When Trauma and Creativity Collide

Growing in Concrete

Trauma can damage anyones creativity.

Recently, I’ve gone through a lot. Very traumatic events have taken place that resulted in mourning the lose of relationships of 10 plus years. Unfortunately, there was no way to avoid the lose if I wanted to regain my spiritually emotional freedom. The lost effected my husband and I so much that we had to move. The simplest way to explain it is that we discovered we were being spiritually abused. I won’t go into great detail regarding that but I will say church abuse is real but we still love God’s church and believe in the local church.

We aren’t those people who have incredibly bad experiences with the church and God’s people and turn our backs on everything related to Jesus. However; this experience has shown me that it’s real and I can understand to a degree why people go through those type of seasons where they need the grace of God to meet them heavily.

Throughout this experience I have been noticing some elements of my life that have been oppressed by other people’s opinions and thoughts of myself personally and creatively that distorted my actions. When I first began to blog in 2006 many of my blogs were about how I was processes what God was doing in my life and how I wanted to offer encouragement.

With all that is going on I am realizing that the value I add to this community is encouragement. I don’t know what traumatic experiences you have gone through personally but I do know that trauma will completely alter the way you view your own creativity and ability to be produce.

One of of the major issues with the creative soul is that it is stained by the opinions and thoughts of others. Don’t get me wrong! Creative critique is good and needed. It takes a humble person to allow others to give input on what they have created from there souls.

However; many of our creative entrepreneurial souls need to be restored from the opinions of others. We have stopped creating freely. There is an overload of blogs, books, and YouTube videos about the five steps to monetizing this and that.  The concepts are very alluring and suck you in. But is that what you are called to. I believe in monetizing. I believe in marketing. I believing in developing yourself. What I have been a victim of is adding the value others want me to add to others and not the value I’ve been created to add to others.

Our creative soul are in need of healing. We have become victims of the Instagram, follow, like, scaleable systems of this world and that is not how our creative souls were designed to work. Johnathan Golden has a new book releasing in Be You. Do Good.: Having the Guts to Pursue What Makes You Come Alive in the books he speaks about purpose. When we think of the work we do we must shift our focus away from the money, exposure, and thoughts of others. He states, “All of our work is a means of making God’s world on earth a bit more like heaven”.

Our creative souls will experience healing the more we do work that matters. You can pray, hustle and repeat but is that the hustle your supposed to be grinding at.

How have trauma tainted or flourished your creativity?

-Reflections for a person suffering with post traumatic growth.

Social Media Changes

 

I’ve recently been in the process of changing my social media habits. I have had a lot of time to think & pray over the last few months about what it is I am to be doing. In the process of dumbing down my life I’ve learned the importance of my social media image.

 

Social media is an incredible tool. I’ve been socially active on networks since 2005. If you include the forum and aim years I have been at this since 1997. Early on I was a Christian rapper and journalist. I wrote about purity, music and life. As the years and my maturity changed I shifted into the media and writing realm. After a while I took a major step back from social media & creativity. I didn’t post much besides food & workouts. I didn’t accept creative projects unless they were weddings. For a very long time I have felt that social media hasn’t been social. Many are posting the same kind of pictures, quotes, memes and just a bunch of nothing.

As I stated on the podcast and blog over a month ago many have become consumers & number hunters. There is no accountability in the social media realm so anything goes. I don’t to take part in that style of social media. Instead, I am working on a consistent strategy. I want to be social with people on the internet. I believe that we can encourage each other in our walk and dreams (grind).

I recently converted my Facebook over to a page. I didn’t quite know how I wanted to classify myself. Writer, Director or Entreprenuer? I decided to select entreprenuer. In a matter of 20 minutes I was a “public figure” according to facebook. I instantly had +5k likes. That was incredible. I have wanted to build a new facebook page for quite a while. When Mr. Mike Street told me about the conversion process it was final.

I downloaded and erased my social media life in 20 minutes. I didn’t truly understand what I was doing. I knew that I couldn’t add anyone but I didn’t understand the implication of changing profiles. As a “page” I now can’t see everyone’s feed. I can’t like statues. You can’t troll former posts and pictures. I am simply a page that other’s enjoy the things that I post. This was a major decision for me.

In the midst of that I automated my twitter and facebook to link together. I find interesting articles concerning Christianity, Writing, Technology, Current Events and Relationships to post 10 times a day. All of these changes are for my well being and yours. I have been writing a book for a while and I desire to be published. In order to be published I have to have a social media influence. The changes have been impactful. My networks are growing and people are interacting. If you are reading this blog then you are apart of that engagement. (Thank You!)

I take time out throughout my day to DM, reply, comment, like and be present in social media. I know how it feels not to be answered. People aren’t simply numbers they are important and they matter. I truly hope that my social media changes bring us all closer to the Lord and His will for our lives. I am looking forward to continually sharing my journey with you all.

PS: Hey if you have a publisher friend let me know. I would love to engage with them. Not just to get a deal but to know them as a person. Everyone has great value. Not because of what they do but who they are.

Baby Fat & Big Bones

I’ve been chunky all my life. 

Today I looked inside of my jeans and saw a 30.

 

It immediately reminded me of when I realized I was chunky.

 

In Kmart with my Aunt when I was around 9 and I had to buy a size 12.

The dress was cute but I was overweight.

She said, “Girl, you just have big bones”.

 

Which was the opposite of my grandmother saying, “Your bones are small”.

 

I had really bad self esteem issues growing up.

 

I was not only chunky, I was short and I had terrible acne all my life.

 

About 2 years ago I decided to FIGHT hard to get this weight off. I changed EVERYTHING.

It was a crazy battle. At first I paid a lot of attention to the scale.

 

Then I paid a lot of attention to my inches.

Then I paid a lot of attention to the slow progress.

 

Then something broke.

 

I just started to work hard and not care. Yes, I wanted the inches to fall off. But it took 30 years to get this way it wasn’t going to take a month to take it off.

 

Now 9 inches down I look in the mirror sometimes and I’m amazed.

Jesus has taught me so much about dedication, discipline, consistency, image, thoughts, & other people.

 

I’m not where I want to be but I’m thankful that I finally overcame the fat demon.

Deciding not to give up while being injured was the best decision I’ve made. My physical therapist, foot doctor and chiropractors have been so supportive during my rehab.

 

After this foot procedure I plan to run marathons. (We can talk about the last 8 months of my life one day. Daily pain & fatigue).

 

What are you overcoming? How can I be an encouragement to you?

I was a Liar

 

 

I was a liar, not your average liar but a BIG liar.

A habitual liar to be exact.

 

I always knew how to tell stories.

 

They called me a master manipulator.

 

I called it getting out of trouble, temporarily that is.

 

However, I got caught in my lies often.

Instead of telling the truth I would opt to continue lying.

 

Even when the truth was exchanged for immunity.

 

I still lied.

I don’t think anyone in my family knew that my lying was an expression of my ability to tell stories.

 

I often wish someone picked up on it.

 

My life would have been different.

 

They may have fostered my writing & storytelling ability.

 

My ability to write still amazes me. It’s still new to me.

 

I remember as a child watching movies.

 

I watched a lot of movies.

 

I was bred as a direct in some cases.

 

My lies often put me on punishment and during those times of punishment I could write or read.

 

I wrote songs and poems.

 

I read novels and business books.

 

At the at of 12 I read “Waiting to Exhale” and the movie came out that year.

 

I was amazed by the directors and actors ability to capture the words of the author.

 

I never thought I could make films until I was in my late twenties.

 

I owned video cameras all my life.

I never thought it was possible to write and direct.

 

I was never a great writer.

 

I went to 13 different grade schools.

 

I always lacked the basics of mathematics & grammar.

 

The lack of proper writing skills discouraged me.

 

In college I loved writing papers.

 

College gave me the opportunity to write and read.

 

As a double major and double minor I figured out a way to take more English classes than my majors allowed.

 

I loved having the ability to read, dissect and write about classics.

 

I was a storyteller.

 

If they would realized my lies were the basics of storytelling I would have majored in English & Film.

 

I would have been further in my career.

 

These are the lies that my mind tries to tell me.

 

Instead, I have a massive arsenal of stories to tell because I was a liar and it wasn’t known that I was a storytelling writer.

 

Today, I tell stories the proper way. Today, I’ve turned those lies into truth filled stories that tell the greatest story alive.

 

I now use words and cameras to speak of our relationship in this dirty orbit with the God of all of wonders.

 

Today, I am a creative communicator.

 

Today, I remember Pinocchio.

 

I remember watching him tell lies and his nose grow.

 

I remember sitting in my aunt’s bedroom while it played for the first time on HBO.

 

I remember how amazed I was that everyone knew he was lying.

 

I am a former liar turned storyteller.

What has shaped you? Feel free to comment.

Digging Deep

 

Today I looked at my storage on my computer.

It was running low and that concerned me.

When I got the computer I knew it would be limited due because it was a solid state hard drive.

I couldn’t really understand where all my space went.

It was nerve wrecking.

I began digging deeper. Not the normal dig.

I knew some of the short cuts already.

This kind of digging required going into the back doors places I’ve never been.

I went through all files, applications, photos etc.

I found the culprits.

I deleted some files from the past.

Ideas that I started.

Successes that weren’t valid anymore.

Now I sit here wondering how deep are we digging to live authentically.

Are we alright with the surface? Are we still living off of former accomplishment? Are we afraid to delete old ideas, moments, & thoughts.

Are we willing to start over?

What are your thoughts when no one is around? When you look in the mirror is that the authentic you or the imitation version you left in the back doors of your hard drive of your heart.

I’ve lived enough of my life as the imitation version. Daily I am afforded the opportunity to uncover more about me through Him.

In order to move forward in life we have to know what to delete.

When’s the last time you dug deep and removed the old files of your emotions that keep you bound?

Today I overcame fear. I went back to a place I felt outcasted and hated. Instead of running I dug deep and walked in the confident authority of Christ.

Let us not be bound by fear. Remember he didn’t give us that. The deeper we dig the greater the reward. Who knows you might receive more than storage space in your heart (peace). You may find oil or gold.

 

Memories of my Absent Father

 

Writing is extremely therapeutic for me.

I don’t know why but recently thoughts of the past are popping up in my mind.

Thoughts of the lies, the confusion, the turning points, the moments that I thought were normal.

Two years ago I discovered a photo of my father on Facebook. It wasn’t a photo I was proud of.

It was a photo of my father heavily influenced by drugs and alcohol.

It was a photo of him with the woman that was getting high with him when he overdosed.

It was a photo that sent me back into a place of mourning.

Not mourning his death but mourning the father I never got to know.

I have very specific remembrances of my father.

90% of those moments had to do with him being high.

The rest of the moments had to do with him saving me from a really ratcheted situation of having sex with a family members around the age of 9 who were around my age.

He knew so much more than I did.

I was innocent.

Not the innocent of being untouched innocent.

I was innocent of what that moment would have done to me.

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Recently, I have really been praying and thinking about what to write about on the blog. I am not interested in the numbers as much as I am interested in helping people live authentic lives in the image of Christ.

I have a story for everything people tell me.

My life is but a mystery to me.

I have gone through so much that even today I don’t realize the impact of moments like the above.

My father was a protector.

He wasn’t the typical protector. He wasn’t there when I needed him.

He was a protector at selective moments.

Often times we tend to think of moments as bad and good. I am truly learning to see the good in all moments. God can use any and everything to show us Him.

People ask if God is all powerful and all knowing why doesn’t he stop pain and suffering.

I instead ask God how I can learn from my pain and suffering.

How can I love the man I never got to know. I am the daughter of a drug dealer who was a victim of the system.

When people speak of my father they never mention anything negative. He was an amazing soul that was held under the power of his own desires.

I don’t know what my father was running from. I don’t know why he did drugs, gambled, sold drugs, gave away all his money.

I don’t know much about him but the small stories I have of him and those others tell me. But what I do know is that his absences made me a fighter.

His absences made me realize very early on that there was something more to life than what I was experiencing.

His presence made me realize he loved me but didn’t know how to express it.

What are you holding on to? Can you see the good in any of it? What moments hold you hostage that can actual reveal that God is always there; even in pain and suffering.

The Authentic: Episode 5 “A little bit of everything”

This week we journeyed into a little bit of everything on the podcast. Download it on iTunes or listen below.

Set List:

Jackie Hill Perry- Dead Preacher
Stephen the Levite f. Jgivesn & Tragic Hero- Frienemies
Selah the Corner f. Eshon Burgundy- Prophecy
Christette Michele- Super Christ
Tye Tribett & G.A.- SuperStar
Rhett Walker Band- Singing Stone

ChristinaFaith.com

 

Comparison the Thief

Comparison-is-the-thief-of-joy-2
com·par·i·son
kəmˈperəsən/- Literally, to compare one thing with another by noting similarities and differences. (Strong’s Dictionary)

Too many people are comparing themselves.

In a really bad way! I believe we are stopping ourselves from moving forward because of this comparison.

Peoples lives & accomplishments should be our motivation not our example of what we should want.

If Shonda Rhimes has three shows on primetime and I am just starting my web series that should not be my measuring rod.

Comparing ourselves to ourselves doesn’t allow us to appreciate where we are in that season of life.

Comparison is poison. It pollutes every area of your life. Most woman compare their beauty to another women’s beauty never seeing there own beauty.

Men compare themselves as well i.e. one’s strength to another’s.

Who cares what amount of followers, likes, comments etc someone else has. That isn’t your platform. Just keep working and appreciate the people who allow you into there thoughts and visual lens.

To compare is unwise (2 Cor 10:12). Let us all begin to appreciate where we are and where we have been without bringing in outside forces of pollution. Our biggest enemy is ourselves and our only comparison should be placing ourselves against the image of Jesus.

The Authentic Podcast: The Lust of Desire

Do you have a desire? Is it the right desire? Are you lusting and desiring something that isn’t yours? Check out this weeks podcast as we talk about the cost of desire.

Playlist:
The Walls Group feat. Brandy- God on my mind
Middle Clash- Gotham Fog
Natalie Lauren- Get Up
Campus House Worship-= Set a Fire/Fill Me Up

All instrumentals Stussy & Soulection

Is Your Social Media Social?

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Recently, I have been challenged by social media. When I look at my timeline its full of advertising -(hence why I unfollow when needed)-. Now I don’t mind advertisement however; there is very little actual social engagement going on. We have made social media a place to launch our ventures more than a place to connect with people for the people. We connect with people because we want something from them. We want there like, we want there retweet, we want them to know our names and brands. I have never been that type of person. I have met many people throughout my life but I never use those meeting times to present my product or personal brand -(many times to a fault)-. I believe in organic relationships. If I tweet you and you follow back that is awesome in my eyes.

Social media shouldn’t be used as a platform of gimme, gimme, gimme. Ben Arment holds seminars, online trainings and has written a book all under the brand _Dream Year_. While at a Dream Year weekend in 2011 he spoke about “The Ask”. The Ask is when you have built a genuine relationship people are prone to support your venture because they know you. If you are interested in working with someone try and build a relationship with them. Don’t just put yourself out there. People are more prone to comfortably listen when they have a relationship with you. Our current model of social media is WRONG. We have created this gimme look at me mentality instead of building authentic, loyal relationships.

Don’t be offended if people don’t friend, follow or respond back to you. Everyone isn’t going to be your best friend and the time is not always right to befriend someone. Social media should be social. It shouldn’t be a platform for you to build your brand. The first brand people see is you. So prior to reposting and spamming everyone that follows you on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc get to know them first. You will be surprised at the reaction you receive.

I’ve had the privilege of building dynamic social media relationships simply by asking people how they are doing from time to time. I don’t do it so they will remember me. I reach out because I genuinely care for them as people. Do you care about the person behind the profile or building your brand? Is your social media life authentic? I’d love to hear from you!

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