Love Is…

Love is…

never forgetting

always wondering
asking

making time
forgiving

surrendering to life

profound

constantly moving
unselfish

never cruel
taking chances

listening

a gentle caress
a sensual kiss

a reassuring glance

a rollercoaster ride

a pool of confusion
foolish in the eyes of many

sad for those who know it not

an emptying of souls
a filling of hearts

unpolluted whispers
wings of freedom

infinity

bare feet on warm silky sands

bananas in your cereal
a good beer and Mexican food

chocolate on ice cream
a popsicle in the summer

orange juice with breakfast
sunshine on a crystal clear stream

a day off in hectic times

smiling freely

feeling playful
dancing in the rain

swimming in the moonlight
making love under the stars or in the sun

feeling the open air on your skin

embracing your life

finding your way in the darkest of times
Knowing you are not alone

This all is Love

Namastè

©NicholeDonjè

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Let’s Talk in the Now -Part 1

Finding the truth is the only way to move forward.

I was watching the inspirational Brenè Brown on Super Soul Sunday (my happy addiction), as usual I was moved but, this time I had a different take. She discussed how people rarely talk about their journey when they’re down, it’s after the fact; which though inspiring, often in the end, after we’ve tried following their advice or walked a similar path and failed, we are disappointed both with the world and with ourselves. It’s easier to share what we have been through when we have made it to the other side, but what about when you truly question if you’ll get there. This profoundly made me consider where I am in my life right now.

What I am realizing is that I want to talk about it now as it’s happening, to share my fear, the struggle and the triumph. In Rising Strong, Brene says we as a people look away, and sadly, it’s true. I’ve found all too often when people ask, how are you? They either don’t really want to know, or they cannot handle the reality of what you want to share. More than once when I have been going through something, someone I know will see it in me and ask how I am or if I’m okay. The response is often unsettling. More than once I have worked to put aside my lack of trust to be vulnerable, hoping to be heard. What all too often happens is quite honestly painful.

1. The person shifts subjects as you tell them that you’re struggling and moves on as if they had never asked the initial question 2. They jump in and rant how shitty the world is (and in turn tell me all their issues, often negating mine), or 3. Though well intentioned, they are determined to be hyper positive. They want to fix it, make it all better, and give me all the answers that quite honestly often there is no answer to. All of these responses tend to make me either no longer want share my actual truth or make me feel as if they don’t really want to hear it. Sadly I know that I have been this person too and I want to change.

To listen, to hear with compassion and love, that’s what I want. It’s what we all want, to be heard. It’s the person I want to be, and I’m working on it.  I’m nostalgic for my childhood and college friendships. The long nights talking about anything and everything, wholeheartedly enveloped in and committed to one another’s lives. It gets hard when we realize that most friends cannot be this for us. I have so many friends, all of whom I love dearly and many who I know love me. But this is rare.

I ask myself, what I am doing differently or wrong. Is this just the way relationships work now? Did I miss something? I certainly hope not. Perhaps we are all just afraid to share and make ourselves vulnerable in this unpredictable world. Maybe that is what this time of technology has taught us. Stay safe, type it don’t say it; read it don’t hear it. If it’s at a distance it can’t hurt me. I really do wonder. All I can do is work on me and hope that I find in myself the will and commitment to rebuild these ideals, to make such closeness real again.

Namastè

©NicholeDonjè

Joys

Favorite things

For the first time in my life I have this special and meaningful space to retreat to whenever I need a moment. Each time I enter this space I get a wave of calm and joy; I even love the scent. There is an energy in this room that lingers, positive and filled with peace. Whenever I leave I am filled with gratitude.

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This has been a week filled with challenges, discoveries and an abundance of joy. I have been challenged with my perceptions and views of the world. I have discovered it’s time to see the world with new eyes, to change what holds me down. I have had the opportunity to spend time with a dear friend. I have become aware of time and memories I have lost. I am  determined to hunt for the buried treasures of my own mind.

It’s fascinating and exhilarating to see how starting one dig is uncovering how large this excavation truly is.

Namastè

Letters to Loved Ones

To Those I’ve loved,

I often stop to think of my ghosts. Those who have gone. Their essence dwells in the corners of my mind sometimes jumping out to greet me unexpectedly.

I long for these days when I sit on the couch and smell the familiar cologne or hear a humming voice echo in my heart reminding me of old loves, deeps loves, loves that last through decades of memory.

This week I reach to the collective spirits. To all those who filled my life and had a hand in who I am. Today I want you to know you’re here with me.

Namastè

Letters to Loved Ones

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Dear B,

I have no idea how many years its been but I know I think of you often. It was a strange relationship we had. Some would say you were a father figure, but those who really knew us knew it was unique, a close family friend who played a huge role in my life.

When I think of you so many memories come to mind. I grew up with you. Many of my childhood memories not only included you, but were because of you. I would never have seen so many places, learned I loved theatre or simply had a color tv if it weren’t for you. We were a strange little dysfunctional family unit and I am so grateful for all you gave me.

I saw Canada; Montreal and Quebec, Virginia Beach and Disney World. I had weekends in Vermont and New Hampshire, and I first experienced NYC with you. I saw My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison and Camelot with Richard Harris! Who can say that. I went to the ballet and took classes. I remember Christmas caroling with your daughter at the senior homes and getting in trouble for inappropriate laughing  in church by you mom.  I remember weekends going to see singers who were your friends, at the local Chinese restaurants. I remember bowling and end of season banquets, I have trophies because of you.

You took care of us more often than not and helped us through hard times over and over; though you weren’t the best at showing emotion, I know your heart was good. I thank you for these gifts and I think of your grandchildren often hoping they are well. I wish it was different in the end, that you hadn’t given up and checked out. Reckless with your health you ensured your fate and it still makes me sad. You were more distant and more cold. I know how hurt your were by your daughter. I wish it had been different, that she had been different because I know how much you loved her and how damaged it made you.

I hope you knew how much I cared for you, how appreciative I was and am for everything you did. You ensured I never felt as poor as I was and that I didn’t go without. You were one of the most influential men in my life and I just want you to know I miss you.

Love,
Nickie

Namastè

 

Haiku 3 – Haiku Mondays

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the colored leaves fall
leaving the trees alone now
to sleep quietly

© Nichole Donjé

Who am I? Project (1)

 

So, I am embarking on a new journey and I’m asking you to come with me.  I will be reaching out via Facebook and Twitter asking for your input to help me with a new interdisciplinary art project entitled, Who Am I?

I wrote a poem I have yet to share, I will at some point but not yet.  It is one I wrote while researching Langston Hughes, one that reached down into the depths of me and my past to share my history, my journey and who I am becoming.

Oddly as an artist, I started this way.  My foundation was visual art then I discovered theatre and fell in love.  I became passionate about stories and in doing so loved disassembling them and re-envisioning them while  mixing disciplines.  I always wanted live music, dance, startling visuals, powerful words and voices.  I wanted to make a physically emotional impact with my art.

I am here again, starting again but in a whole new way.  I am a producer, I underlined that because over the past couple of years I constantly wanted to avoid the term.  So many were looking to me as a producer and somehow  it made me feel as though it subtracted the “art” from what I was doing.  Now I am seeing it differently.  I am embracing this talent and understanding its strength.  I have the ability to bring together a vision and people to make something noteworthy and extraordinary. For the first time in a long time I am incredibly exhilarated and inspired.

Funny enough, it is the subject of this project that has made me look back and look deep.  To ask, why I have made certain choices? Why do I question what I do?  Sadly I have a deeply personal admission: my body image keeps me from my success.  There I said it!  What seems to be such a simple issue, one I have been ashamed of because it feels so trivial, but  in actuality is so commanding that it holds me back from everything I know I am capable of.  I have to reach inward and ask sincerely, why?

I have spent a lifetime working to be the “image” of myself I have created in my head.  My personal expectations of myself have only continued to become less attainable.  The tedious phrase, “If  I…then…” has played on repeat in brain for more years than I’d like to admit.  The reality I am facing now is that by not accepting myself as I am today imperfections and all, I am disrespecting everything I have worked so hard for and negating everything I have achieved in my life.  Sadly this only perpetuates my perceived  personal failure that I have seemed somehow determined to achieve.

Its time to change and my change must start with me.

Who am I? How many women ask themselves this question not because they are in a transition, but because they looked in a mirror and made a judgment of themselves that they carry with them throughout the day, each day.  Today I am fat, yesterday I was my hair or my skin, the day before my shoes and so on.  This mirror we seek our reflection in is not real, but the reflection promoted to us by the media and the brainwashing we have done to ourselves in our denial; too dark, too light, too fat, too thin, too old, too young.  When are WE enough?

It doesn’t seem to matter how many forms of proof they show us that airbrushing is rampant and inexcusable, that celebrities wear hair extensions, that “natural” is a color we paint on and no longer what we actually are? We need to stop seeing our reflections on the television and in magazines; comparing ourselves only to the “idealistic” forms sold to us.  Its time to  start looking around at the beautiful, real people who live among us every day.

Today I choose to step up, look in the mirror and not see only what I look like but who I am; a talented leader, artist, performer and activist.  This is not easy to do I wish I could say it is, but I am saying for the first time with true conviction that I will fight each day for myself.  To look in the mirror and silence the voice of irrationality and say out loud that I am ready to accept the awesomeness of simply being me!

The Who Am I? project is about women; how we are seen in society and by ourselves. It is about how we affect men and how they affect us. It is about communication. It is about embracing our personal, individual power while opening our minds and sharing ourselves, our truth with the world.  Beauty has so much less to do with what we look like and so much more to do with the light we shine, the light we can only ignite if we are willing to release falsehoods and accept the magic of who we are.  This takes time and dedication BUT this will change our lives and every life we touch.

Please take this journey with me and look in the mirror and ask each day, Who am I? Then remember who you really are.

Please watch this inspiring video of Lupita Nyong’os‘ speech from the Essence Magazine Awards.  It is both heartbreaking and rejuvenating.  I watched this and couldn’t help but cry because I remember asking god to give me the strength to change and be something different from what I was not because I was bad, but simply because I believed I wasn’t good enough. I know so many young girls have done this over and over and the older I get the more devastating it is.  Society needs to start teaching our children, girls and boys this definition of beauty Lupita talks about and stop perpetuation the deception that breeds self-hatred.  We as human beings deserve more.

 

To be a part of the Who am I? project follow along with  this blog as well as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest .  I will be sharing what inspires me in this process as well as requesting input and participation. Also, please share #WhoamI?Project

Thank you!

Namasté

Calm

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There is something about sitting in the grass or an Adirondack chair on a sunny day with the mountains or a lake in site.  I go there in my mind when I can.  It’s a memory, but also a vision.  A vision I use when my mind gets lost in some messed up version of my day.

It would be amazing to wake up each morning and sit on that grass, do yoga and meditate as the birds serenade and the wind blows seductively against my skin; a kiss of cool in the warmth of the sun.  Or to sit in the night looking at the stars, the soft music of the trees whistling. Laughing with friends and loved ones.

It is possible.

They say that balance is a myth.  Is calm a myth as well?  Perhaps constant calm would be boring, perhaps it doesn’t exist? I have found it here and there and it is wondrous! To feel my own breath, for my brain to be quiet and my body accepting in its groundedness.

It is possible.

Why do we fight what is in our own hearts? Why do we not just dance with joy at the challenges? Why is suffering in our nature…or should say, my nature.  Who am I to speak for others, though I know so many in lust with chaos.  Those are them that I’d love to dance with, to engage and share a calmness with.

Imagine a shared moment; quiet and without expectation or limits. What a dance that is.

It is possible.

Calm is not just the grass. It’s a state of being; an acceptance of the moment. It is a willingness to release the struggle, the chaos – to hand over the reins and say…”okay…”  and for that moment to truly know; I’m okay right now. I’m okay as I am. I am enough.

It is possible.

© Nichole Donjé

Haiku 2

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hearts with passion live
knowing that compassion thrives
when we forgive

© Nichole Donjé