Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Vegan Potato Curry!

I've decided to try out the vegan lifestyle. Now, I'm not going all in at once! I have to pace myself into it. After all it is a lifestyle and I want to make sure I do it right aka I don't want to jump in and binge eat the next day. So, I decided to try my hand at cooking my favorite dishes, vegan style. To start a Potato Curry. 

1 tablespoon coconut oil 
2 1/2 cloves of Garlic 
1 medium onion (diced) 
4 small potatoes
1 can of coconut milk (I used organic light) 
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup peas (I used frozen)
1 teaspoon red pepper 
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 tablespoon of ginger 
1 tablespoon garlic powder 

1.Add your coconut oil to a large skillet on medium heat. 
2. Add minced garlic. 
3. After garlic is fragrant add diced onion until it's clear. 
4. Add coconut milk, diced tomatoes and everything else EXCEPT THE PEAS. 
5. Cover and let simmer on medium low for about 17 minutes. Or until the potatoes are soft. 
6. Now, add the peas, cover for another 5 minutes.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I Watched His Journey of Forgiveness, Then I Watched Him Die.

It’s simple really. The way I look at things and go about it all. I guess it’s simple to me and might feel like a conundrum to others because they don’t have any of the traits that I inherited that gives me the ability to look at life through these special glasses. We all have special glasses that allows us to see things in different ways. 

Ones that see the beauty in death and life being born. The ones that also have the ability to heal and feel. The ones that listen closely to a heart that’s weak and withering away. Ones that make me push harder because it knows that one day, there will be no more earthly days. Because of that train of thought, I choose to forgive.

A friend went on this journey and I’m forever blessed that I could go on it with him. He told me that he wants to forgive. That he wants to track down people he’s done wrong and ask them for forgiveness and he wants to pray to God to help him forgive others who hurt him. My heart was filled with joy because he’s a hard person to tolerate and love in any capacity.

So, I watched his journey. I watched him find peace. I watched him learn to love. And I watched him die.

Seeing how in a moment at any moment, a life can be taken makes you appreciate the breath in your lungs. Makes you appreciate the smog filled city with gas exhaust and tobacco smoke. Makes you a little forgiving about that bitch in the sixth grade or that friend who turned into your enemy. When you hold someone as they die, you watch that life slowly go. Their eyes tell you a story that they’re reliving their best moments as they take their last breath.

He said: the peace that comes with forgiving, letting go and letting God is unspeakable. 

What is life after that? I question as I watch my friend lay in peace. His face was calm, something I haven’t witnessed on him since we were kids. I was relaxed knowing that he is now in a better place. A breeze came over me, it squeezed me and I felt as if it were whispering to me. Funny thing, the room had no windows that could open. I knew it was him. I want to believe that he was telling me life is great after we leave this place.

I always wonder what life would be like if you died and didn’t forgive. If you held onto pain for your entire life. I for one, don’t want to go out knowing that I have to fix some loose ends. That’s why I speak highly about forgiveness in my blogs and on social media. I express myself to you, and share that it’s not easy but I’m trying. I share when I have successes and I happily share when I’m struggling. Nonetheless, I’m happy to say that I have no one that I need to forgive or ask forgiveness from.
And it feels pretty damn good.

So for my friend, rest well my dear. 
<3 Ebony 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Why Aren't You Outraged?

Why aren't you outraged? 

Man do I hear that question a lot from so many people. Mainly white people when they turn to me and haven't seen me react the way they want me too given our countries current state. I hear that, or read it depending on what platform you're using to reach me; and I translate that to "why aren't you screaming profanity?" or "why aren't you posting a I hate white people post?" or a "where's your reference to slavery and what's happening now?" "Are you not bothered?"

When Trump was elected into office, a dear friend of mine messaged me saying how she, for the first time in her life is terrified to go to work. She's scared to get her daily steps in and walk in her neighborhood and she doesn't want to wear skirts anymore. All because Trump made it okay to "grab them by the pussy." She then proceeded to say "now I know how you feel, history and stuff. I can totally relate." What about that is comparable or deserves the equivalence to my experiences? My ancestors experience? or my brothers and sisters who are dying today?  All I could do was put my head down, rub my forehead and say to myself :

Some people STILL don't understand.

You see, what's happening now is not news and it sure as hell isn't new. The only difference is, that there was a hiatus from the bullshit. No, it didn't stop, instead it wasn't broadcasted as much; that was until people started to use the cameras on their phones. Then they started to share it on social media aside from local news outlets. So to answer the first question, why aren't I outraged? It's because I've been outraged since I went through my first experience of racism, racial profiling and wrongful doing. You see, I don't "get outraged" because it's trending on social media. I don't "get outraged" and share it with 140 characters on Twitter then go on about my day. I don't "get outraged" and share a few videos with a few inspirational words and then talk ill about my fellow patrons. No, I don't "get outraged" because I STAY outraged.

When I stay outraged, it's not the typical woe is me attitude. Or the attitude that starts to hate people. For me, when I'm outraged it motivates me to help. When something is wrong it motivates me to get educated and create a plan to make a difference. So for me outrage is good because it's not evil instead it pushes me to do more and be better. 

To address my dear friend who tried to use the presidency as a form of bonding with me, it's not the same and you cannot relate. Until you're followed around the store (and yes this still happens), until you're wrongfully pulled over and scared for your life, until you're server at a restaurant is asking to switch with someone because they don't want to serve you happens, until you come home to Nigger painted your door, until you realize that your loans for a house or a car will always have a higher percentage rate because of the color of your skin, until you get turned down multiple times for that loan or job because of your skin, until you hear racial slurs while walking the street, until you're in public and are addressed by a hot headed person who hates your existence is trying to fight you and no one is willing to help you; my list can go on for days; you cannot relate. 

I don't share my outrage because it's the thing to do and everyone else is on that boat. Unlike most people I know, they share their disgust on social media just to get a like or two and some shares. Those same people have no intention on acting on their words. To me it's another ploy to be 'poppin' and look 'woke' to your friends. For those of you who are supposedly outraged I have a a few questions, where's the love? Where's the passion for helping mankind? What I'm asking is, where is the action? 

It's easy to hide behind your status or tweet. It's easy to share a video and send condolences. It's easy to say what you would do. It's harder to actually do it. When you create those words on social media, make them your own. Put a little heart and thought in it. Show us that you're better because you understand ABC and D. Prove that you have some knowledge in this matter. That you see what the problem is. That you want to see a solution and maybe even are willing to be apart of the solution. 

Instead of posting about it, I'm working to help create a solution. 

I'm not asking you to be like Heather Heyer who died protesting in Charlottesville. But I'm asking those who are not of color and who see the pain, who see that there needs to be change and who see that we need your help to help bring people together. To use your privilege and spread the word. Yes I know that you have family, friends and co-works who are more than likely racist, but if you truly are not and you care, where's the love? 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Little Tokyo

Oh how I love peace. Being able to sit down at a place and people watch. Watching moms and dads play with their children. Listening to the sound of a child laughing. Whenever I hear that sound, I can't help but smile. Smelling the food that fills the air while listening to some amazing music.

There was a man, older, sitting down on a set of stairs. The day was hot, the sun was unforgiving in it's glory. The breeze blessed us every once and awhile, but I didn't mind because of the music. I was drawn into this man. His eyes were closed as he hit low and mildly high notes on what seemed like a flute or a recorder. Come to find out the proper term is a shakuhachi. I found shade and sat for a few minutes while he played in the hot sun. For the entire time, I was trying to figure out why he didn't move to the shade.

It was to hot for me, so I moved from the shade and continued to walk. I came across the garden and listened to the sounds of the stream go from one side to the other. In the background, I can faintly hear the sounds of the shakuhachi.

I walked towards the busy part of Little Tokyo, and this time, I couldn't miss the food. I got the house recommend sushi roll. I don't remember what is was called, I just know, that the hands that made it must've been touched from God himself. While I spent most of my day in Little Tokyo submerged in culture, different people, music, languages, food and so much more; I couldn't help but feel comfortable and welcomed.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What Are You Doing?

As I'm on this new amazing, exciting yet a little scary journey; I get asked the same question over and over again.
What are you doing? 

For those who don't know, I'm for once, enjoying my life. I'm taking a  moment to look back at everything I've done in a short period. I'm taking a moment to realize that there's more to life other than working. You see, I haven't had a breather since I was 14 and started to work. For the first time, a few weeks ago, I took my first real vacation. One that lasted a week, where I did NO WORK and just took in the sun, the beach, and everything else around me.

This moment, I'm breathing in all that Papa (God) has placed in front of me and I'm deciding to love it. To love every single bump or road block. To love every tear that I've cried and every memory that used to cause me pain, but now I rejoice at my triumph when thinking about it. It takes a lot for me to sit still. Papa is asking me to sit still and keep focused on him. Out of everything I've been through sitting still for the past month or so was the hardest thing I've ever done.

I'm glad I listened. 

I'm back in this space where I love life and love living it. When you deal with so many lairs and twisted people at times it drags you down. When you're in toxic situations it's best to leave. I'm Where I want to wake up and help someone again. Where I want to get up and run my miles, make my breakfast and tell someone to have a great day. I'm at this point in my life where I realized that home is where the heart is. Once you find your heart everything else will be okay.

So, as I sit in my friends' room, staring out the window at the gorgeous sun. I can't help but wonder what's in store for me next? Yes, I'm a little scared I  mean who wouldn't be? But you know what's bigger than my fears? My faith in Papa. He never brings me to a place where I will fail. He sets me up in places that always better me and push me and to where I can succeed. He brings me into places that have the most valuable lessons only experience can teach you.

So, as I live, chase my dreams, and face everything this world has to throw at me. I know that I'm protected and I know that everything will work out in his favor. So that's what I'm doing, what are you doing?

<3 Ebony