God Protected 28

365 days went by. 3..2..1.. the clock struck 12:00am and I wake up 28.

Where did the years go? Did I live in them or did they live me? How did my legs get so long and my confidence so strong?

As I lay in a bed not my own, that of a Airbnb owner, glaring out of a striped window, I begin to ponder on the life I’ve lived. Many of the memories I didn’t think of simply because so much has transpired.

I was feeling sexy as I threw off the layers of covers and let my feet hit the ground.

The day was ahead of me, 27 years behind me.

I believe in healing. I believe in miraculous acts. I believe in divine connections. I believe in course correction. I believe in love although I’ve been fighting it these days.

I’ve been thinking about how much I’ve been shielded from, many times without me even knowing at that time.

I’ve considered all of the wonderful blessings that have been given to me over the years. Few I’ve strained for.

Being a twin, birthdays are much like holidays. They’re celebrated more. Maybe it’s the awe of two humans coming from one woman in a matter of minutes.

What I know for sure, God protected 28. I’ve settled. I’ve went against my intuition to keep what I thought I needed. I’ve made silly and serious mistakes. There’s been times I haven’t been honest with myself. I’ve pushed people away when I didn’t get my way. Even in all that, God protected 28.

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Dasani with the Drip: HOTWORX Edition

Many say Thank God it’s Friday or Happy Friday as an indicator that we can’t wait to relax and settle into our weekend plans. I had another idea in mind. I wanted to try something new. Something that would challenge me and even energize me to stay active over the weekend.

30 degree weather isn’t the friendliest with high winds wrapping around you like an infinity scarf. Nonetheless, I walked swiftly to the entrance of a building that appeared it needed a security code to get in. I could only imagine what was inside was worth seeing.

I was greeted by the friendliest blonde who clearly had her coffee and great customer service training. She gave me a quick tour of the most modern, high tech gym I’d ever seen. What looked like small cabins housed hundreds of infrared panels for two kinds of workouts: yoga classes or HIIT workouts.

I had done both before but I chose the 40 minute hot yoga class in 125 degrees infrared heat. I was provided a towel, HOTWORX yoga mat, and a foam roller. I was all set. Now all I had to do was get in and put in the work.

The clock counted me down 60..59..58.. seconds until three yogis appeared on the television screen with instructions for the class, the poses we would do, and how long we would sit in the poses.

5 minutes in the class, I glanced at the thermostat, now sitting at a lovely 123 degrees. My body was responding fast. My heart rate already at 136 beats per minute.

The hot yoga class was intense including one legged planks, eagle pose, and warrior pose 1 and 2.

I paused a few minutes during the class to hydrate with water. I stretched, I pushed through it, and told my body yes when it was saying “that’s enough sister.”

Sweat dripped off me like raindrops on window sills. I was detoxing as I was working out. How cool is that? The clock counted down 30 seconds for each interval in what seemed like slow motion at times.

At the end of the session, I felt like I had won a race. I felt like I had accomplished something big. That’s what HOTWORX is about. Sweating, detoxing, and gaining strength.

Before I left the gym, I purchased a HOTWORX during band to use at home in my infrared sauna room.

If you want to switch up your workout, not too fond of the gym, or looking for a new way to train, check out a HOTWORX class.

You’ll learn about infrared heat, different row bikes, and most importantly you’ll learn you don’t have limits unless you create them.

Things I Found in a Hotel Room

It’s been raining all week. The cold has stuck to glass windows as the wind paired the rain to every object in sight. Some love the rain, many despise it. The ones who love the rain see the cleansing. The ones who hate it see their plans deferred or adjustments to schedules they initially didn’t have in mind. Either way, it’s life.

Today is Sunday and the sun came back like a dog you can give a treat. The sun beamed in the sky with promise that today would be bright. And so it was…

I went to a hotel room to see my beloved friends who are in town for the weekend.

I crossed my legs on the pull out couch as my sister set next to me, across sat my two friends with slight grins as we caught each other up on life’s many happenings. Our time was short but our words were long. And so we dive in to what can’t wait until our next meet up.

I love to see my friends especially growing, glowing, flowing and learning. That’s the thing with real friends, more like family, you want to see them at their best and celebrate their success with them.

I was reminded of how far we’ve come individually and collectively. It gave me a greater sense of hope that all is working together. Here’s what I learned the most:

  1. God makes personal, unexplainable visits.

2. Experiences toughen your skin in ways advice doesn’t.

3. Family teaches you how deep your love can go.

4. Respect is a choice that you have control over.

5. Babies are precious.

6. Love is worth fighting for with the right person who wants the same thing as you do.

7. No matter how many seasons come and go, you can always stabilize your beliefs.

It’s going to be a great year. I hope you’re surrounded by people who see the best in you and only wants the best for you.

Much love,

B

Glow – The Confetti Project

What Do You Celebrate?

I Celebrate: Glow

I celebrate glow. The essence of the human soul that illuminates when confidence, freedom and awareness are present. Glow is essential to living a life in color. As a young girl, I would marvel at the twinkle in my father’s eyes as he smiled at my siblings and me. He transferred the glow to me and I took the torch. I realized it took practice, work if you will, to choose to exude glow. Before I was allowed to wear makeup, I made it my business to wear an internal highlighter. I became more aware of how lighting my path created this metallic snowball for glow to return to me. Fast forward 10 years later, and I find myself a part of a 5 member team exchanging glow virtually and across the world. I held the banner of glow as I landed in Kassali, Uganda to train women and girls in leadership, community development and dignified work. Standing in front of pieces of my ancestors, I learned a deeper meaning of glow. I learned that it doesn’t matter what you do, what you wear or where you come from. Glow comes from within and it isn’t limited in access. It’s yours to cultivate, spread and reciprocate.

For more information, visit http://www.theconfettiproject.com.

A Time to Love

*Nature’s alarm clock wakes me up* at 7:00AM and it’s my birthday. There’s a sense of anxiousness entangled with excitement as I welcome this new chapter. Page 1 or should I say Page 7? Either way, I’m ready.

Four days before, I gathered my faithful family in a dimmed lit, high end restaurant to commence this new year. Everyone was dressed in their best with high energy despite the raindrops streaming down the windows behind us.

We greeted each other with smiles and hugs as we scanned the menu for our choices for the evening. With entrees and drinks ordered, we begin to talk about what we value about family.

Blessed to have intellectualism in our DNA, we shared our ideas on current events, relationships and how to balance personal life with work.

My amazing cousin, Shrena, posed the question to my fraternal twin and I “What have you learned this year and what are you looking forward to learning in the new year?

We paused for a moment as we scooped our lessons from our belly leaving resistance on the floor. I shared a quote by Maya Angelou:

I am human so nothing human is alien to me.

as a chief aim for this year.

This quote sparked more Maya Angelou quotes from my father and brother. Poppa Bear quoted with confidence:

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.

As we finished our dishes, our sparkly birthday treats made it to the table. The cheesecake was to die for. My niece had a slice before I did. She grinned with excitement and yelled “Yummy!”

Finally, it was time to say our goodbyes and continue our night. With gratitude in our hearts, we were even fuller. Maya Angelou couldn’t of said it any better:

I sustain myself with the love of my family.

The Day I Grew Strength From My Ancestors Wounds

I used to consume history in high school like popsicles on a sunny day. I was intoxicated with learning what happened before my existence. My mind swelled with knowledge of how what became what and how who become who. I would go through trails in my head with the intent to get to the end of how I ended up here. In America. After years of slavery.

On a cold Thursday afternoon, I made my way to the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum located in Downtown Jackson, Mississippi. As I walked through the doors, I was met by two police officers. The lady said “Take everything out your pockets. Step forward.” I did so. It was procedure, but I instantly felt a small sense of what would be ahead.

As I made my way to the beginning of the eight exhibit museum, I started here. Instantly taken aback by what I was reading. My eyes glazed over metal chains used as restraints, documents of laws and pictures of cotton, poverty, and politics. I was on an emotional roller coaster that hadn’t even reached its peak.

Before proceeding to certain simulations and presentations, the museum had warning signs of how graphic the pictures may be. As I stepped in certain spots, the intercom said “Hey! What are you doing here? You better get out of here if you don’t want any trouble.” It was in real voices. The same voices my ancestors heard day in and day out.

One went as far as the sound of a rifle being prepared for action. Although I was in a safe place, my mind started to imagine what it must have been like living in the times of slavery and post-slavery.

I imagined punishment for little or no reason, deep senses of fear in the bellies of every black person in those times, the rise of faith and doubt, the organization of movements and companies, the birth of children and the death of some. I imagined hymns being moaned when words couldn’t be mustered. Oh, I imagined a lot.

When I exited imagination, I reentered reality. I was grateful to have gained a small glimpse into my history. I was saddened by the lives lost to fight for the freedoms I have today. I was inspired to press on another day knowing my ancestors had endured far worse than I ever have.

Many of the wounds are still open today. History is living in the present. I still see injustice, poverty, slavery of the mind, depression and systematic oppression. But in the eye of my soul, there’s light, there’s hope, there’s freedom, there’s truth and there’s time. I walked out of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum with my curly head held high with a bandaid of strength over my ancestors wounds.

Ever had moonshine that tastes like water? 

Part one of five of the blog series, Adventures in Mississippi. Explore with me the unknown adventures of this state. 

On a rainy Tuesday afternoon, I walked into what looked like a previously abandoned building. The smell of yeast rushed into my nostrils as I inhaled. I skimmed the building filled with metal machinery, barrels, and pallets of Vodka. 

We were met by a cheery voice “Hi guys! Welcome to Cathead Distillery! I’m glad you guys could make it.”

As our tour began, we headed towards the machinery. Facing where it all goes down, we learned the main ingredients of Vodka. 

Who knew corn starch was a core ingredient of the process? A few things we learned (particular to Cathead) included:

  • It takes about 7-10 days to make vodka 
  • It’s the first legal distillery in MS to open since prohibition 
  • It takes less than a second to fill a bottle from the LIQUITOTES (container to the far right)

The final phases of our 30 minute tour included viewing where barrels are stored before they are shipped, the facilities they are shipped to, and taste testing 4 liquors of our choice.

My favorites were: Original Cathead Vodka and Hoodoo. Yes, the latter one is spooky but delicious!

If you’re ever in Jackson, MS and interested in learning about the distillation process of vodka, I definitely recommend scheduling a tour. Here’s an awesome Groupon to save a few coins. 

   Stay true. Stay wild. Stay adventurous.

Until next time,

Britney L. Clark