so we know not to do it again.

I think I'm going to write down my most challenging moments in life and beside it jot down the solution or attempts to resolve the challenges. I want to see what i can learn from my past. It is often recommended not to look to your past, but if you are constantly facing struggles or feel like your always floating just above water maybe you still have a lesson to learn. All things have a purpose, especially repeat offenses we put ourselves through. Sometimes you just gotta backtrack, pull out that old dark mental book of hard times and see what you missed. Just like you find a new meaning or message in a book you read before, you can find a new resolution or an old one you forgot about in that mental book. While it's true that we should look forward to see what's coming, don't be afraid of your past. It just might help nudge you further into your future and prevent history from repeating itself.

Peace y'all!

Sent from my iPad

Monday, January 3, 2011

Actors InC

This year has started off with such a motivating spirit that I am absolutely amazed. Among other successes and great news, i just returned home from another planning meeting with Actors InC (capital "C" for Christ). After attending the first session of classes i was asked to join the leadership team in planning the next round of workshops. The main purpose of this organization, aside from providing a forum to read scripts and practice among our peers, is to fellowship. Connecting with the acting community with a light of God in the hopes that we may shine on the darkness of this industry. I have my personal testimony of the dark side of this industry and how it can consume you and bring a negativity about that is poisonous to every aspect of your life. I experienced jealousy, envy, negative competition, de-valuing of myself, judgment and comparison of others, and a list of other unwanted qualities as a result of the downtime and nature of this business. I am a true walker of God's work in turning around my mindset not only with my career life but in my personal life, because you can't fix one without the other. Being on the other side of the darkness and still learning as i go, I'm blessed to be a part of this team, Actors InC. Today we met as a prayer group which consisted of the leadership team and members of the church which sponsor the organization. As i sat through the 30 minute prayer round table, i was amazed at the individual prayers we all shared to see the purpose of our team manifested. Listening to the hearts of the actors and non actors, but all alike as believers in God, was a "must see for yourself" experience. Words cant really express the power of prayer but even more so the power of a group prayer. This organization has been destined to bring a Godly presence to the acting industry welcoming actors, non actors, believers and non believers, to participate in a weekly script workshop that opens and closes with prayer and provides a forum for true fellowship in the NYC area. Its not the best thing, because it being a God thing is what's best, but the second-best thing is that its free. Yuppers, its free. Imagine that, a group of individuals dedicated to doing Gods work and fulfilling his purpose to bring this industry to a positive light and sacrificing their time for the compensation of pleasing God. Wow!!!! I fell in love with this group as a participant and am so humbled to now be a part of the leadership team. It's a great work to be done and I have to be humbled and Christ focused to do it. After allowing my career to chew me up and spit me out, I've dusted my wounds off and i cant think of a better way to heal than through bridging the dark and light of the entertainment world so others can heal too. I feel like this workshop was created for me, i know that is not really true, but I prayed for a way to please God and still work in my field and here it is. Through group prayer and weekly workshops this organization has and will remind me to stay focused on the God in every opportunity and not get so stuck on the "me" in every opportunity. A blessed and purpose fulfilled year to Actors InC.

Peace y'all!

Sent from my iPad

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Handbook

A good friend sent this to me and its too special not to share. Thanks Mo!

1.       Drink plenty of water.
2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4.       Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5.       Make time to pray.
6.       Play more games
7.       Read more books than you did in 2010 .
8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9.       Sleep for 7 hours.
10.    Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11.    Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.    Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.    Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14.    Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15.    Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16.    Dream more while you are awake
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20.    Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.    Smile and laugh more.
24.    You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree....

25.    Call your family often.
26.    Each day give something good to others.
27.    Forgive everyone for everything.
28.    Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of  6.
29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.
31.    Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32.    Do the right thing!
33.    Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34.    GOD heals everything.
35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37.    The best is yet to come.
38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Peace yall!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Long Live 2010

2010 has come to an end and if nothing else it has been a year of transformation or crossing over. There are so many highlights that stand out and they have all made it an unforgettable year. I crossed over from a young lady to a woman as I entered the world of my 30s. My bday celebration and travels were amazing and I'm not sure i could top them. I crossed over from an "inquisitive not quite sure" bystander to a "both feet in diligently seeking" Christian. I couldn't list all the ways my life has changed since i made the decision to seek God and know him for myself. Some days its like i don't even know myself but then i think yeah its like I'm not even myself, my old self and that's a great thing to know. Im transforming into a confident "don't sweat the small stuff" model/actress in my career and seeing many successes manifest from my new mindset. No one is perfect and in an industry where we, as actors, are portrayed to be perfect with makeup, Photoshop, editing and such, i had to learn how to forgive myself for not being perfect. I crossed over from being an "i wonder what she has going on?" to an "it don't matter what she got going on, cuz i got to focus on me" person. Im learning to love myself unconditionally and not apologize so much to others for being me and not being afraid to show the real me, letting my hair down. This past year marks the resting year of my mother, finally spreading her ashes in Barbados and allowing her soul to fully cross over to heaven. 2010 has brought experiences and lessons that transformed my way of thinking on finding love and keeping love. Im transforming from the stubborn, bitter, always holding onto my past hurts and ways to a loving, patient, and "let's focus on this new experience and not pass judgment or compare" woman. It ain't easy but I'm focused.

While I'm glad to meet 2011, I'm saddened to say farewell to 2010, so i won't. I will always remember the lessons of that year and use those memories as strength to fuel my desire to be a better woman, better Christian, better friend, daughter, lover, business person, and so on. Here's a toast to 2010, may your love and light live on and humble me forever.

Peace y'all

Sent from my iPad