We are all looking at the same tree for there is only one tree. Some of us, however, are standing in the sun, while others are standing in the shade.
There is no reality outside of the one inside your head. Everything, you think you see, is you. The "me" you think you see is still you.
Ever wonder why there is such resistance to changing racist ideology? Well you will understand after you watch this video, AND you will probably look at people who are racist differently and with more understanding.
United States or Divided States? It's time for a shift in the current narrative. Yes, I agree that Black Lives Matter, but I feel that just as that final line in the book "Animal Farm" states "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others," some black lives seem to matter more than others.
Some of us are guilty of a crime that is not yet punishable by law,although it should be. Word have power and we can use them to hurt or heal. The choice is ours.
Ever wonder how young children are capable of learning so much in Preschool, but the learning curve falls off often by second grade? Well, I have a theory...
This video is titled "DISAPPEARING FAMILIES"? because men, women and children are disappearing at alarming rates and no one seems to notice! Where are these precious mothers and fathers and children and why is there no public outcry?!
If we are created in the image of God, is it possible that we can be anything but perfect? Can we be ugly or flawed?
Many of us have forgotten who we are. Your support and contributions will enable us to create responsible media that stimulates divergent thinking and challenges the herd mentality. Your generous donation will allow us to expand our platform an reach a larger audience.
I looked at the calendar today and realized something. I have only six days left, just six more days of this 29 day journey. When I began I was full of things to say, full of fear and full of one other four letter word that most people take a laxative to relieve themselves of. Yes…that and I don’t mean in a good way. I was so frustrated and confused and angry and disappointed in so many things, especially God. I literally walked around in a funk half of the time and if you crossed my path on a bad day or got on my last nerve…Lord help you! There was so much inside of me that needed correcting, especially my thoughts and beliefs about how life was supposed to work and about how God works. See although I was raised in the pre-microwave, pre-internet and pre-video game era I am still young enough to have gotten sucked into this instant gratiﬁcation mentality.
We live in a society where you press a button and four minutes later you have an entire meal. When I was growing up we had to wait until dinner was either cooked from scratch or it was heated up in the oven or on top of the stove. There was no Skype, if you wanted to see someone you went to their house. There was no Facebook or email, if you wanted to converse with someone you called them on the telephone or if they lived close enough you went to their house and sat on their sofa. Forget about instant messaging, we mailed letters! Technology has evolved by quantum leaps and we have suffered because of it. Our children, and unfortunately we, have become accustomed to getting exactly what we want when we want it usually how we want it and because of this, we are all spoiled little children. Yes, you too. So stop shaking your head because you are most certainly just as spoiled as the rest of us.
I’m not saying that we are bad or that anything is wrong with us because we enjoy efficiency and convenience. Personally speaking if I can get something faster and easier with less effort I do and I’m not ashamed to admit it. The problem, however, is that the way we view that which comes with technological advances, is the way we tend to view our relationship with God. And yes I’m referring to oogads of people, not just me. I will, however, use me as the example because it’s somehow easier to see oneself in another person than it is to see oneself in—oneself.
Well, for starters we all want what we perceive to be perfection or easy, effortlessly happy lives and we want it NOW, yesterday. We want a relationship with God where He gives and gives us everything we want when and how we want it. We actually expect unconditional yes’s with not even a sprinkling of no’s from God. If we get what we desire we love God and we praise Him. But don’t let God say no. God forbid God doesn’t ask how high when we say jump. We stamp our feet, turn our backs and walk away while cursing His name like that distasteful Veruca Salt from the ﬁrst Willie Wonka. We actually bite the hand that feeds us. We behave like disrespectful children to our creator and treat God much like we treated our parents when we’re growing up. We treat God like he’s disposable and we erase His name from our telephone book for the tiniest infraction. We don’t seem to understand that God’s world is in order and we cannot have everything that we want right now, this second.
I like this little saying that I constantly review. It simply states: God has three answers to prayer: 1. Yes, 2. Not yet or 3. I have something better in mind. I don’t know where it originated but I saw it written somewhere and had to incorporate it into my life. It encourages me to believe that maybe God knows what He is doing and there is a reason that I don’t live a life where 100% of the time things go my way. Think about that movie Dark City. If you lived in Dark City and there was no such thing as light, guess what. Darkness would just be reality. You need light to appreciate darkness just like you need occasional unpleasantness to even appreciate what feels good. Think about the movie The Toy, that brat had a human toy because he had everything else and all of that good became unpleasant. If there was no valley, land would be ﬂat and a peak would cease to be. As a matter of fact, anything without its equal and opposite ceases to be…Think about that.
People who walk away from God because God says, “Not yet” or “I have something better in mind” more easily walk away from their families, disown their children, and erase lifelong friends from their lives for tiny infractions. People that never get the memo that God is not disposable or something to be used and discarded can never truly have a relationship with their Creator. I refuse to be one of those people anymore and I may only be 24 days into my journey but I trust God’s decisions. He can tell me no just like any good parent. He can tell me not yet and I will be patient until it is time for me to receive. If God tells me to wait because He has something better in mind, Whoopee! I will wait and be pleasantly surprised. I am using my growing relationship with my parents as a barometer to gauge the growth of my relationship with God. For some wonderful reason as I journal and realize how much God loves me, I seem to appreciate and love my earthly parents more. What a gift that I can unwrap every day…Thank YOU God!
Dear God thank YOU for providing me with that which I should have when YOU deem it best for me to have it. May I never again regard YOU as if you were disposable or treat YOU with a blatant disregard. Thank YOU for the gift of knowing that I need not worry, YOU are here, YOU are there, You are answered prayer…
I wake up in the morning running a race;
Go to bed at night wash off my face
Lie awake contemplating –
All that I must do and the time I must borrow
Expectations, deadlines, pulled this way and that by you
Disguises, masks and hats, do what the world expects me to
Punch the clock, collect my pay …Everyday
Buying time on credit I can never pay
A scattered memory…
never saw it coming…
Disappearing silhouette, semblance of what was true
I was a sentence… then a word… now I’m just a syllable
Shell of a woman… hollow… through
I run myself ragged I have too much to do
Here you go another piece of my soul
Disappearing woman, no longer whole
Gave myself to everyone, Everyone else
Nothing left for me.
Gave nothing to myself
Mother daughter sunlight water earth moon and sky
Everything to everybody,
Wife, worker, mother, friend, lover
Remove one hat, one role,
just to put on another
Scattered pieces of me all over the place…
I no longer recognize …
which one is my face?
It’s four twenty a.m. and I know this because my clock told me. No, it didn’t speak to me and I’m not having some kind of Beauty and the Beast moment. I’m talking about the little green dashes, fifteen of them that make up the four, the two and the zero. I’ve been staring at these little green dashes as they change every sixty seconds, and yes, I count them because lying here in the darkness, there is absolutely nothing else to do when I can’t sleep. I count dashes and look at the bizarre shapes that reflect eerily from the little bits of light coming through my closed blinds. I count dashes, look at specks of light and wait because the 5-2-7 breathing, the graduated muscle contractions and the lavender oil I generously dab on my pillow are just not working. I decide to turn on some white noise because the mechanical hum of the fan is like a summer breeze that tiptoes in the screen door on a hot, sticky night and rocks me to sleep with the softness of a whisper… but not tonight for some reason. What’s going on in your head, Joy? It is now four forty one in the morning and my overactive mind still refuses to tap out even though the sun will be waking up shortly. I glance at the clock, sixteen green dashes in, then I realize that I must have drifted off because I’m actually asleep and dreaming. You know those moments when you knowthat you are asleep but you are still somehow fully aware? I’m having one of those dreams again and, of course, it stars the one creature that I fear more than I fear dying a love virgin! But before I go into details and deconstruct the significance of this reoccurring dream, I think I need to rewind a little bit and introduce myself.
Who am I? Good question. On the surface, or on a superficial level, I guess that I’m just an ordinary person. Perhaps I sat next to you on the train or the bus on your way to work yesterday or I was the person in front of you that you honked at because I wasn’t driving as fast as you think I should have been. Maybe I’m one of the people in the parking spaces closest to the building while you’re driving around looking, or possibly I’m the person driving around and you’re parked in one of those happy spots. If you walked right past me I wouldn’t stand out because I’m not someone who needs a makeover, or a diet or anything visible to the naked eye. I do need more shoes but that’s, that’s another subject entirely. My story, like your story, isn’t on reality television because just like the average Joe, or in this case, the average Joy, I get up every morning and go to work. I run errands and then I sit in front of the computer or the television watching Netflix series while dipping something crunchy into ice cream. I am anyone, everyone who lives a relatively C-Average life, who has the semblance of normal, but then there’s that riptide. That undercurrent that always pulls you down, me down, to remind me that something, this intangible something, is missing. There is an underlying displeasure that the trajectory of my life is somehow…well… off. It’s as if my life is a series of just below average with enough peaks to fool me into believing that everything is okay, that it’s expected to be not quite happy. That I’m average, the person standing right in the middle of the bell curve with exactly half of the world in front of me and the other half behind me. Not good, not bad but balanced. Okay, however, is a façade, at least for me. My life is kind of akin to that amusement park funhouse floor that appears to be straight but is actually leaning to one side, where you realize that you’re walking at an angle although the floor appears to be level. I’d come to realize that although I wasn’t miserable enough to need Prozac, I definitely wasn’t content with that which was my life. This “happy” was a simple but elusive and intangible concept and there was just not enough joy in Joy, but Joy had no idea how to get to joy.
I know who I used to be, and I know who I want to be, ideally, that mythical someday when this reality is only visible in my rearview mirror. Today, however, I’m trying to figure out, not only, who I am but how I got here. Here, is sitting in a chair with no lumbar support, staring, day in and day out, at this outdated computer monitor, knowing that I have allowed Netflix to become my best friend and my lover. Here, is living vicariously through heavily made up fictional caricatures while I devour their drama as would a voyeuristic neighbor. Here is sitting on a bed in yet another substandard rented apartment, on one of the most beautiful days of the season, watching my neighbors resentfully through the corner of a curtain, while they have the audacity to enjoy themselves. I’m angry at my leftovers as if it’s their fault that I’m salivating to the smell of barbecue chicken and ribs, boy do I love grilled food! Sitting here alone with my butt glued to an uncomfortable chair brings up memories of a time when I was alive, instead of this facsimile of Joy sitting in front of the computer watching life sprint past my cracked window. I sit here wondering “Why am I always, angry, lonely, ALONE and hungry for someone, anyone, when there are free events, festivals, movies and Meet-ups for people like me? Why is this ample backside of mine glued to this uncomfortable chair with the permanent butt crack indentation in it? And when did my phone stop ringing with invitations to parties from my how many Facebook friends and literally 437 phone contacts? What the heck is going on and why can’t I recall when I became this? How did I get here because I don’t recognize this outdated Windows 7 version of me?
Am I who I used to be? It’s amazing that although we see our face every day in the mirror, we cannot see the subtle changes taking place as we age. I have seen, Joy, every day since I was old enough to look into my Barbie mirror, but age sneaks up on you, like a good pick pocket, who steals your youth one day at a time. Unfortunately, although you are systematically being robbed, you are unaware and therefore powerless to stop the clever thief. I can recall a time when I drank life and every day was a celebration. Then some indefinable thing happened and I became this. The question is who abandoned whom? Did I leave her behind or did she abandon me when she saw the first wrinkle or gray hair? Did she leave when the breasts started to droop and the butt began to sag? Did the stretch marks chase her away or was it the cellulite and the belly pouch? Is she gone forever because in my mind has nothing changed but my mileage. Do I simply need a tune up or is Joy past her expiration date? Sitting here in this mental space I began to wonder if this is all that I have to look forward to until whatever happens after you take your last breath happens to me. Welcome to my conundrum, the “what” that keeps me awake at night counting green dashes on my clock. Every night my confusion spills onto my pillow in the form of dreams, dreams about nasty little pre-butterflies that I’ll simply categorize as crawlies.
Metaphorically speaking I am a crawlie because I have been somewhere between transforming and transformed most of my adult life. I guess you can say that I’ve been a caterfly or a butterpillar because I’ve been half in and half out of that chrysalis thing hanging upside down on a leaf waiting for my wings to grow for what seems like forever. This truth, however, may surprise those who know me well because I walk the walk and I talk the self help talk and I can name all of the key players. I own volumes of self help books, from the gurus, and I’ve paid homage to the masters because what they do is supposed to be transformational. I have gorged myself on their literature and youtube videos and I’ve memorized affirmations that I repeated daily after I pretended to meditate while listening to reiki music and/or binaural or solfeggio healing frequencies. I drank kombucha and ate quinoa and changed my life to include everything that was supposed to optimize my health and I usually got enough sleep. I watched cat videos as well as videos of baby animals being bottle fed and I inhaled comedy after comedy, and I never watched the news, in hopes of finally growing my wings but nothing changed. I kept waking up and it was still Groundhog Day.
I did the work but I continued to feel Imbalanced and as an added bonus I started to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, first intermittently, then almost daily, especially in social situations. What the Fuck?! This had me scratching my head because I was doing all of the right things. What in the world could possibly be wrong? Maybe I was just broken. Why haven’t I transformed? This question resonated in the place in my mind, that record on autoplay that never has anything nice to say, the place that picks your scabs on a continuous loop. This question forced me to analyze why after my decades long self help boot camp, why I was still a caterpillar. Then the answer rained down on me like volcanic ash during an eruption. I pulled out my sword and began to carve my feelings into paper and something quite unexpected happened. It was as if old dusty movies that had been stored in the attic had been brought down and were being played for me to watch. These were my movies, true stories of all of that I had suppressed or repressed, things that made me depressed, things too difficult for me to remember, much less admit to myself. For my healing to take place I would have to face down my ugly and name that which should not be named. If I were to ever retire the baggage that I had been carrying around since childhood, I would have to unpack the bags.
MARIPOSA was birthed, just like a child, from a place of indescribable pain that leads to a joy too great for words. The realization that I would never transform until I first identified and then faced down the WHAT that stole my joy, was the first baby step towards my healing. I would have to identify the moment that I became unlovable, ugly and worthless (at least in my mind). I would have to first face, and then walk though that pain to the other side before I would emerge as a butterfly. I, just as you, were probably taught very young to avoid pain and discomfort. From the first time my well-meaning mother put my hand near the stove to teach me “hot”, I learned to avoid things that hurt. From that day I began to walk around pain, to dig a trench and go under discomfort or to simply turn and walk in the other direction of my drama. I’ve only just begun to realize, however, that the only way to the other side of my trauma is to walk through it; Right down the middle of it, which is the only way Joy can get to the other side.
MARIPOSA details my journey to find balance in mind, body and spirit because unrest in my mind and spirit had lead to disease in my body. Since childhood, writing has been my vehicle to escape and now I would use writing to purge myself of the compulsive, negative and antisocial thinking that had become my drug of choice. Just as the gambler is addicted to the casino, I have been a slave to my obsessively compulsive negative thoughts and I’ve felt powerless to control them. My toxic programming was, in fact, a mental disorder and I was as much an addict as any gambler or substance abuser. This book is meant to acknowledge and draw out that which is diseased in my psyche and correct it. I am doing this publicly so that others may share in this experience, see themselves reflected in the pages, and know that they are not alone. Today I choose to heal my anger, aggression, insecurity, fear and feelings of powerlessness and replace them with Peace, Tranquility, Security, Love and feelings of Power over myself and over my life.
This book, MARIPOSA, is about me stepping outside of my body, looking at the quality of my life, and saying “forget this! This is not living, I am not happy, I am not healthy and I am not willing to be this anymore!” It’s about me staring down my excuses and saying, this is it, this is the last stop. We will go no further. Goodbye. Today I choose my health. Today I choose my sanity. Today I choose my dignity! MARIPOSA is the process of my letting go of everything that has been adversely affecting my emotions, my health or my finances. Quite frankly, it is literary representation of my choice to walk in the opposite direction of my pain, and to finally do the real work that is necessary to heal. This work includes dirty fingernails because I’m digging deeper inside of the buried, untidy places and into crevices in the previously unvisited Joy parts. The place we must go after the self help books and the affirmations fail because they can only work when your house is clean. This is the place where we can see nothing, we can only feel, where there are no more excuses, no more pretenses, only us, bare, naked and authentic. I looked in the mirror and proclaimed “Today I will change. I will transform.” I named this book MARIPOSA because a crawlie has no choice but to become a mariposa or butterfly. Once a caterpillar enters that chrysalis, she will change. She can’t not change. Nature takes over. One way or another that caterpillar will emerge on the other side.
MARIPOSA is just me, peeling the layers, like an onion, and battling myself where there is no expert monitoring my progress and I have nothing but a mirror to keep me company. My goal is to experience peace and more joythan I ever thought possible in my half a century on this earth. In this journey I share my personal experiences as well as the experiences of some close family and friends, although it is important to note that the stories in this book are human experiences as seen through my filter. The themes are common ones shared by people of both genders and they transcend ethnicity. MARIPOSA delves deeply into and explores the taboo subject matter that has floated un-chaperoned in my mind for decades. Through short stories, prose and poetry Section One of this book expresses some dark emotions while Sections Two and Three become more hopeful, positive and uplifting. While I heal my misperceptions, I offer insight and links to professionals and national organizations that one can contact if they need to explore any emotion deeper than I dive. Everyone is going though something and many of us just can’t find the means to express how we feel so let me offer you the words and help you realize that you are not alone. If you don’t know the how to get from where you are to where you want to be, exactly what steps you can take today to rid yourself of the anger and start the healing process, I offer you the seven steps that I took that worked for me:
I Examined my current thought process
I Acknowledged where my thoughts needed correction
I Reexamined my misconceptions from a different viewpoint
I Challenged my erroneous perceptions
I Healed my wounded judgments and forgave my error
I Accepted a new way of thinking aligned with Who I Really Am (Spiritually)
I Celebrated my growth
As a licensed elementary and learning support teacher and therapeutic interventionist, it is my profession to teach students how to change antisocial behavior and adopt new ways of interacting with the world. I am now both student and teacher, and I have had to retrainmyself to think the polar opposite of how I had been conditioned to react, the entirety of my life. My thoughts were like an outdated computer program that was still running on DOS, one that has never upgraded to Windows. You can’t run today’s technology on a dinosaur of an operating system, you have to upgrade. I too have had to change my programming, the information that was running the system of my mind. Within the pages of MARIPOSA, Joy finds joy through a journey where the first steps are excruciatingly painful, but just like a marathon, the ending, the victory, is sweet and worth every drop of sweat, every muscle ache and worth every single tear....
Personalized Celebrations for women turning 4T and FABULOUS!
Includes Interactive Reading of 4T by Joianne Payne; Champagne Toast or Martini Raise; Socializing and mingling with Joianne Payne; Personalized "gift" for Birthday Honoree
*Does not include travel and accommodations
Includes Interactive Reading of 4T by Joianne Payne; Raising of the Tea and Toast; Socializing and mingling with Joianne Payne; Personalized "gift" for Birthday Honoree
*Does not include travel and accommodations
All books will be available in both hardcover and digital format
This book will be available again shortly
This book will be available again shortly
This book is in production and projected to be launched in the Fall of 2020
Your patience is appreciated
work for hire
Prices vary but hundreds of original songs available to choose from or song can be written to your specifications.
Prices vary but hundreds of original poems available to choose from or poem can be written to your specifications.
Minimum charge $100 for original write-for-hire pieces, depending on complexity. Travel expenses not included
Prices Vary depending on complexity and length of project as well as deadline
*minimum charge not including travel expenses
Available to perform at your function or special occasion
One of Two pieces from either book. Up to one hour which includes socializing with guests, photos and book signing. Includes personalized gift.
*Does not include travel expenses
Several pieces from any book. Up to four hours which includes socializing with guests, photos and book signing. Includes personalized gift.
*Does not include travel expenses
One hour of performance and/or workshops with eight billable hours which includes dining and socializing with guests, photos and book signing if requested. Includes personalized gift.
*Does not include travel expenses
Prices for non-profit agencies are negotiable as are rates for local performances