All posts by Urban Eve

About Urban Eve

I'm a Black woman in a white washed world which is shifting gradually and beautifully into consciousness. I have an overdeveloped sense of play, a love of nature, art, photography fashion, literature, irreverence, irony. I am a late bloomer, a girly woman, a sado-sensualist, a pleasure cooker, a shedonist, a huge film fanatic, lover of DIY craft and the endless gifts of nature. I love that I was born a Black Woman because there are no limit to the potential I will unfold and manifest through my re-connection to my rich, broad, magical, spiritual history and ancestry, through research, community, nature, prayer, imagination and creativity. I like being still, moving swiftly and creating instinctively.

Screen Cracked/Waist beads Broken

 

I was in line for the restroom at the NYU Skirball Center. A White lady behind me was like,

“I love your blouse.” in a very high energy chirpy way.

“Thank you.” I said matching her high energy chirp

“It’s very happy.” She said.

She’s right. It’s my very happy blue blouse with crazy bright pink birds on it that I wear whenever Spring begins. I love it. Everyone loves seeing it. It’s a fucking cheery ass blouse.

That was the end of that conversation. I’m pretty sure both of us were miserable liars. We had just gotten out of a lecture with Esther Perel about the “Spiritual Crisis of Loneliness  in the age of social media and #metoo.

I was super excited all weekend to attend and it was a good talk, very much like what you’ve seen in Esther Perel’s talls if you’ve ever seen her TedTalk or any lectures or workshops she’s done. She engages the audience by saying things like “Stand up if you have ever been having a horrible time with someone and just let it keep going and not said anything?” that peel back the onion of your well guarded pretenses when you stand up with like 90% of the audience.

You laugh and feel not alone but more alone at the same time.

I for one learned that I am one of those people who is in a poly-amorous relationship with husband and my cellphone. I am. That’s me. I know I’m not alone, and it doesn’t make me feel any better…

Not yet anyway.

Continue reading Screen Cracked/Waist beads Broken

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Coloured Beautiful

It’s rare that I write about make-up on my blog though I’ve been obsessed with it for years and wear it just about everyday. And though my obsession with make-up has begun to shift more over to skincare, I’ve recently gained a new love of creating vivid eye shadow looks using the Coloured Raine Vivid Pigments Palette, which I’ve had for months now.

Coloured Raine is a Black owned make-up company I discovered on Youtube of course. The Vivid Pigments Palette is legendary among many MU lovers and I was lucky enough to grab a palette while it was on sale. It sells out very quickly and I believe it is sold out presently because of it’s immense popularity on the Coloured Raine site.

At first, these very vivid intensely pigmented colors can seem very intimidating. They were for me. I looked at them for days after the palette arrived just in awe but having no idea how to use them, particularly after having gotten comfortable with creating fairly safe matte nude looks with touches of peach or coral shimmer. But after taking in a few tutorials, getting some better brushes and pushing past my fear of fucking up, I’m starting to understand a bit more about how these colors work together. Some knowledge of color theory doesn’t hurt.

Continue reading Coloured Beautiful

Sex With Me So Amazing

Like so many things I cherish, Esther Perel was shared with me by our dearest Khalilah Brann. Esther Perel is a therapist and psychologist whose primary focus is relationships and erotic intelligence, which I think is so dope. Erotic intelligence. Just think about that term for a minute. What comes to mind. What do you think it means?

I watch a lot of Youtube y’all. A LOT! And I can click on just about anything where Esther Perel speaks and be completely engaged, enlightened, enthralled and just wowed by her wisdom and intelligence and understanding of human sexuality and relationships. I always think I have some idea what she will say on a particular topic but she always ends up saying some truth I never knew I always knew! LOL! And in a way I never could have imagined. In other words, she surprises and empowers me at the same time. Since that doesn’t happen very often, I know when it’s real.

In the latest Esther Perel video I happened to click on randomly, she talks about how a woman has to be turned on by her own self before she can feel like she wants to have sex.

NOW!

It took 1.1 seconds for me to know this to be true but I’ve always thought that this quality in me was narcissistic and wrong because of the messaging I get from society about the evils of that kind of “self pleasuring.” But Esther doesn’t mince words. She’s not here to judge. She’s just saying it plain and she even uses the word narcissistic. But she’s not saying it’s bad. She’s just saying this is what it is that women need. We need to feel like we are sexy in order to have sex. “If she doesn’t want to make love to herself, she won’t let anybody else do it either.”

Nerisa

Cut to another woman Khalilah turned me onto, a Sistah named Nerissa Nefeteri, the self acclaimed “FemHealth Activist” whose Nene Feme Yoni wash stays in my bath time and shower rotation, the Sistah who brought us Yoni Poppin. I follow her on IG, another social media tool I am immersed in as much if not more than Youtube. Nerrissa will post a sexy random photo of herself and or her and her man (father of her beautiful children) in whatever position, wearing or not wearing whatever, whenever she sees fit. I can tell she gets off on herself but it’s not remotely similar to anything I would compare with pornography because she does it for herself, and not a male gaze. She could give a shit about what men are watching, though she know fully aware that they are. But these images are for herself and she shares them with us in an effort to promote a self awareness in Black women that really challenges notions of how we feel about our own  bodies, both physically, spiritually, emotionally and practically.

I’m not gonna lie. I sometimes will catch myself feeling like damn! I wish I could use visual mediums to be that bold and liberated about my own sexuality but I do worry about what people will think and about having to ward off harassment and other unwanted attention. Because I think this kind of expression is truly beautiful and sexy as fuck in a deeply transformative way. Any super sexy photos I have taken stay strictly between me and my husband. But there are times when I wish the world was not so inclined to the violence and perversity and destruction of the unleashed female imagination.

Thanks to women like Esther Perel and Nerrissa Nefeteri, and Cardi B (did you catch her Grammy performance?) I don’t feel quite as ashamed of needing to feel sexy or seeking pleasure in my own sexiness as I once did. It’s okay for us to be in love with and creative with our own sexual power. As to sharing that with other people, social media has seriously changed the game on that front by providing permanent as well as temporary options to express our exhibitionist qualities whenever the mood hits. In this Snaphat seflie thirst trappy culture, the average person can’t help but take at least one or two sexy photos of themselves that go out into the internet galaxy. The option to keep it to yourself is also always a sexy option. The idea is not to feel pressured to express your sexuality in any way that does not make you feel…sexy and safe, to understand truly what sexiness means for you.

My hope is for a future that continues to evolve into a place where women can continue to be sexually fearless. Because our sexual liberation, self care and being comfortable in our bodies usually leads to pleasure, joy, creation and community for all.

What Have I been Up to?

WELL!!!

I have been in Jury Duty for the last two months or more and that ended literally a few days ago. I finished a large book “Killing Commendatore” by Haruki Murakami in the first month, continued to record and edit content for my Youtube channel while also watching my faves to keep me from going crazy, started and finished “My Sister The Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Brathwaite which I really liked.

There has a been a period where I was really watching a lot of Youtube wig review porn and so the last two video on my channels are about wigs from Outre and Bobbi Boss. Like this thing happens to me last at night where I just am knee deep in wig porn and….ya know! Shot happens. LOL!! Next thing you know I’m cycling out wigs to make room for new ones and my husband is giving me the stink eye.

But it makes me happy! LOL! I’m a Gemini so any opportunity to change up my look at the drop of a dime is like slipping from one fun costume into another. This is one of many ways I keep my sense of play stimulated and engaged.

I’ve also been fascinated by Netflix programming like “Grace & Frankie” (which may be one of the only shows Francis and I watch together) “Civilizations,” “The Two Killings of Sam Cooke” and recently “High Flying Bird” directed and filmed by one of my faves, Steven Soderbergh wait for it….

Entirely on iPhone!

BISSSSH!

I read this dope piece on The Ringer today about the rise of filmmakers working outside of the Hollywood system using iPhones to make movies and I am so fascinated by this. Just last week I was at the Apple store charging my iPhone 6’s shitty battery and I started talking to a rep about the potential for an upgrade. According to the piece by ringer, the technology of iPhones is staring to slowly close the gap between its capabilities and that of a professional movie camera. This may be the only reason I stick with iPhone because most times I just want to toss it. Apple’s innovation has declined so much since Jobs passed. But watching “High Flying Bird” I just marvel at Soderbergh’s imagination and creativity with this little camera and it’s really inspiring. I’m not sure I would have known it was shot on an iPhone if I hadn’t discovered the movie by way of an article in a newspaper while I was on Jury Duty.

HIGH_FLYING_BIRD_BTS_02

I’ve been toying a lot with the idea of shifting the focus of my Youtube channel to express a little bit more of my interests but I’m not quite sure how yet.

Presently I’m off from work thanks to some dead White President so I’ve taken the opportunity to edit some video, take care of some personal stuff and generally power down, do a little research and stay warm with my bae because it’s cold af outside. There are a couple of trips I plan on taking in the next few months that I’m really excited about and despite the fact that Jury Duty did start to feel like a hostage situation after the first month, I am grateful to have been away from my job for awhile. It was an interesting change and allowed my mind the freedom to focus more broadly on some things I’ve been pondering. When I sort that out, I will report back.

In the meantime, there are a couple of make up launches coming up. I need to go scheme on buying a lip color by Fenty that I already have. LOL!!

Civilizations: What are we leaving behind?

Over this long weekend I started binge watching a Netflix series called “Civilizations” which “explores the art of cultures around the world throughout time.” I took a few art history courses for my BA major years ago and watching this series has deepened my understanding of the huge impact of art on society and culture and also about how powerful the instinct is for humans to leave an intentional mark of their existence behind on this planet for future generations to witness, ponder and connect.

kings fountain

One of many amazing things I find fascinating in looking at the art discussed and examined over time in this series is the way that it often depicts trading societies before the construct of race. In paintings like “The Kings Fountain” painted during the European Renaissance, people of color were represented in multiple levels of society, from enslaved servitude to knighthood. Of course it was never a perfect world, whatever that is. Wars, imperialism, and nations conquering nations have gone on for centuries. But people were identified for quite some time by their place of origin long before the construct of race was designed for a more insidious form of control, monopoly, violence and oppression.

It’s hard to imagine a time before the construct of race which is why art and historical record and paintings like this are so important. Technology and the need for the commercial machine to churn faster than ever had made time appear to move so quickly that things like CDs and the ipod shuffle will soon be regarded as relics! We need historical record in order to stop time, to examine and learn from it.

It makes sense to me that there was a time before racial construct because I understand that skin color is not an indicator of anything but climate and region. Culture, spirituality, ritual, custom and tradition tell us more about the identities of people over time. But ultimately, even those do no tell us everything about who we really are.

benin-bronze3

From that prehistoric handprint found in the Chauvet cave in France to the bronzes of Benin, to the great Pyramids of Egypt and the colossal Mosques of Asia and the Middle East, the progress in depth and breadth of our capacity to express ourselves in greatness, might, devotion, fear, dominance and peace are at the core of our need to prove we exist, to immortalize ourselves.

Thankfully, in recent times, we have seen the emergence of artists like Kehinde Wiley, Kerry James Marshall and Kara Walker just to name a few, who indict, examine and reveal the executors of evil, ugliness and perversion in the form of mass genocide, and violence in contexts that reposition and re-see the oppressed in more complex and connective, celebratory and normative ways. Art is also no longer relegated to that which is collected and selected by trained Museum curators. Art is the voice of the people, is grafitti, subway dancers (Don’t get kicked in the face!) underground performers, sidewalk drawings, Snapchat, IG stories, memes and more! Oh you may not see it that way now but future generations will.

And if humanity survives another thousand years or so I wonder how will they judge us based on what we we are writing on the walls of time now? What kind of future are we setting future generations up for?

 

The Becoming Michelle Interview: What I loved…

I was on a brief but much needed getaway this past weekend with my husband. We were in upstate New York and dining at a favorite spot, but I made sure we got back in time for Michelle Obama being interviewed by Robin Roberts as part of her “Becoming Michelle” book launch tour. I was so excited for it, so excited to see and hear from her. And the interview really delivered on many points.

I was most open for the parts where she talked about feeling like a failure because she and Barack were challenged when first trying to conceive naturally. She didn’t expect it to be so hard and had I believe at least one or two miscarriages.

I didn’t know how common miscarriages were, because we don’t talk about them…

I was really moved by her candor on this subject. She eventually had Sasha and Malia through IVF. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this story from women I know. But I just never imagined I’d hear it from the Flotus!

I think it’s one of the worst things we do to each other as women; not sharing how our bodies work, how they don’t work…

She then went on to talk about how damaging it is when women don’t share things with one another because of shame and a sense of failure and hopelessness. It made me think about how Khalilah was always so adamant about Black women sharing with one another and how she would always get on me for not sharing enough purposefully. This was one of the reasons we would share our blog entries out to Soul Sistah Series. Spaces created for and by Black women for the purpose of sharing and learning from one another are invaluable and a dire necessity if we wish to break the curse of habits and rituals handed down through generations which do not serve to connect us to our power.

I also loved when Michelle talked about her relationship with her husband Barack, how they met, where the attraction began. I’ve been married to my husband for 4 years and have been dedicating myself to re-examining my marriage lately and  really thinking about what it means to me to be married and what makes relationships work in general. I’ve learned a lot so far from studying the work by Esther Perel, a relationship psychologist, who introduced me to the term “erotic intelligence.”

Much of what is rarely a part of a mainstream discussion is how sexuality and arousal are maintained in a long term marriage, particularly in couples who are also parents. I have always always always loved the ways in which the Obamas allowed us to witness us the powerful spark of their initial attraction to one another when in public. I can only imagine that a love that real cannot be hidden. And why would you? Their love and sexiness have inspired so many of us. In the interview, when addressing Michelle’s initial attraction to her man, she  was like, you see that cocky confident way he walks? “He has always walked like that…”

GURL!!!!

 

I would never have though it could be done in the White House of all places! LOL!!

What I know now is that this attraction and eroticism is not maintained without self love, dedication, and work.

It’s hard to deny that Obama was one of those presidential candidates with charm, charisma and attractiveness in his corner and a lot of that came from being partnered with someone who wasn’t afraid to really be Black. And Blackness is sexy af.  Who doesn’t remember pictures of the Obamas like these where just watching them, we could all only imagine they had to be getting it in on the regular? I have never in my entire lifetime been compelled to even imagine the erotic life of a first family until the Obamas.

Obamas Collage

Obama was clean and classy in presentation as was Michelle but she was the one with the most don’t give a fuck in her practices, doing and saying what she did without apology because she knew who she was and where she was coming from. She showed her arms (oooohhhh!!!!) called out threats and injustice where she saw them and kept it moving dedicating herself to programs she believed in that were in service to communities in need.

Though she admits in the interview to being scared and nervous and unsure, she knew as a Black woman that she couldn’t let that show while she was in office. Some people saw her as a threat. I saw her as strong and beautiful, fun, humorous and dignified. It’s not to say that I agreed with everything either her or her husband did or said but as a Black woman married to a Black man, whenever I saw them I just felt like I was seeing Black excellence with regard to the work it takes to keep both a marriage and a family not only in tact but thriving, let alone through a two term presidency!

 

Touch Service #selfcare

How often do you got to get manicures, massages, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, spa days? How often do you touch yourself purposefully, rub your neck, your legs, your feet, put on oils or lotions? Are you someone who is comfortable being touched by people? How aware are you of the importance of touch in your life? How comfortable are you with being touched and touching others?

This is something I’ve thought a lot about on and off for years.  I am a touch positive person, but I am also aware of how unfortunately, disturbed and sick people use touch to violate the trust of others, leading to trauma, isolation, repression, depression and worse. It’s fucked up. Because touch is incredibly important and key to our survival and a sense of calm, safety and energetic balance and joy.

science-of-hugs

In humans, oxytocin is thought to be released during hugging, touching, and orgasm in both genders. In the brain, oxytocin is involved in social recognition and bonding, and may be involved in the formation of trust between people and generosity. Oxytocin first became of interest to researchers when they discovered that breastfeeding women are calmer when exercising and experiencing stress than moms who were bottle-feeding. It is just one part of the important, complex neurochemical system in our bodies that helps us adapt to emotional situations.

God knows we need all the stress releasing we can get in the toxic climate we currently find ourselves living through at the moment.

Manicurist Hands Doing Hand Massage With Cream

I often wonder about people who provide services that require them to touch people on a daily basis. Like sometimes I’ll be having my hands massaged by a manicurist and sometimes I will allow myself to fully relax and not be self-conscious about being touched by a stranger. This is easier when the person acknowledges me with eye contact or smiles and is attentive, as opposed to someone who is massaging my hands while they look away or are engaged in conversation with another co-worker. When the person is touching me but looking away I get the sense that they have become detached from the importance of being present when providing this service.

But it’s hard for me to judge them. Because I don’t know what this kind of job is like. I don’t ever expect the woman who massages and scrubs my feet during a pedicure to stare lovingly into my eyes. I’m just grateful that she’s handling my feet. LOL!!

I don’t know if this is something  I could do effectively everyday. But I do know that it is important, that is something I notice whenever I am paying to be touched for grooming or wellness purposes.

I really truly appreciate professionals in the field of massage and I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of having very capable and skilled people work on me. I don’t take it lightly. Because touch as a form of therapy is a deeply powerful, sensual and connective thing. It takes skill, professionalism, intelligence and maturity to provide people with healing in this way while also making them feel comfortable and safe.

I’m a big fan of hugs on a personal level, though I recognize that not everyone is. My theory about people who are adverse to touch is that they may be more sensitive to it than most, perhaps hypersensitive and require specific forms of touch from specific sources.

I love hugs so much that I have mental hug catalogs. There are about two or three people in my top 5 list of great huggers at the moment. My husband and I both agree that some people are just better at hugging than others and that weak hugs are a total waste of time and energy. LOL! My husband happens to be number 1 on that list. His hugging, holding and touching skills are part of what drew me to him initially. I’d never met someone before who touched me casually in a way that made me feel as if I’d known him and loved him forever.

Did you know there are people who are professional cuddlers? Yeah, I even found out about “Cuddle Parties” from a friend years ago. LOL! I don’t know about all that but I do know that services like these are symptomatic of a society that is dire need of feeling connected in an age where social media has fragmented and isolated us in ways never experienced before, ways that allow us to be both closer and yet more estranged and segregated than ever.

Touch helps not only to release stress reducing hormones but also to shift energy that may be stagnant or pent up. The human experience is one of cycle expression. To reap the full benefits of being alive, we need to be able to healthily shift, change and evolve energy in order to process, unload and regenerate so that we can create, share, serve and receive.

Here’s to making sure you’re getting the most out of healthy touch positive experiences in your life on a daily basis. Nothing in social media can replace the power of touching and being touched by people who makes you feel safe, comfortable and supported.

Silliness Makes Me Happy

My dad gets all the credit.

He is a seriously wonderful father who is also prone to silliness and has been since I was born. There was a lot of laughter in my family growing up, a lot of clowning and jokes and silliness. My dad was the one who had us watching the Marx Brothers, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Flip Wilson, SNL and many other truly ridiculous human beings. Just silly people who made me laugh until my stomach hurt. It cultivated a special place in my heart for comedy and comedians in general.

My dad used to pick me up, dance me around the living room and ask me in a snobby British accent, “Are you having a lovely time dahling?” And I would look at him and say “No.” We both fell apart laughing. I was aware of the irony of this routine and I enjoyed playing his straight man.

Sometimes there’s just nothing like laughter to diffuse darkness, to bring people together, to clear the air, to begin healing or just to take a break from the impending doom that hangs over each day in this diabolical administration.

My husband and I have been watching “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” on Netflix, a concept show created by Jerry Seinfeld which I originally thought was kind of an obnoxious vanity project. But the the thing is, when you’re as funny as Seinfeld, you could literally pick up comedians in a cheese bus and it would still be hilarious as long there was a camera around.

It’s exactly what it is. Comedians are an odd bunch of people who really only like hanging out with other comedians and this is that. Candid, coffee, cars, comics.

I like to laugh.  I need to laugh. I like to share laughter and I have always loved making others laugh which for a woman has always been a harder road as a profession. Tracee Ellis Ross has been one of my favorite silly people for the longest because she doesn’t let vanity and patriarchy stand in the way of getting a laugh. She is legit crazy and she utilizes that crazy in the most disarming ways. She also slays as a fashion icon. Those qualities in a woman, let alone a Black woman are very rarely celebrated together as strengths. To me they are personal goals.

For me silliness is fuel. If I can’t make fun of myself and situations that are often taken way too seriously, I often feel like I’m perpetrating the fraud of looking like I have a clue about what’s going on or that I am actually as cool as I occasionally appear to be, that I am not full of chaos, rage, doubt, sadness, loneliness and questions.

We are all performing in some type of drag most of the time, performing gender, beauty, respectability. When humor is used to crack facades and address the need for them at the same time, it’s a win win. Comedians provide a public service. They live to make us laugh and I live to laugh.

I need to laugh. Its part of my self care routine now more than ever.

Against All Odds

I was a fan of Phil Collins as a teenager in a way that was so easy and seamless for any teen in the 90s, that I didn’t really notice it, if that makes any sense. For me he was one of many successful artists who broke through with solo albums at the time.  I was floored by his emotional hit singles, bounced off the walls to his up tempo dance hits, but I never really sought to know more about him as a person. In the 90s, I didn’t dig below the surface of the musical artists I loved. I just loved and lived in their song without ever really knowing what they were about or what was behind them. Phil Collins was also one of those white artists who was heavily inspired by Motown and in so doing, worked his way into the hearts of Black audiences along with Brits like Rick Astley and George Michael.

Lately, all of our favorite artists have become more mortal in the public eye than ever and in the age of celebrity, social media makes the wall of privacy grow thinner and thinner, controversy and scandal popping up more frequently as we discover that our idols are as vulnerable as any human being.

I’m always careful about wanting to know too much about my sentimental faves because I’m afraid the truth will ruin the romance, the idealism of what makes them popular and beloved to millions. Music is such a deeply personal art. It’s hard sometimes to discover all the flaws, imperfection, ugliness and abuse that often lay just behind it. But as I get older, I realize to love anything and anyone is to love it warts and all.

And there are always warts. Just as there is always beauty.

Not dead yet Screenshot

I think I must have almost missed my train stop three different times (once I did) while reading Phil Collins autobiography during my work commute. I finished it this morning on the way to work and got emotional, the way I do when I finish up any book I like.

To summarize, Phil Collins is a cocky, ambitious, musical genius workaholic, someone who experienced a success that was just as big and far reaching as it seemed in the 90s. His music was fucking everywhere and even if you were a fan it did reach levels of annoyance. His personal life was a hot mess and later on his health was just as much of a wreck after years of touring for hundreds and hundreds of days at a time. If nothing else came across in this book (and a lot came across) it’s how we never truly understand how physically demanding it is for successfully performers to have their shit together night after night. Pain killers, cortisone shots and various other drugs become inevitable to keep their bodies, their vocal chords going and soon it all takes a toll. I understand now why Michael Jackson and Prince finally succumbed to these occupational hazards. They want nothing more than to please their audiences to the degree that they push their bodies beyond a point that is healthy for anyone. They sacrifice their personal relationships, their families for their music and for their fans.

 

Funnily (well not that funny) Collins’ autobiography is titled “Not Dead Yet” which I have to say really encompasses so much that I love about him, although he truly and repeatedly made some shitty mistakes over the span of his career. He is the guy that laughs at his pain and pushes on and gets you to laugh at it is well, which is not to day he isn’t also crying. But it’s true, he’s not dead yet, though just barely not dead. It took him until his late 50s to finally break down and nearly kill himself and then after his body truly began to fall apart he came to a full stop and was finally able to slow down and be a father to his kids by three different women.

…sigh

I thought maybe after reading his autobiography, I might not feel the same about his music. But I do. I think all the pain, the love, the complicated emotions he failed to communicate to the right people at the right time are there in that perfect way that only exists in melody, in soul, in rhythm and in feeling. That’s one of the things I love most about good music. It alchemizes pain and joy into something we all can share and process and connect through. It’s actually not perfection at all. It is a uniquely channeled and inspired vulnerability which is what makes it so heart wrenching and timeless.

 

New Moon in Virgo

Virgo is the sign that governs health, habits & routines, making this an optimal time to consider practical ways we can implement healthy habits for increased well-being.

I started this morning by writing a 3 page letter to a close friend of mine who now lives in Oakland. There are a lot of things I’ve needed to get off my chest that don’t need to be shared on social media.

You know how long it’s been since I’ve written a letter?? I’d been wanting write a letter for a while. I’m starting to feel more like doing things I think about rather than just think about doing them. I feel has a lot to with this New Moon in Virgo energy coming in on Sunday.

I attended to gathering I helped put together to honor Khalilah on her birthday a few weeks ago. It was in Prospect Park near a tree she used to love to sit by on the odd occasion that she had or made time to sit and relax. I loved sitting out there with her. I loved relaxing with her in general because she was always so busy and being busy is not my natural habitat. So whenever we were able to slow down, I was super excited to hang out, talk, laugh, plan and learn with her. And nature being my favorite place to feel connected to spirit, it was always quality time for us.

Hawk

The gathering was really a beautiful and magical evening with exactly 7 of us ladies to start. When I arrived at Grand Army Plaza, I zeroed in immediately on a fluffy red tailed hawk at the top of a tall tree near the path to where we were going to gather. I just felt that this was part of Khalilah’s spirit.

The woman who lead the circle was someone who knew Khalilah a from Black woman’s leadership group that she was a part of and she lead with grace, playfulness, femininity, passion, reverence and an honor that I felt was absolutely befitting.

Guides

At one point she handed around a deck of cards for us to choose from and let us know beforehand that the message on the other side would be from Khalilah to each of us individually. I had to wait a few minutes before I read mine aloud because all I did was cry when I looked at it.

Since then I have felt a kind of building peace as I’ve worked on releasing and processing my grief and I’ve dedicated myself to self care in active ways because quite frankly, I’ve been falling the f&*k apart. LOL!

I’ve been talking things days by day, step by step, beating up on myself a bit less, rushing less and enjoying life for what it is. Precious.

This coming New Moon in Virgo which was the sign Khalilah was born under will be a powerful one for those of us who are dedicated to focusing on self-care and developing healthy routines in order to best serve ourselves and others. I’m actually excited about going back to the gym! LOL! But that’s because I know exactly what I need to focus on. It’s also because I’m fully aware that she loves me as she loves so many of us and still wants me to work on truly love myself.

Ashe’