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 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