Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Hope you enjoy your day! I wish you laughs, love, fun, family time, and blessings!

I Am Thankful For:

  • Breathing
  • My Niece
  • My Mom, Sister, & Significant Other
  • Having Food
  • A Healthier Body
  • Games
  • Laughs
  • Differences
  • Unexpected Show Ups
  • A Home
  • A Bed
  • Making It Through Tough Times
  • My Dreams
  • Being Able to Read & Write
  • The Ability To Change
  • Forgiving & Forgiveness
  • Release & Relief
  • Losing Weight
  • Possibilities
  • Prayer
  • Joyful Moments

Just a few things I am thankful for.

finished-heart Renee

 

Cut Your Hair Or Face Expulsion

Vanessa Vandyke

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

Absolutely nothing! This is a beautiful young girl who is an honor student at Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, Florida. According to the Huffington Post Article, Vanessa VanDyke (shown above) was told to cut her natural hair or leave the academy.

This is not the first time that school officials have chosen “hair” to determine the validity of a young black child. Just a couple of months ago Tiana Parker, age 7 (shown below), had to switch schools because she was forbidden to wear her dreadlocks. She was told that her hairstyle wasn’t presentable for the school.

Tiana Parker

Emotional About This

Just yesterday I was scheduled to interview with a company. Back in July I shaved my hair because it was growing unevenly. I now have somewhat of a mini afro. Before I went on the interview I had to decide what to do with my hair. I am not ashamed of my mini fro, I just know that in the professional world they expect you to look a certain way. So the only other alternative was to cornrow my hair (pictures will follow). I thought about it and that’s what I decided to do.

The thing that bothers me the most is that I even had to consider altering my natural hairstyle to fit into the professional world. Even after I braided my hair, I still had some qualms about if I would be “accepted” or not.

This Is Not Just A Black Thing

There aren’t that many things that burn me up inside. When I saw the article about this little girl told to cut her hair or face expulsion I was angry. I cannot stand to see people, especially young children, being picked on or undervalued because of what they look like. I have a huge heart for diversity and freedom. I cannot stand the thought of people picking on or beating down people for their differences. It is just something that doesn’t sit right within me. So, I had to say something about it.

Bringing Awareness To This Issue

I think that what needs to be done about this is to just spread the word. Information travels fast in this day and age. I agree that some rules need to be in place to have organizations run smoothly. I have nothing against business owners, school administrators, and people in head positions having some kind of rules in place to keep their organization orderly. My only problem with the rules is that, you can’t shift and cater them against certain people. We are all ONE PEOPLE. Whether you like it or not. Get used to.

What choice does this little girl’s mother have? Tell her to cut her hair and deny who she is or yank her from that damn school? What choice are they giving her? If she makes her daughter cut her hair, she is telling her to deny who she is. If she yanks her out of the school she then has a problem with the laws that say that she has to be in school in the first place. The other solution is to just find another school that accepts her the way she is. That may just be the best way to go.

We have to be careful about what message we are sending out into the world. I can’t imagine what these two young ladies feel like inside to be told – you aren’t good enough for our establishment- because of your hair.

Words Of Encouragement

Both of these young ladies are beautiful. They should not have to change their hair to fit in. We need to stop being so concerned about what is on the outside and see what is on the inside. I am an adult who sees how difficult it is to fit into certain parts of society; no child should ever have to feel like that. It’s too much for an adult. I can only imagine what it must feel like for a child.

Be Yourself. You Are Worthy and Relevant in this world. Maybe not in certain clubs or schools, but God breathed life into you. In God’s eyes, you are meant to be – just as you are! {Renee Brooks}

Perhaps some people did not hear India Arie’s message – I Am Not My Hair. So for those who haven’t heard it. Take a listen. You might learn something.

finished-heart Renee

This is me below… Is My Hair Unprofessional or distracting or would you see past my hair?

Questions For The Reader

What Do You Think Her Mother Should Do?

Have You Faced A Similar Situation?

Is Faith Christian Academy Doing The Right Thing?

Are People Making Too Much Of A Big Deal About This?

Leave Your Comments Below.

Thanks For Reading, Commenting, and Subscribing!

Fatherless, Heartbroken, Repaired

Little Girl

A Short Story:

Olivia ran downstairs from her fortress that she built using a few books and two blankets stretched from bed to dresser. She hopped down the stairs and stood next to the front door. It was the week before Christmas and she had waited patiently all day for her father to arrive home.

Before then, she was upstairs inside of her fortress praying to God. You would think that her prays were offered so that she would get a new doll, or the pink bike that she wanted, or a dream come true – a new power wheeled sports car. But her prayers didn’t reflect any of those material things. She had prayed for something that every little girl should have.

She couldn’t wait to see if her prays had worked. As she stood by the big solid wooden door, her mother cautioned her to move back. Her father was large and he usually swung the door open with force, not paying any attention to who may have been standing in the path of it.

She waited eagerly, and when her father opened the door she jumped into his arms. He picked her up and swung her around. She was ecstatic. Her cheeks could hardly hold the joy that she felt inside. When he released her, he headed towards the kitchen. She ran in front of him enthusiastically showing him all of the things that she had received from school that day.

A picture of her class, two lollipops (one for him and one for her), and her reward for being on her best behavior.

“Mrs. Smith, gave me a gold star today daddy. I was so good in class, see,” she said reaching her small hand up to him to show him the gold star that was there.

“That’s nice sweetie,” he replied.

As his heavy footsteps made there way towards the kitchen, Olivia froze holding her breath. She was hoping that he was just going into the kitchen to give her mother a hug or a kiss perhaps, but he headed for the fridge.

Olivia stood there looking up to the ceiling which supposedly held the eyes of God. When he pulled out the bottle her hopes deflated. Her 7 year old mind could not fathom why her father would come home and see her beautiful smiling face and walk to the refrigerator to get a beer. Wasn’t she enough?

Friday night her dad was stumbling barely able to speak.

Saturday her dad was hung over, in a pissy mood, and didn’t want any company.

Sunday… sweet ole sunday… her daddy would dress his best and make his way to church. He sang so beautifully with his baritone voice. He even reached down from time to time to hold her hand. That gave Olivia hope. She knew that God was real, because on Sunday her dad was somewhat present.

Fast forward ten years and Olivia is in a relationship with a boy who is very disrespectful. He doesn’t beat her, no. He sees her on a regular basis, yes, and even tells her from time to time that he loves her. He even calls her pretty. She looks into his eyes holding on to his comments for dear life. She was never told that before. Not in the way that her boyfriend said it to her. He gives her what she wants to hear so that he can fulfill his bet with his friends.

“I bet you she’ll sleep with me. She has daddy issues, and she thinks I’m her knight and shining armor,” he says heckling with his friends.

Her dad hears about this boyfriend that she has and he is furious.

“How could you let someone disrespect you? Treat you like garbage? Can’t you see that boy means you no good? He’s using you Olivia. Don’t you know how to respect yourself Olivia?”

Olivia looks at her father with tears forming in her eyes. Her heart crushes inside of her chest. Her dad was not only supposed to protect her from men like that BEFORE they got to her most sacred place, he was also supposed to mend her heart, not call her stupid for making a mistake.

“Dad,” she says barely able to say his name. “Who taught me that I deserved better?”

Olivia walks out and sees her father every now and again from that point forward. She makes it into college because a counselor wouldn’t let her give up. While in college she meets a professor. A middle aged man that resembles her father in height and in build, but man is he so much nicer and more loving. From working with kids all his life he sees that there’s a change in Olivia. Her grades are falling, her optimism for life is waining, and the sparkle that was once in her eyes is no longer there.

He asks questions, he dives deep, he refuses to take her wish-washy answers at face value. One day she opens up to him revealing that her father passed away.

“You miss him don’t you?” the professor asked, starring into her saddened brown eyes.

“I hated him,” she replied. “Why would God give me a father that couldn’t show me that he loved me. He drank everyday. He wouldn’t even acknowledge me other than a hug or holding my hand from time to time. He never even cared about me.”

Olivia is heartbroken, she feels as if her tears are going to consume her. She has always had faith that God would bring her father back to life from his alcoholism. There wasn’t a moment that went by in her childhood that she didn’t believe that God could resurrect her father. But there she sat, empty. With a hole in her heart that couldn’t be filled. She looked to the professor for answers. Some kind of answers to her horrible truth. She felt unwanted, unloved, and empty with no possible way, from her point of view, to ever be fulfilled again.

The professor took her under his wing. He coached her, he stayed on her, he didn’t give up on her. He was there in her darkest of days. You see, Olivia didn’t know that before she met the professor he was looking for a daughter because he had lost one of his own children. A daughter that would have been the same age as Olivia. It pained his heart everyday, but he kept going. He kept encouraging other people. His life, his students, and his future meant everything to him.

So when Olivia came along with a saddened heart that seemingly couldn’t be repaired he heard God whisper, “I’ve answered your prayers.”

The professor could see the blessing from the beginning, but she couldn’t. But he never gave up on her.

Olivia graduated, she got married, she had children, she became a motivational speaker. All because of one man.

Her professor even walked her down the aisle. She didn’t realize until that very day that God had answered her prayers too. As she walked towards her husband, arm and arm with the professor, an overwhelming sensation came over her. Her father was there. Not in the form or the way that she had envisioned, but he was there. The professor had filled his place. God had answered the call. Not in the way that she expected, but in the way that she needed when her real father couldn’t give her the beauty that she was asking for.

Sign

I know, from personal experience, what it feels like to need a father figure. There comes a point in life when you have to realize that just maybe it’s not going to work out in the way that you held onto for so long. But God, always answers the call. In one form or another. Suddenly, somethings all become so clear.

Let go of your burdens, bitterness, and anger from the past. Let the love that is available for you find you.

I know it’s not an easy thing to do, but it is necessary to move on and fulfill the life that you are meant to live.

I will leave you with a quote.

When you finally let go of the past something better comes along.

Writing is the way I choose to let go. Find your outlet, feel your pain, and release it. You have more to gain.

finished-heart Renee

Miracle Baby Born: 1lb, 1oz, 11inches

BabyJ

Leave Your Replies At The Bottom In The Leave A Reply Section

Untitled-2

A Child Is A Blessing

In late August one of my closest friends gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Let’s call her Baby J. She was born at 1 pound, 1 ounce, and 11 inches. We can see the significance of her miracle in just the way the numbers line up 1 1 1 1. She is a true miracle baby.

For Her Privacy

For the sake of my friend’s privacy I will not display her full name here. Let’s call her Ro. I have known Ro for a long time and I know that she is a survivor. I know that she is strong, smart, and blessed. My reason for creating this post is to show her that I care for her, I love her, and support her. I am not going to act like I know what it feels like to go through a situation like she is going through, because I don’t. I am not a mother. I do know however, that people want to know that they matter. This is my contribution to Baby J’s life (in this way), and to my good friend.

My Personal Note To Ro

Dear Ro,

I don’t know all the right words to say. I don’t know how to comfort you or how to make the pain that I know you bury inside go away. I do know however that I can show you that I do care for you and your family. I wish you the best. I know you are strong and Baby J is strong too. I know you smile and pray everyday. I can tell by your updates of Baby J that prayers from your friends and family are working. I created this post so that you could feel love from around the world. From other mothers and fathers and families who you may have never met before, but that share a place in their heart for a situation like yours. My only wish is that this post is filled with beautiful comments, love, and inspiration from around the world. So that you, in times of pain or joy, can feel the spirit of our human nature.

We all need to know that we matter and this is my way of showing that to you.

For The Reader

Please post your comments of love, support, and inspiration below. If you have picture messages, art, or short videos that you would like to share instead of posting a text reply, you can send them to authorreneebrooks@gmail.com. After review, I will add them directly to this post. Thank you so much for your prayers, your love, and support from all over.

I will forward this link to Ro so that she can stay posted.

Thank You All!

finished-heart Renee

 

Your Words Have Power

words-have-power

Building An Empire With Your Words

I just finished reading Building An Empire With Your Words by Paul Jun. I came across the book while researching some information on self-development and writing. His website, motivated mastery, is filled with easy to read articles on self-awareness and motivation.

Building An Empire With Your Words is a 35 page book that is packed with insightful information. I love a writer that can say so much, with few words. Paul Jun’s writing is inspiring, to the point, and easy to understand. He uses beautiful quotes by well-known people, personal stories, and examples to speak his truth. He talks about the power of words and how they shape your life.

There Are No Coincidences

I just posted an |||article||| about the power of words yesterday. So it is no surprise to me that a chain of events would lead me to information that coincides with the same subject that I just posted about. When the elements of the universe line up, it is truly amazing. I love moments like that! I just had a simple thought, what should I post today? I went on about my business gathering information, reading, and researching like I usually do and then I “accidentally” clicked on one of the folders on my computer. I had completely forgotten that I even downloaded the book. I must say, there are no coincidences in life. I have always known that statement to be true, and me reading that book today is further confirmation.

The forward of the book is written by Jeff Goins, the author of Wrecked and You Are A Writer. I have followed Jeff Goins blog for a long while. It was no surprise to see his name in the book as well. He is passionate about writing and words, and I can see how Paul and Jeff are friends. Both are passionate about spreading information through the written word.

Moved To Tears

While reading Building An Empire With Your Words I was moved to tears. There were times when I felt that Paul was speaking directly to the artist in me; reminding me to never give up and that my words too, have influence. He even wrote about the book being a slap in the face (a wake-up call). It is no coincidence that I talked about inspiration smacking you in the face in my |||What Is Inspiration? ||| article yesterday. Coincidence? I think not!

I do believe in the power of words. I believe words can heal, help, comfort, inspire, and drive someone forward in a powerful way. He even mentions his motivation for writing was not for money, fame, or because of boredom. I agree, when I started publishing my books it was for the freedom of writing and because I could not “NOT” write the books. Sometimes, I must admit, my attention does get diverted. I would love to make money through writing. It’s what I want to do for a living. However, I agree that money should not be the main focus. It just kills the joy of writing when you worry about the money aspect of it.

I know that it’s hard out there. I know that we all need to make a living and survive, but as a wise teacher once told me,

“You have to honor your gifts and talents for the sake of honoring your gifts and talents.”

What I took from that saying was:

Your talents and gifts deserve expression.

There is no price that can be put on your unique gifts. Open your heart and express yourself. Whether it be through song or dance, art or writing, photography or big business, you have the right to express.

I want people to know that I bleed too, I doubt too, I lose faith sometimes too, but I can get better by taking responsibility for myself, my actions, my words, my thoughts, and my beliefs which ultimately create… my life.

Thank you for reading!

finished-heart Renee

I would love to hear from you!
Do words hurt?
How have someone’s words influenced you?
Have you inspired or hurt someone with your words?

 

Freedom, The Heart Of An Artist, & My Newest Creation

The Su’Ma Character

Su’Ma is a boy with a lion’s heart whose passion is channeled through a blade.

How many of you have come face to face with your destiny? Su’Ma is that kind of character. When he comes face to face with his destiny nothing can stop him from fulfilling his purpose. He is the kind of character that says, “I don’t care about your rules, your codes of conduct, or how you have done things in the past – this is my life, I am nobody’s property, and I will protect my precious gift at all costs.

I know the men out there would definitely be able to relate to his character. Men have a burning desire to protect their family at all costs. It’s a survival mechanism that is imbedded deep in the hearts of all men. They are the protectors of the group.

Su’Ma is the kind of character that would say, “I have to stand up, do the right thing, and be a man regardless of what tradition, laws, and rules have taught me.”

He would stand up to his father and say, “You prepped me father, you helped me, you shaped me, but now I am growing into the man that you prepared me to be. You cannot hold me down with force, punishment, or ridicule.”

Ne’Ya, the other star of Journey Through Sattara, is Su’Ma’s reason for living. She has a huge purpose to fulfill. The women of the world would be able to relate to her character because she is a nurturer, she’s strong, and carries her tribe’s legacy on her back willingly. Together they reach into the center of the struggle and strife between their tribes and force them to choose; your love or your hatred. At the end end of the story only one survives.

Isn’t that what triumph is about? It’s about overcoming your personal demons. The ones that knock on the door of your brain and tell you to quit and to give up. The demons that whisper, “It’s too hard, it’s against the rules, no one will understand you.”

As A Writer

As a writer you have to know what you are writing for. I personally write for the freedom to be able to express myself in a world of repression, judgment, and constriction. I write to be free, to tap into the unlimited pool of knowledge, and to spread new ideas.

There’s a struggle going on in our world. It’s the struggle for power and money. There are senseless killings, greed, and calamity all over the world and I hate to be the bearer of bad news – We Are All A Part Of It. Simply because we are sitting back watching it happen within ourselves and doing absolutely nothing about it.

I hear the question all the time… how can there be world peace? The answer is dauntingly simple, but a lot of people are refusing to see the truth.

If Everyone Found Peace Within Themselves There Would Be World Peace

If Everyone Allowed Others To Simply Be Themselves There Would Be World Peace

If Everyone Didn’t Take Things So Personally There Would Be World Peace

If Peopled Didn’t Feel The Need To Control & Dominate There Would Be World Peace

Your Words Have Power

I am here to say that you don’t need a gun, knife, or bombs to kill people. People kill the human spirit with their words and actions every single day. We just have to be conscious of what we write about, blog about, post, and do to other people.

I can’t stop anyone from doing anything, but I can write in hopes that people will see the rawness and honesty in my books and perhaps change their perspective on things.

It doesn’t take that much. Just a few words, a post, a blog, a song, or a dance that comes straight from the heart. Something that you can’t hold in no matter how hard you’ve tried. For years I held in my passion, afraid of what others would say or think. Afraid of not being able to do things “correctly”. Yes, I admit. I went through my own personal hell with some of the choices that I made regarding following my heart’s desire, but in the end – just like in my books – love and passion always wins. The source that wrote the story of life had a beautiful concept in mind. Love always wins. Always.

The Reason For Writing Journey Through Sattara

Journey Through Sattara is a story about the Journey Through Life. It just happens to take place in a jungle with Ne’Ya and Su’Ma as the main characters. When you get a chance to read the book, picture each character as a part of yourself. It will then be easy to see what we struggle with as human beings, the demons from the past that haunt us, and the shame that we feel when our needs and dreams need to be heard.

Artistry, Life, and My Books are about standing up to the society that we live in and the demons that scare us to death. If you don’t like the rules, codes of conduct, or what you have experienced so far… It Is Your Destiny To Change It. That’s why you are here, that’s why you are reading this post, that’s why it is speaking to you in the way that it is.

We can change our own world one step at a time. Stand up for what you believe in. Let your voice be heard. Say no to things that you don’t prefer and hell yes to the things that you are passionate about.

In case anyone is wondering… that is the reason why I write!

Questions For The Reader

Who are some of the characters in your novels?
What ideas do you want them to provoke?
How did you make the character come alive?
What personal experiences did you draw from to create your characters or your art?

I would love to hear from you!

finished-heart Renee

What Is Inspiration?

Inspiration

What Is Inspiration?

Something already thought up, dreamt up, or envisioned by the creator and you and I being the vessel from which it flows.

Inspiration is the place where we can experience different pieces of the whole through dance, music, painting, writing, sewing, and any other form of art.

There seems to be a well of possibilities just waiting to be translated. If an art form grabs hold of you, it has obviously chosen you as the perfect medium for some of its greatest expressions.

We all have the ability to create.

It’s A Lifelong Friend

It seems also like there’s a friend listening to us and our deepest desires. It says, “look this way, turn this page, see this blog, call this person.” It’s an inner calling seeing if we can bring life to what it already sees us being able to fulfill.

That’s why artists do what they do. There is no greater love than being able to create.

To somehow believe in yourself and your ability enough to form a possibility into a manifestation.

Wow… Just breathe that in for a minute.

To believe in yourself and your ability enough to form a possibility into a manifestation. {Renee Brooks}

You are the seer, the breath in between, the vessel, and the entire creation all at the same time.

I love it when I don’t know what I am going to write in my own books. I am just as excited as the reader. It’s almost like lock after lock is opening when I write; revealing to me the parts that I am ready to transcribe.

The Spirit Of Inspiration

It’s sitting there waiting to surprise you. It’s like Christmas, or seeing your best friend after years of being apart, or meeting your pet for the first time. It’s that awe, that surprise. That thing that keeps you up late at night, and wakes you up at the crack of dawn. It’s the spirit that makes you want to live. The spirit that helps you move forward with enthusiasm and joy, even though you may not know exactly where you are going.

It’s a trickster sometimes. Elusive at first, but then reveals itself to you in a way that you never expected. It’s the moments when you feel like you are in moments of déjà vu. It’s the moments that smack you in the face (in a good way) and make you believe in your connection and your unique expression in this world.

An Unlimited Resource

It’s a resource that never runs out. It’s a lineage that existed since the beginning of time, and it doesn’t care about your nationality, sexual preferences, hair color, or how many likes you get on a post.

Inspiration only needs two things to flourish. A willing heart & peace with what is. {Renee Brooks}

It works best when you don’t try to box it in. It’s so enormous and out of the box that in order to capture any piece of it, you have to be out of the box as well and in the receiving mode.

For those of you who have felt this kind of inspiration, you know exactly where I am coming from.

Your Biggest Cheerleader

It’s a cheerleader, a coach, a confidant, and an encourager all at the same time. It’s filled with love ready to pour into whomever will receive it. It’s a well of beauty just waiting to be recognized and discovered.

If Inspiration Were A Painting

It would be called a beautiful nightmare. It would sit in front of you in the art gallery calling you towards it. It’s colors and majesty too powerful to soak in all at one time. The intensity of it however would compel you towards it saying, “look at me I am here for all to see, you can grasp me if you just breathe.” Once you relax, you would be able to see the rise and the fall of its waves, the current of its colors, the ups and downs, and its true beauty jump out at you taking you through a whirlwind of emotions. After it sucked you in emotionally it would release you breath by breath until you could see the beauty of its entirety.

Once the painting released you, you would feel heartbroken that it let you go. It would then call you again asking you to take another glimpse. It would then grab hold of you again, filling you up with tears of joy, opening up your heart, and taking you on a completely different ride.

That is my view of inspiration and to sum it all up in layman’s terms,

It’s Life Itself!

From my well of inspiration to your heart.

finished-heart Renee

What is your idea of inspiration?

I would love to hear from you!