The other night, I went on a Haunted French Quarter tour and learned of some of the most ghastly, ghoulish and gripping occurrences throughout the history of New Orleans. As the tour walked on, I found that the line between what I thought I knew and what I believed became more and more non-existent. So much has happened to and throughout the city, over the years, that I understand the implications of sinful salvation that vibrates beneath the surface of The Big Easy. From the haunting Andrew Jackson Hotel - formerly a federal courthouse, and before then, an all-boy boarding school - to the grotesque Madame LaLaurie Mansion incidents, one is sure to learn that the city is more than Mardi Gras and Cajun cooking. Nevertheless, it is one that embraces its goods and evils, marries them with morbid love and douses them with Bourbon (ha ha). It really is quite beautiful, and only a snippet of what sets this city apart from the rest of the nation.
New Orleans is packed with so much history, tradition and culture, that it cannot be fully absorbed in even a two-week trip, let alone a few days. Still, the best you can do is take it a day at a time and learn what you can. What's lurking around the corner may not be so bad and what you think you see, take another look just to be sure. It may be exactly what "the Doctor" prescribed. Venture outside of your box and discover You, in new ways. It's N'Awlins, baby. Until soon...
Sun. December, 20th - The Big Nine (9th Ward)
#SmithDonnellE #Freedom #liberation #resilience #NOLA #NewOrleans #holiday #2ndLinin #BigNine
Have you ever noticed that sudden glow that comes over you when you stand firm in a decision made, following your instincts? When it happens, you feel a strong sense of assurance and joy in your spirit, and in those first few seconds, you feel the most confident that everything is well with the world in you. That is the glimpse into pure Happiness. Did you know that that feeling can be prolonged, indefinitely? It's true...
Usually, when I have my moments of revelation - epiphanies, if you will - I go on this extensive tangent of ideas and proposals to shift my inner world, as a means of ensuring that the feeling produced doesn't fade. Lately, I have been understanding the root causes of those revelations, as opposed to riding the by-product. What I mean is that when I realized that those feelings come from decisions made out of Love, and not Fear, I started relying more on my instincts and less on the curse of "What If." O' how much simpler Life has become.
In My experience, when a decision made was influenced by a series of "what if..." questions, it mostly turned out affecting me in a way that made me wonder what the opposite of that decision could have brought my way. I was afraid that those "what if's" would manifest and create a stir in my ambitious flow. Yet, I ended up feeling dull about the whole ordeal. Case in point: some years ago, I was planning a trip to Jamaica with a group of friends. All of the plans were laid out and all that was left to do was to pay up. One by one, the majority of the group backed out - for varying reasons - and I ended up cancelling the trip altogether, because I was convinced that it wouldn't work any other way. To this day, I wonder what would have happened if I decided to go solo. Nowadays, when I plan a trip, I still invite friend and family, but I also have alternative plans ready, in case I have to go it alone. Out of the Love of traveling, instead of the fear of "what if people back out again...," there is little to no space for wondering what would happen, otherwise. Then, I end up experiencing more of those glowing moments; either out of the memory of a decision well-made, or within the very moments of making those decisions.
I Say all this to implore everyone to come from a loving place, when living. Life is so much sweeter when we let go of the burdens of perpetuating the status quo.. Others may sometimes look at you with the confused, twisted expression, but that's alright, they'll find their glowing moment of release. If not, it's still not your problem. Life goes on, yes? Of course it does! Live in Love! Until soon...
#SmithDonnellE #LetMeBeMe #LetMeBeFree #inspiration #blog #life #choice #freedom
LAST week, I attended the christening of a beautiful angel named Isabella. 'Twas a heartwarming ceremony attended by close friends and colleagues of Isabella's father, along with members of the church. Before the service started, the father needed assistance untangling a thin silver necklace, which he intended for his daughter to wear for the ceremony. It was quite the knot to straighten out and the young woman who offered to untangle it had given up, since it was hard to tell where the knot started and ended. She asked me if I wanted to give it a try and so I did. Struggling up until the start of service, I was not getting it unraveled, though I could see how it was knotted. Another attendee offered to give it a try, during the service. Then another, at the post ceremony reception; and then another, before it came back around to me on our way to brunch. At the table, in between conversing and getting to know all in company, I fiddled and examined and rattled with this knot.
THESE days, knots tend to pop up in our daily living. Sometimes, we don't even realize that we create some of those knots when we allow doubt and discouragement to win us over. The great thing about life is that you can always create a new slate - from the very moment the thought enters - and start again, with greater intention. I, personally, like to look at the knots in life as tests of Will and Patience; opportunities to learn about another part of myself and what I am truly capable of. Nothing is meant to hold you back, if you are willing to see the lesson in every circumstance.
BY the way, while I was at that table during brunch, I was able to get the knot undone and Baby Isabella got to wear her Christening Day necklace, after all. It took some time, but I knew that it could be undone. There was a brief celebration among us, but for me, it assured me that I was on the right track. There is really no race against time, but rather the challenge to operate in Faith and to keep the Vision clear; keep going, keep striving, keep rising. Giving up is not an option. Until soon...
#SmithDonnellE #LetMeBeMe #blog #inspiration #faith #iRise #life #journey #truth #growth #believe
Donnell E. Smith