Phenomenal Women

So when I started writing today, I was planning on giving you a list of my favourite songs to spice up your playlist for your next cookout, rooftop party or really any other festivities where you would like to get people to dance.

However, when I started writing about the first song, I realized that there’s a deeper message that I am supposed to share with you today. And let’s be real, I wouldn’t be me if I would only give you a bunch of catchy dance tunes without at least including one that has a deeper message to it.

So the song I want to share with you is “Maayaa” by Juls, Tiggs Da Author & Santi. This latest work of one of my favourite, favourite, favourite producers Juls (British-Ghanaian producer & DJ who’s responsible for some amazing tracks by Burna Boy, Show Dem Camp, Mr Eazi, Maleek Berry, Eugy) is dedicated to the amazing, beautiful and inspiring poet, storyteller, activist, and autobiographer Maya Angelou. According to him, the song is “dedicated to every bold black woman who is never embarrassed or ashamed to boast about their success and achievements, confident in their own skin and never scared to speak their mind”.

And so I want to take this opportunity to share one of my favourite poems by Maya Angelou here with you to underline this powerful message, which is so, so essentially needed in today’s times where too many songs are objectifying and diminishing women.

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
If you’re a woman reading this, I hope this resonates with you to the point that you understand that this poem is describing YOU, and if you’re a man reading this then I hope it inspires you to make a conscious decision about treating every woman you meet like the phenomenal woman that she is.

 

Watch the beautiful video to the song here….

 

 

 

Something different

Last weekend I went to London, to attend a workshop of one of my favourite inspirational people –  the empathetic, intuitive healer and spiritual teacher Matt Kahn. It inspired me to write down some of my personal insights from this experience and I felt like sharing them with you.

Meaning should be optional. Instead of trying to find meaning in everything that happens, it can be more helpful to just be in the moment and receive it for what it is. Each moment has its own meaning in itself. When you are interpreting, you are creating something in your mind that doesn’t really exist. This causes you to worry more and keeps you from experiencing a situation for what it really is. Not interpreting, allows you to move on from situations more quickly, not get caught up in the past and also love yourself more through not criticizing or blaming yourself for what happened.

Things happen the way they are supposed to happen. When you blame someone else for something that happened, you are giving away your power. They are not responsible for your life. If someone hurt you, that is what it is, that happened because you were supposed to feel a certain emotion so you could face it, interact with it and let it go. It is okay to feel hurt, feel the emotion and experience what it does to you. However, when you blame the other person for how you feel, you are giving away your power to them. The truth is, they have been releasing the negative energy onto you, that they weren’t able to process within themselves.

A person that hurts you, experiences pain inside and because they don’t know how to process these emotions of pain, they release and inflict them onto you.

You can blame that person, but it won’t change the situation, it won’t reverse what happened and it won’t make you feel better. Instead, it will leave you feeling powerless, because you’re giving another person the power to decide how you feel inside. So instead, you can allow yourself to feel the emotions that you are feeling, not push them them away but face them and acknowledge them. Treat those emotions with love and give them the attention that you would hope to receive from someone whose help you’re seeking.

In that context, you can ask yourself “How can I help you?”. In asking yourself that question you are taking back the power that you’ve been giving away to others and you acknowledge the fact that the only person, that is in charge of how you feel, is yourself. You can ask yourself that question, whenever you feel you’re not at ease and you’re feeling any kind of emotion that you don’t feel comfortable with. By asking yourself “How can I help you?” in these particular moments, you are giving the feeling the attention it requires from you, you are being loving towards yourself because you are offering help to yourself the same way you would to a loved one, and you are being helpful in a productive way, that will allow yourself to grow and move on instead of being stuck within an emotion without any greater perspective.

Also, if you face a feeling directly in the moment that it occurs in, it will stay with you for a much shorter amount of time than if you would try to push it away. Pushing it away will only work in a superficial way because the feeling doesn’t ever really leave you and will stay with you subconsciously. In every situation possible, it will then reoccur and demand your attention again until you finally face it. Allowing yourself to feel something is self-empowerment because in facing your emotions you are recognizing that they are valid. It is okay to be a person, it is okay to dislike something, to feel negative emotions towards something. In acknowledging that, you are liberating yourself.

Blaming yourself is just as problematic as blaming others, because in it you are giving the power away to fear-based parts of yourself. In doing that you are giving power to and strengthening those parts that you wish would lose their power. Blame, in that context, again, is the interpretation of a situation. It can be a lot more helpful to acknowledge that you dislike something and leave it at that, instead of trying to interpret it or putting too much weight on it.

The truth is, we feel what we feel because we are supposed to feel it. Every feeling arises intentionally so that we can have a learning experience that allows us to grow. If things had happened any other way throughout our lives, we would have still felt the same emotions because we were supposed to feel them in order to be able to evolve. We are not in control of what happens, but we are in control of how we feel and this matters because when we are able to feel an underlying calmness, throughout all kinds of situations and all kinds of emotions, we will live a joyful life. Knowing that everything is here to help us and there is value to be found in even the most negative emotions and life experiences. It is like the saying “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. In taking back the power over your feelings, you are able to decide how you are going to experience your life.

An additional aspect, that comes with taking back your power, is recognizing that you don’t have to act a certain way in order for other people to like you. A challenge for most people is to be okay with other people disliking them. But when we realize that, whether someone likes us or dislikes us, doesn’t have much to do with who we are, we are liberated from that need for others to like us, and those can sometimes even be the ones that we don’t really like ourselves. People decide whether they like or dislike something based on the associations they have made with it. So when someone dislikes you it can be because of their experiences that your appearance reminds them of, what they feel that you represent. The way someone else feels about you is a reflection of what is going on inside of them. Also, think about it, how can someone really dislike you if they don’t even know you?

You will be free of what other people think of you when you remind yourself that, all that you are really defined by are your actions. You are not defined by your gender, skin color, nationality, beliefs, job, status…You are only defined by the sum of your actions. That’s all. When you make sure your actions line up with what you feel in your soul is right, that is authenticity. And when you are being your authentic self, you are truly empowered and you are living in your purpose. The only thing that God/the universe truly wants for you is to be your authentic self.

Universey sound

In 2017, one of my favourite poets Cleo Wade posted a quote on her Instagram saying “I know ‘universey’ is not a word, but isn’t it crazy how many things are just so damn universey?”
This word resonated with me immediately and I have been using it very frequently ever since and so here are my favourite universey songs for you.

Musiq Soulchild – The Moon (feat. Neil deGrasse Tyson)Musiq Soulchild Feel The Real Album
This song is truly a gem. I mean, it starts out with a sample of an episode of Cosmos (one of the most amazing shows on this planet lol ‘planet’) by Neil deGrasse Tyson comparing love to “a new electromagnetic force of nature which is as boundless as the multiverse itself”. It’s a beautiful love song with a lot of depth and soul. What I love most about it is that the piano sound in the background reminds of stars twinkling and the whole song consists of universey metaphors.

Common – The Light
Common The Light
Even though this song is over 18 years old it is still timeless which is probably owed to the sample of “Open Your Eyes” by Bobby Caldwell that is used for the chorus. I love that the song is founded on the concept of darkness and light, darkness representing fear and light representing love. My favourite line from this song and probably still one of my favourite lines ever is “If heaven had a height you would be that tall”, which is just an incredibly beautiful universey reference.

Ivy Sole – Life (feat. Dave B)
Ivy Sole Life
Writing this I’m realizing this is not just a list of universey songs but also a list of some of my all time favourite songs right here… Ivy Sole is a female rapper who I personally would describe as a lyrical poet gifted with a very kind and calming voice. On this song she harmonizes with singer Dave B and creates a very dreamy universey sound. Again referring to the concept of light as love and darkness as fear she starts out the song singing “When the midnight comes the stars will help you guide your feet and if it’s meant to be you will end up right here next to me”. But you’ll need to listen to it in order to be able to fully grasp its greatness.

MAX – Meteor
Max Meteor
This song had me at hello…If that’s something that exists for songs. The first few lines spoken like a poem before the music sets in “A meteor bursting through my atmosphere, what’s a star I long to touch, it’s so very near, here I am reaching towards its erupting flame, with thoughts surrounded by your name”. WOAH! Right? Listening to it you feel like you’re drifting through space yourself. It’s just such an artwork of universey lyrics and atmosphere expanding sound.

Jhene Aiko – Frequency
Jhene Aiko Frequency
Do I really need to say anything about this song? Okay for the ones of you who don’t know it I probably should lol… If I feel stressed or out of balance I put on this song, sit with it and find myself returning to myself. That’s how powerful it is. “Frequency” by the beautiful Jhene Aiko is about the fact that we all send out our personal frequencies which consist of our thoughts. If we think positive thoughts we emit positive vibes which lift us to a higher frequency, if we think negative thoughts we emit negative vibes which lower our frequency. That’s why people speak of ‘raising your frequency’ and this is why people ‘level up’ when they decide to better themselves and think more positively, they literally rise up… I could go on about this endlessly… this song is a masterpiece.

Iman Omari – Energy
Iman Omari Energy
In line with what I have just been referring to in terms of frequencies, this song is basically talking about the same thing. “I only see one thing in this world that I need, no war coming from me, just want the love’s chemistry, good vibes and inner-key, is all I feel surrounding, if it’s not on your level, then why don’t you just let it be”. The war he is talking about here represents negative energy. He is basically saying he only emits positive vibes and is only seeking love, so if you’re not on his level/frequency then you should just stay out of his way. That’s pretty much the definition of a universey song right here.

Chris McClenney – Gravity
Chris McClenney Gravity
Oh what a song! Playing with the concept of gravity representing a sense of being grounded within yourself and the concept of light representing love. “Drifting out of space, all I see is black, lost my sense of place, can’t find my way back, but a lightyear away, I can still see your heart shinning”. Simply beautifully universey.

Past Lives – BORNS
Past Lives Borns
This song had to be included on this list because what is more universey than the concept of past lives?? Also in contrast to the other songs this one right here, even though starting out slowly, is a very danceable planet party song! “Through all of my lives I’d never thought I’d wait so long for you, the timing is right, the stars are aligned, so save that heart for me, cause girl you know that you’re my destiny, respect to the moon, the stars, their sons and their daughters, our love is deeper than the oceans of water”. Do I need to say more? *drops Mic*