Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I feel fat. I look in the mirror and see frumpy, bloated and I feel like I'm not making any progress. I see myself in the mirror and my mind begins playing tricks on me and convincing me that my efforts are in vain.


This? These thoughts. None of this is true. Progress always begins within.

I can feel it. My muscles are experiencing a pleasing pain. The type of pain that lets me know that I'm growing stronger. Sure, I have yet to see substantial progress on my scale, or even in my favorite pair of jeans. It's at moments like these when I want to give up because I have yet to see the fruit of my labor. It's also at this point that I know I have to push. 

Just as with any level of faith, you have to see it before you see it! Visualizing yourself as a success is a primary key to reaching that desired place!

You'll feel the pain. You'll feel the tension. You'll feel like your body is against you. Like, some outside force is against your very happiness. You'll think it's easier to stay in bed when you should be putting forth effort! You'll "swear" that you'll get back on the horse tomorrow and the next thing you know, it's next year and you've gained 20 pounds. 


Nike said it best with their 80's catchphrase. During that time I didn't fully understand the strength behind those three words. Here, now over thirty years later, I finally get it. 

It's amazing what you can accomplish after you've convinced your mind to stop saying you can't! To DO. To allow yourself to BE the best you that you can be! You can do more with two weeks of consistency than you can with a YEAR of excuses! Don't be afraid to start where you ARE. JUST START!

These pictures are only TWO WEEKS after I began consistent strength training! 

Progress doesn't take long, it just takes CONSISTENCY and EFFORT! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

THIS IS A WARNING!!! We Live and Learn, From Each Other

It is VERY easy for people to fake success and even whole businesses via social media. Do not let a person's "clean" look, or even Jesus speak and talk about faith convince you that they are a legitimate company. Make certain to THOROUGHLY research and receive referrals from trusted agents before spending any money in support of an online business. 

A few years ago, I was invited to write an article for a "magazine" that was created by someone I'd met online. Although we met via social media, we eventually met during a trip to Atlanta and continued to build a personal and professional relationship.  After months of supporting their "business", I discovered that the individual was charging people for ad space and photo shoots for features in a magazine that didn't exist.
It didn't take much: He used his popularity between a few major cities, combined it with the use of a decent camera, worked the basics of a photo editing program, added in articles from a few writer friends, print and voila!  I was excited for the brother when I saw he and his "team" with pics of the debut release -- the fruit of their labor! They followed all of those steps and had their circle of influence convinced that they have a legitimate publication! 
I came to know about this "hustle" after communicating with a mutual connection from Twitter. This sister had been one of the supporters who paid for a photo-shoot and ad space. In this case, I turned out lucky. The only thing I lost was a waste of a great concept for an article. This sister, and Lord knows how many others, were out hundreds of dollars after expecting to share news of her business with a whole region! 
As independent artists, it is most important to invest in our brand. As with any investment, there are risks involved but do not be deceived by one's perceived success because of their presence online. With the technological age, doors have been opened like never before. Not only is this beneficial for a new wave of entrepreneurs but there is a whole new breed of people out here hustling those who are truly working hard, legitimately using social media and the trust of others to make a name for themselves.

THIS is why I dislike the term "hustle" in regards to hard work in business. "HUSTLING" is not synonymous with hard work. HUSTLE is what people do to AVOID hard work but to reap the benefits that generally come from hard work. 
NOTE: Unless of course, you work for the Oklahoma Thunder. Please, hustle along! 

We, as we've done with most matters of language, have changed the word "hustle" to mean various things by using it so loosely. Bottom line is, no one wants to be hustled and hustlers have never been viewed as trustworthy individuals. As for me, I'll be a hard worker all the days of my life but will never call myself a hustler. 

It is my earnest prayer that people will always know me as a reliable and trustworthy individual. - *BEAM*

Friday, May 3, 2013

Plucking Fruit - What Do You Bear?

"One's failure to love | Is a tree which yields no fruit | Leaving all hearts starved" 
  Heart of a Queen - Poetry and Prose from the Soul, 
© 2013 Write Right Publications
We've all heard it countless times. From our mother and auntie to girlfriends and co-workers and some of us, have even uttered the words ourselves.

"Oh my goodness! He is plucking my last nerve!?"

In those moments when we find ourselves utterly annoyed or aghast at someone's behavior, it is easy to give them control over our emotions, lending our last slice of peace.

Lord forbid we "wake up on the wrong side of the bed", then every little thing rubs us the wrong way as we project negative energy on any and everybody who crosses our path.

So, what are we to do about these nuances? Are we to give every person who plucks our nerves a piece of our mind or...

...maybe if we change what we make available for plucking.

Think of it like this: If we are the branches that were created to bear fruit, we have to be mindful of what fruit we're bearing.

If the Fruit of the Spirit are "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control" then, why is it that our nerves are so easily exposed?

If we learn to consistently take the time to consume those same wonderfully nutrient rich fruits daily, we will find that our FRUIT is being plucked instead of our nerves.

This is not to be unrealistic. It is only natural for life's dramas and all the players in it to potentially frustrate us to a certain level of aggravation. But what does being quick to speak and react do for a situation?

A change of perspective can make all the difference. Although our emotions are real, we must not be ruled by them. When those moments in life arise, stop and ask yourself, "what fruit am I bearing?"