Village Takes: Live From Bed-Stuy

I made one decision recently that has hopefully solved 100 more decisions that needed to be made.

Temporarily leaving IG last month to focus on putting myself out there artistically has opened me up to new opportunities. I noticed I wasted a lot of valuable time wondering / worrying about other people’s “virtual” perception of me. This was ironically conflicting with the peace I have pinned on Twitter for myself to keep.

Instead of having IG withdrawals, I withdrew from other areas in my life that were taking away from my peace, to see if I felt any lighter. I stepped back and noticed there was more gratitude expressed daily. I also reconnected with my journaling practice and developed creativity with how I expressed my thoughts.

Sometimes social media feels like the middle man to getting my voice heard. I looked for spaces that would be open to poets / artists and found two wonderful communities that I currently frequent. I feel more alive sharing my writings / opinions in these circles. Through the process I’ve become quicker and clearer in thinking. I attached a goal to become a Poet-In-Residence in a community organization– allowing me to utilize my whole bag: writing, graphic design, video and music production.

I also revisited the valuable lessons to be proud of not only who you are but where you come from. For me Brooklyn is a global village and it raised me well. I’ve come back to contribute there because it’s always more work to-do and I’m excited about it. Below I have a collection of poetry that I want to present to the world and there will be an audio component released soon.


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Barbershop Blues

After 3 months of distancing myself, I gave in and entered my favorite conversation spot.

My barber hadn’t lost a beat with his frustrations with customers’ lack of promptness and expecting to somehow get in the chair. Today he wasn’t talking about me, thankfully. I was praised for making it on time, even with all the MTA construction and delays. But that was a sidebar to a deeper conversation already in progress. We dapped and I sat quietly as he finished shaving his customer. CNN was playing on the black mirror and years of pain were trying to be digested.

My barber carries a certain passion about him that I fully respect– and challenges all those who enter the shop in areas of: health & fitness, spirituality, and opinions on sports on a good day. I appreciate that I can hear truth bounced off the walls and often times within myself. Today there was hope for the usual outside-the-box thoughts on a silver platter.

The rundown of irresponsible tweets, protesters for hire, rich white America’s breakaway, and reverting to a time before this was served. The sickness caused by operating in fear and losing sight of what we can do is like drinking poison because we’re thirsty. This country never ceased from making a mess. There was a time where we responded– not by caving in to the “powers that be” but even more so depending on the power of “we”.

The law of motion states that for every action there’s an equal and opposite action. We’ve been divided in our homes and communities for decades. How have we dealt with that pain lately?

I question…

What steps do we need to take to heal?

Where can we create more balance in our lives?

What solutions can we come up with to help each other?

How do we personally respond to racism in America?

What past strategies / tactics have been effective in addressing racial issues and how can we improve on it?

How do we further organize social media campaigns and make sure those lost are seen and never forgotten?

My barber left me with the thought that women have the power and are the solution to all of it. In between my next haircut I hope some of these questions and that statement can be more thought out.

I ask you: What action will you take and how will it ultimately serve humanity for the better?

with LOVE,
fanIIsee

Curious Case of Salmon Croquettes

I’ve been sitting on these babies for a month and it’s my second time making them today! I was inspired by a conversation that J. Ivy and Abiodun Oyewole (The Last Poets) was having about the tradition of the best poets coming through Pops’ house and reading. Legend has it that “Baba Dun” makes the best salmon croquettes. It had my mouth watering, especially with canned pink salmon in the cabinet.

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I found a couple of recipes online, but none were really clear about the process that I was going to get myself into:

1 (14 oz) can of salmon
4 eggs
chopped onions and peppers
garlic, onion, and other seasonings
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of corn starch
8 oz of spicy BBQ sauce (optional)

First, if you’re making the recipe spicy— I’d recommend that you let the salmon marinate in BBQ sauce for at least an hour before continuing the prep.

Combine the salmon, seasonings, onions and peppers into a bowl and mix it until you have an even texture.

Season (and let the Salmon marinate in BBQ sauce)!

Next create your patties and let them sit in the fridge for 20 mins – 1 hour.

Create patties and add eggs + cornmeal before adding it to pan

Take patties out the fridge and dip your patties individually in the whisked bowl of eggs before adding cornmeal. The eggs are your glue for the recipe!

 

Let the Croquettes cook! Turn every 2-3 minutes until golden brown and cooked through
Follow the vibes!!!
Enjoy– with your favorite side dishes!

Each day my love grows deeper and deeper… in spicy habanero sauce.

 

Finished this all under an hour– with the playlist below! Check it out if you’re feeling the Reggae Vibes!

 

with LOVE,
fanIIsee

home vs. away

staycation vs. vacation – what would be the better remedy for days of r&r?

new photographs vs. old poetry

housekeeping  vs. house cleaning

fancy restaurant  vs. favorite take-out spot

new locals  vs. old friends 

spending paycheck  vs. stretching paycheck

booking a flight with my new bag and come back with souvenirs
looking like the man
(1800 flyer miles)

vs.

 staying at home with my new bag of books from Strand
(18 New Yorker miles)

hint: black budgets matter. music makes it better. spend time on experiences you’ll remember.

HAPPY LABOR DAY!!!

with LOVE,
fanIIsee

7 Ways To Affirm Yourself

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Life can be unpredictable–  the ups and downs we encounter are usually the only things we can count on being constant. Our reactivity to life’s events will cause our minds to be flooded, and like a machine that’s overworked– it will start to overheat and breakdown. There are preventative measures that can be taken when we need to sleep, restart, shutdown, save energy, etc. (instead of running on a low battery and being forced away from our operating duties).

Here are some great ways to get our power back and free our minds from what causes us stress:

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Create A Reliable Support System 

It is important for us to reach out to people who can demonstrate active listening skills when stress occurs and we need to let off some steam. They should be able to comfort us without judgement and if necessary empathize with our feelings. They may also need to physically be there for us, to help us through what we cannot do alone. These are great people to have in our lives– make sure to be there for them as well, or do something for them that they’ll enjoy.

  • Having (Positive) People In Our Corner May Look Like:
    • Interest Group Members
    • Mentorship
    • Family Members
    • Friends

Being on the same page with people who hold us accountable to our goals is crucial to our success. We can set aside time to check-in with them every week to allow them to help elevate us to where we want to be.

We may also turn to online platforms, with a specific purpose in mind (without trying to numb the pain) but to empower us to be the best versions of ourselves. There’s nothing like a little confidence boost!

  • Subscribing to Positivity Online May Come In The Form Of:
    • Motivational Speeches On YouTube
    • Podcasts That Inspire Us To Be More
    • Self-Care Exercises On Social Media

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Making Free Time About Learning / Trying Something New

There’s nothing that allows us to get to know ourselves better / grow more than new experiences. We can choose to pick something we’re personally invested in– if for the short-term, great… if  for the long-term, even better! The hope is that by doing this we gain insight and a sense of happiness when being focused on productivity.

  • We can see the results of and benefit from:
    • A New Hobby, Language or Skill
    • Reading A Challenging Book
    • Volunteering In Our Community

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Keeping A Daily Reflection

It’s amazing how much creativity comes from writing down our thoughts! If practiced daily, we’d see a written account of how we operate (from how time is spent, thought patterns, and future actions that we want to take).

A great way to start / end the day is just to free write without judgement for at least 3 pages / day.

 

 

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Utilize Some Exercise!

Everyone knows they should do it, but we’re usually one excuse too many for why we DON’T have time in our schedules. There is 10-15 minutes that we can find in our days to do something that we enjoy each week. After a routine is established, just up the number of days and amount of time it’s done per week. I’ve found great pleasure out of the following:

  • Boxing
  • Biking
  • Yoga
  • Running

What do you like to do to stay fit?

What steps can you take to schedule ONE of these things during the week?

Do you have someone who can hold you accountable to what you’re saying you’re going to apply?

 

Stop Complaining, Start Creating©

When we complain a whole lot, it’s partly because the inner child within us still needs love and something is taking away from that time. As adults making money, having status, or being concerned about everything that we shouldn’t can get in the way of giving our inner child some nourishment.

  • Take yourself back to a time where you were happy as a child– what were you doing?
    • Art (coloring, drawing, painting, etc.)
    • Writing (poetry, stories, plays, skits, etc.)
    • Performing (singing, dancing, acting, magic, etc.)
    • Sports (basketball, tennis, football, track, etc.)
    • Tech (photography, editing, coding, gaming, etc.)

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“The Pause” – Take A Break From Everything (Including Technology)

Detachment is healthy in short bursts and a necessary part of cultivating a sense of peace. With everything going on in our lives, it may seem harder each day to have some good old-fashioned “me time”. Without it, the more we might start lose our temper and mirror actions similar to… The Hulk’s.

The Internet is undefeated because now it’s easier to prioritize being online rather than taking care of our personal health. We have a human and virtual identity to maintain. Sometimes in order to keep our human self (cringe) in balance, we must turn off our virtual self from time to time, to keep our sanity. The FOMO bug can be taken away once we see how beautiful life already is without attachment to fear… or our shiny black boxes!

  • Take A Break From The World By Doing One Of The Following:
    • Meditation
    • A Walk Outside
    • Breathing Exercises
    • Sitting In Nature
    • Repeating A Mantra

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Last but not least… Play Some Music

Hit Backspace to free your mind today!

Move Fear, Get Out The Way

What do we have to be worried about?

Fear – a limitation set to keep us from going beyond our comfort zone. At times, it may even keep us from achieving success. For that reason, failure is closely associated with fear. The expectations that others may have for us or that we might have for ourselves, can get in the way of rational thinking– leading to self-sabotage.

How Can We Manage Our Fears?

Recognize the fear – We can try to quiet our minds and notice what types of thoughts are there and why. Our internal monologues should be turned off when it’s no longer supporting us. We can ask ourselves: are these thoughts coming from a place of intuition?

We may also turn to breathing exercises or journaling to bring our minds to awareness.

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Embrace that our “worst-case” scenario generally doesn’t happen… – but when it does be prepared. There’s times when the building does catch on fire and it’s not a drill or there’s an active shooter. People are socialized into panic mode, instead of practicing handling the situation efficiently.

Face the reality of the outcomes – Making plans are a necessary a part of being effective but when it comes to actions leave ALL expectations at the door. We’ve already practiced accomplishing what we set out to do; all we can hope for is that our habits have contributed to success and if not, there’s more work ahead. We must congratulate ourselves on the progress we’ve made! It’s unnecessary to beat ourselves up for what’s outside of our control. We can always plan again if the outcome we reached is not satisfactory to us.

Cultivate Self-love and Self-respect – Self-love and self-respect is never given but always taken. Doors start flying open or close when our inner expression is that of putting our needs first. This takes time to develop and there’s much to be explored / discovered about what we love and respect about ourselves. The joke is that it was waiting for us the whole time!

Move fear out of the wayonly then are we able to be our best selves!

 with LOVE,
fanIIsee