Why I Do What I Do & The Challenges That Come With It

ProtectYourDreams

IT’S NOT EASY FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS.

Well that is true from my perspective anyway.

For those of you out there that follow your dreams with ease – kudos to you!

I had a dream last night that I had a discussion about with my significant other. As we talked about the dream imagery, some really deep stuff surfaced.

In addition to writing, I love to create. I love the idea of creating a positive environment that stimulates new thoughts and that inspires people to follow their dreams not matter what. What I couldn’t figure out however, was even though I am following my heart, what in the world is holding me back?

I was trying to figure out – why – when I am putting my heart on the line trying to create something positive – is something trying to squeeze the life out of me and cause me to give up?

BY DECODING MY DREAM FROM LAST NIGHT, I FOUND SOME OF THE ANSWERS.

You see, when you don’t have any positive role models around to look up to – following your dreams is very difficult. When your background says that you shouldn’t be anything but someone’s assistant – it’s no wonder that when you try to be something more than that – the grip of fear holds you back.

I am sensitive and caring by nature. So when I think of creating my art, making a living, and building a positive business from scratch, I don’t just have myself in mind – I have a broader view.

I have seen the diseases of poverty, helplessness, resentment, alcoholism, and hardened hearts claim the lives of many of my family members (spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically). I have seen the female energy killed in my family by unruly, disrespectful, insensitive men. I have watched people in my family let go of their dreams to follow a righteous – socially acceptable path, and for me I have a hard time swallowing some of it.

It’s difficult to sit back and watch the people who you care about the most, suffer in their lives. It’s even more difficult when you feel that you can’t do anything about it. Because of all of that, I feel that that only thing I can do is try to prosper in my own life.

It’s no wonder though that when I try to step outside of that vicious cycle of poverty, abuse, and insensitivity – that the roots of my background snake around me and question, “where do you think you are going, who do you think you are, do you feel you are someone special or something?”

THE ANSWER IS YES.

I do think that I am meant to live a better life. I do think that I am meant to shine. I do think that despite the way some of my family members have continued to deaden their dreams, that I am meant to rise above it, but it’s not easy to do.

There are some strong females in my family. They will walk the earth strapped with their children on their backs, they will walk the line of fire to defend the ones they love, they will get down on their hands and knees to do manual labor to put a roof over our heads. Yes, they are physically strong – I give them that.

But ask them what they love to do? Ask them what has hurt them the most? Ask them where they envisioned their life going? Ask them to tell you what they are proud of? Ask them what sets their heart on fire? You’ll hear nothing but silence.

Ask them to hug you or to tell you they love you. Ask them to care for their children even after they turn 18 years old. Ask them to support you emotionally, show faith in your wildest dreams, and you will get nothing in return from them.

THE TRUTH IS – THEY DOn’t Know How TO feel and show their vulnerability.

They know how to provide. They know how to tough it out. They know how to just barely make it, but they don’t know how to show they care and that it’s okay not to be able to do it all. The women in my family are so use to being the men and fighting to survive that they don’t know what femininity means to them anymore. They don’t know what it means to let their guard down.

And then here I come – Ms. Do Good, trying to teach myself a different way, trying to show myself that it is okay to love and express, trying to prove to others that there is another way, trying to realize my dreams, trying to teach my son that he can make it no matter what, and all this time I feel like I am living a lie, because even though my heart says it’s doable – my past says it can’t be done. The negative spells (being beat down mentally) that were put on me while I was younger say, “you are out of your league – try something different”.

How is anyone supposed to work through the pull of that negativity? Especially, when no one close to her was able to do it? Where do I turn to? Who do I look up to?

Maybe some of you out there are going through the same struggle.

I HAVE TO HAVE FAITH IN SOMETHING BIGGER THAN ME.

I have to have faith that my dreams are meant to be. I have to have faith that there is a part of me that is more powerful than I can imagine. I have to believe that there are angels and guides that have filled the place of those family members that were not and are not around to support me. I have to believe that the call of my heart is more important than my thoughts of doubt.

That’s the only way to make it through.

I have to believe that I have a purpose here, and despite the tug of war going on inside, it will be brought to fruition.

I appreciate anyone who stops by to read what I write. I appreciate any comment, any like, and every follow. I realize that you can be anywhere, but you have given me your time and attention, and you don’t understand how by doing that – you are helping me believe in myself. It means the world to me to have someone take the time to write a comment. It gives me hope that I should stay in this, and continue towards building my dream.

Thanks for reading!

heart Nay

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I Sense Overwhelm – How Many Roles Are Crying Out For Your Attention?

Roles

I Had A Dream Last Night That Got Me Thinking About My Journey Into The Unknown.

As some of you know, I have been working on exploring newer, fuller, richer opportunities for myself.

I have taken steps to see a world unfold that I never even dreamed of when I was younger. This exploration of the self, exploring my goodness, and what I could potentially be, are all very new ideas for me.

With That Said, I Feel Like I Am Being Pulled In 100 Different Directions.

I am trying to be a good mother, a good wife, trying to write my next book, run a soul guidance business, and still trying to do my inner work so that I can grow to be the best person that I can be. That’s alot of damn hats to wear. But I can’t give up on my dreams because they are calling me.

I have never been so close to so many possibilities, and I must admit that it scares the hell out of me.

Especially since I feel I am doing it alone. I mean I have support, don’t get me wrong, but alot of my family and friends don’t really support my dream. They support me, but they just don’t really get this whole “want to be a writer” and “soul guidance counselor” type thing. They just don’t get it, and therefore they don’t support it as much as I would like them to.

I don’t blame them though. People have their own lives to live. They can barely navigate their own waters, let alone try to help someone that is wayyyyyyy out there in the ocean, and that has thrown away the oars (lost her mind). That is what they probably think about me chasing what they believe to be a “pipe dream”.

I Almost Followed Someone Else’s Idea Of A Dream The Other Day.

Bless her heart, my sister said to me the other day, “why don’t you become an accountant?” She asked me that question because I was helping her with her taxes – which was a polite way to say, why don’t you get a real job and start making some real money. 

The funny part about that story is that I actually considered it for a minute…

How About You?

How many different roles do you play? How many things right now are crying for your time and attention? Do you feel like you are trying to follow your dreams with little to no support? Does it overwhelm you sometimes – like it does to me?

My Dream Last Night Showed Me My Fears So Clearly.

In the dream I was on this beautiful cliff in Antigua about to plunge into this beautiful multi-colored ocean, but the drop was 100+ feet down. I thought I was going to die in the dream so I just stood there on the cliff paralyzed by fear.

Many different thoughts ran through my mind. What if I can’t swim? What if I can’t breathe? What if I am not strong enough to pull myself back up once I plunge into the water?

Isn’t That How It Goes When We Are Getting Ready To Take The Leap Into Different Parts Of Our Experience?

When we’re getting ready to accept a new job or new opportunities, when we are leaving the old stuff behind and moving into the unknown, or when we simply change our minds and move in a different direction.

Fear paralyzes us, and we remain stuck or overwhelm sets in and we feel that we cannot fulfill all these different roles we are being called to play. There are a few things that I want to remind you (and myself) of, because we do have our own answers. The only problem is, we don’t believe that we have the right answers sometimes or we aren’t taking the time to implement small changes that could make a world of difference.

So Here Are The Reminders

  • Your desires and dreams matter, and you do not have to push them to the side.
  • There is space for all (your family, your desires, relationship wise, etc).
  • Don’t penalize yourself for wanting all aspects of your life to work (the relationship aspect, the financial aspect, or the artistry aspect).
  • We were created to express many different parts of ourself at once.
  • We can decide to marry (commit fully) to those things we love, and divorce (withdrawal our time and attention) from the things that we do not love or care for.
  • If you are overwhelmed you can stop for a while. When you return, take baby steps. You don’t have to complete or get everything right all at one time. Stop thinking you have to do everything all at once.
  • That “have to finish everything right now” mentality is a perfectionist mindset. Staying in that kind of mindset leaves no room for you to breathe, no room for you to change your mind, or commit errors, and learn from your missteps. Staying in that perfectionist mindset is the quickest way to get yourself overwhelmed.
  • Fear is natural, but there is a new you on the other side of fear. Work on standing up for yourself and your dreams little by little. Say yes a little more, and criticize yourself for wanting more – a little less.

Learn To See Your Roles Differently

You obviously are a valuable asset in all of the roles that you play. You just gotta try not to overwhelm yourself with thoughts of being perfect in each role. There is time and space for each one of your dreams. As a matter of fact, all the roles you play, have the potential to bring out the best in you – you just have to see it in that way.

Your not being asked to be perfect. You are being asked to just be yourself – in all aspects of your life – as fully as you know how.

Another Reminder

You have your own answers. You know what you love and what you want to invest your time and energy into. Do more of that, and less of what you don’t want to do.

Be Patient

It takes time to cultivate new habits. Especially when you are doing something as scary as following your dreams.

It takes a step here and a step there, faith here and readjusting there, a leap here and holding out there.

There’s no set pattern, but you can find a rhythm that brings you into harmony with all the aspects of your life that you care about the most. Focus on bringing harmony to the elements that you care about the most. It’s not quantity – it’s quality.

When you are with your kids – be with them fully. When you are working on your art – be with it fully. When you are doing the dishes – be with that fully. It takes times to develop the habit of staying in the present moment, but you can do it. I’m rooting for you to be fulfilled in all areas of your life!

P.S. Click Here For Soul Guidance

Thanks for reading!

heart Nay

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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

8 Tips To Help You Go With The Flow Of Your Passion

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I’ve Come A Long Way

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since I published my first book. Wow how the time has flown! I remember writing each one of my books like it were yesterday.

I sometimes reminisce about what actually made me do it. You know, instead of sitting there with just thoughts in my head about publishing a book – actually putting pen to paper (fingers to keyboard), starting, and actually finishing.

When I was younger I use to write all the time. I could hardly wait to pass the stories on to someone close to me (usually my younger sister). I use to be so anxious to hear her opinion about what I had written.

As a curious adolescent, one day after giving my sister one of my stories, I read a note that my sister wrote to one of her friends. The words that my sister wrote were heartbreaking. She said, “I have to read another one of my sister’s stupid stories.” Most of you would have stopped writing right there, and I must admit that I stopped for a while.

But then I started again; something in me just wouldn’t let me stop for good. I knew that I had a voice, and despite my rather quiet nature, I knew I had something important to say. Regardless of if my sister liked it or not.

Stick With Me… The Tips Are Coming

Fast forward (a few years), and you have me in high school. I remember feeling my hands trembling writing a poem that we had to do for one of my English classes. I got up to the podium and got into character. It was in the middle of mid-terms and we had finished our mid-terms so the teacher wanted us to do some creative writing. I stood up at the podium and delivered a poem (mediocre in my opinion) in front of the entire class.

When I finished the final sentence, the entire class stood up and roared with cheers. I couldn’t believe it. Can you imagine? Middle of mid-terms, quiet in all the halls of the school, and one classroom just bursts into applause and screaming? The teacher next door came running into the classroom in a panic. My English teacher replied to her hysteria by saying, “I’m so sorry one of our students just wrote and delivered an exceptional poem”. That was a pivotal moment for me.

That started my fire. The fact that my dear mother cannot even read and write, further added to the passion. I know that my words mean something to someone and that’s the reason why I call myself an author and a writer. I know that through my stories I can reach out to people that may be going through their own personal struggle and offer them some encouragement.

Just A Little More… I Promise It’s Worth It

I remember writing a letter to my brother one day. I didn’t know how to get through to him. He wasn’t nice, and he was rather abusive to me. One day I took a pencil and a piece of paper and I wrote down exactly what it was that I was feeling. When he came in the room after he read the letter, he hugged me tight, wiped my tears, and told me he was sorry for being the way that he had been towards me. It was then that I knew that my writing had an effect on people.

So when I decided to actually start publishing my books, my fears from my childhood of course crept in. Along with the sickening feeling of inadequacy when the “real writers” wrote their nasty comments about us “wannabe authors” that don’t make money or have big named publishers. Despite the constant negativity, my heart just wanted to keep moving forward.

7 books later I don’t have my name on the new york times best sellers list, and I am honestly not paid handsomely for what I do, but that doesn’t make me any less of a writer. When I hear comments like “you changed my life”, “I live because you gave me strength”, or “I never thought of it that way”, I know that I am doing my job. So I wanted to take the time to share with you what I’ve learned about writing and the creative process over the years.

Hopefully this will offer encouragement to some of you, shift your perspective if you are thinking of giving up, or simply add to the well of resources that I know you have already collected.

And Now… The Tips

8 Tips To Help You Go With The Flow Of Your Passion

1. Never Compare Yourself To Others

I know how it feels to see some people at the top of a list, on magazine covers, and on tv, and to feel like crawling in a hole when you think of your work in comparison. The truth is… your voice means something. The people on the tv and magazines are meant to reach people sometimes on a wider scale. That doesn’t mean that your artistry/voice is not important. Imagine someone that finds your blog that was just about to give up on life and reads something so profound that makes them want to live another day. That matters too.

2. Take Your Time

I cannot stress this enough. I know we all want to see the finished product, but the true happiness/joy comes from really making love (in a sense) to your craft. It’s the journey through and to the finale that is the real indulgence. Pace yourself. Don’t be so quick to just finish. Savor every moment.

3. Be Your Own Unique Voice

There is a way that you write or perform that people will connect with. You do not have to copy anyone else. I know again that sometimes we feel like we fail in comparison to other people, but your style and the way that you deliver is important. Being genuine translates. It just does. So do you in the special way that only you can.

4. Don’t Discount Your Ideas

Sometimes I get an idea for a project, video, book etc and I just let it vanish into thin air. Later on down the line sometimes, I kick myself because I didn’t write it down. Sometimes it’s just not the proper time to post/share whatever you are thinking about. That doesn’t mean that your ideas or stupid or won’t be relevant in the future. So write it down. Any idea. Big or small. That way you can go back if you are inspired to use that idea.

5.  Write From Your Heart

I write to convey feelings/emotions/ideas. The reason that some can feel my writing is because I do not write about intense emotions that I have not experienced myself. Let me be clear, just because I wrote about the jungle in Journey Through Sattara doesn’t mean that I have actually been to the jungle. It just means that I know what it feels like to be in an environment that certainly feels like one.

When my characters cry, I am crying writing the words. So conveying feelings and doing it from the heart is a very important factor in any creative expression. I am sure you have lost someone close to you, or been through a tumultuous time, or experienced joy beyond anything you can accurately express with words. Those experiences are your resources. Pull from them, dig deep, feel them, and then express.

6. Don’t Publish For Other People

Man… I really need to get that framed. It’s so important. There are so many different people from different walks of life that will not get your artistry. It’s just the way of the world. So when you write or perform just find your own flow. Find the reason why you do it, and just do it. Leave how other people interpret your work out of the equation. Everyone has a different perspective. I want to add a quote by Paulo Coelho.

You Don’t Need To Explain Your Dreams They Belong To You

7. You’re Not Going To Learn Everything

People don’t follow their dreams or flow because sometimes they feel they are not educated enough, don’t know enough, or simply don’t feel adequate enough to pursue their destiny. I am here to tell you… you are not going to know everything about your craft. It’s just not possible, until you get into the thick of it. No amount of training is going to prepare you to genuinely express yourself. It is only a skill that can be developed through trial and error and experience. Just do it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You will learn along the way. Note: that does not mean to not have some kind of basic understanding, I just mean you don’t have to study for 25 years before you actually get up to do it.

8. Celebrate Your Accomplishments

If you don’t, the artist in you will get resentful that you are taking its precious resources and turning them into just going through the motions. Give yourself a treat. Stop, relax, rest. You don’t have to jump right into the next project. It is exhausting sometimes. Have you taken the time to really reflect on what you’ve created? You birthed something into the world. That is an accomplishment in itself. Do you know how many ideas are floating around that never come into existence? Give yourself a pat on the back. Congratulate yourself for at least creating something. Anything.

I hope this is helpful to you. From one passionate artist to another!

Sincerely,

Renee

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