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Passion Living Out Loud

Find Your Passion and Run With It…

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November 2013

Thankful Today and Tomorrow

thankful2How can you experience more happiness in life when you don’t allow yourself to experience it where you are today? Let that question sink in for a moment. Really. Think about it and let it really sink in.

Today’s post is in the spirit of Thanksgiving. One of the desires of life is to enjoy it more and more each day. You want tomorrow to be better than the day before. You want to experience overwhelming happiness every day of your life (if that were possible). The point of my question is to present the thought that if you can’t be happy where you are, you won’t be happy with where you are trying to go. Sometimes you may wonder why you haven’t met that goal yet or you haven’t obtained that ‘thing’ you want. The level of your acceptance of your current circumstances, blessings, and gifts may have a lot to do with why you aren’t stepping onto the next plateau.

Be thankful for where you are. Appreciate the people, things, and situations that you experience. It’s your current appreciation and thankfulness that pushes you to the next stage of your life, not your lack of thankfulness. Of course the idea is easier said than done, but the effort to be more reflective about the things you do have; the goals you have achieved; the belief that life will be more grand is most important.

Make this Thanksgiving count. Make it be the moment to truly be grateful for what you have and know that what is to be is built on that…

As always continue living passionately out loud! Be inspired. Be an inspiration to others! And on Thanksgiving, don’t eat too much turkey… 😉

I am thankful for each and every reader that stops by, shares with me, and inspires me to continue living my passion out loud!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL!!!

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This Is The Time…

clock of lifeI remember a conversation my dad and I once held. It was regarding someone I knew that was well into their adulthood and was debating whether or not they should go back to school for their undergraduate degree. While the person may have had some good ‘reasons’ as to why it wasn’t the easiest thing for them to do, my dad made the most profound statement to me. He said, “They can either leave this earth with a degree or without it”.

Fast forward about fifteen years and I was reminded of his statement on last night. Why last night? I was telephoned about an acquaintance of mine that passed away a few days prior. The acquaintance was young, kind, and full of life. I came in contact with the acquaintance almost every day of my week and in no way did I ever think I wouldn’t see this acquaintance again. While the selfish part of me wishes the acquaintance was still here, the unselfish part of me knows that we do not control what is to be.

So, how do these two short stories tie into each other? Well, I learned one valuable lesson from each. GIVE LIFE YOUR ALL! We know not what day or hour will be our last breath. But what if you knew tomorrow would be your last? Would you be able to say you gave life your all? This blog is all about following your passion; thereby owning your happiness. Are you doing that? Do you think there are some limitations to you living out your passion? The truth is, the only limitation is the thought that there is a limitation. In the words of my dad, “You can either leave this earth having lived out your passion or not” or “You can either leave this earth having given life your all or not.” The choice is yours.

This blog is no reflection of how happy the acquaintance was or was not in life (as I do not judge someone’s happiness), but the loss has impacted me to realize the importance of living every moment to the fullest. I do not know the time or the day. As individuals we must NOT allow the strife, challenges, and lack luster parts of life to deter us from doing just that. Today is no better moment to realize your passion, follow your passion, and find happiness through your passion. When I leave this earth, I pray that my eulogy includes comments of how much of me I gave life; how much happiness I pulled from it. I choose to LIVE life through my passion and my happiness. I impress upon you to do the same.

Passion Living: In Living Color: Tremayne “Mayne Man” Moore

tremayneThis week’s ‘Passion Living Out Loud: In Living Color’ interview is with Tremayne “Mayne Man” Moore. Talk about an insightful and passionate man. He’s an example of a person whose passion isn’t necessarily a thing, but a concept, a conviction on his life. I met him a few months ago at a book festival and I knew he had a lot to share with the world. Check out his interview and find out how he’s living his life passionately out loud!

Passionista: What is your passion?

Tremayne: If I had to sum it up, my passion is to educate people about the effects of child sexual abuse and teenage; encourage those who have struggled with abuse and suicide to seek mental & spiritual help; and to equip churches and academic institutions with tools necessary to bring awareness, revelation and restoration to those who suffered abuse.

Passionista: What are some of your past or current projects that display your passion?

Tremayne: My prior projects are through my literary books, “Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid” which sheds light on child sexual abuse and teenage suicide to bring awareness to the church and secular world and “Pieces of Me” which addresses domestic violence in the faith community. My current project will address bullying and to encourage today’s youth that they have the power to change the world and make it better.

Passionista: I look forward to hearing more about your current project. Bullying has become such a commonality for our society, especially our youth. So, have you always been in tune with your passion?

Tremayne: Yes. I have been in tune with my passion every moment of my life.

Passionista: That’s truly awesome. So many people spend entire lifetime before they understand or find their passion in life. Can you recall when you first realized your passion?

Tremayne: When I was in the 11th grade, I was required for my English class to do a research paper. I chose to do my paper on Homeless People in the U.S. My teacher tried to talk me out of doing it for the risk of failing her class and for it being such a serious topic. I persisted and earned an A+. The research taught me to love those who have struggled and that I have the power to make my life better and to help make someone else’s life better.

 Passionista: Do you ever think you’ll stop living your passion out loud?

Tremayne: Never!

 Passionista: If you could describe the way you feel about your passion in one word, what word would you choose?

Tremayne: Tenacity

Passionista: Who/What inspired you most to live out your passion?

Tremayne: Everyday living inspired me.

Passionista: How do you feel your passion inspires others?

 Tremayne: My passion inspires others by speaking to the issues at hand with an ear to the soul of man.

Passionista: What have been some of your greatest challenges, if any, in following your passion and how did you overcome them?

Tremayne: Some of my challenges have been hearing “No” to some things that I knew that I could obtain. I overcame by taking every “No” I heard and did what was unthinkable in the eyes of those who told me “I couldn’t do it” or telling me “they would not support me.”

Passionista: If you could give some advice to individuals that desire to live their passion(s) out loud, what would it be?

Tremayne: Always be you. Count the cost in living your passion out loud.

Passionista: Yes, that is so vital.

Tremayne: You will face rejection, betrayal, loss of friends (including those you’ve known for a long time), and possibly loss of your life.

 Passionista: Have you been able to expand your passion into other things?

Tremayne: Yes. Not only do I write, I also expand it through my music (yes, I rap and I sing). And on occasion, I speak to high school & college students.

Passionista: What do you hope to be doing with your passion in ten years?

Tremayne: Wow, I haven’t given this question that much thought. I try to live life a day at a time. I see myself speaking full-time making a difference in other people’s lives for the glory of God.

I definitely wish Tremayne nothing but the best of luck and continued success in living his passion out loud. To gain more insight into Tremayne’s passion, check out his blog, “Mayne Man” at http://www.mayneman.blogspot.com.

Why Wait?

2014 ahead 2Why wait until December 31st to say you’re about to make some changes in your life? The new year is quickly approaching. The stores have skipped Thanksgiving and already started laying out the Christmas decor and talking up the  ‘Black Friday’ sales. Why can’t you skip past Christmas and begin making life changing plans for next year? Of course, since this blog is all about following your passion; finding your happiness, let’s focus on you doing just that.

To plan for next year, you have to be reflective in what you planned and what you’ve accomplished this year. Look down that list and see what you can carry over or enhance for next year. Is your passion on that list? Hopefully so, because you don’t want to go into 2014 not knowing what an expanded life of happiness could be like. Did you make some headway in finding what your true passion(s) is? If you already knew what your passion was, were there some things you know you could do more of as relates to it? Well, guess what? Build on those points and what do you know… you’ve already got your goals for 2014 started.

The best part of it is that you’ve still got more than thirty days left to make some of your 2013 goals happen! What is life without happiness that’s defined by you? What is living without knowing what makes you happy? Don’t wait until 2014 hits; the New Year’s ball drops; the clock hand changes to 12 a.m. January 1, 2014. Search now. Finish now. Plan now. Develop now. Find your happiness NOW!

“The passion you found yesterday can continue to grow

today and tomorrow into your happiness for a lifetime!”

The Passion in Kids

Weekend Academy1
Me with some of the kids from the “I Want to Write: Read My Story” workshop

What a weekend! It was busy, busy, but so productive and enjoyable. Today’s post is all about the kids.

I was recently asked to do a mini workshop on how to become a writer/author with a group of third, fourth, and fifth graders for this program sponsored by TVA called, Weekend Academy. I spent the last week putting together my presentation, “I Want to Write: Read My Story”, and activities for the children and was finally able to share my knowledge with them on this past Saturday. Talk about enjoyable! I have been a speaker to children before, but never having to teach a class and it awakened something inside of me. The children were very attentive for nine o’clock on a Saturday morning and much of what was in my presentation the children were already exposed to. They were so bright and intelligent. Before long, they were inspiring me. While they may not want to become writers, I did impress upon them to follow their passion and run with it. They helped me to see that the passion I was living out was as genuine as it could be. It was a truth moment for me.

One of the other highlights for me was that I was able to, again, include my daughter in my passion process. She was my assistant for the day and was very glad to be so. As we walked into the building, she smiled from ear to ear, with eagerness exuding from the temples of her head… 😉 As she carried some of the presentation materials in, she looked up to me and said, “Mommy, I want to do this when I get older.” I was taken back. I knew I was exposing her to my passion, but in no way did I think she would take it so. “What do you mean?” I replied. “I want to go out and speak to people,” she answered. “So, you like what mommy does?” I continued. “Yep!” she said. And that was the end of that conversation. In that moment, I had another truth moment. I was definitely on the right track.

Once we finished the workshop, I promised my daughter that I’d take her to see the stage play, Charlotte’s Web. Boy am I glad I did. She was in a trance the entire time. And anyone that knows my daughter knows she is full of the gift of entertainment. She loves to sing, dance, and from what I can tell she’d really enjoy acting. I took her to see the play for entertainment, but more importantly for exposure to other arts. She’s already in dance class. Finding your passion is all a bout exposure. You don’t know its your passion if you haven’t been exposed to it. I’m always trying to keep her eyes open to new things, because I never know what she may truly be into. As parents we are to nurture that into our children. I write because I was exposed to writing early on. I sing because I was exposed to singing early on. And the list goes on.

So, all in all, this weekend was a weekend full of exposure to other people’s children, my child, and me! My passion is more fulfilled and hopefully I inspired some other children (including mine) to follow theirs. Check out some our weekend adventure and of course, keep following your passion out loud!!!

Weekend academy 4
The “I Want to Write: Read My Story” Workshop
Weekend Academy 5
Full house for the “I Want to Write: Read My Story” workshop
Weekend Academy 2
One student reads their story written during the workshop exercise
Weekend Academy 3
One student reads their nonfiction book during the workshop exercise
Weekend Academy 6
My Assistant for the “I Want to Write: Read My Story” workshop

In Between THOSE Days…

In Between Those DaysSo what yesterday wasn’t your most grand day? Today can be better. So what, a month ago something catastrophic happened in your life. This month and the next could be so powerful that your catastrophe becomes your testimony. Don’t allow the days when it’s raining and pouring down to define what your future will be. They are clearly those days in between the triumphs and victories. Remember the quote below the next time you’re having doubtful moments; your days don’t seem to be aligned as you’d like; or your passion seems a bit dim in your eyesight.

“When I’m having one of THOSE days, I just remember that the other times I had one of THOSE days, a BETTER day came in between…”

You are called to be ______________ in this world. The journey to that won’t be the easiest. Heck if everyone was called to be _____________, there would be a challenge-less road map to follow. Create your own path, but keep your eyes wide open and mind focused on the positive. And as you travel that road, in between the days that make you feel less that good, remember it’s just one of THOSE days…

Here’s a song, “Can’t Give Up Now”, sung by one of my favorite duo groups, Mary Mary, that always keeps me motivated to keep it moving. Enjoy and continue living passionately!

 

 

Passion Living: In Living Color: Emily Lorin

Emily Lorin HairPassions come in ANY form. It doesn’t matter what it is, if it’s your passion, then it’s meant to follow and live out loud! Today’s ‘Passion Living Out Loud: In Living Color’ spotlight is on hair stylist, Emily Lorin. I’ve known Emily for a while, but never knew her passion; however once I learned of it, her drive for it stood out to me and I wanted to share her with all my readers. Check out my interview with Emily and find out why I consider her to definitely be LIVING HER PASSION OUT LOUD!

Passionista: If you had to define your passion, what would it be?

Emily: My passion is styling hair. I love to cut it, style it, color it or do whatever it takes to transform it into something beautiful.

Passionista: What have you been doing in the past and currently that projects your passion to the world?

Emily: I am currently a new stylist, professionally, so I am learning the business.  I’m working on my brand, Emily Lorin Hair, by promoting myself and my work on my website at www.emilylorinhair.com, Facebook, and other social media outlets. Like any passion, I’m always working to enhance my skills. There’s so much to learn in the industry. I’ve received certifications with All-Nutrient Color, Mizani, and Keratin Complex. I

Passionista: Have you always been in tune with your passion?

Emily: I have always been good at styling hair, but strangely I never took it seriously until about a year ago.  After I graduated high school I was on the college track in which I earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  Then after, I worked in Corporate America for several years. I realized it wasn’t for me and was longing to become my own boss.

Passionista: So would you say your passion sort of followed you until you paid attention to it?

Emily:  Yes. I began to soul search to try to figure out what I wanted to do for a living. I knew it would need to be something in which I could use my degree.  With hair on the brain, I asked a friend, then a family member, and then another family member who all responded in the same manner. Everyone agreed that I should pursue becoming a hair stylist and gave me their blessings. I left the company I worked for and enrolled in beauty school.  That was the best decision I have made…ever.

Passionista: If you could describe the way you feel about your passion in one word, what word would you choose?

Emily: Freedom

Passionista: Do you ever think you’ll stop living your passion out loud?

Emily: Absolutely not. The sky is the limit in the industry I’m in.

Passionista: Can you recall when you first realized it was your passion?

Emily: I have always enjoyed doing hair but the word passion is so strong. It was after I began doing hair professionally before I realized it was a “passion” for me. The feeling that I feel after a satisfied client looks in the mirror and begins smiling or dancing, or whatever expression they give because they feel transformed; priceless. I absolutely love what I do!

Passionista:  Who/What inspired you most to live out your passion?

Emily: I’ve pretty much have been self-motivated but my fiancé and my kids inspire me to be the best that I can be. Having a career that I am passionate about helps to complete me.

Passionista: So, do you feel following your passion inspires others to do the same?

Emily:  I sure hope it does. It can inspire a single mother to go back to school and become whatever she wants or it can inspire someone who is not satisfied with their current job situation to pursue something else.

Passionista: What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered while following your passion?

Emily: A challenge for me is being Christian and drama-free in a salon. In many salons there is a lot of negativity and gossip. I once questioned if I would lose clients because I’m not able to cater to their “salon gossip/drama” needs. I actually know women who go to particular salons to get the latest scoop or to see drama. I had to come to a realization that my faith and covering will allow me to do well in this business without the negativity. So far, I have been blessed to work in a professional, peaceful atmosphere with great clients that respect me and my beliefs. My clients are there because of my talent not because of a show. I continue to trust God to keep me grounded and to grow my business.

Passionista: Passionate Conviction. I love it! If you could give advice to individuals wanting to live their passion(s) out loud, what would it be?

Emily: Living out your passion takes hard work, dedication, and most importantly….faith in God.  Whatever you are trying to accomplish will take time and it won’t always flow as planned. Sometimes you will even want to give up. Although it takes time, life in the long run is beautiful and fulfilling. There is nothing like doing what you love. I worked several years for a company that paid well and with great benefits, but found myself every morning hating to even step into the building. Luckily I was able to leave and pursue my passion, which was a great sacrifice on my lifestyle. I could no longer shop or buy…anything really. I quit my job to go back to school, during the recession. Sounds crazy, but it was the best decision I have ever made. During my low period, I was broken down spiritually, mentally, and physically but my faith in God carried me through. Now, I am doing what I love and God’s grace is pouring out all over me and my family.

Passionista: So, in ten years, what do you hope to be doing with your passion?

Emily: First, I would hope to have been a salon owner for several years. Besides being a salon owner, I plan to do some platform work, non-profit work, and maybe create a line of hair care products. As I said earlier, the sky is the limit.

My hats are truly off to Emily Lorin. With the passion I hear in her, I know that she will surpass the limit in the sky! Kudos and continue living passionately out loud! You are officially a Passionista too!

Shew Away the Mosquitoes…

no mosquitoesI know that picture isn’t the most attractive, but so relevant to my post today.;-)

You ever had a pesky, blood-sucking, mosquito gnawing at your skin? Usually when it happens, the bite from the mosquito can become distracting to what you’re trying to accomplish. Maybe you’re outside enjoying an activity. Maybe you’re trying to go to sleep. You could be doing a million different things, but once a mosquito bites you, your focus can be hard to keep steady. You start looking for the alcohol or the ‘OFF’ spray to take care of them. You go from focusing on one task at hand to having to focus primarily on the itching, burning, and out right annoying symptoms of the mosquito bite. Having pesky, non-supportive, distracting friends, associates, and yes, sometimes family around is no different. For every time you attempt to achieve a goal and have them holding you back, you’re wasting more valuable time. You’re creating an environment to almost remain stagnant.

Some people are just fun to be around, but don’t necessarily nurture your goals; your passions. I know I’ve talked about purging before in a previous post, but it can be most relevant when clearing the path to living out your passion. If you can name at least one person that is consistently in your life, yet offers nothing positive to it or your passion, you may want to find that ‘OFF’ spray to keep them away for a while – or for good. It’s not fair to you to have people around you that aren’t beneficial to your progress. Who wants the blood sucked out of them, focus thrown off, and goals unmet?

Shew away the Mosquitoes in your life. Your passion and purpose is so much more important than appeasing your relationship with them. It took me a while to realize and actually act on this point, but when I did it, my focus became unstoppable. Become unstoppable with your passion today and let go of those that are gnawing at you! You’ll be thankful you did.

Until the next post, live life passionately out loud!

Lead Them and They Shall…

Jasmine writingFrom doing just a little bit of reflecting on my past writings this weekend, catching the new movie ’12 Years a Slave’, to watching the 3rd Annual Black Girls Rock show on BET, I am even more convinced that the energy we put into our children can be as important, if not more important, than the energy we put in ourselves.

My realization of this started on Friday. I was sitting in my living room, re-reading some of my work aloud. My six-year-old overheard me from the kitchen as she played with her play-do on the kitchen floor. Surprisingly to me, she stepped away from her pasty fun and stepped closer to me to hear me read my work. I’m not sure if she really enjoyed what I was saying or was impressed by the idea of being able to develop my own thoughts and have them on a platform (such as my blog because that’s what I was reading from at the time). Either way, I made her feel some sort of way and she proceeded to say, “I want to write a poem, mommy”. I immediately stopped what I was doing. I directed her to her room to her pile of art and writing resources. She then began to tell me what she wanted her poem to read and I simply spelled the more complex words for her. In that moment, I realized that what I did; the dreams I did or didn’t follow mattered to what she’d do with her own thoughts and interests. She was interested in what I was able to do and didn’t hesitate to replicate the act.

Saturday I went to go see ’12 Years a Slave’ (a movie I insist everyone, regardless of age, race, culture, etc to go see). I was hesitant about taking my daughter because of her young age. I heard it was very graphic and depicted the strongest reality of what slavery was. I’m very familiar with the history of blacks in America so I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to expose her to those type of injustices just yet. I am so glad that I did; however. Besides having to cover eyes at certain points throughout the film, at the end of the movie, she and I were able to have a conversation at her level to talk about what the movie was all about. In that moment, I realized its important not to downplay what reality is, but educate her on the good and the bad, so that she can move more realistically throughout her life and not be shell-shocked whenever she encounters its face. I was able to explain to her that life will have its setbacks, its challenges – be it people, things, or situations, but knowing that life is still possible of living to its fullest was the lesson I was able to relay to her.

And finally on Sunday, I was able to finally catch BET’s show, ‘Black Girls Rock’. It’s a show primarily about appreciating the self as created and knowing that you are beautiful and full of the ability to do great things and positively impact the your family, communities, and the world. I made my daughter watch it and she was empowered by it.

All in all, this weekend was full of growth moments for not just my daughter, but me as a parent. I know that my every move, my every decision, my choices in what I expose my daughter to develop her in such a way that will determine how hard she lives life. I don’t know about you, but I want my daughter to live life hard. I want her to know that any belief, decision, or dream she has isn’t impossible, but full of the potential and action she puts into it. As Proverbs 22:6 reads: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” I will do this as best as I am able and hopefully she will do the same.

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