Say Yes

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I guess I’m going through something because I am wide awake and it’s 5 a.m. I don’t need sleep in this season of my life!  So, I am here. I loved these two together, the equation was perfect. This song is youthful, and so romantic. I love it!

Tonight, or this morning, this will have to serve as the elixir to put me to sleep.
I am a poet, so these lyrics really reach right into my soul and make me feel soft, like a woman. Lol.

“There is only one for me
You have made that possibility
We can take that step to see
If this is really gonna be…

Loving you has taken time, taken time
But I always knew you could be mine
I recognize the butterflies, inside me, Uh
Since it’s gonna be made tonight, tonight
All you gotta do is say yes…” 

floetry

You are awake too? Peace and Love,

Shila Iris

P.S. This song was written by Marsha Ambrosia & Andre Lewis who produces for Jill Scott. Honestly, I like Ambrosia with Floetry. I haven’t really been able to get into any of her solo music. I think these two long time friends just lyrically and melodically go together. I hope they have gotten over their differences. Maybe I’ll get to see them perform one day. Peace.

My Introduction to Susan Taylor

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black-history_feb-18_copyright-shila-iris-2017The first time I picked up an issue of Essence magazine, I noticed Susan Taylor’s picture. She looked like a statue of an ancient African goddess, sort of that Grace Jones bold look, but with clothes. I read her “letter from the editor” and it became my favorite part of the magazine. Throughout the years, I have seen her with various writers, artists, activists, and its easy to see that she is loved. Taylor served as Editor-in-Chief of Essence from 1981-2000, but worked for the magazine since its conception in 1970. That’s commendable. As a woman who writes, and aspires to publish a book, I really admire Susan, and I think that she is one of the most influential women in journalism.

“Thoughts have power; thoughts have energy. And you can make your world or break it by your own thinking.” -Susan Taylor

Thank you for reading,

Shila Iris

Up Late

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Music is a tool I use to wake up parts of my soul. It is a necessity on the road to being healed. Just as much as I need those silent moments, where I lay in meditation, staring at the ceiling, reflecting on my day, my life, my story, I need the inspiring vibes of beautiful musicians to uplift my spirit and help me positively change my patterns of thinking. Lianne La Havas has been one of those lovely voices that have kept me mentally stimulated and in a positive place. Check her out:

“I’ll wait a little longer
While we are and getting stronger
I know it’s taking time to heal
We’ll be unstoppable
Don’t know what I did it for
I needed to know that it was always real…

… let’s be at peace, we’ll fly
Our hearts collide
Can’t escape the magnetic side

I was like a satellite spinning away
Almost lost forever and leaving no trace
Floating through the darkest reaches of space
To another galaxy
Our polarity shifted around
There is nothing else left holding us down
But it’s just gravitational
We are unstoppable
I just can’t escape the pull
We are unstoppable
It’s just gravitational
We are unstoppable…

… Our head’s held high when we walk down the line, honey
Arm-in-arm through the clear night sky…”

liann

This season of my life is all about healing. That is the purpose of this blog, finding the tools I need to bring myself out of an abyss of emotions that were suppressed for a very long time. It takes time to heal, so I am being patient with myself.  I am seeing and learning:  clairvoyance through observation.

I use this sweet music to lift me, but I have come to see that healing cannot be romanticized. When I was in a very hollow place, there was nothing I could do to feel better about love, but once I got some space and time, I began to see clearly.  My heart opened and I began to travel down the road to maturity, which in my case is letting go of anger.  I didn’t realize just how much my upbringing had affected my ability to think clearly. I didn’t realize how much I was suffering until I saw my reflection through the eyes of another. Have you seen yourself yet?

Peace and love,

Shila Iris

My Introduction to the Wu-Tang Clan

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black-history_feb-17_copyright-shila-iris-2017The year was 1997, and online music was no where to be found. Most of the world experienced solid, art-based hip-hop through Rap City, Video Vibrations or through either the Vibe, Source, Right On! or Word Up! magazines. My older brother was a hip-hop nut! He introduced our family to this raunchy, fun, yet highly political style of beat-based poetry. When I saw my first Wu-Tang video, Triumph, I was so intoxicated that I wanted to be a rapper. The intensity of the lyrics made my heart percolate! The fast-paced imagery tugged at my youth, urging me to be free. The 10 men I saw on the screen were raw and oddly intellectual.

They seemed to be well-read, open, and real. They were from another world, far away from where I was from. The beats were right up my alley. I was intrigued. The music of Wu-Tang has taught me that we can’t sanitize Black life, making it appear to be easy, and we cannot not alter our stories to please others. Life is what it is. Give it to them raw. I feel blessed to have seen them perform live. It was a fun experience. I also saw the solo performances of Ghostface Killah, and last year I saw GZA perform in Akron, Ohio. RZA had a book talk at the public library, where he shared parts of his personal life story, talked about the business side of Wu-Tang and explained his book, The Tao of Wu. These men are such heart throbs! Their ability to be honest makes them all the more attractive. Whenever Wu-Tang is in town, I will be there, no doubt. The Clan is an ultimate example of the Nguzo Saba aka 7 Principles of Kwanzaa. If you ever see me in the gym, nearly falling off the elliptical, it’s because I’m listening to Triumph, and I have gotten so lifted, that I’m in another world! Be careful when you listen to the Wu. Peace.

Thank you for reading,

healing-rituals-kwanzaa-mantra-copy

ShiLA IRiS

My Introduction to Imhotep

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black-history_feb-16_copyright-shila-iris-2017A few years ago when one of my good friends was a med student, he changed his online alias to Imhotep. I didn’t inquire about it, but in my heart, I acknowledged the change. Then, I realized that instead of taking the Hippocratic oath that students of medicine are required to recite, perhaps he decided to invoke the spirit of the true Father of Medicine. If you’d like to know about him, I encourage you to research the greatness of Imhotep, the world’s first physician, who laid the foundation for the healing arts. I’ll say this: we are forever connected to the past and to our ancestors, each and every one of us. We value their traditions because it makes us stronger. We stand on their graves and ask for guidance and offer our devotion. Imhotep, I honor You, for I am You. My heart told me to dig deeper, and I found jewels, gold, stories, hidden colors. I went above and beyond mainstream education, to find out who I really am, and now I know my worth. I value history. In this age of information, we can uncover truths faster than ever before. This is necessary, because being Black is tough. This is not rhetoric, it really is. That double consciousness that W.E.B. DuBois taught, that invisible man that Ralph Ellison described, is a part of our everyday realities. It can be exhausting, and it can drive you crazy. But, I learned, through a Master Teacher, not to give up, and settle, and make excuses for my ignorance. I need to be healed. We need healing. My ancestors look over me. I swear by Imhotep. That is my oath. Peace.

Thank you for reading,

Shila Iris

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For those of you who are awake…

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It’s 4:00 a.m. and tonight I can’t get to sleep, so I listen. For those of you who are awake, this is a perfect song to take you into Sunday morning. I started it at a nice point, so that you can be at ease, but listen to the song in its entirety if you so please. It’s called Master Teacher.  The question is, what if there were no niggas, only Master Teachers?  Hope you can get it. Don’t be afraid to be great.

One, two
One, two, three, four

Baby sleep and time
to put her down now
I’ll be standin’ round
until the sun down

I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke

Congregation nod they heads
and say Amen
the deacon fell asleep again and

I stay woke
But I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke

Lovers holding hands
and falling deep in love
and sleeping and
passing conversation

Ooh, I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke

Pretty rings and pretty thieves
with shiny lights and little
pieces of tomorrow

I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke
I stay woke
___________ … the rest of the lyrics are here.

eb
Peace and love,

Shila

My Introduction to Kara Walker

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black-history_feb-15_copyright-shila-iris-2017

Back in 2011, I spent a lot more time than I am willing to admit, in an ongoing conversation with a dear friend of mine. We were consistently conversing, texting, emailing, Skyping, and meeting up to share our worlds with one another. One day, this wonderful companion of mine sent me an email with a link to Kara Walker’s website. I took a look. It was pretty amazing. Her style of storytelling is appealing to the eye in its simplicity, and culturally relevant, urging humanity to reach inside themselves and find out who they really are. With that same friend who I spent most of 2011 talking with, I was honored, this past Fall, to see the Kara Walker exhibit: “The Ecstasy of St. Kara,” which reflects upon the complex history of Christianity and the myths surrounding slavery- worldwide and in the lives of Black people. Kara’s work supports mental growth and spiritual evolution. It makes me think about where I was, where I am, and where I want to be. I am grateful to have experienced Kara’s ecstasy.

… a little behind, celebrated my birthday on February 13, and been under the weather, but now I’m on top! Peace and love! Gonna continue to celebrate the African Diaspora. You should too.

Peace and blessings manifest with every lesson learned.

Thank you for reading,

2015

Love,

Shila