Passion Living Out Loud

Find Your Passion and Run With It…


living out loud

The Biggest News Ever

unnamedI wanted to share some really good news with you all today.
I woke up this morning and just knew that today was the day that I could report to the world about a life changing event. I expected the news would come in the form of an email. I let the sheets of my bed go and sat up to say my morning prayer. After wiping the crust from my eyes, I reached to my nightstand to get my phone and check my email. I scrolled and scrolled through the promotional emails that I received over night. But that was it. I didn’t get any special news. I scrolled and scrolled to double-check I hadn’t overlooked that “special” news. As a matter of fact, besides the sales that were happening at some of my favorite stores I received no news at all.
Just as I was about to take a small huff and puff, God whispered the sweetest and truest message to me. As His words came to me all I could do was smile. The message was simple. The best news I’d receive all day was the fact that I had another opportunity to live an abundant life. A life that was designed and perfectly tailored by Him.
Today, I was given another chance to live according to His word and reap the blessings that He sees fit. I’m breathing. I own bed sheets to let go of. I have a job to report to this morning. Heck, I’m writing this message. Even better, I’m getting the opportunity to share this BIG news with you!
The bigger, more special news that we will ever receive is that every day, every minute we are gifted with His mercy and grace.
Regardless of what we did yesterday or even years ago, today allows us to begin anew. We are able to start over and its all because God says it to be so. Let today be a continued realization of that or the beginning for you. You won’t wake up seeking the ‘biggest’ news of your life because you’ll know that you’ve already received it!
Until the next post, be blessed and continue living a passionate life… Out Loud!

Can’t Solve an Emotional Problem with Logic

My dad and I had one of the best relationships I’ve ever had with another individual in my entire life. We could talk for hours and hours at a time. I could listen and listen to him talk for hours and hours at a time. He would fill me up with the most inspiring and encouraging words that it could take an army to try to tear down my confidence when he was done with me. I pretty much hung on to his every word. Even since his passing almost ten years ago, I still do. The one saying that he spoke that REPEATEDLY sticks out to me, especially when dealing with other people is: “You can’t solve an emotional problem with logic.”

While some people’s motives may make a little sense, there are others whose actions have absolutely nothing to do with nothing. It’s so easy to spend time trying to figure someone out; trying to know why they may have offended you; why they make less than smart decisions; why they do things that you know just don’t make sense. Save you, your brain and your heart some energy and remember that often times, people’s actions are merely a mirror of their emotion, not of their logic. The actions aren’t necessarily well thought out or even thought about to begin with. We are emotional beings battling making rational actions most every minute of our lives. Some people are more successful at the task than others. And guess what? You can’t spend much time trying to make sense of their battle. Just remember this saying when you’ve been wronged, confused, or left uncertain as to what made someone do what they did. It’s not for you to figure out!

I haven’t had anything recently happen that motivated my pen to this point, however, as I did my daily reflecting it hit me. I wanted to share with my readers that your valuable time in life should be spent pondering life’s wonderful moments, people, and things. It allows you more time to spend towards your passion; towards you.

I thank my dad every day for dropping that invaluable nugget into my conscience. I’ve never forgotten and it makes it easier for me to focus on what really matters in life.

Share this short nugget of living life out loud, on your terms and not bound by anyone else’s.

The Final Quarter Countdown

Football“Go long! Did you hear me? Go long!” the coach shouted anxiously to the receiver from the sidelines during the final quarter of the championship game. You could see the sweat dripping from under his hat as he encouraged his team to take charge. He was adamant about his team making another first down to get closer to the touchdown the team needed. The agile receiver remembered the plays that the team had been practicing all season, noted each of them, and gave all he could to rely on his defense, execute, catch the incoming pass from the skillful quarterback and sprint to make it to another first down. The ball wasn’t intercepted. He was quick. He was focused. He was successful in getting another first down and his team could now move on to the next play in hopes of achieving the ultimate goal of winning the game.

Now, let’s imagine you’re the coach, quarterback, defense and receiver in your own life. You’re playing all these positions and with tomorrow being October 1st, it will officially be the final quarter of the year. Back in January or maybe even December of last year, you put together a list of goals; you decided on a few things you wanted this year to include that would make your life better – maybe even easier. If you’ve made some headway, whether small or large, celebrate those moments. If you have some more things you need to get done, well, you’ve only got 92 days left to make some last-minute plays. Don’t let anything intercede that will take you off track.

You are responsible for creating your plan, learning from your past, executing your plan, taking responsibility when things fall through for your plan, and seeing your plan through to the finish.

Coach yourself everyday. Be your own coaching isn’t about people you know, such as your mentors, telling you what to do at every point of your life. You are responsible for the design of your life. What you believe in, how you interpret and plan your moves going forward is your responsibility. When a team loses a game, it’s the coach that is held responsible. Although the players may have been the ones actually making the moves, the coach will be the first to be let go if the team isn’t performing up to the standard of the team management. No matter what others do, tell you to do, etc, you’ll be the one who’ll be left to clean up any messes. You’ll also be the one to be able to take credit for your successes.

Make the right pass. Be ready to pass yourself the motivation needed to keep going. You have to possess a certain amount of drive to be able to move forward. You have to be your own motivator. Push through and get ready for the next phase of your life. There can’t be room for excuses. Whether someone is guiding or protecting you or not, you are responsible for shifting and adjusting your life in a way that catapults your next move into positive one. And your level of motivation and drive makes the difference in whether or not you successfully move forward.

Defend yourself. Keep an eye out for interceptions, tackles, etc.  I’m sure even with the successes you’ve seen this year, there have been some moments of disappointment or attempts to push you off track. Don’t allow some of the challenges that may present themselves to be your reason not to finish this year strong. Fight back. There will always be things thrown your way. Sickness, loss, heartache, lack/need of something, etc. Those challenges are only that challenges. They are not the final say; the definition of your goals or life. They can be overcome and moved completely out your way.

Receive what comes your way. Take the ideas, the advice, guidance, learned lessons, and plans that you’ve gathered throughout the year and execute. Look at all sides of your life. Use your peripheral view to move down that stretch of field. As long as you keep your drive; your motivation high, you’ll be able to get closer to your goals. Remain positive knowing that everything you’ve done up to this point has prepared you to make another first down for your life.

Good seasons come and go, but the key is knowing they come back around. If you want to look back on this year and be proud of what you’ve accomplished or overcome, you’ve got to put things in motion to make it happen. Remember the clock is ticking and standing there with the ball will get you nothing but a tackle and success won’t be an option.

How Will I Know?

How will I know if he really loves me

I say a prayer with every heart beat

I fall in love whenever we meet

Ok. Ok. Ok. I know you’re wondering why I’m posting lyrics to the late Whitney Houston’s hit song, “How Will I Know?” No, I haven’t found a man (YET) 😉 And I asked myself the same thing. Why am I thinking of Whitney Houston lyrics? It came to mind when I thought about the void I have been feeling lately since I haven’t been doing much writing. It was one of those moments that I was able to re-confirm my LOVE for writing; my passion.

That’s it people! Your passion is what you love!

It’s what makes you feel a bit incomplete when you’re not doing it. I haven’t written on this blog since early May. Shame on me. Emotionally I felt disconnected from myself because of it. As Ms. Houston’s song says, “I fall in love whenever we meet”. I get a feeling that no person or thing is able to give me. Not even my daughter (even though I love her unconditionally). The feeling is different. Every time I pick up a pen or sit down at a keyboard and spill over with the words that swim in my noggin… 😉  It’s not explainable and nor containable. It’s rooted in my soul and without it I’m not my complete self.

How will you know when you’ve found your passion? It’ll be the same thing. You’ll fall in love over and over again with it. You’ll be thinking of ways (praying even); of opportunities to take part in your passion. For those who are wondering what their passion is, it’ll come just like that. The feeling, the idea, the longing won’t leave you, even when life is so busy that you have no choice but to look at it from afar. The moment life slows down and you can get back to it, you’ll be in love once more…


Passion Living: In Living Color: James Edward Woods, Jr.

james woods
*Not the owner of this photograph*

This week’s Passion Living: In Living Color interview will be candid to say the least, but more importantly just as inspiring. When you believe in yourself; your passion nothing can nor will stop you. This week’s interviewee mimics this very idea. With a camera in one hand and passion in the other, James Edward Woods, Jr. has proven that without faith and perseverance, passions can be merely dormant thoughts. Check out his interview and see how he’s undoubtedly living his passion out loud!

Passionista: What is your passion?

James: Storytelling and film-making are my passions. I love them the most of all that I do.

Passionista: Have you always known that you had a passion? Have you always been aware of it? Can you recall when you first identified it as your passion?

James: I’ve always known I had a passion for storytelling because of my ability to make others pay attention and the laughter I have received throughout my life.

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

James: My parents are the ones that gave, and to this day, give me inspiration to be everything I’ve wanted.

Passionista: It’s a blessing to be able to say that James. It sounds like they have been very supportive of what you do.

James: They have.

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

James: I recently directed and produced a project my girlfriend, Abby Harris, created called “Sons Of Hip Hop”.

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

James: Eager.

Passionista: Very intriguing word, James. Why did you choose that word?

James: I’m eager for the world to watch and listen to the stories I have to tell.

Passionista: If your closest friend had to describe you in two or three words, what would it be and why?

James: Decent human being.  I try to live my life by the Ten Commandments but sometimes I make mistakes.  I don’t attend church every Sunday, but I make an effort to treat my fellow man or woman with kindness and respect.

Passionista: I love that answer, James. That’s probably more important than any passion a person could have. What’s a passion without being the best person possible? On another note, do you consider yourself to be living your passion out loud (whether in private or public)?

James: I think I’m finally living my passion out loud for myself. No one else. I stopped talking about it, and started living it.  I talked for years about moving from Mississippi to Los Angeles  to work in the entertainment industry because it would never happen for me in Small Town, USA.  I didn’t make that move until I was 31 years old. My journey has been positive. Interesting, but positive all the same. I can’t wait to see what is next.

Passionista: That’s what this blog is all about, James. I’m glad you’re sharing your story with the readers. If you’re going to follow your passion; whether its to move to big city LA or just to do something you love in your backyard, the first step is just to do it. There’s no other way around it. Do you train others on your passion or do others come to you looking for insight on how to do similar things like your passion?

James: From time to time I have had others ask for advice and I share what has gotten me to where I am in life.  I’ve learned though that everyone has a different path.

Passionista: How do you feel your passion inspires others?

James: I really don’t know if I’m inspiring anyone else, I’m still working on myself.

Passionista: Well, let me be the first to tell you that you have inspired me. What about some of your greatest challenges? How did you overcome those challenges?

James: Well, if you believe the starving artist theory, it’s real. Finances have been a struggle and of course being so far away from my family in Mississippi. What keeps me grounded though is knowing that with time and hard work it gets greater. Heck, it already has gotten better since my landing in LA.

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

James: Just do it. If you fuck up, so be it. It’s better than saying what if?

Thanks for doing the interview with me James. This has been all of what I wanted it to be and more. Your story alone is inspiring. Everyone can’t say that they’ve stepped out on faith and followed their passions. I’m sure the journey hasn’t been the most comfortable, but yet in still, you seem very appreciative of it.

To all my Passionistas, James’ story is one to remember that doubt has no place in your journey to following your passion and LIVING OUT LOUD!

It’s My Blogversary

blog_anniversary1I’m a little late on this post, but it still means the same to me. One of the things I always preach is appreciating and recognizing EVERY milestone you have in life. You don’t have to throw a party every time, but a simple recognition of what you’ve achieved is important. It helps you remember the times that aren’t as bright in between serve as reminders that a brighter day will always come. I don’t ever want to get to distant from myself that I can’t appreciate each and every milestone.

Today I wanted to recognize that on this day, one year and thirteen days ago, I started this blog: Passion Living Out Loud. My blog is finally one years old! Yay!!! It’s the all in all about living your passion out loud in my opinion and my experiences.

I started Passion Living Out Loud as a commitment to myself to do more non-fictional writing. I also wanted to spread the news of what living your passion out loud could do for you. One year later, my point still reigns true. I’m the happiest I’ve been and I am even more convinced that if I continue to follow my passion, happiness will ALWAYS be in my grasp, heck it may NEVER leave.

I’ve shared so many different aspects of following your passion on this blog. I’ve written step by step tips on living a passionate life. I’ve stressed using your passion for the benefit of others; giving back. I’ve discussed never giving up and always staying the course. I’ve even shared others passionate stories to prove that my theory is not crazy after all… 😉 After 116 posts to date (this one makes 117), the one thing I’m proud to say is that I’ve hopefully encouraged some people, ignited some passions, and proved that a person can create their own happiness. If you don’t take anything else from this post or any other post you ever read on my blog, remember that you are the author of your happiness. Your passion was given to you to make apart of your daily living. It’s yours and can’t be taken away, only ignored by you awaiting the moment you choose LIVE OUT LOUD! Below I’ve listed a few of my favorite posts and readers’ best choices. Feel free to comment, share, or just re-read for some daily inspiration.

Thank you to EVERYONE that has ever stopped by this page, ‘liked’ a post, shared with someone else or commented. Your actions have become nothing more than apart of the fire that stays lit under my feet. They help to keep me going and give me more reason to continue LIVING MY PASSION OUT LOUD!


Stretching Your Limbs ~

Stirring the Pot ~

To Believe Is To Be ~

Let Go & Live Your Passion Out Loud ~

Passion Inspiration ~

Don’t Be Selfish ~

Be a D.R.E.A.M.E.R. ~

The Time Will Never Be Right ~

Along The Way ~

Passion Living: In Living Color: Ari Hotep

Ari HotepWho says a person can only possess one passion? Definitely not Ari Hotep. Individuals can find themselves in tune and in love with many things and want to live them all out loud. Ari Hotep is a man of many passions and today I’m sharing his passions with the world. Check it out below and be inspired to begin or continue living your passion out loud!

Passionista: What is your passion?

Hotep: Well, I can’t just give you one (he replies with a humble laugh). My passions are writing, painting, barbering, filming, and photography.

Passionista: What a spectrum of passions. How do they play into some of your past or current projects?

Hotep: Recently I finished writing and recording my debut album “The Mennefer Project” that will drop Spring 2014. About a year ago, I entered a character-like painting of Tupac Shakur into a silent auction that raised money for a sickle-cell event that raised approximately $100.  After tracing my family history I discovered both of my grandparents actually styled or cut hair. Once I found that information out it was important for me as man to have a license as a barber. Barbering allowed an opportunity to show my skills as an artist to groom men, women, and children. I recently filmed a music video, “Child of the Blues” for an artist by the name of Jam Young from Queens New York and another video titled, “Levitate” for an artist from Memphis, Tennessee by the name of Trey Graves.

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

Hotep: Learning.

Passionista: That’s a powerful word to recognize, Ari. It’s never-ending and reflects the point that you’ll always be doing that no matter what you’re doing. Your passion. Your life. Do you ever think you’ll stop living your passion out loud?

Hotep: No, because I’m always learning something new and I can enjoy the journey.

Passionista: Can you recall when you first realized your passions?

Hotep: I first realized my passion of  drawing at the age of nine. I realized I loved writing around the age of thirteen or fourteen years old. My other passions were discovered as I got older.

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

Hotep: Life is what inspires me to live out my passion. A list of people inspired me. My father, grandparents, aunts uncles, mother, sister, brother, children, Gordon Parks, Bill Cosby, Andre 3000, Tupac Shakur, just to name a few and people who chase their dreams by all means.

Passionista: Do you train others on your passion?

Hotep: No, because my passion is personal to me.

Passionista: Do you feel others are inspired by your passions?

Hotep: Of course. People begin to look into the mirror at themselves and begin to be confident about passions they may have or want to do.

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

Hotep: Support and finances have been major challenges in following my passion. I overcame the challenges by knowing I can do whatever I put my mind to. As I take one step there is a higher power that takes a step right along with me. Surrounding myself with like minds has also helped.

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

Hotep: Excuses build bridges to nowhere!

Passionista: Ouch. That one might step on some people’s toes, Ari. It’s so easy to come up with reasons on why something can’t be done. I love that. What do you hope to be doing with your passion in ten years?

Hotep: Honestly traveling the world as artist, movie director, photographer, and have my paintings for sale.

Passionista: Sounds like a passionate plan, Ari. Thanks for sharing your PASSIONS and I definitely wish you nothing but luck.

Until the next time passionistas, be inspired and keep living out loud!

Passion Birth…

passion birthI had an associate call me the other day to discuss a potential project she wanted me to embark upon with her. Amazingly, it was for a documentary. Since writing and co-producing my first short film, I had been toying with the idea of doing my first documentary. I thought it would be challenging, yet gratifying. I wasn’t sure what to do the documentary on though, so the idea just stayed in my head.

The point of this post isn’t really about the fact that I hope to be working on this awesome project. It’s more about the birth of a passion I felt coming from the associate. As we talked, we bounced ideas back and forth. The conversation was intense and you could pretty much feel the excitement and buy-in of the project. Following our conversation, I found out that she spent practically all night and the early morning researching what would be required for the documentary. What stood out to me was the fact that the associate’s intense conversation led me to believe that a new passion for her was being born. Her documentary idea made sense and she definitely sold the idea to me based on the conviction of her point. The passion wasn’t necessarily the creation of the documentary, but the topic itself. She is very convicted in what she wants to convey in the documentary. And to think that she was able to pull my passion into it as well. Just amazing!

Moreover, passions aren’t always actions, such as cooking, singing, dancing, writing, knitting, volunteering, etc. The passion could be a simple message; a voice; and opinion with the intentions of changing lives. That’s exactly what her idea was all about. I’m excited about it. Passions make you feel good about an idea. Passions make you stay up until the wee hours of the morning planning, preparing, and brainstorming. Passions make you reach out to your resources to see them come to fruition. Her idea clearly sounds like a passion was born. Not only was her idea birthed into a passion, but I’m all giddy about taking on some new roles in her project. I’ll have an opportunity to expand on my passion even more.

What have you been burning inside about lately? What idea or activity makes you want to give all your time and energy towards it? It may just be your passion or a new passion developing for you! Stay in tune with that feeling and follow it if it doesn’t seem to go away. It’s your passion being born! Continue to give it life!

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, 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!

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