Are You a Passive Participant in your Life?

Dear Readers, 

By now you should be familiar with who I am and what I do. Recently, I posted my welcome video to Conversations with J. R. Floyd, my latest project on my YouTube channel, decided to issues that impact our intimate relationships and explore problems that destroy families. This month ( July 2020)  I am celebrating my 2nd anniversary for my  YouTube channel, and my path to healing years of emotional and spiritual brokenness. At the beginning of 2020, I asked my viewers, readers, bloggers, and supporters to join me in this year’s Theme of writing letters to self. This idea came to me while I was penning my third book, 90 Days of Reflection, Discovery and Renewal. During my journey of journaling for 90 days, I discovered that there were areas of my life that I thought that I had healed, but certain events in my life brought to my awareness that I need to revisit some old wounds that really hadn’t healed completely.   

I have written letters to myself, to people, ( My mother and father), to my supporters, to life, and to love, however, I never sat down and wrote a letter addressed to me. I spent years walking through life in a fog, meaning that my life had no direction nor did I have any good role models to support me. I walked around in darkness and pain, but  I wasn’t aware that I was suffering, I covered up my pain and distress by engaging in one bad relationship after another. I worked out like a fiend and stick to a strict vegetarian diet. I wanted everyone to see that I had my life together, but the truth was I would go home and fall to my knees in tears because wearing masks was exhausting. 

It wasn’t enough that I had worked my way through College, an accomplishment that I never celebrated because I wanted others to praise me and put me on a petals, and when this didn’t happen the seeds of anger were planted. When I didn’t get my dream job or what I thought was my dream,  the seeds of anger sprouted into buds of resentment.  It never dawned on me that I was spewing my bitterness at the wrong people. I didn’t know that I was supposed to create the life I wanted, instead, I was under the impression that life was supposed to bring me what I wanted just by me thinking it. I thought that if I was a “ good girl” and did all the right things, walk a “ good path” that all things good would come to me. So, I wasted years of my life hoping, wishing, praying, crying and wondering when am I going to catch a break? All this time I didn’t understand that I was a passive participant in my own life. It wasn’t until someone said to me, “ you don’t wait for people to give you an opportunity, you make your own” that Was in 2014. Since that time I’ve become an active participant in my own life.

The change didn’t happen overnight and I have had some setbacks, but the lessons and the progress I’ve made in the last three years is amazing. Blogging, publishing my own books, living my dream of singing in a classical chorus, traveling, creating my YouTube channel, and my latest project a new website Conversations with J. R. Floyd. I teach vision board workshops and coach people how to make their visions for their life a reality. I go to bed each night with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Pursuing an intimate relationship is no longer a priority. I surrounded myself with people who encourage and support my life vision and growth. I cherish my new found peace and clarity, and looking forward to the new change in my career as a Case Planner working with children in foster care. My first love will always be teaching, but it is time for change. 

  

Thank you for stopping my dragthepen

        

both of my books are available on Amazon

The Journey; just getting started

Dear Readers,

I started out in 2015, not sure where the road would lead me. My dreams was to become a public school teacher work 20 years and retire. Well, life had other plans. Sometimes we can think too small and play life safe. Here is the short version, I survived an abusive childhood, domestic violence, bankruptcy, homelessness, and 2 years ago, the man who I thought was the last love of my life tuned out to be another abuser, so I left to start life over from ground zero at the age of 54. I survived it all and not only did I survive, I am victorious in my come back, while ;earning valuable lessons.  Above all to you my readers, you must believe in yourself. Take that dream out of your head and make it a reality. Through all the betrayals, disappointments, bumps. twists, valleys, and ditches, I didn’t develop thick skin, I learned the gift of compassion, and life humbled me. I found my purpose, and the last two years of my life have been the best.

Instead of becoming a public school teacher I am an adjunct English instructor. One blog in 2015, developed into Dragthepen and 600 blogger mates. I currently manage a You Tube channel, Conversations with J. R. Floyd, a platform to dedicated to discussing the issues that impact our relationships, empowering men and women to be better and to explore the failure of family, especially, in the African American Community. I truly believe that through conversation people can begin to heal their brokenness and learn to love themselves, and their family. I am living my dream of being a classical singer, and in June 2019 I performed at Carnegie  Hall, with the BMCC  New York City Downtown Chorus.

Almost five years later I am on my third book. They are no grand novels, but they do teach valuable lessons. The most valuable lesson put me first, and to surround myself with people who support my growth. Prince Charming might be out there, but at this time I am no longer interested in being some ones MRS. I am going to continue on this road its quite remarkable.

Join me on my journey.

my story about how relationship myths can lead to dyfuncational relationships.relationships.

the choice is yours.

This 90 days of reflection, discovery, and renewal is a personal journey of deep contemplation and a search for answers to a life in a constant battle with tragedy, depression, and hopelessness. For some people hitting a brick wall knocks the life out of them. My collision lead to a level of clarity to understand how unnecessary distractions and being unaware caused my life to veer of course. My experiences have taught me that sometimes a second chance can lead to a new beginning. ( SOON TO BE RELEASED )

ALL BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

thank you for stopping by dragthepen

The Pain Is Real: the longest 8 minutes

Dear Readers,

I had to do it.  30 days ago, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, down my pen, turned off the computer and walked away. I needed a mental break. It was necessary to put space between me and the chaos of the constant Corona virus news and the racial tension that is causing a bitter divide. It became too much for me to take in. For four months the world has been sheltered in place, and we were battling fear, anger, frustration, uncertainty, and confusion. I felt guilty because during this time of upheaval, I was successful in creating a mental and physical bubble to protect myself  from becoming sucked in by the sensation of the news media and the grappling of the political leaders.

In the midst of financial ruins, I am blessed to enjoy my same level of income and additional earnings from private tutoring.  I used my time wisely and began to concentrate on personal projects. It’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic for me to realize how much I needed a break from the running on my hammers treadmill. I am not ashamed to admit I am thankful for the break from my ” normal”, these four months have allowed me the time to understand that I need a change from ” normal”,  and that there are areas of my life that need to be explored. After four months of cleaning, reorganizing, building up my brand Conversations with J. R. Floyd, yoga, meditation, reading books on self improvement, updating my resume, and with the announcement of all the phrases of New York City restarting the economy, I Declared myself ready for change.

And then it happened….

The killing of George Floyd. I ignored the news and refused to answer the phone. I didn’t want to engage in conversations about race. I wanted to stay in my bubble of peace and progress. Then I woke up one morning to a message from my son, pleading with me to use my platform Conversations with J. R. Floyd’, “ to speak to the hearts of people about the brutal treatment of black men and women. I wanted to stay silent, but my son, my only child, a black man, father, husband, and raising a young black man pulled at the strings of my heart, a mother’s heart…  his plea sounding like George Floyd’s calling for his mother with his last dying breath. I got up from my bed, showered, made coffee, put myself together and sat down to go live on Facebook , Instagram, and my podcast on Anchor. I addressed the public….then I clicked off.

my son and his first born

The riots, looting, burning of business, arrests, anger, tears, and hatred was more than I was prepared to deal with. I didn’t want to be one of those people who took a normancy mindset, the complacent attitude of accepting the killing of a black man as just another thing that happens in a world that isn’t moved by seeing a man being murdered. 

my family

So, for 30 days I detached from social media, the news, and did not engage in any conversations about race or death. For four months the world has been watching the numbers of deaths increase due to the virus, yet, the only concern is getting back to “normal”.  Where have people been?  There is no more normal. This recent upheaval about the brutal treatment of black men and women, is another virus that’s going to continue to eat away at race relationships until there is CHANGE. There are some people wanting to get back to their normal, wishing that this issue of race will fade away; their thinking is that issues of race don’t include them until it hits close to home. I am thankful that at least this time the entire world is marching and standing firm on the belief that all lives matter, including Black Lives. It took 8 minutes and 56 seconds for George Floyd to die. What is it going to take for all the millions of blogger to band together with one voice to support the one race the human race. 

The pain is real. Thank you for stopping by Drathepen.

 

 

The Cries from Mourning Souls

 

 

Dear Readers, 

I have never been nor will I be a supporter of violence. However, I do stand firm on the old saying ” an eye for an eye”. In the King James Bible, we are instructed that, “ whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other..” ( St. Matthew. 5:38). The reaction of the black community after the murder of another African American man, George Floyd, is proof that African American’s have no more cheeks to turn. The news and social media, political leaders, and public opinion are of the belief that African Americans taking to the streets rioting,looting and burning down a precinct should be viewed as acts of vandalism and ignorance. Furthermore, African American’s expressing their anger towards a justice system that defends Caucasian citizens and law enforcement officers thus giving them the leeway to belatedly in cold blood hunt down, and subdue men and women of color for the sole purpose of murdering them. 

People in black communities live in fear as an endangered population because of an invisible target on their backs. We have to question the demented thinking of a race of people who lay claim to being superior and use this as their solitary justification for to committing genocide on the African Americans.  

We have to question living in a modern industrious society, where a black man is forced to consider the consequences of venturing out of his homes, into an atmosphere where he is preyed upon by a white sharp teeth predator looking for its next kill. 

We have to question the Blue Wall of silence that encourages and supports police officers to roam and ravage people in black communities. Why? Because 400 years ago, White America arrived at the conclusion that any person of color is fair game, and that the laws that protect the rights of the white race are deemed NON IN VOID when referring to the rights of African Americans.

We have to question a justice system that is broken, soiled,and corrupt, yet vows that every person who is alleged to have committed a crime is innocent until proven guilty, and has a right to due process…yet the concrete streets in the black and brown communities run red with the blood of innocent victims because New York City Finest has decided that its killing season. 

We have to question a society that justifies burning crosses on the lawns of African Americans, lyching, the use of attack dogs, and blasting water from fire hose into crowds of black people that have the power and force to kill. The continuous rapping of black women during slavery for the purpose of producing more laborers, or to be sold for profit. The brutal beating of black people to the point they are unrecognizable; and  the practice of tying men to the back of trucks dragging them to their death. Deterring slaves from running towards freedom by chopping off an arm or a leg. The bombing of a church in Birmingham Alabama (1963), killing four black girls. The case of the Mississippi burning,  three young men were killed in a small Mississippi town because they wanted to educate people of color in the south about their right to vote. 

The world has watched the video of George Floyd,  down on the ground pleading for his life and crying out for his mother. While a police officer slowly cut off his air, it is reported that the white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; and 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that 8 minutes he became unresponsive. It would take a person with a cold, stone heart of Pharaoh not to be affected by watching a person die. 

So, the world sits in judgement as to how African Americans should express their anger and outrage. And while political analysts and media doppelgangers sit scrutinizing the video over and over, the anger of the African American community will continue to boil over. Dr. Martin Luther King jr. in his defense of black people pushing back again laws and a justice system that devalues the lives of African Americans. In his Letter From Birmingham Jail ( 1963),  he said that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts. King writes, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”  

What Say You?

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen

 

ALL IS WELL

Dear Readers, 

Sometimes life has a way of stopping us in our tracks helping us understand life on life’s terms, and to see the other picture behind the bigger picture. People are blinded by striving for professional success and clawing their way up the class and economic ladder, due to being dissatisfied with their current class status. We wish for more and do our best to keep up the JONESES, while theorizing that the grass is greener on the other side.

That Was Me. 

People have told me that I am a late bloomer my life played out in reverse.. I was a high school dropout, unwed teenage mother, and experienced years of working low paying jobs. It took time, but I found my way back on the right path to acquiring an education, where I discovered the love of English Literature. Victory you say, yes, and no, my story doesn’t end there. I have enjoyed years of academic success, but what spoiled my triumph was that I brought into the societal notion that I should fit myself into the idealized American Dream. This piece isn’t about how I achieved my American Dream, on the contrary, I did not achieve any dream because I was trying too hard to adjust to someone else’s Idea about how my life should play out. It almost RUINED me, I brought into the claim that “ one size fits all”. 

It was my pursuit of an inmate partnership  meaning to find Mr. right and to “ settle down” into a long term loving partnership. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be in a loving partnership, however, what I was doing was “ Settling” . I was literally looking for love in all the wrong faces. I confess that I viewed being alone as a disease, when I should have embraced my alone time as time to work on me ,and make the foundation of life stronger. I did not understand how to be with myself, and that I was in charge of my happiness, instead of relying on others to give me what I need to give to myself. I suffered years of abusive relationships and never truly found the person to show me genuine love, honesty, support my career goals, and my vision of becoming an author, and talk show host. A few years ago I was almost homeless because the man that I was engaged to asked me to leave his home immediately, because I refused to submit to him controlling my life. I struggled with  years of being emotionally and financially broken, confused and angry.  

I used to complain that my life wasn’t successful, I viewed my life as “ wasteful” , and then I read this quote by Susan Samarro, “ Nothing you’ve been through has been wasted”. Before entering the teaching profession, I spent 13 years as a well paid theater manager at a wonderful Performing Arts Center. There I witnessed operas’ page to stage, film festivals, and artist in residence programs, not to mention some famous movies that were filmed at my venue. In 2006, I took a final curtain bow and began my Masters program in Education while working as a floor supervisor at The Learning Resource Center. After completing my education I dove head first into my love of teaching Literature. Sounds like the perfect comeback story, oh yes it is. It took me to be sheltered in place during this coronavirus pandemic, that ALL IS WELL. While the world is in chaos, being sheltered in place has given me the time, space and peace that I have never known. The time to set up my new apartment room by room, lesson learned never give up my place to move in with a man. Second lesson, being home means spending less money, paying off bills, reviewing my finances and on the path to repairing my credit, and the savings is great.I am learning that I am at my best when I live alone, but currently, I have a roommate who temporarily went back home to her family. I cherish this down time. It makes good financial sense to have the support of a roommate, but moving forward I enjoy my own space. 

All is well because I know who I am, what I want and how to bring joy into my life. I enjoy coffee in bed, and sleeping late, cooking vegan meals, laying on the sofa watching movies, while  sipping wine and eating popcorn. I like the peace, quiet and space to create. I like being with me. I am not giving up on finding my life partner, but this is no longer at the top of my bucket list.  Today, I can truly say with confidence  ALL IS WELL. I am moving forward with the courage of a lioness, the sky is not the limit because I will never place limitations on what I can accomplish. 

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen

The Rotting Soul

Dear Readers, 

Your past pain is an enemy, and when people say that they are suffering from a broken heart, I say, it is their spirit, soul and will that’s been broken and betrayed. My story is that  I spent years soaking in the pain of my past. I waited in anger for the people who hurt me to come back to me and acknowledge the physically, emotionally and mentally pain they caused me, I wanted my pain to be validated, so I proudly displayed my banner publicly announcing that I was a VICTIM, who have been mistreated, abused, neglected and I was wounded. I used my pain as an  excuse for my anger, hatred and bitterness. I lived my life  putting up walls, hurting others, and lashing out towards anyone who would not acknowledge my pain. My heart was cold, closed and hardened. I was blinded by misinformation, mixed messages, and confused emotions. While I was quickly disintegrating into my self imposed HELL. during this period of my life it never occurred to me to stop and reflect on the fact that I did not have the experience to detect and discern when people have bad intentions. 

 

I was not taught self-worth and self-respect meant, so my level of thinking was that of a naive child that is very trusting because children  don’t know evil, malice, and wrong doing until it is introduced to them. Another factor that led to me basking in my position as a VICTIM, I surrounded myself with people who supported my moaning and groaning of how I’ve been wronged. I lived in this pit of darkness from 1996-2006 just to give you an idea of how long I wallowed in my grief.  

How I began the long, long road to healing was people stopped listening to me rant. One by one person was dropping out of my life, and this increased my anger because the people who I thought understood my pain were busy on their path to healing. I didn’t want to heal, to me healing meant forgiving the people who hurt me. In my mind forgiveness means that they were off the hook, and they won’t be punished for the crimes committed against me. Over time  I slowly began to realize that the only person that I was hindering and harming was me. I was stuck mentally and emotionally, I wasn’t living. I arrived at the point that I wanted the self imposed drama to end. I had worked diligently to immerse myself deep into my misery, and little did I know I would have to put forth tireless effort to learn  how to process my pain in a positive manner. I utilize many support services secular and spiritual, I am not ashamed to say I spent 8 years in therapy learning to love and value myself. This eight year process included one year of art therapy, anger management, and one year of group and individual therapy.  

My journey towards healing and reclaiming my life lead me back to a painful childhood, the horrible events of adolescence that lead to poor choices as an adult. I learned that something  good was going to come from my pain. Looking back I had no idea that this healing process would profoundly change my life. I was molded into a completely new person. Through all the therapy sessions, tears, rage, unveiling and reliving the events of my past, it was worth the pages and pages of journals, and the times I dropped to my needs hunched over in pain purging myself of the anger that I allowed to ROT my soul, kill my spirit,  darken my heart, and block my blessings.  

From those years pain and healing I brought forth two novels about my journey walking towards a better life. I learned how to trust people, to have an open mind, and guard my naive heart. I developed into a mentor, motivational coach, writer and creator of the blog Dragthepen and the YouTube channel Conversations with J. R. Floyd. The more I share my story, counsel and coach others the better I become at listening with a non judgmental ear. I learned how to recognize true friendship, and what it means to be supportive, compassionate, and to show acts of kindness to others who have been broken.  It doesn’t matter the cause of your pain or past trauma, seeking help does not allow the past to lead you down a dark road of destruction of anger and loneliness. 

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen.

You Have Been Warned

Dear Readers,

People are in a rush to be outside. I am making the choice to remain sheltered in place. I’ve purchased a beach chair and a portable pool. My summer will be spent in my back yard with my mini grill, some good books, editing my new manuscript, and watching the TV my landlord hooked up a TV in the garage. I understand that its difficult for some people to remain at home due to enticing warmer temperatures,being bored, and living in tight spaces. Reminder! The virus is out there. We don’t know who, what, where, or when. Some people will be of the opinion that I am living in fear. I say, I am staying safe. Please use the common sense you where born with. 👍🌞

What Say You?

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen